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Showing posts from August, 2012

September Savings Challenge

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September brings back paychecks for me and a new chance to finally, maybe, get our budget under control. I have been thinking long and hard about trying to get some sort of budget together and FINALLY getting our budget under control.

The last year has been a killer on our finances. We thought that we had things under control last year. Then I got pregnant with Benjamin and I had to go on bed rest for a few months and since I was on bed rest that meant no paycheck. So any savings/paying off debt went by the wayside.

So when Carla from My 1/2 Dozen Daily decided to offer up a September Savings Challenge I decided to sign up.

As I was thinking about what my goals should be this is what I came up with....

Use my paychecks to pay Rebecca's school tuition.
Be able to make at least double the minimum payment on credit card #1 (CC#1).
At the end of the month, take whatever is left over from my paychecks and put on CC#1.
Spend no more than $400 on food, $50 on diapers, and $25 on hou…

A day in my life....

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Things have been CRAZY around here the last 2 weeks, with me going back to work, Rebecca starting school, fall sports starting meaning Bill is basically at work 24/7 and the boys growing up like weeds means my life is pretty crazy.....

Tonight as I was thinking about this craziness I thought what does a day look like right now for me and this is a general idea of what a day in my life consists of:

6:20am--alarm goes off, get up, shower, get dressed, Bill leaves to walk to work
6:50 am--wake Rebecca up so she can get dressed
7:00 am--head downstairs, make Rebecca and Jacob breakfast
7:10 am--back upstairs, wake Jacob, change his diaper, get him dressed, bring him downstairs to start breakfast
7:15am-- do Rebecca's hair for school while she is eating breakfast
7:20am-- go back upstairs, wake Benjamin, change his diaper, bring him downstairs, put in car seat
7:25 am--shoes on everyone, and out the door to take Rebecca to school
7: 55 or so--back home with the boys, Jacob finishes br…

You can win prizes!!

You know by now that I am a contestant on this season of Win, Lose or Blog! But did you know that YOU CAN WIN PRIZES TOO!!!!

Here is the scoop:

Hey fitness friends!!! The Win, Lose, or Blog mini-contest has been hugely popular and we will be doing it again this season! We are holding our "mini-contest" along side the main Win, Lose, or Blog contest! We would love our followers to play along, get healthy, and win prizes in the process! Heres what you have to do:

Each Tuesday on Win, Lose, or Blog we will post our contestant updates on the main blog- just comment each week with your weekly loss. On the final Tuesday post of our 7 week competition- post your TOTAL pounds lost for the duration of the season and you have the chance to win some fabulous prizes! (No need to post actual weights- just the # of pounds lost each week).

Start today- comment on Win, Lose, or Blog HERE saying you want to join our mini contest. That's all you have to do to join in on the fun. Try to post …

Win, Lose, or Blog challenge starts today!

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The Win, Lose, or Blog challenge starts today! I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the contestants! I am over on that blog today....come over and follow along and wish me luck!!

Life is crazy

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Life has been CRAZY this past week.

Here are some of the highlights:
Rebecca started back to school. She is in Kindergarten this year (this week she goes half days, next week M,W,F are full days and T,TH are half days, then she will go full day everyday after Labor Day!) That means that are bedtime routines and getting up routines have been drastically changed and we are still figuring out what works best.
I have had a bad earache that has meant no sleep for 2 nights. Went to Urgent Care yesterday and I have a bad case of swimmers' ear. (Haven't been swimming for over 2 years but still contracted it??) Now I am on meds and it is feeling a little better today. (This doctor appointment and waiting for meds took me 2.5 hours!) Work started back for me on Tuesday. I only work in the afternoons, but it has been a struggle to get everything done I need to get done. Need to find balance between work and home. Dinner has been whatever you can find---still trying to figure that one ou…

Sunday Night Chit Chat

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Time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla!
To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

SO HERE GOES:

What are you.....
Reading?




Watching?
Nothing right now.
Listening to?
Right now the kiddos are watching "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" on TV.
Listening to the rain.
Cooking/Baking?
I made homemade pico de gallo for a cookout tonight. It was the first time I had ever made it and I think it was a hit as we didn't have any to bring back home!

