Monday, August 26, 2013

Small Changes = Big Change

So, I'm checking in with my healthy lifestyle change progress.  And excuse that awkward sentence.  It will get better from here, I promise!

Last week I lost around 12 pounds.  I know that is a crazy lot for one week.  I think it was the combination of the cleanse and working out every single day.  My body was probably in shock.  Lots of veggies!  What is this?  I imagine that's what my body was saying. And I'm really enjoying exercising.  I try to change and hop on my exercise bike as soon as I get home from work that way I don't have an excuse.

This week the cleanse is over and it's just straight up healthy eating.  I'm trying to keep up with the loads of fruits and veggies.  With lean protein.  And not too many processed foods.  I felt so much better last week with all the healthy food.  I hadn't realized how truly gross I was feeling when I ate crappy.

I didn't eat great over the weekend because we were at my parents house celebrating my birthday.  I was so much more conscious of what I was eating though and still tried to load up on veggies instead of other sides. 

Also, I'm adding a morning workout this week.  This morning I got up and rode my exercise bike for about 20 minutes.  I thought it was going to suck because a) I got up at 5am and I hate mornings and b) because I didn't want to turn on the TV since it was so early and wake up my hubby and my crazy dog.  But I grabbed the ipad, caught up on Facebook, Pinterest, and some blogs.  It went by crazy fast.  And then I did my little morning workout circuit.  Man, my legs were burning.  The plan is to hit the treadmill for a couple miles of walking after work and then pop in Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred when I get home.

I know this sounds maybe like a lot of working out.  I'm trying to make big changes though.  And I know the time I eat the worst is right after work.  So my thought is that if I am invested in working out, I won't want to undo my hard work by eating junk food.  So far it's working super well.

When I logged into My Fitness Pal earlier, it read that my age was 30.  That was the first time I had actually seen the 30.  Oh boy.  It's good so far.  More on that later this week.  How was your weekend?  I hope you guys are doing some amazing house projects because I am not.  This week it's going to be cleaning to get ready for the big 30th birthday bash this weekend.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Impulse Painting

I think I may have a problem.  Instead of eating junk food when I get home from work, I've developed a painting problem.  Oops.  So today I got home from work, ate some dried apricots and drank a glass of water.  Then I rode my exercise bike for 4 miles while watching Gilmore Girls and then I read some blogs.  Oops.

My friend Crystal over at 29 Rue House just painted the inside of her door this gorgeous green.
So I tell her how amazing it is and that now I kind of want to paint the inside of our door turquoise.  She says "Go for it."

I vaguely think for a while that maybe I should talk to my husband before I did it.  Then I threw caution to the wind, deciding that I could always paint it back to brown.  So, now I'm looking at one coat of turquoise on my door.  It definitely needs a second coat but I think I like it.  Now I'm just waiting for him to get home and see what he thinks.
Before.  I like the brown, but the front hall is sooooo dark that it felt like a cave at night with the door that color.

During.  One coat of turquoise.

I think I like it a lot.  And now after sitting in the floor, I realize I need to sweep my floor very badly.  And maybe buy a rug that is a color to help with the brown situation.  The walls are not as fleshy as they look.  They're really a light tan.

Anybody else have impulse DIY problems?  No?  Just me?  Okay.  Just checking.  Stay tuned for the second coat.  And the husband verdict on the turquoise door....

Monday, August 19, 2013

Not a Diet

I am refusing to call this whole process a diet.  I don't want to just change my habits for a while.  I want my habits to become a healthier lifestyle.  So, we're going to call it a lifestyle change. 
Mug Brownies will no longer be an acceptable daily choice.  Eating chips and dip out of the bag on the couch are no longer an option.  Laying on the couch watching TV after work and doing nothing else, those days are gone.

I'm making a change.  I've spent too long being overweight and unhappy with that.  Remember how I said this is going to be my year?  Well, it is.  And I want you guys to keep me accountable.  I know there will be days that are not great.  But I need to keep one bad day from turning into a month of bad days.

