Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome Life On Leroy Street! *Guest Post*

I'm Alli, a wife, mom and a lover of living a simple life. I blog over at Life on LeRoy.  I work in the corporate
world and I love my job (so blessed).  My husband, little man and I live in Western Wisconsin.

Living a simple life is very important to me. I actually strive to live simply because I feel like it makes my soul happy and helps me to focus on the little, beautiful things in life that surround us everyday.  How often do you take time to rejoice in the little things?  This simple way of living started for me a few years back when I became very overwhelmed with everything that was happening in my life. I felt almost like I couldn't breath.  I knew I needed to do something about it.  I took a step back, reevaluated my priorities and threw away the clutter in life.  
Sometimes I feel the pressure from the outside world making me feel like I should have 100 things going on at all times, but why?  I have found that I don't have to be involved in everything, I don't have to attend every event I'm invited to, I don't have to have a bunch of clutter in my house that I don't need to be happy.  I'm more happy when I'm evaluating my priorities and doing the things that make my family and I happy.
When I was a junior in High School I took a trip to Peru, South America. I stayed for 12 days in the Amazon Rainforest and visited villages where people had very little. They lived in shacks, ate whatever they could find and wore mismatched clothing. However, something to this day stands out in my mind about them; they were so happy and so beautiful! They live these simple lives, free of clutter and even though they don't have much, they have enough. When you feel like you have enough in your life it can be such a satisfying feeling.
I hope that everyone who reads this post, gets a little inspired to evaluate their lives, their priorities, their clutter.  Do you really need all that you have?  Would you be happier with a simpler life? 
Live Simply!
Stop by my blog and say hello!  I would lOvE to meet you!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weight Watchers - Week 3

I can't believe it's already the end of week 3! Time is flying by. Tonight is weigh-in and I'm scared that I didn't lose any weight. Same fears I had the last 2 weigh ins. I'll probably always be scared but this week I'm especially scared because I didn't reach my goals that I set for myself last week. :::hangs head::::

This is the second week of not reaching my goal of drinking 2 bottles of water a day. Not even close! I've come to realize that cutting out chips and snacks and cookies and (insert your favorite junk food here) is much easier for me than drinking those 2 bottles of water a day. Sheesh! I'm like a kid who doesn't want to eat their broccoli. It's kind of ridiculous. When I worked full time as an office assistant I drank water constantly, now I'm lucky if I take a sip a day.

I set this goal for myself for a few different reasons; I've suffered from tension headaches (about 3-4x a week) since I was in 5th grade and guess what helps prevent those? Yep....water. I also know there are weight loss benefits to drinking water, people who stay hydrated lose weight faster than those who don't. Not to mention the 467328 other health benefits from drinking water.

So now that I know that drinking 2 bottles of water a day is not going to be easy for me, I decided to think of some ways that will help me.

Since I only like ice cold water, I bought myself one of these last summer...

And I really liked first. Then I realized it doesn't fit in the cup holder in the car OR in the stroller. And on top of that, it gets water everywhere as the ice melts. Not good. So I decided to get one of these even though the thought of spending $12.09 on a stinking water bottle almost kills me in the hopes that it will help me drink more water. So this weekend I'll be buying myself one of these...


It holds 24 oz so my goal for next week is to drink one of these a day. That way I can have it with me all day and drink it a little at a time or chug it at the end of the day all at once. I'm also going to make sure I have some lemons and cucumbers in the house, they add so much flavor to water!

My other goal was to continue walking 3x a week. But because of mother nature that didn't work out this week. We haven't had any rain...until now. But I did get in at least 1 walk when the weather gave me a break. And that's better than nothing so I'll take it!

Well I just got back from my meeting and here are this weeks stats...

Start Date:  Jan. 5, 2012
Starting Weight: 198

Today's Date: Jan. 26, 2012
Current Weight: 190.8

Week 3 = LOST 1.8 pounds
Total Loss = 7.2 pounds gone! 

WOW! I am pretty excited! If I lose at least .9 next week I will be in the 180's!!! That is super exciting. The thought of that is the type of push I needed tonight. I'm excited to see where this journey leads me. I'm feeling like my goal is possible, and that's a great feeling.

