Sunday, November 25, 2012

Announcing: Bugaboo's Closet, my New Etsy Shop

Sadly, this blog has been quiet for about a month.  Did I give up on the C25K?  Maybe I did, maybe I didn't.  OK. Yes. I did.  Running freaking sucks people, and if you say it doesn't, you're lying.  Do you hear me?  LYING.

I honestly did not intend to give up on the whole "I'm gonna be a runner" thing -even though it does totally suck, it just kinda happened.  Actually, during my last run I was so sick, and having so much trouble breathing I just never did it again.  2 days after the run I went to the doctor and was told not to run again until my cough was cleared up.  I just cleared my throat.  That's considered coughing, right?  Just following doctor's orders...

It's not like I haven't been busy though.  See, I thrive on being extra busy.  It makes me feel like I have more control over my life when I fill it with more stuff to do.  And when I actually get stuff done I feel that much more accomplished.  So since I am not running, I decided to give my sewing machine a workout instead by making this:


this:


this:
 

this:


and this:

 
 
What on earth am I sewing for?  My new Etsy Shop, obviously.  Owning my own business, however modest or small it may be, has been a dream of mine for a while.  When I discovered just how much I love creating adorable clothing and accessories for my own children, I knew that eventually it would come to this and I would be sewing for other peoples' children as well.  Now I am creating and selling something that I really love and believe in, and what could be better than that?  And while there are about a gazillion other Etsy owners out there making a name for themselves, I do hope that some of you will take the time to check out my shop (please, please!) and help me make my dream come true!

I still plan to use this blog as my place to vent, share a funny story about my crazy family, discuss one of the many ways I continue to try to lose weight, share a product or experience that I've been lucky enough to receive.  And hopefully you all won't mind me sharing my Etsy items and experiences on here as well!

Visit my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BugaboosCloset

Like my shop on Facebook for exclusive sneak-peeks, sales, fabric selections, and more: https://www.facebook.com/bugaboosclosetnc

Pinypon Party Sponsored by MommyParties

Recently I was chosen to host a party featuring some great new toys for little girls.  Pinypon toys are so much fun to play with, and come with lots of neat little accessories to mix and match.  I am not exaggerating when I say that my children have played with their new Pinypon set and dolls for hours, long after the party was over.  Here are some (not so great cell phone pictures) of them mixing and matching the dolls, discovering how to customize each doll to wear it's own individual style, and playing with the very cool Caravan set.
 
 
 
Yes, even the boys played!
 
 
One VERY excited party guest got to leave with a Pinypon Caravan of her own as part of our raffle.  And I was told later by her mom that she and her brothers had hours of fun with this set.  Definitely kid-approved.
 
 
My perspective on these toys as a mom:  They are great for strengthening fine motor skills, as each doll comes apart in many different ways, and children have to grasp, pinch, and rotate items to put them together and change their accessories.  The Caravan has many different compartments, doors, drawers, and windows that made it fun for the kids to use in lots of different ways.  In an afternoon they used it as a camper, ice cream truck, and flying spaceship.  The roof even doubles as a raft with surf boards.  I felt like we got a few different toys all in one package.  The only negative I found with the Pinypon toys is the MANY little tiny pieces.  This can be stressful for a mom like me that likes to have everything in one place and in one piece.  But I also think that the reason this entertained the kids for so long is because there ARE so many little pieces.  So it's not really a negative.  We just made sure to clean up really well, and everything went in one extra-large size Ziploc!
 
Overall, we had a great time playing with our friends and the Pinypon toys.  The kids enjoyed the figures and play sets, and the moms enjoyed the kids playing without argument so we could socialize.  And everyone left with valuable coupons in addition to their own Pinypon figures.  Thanks MommyParties and Pinypon for a great afternoon of fun!
 
Want to discover more about Pinypon and what they have to offer:  Vist their Website, or Facebook Page!
 
Disclaimer: The party kit with Pinypon products was provided to me free of charge in exchange for sharing my honest party experience and thoughts.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

C25K -The Mom's Perspective: Week 3

Week 3 of my Couch to 5K Running Program started about 2 and a half weeks ago.  Sadly, I have yet to move on to Week 4.  I can explain...

Week 3, Day 1:

Oh My God, this was hard.  As I said last week, going from running for 90 second stints to 3 minutes feels like mission impossible.  And it kinda was.  I'm not gonna lie, I had to walk the last minute when I was supposed to be running.  My friend Kelly said to run until I feel like I'm going to fall down, then I can walk.  And I did exactly that.  I felt guilty as hell about it though, and vowed to do the workout in its entirety again the next day.  Until...

WHAM-O!  I got hit with a terrible cold, and had company arriving for the weekend.  Running was not an option.  Between my hacking, nose-blowing, and alternating doses of DayQuil, Tylenol Cold, and NyQuil, it just was not possible.  I was run down and tired from being sick, and I knew I had to give it a break until I was better.

Feeling better this week, I finally got to the gym on Wednesday. (8 days later than my last run!)  I re-did my Day 1 workout.  Without cheating.  I think I coughed up a lung though, and had a terrible night's sleep because I could not. stop. coughing.  Also, I'm more than certain that the people on the treadmills to my left and right did not appreciate the fat girl's huffing, puffing, and now hacking in way too close proximity.  Oh well.  That's what showers and hand-sanitizer dispensers are for, right?

Feeling empowered because I did what I set out to do, despite not feeling 100%, I often remind myself of this pin from Pinterest:

Pinned Image
 
Or this one:


Pinned Image

Week 3, Day 2:

Today I returned to the gym to run again.  Unfortunately, my cough is worse, not better, and the lack of Oxygen was just more than I could deal with.  I found myself struggling to catch my breath as I ran, and in an effort to not pass out, I decided to just walk it out.  So I walked during 2 and a half minutes that I should have been running.  I still managed to go 2.15 miles, but I was disappointed.  My lungs were just not happy.  (Doc appt. is set for Monday, I swear!)  So I'll re-do this day too.  Or maybe I won't.  I'm back to thinking that running is a stupid idea anyway.

To be continued...

Kroger Gift Card Winner

Congratulations to Post #15, Kristi, who said, "I would love to stock up on Cheerios."  Well, now she can.  Kristi, I sent you an email so please check your inbox!  Thanks to every one else who entered.  I really appreciate y'all reading my blog!  (yea, I said y'all... deal with it.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sibling Love?

If you've had the privilege of spending time with my family you'd notice within just a few minutes that 2 out of 3 of my children do not get along very well.  This is not a new phenomenon.  Not a stage that they will eventually grow out of. (although I pray that they will)  Put frankly, for one reason or another, Joey and Katelyn just don't like each other.

Sad?  Right.  Yea, it's a real downer.  I've tried countless ways to figure out why my oldest and youngest don't show the love for each other like they do towards Olivia.  They both really love Olivia.  I guess the main reason I can come up with is that they are more similar in personality.  Joey and Katelyn seem to take after me in the personality department.  Strong willed, opinionated, inquisitive, strong willed, stubborn, strong willed... yea, that about sums it up.  Olivia is more subdued like my husband.  She of course has her own opinion about things, and can throw a tantrum over a pack of gummies with the best of them, but she is definitely more compliant and accepting than the other two. 

