Monday, April 30, 2012

My Weight loss Journey

       I finally did it... the thing I thought impossible. I hit the big "200" on the scales.  Then I swore of the scales. Maybe it was a bad day, right?  To tell you the truth, as I'm writing this, I'm not even certain what I exactly weigh.  

      The turning point: I need a couple of new dresses. Yes, I need them - because I don't have many clothes that still fit. I have gone up 2 dress sizes since I last went dress shopping. Not only that, but I am now in the last size that is in the regular line of clothes in department stores. I refuse to have to shop in the plus-size department. I am not disapproving of women who shop in the plus-size department; my mother did for as long as I can remember, and I think she was beautiful! But I already don't feel as good (health-wise) as I remember feeling when I was even 20 pounds lighter - I want to do this for me.
      I also have done a good job of convincing myself that I'm not as big as I really am... and I was going for a nice reinforcement of that lie so I visited (you type in your body info, height, weight, size etc and it produces pictures of real women your size). I think this is a wonderful website, so many people view themselves as "fat" and that is so far from the truth - it's great for those who need a positive self image. Except in my case... it made me think oh my gosh, is that what I look like???

      First Goal: to loose 15 pounds! I found this blog and was amazed at the difference 15 pounds can make in a woman just like me. 15 pounds is something totally attainable (and a nice perk is that it is about a dress size difference). I still hope to eventually reach my goal of weighing about 145 - 150 (as listed on my 101 blog), but that will take time and work... little steps.


      My current DIET plan, mostly derived from my various pins on Pinterest (my weight-loss board "No food tastes as good as Skinny Feels") and what I know will work for me more so than any actual scientific research done on my part.
  • Guzzle Water - Drink 1 glass of water every hour (I'm pretty good at drinking water at work, so that would roughly be 7 glasses a day). Make it ice-cold water (your body burns calories to bring it back to body temperature)
  • Divide Portions in half - I'll mostly do this using smaller plates. 
  • Eat at home... hey it'll save money for new clothes too, right?
  • Start a blog - well I'll start blogging about it here.
  • ** Tweet your weight **
  • Eat more veggies, nuts, grapefruit, yogurt
  • Brush & floss more
  • **Trade your car for a bike**
        I'm not going to actually start tweeting my weight, but I am going to start texting it to several of my close friends once a week. I trust them enough to know that they will support me and encourage me, but not tear me down if I have a bad week or slip. I need the accountability - someone to check in and say "hey - it's Saturday and I haven't heard from you??"


    My current EXERCISE plan - if swimming worked for Amanda, then it will work for me. I'm going to make a call today and see if one of my friends will Ok me crashing her pool several days a week. : ) I hope to swim 3 nights a week for an hour and a half (pretty sure that will either kill me or come close the first few times I do it...). Then for another 3 days of the week I plan to ride a bicycle... that I need to purchase.

I think these exercises will work for me because they are both things that I have enjoyed doing in the past when I was in good shape. I hope to regain these pleasures.

       My ultimate goals for these exercise routines: I want to take John camping later this summer and be able to swim across Lake Meridian!

The summer before my senior year of high school (when I was in prime shape), several of my friends and I swam across the lake on a whim. The lake is long and narrow, but let me assure you - "narrow" as it may seem in the picture... it's still quite the workout, even "back when".

As far as the bike riding goes. My dear sweet husband who is much better at this whole fitness thing than I am (and unfortunately my bad habits rub off on him rather than his good on to me) is quite the runner. He has lost roughly 20 pounds and is in great shape (my hottie!)! (He goes through these cycles, and looses a bunch of weight and gains a little back, and looses it etc. These cycles are usually my fault because he slips back into my bad habits)... He is currently training for a half marathon and has been running from our house to my Dad's neighborhood and back to our house (15.4 miles!). I want to be able to ride my bike with him on these runs! It sure won't happen overnight... but with time and training! (for those who question, why not just run with him? I'm not a runner... I tried to train for a 5K... and failed - I think maybe the swimming I will do will help me be able to try again, because I'd really like to run a 5K but we've got to whip my asthmatic lungs back into shape with something less strenuous than running)

       Here's to a change! : )

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Our "Freedom Account" and Savings Update

       I stumbled upon this blog all about how to live as a family of 6 on less than $28,000 a year!  The first post I read about was regarding her "Freedom Account". She got the idea from Mary Hunt's Debt Proof Living. A freedom account is a checking account that you set up for irregular expenses. The point is you have planned ahead and the cost doesn't break the bank or go on those never-ending credit cards.

      Irregular expenses are the thing that kick John's and my tooshes when it comes to budgeting. We have gotten really good at managing our monthly expenses and are finally ready to expand out and start saving - but as soon as I'm ready to hit that "send" button and move money from our main account over into savings something "comes up".

