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Showing posts from January, 2011

2011 Financial and Blog Goals: JANUARY UPDATE

On January 1, I set myself goals and resolutions that I would like to achieve this year. I know that this is something I want/ NEED to do this year. So each month I will review how I did that month and what improvements I can make for the following month.


FINANCIAL GOALS:

Make a budget and stick to it.Am doing this but need to improve! I budget our money for bills and fixed expenses but still do not budget for irregular expenses, such as groceries, etc.
Continue to gain Mypoints, Rewards points through bank, Pinecone research money, and swagbucks to use toward gift cards to be used to buy giftsAm doing this! I have become lax when doing the Swagbucks, need to get back into the habit!
Save and KEEP $1000 in the emergency fund---we have had to dip into this a couple times this year and I would love to see it STAY at $1000.I opened an ING account and made our $1000 deposit. I have not had to touch it this month! Yay!
Continue to coupon and write letters for coupons (at least 5 a week)I con…

2011 Personal and Family goals: JANUARY UPDATE

On January 1, I set myself goals and resolutions that I would like to achieve this year. I know that this is something I want/ NEED to do this year. So each month I will review how I did that month and what improvements I can make for the following month.

PERSONAL GOALS:


Lose 20 lbs. --- Right now I am at 218lbs :( and I would love to be below 200. I was at 199 on the day of our wedding (2005) and I would LOVE to be there again. I had so much more energy then. To do this I plan on: exercising 20+ minutes a day Monday- Friday. During the winter, I will do this after the kids are in bed (9pm) and then shower before bed. When warmer weather comes, I will reevaluate this and see about doing more outside. I will begin by doing 20+ minutes on the Wii Fit. I will work on drinking more water. I drink way too much soda and need to focus on getting healthier.I have worked on exercising. I have exercised more this month than I think I ever have. I have seen up and down numbers on the scale. But …

Jan. 31- Feb. 6 Grocery Trips and Menu Plan Monday

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Each week I will post what I spend at the grocery store each week so that I will be accountable to you lovely readers as well as to myself and so that I can see how I am doing. I hope to spend on average $60 a week on groceries. I will also be posting my menu plan on Mondays as well (as part of Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday series).

For the week of January 31- February 6 , 2011:

GROCERY SHOPPING:

KROGER:

2.5 gallons skim milk
2 gallons whole milk
2-Kroger brand Cheerios
7- Goldfish
Crackers
Cocoa Krispies (-$1.50 coupon)
Bottle of Honest Tea (FREE after coupon)
2- Macaroni and Cheese
Pancake Mix (-$1.00 coupon)
3 boxes pudding mix (-$1.10 coupon)
Salad dressing (-$1.00 coupon)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (-$0.40 coupon)
Ham lunchmeat
2 cans carrots
2 cans green beans
2- Chocolate Syrup
bag chicken tenderloins (on sale for $6.99 for 3 lbs.)
2- Cereal bars
Grapes (on sale for 0.99/lb.)
butter
biscuits
hot dog buns (marked down to $0.69)
hamburger buns
2 loaves wheat bread (on clearance …

Weight Loss Check-up #4 (January week 4)

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Each Sunday I want to do a post about my current weight, progress I have made toward meeting my weight loss goal and how I did the previous week....As a reminder here are my goals for this current month:

JANUARY:
DIET: menu planning each week
EXERCISE: exercising using my Wii Fit Plus for 20+ minutes Monday- Friday of each week. Saturdays and Sundays will be relax days. These are family days and I will do some sort of physical activity with the family, whether it is playing the Wii, chasing the kids, etc. EDITED to add: On Wednesday I began the 30 Day Shred DVD.

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Breakdown of how I did this week:
On Tuesday I decided that the Wii Fit Plus just wasn't giving me enough of a workout. So I decided to do the "30 Day Shred" DVD. I did it Tuesday night...it about killed me! I did it Wednesday night...it about killed me! LOL I did it Thursday night, even though I was VERY s…

New Recipe for January: Crispy Cracker Chicken

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One of my 2011 Goals was to try at least one new recipe each month. I succeeded with this for January! Tonight for dinner I tried my first new recipe....

