Friday, January 13, 2012

Reading


While browsing Chapter’s website last week, I came across Jennifer Hudson’s new book, I Got This. It was for pre-order; releasing on the 10th.

On Tuesday, I happened to be on the website again to show something to Hubby. I saw the book again and thought, why not. So I ordered it.
It arrived this morning.
Between getting Monkey ready for school, waiting at the bus stop with him, hitting the grocery store with Muffin and coming home to enjoy a mug of hot coffee, I’ve gotten three chapters into the book.
It’s interesting so far, but I have to admit, I’m a little anxious to get to the point she started with Weight Watchers and how her journey to lose the weight went.
Hopefully between playing with Muffin, my daily cleaning and working out, I can find more time to read.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Workout of 2012


I have a confession…
I haven’t worked out in about three weeks.
Horrible for someone wanting to lose weight.
Nutrition alone is not going to transform my body into the shape I want.
I need to workout too.
So that’s what I did today.
And I sucked.
I was huffing and puffing in the warm up!
The warm up, people!!!!
I spent months building up my cardio just to let it die out.
I had no idea it would be this rough going at it again. I had no idea it was going to feel like I was starting all over from day one. I guess it sort of it like day one all over again. I need to retrain my muscles to work. It’s not going to be easy. That’s why it’s called a workout, right?
I added a new DVD to my mix. I bought one of the Biggest Loser workout DVDs.

 Although I royally sucked at it today, I look forward to mastering it. Someday it will be too easy to work through. When that day comes, I’ll pass the DVD along and look for something more intense. Until then, I’ll sweat it out and huff and puff with Bob, Ana and Dolvett.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shopping

A new year brings on new beginnings. 
Or so people say.
Most people are full of resolutions. Promising to go to the gym, work off that extra weight. Promising to get themselves more organized. Promising to clean through their closets and cupboards. Out with the old; in with the new. 
I didn't make any resolutions this year. I just break them. I have nothing I want to change. I just want to stay on the course I'm on. 
I am cleaning out the closets though. 
Monkey and Muffin have both gone through growth spurs. One is wearing kids size 6. The other is now wearing 18-24 months. Some clothes have been put away, but a lot of them are awaiting a trip to the Salvation Army. It's a good thing my mother went over board on new clothes for Christmas for the boys or their closets would be bare. 
I'm weeding through Hubby's closet too. He's still wearing his old sweaters and shirts. Way too big on him! And any pants that can't stay up when with the help of a belt have got to go.
My closet needs help too. I've worked my way from my super fat clothes right down to my pre-baby clothes from 5 years ago. Now most of them are too big on me. I'm in need of some new clothes. Yeah for the Old Navy gift card Hubby and I got for Christmas! 
Hubby already bought up a bunch of workout clothes during the Boxing Day sales at Old Navy. I picked up a pair of pants I already own (and love) in the next size down so they're waiting for me when I get there.
Today, I did a little more Old Navy shopping, spending more of that awesome gift card. 
I decided to pick up this dress....


A green and white wrap dress. Awesome for someone losing weight. As I get smaller, I just wrap this dress a little bit more tighter.
I don't have shoes that will rock with this dress. I found these online today:


They're from Aldo. I like both, but I think I'm leaning towards the second shoe.
I also bought some new jeans and some super cheap tank tops for layering.
I love Old Navy! And when they have a sale, it's even better. It's clothes I don't mind buying now and shrinking out of. Not when the price is right to do so.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kitchen Gear


I am a self proclaimed foodie wannabe.
I love spending time in my kitchen.
I love finding and trying new recipes.
When we bring home new kitchen gadgets and tools, Hubby and I get as giddy as Monkey gets over a new Thomas train.
Our kitchen isn’t full of big gadgets though. I don’t feel the need for them.
I came across a list of basic kitchen needs that caught my interest. It got me thinking of what I have in my own kitchen.

Good quality knives -- I totally agree! We’ve invested in some great knives that Hubby keeps nice and sharp. A great knife makes all the difference.
Food processor and/or mini chopper -- They claim that this speeds up prep time. Sure they do. But how much extra time does it take you to clean up afterwards? I have a food processor my mother in law gave us. I’ve used it once in six years! I find it’s easier just to use my knife to cut everything up. Less mess to clean up afterwards.
Veggie steamer -- I have a rice/veggie steamer I use all the time. I love it!
Metal racks - tp prevent meat from sitting in grease. I use my baking cooling racks all the time for this. And my broiler rack too.
Good quality pans with fitting lids -- I don’t have lids for all my pots and pans. I’ve been known to cover my favourite non-stick pan with my pizza pan when I need to cover something
Roasting pans - I only have one small one. I’ve been eyeing up some bigger ones
casserole dishes with lids - I love my casserole dishes! Use them all the time.
Nonstick bake ware - Is there anything better? I think not.
Mixing bowls - I have a set of glass bowls in different sizes. Love them.
Measuring cups - I use mine daily.
Grater - Love my grater! It’s from Ikea

Electric mixer - I just have a little handheld one. Half the time I forget I have it.
Rubber Spatulas - Awesomeness on a stick.
Silpat Sheets - I use mine a lot
Storage containers and food wrap - I’m slowly buying Rubbermaid’s glass containers with the stacking lids. I love them.
You can cook food in them, serve food in them and store leftovers in them. Only problem, the break easier. I plan on keeping some plastic containers for the boys.