Joey and Katelyn battle over just about anything.  Toys, shoes, (yes, Joey will wear her most favorite sparkle shoes around the house just to piss her off), what to watch on TV, who goes first, last, etc.  It's pretty endless.  And beyond frustrating as a mom who just wants peace in the house.  Sometimes they do it deliberately.  For example, Joey will purposefully act like Katelyn mispronounced something even though she didn't.  Katelyn will yell about it.  Joey will insist that she said it wrong.  Katelyn will yell some more.  Joey will yell back.  And eventually one of them will either throw something or smack the other one unless I break it up by using my scary mom voice telling them to CUT THE CRAP!

I noticed something the other day while I dropped Joey off at school.  These two, who act like they can't stand each other 90 percent of the time always say goodbye to each other.  He even turns after getting out of the car to say goodbye to Katelyn with a wave and a smile.  Maybe it's because they are so glad to have 7 hours away from each other.  But I'd rather think that its because deep down they actually do love each other.  So I'm going to go with that.  They totally do, right?




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

C25K -The Mom's Perspective: Week 2

Well, I'm happy to report that Week 2 was a success.  I actually did all of my running inside on the treadmill at the Y during week 2.  While I thought I liked it better during Week 1, I'm now ready to get back outside. (And by outside I mean after dark when my neighbors hopefully won't see me.) Running on the treadmill is sooooo boooooring!  Regardless, here's a quick recap:

Week 2, Day 1:

My body was in shock as I worked to complete this first workout.  While it may not sound like much time to you, to a self-proclaimed running hater like myself, going from 60 seconds of running to 90 seconds of running was a big change.  HUGE.  At least that first day it felt huge.  I could not stop watching the timer.  It just hurt so bad.... I was convinced that I was done.  Running was over for me.

Week 2, Day 2:

Not so much.  You see, I feel so great on the days after I run that it makes me want to go back for more the next day.  It's so strange.  I have more energy, more patience, and get a heck of a lot more done the day after a work out than I did before I started this.  So in some weird way, that motivates me to go back for more... Day 2 was probably my easiest day so far.  And by easy I mean I huffed and puffed my way through each running segment without cheating the clock a few seconds.  I even turned the treadmill up a decimal point or so during the walking segment to increase my distance and keep my heart rate up.  So maybe I'm getting the hang of this.  I don't know.  I still don't like it very much.

Week 2, Day 3:

Against all odds I made it to the Y to complete my workout for Day 3.  My husband and I each had activities planned for the day, so we were passing off the child-watching duties for the day.  He wasn't scheduled to be home until 8 or so and I really didn't want to do another late night run.  So, I made a last minute decision to pack up the kids and head to the Y.  We got there in the nick of time, as the Nursery was closing in 34 minutes.  Good thing this stupid workout is only 31 minutes.  I dropped off the little boogers, and charged upstairs to the last treadmill of the row.  (I feel like people don't see me if I'm all the way at the end.)  I cued up my iPod, pushed the green "go" button on the treadmill, and got to it.  A little problem came along around the halfway mark when my iPod died.  I easily could have given up there.  "Eh, no music, no one telling me when to run, when to walk, I'm done."  But I didn't.  I timed myself, paced myself, and finished my workout with only the pounding of my sneakers on the treadmill and the sound of my own puffing and huffing to listen to.  That in and of itself was a huge accomplishment for me, as I'm pretty much the queen of excuses.

Looking Ahead:

Week 3 has two segments of running for 3 minutes.  3 minutes?  Double what my body has just sort of gotten used to?  I'm cringing at the thought.  I'm not kidding when I say I can barely get through 90 seconds.  I really don't know how on earth I'm going to double that starting now.  If anything is going to break me, it'll be Week 3 for sure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kroger Buy 5 -Save $5 Event with GIVEAWAY

Attention Kroger shoppers! Grab a cart (or two!)and head to your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for the Kroger Buy 5 – Save $5 Event! From October 14th through October 24th (RIGHT NOW!) purchase 5 participating General Mills products, and receive a coupon for $5 off your next shopping order.
If you combine this promotion with Kroger's sales and manufacturers coupons, you're looking at saving some serious money people!  Look for some of your favorite participating General Mills products like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Betty Crocker Cake and Brownie Mixes, Hamburger Helper, Totino’s Party Pizza, Yoplait and many more!

This promotion varies in different locations so please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for specific deals and offers which include: Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, Baker’s, Owen’s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott’s Food & Pharmacy.

Don’t let the savings pass you by! Fill up your cart and save with the General Mills products you love at the Kroger Buy 5 – Save $5 Event!  And to sweeten the deal, I have a $25 Kroger Gift Card to give away to one lucky reader!  Want in on it?  Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win!  This giveaway starts now and will end on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 at 11:59 EST.  Winner will be selected via Random.org and notified shortly thereafter.  If after 48 hours selected winner has not responded, a new winner will be chosen and notified.

Disclosure: The gift cards (one sent to me, one for a reader) and information have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  All opinions expressed are my own.

***By the way... I have NOT given up running. Yet. If you're following my quest to be physically fit using the Couch 2 5k program, stay tuned... an update is coming soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Updates Are Up!

I finally got around to updating my sidebar with new pics and bios of the kids.  Aren't they adorable? ;)  Here's a new picture of them all together, from last weekend's trip to the corn maze:

 
And yes, I realize none of them are looking... but I kind of like it that way.  This is how they are when I'm not bribing them and/or screaming at them to sit together, smile, and look at me while I take one decent picture.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

C25K -The Mom's Perspective: Week 1, Day 3

Week 1, Day 3:

I have to admit that I surprised myself when I decided to go out running a 3rd time.  It wasn't easy, but I did it.  It had been 4 days since my run on day 2, and that made it especially hard to motivate myself.  If you are thinking about doing this running program, I highly suggest not going more than 1 or 2 days in between runs, as the longer you wait, the harder it is to get back out there.  Look at me now... dishing out exercising advice, like I'm some kind of expert all of a sudden! Yea, hardly an expert.  But it's still probably sound advice. 

It was a cold and kinda rainy night, but I was actually kind of glad about that because it was already dark so the neighbors wouldn't see me, and the weather was more than likely keeping everyone inside and away from doors and windows.  The run itself was basically uneventful.  More of the same, I guess you could say.  I hated every painful running segment, and my brisk walking segments didn't seem very brisk at all.  More like a slow, leisurely pace.  It was all I could do to keep my legs moving after the running part.  I noticed, though, that I must have gone a little bit faster because I went a longer distance.  Hmmmm... maybe I'm improving?  Nah, must have just been luck.  Maybe I cut a corner somewhere, or jay-walked, or something.

