My Fat Story

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Encouraged by Tabitha over at Meet Penny, I wanted to share with you my fat story.

I have been overweight my entire adult life.

I didn’t start out that way.  As a teenager I wasn’t overweight, even though I thought I was soooo fat.  {At that time I was 5ft 7in and weighed 135 pounds.}  Add in a sedentary lifestyle, some really bad emotional eating habits, little to no exercise, absolutely no will power and about ten years and guess what you get?  An overweight, unhappy person who is very much in denial about what was happening to my own body.

The denial lasted a few years.  I had gone through a divorce and had no idea what to do with my life.  Did I mention I was an emotional eater?  Yeah, I didn’t even know what that was at the time.  Denial to the bitter end, I guess.

I eventually woke up and realized I needed to make some changes in my life.  I was in my mid twenties and weighed about 215 pounds.  So I joined a gym.  My job at the time was more active as well.  I began to eat more nutritious things and watched my food portions.  I got fit.  I got remarried.  I was so proud of myself.  I didn’t get anywhere close to the 135 pounds I was from the high school years, but I was happy with the direction I was heading.  I had shed about 45 pounds and countless inches.

And then I got pregnant.

And for some reason I used that as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream was my favorite snack.  I stopped exercising as hard — what if it wasn’t good for the baby??  I’d had a miscarriage before.  I didn’t want another one.  And so I slowly stopped exercising altogether.  Unfortunately, I was still eating like I was exercising.  Oh and don’t forget, I could also use the excuse that I was eating for two!

By the time I delivered a healthy, happy 6lb little girl I had gained 60 pounds.  (If you’re doing the math, that’s 230 pounds.)  I was miserable.  I didn’t want to take any pictures of myself with my sweet little baby.  I hated that I had gotten to this point.  Oh, don’t worry, friends said.  The weight just melts off while you’re breastfeeding.

It didn’t.

I breastfed for a year didn’t lose a pound besides the weight I lost immediately postpartum.  So at this point I’m 220 pounds and in denial again.  I hated the way I looked but I didn’t do anything to change it.  I don’t know why.  I think I had a bit of PPD (I am prone to bouts of depression).  I was a full time homemaker by now.  My dream job.  What I’d always wanted to do for my whole life.

And I wasn’t happy.

I was happy on the outside.  And I did — and still do — enjoy my job very much.  I wouldn’t trade my time at home for anything.  But on the inside I was a mess.  I was so caught up in denial about what I was doing to my body.

I blamed everyone but myself for the way I was.  My parents didn’t teach me about nutritious eating and exercise.  It’s my body’s fault; I have a slow metabolism.  My husband loves me just the way I am.  I’ve tried to lose weight and I just can’t.  Why can she eat whatever she wants and not gain an ounce?  It’s just not fair.

I did exercise some.  And I did eat healthy.  Sometimes.  I did just enough so when the scale wouldn’t budge — or moved the wrong direction — I would get angry, frustrated and just give up.  Any excuse to not have to really try.

Eighteen months after giving birth the first time I was pregnant again.  This time I was sick with “morning” sickness for about five months but I still gained 25 pounds.  By the time I delivered my son I weighed 252 pounds.  The most I have ever weighed in my life.

Surely breastfeeding would work this time around! I thought.  But it didn’t, even though I breastfed even longer this time.  I’d had to have a Cesarean with my boy and used that as an excuse not to “exert” myself.  When I finally stopped breastfeeding (less than a year ago) I didn’t have any more excuses.

scale

I’m in my mid-thirties.  I can’t blame anyone but myself for the way I am.  I know how to eat.  I know that I need to exercise.  I know how to take care of myself.  I just make excuses why I can’t.  Yes, I’m busy.  So is everyone else on the planet.  Yes, I have a slow metabolism.  So what?  Get over it and keep moving forward.  Yes, it’s more expensive to eat healthy.  So are the medical bills if I don’t eat healthy.