CRISPY CRACKER CHICKEN

This was incredibly easy to make and came out DELICIOUS!!! Even my very, VERY, picky Rebecca ate it up. She said "this is really good Mommy!" :) Oh that made my day! I will definitely be adding this to our rotation.
CRISPY CRACKER CHICKEN (courtesy of The Healthy College Cookbook by Alexandra Nimetz, Jason Stanley and Emeline Starr.) (I modified the recipe from 2 to 4 servings for my family.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( I used 8 chicken tenderloins) 2 egg whites, beaten 1 cup crushed wheat thin crackers 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Coat with egg whites. Mix crushed wheat thins and cheese together. Roll the chicken in mixture until well coated. Place in a baking pan (I used a glass pyrex pan) and bake for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through…

Letters of Intent---January 28, 2011

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Foursons has a great weekly feature that she runs, called Letters of Intent. In it, she invites readers to write their own letters of intent and to link them up to her post. This week I have decided to join in....

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Dear 1st grade after-school student,

Thank you for coughing right into my face on Monday. I truly appreciate it. I wish you would give me some space next time. I really don't need to be sick, and as I am getting a cough I think you shared your sickness with me. Thank you again.

Mrs. Davis


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Dear whatever animal is in our attic,

Please go away and stay away!

Thank you,
Rachel

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Dear Jillian Michaels,

I know you are a tough trainer. I watch you on TV on &q…

Book Review: Lioness Arising

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I am a woman, hear me ROAR!!! That seems to fit the theme of Lioness Arisingby Lisa Bevere. In her book, Bevere offers the imagery and life of a lioness as a comparable icon for women of today. Comparing the lioness to human woman, Bevere hopes that women can find the power, courage, prowess, purpose and passion to make a difference in the world.

To me the central theme of this book is that women, especially Christian women, are called to become leaders of our world and our communities. We are to unite and work together to protect our young, help our families including our husbands, be a voice for the voiceless and to be a united front for change. Bevere uses her personal visions about lionesses, research about lionesses in the wild and Biblical messages to raise women up and empower them.

Each chapter in this book offer affirmation to this message. Three of my favorite chapters include, "Strength is for Service," "Under the Same Mission," and "Greet and Gro…

Book Review: This is Your Brain in Love

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I am always looking for ways to improve my relationship with my dear hubby. I have read numerous relationship books such as...Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improving Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress , andThe Love Dare . I was recently given the opportunity to read This is Your Brain in Love: New Scientific Breakthroughs for a More Passionate and Emotionally Healthy Marriage.
This is Your Brain in Love is written by Dr. Earl Henslin and promises to offer scientific breakthroughs and scientific reasoning that will allow for you to have a more passionate and healthy marriage. Dr. Henslin argues that in order for you to be in a healthy, loving relationship you have to begin with the brain. He argues that different people have different brain issues and that these lead to different love styles. Once you can identify the way that your brain works and the way that your spouse's brain works, then you can move toward a healthier, more fulfilling m…

Wordless Wednesday: My Kids

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WHAT CAN I SAY? I LOVE THESE KIDS!!!!!

I have decided to SHRED.....

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So this whole weight loss thing has really been bugging me. I hate to see that since I have been sick, I have gained back 2 lbs. even though I have been working out on the Wii Fit Plus and I have been eating better (not 100% great but better than I had). It is extremely frustrating for me, as I need to see results. I have the personality that says if I don't see results in 2 weeks, then I have a hard time sticking it out and keeping with something. I feel like something needs to change.

I love our Wii Fit Plus, however sometimes I feel like I am not even getting a workout. There are some days I don't break a sweat and it just doesn't feel right. I do gain a sweat when I do the jogging and the boxing games but that is about it and even then I don't feel like I am working that hard.