To keep it real, here's my Day One picture for the Diet Bet.  Let the losing begin!
Yup, it's a weird awkward angle.  The only full length mirror in our house.  And our bed is very close to it.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to add a morning work out.  It's pretty short.  Which is good, I'm not a morning person.  I'm in a fully committed relationship with my Sleep Number bed.  Oh it's so comfy.  So so comfy.  But I'm going to have make myself get up earlier.  I can do it!
So, here's the workout.  Of course I had to make a pretty version to stick up on my wall.  You know, pretty things motivate me.

And the plan is to break my workout into smaller pieces.  I know that I don't have the motivation at this point to spend a solid hour at the gym.  I tried that for a while and the whole time I was on the treadmill I was grumpy and watching the clock.  So, the new plan is:  mini morning workout, Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, and 15-20 minutes on my exercise bike.

I've got this guys and I'm so excited.  Today I'm on the vegetable day of my cleanse.  Let me tell you, veggies for breakfast are not my favorite.  But I just drink water for quite a while in the morning until I'm brave enough to start eating my veggies.  Roasted broccoli and cauliflower is my favorite.  So delicious!  I toss the veggies with just a little olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Pop them in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes.  It comes out tasting like magic, not at all like broccoli.  I like broccoli anyway, but my broccoli hating husband will even eat it that way.

I've also been thinking about clean eating lately.  I'm not sure I can 100% jump on board.  There's just some things I'm not sure I'm committed to giving up.  So I'm still rolling the idea around.  What do you guys think?  Anybody else on the clean eating thing?  Or any other healthy eating plan that works well for you?

If you want, you can follow along in the fun on Instagram.  I'm going to try my hand at this whole Instagram thing, in the past, I've been a complete failure.  But, maybe this will be one more way to keep me accountable.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

This is 30

I'm not thirty yet.  But I will be in less than a week.  Sheesh.  But, I've decided that instead of dreading turning thirty, I'm going to make it my year.  I am going to show 30 who's boss.  It's going to be a great year.

Similar to New Year's resolutions but better, I'm going to make turning 30 resolutions.

This is going to be a year of self-improvement.  And I couldn't be more excited.  I'm going to put my exercise bike to good use.  It's going to quit just taking up space in my living room.  And I'm going to get back to my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.  I loved it when I was doing it, I just got out of the habit.  The habit is coming back though.

And I'm going to develop better eating habits.  Tomorrow I'm starting a cleanse.  I actually found it on Pinterest (of course), I repinned it from my sweet friend Geesha over at The Gray Door on 1871.  I did it back before we went on vacation.  I lost about twelve pounds and kept most of it off.  And I think it's a great way to kick off my better habits.  Interested, here it is.
Day One:  Fruits.  Lots and lots of fruit.
Day Two:  Veggies.  And a potato.
Day Three:  Fruit and veggies.  No potato.
Day Four:  Milk and bananas.  As many as 8 servings of each.
Day Five:  Poultry and tomatoes.  I also eat eggs for breakfast on this day.  The thought of turkey or chicken for breakfast grosses me out.
Day Six:  Poultry and veggies.
Day Seven:  Magic Soup.  Except the magic soup is so gross that I would rather not eat anything at all.  So I just eat more veggies because the soup is made up of veggies.

So I plan on doing this for sure for a week, maybe two.  We'll see how it goes.  The first day is really hard because I felt so hungry the whole time.  Staying busy is the key.  But it's really not bad.  And I think it's going to be a good start to healthier habits.

This year on the blog I may be switching it up some.  There will still of course be DIY, organization, and general craftiness.  But I'm going to be throwing in some health and fitness stuff.  And just some general life improvement.  I want to feel better about myself.  And I'm going to.  Thirty is the year.

Oh, and I'm joining the Diet Bet with Neon Fresh.  That kind of started this whole thing.  That and looking in the mirror and knowing that what I see in my head is definitely not what I see in the mirror.  So, the deal with Diet Bet is, you kick in $30 and if you lost 4% of your body weight in 28 days, you win part of the pot.  So, you know, a good incentive to stick with it.  I will also be using MyFitnessPal to track my calories.

