Thursday, March 28, 2013

~Spring Fling Challenge~ Here it is!

I am so excited to share the new challenge for the month of April. 
 This challenge is all about getting healthy.  
And I'm hoping to shed a few pounds too!

Before we begin the challenge:

  1. We all need to record our current weight. 
  2. Choose a weigh day. 
  3. We need to record measurements of our hips, thighs, belly, bust and arms. 
If you need some guidance on how to take your measurements visit LIVESTRONG.COM.
It's important to get your measurements because sometimes we don't lose pounds but we do lose inches.  As you make better food choices and exercise, your body will tighten and firm! 

Choose a day that suits you to weigh in.  Don't weigh yourself everyday.  Our body fluctuates from day to day.  Just choose one day to weigh yourself.  Mine is Saturday morning (in my underwear, before I eat and after I pee...eek TMI...but I want the greatest chance of seeing that scale move!).
And now without further delay:  

Here are the new goals for the month of April

~Spring Fling Challenge~

  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (combined)
  • Eat an apple a day.  There ya go, one fruit down already
  • No fast food, chips, pop, muffins, cookies, brownies, cakes, pies.  You get the picture.  Basically no junk! 
    • Don't be discouraged already..I have a surprise....keep reading
  • Take a multi-vitamin everyday
  • Drink at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day
  • Do 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week.  Yep you get two days off, you choose which two!
  • You get one SPLURGE a week
Splurge!  That's the surprise.  This month long challenge includes one splurge day per week!  What is a splurge?  It's an ice cream cone, a can of soda pop, a serving of chips!  It's whatever you want it to be and whenever you want it to be.  But you only get one per week, so use it wisely.  And be smart.  A splurge is not consuming an entire family size bag of potato chips in one sitting.  It's just one serving to get you over your craving. 

If you add a sixth day of exercise during your week, give yourself a bonus splurge to be used on another day!

And my favorite part...........
The printable chart to keep track of all those things we need to do.

This printable is only good for one week.  So you'll need to print out several.  Just check off each section as you go.  The water section only has seven water drops.  I thought we could put eight dots in each water drop to keep track of the day's water intake.  This way the chart wasn't loaded up with a bunch of water drops.  After all we will be drinking 56 glasses of water a week.  Say What? 
We will be starting in the middle of a week so this printable won't match up exactly to the weeks in April.  For example, the first week of April only has six days, but you get the idea.
Ready to start with me? 
Go to the store this weekend and buy your fruits and veggies!  Don't forget the apples and a bottle of multi-vitamins too.
This challenge begins April 1st and runs the whole month!
We Can Do This!
As with any diet or exercise program, consult your doctor before starting.  I am not a health care professional.  This is just something I'm doing be a healthier person! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

~Three More Days And A Sneak Peek~

Only three days left on the 21 Day Challenge!  We will wrap up the challenge the day before Easter.  Just in time to delight in whatever the Easter Bunny brings to your house.  Rumor has it that the Easter Bunny is bringing me a new hummingbird feeder instead of chocolate!  I can always pinch the kids candy, right?

My little superheros are getting so excited for Easter.  They love going to church.  They can't wait to wear their new ties to Easter service this Sunday.  And the Easter bunny visiting adds a whole new level of excitement.

I'm excited for Easter too!  I'm excited to celebrate the risen Lord and reaffirm my commitment to Christ!  I'm excited to see those little superhero smiles when they find their Easter baskets full of goodies.

AND...I am excited to have a nibble of chocolate.  Did I say nibble?  Um, probably will have a little more than a nibble on Easter morning.  It's tradition in this family to eat some Easter chocolate for breakfast! 
What kind of silly traditions do you have?

The new Spring Fling Challenge will start on April 1st!  I'm really excited about it.  My friend, Karin, and I have been working on some new goals.  We've decided to keep the apple a day from the 21 Day Challenge. 

Here's a little sneak peek of the new printable coming your way.

