Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Get Fit 2014

I'll be starting a new blog series with tips and ideas to help you get in your best shape ever this year!  Many people start off strong in the New Year with an ambitious fitness and healthy eating regimen, but soon after...the enthusiasm fades and it becomes less and less of a priority.  If you need help getting and staying in shape...I'm here to help you in anyway I can.  I'm not a personal trainer, or a healthy eating expert, nor do I have a diet or body that is anywhere near perfect.  I'm a mom.  I make my family my number one priority.  I work full time.  I have SO MANY chores everyday like every other wife and mom.  But I try.  I try really hard to make good habits everyday habits.  And fitness isn't my top priority, but it's still a priority.  I make time for it because I make time for everything else and there's no excuse not to.  There's no better lifestyle than a healthy one, and it's never too late for anyone to get on the right track.  Today I have 8 of my secrets to making fitness and health a part of my everyday routine.

1.  Revamp your fridge and pantry-  At the beginning of your fitness journey de-junk your fridge.  Take a trip to the grocery store and use this rule as a guide.  Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.  That's where the healthy stuff is.  The middle is basically full of over processed JUNK.   The outermost edge is where you will find all of your fresh fruits and veggies, meats, and dairy.  Here are a few of my essentials:

Organic Section- Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread, Almond Milk, Rice Cakes, PB2

Fruits and Veggies-  Asparagus, Green Peppers, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Onions, Pineapples, Apples, Pears, Bananas, Strawberries and Blueberries

Meat-  Chicken Breasts, Buffalo Burger, Turkey Burger

Dairy-  2% Milk, Plain Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Egg Whites

2.   Change your drinking habits- With the exception of the occasional cup of coffee or milk.  Drink WATER and only water.  If you don't like bottled water, buy yourself an awesome water bottle and fill that bad boy up to the top everyday over and over again.  Changing over from sugary juices and sodas is one of the best moves you can make to start your fitness journey off right. 

3.  Prepare your meals ahead of time-  The worst idea anyone has ever had is to wait until you are hungry to make choices about what you are going to eat.  Buy some cute little Tupperware containers and pack them with lean protein, veggies, fruit and healthy snacks.  It's a fool proof healthy eating plan.

4.  Join a gym-  If you have the money and you really like the gym you have found, join for an entire year.  Usually you can get a great discount if you join for a full year.  And on top of that if you do a month to month thing and you run out of steam after the first month you have nothing to lose.  If you run out of steam after the first month and you've already joined the gym for a year you will be motivated to go anyway because you've already dropped the money for the entire year so you might as well get your moneys worth. Am I right?  Or am I right? 

4.  Buy some cute workout clothes-  It may seem superficial, but it's so true for me. If I look sloppy, I feel sloppy.  And who is motivated to workout if you feel sloppy?  Not this girl.  And it isn't for attention either.  I workout in my parent's awesome home gym, therefore I workout by my lonesome.  It's just me and the mirrors.  And I STILL feel like a get a better workout in if I'm wearing cute clothes.  Try it, seriously!  

I'm a huge huge fan of VS and Aerie yoga pants. They also come in long...which is a big win for tall girls like me! And during ab workouts I always wear crop tops or sports bras for motivation. 

This is my favorite workout look.  Yoga pants and a comfy lightweight t-shirt!  Both are from Aerie!
5.  Eliminate excuses- Figure out a time of day that works best for you and schedule it as your gym time.  Arrange baby sitters for your kids. Pack your gym clothes ahead of time.  I always find that if I have to go home to get gym clothes, I find a million other things in the house I should be doing besides working out and I end up skipping that day.  Buy a cute workout bag and stuff that thing full of gym necessities. Choose a gym that is convenient so you can avoid the "it's too far away" excuse.  Even better if it's right on your way to or from work. 

6.  Workout even if you don't feel like it-  With the exception of being sick, don't let fatigue get in your way.  I can't tell you the number of times I have made myself go to the gym even when it's the last thing I felt like doing.  By the end of my workout I have so much energy that I go home and tackle 10x more chores than I normally would.  I have never ever regretted a workout, even if I started it off feeling crappy.  And you won't either.

