Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Without a purpose

  It is harder than you think or the easiest choice you can make.  We all function as humans on a different level.  Some are worker bees and others like a lazy boy like a glass of wine.

  I am a stay at home mom with a HUGE desire to work from home, stay at home and still "try" to manage it all.  However currently my work consists of managing a few groups online, this blog and my family but, I'm not letting that get me down.  I would like to think of it as training.

  In all that I do or lack of what I do there is a purpose and whether it makes an impact today or 3 years from now it may have ultimately come from me! That in itself makes me happy and satisfied.

  Sometimes I get down on myself because I feel I am not accomplishing what I could or should be but being unclear of the "real" plan of my life is the result of all this.  Was I supposed to do ..... should I have done..... I don't know.

  However, what I do know is that I am entitled to keep doing what I enjoy.  Somethings I need to keep doing like feed the kids, water the dog, kill the plants and keep the house under the hoarding level.  All of these areas I excel at and hope to branch out into the world to share my abilities with others.

Moral of the story keep doing what your doing and eventually the real reasons will become clear.

Stay tune for part 2 of this story I need a vacation .

Friday, August 21, 2015

A day at our own beach

  Yeah, that's how we roll. Our own beach, not our own beach house.  Except really we were just merely borrowing it for a few hours.  Today I realized several things while I hung out with my family today.

  Number 1: I really enjoy the water and the beach.  The sounds of waves, the random lost seagull. I even heard a distance cargo ship honking.  The sky was a light blue with clouds sprinkled across it.  So many, many varieties and colors of shells.  Even the smell of water and fresh air was enjoyable.  Makes me wonder what does the air smell like at home?  I don't enjoy it as much there. I cant quite describe it but it's not as refreshing nor appreciated like ocean/bay/river air.

Number 2:  My kids really enjoy a good day at the beach too.  Even if it means a small hike to it and then another undetermined amount of time to find the perfect spot to only merely put our towels down.  The water was the same 10 minutes ago down the beach but we still walked about another half hour on.  My oldest decided on a spot that the younger ones didn't undestand why it had to be so far.  The beach comes in tied with a good day at the playground.  So as soon as we hit the sand if they are not getting down and dirty we are wasting valuable time.

Number 3: A day out doesn't always have to cost anything.  We did go bowling and had lunch today prior to the beach but adding more to the day just makes it better.  My two older ones were just as thrilled at all the beach they saw.  There's to explore.  They were content to play with each other and show each other a new she'll or creature.  Telling the little ones names of things they found.  They were so happy, carefree and genuinely having fun.

Number 4:  I am lucky to have this as my office today.  I would love to work from home and have the freedom to travel, see the world and share the world.  Not necessarily to play by my own rules but to have the option to plant myself anywhere home, beach or park to conduct my business.  I do currently have the freedom to enjoy my children on a all day basis so I will just hold on to that for now.

 Learn more here:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Finale to Healthy challenge

  I have lost track to update you on my finale to the 30 day healthy challenge.  I had an increase to my household which distracted my blog focus on sitting down for the post.  So I will make this post short and sweet.  No food pictures no boring meal by meal plans.

  I finished the days off the same way I started.  Hard, focused and with motivation.  No point of finishing off the challenge even if it was 2 days with not a care in the world.  So I still ate in moderation, made healthy choices and worked out to the same level of intensity that I had been.

  I do not have the numbers from the starting point and ending point.  However I can see the results and almost don't even need to dwell on inches lost.  If you can actually see them as I posted the fitting of my daughter's pants.   That is definitely an obvious indicator.

  I did keep track of the pounds lost.  At one point I had lost about 6lbs.  After that the scale went back and forth.  Ending at a 4 lb weight loss overall for the 30 days.  Not a lot but I gained and toned muscle so I have to accept that.  The muscle mass that I have gained would have also manipulated the inches reading so I will be ok without it.

  I debated sharing pictures with you and decided why not.  I shared the food, the exercises and some recipes I might as well show you and before and after.
Lol, I feel like putting one of those disclaimers at the bottom that individual results may vary.  Thank you for your support, motivation and encouragement on my journey to a healthier lifestyle.  I will continue to work on some tweaking goals I have.  I look forward to seeing what else may happen .  This by no means will be easy. The first 30 days was not easy.  I will always have to adhere to a high discipline to maintain my sweet tooth, junk food and over indulging cravings.  I may splurge on some soda, cheesecake, cheesefries and breadsticks to name a few.

