Tuesday, October 29, 2013


One of the things I love to do in my spare time is bake.  I love to bake cookies, muffins, bread, cupcakes, and cakes.  If it is dessert, there is a good chance I like to make it or at least have a recipe for it to make at some point in the future.  Baking isn't my only talent, I also love to do cake decorating.  I haven't spent as much time on it as I have wanted to and I have never taken any classes.  Everything I have ever learned about decorating has come from someone teaching me or through the web and trial and error.  I am not a professional by any means, but I do love a decorated cake and if I get to be the one to decorate it, that makes it even better.  The funny thing about cake decorating is that I only usually do it for family members.  I have only made a few cakes that weren't for family members, but the people I made them for are like family so I still claim I only make cakes for family. Someday I will get the courage to start making cakes for others, but until then you can enjoy the pictures of some of the cakes I have made this year.

This was for a friend whose nickname is Ice. 

This one was for my nephew who is a Kentucky fan. 

This was for a friend who is a Lions fan. 

This was part of Baby Bear's Monkey Jungle cake.  The monkey's were banana-filled chocolates. 

This was Buddy Bear's Dirt Bike cake this year.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My New Job and a Tool Chest Makeover

I love pretty things.  Things that sparkle and shine and are filled with bling.  I love jewelry!  Jewelry has always caught my eye, I mean really doesn't it catch every girl's eye?  I haven't always worn a lot of jewelry because it is not always practical when you have little ones unless you like having your earrings tugged on or being choked with a necklace (at least that is what always seemed to happen to me with my little ones).  While my kids were very young I wore stud earrings and my wedding band and the occasional necklace, but now that they are older I was ready to add a little "bling" to my wardrobe.  My hubby picked out some beautiful necklace sets for me for Christmas last year, but just two necklace sets quickly added up to a large part of the Christmas gift budget we set for each other (we don't spend a lot of money on each other for Christmas, but prefer to hit the after Christmas sales and treat each other in an effort to be able to get more for our money and have more money to spend for the kids' gifts).  So fast forward to a few months after Christmas when a friend invited me to an online jewelry party.  I decided I would take a look at what she had to offer and I ended up falling in love with a few pieces of jewelry.  So I asked her how much it was.  Imagine my intrigue and delight when she told me each piece was just $5.  I couldn't believe it!  I ordered a couple of pieces of jewelry from her and then waited patiently for the mail to arrive.  I got my jewelry from her and loved it.  Every where I wore it people wanted to know where I got it and how they could get it.  I started looking into what the company offered and it wasn't long before I signed up to become a Paparazzi Consultant.  I chose to become a Paparazzi Consultant because they believe that everyone should be able to afford to look fashionable and they keep their jewelry prices at just $5.  Also I make 45% commission on all my sales and Paparazzi provides you with a ton of training, support, and wants you to succeed and move up in the company.  I LOVE being a Paparazzi Consultant!!!  It is a lot of fun selling jewelry and helping others look beautiful too.  If you want to know more about starting a Paparazzi business take a look at my website and click on the tab that says "Business Opportunities".  If you want to take a look at the jewelry I have for sale, you can check out my Facebook Fan Page, Sparkle and Shine Boutique.

All that leads me to this tool chest:

Quite a few years ago my hubby was given this tool chest on wheels.  He didn't know what he was going to do with it because he already had a tool chest that was bigger and fits all his tools.  So he asked me if there was something I could use it for.  At the time it was perfect for my scrapbooking tools.  It has multiple drawers and I can take the top off and carry it around as just a tool box filled with whatever scrapping supplies I needed.  I have never been crazy about the bright yellow color of the tool box, but it was functional and that was way more important than the color.

So when I started my Paparazzi business, Sparkle and Shine Boutique, I knew I would need something to tote all of my jewelry and supplies around in, plus the items I would need for home parties.  Then it dawned on me, I have a craft room now so I could move around my scrapbook supplies and convert my tool chest to make it a rolling jewelry chest.  I knew that I didn't want to cart it around the way it was so it was time (a long time overdue) for a makeover for the tool chest.  I decided that I wanted to do something to the tool chest that was permanent, but could be changed in case I decided it didn't work as well for my business as I thought it would (for the record it works perfectly for my business).  I got out my handy chalkboard paint and painted the tool box part of my tool chest, and the top couple of drawers.

Next I picked out a cute, girly scrapbook paper and broke out the ModPodge.  I measured and cut my paper to fit the sides of the toolbox and the front bottom pull-out drawer.  I put a layer of ModPodge on the areas I wanted to attach the paper to and then added the paper and another layer of ModPodge. I let the tool chest dry, got it ready to write on with chalk, and then I wrote the name of my business on the front along with my contact number.  It works great and it is a great way to advertise my business.  I get comments on it all the time.  I loved my tool chest before, but now that it has been made over, I love it even more.

My finished tool chest.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Fun

Have you heard of House Party?  House Party is a company that lets you test products from other companies by having a party in your house with your friends and then every one gives their own opinion of the product through surveys.  It is super easy, they send you the products you are to try in a "Party Pack," then you host a party on a particular day, have fun with your friends, take pictures and/or video of your party, upload them to House Party, and then after the party send out the email of the survey.  Easy peasy and it is a great chance to try out products which most of the time you get to keep.  I've hosted House Parties for games, foods, and my very favorite one ever...a Keurig Vue Brewer House Party where they sent me the Keurig Vue Brewer for free and I got to keep it.  I highly recommend joining House Party because it is really a lot of fun.

Last week we hosted a Monopoly Unleashed House Party.  It was a lot of fun to invite all of our friends and their kids over and have a game night.  House Party sent an awesome Party Pack that included a Monopoly game with the new cat token, Monopoly Deal, Candyland, and Connect 4 along with some other party favors.  Everyone thought the new cat token was pretty cute and it really adds to the game because now you can play Cats vs. Dogs.  That makes for an interesting spin on the traditional Monopoly game.  We even had fun as a family a few days later playing Monopoly using the Cats vs. Dogs rules in which the cats rule the game.  The kids really enjoyed playing the updated version of Candyland.  The little girls decided that the updated Candyland board is cuter and the people are easier to hold on to for little hands.  We never got around to the Monopoly Deal card game or the Connect 4, but I am sure they are a blast too.

