Thursday, December 27, 2012

52 Things for 2013

Do you ever feel like your life is staring you in the face and passing before your eyes at the same time? I always enjoy this time of year because all of the news programs are doing year in reviews, and it always makes me think about what I've done during the year.  Memories are funny things.  Some stick with you for no known reason while others slip away, completely forgotten.  I can think of several new things I did this year, but I know there has to be more.  I should have written them down.

My friend, Stephanie, encouraged me earlier this year when my blog was fairly new to commit to blogging just once a week.  She said it didn't have to be some life-changing post but just to write SOMETHING.  Clearly since I haven't written here since the Spring, I didn't listen to her advice.  Now, I wish I had!  I would like for my blog to be my personal year in review.  I'd like to be able to look back at it and see the different things I've done.

So, I want to commit to writing about 52 new experiences in my life in 2013.  Some might be really monumental in my life, and some might seem very small and trivial.  But I want to try and embrace new experiences next year.  Maybe it's visiting a new place or learning something new at work.  Or, wonder of wonders, making some of those pins on my Pinterest board a fun reality in my life rather than a bunch of "that's cool, but I'll probably never really do that" pictures on a social network site.  Heck, I have two children.  They alone offer plenty of material, right?

This sounds very much like a New Year's resolution, doesn't it?  I really can't stand those.  I don't want to treat this like that.  And I'm not actually foolish enough to think that I will have the time to write every single week.  I'm a mom.  And a wife.  And a full-time worker.  Life gets hard, and weeks fly by.  But it is my goal to have a wonderful blog/scrapbook of 52 new experiences to reflect on by this time next year.  I think that sounds fun!  Make it your goal too!  And hopefully it won't fade by the end of February.  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I really do not like to run. So, why not train for a 1/2 marathon?

Makes sense to me.

My sister is a goal person.  She sets goals, and she accomplishes them.  Now, she would probably shake her head and say that I am being too kind about her.  But this is my blog, so I can say anything I want. :) And I admire her for it!  I really do!  She is a "don't tell me I can't" sort of gal, and I think that is awesome!  So, she decided that she wants to run a 1/2 marathon this year before her 40th birthday, and she asked if anyone wanted to join her in training for it.  Stupidly, I said "Sure!"

So, after much deliberation on which race to run, we've decided to run in the Ruben Studdard Celebration Weekend half marathon on November 18 in Birmingham.  We were originally going to run in Savannah, GA on November 3, but we are both trying to plan for family vacations a month or so after.  So, we thought a local race would be the most economical.  I mean, who wants to travel to an awesome city like Savannah just to be too tired to enjoy it after running 13.1 miles?  Not me.  I can be sore in boring old Birmingham!  AND save money in the process.  (Oh my's like the two worlds of my silly little blog have merged into this one giant super goal.)  And there you have it.  My next fitness goal.

I'm starting my couch to 5K training beginning this Saturday.  I want to complete that and then move on to our 15-week training program for the 1/2.  This is going to be comical.  Truly.  Comical.  But as my friend, Allison, pointed least I get a new pair of shoes out of the deal.  :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Starting a stockpile

Have you ever wondered what you can buy at the grocery store for $10? Maybe you'd choose to buy one big thing like a great steak or a bottle of wine. Or maybe you'd grab some milk, a frozen pizza and a pack of gum. Whatever the case may be, $10 doesn't seem to get you much at the grocery store. Jeremy and I have been complaining to each other for a few months about how the price of groceries seems to have gone up and up and up to the point that our grocery bill is out of control. We try to budget for $100/week at the store (not counting diapers and all that stuff). And for the most part, we do a good job of spending at or a little under that when we make our Saturday morning trip for the week's groceries. And then the little trips start. You know what little trips I'm talking about. It's the "Oh, crap...I forgot to get laundry detergent" trip. And the "we are almost out of milk" on Thursday trip. Well, after a while, those little trips add up. ALOT. And we are planners. We menu plan for the week and try to only buy what we need for the week, but we were always forgetting little things. So, we got a magnetic note pad to put on the side of the fridge that we write things down on throughout the week. If one of us grabs the last roll of toilet paper or notices that the toothpaste is getting low, then we add that to the list for the next Saturday. We've found that when we sit down on Saturday morning to make our grocery list, that we just somehow forget those types of things, so the notepad comes in handy.

