Monthly Archives: January 2014

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 5 Update

Standard

12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this 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?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

I knew it would happen.  That point when you lose your momentum and can’t quite seem to get back into the grove?  Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks.

My husband has been working long, long hours this week.  My in laws are coming in a few weeks to stay with us (for two months).  My normally (relatively) well behaved children seem to have been replaced with non-napping, screaming, argumentative heathens.

And this mama lost it.

Oh, I didn’t take it out on the kids (yet).  But I’ve taken it out on me.  I stopped exercising enough.  I stopped trying to get enough sleep.  I stopped drinking enough water and replaced it with coffee.  I’ve worn myself out and really have nothing to show for it but a frazzled, tired woman in desperate need of a long bubble bath and a good night’s sleep.

So I wouldn’t say that I made much progress this week.

I did, however, reach my 1,500 fitness minutes goal.  For the week I did 214 fitness minutes which brings my total (as of yesterday) to 1,547 minutes.  I also still lost 1.2 pounds, which I’m quite pleased about.  I’m also pleased about a few small victories I had — like when I resisted the urge to buy my favorite ice cream when it went on sale this week.

Baby steps!

Advertisements

Weekly Menu ~ January 28 – February 3

Standard

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, January 28
Breakfast:  scrambled egg sandwich, tangerines
Lunch:  chicken salad sandwich, carrot sticks
Supper:  burrito pie, salad

Wednesday, January 29
Breakfast: whole wheat waffles, cantaloupe
Lunch:  turkey wienies, broccoli
Supper:  chicken curry, basmati rice, stir-fried veggies, naan

Thursday, January 30
Breakfast: fruit smoothie (usually banana, strawberries, blueberries, milk)
Lunch:  chicken “nuggets”, peas
Supper:  baked cod, mashed potatoes, green beans 

Friday, January 31
Breakfast:  bran flakes cereal, oranges
Lunch:  salad and homemade whole wheat pizza (turkey pepperoni, black olives, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms)
Supper:  veggie burgers, sweet potato fries

Saturday, February 1
Breakfast: whole wheat oatmeal, strawberries
Lunch: chicken and broccoli quiche, salad
Supper:  parmesan garlic chicken pasta, peas and carrots

Sunday, February 2
Breakfast: at my parent’s
Lunch: at my parent’s
Supper: leftovers or takeout

Monday, February 3
Breakfast:  homemade breakfast hot pocket, grapes
Lunch:  BLTs, sweet potato fries
Supper:  shepherd’s pie, baby brussels

Goals for the Week: January 27 – February 2

Standard

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

~ Daily Bible study/quiet time.
    Have I mentioned that I’m really loving my new Bible study?  
~ Continue reading (or finish) the books I’m reading (affiliate links)Not a FanOne Meal at a Time, and Christianish and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.
    I have been reading Christianish a few minutes a day.  Really looking forward to starting Say Goodbye to Survival Mode too!
~ Finish dining room detailed cleaning (china cabinet).
    I stopped putting it off and did it.  Woohoo!
~ Make time for the kids to play outside each day, if possible.
    It was too cold some days but we were able to play outside at least a few minutes on most days this week.  My boy really loves the outdoors and it’s hard to convince him to come back inside!
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “B” with C.
    Done!  
~ Find a practical storage solution for J’s room.
    Still working on this.  I have been searching but I can’t find exactly what I want.  I might have to convince my hubby to build something in his “spare time”.
~ Walk at least 18 miles (aerobic exercise).
    I walked 18.3 miles!  I think this is a good number to shoot for — a little over 2.5 miles per day.
~ Rake for 30 minutes (weather permitting).
    It’s done but I have to admit that I didn’t do it.  My sweet husband did it for me.
~ Give myself a pedicure.
    Finally!  
~ Plan a freezer meal cooking session.
    It is planned.  Now I just have to make the time to actually shop and cook!

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 Time, and ChristianishSay Goodbye to Survival Mode, and A Christmas Journey.
~ Detailed cleaning in the utility room.
~ Clean and organize my office desk.
~ Find a few educational games/activities for J.
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “C” with C.
~ Find/design a practical storage solution for J’s room.
~ Walk at least 18 miles (aerobic exercise).
~ Complete my freezer cooking session.
~ Take a long, luxurious, uninterrupted bubble bath.  (We can dream, right?)

Have you written down your goals for the week?