* I was in no way compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.  I am merely telling my experiences with House Party and our most recent party.  The Party Pack I was provided was a pack that was mailed to all Monopoly Unleashed Hostesses from House Party.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Better Than What We Deserve

This summer we went to Family Church Camp at Camp Cobeac in Prudenville, MI.  We had an absolutely amazing, I mean A-M-A-Z-I-N-G time.  It was a wonderful time of family bonding, preaching, meeting new friends, hanging out with friends from our church, and just re-centering our family.  It was an opportunity to get away from the world for a week and just really enjoy each other in a Christian setting, which is exactly what we were looking for this year for our vacation.  While you are at the camp, you choose which activities you participate in and how busy you want to be.  We had chapel every morning and every evening.  This year's speaker was Brother Hal Hightower and he challenged my husband and I with his preaching every day.  He made us stop and think, re-evaluate what we have been doing, and either make commitments with God to change or renew our commitments with God.  His preaching was excellent and it was exactly what we had been hoping for.  His messages have been running through my mind in the weeks since we have returned from camp and I will be sharing them with you as I feel led to. 

One of the lessons that Brother Hightower taught that just keeps running through my mind constantly is that everything we have is better than what we deserve.  Wow!  Let me repeat it - everything we have is better than we deserve.  We were all born sinners.  That fact alone condemns us to Hell which is exactly what we deserve for being a sinner.  In our lives we have a choice to make.  Are we going to continue to live a life filled with sin or will we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and give up our life of sin?  Please know that I am not saying that once you choose Jesus as your Savior, you will live a perfect life and never sin again.  That is not even possible, but once you choose Jesus as your Savior you should do your best to make better decisions, trying not to sin, and if you happen to sin (which happens to us all) you should repent and ask for forgiveness.  If we choose to continue to live in sin, we choose Hell and that means unending torture, agony, and pain.  If we choose Jesus, we have a future and eternal life.  The Bible says it clearly in John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."  We have gained this everlasting life through Jesus' death on the cross.  He willingly died on the cross for us, for our sins so that we could live.  We deserve to die and burn in Hell for eternity because of our sins, but we have a God that loves us so much, He sent his one and only Son to die on the cross for us.  So everything that we have in life, whether it is good or bad, is still better than what we deserve.  Think about that, everything we have - EVERYTHING - is better than what we deserve.  The point that Brother Hightower really made about this was that it wasn't just the good things in our life that are better than what we deserve (a job, a family, a home, food, etc), it is the things that we perceive as bad things (illness, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, a bad day, etc.) that are better than what we deserve too.  That thought just blew me away because I already believe that everything that happens to us is part of God's plan for us (yes the good and the bad), but I never really thought about the fact that the "bad" things that happen to me are better than what I deserve, but when I thought about it, I knew he was right.  Every single little thing that happens to me, good, bad, indifferent are better than the eternity in Hell I deserve but don't have to suffer through.

Now when my day doesn't go exactly as I have planned, Brother Hightower's words run through my head and I know it is better than what I deserve.  When good things happen to me, Brother Hightower's words run through my head and I know the good thing is better than what I deserve.  The loop of "Everything I have is better than what I deserve" is almost constantly running through my head and I am happy about that because it helps me stay focused on God who loves me so much that He has saved me from an eternity in Hell.  Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior because you believe that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose again 3 days later?  Do you believe in Jesus Christ because it is only through your belief in Jesus as the Son of God that you can have a personal relationship with God, the Father?  If not, don't wait another day.  Today is the day you can change your eternity because we either spend an eternity in Hell or Heaven and that is your choice.  You can either be absolutely sure that everything you have is better than what you deserve or you can know that you will spend eternity in Hell for being a sinner who refuses to confess your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.  I pray that you will choose (or you already know) Jesus Christ as your Savior. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lentil Soup

I LOVE soup!!!!  It is truly one of my favorite comfort foods.  Nothing warms you like a nice, hot bowl of soup unless it is a cup of coffee, but that is a different story.  Lately the weather has been up and down and reminds me very much of fall.  Fall reminds me of a nice bowl of soup and then I head to the pantry to see what kind of soup I can make.  Just for clarification, I eat soup year round, but lately the chilly nights have made me crave soup more.  One of our family's favorite soups is Lentil Soup.  There are a lot of recipes out there for lentil soup and when I first started making it, I checked some of them out just to get an idea of what people put in there soup and then I came up with my recipe using what our family likes and what I had on hand.  You may notice in my pictures some of the ingredients are in bulk containers.  We are very lucky to live in an area where one of the neighboring towns is mostly Amish people and they have a grocery store that I refer to as my "Amish Sam's Club."  I can go there and buy things in bulk at a very reasonable price.  That is how I buy many of my spices and all of my bouillon.  It is so much cheaper and I always find other great deals there too.  I will also tell you that in this recipe I used ground celery instead of chopping up celery.  I didn't have the fresh celery on hand and still wanted the same flavor so I subbed in the ground celery. I do this frequently as we are not huge celery eaters in our house.  We like it, but I use a few stalks and the rest ends up going to waste so I don't always keep it on hand, but I do keep the ground celery on hand as a substitute.  So without further ado here is my recipe:

Lentil Soup
1 roll of sausage, browned and drained
1 large can of diced tomatoes (for this recipe I used 1 quart of our canned tomatoes)
2 chopped carrots
1 large diced onion or 2 small onions diced
1 stalk chopped celery or 1 Tbs. ground celery
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used about 2 Tbs. dried, minced garlic because we like garlic)
1 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Black Pepper
2 Tbs. Beef Base (beef bouillon) or 1 can of beef bouillon
2-3 Cups dried Lentils
4-6 Cups Water*
Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
*The amount of water is a guess because I use enough to cover the soup and then if the soup gets too thick while cooking, I will add more.  If you want more of a stew consistency use less water, if you want it thinner with more broth add more water.

1.  Brown and drain the sausage.  While the sausage is cooking, chop the carrots and celery (if using stalks) and dice the onion.
2.  After the sausage is cooked, add all the ingredients to a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
3.  After the soup is brought to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally.  After all the ingredients have been cooked together, I check the taste of the soup and add salt if needed.
4.  Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.  I serve this soup with a nice crusty loaf of bread for dipping into it.  

