Monday, January 31, 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 gifts
Am 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 continue to coupon, but have not started writing companies for coupons.
  • Have 2 no (low) spend months---January and June
I did okay with this. Not great but okay.
  • Work on paying down the Discover Card bill
I had to add to the Discover card this month to pay the HUGE gas bill we got. Hope to not have to do that again.
  • Figure out a way to bring in more money by working from home---ideas I am throwing around are tutoring, copying family home movies to dvd, making and selling simple cakes, being a part of the farmers markets to sell homebaked goods....
Not even thought about really.

BLOG GOALS:
  • To write on the blog 4-5x a week.
I think I have finally made blogging a habit! :) Have achieved!
  • Gain more readers--- I would like to have at least 80 readers by December 31, 201
    • to do this, I want to join at least 1 blog hop a week
I am up to 60 WONDERFUL, AWESOME Followers! Thank you so much!

So, some ups, some downs....but I think it is a good start. I want to keep the momentum going for February!~ How are you doing on your New Year's Goals and Resolutions?

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 I am now at 216lbs. I am doing the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred and am going to implement calorie counting. I am also definitely drinking more water. I do not drink pop, except if we go out to eat.
  • Read 26+ books this year.--- One of the passions that I used to have was reading. I LOVE to read. Unfortunately with having 2 young kids and dealing with issues in life, this hobby has been put on the back burner. This year I want to reignite that passion by reading at least 2 books a month. I would love to do 1 a week, but I want to be realistic as well.
I have read 4 books so far, so I reached my goal of 2 for the month of January!
  • To try out at least 1 new recipe a month.--- I have gotten into the habit of making the same things over and over, and while there is not a problem with that, I am growing tired of making and eating the same things. I also received 5 new cookbooks for Christmas so time to put them to good use.
I tried 1 new recipe in January...Crispy Cracker Chicken, which was a huge hit with the family!

FAMILY GOALS:
To better my relationships with Bill and with my children:
  • I would like to implement a date night at least 1x a month with Bill. This could be dinner out, movie out, movie in after the kids go to bed, getting chinese takeout and eating after the kids are in bed, etc. Right now we are averaging going out for our anniversary and maybe 1 other time a year and that is NOT good.
We had a date day! We went to the Massilon Museum and had yummy Mexican for dinner! It was a lovely time!
  • I want to be more patient with my kids. I tend to lose my patience quickly with Rebecca and need to work on becoming more patient with her. I may do this by making and planning activities to do with just her.
I am trying on this. Some days are better than others. Need to keep working at this!
  • To read for at least 10 minutes a day to Jacob and for at least 30 minutes with Rebecca. We are doing well reading to Rebecca; however we have been really slack about reading to Jacob. I will do this by beginning to read to Jacob before he goes to bed every night.
Again, I am trying. Some days have been much better than others. I have read to both kids probably 50% of the time this month. I NEED to increase that.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it to limit TV watching for the kids. Right now they watch way TOO much TV and it is beginning to show in their behavior.
Ummmmm.....I haven't even thought about this. I NEED to do this though, so it will be a priority for February.


So, some ups, some downs....but I think it is a good start. I want to keep the momentum going for February!~ How are you doing on your New Year's Goals and Resolutions?

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

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 for $0.59 a loaf!)
Eggs
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Total:  $49.21

ALDI:

10lb. potatoes
3 bunches bananas
2 boxes waffles
pasta salad kit
2--boxes spicy wings (for Super Bowl Sunday)
boneless wings (for Super Bowl Sunday)

4- cheese and sticks
3lb. apples
2 cans mixed veggies
5 cans spaghettios
2lbs. carrots
2- ketchups
sour cream and onion potato chips (for Super Bowl Sunday)

wavy potato chips (for Super Bowl Sunday)

3 green beans
2 baked beans
salsa con queso (for Super Bowl Sunday)

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Total: $37.95

TOTAL: $87.16....to make my average of $60 a week, I will have $32.84 for next week. That should be doable, as a lot of this week was stocking up on snacks for the kids (all the goldfish) after the January pantry challenge.


