9.30.2013

Sooo Many Teeth

Happy Monday! I have a dentist appointment today - join - so Mason has a play date with my mom.

A little follow up on Thursday's post... I felt in Mason's mouth over the weekend and the poor guy has at least 4 teeth coming in right now if not 5. He likes to bite now so I cannot keep my fingers in there too long. Thank you for all the comments, not much we can do right now, but it helps to know that this is normal and we are not the ones going through this.

I cannot believe that the final weigh ins for the Dietbets I am in are this week! How did September fly by like that? I am pretty confident that I made it. I have been working hard. I am so ready for October and my next Dietbet. Don't forget to join Jess & I for our Fall DietBet, it starts October 7th. I feel like I have a chance to be in the 160s before Thanksgiving! Wahoo!

Don't forget to enter the $400 Cash Giveaway!

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How My Childhood Impacted The Me Today...
My childhood was a little rocky. I am the child of divorced parents. They divorced when I was 8 and my brother was 5. I can remember my parents fighting all of the time. I vowed that I would not be in a relationship that fighting was prominent and I would never fight in front of my children. Tim and I do not really fight, we have little arguments but nothing major. We get stressed out at times, but we are able to recognize the stress in the other and be the calm one.

I can also remember my dad's drinking. My father passed away almost 2 years ago from cirrhosis of the liver, he was an alcoholic and it caught up to him. I am not a big drinker now and I have only been out to a bar a few times, I can count the times on one hand.

After the divorce my mom had up to three jobs at a time trying to pay bills. She told me when I was in college that she did not want to lose her house so she worked as much as she could to get the house paid off. We had a great babysitter while she was at work. Out babysitter lived down the street so we spent time at her house and our house. I am a hard worker today because I watched both of my parents work hard. My dad worked as a stone mason and was at work everyday. I started working at age 14 in a restaurant with my mom and I have not taken a break since then. I chose working over sports in high school and I ended up getting a full time job while still full time at UAlbany.

One of my favorite memories from childhood was Christmas. Every year my mom made sure we had an amazing Christmas. The tree was always decorated with lots of presents under it. Christmas is still my favorite time of year. I want to make Mason's Christmas's just as amazing. My brother and I were very fortunate with the things we had. We did not have much, but my mom would splurge once in a while and make sure Christmas and birthdays were good.

I do not think my childhood was that bad, I know other people have had worse. I think it was a little rocky, but we made it through and I like who I am today and a lot of why I am who I am is because of what I went through growing up.



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9.27.2013

5 on Friday {& A Giveaway}


{One}
This is how Mason plays with Legos...
He dumps them out and wears the bucket.

{Two}
I made Mama Laughlin's Skinnier Chicken Spaghetti this week and really liked it. I think I might use different pasta next time, like a penne. I just did not like the spaghetti in a casserole type setting.
I also made an apple cake for an end of summer BBQ Mason & I went to the other night.

{Three}
At the BBQ there was a bounce house. I was not sure how Mason was going to like it, but once he got used to it he was giggling and bouncing all over.

{Four}

We are going apple picking this weekend. When we lived in the Capital Region we found this great orchard. We did not make it down there last year so Tim wants to go down this year.

I  also plan on getting some fall decorations for around the outside of the house before it is not fall anymore.

{Five}
I am involved in a Blogiversary giveaway that I wanted to share with you today. Janine's blog is turning 1!

The bravest thing I have ever done…

Becoming a blogger, because I still can't believe some of the things I have shared about myself and my family on the Internet. I was definitely scared slightly to share so much of myself and family for all to see, but again I did it. And I shared al sorts of tales, like the potty training journey for my youngest, posting about how we survived Hurricane Sandy a year ago, about not always dressing up to par anymore being a stay at home mom, and even how Lily played in the toilet bowl and even my huge mess up trying to make cake pops for the very first time! But a year ago today, I took to transferring my little Wordpress blog to my own hosted domain name. Therefore today, is my one year blogiversary. I was actually sick on the day I decided to do this, but was still very determined to make this switch. And again, I did just that. I learned so much during the setup process and remember wanting and yearning to learn more. Not only did I learn and teach myself so much as far as coding and design, but I was able to create another little niche on the Internet for myself with J9 Designs , too. Also, I made so many connections. In the beginning, I was told me to make sure to reach out to as many other bloggers through commenting and social media. I took that very seriously and still do. Because of this, I have been blessed to meet so any wonderful bloggers and writers this way. Many of which I have never laid eyes on personally, but do consider to be friends. I couldn't be more thankful for this. And when I put out the announcement earlier this month for interest in participating in my one year blogiversary giveaway, I was blown over by the massive amount that did join in and all the well wishes. I truly felt so loved and so happy that I would be able to giveaway such an awesome prize, because of all those lovely bloggers who have joined. Co-hosts forGiveaway for Post

