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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

First off, the apricot chicken recipe I made 2 nights ago was rated in the pretty good/not bad category.  I froze the leftovers to eat another day, so that was helpful!  I put the chicken over some stir-fried mixed veggies, but the kids liked it rolled with mozzarella cheese on a tortilla.

Secondly, I embarked on a clear-out/clean-up mission for a drawer yesterday.  Not just any drawer, but the drawer.  The second drawer in my desk is the worst. junk collector. EVER. Here is the before and after shot:


Yes, those are school pictures we got at the end of September.  No, I haven't mailed them out to the 3 people they go to. *sigh* I'm busted.  Slacker status on that one!  However, I did label them and will be able to distribute them on Saturday! Yay!  Better late than never, right??

Happy Halloween to all of you! Trick-or-Treating has been postponed until tomorrow night due to severe storms expected in this area.  I'm trying to think of something we could do tonight that doesn't involve 2 pounds of sugar,  but would still keep us in the spirit!  There's obviously only one way to figure that out...  Look out Pinterest, Here I come!

Today, I need to pull out my book about Planning for the Holidays. I don't remember the name of the book, but I've had it for years.  It's pretty, and I know where it is, but I've never used it.  SLACKER. 

I'm going to pull out that book, and I'm going to look over my To Do List (which still, ahem, includes "schedule workout times/put them on the calendar!"), and then I'm going to enjoy my day of climbing upward!

I am so ready to start getting life on a more organized, even keel, pull out of the (mostly mental) clutter I wade through every day, and start DOing instead of wanting







Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Practice Makes... Better.

Oh, what a weekend!  Sunday was absolutely beautiful- cool, sunny, and perfect for our Girls On The Run (GOTR) "Practice 5k".  My daughter promptly left her "running buddy" (moi) in the dust.  I was blown away and as proud of my baby girl as I could ever be!  She's one of the youngest ones, one of the smallest ones, and also one of the fastest ones!  She finished at least 2.5 minutes ahead of me!  I can't wait to see what she can do at the "real" GOTR 5k in sbout 3 weeks!

Yesterday (I know, it was Monday, not the weekend), DH and I finished closing the pool. *sad face*  I loved our pool for the month we got to use it, and I can't WAIT to open it again!

I am not doing well on my "21", folks.  Mental block?  Asking too much of myself?  Not knowing what to count as "activity"?  I think I need to put it on the calendar.  I think that would help my commitment. Maybe.  I was outside and active yesterday, but I can't think of a time that I did "10 minutes of heart-elevating exercise". I am SO frustrating sometimes.

I found a picture today from one of my Pinterest boards:


My original source for the above image:  http://beautyover30.tumblr.com/

I have been having days that I feel just like this, and to be honest, I need to post this, so it's out there.  You know, "on record", so to speak. My eating is not anywhere near healthy, and I kick myself every time I go out and run- KNOWING that if I ate better, I would be better at running.  Yes, my legs resemble the stumps of cut-down oak trees (very short ones) and they'll never be "long and lean". However, I could be stronger, faster, and feel better if I would make a few more changes to my eating habits!  

wannabe. That word comes to mind all the time for me.  In fact, I'm a little sick of that word.  I am tired of wanting- I'm ready to take the next step.  Wanting isn't getting me anywhere.

So, a workout schedule?  Maybe a commitment like that would be a good place to start.  I need to get a menu going (that would be a step in a healthier direction... you know, cutting out fast food 4 times a week), but I still haven't gathered the courage for it yet.

What the heck did I just say?! I need COURAGE to make a menu?!?

I do have supper in the crock pot tonight! Yippee!!  We're having Crockpot Catalina Apricot Chicken. I've never had/made it before, so I'll have to let you know how it tastes!  

Do any of you struggle with these things, or can you identify with this inner-battle??  I'd love to hear your feedback, advice, comments, kicks in the butt... you know, whatever you feel like throwing out there- feel free to leave it in the comments section!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This is a 10 Minute Afternoon!

Well, it's one of those days...  I guess it's time to look forward to the next 10 minutes.  I'm a capable girl. Sometimes.  I'm confident I can do something for 10 minutes.  Some days are just "10 minute days".  Shoot, let's be honest. Some days, I need to have 7 minute days.

What is a "10 Minute Day", you ask?  It's a day when I feel like I'm wading through quicksand and need a kick in the pants!  I have this timer... it's called the Screaming Meanie (the link takes you to the Amazon site where I got this image and purchased my timer!)


Holy guacamole, it's loud.  I love it!  I set the timer for 10 minutes, and I commit to working on ONE thing in that time.  That means I will not wander out of the room or get sidetracked for those 10 minutes!  Like I said, sometimes I feel so sidetracked that I need to start with 7 minutes on my timer.