Now on to our menu....

 








Last week's menu was a great success. We stuck to it! The only difference was we switched Friday and Thursday's menu for each other..because life happens! :) 

This week we will be eating:

MONDAY:  Chicken teriyaki and rice, peas, chicken nuggets for kids
TUESDAY: hot dogs and macaroni and cheese
WEDNESDAY: bbq chicken in the crockpot (used for sandwiches), pasta salad, baked beans
THURSDAY:  lasagna soup, grilled cheese, carrots
FRIDAY:  leftovers and/or pizza

SATURDAY:  sausage and potato casserole (NEW RECIPE), green beans, biscuits
SUNDAY:   Super Bowl food! (wings, chips and queso, etc.)
For more great menu ideas please visit: orgjunkie.com!

 

Hope everyone has a great week of good food!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

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

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 sore! On Friday night I didn't do it. I was exhausted from work and this long week. I am okay with taking the day off. I need to listen to my body and get sleep when it tells me I need sleep.
Diet wise, this was a DOWN week. I snacked too much. Ate too much...and just didn't do well at all. The only positive is that for dinner though I have followed our meal plan 100% of the time! YAY!

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WEEKLY WEIGH IN:

DATE: 01/30/2011

WEIGHT: 216 lbs.

DIFFERENCE FROM PREVIOUS WEEK: +3

AAARGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!
It is my own fault. It is the snacking and the extra eating. I am off to make a plan for February, which I hope to post tonight or tomorrow. Something HAS to give.

DIFFERENCE FROM Jan 2, 2011 (WHEN I BEGAN): +/- 0
I am the same weight now that I started with. February will be a better month!  
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Are you trying to lose weight? How are you doing?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Recipe for January: Crispy Cracker Chicken

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

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Coat with egg whites.
  3. Mix crushed wheat thins and cheese together. Roll the chicken in mixture until well coated.
  4. Place in a baking pan (I used a glass pyrex pan) and bake for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the cracker coating is crispy.
This was so easy to make and SOOO YUMMY!!!! I served it with chicken stuffing and green beans.

(sorry for the dark photo....)

Have you tried any new recipes lately?


Friday, January 28, 2011

Letters of Intent---January 28, 2011

Foursons


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 "The Biggest Loser." I needed something to make me feel like I am working out. I am putting my trust in your "30 Day Shred" DVD and so far you have made me sore and VERY SORE!!! I hope it all pays off in the end.

Rachel

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To read more letters of Intent please visit Foursons.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: Lioness Arising


I am a woman, hear me ROAR!!! That seems to fit the theme of Lioness Arising by 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 Groom." In "Strength is for Service" Bevere calls women to unite for the good of all people and to use this power to the good. She writes "We are called to represent God- what he is doing and all he offers- as a feast for everyone to partake in."(p. 82). In "Under the Same Mission," Bevere discusses the traditional roles of men and women and how we need to change the outlook of these roles. We, as women, do not need to overtake man's roles. Rather we need to work alongside men as equals in order to change the world. She talks about how the lionesses work alongside the male lion as a way of earning his trust and love and to be seen as his equal and not a liability to the pride. In "Greet and Groom," Bevere asks us how do we greet others? Are we greeting them with caution or are we welcoming them and showing them love, especially those who are closest to us? Are we grooming our children to be strong men and women who will change the world? She offers how the lioness greets and grooms her cubs as an example. Bevere ends her book with "From a Whisper to a Roar" where she challenges women to arise and take their places as lionesses in the world.

Overall, Lioness Arising, is a very powerful read for a Christian woman. The Biblical references and references to the life of a lioness are well-balanced with thought provoking writing.

However, there was one drawback. Bevere uses personal stories of her personal struggles to illustrate several of her chapters and these references were distracting to me. I enjoyed reading of her visions of lionesses and her recount of seeing the lionesses in the wild. However, I really did not need to hear about her fascination with the main female character in "The Terminator" and how she went to the gym, etc.