7. Set attainable goals-  If you've never worked out before, ease yourself into it.  Don't kill yourself to the point where working out is something you dread.  Make it something you love and look forward to and it will become less of a chore and more of an escape.

8.  Don't beat yourself up-  If you have a bad week, you backslide, your eating habits fall off of the wagon, and you aren't on top of your fitness game...don't give up.  Everyone has off days every now and then.  Push through those and use them to motivate you.  Get your butt back in the gym and get back on track.

Recipes and more tips to come!  Grab 2014 by the reins and make it your year! :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Year in Review [2013]

So 2013 is coming to a close.  Have you accomplished everything you set out to do at the beginning of this year?  I feel like I stuck to my resolutions for this past year better than I ever have.  Normally I forget about them by February.  This year I blogged about them in this post, which was great accountability for me. 

My 2013 resolutions were:

(1) Spend more quiet time with God and in the word.

This was my most important resolution, and I really feel like I've grown spiritually because of it.  No matter how tired I am, I pick up my Bible every night and read a few passages and pray.  And on top of that, I pray every time I'm in the car and before meals...and randomly throughout the day.  I've found the more I talk to God and the more I reach for him, the sweeter our relationship becomes.  It's hard to describe the fulfillment that a relationship with my Savior brings, but it is certainly a relationship I know I could never live without.  Pure and total unconditional love is what everyone needs, and God gives that to me every day.  I've learned to love myself and others because of it.

(2) Work on patience, a positive attitude and a pure heart.

Oh the struggle.  Between marriage, parenting, work, stress and everything in between...it really is a challenge to have complete and total patience and a perfectly positive attitude.  I'll be the first to admit I've failed at this one this year (if I don't tell you, my husband will...ha), but I've made major leaps and bounds in the right direction.  Thinking before I speak, holding my tongue even when negative word vomit is begging to spew out of my mouth, and genuinely striving to develop a more patient and gentle attitude is where I started with this one.  And eventually the negative thoughts started to leave me and I started realizing that I didn't have to hold my tongue because the negativity was slowly going away.  My prayer everyday is for God to create in me a pure heart and give me the ability to love everyone as He does.  It has really changed me.  But I'm still a work in progress and I will continue to work on this one.

(3) Cook every single day for my family (except for the nights we go out)

Okay so this one must have been a joke.  Or either I had just drank an obscene amount of coffee and had caffeine flowing through all of my veins before I wrote this, because there is no way in the world I could have the energy to cook every single day.  I tried, I really did.  But then I came to realize that this resolution was out of reach for me.  This year I'm aiming for 3-4 days a week.  There's bound to be enough leftovers from those meals to get us through the remaining days. Don't you think?  ;)

(4) Maintain my fitness regimen.

I shouldn't have even made this a resolution.  Fitness is a way of life for me, and I knew when I made this one that this would be the one thing I followed through with.  I did indeed workout 4-5 times a week, every single week this year.  YES.

I have to say 2013 was a great year.  It truly was. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Merry Little Christmas

Christmas is so near and dear to my heart.  I love my family so much and I get to spend so much time with them, but most importantly I love Jesus and He is the sweetest gift I have ever received...so I really love celebrating His birthday.  We had a blast this week, and I hope you and your family had a Merry little Christmas as well.

Santa brought Nanny Shawnee a Baby Grand Piano.  Very merry.

A few of my favorite girls.

Christmas morning.  When Kollyns finally woke up and realized that Santa had dropped off the bouncy house that she has been drooling over for 2 months, she dashed for FinLee because she really needed a jumping partner.  I love that this captured my dad and brother in the background too, love them.

Daddy worked night shift this week, so he got home just in time to enjoy what Santa brought Kollyns! 

Kollyns' grandparents gave her this adorable mini-set of corn hole boards.  Handprints and footprints on one board, and signed messages from her parents and grandparents on the other.  Priceless.