Anyway, I got home, stretched, and drank a gallon of water.  Seriously, it probably was a gallon as I got up 3 times to pee in the night.  I had tons of energy that night, and didn't actually get to bed until after 1am.  My kids were still up at the butt crack of dawn, making me a very tired and grumpy mommy in the morning.  Running at 9 o'clock at night probably wasn't the greatest idea.

OK, so now I'm about to make a commitment.  I'm going to keep doing this.  I'm going to give it at least another week before I decide whether or not to continue.  I definitely don't like doing it, but I definitely like the way I feel after I've recovered and into the next day.  I know, I know, it's only been a week.  Hard to make a judgement on the program as a whole when I've only completed 1/8 of it.  Will I complete the other 7 weeks?  I really don't know.  I actually doubt it.  But there will be a Week 2 post... I can promise you that.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

C25K -The Mom's Perspective: Week 1, Day 2

Week 1, Day 2:
 
I realize my last blog post left you with a bit of a cliff hanger... I'm sure you were all laying in bed awake at night wondering if in fact I put on my running shoes again.  I know, I'm tricky like that.  Well I'm about to reveal some BIG news:  I did.  I ran a second time.  And here's my step by step account of how it went. (pun intended... get it?  Step by Step... haha.)
 
It got unseasonably warm two days following that first painful run.  Luckily, we are members of the YMCA where they have treadmills and air conditioning, and a pretty comfortable non-judgemental feel that you don't get at a lot of fitness centers.  I was actually less self-conscience running at the Y on the treadmill than I was in my neighborhood in broad daylight.  Maybe because I just stayed in one place.  It also helps that the treadmills are at the front of the exercise room so I didn't have to make eye contact with anyone, or see their raised eyebrows and/or snickering faces when they saw just how much my ass jiggles when I run.
 
Another bonus to running on the treadmill is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.  I know lots of people don't like to watch the digital timers on the exercise equipment, but I find it motivating... I set the clock to count up the first half of my workout, and then switch it to count down the second half.  It's kinda like that whole "running home" methodology that I had on Day 1.
 
So aside from being unbelievably sore all day long before my second actual run, I actually found the 30-minute workout slightly easier.  I am not to the point of saying that it is even a tiny bit enjoyable, and I still am not thinking I'm going to do this again, but it was just a smidge more tolerable.  The setting also helped because I wasn't thinking about those pesky tomato-throwing teenagers, or wondering if my friends would see me bouncing by their kitchen window as they cleaned their dinner dishes.
 
When my workout was finished I went and wiped myself off and hid in the bathroom for a few minutes while I regained consciousness and caught my breath.  Then I stretched.  Just like The Good Athlete said I should.  Then I took a good, long, mental health break in one of the comfy chairs in the lounge while my children played in the nursery while the very sweet (and much more patient) ladies that work there looked after them. (An added perk to working out at the Y... a few extra minutes of peace while someone else deals with your bat-shit crazy kids!)
 
All in all, I'd say Day 2 was a success.  I didn't get quite the same euphoric high that I did from the first day, but it did make me happy to hear my sweet hubby say that he was proud of me for doing it again.  He's so good.  Even still, I have yet to convince myself that I'm going to keep doing this.  I mean seriously... this is crazy.  Right?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Couch 2 5K... The Mom's Perspective

Well it's no secret that I'd like to lose some weight.  I've struggled with it for some time now, and am finding it harder than EVER now to drop a few pounds.  Weight Watchers worked for me 6 times before in the past, and it sort of worked for a while for me earlier this year, but I got impatient and quit.  Also, we really had to cut back spending when Ron unexpectedly needed a new car, and $45 for WW was just no longer in the budget.  Which is why I haven't gone back.

You see, I can't even blame my fatness on "baby weight."  I was actually at my thinnest adult weight 3 weeks after the girls were born, (nursing twins was the Best Diet Ever!) and I desperately want to lose the 30 pounds I've gained since then.

So, if I want desperately to lose weight, why is it so freakin' hard?  When you want something badly enough, shouldn't it just happen?  I really don't get where the disconnect is here, and it makes me want to really do some investigation as to why I can't stay motivated to lose some freakin' weight.  And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only woman out there feeling this way.  In fact, I know I'm not.  You're with me, aren't you??? 

Well, drastic times call for drastic measures, so I even went as far as to try the crash diet of Cabbage Soup.  In case you missed it, you can read about it here, here, or here.  My 7-day diet lasted 3 days.  I lost about 6 pounds in 3 days, but gained 10 back faster than you can say "Dairy Queen."  No joke, it was like I blinked, and WHAM, 10 pounds... back on the old keister.  The 6 that I lost by starving myself, and 4 extra for being an idiot.

Well, we all know how to lose weight... eat less, exercise more.  Easy enough, right?  I wish.  But I'm determined to find something that will work.  This may or may not be it, but you're about to find me blogging about my newest exercise regime.  It's something I said I would NEVER do.  Never, ever, ever, did I think I'd do this.  It is so far out of my comfort zone, I can't even tell you.  But maybe that's just what I need.  Maybe I need to do something I've never done before, and never thought I could.  Sounds plausible, right?  I may do it once, maybe for a week, I may do it for the rest of my life.  But I'm doing it.  I'm running.  There.  I said it.  I was super reluctant to put this online -so don't judge me and keep your mouth shut about it if I quit, k?  In fact, as I type, I'm not so sure I can actually click on the publish button... Regardless, I've downloaded the C25K running program, and I'm running.  And here's how it went my very first time:

Week 1, Day 1:

As I completed the first 60-second running segment I seriously contemplated going home.  I'm not even kidding.  It was awful, and I could feel my body protesting this decision with every single painful step.  But I didn't turn around.  I kept going.  I wanted to smash the iPod into the pavement every time I heard the little "ding-a-ling" that signaled another 60-second running stint.  And I'll admit that I ended a few of those running segments a few seconds early because I just couldn't do it.  It hurt so bad.  Everywhere.  Immediately.

Oh, and then there is the whole embarrassment factor.  Me running is just not a pretty sight.  I've got big tits and a big ass, and everything bounces. And not in a "wow, that's sexy" kind of way.  My first time out of the gate, I went right around 7:00pm, when it was still light outside.  I had to run in front of some of my friends' houses praying that they weren't looking out the window or walking outside.  I even ran past some people that I knew who were taking their baby out for an evening stroll.  I just shook my head and gave them the "I'm about to die doing this" look when they tried to chat to me.  My heart stopped with every car that drove by thinking that it might be some cruel teenagers throwing tomatoes at the fat lady jiggling running down the street.  At that thought, I made a mental note to go running after dark until I get more comfortable with this.  Then I remembered that I had already told myself about 5 minutes into this endeavor that this was the stupidest idea I've had yet, and I was never going to go running again.  I was not cut out for this.

Then, suddenly, I was looping aroud the neighborhood back to my house.  I glanced at the iPod and realized that I was 2/3 of the way through the 30-minute workout.  With that, I realized I could do it.  I was doing it.  So the last couple of running segments were actually my easiest ones because I was on my way home, not on my way away from home.

