Wednesday, August 31, 2011

30 Day Challenge

**Update...thanks to Kathy's question, I did a quick online search for an activity tracker...and wouldn't you know it, there is one!  I started a group at the President's Fitness Challenge (remember those from way back in elementary school??)  I guess now they are expanded to get ALL ages moving! **

Go to the below link:  Create a FREE account.  Then you should be able to go to Groups and do a search for : 30 Day Challenge.  I tried it and it brought it up.  From there, I think you can join the group!  You should be able to track what you are doing as wel as see what else the group is doing!  Seems pretty cool!
Ok, September 1st is just 1 day away...and I am ready to get down to business and  see what all we can do in 30 days!  I think I am about to bite the bullet and join a gym.  With working downtown now and Bible study every Thursday night, I am struggling to get my workouts in and I am certain that the exercising is definitely what has been helping me lose the weight.  I have about 15lbs to go (need to get to a meeting this week to confirm!!) before I hit the top range of my "healthy weight" according to ww and this will be a great boost for me. 

So, consider me a soon-to-be (gasp!!) gym person now.....The gym I visited today is fairly small, not a bunch of scary hard bodies or hotties, and hopefully that will keep me from being TOTALLY intimated at first. I will probably stick to the treadmills as I am getting acquainted with this new routine....but am considering using a personal trainer for a couple weeks just to learn what else I can do.

If you are with me in joining the challenge, I would love to have some accountability partners!

Grab the button code on the right if you want to share on your blog too! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You spend WHAT on groceries?

The church Matt and I attend have a campaign of sorts going on right now....a Quest if you will, to seek God in all different aspects of life.  The clergy have made a whole slew of different Bible Study and groups available to all members in hopes that people will find something to connect to and engage them to seek God and strengthen their faith.  Matt and I stopped and talked with our pastor a couple of Sundays ago at the info table and he asked us what we were going to join?  (We honestly had not decided on anything but caught on the spot now!).  With two small boys and both working, it was hard to find a time that was agreeable to our schedules.  Thankfully, as we learned, they provide free childcare!  ;-)  Anyway, he told us about how he and his wife had gone though Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey a few sessions ago and how much they got out of it and maybe that would be a good one for us to try.  We had discussed it before...but were never really sure that it was something we NEEDED as we only have mortgage and car payments as far as debt goes.  Was this something that we could benefit from?

Well, after some prayerful consideration, we decided we would give it a go.  We attended our first class last week, and interestingly enough, the majority of the class were people like us in similar situations.  Not necessarily debt to deal with, but lack of an actual budget on things above and beyond savings and bills.  And a desire to have a greater knowledge of their personal finances and take the stress out of dealing with money. 

Are you still with me??  I know this is a round about way to get where I am going with the groceries! :)

Our first assignment is to complete a high level budget.  Matt had one he had done about a year ago for us so that is getting us started.  He printed it out for me and we will go over it some more before Thursday.  One of the major things that sticks out to me, besides childcare which is not negotiable at this GROCERIES! Holy HECK!  Now, one thing about that, is to us, groceries isn't just food....its beauty and cleaning products, toiletries, diapers etc.  All things that you would pick up at Kroger's or the occasional Target trip. Regardless, it is a huge chunk of our monthly bills and seems to be way too much for 2 adults and 2 small boys to be spending!

I cook meals for our family prob 3-4 times a week, and not extravagant ones.  None of the beauty or cleaning products I buy are outrageous or top of the line.  So why are we spending this much?  I am SO very curious to hear what other people in our class have down in that category.

After all that, my question to you is....are you on a Grocery Budget?  How do you save money at the store? Any tips to get started?  Would love to hear some people's suggestions on how they save money on the basic food/cleaning/beauty necessities they use for their families!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The honeymoon is over

Vacation has ended and my recover period of readjusting to normal life definitely had to be over too.  Oddly enough, I think I am ready.  While I totally enjoyed eating whatever I wanted, when I wanted...and indulging in more wine than normal, I knew it wasn't helping my cause and it has felt good to get back in a routine these last couple of days.  Hardest part, I am totally out of habit it now with tracking and regularly exercising. gotta start somewhere, right?

Yesterday morning, I tracked my breakfast, nearly killed myself ran for 30 minutes, went back out for a jog walk with boys, and then tracked my lunch.  Logged about 4 miles today so not a bad way to get back into the swing of things!  Am anxious to get to a ww meeting and see what the scale shows.  I was NOT good for dinner last night, but hey, that's what the extra points are for, right? :)  And it was worth it to catch up with an old friend!  Have to be able to live a little or else this will be something I will not be able to stick to.

Which has me thinking, how do you ensure this you are making a lifestyle change, and not just a "diet" to drop the pounds?  I mean, after all, about 8 years ago, I did ww and lost a lot of weight, but somehow never actually hit goal and became lifetime.  And obviously gained all the weight back AND THEN SOME (ahem...).  I think I am about 12lbs away from what would be the top of the range for my healthy weight.  Although probably not my ultimate goal, I think it would be the safest place for me to set my lifetime weight at in order to stick to it.  I definitely think exercising is helping me this time, something I have NEVER done regularly since drill team in high school!!  While I still do not necessarily "enjoy" exercising, I do like two main things from it:  1) the fact that I can actually RUN and be active without dieing  and 2) that it is undoubtedly helping me lose the weight.