Because of this questioning, I have decided to redo my fitness goals.... When I first set up my weight loss plan, I wanted to work on the Wii for both January and February, then add in some …

Work assignment = Date Day with Dear Hubby

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My husband, Bill, is the local sports editor for our local newspaper. He is a great writer and enjoys being creative with his writing. On Sunday, he took the day to take an additional assignment (that was not sports related). He was to visit the Massillon Museum as a possible destination for a day trip. The Massillon Museum is an art museum. He asked if the kids and I wanted to go with him....Hmmm...a 4 year old and a 1 year old in an art museum that was 1.5 hours away by car....I didn't think that was the best idea. But I had a better idea...Why not turn it into a date day to achieve one of my New Year's Goals? Bill seemed to be glad for the company and all I had to do was find childcare. I asked my parents if they could watch the kids and they agreed (even though that meant taking them into Columbus for my brother's basketball game and then to a church for a prayer service where my brother was getting a Cub Scout patch from the Bishop)! (Did I mention that my parents are…

January 24-30 Grocery Trips and Menu Plan Monday

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January is to be a low spend month at the grocery store and a pantry challenge at our home. Each week I will post what I spend at the grocery store each week so that I will be accountable to you lovely readers as well as to myself and so that I can see how I am doing. I will also be posting my menu plan on Mondays as well (as part of Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday series).

For the week of January 24-30, 2011:

GROCERY SHOPPING:

KROGER: TRIP #1:

1 whole pineapple (on sale for $1!!!!)
2 bags chips (hubby wanted)
Steamfresh broccoli (FREE after coupon)
1 gallon whole milk
2 gallons skim milk
Cheerios
2 cans spaghettios
bananas
red bell pepper
yellow bell pepper
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Total for this trip: $21.54

KROGER: TRIP #2---
Glad Force Flex Trash bags ($2.99 for a box of 40 scented! :) )
crackers
2 gallons skim milk (I was marked down to $1.69 because the best by date was 1/30/11-we can totally drink a gallon in a week)
1 gallon whole milk
2 rice mixes (each marked down to $0.49 eac…

Weight Loss Check-Up #3 (January week 3)

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Each Sunday I want to do a post about my current weight, progress I have made toward meeting my weight loss goal and how I did the previous week....As a reminder here are my goals for this current month:

JANUARY:
DIET: menu planning each week
EXERCISE: exercising using my Wii Fit Plus for 20+ minutes Monday- Friday of each week. Saturdays and Sundays will be relax days. These are family days and I will do some sort of physical activity with the family, whether it is playing the Wii, chasing the kids, etc.

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Breakdown of how I did this week:
I did exercise each day this past week, during the week, including some time outside chasing Rebecca in the snow. I managed to do the Wii Fit every day Mon-Friday. I have been working out in the afternoons when I am not working and the days that I am working I have been doing the Wii Step for 30 minutes at night after I put the kids to bed. It…

My favorite....GAMES.....

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Each Saturday I hope to have a list of things that are helping me in my life in some respect. It is about the things that are helping me to LIVE BETTER ONE DAY AT A TIME. This week the theme is:

GAMES!!!!!
I have chosen this as the first topic, because one thing that I have to keep in mind, for me to have a better life I cannot be so serious all the time. I struggle with taking time out to have fun and to do things that are fun. I find it very hard to relax. I do like playing games though and I hope to make more time to play them in the year to come. Some of my favorite games that I truly enjoy playing are:
This is a classic game that always brings out the best and greediness in people. Every time I play, every player laughs, jokes and has a grand time. This in my opinion is a timeless game.
Sudoku--I have a Love/Hate relationship with this. I try to do one every night before going to bed.
Solitaire--- My great-grandma taught me how to play this card game when I was a little girl. I love…

Blogging schedule....