After reading this book, I feel empowered as a woman. I agree with Bevere's ideology, which many may say is too feminised for them. Also after reading this book, I just want to say... I am woman and hear me ROAR!!!!

DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not paid anything and all opinions expressed within this review are my own.

Book Review: This is Your Brain in Love

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 , and The 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 marriage. Dr. Henslin argues that there are 5 common lover styles and that by using techniques that he gives, any couple can overcome these obstacles and become even more in love.

In This is Your Brain in Love,  Dr. Henslin categorizes these 5 lover styles as: the scattered lover, the Over-focused Lover, the Blue Mood Lover, the Agitated Lover, and the Anxious Lover. He offers a quick quiz before each analysis that allows the reader to identify their own style or the style of their spouse. Dr. Henslin offers stories from his practice of marriages that have been helped by his research and he offers hope that marriages can be made stronger. He also offers tips for the lover as well as tips to help your lover depending on their loving type.

I enjoyed this book in the respect that it made me think about my own relationship with my husband. I believe that we have a happy marriage and that we are very much in love. However, I am always looking for ways to make it even better. I was unable to pinpoint one style of lover for myself or for my husband as we both seem to have traits of several of the lover styles. However, I was able to take some ideas away from the suggestions that Dr. Henslin offers as ways to help yourself and to help your mate. I also greatly enjoyed his final chapter where he discusses the secret to everlasting love, which he identifies as kindness, patience, forgiveness and honesty. I found this chapter to be enlightening and very thought provoking.

As much as I enjoyed aspects of this book, there were other aspects that I did not enjoy. There was a TON of very scientific, technical language that was hard to digest. If I was a therapist, or someone in the medical field I would probably have enjoyed it much more, however, as a lay person I found the language to be a distraction and at times hard to understand. Dr. Henslin seems to assume that all of the loving types comes as a result of a head trauma of some kind. He shows the extreme of each style (ie. extreme anxiety, extreme depression, etc.) and seems to be selling brain scans and supplements. This took away from the validity of his arguments.

The book also seemed choppy in it's writing style. The first couple chapters were very spiritual in nature and talked about the coupling of husband and wife as the ultimate way of love. However, the next chapters that describe the different types of lovers, goes very much away from the spiritual and to the extreme of the technical. The final chapter returns to the spiritual side of love. It was very hard to find a continuum in the book.

Like most relationship books, This is Your Brain in Love,  is a mixture of practical advice and stuff that doesn't apply to my life. I take away from it some things, and other things I just forget. I would say that this would be a great read for priests, pastors, therapists, or anyone in the medical field that is into counseling married couples.



DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My Kids



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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I have decided to SHRED.....

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 DVDs in March and April. Well, I have decided to make the Wii a backup instead of the primary workout and I have decided to take the challenge to shred...or rather to complete the....
I have had this DVD since 2009. I started a weight loss journey in January of 2009, and used this DVD along with a treadmill to exercise. I only was able to do this DVD for 1 week though, because right after I started doing the DVD I found out I was pregnant with Jacob! So I have decided to dust it off and go for it again. Starting TONIGHT!!!

I did the first workout tonight...and let me tell you I feel so much better about this workout. Say what you want about Jillian Michaels, but this workout made me sweat, made my heart rate go up, made me breathe heavy and it felt SO GOOD!!!! I was able to do most of the exercises for the most part. There were a couple where I just could NOT do all of them, but that is okay. I was not able to do the full minute of push ups and there was a couple of the strength exercises that I could not do the last 3 or 4 of the set. But that is okay. I WAS able to do all of the cardio! Yay me! I love that it is only 20 minutes or so long and I can fit it into my life. It makes sense for me. It works for me!

To help see my progress, or failure,  I have decided to be BRAVE and post before pictures. At the end of the 30 days, I would like to post after pictures to see if I can see a difference. (I hope that I can)...so without further ado....here is the before....(I apologize for the awful hair, it is late and I am in my workout clothes)...



