Posts

Showing posts from February, 2011

Weight Loss Check-up #8 (Feb. Week 4)

Image
Last month I ended up losing and gaining the weight back, so I started and stopped at the same weight--216. I was exercising most of the time, but I wasn't breaking a sweat and I wasn't watching what I ate. I decided l to revamp how I am going about this lifestyle change and made some changes to my strategy. So here are my goals for this current month:

FEBRUARY:

DIET:
continue menu planning each week ( I did great with this in January and want to continue)count calories each day keep calories between 1800- 2200. I think I was eating upwards of 3000 calories last year every day. keep a food journal This ties into counting calories, but if I keep a food journal and keep it on the counter so my husband can see it I am much less likely to cheat.  work on drinking more water (at least 50 oz a day)EXERCISE:
work out 5 days out of the week. Do either the Wii Fit plus, or the 30 day shred dvd.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------…

Letters of Intent-- February 25, 2011

Image
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....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Mother Nature,

You are NOT funny. Last week you teased us with temperatures in the upper 60's and sunshine. Things were great. THEN you HAD to come back and bring us back to reality, with rain, ice and 5 inches of snow in the course of one night (Monday). Then you brought sunny weather for the next couple days. Then last night and today you bring ice, and more snow making it HORRIBLE outside.  Thank you so very much! We appreciate it! Not! Please make up your mind about what the weather is going to be like. Didn't your mother ever teach you it isn't nice to tease?

Sincerely,
Annoyed at the Weather
-------------------------------------------------------…

Kids' Evening Routine

Image
The end of the day is crazy. Trying to get both kids in bed by 9:00 was a fantasy for as long as I can remember. Trying to get Rebecca to help clean up was a fantasy most nights. We REALLY needed a routine. So like I came up with the morning routine, I decided to also come up with a Night Time 5!

Let me tell you, this works SO much better than having no routine at all!


Our Night Time 5 starts at 8:00pm. At 8:00 the t.v. gets turned off (if there is a show that Bill or I want to watch, that is why we have a DVR). Rebecca then gets started with her 5, while I am getting Jacob into his pajamas and reading him a couple of stories before bed. I put him to bed around 8:15-8:25 or so. Then I help Rebecca complete her Night Time 5.

Clean up toys and books. (This consists of putting toys back in bins and books back on the shelf in the family room)Brush your teeth.Take a bath.PJs on and read a story (or 2).Go to bed (by 9:00).So far this week, this has worked perfectly! There have been no tan…

Kid's Morning Routine

Image
I have been in a rut when it comes to getting the kids ready for the day. Since we stay home most of the time, there have been many days where it was noon and the kids still were not dressed, hair not brushed, etc. and I was rushing around to get them dressed before my dear Hubby came home for lunch. They would eat breakfast then I would turn on cartoons and eat my own breakfast and check email...and time just got away from us. Something had to give.....

So I decided to come up with a morning routine (especially for Rebecca.)......





She loves her "Morning 5" chore chart. And after using is for this week, I love it as well! Our mornings get off to such a great start now! She must complete all 5 things before she can play or watch any cartoons.

Here are my kids' Morning 5:

Eat BreakfastGet DressedBrush TeethBrush HairMake BedI take my shower and get dressed before the kids get up. Then I eat breakfast and check email after Rebecca makes her bed while I turn on cartoons for …

KID'S BOOK REVIEW:: God Gave Us So Much

Image
God Gave Us So Muchby Lisa Tawn Bergren is a compilation of 3 stories...God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love, and God Gave Us Heaven.

In God Gave Us the World,  Mama Polar Bear has the task of teaching her Little Cub about the vastness and beauty of our world as it was given to us by God. Little Cub has many questions that Mama answers about God making the world perfect and the people and animals in it each perfect AND different.

In God Gave Us Love, Grampa Polar Bear teaches Little Cub about the love that God has given to each of us and that God shares with each of us. Grampa answers Little Cub's curiousity about love by teaching him that "God is Love so he created us to love."

In God Gave Us Heaven, Papa Bear answers Little Cub's questions about Heaven and explains Heaven in a very gentle loving way. He explains to Little Cub the wonderful and joyful things that we may see there.

