Aug 21, 2017

Making the Cut: 10 Minute Transformation

So I finished another workout which was a brand new one for me. After finishing 30 Day Core, we headed off on vacation and I didn't do anything - although walking across the sand multiple times a day is kind of like vacation especially for someone not completely recovered from knee surgery. But otherwise I didn't do anything while on vacation and I knew I wanted to get into something when we got back. The kicker was that we were going to be moving that week so I needed something I could do quickly and didn't take up a lot of my time - it was going to be a busy week.

So I chose Jillian Michaels 10 Minute Transformation. This DVD has five workouts on it which meant for one every day of the week which meant I wouldn't get so bored. I had no idea what to expect but I was excited to try something new and keep it short and sweet but still be doing something.

Pilates Power


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I was probably the most clueless when it came to this one. I had never done Pilates in my life, although I had done some yoga so I thought maybe it was close. And it was in some ways. It also turned out to have moves that I did while I was in PT for my knee so I was feeling less clueless as the workout went on. The first time I did the exercise it was definitely mostly just trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing but by the second time I was catching on and figuring out all the moves. And by the third time (I ended up doing each workout five times each) I was doing the advanced moves and not feeling like I was dying. I was definitely feeling stronger.

I was initially sure that this was my least favorite one. I didn't burn a ton of calories but I was feeling the burn with each move and feeling stronger each time I went through this workout.

Cardio Burn


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I normally hate a good cardio workout and that turned out to still be true. I just don't like non-stop cardio. Especially cardio done in plank. I hate being in plank to begin with then you add cardio in and it's just awful. I ended up doing this workout on Fridays which was a horrible way to end the week but also a good way to earn the pizza I was going to eat that night since I would burn some serious calories with all the cardio and jumping and running and planks.

I probably don't have to say much more without understanding if I just say burpees!

Booty Boot Camp


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Initially I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this one. This one reminded me of basically everything I did in PT - squats, lunges, leg lifts. So while doing this workout I not only worked my booty which was the point but I was also working on my quad strength which happens to still be a bit lacking.

This workout is done throughout holding weights. There are no arms but adding the weight works your lower body harder as you do the moves. I knew I could hold more than 3 pound weights (although tempting), so I went with 5 pound weights throughout and felt like that was a good balance for me. From the booty burning aspect I could have held 8 pound weights. From the knee/quad side of things, I stuck with 5 pound weights.

Calisthenics
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This was the first one I did on this DVD (which makes this the one I do on Mondays) and truthfully it is harder than it looks. There is a lot of moving and honestly I struggled doing any of the advanced moves. For the first time in a long time I was almost immediately sore after doing the workout. I was definitely feeling it! But I was also enjoyed getting up on Monday morning to do this workout.

KickBox Blast


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Easily my favorite, hands down. I loved this one. I love kickboxing and working out some aggression! It was fast paced and definitely hard to follow the first time. But it didn't take too long to get the groove and really give it your all. I definitely got the most sweat going and body moving during this one. There isn't necessarily a ton of strength work in this, although you are getting a little with the punches and kicks but there are major calories burned with the cardio that's involved.

I loved doing this one every Tuesday. Not only do you burn some major calories and get a major endorphin rush, it's just plain fun!

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So although it says 10 minutes, it turned out to be about 18 minutes total with warm up and cool down which was totally fine with me. I loved this "short" program. You could couple up a few of these together or just do one a day, which is what I did. I ended up doing five weeks total of this DVD.

I did miss a few days. Once in my fourth week on a Wednesday I was having a really bad day. I was exhausted. I had a headache. My leg with the bad knee was cramping like crazy. I was just having a hard time so I decided I was better off skipping a day and letting myself rest than pushing and just wearing myself out further.

I also ended up missing the last three days. I fell and all I needed at this point was to take a break and let my knee and my back recover. It was necessary, even though I wasn't crazy about missing those days. As much as working out is good for you and however much our bodies need exercise, it is good to have a off day (or days) and just take a break when you need one.