My Co-Hosts from Left to Right and Top to Bottom~

Lanaya - Raising Reagan * Melissa - Home On Deranged * Angel - Sew Crafty Angel * Kera - Nugget on A Budget * Laura - Mice In The Kitchen * Danielle - Danielle Faith * Jen - West Street Story * Anna - Cuddlebug Cuties * Ashlee - A Step In the Right Direction * Sandy - Mother of Imperfection * April - 100lb Countdown * Dara - Not In Jersey

The Lovely Women also contributed and are a part of the giveaway, too~

Natasha - Epic Mommy Adventures * Sara - Confessions of A Red Headed Mama * Krystal - My Life of Travels And Adventures * Lisa - Chronically Content * Megan - The Big Megowski * Elena - Cropped Stories * Amy - The Stitchin' Mommy * Kate - Another Clean Slate * Amy - Consider Me Inspired So now not only is it that time of the week to linkup with FTSF, by sharing the bravest thing you did, but it is also time to enter my One Year Blogiversary Giveaway in the rafflecopter below. Good luck to all who enter. Thank you again to all that made this possible and that are a part of this very special giveaway with me, too.

It is a $400 Cash Blogiversary Giveaway!!

Giveaway open worldwide | Winner MUST HAVE a Paypal Account | Entries WILL BE verified | Winner has 48 Hours to winning e-mail or a new winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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9.26.2013

Cranky Boy

I think that Mason has started throwing temper tantrums. If you do something he does not like, such as putting him down he will start crying and kicking and throw himself back on the floor. I have gotten used to this so now I wait for him to throw himself back and I guide him to the ground so he does not hit his head hard.

He just seems to be cranky lately. He has also been eating like a bottomless pit. I am wondering if there is a growth spurt around 14 months. I am really hoping there is so he comes out of this stage.

His naps have been off too. He will fall asleep around 10:30-11 on a good day and sleep until at least 1. I thought that he would no take another nap after a long one in the middle of the day, but I was wrong. He has been falling asleep around 5 and sleeping until 6-6:30. This is fine right now because he is still going to bed around 8:30-9.

After his nap the other night all he wanted to do was cuddle with daddy. Seriously though, this melts my heart. Those two together are like two peas in a pod.
He may also be teething. His first molars on the top have broken through and I think I can feel the bottom ones. He was up several times last night but I am not sure if he was in pain or if he had just gotten himself stuck in the corner of the crib. I moved him and he was fine all three times I was up with him.

Between cranky episodes the other day Mason was being a ham. I told him to smile for daddy and this is what I get.

Any advice from other moms would be appreciated.


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9.25.2013

Big Announcement & WIW

Weigh IN Wednesday

How did everyone do this week? This is the last WIW for September. How crazy is that? I am loving this weather and the smell of fall.

I have been busting my butt this week so far. I really need to lose that 4% before next week and the final weigh in. I have been walking everyday. I need to get back into sessions with Jillian. I have started running up and down the basement stairs too. That is a leg workout let me tell you!

I will post my weigh in later because I am going to sleep for a few hours. I worked 12-8 am so a nap is in order. For those of you that work the night shift - how well do you nap before the shift? I work 1 overnight a week, well I am supposed to, but I try to switch to another shift whenever possible. There are times I have a great 3 hour nap before work and then there are times like last night where I slept for maybe an hour and a half and it was not effective sleep.

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I am sure most of you have heard of Dietbet. If you haven't it is a great weight loss tool. I have had luck with it in the past and I am currently in a couple Dietbets. Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans and I have decided to join forces and host a Dietbet. It will start on October 7th and end on November 3rd. The deal is you put $20 in the pot (credit card or Paypal), you lose 4% of your body weight, and

Here is a little overview of the website.

The home screen looks like this:
Where my name is it will say "Start A Game" or "Log In"

Here is how it works...
Sample weigh in photo from a past I did:

After your final weigh in, it will take a couple days to hear how much you have won. They give 48 hours for the final weigh in and after that time photos are verified.
We are super excited about this and cannot wait to watch people shrink in a month. 

