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Vegan meal pics

July 5th, 2016 at 05:35 am


My first attempt at making vegan pankcakes and it was a success! Topped with maple syrup and blueberries. Yum!


Our favorite vegan burgers (Morningstar black bean and quinoa). Look at the size of this thing after I put my toppings on it Smile


Our 4th of July spread...so good!

Vegan meal pics

June 21st, 2016 at 07:54 am

Some meals lately...


Vegan bagels with peanut butter, bananas, and chia seeds. My favorite right now!


Simple penne pasta with spinach and marinara sauce. The family really liked this one.


Can't go wrong with fresh fruit!


Asian noodles with a variety of veggies... Simple!


These ingredients went into the making of Spring Rolls!

A win, fitness, and food thoughts

April 20th, 2016 at 06:36 am

So, Murphy left our house and we finally got some great news.... my oldest daughter entered into a national magazine's giveaway/sweepstakes last month and she was chosen as the winner!! It a package value worth about $5k. I won't say what it is just yet as it won't come to fruition for another month but once we get it all, I'll let you guys know. Let's just say that any teenage girl would be tickled to have won this...

In other news, my DH bought us fitbits (he sold some stuff to purchase them so they didn't hit our budget because I told him we didn't need them). I am actually quite happy with this little gadget. I am a tracker by nature so keeping up with my activity levels all day has been great. We've gone to the gym very regularly, I'm pleased to report, so our new $50/month has been definitely worth it.

For the past 2 weeks, DH and I have decided to go vegan. We have never eaten a ton of meat but dairy/cheese products have always been in our diet. We decided to go all vegan and plant based and so far so good. It's actually been pretty easy. Our kids have asked us to allow them to try vegetarianism instead and we are happy to let them try that instead (they love cheese pizza haha). Anyway, we are attending a local vegan potluck meetup today and looking forward to meeting other like-minded folks. I know it's not for everyone but we have been enjoying this journey so far.

Spring Break... so needed!

March 23rd, 2016 at 07:12 am

A big perk of DH and I working within our school system is that we get time off that coincides with our kids' school schedules. Our Spring Break is next week and I cannot wait! I have been in the thick of budget season and need some decompression time. We haven't made any plans to go anywhere though. We want to go somewhere but just can't decide on what to do. Sometimes being spontaneous is just what we end up being and it all works out Smile

In a previous post, I had mentioned we would be joining a gym. Well, we did but on a different program than what I thought. So, the cost is $50/month for both DH and I to go to any handful of gyms in the area. We've been doing great so far and really enjoy getting out there and working out. DH has lost about 10 lbs just by cutting out sodas and working out. I've lost nothing but am feeling pretty good... I think I haven't lost any weight because I'm gaining muscle mass (I would've described myself as fluffy). Toning up is high on my priority list so I think I'm heading in the right direction.

On the financial front, we've operated on a very exact budget since Jan. 3 months in, I can say that it has been a game changer. I know some folks don't care for keeping up with every little detail but I would recommend it for everyone at least just once... a very eye-opening and realistic look. I love being able to know exactly where we stand with our budget each and every day.

Our goals lately are to save as much money as possible toward 2 things: 1) We have a kid going to college next year. 2) We have another kid driving next year. Both are big expenses and I just hope that we will be prepared enough.



$105 Family Fitness monthly fee

January 27th, 2016 at 10:54 am

So, hubby and I know that we need to exercise. He was told by his doctor at the beginning of January that he is borderline diabetic if he isn't careful. He was addicted to Mt. Dew and sugary sweets and for the past month, he's done very well and has stayed away from the sodas. We've always known that diabetes would be a concern for him since he has a family history of it but it took the doctor finally telling him this before he would "believe" it... he also needs to participate in cardio workouts daily. Hubby is by no means obese but he is about 20 lbs overweight. We have a treadmill and lots of various exercise dvds BUT we have come to the realization that we must get out of the house with a structured routine. Some people can just work out at home.... We don't think we are those people.

So, after a bit of research, the option we are leaning toward is joining a club that is about a mile away from our house. It offers the typical gym environment with the machines, etc.... but what we are looking forward to are the classes that are offered. Yoga, Pilates, Boot Camp, etc. The classes are offered at 5:30 daily so we can go after work (we WILL NOT get up early in the morning to workout). And, then there is a 10:00 class on Saturdays that we will attend as well. For a family membership, it will cost $105 a month. That will allow all 4 of us to use the gym at any time and take advantage of all the classes that they offer.