So here's how this week went... 

Note: My Daily Point Limit is 32. You also get an additional 49 points a week to use however you want (a little everyday, all at once, or not at all). You also earn points for the activity that you do. 

 Day 1: Used 39 points. (Delicious dinner at a friend's house - Used 7 of my 49 extra) 

Day 2: Used 35 points. (Used 3 of my 49 extra)
Day 3: Used 29 points. (3 points remaining)
Day 4: Used 36 points. (Used 4 of my 49 extra)
Day 5: Used 36 points. (Used 4 of my 49 extra)

Day 6: Used 33 points. (Used 1 of my 49 extra)
Earned 3 points for a 45 minute walk.

Day 7: Used 32 points. (O points remaining)

49 Extra Weekly Points Used: 19 
Activity Points Earned: 3 (I did not use any of these points for food.)
 Week 4 Goal: Drink 24 oz of water a day and go for a walk 3x. 

Here are 2 meals I ate...

3 oz of Hormel Pork Tenderloin, pre-marinated. {2 pts}
1 cup spaghetti noddles with Parmesan cheese, country crock margarine and garlic salt. {8 pts}
1/2 cup Del Monte Gold & White Canned Corn {2 pts}
1/4 cup Del Monte Canned Cut Green Beans {0 pts}
Diet Peach Snapple {0 pts}
TOTAL: 12 points

SO delicious and filling, I couldn't even finish it all.

5 oz Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast {5 pts}
1 1/2 cups mostaccioli noodles with Parmesan cheese, country crock margarine and garlic salt {9 pts}
Medium Artichoke {0}
2 tsp mayo {2 pts}
Diet Cherry 7-Up {0 pts}
TOTAL: 16 points 

Kind of high in points because I had extra pasta but it was sooo worth it. Plus I had the points to spend. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #11

13 months old and finally mastered standing up unassisted!!! YAY!

Monday, January 23, 2012

10 Things I Love Right Now

My Sweet Boy,
Last weekend you turned 13 months old!!! I absolutely cannot believe it. You truly are my sweet sweet boy and I love you to the moon and back. Everyday you're changing. Constantly growing and learning new things. Here is a list of 10 things you do right now that I love. 

1. Every night when I lay you down for bed, you stand up and turn on your music player all by yourself. Then you hold on to the side of your crib and jump up and down like a maniac. You do this every night without fail. 
2. Whenever you are around other babies you want to kiss and hug them. It's the sweetest thing.
 3. In the middle of playing, you will look around the room for me and once you see me (or Daddy), you just giggle and go back to playing.
 4. You love love love when Daddy plays his guitar. You will stop whatever you are doing and run (yes you run now) over to him and just stare. If there is a guitar on TV it gets the same reaction.
 5. The endless hugs and kisses you give me throughout the day, even without me asking. Melts my heart.
 6. You're a fish. At least you think you are. If it involves water, you're all over it. Even if this means finding you playing in the toilet or the dog bowl. Both your Daddy and I love to swim so this makes us very happy. We can't wait to spend summers at the lake with you.
 7. You're easy going personality. Not much upsets you little man. I actually can't think of anything other than the given, hungry or tired. You're always up for dates, walks, the park, boring errands, grocery shopping, all of it. You think it's all so fun!
 8. How much you love Luke (our boxer) you follow him around everywhere, and you think everything he does is hilarious. Even if he's just scratching his ear.
 9. In the past month or so you have really been learning. You point to everything and say "Ah Da?" AKA "What's that?". You are actually figuring out all your toys instead of just banging them together.
 10. Books. You love your books. We have them on a shelf in the living room and everyday you pull them all down and will sit and look through them, one page at a time. You've been doing that for months now. And if I listen carefully, you're talking very quietly while you do it, I like to think you're making up a story to go with the pictures. You are a genius after all.