I started exercising a little more.  Eating a little better.  And very, VERY slowly the weight has started coming off.

It’s now a little more than two years since I gave birth to my son and almost a year since I stopped breastfeeding.  My weight now is 212 pounds.

I set a goal this year to lose between two and three pounds a month.  No, it’s not up to Biggest Loser standards.  But it is realistic and it is doable.  And I feel good about it.

So if you’re reading this and you’re on your own weight loss journey — or if you’ve completed your journey — please let me know about it.  We all need some motivation from time to time.  I plan on sharing my progress along the way.  I hope my transparency will encourage others who may be in my shoes.

If you have been thinking about it but haven’t yet done anything about it yet, may I encourage you to just do it?  Start small.  Join a support group.  Ask a friend to go walking with you.  Give up desserts for a week.  Drink enough water for your body.  Just do something to improve your health.

losingweightishard

February Meal Plans

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A whole month into the new year!  I’m sure these months have started passing by more quickly in recent years…. but maybe that just comes with getting older. ;)

But no matter how quickly time passes the amount of meals we eat stays the same!  I’ve been trying to eat more simple, wholesome meals and snacks (and the scale is finally moving in the right direction — slowly).  Freezer meals are always on my go-to list to help me on those crazy, chaotic days.  Have you tried freezer cooking?  I hate the prep work and cook day but love to reap the rewards later!

 

menu planning

 

February Meal Planning

Sunday, February 1
Breakfast:  breakfast burrito or blueberry muffins
Lunch:  with extended family
Supper:  with extended family

Monday, February 2
Breakfast:  toasted whole wheat English muffin with chicken breast and sharp cheddar cheese
Lunch:  tuna salad (can of tuna, half cup low fat cottage cheese, shredded carrots, minced red onion, dill weed, pepper) with whole wheat crackers or bread
Supper:  bangers and mash (made with turkey sausage)

Tuesday, February 3
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal mixed with bran flakes
Lunch:  scrambled egg sandwich
Supper:  whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meat sauce

Wednesday, February 4
Breakfast:  protein smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, protein powder, soy milk)
Lunch:  salad with fajita chicken on top
Supper:  leftover spaghetti

Thursday, February 5
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal mixed with bran flakes
Lunch:  veggie omelet
Supper:  baked cod, mashed potatoes

Friday, February 6
Breakfast:  toasted whole wheat English muffin with chicken breast and sharp cheddar cheese
Lunch:  homemade pizza ~ turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives
Supper:  breakfast ~ scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, hashbrowns

Saturday, February 7
Breakfast:  whole wheat waffles, turkey bacon
Lunch:  veggie burger patty with veggie stir fry
Supper:  burrito pie

Sunday, February 8
Breakfast:  breakfast burrito or blueberry muffin
Lunch:  with extended family
Supper:  with extended family

Monday, February 9
Breakfast:  protein smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, protein powder, soy milk)
Lunch:  salad with fajita chicken on top
Supper:  salmon patties

Tuesday, February 10
Breakfast:  toasted whole wheat English muffin with chicken breast and sharp cheddar cheese
Lunch:  leftovers
Supper:  beef and veggie stew, homemade bread

Wednesday, February 11
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal mixed with bran flakes
Lunch:  chicken salad (shredded chicken breast; diced celery, carrots, green onion; light Miracle Whip) sandwiches
Supper:  pasta salad

Thursday, February 12
Breakfast:  protein smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, protein powder, soy milk)
Lunch:  leftovers
Supper:  chicken tacos, guacamole, Spanish rice, salsa, sour cream

Friday, February 13
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal mixed with bran flakes
Lunch:  homemade pizza
Supper:  breakfast ~ homemade bacon, egg and cheese biscuits

Saturday, February 14
Breakfast:  pancakes, turkey bacon
Lunch:  veggie burger patty with veggie stir fry
Supper:  steak, twice baked potato (hubby’s favorite)

