Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dirt and Digging, Wood and Tools, Can Life Get Any Better....

So it has been pretty crazy hectic around here. I haven't blogged in forever and really miss it. I figure with my new weight loss goals and projects around the house, this is a good time to start again... :D

So today I had WAY too much energy. Noah and I took a two mile walk at 6:30am...and we averaged 18:58 a mile. My BEST in over 2 years! My goal by the end of summer is to be a 15 minute mile (I do not like to run).

Afterwards we ran (ok we drove...again I do NOT run) to Menards to pick up some wood and supplies to make a moving garden table. Then over to Festival Foods to get some yummy healthy foods! I've started with Herbalife and really had a great start. I can't wait to see my results each and every week!

Anyway, I became a "Mean Mom" and made my kids help me make a garden. Now, every year I try to make a garden...and every year it fails. Usually because I lose interest, so I'm hoping that this year is the year!

Because my backyard has two large trees and not a lot of sun, it was hard to find a spot that would work for growing anything. So we decided to build a raised garden on wheels so I can move the garden around. Then after building the raised garden bed, I had to run BACK to Menards to get some more soil, I found out that they had their plastic gutters on sale for $3 for 10'. And the BEST part...there was a $3 rebate for EACH one. So in the end they were FREE!!! Perfect, I have a TON of ideas for gutters, especially with the gardens! So I brought those home too and changed up my planning arraignment.

Starting with just the materials:

The moving bed only took about an hour or two and I made the boys help. Turned out pretty good! However I am not completely finished. I realized that the legs were kinda wobbly, and since I bought some extra boards (just in case), I am going to add a shelf under the table to help stabilize the wheels (tomorrow).
Then because I bought the gutters, I decided to try to make some gutter gardens. I am very excited about this, because when it gets cooler out I can bring them inside and hang them from inside curtain rods and have fresh veggies. I have seen pictures of them online and figured it looked easy enough. I had some trial and error with them, but after I redid them about 6 times I fell in love with the way they looked!
I chose not to buy the end pieces of the gutters, and just used clear duct tape to close the ends up. I tried using one rope on each side (drilled a hole through each side for the rope), but realized it wasn't stable enough, so I had to take everything apart and re-drill to make it two holes. MUCH BETTER! I had Easton drill a bunch of holes in the bottom of each one to help with the drainage. PERFECT! So far I am just growing different kinds of lettuce. I might change it up and add strawberries and an herb garden on the top parts come winter time.

And the final results....
I have the rest of the lettuce, kale, dill, rosemary, peppers, and a few Stevia plants
 And 20' of lettuce!
 3 small planters of Cherry Tomatoes (for Reilly), a small planter of mixed bell peppers, and some strawberry plants.
I have cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, and corn also, but I will plant them on the ground near my fence, because they need a LOT of room to grow and they will be too heavy. So tomorrow I will get those ones going too. Until to bed and sweet dreams of dirt and digging...for the first time ever....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My ducks are lining up...I think...

I have almost all my ducks lined up...but in separate baskets...just in case. I also threw in a few chickens and a rabbit just to be on the safe side...getting organized in my slowing working out.

I am still completed deleted off of Facebook. I deactivated it...and so good. I also have insurance now, and have already scheduled drs visits for my knee, my hormone check and med check, and for my well as the dentist.

Yesterday I finished my 5th day of 12hr was brutal. Actually it wasn't too bad, just the lack of sleep sucked. This week however...NO overtime! Super excited to get things done...or just read a book...or I am hoping to go get my hair done today...and donate plasma, and maybe some chores done before the kids get home. Also I want to check out gym help with staying in shape.

Wednesday I have a "date". This guy is a nice far. We have been chatting for a few weeks now, and met on Dec 30. He is older than I would normally go for. Typically I look for someone between 30-44...since I will be 34 in a few days...and he is 47. He has 3 boys too. However, they are 25, 19, and 4. Yes, little bit of an age he has a 2 year old grandson.  I'm not sure what we are going to do yet. Thinking of a movie and dinner...but he said he will surprise we will see :D

But I guess the big news from the weekend is turning down a first shift position. WHAT? I know, I know...but it wouldn't work out.

I went to work Friday night to find my position posted on the board. I had to ask why, since I haven't had an interview for any other position...and was hoping I wasn't being I was told that I received the 1st shift material position that I had applied for in September! I'm like...hmmm....would have been nice to remind me and make sure that NOW....4 months later, I would still be interested. I did spend all weekend thinking it over.  I had to make one of my favorite lists of pros and cons.

Working 7a-3p holidays...and steady sleep pattern!

