Category Archives: Healthy & Fit

Healthy recipes, workouts, tips, and my experiences in living a healthy and fit lifestyle. We only get one body, better treat it right!

Productivity Slump? Plan ahead instead!

Hey ya’ll.

So, I’m feeling a little bummed lately. So far I have not made 2015 as productive as I should have. I’m struggling with a couple of things. Last night, I was looking at my goals for this year and so far, I have accomplished NOTHING. Granted, most of our/my goals are more of the long term variety, but I’m worried. Why have I hit this slump?

The only thing I can think of is that I have put life on hold. Mr. Middlesisterproject will be home next month. If you are a milspouse who has gone through a deployment you know what this is like. The ability to deal with this should have been passed down genetically (even though I have no clue if my mammo had to endure a deployment.)

Here is my granddad in his WWII pilot gear. So handsome!

granddad in AF WWII pilot gear

The excitement of having your spouse back home after a year away, mixed with the anxiety of learning to be a “couple” again is an unsettling combo. I have spent the last year being a single mom; I’ve been independent and self sufficient, but now I’m thinking I have to just switch into doting wife mode. In theory, this shouldn’t be difficult, I love my husband and am so proud of him for serving our country for the 18 years that he already has. We milspouses are forced to be tough and resilient, but I fear it has made me disconnected and cold. I digress…

A lot of the goals I/we have for 2015 require a joint effort. There is one wall in our bathroom with a splotch of gray paint on it, and I have started cutting in in our bedroom too with a pretty cream color. But, now things are at a stand still. I know I won’t be able to go any further on either of those projects until my man gets home. I can’t exactly paint with a wild toddler running around (Lord knows everything in the house, including Puppy Brother, will end up covered in paint). I feel stuck; at least I only have a month left of the “I can’t do that till he gets home” mentality.

I’ve also been thinking of adding a goal to my list: Entering a Figure Contest! It is something I have wanted to do ever since I really got into working out several years ago. My body is nowhere near ready to stuff into a tiny booty bearing bikini and strutting around on stage (and I doubt if it ever will be). But, I would love to take a year to train like I’m going to enter a contest. The only thing stopping me is that doing this would require a coach, which would set us back around $200/month. Considering that we are trying to get rid of debt, I just don’t think I can commit to paying $200/month for a coach. Maybe, I can add this goal to 2016  instead?

I think the best way to get out of this funk is to focus on the projects I need to tackle before we can put our house up for sale.

I also have big plans for the laundry room. I plan on DIY’ing a light fixture for in there to replace the current boob light. I was liking schoolhouse pendant DIY from http://www.bitsofblissblog.com

schoolhouse light

I want to add some color, storage, organization to the laundry room as well. And since I have connections, I was thinking of having the guys cut me a granite piece to sit on top the washer and dryer like a counter.

Like this:

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 source

I will probably just spend the next month planning all my projects and start tackling them the day after husband gets home. That would be semi-productive. It will give me the opportunity to make lists, and I do love lists!

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the DIY projects I will be conquering soon. Do ya’ll have any suggestions for the laundry room that will help our house sell? It is currently plain, blah-tan contractor’s choice paint on the walls, pretty small, and has a cabinet above the washer and dryer.

TTFN ya’ll!

Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work

why new years resolutions don't work

Hey ya’ll!

As the holiday season is coming to a close, I find myself looking forward to the new year ahead of us and reflecting on 2014. This year has been one of the hardest years of my life but also one of the best!

2014 saw my husband gone for the military and me here alone with our new baby (my first child). I have to admit it has been tough being a new mommy alone, working, and trying to do my best without my husband here; but, it would have been a whole lot harder without my family close enough to us to help me when I needed it.

I am amazed at how much things can change in a year. At the beginning of 2014, I was working full time at a job I didn’t much like but that paid decently, now I work for my dad’s business part time doing something that I love. The change in income has forced me to learn to better manage our finances, but it has also showed me what is important in my life. I am more happy now with a lot less than I was before. The biggest change has been the ability to spend more time with my family, a change that has made my life so much more full.

We have achieved one big goal this past year and that was paying off one of our vehicles. I have been assessing our situation and looking forward at 2015 and deciding on goals we want to set for our family for the upcoming year. I don’t make new years resolutions anymore, I’ve tried and failed miserably with resolutions in the past. I’ve learned that setting measurable goals is more effective.

A resolution is more like a wish, or at least it has been for me. I might say I want to lose 10 pounds this year. But unless I make that a goal for myself and list the smaller steps that are going to get me there, while making sure to revisit the overall goal and asses my progress along the way, that resolution will end up in the pile with past failed resolutions.