A new post will be up soon detailing the whole Spring Fling Challenge. 
Can't wait to share...I'm kinda like really excited about it  (have I said that already...)
We Can Do This!

Monday, March 25, 2013

~The Final Challenge Check In~

How are you doing on the 21 day challenge?
I really, really want to hear from you...
I want to know what the best part has been so far.
I want to know what the worst part has been so far.
For me, the best part has been my success in drinking water.  I'm actually doing it.  Yesterday I drank ten 8 ounce glasses!  Can I get a woot woot?  Prior to this challenge I hydrated with coffee and diet soda.  What a poor choice on my part, eh?
The worst part has been daily exercise.  I'll be honest, I haven't done 30 minutes EVERY day.  But I'm doing more that I was 16 days ago!  I have more energy now.  I can run around with the kids without getting out of breath!  I'll take it!
There's only 5 days left in our 21 Day Challenge.  We got this, baby!
If you haven't started this challenge, there will be a new one starting April 1st with new goals!  I'll be putting up a post all about it this week.
We Can Do This!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

~New challenge just in time for April~

We Can Do This
~Spring Fling~
April Challenge
A new challenge is being prepared for the month of April!
Starts April 1, 2013
There will be new goals and a new printable chart to help you stay on track.
This week is your prep week. 
We all need to weigh ourselves and take our measurements.
Think about what day you want to be your weigh day (once a week).
Record your current weight.
Grab a cloth tape measure and record the following
measurements (you may need a friend to help you).
Hips, thighs, arms, belly and bust.
If you are unsure how to do this go to LIVESTRONG.COM.
There are good directions there.
The 21 Day Challenge has motivated me. 
It's a great starting point for anyone wanting to make a healthy change!
I hope you will join me for the April ~Spring Fling~ Challenge!
We Can Do This!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

~Box Top Bank~

Do you collect Box Tops for your kid's school? 
Do you have somewhere to put your Box Tops?
I was tired of our Box Tops hanging out in a plastic baggie.  So when I received an email from Box Tops For Education with a link to a cute printable.  I was excited (small things excite me I guess)!
Here is the printable: 
Keep Calm and Clip On

I bought a set of magnetic metal baskets from LTD Commodities a few years ago. I knew once I saw this free printable, I would use one of these baskets to hold the Box Tops
(why haven't I been doing this all along? duh!)

I have a package of adhesive magnetic sheets.  I just cut two pieces for the printable and stuck it to the front of the basket. 

And if you like the "Think Spring" chalkboard picture.  Just go here.  It's a free printable that I made.

Keep collecting those Box Tops for your school.  They really do help out!
We Can Do This!
How do you keep your Box Tops?  Let me know in the comments below!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

~They Call Me The Wrapper~

Well, they don't really call me the wrapper...but it makes a good title don't ya think?

A few years ago, I bought a wrapping paper organizer that goes under the bed.  I had a love/hate relationship with that thing.  I loved it because it gave my gift wrap a place to live.  I hated it because it just ended up being a big dumping station with everything just jumbled all together.  Plus every time I wanted to wrap something, I had to dig it out from under my bed. 

I LOVE Pinterest.  My goodness, the ideas out there are amazing.  I've always been a good copy cat crafter, so Pinterest is right up my ally. 

I stumbled upon this lovely pin.  You may have seen it.

Closet to Gift-Wrapping Station
I knew right away that I wanted NEEDED this lovely set-up! 
Here is my version
I purchased this kitchen shelving system from Wal-Mart.
This system can hang over the door or you can hard mount it.
I decided to hard mount the rack to the inside of our linen closet door (okay, when I say "I" hard mounted, please read "my wonderful husband" ).  This gave me more height to work with.  I was able to utilize the whole length of the door and not be restricted by the length of the rack itself.
I reused a Victoria's Secret bag to store my tissue paper. 
I just whipped up some letters on my cricut to cover the name of the store.
I have quite a few giant bags that wouldn't fit anywhere.  I bought a large Command Hook that holds up to 5 pounds.  The bags hang behind the wrapping rolls.  I tied a piece of skinny ribbon on either side of the rack to keep the wrapping paper rolls from falling forward.
This brings me to another awesome pin. 
Have you seen this idea?
toilet roll tubes gift wrap holder idea muslim blog
I really like this idea, but I don't like the look of toilet paper tubes.  Enter...scrapbook paper! 
I just wrapped the tube in pretty paper. 
Now, that's better!