So get ready for lots of pictures of my dinner plate.  And maybe my exercise bike.  Or me wearing a headband.  It's going to be a great year.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chocolate Covered Popcorn

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I get home from work and I want a snack.  We always eat a late dinner, like eight or after.  So that leaves a long time between lunch and dinner.  I try to usually grab something healthy like a piece of fruit.  But sometimes a sweet treat is just what I want.  Today was one of those days.  When that's the case, I usually whip up a mug brownie and grab a glass of milk.  Today I wanted something different so I scavenged in the cabinets (I desperately need to grocery shop) until I found something that sounded good.

I sat down with my bowl of sweet treat and realized, I needed a picture.  And a blog post.  So, now that I've washed the chocolate off my fingers, here we are.

I grabbed a bag of microwave popcorn and popped it.  Then I had a mixed bag (both white and chocolate) of almond bark in my cabinet leftover from some previous candy making venture.  I melted two squares, one white and one chocolate for about 70 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds.  Then I just drizzled the melted almond bark over my popcorn bowl.  Yum!  I could totally see myself doing this for a holiday party.  If I was going to serve it to actual people, I would spread a layer of popcorn on some wax paper, drizzle the chocolate, and let it set up.  My bowl was a little messy.  But, seriously so delicious!

Anybody else have to have "an after school snack"?  What have you guys been up to?  I'm still in a serious DIY slump.  I'm not sure I've recovered from landscaping.  Or going back to work....  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bugs and Plants

As much as I might want it to be fall, it's still summer.  And summer still means bugs in my part of the world.  Specifically mosquitoes.  As a former camp counselor and slightly crazy lady, I refuse to use bug spray.  I mean, I haven't used it in years.  Bugs don't usually like me too much so for the most part, it works out okay.

I also use an all natural soap that helps with repelling bugs.  I tell everyone I know about it.  Dr. Bronner's  Hemp Peppermint soap.
It is seriously the best soap ever.  Especially for summer.  It's cool and tingly.  Sometimes a little too tingly....  Um, anyway.  It repels bugs.  It cures heat rash.  It's seriously amazing.  You should go buy some.  No, they're not paying me, I just love it that much.  And a bottle lasts forever.  You can buy it online, at Target, and at health food stores.

Okay, so the Dr. Bronner's and my natural non-bug bite self usually do pretty well.  But sometimes that's not enough.  So I've been considering lemongrass.  Like maybe some pots on our deck and around the basement patio.  It's super good looking.  And is supposed to repel mosquitoes naturally.  I'm thinking we might need to get some before my birthday party.

We usually have a couple citronella candles and some tiki torches but I haaate the way citronella smells, it makes me a little sneezy.  So I'm thinking lemongrass might be the perfect solution.

What do you guys think?  Do you have any lemongrass in your yard?  Where do you stand on bug spray?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ready for Fall

I know, it's barely August, but Missouri has had a funky summer.  We're apparently in the middle of monsoon season, we've had tons of rain.  And it's been unseasonably cool.  I'm not complaining.  Well, the rain could let up a little, it's getting kind of ridiculous.  But, the rainy days and cooler weather (even though it's supposed to be 87 today, that's still cooler for this time of year....) have made me ready for fall.  If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that I pinned like a thousand fall mantles yesterday. 

Don't get me wrong.  I love love love how we have our mantle right now.  But I guess I'm kind of ready to switch it up.  I'm actually really ready to decorate for Christmas but I can't get too far ahead of the seasons.  Last year I bought a new tree at the end of the season because I broke our old one.  Not that it wasn't time for a new tree, the one we had I bought in college for $15.  So, for a six foot tree purchased nearly ten years ago, it didn't have a bad life.  However, it was kind of late when I bought the new tree.  Like around New Year's.  And the selection was very picked over.  So we ended up with a white tree.  I'm pretty excited about putting it up, something different.  I'm also a little afraid I'm going to hate it.  But I'm already thinking about where I'm going to put it.  I think I need to build something to set the tree up on so we'll see.

Okay, back to fall.  Here's what we did last year.