It's A Boy!

  I am a mom to 4 kids. 3 girls and my last child was a boy.  I can honestly say I always wanted a girl. Maybe I was selfish but having a boy was never a consideration.  However after I had one I am pleased and entertained with him all the time.  I would never change a bit about him but I wish he didn't have to live such an action packed life.  Everyday he's playing the role of a stunt man, superhero, explorer, a lover or a fighter.  All roles change throughout the day and even when he wakes up you never know what he's going to start out as.

 Maybe I appreciate his roles more as he is my last so I'm in tune with all the variety he brings to the table or as I tell myself it's because he is a boy.  Every burp or passing of gas that he passes and finds hilarious has to be because he is a boy too.  As I am sure my girls passed gas and belched but we're not so entertained by this.  He is so very pleased with the size of poo he produces to.  I'm a big boy mom, I'm a good boy, look at my big poop! Yes, honey ahhh good job!  What else can I say. I have to be encouraging.

  He does lack in self esteem or this is where the mommy attachment starts.  On a regular basis I hear "I can't.  He makes this statement throughout the day for various expectations I have of him.  Even if he out on his shoes 2 hours ago he can't do it now.
Oddly, when he does put his shoes on he is at a 95% accuracy rate for putting them on the right feet.  I am still reminding the 4 year old to switch her shoes around.
He helps me practice patience everyday.  As he will be 3 the end of November he needs to learn some skills and be independent in some areas.  I by no means want him to grow up quicker than he needs to but I do require that he helps out a little in the learning process.  Brushing his hair and teeth are not my favorite past times with him.  Brushing his hair is a war.  He will let me spray it but tries to run if you attempt or even look like you are going to attempt to comb it.  He does have curls at the end of his hair they may get tangled sometimes but if I don't comb it at all those tangles will be dangerous.  So neither of us smile during this ordeal.  He can brush his own teeth. He's a big boy, his words for this not mine.  He does play with me during this.  Sometimes he has to be so thorough (which isn't a problem if he was really brushing).  I step back and let him do his thing. Patience.  I just alternate with him.  Sometimes he brushes first other times I brush first.  This seems to work for us right now. So less tears equals a point for each of us.
Last area I need to allow him freedom and patience for me is buckling his seatbelt.  I took his lead in this situation; he told me he can buckle his own seat belt.  Well this is partly true.  But, if I did it when I'm getting him in the seat after I open his door for him anyways it would go so much faster.  Patience young grasshopper.
  He is only 2 and I by no means am rushing it.  I am happy to take one day at a time but I just have no patience for some of these milestones or learning steps.  We will be starting preschool at home this year and I look forward to teaching and sharing his learning progress time together.  He is always learning at his age everyday activities and fundamentals.  No matter what is will be fun along the way and never a dull moment.
  I take it back I always wanted a little boy I just never knew it.  I am happy, pleased and satisfied everyday I get the privilege of spending time with him and watching him grow.  I love how he is completely opposite than my girls.  He brings me joy, sadness and frustration but he is learning and teaching me just like I am learning and teaching him.  We will do this thing called life together.

Nanoblur by Indeed labs review

  I received Nanoblur in my "I Do" VoxBox.  This was just another great product added to the other contents in it.  The product states that it is an instant correction of the appearance of skin aging, including the look of fine lines, wrinkles, crow's feet and enlarged pores.  The first line is a great way for a product to get your attention.  Anything that can produce fast or instant results has my support and recommendation.

  What I like about this product is the smell although minimal is light and pleasant.  It more or less resembles a light lotion.  The texture of the cream is light and not oily.  So when you apply it, you can easily rub it into your skin without any residue left on your hands.    I also like that you are able to use it with or without makeup.  You can easily apply it over your make up to soften areas.

  This product can be used in addition to your normal skin care routine which makes things so much easier.  No need to switch things up to compensate for other products.  Just another item you can use in addition too.  This would be a good product for anyone.  Some of us may have more wrinkles and skin imperfections then others but I don't think preventive care would hurt.

  I was provided this product free in my Influenster VoxBox.  All opinions are solely mine.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Then there were 6

  I am staying on track 1 day left I will post that later but I wanted to post off topic.  I am looking forward to posting more variety after my healthy challenge is over.  I have a few more daycations on a budget to share with you and 3 more state parks under my belt.