We've never joined a gym before as we always thought we could take care of things at home on the treadmill or using our dvds. We've not stuck with it nor have been consistent. There are just too many distractions at home (i.e. the couch and tv).

So, we think we'll sign up starting Feb 1 and just incorporate the $105 monthly fee into our monthly budget. My allowance was $100 a month and if nothing else, I'll just use that money toward this now... as I am embracing minimalism anyway and not in the mood to purchase anything at all.

Documenting random thoughts today

September 22nd, 2015 at 09:31 am

Thinking ahead to some big expenses forthcoming:

DD #1 will be going off to college in 2 years
DD #2 will be getting her drivers license in 2 years

Ugh.

Renters are still in our house and have asked to stay there through 2016. They really need to just buy the darn place Smile

Financially, we are staying steady but I would love to push ahead somehow. I need to inherit some money from an unknown relative somewhere haha.

I have been selling a lot of clothing/accessories on instagram, poshmark, and mercari... haven't put too many things on ebay because the other platforms seem much easier.

Wish we would finish up renovating our house. But on the other hand, don't really have the extra funds to do so. Oh well.

Been walking on the treadmill daily for at least an hour at usually 3mph. Hoping to get rid of 15 lbs but doubt that will happen anytime soon.

So, lots of randomness around here lately.

An overdue update

April 23rd, 2013 at 02:00 pm

--- I was "offered" a job in a county 2 hours away for about $30k more than what I am making now. I wasn't looking or applying anywhere but the person there is retiring and recommended me as her replacement. After weighing out everything, I declined the offer. Believe me, I was very humbled to be considered but we have just too much going on here so the timing just isn't right.

--- Renters have renewed for another year so at least we don't have to worry about that house for a while longer. I think we lucked out quite a bit with this as there are so many horror stories about bad renters. This is a nice little family and they love our house so they have taken very good care of it. {{Too bad their rent payment is $360 short of paying our mortgage that we have on it, but it's better than nothing}}

--- Work has been complete chaos these past few months. Our superintendent was bought out of his contract to a tune of nearly $200k and we are now without a boss for who knows how long.

--- Slowly still making progress at the "short sale" house. We love living there but geez, it's taking a long time to fix it up. With the nicer weather these days, we have done much work outside amping up the landscaping. Plus side is that we get a nice workout while we are at it. Smile

--- Drove by an apt complex last Sat and sitting right by the dumpster was something that caught my eye. I pulled over and tried to piece it together... turns out to be a toddler bed in the shape of a Volkswagen Beetle and it was in great condition. My parents are going to yard sale it off for around $30. Oh, and there was also a stepper machine that was just sitting there... in great shape too. Probably will sell that for around $20. Woo hoo for dumpster diving!

--- Upcoming local consignment sale next month that I will participate in. This is held twice a year and is a good way to clean out our closets without holding a yard sale. So, I've been looking for just about anything that can go toward that sale. The only bad thing is that they charge 40% of the sale --- yikes, but again, better than nothing. This is a huge deal where I live and tons of people shop this thing so it really is a good way to get rid of stuff.

--- Family is on a spending hiatus starting today. Besides stuff we need to get to keep our home improvements running along, we are not allowed to buy any "fun" stuff like clothes or dvds. I hope we can last a while because we are running low on cash as it is!

--- Family beach trip coming up in July so I am also starting an exercise plan tonight (Jillian Michaels, here I come). Wish me luck.

Weight Loss: Week 2 Goal Report & Week 3 Goal

February 9th, 2012 at 06:55 am

Well, week 2 ended up to be quite a disappointment. I was sick for most of it and I'm just going to use that as the excuse for not sticking to my plan. The only thing I did do was eat an egg (or 2) each day.

Recap for week 2 goals:
1. Continue with no soda (FAIL - drank 4 cans this week)
2. Up my water intake to 3 bottles of water a day (FAIL - see no. 1 above)
3. Continue with goal of 30 min of activity a day (FAIL - being sick means lots of couch time)
4. Eat the whites of one hard boiled egg for breakfast each morning. (SUCCESS - I actually enjoyed this one)

UGH. Being accountable is not fun. I am not weighing myself today either since I know that the number won't be wiggling around anywhere so why bother depressing myself. Ok -- enough pity party. Onward to week 3. I'm feeling much better today so hopefully, I can suck it up and really do something this next week.

