Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lovin' Sunday...

First of all... Happy Easter everyone!  I hope today is filled with family, friends, and thoughts of the true meaning of what today is.

I started writing about all the things that I'm loving lately... but it seemed so odd to blog about silly things like music, clothes and food on such an important day.... so... I'll save those things for another Sunday.

For today, I'll just share this... You've probably heard it, but you should listen to it again. I remember our music minister singing this song on Easter Sunday one year and my body was covered in chills....I've loved it ever since. It's such a beautiful song!

Until Next Time....

Friday, March 29, 2013

Eating Clean(ish) in 2013

Oh my goodness... I'm on Insanity Round II.... and I cannot begin to tell you how much more stamina I have this time around, and I place it partially on how much better I am eating!

Our 'Eating Clean(ish) in 2013' is going well...(I came up with that name yesterday....what do ya think? Corny?? Perfect!)    but let's be honest. I'm not a completely Clean Eater... and I probably never will be... I love mexican food, ice cream and chocolate just like everyone else and I'm not ready to give it up......... but I can live with that fun stuff in my diet, if it's in moderation and added to clean-ish meals....

Here's what I've learned in the few weeks that I've doing this....

1) Be honest with yourself. Don't buy crap food you're not willing to try or eat. Don't even pin, print or flag the recipe if you question your ability and desire to eat it. Don't waste the time and money.

2. Look at the ingredients. Here are some helpful hints.....
---If the 'ingredients list' consists of more than 5 ingredients and you cannot pronounce (or buy) the ingredients....don't get it!
---If it came from a plant.... eat it. If it's made IN a plant (factory) don't get it...
---If it has a commercial, don't get it.
---Think about if you would fill your belly with the item you're contemplating (that package of cookies, maybe??) If you wouldn't want to eat that and only that for a day, put it back.
---If your food can go bad, it's good for you. If doesn't go bad, it's bad for you.

3. Meal Plan. Just going to the store and buying fruits, vegetables and grains will cost you a lot of money and it stinks to just pitch them when they're rotten. Think about your schedule for the week, plan out your meals and buy the foods only for those meals and snacks.

4. Eat more than 3 times a day. Clean(ish) meals don't fill you up quite like Midwest meals (complete with gravy, cheese, sauce, etc) do and you're going to feel hungry more often.... Eating clean websites suggest eating 6 times a day to help with calorie intake and metabolism, but heck... I just eat more often because I'm hungrier eating these kinds of meals. Keep snacks with you! Onto number 5....

5. Make your own pre-packaged snacks. Buy containers of fruit, veggies, grains, etc and baggy (that is SO a verb!) them into snack size servings. Keep them together in a "snack spot." You're much more likely to choose a healthy snack if it's as convenient as a candy bar or bag of cookies. I do this every time that I come home from the store when my adrenaline is still pumping and the high hasn't worn down from the awesome food that I bought.

6. Do all your work in one night. Same as the snacks--- clean, chop and package food for the week in one evening. If you make smoothies, prepackage the fruit and freeze so it's quick and easy to grab. If you do crock-pot meals, baggy all the ingredients and freeze until you're ready to throw it in the crock-pot. I find it helpful just to clean and vegetables so that they are easy to grab for a snack or side dish.

7. Shop the perimeter of the store. Unless you're buying household items, seasonings or grains, stay to the perimeter of your grocery section. You'll find most of what you need out there... and won't be tempted to buy junk.  This is a huge one for me.... temptation makes it's hard!

8. There are a lot of people that eat 'clean(ish).' I'm not the only one. I was afraid I would seem weird for wanting to cut out parts of my diet but leave others (like eating out) but there are a lot of people in this world doing the same thing... Pinterest is full of "Eating Clean(ish)" boards that include ideas for incorporating grains, fruits and vegetables in with other foods. I can still use some 'store-bought' ingredients to make a healthier dish. I don't have to be a Martha Stewart or Paula Deen in the kitchen and know how to make every ingredient from scratch. It's doesn't all have to organic, natural and whole. I CAN clean up some areas and live with moderation of other things that I enjoy. I don't have to be a "hippie" to do this. I can make trade-offs and still be eating better. I love salads, but I love french or ranch dressings.....I've tried other dressings and they just don't satisfy me, but I've decided that it is better to indulge in the creamy dressing if it means eating more vegetables.

9. It's not as hard or gross as you may think. When I first started, I felt as though it would be a punishment for me... but it's really not been. My husband was very concerned about what this would change for him... and after a very healthy (and clean) meal, I asked what he thought. He said, "That was....whatever you call it...clean? That was really good!" Even men like it! :) When I started, I often ordered salads as sides, chicken for the main course and a fruit cup for dessert....but I'm learning to make better choices within what I already knew as 'healthy.' Chicken covered in cheese and bacon... yeah, not the best choice. Never ordering vegetables....bad. Processed foods... superbad. It's all about making yourself aware of what you're eating... what's in it, how it's made, and what it does for your body. 

