Tuesday, March 31, 2015

{Weight Loss Wednesday} Week 5

Happy Wednesday!

Weight Lost this week: 2.6lbs
Total weight lost: 13lbs

What is going on with March birthdays?!? Between two birthday parties and Easter parties at school this week has been a struggle! However, I'm happy to report that I have managed to avoid birthday cake and Easter candy this week. Wahoo! Yay for small victories!

As I was getting ready for church this past Sunday, I discovered a fun problem! My clothes are quickly becoming too big!

I don't want to go buy new clothes because I plan to lose at least 20 more pounds. My friend, Sherri, has lost 20 pounds and recently bought all new clothes. Thankfully, my favorite place to shop is "Sherri's Closet." I headed to her house and grabbed tons of new jeans, pants, tops and dresses. Most of my tops still fit but my pants are starting to get a little baggy and let's face it, baggy pants aren't flattering! My "new" clothes should get me through the next few weeks before I'm hopefully down another size or two and need to go shopping once again.

Unfortunately, I haven't worked out like I should this week. I plan to get back on track with T25 next week as well as begin the Couch to 5K running program.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Adventures

My dad's birthday was on Thursday but we postponed our celebration until the following day.  After school I ran to Walmart to pick up the essentials for the birthday dinner of BBQ chicken, green beans, mac & cheese, and deviled eggs. I don't make BBQ chicken often but I must say, it was delicious!

Saturday I woke up feeling like I was forgetting something. After checking my calendar multiple times I finally relaxed and realized I actually had a Saturday with no plans! The boys and I enjoyed a lazy day at home. I managed to wash and dry all of their newly purchased spring clothes, however, they currently remain in the dryer! Maybe they will magically fold themselves while I'm at work...a girl can dream, right?

My sweet friend Christina purchased a beach bag from me through Initial Outfitters for her upcoming beach trip. I failed to remember to give it to her last weekend at Griffin's party so we decided to meet in Burlington, which is about half way between our homes. Christina and her husband, Dan, have the cutest little girl, Amelia. My boys and I adore her! We shopped around Target for a while and then headed next door to Chick-fil-a for dinner.  When we arrived we realized that it was Daddy and daughter date night! As Brian watched all the little girls on a date with their daddy he began to get a bit emotional realizing he wouldn't have that opportunity seeing as we have two boys. He is always adamant that two kiddos is plenty but he seemed open to more at that moment...unfortunately, the feeling didn't last. Maybe I need to check the schedule for daddy and daughter date night and pop in a few times each month! ;)

Sunday was quite the busy day. Brian had to work so he wasn't able to join us for church. I got the boys and myself ready and headed to church. Griffin went into the Sunday School class with Elijah for the first time and did great. As usual, he made it through the singing of the 11:00 service but headed down to the nursery with his Nanny for the remainder of the service due to his constant talking.  After church I had an Initial Outfitters party so the boys went with their Nanny and Poppy for the afternoon. After my party I picked up the kiddos and went home to pick up Brian and then headed to a surprise party at Blue Naples, a local Italian Restaurant. The food was delicious as usual! 

We had a great weekend filled with lots of  time with family and friends. I'm looking forward to a two day work week and ready for some time at home with my loves! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

{Weight Loss Wednesday} Week 4

Although I haven't posted about my weight loss the past couple weeks, I am still striving towards my weight loss goals!

In the last four weeks I have survived two birthday parties and one Initial Outfitters party with lots of yummy treats. Despite many mental battles to have cake or not to have cake, I'm happy to report that I have a total weight loss of 11 pounds so far! 11 pounds in 4 weeks...I'll take it!

I thought I would share what a typical day looks like for me in regards to the food I eat. My Fitness Pal has me eating around 960 calories per day in order to lose 2 pounds per week. I know that doesn't sound like a lot but as long as I eat snacks and drink water between meals I'm satisfied throughout the day. Keep in mind, I workout about 30 minutes around  3-5 days a week. I'm not running marathons or doing strenuous exercise so I don't feel that it is necessary to increase my calories based on exercise.

Breakfast: For breakfast I've been having two hard boiled eggs and a piece of turkey bacon. I love this because I boil a weeks worth of eggs on Sunday night and store them in the refrigerator for a quick breakfast each morning. This breakfast is full of protein which keeps hunger away until snack. 

Snack: I have recently discovered this delicious snack! 

I make this by blending one cup of Frozen fruit and water (enough for the right consistency) and then pop it in the freezer at work until snack time. Seeing as it is frozen it takes a while for me to eat it which again helps ensure I don't get hungry before lunch. 

Lunch: I typically eat the same thing each day for lunch. I realize that some people hate that but it helps me stay on track! I have a turkey burger and broccoli along with a fruit cup (no added sugar) and plenty of water. 

Snack: My favorite afternoon snack is a bag of Skinny Pop popcorn. I typically enjoy my snack right after the kiddos leave school but today I was running behind and ate it in the car on the way to pick up my boys. 