Working 5 days instead of 3 days to LOSE $160 a month (losing shift differential pay).
Having to take days off if I need/have a drs appt.
Only having the weekends off to do everything.

Also I had applied for a management position, that I am really hoping I get.
Pros: Raise of $1-$2 an hour
Move up a little in the company
Less stress on my knees
Staying on 3rd shift
If I need to take a vacation I can use 24 hours and take off an entire week.
I will be working every other weekend...and the weekends I have off I will have my kids.
8 hours of Overtime on each paycheck guaranteed.

Cons: Back to working a 2-2-3 sleeping will be messed up a little
Having to work during the week at 7pm and possibly missing sports games for the kids
Having to actually count to see what days I have off to schedule appts.

But whether I get the position or not...I'm happy where I am at. 4 months ago I would have jumped for joy for the 1st shift position. But I'm used to it and it works great for me. I don't want to do it forever...but for now it works.

Until then, I have chores to do...errands to run....and a book to finish. Plus I have new bubble bath to try out....which may just take priority right soon as I can find my rubber ducky!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Such a wonderful week....

It has been a long and crazy week. But I started the new year off great! I stayed over at my best friend (Janelle's) house...talking about crafting and everything under the sun. It was a wonderful way to end the year...and start a new one. Also I have worked the last 6 of 8 nights (off only Monday and Tuesday night), and I still have 3 more to go until I'm off again. Yea

But I don't mind. I don't have my boys, and really don't want to I go to work and make some extra money...doing something I for me. Save up as much as I can now, before overtime stops...if it does.

As far as my resolutions go...budgeting has been good! No real over spending...however I know it has only been a week...but far so good. One of my big ones, was no fast food for the month of January. I did pick up Mc. D's on New Years Day, on the way home from Stevens Point...but that was with extra money I I'm not counting it :D

Also I have been eating really healthy, with only a few minor setbacks. I have been portioning everything out, so that I don't over snack on stuff. For work, I have been bringing healthy snacks and drinking lots of water. I have been using the website  It is a FREE site with an interactive menu that allows you to click and drag recipes onto your calendar with all the info, plus a grocery list! I will post below which ones I have tried...and so far I have loved them all!

And the best thing...I weighed in on January 2 at 7am (I belong to a weight loss challenge at work. We weigh in every Friday right before 7am. $5 to join, and $.50 for every pound we gain. After a set challenge date, the winner wins the pot) and I was 252. I knew I had put on some weight over the holidays, but I didn't realize it was almost 10lbs! I believe I ended at around 245 right before Christmas.

HOWEVER...with careful snacking habits, more water, and walking around 5000 steps a day (I used to walk around 12000 a day with my old position...but now I drive a forklift, so I need to get off my butt am DOWN...drum roll please...TEN POUNDS! Super excited! I was thinking maybe 5lbs...but 10...unheard of!

Even better...instead of celebrating by running to McD's...I went to the grocery store and picked up some more apples and oranges...and a few Lean Cuisines (they were on sale 6 for $10...perfect for this weekend, because I don't want to prep anything. I'm working five 12hr shifts in a row...I just finished night 2).

I know that the first few weeks you lose the most, so I am not expecting to lose that much again, but as long as the numbers get lower, I am happy! It is a great feeling! Plus I had binged a few times...eating a huge chocolate bar, and most of the kids chocolate from their stockings...and half a box of chocolate covered blueberries....but for the most part I was good...and it feels good!

So hopefully this weekend, things go good. I want to get back up to at least 10K steps each day this weekend, so that is my goal. Next week I did NOT pick up any overtime! It is my birthday on Thursday and I don't want to be at work this year. I get my boys an extra day so that will be nice. But now it is time to sleep...laundry is going and dishes are drying. Ok, I lied. But I dropped some clothes down the laundry chute, and I brought my dirty dishes in the that is a start..right? LOL

Well here are the recipes I promised.

Detox water: This is to be added to 1 gallon of water. I used a plastic pouring container and doubled the recipe. This way I could make more and just dilute the water when I pour it into a water bottle.
1/2 Cucumber
1/2 Grapefruit
2 mint leaves
1 tangerine

Perfect Snack: This I found on the EatingWell website. I used smoked turkey lunch meat, instead of chunks of turkey. Also, I am not a Swiss cheese fan, but it tasted pretty good with it. I did double this and later rolled it up in a Whole Wheat tortilla to make it into more of a wrap (minus the apples of course).
1/8c (3/4oz) Cubed part-skim Swiss cheese
1/8c (1/2oz) cubed smoked turkey
1/2 apple
Calories per serving: 123.

