Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Something Magical is Happening around Here

It seems like lately, everywhere I turn, someone who has been married for 20+ years is getting divorced.  It also seems that it is about the time that they are about to become or have recenltly become "empty nesters".  How sad.  They are just getting to the point of focusing back on themselves for the first time in like 20 years.  

I feel Michael and I have a very solid marriage but I recognize that it takes committment every day to ensure that solid foundation.  In the rush of the day with all we have on our plates, it is easy to take each other for granted and to only talk about the neccessary stuff that keeps our lives running. 

As part of my One Little Word of 2011 project, I was searching around the blogosphere and found a cute date idea on The Dating Divas for a "Minute it to Win it" challenge with other couples.  While looking at the site, I found a reference to the book "101 Great Nights of Romance".    I promptly ordered the book for Michael as part of his Valentine's Day gift.  The premise behind the book is that the "dates" are sealed and each week one of us picks one and then plans out the romantic evening.  When we go out, we tend to do the same thing each time....dinner, maybe a movie or a trip to the bookstore sans kids.  With this guide, we have some creative, inexpensive ideas at our fingertips and the secrecy makes it even more fun.

Michael took the challenge on with the first date and it was so fun.  We did not even have to leave the house and worry about the hassle of a babysitter.  It was called "Off the Charts" and the ideas was that Michael was supposed to serenade me with a song.  It gave different ideas, including karaoke.  Michael ended up buying a karaoke machine and we had a fun time singing as if we were auditioning for "American Idol".  Really glad he planned this date for home as I would have been way too embarrased to have sung in public. 

It's my turn next and I am looking forward to being creative with my "Countdown Challenge".  So, if you are in the need of some creativity in the dating department whether you are married or not, I highly recommend this book. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Catching Up....and the Truth about Sugar, Fats and Carbs

Been awhile since I posted but I have been busy as a bee the past couple of weeks.  I spent a week in NYC for work and managed to add some fun time to the trip with two buds from work.  We learned a lot at the Conference Board's Talent Management conference and then spent Friday and Saturday sightseeing and eating ourselves to death.  We also took in Mary Poppins while there.  A definite MUST SEE. 

Mary Poppins 

Last week I was playing catch up at home and at work to get things back in order after being away so I feel like I fell off of the face of the Earth for the week.  However, my first day back I did get my annual physicals crossed off of my to do list.  Yep, both docs in one day.  Lots of fun. 

So, want to know the truth about Sugar, Fats, and Carbs.....

Too much of them = High Triglycerides

So, that is the category I fall into.  Mine were 250 and need to be under 200.  The doc told me to start a regime of fish oil 4 times a day and come back in for a check up in 3 months. 

I am going to make some other changes as well since now I have a good challenge in front of me.  Back on the wagon for exercising 6 days a week with a mix of cardio on the treadmill and Jillian's 30 day shred.  I am also paying attention to what is in my food.  It is really amazing how much sugar is in almost everything. 

I am excited to see how low I can get my numbers over the next 3 months. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno

I was absentmindedly surfing the web over the Christmas holiday and came across the book entitled "The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno"  What a gem of a book.  I struggle constantly with questioning do I have too much stuff, and how much is "enough".  My family and friends know I like to purge, A LOT.  My husband likes to joke with me about how he gave me a UGA felt thing framed and a few years later it shows up for sale at our yard sale and how he was so hurt.  Nothing is sacred when it comes time to purge. 

In his book, Dave talks about why he chose a 100 Thing Challenge and what he hoped to accomplish.  It really is more about only having things that truly make you happy or that you truly need to survive versus filling your home with baubles and stuff that you have to take care of or that make you feel guilty because though you have the materials to be a [insert hobby of choice], you are not a [insert hobby of choice]. 

I highly recommend Dave's book as an entertaining yet thought provocating read.  I plan to pick it up every now and again to remind myself why I have my stuff.  And, when I go on my next purge, it will help me clarify what I need to keep in my life and what I can get rid of to make room for something more amazing in my life (not a physical object).