It's funny, though, because I usually make it through just a couple of timed sessions before I start working on my own.  Like I said, it gives me a kick in the pants and helps get me started.

Sometimes, I have taken a before & after shot of just how much I can accomplish in 10 minutes. I took a picture before & after my first 10-minute round today.  It's not perfect, but these two spaces are much better!



Do you have tricks to get your mind working in the direction you need to go?  I'd love to hear all about them- feel free to share them in the comments section!



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Great Intentions

I had plans to run yesterday, but we started the "closing of the pool" process.  We still need to siphon a couple more inches out of the pool, but we're just about ready to slap the cover on for the winter (insert sad face here).  So, we were active and outside the majority of the day- I counted my actual 10 minutes of exercise when I scooped the alpaca poop!

Speaking of good intentions, I want to share something that I've learned about myself in the past couple of weeks.  I belonged to a weight loss group for a few months.  I found that I was not allowing the group process to work for me- I was fighting the "diet" part for all it was worth.  I recently "resigned" (I didn't know what to call it, so that's the term I used).  I'm going to share the letter with you, and I would love to hear your feedback/thoughts/comments:

Hi ________,

I just wanted to get in touch with you and let you know that I am
“resigning” from __________.  I came to a realization last week when I sent a
message to (Name) about not making it to the meeting, and I want to try to
explain my thought processes about what I need right now:
When I explained I couldn't make it, (Name) sent back a simple text message
that said I could bring the kids and weigh in and leave.  What she said made
sense...
However, I realized something in my immediate reaction to that message. I do
not want my kids to know that I "weigh-in" every week. My momma instinct
tells me that it would not be good for the kids to think that "weighing in"
is the norm. Instinct tells me that I don't want my girls to think a scale
is so important that I'll drive 30 miles just to get on it and turn around
and go back home. This little twinge really, really drove the point home.
And guess what? I'm a girl just like my daughters are girls, and I don't
want to think I have to do that, either. It doesn't work for me.
Restricting myself and talking about not eating, deprivation, and weighing
less... It triggers me. It triggers me to binge like I USED to.

I thought about it this way: When I go to work out at the gym or go for a
run, I'm happy about it- I want my kids to know that I'm working, improving
my health, feeling better, and doing things that will help my body work
better. I talk to them about it, because it's GOOD and I want them to like
it and learn from the good habits I'm picking up- I also talk to them about
the bad habits I have.  I talk about not liking how I feel when I don't
exercise or when I eat lots and lots of junky stuff and get a tummy ache...
That's the real life stuff; not the scale. The scale has had too much power
over me for too long
. The attitude of "diet" has had too much control, too.
I need to do things that make my body better. And I have to say, when I look
at it from this standpoint, I get a pretty clear picture:

Things I do with my body/health that might not be good for my kids to know
about... well, I don't want to do that, because it's not right for me,
either.


So, for me, I don't think __________ is the positive influence I want it to be.
This is the way I think- I'm not saying ___________ is wrong. Please don't think
I'm saying that. Studies have shown that it works.  I'm just celebrating
that I have enough self-awareness to know that it's not the right fit for
me.

Thank you for everything- You and the rest of the group are the reason I
struggled with this decision.  You are a phenomenal group of women, and I
will miss seeing all of you.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Powerless

That's how I felt tonight at the funeral home.  The mom of one of the kids' friends passed away, and tonight was the visitation.  After we walked through the line and spoke with the dad, he asked us to go visit with the girl.

As the kids played, I tried to sit back and just let them "be" ... They were playing a game of Uno when I heard an adult we didn't know ask the girl "...Are these friends of yours?"  and the little girl says "They're my BEST friends." I can't tell you what it meant for me to hear this grieving, heartbroken little girl include all 3 of my kids as her best friends.  And all 3 of them had their hearts broken and swell with love for this family tonight, too.

What a wonderful woman their momma was.  She was thoughtful, giving, kind, wise, she could cook(and tried to encourage me, lol), she was crafty, she was pretty darn brilliant, and she had patience... lots of patience <3  I'm so glad she's not in pain or suffering any more, but the selfish side of me is sad that she's not around to just drop a line or set up a playdate.  She raised some awesome kids, and they lost her way, way too soon.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.. as gung-ho as I've been to get back on the "21" wagon, I failed today.  I did not get 10 minutes of heart-rate-elevating exercise in.  It's ok, because I'll start over at "Day 1" tomorrow. You might ask why I'm not going to do it right now, and I'd say it's because I don't want to wake myself up before bed... Maybe that's why, or maybe it's because I'm just a little down.  Either way, there's no punishment- I'm building a habit, and I'm well aware stuff happens.  I'll be back at it tomorrow.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Personal Best and a New "21" for the 21st

What a great way to start out the week! I went for a run this morning, and I decided to run the whole "5k+" distance.  I managed to do my personal best (PB), and I couldn't be more happy!  I am really motivated to make sure I can keep up with DD8 at her Girls On The Run 5k in November.