In these stories, Bergren does a wonderful job of helping to explain difficult q…

Really?

Last week at this time, we were wearing short sleeves and flip-flops with our jeans....yesterday morning it was chilly but not too bad. Within the span of 3 hours...we got rain, then ice, then snow...we ended up with about 4-5 inches of snow last night and no school today. Really??  This is what I get for living in Ohio I guess.

President's Day

Image

Feb. 21-27 Menu Plan and Grocery Shopping

Image
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).

I think I may have to rethink our grocery budget. Prices around here have skyrocketed in the last month and it seems like no matter how hard I try I still spend $60-$70 a week on groceries. I am going to think about this and my update it to show a raise to $80 a week and include toiletries and household supplies in that as well.

This week's grocery list:
(I meant to take a picture instead of posting all the food stuff I bought but I forgot, maybe next week! :) KROGER:
12 pack Diet Coke (FREE)
2 pork chop bags
5 pack Mac and cheese
apple juice
chicken nuggets
3 boxes Capri Sun
2 boxes fruit snacks n(-$1.50 coupon)
2 boxes cereal bars (BOGO Free)
crack…

Weight Loss Checkup #7 (Feb. week 3)

Image
Last month I ended up losing and gaining the weight back, so I started and stopped at the same weight--216. I was exercising most of the time, but I wasn't breaking a sweat and I wasn't watching what I ate. I decided l to revamp how I am going about this lifestyle change and made some changes to my strategy. So here are my goals for this current month:

FEBRUARY:

DIET:
continue menu planning each week ( I did great with this in January and want to continue)count calories each day keep calories between 1800- 2200. I think I was eating upwards of 3000 calories last year every day. keep a food journal This ties into counting calories, but if I keep a food journal and keep it on the counter so my husband can see it I am much less likely to cheat.  work on drinking more water (at least 50 oz a day)EXERCISE:
work out 5 days out of the week. Do either the Wii Fit plus, or the 30 day shred dvd.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------…

New Recipe for February: Ham and Cheese Rollups

Image
I made these for dinner tonight. This is one of 2 new recipes I wanted to try for February in keeping with my New Year's Goal of trying at least one new recipe a month. The verdict: We LOVED these!
I found the recipe in an old Taste of Home magazine and modified it to fit our family. (The original called for more cheese, and salami, which we don't like and I did not put the peppers on the ones for the kiddos!) I only could eat 1/2 of one, and the kiddos ate about 1/4 of one before they were full. I served these with green beans and pears.

They are SO EASY to make! I will definitely be making these again!

Ham and Cheese Rollups 2 TBSP. olive oil, divided 4 Flour tortillas (Burrito sized) 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided 1/4 lb. thinly sliced deli ham 1/4 lb. thinly sliced provolone cheese 1/2 cup roasted sweet red peppers, drained and juliened 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (Marinara sauce, optional)
Brush 1 TBSP. olive oil on one side of the tortillas. Sprinkle each tortilla …

Pack your bags and SniqueAway!!!!

Image
A couple days ago I blogged about dreaming of vacations...I also lamented because funds were short and I wanted to have a great getaway....Well low and behold I think I may have found my answer....

SNIQUEAWAY.COM

SniqueAway.com is a new travel website that offers great vacation opportunities at a fraction of the cost. Members to this website have access to up to 50% off sales at some of the world's greatest and most luxurious resorts and hotels. Just today they were offering packages to resorts such as West Inn and Suites in Carlsbad, CA, the Garza Blanca Resort in Puerta Vallerta, Mexico, among others.

West Inn and Suites
Garza Blanca
All hotels featured on SniqueAway have earned a minimum four-star industry classification and four out of five review ratings on TripAdvisor. They are part of Smarter Travel Media-a TripAdvisor Media Group company.

Exclusive SniqueAway sales only last up to seven days or until the offer sells out.

The reason SniqueAway can offer these exclusive deals i…

Fallen off the wagon....