Week 3 goals:
1) No soda
2) Drink 3 bottles of water/day
3) 30 minutes of activity/day
4) No "extra" food this week (I will be at a conference for work all of the next work week and I will be faced with lots of yummy food -- more than I would normally consume at meals since these will be catered, etc. So, my goal is to not cave into the available desserts, snacks, and everything else around me).

Weight Loss: Week 1 Goal Report & Week 2 Goal

February 2nd, 2012 at 06:36 am

Ok, so it's the end of my first week of my own weight loss challenge to myself. The goal for week 1 was to cut out the soda, to drink at least 2 bottles of water each day, and to be active for about 30 min per day... all in the effort to lose 1-2 lbs. So, how did I do?

I had one can of Mt Dew all week. So, even though I didn't fully meet this goal, I still consider this a success.

I did drink at least 2 bottles of water each day. Success.

I did try to be more active but with me being sick the last 3 days, I wasn't really in the mood to be jumping around. All in all, I'd say I met this goal halfway with much room for improvement.

I weighed myself this morning and was at 119 lbs! (Well, in full disclosure, I was so excited to see that number that I thought I would grab my camera and jump back on the scale again and take a picture this time to show you guys... but when I got back on the scale, it said 120 lbs the second time even though I didn't change anything (wasn't holding the camera) and it was just literally a minute from the first weigh-in. So, just for my morale, I'm going with the first 119 number as the official weigh-in)

In summary, I will give myself 8 points out of 10 for the week. I'm pretty darn proud of myself actually. If I can keep this up, I am bound to see some progress over time.

Ok, so on to Week 2. My goals for Week 2 are as follows:

1. Continue with no soda
2. Up my water intake to 3 bottles of water a day
3. Continue with goal of 30 min of activity a day
4. Eat the whites of one hard boiled egg for breakfast each morning. Egg whites are mostly protein with zero-fat and nothing else (while the yolk isn't all bad since it has vitamins and amino acids, all the fat is in the yolk). Now, the thing to note here is that I usually eat a peanut butter granola bar or a pop tart for breakfast (neither is that great for you) so this will be a change for the better. To go along with my egg white, I'll have a piece of fruit and will drink some hot green or white tea (supposed to be great for you full of antioxidants and stuff) or just water. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Smile



5. Continue aspiring to lose 1-2 lbs per week.

Nearing the end of the first week

January 31st, 2012 at 06:42 am

It hasn't been too difficult to just drink water all day long. I've increased my activity level from a 0 to about a 10 (on a scale of 0-100)... so still a lot of work to do there, but in all fairness, I'm also not feeling well these past couple of days. Being sick just doesn't encourage one's motivation to "work out", you know? I have been weighing myself and the scale just isn't budging at all. I may not make my 1-2 lb goal unless I up the ante on the workouts!

Weight loss - Week 1 goal

January 26th, 2012 at 06:46 am

I just weighed myself this morning for the first time in a long time. I wasn't happy with the number I saw --- time to get off my duff and do something about it. I am going to use this blog to help me track and be accountable for my actions. Here are the deets:

Current as of 1/26/12
Height 5'0
Weight 120 lbs
Size 2P-4P

Goal for one week 2/2/12
lose 2 lbs

Now, I don't really eat that much throughout the day but my choices aren't all that healthy AND I am a slug all day long... so baby steps first:

1) Drinking more water. Mt Dew is my weakness and I have a 12oz can each day... the bad thing is that's it as I don't drink much of anything else all day long. I've never been a thirsty person and usually don't drink anything with breakfast, just have the can of Mt. Dew with my lunch, and a sip of water with dinner. If I can just make myself drink more water and no more soda, then that would make a huge difference. So, for this next week, my goal is to drink 2 bottles of water each day and no soda.

2) Exercise each day. Yeah, this is the hardest part of any weight loss program. About 2-3 years ago, I got on the exercise kick and exercised about an hour each day for about 3 months and lost 15 lbs. I am going to start this up again with just 30 minutes each day for this next week.

So, let's see, if I cut out Mt. Dew, that's a savings of 170 calories per day x 7 days = 1,190 total calories for the week which equates to a third of a pound of body fat (one pound of body fat equals to about 3500 calories). Add in 30 min of exercise per day x 7 days = 3.5 hours of activity for the week. I should easily see a pound or two fall off at the end of the week. I'll check back in on 2/2/12 to let you know how successful I was (positive thinking).