Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Fun

I LOVE FALL!!!  I love the changing of the leaves, pumpkins, cooler temps, sweatshirts, and tall boots.  Bring it on!  I can't believe how quickly this fall is passing by.  Tomorrow is already Halloween and Sunday is November, really?  Really...sigh...  Today I thought I would share some of the fun fall things we have been doing and lately I have been getting most of my ideas from Pinterest.  I LOVE that site, (you can follow me and my crazy number of pins by following the link in my sidebar) I get lost there in a good way. 

We had a lot of fun coloring these doodle pumpkins this week.  It was fun to see how each one of the kids colored them differently and they turned out very pretty.  I used these stained glass fall leaves when I taught the preschool class at home school group last week.  They were very easy to do with the 3-5 year old class and my kiddos were asking to make some too.  So I would say they are perfect for any age and they will be pretty on your windows for fall.  We also spent some time the week painting pumpkins which is one of our favorite ways of decorating the pumpkins on our porch.  I really wanted to use this crayon technique on my pumpkin this year, but when I painted my pumpkin we were at our church teen Harvest Party.  So I ended up painting my pumpkin with black chalk paint and white glow in the dark paint.  It turned out pretty cool in my opinion.  (I will try and post a pic of it).  I also love pumpkin drinks which are available now in pretty much every coffee shop, but I like to make my own at home versions that are cheaper and I can usually make many from just one can of pumpkin, here is one I have tried the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Here is also one of my favorite pumpkin pancakes recipes.  I have to admit though, I eat it year round.  There are a ton more pumpkin recipes, crafts, and projects on my Pinterest boards that I want to do, but just haven't gotten around to them yet. 

Let me know if you check out these pins or try any of them.  I would love to see how they turned out for you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Weight-loss Wednesday

I have been on a journey for a little over a year now and I think it is time that I share my journey with you.  The journey I have been on is not for everyone and some will say that it was not necessary, but it was necessary to me.  The journey I have been on is a weight loss journey.  In July of 2014 I knew that I needed to do something about my weight.  Many will say I was not that overweight or not that heavy, but the truth is my weight was really affecting my health.  My weight was affecting my asthma, my energy level, and my ability to keep up with my family.  I had discussed my need to lose weight with my doctor and she did agree that losing weight would help my health and she provided very sensible ideas for me.  The ideas she talked about lined up with an eating plan that a friend introduced me to.  My friend had been introduced to the plan by her friend who saw much success and my friend was having success on the eating plan so I decided to find the book and try it.  I really had nothing to lose (but weight) and I was at the point that I knew I had to do something.  So I jumped in....

In July of 2014 I started on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  This plan is super easy, once you figure out the basics, and it doesn't require me to fix separate meals for my family.  They can eat exactly the same meals as I do and they like the on plan meals I fix.  The basics of the plan are to cut out the white things in your diet - white sugar, potatoes, white bread, white (regular) flour, base your meal on protein, and load up on the veggies.  Trim Healthy Mama focuses on keeping your blood sugar levels even so they don't spike (high or low) and cause big crashes which cause cravings, overeating, and lead to grabbing the first thing in front of you which in my case it used to be a not so healthy option.  I love that on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan all of the foods are normal foods and many of the foods I already kept in my pantry and fridge.  The THM plan focuses on one meal at a time and if you have an "off plan" meal, you don't blow your whole way of eating and have to start all over.  If you go "off plan," you just jump right back in with your next snack or meal.  I am not hungry all the time anymore and I don't crave sweets ALL the time like I did when I was addicted to regular sugar.  I am very happy with the results I have had so far and I am very fulfilled with the food I eat.  I can eat at home, on the go, and at my favorite restaurants.  It is easy and I don't feel deprived at all.  The THM plan is not for everyone, but it does work.  I am not saying you should run out and try it, I am merely saying it is working for me.

I have lost almost 30 pounds and I am feeling much better.  The doctor is very happy with my results so far and she knows and has approved me losing more.  It took me almost a year to get the 30 pounds off, but I am okay with that.  I have learned a lot along the way and I feel by it coming off slowly, I will be able to maintain my weight loss.  You will see in my side bar that I am an affiliate for the Trim Healthy Mama store.  This just means when you shop through my link I earn a little extra money to buy my own products from the store.  Please feel free to check out the store through that link and order if you would like to.  Let me know if you decide to try THM for yourself.  I would love to cheer you on through your journey.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Funday

Fridays!  Oh how I love you!  I LOVE Fridays.  They mean the weekend is coming, family time, and a relaxed schedule for the weekend.  No setting the alarm clock extra early on the weekend and no going to bed early to be up at the crack of dawn the next day.  These are just a few of the reasons I love Friday.  I also love it because school usually takes us a little less time on Fridays.  We almost always finish our school by lunch on Fridays (we don't eat lunch until about 1:00).  Fridays are just an all-around laid back day for us.  It is the day my hubby can usually be home earlier and the day we just get to chill for the evening.