That's just my two cents about that. I definitely feel good at the end of this program even if it wasn't hardcore or anything. It was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. But I am ready to move on now and I'm excited about that!

Aug 18, 2017

31

So today I am 31 years old. In the past I have done a lot of different posts for my birthday. For several years I have done my age amount of things about myself, but for this birthday I'm going with 31 things I have learned in my 31 years, plus a few other random things added in. Some of them funny. Some them not so funny. Some of them maybe just things that happen to me...


1. Being a mom is really really hard. Watching my kid go through a delay felt impossible and heartbreaking. Having an active and stubborn and impulsive kid is exhausting.


2. Turning 31 is harder for me than turning 30 was.

3. I should just accept that I may never be able to make meatballs that taste delicious.

4. I really don't use the crazy math that I learned in high school/college. I use basic math to do home budgeting.

5. Being married is hard. You have to work at it every day. You are going to fight and not get along (you are two different people after all) but it's worth working through and worth fighting for.


6. When you are in a hurry you will hit every red light. When you have time or leave really early, you will hit them all green.

7. Don't go to college with your high school friends. You don't get a chance to spread your wings and find your own way.

8. If you are the cook of the family - your family will want to eat every single day.

9. Knee surgery is horrible. It's painful and the recovery is long (it's been almost 9 months and still not 100%). Honestly I would say altogether it is worst than child birth (there's at least a see-able end to that pain).


10. If you have kids, toys will take over. If you have two kids are two different ages, you basically feel like you live in a toy store.

11. Some days you slay the day, other days you wear two different shoes and clean five poopy diapers.

12. As much as working out sucks sometimes, it can be a day changer and if you can just get through it, you will feel better. I go by the same rule as I once heard Lindsay Brin from Moms Into Fitness say, when you really don't feel like working out commit to 5 minutes and usually after that 5 minutes you just keep going and before you know it you are done and feel better.


13. We go by the rule around here that it's okay to go to bed angry as long as we go to bed together. We have learned that we get more angry and snippy with each other when we are tired and cooler heads prevail in the mornings when we can finish talking about whatever we were fighting about before but this time a lot more rational.

14. No matter when anyone tells you, you can't stock up on sleep so I find it completely stupid when people tell you to sleep while you can when you are pregnant.

15. Picking a boy's name was harder than picking a girl's. We even have a spare girl's name but got nothing when it comes to a boy's. Picking out a baby's name is a big deal because they are stuck with it for the rest of their life. No pressure or anything.

16. Moving with two small kids is really hard. Strike that. Moving is really hard.


17. Having a creative outlet has been a game changer for me. There is nothing that helps the anxiety like having a way to create and relax and process.

18. Social media is awesome but it is also really sucks.

19. Owning a shop (Our Beautiful Mess Shop) has been amazing and I love that I decided to start this journey and try to be a #girlboss. But it has also been hard and I am still learning so much. But what's the most important part of this is that it has been really good for me and I am so proud of myself and all I have achieved so far with my shop.

20. I hate winter and the cold and especially ice. But I would hate to live somewhere that didn't have all four seasons.


21. I have days where I get a ton of things done and I am so productive. And I have days I eat cookies and watch YouTube videos during naptime. Both kinds of days are so drastically different but both kinds of days are necessary and there's nothing wrong with either.

22. Going through the recovery process from knee surgery was easily one of the harder things I had to go through. I was definitely more mentally hard than I expected but of course it was physically hard (I can't say I'm done with with the recovery process). But the most mentally trying was definitely experiencing secondary infertility and the three miscarriages. I struggled for a long time and I know I'm definitely not the same person I was but I chose to let myself grow and be stronger from those experience rather than let it cripple me and my life.

23. When you chose you live a healthier lifestyle, it will have a more lasting impact than just focusing on eating healthy and exercising for weight loss. Weight loss will be a result of that healthier lifestyle but it will last and you will feel better for not just looking for a short term fix.


24. I don't know what power Mickey Mouse has over my child, but I am a fan when we are just having a tough day.

25. Always carry snacks. Either I get hungry or I have two hungry kids so always carry snacks.

26. It's really hard to maintain a blog when you go through a year long writer's block. But somehow I find something even if the content has been lacking a bit...