2015 Goals

So, I have outlined our goals for 2015 and then discussed them with my husband and checked to see if he had anything to add. We have come up with categories for our goals, they are:

HOME– these goals include projects we plan to do around the house

HEALTH– goals that help us improve our health or top personal bests in the gym

FINANCES– any money or budget related of course

PROFESSIONAL– this I added to remind me to think about what I want to do with the blog, when hubs gets home I should have more time to work on it and maybe even grow it

LONG-TERM– we can add to this throughout the year; I’d like to set a debt-free date here

OTHER– Anything that doesn’t fall into the other categories

I have created a 2015 Goals Sheet that is available here. This past year I started keeping a “family binder”; currently I mostly use it to track bills, but I plan on doing more with it next year. I’ve put my 2015 Goals sheet at the front of the binder to remind me of what we are working for in 2015.

Just a few of our plans are below- I won’t bore you with the details 🙂

Home– sell our house, we want some land (I have a list of things I have to do before we list it; there will be paint flying everywhere)

Health– Run at least 2 5k’s (both me and husband), increase my bent over row weight to 50lb dumbbells (Currently I do 40lbs)

Finances– Pay extra $500 to car note/month, 8k in savings by end of year, purchase land (this one I haven’t quite outlined in detail yet)

Professional– Blog regularly, make more items for our Etsy shop

Long-Term– Payoff my car by December 2016, Homestead? (I’m not sure if homesteading is something we could even do, but it intrigues me)

Other– De-clutter and organize everything (I need baskets!)

Feel free to hop on over to our Etsy shop if you’d like to purchase the printable I made for the Goal Sheet. If you purchase it, I will customize it for you with your name and categories you’d like.

What are ya’lls New Years “Goals”, I’d love for you to share!

The Homemade Movement: Fresh Bread

Hey ya’ll!

So, I have been making a real effort to create for myself more things that I use everyday. I prefer to know what is in my food and products that I put on my body and are absorbed into my skin. Plus making these things myself saves money. Two birds! So far I have tackled lotion, dry shampoo, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, my son’s graham crackers and my latest venture, BREAD.

Making the bread came out of necessity, for 3 weeks in a row the commissary didn’t have the Eziekiel bread I normally buy. We finally ran out of my stash of bread in the freezer on Saturday, so Sunday I made bread for the week.

I made fresh yummy honey wheat bread. My 1 year old loves toast with a little organic butter-I’m sure he doesn’t care if it’s organic but I do, there’s bad for you chemicals in everything these days and we don’t even know it! It turned out really well, I can taste the hint of honey in each bite. Delish!

Feast your eyes!

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I’m thinking of getting a slice as we speak…

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So tasty and healthy.

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I promise this was easy and I had everything on hand. I used a recipe from The Comfort of Cooking but tweaked it a bit.

I used the Kitchen Aid stand mixer that used to be my Mammo’s, I was lucky enough to end up with it after she passed away. Every time I use it I think of her and me as a kid standing on the little wooden step stool (I ended up with that one too) in her kitchen helping her bake. She’d let me wear her apron and stir whatever was in the bowl. Gosh I miss her and my Granddad.

Here it is working it’s kneading magic. They don’t even make beaters for it anymore, it’s practically an antique.

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I’d love to hear what ya’ll are doing to create home made foods and goods!

Without further adieu here is the recipe I ended up creating.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water

1 cup milk

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 TB and an extra skoash honey (I used local natural raw honey-better for allergies and super delicious)

2 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)

1 cups almond flour (I used Bob’s mill)*

1 1/2 cups organic all purpose four

1 cup oat bran*

4 TB unsalted butter melted and cooled a smidge (I used Challenge Organic)

1 scant TB salt

*If you don’t have almond flour use whole wheat or all purpose or whatever tickles your fancy

*If you don’t have oat bran use rolled oats

HOW TO:

Pour water and milk in bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds until warm. (The original recipe said it needed to be 115 degrees F, but I didn’t check the temp and my bread turned out great). Pour watery milk into bowl of stand mixer. Add yeast and honey. Let sit 10 minutes (at this point it is supposed to turn foamy—I never saw foam).

Throw in the rest of the stuff—Flour through salt. Slap your dough hook attachment on your mixer and put it on medium and let it do the kneading for you for about 6 minutes. Dough is supposed to be smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky at this point—too many descriptives for me, I just turned my kitchen timer on and let it count down for me. Cover the bowl with a tea towel, make sure it’s clean and that it doesn’t have dog drool or baby spit up on it like mine often do (I promise I found a clean one for this bread creation session). Let it rise for an hour in a warm-is place until it doubles in size.

Next, punch the dough down and throw it on a floured surface. Smush it into a 8×8-ish sized square and roll that into a Lincoln log. Toss that into a “greased” loaf pan (I use spray coconut oil, you could butter it, or whatever floats your boat). Make sure the seam side is on the bottom. Cover that ensemble with tea towel and let it rise 30-40 minutes.

I baked my creation in a preheated 375 degree F oven. I sprinkled some more oat bran on top-but I shouldn’t have bothered since they all fell off after I took the loaf out of the pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes—rotate halfway through baking.  Loaf is ready when top is deep brown. Put it on a cooling rack if that’s your thing.