      I say "comes up" in a sarcastic tone, because usually we knew it was coming - or should have known. Like last months sudden car expense, well the check engine light had been on for a while so I should have known... *roll eyes here*. Fortunately it was a cheap-ish labor bill and the fix was even cheaper, but we also found out that we will soon need to replace a $200 part, but it bought us time. And I can go ahead and say that next month we'll have the "surprise" of needing to register the car. Like that doesn't happen once a year?!?

    Off the top of my head I would say that we should save for the following events/issues/bills in our Freedom Account.(Wedding/Shower gifts, Baby shower gifts, Car Registration, Car Inspection, Routine Car Maintenance) I'm sure there are more, but we'll have to figure it out as we go. Basically, you add up all these expenses and divide it by the number of paychecks you get a month, in our case 4. I hope it helps with the unexpected!

    Regarding our other savings... we haven't made it far, but we're working on it! : )

Friday, April 20, 2012

Teacher Appreciation with Thirty-One

     Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7 - 11 this year.    

     What better way to tell the hard working teachers and staff at your school you appreciate all that they do than with a Thirty-One bag or tote?!  Thirty-One has many great bags and totes that are great for teachers to use daily.  I have listed 3 popular choices for teachers below along with a special incentive available exclusively to you for shopping with me!

     The first product I think the teachers would love is our Organizing Utility Tote.  I personally know several teachers who love their Organizing Utility Tote and it is my all time favorite bag! The Organizing Utility Tote comes in 10 current prints and 2 additional prints in the Favorites Collection. It has 5!! outside pockets and two mesh pockets on the ends. This bag is $25 and for every 5 you purchase, you will get 1 free! For an additional $7, you could personalize each thermal tote with the teachers name! Who doesn't love a personalized bag!?!

     The next product teachers love is the Littles Carry-All Caddy!  There are so many uses for this that every teacher is sure to find a great use for it.  They could put it on their desk to hold a kleenex box and put hand sanitizer in the front pocket.  They could use it for office supplies or to put flashcards, chapter books, notepads in.  Each teacher is sure to have their own idea about how to use this awesome caddy! These caddies are $12 and can be personalized for an additional $7. Littles Carry-All Caddy is available in 7 patterns.  For every 9 you purchase, you will get 1 free!

      The last product that I would gift specifically for teachers is the All-In-One organizer!  This organizer is the perfect size for file folders, books and lesson plans.  Teachers will love the All-In-One Organizer for it’s easy portability much like the Organizing Utility Tote, but a smaller option.  Going from room to room or even from school to home is a breeze with this item.  There are 2 mesh pockets on the side for pens, pencils, sanitizer, or whatever.  This organizer is $20 and can be personalized for an additional $7.  For every 7 you buy, you will get 1 free!  The All-In-One organizer is available in 7 great patterns!

     These are my recommendations but there are other great products you could choose from on my website:  If you are interested in purchasing these or any of our other products for your teaching staff, please contact me, my email address is .  I would love to help you reward your teachers for their hard work all year long!

    Once orders are placed, it takes about 2.5 weeks to arrive so this is the time to order!

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's been a while...

...but life has been so crazy!  Working in a CPA firm, I am coming to terms with the fact that I pretty much will never be able to have a life during the Spring. Between the March and April deadlines, I stay quite busy!

     BUT, between the two deadlines I did manage to accomplish 1 whole thing of my house repair list and part of another with the diligent help of my dear hubby wubby and my dear little brother, Joshua! Without these two, I would be so lost!

      Drum roll please.... We ripped out the carpet in the Dining Room!! That marks off #2 on the In No Particular Order List. Surprisingly enough, the cement under the carpet doesn't look that bad! So, we've decided that with the exception of an area rug, we'll leave it as is. Boy did it make us sick though... even with wearing the appropriate masks and gloves etc, John and I both felt like we had a bad case of strep/bronchitis for about a week and a half after removing the carpet. My blonde roots shone through that it took me a couple of days to figure out why I felt like poo on toast (it didn't start right away). Not until I was miserable as I walked through the doors at work, but felt better by the time I left, except being exhausted of course - but then felt even worse again in the morning. Well duh, it was the house! Thank Heaven we're past that now.

      I've also continued my occasional work on finishing up the texturing in the Dining room on the walls. Honestly it lacks about 5 hours of constant work... maybe this weekend - since I won't have to work!!

     Then, I can't take any credit for it, but Joshie, the wonderful little brother that he is, built a very nice dog pen for our little mongreals!! So that marks of part of #30 on the same list!

    I promise to update more soon! Tomorrow is the deadline so there should be free time - or at least not crazy schedules - in my near future!