I'm thinking about something similar this year.  But I want to find fake pumpkins.  I spent way too much time and money on real pumpkins last year.  The plain orange one rotted and collapsed.  Same with the white argyle one.  Not cool.  The big chevron one though, it's still in my freezer.  Not the whole pumpkin, but my mom and I processed it so I can make pie, bread, etc.  Yum!

Anyway, I can't wait to start decorating for fall.  I'm ready for the dollar store to be done with back to school so I can find some cheap pumpkins.  I try not to go absolutely crazy switching seasons, but I like a little variety.  I'm not good at keeping things the same.

Anybody else ready to decorate for fall?  While secretly thinking about Christmas decorating?  What I really should be planning is my 30th birthday party.  Eek!  I better get on it!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

I am in a serious blogging slump.  A serious one.  I have no motivation.  I did, however, buy some new nail polish.  And that inspired me.  A new possible series or mini-series or something...  Maybe I'll just be inspired for today.  I love finding great things and turning other people onto them.  So that's what today is all about.

So, first, the nail polish.  One of my co-workers had it on the other day and it was gorgeous.  The perfect Tiffany blue.  It's in the green family according to Essie.  Maybe my color perception is off but it totally is blue to me.  Anyway, I picked it up today and I am completely in love with it.

So pretty, right.  You can pick it up at Target, Walmart, you know pretty much anywhere.

If you've been around a while, you know I'm a hair product snob.  I like to spoil my hair.  However, I have dandruff.  There, I said it.  Dandruff.  And it's hideous.  I'd been using Paul Mitchell tea tree shampoo and it was helping but I was about out.  So the other day I was at Beauty Brands during the liter sale and picked up some AG Control Shampoo.  It has kind of a different texture but it's amaaaazing.  And my scalp is so much healthier.
You can get AG at salons or anywhere that sells salon products like Beauty Brands or Ulta.

Root beer.  I can't get enough root beer lately.  It's just so delicious.  Also, Sonic drinks.  I'm in a fairly committed relationship with cherry limeades.  But sometimes you don't want a real drink.  Or at least a few less calories.  I've discovered that you can order a water with any of their add in flavors.  And it's amazing.  And only like fifty cents.  For a route 44.  It's pretty much the best thing ever.  You should try it.

Baked zucchini.  I used to be a strictly fried zucchini girl until very recently.  For a short while I made zucchini with a little olive oil, bread crumbs, and parmesan.  Then I discovered it's just as good with a little seasoning and some parm.  It's delicious.  And so much healthier than fried.

Summer TV.  Royal Pains.  Graceland.  Necessary Roughness.  Franklin and Bash.  I seriously love summer shows so much.  I just wish Bunheads was still on.  Or coming back.  I love it so much.

So, what are you guys loving right now?  Anything great you know about that I'm missing out on and I should know about?  

Monday, August 5, 2013

C is for Cookie

If you've been around for a while you know that I love cooking and baking.  It's one of my favorite things to do.  Especially when I get to cook for other people.  Well, I have a dirty little secret.  As much as I love baking, I hate making cookies.  It's just so blah.  I mean cookies are fine, but I have zero desire to make them.

Here's the thing though, cookies are always a great thing to take as a treat somewhere.  So I've had to get over my cookie hatred on occasion to make cookies to take somewhere.  Tomorrow is such an occasion.  I have teachers volunteering to come in and help me with enrollment.  Super sweet, especially since they're still on summer vacation.  So, cookies are the perfect treat to spoil my co-workers a little.

A while back I started making cake mix cookies.  Guys, it's so easy it's not even funny.  Now they're not some crazy healthy cookie.  Nor are they gourmet.  But, they always get rave reviews.  Around Valentines I always make pink cookies with a strawberry cake mix and white chips.  Adorable and a little different.  They're great because you can use any cake mix and whatever kind of chips (not potato, duh) you have laying around.

Cake Mix Cookies
1 cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 large eggs
2 cups chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together.  Scoop cookie dough, roll into balls, place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven while still soft.

Anybody else thinking making cookies is a giant pain too?  I can totally recommend these, super easy and delicious!  What have you guys been up to?  I've been working my tail off at my actual job so have had zero motivation for house projects.  It's been a lot of laying on the couch watching TV in our house.  Hopefully that will change soon.