Upon walking in the front door, I just about collapsed to the floor.  "You should stretch," said my husband, The Athlete.  I didn't stretch.  I couldn't stretch.  I could barely move.  I poured myself a huge glass of ice water and sat outside on the patio with the fan on high trying to cool off.  Luckily, Fall has arrived in North Carolina so the outdoor temperature is finally lower than the indoor temperature these days!  It took me a good 20 minutes to feel like a human being again, and I did have a happy euphoric feeling that I actually did it.  Once.  I ran one time.  And after that night, I never planned to do it again...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Pledge Of Allegiance in School

Does your kid's class say The Pledge of Allegiance in school?  I was proud to discover that my kid's does!


And yes, he's usually shirtless when he's not at school where a full set of clothing is required. ;)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

LeapFrog Touch Magic Rock 'n Learn Party

Recently I was given a great opportunity to introduce my kids and some friends to a few innovative toys from one of my favorite kid focused companies, LeapFrog.  LeapFrog toys have been in my house since Joey was an infant, and they've always been a hit with my kids.  My kids love learning, playing, and making music, so the new LeapFrog Touch Magic toys were sure to be a hit.

When the box arrived, I was intrigued... there were no buttons on these toys.  They didn't look like much to me.  But I'm not one to judge a book by its cover, so I proceeded with inviting some friends over and let the kids decide.  Pun intended, they had a jammin' good time.

The LeapFrog Touch Magic Guitar allows the kids to control the speed and sound of their music.  Moms and kids alike will like the sleek, low profile design of these fun toys.  No buttons or funky parts means that it is less likely to get broken, and super easy to wipe clean.  It has 10 built-in songs, and all of my kids have had a great time playing with it.
The LeapFrog Touch Magic Learning Bus is an equally fun toy, and may be more appealing to moms that want their kids to "learn" something through playing.  It has 3 modes to play in: Learning, Letter Exploration, and Music.  Designed for children ages 2+, my 3 year-olds and 5 year-old really enjoyed this toy that teaches letters, early vocabulary, and plays familiar sounds and melodies.  Again, I enjoy the fact that there aren't a bunch of little pieces to break off or clean, and its easy to store on a shelf or take along for a long car ride.
These 2 toys are so reasonably priced at $24.99, and with the holiday season coming up, I think they are sure to be a hit.  You can purchase them at your local retailer (Target, Walmart, etc.) or on the LeapFrog Website. Also, moms with noise-sensitivity (like me) will enjoy the fact that these toys both feature sound settings.  So you can turn it down!
LeapFrog is hosting a music video contest from now until November 30, 2012.  Visit www.touchmagic.leapfrog.com and upload a video of your kid jamming their Touch Magic Guitar, or a homemade guitar made out of your own materials.  The top five videos will win $500 gift cards!  Just in time for Christmas!

Disclosure: As a member of BSM Media, I received the toys mentioned above free of charge for the purpose of hosting a LeapFrog sponsored party.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

There's No Love Like Her Love

I rarely write about the conversations I have with the girls, and I find that I'm usually sharing the things that Joey says.... because, let's face it... the kid is hilarious.  I'm pretty sure if I had the time I could write a blog post a day filled with the funny things that Joey says.

However, I'm on here this morning to share some sweet little girl love.  Olivia and I were hanging out in the kitchen, and I said, "I love you sweet pea." Her response was a HUGE hug around my legs followed with, "I'm gonna keep you forever Mommy."  Melted my heart.  Here's a recent picture of my sweet babe:


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Winner! Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust Giveaway

Congratulations to post #90, Tara, who said, "we love pepperoni!"  Check your email Tara, and I hope you enjoy your prize pack!  Thanks to all who entered... stay tuned, more giveaways coming soon!

Walmart After Dark

What is it about Walmart?  I mean, we've all seen the "People of Walmart" email forwards.  In fact, they've actually made a website and a YouTube video (both of which are absolutely freaking hilarious) to poke fun at all the crazy sh*t that goes on in Walmarts around the country.

Tonight I had to go out to do my obligatory weekly shopping for things like milk, juice, mini-bagels, and lunchables.  45 minutes and 103 dollars later I was leaving the place shaking my head at all of the questionable situations I had just come across.  In 45 minutes!

The funny part is that less than 2 short years ago I worked at Walmart, and the funny stuff I saw didn't annoy me nearly as much as when I'm there as a customer.  Maybe it's because I was getting paid pennies to be there?  I don't know.  Alas, my employment at the *Rollback* capital of the world only lasted for 8 long months.  And I didn't mind it all that much, mostly because every once in a while I got to post stuff like this to my Facebook page:


But as a customer, I can't stand being in there after hours.  Sadly, the only time I get to go to Walmart (alone) is the time that I hate it the most; After Dark.  Something happens to that place when the sun goes down.  The crazies come out of the woodwork to aimlessly roam the aisle and pretend that they don't hear me saying, "excuse me," 47 times, let their babies walk through the place with no pants on, and take it upon themselves to sample the food, (and I'm not talking about the nice elderly man who gives out samples from his little cart on Saturdays... I'm talking about people who just open up any old thing on the shelves and try it out.)  Those were the highlights of my trip tonight. 

Oh, and no trip to Walmart would be complete without a picture so I'll leave you with this:

 
In case you can't make it my crappy night time phone picture, that's a rolled up dirty diaper in the parking space next to my car.  Nice, huh?  Really?  Cause finding a trash can would have been too inconvenient.

Oh, and seriously, if you haven't watched that YouTube video yet, and you have about 6 minutes to waste, you really should take a peek.  It's stupidly funny.  And you can't help but laugh.  At least I can't.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust With Whole Grain Review & Giveaway

We love pizza in this house.  Who doesn't?  We love pizza of any kind, but lately we've really enjoyed making homemade pizza.  This is a fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen, and it's something that they will actually eat too which is a bonus in this house!

If you also enjoy making homemade pizza as a family, you should try the New Pillsbury® Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain.  Just add your favorite ingredients and enjoy a hot, fresh meal in minutes. Whether your family loves pepperoni, veggies, or the works, the possibilities are endless with New Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain.  With 16 grams of whole grain per serving, this is a pizza crust the whole family will love.  Now available in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store.

Quick, convenient, and completely customizable new Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain will help you add some pizzazz to your homemade pizza along with the health benefits of whole grain! To download a printable coupon for $1.25 off one package of New Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain, you can visit: http://bit.ly/PCwWG today!

Through MyBlogSpark, Pillsbury provided my family with a great little prize pack including a $10 Gift Card, a coupon for a free Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust, a pizza cutter,oven mitt, and new rectangular pan!  And lucky for you, they are going to send one lucky blog reader their very own gift pack also!

 
To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me what your family's favorite pizza topping is. One entry per person please. This giveaway starts now and will end on Monday, September 3rd, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. A winner will be selected at random and contacted via email. Winner will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

 Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark.

Libby's Fruit Cup Winner

I can't believe I only had two entries for this great giveaway!  What's going on here?  Don't you people love free stuff as much as I do?  Anyway, I'm happy to announce that the winner of the Libby's Back To School Prize Pack is post #1, pookiecat123 (Judy S.), who said, "The diced peaches sound great."  Congratulations Judy... check your inbox and send me your shipping info please!  I have a few more fun giveaways in store for you guys, so y'all better start entering to win!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And the winner is...

