Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Body After Baby - Week 4

So I am supposed to be doing this challenge where I eat better, exercise and get healthy. I was all gung ho about it when it started. Now I find myself halfway through this 8 week challenge and not doing very well. I actually gained 6 pounds over Christmas!!!!! Wow 6 pounds!!! That is a lot of extra calories! Sooooo where am I today - a whopping 208 pounds! Sheesh.
So what am I going to do about it?!?
I am gonna get real!
I am going to focus on the task at hand.
I am gonna get my fat ass up off the computer desk chair and move it!
I am gonna stop feeding myself crap that is processed and bad for me (like the frosting on the cookies and brownies that is made entirely of butter, shortening and sugar)!

Now how can you help me - tell me to jump on it! How can I help motivate you - tell you to get on it!

We can all be more healthy. We can all cut one thing out of our lives that is just not necessary. I am cutting soda out for this week - then I will work on other things. I made myself a pitcher of tea in the fridge last night so when I want to reach for something to drink I have more choices that soda, kool aid and whole milk!

So goals for this week - NO SODA!!! Exercise at least 3 days. Loose 2 pounds this week. Eat more veggies and fruits!

Dont forget to head on over to see Samantha's blog who is hosting this challenge

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thankful for 2010

Now that the luster and excitement of Christmas stops, we have to move on to a new year. This past year has been great for me. There were ups and downs, but I think I am blessed more than I deserve. I wanted to list a few things I was thankful about during the 2010 year...
Our cat Bingo came into our lives. He is such a joy.

I am so glad we were able to move to our new apartment. We love the neighbors, the location, and the office staff here.
I am glad that my children are all growing, happy and healthy.
I am thankful that my grandma was able to come out and visit us for Zach's first birthday.
I am thankful for my mom and all the help she gives us.
I am thankful for my in-laws and the help they give us.
I am thankful that the kids had a fun summer swimming and playing.
I am glad that we were able to dress the kids up for Halloween and take them trick or treating.
I am glad that we had fun making popcorn strings and hanging them outside for the birds. The birds didn't even eat them, but it was fun to make them anyway.
I am thankful for my husband and all the hard work he does.
I am thankful for baking Christmas cookies and cupcakes.
I am thankful that my children had a good Christmas with family and friends.

I know there is many more things that I am not thinking of right now. I feel so blessed to have a great family and friends. I hope 2011 is even better than 2010.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Fun

We had a fabulous Christmas this year. There was less money and less presents, but just as much fun as always! Like I tell the kids, the joy is not in the presents but in the love and warmth of spending time with family and friends.
Christmas eve we went over to my sister's house for some snackies and presents. WE watched a movie and had a ton of fun.

Then we came home and the kids opened gifts from us.

Then on Christmas morning the kids got to see what was in their stockings. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of that. After that we went to Grandma and Grandpas house for Christmas celebrations there. WE had a blast. There was tamales for breakfast and then for lunch/dinner there was turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, rolls, pineapple upside down cake, cherry pie, and all sort of cookies.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Body After Baby Challenge - week 4

This week was aweful! I didnt excersise once and I have not been eating healthy. Someone slap some sense into me!!! ARG. I guess with Christmas coming and all of the baking I have been doing and helping with I guess I dont wanna pass all that up for Christmastime.
I think since this week is Christmas I will give myself some slack. I didn't gain any weight last week, so I guess I didn't do too bad. I will have a lot of goodies the next couple of days for Christmas, but after that I am going to get back on track for sure!!!
Stop on by and see Samantha over at Mama notes to find the Body After Baby Challenge.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies

One thing we do every year is to make sugar cookies and then decorate them. We LOVE to do this. This year Mia was at Grandma and Grandpas and Sam was in Colorado with his dad the day I did the cookies. So I decorated them myself. Here is how they turned out....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mia's class party

Mia's Kindergarten class had their "Winter Party" on Friday. It was a blast! There were only 16 students instead of the usual 24. It was really different than the last party where all the students were there. We made a snowman craft and had cupcakes and juice for a snack. Then we all read Let it Snow, which was a book that the teacher gave each of the students for Christmas.
It was truly a special day for them, as they were able to wear PJ's to school this day. They watched Polar Express and had hot cocoa earlier in the day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teacher gifts....