27. There is nothing quite like your toddler coming at your with their mouth wide open ready to give you the biggest sloppiest open mouth kiss. It's gross and sweet at the same time.


28. I used to regret leaving all the colleges and not really settling and never really knowing what I wanted in my early twenties but I don't anymore. Sometimes it makes me sad I didn't have a normal college experience but all those experiences led me to where I am now and meeting the hubs so I wouldn't change them or go back and make different choices now.

29. Apparently your stomach toughs a bit when you become a parent and you can handle the smells from come from your kid. But there has been a few moments that it has come close for me. The worst was definitely when Addison threw up goldfish. It was by far the worst throw-up ever. Although recently on vacation Connor threw up cheese and French fries all over me and that was pretty bad. But mostly my gag reflex is not so sensitive when it comes to my own kids but with other kids I'm done.

30. I have been keeping a journal since I was about in 3rd grade. I wasn't always the best at writing when I was that age but I have entries from way back when I was that age and that is crazy and a little funny. I love having all those journals from all those years. I have quite the collection of journals full of my life.


31. There are consquences, good or bad, to every choice. Life isn't about being perfect. Life is really hard and sometimes you are swimming and sometimes you are just treading water. But it's all a journey and all those moments are good and bad and everything in between but they are part of making you who you are and it's good to embrace all of it.


Well, there you have it. 31 things I have learned or just random things in there. I'm going to spend the rest of the day relaxing and spending it with my family, so have a great day and a great weekend! And until next year...

Aug 17, 2017

First Day of Preschool 2017-2018

This year is Addison's second year of preschool which means she is in the afternoon preschool class this year and going all five days a week. She is also going as a peer kid this year since she was discharged from her IEP about a month before the year ended last year (read about it here).

Although we moved this summer, she was still able to go back to her old school for her last year of preschool then will go to our new home school when she starts kindergarten at the beginning of next year (yikes - it's scary to think that kindergarten is even on our radar!). I preferred this since she will finish preschool with her old friends and the same teacher before she starts fresh the next year. Hardly any of the kids will actually go to kindergarten at the school they are all at so they will all be split up next year anyway.


She was excited about going back to school because she remembered school from last year and she loved it. She was ready to go back - apparently Connor and I are a little too boring for her. She was even more excited to find that she wouldn't be having quiet time anymore but would instead of be spending what would normally be her quiet time at school.

Anyway, I'm sure there will be plenty of school posts here this year so I'll keep it short and just post the first day of picture that everyone loves seeing. Plus a look back at her other first day of school pictures and oh my batman she sure has changed.


She is definitely not the same shy IEP kid that started so long ago even before she turned three. Now my big girl is starting her last year of preschool and turning 5 in October. So here we go, the last year of preschool with my beautiful, smart, and amazing girl!


For a look back at her other first days from the past two years (you can find the posts about her end of the year by clicking on the tag school at the very bottom of the page!):
First Day of Preschool 2016-2017
The One with the Preschool Evaluation, Part II
The One with the Preschool Evaluation, Part I

Aug 16, 2017

How to Boil Water: Baked Sausage with Apples, Potatoes, and Onions

Dinner Brought to You By: Dinner: A Love Story

Here's What You Need:
3 cups whole small potatoes -- I used about five or so medium-ish ones and chopped them into large chunks
1 onion, chopped into large chunks
Olive Oil
4 sprigs of fresh thyme -- I just used dried thyme because I just didn't have fresh
Salt & Pepper
4 Sweet Italian pork sausages
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
spicy brown or Dijon mustard, optional

Here's What You Do:
Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine potatoes and onion in a large baking dish. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, the leaves of thyme, salt and pepper.

Place Italian sausages on top of vegetables. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until sausage is brown on top. Using tongs, flip over the sausage and bake for 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the apples and toss with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper. Scatter the apples around the sausage, drizzle the cider vinegar over the whole dish, and bake for 5 more minutes.