I am so glad to see that you're all getting excited about back to school!  The winner of the Crayola and General Mills Back to School Gift Pack is: 


Post #33, Jennifer Marie who said, "following via gfc (Jen M) 1."  Thanks for following Jennifer!  Check your inbox for a message from me requesting your shipping info!

Back to School Snacking Giveaway Sponsored by Libby's

In the spirit of back to school, I'm excited to share a great giveaway with you from Libby's featuring Libby's Single-Serve Fruit Cups and some other fantastic products.

These great little cups are just what every busy family needs to have on hand, as they are perfect for school lunches and after school snacking.  Made without any unhealthy additives, Libby's Single-Serve Fruit Cups come in a sturdy, easy-to-open container with 6 ounces of California grown fruit.  They are available at grocery stores for about a dollar a piece in 4 delicious varieties: diced peaches, diced pears, mixed fruit, and cherry mixed fruit.

The people over at Libby's were nice enough to send this great Back To School themed gift pack my way containing:

Yummy Healthy Fruit Cups:


This Bee Lunch Bag:
A Reusable Snack Bag: (it's machine washable!)
A svelte-looking Stainless Steel Food Container:

Why don't I have a picture of this gift pack all together, you ask?  Because my family was so excited about it we've already begun using everything!

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me which variety of Libby's Single Serve Snack Cups your family would most like to try.  One entry per person please.  This giveaway starts now and will end on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.  A winner will be selected at random and contacted via email.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Husband, The Athlete

Lately my husband and I have been talking a lot about diet and exercise. It's no secret that we both could stand to lose 50 a few pounds.  With a constant stream of visitors this summer, and some kind of party or event every weekend it has been difficult to stay focused.  I know, I know... same old song and dance.  But we are both committed at the moment to leading a healthier lifestyle and being less fat and more trim.

Over the weekend my hubby mentioned registering for a 5K that is happening at the end of September.  Running is sooooooo not my thing; in fact, I find it only slightly less awful than having a root canal, but I'm happy and mostly supportive that he wants to do it. This is probably the 4th 5K he has said he was going to register for in a year, but hey, who am I to judge?  (7-day diet = epic fail, anyone?)  So our conversation regarding his training for the upcoming 5K went something like this:

Hubs: I think I'll do that Couch-to-5K program.
Me: Sounds good.  A lot of my friends have followed it and liked it.
Hubs: Yea, but I'm not going to start at the beginning.  I think I'll start on like week four.
Me: (eyebrow raise) Ooooooooo-K. (in my most sarcastic tone) Why would you do that?  Just do it normal like everyone else does, and maybe it'll actually work.
Hubs: Well, I'm an athlete.

An athlete???  Playing basketball in high school and college does not allow you to call yourself an athlete 15+ years and 30ish pounds later!  I had to refrain from busting out in a fit of giggles at his oh-so-silly self-proclamation.  Instead I just fired one of my infamous one liners, and finished off the conversation with:

Me: Yea, and I'm a ballerina.

After all, I did take ballet lessons when I was SEVEN!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back To School Giveaway with Crayola and General Mills

As hard as it may be to accept... summer is coming to an end.  Currently in our 2nd week of August, Labor Day will quickly pass, and we'll all be back into the swing of things.  For most of you (who don't live in the crazy south and go to school YEAR ROUND!) this means your kids are heading Back To School very soon.  If you haven't already, its about time you head out to pick up school supplies, easy breakfast foods, and new clothes to get your kids off to the right start.  Crayola® and General Mills are teaming up at your local Target to help you get ready and save!
                                        

This month, available exclusively at Target Stores:
  • Purchase specially marked Nature Valley® Crunchy Granola Bars, Pillsbury® Toaster Strudel® Pastries, and Big G Cereal packages and you could save up to $5 on Crayola products
  • Participating Big G cereal boxes will feature a fun Crayola coloring activity on pack
  • Save on General Mills products when you purchase specially marked Crayola 64-CT Crayons
This back-to-school season will be as easy as 1-2-3 with a little help from General Mills, Crayola, and Target, the one-stop-shop for all your back-to-school needs! Head to the front of the class and check out www.GrocerySavvy.com where you’ll find even more coupons for back-to-school, recipes, and a special 2012 “Grocery Savvy Crayola® Back To School” Sweepstakes! Be sure to enter the sweepstakes for your chance to win one of the 700 Crayola® 8-count Washable Dry Erase Crayons or one of 20 Crayola® Dry-Erase Activity Centers Zany Play Edition.

Need a little encouragement in the getting ready for school department???  Good!  MyBlogSpark, Crayola, and General Mills has sent me a great prize pack, and is generously offering one of my blog readers one as well featuring:

  • A box of Cheerios
  • $20 Target gift card
  • 8-CT Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons


  • To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me what you're favorite part of Back-To-School is.  My standard giveaway rules apply and are posted below:
    • Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine (3 extra entries!) *Just click the little "follow" button on the right-hand sidebar, then leave me 3 additional comments stating, "follower #1, follower #2, etc."
    • Follow my blog on Facebook (2 extra entries) *click on the networked blog button on the right-hand sidebar, then leave 2 additional comments stating that you did!*
    • Grab my button and display it on your blog (2 extra entries!)
    • Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back to it. (2 extra entries!)
    • Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post. (leave an additional comment here to count as your entry!)
    This giveaway starts now and will conclude on  Monday, August 20th, 2012, 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be selected via Random.org and contacted via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen.

    Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Crayola, Target, and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Progresso Recipe Starters Preview

    Is there anyone else out there who stresses during those late afternoon hours over what to make for dinner?  Aren't we all looking for a dinner idea that we can throw together, tastes great, has wholesome ingredients, and doesn't take hours?  Oh, and that isn't cereal?  (Hahaha, yes, I feed my kids cereal for dinner.  A lot.)

    I was really excited when MyBlogSpark contacted me about trying out this great new product by Progresso.  Progresso Recipe Starters Sauces are a great solution to that dinner time dilemma that creeps up every afternoon.  Read more:

    Progresso Recipe Starters sauces will be available in five flavorful varieties that can each be used as a starter to create numerous home-cooked meals. Inspired by the five “Mother” Sauces that form the basis of classical French cooking, including BĂ©chamel, VeloutĂ©, Tomato, Espagnole and Hollandaise, Recipe Starters use a variety of ingredients and the best techniques to make sure your family has endless solutions to the weeknight dinner dilemma.

    The five varieties are: Creamy Parmesan Basil, Creamy Roasted Garlic with Chicken Stock, Fire Roasted Tomato, Creamy Portabella Mushroom, and Creamy Three Cheese.

    For added inspiration, Progresso created 80 recipes utilizing this new line of cooking sauces that can be found on Progresso.com. Many of these recipes are classic family favorites, such as Bacon Mac n’ Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken Parmesan.  An added bonus for me is these recipes don't usually list a whole bunch of ingredients that I have to make a special trip to the store to buy.  Many of the dinners are made with things that I already have on-hand most of the time.