The finished soup

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sour Cream Cut-Out Cookies

Hello, it's me the long lost blogger.  I know I have done a terrible job of being around lately.  Life has been ridiculously, crazy, no time to take a breath or a break busy.  So today I am back promising to be around a little more and apologizing for my absence by sharing a favorite recipe with you.  I found this recipe on the web somewhere quite a few years ago, but I can't remember exactly where I found it and the computer the bookmark to the site was on crashed a year or so ago.  So I can't take credit for the recipe, it is not mine, but it is a favorite of mine.  I came across this recipe in my search to make Christmas cookies with my kids, but every recipe I found the dough needed to chill for hours.  I am not that patient.  When I want to make cookies, I want to make cookies now, not wait for 2-24 hours for the dough to chill.  So I found this awesome recipe (at first it was awesome just because the dough didn't have to chill) and tried it.  Everyone that has these Sour Cream Roll Out Cookies loves them.  I get asked to make them frequently and overall they are really easy to make.  They are a great way to use up extra sour cream and they are super easy to double or triple the batch.  These cookies are great plain - not too sweet, but just sweet enough or you can frost them with your favorite frosting.  I have used cream cheese frosting to frost them (which puts them WAY over the top and you will never be able to eat just a couple) and recently I have been using this icing recipe I found on Pinterest and it has made it easy to transport my cookies anywhere and still have them look pretty.  Also you can easily make these cookies mixing the old-fashioned way, by hand, or using a stand kitchen mixer (the hand held mixer probably wouldn't work because the dough gets pretty thick) and I have made them both ways.  The day I took pictures I was using my stand mixer, Red (she is a fine kitchen friend), to save time on the mixing and I was making several batches.  Without further ado here is the recipe followed by pictures of the day I made the cookies.

Sour Cream Cut-Out Cookies
1 C. Butter
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Sour Cream
2 Eggs
3 1/2 C. All-Purpose Flour* (see notes in recipe)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 Pinch of Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together.  Stir in eggs and sour cream until it is mixed well.  Then stir in salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Gradually add in the flour until the dough becomes too difficult to stir.  *I usually start out by adding in only 2 cups of flour and then add the rest 1/2 cup at a time until the dough gets too difficult to stir.  When the dough is difficult to stir, turn it out on to a floured surface and knead in flour until the dough is no longer sticky (even when using a stand mixer you still do this step).  Once the dough is nice and smooth and not sticky, roll it out with a rolling pin to 1/4-1/2" thick.  Cut into shapes.  Place cookies 1 1/2" apart on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.  Bake 6-8 minutes or until cookies are a very light brown.  Let them cool on the pan for a couple of minutes and then move them to a cooling rack.  Then you can decorate them how you choose with your favorite frosting or icing recipe.

Creaming the butter and sugar
After the eggs and sour cream has been added
Dough is thick enough to turn out
Adding flour to the sticky dough to knead it.
Ready to roll out
Rolled out to a nice thickness.  (Truth - I never measure how thick the dough is rolled out, I just eyeball it.)
All cut out
Nice light brown color after being baked.
I warned you I was making multiple batches the day I took the picture.
Iced and sprinkles added using the icing recipe in the link above.

Friday, April 19, 2013


This week time has stopped for so many people.  They will forever remember where they were in that split second that their life changed forever.  They will remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news and this week has been filled with horrible news from Boston to Texas and so many places in between.  My heart has been heavy for these people that I don't know, I won't ever know, and I can't even (nor do I want to) imagine what they are going through.  It has been a hard week watching the little news that I watch and seeing the images of horrific events.  It has been hard explaining to my children that we live in a world where people would choose to commit such horrible acts and take innocent lives.  It is just mind boggling.  I don't understand all that has happened this week and at the same time I know it is not for me to understand.  I know that no news will explain it and that we only get to see what they choose to report on and how they choose to spin it.  I have to admit that I don't really watch the news much because I go so tired of all the negativity when there is so much good they could be reporting on.  I know that we need to hear about the bad things too, but quite frankly I find the news depressing and I get very frustrated by the way they choose to report some stories and not others.  I did flip on a certain national news morning show the yesterday to hear about the explosion in Texas and if they knew what had happened.  I watched as the anchor interviewed an eye witness to the explosion only to be angered when the anchor spun the interview around to be so insensitive to ask the man if he personally knew anyone in this small town that died in the explosion or if he knew any of the people critically injured.  I know that this seems like a valid question, but it was so completely insensitive.  Here was this man giving his eye-witness account and then the anchor eagerly points out how small the town is and how so many people there know each other and then nonchalantly and casually asked, "So do you know anyone who died in the explosion or was critically injured?"  I was just done at that point, the question had nothing to do with the rest of the interview.  It was a prime example of why I don't watch the news.  Anyway, I am getting off my soap box now.  So I have been trying to make sense of all the things happening this week and it all comes down to we will never know why it all happened.  As a Christian I do know that God has been a part of every situation that has occurred this week.  I don't know why He has allowed these things to happen and it is not up to me to ask, "Why?"  I don't want to question my Creator because I know that His plan is greater than my and He uses every situation for His glory.  I know these events are tragic and people say "How could God be using this horrific tragedy for His glory?" and I have to tell you, I don't know how He is using it for His glory.  I do know that people around the world were praying after hearing the news this week, I know people were showing compassion, and people were gathering together.  I don't think anyone but God knows why these events occur or how He uses them, but I do know for sure that God is at work in this world and I know without a doubt that He has heard every prayer this week.  I haven't made these comments to start a debate, but rather just to share what I feel and I know that not every one will agree with me and that is okay, but I am not here to start any debates.  I have made no secret of my love of music and this week I keep thinking of a specific song.  I keep thinking of the song, "Blessings" by Laura Story.  She wrote this song when she was going through a very tough time in her life and I think it just sort of puts this week in perspective.  We don't know why things happen the way they do, but I believe that there is a blessing in everything that happens and that is exactly what this song is talking about.  So this week when the news has been horrific, bleak, and mind boggling, I choose to cling to God and pray for those affected by the events this week and I am taking comfort in these beautiful lyrics by Laura Story and seeing that the blessings aren't always obvious, but sometimes the blessings do come in the rain.

by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 Authors I Have Been Reading Lately

I have made no secret about my love of reading.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read.  I wish I had more time to read, but being busy with my family, church, and my new business doesn't leave me with as much time to read as I would like to.  I thought today I would share some of the authors whose books I have been reading lately.  I read a wide range of books although I do tend to get hooked on certain authors and will return to them time and again until I have read all that they have written.