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 4 Update

Standard

12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this 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?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

I kicked it hard this week!  As you know, I’ve been working on my fitness minutes (which is, of course, the whole point of this month’s challenge).  This week I really started watching what I was eating as well and I’m happy to say I’ve seen a 2.2 pound loss this week!  I’ll be measuring myself at the end of the month to see if I see any changes there but so far I’m super pumped about those two pounds.

This week I exercised a total of 470 fitness minutes (yipee!!) which brings me to a total of 1,333 minutes for January.  Since I still have a week left in the month I’m sure I’ll be able to surpass my 1,500 fitness minutes goal.  {Cue happy dance!}  I averaged about 67 minutes of activity each day.  I think my lowest day was last Friday when I only had 42 minutes.

I have used walking as my primary form of fitness activity.  I also make sure and do some strength training a couple times a week.  This week I’ve been loving a couple of my many Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds videos — this one and this one (affiliate links) if you’re interested.

In fact, yesterday I had just finished a two mile brisk walk when my daughter woke up from her nap.  She was not happy that I had started without her so I had to do another mile with her!  I started cooking supper a bit late because of it but I got to spend some quality time with my daughter and show her that exercise is fun.  And since the U.S. has gotten so sedentary (not to mention our rising obesity epidemic) I think that is a valuable lesson to teach her.

Being Intentionally Focused: Part One

Standard

intentionally focused1

How often do you intentionally focus on the task at hand?  Take a second to think about it.  I’ll wait. 🙂

For me, it’s rare.  While I’m cooking supper I’m thinking about what I need to get done before bed.  While I’m reading a book I’m easily distracted by whatever is going on around me.  During prayer my mind is prone to wander.  While I’m listening to my daughter sometimes I’m trying to check my email as well.  While I read blog posts — that would certainly bless me — I skim over them, just trying to glean the “important stuff” from them.

Life throws so many distractions at us.  We get so busy doing everything that we end up just being busy for the sake of being busy.   We thrive on it.  For a little while.  But the busyness always seems to lead to stress, frazzled nerves, unhappiness, loss of relationships and a whole host of other things.

What would your life be like if you were intentionally focused?

intentionally focused

Good Morning Girls began a new Bible study this week called “Intentionally Focused”.  {P.S. There is still time to get into it.  Just head on over to their site to find out more if you’re interested.  They have study materials, videos, virtual study groups and related blog posts — all for free.}  When I signed up I really wasn’t sure I wanted to do it.  I’m in my own study on the Proverbs 31 woman and wasn’t sure I wanted to give that up.

I was wrong.  I needed this one so much more.

I have learned so much about myself this week.  Some of it was hard to admit.  But you can’t change if you have a proud heart and an unwilling spirit.  Between this study and a book I’m reading, Christianish (affiliate link), God has really been dealing with me.

Here are some of the things God has shown me this week:

  1. I am an imitator.  We have a desire to imitate those we admire.  Some teens want to be like the latest big hit celebrity; some adults imitate their boss.  We were made to imitate the One who created us.  He is the only one who will never let us down. 
  2. I need to evaluate my time.  How do I spend my time?  Is it on things that truly matter or do I waste it on unimportant frivolities?  I’m not saying that I should be busy all the time.  In fact, I’m saying the exact opposite.  I should weed out the things that don’t matter so I can be more intentional about the things that do:  studying God’s Word, serving Him, serving my family, and doing His will.
  3. Doing what is right is hard; stop whining and suck it up.  It’s easy to get off track and to want to quit.  It’s easy to get lazy.  But we are called to persevere (Hebrews 12:1).  It’s not easy.  It’s not pretty.  It’s a wearying, grueling, and definitely not always fun.  But if we keep our eyes where they should be — on Jesus — we can finish the race.
  4. The past doesn’t matter.  Sure, you should learn from it.  But the sins that you have done and have already been forgiven for —  just let.them.go.  On the flip side, past virtuous deeds, accomplishments or achievements in the ministry need to be let go as well.  What matters is how you live your life from this moment forward.

Being intentionally focused isn’t something we just do in our spiritual lives.  We should be intentionally focused in all areas of our lives.  I should be intentionally focused on my husband, my children, my friendships, my family, my housework, my service to others, homeschooling, or anything else that I am called (or need) to do.

Ooh, how I wish it were easy.  But there really are no shortcuts in this.  I will fail.  Miserably at times, I’m sure.  But like it says in Hebrews 12, I must “run with perseverance the race marked out” for me.