Sunday, February 15
Breakfast:  breakfast burrito or blueberry muffin
Lunch:  with extended family
Supper:  with extended family

Monday, February 16
Breakfast:  toasted whole wheat English muffin with chicken breast and sharp cheddar cheese
Lunch:  “roll-ups” (rolled up deli meat), cheese, crackers
Supper:  sour cream chicken enchiladas, refried beans, Spanish rice

Tuesday, February 17
Breakfast:  protein smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, protein powder, soy milk)
Lunch:  leftovers
Supper:  rissoles

Wednesday, February 18
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal mixed with bran flakes
Lunch:  leftovers
Supper:  twice baked taco potatoes

Thursday, February 19
Breakfast:  toasted whole wheat English muffin with chicken breast and sharp cheddar cheese
Lunch:  out with hubby
Supper:  broccoli/leek/potato soup, homemade bread

Friday, February 20
Breakfast:  protein smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, protein powder, soy milk)
Lunch:  homemade pizza
Supper:  breakfast ~ omelets and turkey bacon

Saturday, February 21
Breakfast:  chocolate chip pancakes, turkey bacon
Lunch:  veggie burger patty with veggie stir fry
Supper:  pasta shrimp jambalaya

Sunday, February 22
Breakfast:  breakfast burrito or blueberry muffin
Lunch:  with extended family
Supper:  with extended family

Monday, February 23
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal mixed with bran flakes
Lunch:  chicken salad sandwich
Supper:  shepherd’s pie

Tuesday, February 24
Breakfast:  protein smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, protein powder, soy milk)
Lunch:  leftover shepherd’s pie
Supper:  grilled chicken and shrimp stir fry, basmati rice, naan

Wednesday, February 25
Breakfast:  toasted whole wheat English muffin with chicken breast and sharp cheddar cheese
Lunch:  leftover stir fry
Supper:  taco salad

Thursday, February 26
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal mixed with bran flakes
Lunch:  out with hubby
Supper:  homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade bread

Friday, February 27
Breakfast:  protein smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, protein powder, soy milk)
Lunch:  homemade pizza
Supper:  breakfast ~ eggs, turkey bacon, toast

Saturday, February 28
Breakfast:  whole wheat waffles, turkey bacon
Lunch:  veggie burger patty with veggie stir fry
Supper:  turkey meatloaf muffins, mashed potatoes

As you probably noticed, I didn’t add any fruit and vegetables — or any sides, really — on this plan.  I generally pull something out of the freezer or pantry to go along with whatever we’re eating.  I try and buy fresh fruit and vegetable that are in season, readily available and (let’s be honest) easy to prepare.  Our go to fruits are bananas, oranges, apples, pears, avocado, blueberries and strawberries.  For veggies we generally rotate between Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, squash,  green beans, spinach, kale (or other greens) and occasionally corn.

I most of the meals here (except the veggie burgers and the ones with added links, of course) are either my recipe or a family recipe.  If you have any questions I’d be happy to try and answer them.  I like to find a good recipe and then “healthify” it.  My auto-correct feature is screaming that healthify isn’t a word, but I think it should be.

Happy, healthy eating!

Our Homeschooling Adventures: K4

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our adventures in homeschooling

It’s been about 18 months since I entertained the idea of homeschooling.  My daughter had just turned three and honestly, I didn’t want to homeschool.  But sometimes what I want and what God wants are two different things… but that’s a whole different blog post for another day.  :)

We started on the God’s Little Explorers curriculum.  You know, just to test the waters and see if I could “do” this homeschooling thing.  And although we didn’t actually finish that curriculum — not because we didn’t like it; I wholeheartedly recommend it and will be starting it with my son this fall — I realized that I could be my child’s teacher.

It is a scary and thoroughly exciting idea to me still.  That I, who hate science and still can not comprehend most advanced maths, can actually be a great teacher to my children.  Not because I know everything, because that is certainly not the case.  I can be a great teacher because there is no one else in the world who wants more for my children than I (and my husband) do.  