I also love:
Rubber whisk -So I can whisk in my pots and pans without risk of scratching them.
Pretty plates - I love eating off of pretty plates. Mine are simple plates, but in a colour I love; chartreuse. They almost have a vintage feel to them.

Tongs - I love my tongs. There is no easier way to flip and serve food than with tongs.
Hand blender - Quick, simple, easy clean up
Mandolin - These puppies can do all the slicing that a food processor can (not the chopping, though), but I think they’re a little less mess. You just have to wash the blades and make sure you don’t take off a finger or two while using it.
Pizza stone - I have my eye on one that is so pretty that you can use it to serve other foods as well as cook your homemade pizza on. (Also want to share my new favourite pizza sauce with you….Quick pureed fire roasted tomatoes. I don’t puree them smooth. I like it a little chunky. Hubby and I came across it in a recipe and now whenever we make pizza, we use fire roasted tomatoes for our sauce. So good! I don’t miss regular pizza sauce at all)

I love my kitchen stuff!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

H2O


Let’s talk about water.


It’s the most important thing we need for survival.
We can survive three days without a morsel of food.
We can survive just one day without water.
And yet, many people avoid water like the plague.
I’m thankful I am not one of those people. Hubby was before he started on his weight loss journey. Before he would only drink those artificially sweetened flavoured waters. Now he happily drinks fresh, plain water.
Before starting on my own journey, I thought I was drinking enough water. I thought I was doing well drinking a bottle of water a day. I drank a lot of pop and juice the rest of the time. Then I picked up drinking coffee and tea.
The recommended daily minimum intake of water is eight 8oz servings a day. How do you know you’re drinking enough? Measure it out if you have to.  Oh, if you’re like me and prefer drinking out of a water bottle; one bottle is about 16.9oz. One bottle is two servings.  Four bottles on water in one day is a good start to making sure you’re getting in your water intake.
Our bodies are made up of mostly water. It’s important we keep replenishing it with more fresh water. Dehydration is pretty serious. We need to drink water before we feel thirsty. Once you’re thirty, you’re already dehydrating yourself.
I recently came across an article listing signs of dehydration.
Here’s the list:

-Fatigue
- Lethargy
-Irritability
-Headaches
-Blurred vision
-Flushed skin
-Lack of mental clarity
-Constipation
-Cystitis 
-Back pain
-Excess weight
-High cholesterol
-Cellulite
-Water retention

Water retention? That caught my interest. When I was pregnant with Monkey, I suffered some crazy water retention. My feet swelled so much, I wore Hubby’s shoes to the hospital the day Monkey was born. I couldn’t fit into my own shoes. To help battle water retention the second time around, my doctor told me to drink a lot of water. And I did. I drank like crazy. And I never had an issue with swelling or water retention.
Flushed skin? Hmm…Normally when I drink alcohol my skin flushes within the first half glass. Alcohol dehydrates; so the flushed skin  makes sense. Good thing I’m not a big drinker. Just the odd glass of wine here or there.
Fatigue and lethargy? Can I blame not drinking enough water for my laziness that got me in my current situation of needing to lose weight? No, I’m just kidding. I take full responsibility for my extra pillow around my middle. But good to know that making sure I’m hydrated can help keep my energy level up with the addition to good food choices.  
I’ve also heard a few times that drinking a bottle of water (or two servings worth) of water first thing in the morning is a great way to just start your day. Drink it before you drink or eat anything else in the morning. I tried it out this morning. I don’t know if I tried to drink it too fast (I was eager to get to my beloved morning coffee; it’s my routine) or if I just can’t handle that much water right away on an empty stomach, but it nearly came back up. A few deep breaths and I was fine. I also had breakfast soon after that to sooth my nauseous tummy.
I’ll try drinking the water again tomorrow morning. Maybe drinking it slower to see how that works out for me.  A friend suggested pouring my water the night before and leaving it out on the counter so that it’s room temperature. I might give that a whirl too. (I drink out of water bottles, but we reuse them. One case of 24 bottles lasts us about 2 or 3 months).
Make sure you’re getting in your water! Your body will thank you.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Into a New