Good reads!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Say What?

Out of the mouths of babes!  As any parent will tell you, their kids say just the cutest things.  Things that you are certain are so cute, you will never forget.  But then, you do.  So, Michael and I decided (after realizing that you really do forget), to come up with a quick and easy way to document funny or memorable things Parker says (and Chase too, once he can talk).  

I ran across some really cute digital journaling cards by Cathy Zielske  at Designer Digitals and my idea was born. 


I took the "Remember This" card from the  Monthly Journal Card Value Pack, recolored it in Photoshop Elements 8 to fit with my color scheme and there you go, an easy little book to keep handy for adding quotes from our first born.

  Easy peasy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finish it Friday Check In

What a whirlwind of a weekend without much down time.  Here's how we did on the to do list:

Fun Stuff:

Date night with hubby (kids at Grammy's)-Check, went to PF Changs for dinner.  However, I was so exhausted when we got home I was in bed and asleep by 9.

Bare Escentuals make-over with Kelley- Tons of fun...helped make my wallet much lighter too.

Attend PINK (local fundraiser for Mary Ellen Locher foundation)- Great time getting all dressed up for an evening with friends. 

Christmas at Mom's (finally, it better not snow again)- Check.  Good food and great gifts.  Thanks Mom!

Have to Do:

Laundry- It's all clean but some sheets....just not all put away yet.  Plan to finish up tonight.

Meal plan/grocery store-m Check.  Found new site called e-Mealz. Love it.

Hang picture in the office- Not done...looks like it will be on the list again this weekend.

Start gathering tax return documents and fill out info from accountant- Not done either...however, on to do list for this week and hoping to have wrapped up before the weekend.

 How'd you do?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Finish it Friday

Following Aby Garvey's lead, here is my weekend to do list:

Fun Stuff:

Date night with hubby (kids at Grammy's)

Bare Escentuals make-over with Kelley

Attend PINK (local fundraiser for Mary Ellen Locher foundation)

Christmas at Mom's (finally, it better not snow again)

Have to Do:


Meal plan/grocery store

Hang picture in the office

Start gathering tax return documents and fill out info from accountant


So what about you, what's on your "to-do" list this weekend?

Move More, Eat Less-Weekly Check In

Thursday was Weigh in day!

First off, to back up a bit, I joined weight watchers again the first week of January.  My weigh in was terrible.  I was up 6 pounds from my last weigh in from December.  I did have on a suit and had to use the restroom and it was after the holidays, but still.  I missed the second weigh in thanks to the blizzard of the century causing me to miss work for the week so this was my first weigh in since re-joining. 

158 (down .4)

It is a loss so I will take it but it was evident to me I am going to have to renew my committment to the program.  If I am honest, I probably really gained a little bit but due to the reasons mentioned above, it is showing as a loss due to cicumstances with my first weigh in. 

I have exercised 30 minutes a day (or more) since December 31st so that is a great thing.  However, counting those pesky little points has eluded me. 

Time to commit, NOW! 

Here is to another week...just take it a day at a time. 

Any good motivation out there?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Little Word: 2011 Edition


Re·new: to make like new, restore to freshness, to make new spiritually, to restore to existence, to begin again, to do again, Regenerate, to make extensive changes in.

(defined by

Ali Edwards (whom I just adore, though I do not know her personally) has a yearly ritual of picking “one little word” to focus on for the year.  I love this concept.  It is so simple, yet can be a powerful reminder of our intention for the year. 

I thought long and hard about my word for this year as I think about where I am.  I am just coming out of the first year of my second child.  This means we are now falling into a rhythm as a family of four, we are finding our place, and I am finding my “zone” again.  I am starting to feel “normal” again.  However, along with this, comes my normal feelings of striving to find balance and wondering if I can work outside the home in a demanding career and balance  it ALL.   I also start to realize that the time has come to get rid of the baby fat (and then some).  Time to make some changes.  Oh  yeah, and I want to get to running again.  I miss it. 