I'm getting organized, one step at a time. 
I get caught up in all the eye candy organizing out there.  Looking at the beautiful pictures gives me inspiration, but sometimes  it makes me to stumble.  I get caught up in trying to make everything look perfect like the pictures in a magazine. 
This is real life organizing.  My paper, bags and ribbon are not in one beautiful color scheme like the one on BHG.  But it works.  I did it!
We Can Do This!

Monday, March 18, 2013

SPRING BREAK ~ How to survive the kiddos!

My superheros are home all day from school for spring break (that's two full weeks)!  I love being home with the boys.  But let's be real.  Being at home ALL DAY with little superheros can be exhausting, especially if they are having trouble sharing and getting along.  And trying to get anything done around the house is near impossible.  So I decided I would theme a few of the days and do a little homework the night before to try and give our long days some direction and intentional fun. 

Here is what I came up with for day one....
A is for Airplane!
1.  Airplane coloring page
2.  Build an airport out of Legos
3.  Airplane lunch (chicken salad on celery in the shape of an airplane)
4.  Make paper airplanes
5.  Pretend to fly on an airplane (line up all the chairs)
6.  Airplane balloon science experiment
Airplane Coloring Pages
There are a million airplane coloring pages on the net.  Just search google images, you won't have a problem finding something you like.
Here is the one we used.
I have preschoolers.  So I wanted a page that had the letter "A" on it so they could see it and color it.  This one also has the dotted word "airplane".  Nice practice for writing.
Build an airport out of Legos
Next we made an airport out of Lego Duplo Blocks.  I let the boys take the lead.  We made a runway out of some foam puzzle pieces.

Bob the Builder is the air traffic controller.  Can you see him at the top?

Airplane Lunch
Before we knew it, it was time for lunch. 

I knew I wanted to make chicken salad today.  Since this was already planned, I had celery on hand.  So I whipped up a batch of chicken salad and just cut some celery to make a very simple airplane.  I filled the celery with the chicken salad and voila!  The boys LOVED it!  And making airplane noises while eating is still cool when you are three and five!

I really wanted the boys to help make this lunch, but they were SO hunrgy, they wanted nothing to do with preparing.  You win some, you loose some.

Make Paper Airplanes

We have a paper airplane book & kit that my oldest superhero received for his fourth birthday.  This will keep us busy for quite a while! 

Airplane Balloon Science Experiment

I pinned this science experiment a while ago. 
This will fit in with our airplane theme!  Can't wait to give it a try. 
Well, that's it for the day.  We may add a trip to the library to look at airplane books.  If the weather was nicer, we could have made a trip to our local airport to watch some planes land and take off.

Some other themes I am exploring for the week are
Under the Sea
America The Beautiful
Diggers, Dozers and Dirt

We Can Do This!  We can make memories for the kidlets and stay sane while doing it.  It just takes a little planning. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh my rainbows and leprechauns! Is it too late to decorate?

Do you love to decorate for the holidays?  We love all things holiday at our house.

My oldest superhero asked me if we could decorate for Easter today.  "Sure, just as soon as I decorate for St. Patrick's Day" I said.  We're a little behind in the holiday round up this year.

My husband bought me a Cricut for Christmas!  Yippeeeee!  I've been playing with it here and there.  But I haven't had a good chunk of time to really explore and create something. 
My superheros have been begging me to get the cricut out so they can help.  So that's just what we did.  I pulled out some paper and started cutting shamrocks.  One superhero loads the cutting mat, one superhero gets to push the cut button.  They were delighted!