    MyBlogSpark and Progresso sent me a prize pack including one of each of the sauces to try, and since we're all addicted to Mac 'n Cheese in this house, the Creamy Three Cheese was the first one I used.  And without much planning or thought whatsoever, I made this Easy Weeknight Bacon Mac n' Cheese:


    I threw some bread crumbs on top, baked it for 20 minutes, and Voila!  Dinner is served!


    This dish was delish!  And while I don't have a Prize Pack to send out to one of my readers, I do have MANY giveaways coming up so be sure to check back soon!

    Disclosure: The information, products and Progresso™ Recipe Starters™ gift pack was provided  to me by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.” All opinions expressed are my own.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Motts Fruit Flavored Snacks Winner Announcement

    I didn't feel like taking screen shots of each random drawing image, so I'm just posting the comment number and winner's name.  Congratulations to: #4: Carolsue  #2: Erin; #7: Janice, #8: Karin.  Check your inbox ladies, and get back to me ASAP with contact info so we can get your prize out to you!

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Sweet Moments

    As my kids have gotten older I don't follow them around with the camera as much as I used to.  We're busier and on the go now more than ever, and our busy schedule just doesn't lend itself to daily photo shoots like it did when they were babies.  Every once in a while though I feel like I get lucky and capture a sweet moment.  Maybe once called a Kodak Moment, I think of it as a special, unplanned, perfect snapshot of a particular moment in time.  Here's my most recent "Sweet Moment" taken last weekend at the beach.

    This girl is just crazy about her Nana.  While the other two kids swam and frolicked in the sand, Katelyn laid under the umbrella curled up in Nana's arms.  I was lucky enough to get this sweet moment on camera, and it's one that I know will be treasured forever.

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Motts Fruit Flavored Snacks Giveaway

    2 blog posts in one day?  Wow.  I must really have some free time on my hands... (not really, I just realized I forgot to post this giveaway like forever ago.)  So here goes:

    Summer is here in full force and with that comes a schedule jam packed with play dates, summer camp, and road trips. (And Kindergarten for crazy towns like mine that start school in July!)  With all these activities planned, there is one thing your kids are sure to need … great tasting snacks! Fortunately the Mott’s® taste that kids love is now available in yummy fruit flavored snacks! Available in Assorted Fruit and Berry varieties, Mott’s® Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks are the ideal blend of great tasting and quality ingredients that will make both kids and us moms happy.

    A couple things to consider about Mott's Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks are listed below:

    • Made with real fruit & vegetable juice* and natural colors and flavors
    • Available with year round Double Box Tops

    Mott’s® Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks are great on-the-go, so whether your family is lounging by the pool, playing in the park, or hanging on the beach this summer, Mott’s® has snack time covered! Want to save some money?  Head on over to http://bit.ly/MottsCoupon to download a printable coupon for $0.60 off the purchase of (1) Mott’s® Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks today!

    *Made with pear, apple and carrot juice concentrate. See package for complete details. Not intended to replace fruit or vegetables in the diet.

    Want to try some?  Great... here's the fun giveaway part!

    4 lucky readers will win a Gift pack complete with 6 boxes of Motts Medleys Fruit Flavored Snacks.  That's right... there will be 4 winners!  Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win.  I'm keeping it simple this time around.  One comment per person.


    Follow my blog if you want to, (please do!) but it won't earn you any extra entries.  This giveaway starts now and will conclude on Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 11:59pm.  All winners will be selected and notified shortly thereafter.  So what are you waiting for?  Post a comment now... you've only got 4 days!

    Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by Mott’s® through MyBlogSpark.

    A Little Olivia Update

    I could get used to this afternoon blogging gig again.  Seriously, I hadn't realized how much easier (and peaceful) a few hours of 2 children of the same age and gender would be than 3 of different ages and genders.  My house is Q.U.I.E.T. I love it.

    I realize that the blog has been a little Joey-heavy lately, so I figured I'd hop on here real quick to talk about one of my other favorite kids.  Olivia.


    Sweet, sassy, adorable, Olivia.  Who is really coming into her own as far as personality, sense of humor, and tantrums.  Oh, those three-year-old-girl tantrums.  Oy.  Anyway, Olivia has struggled a bit with speech and vocabulary development, but is doing much better as of recently.  Her stutter was once so pronounced that she would get hung up on every single syllable.  It broke my heart, but we've worked a lot with her and she's really getting quite confident in expressing herself.

    Moments ago Olivia came to me while I was standing in the kitchen hovering over my iPad and said, "Mommy, I is hungry."  This just happens to be one of her favorite phrases, since she has recently realized that she can have some influence over what she eats.  Rarely satisfied with anything other than crackers, cookies, or fruit, this little girl has a serious sweet tooth.  I asked her what she wanted to eat and she said, "Ummmm... Cake Pops."  Cake pops?  What a request... Apparently Olivia is thinking that those are just something I keep laying around in my pantry. (I don't.)  I told her we didn't have any cake pops, to which she whined a little and said, "Mommy, but you can just make me some."  I started to laugh a little, told her that I wouldn't be doing that this afternoon, to which she just became increasingly irritated until she was whining and begging me to whip up a batch smooshed cake dipped in chocolate on a stick.

    Ultimately I was able to satiate Olivia with a package of Scooby-Doo gummies, (I know, healthy afternoon snack.)  And I'm sure if it were up to Olivia, I should be adding personal on-demand baker to my mommy repertoire.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    The Very Beginning

    Well, we made it through the first day of Kindergarten without any tears from Joey.  (I, on the other hand was a basket case.)  He was excited, a little apprehensive, and uncharacteristically quiet as I dropped him off.  When the Assistant Principal opened the car door, he slowly climbed out, hoisted his too-big backpack up onto his shoulders, turned around, and with a wave of his little hand said, "Bye Mom!  See you later!"  And I lost it.  I cried and cried and cried.  I even had to go back to the house real quick before heading to work because I couldn't find any tissues in the car to wipe off the ugly black mascara streaks running down my face.  It was horrible.  My heart hurt after saying goodbye to that precious boy.  The crying lasted a good 15 minutes, and then I was OK.  Puffy blotchy eyes for the remainder of the morning, but OK.  I thought about him a million times throughout the day, but knew he'd be just fine.  And he was.