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One of the things that has helped me kept me sane over the years is to know what I am doing before I do it. I am the type that I feel more comfortable having things planned out. When I have a meal plan I eat better and feel better. When I don't, then I eat horribly and deal with bouts of depression and anxiety. I know that some things cannot be scheduled, but there are aspects of my life that can be scheduled ahead of time so that I know what I am doing and when, where, etc.

Over the last week, I have been thinking alot about how to make this blog better and I think that one way is to have a blogging schedule so I know what I am going to write about on a given day and so that if you only visit for a particular part of my blog, that you can find it easily. I really think this will make it easier to live better one day at a time!

So this is what I have come up with:

SUNDAY: Weekly Weigh-in ( I am pondering the idea of starting another blog, just for my weight loss goal. I am strugg…

Letters of Intent--January 21, 2010

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Foursons has a great weekly feature that she runs, called Letters of Intent. In it, she invites readers to write their own letters of intent and to link them up to her post. This week I have decided to join in....

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Dear Grocery store managers,

I really don't understand how one week milk can be $3.50 a gallon and the next week milk can be $2.50 a gallon. This puzzles me. Could you please explain it to me? No wonder I can't seem to stick to a budget with our grocery money.

A puzzled customer
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Dear Bill,

Thank you SO much for going to store for me Wednesday night, before the snow hit Thursday. I appreciate, especially since you went after work at 11:00 at night! I love you so much!

Love,
Your appreciative wife
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Book Review: "One Night" by Debbie Macomber

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This week I had the opportunity to read One Night by Debbie Macomber. Macomber is one of my favorite authors. Her books are well written with great story lines. This book was a departure from the other books I have read by her, but it was a fun read non-the-less.
Can opposites attract? Can two completely different personalities fall head over heels in love  in a matter of "one night"? This is the premise of One Night by Debbie Macomber. Carrie Jamison and Kyle Harris are radio personalities at a Kansas City radio station---Carrie as morning deejay, Kyle as a news producer. They can NOT get along at all. They both think the very least of the other, and it is affecting the radio station. Because they can't get along, their station manager fires both of them, unless they can learn to get along. They decide to travel to a radio convention together, in Dallas, as a means to keeping their current jobs and maybe, just maybe, learn to be civil to one another. What is supposed to…

Cosmopolitan magazine Review and discount code

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Cosmopolitan was one of the first adult magazines that I fell in love with around the time I was 18 or so. I have continued to enjoy it in many ways. It has articles that deal with women's issues, relationship issues, the current fashion and beauty fads, what stars are up to in the world of fashion and beauty, as well as quizzes and very often sweepstakes that you can enter. I love that this magazine is not dumbed down for teenagers, and is relevant to any woman who is in the prime of her life no matter what age... I am 32 and enjoy the magazine, and my mother who is 50 enjoys it as well. I have found as my life has changed I have enjoyed different aspects of Cosmopolitan. In my early 20s I enjoyed the dating advice and relationship articles. Now that I am married with 2 kids, I enjoy the fashion and beauty advice, health articles as well as the celebrity gossip and the novel excerpts and horoscopes. It is a guilty pleasure.

Being a Bzzagent, I was given the opportunity to purcha…

Fun in the snow

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Finally, after days of FREEZING temperatures and winds, it warmed up some so that I could take the kids outside to play in the snow. Rebecca really wanted to make snow angels and throw snowballs---this coming from the kid who absolutely HATED snow the last winters. Last year she wouldn't even walk in the snow....Not so this year...she went right out and fell in the snow to make her snow angels. She LOVED it!




Jacob on the other hand...HATED the snow! He cried so hard when we put him in it....so sad, but so cute!
(and yes those are socks on his hands, I couldn't find his gloves anywhere!)


Overall it was so much fun to get outside and spend some time just having fun as a family. I hope to have more "snow" days to play in with the kids and with hubby!