Here is what we made!  A shamrock garland.  It's simple but I'm still learning.


I'm not thrilled with the lettering color.  I should have picked out something brighter.  But hey, It's done.  In the past I would have ruminated over color choice, shape, size and never took action to actually DO the project.  I would have been afraid that it wouldn't turn out perfectly.  Well, in this case, it's better to have a done project than to not have one at all.  And the bonus is the boys had a blast! 
Do you put off doing things because you are afraid they won't be perfect?  I have in the past, but I'm breaking out!  You can do it too.  Go ahead, who cares if it's not perfect! 
We Can Do This!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Challenge Check In!

Hi guys!  This is an official challenge check in!  If you are following the 21 Day Challenge, I want to know how you are doing!  Are you eating your apple?  Having any challenges fitting in 30 minutes of exercise?  What kind of exercise are you doing?

I'm doing pretty good.  Eating an apple a day is easy.  Geez, why have I not been doing this all along?

Drinking a glass of water before my meal is actually making me eat a little less.  Usually I clean up my plate and go back for seconds.  Now I can feel my tummy getting full before I'm half way done with my meal.  I'm liking this! 

What's really weird is I haven't craved chocolate or cookies or cake!  I'm not sure why.  I can say I've been drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water a day.  That tends to keep my belly occupied (and my bladder.......if ya know what I mean!)

It is only Day 4.  I'll have to see how it goes.

If you are just joining the 21 Day Challenge, welcome!  Be sure to print out the chart to keep track of your progress.

Come along with me. Kick butt and take names!  It's time to make some changes that will make us feel better and be healthier!
We Can Do This!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is there a Method to her madness?

So I took a trip to the local Target store.  I went on a task to raid the dollar section for some little organizing bins.  I LOVE Target's dollar section!  Look what I found!  These cute little things make me want to tear apart a drawer and organize!  I'll post pics once they find a home.

With my hands full of tiny bins, I decided to take a walk around (which is always hazardous for my wallet).  I landed in the cleaning section...somehow I always end up there.   I LOVE to clean!  There I said it!  I really do love to clean.  I oogled over the Method cleaning section.  I've been reading a bit about cleaning with natural products.  There is a lot of buzz out in blog land about them. I thought I would give them try.  I was drawn to the sleek, modern look of the Method packaging, but more importantly I was drawn to the natural ingredients and the price.  This bottle is only $2.99 for 28 fluid ounces.  This is comparable to what I currently pay for my cleaners.   I chose an all purpose cleaner in the scent of clementine.  I'll let you know what I think. 
Do you use all natural products?  If so, which ones do you use?  What are your favorites?  I really would like to know your opinions. 

I am not being paid by Target or Method to write this.  It's just my own personal opinion.  I'm hoping you'll share your thoughts on all natural cleaners...I need a little help here.

an apple a day!

Just finished eating my apple for the day.  Eating an apple a day is part of the 21 Day Challenge (read about the challenge here)  I like Gala apples....nice and sweet and crisp. 
Are you following along on the 21 Day Challenge?  What kind of apples are you eating?

Here are 6 reasons why we SHOULD be eating an apple a day according to an article by on the Mother Nature Network.
  1. Apples are loaded with soluble fiber.  It helps to stabalize insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream. 
  2. Apple pectin helps in reducing cholesterol by lowering insulin secretion.
  3. Researchers have found by eating five apples a week, one can lower the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma.
  4. Apples are packed with vitamins C and A.
  5. According to a Brazilian study, eating an apple before a meal helped women lose 33 percent more weight than those who didn't.
  6. An apple has only 50-80 calories and has no fat or sodium.
I'd love to hear from you.  Let me know how you are doing on the challenge!
We Can Do This!