10. There are so many resources for Eating Clean and Eating Clean(ish). Pinterest of course is my favorite because they are all in one spot.

If you're considering eating clean, I highly recommend it. It's really not that hard and it's definitely not a punishment. Feel free to follow me on my Pinterest board for Eating Clean(ish) or comment any questions you might have. I'm new to this, too.. so we can learn together! : )

Thursday, March 28, 2013


What a crazy month we've had around here. As you know, I got my wisdom teeth out a month ago.... It was a slow road back to feeling like myself again. After a week of chunky cheeks, a bruised face, sore jaw and pain recovery, I was ready to go back to work. I subbed a half day for the teacher that I would taking over for in May for her maternity leave. Well, the leave came a little earlier than expected. I got a call that weekend telling me that the teacher was on bed rest for a few days until her next appointment due to early contactions.  I subbed a few days for her and then got the notice that she is on bed rest until further notice. This is my sixth leave and have always observed a day or two to get the routine established for me and to answer all kinds of questions....but not this time.  I've spent a lot of evenings in the classroom, asked a lot of questions and sent a lot of emails to the teacher. It's been overwhelming to say the least, but I'm loving it! I'm so ready to get my own classroom. The teacher has been so helpful... she's sent a lot of emails and materials into me to help through all of this. I cannot imagine what she's going through....

To add to the chaos, during the same time of getting settled into the room, I chaperoned a school trip for my old high school's student council and I helped host a bridal shower for a dear friend that is getting married June 1 but lives 9 hours away.... so of course we had to fit in a lot of girl time while she was we had pizza and girl talk Saturday night, shower on Sunday and shopping all day Monday.... It was great to laugh so much after the heartache I'm still feeling....   I don't think a shopping day has ever been funnier.... We laughed like teenagers! I cannot even begin to think of all the funny stuff that day that had us rolling.... one-way streets, showing up at the wrong place, water spilled in the lap to look like a potty accident, food on a tiny plate... oh it was a funny day! We also got to see her in her full wedding day look--minus hair, jewelry, nails, etc.... but we saw the dress, veil and shoes... She looks beautiful!

The world's tiniest four door car had a rather large trunk... She got a TON of stuff knocked off her shopping list!

Here are some pictures from the shower. She wanted simple, but elegant. I think we delivered.

the cupcakes had already been attacked, so the display isn't complete in this picture

My hair fell very flat by the time the shower was over....

When she picked aqua and sage two years ago, I never dreamt that they would "the colors" for summer 2013! They're everywhere! All of the bits and pieces that everyone had to contribute
came together nicely I think. 
 The games were kinda my area, and it was hard to find games that we hadn't played at the other 4 showers we've had in the last few years, and she only wanted a couple, so we had to make them good!

We did a pop quiz, because after all, a bridal shower for a teacher isn't complete without one. The bride hid in the hallway just after the introduction and guests were asked about her appearance... We even threw in some tricks, like--- "What color are her earrings?"..... She doesn't have pierced ears! haha

The other main game we played was "Name the Powder." We had 10 baggies filled with white powders from my kitchen and guests had to name what they were without smelling or tasting... only feeling through the bag. I had your typical salt, flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, etc....but also put in vanilla instant pudding mix, coffee creamer and pancake mix.... and SOMEHOW a woman got all 10 correct...and I didn't even give them choices of what the ten items were?!?! The game took a long time, but it was interesting.

It was so nice to have her home, but she's back in Kansas now and we won't see her until the end of May when the whirlwind of wedding week begins! I'm looking forward to it....

One day, there were five or six cardinals all in the same tree at my mom's house. My grandma used to always love seeing the birds outside the window... and we've all been seeing cardinals since she left us, so I like to think that it's just her reminding us that she's watching over us...

They had all flown to parts of the yard by the time I got my camera out,
and I know it's really hard to see... : /

We got to see the baby girl again! We had another shower on Sunday--- this time it was of the baby kind. I had three showers on three consecutive Sundays to attend or host, and then this Sunday is Easter. Whooo!

Someone had been taking a clay class.....

Two mommas in the family....

And... now onto the goal of 2013.... Eating "clean-ish" and staying fit!
We really are eating much better around here. I'm learning to hide eat vegetables....and cook more better.
Our favorite thing right now is seasoned chicken... I bought Mrs. Dash in a few flavors as well as some other seasonings... We'll just throw it in the oven or on the George Foreman and call it good.
Asparagus is something that I'm trying to learn to like...but it just takes like darn grass. I've seasoned it, put parm cheese on it and dipped it in ranch, but it's just difficult for me... Maybe it will grow on me??

Yes, we've been eating in the floor lately. NCAA games are on so we sit in front of the TV...haha Classy, I know..