Fast forward 18 months.  My now four year old daughter and I have been doing the K4 curriculum through A Beka since August.  I wanted a curriculum that had a couple of specific qualities.  It had to be Bible based and it had to be well laid out.  I was still very unsure of my teaching ability and wanted a curriculum that told me exactly what to do.

Our first few weeks were very strict.  I went exactly by the book and did not deviate.  As we found our groove and got more comfortable with schooling I became more laid back, which is (in my opinion) one of the great benefits of homeschooling.  You can make your own schedule, go at your own pace and make the most of your strengths.

We have been taking a lot of field trips (another perk to homeschooling) and just having fun with it.  The field trips have kind of put us behind the schedule I had worked out at the beginning of the year.  But you know what?  It doesn’t really matter.  My husband and I have since decided to homeschool year round so we can enjoy these trips and more relaxed schedule.

I’m expecting to finish the K4 program around June and start A Beka K5 with her in July.  My son will turn three in October so I’m planning on starting the GLE program with him in September.

If you’re just starting your homeschool adventures, thinking about starting or just have a question for me please leave a comment or shoot me an email.  I would love to help you if I can.  And if I can’t, I’ll try and find someone who can!

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This post was linked up at:

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Tools to Help You Get Organized This Year

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tools to help get organized

Most everyone does the whole New Years resolutions thing.  You know, the: lose weight, get healthy, stop smoking, or insert-your-issue-here.  Well, one of my goals for this year is to get organized.  Declutter my home, remember appointments and be on time for them, find a place for everything and figure out a workable cleaning schedule.  Piece of cake, right?

Now I realize that one can not simply achieve organization and be done with it.  You have to keep working at it.  You know how it is with house cleaning… it doesn’t stay clean longer than three minutes.  But for those three blissful minutes, you feel like you’ve accomplished something.  :)  Of course the same is true with organizing.  Once you are finished cleaning, decluttering and organizing you have to keep at it or pretty soon your house will look like it did before you started!

So now that we’re clear on all of that it’s time to get down to business.  How can I get my life organized?

Of course, it will be different for everyone.  But I hope you are able to take a few of these tips to help you along your way.

Find a Cleaning Schedule/Routine and Stick With It

There are probably some of you that can find your own routine and stick with it.  I can do that too… sometimes.  But for those of us who have struggles with this, there is help out there in cyber land.  Here are just a few cleaning schedules/routines that you might want to check out.

  • The Confident Mom has a great planner for busy moms.  This is the one I’ve used the past couple of years and I love it.  It reminds me to do things I might otherwise forget (like clean the light fixtures) as well as the normal weekly stuff like changing the sheets and stuff.  And the best part?  It’s free!  She also has a supplement pack you can purchase to go with it if you’re so inclined.
  • Motivated Moms has a planner and an app.  I haven’t used this one myself but I’ve heard some great things about it.  It might be a solution for you tech savvy moms out there.
  • Flylady is also a great resource to use.  She will show you the basics of cleaning and decluttering and helps you build from there.

The easy part is finding a great schedule or routine.  The hard part?  Sticking with it.  And don’t give me the crazy eye right now.  There are days (weeks?) where not everything will get done.  But SOME is better than NONE.  Start with one thing.  One thing.  That you vow to do every day.  And then do it.  No excuses.  Even when you’re tired, sick or cranky.  Just do it.  Next month add one more goal that you vow to do everyday.  By the end of the year you could have twelve new great habits under your belt!  How awesome is that?  {Need a goal tracker?  Check out this one or this one.  And for the techies, try this one or an app from your app store.}

Plan Your Day

Many times I jot down a several things I need to get done for the day but never actually plan where in my day to do these things.  It’s too easy to keep putting it off… then it’s past bedtime and I still haven’t done half of my to do list.  And wonder, what happened to my day?  What did I accomplish?