1.  Sandra D. Bricker - She is an Christian fiction author and she keeps my attention with humorous, yet relatable books.  I love the fact that in her series I read that started with the book, Always the Baker, Never the Bride, she developed the characters in the first story and then used them with added characters throughout the rest of the series.

2.  Lynn Austin - She is also a Christian author and I love her historical based writing.  I started by reading her Refiner's Fire series set in the Civil War and I couldn't put it down.  I am currently reading through her Chronicles of the Kings series and it is another series I find myself staying up way too late to read "just a few more pages."

3.  Nicholas Sparks - What can I say?  I am a sucker for a good tear jerker that sucks you in from the first few pages and captures your attention so that you have to keep reading.

4.  Kathy Herman - She is a Christian suspense author.  I love a great suspense book and I have read through her Sophie Trace Trilogy Series and am currently reading through her Secrets of the Roux River Bayou Series.  Both have been excellent and just as you think you have it figured out the book does a great turn and keeps you flipping pages.

5.  Cynthia Heald - She is a Christian author.  The book I am currently reading by her is the first book I have read of hers, but I am really enjoying it.  It is set up as a study book for growth in your Christian life.  She has some great insights and has brought up some valid points I never thought of before.

These are just the authors I have been reading in the last couple of months.  I have a bazillion books to read on my Kindle App and the list just grows every day thanks to all the free books out there.  I hope you love reading as much as I do and I would love to know what authors are your favorite.

*I am not affiliated with these authors in any way and they are not compensating me for posting this, I am sharing of my own accord who I have been reading.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


One definition of the word legacy is something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.  A legacy is something that is handed down from generation to generation.  In some families legacies are a beautiful thing and in others, well, not so good.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about legacy in the past few days because of a funeral I attended at our church recently.  The funeral was for a man with quite a legacy and although I didn't know him very well personally, I do know several of his family members very well and so I went to show my support of their whole family.  This man that is now rejoicing in Heaven has an awesome legacy, that is very inspiring.  He was an Elder in our church.  He woke up every day and began each day in prayer.  He prayed for every family member by name (a family that had 5 children, 30 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren so far).  Then after he prayed for family members, he prayed for every church member by name and their families.  He didn't do anything without consulting The Lord in prayer.  He led his life by example and led his life for Jesus.  He led his life in such a way that his children all made the decision to accept Jesus as their personal savior.  He led his life in such a way that his grandchildren have made decisions to accept Jesus as their personal savior.  He led his life in such a way that as the great-grandchildren are growing up, they are making the decision to accept Jesus as their personal savior.  This man led his life in such a way that many people besides his family made the decision to accept Jesus as their personal savior because of the examples he set.  It was amazing to sit at his funeral and hear person after person tell how much he loved God, how he lived for God, how he passed God on to his family, and how he wasn't afraid to die because he knew he was, without a doubt, going to Heaven to be with God.  It was beautiful to hear this man's legacy and to think of all the times I have seen his family live it out.  At the end of the service our pastor challenged us with this thought...What is your legacy?  What are you passing on and leaving behind for your family?  After hearing all that was said at the funeral, I was lost in thought.  I know there are many things I am leaving my family, but am I teaching them enough about God, faith, and the Bible? Will they be able to say that I led my whole life for Jesus, that I left them a shining example to follow?  That thought just left me stunned.  I need to start living more for God and letting that shine through all I do.  I need to let the world see Jesus shining in me instead of just seeing me.  I want my legacy to be that I lived for God and served God to the best of my ability so that God will be able to tell me "Well done good and faithful servant."  What kind of legacy will you leave?  It is not too late to change your legacy if you are not living for God and accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Giving It Up

I have to tell you that God never ceases to amaze me.  His love and care for me is astounding, overwhelming, and pure.  God takes situations that are too big for us to handle and He handles them when we give them over to Him.  All we have to do is ask.  He will hear and He will provide answers.  You have to be ready for the answer because sometimes it is not the answer we were hoping for, but keep in mind that God can see the entire picture and He knows the best answer for us.

I was reminded of this just yesterday.  Recently we have been dealing with a situation with some property we own.  It seems like we have to deal with the property every few years and quite honestly this property has overwhelmed me and left a very bitter taste in my mouth.  It is something I have struggled with and been very negative about.  When we found out information about this property, I immediately started thinking about all the things that have come up with this property, all the things I have had to put on hold due to this property, and all the ways that it has been a thorn in my side.  All the bitterness and disappointment came rushing to the surface again and I fell apart.  My dear husband was so kind and calm about the situation and he just kept encouraging me to give everything (all my feelings, thoughts, and negativity) to God and ask God to help in this situation.  I knew he was right and that I had to find a way to give it to God because me hanging on to it, was not doing anyone any good.  That same day I prayed to God and asked for help to just let Him have the issue and to not feel the way I felt about it anymore.  The next morning, I really poured my heart out to God about this situation and I truly gave the whole mess over to Him because I knew that at this point it was bigger than me and there was just nothing I could do.  I have struggled in the past to give my burdens completely to God because I pray and then I continue to worry, which is not the way it should be.  When we do that (pray, ask for help, and then continue to worry and fret) we are telling God that He isn't big enough to handle our problem and that is a habit that I am trying to break.  So this time I really focused on truly giving the issue to God and letting it be.  Then about a week ago my husband asked me if I had taken the next step about this property and I told him no, but I was going to get to it.  My hubby kept asking and I kept putting him off, all the while knowing God was nudging me to be obedient to my husband and do what he had asked.  Finally on Sunday, I took the next step in the situation and did what my husband had requested to do with the property.  I received a couple of responses that night but I prayed that God would just continue taking care of it.  I woke up then next morning to an overwhelming amount of responses and all I could do was let the tears run  while I thanked God for providing answers.  I know, without a doubt, that God has really been trying to show me for a long time now that if I completely give Him my worries, burdens, fears, and doubts that He will show me that He can handle them.  I know He used this situation specifically to show me that He is in control and if I give up it up to Him, He can bring healing for the bitterness, answers for the situation, and He can open the doors that I just can't.  I know God is just showing me that He is here, He cares, and He is in control that I just need to lean into Him and give it all up.  It is a hard thing to do, but something I am really working on.  I want to be obedient to God and to do that means to Fully Rely On God (FROG).  Is there a situation that you can give to God today?    Nothing is impossible with God - Luke 1:37