I love breakfast foods. We had peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt and bananas one day. Cam went all Elvis on me and made the sandwich with the bananas on it, but that's just not a taste I like...
my picture won't rotate :(

Here's my latest grocery trip.... two bags of frozen chicken, mixed vegetables, romain lettuce, triscuits, cottage cheese, string cheese, nuts, bananas, cauliflower, natural peanut butter, protein bars, yogurt, strawberries... and my NEW FAVORITE: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest... O M G... it's to die for! It's similar to a mini wheat but packed with cinnamon flavor. It has a higher calorie count per cup than some cereal, but it's made with organic ingredients and I can READ all of them... not a bunch of processed crap or preservatives!
We still eat some junk here and there, and we enjoy eating out on occassion,
but I figure it's a trade off for all the good stuff we are eating!

And here's the big news... I've started INSANITY round 2. Today is day 4 and I'm pumped. I'm doing it with a friend and loving it--it makes us more accountable and it's so much easier with a friend. I feel like the time passes quicker when I talk and complain with someone else! I'm feeling the burn (forgot how bad that part is)...but I cannot believe how much higher my stamina is for round 2 than it was for round 1...big difference in my level of fitness this year. That excites me.

I'm hoping the weather turns nice here soon. I'm ready for good running weather. My gums and mouth were so messed up from my wisdom teeth that I didn't go out for a while and now the cold has just scared me off! haha... yes, I'm a fairweather runner... But--- let me explain. Our health insurance is terrible and my job doesn't allow for days off, thus meaning that if I get sick, I lose pay (and that can mean thousands of dollars during a maternity leave--- teacher pay kicks in after 15 consecutive days, but it starts over if you miss a day), plus we'd have a large doctor bill... so I have to be careful about getting sick/injured right now.  Makes sense to me and my checkbook... but sucks to not want to run in every weather condition.

So... That's been my month of March. I feel as though I blinked and it was gone... showers, school, grocery shopping, meal planning, working out and lots of rest after my surgery... and now the month is over....but onto April... my birthday and warmer weather (hopefully!)

I hope March was full of fun for you...
Oh, and Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
You can bet that we'll be watching the game tonight!
Until next time...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just call me Martha...

Hey everyone... I've been home since Thursday after getting my wisdom teeth removed. Yes... I'm still home. I was supposed to return back to work today, but my cheeks are still so swollen that I'm lucky to close my mouth (rubbing my lips together is almost impossible.) I had one very impacted tooth. If I remember correctly at the consultation (five months ago??) that one tooth was buried and growing sideways and outward under my back molars. That side of my face still looks like I'm a squirrel stocking up for winter.... It's very attractive. More to come about the whole process later.

Anyway... Since I've been home, I've watched a ton of movies, pinned a ka-trillion more things, and eaten more applesauce than I care to remember.... Oh, and torn down a wall, moved cabinets in my kitchen, designed a new bar in our kitchen, sewn a baby quilt, planned a party, repainted our bedroom, bought a new bedspread, revamped my makeup supply, cooked amazing meals, bought a whole new wardrobe, designed a million baby headbands, built a TV stand, coffee table and two side tables.....AND--- redesigned our backyard to include a fire pit, gazebo and garden..... Okay, Okay, Okay.... so maybe the first three things were the reality, but I really have done all the rest---- in my head, on paper and via Pinterest :)  

I'm bored out of my mind!!! Actually.....I don't know what is so different--- I love planning, designing and creating..... so, maybe it's just the fact that I can't eat what I want to?!?! hahahahaha. Well, that, and I can't go for a run or exercise just yet....I'm bored! I'm uncomfortable. I'm hungry for real food!!!   I'm trying not to complain because things could be so much worse, but it's so tempting because I don't hurt in any way really...... but I just can't do things like normal....

Here's one thing that I've accomplished....

I've decided that I want to repaint our bedroom... I know... we've only lived here (less than) two years.... but you learn things through time. I've learned: I really do not like our yellow bedroom. We have so much natural light that there are times one of us goes back to our bedroom because we think we left the ceiling light on... Plus, Cameron picked a very bright/tropical bedspread from many that I narrowed it down to 3 years ago, so when paired with the walls, I feel as though we live in Florida year round... We've enjoyed it for three years.... but I'd really like a change soon.... And--- we hate sleeping under this big comforter... It's usually in a big pile at the end of the bed...but for a while, Cam slept on top of it on his side... so now the bedspread needs dry cleaned and when I called, I was told that the starting price was $35.... I'd really just like to put that money into a newer one to match a new paint color...right? :)

Tell me if I'm crazy to put a color like one of these in our tiny bedroom (with tan carpet and all oak trim/furniture)...

I want to keep some of the green accents in the bedroom for Cam (he loves lime green) so I think #1&#3 show that they pair together well.... I think #4 might be too light for me. I like things a bit more bold.

I'm really loving all white/neutral bedding right now... well, I always have really... Target has some great all white sets with some pattern in them..... So... Give me feedback... What do you think??? Is the blue too much? Will I regret getting rid of my cheery Floridian room??

Until Next Time...