So really, I didn’t give up the study on the Proverbs 31 woman.  I think she is intentionally focused in her life, and maybe being intentional is a good foundation for becoming more like the Proverbs 31 woman.

This is linked up at:

womanhoodwithpurpose    Essential-Fridays-e1357901887146    raising arrows

Weekly Menu ~ January 21 – 27

Standard

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, January 21
Breakfast:  fruit smoothie (usually banana, strawberries, blueberries, milk)
Lunch:  alfredo pasta, salad
Supper:  chicken and veggie balti, basmati rice, naan

Wednesday, January 22
Breakfast: bran flakes, oranges
Lunch:  cheese quesadillas, refried beans, guacamole
Supper:  western hashbrowns, turkey bacon, eggs

Thursday, January 23
Breakfast: whole wheat oatmeal, blueberries
Lunch:  cabbage, ham, purple hull peas
Supper:  eating at a friend’s house — I’m in charge of the salad

Friday, January 24
Breakfast:  Special K Protein cereal, peaches
Lunch:  salad and homemade whole wheat pizza (canadian bacon and pineapple)
Supper:  turkey burgers, sweet potato fries

Saturday, January 25
Breakfast: scrambled egg muffins, pears
Lunch: pasta jambalaya, salad, garlic bread
Supper:  salmon patties, mac and cheese, brussels sprouts

Sunday, January 26
Breakfast: at my parent’s
Lunch: at my parent’s
Supper: leftovers or takeout

Monday, January 27
Breakfast:  parfait (yogurt, strawberries, blueberries)
Lunch:  peanut butter sandwiches, orange
Supper:  crockpot roast and vegetables, Yorkshire puddings

Goals for the Week: January 20 – 26

Standard

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

~ Daily Bible study/quiet time.
    I’m making more of an effort to do this first thing in the morning.  It makes my day seem to run better and it’s a lot easier to concentrate before the kiddos get up.  😉
~ Continue reading (or finish) the books I’m reading (affiliate links)Organized HomeNot a FanOne Meal at a Time, and Christianish.
I finished Organized Home (which made me want to declutter everything… for a minute) and I’m steadily working through Christianish.  Really good read so far.
~ Give the dining room a good detailed cleaning (china cabinet, table, chairs, linens, etc).
I have finished all but the china cabinet.  I store coloring supplies and educational games in the bottom of it and I’m really not looking forward to having to deal with that mess.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  *Sigh* I know, I know.  I’m procrastinating.
~ Finish kitchen detailed cleaning.
Done!  And my kitchen stayed clean for a whole eight hours too!  Of course, everyone was asleep at the time….
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “A” with C.
She has no problem with upper or lower case with this letter.  
~ Go for a walk with the kids (weather permitting).
    One day we had a little extra time (and it was pretty outside) so I loaded the kids up in their new red wagon and we set off for a half mile excursion.  It wasn’t until I got back home that I noticed J had lost a shoe somewhere so we had to go back for it.  It was, of course, at the turnaround point furthest from the house.  I guess he knew I really needed to walk the whole mile. 🙂 
~ Walk at least 20 miles (aerobic exercise).
I was lazy last week and only did about 15 miles.  Gotta ramp it up a bit, especially if I want to hit my fitness minutes goal for the month!
~ Rake for 30 minutes (weather permitting).
I didn’t take the time to do this (we played instead!).  But it really needs to get done.  I can’t see my grass anymore.
~ Give myself a pedicure.
Yeah, I didn’t get around to this either.  
~ Organize storage room in the garage.
Done!  

And here 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 Time, and Christianish.  (I’m excited to start Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, which is being released tomorrow!)
~ Finish dining room detailed cleaning (china cabinet).
~ Make time for the kids to play outside each day, if possible.
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “B” with C.
~ Find a practical storage solution for J’s room.
~ Walk at least 18 miles (aerobic exercise).
~ Rake for 30 minutes (weather permitting).
~ Give myself a pedicure.
~ Plan a freezer meal cooking session.

Have you written down your goals for the week?

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 3 Update

Standard

12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this 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?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

So far this month I’ve exercised 863 minutes!  That’s 282 minutes for the week (about 40 minutes a day).  I think I’m down a little bit from last week but I’m still going strong and on track to reach my goal of 1,500 fitness minutes this month.

One day I just barely made the 15 minutes goal but the other days I did very well on it.  I guess everyone is entitled to an off day, right?  As long as I don’t make a habit of it!