Friday, March 8, 2013

Checking in on my Resolutions

It really seems like New Year's was just last week, but it is March already and I am not quite sure where the time has gone.  I thought today was a good day to check and see where I am at on the New Year's Resolutions I made.  I don't want to forget that I made them nor do I want to give up on them.  I plan to keep revisiting them and keep track of my progress and hopefully at the end of the year, I will be able to check them all off my list.

  • Continue working on losing my 50 pounds - If you want to know how I am doing, see my Weight-loss Wednesday posts where I am blogging my weight loss journey. - I have been working on this one even though I have temporarily stopped my Weight-loss Wednesday posts.  It is not that I don't want to share my journey with you because I do.  I decided to temporarily stop the weekly updates because my focus was off and I was getting way too obsessed with the numbers on the scale and not on making the process permanent.  I am committing to not step on the scale until the end of March in an effort to not be focused on the scale, but to instead focus on making good, healthy decisions and lasting changes.  
  • Finish my Thomas Kinkade Cross-Stitch - After working on this cross stitch off and on for 6 to 7 years, I am so very happy to report that I have finished it and it is ready to frame so that I can give it to my step dad.
  • Follow the FLYLady System - I have fluttered and almost started FLYing completely in 2012, but I didn't get all the way on the system like I wanted to.  I know that when I follow the FLYLady system, it works for me and in 2013 I plan to get completely back on track with the system. - I am still working on this one.  It is a week by week process for me and some weeks I do better than others.
  • Get Organized - This one goes with getting on the FLYLady system, but I am tired of thinking I know where something is only to search and search and finally find it somewhere completely unrelated.  I am also tired of realizing I have something to do or somewhere to be the day I have to be there and not having things ready for it.  I just have to get organized so I can function better. - We have been steadily de-cluttering since January and it feels really good.  There are a few more major areas that I need to de-clutter and then I will just have to work on maintaining areas which will help me stay organized.  I have also been working really hard on writing things down right away and if there is something I need to take care of, I try my best to get it done right away rather than procrastinate.  I am not completely organized yet, but each day seems to be better than the day before.
  • Craft More - I have a bazillion and one projects I want to do, but haven't gotten around to.  I am hoping by getting more organized and my schedule under control, I will have more time to craft. - I have been taking a little time each morning after reading my Bible, but before the kids get up to work on crafts.  So far this year I have finished a cross stitch project, a scarf, a hat, and I started a new cross stitch and a new scarf project.  I am working on completing projects as I go instead of just having fun starting new projects and not completing them.
  • Scrapbook More - I am realistic and I know that I will always be way behind in my scrapbooking, but I hope to have more time to scrapbook so I can at least feel like I am making progress. - I have been making an effort to attend some monthly scrapbooking crops and I have gotten about 30 layouts done so far this year.  That is a good number for me and I am continuing to work.  I have a goal of completing 213 layouts this year and I really do hope to complete them all.
  • Study my Bible and Pray More - I can always use more Bible and prayer time. - I do my best to get up and start every day with reading my Bible.  I tend to do better at this during than week than I do on the weekend, but I am really working on that.  I really want to be consistent with studying my Bible and my prayer life.  I find myself praying more and more throughout the day as thoughts and people pop into my mind so that is good and something I want to develop more and more.
  • Blog Regularly - I apologize to all my readers for this year.  I started off well and then somewhere along the way I got off track and got in a funk.  Then at the end of the year I started thinking about why I started blogging in the first place and my desire to blog came back.  I blog to get my thoughts written down somewhere.  I blog to let others know what works for me and what doesn't.  I blog as my journal.  Along the way I hope someone is reading and getting something from my blog, but if not that is okay too I'll keep writing. - I am still working on this one.  Some days I feel like I have a lot to say and then other days, I can't even think of one word to write about so I haven't quite lived up to writing more, but I will get there.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Menu Plan Review