So who wants in? We would love to get 50 or more people to join us. We wanted to do this bet now as one final push before the dreaded holidays. Jess & I will be there for support and as you can see from below I am participating as well. I am trying to talk some of my co-workers to get involved. I think that I do better when there is money involved. I cannot afford to lose $20 so I am going to push myself! 

If you would like to join us go here. The only people that see your weigh in photos are the employees of Dietbet so that will be private. Weigh in will be within 48 hours of the start date - October 7th.

I find the DietBet App extremely easy. I know it is available for the iphone, but from the looks of the forums it is not available yet for Android. I take my weigh in photos with my phone and have Tim take my full body photo. It is super easy to just upload those photos from the phone onto the App.

Don't forget to link up with Heather, Bailey, & I.






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9.24.2013

Color Me Rad & A First


The Color Me Rad was this past Saturday. I found out about it a little late so we managed to get one of the last few spots in the last time slot, 2:30. This was Ashley's (the one in the middle) first 5k ever. Might as well start with a fun one right?
We did not get all colorful this time beforehand. In this race you got your color packets right before you crossed the finish line.
Why yes that is a bunny. He was walking around before the start of the race giving out goodies, sadly we did not get any. I think the race started a little earlier than schedule because I remember looking at my phone and thinking 10 more minutes and then they blew the horn to start.
The race was great. It was a little crowded at the beginning, the course was tight through the fair grounds until you got to the open field. After the first color station I noticed a difference in the colored powder from last week. It was a lot finer. It was so fine that it went through our shirts.
A lot of this course was on the road, which was fine. The next color station we came to was a liquid color station. It cooled you off and got you all colorful. There were around 5 color stations with two being liquid.
These photos are pretty important to me. A few years ago if I was photographed with these two I would have felt HUGE because they are like a size nothing. I look at these photos today and actually do not see myself as the fat friend.
This race was pretty big for me. I was with two friends that are actual runners. Michelle (the one on the left) actually did the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure that morning and had an amazing time of 26 minutes. I decided to run as far as my body would allow me to. I started off great and at one point I realized that I had runner farther than I ever had and mentioned it to the girls. 

There were no mile markers, but I had my Map My Fitness App running. I was still running when my bra started talking to tell us our speed and that we were at 1 mile. I ran my first mile! I RAN MY FIRST MILE! I want to shout it from the rooftops :) I ran a little over a mile before I started speed walking. I would run, then walk, run, then walk after the first mile. I felt amazing after running that first mile, I did not think I had that in me. We will see what I can accomplish in the three races scheduled in October. 

The course was not quite a 5k, but I liked my pace overall.  

As you can see from the photo below, I looked better at the end of this race than I did at the end of last week's. The only color left on me at the Color Vibe was what my sweat mixed with. I think the powder being finer helped the color stay on better. At the Color Vibe the color shook off of you as you ran.
The only downside to this race was, just as last week, there were no mile markers. I know it is not times, but mile markers are great motivators. This race did have water and a snack at the end of the race.

I would seriously recommend any of these races to everyone - whether you are a serious runner, a beginner, a walker, a skipper, a dancer, a person who loves to where tutus, or a normal person that likes to have fun. Some 5ks are serious business and it was nice to have a laid back feel and just have fun.

***Disclaimer - I was not paid to write this review, Color Me Rad did not know I was writing a review (& probably still doesn't). All opinions are my own***



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9.23.2013

Things I Am Loving

There are a few things that I am loving right now.

*Katy Perry's New Song/Video. I like music videos that have a little story in them.

*My Treadmill. Jillian was boring me so I had to switch it up and walk on the treadmill for a little while. We are trying to play catch up on our DVR. NCIS & Criminal Minds are still on there from last season - oops. My personal rule is that I can only watch my shows while on the treadmill and joint shows if Tim has already watched them. I have stuck to that rule pretty well the last few years.

*Sneakers! I need another pair I think, well maybe not need, but defintely want. Reebok is having the perfect sale too! I don't like to buy sneakers that are more than $45 and that is pretty hard. Reebok is offering their EasyTone Shoes for only $29.99 PLUS Free Shipping! From the EasyTone Lead to the EasyTone Reeinspire II, get all shoes from the EasyTone collection for $29.99 when you use code EASY30 at checkout!

The EasyTone collection features a proprietary BALANCE BALL design with Moving Air Technology, which creates softness and micro-instability in every step. Grab these shoes at a great price today at Reebok and save big with code EASY30!
(click the links to go check them out :) )

*Mason & his new rocking chair. Tim's dad had picked up a kid's rocking chair at a yard sale and we took it out the other night. He now has a place to sit for Jeopardy with Nain & Pop.