Oh, and I’ve recently downloaded a C25K program on my tablet.  I’ve always loved the idea of running but never got into it.  I make so many excuses (too fat, not enough time, can’t breathe, etc.) but in the back of my mind I think I’d really like to give it a shot.

But I’m still working myself up to it.

Maybe that’ll be a goal for another day. 🙂

Weekly Menu ~ January 14 – 20

Standard

 

{A few days late, but here ya go!}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, January 14
Breakfast:  whole wheat oatmeal, blueberries
Lunch:  BLTs, baked sweet potato fries
Supper:  bangers and mash, brussels sprouts

Wednesday, January 15
Breakfast: bran flakes, milk, peaches
Lunch:  chicken “nuggets”, broccoli, grapes
Supper:  salad, whole wheat spaghetti, meatballs, sauce

Thursday, January 16
Breakfast: fruit smoothie (banana, strawberries, blueberries, milk)
Lunch:  turkey wienies, cheese, carrot sticks
Supper:  crockpot chicken tacosrefried beans, sour cream, guacamole

Friday, January 17
Breakfast:  boiled egg, toast, strawberry preserves
Lunch:  salad and homemade whole wheat pizza (black olives, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, turkey pepperoni, & cheese topping)
Supper:  beef burgers, baked sweet potato fries

Saturday, January 18
Breakfast: bran flakes, milk, apple slices
Lunch: chili, cornbread
Supper:  breakfast — omelettes (black olives, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese), turkey bacon, toast

Sunday, January 19
Breakfast: at my parent’s
Lunch: at my parent’s
Supper: leftovers or takeout

Monday, January 20
Breakfast:  whole wheat waffles, strawberry preserves, bananas
Lunch:  ham and cheese rollups, green beans, apple
Supper:  Mexican lasagna, corn, salad

Goals for the Week: January 13 – 19

Standard

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

~ Daily Bible study/quiet time.
    I didn’t make time to do this every day, but I did most days.  My day always goes better when I start it off with some Bible study and prayer. 
~ Continue reading (or finish) the books I’m reading (affiliate links): Organized Home, Not a Fan, One Meal at a Time, and Duck Dynasty: Faith and Togetherness.
    I finished a book!  I can’t believe it!  The Duck Dynasty book was not really what I was expecting.  It seemed to be a lot of excerpts from other interviews that the Robertsons had done instead of the authors own interviews with them.  I did enjoy reading it though.  It was a pretty short read… probably why I was able to finish it. 😉
~ Flip all of the mattresses.
    Done!  The kid’s mattresses are a lot easier to flip than mine. 🙂 
~ Give the kitchen a good detailed cleaning (wipe down cabinets, clean out drawers/cabinets, clean vents, etc).
    I’m almost finished with this.  I have just a couple of cabinets left to declutter and clean.  And the oven vent.  It’s not a favorite task so I kept putting it off this week.
~ Try these new recipes:  make ahead butterhorns and homemade freezer biscuits.
    The butterhorn recipe was easy to make and really, really good (but it should be good with the amount of butter that went in them :)).  Definitely something that should be eaten in moderation.  The biscuits didn’t turn out as good as I expected.  I think that it was user error though.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t follow the recipe exactly right.  I’ll be trying them again!
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “D” with C.
    Done!  She still doesn’t care much about writing her letters — she’s much prefer to draw — but at least I know she can identify the upper and lower case D.
~ Make a trip to the library.
    We went Wednesday morning and got a few books for all of us!
~ Walk at least 15 miles (aerobic exercise).
    I walked at least 17.5 miles that I counted.
~ Get the van cleaned — inside and out.
    I washed the outside on Wednesday during our library run.  The inside was done in bits and pieces all week.
~ Take down and put away Christmas decorations (we keep ours up til the 6th).
    I think it took longer to put away the decorations than it did to put them up!  But it’s finally done now.  (And I’m sure my neighbors are happy about that!)

And here are my goals for this week:

~ Daily Bible study/quiet time.
~ Continue reading (or finish) the books I’m reading (affiliate links)Organized HomeNot a FanOne Meal at a Time, and Christianish.
~ Give the dining room a good detailed cleaning (china cabinet, table, chairs, linens, etc).
~ Finish kitchen detailed cleaning.
~ Practice identifying/writing the letter “A” with C.
~ Go for a walk with the kids (weather permitting).
~ Walk at least 20 miles (aerobic exercise).
~ Rake for 30 minutes (weather permitting).
~ Give myself a pedicure.
~ Organize storage room in the garage.

Have you written down your goals for the week?