  There has been a shift in my home that takes a little adjusting to.  My family of four has grown by 2.
 I have two older daughters that visit their father in June til August  and they are back.  As happy as you are to have all your family under one roof and watchful eyes it's so hard for everyone to adjust too.  You don't just pick up where you left off.  Everyone is affected when my older girls come home including them.

  My youngest daughter at 4 now understands when they go it's for awhile and they do come back.  Her older sisters have taken up speaking to her while they are gone and also write her mail.  She appreciates that and looks forward to it.  My youngest at 2 doesn't understand quite yet. He sees them leave and realizes they are not with us but I think out of sight out of mind after a few days.  I myself find the house more manageable with 2 less teenagers and sometimes slightly quieter.
 My husband I think sees the same thing but being a stepfather sees it different in that he may see it as a break for me and the stress we have as a family of 6 and some relief of not having to be so harsh for respect and discipline purposes with the other two.  They both have to adjust when they come home as I do have more rules, different rules or just rules in general.  Sleep patterns need to be tweaked both to go to sleep and wake up.  Even eating patterns have shifted.  There are more options and an opinion there and at my home dinner is served.

  So stay tune for more family focused stories.  How we manage or juggle daily life.  How we spend money, plan, prepare and eat meals, chores, travel and all the frustration and excitement that come with it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Day 28

  I just want to shout it from the roof top mainly because you can't see me doing a song and dance!  2 more days to go!  I know I have told you how excited I was so I will not reiterate that.

Let's just get to my meals for the day, shall we?

Breakfast: cereal with banana
Lunch: leftovers from Olive Garden (I would like to think that your cheat meal covers two days if you split it, right)
Dinner: salad from Moe's
Water 75 oz
Workout: 2.58 miles jog outside! (Walked the zoo today too. Time obviously was nothing as we stopped and started alot but I'm counting the miles as I did move even if it wasn't at a heart pumping, cardio sweating workout.  That venture was 1.57 miles!

  I feel good about my day both with the workout as minimal as it was and my meals.  Tomorrow is always another day.  I will be back at the gym so weights, cardio and abs are in my future.  Until then, I will talk to you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Day 26 and 27!!!

  Do you know what today is less than a few days from the end.  I can see the finish line and I am so happy to see it.  As I stated earlier I am exhausted at the extra thought it takes to plan a meal however it has gotten easier as I have gone along.

  Not to mention I have seen results and if that doesn't encourage a person I don't know what will.  If you feel your pants fitting different and see small changes what your doing can't be wrong.  I feel better and if you feel better you look better!

Day 26
Breakfast: fruit bowl
Lunch: salad
Dinner: chicken with rice and quinoa (Applebee's)
Water 75 oz
Workout rest day

Day 27
Breakfast: cereal with banana
Lunch: bowl of fruit
Dinner: I guess another cheat we ate at Ninjas (Japanese hibachi grill)
75 oz water
Workout: 20 minutes elliptical, abs

  3 more days and this journey is over.  I will not miss it but I will follow the plan maybe not as stringent but I will maintain a healthy meal plan, regular exercise and eat my favorites in moderation.  I believe that was my main problem.  I didn't eat in moderation and overate in the not so healthy food groups.  I have never eaten more fruit and vegetables in my life in such a short period of time then the last 30 days.  I have enjoyed making new smoothies and trying a few new dishes.  I know that I will still be able to eat out but I don't need to overeat and I don't need to wash it down with a gallon of sweet tea.  I don't think it will be hard to maintain because I feel so much better now than I did before.

Thank you for following my journey and in a few more days all this accountability will be over.

  Lastly on a good note as icing on the cake.  My daughter tried on her new school clothes and a few pair of pants didn't fit her.  I snuck off with them and wiggled into them.  They were a challenge to get over my calf muscles but I was able to pull them up and button them.  I didn't even have to slather in butter or lay on the bed to do it.  With a little more work they will not be as snug as they are now but getting them on is the first step. Yeah, me!!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Mariners Museum Exploration (Daycation)

Mariners Museum has as plenty of grounds to explore as well as a lake to explore.  I had planned our trip to involve a boat trip but was not able to due to their boat rental schedule.  Their boat schedule ended the weekend prior.  The museum's boat rental schedule runs from April-July.  Due to the heat during the summer they do not rent boats out for the safety of their customers.  I am sure I can't possibly be the only one bopping by to rent in July or even later in the year like October.  A nice boat ride on the lake to see the leaves changing.  Maybe they offer specials later in the year; I will have to keep an eye on that.  For now I will just explore other areas until next year.