Winter Fruit Salad: Absolutely delishish! LOVED this!!! The prep takes the longest, but I did it while catching up on my TV shows. Mixed it in a huge bowl. Made 8 servings for 3/4 each.
4 seedless oranges peeled
3 pink grapefruits peeled
1 pineapple, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced
2 star fruit, sliced
1 pomegranate worth of seeds
Calories per serving: 110

Scrambled Egg Burrito: I made this without the salsa and sour cream, since I don't like either of those. Very simple to make. This makes 4 servings, but I cut mine in half and just ate a double serving. Plus it called for 9" shells, but I used three 6" shells (instead of two 9" ones).
4, 9" whole wheat flour tortillas
4 large eggs
1/8 t salt
Ground pepper to taste
1t extra virgin olive oil
1 4oz can chopped green chilies
1/2 c grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese
2c Black Bean and Tomato Salsa (they have a recipe for this), or prepared salsa
1/4c reduced fat sour cream

Use the oil, and cook the chilies, then add the eggs until they are scrambled. Then assemble them into the tortillas with the cheese and salsa, garnishing with sour cream.
Calories per serving: 328

Mini Rice Cake Snacks: I LOVE these! I used to be able to eat an entire bag just watching TV...and now the bag has lasted me a week, because I have been portioning them out. I'm not a huge PB fan, and accidentally bought the crunchy natural Pb in stead of creamy...but it worked out. It had more calories than I wanted, but I loved the textures and surprisingly it filled me up. Plus my breaks are only 10 minutes, and I could leave all this at work and assemble them when I was ready. No prep time needed.
8 mini Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes (can use any flavor, but they said AC, so I picked AC)
2T natural Pb
4 banana slices.

Spread Pb on 4 mini cakes, and place a slice of banana...then top with another rice cake. Simple and easy. Each banana made enough for 2 servings, so it was perfect for work. I ended up eating it as an "open faced sandwich" and then eating the other 4 mini cakes alone.
Calories per serving: 297
And that is it so far. Granted I had a few frozen burritos for dinner once or twice, and combined a few things...and of course...toast and coffee. But these were my new recipes...yum yum!

Off to bed...really hoping it will get above zero sometime this weekend...would be nice to feel my fingers again!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015...Bring it ON!

It is New Years Eve! Super excited for this holiday. Even though it is just one is a special date. Today is the last day of 2014. Tomorrow is a new year. Even though nothing really changes...the weather is still cold...the bills are still due...the laundry still needs to be folded. So why is today and tomorrow so important? It is all mind set. It is a new year, and a new year to make changes. This way we can say, "Oh I haven't done that since LAST year"!

This isn't to say that 2014 was a bad year. Not at all. 2014 was a great year! It was the year I turned 33. My last year to be in my EARLY 30's...and a double single number...should be lucky...right?

The year I moved into a place that for once...I felt like I could be proud of it and call it HOME. I would love it more if it had another bedroom...but we can always build one in the basement. But I smile every day when I wake up and realize I live here.

The year when I switched positions at work and enjoyed my job so much more. Sounds crazy to a lot of coworkers, but I really do enjoy my job now. I love my hours and the responsibility I have.

It was the year that I met and had a wonderful time with a great guy that showed me that I was worth it.  Even though we didn't work out, I know that there are great guys out there that aren't just looking to take advantage of me.

It was the year I was accepted into UWGB to finish my bachelors degree. Even though I withdrew before classes started, I was excited to know that I could do it again.

It was the year that I started crafting more and was able to relieve stress doing it. I felt more accomplished.

It was the year that started off slow...and will be ending pretty fast!

So many plans for 2015! Of course the typical ones of getting in shape, and eating healthy. Making a budget and saving money. Cleaning house and getting organized. But for 2015, there is so much more to look forward to!

2015 also brings insurance through work. I have elected to NOT take insurance for the last few years, but signed up for it for 2015. Now I can get a few things looked at that I have been needing to. One is to get my knee looked at and figure out what is wrong and what needs to be fixed. The other is to get my hormone levels checked to see why I have been losing so much hair. Plus some other more personal reasons.

2015 will hopefully bring another new position at work. This time a promotion...hopefully! It would put me back on a 2-2-3 schedule...but then I would be off every other weekend...and spend more time with my boys. It will still be on night shift, but I think I would like it more than I do my current position.

2015 will hopefully put me back on track with my college dreams. Now that my student loans are finally out of default, I qualify for financial aid to help pay for college. Even though I only have 2 years left...It should take me about 4 years to finish...I hope.