    Love Always,

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Weight Watchers - Week 2

    Well week 2 is over, it flew by. I definitely wasn't as dedicated to walking this week. Between life and not feeling well I have no excuse. Last week I was SO motivated but this week I felt defeated. Crazy I know, especially after losing 3.6 pounds last week. All week I had negative thoughts running through my mind like: 

    This does not FEEL like a diet, so how is it going to work?

    Losing weight last week was just a fluke, no way is this going to work.

    I'm NEVER going to get to my goal. Why bother? 

    I'm sad that I'm letting self-sabotaging thoughts get in my way of reaching my goal. I'm really nervous to weigh in. We'll see how tonight goes...

    Well I just got back from my meeting and here are this weeks stats... 

    Start Date:  Jan. 5, 2012
    Starting Weight: 198

    Today's Date: Jan. 19, 2012
    Current Weight: 192.6 

    Week 2 = LOST 1.8 pounds
    Total Loss = 5.4 pounds gone! 

    Wow! I have to say I'm pretty excited. I thought since I didn't walk everyday like I did last week that there was no way I would lose any weight. But this just proves to me that even without exercise, if you stick to your points you WILL lose weight! Because lets be real, there are going to be weeks where I don't work out for whatever reason. But now I know that as long as I stick with this I will eventually get to my goal. 

    So here's how this week went... 

    Note: My Daily Point Limit is 32. You also get an additional 49 points a week to use however you want (a little everyday, all at once, or not at all). You also earn points for the activity that you do. 

     Day 1: Used 27 points. (5 points remaining) 
    Earned 2 points for a 30 minute walk. 
    Earned 4 points for a 40 minute bike ride.

    Day 2: Used 49 points. (Used 17 of my 49 extra. My husband and I went out to dinner for our 11 year anniversary. Seriously 11 years! MMM Outback)

    Day 3: Used 25 points. (7 points remaining)

    Day 4: Used 35 points. (Used 3 of my 49 extra)

    Day 5: Used 30 points. (2 points remaining)

    Day 6: Used 30 points. (2 points remaining)

    Earned 2 points for a 30 minute walk. 

    Day 7: Used 31 points. (1 point remaining.)

    49 Extra Weekly Points Used: 25 

    Activity Points Earned: 8 (I did not use any of these points for food.)

      My goal for week 2 was to continue walking 3x a week, drink 2 bottles of water a day and also hit my 32 points a day. I'm pretty disappointed to say that I didn't complete any of these goals. I only walked 2x and definitely didn't drink enough water or hit my points everyday.

    Note: I talked to the leader at tonight's meeting about not always hitting my 32 daily points and she said as long as I'm losing weight and don't feel hungry (AKA starving myself) that it's fine not to always hit 32. Everyone is different. Thank goodness because I didn't see how forcing myself to eat was healthy, especially since I'm eating enough during the day that I'm satisfied and even full sometimes. 
     Week 3 Goal: I am going to keep these same goals and I WILL COMPLETE them by next week. Go for a walk 3 days, and drink 2 bottles of water a day. 

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Wordless Wednesday #10

    While organizing some files on my computer, I came across this video of Connor when he was 5 months old. It's too funny not to share.

     And yes, Patrick (my brother)...I know that this blurb makes this not technically wordless but since it's 100 words or less, I still count it as a "Wordless Wednesday! :P


    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Welcome 5ohWifey! *Guest Post*

    If you've been following my blog at all, you've seen me mention hercouple times.

    We met at our local Kaiser Mommy & Me group and have since become Mommy BFF's. She's the one who introduced me to blogging. After I told her I was stalking her blog and loved it, she encouraged me to start my own. She's been cheering me on ever since!

    She's beautiful, loving, smart, HILARIOUS, giving...I could seriously keep going but that might start to get weird. :)

    I'm so grateful to have her guest posting here today!