In January I planned out many of the meals we had using the recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.  I love to try new things and I have a lot of recipes saved on my Pinterest boards.  All of the recipes in this post you can find on my board "Recipes to Try" except for the recipe for lentil soup which is just a recipe I make in my head when I cook it.  I promised to come back and let you know how the meals were and what we liked.  So here it goes...
  • January 13 - Forgotten Chicken - We had this for a late lunch and it was DELICIOUS!  It will definitely go into our dinner rotation because it was E-A-S-Y and oh, so tasty.  I highly recommend it.
  • January 14 - Beef & Bean Taco Casserole - This one reminded of an appetizer dip recipe I've had for years and we really liked this one.  You can eat it burrito style by using it as filling for a tortilla shell or eat it as a dip with tortilla chips.  Both ways was pretty tasty and I would make this one again.
  • January 15 - Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup - This was not my favorite version of this soup.  I have had a chicken enchilada soup in the past that was hearty and more filling than this one.  So if I made this recipe again I would put in more chicken, beans, and add in some masa harina (ground corn flour) to thicken it a little.
  • January 16 - Beef & Broccoli - I ended up getting sick and we never tried out this recipe so I am trying to work it into our rotation again so we can try it.
  • January 17 - Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken - This was VERY good.  We really liked it.  I didn't add the optional jalapenos it called for since my kids were eating it too and they don't like their food too spicy.  If I was making it for just my hubby and me, I would go ahead and add some jalapeno, but the flavor was still really good without the extra spice and we will definitely make this again.
  • January 18 - Baked Cheddar Broccoli Rice Cups - I ended up cooking some sausage and adding it into this recipe because the original one didn't have any meat in it and I wanted these to be a little more like a main dish instead of just a side dish.  They were T-A-S-T-Y and Baby Bear gobbled up her dinner quickly that night.  Usually she takes forever, but she kept saying how good they were and trust me they were good!  They even reheated well and Buddy Bear and I devoured the leftovers before anyone else could take them.  We will make them again.
  • January 19 - Sausage and Pepperoni Stromboli - Oh my word!!!  This one will be made repeatedly and everyone begged me to make it again and again and again....
  • January 20 - Lentil Soup (this recipe is not in my Pinterest board, I created it myself)
  • January 21 - Taco Pie - This is one recipe that is just not for us.  It had barbecue sauce and taco seasoning in it and that was just a combination that we did not like.  I would not make this one again, but it was just a matter of personal taste.
  • January 22 - Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup - We didn't use the ricotta cheese that this recipe called for.  My hubby is just not a big fan of ricotta and usually when I make my lasagna I use cottage cheese.  This time I just left out the ricotta and the soup was just okay.  I guess maybe I should have followed the recipe exactly.  I am undecided as to whether or not I would make this again.
  • January 23 - Enchirritos - Oh so T-A-S-T-Y!!!  This one is a keeper and we will definitely make it repeatedly.  I could go on and on about this one, but you just have to make it for yourself.  It is worth every calorie.
  • January 24 - Chicken Cordon Bleu - This was a quick and easy version of chicken cordon bleu and it was very good.  It reheated well and we would eat this again.
  • January 25 - Cheesy Vegetable Chowder - We really liked this quick and easy soup.  It was a great way to use up some of our veggies from the freezer and the leftovers reheated well.  All of these things are qualities of a good recipe in this house, one that will be made again. 
  • January 26 - Asian Turkey Meatballs (this is in a group of recipes called 100 Healthy Six Sisters Recipes) - We had this one as a late afternoon lunch and it was very good and very filling.  Everyone liked it and I would definitely make it again.
  • January 27 - Creamy Garlic Pasta - WOW!!!!  That was the only thing I could say about this recipe as I was trying it.  I am a pasta lover and this one had my taste buds in pure bliss.  It was worth every calorie and I will make it again.
  • January 28 - Fake Out Take Out Chicken Lettuce Wraps - I only used half the amount of brown sugar that is called for in this recipe because we just are not fans of sweet meat for dinner.  My family really did like these and I will make them again and probably use even less brown sugar just because of our tastes.
  • January 29 - Southwest Chicken Soup - This one was like a white chicken chili and I initially thought that my kids would not like it, but they gobbled it up and asked for seconds.  We will definitely make this one again.
  • January 30 - Smoked Turkey Cobb Wraps (this is in a group of recipes called 100 Healthy Six Sisters Recipes) - These were quick and easy to make and they were healthy and tasty.  We will definitely have them again.
  • January 31 - Taco Roll-ups - These just didn't turn out right for me.  I was in a rush when I tried to make them and something was just off.  I will try making them again as we love Mexican food and I want to give the recipe a fair try.
Overall it was a great experience trying my Pinterest recipes.  I plan to do it again.  I pin the things I want to try and like my hubby says, if I just keep pinning without trying, I am getting nowhere.  I recommend Pinterest (although it is a little addicting) and I recommend following me on there if you want to see what I would love to try, not just for recipes, but for crafts, home schooling, exercise, and the list goes on.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Weight-Loss Wednesday

I have been blogging about my weight loss journey since the beginning of December and although sometimes I haven't wanted to blog, I have.  I think it is important to be real in my journey and for you to know that I have struggled, I have had ups and downs, and I have had days where I just haven't wanted to do what I know I should be doing.  Somedays instead of this feeling like a journey it has felt like a battle and all of the old comforts that I have loved have beckoned me and tempted me.  In the end I know it is just not worth it and it is really just moments of weakness, but they have been struggles.  I am still working on a concrete plan that I wish I could tell you was a guarantee to work, but the truth is that I am human and I am just taking it all one step at a time.  I have to face each decision as they come and choose in that moment what I am going to do - will I give in or will I push through?  That being said this past week I have chosen not to focus so much on my weight.  I decided to take a break and not worry about the scale.  It is not something I do every week, but every once in awhile my focus gets off and I get way too worried about a number defining me which is exactly what I do not want to do.  So I didn't weigh every day, I didn't exercise every day (my body was really, really sore and I needed to take a break before I got injured), and I even had a few desserts in the last week.  I didn't just fall off the wagon and cave into every whim, but I did try to make sure I got in plenty of water, ate fruits and veggies every day, and do some little things that aren't really exercise, but burned a few calories - I ran up and down the stairs a few more times, squatted a few extra times grabbing the laundry, etc.  I just didn't focus so hard on a number on the scale and a formal form of exercise.  I needed a mental break.  It was a good thing because I actually ended up breaking my plateau and losing 1.5 pounds.  I am pretty happy about breaking the plateau and I think it will help me find some focus to get completely back on the right track.  So as of today I have lost a total of 9.5 pounds and that is a good thing.

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Finish first 30 day fitness challenge 1/30/13
Start 30 Day Fitness Challenge at high intensity 2/1/13 - I stopped this last week due to muscle fatigue, it kept working out the same muscles over and over to the point that I felt if I continued at the high intensity level, I would get injured.  I am in the process of getting started on a different workout and I will add this one back in eventually.
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 40 lbs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weight-Plateau Wednesday

So as you can see from my title this week, I have hit a plateau.  I have been eating fairly well, exercising regularly, and getting my water in, so I am not quite sure why I have hit the plateau, but I have.  I am doing some reflecting to see what other changes or tweaks I can make and when I figure it out I will let you know.  I didn't gain this week and I didn't lose which I guess is good, but I know I should be losing.  

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Finish first 30 day fitness challenge 1/30/13
Start 30 Day Fitness Challenge at high intensity 2/1/13
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 42 lbs.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weight-Loss Wednesday

Not much to report today on the weight loss front.  I seem to have hit a plateau and keep bouncing back and forth between two numbers that are one half pound apart.  Today I was on the higher side of that number and scale shows a half pound gain.  I am determined to not let this defeat me.  I know that I have been doing the right things, eating the right food, drinking enough water, and working out harder.  So I am thinking that my body is just trying to catch up with the changes.  I have lost a total of eight pounds and kept them off.  I know I can lose more, because I have seen lower numbers.  I am just in a little bit of a slump right now.