Nothing.

This is where having a morning routine helps.  Also, this year I got a new planner which works for me and I love, love, love it.  {And you can try it for free here!}  At this point in my life I need the structure of a day timer type planner.  Every Sunday get my planner and take a few minutes to roughly plan my week.  I add any appointments and jot down the regular stuff like church, school, meals/meal prep, etc.  Then each night before bed I look at the next day and fill in the holes.  If I have a free hour in the afternoon I might schedule that time to declutter the office or make my meal plans for the next month.

I have found that if I make a plan I’m far less likely to wonder where my day has gone and why don’t I have something to show for it.

Find Your Motivation

Yeah, everyone wants a clean house and an organized life.  But it has to be more than that.  Why do you want to be organized?  What is your motivation?

For me it is, in part, the peace that comes with being organized and on top of things.  There is waaaaay less stress when I know where I’m supposed to be, where everything is and what needs to be done.

I also enjoy an organized home because I feel more relaxed.  I can open my home up more readily to friends and neighbors if my home is decluttered and organized.  I spend less time looking for things and more time playing with my family.  I’m more apt to snuggle on the couch and watch Veggie Tales with my kids if I don’t have the nagging guilt of clutter and chaos around me.

That’s my motivation.  You should think about yours and write it down.  Keep it handy for those hard days when you feel defeated.  Look at it often and keep chugging along.

Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself

Repetition is boring.  We all know that.  So don’t forget to make it fun.  Reward yourself when you starting making those healthy habits or declutter the kitchen.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something special to YOU.

A few tips though.  Obviously, if you’re trying to lose weight don’t reward yourself with a food item.  Likewise, if you’ve just decluttered your kitchen don’t go buy another kitchen doodad.  Unless it’s something you absolutely need anyway.  And then I say go for it. :)

The Bottom Line

Basically it all comes down to this.  You can want an organized life.  You can even need an organized life.  But until you buckle down and follow through with all of your planning you’re not going to get an organized life.  

Hard punch.  Sorry about that.  But I needed to hear it probably more than you did.

Don’t give up.  Keep pushing.  It is worth it.  And once you reach that organized nirvana neverland, I’m betting you’re going to say it is all worth it too.  The peace that comes with organization is well worth the time I spend staying organized.  It makes me happy, it makes my family happy.  I’d say it’s totally worth it. :)

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This post was linked at:

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Ducks in a Row

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Hello, happy homemakers!  How’ve you been?

Me?  Like all of you, I’ve been busy.  And in order to accomplish everything on my ever growing list of things to do I had to give something up.  That something was this blog.  I had hoped that over the course of a few months I’d be able to pick it back up again, and maybe I can again soon.  But right now it’s just not feasible.

On average I was spending at least an hour a day here writing, editing or promoting… and instead of using that time here I’ve been doing things like reading more often to my kids.  I’ve volunteered.  I also joined a gym.  I’ve tried out new recipes.  I sit and snuggle on the couch with my babies and watch a Veggie Tales.  I’ve been preparing for the next school year (C will be in K4!).  I joined a local home school group.  We’ve had a Thanksgiving supper with friends in June.  I’ve started Christmas shopping.  I planned a Hello Kitty birthday party for my sweet four year old.  I’ve enjoyed time with my in laws.  We’ve taken a few day trips to visit new (to us) areas in our state.  I’d like to say I’ve been cleaning more as well but that hasn’t really happened much. ;)

The blog wasn’t the only thing I cut out.  I’ve also cut down on the amount I spend on the internet in general.  Facebook, emails, the whole she-bang.  I have 972 unread email messages right now and I don’t even care.  I read the important ones and get around to the rest (or delete them) when I have a chance.

Basically I’m trying to get my priorities in order.  Get all of my ducks in a row, if you will.

Do I miss blogging?  Yes!  I didn’t realize how much until I sat down to write this post.  But for right now, I need to concentrate on other things in my life.  I plan on posting occasionally, just not a few times a week like I had been doing.