I have fallen off the wagon. I haven't exercised in a week. I haven't been eating well. I have been going way above my calorie counts each day. I haven't been a hands-on mom. I have been snippy with Bill. I just don't have any energy. I am going to start over again today. I have to be a better person.

KIDS BOOK REVIEW: The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari

Image
The Dragon and The Turtle Go on Safariby Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark stars friends Padraig the Dragon and Roger the Turtle. (These are the same friends we met in The Dragon and the Turtle which I reviewed here.) Padraig and Roger have decided that they want to camp out ALL night long at the base of Mount Sillymanborrow. At first they have fun, eating tasty, crunchy bugs and making s'mores. However, the fun starts to go away when it begins to get dark and the noises of the wild start to ruin their evening. The boys begin to believe that the sounds they are hearing are animals in the wild, such as rhinos, elephants and monkeys, while in reality they were common animals you might find in your backyard...an owl, cat, raccoon, etc. The boys share an adventure in the night when they help to save a small leopard (a kitten) from a tree. As the boys are finally deciding that it is too much for them to be out, dawn breaks and they realize they have been brave and have stayed outsi…

Feb.14-20 Grocery Shopping and Menu Plan Monday

Image
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  February 14-20 , 2011:
GROCERY SHOPPING:

KROGER:
2 gallons skim milk
1 gallon whole milk
2-liter Diet A&W rootbeer (after sale and coupon...$.28)
frozen lasagna
2 packs pork chops (on clearance)
Reese's Pieces
Nestle hearts (with sale and coupon...$1.00)
Honey Ham
Salad dressing (FREE)
2 boxes cake mix (on sale for $.77 each)
Cheerios
Orange juice
Frozen corn
Frozen peas
Frozen broccoli
Mozzarella cheese
Provolone cheese
4 jars spaghetti sauce (on sale for $1 each)
2 cans carrots
2 cans pears
1 can mixed veggies
yogurt (FREE)
Roasted red peppers
Instant mashed potatoes
brown rice
Taco shells
Tortillas
lettuce
red onion
2 tomatoe…

Happy Valentine's Day!

Image
To my wonderful Hubby (who does read this blog occasionally!):

I love you so much. I am so glad that we met and that we fell in love! You have given me so much in our years together....I love you! Happy Valentine's Day!

Love,
Your Wife



(This was the song that Dear Hubby and I danced to during our wedding reception!)

And to all my blogging friends,

May you have a wonderful Valentine's Day wherever you are!

:) Rachel

Weight Loss Checkup #6 (February week 2)

Image
Last month I ended up losing and gaining the weight back, so I started and stopped at the same weight--216. I was exercising most of the time, but I wasn't breaking a sweat and I wasn't watching what I ate. I decided last week to revamp how I am going about this lifestyle change and made some changes to my strategy. So here are my goals for this current month:

FEBRUARY:

DIET:
continue menu planning each week ( I did great with this in January and want to continue)count calories each day keep calories between 1800- 2200. I think I was eating upwards of 3000 calories last year every day. keep a food journal This ties into counting calories, but if I keep a food journal and keep it on the counter so my husband can see it I am much less likely to cheat.  work on drinking more water (at least 50 oz a day)EXERCISE:
work out 5 days out of the week. Do either the Wii Fit plus, or the 30 day shred dvd.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------…

Sleep IS good

Image
Over the last week I have been so tired and rundown. I thought it was because it was that time of the month for me, but the more I thought about it the more that didn't seem to make sense. Last night I had an AHA moment...Dear Hubby and I were talking and I told him I felt stressed and tense and tired. He told me that I looked exhausted and that I should take a long bubble bath and go to bed early. He had to work last night so this would occur after I put the kiddos in bed. I said "But I need to exercise and get some things done." He told me that the exercise wouldn't help if I was exhausted. After he left for work, I began to think about it. All week I had been stressed about lots of little things, I hadn't been sleeping well, I had been staying up late to exercise and to work on things on the computer, I hadn't been eating well....Basically I wasn't taking care of me. So......