Now that I've told you my exciting news for the day, I want to invite you to start something else that's exciting for you!  I noticed that today is the 21st of October.  The 21st reminds me that I need to begin a new "21" Challenge!  I would love for readers to take this opportunity to challenge themselves to pick one BABY STEP toward Superwoman Status!

When I say baby step, I mean, teeny. tiny. baby.  I am talking about this:  If you are thinking about incorporating fitness into your life, start by making this commitment: "I will touch my toes when I put my feet on the ground in the morning!." This simple, tiny little thing helps shift your brain. just a little. tiny. bit.

The idea for "21" came from my trainer, Ian.  He, too, advises taking very small steps to help yourself succeed.

DO NOT say, "Oh, yes, I'll do that! I'm giving up sweets!" arrgh!  That's such a slippery slope, don't you think??  How about "I'm going to eat one piece of fruit before noon every day." Are you supposed to have more than that? Yep. But, if you're not getting a piece of fruit now, isn't one piece before noon better than zero pieces all day?

I hope you can see where I'm going with this "21" challenge!  I LOVE them.

Oh, before I share my challenge with you, I want to hand down one more rule:  If you mess up- I mean, if you mess up at all- you start over at Day #1.  I'm really not a total meanie. The reason is not for punishment.  The reason is because you are committing to 21 consecutive days of meeting your challenge.  These are habits to change your life for the better, right?  There's no hurry- if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right! :)

After the challenge- after you have completed 21 consecutive days in a row, the expectation is that you will want to incorporate this habit into your life at least 80% of the time.  We all make mistakes or have an "off" day- shoot for changes that will become second nature, and things that you will want to continue to do daily (at least 80% of the time!)

If you're curious about my own "21"Challenge, here it is for everyone to see:

The Slacker (that's me!) will do a minimum of 10 minutes of exercise each and every day.  I try to "work out" in some way at least 3 times per week, but I'm guilty of being pretty sloth-like on the other days.  I want to build a habit of having exercise in my daily life- not a "workout", but some kind of something that will elevate my heart rate for just a few minutes!

Here's how I reward myself (oh, you KNOW I have to have instant gratification!):
I put a shiny star or smiley face on the wall calendar after my challenge is met each day!  Simple, sweet, and oh-so-satisfying!

Then, once I complete my "21", I will offer myself a bigger reward.  This time, I believe it will be a new sports bra and workout pants!

Please, leave your own "21" Challenge, comments, ideas, concerns, and questions in the comments section :)  I can't wait to work with you!


  • Today's exercise is done!  I ran today. One shiny sticker is on the calendar :)


Friday, October 18, 2013

The "300" Mark

I have to admit, I keep watching my "pageviews".  I don't think it's an accurate measure of who actually reads my blog, but it's exciting that people are hitting on the page.  Is that even a term?  I am learning so much about the blogosphere, but I'm pretty clueless. I know, you couldn't tell, right? haha. It's ok to have a laugh at my expense, I do it all the time!

I am almost at "300" pageviews! This is so exciting to me, because when I restarted (again. for like the third time.) a few days ago, I think I was on something like 66.  I'm so excited that people have actually clicked to check out this page!  If you are one of those folks, I thank you- and I welcome you to my blog and a little slice of my life!

Let's recap yesterday. I wanted to do TWO HOURS of housework with the kiddies.  That, my friends, did not happen.  Sometimes I am waaaay too ambitious.  I forget I'm not Superwoman yet, and my kids' superpowers are not intuiting how I want them to do housework.

I sketched out a chart (just a rough sheet slapped on the wall- this is huge for me! I would usually get so lost in the detail that we would never even see a complete chart!). I put their names in columns, each column with numbers 1-12 (120 minutes divided into 10 minute "sets").


We made it through #4. We even took a rest break after #3... At that point, mommy had a little meltdown.  Imagine this: my kids were not doing things the way I thought they should do them.

Then, something amazing happened.  I read a blog that gave me a smack-down and pointed right in my face.  Nony is a great writer.  She's funny and smart and quick-witted... and sometimes, I think she has a video camera in my house. for REAL. You can read the post I'm talking about here: "Smarter"  I don't like getting mad, yet I choose that reaction way too often.  It makes me sad, but it makes me want to improve my Slacker status even more, which is a good thing!