  In lue of the boat ride we took a hike.  We got some great shots and had lots of time to talk about everything and anything on our hike.  My 4 yo is great on a hike. She just chugs along but, the 2 yo gets a little whiny and so he gets a free ride most of the hike duration.

  We have taken a lot of hikes this year.  We have visited a lot of state parks.  Not all trails are created equal.  Some have been covered in gravel and some more earthy and natural.  This trail is definitely not stroller friendly maybe you could swing a jogger stroller but it may be tricky as well.
  This trail was great. There were little overlooks, bridges, turns, twists hills going up and hills going down.  There was never a dull moment.  A walk around a lake is always different with every view.  You can always get a great photo of water.  Between the trees, water with the trees surrounding it.  I enjoy nature with water in it.
You know what's funny at the end of the trail (depending on the direction you went) we got an extra dose of excitement and motivation when we saw the Lion's Gate.  That was a neat site to see.  My camera (phone) was dieing so we drove back around to get pictures of it.

  Check this place out.  Walk the trails and explore this great lake.  My daughter and I may come back (minus little man) maybe we can beat our last record.   My last post I mentioned we had stopped at Sonics.  That Sonics was the best drink ever after that "little" trip!  

  The mosquitoes were actually not that bad either.  We heard them buzzing in our ears but we got around the lake without any bites.  However definitely bring your bug spray, water, a camera and wear your sneakers!

Daycations $4 8 hours of entertainment

Newport News, VA was explored by two peeps and myself.  Again we started our day out with a movie.  The paragon theaters
 show movies during the summer for free.  We had visited here last year and loved it.  Have you been?  Leather reclining seats
 for your comfort and a self serve butter
stop for your popcorn enjoyment!  This is without a doubt my favorite way to enjoy watching movies.  We watched Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb.  As I write that I smile; I have watched this particular movie like 5 times I love the monkey and Pompeii scene.

  We packed our lunch this time which like I stated before definitely makes for a budget friendly day.  We walked around the friendly, businesses in the Oyster Point area and settled along the water for our lunch.
 I always make everything into a learning point. It was such a clean area because as I told them everyone threw out their trash.  If we left our trash out the area would look bad and the wildlife
might eat it.  This sunk in because when we were done eating she actually picked up a piece of garbage she saw on the ground and took care of it.

  We did indulge on some ice cream after our lunch at MaggieMoo's.  There was a sign posted for a special $1.99 kids special available after a movie.
The kids each got 1 scoop of ice cream and a topping.  This was a nice break in the air conditioning before we started back on our journey for the day.

  Our next stop was at peninsula spca.  I had visited here a long time ago and decided to share it with the little ones.  I am not in the market for a new animal at the moment but if I were I would look into a shelter first.  I did consider their smaller critters.  Gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs however.  I brought my kids here and we did discuss why the animals were there and the concept of how much love, and "goodies/supplies" they need there until they find a nice family to live with.  My sole purpose of this visit was to show them the petting zoo.  The cost of this is $2.  You are also able to purchase feed for the animals but, I'm not one to encourage sticking food in your hand and letting an animal eat from it.  The zoo was not as big as I recall but should satisfy small ones you are trying to entertain.  There were goats,
chickens, llamas to name a few and a leopard.  That day he was sleeping it would have been nice to see him walking around.

  Lastly was our daily dose of cardio!  I had planned to do another boat ride and was so excited for a new location and surroundings to explore.  We headed over to the mariners museum. We made a pit stop at Sonics to replenish for the upcoming activities.  Everyday 2-5 (at least in my area) is happy hour.  Happy hour allows us to get drinks and slushes half off.  Today was a good day to get slushes!  We were not able to take a boat out and instead took advantage of the trail they had around Lake Maury.  All 5 miles of it!

The 3 official stops minus popcorn, sonics and icecream cost us $4 for the petting zoo.

Go explore Newport News there are lots of things to do and see.  Plenty of free or low cost activities.  Fun for the entire family. Whether you like animals, nature or are looking for something to do inside Newport News is your place.  We will get back over there soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Day 25!!! Almost done with 30 days

  I want to start out with I'm soo glad this is over.  Everyday is a challenge.  Not because it's hard to make healthy choices because that is getting easier than it used to be but because I consciously think about my meals. At breakfast I'm wondering about what I'm going to do about lunch.  Regardless of whether I have healthy food on hand or already made food on hand.  I'm so absorbed on trying to do the right thing.