This Brookstone Sandbox was by far my favorite present of Kollyns'.  I think I've had my hands in it since the day she opened it up.

Santa knew Kollyns would want to be like her Nanny Shawnee, so he brought her a Melissa and Doug starter piano.

These finger crayons are just freakin' awesome.  I think I love them as much as Kollyns does.

The plasma car was a win. Kollyns and I have had so much fun on this thing.  Except for the first time I got on it after I tried to assemble it.  I was bragging to Devin about the 200lb weight limit, jumped on it and the right front wheel flew off and I fell off of it.  Needless to say, I'll let daddy handle the toy construction from here on out.

And 2 days after Santa came, the bounce house is still a hit.  But Kollyns has informed me that it has to stay in the middle of the living room forever.  This could be a dilemma.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Countdown

The countdown is on!  Less than one week until Santa comes and I'm pretty much a big ball of Christmas spirit.  And what's better than festive handprint/footprint crafts. Not only are they adorable, they are so meaningful.  One day I'll look back at how small her little hands and feet were and probably cry my eyes out.  Not to mention they are a direct path to a grandparent's heart, so if you want brownie points for a great gift...frame one of these jewels and wrap it up or if you have a teeny tiny baby, make a handprint ornament.  You win! :)   

Yep, we're still making Christmas cookies on a daily basis.  And I found these awesome pink lights at the dollar store.  Kollyns had to plug them in immediately.  They found their way onto her playroom Christmas tree eventually!

And since I've been celebrating Christmas since November 1st, I completely skipped over a Thanksgiving post.  So here are a few photos from our family's thanksgiving, I'm always thankful for my family and this wonderful life God has blessed us with!
We actually didn't take many pictures.  We were way too busy stuffing our faces. :)

Emily, Me, Mom & Aunt Shana [I'm pretty sure they are the two hottest 40-somethings out there ;)]

Someone ate too many gingerbread cookies.

Kollyns loves her cousin Reagan!

And as always, poor Devin was working.  We missed him. :( 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oh Christmas Card

I was lazy this year and waited until the last minute to order our Christmas cards.  Bad idea.  So here it is December 11th and I had to pay an extra $38 just for rush shipping.  Oh, the price of procrastination.  I chose this photo because it's my all time favorite picture of our family.  Thanks again to Visions by Heather for capturing the pure joy that Kollyns brings to our lives each and every day! And so the countdown begins to the big day... Santa will be here in exactly 2 weeks! Merry Merry Merry Christmas from our family to yours! :)

And speaking of Santa...we went to visit him yesterday!  Well actually we went to visit him last week too and Kollyns would talk to him, but would not go near his lap.  So last night we headed to the mall to ride the train again and Kollyns surprised us by saying she wanted to "jump into Santa's arms".  Say WHAT?  I hadn't even dressed her in her cute clothes because we were only there for a train ride!  I couldn't pass this up and well, she wasn't kidding.  She jumped up in his lap and asked for a "bouncy house and a Corvette for daddy".  The bouncy house will happen, the Corvette...not so much.  Good looking out Kollyns, but stop trying to put in a good word for daddy with the big man.  It ain't happening!  :)  Once she actually got into his lap, I'm not so sure she was happy about it.  But she stayed there long enough to get a photo.  Her face says it all.  Tis the season!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Beginning to Feel Alot Like CHRISTMAS!

We're wrapping presents and tying them up with bright sparkly bows...
...why Cupcake is so mischievous, not one of us knows.
We're painting our nails in shades of red and green...
 and keeping tabs on the Nice List & Santa's Reindeer team! [reindeercam.com]
We're making iced gingerbread houses with such delight...

and decorating sugar cookies...

my, what a sight!

We ride the train at the mall on a daily basis...

and waking up to ice on the trees puts a smile on our faces!

Our hearts are so full, and we're overflowing with Christmas cheer...
We hope you are too, because it only comes once a year!
(Ahem, you could say I've got rhymes.) ;)