Serve with dollops of spicy brown or Dijon mustard.










I wasn't sure how we would feel about this meal, although I was definitely loving how simple it was to put together, but it turned out to be pretty good. Other than our sudden picky-eater (that would be the youngest), we all really liked it. Truthfully my favorite was the onions. I love roasted onions because they are so sweet and just so delicious. I thought the potatoes needed just a bit more salt and pepper but Rob said they were fine to him.

I just served some simple broccoli and cheese - store bought easy - and that was our meal. It was pretty good. It wouldn't be exactly what I would call a summer meal but it was easy so that means it was an anytime meal for me!

Aug 14, 2017

A Year of Bullet Journaling

It was a year ago, last August, that I got into using a bullet journal. Once upon a time after Addison was born I had my entire life and mind in a three-ring notebook where I made my own pages exactly how I wanted them and it worked great. I never really talked about it here for whatever reason but I had my own world in a three-ring binder and it worked so great for me.

But once we started trying to get pregnant with Connor when Addison was about 18 months and I had my first miscarriage things fell apart. I just didn't have the motivation anymore. I just didn't care anymore. It took a long time for me to want to get things organized again and get it all out of my head. What I didn't realize was how important it was to get it all written down, to get it down on paper. Let's just face it I'm an analogy girl - technology just didn't my friend (don't believe me, check out here and here).

So last summer I started hearing more about this thing called a bullet journal. I had never heard of it before but it caught my interest. It sounded similar to what I was looking for - even if I didn't completely know I was looking for it. I had never really found a planner that worked for me and I needed just one notebook to have it all together. So I started looking more and more into it. And found it would be similar to my notebook I had way back when only instead of making pages on my computer I would create those pages by hand in a notebook all together.

So I started last August and I loved it almost instantly. My handwriting was lacking and I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted but I loved this system and I loved that I could change things as I went to whatever worked best for me.


Now it's been a year and I am still loving it. I am on my third bullet journal now and it's getting pretty full. It has a lot more color and I even use stickers and a lot more pictures than I once did but it still works great for me!

So these are my first spreads from last year. I basically had a monthly spread where I had the calendar layout plus a habit tracker. Then I had my very simple daily pages and an equally simple meal plan for each week.




As we headed into the next few months I started getting more creative and adding more color. I tried out adding in the weather and temperature but found I didn't really care of it too much. I started adding quotes and even some journaling in at the bottom of some days. I was started to really enjoy adding in the color and making the pages more creative.





Of course I had collections and I started adding into a few pictures and coloring sheets.



But that was the extent of my first bullet journal. At the beginning of the next year I started a new journal which I started adding more stickers and more decorations to each page.








My second bullet journal made it from January through May. It was much more colorful with more washi and stickers and pictures throughout.

My more recent bullet journal started in June and in some ways I was still working on finding my way and what really worked best for me.




My collections changed looks over the course of the year. Including adding tabs to the tops of the pages so I could easily go back and find those pages again. I have used those tabs so many times and will definitely be doing that again in future journals.



I also started using pages that we were out of town as memory keeping pages and less as to do lists. I would add pictures and journaling and other information so I could remember how the days went instead of writing out like I would for a typical day.



So now a year later this is what my August looks like.




I am definitely moving back to a more simplified look again and I might just go pen to paper in coming months. Of course I love having pictures in so that will definitely continue when I want to add one I love. I'm just trying to figure out what I really like.

When I first started adding stickers, I was looking for a creative outlet but now I have found a different source for that so I'm feeling like I'm needing my bullet journal to be that less and less. But we will see. I'm hoping to get the rest of the year in this book but I'm not sure it will happen. I definitely like the idea of starting fresh for a new year.

I highly recommend the bullet journal for anyone who has tried several ways to get organized but nothing is working. I love having complete control of what goes into it and how it looks. I love being able to change things as I go, when I need or want to. It's been a great system and I feel like I am more efficient in general now that I am using this system.

So I would say this has been a successful year in the bullet journal and I'm looking forward to another year.

Comment below: What is your planner system?
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