Every year at Christmas I try to give a little something to the teachers, and lets not forget the bus drivers. I don't have a lot of money to go and buy things, so I bake!!

Last year  I made Peanut Clusters and Fudge. They loved it.

This year I decided to get a little more creative and make frosted brownies sprinkled with crushed candy canes. Yum yum. (Don't tell - but I ate like 4 of them)
One challenge was how to make them presentable. Whenever I make brownies for the family they  always come out crooked and there are crumbs of brownie falling of the sides. I didn't want that as this is a gift. Soooo, I did some research online and found that I could make cupcake sized brownies and use paper liners. The only thing I had to change was bake time. Instead of 30 - 40 minutes it only takes 20 minutes!!

So I made the brownies, frosted and sprinkled them. Then I put them in cute little cello bags and made homemade gift tags. I tied the gift tags to the bags, after the kids wrote their names on them. I sent them to school yesterday and everyone loved them! All the teachers and bus drivers loved it!

So here are some pics of my project:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Body After Baby Challenge - week 3

Wow! It has been another week already??? It went fast and I was not so good this week!!!

I ate fast food for 4 meals this week. :(
I also didn't meet the challenge of not drinking soda for a whole week. :(
I only exercised 2 days. :(
I gained 2 pounds back. :(

Eeekkk. Now that confession time is over I will focus on the positive.
I exercised 2 days!! LOL.
I didn't snack on too much junk.
I am getting better about eating breakfast every day.

I am going to have to get my butt in gear if I want to make my personal goals for this challenge and beyond!!! My personal goal is to be at 190 by the end of December and at 180 by the end of January. I am seeing that that might be too far a stretch. I would be happy with 195 by the end of December and 185 by the end of January!!

So how am I going to attain those goals?!?!?

More exercise (like every day), less junk food, more fruits and veggies, more water!!!! 

Best of wishes if you are in the Body After Baby Challenge.

Don't forget to hop on by Samantha's blog (the wonderful woman who is hosting this whole thing) to see the challenge goals.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sam's Violin Concert

Sam has been playing violin since the beggining of 5th grade. He enjoys it and is getting pretty good at it. Last night his school had the winter orchestra concert. His group was up first (since he is in 6th grade). They did a great job! I am really proud of him.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mia Birthday

Yesterday was Mia's 6th birthday!! She was so excited about turning 6. She would tell everyone who called to wish her a happy birthday that she was 6 now.

After school, I took her to Build-a-Bear and she got a Yorkie mama dog, a baby dog, 2 outfits, a leash and collar, doggie bowl, and she also got 4 bows. I was going to take some pics but hubby sent the wrong camera out with her when she came out to meet me in the car. She had a blast anyways!

On the way home we stopped and got her favorite dinner (McDonald's). We ate that and then had cupcakes that I had made earlier in the day. She loved the whole night.

Here are some pics of our at home fun...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Body after baby challenge - week 2

Wow the week has gone by fast - or maybe that is just December!!

This week I haven't really done great. I have stopped eating a snack before bed (I used to every night), and I have exercised a few days. I am eating less at meals and when snacking I am choosing better foods (IE banana instead of pop tart).

Let me tell you - exercising is AMAZING!! I don't know why I wasn't doing it all along!! I get up at 6 am and wake my middle school-er, then come out and exercise. I have so much more energy for the day, my mood is better, and I am sore!!! I know that isn't a good thing generally speaking, but when it comes to exercise it means I was actually working muscles!!

This week I have lost 5 pounds!! I am down to 200 even. I hope to keep the weight loss going. I would like to be at 190 by the end of December and 180 by the end of January. Oh what a treat that would be!

This week I have to increase fluid intake, exercise more days than not, and I will give up soda as my unhealthy thing to cut out this week. I am not great about writing down what I eat, but I do keep a general list in my mind.

I hope that all of you who are participating are having success and feeling great too!!!