    Hey y'all! My name is Ashley and I blog over at 5ohWifey: life as a mommy and cop's wife. I am amazed every day by what God is doing in my life. I am a southern girl now living in California against my will. I am the wife of 5ohHubby who is a police officer and wonderful man and no that's not mutually exclusive. I am a stay at home mom to an amazing little girl I call 5ohBaby and she is my whole world. We have probably the cutest, ugly dog out there (5ohPup).  
    I try to blog about what I know.  I try to keep it as real as possible. I blog about everything from holding on tight to my little one to the time I accidentally fed her jalapenos. I write about both the joys and the stresses of being in a police marriage. I love to cook and even make my own baby food. Sometimes I get a little crafty and dabble in fashion posts.
    I want my blog to be a place where we can laugh together, cry together, and just be real with one another. I think I'm funny, and sometimes other people do, too. People like Stephanie here. But, I absolutely adore her so I guess it's all good. Isn't she fabulous?

    It has recently come to my attention that all sorts of people are reading my humble blog: friends from high school, co-workers, family members, readers who have just stumbled upon this blog, etc. And I bet there are a whole bunch of Stephanie's friends and family who read her lovely blog. I love using my blog as a place to share my heart and I'm so thankful for the opportunity. I am always shocked when I find out someone has read my blog. And more than finding out someone is reading I la-la-love getting comments. Or Followers. Since I know that many of you who read this are not "bloggers" I thought I would break down how to do this for y'all so you can show bloggers some bloggy love.
    First and foremost lets start with "Following" a blog. Following a blog is a great way to show your support to the blogger. On my blog you can do this at the bottom of my right sidebar as pictured above.  You do not need to be a blogger yourself to follow a blog. Go ahead and click that button... you know you want to.
    Everyone who writes a blog loves getting comments. I always get excited when someone tells me they are a new follower or new to my blog. Some of you have written me the most lovely comments and I am so very appreciative. I read every single one and, I promise, one of these days I will figure out how to reply via email to every single one (psst if you know how to do this let me know!) Below all my posts are my signature, a few links to other posts I've written, and a little number with comments. Zero comments makes me sad. Feel free to click on that little number to leave some love.
    Anyone can comment on this blog. There are 4 different options on my blog. If you are not a blogger, feel free to comment using the Name/URL or Anonymous methods. Just make sure you leave your name (and an email address would be awesome too!) so I can know who the comment is from! As always, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I encourage discussion and debate but abusive comments toward anyone will never be tolerated or published.
    At the top of my blog I have four other ways to connect. Each of those buttons will connect you to a separate page. From here you can access my twitter, facebook, pinterest page, and email. I love getting emails and answer everyone after I'm finished chasing 5ohBaby around the house. If you connect via twitter or facebook give me a little shout out so I know!

    I hope this post helps you out, not only with ways to connect to my blog & Stephanie's blog but to other blogs you love as well. And a big thank you to my mommy BFF for allowing me to post here today!

    Come on over and check out my blog. I'd love to get to know you!

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Weight Watchers - Week 1

    As I promised I'm going update you guys once a week on my journey to lose weight.

    I'm going to be honest, when I left my first meeting after signing up, I was VERY discouraged and overwhelmed. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. But the next day I decided to try. And you know what I found out? Weight Watchers is one of those things that no one can explain 100%. You just gotta jump in and do it. By the end of Day 1
    I was feeling very confident!

    My goal this week was to go for a walk 3 times. I know that might not sound like a lot to some of you, but for someone who hates going for walks, it was a lot. I much rather ride a bike even if my butt hurts so bad the next day that I walk like a cowgirl or swim. 

    I surprised myself this week; because I was walking with a goal in mind and knew that every step took me closer to my goal, I started to enjoy it. I knew not only would it help me lose the weight but also help me live a healthier life. Something changed this week, and although I started this journey to lose weight, and finally be able to enjoy cute clothes again I also want to be healthier. I want to be around for a long time for my kids. (Baby #2 doesn't even exist yet!)

    Pretty soon I wasn't thinking about those goals or how far I was walking. I was too busy chatting with my friends who walked with me that day, or my amazing Mom, or my handsome hubby who tagged along. And on the days I went by myself? Well on those days, I enjoyed my quiet time with Connor who looooves when we go on walks. He sings, he babbles, he points at everything and says "Ah Da?" (What's That? in baby language). I can't believe how much I enjoyed those walks!