Make sure you take a nibble before its completely cooled, because warm bread is super tasty.

See you next time. Please share your homemade creations, I’d love an easy recipe for homemade hair conditioner!

Meet Spark: It’ll change your life!

Hey ya’ll!

So, in today’s news, two things:

#1. I quit my job in education technology to join my dad’s Marble and Granite fabrication company: Marbella Granite and Marble. I’m super excited! This is quasi what I got a Master’s degree in.

Ok let me explain, my Master’s is in Family and Consumer Sciences, which is a nice way of saying Home Ec. I may be putting that a little too bluntly, but I’m kind of known for that, just ask big sis.

Anyway, that department encompasses many areas; I chose to focus on Interior Design in Undergrad and Nutrition in Grad School. So getting to pick out materials for Kitchens (my favorite room in the house) and Bathrooms is pretty amazing. I also get to do all the techie stuff, marketing, and pretty much everything short of the heavy lifting.

More to come soon on my office makeover. It will be a DIY project, and a work in progress but should be fun!

#2. I am now an AdvoCare distributor. This is really what the title of my post refers to. I don’t know if ya’ll have tried any AdvoCare products, but you will love them. I was super skeptical at first, I used  to buy my vitamins and such on Amazon. But, then a friend of mine let me try a sample of Spark. It was love at first drink. The taste is great and I no longer have to drink 5 cups of coffee to get me through the day. Honestly, I was to the point where coffee wasn’t even doing it for me anymore anyway. Spark gives me long lasting energy and focus all day. I spent all day Monday moving big furniture and heavy rugs to get my office area ready to put the paneling up and when I got home at 5, I still had energy to exercise and chase after my 11 month old. I’m telling you, Amaaaazing! And that’s just one product. I can’t wait to get my hands on the pre-workout and post-workout recovery.

I’m going to be starting the 24 day challenge to cleanse and jump start weight loss and boost energy in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping to get a group to do it with me so I will have some before and after results to share. If any of ya’ll are interested in joining or interested in learning more about AdvoCare let me know!

Click on the link below if you’d like to see the products and/or order.

My Advocare page.

Small victories make my day!

Hey ya’ll!

Ok so for this to make sense, I’ve gotta share some background with you. Maybe some of you can relate…

I’m going to share a short version of “my story”-Biggest Loser style, you know when they talk about their weight issues history. So, I’ve always had issues with my weight, I’m pretty short; 5’3″ sometimes 5’4″ depending on which way the wind blows. I have food issues, I love to eat! Anyway, I think I weighed over 170 lbs when I was in middle school. I’ve blocked it out, so I’m ballpark guessing. I started going to my sister-in-law’s house in Jr high and using their treadmill. By high school I had lost some but was still overweight. College introduced me to diet pills…super super unhealthy!!! I didn’t eat and was skinny fat.

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Workout selfie 5 mos preggo in Hotel in San Antonio at ISTE

A few years ago, I got a trainer and found weight lifting. I loved what it did to my body. I loved feeling strong and toned for the first time in my life; of course I cleaned up my eating a bit as well. I started to love lifting weights and eating healthy and making it my lifestyle. So for the three years prior to getting pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. Anyway, when I had my son last year, I gained 50-60 pounds (I quit looking at the scale at the end). I worked out for the majority of my pregnancy, hell I did the Warrior Dash while pregnant-yes I cleared it with my doc and skipped dangerous obstacles. But, I gave in to my cravings for sweets entirely too much.

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Preggo Warrior Dash with my loves

This brings me to the point of my story. I had a moment in the gym yesterday, I was doing single leg squats up on a bench holding a 15lb dumbbell and a guy and his buddy walked up and asked me what form I was using. At first I didn’t know what the heck he meant “what form”, what do are you talking about? But, then I understood that he was asking me how to do it. He asked, “that looks pretty intense, I want to incorporate that into my next workout. How do you do it?”. I went on to explain, trying not to gasp for air. As they started walking away, a smile spread across my face. “I’M BACK”, I thought to myself; and it felt awesome. I guess that thought came to mind because I used to feel like the gym was a place where I felt comfortable; where I felt like I belonged. Ever since I started going back after having my son, that feeling was missing. I was even a little self conscious.

It felt awesome to have other people look at me working out and think that I have it together. I definitely don’t, and this is where I let you in on a little secret, no one knows what the hell they are doing (not just in the gym-but in life as a whole). Don’t get me wrong, there are folks in the gym that are “experts” in that area but would they know a thing about what I’m an expert in? No. We are all just people, so if you have been scared of going to the gym or graduating from the treadmill to some dumbbells, I hope this gives you the kick in the butt you need. Who cares if you aren’t a pro or if you look stupid, you are there putting in the effort. Your body will thank you. 🙂

So work hard ya’ll, if your dream is a healthy, fit body that will last you a long time.

I’ll leave you with a favorite saying of mine: Dreams don’t work unless you do-John C. Maxwell