I think for September, I am going to have 30 day challenge, would love for you to join me.  All it is going to be is to commit to be active for 30 consecutive days.  That doesn't have to mean having an official workout every day (although that would be awesome!), but rather just committing to do SOMETHING. That can be taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther out in the parking lot, walking the dog, the kids, yourself, whatever you can fit in to do!  Hoping to see some good results that will push me through that last 10-15 lbs over the next month or so!  I will post what I am doing and would love to hear what you are doing too!  We can do it, Good luck!

Monday, August 22, 2011

These are a few of my Favorite Things....

What a great week at the beach!  Loved spending time with my hubby, my boys, and my parents and thankful for the time we spent together.  Already looking forward to next year! :)

A Kid in the Candy Shop

 If you are ever in Galveston and want to make your kids' day....head to The Strand and stop in La Kings Confectionary.  I remember going there as a kid, and it looks just the same.  To see the boys' eyes light up as they walked past rows and rows of was priceless.

Mark made quite an impression on one little girl as she was ordering her candy, he was standing next to her and would say"I want that tooooo".  We were all giggling.  We moved on down the line to wait our turn and a few minutes later, that sweet girl walked up to Mark and gave him a bag of a couple little gummies.  Too cute.

And, they have old $0.50 ride on machines....the boys enjoyed it...I think Daddy did too! :)

A Last little hurrah!

We had a nice mid-week visit by my friend Becky and my god-daughter Katie.  They will be headed to Dallas in a few short weeks and I so enjoyed this time spent with both mommy & daughter!  Z and K have always gotten along and were so cute to see pal around.  It was great to have them there with us and we will miss them when they move but know we will still see them too! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

conversations with boys

Oh my, it has started already....I really thought it would take longer....but lately, anything toot, burp, spitting or some other lovely bodily function has been the butt of all jokes (ha, pun intended!) :)

Today's conversation went something like this:
Zach- excuse me, i tooted.  (laughs hysterically)
Mark- NO, MARKEY tooted (which he did not, he was sitting on my lap and is now getting upset cause he wanted to toot???)
Zach- no markey, you didn't toot, I tooted!
Zach- (still laughing)
Mark- (clenching stomach until a toot DOES come out and big grin emerges) Markey tooted, yay! with boys! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kids Night Out

Which really means...Parents Night Out...woohoo! :)

For the first time since Mark has been born (read:nearly two years), Matt and I went out on a date withOUT my parents watching the boys.  I know they love their grandsons, but I am sure they need a break too.  Our last date night was my birthday back in June and before then, I can't even remember....

So after making a concerted effort this summer to make going to church every Sunday a priority, the consistency paid off.  The boys happily walked into the nursery room, backpacks filled with jammies and pillow and blanket in tow...ready for their party at church! :)

Matt and I were almost giddy.  It was really weird to be out on a Saturday night!  We took the suggestion of some friends and tried out a sushi restaurant.  We wanted to go somewhere that we could not a) go with the boys or b) get take out from.  Toro was tasty, fresh, and we had a nice waiter too.  We will be back!  One nice thing about going out to eat at 6pm, is that it wasn't too busy and we were finished around 7:30...still 2 1/2 hours before we had to get the boys!  We headed to a little wine bar, The Cork Cafe and it did not disappoint either.  Cozy, romantic, and tasty wines.  We each tried a wine flight and a cheese plate.  YUM-O!  I definitely used all my ww points but it was totally worth it!

We headed to pick the boys up a little early as I was anxious to see how they did.  Sweetest sight ever...we walked in and peeked in before they saw us, the lights were out and all the kids were snuggled up on the floor together watching a movie in their jammies....
Z and M were curled up together = adorable.   They were happy and sleepy and got great reports, made a momma smile.  We were home before 10pm and the boys went right to bed, no fuss.

All in all, it was a great experience.  Matt and I got a much needed night out together, boys had was a win win for sure!  Feeling very thankful for a warm and friendly church who puts this on so parents can have a little time to reconnect.  We will be doing this again for sure!! :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


12 days until vacation!  We have the countdown calendar going on at home and Zachary reminds me every day to "change the number" :)  I think we are all ready!

And that gives me 12 days to really stick to ww.  I think I have been in a slump this past week and a half and time to get refocused.  I have been on program for 12 weeks now and I think I hit a mini plateau. It is hard sometimes to stay motivated when you think about how much more you need to lose...but I am still proud of what I have done so far!

Not much else going on....this is my last week in my building before we move downtown this weekend.  I have worked in the galleria area for 10 years, it will be weird to be back downtown.  Only part of it I am looking forward to is going to the gym.  I ran tonight after a week off and too darn hot heat...BRUTAL.  Working out in a nice air conditioned gym could be nice....

That's all new with me, what is new with you? :)