So here's to sending the kids outside to play today and plugging away at a few 10-minute sets on my own.  Enjoy the rest of your Friday!  I know I'm going to :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday was Play-Day

We went a-playing yesterday!  We had a fun time at the indoor playground and the old-timey ice cream parlor.  I have really enjoyed being able to go and do a few relatively inexpensive things with the kids during our new and improved, extended Fall Break.
On another note, the menu failed again yesterday..  like, as in, DID NOT DO.  It's frustrating, and I shouldn't have started with something that depends on DH to "want" it (the kids won't eat it, so it's silly to make it if he wo..blahblahexcuseblah) But today is a new day!  I'm going to make some crockpot something-or-other chicken!

Today is also a cleaning day.  Today we must clean for TWO HOURS. All of us. I'm going to get out the timer and require 10 minutes at a time!  Oh yes, it's a game!!  Now, answer this: is the game for my Inner Brat Peggy, or is it "for the kids"??  Yah, totally for the kids, right? *cough*

I'll let you know the hows and how-it-went after we're done!  I'd love to hear your thoughts, links and ideas for cleaning with kids!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Follow up on Menu Planning!

I just wanted to add a quick note and "proof" that I have done something toward "menu planning".  Yep, it's not at all what I had envisioned.. but it's something for the next 2 days' dinner!



Ok, I confess. The "brats" were leftover from tonight's plan.  DH wasn't feeling the greatest, so I skipped them and gave the kiddies hot dogs.

I DID, however, make jalapeno poppers tonight! I had too many of these:


I used this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/baked-jalapeno-poppers-recipe/index.html to make these oven baked poppers (I know, they're not pretty... but yummm!)


The Planning Brat

Among my Super Powers, I would like to be able to write menus in a "swoop"... or "a single bound"... you get my drift.

I get SO so overwhelmed when I think about planning a menu for a week.  Sometimes, I get overwhelmed just thinking about what we can have for supper!

I dearly love FlyLady and her teachings, musings, and encouraging ways.  (www.flylady.net is her web address if you want to check her out).  FlyLady and her friend Pam came out with this "Inner Brat" thing a few years ago.  Since they introduced this "inner child" idea, they have changed her to an "Inner Princess".

I found that girl a few years ago, named her Peggy, and she's pretty much a brat.  There's no sugar-coating it.  I love her, but until we figure out this Superwoman thing, we have to call a spade a spade..or, in this case, a brat a brat.  Maybe someday Peggy will even grow into a mature woman, but right now- BtotheRtotheAtotheT. (yes, I am logically aware that I make my own choices and all that... but the inner brat thing is way more fun to talk about!).

Sorry, I digress... I'm hoping you can see the (lack of) maturity level I'm dealing with here. When I think about menus, Peggy likes to jump up and down and create a ruckus, screaming- "You can't DOOO that!!  You never learned HOWWW! That's too much for you, and let's check Facebook!!! (or, if the computer is off, "Look, a squirrel!!)"

Yep, ok. you win. Facebook is waaaay more fun than trying to figure out what you're going to eat for an entire week. *click*

This reminds me of another little Facebook picture I have posted before... the caption reads "Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail". I am setting myself up for ... what?!

FAILING.

What the heck?!  That is definitely not me- it's just not what I'm all about.  I have to shake this thing, and I need to move in the direction of planning.

What do I do?  How about this:

Plan two days' menus by 10:00 pm tonight. 

Does anyone else need this kick in the pants? Have you dealt with the "Planning Brat"??  How did you overcome her?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Mid-Month Monday!

I'm at it again!  Blogging, thinking, challenging... hmm, can you smell the wood burning??  I am in love with this Fall Break!  My kids are on that "modified schedule" that gives us a two week Fall Break.  The weather is gorgeous, and we have been outside and active!

One thing I am so, incredibly proud of... we have biked/walked/jogged over 3 miles on FOUR of our Fall Break days!  My 8 year old is involved in Girls On The Run (read more about GOTR by clicking http://www.girlsontherun.org/), and I am trying to increase my speed so I can keep up with her at the 5k we're running in November!  I am doing a c25k program (I'll discuss this more at another time! It's awesome!).  We did "Week 6, Day 1" while the other 2 kids biked along with us.

You know what this means??? I HAVE AN ACTIVE FAMILY!!! *cheers, squeals, fist pumps*

I want to wish you a Happy Monday!  I have a little sign from a Facebook post, and it says "It's Monday, Don't forget to be awesome!"  So, remember that- and enjoy the rest of your day!