So I hope you all have a great summer and I’ll see you when I see you!  Be blessed!

6 Easy Ways to Build a Morning Routine That Sticks

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This is the first post in a new “How To” series.  I plan to add more posts each month so stay tuned!
how to series

I began implementing a morning routine several years ago.  Largely pregnant with my first child, I realized that I needed to have a routine in place in order to get things done after baby arrived.   Aaaaand I think it lasted maybe one day after I got home from the hospital.

But I floundered along — sometimes getting things done and sometimes not.  Hey, it’s hard to stay on schedule when you have a newborn!  And I used that excuse until we moved and I got pregnant with my second child.

I was sick every day all day (who named it “morning sickness” anyway?) and had a two year old to look after all day as well.  Plus the laundry, cooking, cleaning… unfortunately all of that stuff has to get done no matter how bad mama feels.  We had this nice, new house and I enjoyed how it looked when it was clean.  I just didn’t know how to keep it that way.

And so in desperation (and with the help of Flylady) I built another morning routine.

But this time I did it differently.  I didn’t just make a huge list of things I wanted to get done each morning.  I didn’t overwhelm myself by scheduling a new task every five minutes.  I spent a few days to see what I normally did each morning and went from there.

So if you’re floundering, unhappy with your current “routine” — or maybe you don’t have a routine at all — here are six easy ways to help you build a morning routine that sticks:

  1. Give yourself time.  Don’t just go in half cocked trying to change your world.  Give it a little time to figure out what you want and need to get done in the mornings and build from there.  Also, give your new routine a few weeks before you give up and try something new.  Sometimes it takes a bit of time to get in the groove, so to speak.
  2. Keep it simple, sweetie!   If you have an hour to spend on your morning routine, you can’t try and squeeze three hours worth of work in there and expect to stick with it.  You’ll get frustrated and give up.  So save yourself the stress and guilt and:
  3. Start slowly.  Pick three to five things that you want to implement and do those for a few weeks.  When you feel like you have the hang of it, start adding a few tasks.
  4. Write it down.  Put it on sticky notes and hang them on your bathroom mirror.  Add a page to your homemaking binder.  Use index cards, a dry erase board or a plain old piece of paper.  It doesn’t matter what you write it on as long as you look at it.  You’ll find that as time goes on you’ll probably need to look at it less and less as your routine becomes a habit.
  5. Don’t compare.  Just because Suzy Homemaker mops all of her floors every morning doesn’t mean you have to as well.  Don’t try and be like someone else — YOU are the only person that has your life.  You need to do the things that are applicable to YOU, not someone else.  (I could write a whole other blog post on this subject, but for now I’m stepping down from my soapbox!)
  6. Revisions are okay too.  Life has a habit of changing on us — new jobs, additions to the family, added responsibility, etc. — and you can’t keep trying to use a routine that doesn’t work anymore.  It’s okay.  Routines are not set in stone.  If you find yourself in this situation, just start over with #1 on this list and make a new routine!

If there is one more thing I can add it is this:  don’t forget to give yourself grace as well.  There will be days that just don’t go according to plan.  You all know the kind of day that I’m talking about.  When the toilet backs up and floods the bathroom.  Or your baby is sick and you just need to give some extra cuddles.

Those things happen.  Regularly, it seems.  Do what you can and pick back up tomorrow.  It’ll still be there. :)

And while I firmly believe that each person should have their own routine, I know when I was first starting out I was looking for someone to give me a guideline — some sort of base to start from so I could see how “everyone else” was doing it.  You know, the “normal” people.  (As if there even is such a thing. :))

So here is my morning routine.  I have found that I do better if I do everything in threes.  It just works for me and I remember it easier.

1.  Wake up, make bed, get dressed.
2.  Drink water, read Bible, make coffee.
3.  Empty dishwasher, make breakfast, wake up kids (if they aren’t already awake).
4.  Eat breakfast, morning chores with C, my morning chores.
5.  Reading (or play) time, J nap, C homeschool time.