    That adorable little girl is Jazmyn, she's 19 months old. She also happens to be Connor's future wife. Her Mom is one of my best friends. I'm trying to convince her to start a blog, she's HILARIOUS and with 4 kids, she would never run out of things to talk about. :) 

    So...My goal was to walk 3 days and you know what? 
    I walked EVERYDAY, all 7 of them! And I feel great! 
    So here's the stats for Week 1.

    Start Date:  Jan. 5, 2012
    Starting Weight: 198

    Today's Date: Jan. 12, 2012
    Current Weight: 194.4

    Week 1 = LOST 3.6

    I am so happy! I was hoping for at least 2 pounds. So 3.6 is amazing. I'm pretty competitive so I am already striving for another 2 pounds next week. We'll see!  

    Note: My Daily Point Limit is 32. You also get an additional 49 points a week to use however you want (a little everyday, all at once, or not at all). You also earn points for the activity that you do. 

    Day 1: Used 31 points. 
    Earned 1 point for a 10 minute walk. 

    Day 2: Used 24 points. (8 points remaining. I did not eat enough)
    Earned 2 points for a 30 minute walk. 

    Day 3: Used 33 points. (Used 1 of my 49 extra)
    Earned 1 point for a 20 minute walk. 

    Day 4: Used 33 points. (Used 1 of my 49 extra)
    Earned 3 points for a 45 minute walk. 

    Day 5: Used 30 points. (2 points remaining)
    Earned 3 points for a 50 minute walk. 

    Day 6: Used 29 points. (3 points remaining)
    Earned 6 points for a 90 minute walk. 

    Day 7: Used 30 points. (2 points remaining)
    Earned 7 points for 1 hour 40 minute walk.
    Earned 1 point for 5 minute jog. Thought I was dying. 

    49 Extra Weekly Points Used:
    Activity Points Earned: 24! (I did not use any of these points for food.)

    I need to make sure that next week I hit my 32 points a day. But overall I think I did great for my first week on Weight Watchers and I feel amazing

     Week 2 Goal: Continue to walk at least 3 days and to drink 2 bottles of water a day! 

    Below are 2 examples of meals I ate...

    1 large egg and 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup 2% milk, 
    salt & pepper, scrambled. {4 pts}
    Toasted English Muffin with 1 tbsp Country Crock w/ Calcium Margarine and Smuckers Strawberry Spread. {5 pts}
    Diet Peach Snapple {0 pts}
    TOTAL: 9 points.

    It was DELICIOUS and filling.


    2 oz Hillshire Farm Oven Roasted Turkey Breast lunch meat. {1 pt}
    1 oz Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese {3 pts}
    1 tsp. Regular Mayo {2 pts}
    Mustard {0 pts}
    Thomas Plain Bagel Thin {3 pts}
    Fuji Apple Slices {0 pts}
    Red Grapes {0 pts}
    Water - not pictured {0 pts}
    TOTAL: 9 points

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Wordless Wednesday #9

    The Original
    Warning: Explicit Lyrics

    The Best Cover EVER!

    OBSESSED with Karmin!

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    My Journey To Lose The Flab - Weight Watchers Style

    So I've decided to get serious about losing weight once and for all. I've chosen Weight Watchers as my method of attack. I signed up last Thursday and today is Day 5 on the program and it's going great so far!

    Since my meetings (aka weigh-in days) are every Thursday night, I'll write every Friday and let you guys know how I did with my points, along with any exercise I did and of course whether I lost any weight! I better freaking lose some weight! 

    So I guess the first step is to share with you my starting weight. I've been contemplating for a week now if I was going to say my actual weight. 

    Part of me thinks...NO WAY! Stephanie, are you insane?!

    For example, people I attended high school with might see this blog. Wow, that sounds so vain and lame when I actually say (write?) it out loud, but it's the truth. I am ashamed of how I look. I was never overweight growing up or even in my teenage years. In fact, I was pretty small in high school. Even though I ate like crap and never worked out. I was in a size 3/5 jeans and weighed approximately 130-140 pounds. 

    Then the other part of me thinks, GO FOR IT GIRL! 

    I have a couple close friends who also struggle with weight issues and I'm always telling them, It's just a number! It does NOT define you. And I 1,000% mean that. But it's harder to tell myself that.