It’s here.
2012.
Three days in and so far I’m feeling emotionally drained.
Between snow storms and my kids, I’m feeling done already.
And I feel like a big baby for feeling this way.
So far, 2012 hasn’t impressed me.
Time to change my attitude.
The year is only what you make of it, right?
Although I couldn’t control what has happened over the past two days; I still need to count my blessings.
2012 did not start out as bad as some people’s lives. I have a lot to be thankful for.
There’s a scrapbook project called Project Life, or Project 365. If you’re a crafty person, you probably know about it. If not, here’s to short version: You take a picture a day to record your life. I’ve done Project Life two years in a row. I love it. The first year, I didn’t finish. The second year I did much better. I decided not to do it this year. I’m thinking I’m going to showcase each month instead. But I’m still planning on taking a picture a day. I found this cool app called Project Life. It lets me take a picture each day (and I can use Instagram, which I am totally addicted to now). I can upload to Facebook or email myself the pictures to print out. Perfect. It’s so easy.
Who knows. I might make it through the year and then turn around and buy another Project Life kit to put everything in.
I’m taking on no scrapbook related projects this year. I hardly had any time for my beloved hobby last year. I just want to get back to enjoying it again. Between family, chores, work, working out and life, scrapping has taken a backseat. I still love getting my hands dirty; playing with paper and making art with my cherished pictures and memories. I just want to take more time for it this year,
And I’m continuing on with this weight loss journey of mine. I kinda let loose a little at Christmas time. I know you’re not supposed to, but I did. I wasn’t overly bad, but I wasn’t too good either. And I’m playing the price for it. I feel crappy.
I fell into the old trap. I felt emotionally crappy; I ate crappy food; I now feel physically crappy. Loverly. There’s no one to blame but myself. I was the one who ate the food. I should have found a different way to deal with my emotions. But I did what I did and now it’s time to move on.
My cupboards are being refilled with good for you foods. There’s fruit in the fruit bowl, there’s fresh veggies in the crisper. There’s low sodium soups in the cupboard and water in the fridge. I’m ready to go back to my clean eating ways.
I’ve finally convinced Hubby to get one of the things on my wish list. I tried hard for a puppy, but it looks like I’m getting the treadmill I begged for a few months ago instead. I’m very excited! We’ve decided to buy used. There are so many people who buy treadmills, hardly ever use them and then sell them because they’re taking up too much space. Why not take on a treadmill that needs the love instead of buying new? My only preference at the moment is that it has to be a fold up treadmill. Hopefully by the end of the month, we’ll have a treadmill that I can start training to run on. Yay!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012!

We ended 2011 with our computer needing to be fixed three or four times. It's been annoying to no ends. I've uploaded my Christmas pictures onto the computer twice now. Right now, they're on the camera and not on the computer because they've been wiped off the computer twice now.  .

The only pictures I have available to share are Instagram ones that made it to Facebook. I got an iPod touch for Christmas from my parents and I am totally hooked on it. To say I love Instagram is a total understatement. And I totally understand the addiction power of Angry Birds now. Hubby, Monkey and I are all newly addicted.

Mr Muffin (chewing on something, darn teething) and Grandma's Christmas Tree
Muffin and his beloved Grandpa. No one can come between Muffin and his Grandpa.

Little People play. Muffin loves his Little People. Makes me so happy because I loved Little People when I was a kid.

 This picture makes me smile.Who doesn't love a picture of a baby in Daddy's glasses. I wish I would have gotten the shot when Muffin was wearing them without help. But I'll take what I can get. 

Charlie Cat. He was keeping me company one night when I was hiding in my bedroom, playing with my new toy.

Monkey got Once Upon a Monster for the Kinect. He can't play when Muffin is awake because Muffin gets in the way. Muffin is crazy for Elmo and Grover. He screamed in delight over Rock Elmo and Super Grover Christmas morning. This game went well over with Monkey too. And I must admit, I play it too with Monkey. It's super cute.

Mommy and smiley teething baby. I was trying to get a picture of Muffin being overly cuddly and sucky (because he was! Darn teething), but as soon as he realized I was taking his picture he started smiling (through the soother) and saying "cheese!" As soon as he sees a camera he says "cheese" now. It's cute. 

At Grandma's house, waiting for bunch to start. I think he was hungry.

The only non iPod picture I have here. And it's only because I manged to upload this one to facebook before it was wiped off the computer. Monkey steals my iPod. And Muffin steals it too. (side note: my walls need to be painted. I'm so sick of this blah colour that everything blends into. I'm going to paint them a steel blue grey)

Bring out food, and kids will come swarming! Hubby is holding a meat, cheese. fruit and cracker platter there. All four kids came running as soon as he sat down. 

Littlest brother with biggest brother. One on his DSi and the other on his travel Mega Doodle. 


Meltdown mode

Hubby and the older kids getting in some video game time.

The day Hubby went to pick up the older two kids, Grandma stopped by with McDonald's for dinner. Chicken nuggets and fries for the boys; a latte and salad for me.

And that has been the past week in a nutshell. I have more, better, pictures. But, like I said, they're on my camera instead of on the computer. Maybe, if the computer behaves, I'll get my pictures uploaded someday, printed and then I can scrap them.
I'd be happy to scrap anything right now. I've finished one page in one month. That's it. I used to scrap two layouts a week! I miss scrapbooking. I'm going to have to make more time for it.