(As a disclosure...I am 5'11" tall, and I currently weigh 214 according to the scale before I worked out).

So we shall see. I hope this works. I hope I can stick with this. I plan on posting my progress as I go. Have you tried the "30 Day Shred?" Are you trying to lose weight? What is working for you?


Work assignment = Date Day with Dear Hubby

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 awesome!?!). So we dropped the kids off at my parents house around 11am and headed back home to get the directions and start our date day.

We had lunch at McDonald's before we headed out. I know, I know...not the most romantic, but it was on the way out of town. And it was nice to be able to eat and talk and NOT have to cut up chicken nuggets or get ketchup, etc. After lunch we headed out on our 1.5 hour drive. The sun was shining and other than being very cold it was perfect weather. We arrived at the museum around 2:15 or so...


They have a main gallery with different exhibitions scheduled throughout the year. On Sunday their main exhibition featured the photography of Nell Dorr, who was a prominent 20th century photographer from Ohio. Dorr mastered the art of photography while working alongside her father in his photography studio located in Massillon. The photographs were haunting and beautiful at the same time.

The museum also has a minor gallery area , called Studio M, that they use to showcase smaller, local shows. While we were there, they had an  exhibition called "Judi Krew: Fascinating Faces from Interesting Places." This exhibition featured the work of Judi Krew, who used pastels to create portraits of people. They were very realistic and creative at the same time.  Also write outside Studio M, is their resident skeleton, Oscar.


The museum offers one full time exhibit. It is The Immell Circus. This 100 square foot replica of a circus contains 2260 hand carved miniature pieces, carved over the course of 50 years, by local dentist Dr. Robert Immel. The circus is fascinating to say the least. Bill and I spent the majority of our time at the museum looking at the different pieces of the circus and finding new things. It is amazing the accuracy and detail that is involved in the circus. This exhibit also showcases different posters and memorabilia from circus history. (This was actually Bill's work assignment to write about this exhibit).

(Hubby hard at work, taking photos for the paper!)

(This really does NOT do the circus justice.)

After we left the museum, we drove home as most of the restaurants were not open on Sunday in Massillon. Upon returning home, we started watching the Packers/ Bears football game that my dear Hubby was DVRing. (Did I mention he LOVES anything football related?) After hearing from my parents that they were taking the kids to get dinner in Columbus, Bill and I decided to treat ourselves to Mexican food at a local restaurant. This is a rare treat as we typically don't go to sit down places with our children. The food was SOOOO YUMMY!!!!!! I had a quesedilla fajita, which was basically a quesedilla with fajita filling, covered with spicy queso served with lettuce, tomato, rice and beans on the side. Bill had a grande burrito, which was the largest burrito I have ever seen! The food was so good and so yummy! After we left the restaurant, we drove to pick the kids up and come back home. After we got the kids ready for bed and in bed, we continued to watch football. We watched the Packers win! YAY!!! ! Bill then watched the Steelers/Jets came while we cuddled on the couch. I fell asleep in Bill's arms during the game. :)

Overall it was a GREAT day spent with the love of my life! I needed that day with him as a wife and not as a mom. I love my children and cherish my role as mother, but often times I tend to overlook myself as wife and I needed to recapture that. And I think we needed to reconnect as a couple! It was a great day! And is making me look forward to our next date!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24-30 Grocery Trips and Menu Plan Monday

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 each)
M&Ms (yes I know, not good for me...but if we have no chocolate in the house I start eating other stuff that I don't want to make up for it....)
Healthy Choice mixer
pudding
frappuchinos (for Dear Hubby--I did save by buying Kroger brand instead of starbucks for a savings of over $2)
box of instant oatmeal ($0.99 after coupon)
Toaster Strudel (FREE after coupon)
2 packs taco seasoning
waffles
garlic bread ($0.65 after coupon)
bagels
steamfresh broccoli (FREE after coupon)
bananas
lettuce
pineapple ($1!!!--almost everyone in the store had a whole pineapple in their buggies :) )
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Total: $36.16 (saved $25.14 for a savings of 41%)

Total spent for groceries: $ --- $57.70----
I am okay with that. Next month I am going to try to get our groceries down to $50 or less per week. I think I can do this.