    Which is it? Am I ashamed of my weight or do I truly believe it's just a number that doesn't define me? 

    Well after a ton of contemplating I've decided....


    With that's still hard to admit. But I feel like by sharing it with you, (my amazing friends, family, and followers) it's freeing me from the shame. Shame that I (we) should not feel. Shame that our society has made me (us) feel. 

    So here goes nothing...


    Wow. I'm not gonna lie, that was hard. And even as I write this I'm scared. Scared to be judged, or looked at as fat and lazy. Once I post this, it's out there and there's no way to take it back.

    But even though I'm scared, I look at my son and think, I never want him to be ashamed of how he looks. I love him unconditionally and his looks or weight do not define his character. Shouldn't I love myself the same? Well today I'm gonna try. I'm going to try to look at myself in the mirror without the eye roll, without the stream of insults in my mind, and stop calling myself fat. And you know what? Whether I lose weight or not, I'm still me. 

    Now as far as my before picture, I'll save that until I reach my goal weight and can post my after picture right next to it. Hey...I am a woman after all and I think admitting my true weight is enough for one day. ;)

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Christmas & First Haircuts

    I'm back!!!

    I'm so so sorry that I haven't been around. Between our crazy holiday schedule and my netbook getting a virus, I have not been able to blog. But it's a new year and I'm BACK! :)

    First of all I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and New Year. Can you believe it's 2012!? I definitely can't. By the time I get used to writing 2012, it will be 2013. Happens every year.

    Connor had an amazing first Christmas. OK I know it wasn't technically his first Christmas but since he was only 11 days old last year and it was the day he came home from the hospital, Christmas kind of didn't count. So in our minds, this was his first Christmas.

    Christmas has always been my favorite holiday but for the past 10 years or so, it just hasn't been the same and I couldn't figure out why. Until now. When you're an adult the magic of Christmas gets lost. But now that I have a son, I get to relive the magic through him.

    I can't wait to continue all our Christmas traditions with him. And although this year he had no idea what was going on, I can't wait for the next 10 or so years when Christmas is filled with wonder.

    Writing Santa a letter on Christmas Eve, leaving out cookies and milk, carrots for the reindeer, not being able to sleep all night with anticipation, waking up that morning and running out to see all the presents (Santa wraps presents in our house, including stocking suffers, and the wrapping paper has "Santa" on it...AKA Santa Paper). Making both your parents write "Love Santa" over and over to compare handwriting in order to figure out if Santa's real, upon realizing he must be real you discuss in detail (for a 7 year old) how the heck he gets all the way around the world in 1 night, what about houses with no fireplaces? Helping your Dad put together all your new toys, wrapping paper all over the house, fighting with your brother over who gets to put the last ornament on the advent calendar, watching A Christmas Story on TBS, begging for just one more Christmas cookie and of course...spending all day in your pajama's hanging out with your parents, who for some reason, are way cooler on Christmas. :)

    Now fast forward to today... we reached another big milestone. At least Momma thinks it counts as a milestone. Connor had his first haircut!!!

    My husband had been telling me he needed a haircut for a couple months but I just couldn't bring myself to do it! He kept telling me that Connor had a "mullet" and I just kept rolling my eyes...until Friday.

    On Friday we had a Mommy/Baby/Toddler play date with one of my Mommy BFF's, and guess what? They agreed with my husband and said Connor definitely had a mullet! Pretty sure they even said he looked like a lil redneck baby, I think the blue jeans and white T-shirt completed the look. ;)

    So today was the day! My sweet baby toddler boy (that just doesn't have the same ring to it) got his first haircut! I have to admit...he looks VERY handsome now. But he looks so much older now and that's exactly what I was afraid of.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Wordless Wednesday #8

    HALEY HAS BEEN FOUND SAFE!!! Police in Carlsbad, CA pulled Haley over on 1/3/12. Her Dad is on his way to San Diego to reunite with her. Read the article here. Social Media is an amazing tool, her Dad posted the video on 12/29 and by 1/3 she was found!!