Happy you accomplished this week?
Lost 1.8 lbs!
No soda for a week! .
Looking forward to next week?

School starts back this week, which means work starts back!
Rebecca starts Kindergarten.
Getting started on the "Win, Lose, or Blog" ideas and plan.
Thankful for today?
Good weather for most of the weekend.
A nice picnic to kick off back to school for my daughter's school.
Bonu…

Yay! I got picked!!!!

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Do you remember a couple weeks ago when I talked about applying to be a contestant in a weight loss competition called "Win, Lose, or Blog." ( If you don't you can read about that here).


Well... I just got an email tonight to let me know that I have been chosen as one of the 8 contestants!!! I am SO EXCITED!!!!

As many of you may know, I so want and need to lose weight. I have been overweight much of my life and I WANT to be healthier. I believe that this opportunity is such a blessing and I can't wait to get started!!!

I hope you will follow my journey and wish me luck!

Jeremiah 29:11

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Unjunk Your Junk Food

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Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacksby Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer is basically a cheat sheet on what snacks are healthier for you to eat. The authors challenge you, the reader, to make changes in your diet in order to become healthier without feeling deprived of your favorite junk food. Unjunk Your Junk Food is a quick guide that shows you healthy alternative to your favorite conventional brand junk food. And by junk food I mean everything from potato chips, dips, cookies, cakes, pop, soda, and my personal vice--chocolate!

The authors begin their book by outlying how to eat healthier junk food. How to look for the worst ingredients for you to avoid and how to look for ingredients that are better for you. They offer over 170 pages of alternatives to your conventional junk food. And they tell you why the conventional junk food is on their bad list and how the choices they suggest are better. They also identify the Worst Ingredients that you should avoi…

Sunday Night Chit Chat

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Time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla!
To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

SO HERE GOES:


What are you.....
Reading?






Watching?


Listening to?
Right now the kiddos are watching "The Sword and the Stone" on TV.
Cooking/Baking?
I made a taco ring and rice tonight, which EVERYONE liked! Even the kids! :)

Happy you accomplished this week?
Lost 2.5 pounds!!!!!
Giving up soda.
Got the front lawn bushes trimmed.
Looking forward to next week?
Hubby not having to work so many hours.
Staff meeting at work. (School starts in a week and a half, and since I will be working again, that means I will start getting paychecks again. No work over the summer means no pay.) Hopefully sneaking in a date night with dear Hubby.
Thankful for today?
My children and my husband.
Bonus question: When it comes to shopping for clothes for yourse…

Bye Bye Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke!

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I have decided in an effort to help with my weight loss challenge and in an effort to just be healthier, I am giving up ALL SODA!!!

I realized the other day that I drank 2 -12 packs of Diet Pepsi in one week! That is ridiculous.

Not only will it be better for my waistline, but it will be better for my wallet too...a win, win! :)

There will still be pop in the house...Hubby HAS to have his Mountain Dew. That stuff is way too sweet for me, so it is not a temptation.

Now I know that you have to replace bad habits with good ones, or at least better ones in order to make a change work. So what will I be replacing pop with??

My plan is to keep water bottles in the fridge door ready to go. Also I will be enjoying more iced green tea. As I was looking for an alternative today, I found this lovely box in my pantry cabinet....Can you say Yummy?!



I am doing this for a wide variety of reasons, including:
I am trying to cut my sugar consumption down, and everything I have read says that diet …

Win, Lose, or Blog!

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I have applied to be a contestant on the healthy weight loss competition,  Win, Lose, or Blog! They are now accepting applications (here) for Season eight contestants.

 Last season their 7 contestants lost over 100 pounds in 7 weeks! Win, Lose, or Blog is a Big Loser inspired weight loss challenge for the blogging world. Health & Fitness are my passions in life and I hope this competition will inspire others to lead healthier lifes too! 

What does Win, Lose, or Blog have to offer you? Want to be a contestant? Apply here.

Each season of the challenge (lasting 7 weeks) we will choose eight contestants. This is your chance to win some MAJOR prizes! Each contestnat that follows through to the end will win awesome prizes and the "big loser" (based on percentage of body weight lost) will win even more!