Now on to our menu....

 








Last week's menu was a great success. We stuck to it for the most part. The only night we didn't stick to it was on Wednesday. I had to work, the kids were at my parents and Bill had to work early so I made chicken nuggets and veggies for the kids when we came home and I had cereal. I will move the manwich to this week. For the rest of this week we will be eating:

MONDAY:  manwich sandwiches, green beans, pears

TUESDAY: baked tilapia, rice, mixed veggies, macaroni and cheese

WEDNESDAY: honey mustard chicken helper, corn, applesauce

THURSDAY:  meatloaf, julienne potatoes, peas, rolls

FRIDAY:  leftovers and/or pizza

SATURDAY:  crispy cracker chicken (new recipe), stuffing, green beans

SUNDAY:   spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread

For more great menu ideas please visit: orgjunkie.com!

 

Hope everyone has a great week of good food!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

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

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 works for me!

Diet wise, this was an up and down week. I did okay with getting fruits and veggies in and drinking more water. But I also splurged some---my mom  brought over pizza for lunch on Wednesday before I went to work and I had 2 slices of pizza with everything on it and some garlic bread. I also snacked some on Thursday and Friday....something I need to get out of the habit of. For dinner though I have followed our meal plan 95% of the time so that is definitely an improvement.

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WEEKLY WEIGH IN:

DATE: 01/23/2011

WEIGHT: 213 lbs.

DIFFERENCE FROM PREVIOUS WEEK: +1.
I don't know....I exercised harder this week as I have been, but I also ate pizza and chips...hmm...Dear Hubby says he is wondering if I am still adjusting to losing the weight when I was sick. Oh well. I will try better next week.
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Are you trying to lose weight? How are you doing?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

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

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 playing this with real cards. I do play on the computer at times, but it is not the same.

This is a favorite game to play with my dear hubby. He usually beats me but it is fun when I know an answer and he doesn't. We always have a blast when we do play.

Uno is a great game for kids and adults. Rebecca received Uno Moo for her birthday and she loves to play it with her dad and I. I try to make sure I play games with her at least once a week.

Not all games, have to be cards or board games. I am in love with our Wii Fit Plus. It is a fun way to exercise and that is helping me to get healthier. Also Dear hubby and I have a friendly competition going with who can get the shortest routes on the bicycling game. It is really fun!

So there you have it. These are some of my favorite games. I need to take more time to play them more often. I have to remind myself that having fun would help me LIVE BETTER!

What are some of your favorite games?




Blogging schedule....

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 struggling with the eating part and think that if I feel accountable to blog readers that might help, as right now I don't have any accountability...just something I am thinking about....will keep you updated!)

MONDAY: Grocery shopping and Menu Plan--This is where I will post  my grocery spending for the week and what we will be eating. I really want to get our grocery budget down to $50 or less a week. I need to do this so we can start putting money in savings and pay off debt.

TUESDAY: Personal post...what's going on in my life, could be a recap of a trip, photos, etc.

WEDNESDAY: Still deciding on this one...maybe Wordless Wednesday...or weekly goals update....???? (will update when I know for sure)

THURSDAY: Review day ---I will be reviewing things in my life that I use that are helping me live better one day at a time...including book and product reviews.

FRIDAY: Letters of Intent---a way to vent frustrations, share happiness, and just write letters...keeping emotions in is not healthy for me and this is a way to live better.

SATURDAY: Top 10s/ Favorites --- I am thinking this through...each week highlight a different subject that allows me to enjoy life....such as movies, books, games, etc.


I will also do spur of the moment posts as well as life happens. I hope this helps me to LIVE BETTER ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!

So what do you think? Thoughts??? Ideas?? Suggestions are very welcome!