Then he got brave and stood up....

*****************
In other news, I am helping a friend with her weight loss efforts. I am pretty excited to help someone else on their journey. I do not have a specific method, but I can help her get to a better lifestyle.

Helper her means I have to buckle down and start practicing what I preach. I have a week or so left on both of my Dietbets and I need to lose around 5 pounds still. I am not going to lose the $50 I have investing in this!

Check back tomorrow for Weigh In Wednesday and an announcement!



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A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self - 9/23

First things first on this Monday morning.... I don't usually do this, but please send fellow blogger Lora & her family some thoughts and prayers. She posted this on Instagram last night and my heart went out to her. She was only around 26 weeks pregnant.

Baby Harper is only 1 lb 9 oz. Please keep them in mind during their long road ahead. 

*******************

I am back to linking up with Becky on Mondays. 

Boy could this letter open a can of worms...

Dear Ashlee,

You just got your license and are feeling free as a bird. You also just started your junior year of high school. There is a lot going on in your world. Don't take things for granted, appreciate everything in life.

You are a hard worker and that is a good thing. You will save money for the future and this good work ethic will help when you are in college. (Hint: You will not have any student loans after age 25 :)) Oh speaking of money STOP BUYING CLOTHES!

You may not think you are doing anything crazy, but you could slow down your drinking and smoking. Smoking will be a tough habit to kick, but you will in a few years. You should have never started. Good thing you quit because in 10 years they will cost $10/pack!

Don't stress too much when you get burned by friends. It is a fact of life apparently. You learn from these experiences and grow from them. You will have certain friends that will last and you are still friends with them a decade later. You are friends with some on this social networking site called Facebook - wait until you see this thing - you will not be able to get it until you are 20 because you do not go to a participating college.

Have no fear those braces will be off by graduation. Your husband will never know you with braces & you guys meet before you graduate. You hit the jackpot with your husband, he is cute, smart, and loves you no matter what size you are.

Enjoy the moments you have with dad. It is tough with the alcoholism, but having dinner with him twice a week is a great step. He is your best friend and you tell him way more than you tell mom. He will be there for you when you need him. Also when you find out you are pregnant go tell him, you have not talked in over a year, but he would welcome that news. You need to tell him before you tell everyone else, trust me.

Keep pushing your brother to be better - it is hard, but try harder than you are/will. Hopefully it will make a difference. That is all.

Put down the junk food and get healthy now! Stop tasting every ice cream flavor available at work. It might be easier than it will be when you are 24. Start walking more and try running - you will like it. Just get active.

You may not be very active right now with the rescue squad but you will be soon. In a few years you will be the treasurer and take lots of calls.

You think you want a baby at 22, you don't. It will happen after you are married and it will be amazing. Look what you get to cuddle with :)

You really have no regrets in life, which is great. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

Trust Me,
You at 26


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9.20.2013

5 on Friday



{One}
I love the new iOS 7. I like the modern feel and the camera. It makes it feel like I have a whole new phone. I actually enjoy changes because there is always a new feature or features that I like.

Take for instance -->
You see the bottom buttons? The flashlight and the calculator are on there! You can access this from the lock screen too - This will make it so nice at midnight when I get home, I hate trying to find the flashlight app I downloaded. I also use the calculator all the time for various things.

You can shuffle through your apps, I like the drop down now from the top, everything looks 3D, and I like the photo separation now.

{Two} 
Snuggles never get old...

{Three}
I am currently working on a few recipes to share with you guys. One is a soup and one/two are oatmeal recipes. I will get those to you as soon as I can, I still have to try one of the oatmeal ones.

Speaking of oatmeal, I am loving it lately. It is that time of the year where a warm breakfast is needed. It is also apple season! We are trying to figure out when we want to go Apple Picking this year :)

{Four}
My house is finally decorated for Fall! I am loving the smell of pumpkins & apples. I light the candles when I am home at night because I like the smell and I like candles :)
Yes we have monkeys all over our house lol

{Five}
The Color Me Rad in Albany is tomorrow - check back next week for my review of that one. I want to see the differences in the races. There are 5 of us going down for the race and we are all going to pack into my car and drive the hour and a half.

I get out at 4 today and don't have to be back until 4 on Sunday. That, to me, is almost as good as a weekend off.


Any exciting for the weekends? 


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