  Well today I had a great workout.  Normally I workout but on cardio machines it's a half hour or 2 machines for 45 minutes. Today I hung out with a machine for an hour! Let me tell you I feel so awesome when I have pushed through an hour on a machine.  I have only done it twice but I need to do it more often.  I feel so accomplished when I look over the numbers of distance and calories.

Breakfast: yogurt, granola and fruit
Lunch: leftover salad with carrots and grapes
Dinner: olive garden 1/2 of all my dish with Water!!!
Water 75 oz
Workout 1 hour on elliptical, weights, abs

I have had two bowls of this new granola I picked up and I was so happy with it. It's delicious but read the ingredients today after breakfast only to have found sugar in the ingredients twice and an olgifructose ingredient.  Not a good sign.  So I will be officially concocting my own recipe based on the healthy ingredients in this granola.

  Tonight's dinner was obviously my cheat meal but I happily only ate half of it and my biggest feat was not washing it all down with a sweet tea.  I drank three glasses of water with my meal and had two bowls of salad!

  As I wrap up on this challenge.  I am going to continue with padding on recipes and posting workouts.  On twitter I do post some motivation as well as workouts.  My goal is to help if you want, need or are looking for it.

  As always thanks for following my journey.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day 24 of 30 healthy challenge

  I'm back as promised.  I finished off my day with healthy takeout.  I like to cook/bake but love to eat out.  So eating out and being able to combine it with healthy eating makes it a win win.  I hope I can maintain self control when this challenge is over and make better choices when I do eat out.  I by no means will skip my cannolis, a slice of cheesecake, cheesefries or sweet tea.  I will however maintain discipline and eat in moderation.  I don't need to eat all of it in one sitting.  You may ask how it is I can do that.  Outback! Appetizer would be cheesefries, and dessert would be cheesecake all washed down with several glasses of sweet tea.  Another local restaurant I would get cheesefries as an appetizer and dessert would be a cannoli all again washed down with sweet tea.  I don't need to skip my favorites; I just don't need to over do it either.

I had a great day. Workout and meals!

Breakfast: banana and oj
Lunch: yogurt with granola and fruit
Dinner: salad from Chipotle!!!
Water 75 oz
Workout: weights

My salad from Chipotle tonight had all the fixings minus shredded cheese and sour cream. This is the second time I have eaten this salad. I am loving it!!

I used my Buy One Get One Free coupon. The other meal went to my husband.  It makes me smile knowing he ate healthy and I don't think he really knows it.

I have added the coupon on the site! Help yourself everyone!!

A little pamper for the 4 year old

  My youngest daughter is 4 but that doesn't stop her from trying to do, play, see or participate in what her older sisters or I are doing.  Recently we took a long hike (haven't posted that yet) and instead of a detour to the car for our sneakers we humped it in our flip flops.

 I let baby girl know I would pamper her feet when we got home.  How much of that she understood I don't know but after the whole ordeal was over she thought this was a pretty good deal.

She was instructed to sit her feet in the foot spa.  She sat on the edge of the tub and rubbed them on the various components and enjoyed the heat and bubbles.  I didn't have to even tell her to sit still or keep her feet in the foot spa.  She sat right there and enjoyed herself.

  I even threw in a mud mask for her salon experience.  Next time maybe I will add the cucumbers!

After her feet had marinated and felt much better I gave them a massaged with some of her favorite smelling lotion.  She liked that!  She knows a good thing when she gets one.  I took this time to let her know in her very far future her husband may rub her feet after a hard days work.  She considered that and I think was not to interested in the future as she was about the present.  I find this surprising as she already knows whom she wants to marry (Justin Bieber) and will randomly let me know she wants her marriage at the place we are at or with flowers over there.  

After her foot massage she got to choose her nail colors! Isn't that what they do at the real salons?  She decided that 10 colors was enough.  One color for each toe and each finger.  Nothing like adding some tedious work to a fun filled night.  She likes to get her nails done. Usually I paint them when she's napping so she got the benefit of picking her colors, watching it applied and patiently waiting for it to dry.

  Our time spent together was nice.  She was the sole center of attention and I was focused on her for once.  Although I spend all day with her we have her younger brother with us as well.  She enjoyed her quality undivided time with her mom too.  She even wanted to return the favor by painting my nails but I declined her offer for now.