    Here we are moments before lift off:


    When pressed for details about his day, I got a lot of, "I'm not sure." or, "I don't really remember." So I left it at that.  I knew he'd tell me in his own time.  As the evening wore on Joey was more and more forthcoming as memories of Kindergarten started to emerge.  Here's what I gathered: *Mommy reactions are marked with *asterisks*)
    • His class had Gym as a special.  He told me the name of his P.E. Teacher (impressive) and said that there is a stage in the gym, and isn't that silly?  When I asked him what they did in Gym he said nothing because Kindergartners don't know the rules yet. *???*
    • I asked him how his lunch was and if he ate it all.  He said he liked the cheese stick and yogurt, and ate all his cheese-its.  He said he had a couple bites of his granola bar and then had to throw it out.  According to Joey, he had to throw it out because Mrs. Harris (his teacher) tells them when lunch is over and if they don't have any more time they have to be done.  *picking up on routines already... I like it.  Wasting food... not so much.*
    • He said they have nap time at school.  I asked if he rested on his towel that I sent.  (Which, by the way he was very concerned about... apparently I sent his FAVORITE towel and he doesn't want the school to think it is theirs.) He said he fell asleep because the teacher put a Winnie the Pooh story on to listen to from the "music player thing" and it made him tired.  *heart melt*
    • He was able to tell us about 5 or 6 of his classmate's names, and impressed himself that he already knows where his cubby is.
    • Lastly, when I was putting him to bed last night Joey said this proudly: "After rest time I felt like coming home but I didn't even cry.  A girl in my class cried cause she wanted to go home, but not me.  I just waited and waited and waited until you came for me."  *tears welled up in my eyes... my sweet brave boy*
    And that's about all I know.  I was impressed that he gave some specific details, and really seemed to enjoy himself while taking it all in.  I love this little guy so much, and my heart strings are barely hanging on as we embark on this new journey towards growing up.  Sigh.

    By the way, please take a moment to notice the time of this post.... mid-afternoon.  It's been a long time since I was able to peacefully write a blog post during my childrens' waking hours.  But the girls are keeping to themselves; they are actually very busy enjoying all of Joey's toys while he's not around to scream at them. I'll be the first to admit that a break in the sibling squabbling is an HUGE plus to my little guy going off to school.  Now we're off to pick him up.  Let the fighting commence! 

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Happy Birthday Joey!

    Tomorrow marks an important chapter in the life of my family.  First off, my first born is turning 5 years old tomorrow.  This seems so surreal, being the mother of a 5-year-old.  How can 5 years have passed already?  The days of nursing, rocking, and cuddling this little baby seem not so long ago.


    And definitely not 5 years long ago.

    In addition to my sweet boy turning 5, we are about to cross over to a whole new world tommorrow.  Elementary School.  That's right... my little guy is heading off to Kindergarten in the morning.  I am a bag of mixed emotions tonight as I think about my sweet little red-headed boy venturing off into the big world without me.

    Obviously, I am happy for him.  First and foremost I am so excited for him to learn new things, make new friends, and spend his days having new adventures in school.  I can just imagine how entranced he will be at his first music class watching and learning about real musical instruments and songs.  He is a careful observer before he is a joiner, and I love picturing him watching and taking it all in.  I'm also enjoying envisioning him entering the cafeteria with his little Spiderman lunch box, and having a good time with new friends while they compare lunches and (hopefully) eat what their mommies packed for them.

    There is another side of me that is completely terrified to drop that little guy off at the front of the huge school around the corner from our house, only to pick him up 7 hours later.  What if he doesn't know where to go?  What if there isn't anyone around to help him?  What if he cries that really loud, sad cry and it freaks out his teacher and classmates?  What if he falls at recess?  What if he falls asleep during rest time?  What if they lose him?  What if?  What if? My mind is a whirlwind of what if questions tonight, and I'll probably have to take Benadryl so I can sleep.  I know the rational answers to all of those questions.  But still.  What if?

    Lastly, I'm sad.  Obviously I'm sad.  My baby boy is growing up and about to start living his life independent from me.  He has been by my side for 5 years.  That's a long time.  And as much as he drives me absolutely insane sometimes I'll miss him a lot.  He is the person I talk to most during the day. The first person I see (usually far earlier than I'd like) in the morning.  He gives me kisses, hugs, slurberts, and lots of love every single day and the thought of him not being around for all of that makes me super sad.  It's so weird that I won't know what he's doing at any given moment in the day.  I know it's time, but I'm just not ready to let go.  (It's a good thing we base the decision of going to Kindergarten on their readiness, not ours, huh?)

    Regardless of how I feel about it, it's here.  The time has come for Joey to spread his little wings and fly.  So with any luck I'll get back on here this week sometime and update y'all with how he's doing.  I'll leave you with some recent pics of my goofy 5! year old while we celebrated his birthday this weekend...



    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    My 7 Day Diet -Day 3: The End

    The title of this post is indicative of the reason why I have not finished blogging about my 7 Day Diet.  It's because I did not actually complete my 7 Day Diet.  I quit on Day 3.  It pains me to be a quitter, but for the livelihood of my family, my own general well being, and my sanity it was needed.

    Since I committed to blogging about each day of this diet, let me go back to Wednesday and give you a glimpse of what Day 3 felt like... I woke up with absolutely no energy.  I seriously felt like I could not function.  I had hope that with a little fruit first thing in the morning I would perk up.  (Day 2 was veggie day, so I didn't even get the natural sugars of fruit that I had on Day 1.)  I had a bowl of Watermelon and felt bloated, but not full.  I also had a cup of tea because I was still battling my caffeine withdrawal.  Somehow I managed to get myself and the kids ready to head off to school.  (I'm pretty sure I was drooling as I packed their cheese sticks and peanut butter crackers for lunch.)

    For a mid-morning snack I had a bowl of cherries.  Those gave me a feeling of satisfaction and fullness, so that was good.  Also cherries take a little longer to eat than other fruits because each one has a stem and a pit to be discarded.  Lunch consisted of Cabbage Soup (ugh), Celery Sticks, and some Kiwi.  The cravings and general feeling of malnourishment lasted throughout the morning, and increased in the afternoon when I came home from work.  I was trying to persevere, as I really liked the 3 pound loss I had seen thus far, and as mentioned above, I really hate to be a quitter.  But my will was weakening dramatically.

    My fuse was short when dealing with my kids in the afternoon, and I was really low on energy as well as patience.  I had a whole bunch of things planned to do for my son's upcoming birthday party, but had little motivation and energy to get any of it done.  I did manage to make some squash and zuchinni chips in the afternoon:

    One Yellow Squash sliced as thin as possible, spray pan lightly, spray top of squash slices lightly, sprinkle with salt.  I don't have a picture of it, but I did the same with a zuchinni.  Bake at 200 for about 2 hours.


    The zuchinni took a little longer (maybe 2 hours, 20 minutes or so), and this is what they looked like coming out of the oven:


    They shrink up considerably... this is what my plate looked like with 1 whole squash and 1 whole zuchinni.  I ate these in about 30 seconds.  No sharing took place, as they were too darn good.


    5 o'clock rolled around and I fixed my kids their usual dinner of Mac 'n Cheese.  That's when it all fell apart.  In case you weren't aware, I love Mac & Cheese.  So it's no surprise that when I stirred that pot of Annie's Homegrown Aged White Cheddar Shells and Cheese I could not resist having just one bite.  Or four.  After that I texted my friend and diet buddy Kelly who has been depriving herself alongside me.  I made my confession and she wrote back that she just had made a small concession as well.  After some deliberation and an agreement that we gave it our all but weren't cut out for this, we were done.