But as we all know...we can do the best at planning, but we actually have to put the effort in, if we want it done right. And even if we put in all the effort, it still might not work out. There are some things out of our control. And that is okay.

The best laid plans are meant to be broken...changed...rearranged...and maybe...just maybe...they will turn out better than you could ever imagine! That is my goal for 2015. Things work out the way they were meant to...I will just try to guide them along the current...missing as many rapids as I can...but growing strong with each paddle. 2015 will not be the same as the previous might be better, it might be worse...but it will be new...and all I ask for.

Welcome 2015...bring it on!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Last Facebook Blog

Christmas is over already? How did that happen? We have spent months planning and spending, decorating and obsessing, cooking and cleaning...and it is over already? Now what are we going to do? What is the next big holiday to decorate and get together? New Years Eve? Ehh...maybe. If you have kids, you are at home with them...if you don't you are usually at the bars...not a big family holiday get together. Valentines Day? Nah, that is more of a couples holiday. Maybe St. Patty's Day? Nope, that is more of a "go out and get drunk and puke up green" holiday. Easter! Easter is a nice family holiday...We can start preparing for Easter!

But in all will be nice to have this break. With all of the end of the year holidays...this is now the calm down period. To sit back and reflect on the past year. What things worked...and what didn't. What we need to change...or as others say "you don't need to change...but if you want, you can IMPROVE on what you already have"...ehhh.

I know that there are things I want to do different...and things I don't want to change. I know last year I wanted to do a 52 weeks of Christmas thing. I have a small tree that I wanted to decorate every week with a different theme. Maybe I will actually do it next year...or the following

However, I have been thinking. I was off facebook for almost 2 months...and I actually enjoyed it. There was less stress and less drama. But the temptation was still there to check in. To worry about what others thought. To worry about what others didn't think. Too much confusion. So 2015 will be for me.

I will make decisions that I want. If I want to cut my hair I will....and not worry about meeting a great guy and finding out that he likes women with long hair. If I want to get a pet...I will...and not worry about meeting someone that is allergic to whatever pet I choose. I will learn to say no. I will learn to say how I really feel about situations. I will put myself and my kids first.

I will not be swayed by a cute guy with a so-so promise. I will not plan ahead in a relationship after only one date. I will not be taken in with a guilt trip. I will not stress out about other peoples problems. And I will not dumb myself down for others.

Yeah I know, I have said this every year...and every year...I don't follow through...and I have blogged about this before...but ehhh. Maybe if I type it will happen.

So this will be my last blog posted on Facebook. I will still be blogging, but I will no longer be posting them on Facebook. So have a Happy New Years and I wish the best for and your family for 2015. Feel free to save the link and check back in...or not...I'm not worried. I'm going to take this next week to make sure I have all my lists in check and plans ready to go. 2014 was a good year...but there is plenty of room for improvement.

But until 2015 starts I have dishes to do...laundry to fold...and 6 legos to remove from the bottom of my feet. Plus because the boys thought I needed something to help me "wake up"...they bought me ANOTHER coffee pot. Exactly the same one I already have. So now I have two coffee pots to use...even though I rarely drink Maybe they are trying to tell me something.

So now I have two full pots of coffee brewing...and dishes drying...and the kids are putting away laundry...and I am smiling. Even if nothing else gets done this was a good day.

One more week to go...then the new and improved me will begin. Super excited...and of course scared of the outcome. But no matter what, I will have my family behind me, and my friends beside me...and my boys running in front of me...and me...I will be fine. Surrounded by love...and legos...lots and lots of legos....

Monday, December 22, 2014

Not Medicated Enough

Christmas is in two days. I am not ready. Ok, I am done shopping and wrapping, but mentally I am not ready. Christmas is suppose to be a time of family get togethers and being happy and thankful and bright colors...or so we are told. We all have had the years when fights had started...and people were missing...or times were tough. I won't say that this year will be the worst...but it definitely isn't the one I would hope for.

This is the year that I don't have my kids for Christmas Eve. Yes I know this happens every other year....but it is still hard. I love my kids...I really do...but they are driving EVERYONE crazy this year. Not just me, but their dad and stepmom too! The oldest two just won't stop fighting and it raises the stress level up many more that I am medicated for.

Today I brought them to Walmart to finish their Christmas shopping for me and their brothers. I gave them each $30 ($10 for each brother, and $10 for me), plus another $20 to the oldest two to get me a "santa" gift). They took turns going off to pick out presents. It was great! They got along, had fun, and had to work together and either agree to share the money or buy separate gifts. If only we could have just stayed there. But no....we had to go home....and to go home we had to get into the car...and that is where the trouble started.