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Finish first 30 day fitness challenge 1/30/13
Start 30 Day Fitness Challenge at high intensity 2/1/13
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 42 lbs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weight-Loss Wednesday

I wish I had better results to post this week, but I don't.  I took another step backward and gained another pound this week.  This puts my total weight loss at only eight and a half pounds.  I am disappointed that I did not have better results this week, but I did realize some very important things this week.  I realized that at some point in the last month I stopped praying about my weight loss journey and I know that has played a huge roll in my gain this month.  I know that at some point I stopped talking to God and asking for His help and that He is using my poor decisions and weight gain to get my attention.  How do I know this?  The entire time I was earnestly praying to God about breaking my bad food habits, staying on track, and asking God to show me what areas I needed to focus on, I was losing weight consistently.  Then I did the human thing and started thinking, I am off to a good start, I got this and I started praying about my weight loss journey occasionally and I started yo-yoing with my weight.  Eventually I forgot to pray about my journey at all and I started consistently gaining weight and falling back into old habits.  I truly believe that these things go together hand-in-hand and while I know some out there won't see it the same way as I do, I know what has been working for me and how God answers my prayers when I pray earnestly.  I also realized that I have been unintentionally dehydrating myself by having too much coffee and not forcing myself to drink water. So yesterday I limited myself to two cups of coffee and really focused on drinking the water.  I drank three and a half big bottles of water.  I made sure that I kept track of how much I was drinking by writing it down.  I also went back to my lunch of salads this week.  I love salad, but lately I have been being lazy and not taking the time to make one up for lunch.  On the  list of good things is today I will finish my 30 Day Challenge on my EA Active video game for the Wii.  I am excited to finish all 30 days and plan to have a rest day tomorrow and then re-start the 30 Day Challenge and set the intensity level to high.  I am excited because even though my video game has been trying to kill me with squats, lunges, squat jumps, and lunge jumps I have been keeping up.  The other good thing this week that I have really noticed is that even though my weight is up, my clothes are fitting better and looser.  Shirts that I bought back in October to cover up my belly, now just hang and the jeans that were tight this fall are getting looser and looser.  Also the best thing is that I had to tighten my belt and can even put it in the last hole and still be able to breathe.  So these are the pluses that I am focusing on instead of letting the negatives get me down.  I am going to work harder, drink more water, eat more veggies and fruit, and pray earnestly.  I knew my journey wouldn't be easy when I started it.  I knew there would be some speed bumps along the way, but I am devoted to my journey and completing it no matter how long it takes.  I can do this with God's help!

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Finish first 30 day fitness challenge 1/30/13
Start 30 Day Fitness Challenge at high intensity 2/1/13
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 41.5 lbs.

*All opinions of the EA Active video game are my own and I was in no way compensated for this post, nor am I affiliated in any way with EA Active or Wii.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weight-Loss Wednesday

I have to make a correction to my post about my weight-loss last week.  I guess I really shouldn't post when I am sick with a high fever because apparently that leaves me with an inability to do math.  I had not lost 13 pounds total last week.  It should have been only 12.5 pounds total lost.  I am not sure why 13 was stuck in my head last week, but it was.  I know it is only a little different, but I want to be honest so I had to make the correction.

Now on to this week.  This week I took giant steps backward and the scale reflected that.  I didn't get my water in, I didn't pay enough attention to what I was eating, and I gave in to my sweet tooth.  I paid for it on the scale and I am sad to report that I gained three pounds this week.  Trust me it was a low point for me this morning when I stepped on the scale.  I am not going to wallow in the pity though.  I am going to get right back up, accept the blame for sabotaging myself, and get right back on track.  I know that I didn't do what I was supposed to and I deserved to see a gain on the scale.  I know that I am not the kind of person that can slack when I am trying to accomplish something otherwise I have major setbacks, but I tried to do just that this past week.  I slipped a little with my goals and then I decided I could just relax for a day or two, but that kind of thinking backfired.  I have to be diligent with my choices, my workouts, and my food otherwise I will not lose the weight.  I know that and this will I will focus on being diligent instead of being relaxed.   My total weigh loss this week is only nine and a half pounds because I sabotaged myself.  Next week it will be better.

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Re-start 30 day fitness challenge Week of 1/1/13
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 40.5 lbs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weight-Loss Wednesdays

This week I am keeping my post short, sweet, and to the point.  For the last week Baby Bear has running a really high fever that the doctor has attributed to the nasty virus that is going around.  I knew the chances were good that I would catch it from her, but how can you not cuddle with a sweet little 4 year old who feels miserable?  So, yep, I finally caught her fever and today I feel lousy, I mean like really, really lousy.  I did manage to quickly hop on the scale this morning to get a weigh-in.  I was pleasantly surprised and as happy as a sick woman can be to see a loss on the scale.  I have been trying to eat better and get back on track with water and veggies and it is paying off.  I lost 2.5 pounds this morning for a total of 13 pounds lost.  I am excited to see progress.  I am excited that my clothes are fitting differently and I will be really excited when I feel well again.

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Re-start 30 day fitness challenge Week of 1/1/13
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 37 lbs.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Menu Plan for January

This year I am trying to be more organized and on top of things.  I have had menu plan on my to do list for months.  Every week this little task pops up on there and every week I struggle through and fumble, bumble, and then eventually come up with something for dinner at the last minute.  It is a vicious and sometimes expensive cycle in our house especially when we are on the go because it means that I will give up and just pick up something for dinner.  That ends up blowing our out to eat budget and wasting food in our refrigerator.  Neither of which do me any good.  So the other day I wasn't feeling particularly motivated or good and I decided if I was going to sit around and rest, I might as well be productive.  I might as well get some menu planning done.  Then the thought occurred to me that I have about 70 bazillion things that I want to try on Pinterest, including a bunch of recipes, so I started sorting through my board on Pinterest called "Recipes to Try".  If you have never heard of or used Pinterest, I must tell you that I love it.  Pinterest is a place where you can pin all the great things you come across on the web in one place.  You can create separate boards for idea you run across and then you can go to one place and find all the cool ideas you have found on the web.  I pin recipes, desserts, crafts, beauty tips, homeschool ideas, and much more.  Then you can follow all your friends and see the ideas they pin and re-pin from the people you follow.  Pinterest is a little addictive (okay my hubby would say a lot addictive), but I truly love that I can put all the cool ideas I find in one place.  Feel free to come and follow all my boards (see the link that is attached to the P in my side bar) or just follow my board "Recipes to Try".  Here is the menu I came up with after sorting through my Recipes to Try board and deciding what would fit with our schedule.