Last night after I got Rebecca and Jacob put to bed, I turned out all the lig…

Letters of Intent--February 11, 2010

Image
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....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Motivation and Willpower,

Where, oh WHERE have you guys gone? Last week you stood right there by me. As I was watching what I ate, staying within my calorie count you were right there to keep me on track. As I was exercising each day, you were right there to keep me on track. You were right there with  me as I weighed in and had lost 4 lbs. So I ask again, WHERE ARE YOU?????

I NEED YOU TO COME BACK!!!! I have struggled this week with temptations galore. I ate Wendy's on Tuesday (and I was kind of good, I had a salad with lite ranch, a Jr. bacon cheeseburger and a diet coke)..but I could feel you wavering and leaving....I bought Tootsie Rolls at the store to eat…

Book Review: A Sportcaster's Guide to Watching Football

Image
I love reading and I try to read something everyday---be it the newspaper, a magazine, or part of a book. I also love sports! So when Kathy at I Am a Reader Not a Writer offered me the chance to receive and review A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football I jumped on the chance! (Thanks Kathy!)
I wanted to read this book for this reason:  My husband is the sports editor of our local newspaper. He loves all sports, but football is his absolute favorite. He loves to watch and talk football.  I know some basic things about football, but I want to be able to understand more and to be more involved in conversations with hubby about his favorite hobby. I want to be able to understand the different positions and why hubby yells when he says there should be a pass play instead of a hand-off, etc.

In A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football, Mark Oristano uses his career as a professional sports broadcaster as a stepping stone to teach the average Joe about the game of football. …

Book Review: Sweet Rains by Nora Roberts

Image
One of my favorite authors of all times is Nora Roberts. I have read many of her books but not all. I recently read Sweet Rainswhich is a reprint of two of her stories-- Second Nature, and Lessons Learned. Having never read either of these stories I was excited to find some new to me stories!

Second Nature tells the story of Lee Radcliffe, a high power staff reporter at "Celebrity" magazine. She prides herself on getting the scoop that no one else an get. Her latest project is to get the first ever interview with the reclusive, horror novelist Hunter Brown. After months of research that has lead to nothing but dead ends, Radcliffe get the tip that Brown is going to be a guest speaker at a writer's convention. Given that Radcliffe has a novel that she had begun to write, Lee signs up for the conference as a writer. What follows is a hilarious yet serious tale of living to be what you were born to be, loving even when it goes against what you think is the best parth and a…

Dreaming of Vacations....

Image
Finances are tight. It is snowy and cold. Which means that I am dreaming of vacations....lol... I would love to go somewhere this summer with Bill and the kids. But I really don't see that happening since we are saving up to pay for Rebecca's pre-k tuition, and we will probably be moving in May or June. (We are renting and we are looking for another rental that is closer to my work and that is cheaper to heat than this house). But one can still dream....

Some of the places I love to visit and would love to take my kids include:

Anywhere that has a beach! LOL. I love the beaches of North Carolina, especially the Atlantic Beach/ Emerald Isle area. Maybe one day we can afford to take the kids. The last time I was there I was pregnant with Rebecca and we went with my parents and siblings, and sister-in-law and niece.
Pittsburgh, PA I know, I know it is quite ordinary. I love the city though and there is so much of it that I have not seen. The last time we were there I was pregnant w…

Feb.7- 13 Grocery shopping and Menu Plan Monday

Image
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  February 7- 13 , 2011:

GROCERY SHOPPING:

KROGER:

12 pack diet pepsi
4- 12 packs mountain dew (for dear hubby!)
2 gallons skim milk ($3.47 a gallon--OUCH!!!)
1 gallon whole milk
2-apple juice
2- orange juice (used BOGO free coupon from Minute Maid facebook offer)
2- hot dogs (on sale for $1 a piece, originally were 4.29 each!)
Nestle crunch candy (-$1.50 coupon)
Tarter sauce
2- chicken nuggets (-$1.00 coupon)
Fish fillets
2- mandarin oranges
2- bags chicken tenders (-$1.00 coupon)
frozen pizza
american cheese
bananas
5 lbs. ground beef
chicken bag and season
pistachios (-$1.00 coupon)
(also used -$3 frozen coupon)
 ----------------------…