So Followed Saturday

Friday, January 21, 2011

Letters of Intent--January 21, 2010

Foursons


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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Dear Michelle,

Thank you for being such a great boss and more importantly a good friend. It is so nice to work for someone who cares about their employees and is very positive!

:) Rachel
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Dear sleep,

Where oh where are you these days? I have had trouble sleeping all week. I don't understand. I have cut out caffeine from my diet. I have exercised everyday. I am eating healthier. Yet I toss and turn and can't seem to sleep more than an hour at a time. Please come visit me tonight. I need a good stretch of sleep!

Hoping for a good night sleep,
Rachel

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To read more letters of Intent please visit Foursons.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: "One Night" by Debbie Macomber

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 be a simple trip to a convention takes many twists and turns, some of which are hilarious (getting arrested for jaywalking) and some very serious (being on the run from a potential murderer). Along the way, Carrie and Kyle find that they are head over heels in love and after "one night" are also expecting a child together. In the end, love prevails as does happily ever after.

One Night was a very quick read. ( I read it over the course of 2 nights.) The story line with it's twists and turns kept me interested and curious as to what would happen next. There was more harlequin type story telling (ie. sexual content) in this story than in other Macomber books that I have read.  There wasn't a great sense of character development. The story began with two completely opposite personalities and instead of playing off this tension throughout the book, Macomber takes care of it in the early part of the book and instead chooses to focus on their sexual compatibility and attractiveness.  It is kind of hard to believe that these two main characters who barely know one another automatically fall in love after only 1 night together. It seems too good to be true, although the romantic side of myself loves the idea.

Overall, One Night was a fun, quick read. It was perfect for reading those cold nights, snuggled up under the covers and wanting to enjoy a story for being just that---a great story.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cosmopolitan magazine Review and discount code

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 purchase a year of Cosmopolitan for the LOW price of $5!  Bzzagent has also partnered to give you a chance to order Cosmopolitan for a year for the LOW price of $5, that is 90% off of newsstand prices. Click the following link to get Cosmopolitan for $5. You will also have a chance to get a year's subscription to Marie Claire for an additional $5! That is AWESOME!!!!

Disclaimer: As a bzzagent I was given this opportunity to purchase the magazine and to share the discount code with my readers. However, all opinions are my own.




Monday, January 17, 2011

Fun in the snow

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!

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

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, I was reunited with many of the people whom I had left behind at the old elementary school but this time things were different. I remain friends to this day with several of those people.

As I grow older and I look back over my elementary and high school years, I learned something in those years. Yes people will pick on others if they are different. It doesn't necessarily have to be about race either. It can be about economic class, what your mom or dad does, how your hair looks, etc. I also learned to forgive. Kids will be kids no matter what their skin color. Kids will pick on other kids. That is just how things are and I have forgiven many of the people that I grew up with who picked on me, from the kids in elementary school who picked on me because I was white, to the friend in high school who told me I was acting too black. I was being who I was and not everyone is going to like that and that is okay.


I also learned that I tend to side with the underdog. When I was attending the all black school I was friends with the other students who weren't just black enough--- the kids with the strange names, the Islamic student, the other white student. To this day one of the 2 black students at my 2nd elementary school is still one of my best closest friends. In college I gravitated toward other races as people to be friends with. My maid of honor and one of my bridesmaids in my wedding are from China.
 
As a mother, I want my daughter and son to grow up and not see the color of someones skin, but to see them for who they are. I have many friends on facebook that I have reconnected with from my early elementary years and they are different people now. They see that it is not the color of skin but who you are that counts. I want my family to be accepted for who we are on the inside and not because we are the right color skin. I want my children to not know racism and to not be racist. There are still obstacles. I still have family members who where shocked that party of our wedding party was Chinese, and that still have problems with African-Americans and Mexican-Americans gaining anything in the USA. It is a battle, but I feel confident that Bill and I can teach our children that what we believe is that which Dr. King preached---acceptance of one another and an end to racist ideas and beliefs.