Want to Play along?
Want to lose weight right along with the contestants? Post your weekly loss each week on their Tuesday Update post and you're in the running for some fantas…

Weekly to do list (a day late)

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Last week's list of goals was kind of a catch up week. This week's goals will be more in preparation for school and work to be starting back up full time in 2 weeks time. (Where oh where did summer go?)

Here is how I did last week:
cut up peppers from the farmer's market (2 weekends ago) for the freezer (Yep...did this yesterday but it got done! :)figure out what is needed for Rebecca for school and start looking for the best prices DONE--got all her school supplies yesterdaydate night with Bill--DONE--Bill took me to a restaurant about 45 minutes away just because I was wanting a piece of their coconut cream pie! I love my hubby! Read a chapter of "Every Day a Friday" each night ---KIND OF--- I have read about 5 chapters in it.Clean out, sort and organize arts and crafts cart ---DONECall and schedule Benjamin's Baptism ---DONECount calories of everything I eat and record in food journal ---KIND OF--- I did good on most days, I think I recorded everything 4/…

A Bull's Head Roast

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This past weekend my parents hosted a Mexican barbacoa de cabeza in honor of a couple of their friends from Mexico. Basically this translates to a barbecue of a cow's head-- aka. a bull's head roast. (if you want to read more about it's origins, adaptations, etc. wikipedia has a nice article on it!). My parents' hosted as they have land needed to dig a hole to roast the bull's head in.

There was many different sections of the bull's head to choose from...tongue, eyeball, brain, cheek meat, and palette meat. The meat was served  on top of warm tortillas, with traditional mole style sauce made by my Mom's Mexican friend, guacamole, salsa, onions, diced cilantro and a squirt of lime juice.



There was also other food for those of us who did not eat the bull's head...including grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, veggies, chips, fruit, etc. It was a fun yummy time!

Now, I will say this. I personally did NOT eat any of the bull's head.…

Sunday Night Chit Chat

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Time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla!
To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

SO HERE GOES:

This is a photo from a "Bulls Head Roast" that my parents hosted this weekend. A "Bulls Head Roast" is a Mexican tradition that my parents thought would be fun to co-host with good friends of theirs who are from Mexico. They roasted the bull's head all night Friday night into Saturday afternoon and then had a fiesta Saturday night. This was taken from the hill behind their house. (I will have more pics and fun from the festivities later this week, including a pic of the actual bulls head!)

What are you.....
Reading?

I am still reading Every Day a Friday  by Joel Osteen. My problem is I have been staying up WAY too late watching the Olympics and not scheduling in reading time. Now that it is mostly trac…

School uniforms

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Rebecca is starting Kindergarten this year! I am excited. I am sad. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this. We are sending her to the same school where she attended Pre-K. In Kindergarten through 8th grade the kids MUST wear uniforms. So off to buy uniforms I go...

I looked on the websites that the school recommended and I almost choked at the prices....$40 for a uniform jumper, and that doesn't include shipping. EEK!

Went on ebay. The uniforms are going for close to retail. EEK!

Then my mom told me about a uniform store in a town about 45 minutes away that sells used school uniforms. So off we went today....and this is what I got for a total of $51.00.


2 jumpers, a pair of uniform shorts and a sweater for winter! Now all I need to get her are socks and shoes and I am set for her clothes! :) (We already have her polos with the logo on the collar that her school requires!)

Do your kids' wear uniforms to school? How do you keep the costs down?

Benjamin is 4 months old today!

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Benjamin has grown in leaps and bounds since my last monthly update. I somehow forgot to do a 3 month update (oops!) but that is life. So here is his 4 month update! I can't believe he is 4 months old already!


At 4 months old he is:
eating 8 ounces of formula at each feeding (every 3-4 hours)he got his first feeding of rice cereal today.he has outgrown all of his 3-6 months clothes and is currently in 9-12 month clotheshe sleeps through the night completelyhe has been moved from the bassinet in our bedroom, to the crib in the boys' bedroomhe smiles ALL the timehe has learned to roll over from his back to his bellyhe loves to be held and talked tohe likes to sleep on his side
We are truly blessed with a wonderful little boy! He continues to be a delight to all who know him and he is a perfect little brother to Rebecca and Jacob. I am looking forward to seeing what the next month brings!