Friday is also officially "pizza night" in our house.  We started this tradition earlier this year and it is a blessing to me because I know what will be for dinner on at least one night a week.  Sometimes we order pizza on Fridays, but more often than not, I make some version of pizza at home - calzones, thin crust pizza, deep dish pizza, pizza casserole, cauliflower crust pizza, or some other variation.  I guess now I will have to share some of my pizza recipes sometime.

Fridays also tend to be a game night for us.  Some of our favorite family games right now are Tenzi, Skipbo, Phase Ten, Uno, Yahtzee, and Farkle.  We own tons of games, but it seems we have been in a dice and cards phase lately.  We usually eat our pizza and then throw down some games while listening to music or watching TV.  It is a fun, family evening.  I am happy we have this tradition in our family.  It gives us something to look forward to all week.  What do you do for Friday Funday?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What I Have Been Reading

I have posted several times about my love of reading.  It is one of my favorite things to do.  I love to curl up with a cup of coffee or tea in my favorite spot on the couch and read.  I read a wide variety of books (check out my kindle app for proof of that), but lately have been focusing on a few different series.  I started each of these series of books not quite knowing what to expect, but I really ended up loving them both and I can't wait for my trips to the library to get the next book in each of these series. 

  • Kathy Herman - I LOVE her books!!!  I previously posted that I read through her Sophie Trace Trilogy Series  and the Secrets of the Roux River Bayou Series.  In the past year I have finished all of the books in The Baxter Series, Seaport Suspense Series, and Phantom Hollow Series.  I truly enjoyed each of these book series as they are Inspirational Fiction, mysteries, and for me they each raised questions about relevant topics - for example: Who is my neighbor?  Do I love my neighbor like Jesus does? and so many more.  I loved getting caught up in the characters and walking through these questions with them as they figured it out for themselves and I thought about what I would do and how I would answer them.  I also read the first book in the Ozark Mountain Trilogy and I am patiently awaiting for the next book to come out in this series.  I love Kathy Herman's writing style and the topics she writes about.  I highly recommend her books.

  • Neta Jackson - I have to admit when I picked up the first book in her The Yada Yada Prayer Group Series, I wasn't sure about it.  I wasn't sure if it was my kind of book as I typically stick to "mystery" books.  For me this series started off a little slow, but I am not a quitter so I kept reading and 3 chapters into the book, I was hooked.   I had to see how the story ended and then when it did I was sad and wanted to read more.  I ended reading this whole series in about 5 months and completely LOVED it.  I couldn't wait for the next book and my next trip to the library.  I loved the characters from the story and how their lives intertwined with one another.  By the end of The Yada Yada Prayer Group Series, I felt like I knew each character and they were friends.  I was sad to see that series end, but very happy to see some of the characters from that series pop up in Neta Jackson's next series The House of Hope Series.  I just finished the two books in this series and LOVED them as well.  I am anxious to get to the library and get the next book to keep reading. 

  • Lysa Terkeurst - This lady is one of my favorite Christian Non-Fiction authors.  Her books just touch me and deal with topics that are so relevant to me.  I joined an online Bible study from Proverbs 31 Ministries this spring and it went through Lysa's book What Happens When Women Walk in Faith.  WOW!!!!  This book was just exactly what I needed at the time and I was encouraged by it SO much.  When I was reading it, I happened to be going through a very rough period where two of my best friends passed away and my other best friend and her family left our church.  I think God truly wanted me to step out and study this book so that He could speak to me and He truly did through this book.  Go out and get it today if you want to change your life.
That is it.  These are the books that have been filling my reading schedule lately.  I am sure I have read others too, but just can't recall them at the moment.  Let me know if you check out any of the books I have read and your thoughts on them!

*I have in no way been compensated for this post nor was I asked by any of the authors to give my opinion.  All thoughts, reviews, and opinions are my own.  I simply love to share the good books I read with others so they can read a good book too.