Three weeks ago we decided to take back control of our grocery bill and only shop one time for the week. We would NOT make little trips to the store. AND we would start a stockpile. Yes, I said it...a stockpile. (Call TLC. I'm the next extreme couponer.) I've been a casual couponer before. I'd take a $.35 off a can of Grands biscuits coupon to the store, flash that puppy at the cashier when the time came and walk out feeling like I'd really done something. But I never REALLY understood the concept behind couponing. So, I started talking to some of my girlfriends who use coupons, and they referred me to a great site called On that site, the lady matches weekly sales papers for various stores (we are Publix customers) along with coupons to get you the absolute best deal on groceries. It's like she does the research work for me, so I appreciate her. Yes, I appreciate her so much. But it wasn't enough to me to only make the one-trip-a-week pledge. No, I wanted to also start a stockpile of groceries so that maybe a few months down the road we would REALLY start to feel some relief from our grocery bill. My friend Molly said that starting a stockpile is hard to do but is a must if you want to really save at the store. So, in doing some research, I found that the best way to start a stockpile is to devote 10% of your weekly grocery bill to the stockpile. So, for us...that is $10. I thought...well, this is going to be tough. Not only am I going to have so little to use for the stockpile, but I also have to be committed to feeding my family on only $90/week. But I knew I could do it. We would just have to be creative. And I knew that there would be weeks that we just wouldn't be able to add to the stockpile because maybe the weekly deals didn't work in our favor or maybe we didn't have a coupon to use, but as much as I could...I would try to add to it. And that mindset has really worked! So far, so good!

This was my first week's stockpile:
Isn't it pretty? :) But seriously...That's what I got for $10! Between coupons and B1G1 deals at the store that week, that's what I was able to put aside for a rainy day. The second week wasn't as impressive looking, but still decent nonetheless:
So, I'm off to a good start! And I'm hoping that by starting a stockpile, maybe I won't need to make anymore "little trips" to the store. Maybe it will already be on my to my 77 bottles of mustard, no doubt.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


One thing I've found out about myself since this whole thing started was that I am a quitter. I am capable of quitting. Now, for my "glass half full" friends out there, you see the word "quitter", and you probably see something negative. But I think of it as a positive. Sometimes, quitting can be GOOD. I'm sure a therapist would tell me to turn those "quitting" statements into something positive, but I prefer to look at all of the things I no longer do. Starting something new seems difficult to fathom sometimes. But quitting something seems to appeal to me. I like the idea of an "end" to something. It's done. Over. Finished.

Things I've QUIT doing:

I've quit with the laziness. Granted...When I first started this blog, I said I would exercise for 30 minutes every day. Well, I haven't been able to keep up with that. But I DO exercise as much as I can when I can. I no longer sit on the couch all the time, thinking about the things I should be doing. Instead, I just get up and do them. I remember when I did boot camp the summer after Alex was born. I hated going in the beginning, but after a couple of weeks, if I missed a few days for various reasons, then I felt my body miss it. I realized that I actually desired to exercise. I hurt my back at the end of that summer and had to take several weeks off to recover. In the beginning of that injury, I missed my beloved boot camp so much. I mentally felt compelled to go, but I knew that I couldn't because I was hurt. After a few weeks of rest, I didn't miss it anymore. And such is life. If you get out of the habit, then you stop missing it and start a new phase of laziness. But I've broken through that once again, and I've quit laziness.

I've quit being afraid of health goals. At the beginning of this blog, I said I was starting the 100 push ups app. That was a tough one to get through. I battled myself mentally and physically, and I won! I completed it, and I felt good for that. I realized about 3/4 of the way in that I was so close to the end that I just HAD to keep going. And now, I'm setting new health goals for myself. (Look for Couch to 5K posts this Spring.) But now that I've actually completed a health goal and know how good that feels, I'm no longer afraid of new ones. Because I know there is going to come a day when completing that goal is going to be hard, and I'm going to want to give up. But now, I also know what it feels like to complete one, and that feeling is SO worth it!

I've quit denying my body of water. I never realized just how little I drink during the day until I MADE myself take notice. When I got on my green tea kick and stopped drinking that morning diet coke, I realized just how long I could nurse a drink through out the day. (Jeremy calls me a camel). I could literally pour a glass of water in the morning and still be drinking it that afternoon. But with tea...I mean, who wants to drink a cold cup of hot tea!? BLECH! So, I had to drink fast. And after that, I set water drinking goals for myself throughout the day. I tried to drink a glass of water as quickly as I would drink a glass of hot tea. And it has made a HUGE difference in how I feel throughout the day. And now...It feels like second nature and a NEED for my body. I NEED x-amount of water throughout the day in order not to feel completely parched. (And I will never understand why the more water I drink, the thirstier I feel. But so be it.)

I've quit neglecting my skin. About a month ago, I developed a new routine at night. After dinner, I take five minutes to go cleanse my face and apply all the necessary "please don't let me look old before my time" products. The lady who does my makeup told me that not removing makeup (especially eye makeup) can age you tremendously overtime. It leaves dirt and all kinds of nastiness all over your skin and clogs pores. So, even though I'm already starting to develop those fine lines and wrinkles (I like to think that the smile and "expression lines" are just because I lead a very happy and, I guess, surprised life and are a good thing), it's time to try and keep this mug clean. Beautiful women in the 50s didn't just get lucky. Well...I guess SOME of them did. (Curse those good genes of theirs!) But many just took really great care of their skin early on. And I've neglected mine for a LONG time. The funny thing is...after a few days of this facial care, even Jeremy noticed. He told me that I looked "all glowy." :)

I've quit eating after 8pm. Jeremy and I like to watch TV after the kids go to sleep, and I swear...most nights, I can't remember what I even ate for dinner. Dinner time with our two kids is like an eating contest between me and Jeremy. Who can finish dinner first?! Because we are constantly dealing with the kids, we hardly even taste our food. So, when we sit down to finally relax for the night, I sometimes snack. But I've stopped. And that I don't do that anymore...I don't even miss it. It's like my body finally gave up the need/want.