Your routine may look nothing like this.  That’s okay!  Do what works for you!

All I know is this:  my life runs so much smoother if I have routines in place.  I’m more productive, better organized, and happier.  I don’t run around in circles flitting from one job to the next — never accomplishing anything — and I don’t waste time wondering what I need to be doing.  It’s all written down in my homemaking binder waiting for me to check it off and go to the next thing!

You know what routines give me?  Peace and stability.  And I can always use some peace and stability.  :)

Weekly Menu ~ February 11 – 17

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menu planning

Since I don’t do my grocery shopping until Monday or Tuesday, my weekly menu plans start on Tuesday.  I usually have a general idea about what I want to cook for the week when I go to the store (see this post for details), but I want to be able to have some wiggle room if I find a good deal on something — especially in the meat department.  I always have an eye out for a bargain!

Tuesday, February 11
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal, grapes
Lunch:  alfredo whole wheat pasta, peas and carrots
Supper:  black bean tortilla bake, corn, salad

Wednesday, February 12
Breakfast: scrambled egg sandwich, cantaloupe
Lunch:  peanut butter sandwiches, banana
Supper:  out with family/friends

Thursday, February 13
Breakfast: fruit smoothie (banana, strawberry, blueberry)
Lunch:  turkey wienies, carrot sticks, pears
Supper:  pizza pasta, salad, garlic bread

Friday, February 14
Breakfast:  whole wheat oatmeal, blueberries
Lunch:  salad and homemade whole wheat pizza (turkey pepperoni, onion, bell pepper, black olives, tomatoes)
Supper:  steak, baked potato, salad, broccoli

Saturday, February 15
Breakfast: whole wheat waffles, banana
Lunch:  out with family
Supper:  southwest egg casserole, broccoli, butterhorns

Sunday, February 16
Breakfast: at my parent’s
Lunch: at my parent’s
Supper: leftovers or takeout

Monday, February 17
Breakfast:  parfait (yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, granola)
Lunch:  homemade chicken “nuggets”, carrot sticks
Supper:  turkey lasagna, salad, garlic bread

Goals for the Week: February 10 – 16

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Goals for the WeekHere were my goals for last week and how I did on them:

Daily Bible study/quiet time.
Done!
~ Continue reading (or finish) the books I’m reading (affiliate links)Not a FanOne Meal at a Time, Christianish, and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.
I have been so busy this week that I haven’t picked up a book or even a magazine.  I hope the coming week will be a little less full.
~ Detailed cleaning in the spare suite.
Done!
~ Clean and organize my office desk.
It’s… cleaner and more organized.  I’m not sure it’ll ever stay clean for more than five minutes.
~ Find a few more educational games/activities for J.
I’m ashamed to say that I totally didn’t even think about this goal.  
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “E” with C.
We took most of the week off from homeschooling due to several “technical difficulties” (i.e. plumbing problems, days away from home, etc.).  We’ll pick back up this week.
~ Finish fixing the plumbing issues.
Praise God, they’re fixed!!  My wonderful, helpful and very handy father came up and fixed the whole thing.  
~ Walk at least 15 miles (aerobic exercise).
Done!
~ Complete my freezer cooking session.
Yeah… this didn’t happen either.  
~ Eat at least five servings of “freggies” (fruits/veggies) each day.
I fixed a big salad most days.  Still find it harder to work in the recommended fruit intake each day, but I’m working on it.

And these are my goals for this week:

~ Daily Bible study/quiet time.
~ Continue reading (or finish) the books I’m reading (affiliate links)Not a FanOne Meal at a TimeChristianish, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and Successful Losers.
~ Cook a nice Valentine’s Day meal for my hubby.
~ Completely clean out, vacuum and wash the van.
~ Find a few more educational games/activities for J.
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “E” with C.
~ Try and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
~ Walk at least 16 miles (aerobic exercise).
~ Complete my freezer cooking session.
~ Eat at least five servings of “freggies” (fruits/veggies) each day.