First the oldest two were in the backseat and fighting because one of the Walmart bags were too much on one side and not on the other. Then by the time we were leaving the parking lot they were fighting about the name of a song on the radio that they heard 2 weeks ago!

We live about 2 miles from Walmart and it is a 5 minute drive. In that 5 minutes I wanted to pull over and scream at least 10 times. I can't tell you how many times I had to yell STOP, and still no one listens. Then when we got home it was a fight over who got to use the tape and scissors to wrap presents in the basement. Again I had to remind myself...I am not medicated enough for this!

I constantly ask myself why I don't drink or do drugs. I know it would relax me and help me mellow out, but I have an addictive personality and I can't afford (money and job wise) to get hooked. Plus I like to be in control of my emotions. It helps prevent me from going too crazy...I hope.

But with all of the commotion of the kids going crazy, and my stressful morning (thanks to Janelle to help me calm down my anxiety levels before someone came over), and just knowing that I am alone...again for the holidays...suck.

Today would have been a perfect day to curl up on the couch with a sweetheart and a nice cold drink.
Today would have been a perfect day for a simple kiss on the forehead and tight embrace.
Today would have been a perfect day for someone to say, "Don't worry, I have this" while dealing with the kids.

But instead...Today is a perfect day, because I have my kids...and they are finally sleeping....thank goodness! Also if I planned it meds should be kicking in any day and things should start calming down a little...and all I ask for is just a little...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time flying by...

Less than two weeks until Christmas. Where has the time gone? For adults it seems to fly by, but I know my kids say it is dragging along. Why is that? Is it because we are busier? Is it because we don't stop to smell the roses? Or maybe it is because we don't seem to change as much as kids do. Once we get to our late teens/early twenties we don't seem to grow anymore. We find jobs and start settling down into a routine. Because of these routines....we don't change much.

But kids, man do they change. They learn to crawl, then walk, and talk, and they start school and become smarter, and it goes so fast. We don't realize this until birthdays and holidays when we think back on the past. Crazy the way that works out.

On Sunday my oldest turned 14. FOURTEEN! I don't remember him being anywhere near turning 14. When did that happen? I remember the day he was born like it was last week. How did 14 years just fly by? Did I even accomplish anything in that 14 years? Some days it doesn't even feel like it. While others feel like I have lived a lifetime already.

Looking through pictures I went through all of the emotions. Happy, thrilled, sad, giddy, angry, successful, lost, energized, and just blah. I thought about all the times I could have/should have done things differently. All of the What Ifs, Why, and What Was I Thinking definitely were mumbled. The good times faded, but the bad times got better. The long days passed, and the memories were made. Every move, every thought, every plan, and every reaction has led me to today. But you know all worked out.

Just because things are going good, doesn't mean they can't be better. They can be tweaked and adjusted, and the grace of good luck and hard work, things get better. And 2015 will be a GREAT year. There are so many things to look forward too.

Starting in January I will have health insurance again (it has been almost 2 choice). So then I can go and get a few things checked out (knee, hair loss, pre-cancer issues, depression, etc). Also after watching so many friends and family do such a WONDERFUL job of getting healthy, I realize that I would like to join that group! Watching Trixie and Molly and others show their posts about working out and eating healthy...I can see the changes and I am jealous!

Two years ago I did great by losing almost 60lbs...but then I stopped and put on almost 30lbs back on since then. Sad I know...I kick myself when I look at the posts and the pictures. But that is my fault and I know how to change it. I'm excited to start and will beholding myself more accountable. I know that there will be some rough patches and I am sure to fall off the wagon more than once...many more...but I want this. I need this. My kids need this. And most importantly....I deserve it.

I haven't decided if I will be posting my progress, or if I will keep that to myself. I'm not sure yet. I do know that everything will be taking place on January 1st. Start the New Year right. My meal plan is in place for the first 10 days. 4 new recipes each day, which I WILL be posting, and I have a few low impact exercises (because of my knee) that I will be doing. And if I fall of the wagon...this time I will get back on...and not wait around for another wagon to show up.

But until then....I have a chocolate cake baking and homemade chicken soup simmering. I also have a spoon in the chocolate frosting...and enjoying every bite (so far only two...or I won't have enough for the cake)! Because life is too short to not enjoy the good things in life. I'm taking the next few weeks slow and enjoying every minute. Because next year at this time I want to be looking back and this year flew by and look at how much better everything is! That is my goal. That and to remember that most of the frosting NEEDS to go on this birthday cake! YUM!