Dinner: Tacos are a weekly staple in our dinner rotation. They are perfect because the boys love them and I can make a low calorie version for myself. I make them with ground turkey rather than beef. Shhh....don't tell the boys! Brian, Elijah and Griffin eat their taco in the traditional way while I enjoy mine as a taco salad rather than on a tortilla. 

I ended the day with T25 alongside my workout partner, my sister! Now I'm exhausted and ready for bed! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Griffin's 2nd Birthday Party

Let me just start by saying that I can't believe my baby is TWO!! The last two years have seriously flown by at a speed that I am not ok with! I'm going to need time to sloooooow down!

When the time arrived to choose the party theme for Griffin's party there was no question what the theme would be....trains! This kid, and his older brother, love trains! Their favorite is of course, Thomas the Train, however, I'm not a fan of the Thomas party decorations. I much prefer the classic train theme like the one I ultimately chose by NickWillJack on Etsy. 

With each birthday party, I search Pinterest for DIY party ideas and then compile a list of my "must do" projects. The many nights I spent working on the decorations definitely paid off. I love how everything turned out! 

We used black Gorilla tape to create a train track leading up our sidewalk to the party entrance.  

The coloring station was a a hit! What kid doesn't love to color with markers? I bought these trains for the kiddos to decorate. The weather turned out to be nicer than expected so we quickly moved this little table outside for the kids to enjoy. This was great for the bigger kids too!

Train whistles are always fun party favors! Helpful Hint: pass out the whistles at the END of the party! ;)

For the past few years I have made the boys' birthday cakes. This year I decided to take one thing off my "to do" list and reached out to my friend and former hair stylist, Crystal, that just so happens to be a fabulous cake decorator. I am so thankful I did! She did an amazing job! If you live near Stokesdale you should definitely check her out. The idea for this cake came from a picture I found online here.

These little suitcases are adorable and the perfect addition to a train themed party!

The train favor bags were filled with Thomas the Train goodies and loaded into another adorable suitcase to set the scene for the perfect "baggage claim" area.

Although the decorations are my favorite party prep task, watching my little man have a blast on his special day is by far my favorite part! I'll let the pictures do the talking...

I could add a million more pictures but I think you get the idea. Between the bounce house, train coloring, bubbles, food, presents, Thomas "roller coaster", friends and family, we had a blast! 

It's so hard to believe that it has been two years since my little family became a family of four. We are loving our life together and I can't wait to see what the next year holds for G man! Time to gear up for Elijah's 5th birthday! What?!?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

{Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse} Day 2

IDay 2 started out a little rocky! I had to have blood work this morning so I wasn't able to  eat breakfast  drink my shakes first thing this morning. I prepare my shakes the night before, thankfully, so I was able to grab my breakfast and lunch shakes and head out the door. While I remembered to grab the coffee mug and green tea bag, I failed to grab the lemon to add to the tea. Boo! Hopefully the lack of lemon didn't effect the outcome of the cleanse too drastically. 

When I was finally able to drink my tea I started to feel a little nauseous. About that time my sister, who is doing the cleanse with me, sent me a text to tell me she was feeling nauseous as well. I remembered reading that nausea can be a side effect of the cleanse due to toxins leaving my body so I wasn't too concerned.  

I decided to attempt the breakfast shake although I was feeling nauseous because I assumed the nausea was a normal side effect and would pass. Thankfully that was the right choice and after finishing the breakfast shake I was feeling much better about day 2!  

I am thrilled to tell you that the lunch shake was so much better today! I made two modifications in hopes of making the shake more palatable! First, I didn't put the shake in the freezer. Yesterday, I decided the freezer would make it taste better because surely a frozen green drink is better than a warm green drink right? Wrong! Freezing the shake made it thicker and a very undesirable consistency. Today I decided to just keep it in the refrigerator and the consistency was so much easier to consume. Yay! Secondly, I decided to squeeze the lime juice into the shake rather than blend the actual lime into the shake. I thought the lime flavor was too strong on Day 1 so I was hopeful this option would help and it definitely did! I'm extremely surprised to say that I actually enjoyed the lunch shake today. 

After school we had a staff meeting and this is usually a time that I enjoy an afternoon snack. However, that wasn't the case today. Instead, I grabbed my water bottle and drank an entire 32oz during the meeting. 

The dinner shake was about the same as yesterday. The red pepper literally makes me hot while drinking it. 

I'm looking forward to Day 3 tomorrow and can't believe I've made it two days without chewing food! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

{Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse} Day 1

The past two weeks I have done really well sticking to a low calorie diet to ensure that my calories IN are less than my calories OUT. A couple of my friends from church completed the Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse and lost 9 and 10 pounds each and said they felt amazing afterwards! I decided it was the perfect opportunity to dedicate myself further to my weight loss challenge.

I printed out the 3 Day Detox plan and decided it wasn't going to be fun but I was going to do it! The lunch drink makes me super nervous. I don't like celery, cucumber or kale and just look at the first three ingredients. Yikes!

I begged my mom to go with me to the store because I knew that searching for items I don't usually purchase would be more than I could handle alone with two boys who don't share my love of shopping. After the longest grocery trip of my life I managed to find everything on the shopping list. Thank the Lord we didn't have to go to another store! 