Friday, March 8, 2013

21 Day Challenge!

Here it is!
21 Day Challenge Graphic thanks to Karin Tomson!
My friend, Karin, and I have come up with a challenge that we believe we can do! It's only for 21 days. This challenge is going to rev of some weight loss and turn us into two healthier mommies!

We are starting this Sunday, March 10th! The challenge will end the day before Easter Sunday (just in time to reward ourselves with a little Easter treat--note to self, this does not mean you get to eat ALL of the Cadbury Eggs!)

I would love for you to join us! And I would love to hear from you!  
Good luck and remember:

Here's a free printable chart to help us keep track!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stay tuned for a 21 day challenge!

Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to revisit a 21 Day Challenge that my friend and I took part in last year.  This challenge is to jump start weight loss and hopefully get us back on track.  We are in the process of tweaking the challenge a bit.  We should have everything ready to start on Sunday, March 10th!

I shared a post in July 2012 titled Staring 40 In The Face.  Guess what?  I'm gonna be 40 in sixteen days.  Yoish!  Where did the time go?  I didn't meet my weight loss goal, but I did manage to stay the same.  Good that I didn't gain, right?  I wouldn't really call that an accomplishment--maybe just luck!  I guess what I need to focus on is the fact that I keep trying.  I have incorporated some exercise into my life.  But I need to do more.  And I need to keep that darn Nutella out of my house (hey that's not a cookie so I'm good, right? That's It! No More Cookies! )

Check back and join in. This is going to be doable.  We would love to have some company! Leave me a message if you're joining us.   

We Can Do This!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm quitting....In a Good Way!

Today my little superheros made a decision to quit sucking on their thumbs.  Well one sucks his thumb, the other sucks his arm.  It's a habit they both formed while infants.  But now they are three and five.  I was a thumb sucker well into Kindergarten.  I remember getting much comfort from sucking my thumb but feeling shame because everyone around me told me how bad and yucky it was.  I would still suck my thumb, but just hide it from everyone.  I didn't want my boys to have the same feelings of shame and guilt.  Today we talked about trying to stop.  I didn't use negative words, I just told them I thought it was time to quit because arms and thumbs weren't made to suck on forever.  My husband and I came up with a reward of going to a very fun local indoor playground.  The boys rarely get to go there, so they were so excited and on board from the minute we mentioned the place.  We decided as a family that the boys would have to go seven days without sucking their thumb/ arm.  If they can stop for seven days, they can go to the indoor playground (this place is awesome, a huge labyrinth of climbing tubes and slides, a train, miniature golf and even a little pizza shop). 

We aren't going to be crazy strict about enforcing this.  We realize they will make mistakes.  It's such a habit to slip that thumb in the mouth, especially when they are having down time like watching TV or listening to a story.  As long as they are really trying, they will be rewarded.

As the day went on, I wondered what habit I could give up.  I could join my boys in a lesson of self control.  I was having trouble coming up with something but then one of my good friends messaged me on FB later in the evening.  She wanted to know if I would be interested in revisiting a 21 day challenge that we did a year ago.  What great timing!

Here is the 21 Day Challenge:

I pinned this on Pinterest about a year ago.  I tried to find the source, but it didn't link to anything.  If this is your "No Junk Food Challenge"  please let me know so that I may give you credit.
We are going to start a new challenge soon.  We may follow this one just as it is, or we might tweak it a little.  I'll let you know when we start.  You can join us too! 

We Can Do This!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Think Spring!

As I write this, my little superhero is so sick.  Last week he had a head cold then followed that up with a weekend of high fever and vomiting.  Now he has an earache that has ruptured his eardrum.  Poor little guy.  We've been in front of the TV for two days straight. 

Yesterday I wrote about drinking water and finding a new way to keep track.  I drank all eight glasses, which is quite a feat for me. Today, I'm on my fourth cup of coffee.  Superhero and I were up most of the night.  Thank goodness for caffeine!

Organizing, cleaning and everything else takes a back burner to taking care of sick children.  But there is one thing that I have managed to do between the cuddles and refills of juice.  Something I thought I would never be able to do!  That was until I found this gem of a blog, How to Nest for Less, and the post on how to make your own chalkboard printables.