  • January 13 - Forgotten Chicken - We had this for a late lunch today and it was DELICIOUS!  It will definitely go into our dinner rotation because it was E-A-S-Y and oh, so tasty.  I highly recommend it.
  • January 14 - Beef & Bean Taco Casserole
  • January 15 - Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup
  • January 16 - Beef & Broccoli
  • January 17 - Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • January 18 - Baked Cheddar Broccoli Rice Cups (which I intend to add chicken to)
  • January 19 - Sausage and Pepperoni Stromboli
  • January 20 - Lentil Soup (this recipe is not in my Pinterest board, I created it myself)
  • January 21 - Taco Pie
  • January 22 - Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
  • January 23 - Enchirritos
  • January 24 - Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • January 25 - Cheesy Vegetable Chowder
  • January 26 - Asian Turkey Meatballs (this is in a group of recipes called 100 Healthy Six Sisters Recipes)
  • January 27 - Creamy Garlic Pasta
  • January 28 - Fake Out Take Out Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • January 29 - Southwest Chicken Soup
  • January 30 - Smoked Turkey Cobb Wraps (this is in a group of recipes called 100 Healthy Six Sisters Recipes)
  • January 31 - Taco Roll-ups
I will update you with what recipes we liked, what recipes we will make again, and what recipes just are not for us.  Even though it took a little time to come up with my menu plan, I am happy that I did.  Grocery shopping was a breeze this week because I knew exactly what I needed and I didn't have to guess or forget something.  Grocery shopping will be easy the rest of the month too since I know the menu plan.  I intend to plan out February's menu soon too using a little bit different method, but once I get it planned I will share it with you.  Let me know if you try any of these recipes or if you start following any of my boards on Pinterest.  I appreciate all support and comments.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weight-Loss Wednesdays

It is Wednesday again.  The weeks lately have just been a blur to me.  Ever since Christmas Eve when Buddy Bear got the flu and then on Christmas, I got the flu, time has just all ran together.  Last week it was my hubby's turn to get the flu, so just when I was starting to get back on track, I fell right back off.  This week I thought we were in the clear and then Baby Bear woke up throwing up, so AAAGGGGHHHH!!!!  The worst part about the flu virus going around in the area where we leave is that it leaves you fatigued.  I am so TIRED, all the time from this virus and that is exactly what the doctor said would happen.  The virus after the flu just has to run its course which means there are moments in my day I can barely keep my eyes open and other very brief moments I feel spurts of energy and the rest of the family is feeling pretty much exactly the same as me.

I know that I have not been eating as "clean" as I should be as we have struggled through the last couple of weeks and the scale has been showing that.  Even though Wednesday is my official weigh in day, I do weigh every day and the scale has been all over.  I know that I have not made the best choice for my body and I have been making do as we have been getting better and all getting sick at different times.  So today's weigh in didn't come as much of a surprise.  I know what choices I have made, I know that I can make better choices and that I have to get right back to most of the habits I created in December.  This morning I have gained 0.5 pounds.  It is not a lot, but I don't like seeing a gain.  So I am going to work really hard to get completely back on track so I can keep losing and not see another gain.  I also have restarted my 30 day challenge workout on my Wii.  I had missed too many days when I was sick to finish the challenge with in the 30 days that I had started in December, so the game asked me if I wanted to finish that challenge or restart it for a new 30 day period.  I opted to restart the game and start my challenge over again.  I am still loving (okay, mostly loving) my workout game.  I can't say I really love it on the days that I have to do squats, lunges, jump squats, and lunge holds on the same day, but overall it is fun for me and I know that it is quick and I can make it through the workouts.  I plan to complete this 30 day challenge and then restart the challenge again for another 30 days but set it at high intensity to see if I can complete it.  Getting back on track with my food and water means that I really need to focus on getting enough water in each day and making better food choices.  I know that I need to stick to whole grains and get more servings of fruits and vegetables in.  That was what was working for me and I just need to get right back to it.  I am hoping next week will be better and I will finally show a loss on the scale again.

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Re-start 30 day fitness challenge Week of 1/1/13
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 40 lbs.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Weight-Loss Wednesdays

Happy New Year!!!!  I hope that 2013 brings you all that you have been looking for.  I am continuing on my weight loss journey this year and I know that I will lose the rest of the weight I have been working on so that I reach my 50 pound goal.  This week I gained 2 pounds, but I am not upset about it. Last week my weigh in day just happened to be the day after I had the flu so I knew I would have a huge weight loss and then I would gain for this week.  I am not upset because my weight this week is consistent with where I should be if I had not had the flu (I hope that makes sense).  I have consistently lost about 2 pounds per week since I started my journey in the beginning of December.  So after I had the flu last week, I lost about 5 pounds, but I knew as soon as I was able to handle eating again the weight I lost would come right back and it did, then I lost a couple of pounds, but it still shows up as a gain for this week because the number is higher this week than it was last week....crazy I know, but somehow it still makes sense.  Anyway, the big thing I hoping for this week is to get back to exercising.  The worst part of having the flu last week is that it has robbed me of my energy and I have not been doing my workouts.  I decided that I am just going to start my workouts again and start rebuilding my strength and energy.  I guess the good thing that came out of having the flu is that I still don't have much of an appetite and some foods just don't taste good to me right now.  I am sure I will be completely back to normal soon, but for the time being I am just taking it one day at a time.  My total weight loss from December 1, 2012 to January 2, 2013 is 10.5 pounds which is still awesome to me and I know what works for me and what doesn't so I am going to keep going.

Changes implemented:
Reintroduce limited caffeine starting 12/21/12
Start 30 day fitness challenge 12/3/12
Increased water intake - 12/1/12
Reduced sugar intake - 12/1/12

Weight to lose: 39.5 lbs.