It just sounds right.

 I am excited to see where this year goes.  It has already started off crazy with the biggest snow in 70 years causing me to miss a week at work and the kids to miss school.  And some interesting goings on in the office.  We will see where the journey takes us.

I signed up for Ali’s One Little Word on-line workshop via Big Picture Classes to keep me focused for the year and have some creative fun.  Here is a sneak peek at my album:



Monday, January 17, 2011

Memory Keeping, the easy way

Kudos to Becky Higgins!  She is the mastermind behind Project Life, the easiest way to scrapbook I have seen in awhile.  This ultra cute kit comes with everything you need to easily get your pictures and journaling into an album for an entire year.  I am loving it so far.  Here are some pictures of my album in progress:

Title page:


First week spread..


Close ups:


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Out with the Scale-Really?

So, I am contemplating not replacing the batteries right now in my scale.  How can that be you ask as I embark on Moving More, Eating Less of which the goal is to lose weight?  I have now seen the advice given twice that you should turn off the scale, throw it out even.  So, I started thinking, perhaps there is some validity to these recommendations.  If I am honest with myself, I know about what the scale will indicate once I get on it.  I know when I have had a good week or a bad one.  And, what do I do when I see that number on there?  I justify it.  If it is a good number, I do a happy dance and celebrate—with food.  If it is a bad number, I get peeved and turn to—you guessed it, food.  So, there is a cycle in weighing myself and both options put me at the same conclusion.   I think I read somewhere recently that insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result.  Do I expect to behave differently with the scale this year just because I am refreshing my good habits?  No. 

Perhaps it is time to try a different approach. 

I am going scale less each day.  However, I do plan to tune in to my body daily.  How do I feel?  Does my body feel good?  Do I feel healthy?  And, what are my clothes telling me?  Really, the point of losing weight is not about the number on the scale…it is about how I feel when I get there and how I choose to approach and live my life. 

Given that I joined weight watchers at the first of the year, I am going to weigh in weekly and be intentional about my reaction to the scale.  It is just a number not a definition of who I am.

So, here is to a different version of measuring success.  I am eager to see how this goes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Move More, Eat Less-Tools and Resources

As I "refresh" my motivation to Move More, Eat Less, I have found some tools and resources that are proving very helpful.  Here is a run down:

Fit from Within (Victoria Moran)-  This is a great little book with all kinds of nuggetts, specifically, 101 of them.  Victoria challenges some of what many of us are used to in terms of "dieting" like don't weigh yourself everyday or only eat 3 meals a day to name a couple of items she introduces.  I read this within a couple of days over the Christmas holiday and am now re-reading it, more intentionally.  I am trying to journal about the concepts she introduces and how they can work for me.  Revolutionary, really.

100 Day Challenge-  John Bingham and his wife, Coach Jenny came up with this approach to move intentionally for 30 mins for 100 days straight.  What a concept...just MOVE, intentionally for 30 mins to see what impact it can have.  I am on Day 12 and have not missed a workout yet.  Love it.

Weight Watchers Points Plus-  Loving the new program.  Have really eaten a lot more fruit than I would have in the past since it is all 0 points.  Found some good new slow cooker recipes and have been trying them this week.   I have to admit that I have not been tracking each day but I am being more intentional with what I put into my body.  Going back to the advice from "Fit from Within", I am not sure if I will follow through with the whole concept of the new WW program in terms of a "diet" but I suspect if I follow the 101 concepts Victoria discusses that I will be for the most part "on track" with the WW plan. 

My treadmill- I have a great treadmill that is proving useful to me in these cold and snowy days of winter. I have been performing my 100 day challenge on it so far.  I have plans to start running on it too but for now, keeping it simple.

I have not weighed myself here at home due to Victoria's advice (and the battery died) so not sure of how I am tracking weight wise but I will weigh in this week for the first week of WW so we will see how I am doing.  However, in terms of how I feel, I feel better.  Better about my intentions and progress.  This is a journey, not a destination and I am liking the stops along the way so far.