I came home and unpacked everything to make sure I hadn't missed an essential item.

I felt healthier just by looking at all of this healthy food! 

Green Tea: I started the day with the recommended green tea and lemon. I'm not a huge fan of lemon but the flavor worked well with the green tea. 

Breakfast Shake: This shake tasted pretty good. I liked the fruity flavors and drank it pretty quickly. The one thing that made this shake unappealing is the seeds (I'm assuming from the raspberries). The seeds gave the shake a weird texture but the taste was good.

Lunch Shake: Ugh! This shake is HUGE and it is definitely lacking the fruity flavors that I enjoyed from the morning shake. It took me nearly three hours but I finally managed to drink the majority (I definitely wasn't scraping the cup clean) of the green concoction. On a positive note, I wasn't hungry at all at this point! ;) 

Dinner Shake: Thankfully this shake is much better than the lunch option. There is a little kick to it from the cayenne pepper! 

Y'all let me just say...after the lunch shake I was questioning whether or not I could do this for two more days. However, I'm thrilled to say that after my T25 workout and dinner shake I feel so motivated to continue for the next two days! 

I ended the day with the recommended Epsom salt and lavender detox bath and it was heavenly! How did I not know about this? If you don't do any other part of this cleanse, you HAVE to try this bath! 

Yay for surviving day one....bring on day 2! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

{Weight Loss Wednesday} Week 1

Let's take a picture walk through time shall we....

         Wedding                      1st baby                         2nd baby                    Currently

Can you guess my dilemma??

Brian and I got married in 2008 and I was the smallest that I had ever been! In 2010 our first born son, Elijah, was born. I lost quite a bit of weight after his delivery but never got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. In 2013 our 2nd son, Griffin, was born. Again, I lost quite a bit of weight but am nowhere near where I was when I got married. This "current" picture is actually from Elijah's 4th birthday party last summer. It was extremely hard for me to find a current full body picture...wonder why??

I've decided that it is time to start my weight loss journey. No more saying I need to lose weight and not sticking with a diet, no more "I'll start my diet on Monday", no more excuses! I want to be healthy for my kids and for myself!

For Valentine's Day I asked the hubby for a Fitbit. He responded as any good husband would by saying I didn't need a Fitbit. I plead my case and hoped he would change his mind. Valentine's Day rolled around and sure enough he had gotten me one!

Now I know the Fitbit isn't a magic weight loss pill but it is definitely a huge motivator for me to be more active! I also downloaded the My Fitness Pal App and have linked it to my Fitbit. I am loving the combination of these two! My current weight loss plan is counting calories and increasing exercise. I make sure to get 10,000 steps per day and am working out with Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD.

I am already one week into this weight loss plan and am already down 4 pounds!! My goal is to lose a total of 30 pounds! Yikes! I am on track to lose 2 pounds a week (according to My Fitness Pal) so hopefully in 15 weeks I will have achieved my goal! That sounds like such a loooooong journey but I know that I can do it! I plan to use this little blog of mine as a way to hold myself accountable. I will weigh in each Wednesday and write about my progress, struggles, successes, etc. Check back in next week!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Family Command Center

We have a huge island in our kitchen that seems to serve the purpose of a giant bowl to catch all of our junk as we walk in the door each day! When we walk in the house our keys, mail, daycare papers, etc. all get piled on the island! No matter how much time I had spent cleaning the house that day I felt like it was a mess again the second I looked in the kitchen! Sound familiar? Introducing the "family command center". This is an idea that my friend, Abby, posted on Facebook and I quickly realized it was all over Pinterest. You know I can't resist a good Pinterest project!

My "Pinspiration" was all over the place for this project:

This was the first family command center I loved. I knew I needed wire magazine racks, a calendar, weekly meal plan and weekly Bible verse.

Next, I stumbled across this command center and loved how the kids each had their own bin. I also decided I would need to include an 'L' for our last name. 

After making a list of the items I needed I decided that I couldn't wait any longer to get started. Brian was at work and my mom was out for the day so I had no choice but to bring the boys shopping with me! Typically, I don't take the boys on shopping trips because it usually proves more difficult than productive. After a quick pep talk in the car I was ready to brave the first store, Hobby Lobby! I hit the jackpot and scored the following items for 50% off:

I was so excited that everything I found was 50% off. As I was linking the items for this post it doesn't look like they are on sale currently. However, Hobby Lobby always rotates their sales so I'm sure if you check back periodically you will find them at a great price. The boys were amazing as I walked back and forth in the store trying to find the perfect items for this project. I decided to head to Target in search of a dry erase calendar. 

I found the perfect one on clearance for $8.99! Yay! 

I made one final stop at Home Goods and found a grey frame to use for the weekly menu

As soon as I arrived home and unloaded everything I was ready to get started putting our family command center together. 

I am so excited about how our family command center turned out! I love that everything has a home and will no longer live on our island. I think the weekly Bible verse will be an amazing addition to our family and I'm hopeful that the weekly meal plan will keep me from waiting until the last minute to make dinner plans.