    I went grocery shopping and filled up my cart with English Muffins (whole grain ones), cheese (many different kinds), and some Swedish Fish. (which I ate in the parking lot.)

    Stay tuned for my final thoughts on this plan, and the aftermath of fast food cravings that came in the days that followed.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    My 7 Day Diet- Day 2

    Day 2 was a little tougher for me than Day 1.  First off, no fruits.  Just veggies.  All day long.  I like vegetables as much as the next person, but without the sugary sweetness of fruit that got me though yesterday, I felt bored with my choices, and pretty deprived throughout the day.

    First off, it felt strange waking up and eating carrots for breakfast.  Almost a whole bag of baby carrots.  I felt like a bunny rabbit by the time I got to work.  For lunch I made myself a huge salad with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, celery, red and yellow peppers, and shredded carrots.  It was yummy, and quite filling.  I used about 1 ounce of balsamic vinegar mixed with 1 teaspoon of basil-infused olive oil, and a little Pampered Chef Bell Pepper Rub Seasoning.  I know it would have been ideal to forgo the dressing on my salad, but really?  I'm not going to eat a salad without dressing.

    After work I was feeling pretty good, not as groggy as yesterday with no headache.  I took the kids to the pool for the afternoon so I would not be tempted by the food in my kitchen.  I munched on pepper slices as they enjoyed their nice protein/carb snack of cheese and pretzels.  Oh, how I would have loved to share some of their pretzels.

    The only thing that got me through the day without giving in to temptation was knowing that I was having a big baked potato for dinner.  With butter.  I had a big bowl of Cabbage Soup while I waited for my potato to finish cooking, and I've never been happier to see this:


    Did I go overboard on the size of my potato?  (that's a salad plate by the way, not a dinner plate!) Probably.  But I haven't had a complex carbohydrate in 2 days.  I've also had very little salt and only a teaspoon of oil as a fat, so I loaded the thing with butter.  Heck, I've earned it.  And when the week is done I highly doubt the size of my potato or amount of butter I used is going to matter as far as poundage lost.

    And that's my day, in a nutshell.  Or a lettuce shell, in this case.  No nuts allowed.

    Tomorrow is a combination of days 1 and 2, minus the potato.  I'll be glad to have fruit again, but I sure will miss the starchy goodness that I ate tonight.

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    My 7 Day Diet- Day 1

    Hello bloggy world!  It's been a while, I know, and I've missed you.  Unfortunately I just don't have the time to sit down and post as much as I used to.  Ok, I probably do have the time, but it is taken up by other things.  (Damn you, Facebook, Pinterest, and Draw Something for iPad.)

    I'm bringing myself back though, and I've decided to go public with my weight loss to do it.  Blogging about my weight loss is something I've never been really comfortable with, for many reasons.  I'm more of a quiet dieter who hopes people (who don't know I'm trying to lose weight) notice that I look thinner.

    But I've been inspired and I've decided to keep track of my journey here for a little bit.  I've been attending Weight Watcher meetings for about 3 months now.  I've lost about 11 pounds in that time, and I feel like it's a huge roller coaster.  The first 5 pounds came off fairly quickly, but the next 6 or so pounds did a yoyo on the scale each week.  I'm not disappointed with my loss, (11 pounds is nothing to sneeze at!) but I wish it were more, and I've recently been wondering if there is something I could do to just completely shake things up and get my body into biggest loser mode.  Then my friend Kelly started blogging about her "Weight Loss Experiment."  Read it here.  When I read her blog last Monday night, it couldn't have been more timely for me, as I had just finished out a not so great week with my yoyo scale.

    Kelly was going on a "crash diet," as some would call it.  A "7 day cleanse," the "cabbage soup diet," a "detox plan," call it what you will, but after reading her blog for a couple of days, and doing some research on this idea, I was inspired.  So here I go...

    Today has been interesting.  Fruit only (minus bananas) plus as much Cabbage Soup as my heart desires.  I love fruit, so I figured it should be a easy day.  And for the most part it was.  The hardest part for me had little to do with food, and a lot to do with beverages as I am a total caffeine feign.  A typical day for me starts with a huge mug of caffeinated tea, followed by a travel mug of coffee to take to work.  Mid afternoon I have another large coffee, and sometimes a super-sized Diet Coke as well.  I know... it's bad.  So giving up my beloved coffee and other caffeinated beverages posed to be quite a problem today.  A problem so big that I caved around 2pm and made myself a small cup of coffee.  That took care of my massive headache, and allowed me to get through the rest of my afternoon feeling normal and less sluggish.  A cheat?  Yes.  But it had to be done, so I don't feel bad about it.

    As for the foods I ate today, it went a little something like this: almost half of a watermelon for breakfast. Pineapple for a mid-morning snack (not recommended because of the high glycemic index, but it was on sale and I love it so whatever). Cabbage Soup for lunch followed by a bunch of cherries.  2 green apples for afternoon snack, and a very large bowl of Cabbage Soup for dinner.  Oh, and I have drank about a thousand glasses of water.  I have felt mostly satisfied, and after dinner I had tons of energy which led me to scrub my hardwood floors (on my hands and knees nonetheless), and clean 2 out of 3 bathrooms in the house.  Normally during the week I do none of that.  I may sweep and wipe down the counters but that's about all, I save the heavy cleaning for the weekend.

    I did have a craving for cheese for most of the day  Probably because I had very little salt, and I cut a bunch up for my kids' school lunches this morning.  I also felt like snagging a handful of pretzels from my kids' snack this afternoon, and had trouble watching my husband devour a bag of Chex Mix 20 minutes ago.  But I was able to curb the cravings with fruit and Cabbage Soup, or simply stepping away.

    Oh, and in case you're wondering, cabbage soup has a lot more than just cabbage:


    All and all, not a bad day.  Aside from my coffee slip up I stayed completely on the diet.  Will I have coffee tomorrow?  Maybe.  Will I feel bad about it and/or let my headache get so bad that I feel like crawling in a dark closet?  No.  If I need it, I'll have it.

    One more thing I've learned today is not to put off the urge to pee while on this diet.  My water intake has obviously increased, therefore I've spent significant time in the bathroom.  Like every 10 minutes.  So yea, I learned the hard way to pee on demand and don't just do one more thing.  Standing at the sink doing the dishes tonight with a slight urge to pee, I thought to myself, "I'll just finish this up real quick and then go." My bladder apparently couldn't wait.  I peed myself.  Yup, sure did.  1 minute dry as a bone, the next minute not so much.  Lesson learned, it won't happen again.  At least I hope not or Olivia won't be the only one who needs to bring extra panties wherever we go!

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

    Winner! Big G Curvy Straws Prize Pack

    Congratulations to post #6, Karin who said, "I follow thru networked blogs. #2"  Thanks for following Karin!  Enjoy your prize!

    Winner! Libby's Single Serve Fruit Cups Giveaway

    Congratulations to post #8, ToyStory who said that "pears" was their favorite fruit.  Thanks to all who entered, I really appreciate you all reading and following my blog!

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