Have you written down your goals for the week?

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 6 Update

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12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Last month Crystal over at Money Saving Mom issued a challenge:  complete twelve healthy habits, spaced over the course of the year, which would help bring about a new, improved and healthier you.

And since I’m not doing my own habits this year I thought this would be an awesome challenge to take part of.  A few of my 2014 goals center around becoming more healthy.  Plus this challenge has built in accountability!  What’s not to love?

February’s Challenge:  eat more fresh fruits and vegetables 

My Goals for February:  

  • 1,750 (or more) fitness minutes (I’m keeping up with January’s challenge)
  • at least seven servings of fruit each week
  • eat a salad every day
  • try a new fruit or veggie (“freggie”) this month

This Week’s Progress:

So far during February I have exercised 380 fitness minutes.  Not bad, but I need to average more minutes per day if I want to hit my (quite lofty) goal of 1,750 fitness minutes this month.  (Why did I decide on such a high number during the shortest month of the year?  I guess I like to torture myself.  :))

Eating enough fruit has always been hard for me.  I enjoy eating veggies a lot more than I enjoy fruit.  (I know, I’m weird.)  I mean, I like fruit; I just prefer vegetables.  Plus if I want to eat fruit I have to do it while the kids are napping.  If I get out any type of fruit they stick to me like glue.  Maybe that’s why it’s hard for me to eat fruit…

But anyway, I did eat at least seven servings of fruit this week.  Woohoo!  I also ate at least one salad every day.  My favorite go to salad to eat (when I’m tired of lettuce) is a concoction my father in law came up with a few years ago.  You chop up some cucumber, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red/purple onion, celery, carrots and radishes and stir in a bit of EVOO and cracked black pepper.  Yum, yum!!  I could eat it all the time.  It’s especially good with fresh, homegrown vegetables straight out of the garden.  (Come on, spring!!)  I also enjoy it mixed with some baby spinach or mixed lettuces.

And now that I’ve made myself hungry, I guess that concludes this week’s update.  :D

Weekly Menu ~ February 4 – 10

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menu planning

Since I don’t do my grocery shopping until Monday or Tuesday, my weekly menu plans start on Tuesday.  I usually have a general idea about what I want to cook for the week when I go to the store (see this post for details), but I want to be able to have some wiggle room if I find a good deal on something — especially in the meat department.  I always have an eye out for a bargain!

This week has been a little off.  I didn’t go shopping until today because I was working on fixing some plumbing issues most of the day yesterday.

Tuesday, February 4
Breakfast:  fruit smoothie (banana, strawberry, blueberry, milk)
Lunch:  went out with parents for salad and pizza
Supper:  broccoli and potato soup, fresh bread

Wednesday, February 5
Breakfast: Special K Protein cereal, pears
Lunch:  ham and cheese rollups, broccoli
Supper:  turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes/cauliflower, peas and carrots

Thursday, February 6
Breakfast: scrambled egg muffins, nectarine
Lunch:  turkey pepperoni and cheese quesadillas, refried beans, guacamole
Supper:  vegetable stir fry, basmati rice, naan

Friday, February 7
Breakfast:  homemade “hot pocket” (sausage, egg, cheese), grapes
Lunch:  salad and homemade whole wheat pizza (ham and pineapple)
Supper:  beef burgers, sweet potato fries

Saturday, February 8
Breakfast: bran flakes, oranges
Lunch:  grilled chicken breast, couscous, broccoli
Supper:  pasta salad

Sunday, February 9
Breakfast: at my parent’s
Lunch: at my parent’s
Supper: leftovers or takeout

Monday, February 10
Breakfast:  whole wheat oatmeal, strawberries
Lunch:  cabbage, ham, purple hull peas, cornbread
Supper:  beef and vegetable stew, fresh bread