I LOVE printables!  All colors, shapes and sizes of them!  They help me change up my decor without spending a lot of money.  I have always admired other people's creative computer skills.  I don't really have the patience or know-how to create my own printable. Besides, the only computer program I have to create with is Microsoft Word.  I really should invest in some other software.  Any good ideas?

Erin, the creator of How to Nest for Less, has an awesome and FREE chalkboard background that she created!  Go here to get the background and read her great tutorial.  This is where I said "I Can Do This!".  Mostly because Erin did all the hard work. And she was gracious enough to share.  All I had to do was come up with something to "write" on the chalkboard.  I started out simple, but I like it! 
So here it is, my first free printable to offer.

You should be able to click on the picture and save it to your computer and then print.  "Should" being the key word.  I'm new at this..... 
I used as suggested by Erin.  Maybe once I get some decent graphic software, I can use some fonts that look more like chalk drawing.

This was a little start for me!  Are there things you have been wanting to do but just not sure how?

We Can Do This!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Water Water Water

If you've read a few of my earlier posts, you'll know that drinking water is a challenge for me.  But today I'm back on track (gotta keep trying, can't give up).  I needed a way to track my water progress.  I didn't want to keep track in a notebook.  I'm a very visual person.  I needed something where I could actually SEE my progress.  But I also wanted a system where I physically move a tracker to keep count of my water intake, like a mini celebration every time I drink a glass.  I don't have a picture of my first attempt of a water tracker, but  just imagine...... a blue pipe cleaner with eight multi-colored Foamie beads strung onto it, hanging from one of the door handles of my kitchen cabinets.  I used what materials I had around the house (with a three and five year old, Foamie is abundant).  It worked, but it was unattractive UGLY!
Today, I'm on to a new and different method.  Eight rubber bands around my glass!  Every time I drink a glass of water, I get to remove a rubber band.   Seems simple enough. 

I'll let you know how it goes!

How do you make sure you're drinking enough water in a day?  I would love any tips!

We Can Do This!

Well, I said I'd let you know how it goes.  So far so good!  It is 5:21 pm and I have seven glasses down, one to go!  I like this rubber band method MUCH better than my ugly hanging pipe cleaner.  I get such enjoyment from taking off a rubber band once I finish up a glass!  I'll have to see how it goes by the end of the week.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Apple Fritters and Diggers!

The township that my parents live in has been undergoing an implementation of public sewage.  The crews have been working all winter digging and installing the pipelines.  They have finally made it to my mum and dad's house.  I say finally, not because my parents were impatient,  but because my two little construction loving boys have been waiting and waiting and waiting!  They were so excited to finally be able to go and watch all the diggers in their muddy glory! 

So I packed up a change of clothes for each boy, the snowsuits, hats, mittens, scarves and snow boots.  I packed up lunches and snacks.  I threw in their school backpacks so we could stay until the boys had to go to preschool.  Plus the kids each packed a bag of toys to take along (and I thought packing the diaper bag was a feat).

My mum made us a delicious breakfast of apple fritters and pancakes!  After we ate, it was time to suit up (enter visions of A Christmas Story) and head outside to watch the diggers!  The boys were amazed!  Their smiles stretched across their dear little faces.

Where does this story fit into the "We Can Do It" journey?
In finding the moments to spend with family.  And really enjoying life!  It would have been very easy for me to just stay at home today.  It's cold, it's a school day and I knew this special trip was going to wind up the crazy in the boys (does running in circles and shouting "Peach Jam!, Peach Jam!" enter the crazy contest?)  But I'm trying to make sure that I create memories for the boys and enjoy their joy while they are little. 

We Can Do This! 

Spending time with family and having fun while doing it doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money! 
I challenge you to find something to do with your family and friends that doesn't require an admission price!
I'd love to hear what you come up with!