Weight Loss Check-up #5 (February week 1)

Image
Last month I ended up losing and gaining the weight back, so I started and stopped at the same weight--216. I was exercising most of the time, but I wasn't breaking a sweat and I wasn't watching what I ate. I decided last week to revamp how I am going about this lifestyle change and made some changes to my strategy. So here are my goals for this current month:

FEBRUARY:

DIET:
continue menu planning each week ( I did great with this in January and want to continue)count calories each day keep calories between 1800- 2200. I think I was eating upwards of 3000 calories last year every day. keep a food journal This ties into counting calories, but if I keep a food journal and keep it on the counter so my husband can see it I am much less likely to cheat.  work on drinking more water (at least 50 oz a day)EXERCISE:
work out 5 days out of the week. Do either the Wii Fit plus, or the 30 day shred dvd.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------…

KIDS BOOK REVIEW: The Dragon and the Turtle

Image
The Dragon and the Turtle by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark is a very cute kids story. It chronicles the story of Padraig the dragon who is enjoying life eating crunchy, nutty, squishy bugs. He wants to find more bugs to eat, but instead he finds Roger the turtle who was sad and lost. Roger, who loves to explore as a pirate, has lost his way home. Padraig decides to help Roger even though he is very hungry. Using clues given to him by Roger and based on the five senses, Padraig flies up to help find Roger's home. As they are searching Padraig and Roger learn facts about each other and about different they really are (for one Padraig loves the land, and Roger loves the sea) but how great it is to be friends. Upon finding Roger's home, Padraig and Roger, who like many different things, finds one thing in common that they do like...Roger's Mom's snapper cookies!

The Dragon and the Turtle is an adorable story with colorful illustrations. The illustrations, by Vincen…

Letters of Intent-- February 4, 2011

Image
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....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear St. Vincent,

I am just wondering why you called off school yesterday. I understand Tuesday. I understand Wednesday. But yesterday the skies were clear, the sun was shining, the roads had been cleared. You had power. And yet there was no school? Was it because the public schools called off? At this rate the kids will be going to school into July.

Just Curious

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear City of Mount Vernon,

Thank you for coming and pushing the HUGE tree limb out of the road even though there was power lines down and ice everywhere. I do appreciate it! And thank you for keeping …

Book Review: Between Sisters

Image
Do you have a sister that you love with all your heart and soul, yet whose decisions at times make you want to scream and hit her in the head and ask "what are you thinking?"

Meghann Dontess has such a sister, Claire Cavenaugh. Meghann is a high profile divorce attorney in Seattle who 27 years ago made the decision to leave Claire with her biological father, after practically raising her for their mother, who chose the chase of Hollywood stardom to raising her own daughters. Meghann lives her life alone, going out with different men most nights, not making any commitments, being lonely but not wanting to face the loneliness and guilt that comes from walking out on your sister. Claire, on the other hand, is a single mom who is raising her daughter alone while helping her father run his small campground. In Between Sisters ,by Kristin Hannah, Claire has fallen in love with a country singer and is getting ready to enter marriage for the first time. Meghann has come to try to t…

Chinese New Year

Image
Happy Chinese New Year! 

Happy Groundhog Day!

Image

February Goals

Image
It is February already and there is a lovely winter storm going on outside...full of ice, ice and did I mention, ICE? So I am stuck inside and what better excuse to think about and plan out my goals for February 2011. This month I want to:

PERSONAL GOALS:
Continue working on weight lossTo do this, exercise for 20+ minutes 6 days a week. Do either Wii Fit Plus workout or Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. (I started this last month, now I just need to be more consistent with it.Calorie count! Keep calories under 2100 a day. I was eating upwards of 2700-3000 a day (head hung in shame!) mostly due to snacking and late night eating. Drink at least 50 oz of water a day. I have been doing better on this, but there are days I get none. I DON'T want to get dehydrated! Read at least 2 booksHave a date night with BillWatch at least one movie...either "The Blind Side" or "The Last Song"Try at least 1 new recipe this monthLimit the time that I am on the computer while …