I've quit beating myself up. I've quit looking at the all of the flaws, and started TRYING to focus on all of the good. I've quit saying I can't and started thinking "Well, maybe I can." I've quit being scared of actually succeeding at something and started reaping the benefits of healthier living.

There have been other things I've quit too, but this post feels long already. So, I'll stop typing for now. But my husband is proud of me. And I'm proud of me. And I'm finally starting to take care of this body of mine. And that feels good. So, yes...I'm proud to be a quitter.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nobody eat the Greek yogurt! The Greek yogurt has gone bad!!

Do you remember that scene in the movie "Can't Hardly Wait" when the nerd kid drinks the beer and screams out that the beer has gone bad? And folks are all "Tastes like beer to me."/"Me too!" Well, that was how I felt the first time I had Greek yogurt. I'd seen people tweeting about it and how great it was. And gals in the office all swore by it, so when I was in the store one day, I bought some. I was excited to open it and give it a shot. I took my first bite. Um...UM...what the...BLECH!!!! It was like that taste you get from a sprite when there is too much carbonated water and not enough syrup. I swear...I think the stuff fizzed in my mouth. It was NOT good. How could this be? How could all of these sheep be so fooled into thinking this stuff is tasty?! Are they those creepy rice cake people who claim that those styrofoam cakes actually taste good?? And then I thought about it...maybe it was the brand. I'm the kind of person who LOVES a Diet Coke, but I wouldn't drink a Diet Pepsi if you paid me. (Well...depends on how much you paid me...)

So, I went back to the store and bought a different one. Tried it, and was so pleasantly suprised...success! Fage Greek Yogurt is truly awesome! And it comes with this little fruit cup on the side so you can mix all the fruit flavor into the plain yogurt all at the same time. Or you can dip the yogurt in it. OR you can mix some in and dip the rest. The possibilities are endless. But it was good, y'all. Like really, REALLY good. I like the Fage Total 0%. I encourage you to give it a shot!

I'll try rice cakes next.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Road to 100 Pushups

100 Pushups. THAT is the name of the app. Please download it. It is so worth it.

When I started this app, it said "do as many good-form pushups as you can". I could only do three. (And to clarify...yes, I am doing REAL pushups. Not the wimpy, girlie kind.) Week one went by with no problem as did week two. It was week three that killed me. At that point, I was up to 50 pushups. Hold on...let me back up...

This app is set up to break down the total number of pushups into smaller reps with break periods in between. For instance, "do as many good-form pushups as you can" meant "how many can you do in a row before you collapse?" THREE. That was all I could do. So, the app took that and created a program around it. On my first day I did 12 pushups, but it was broken down: 2 pushups and take a 30-second break. Then I did 3 followed by a 30-second break. Then 2 and a 30-second break. (Do you see where I'm going with this?) So, my reps were 2, 3, 2, 2, 3 for a total of 12 pushups. It gradually increased from there. And the rest periods changed too. Sometimes they were longer...sometimes they were shorter. I don't know why. That's just what the app did, so I followed it. So, to say that I did 100 pushups doesn't mean I did 100 without stopping. (What am I? A soldier??) I had 60-second breaks between my reps. (Or is it "sets?" Oh, heck...I don't know.) Regardless, that is how it is set up.

But it was week three that got me. The day I had to do 50 was bad. And I had to do half in that wimpy, girlie style. Well, I decided that wasn't good enough. I couldn't very well go on if I couldn't do those 50. So, I stayed on that week for another week (plus one more day). Then, I thought I was psyching myself out and just said "WHATEVER" and moved on. Well, it turned out that I was more than ready. 55 was a breeze. 63 was a breeze. 72 was where it got tough again. But by that point, I decided that even if I had to break up my reps into even SMALLER reps, then I would. I just had to finish this app. It was killing me mentally. And that's what I did. 80, 86, 100 was how the next three days went. And it was over. And I was relieved.

So, I started at 3 in a row. 18 is now my personal best (though I'm not consistent.) And that is one thing I learned over the course of this app. I'm not always going to be consistent. I'm not always going to feel strong. I'm not always going to feel weak. It's truly a day-to-day thing.

The app wants me to keep going. My next one is 120, and it wants me to continue until I reach 170. *excuse me a second* BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! WHOOOOO!!!! Sorry.

I think I'm going to hang out at 100 for a little while if you don't mind.