Stop on by mamanotes to check out the Body After Baby Challenge -

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sam's science project :Bread

Sam needed to do a science experiment for school. He is in 6th grade so they want something more than a baking soda volcano. We decided to do bread. Not just any bread, but two kinds of bread......
Leavened and Unleavened bread. For those of you who don't know the difference - unleavened bread has no type of rising agent and leavened bread does. So here is the fun we had :

Sam always has to make a silly face. Mia is having a good time.

Unleavened bread

again with the silly face

Our leavened bread

Here is the paper he will turn in....
1. How does a leavening agent affect bread?

2. Variables

a. The independent variable is adding a leavening agent (yeast in this case). Yeast makes the bread rise due to fermentation of sugar into carbon dioxide.

b. The dependant variable is the process of cooking

c. The constant is the flour.

Hypothesis: If the amount of the leavening agent increases then the puffiness of the bread increases. Therefore if there is no leavening agent the bread will be flat.

Materials needed: Bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, stirring spoons, oven, loaf pan and square pans, rolling pin, milk, butter, warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, flour, oil and eggs.

Instructions: Unleavened Bread: 1.combine dry ingredients. 2. Combine eggs and oil, and then beat. 3. Add eggs to flour, add milk, and then beat for 2-3 minutes. 4. Place into 2 – 8” greased square pans. 5. Bake for 20 minutes @ 450 degrees F.

Leavened bread: 1. heat milk and butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat when butter is melted, set aside to cool. 2. Pour ½ cup warm water into small bowl. Slowly pour in yeast while stirring. Set aside for 5 minutes while doing next 2 steps. 3. In large bowl add sugar, salt and 1 cup warm water. Mix. 4. Check small saucepan. If it is warm to touch pour into large bowl and mix. 5. Begin mixing flour one cup at a time. By the time the 5th cup is used the dough will begin to get stiff and difficult to mix with wooden spoon. Turn dough onto floured board. Knead dough while continuing to add flour. Knead flour into dough until smooth, not sticky. 6. Grease large bowl with butter. Put bread dough into bowl. Turn so top of dough is buttered. Cover with towel. Let dough rise until doubled in size or about an hour. 7. Punch down dough. Turn it out on top of floured board and knead out bubbles for 5 minutes. Divide in thirds and form each loaf by rolling dough into rectangles. Roll dough like a jelly roll. Pinch seams closed. Pinch and tuck edges under loaf. 8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 3 mini loaf pans. Set loafs in pans, cover with towel and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes). 9. Bake for 30 minutes 10. Remove loaves from pans and allow to cool before cutting.

See table

See graph

Conclusion: The hypothesis was correct because it said if the amount of the leavening agent increases then the puffiness of the bread increases. Therefore if there is no leavening agent the bread will be flat. The yeast worked in the bread by making carbon dioxide out of sugar. This caused the rising or “fluffiness” to appear. The experiment followed these guidelines, therefore proving the hypothesis correct.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Body After Baby Challenge - week 1

I follow a great blog called mamanotes. She does a challenge called body after baby. You can find her here

Today starts the challenge!!! My youngest is 15 months old and I have lost all of the baby weight from him, but I am still carrying some from my second child Mia. She will be 6 in a few days. My oldest is 12.
I am currently 205 pounds, eat whatever I feel like having in whatever amounts I want, and don't exercise at all. Sounds bad huh? It is time for a change!

My goals for this week are to exercise at least 10 minutes a day, drink at least 64 ounces of water (well crystal light - I hate unflavored beverages), choose healthier foods, and eat normal portion sizes. I know I am taking on a lot this week, but I have got to get healthy!!!

I will be taking before and after pictures, but I will not post them until the end of the 8 week challenge.  I want to see my progress before I share it wil all of you! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fun times with popcorn

The kids are off school for Thanksgiving break and I wanted to do something to entertain them. I wanted something seasonal that will be useful as well. That is when I remembered stringing popcorn as a child. My grandma used to do crafts like that with us. It is a great, cheap, easy craft that you can hang outside for the birds to eat!! Here are some pics of our fun time....