January 17-23 Grocery Trip and Menu Plan Monday

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 coupon)
Wheatables crackers (will mail in form for full rebate for this item)
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Total spent for groceries: $ 63.95--- this is way OVER the $20 that I wanted to spend each week in January. I am okay with that though because I was able to get juice boxes, fruit snacks, and cereal bars for the kids that will last over 2 weeks and at a prices that are really low and below my price point. The pop will last my husband for at least 2 weeks if not more as well. I couldn't believe the price of milk though here...it has jumped to $3.50 a gallon. Yikes! I know that I am failing at my challenge, but I am okay with that as I am still using stuff up in our freezer and pantry and that was what I was most concerned about. I do still want to keep our grocery money as low as possible but I think I may have been unrealistic when I said $20 a week. That barely covers milk around here.

Now on to our menu....

 








Last week's menu was a great success. We stuck to it for the most part. I had to change Friday's leftover night to mac and cheese for the kids and whatever we could find for dear hubby and I as we had NO leftovers in the fridge. We had eaten them all through the week for lunches.  And Saturday I made grilled cheese and veggies for the kids as hubby had to work and I was full from a late Subway lunch. I will save the fish for this week. This week we will be eating:

MONDAY:  baked tilapia, julienne potatoes, broccoli
TUESDAY:  turkey BLT subs, pasta salad, peas

WEDNESDAY: Manwich sandwiches, green beans, pears
THURSDAY:  Chicken Parmesan and pasta
FRIDAY:  leftovers and/or pizza

SATURDAY:  sweet and sour chicken stir fry and rice/ chicken nuggets and carrots for the kids

SUNDAY:   Eat out


For more great menu ideas please visit: orgjunkie.com!

 

Hope everyone has a great week of good food!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weight Loss Check-Up (January- Week 2)

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 with diet. Not great but okay. I did laundry and other stuff today doing the steps from upstairs to basement 5 times. I also did NOT want to exercise, but I forced myself to do 25 minutes on the Wii Fit. I did the step game for 20 minutes while watching "The Biggest Loser" which I have on the dvr.
Thursday 1/13/11: Did no do well on diet at all. Had a candy bar for lunch. Did NO exercise. Just didn't feel like it. I had a doctors appt this afternoon for my 3 month checkup for my depression. I am doing well on the medication. My doctor asked me about my weight and what I thought was a good weight for me. I need to really step it up and get healthy. I am personally wanting to lose at least 10-20 lbs by the time I go back to him in July.

Friday 1/14/11: Did okay with eating well. Did splurge at work and had some snack mix (marshmallows, chocolate grahams, honey nut cheerios and Hershey kisses) and some hot chocolate. I made myself work out for 40 minutes on the Wii. Did 30 minutes on the step game while watching Hope Floats--Love that movie!

Saturday 1/15/11: I went to the store and that is about it for activity. Just felt kind of blah all day. Did okay with the diet---had Subway for lunch/dinner. Chose that instead of McDonalds which was the alternate. Decided to buy no pop for me. Can't seem to drink the stuff anymore, which is a good thing.

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WEEKLY WEIGH IN:

DATE: 01/16/2011

WEIGHT: 212 lbs.

DIFFERENCE FROM PREVIOUS WEEK: +1.
I am okay with this, as last week was a huge loss because I was sick. At least this week I didn't gain all of the weight back. It is okay. Now to work on losing that pound for next week.
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Are you trying to lose weight? How are you doing?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Letters of Intent--January 14, 2010

Foursons


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 like dirt. I wish you didn't have to work so hard and for such long hours, but I am thankful that you love your job.

Love,
Rachel

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Dear Finances,

Please stop stressing me out! I can't handle the stress and if you didn't stress me out then I wouldn't feel the need to eat chocolate and that would make me feel even better.

Thank you in advance,
Rachel

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To read more letters of Intent please visit Foursons.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I have a Blog Button!

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.....

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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

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 Spirit by 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 your life to reach your potential and to to get the the point in your life to do what you were born to do and to reach your power base- or your personal strength used to gain access to your best life.