MLK Jr. Day and my experience as a white student in a black school

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Many years ago I attended an almost all black elementary school. I was one of 2 white students in the school. This was partly due to the area and the fact that my parents wanted me to attend Catholic school. I learned many things from that experience. I learned what racism was/is. I was picked on for the color of my skin--the Rapunzel and Snow White jokes were all over the place. It was said that I was class pet because I was white. I was told I didn't understand what it meant to be picked on because of my race. Well I did know because I was living it. I grew up in a poor area of Columbus. There were drug dealers and shootouts. We couldn't keep our windows open at night because you weren't sure who was going to try to break in. Life was hard. But I did have friends. I had a few friends that I still remain in contact with from that time. The summer before my 6th grade year I transferred to a different school where there was only 2 black students in my class. In high school,…

January 17-23 Grocery Trip and Menu Plan Monday

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January is to be a low spend month at the grocery store and a pantry challenge at our home. Each week I will post what I spend at the grocery store each week so that I will be accountable to you lovely readers as well as to myself and so that I can see how I am doing. I will also be posting my menu plan on Mondays as well (as part of Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday series).

For the week of January 17-23, 2011:

GROCERY SHOPPING:

KROGER::

2.5 gallons skim milk
1.5 gallons whole milk
bananas
2 boxes Capri Sun (on sale for $1.77)
3 12 packs of Mt. Dew (for hubby)
2 apple juice
lemonade mix
2 Mandarin oranges
4 fruit snacks (on sale for $1 each)
Colgate toothpaste (FREE after coupon)
2 Reese's Cups ($0.10 each after coupon)
3 Greek Yogurt (total for these was $1.00)
string cheese
2 frozen pizzas
waffles
ham lunch meat
turkey lunch meat
sub buns (marked down to $0.99)
hamburger buns (marked down to $0.50)
2 loaves wheat bread
cereal bars ($0.05 after coupon)
cereal bar ($0.69 after…

Weight Loss Check-Up (January- Week 2)

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Each Sunday I want to do a post about my current weight, progress I have made toward meeting my weight loss goal and how I did the previous week....As a reminder here are my goals for this current month:

JANUARY:
DIET: menu planning each week
EXERCISE: exercising using my Wii Fit Plus for 20+ minutes Monday- Friday of each week. Saturdays and Sundays will be relax days. These are family days and I will do some sort of physical activity with the family, whether it is playing the Wii, chasing the kids, etc.

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Breakdown of how I did this week:

Monday 1/10/11: I did okay with my diet. I did have a couple snacks but overall I did okay. I followed our menu plan! :) I exercised for 45 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus/

Tuesday 1/11/11: I did okay with the diet. I followed our meal plan! Exercised for 40 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus! I also ran for 20 minutes!!! :)

Wednesday 1/12/11: Did okay…

Letters of Intent--January 14, 2010

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Foursons has a great weekly feature that she runs, called Letters of Intent. In it, she invites readers to write their own letters of intent and to link them up to her post. This week I have decided to join in....

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Dear Cold, Icy Temperatures,

You are a blessing in disguise. You allow us to have beautiful, pristine, sparkling snow. You allow for us to see the beautiful icicles. However, could you please warm up just a little bit? I would love to take Rebecca out to play in the snow, but you have made it too cold to go outside and she is starting to whine. Please just one day above freezing would do this mom good. Please?

Sincerely,
One tired from hearing whining Mom

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Dear Bill,

I love you so much. You have done so much for me the last couple weeks as I have been feeling l…

I have a Blog Button!

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I spent the last hour or so creating a blog button for this blog! I am so excited that I was able to do this. (I am very much NOT computer literate!). I found a great tutorial at oikology101.blogspot.com and was able to create my own.... so drum roll please.....



You can find it on my sidebar and the code to add it to your blog if you would like!

Let me know what you think of it!

Book Review: The Power Based Life by Mike Flynt

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Every January millions of people make resolutions and set goals that they would like to achieve during the coming year. Millions of people also start reading self-help books and watching self-help videos to help them to achieve these goals and to teach them that one magic step that will allow them to finally get their goals. I am no different. I tend to go through phases of reading self-help books in order to become a better person and to live better each day. Recently I had the opportunity to read The Power Based Life: Realize Your Life's Goals and Dreams by Strengthening Your Body, Mind and Spiritby Mike Flynt.