Flynt offers 12 strategies to gain access to your power base. These include cultivating a winning attitude, seeing what can be, defying the skeptics in your life, and knowing who you are playing for, among others. The strategies are meant to help you gain access to your best life by tapping into your full potential. Flynt does NOT tell you what YOUR potential is, rather he offers you the tools to figure it out for yourself.

Like many self-help books that I have read in the past, Flynt offers some practical strategies to follow. He offers his own story as his experience and he does not sugar coat his own failures. Using sports analogies and stories, Flynt offers very straight forward advice.

Along with the sports analogies, Flynt bases much of his examples and strategies on biblical text. This is one of the downfalls of this book for me. It seemed like much of his book was trying to convert the non-Christian reader into a born-again Christian. He argues that this is not the case, however I found the religious aspect of his text to be overpowering (especially in his use of carrying a Bible around in public as an example of his strategy of "flying your flag") and distracting from his strategies to success. If you were raised in a Christian home, as I was, most of the strategies are common sense.

The other downfall of the book, in my opinion, is that the book starts out very strong and is very well written in a conversational style. However, as the book progresses there seems to be times that the paragraphs seem to divert from the original plan and do not seem to belong. This is especially true in the last chapter of the book. The title of his book says that he will focus on helping you strengthening your body, mind and spirit. 99% of the book is focused on strengthening and giving you tools to work on your mind and spirit. The very last chapter is focused on your body and is almost an afterthought. It left me wanting to know more of the correlation between strengthening my body as part of living up to my potential.

Overall, The Power Based Life, was a good read. It helped me to think about what I was born to do and made me ask myself if I am living up to my potential. It allowed me to look at things in a different life and I am looking forward to putting some of his ideas to work in my own life. I was taken aback by the religious rhetoric that was in the book, but once I got past that I was able to find some purpose for the book in my life. If you are looking for a book that makes you think, and you are looking for a very religious view, or you don't mind religious overload than this book may be for you!


DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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. So I love that we had a snow day since I got stuff done at home and I didn't have to drive in it, but I hate that it got called on a day I was scheduled to work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What I have been up to...

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?

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10-16 Grocery Trip and Menu Plan Monday

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 budget!) (I am okay with this though as I am definitely more aware at the store and I could have spent so much more stocking up on things that we didn't need!)

Now on to our menu....
 
Last week's menu was a bust as I was sick with the flu and so hubby was in charge and things were just crazy....so hopefully this week will be calmer....so here goes....
 
MONDAY: lasagna with provolone cheese, green beans
 
TUESDAY:  whole chicken (in crockpot), mashed potatoes, broccoli

WEDNESDAY: cheeseburger macaroni and peas
 
THURSDAY: chicken tacos, chicken nuggets and tator tots for kids
 
FRIDAY:  leftovers
 
SATURDAY:  baked tilapia, julienne potatoes, broccoli

SUNDAY:   pork chops, carrots, onions, mashed potatoes, rolls with butter

For more great menu ideas please visit: orgjunkie.com!
 
Hope everyone has a great week of good food!!

Weight Loss Check-up (January Week 1)

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 1/5/11: Did nothing but sleep all day after spending the night in the ER with the flu and being dehydrated.

Thursday 1/6/11: Did bare minimum. Still no appetite, and did no exercise.
Friday 1/7/11: I worked this afternoon, but still no appetite and did not exercise.

Saturday 1/8/11: Ate a little bit, cereal, eggs. Exercised for 20 minutes on the Wii and it kicked my behind! Was so tired. Still not feeling 100%

Overall, this week was full of not feeling good, feeling achy and just being blah. I still don't feel 100% but am trying to get back into eating and working out.


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WEEKLY WEIGH IN:

DATE: 01/09/2011

WEIGHT: 211 lbs.

DIFFERENCE FROM PREVIOUS WEEK: -6lbs. (This is good except it is mostly because I was sick. I expect next weeks number to be much less and to maybe even be a gain to make up for this week!)

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Are you trying to lose weight? How are you doing?