Mike Flynt is best known as the oldest person to play NCAA football, by competing on the Sul Ross State University football team at the age of 59, in 2007. He is also the founder of Powerbase Fitness, LLC, which according to his biography on the back of his book, helps people to live better through strength training. In his book, Flynt offers tips and techniques to change…

Snow days..the love/hate relationship

We have gotten some snow in the last couple days. On Tuesday, we received about 4 inches during the day, enough that the schools closed early and all evening activities at the schools were cancelled, meaning Hubby didn't have to go to work. Which is fine because he is salaried and doesn't miss any money in his paycheck (although he did miss getting a little bit on his mileage check for the month). On Wednesday, the school that I work at called a snow day...which is nice because I got to do some things around the house and just relax (well as much as one can relax while doing laundry). However, I hate that they called it on Wednesday because that means I didn't work, which means no pay for me for that day. Ughh..I am going to be missing at least 2 days on this check---last Wednesday when I had the flu and this Wednesday....ugghhh...It is not a huge deal but I really want to get our finances in order and I need to bring in as much money as I can through this part time job. S…

What I have been up to...

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I think things are finally getting back to normal. I have felt 100% since yesterday. That flu kicked my behind. It was awful. But thankfully I think I am back to normal...if I can call myself normal...:) So over the last 2 days I have been trying to get things back to normal at home, which means I have been doing laundry, laundry, and more laundry! I have also been working on getting some little things done on my to-do list. Over the last 2 days I have:
-closed our savings account at our bank and opened a new one with ING
-put 4 auctions on ebay...I am hoping to do more as the weeks go on
-I cleaned out my coupon organizer
-I filed bills
-I called and rescheduled my doc appt.
-I worked out yesterday and today (I even ran for 15 minutes...which is a great thing since I am NOT a runner)
It doesn't seem like much, but it feels good to get something done after getting nothing done much of last week and this past weekend.  How is your week going?

January 10-16 Grocery Trip and Menu Plan Monday

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January is to be a low spend month at the grocery store and a pantry challenge at our home. Each week I will post what I spend at the grocery store each week so that I will be accountable to you lovely readers as well as to myself and so that I can see how I am doing. I will also be posting my menu plan on Mondays as well (as part of Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday series).

For the week of January 10-16, 2011:

GROCERY SHOPPING:
KROGER::
2 gallons skim milk
1 gallon whole milk
1 gallon green tea (Since I have been sick I cannot drink pop of any kind so I am seeing if I can drink this)
parmesan cheese
bananas
lettuce
cauliflower
cantalope
2 chocolate syrup (my hubby's want)
bread
veggie tray (with carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, celery, and dip) (was marked down to $2.49)
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Total spent for groceries: $29.00

I also had to buy overnight diapers and toilet paper but spent less than $20 on those, so under budget on those things.


TOTAL FOR WEEK: $29 ($9.00 OVER budg…

Weight Loss Check-up (January Week 1)

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Each Sunday I want to do a post about my current weight, progress I have made toward meeting my weight loss goal and how I did the previous week....As a reminder here are my goals for this current month:

JANUARY:
DIET: menu planning each week
EXERCISE: exercising using my Wii Fit Plus for 20+ minutes Monday- Friday of each week. Saturdays and Sundays will be relax days. These are family days and I will do some sort of physical activity with the family, whether it is playing the Wii, chasing the kids, etc.

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Breakdown of how I did this week:

Monday 1/3/11: I did okay with my diet. I did have a couple snacks but overall I did okay. I followed our menu plan! :) I exercised for 35 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus, including doing one of the running exercises.

Tuesday 1/4/11: I did okay with the diet. I followed our meal plan! Exercised for 40 minutes on the Wii Fit Plus! :)

Wednesday 1/…