10.30.2013

Weigh In Wednesday

Weigh IN Wednesday

Sorry about the confusion last week, the link up should work well this time around :)

It shouldn't be any surprise that I have been struggling lately. I have not lost any weight in weeks and I have been slacking on the exercise front. I have been trying to get my head back into the weight loss mindset, but it has been hard.

I mentioned some struggles a couple weeks ago. The good news is that our financial woes have been resolved and Tim has not been working crazy hours like he was. 
I decided that this was the week I was getting my butt back in gear. I started the 30 Day Shred on Monday and I feel great. I love that my muscles are sore and I am working up a sweat every morning. I am getting my mileage in for the 150 in 15 challenge too. Days I get both in are pretty amazing days. I feel on top of the world. When I feel this good info not understand why I get lazy at times.

Here are my current measurements

Neck - 13.5"
Upper Arm - 12.75"
Chest - 38.5"
Above Belly Button - 30"
Below Belly Button - 40.75"
Hips - 42.25"
Upper Leg- 22.75"
Calf - 16"

Weight - 176.2 lbs 

I feel like putting those numbers out there will motivate me. I have a goal of 170 by Thanksgiving. That is 6 pounds in 4 weeks. I have also have 165 in my mind for New Year's. 
See that? For anyone that knows me you know that I love getting packages! This is an American Eagle Package, it arrived today & I decided that I cannot open it until I am at 170 pounds. This is a big motivator for me because I LOVE new clothes :) 

How did you do this week? Any tips, victories, struggles, or general posts to share?




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10.29.2013

Weekend Recap

Saturday

Saturday night Mason, Judy, Debbie, & I went to a Halloween parade in Vermont. I had never been to this parade, but have heard good things over the years. I, of course, forgot my warm outerwear. Luckily I keep gloves in my car and I had a hooded sweatshirt on.
Mason was ready for the cold and he was loving it. He kept wanting to walk in the street, but we finally got him to settle down once the parade started.
The parade was pretty good. There were a number of great floats. I wish we had something like that in my hometown, the high school bands that were in the parade were in costume and I thought it looked like a lot of fun. 

Sunday

I had to work Sunday 4-midnight so Sunday morning we decided to get some outside work done before the winter months. I mowed the lawn while Tim and Mason worked on taking care of things. I was a little sad watching Mason walk around the yard because last year he was fast asleep in a carrier on Tim's chest. We ended up getting a lot done, the only thing left is to put up the Christmas lights.
A little back story - Judy does not like the thought of cutting Mason's hair, at all.
I was waiting for Tim to get done with a shower to cut his hair and decided to let Mason see the clippers.
I took these photos and sent them to Judy and told her she would get to see my masterpiece when he got to her house for dinner. She did not think it was very funny and Tim said she examined Mason when they got to her house. I thought it was pretty funny :)

Yesterday

Mason told me a great story while I made him breakfast, I have no clue what he was saying. He looks so big in these photos.
He had his 15 month wellness check yesterday. He was fine in the waiting room, being nosy as always.
We ended up waiting in the exam room for a long time waiting for the doctor and then again for his shots. He started getting very cranky waiting for the shots (20 minutes or more) and cried before even getting the shots. The shots were awful and we both cried. Poor little guy was having a rough day. He fell asleep in the car on the way home so he got a nice nap in before going to daycare.

Does anyone know if the shots can cause thirst? Tim emailed me at work and said Mason was very thirsty all night.





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10.28.2013

Swisse Review

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to review some wellness products. I am usually skeptical when it comes to pills, but the wellness products were vitamins. I take a daily vitamin so I figured why not give a different brand a try.
I had not heard of the Swisse company until this opportunity, but I am a fan.

Here is a little description of the company for you--

Introduced in the U.S. this year and endorsed by Swisse Global Ambassador Nicole Kidman, Swisse Wellness is Australia’s number one multivitamin brand. In the U.S., Swisse now offers a range of 15 premium-quality vitamins and supplements at Walgreens stores nationwide, including its clinically-tested, bestselling multivitamins –  Men’s Ultivite F1 and Women’s Ultivite F1. For full product information, visit http://www.swisse.com/us/products.   

*For every Swisse Wellness purchase made at Walgreens during the promotion, Swisse will donate 25 cents to Vitamin Angels, the amount required to distribute essential nutrients to one child in need, enabling his or her young immune system to fight infectious diseases and attain good health.

For the official rules and more information on Swisse Wellness, please visit, Swisse.com.
I requested the Hair Skin Nails, The Women's Daily Vitamin, and the Appetite Control.
The hair, skin, & nails is amazing. I took it every morning with the multivitamin. I had been having problems keeping my nails long and keeping them from breaking. After taking this for over a week I noticed a difference in my nails. They seemed to be harder and were growing pretty fast.
My hair is feeling great. I am in love with it longer and I feel like it looks healthier now.
The appetite control worked fairly well too. I took it 30 minutes before meals (when I remembered it) and I felt like I ate less than I normally would. There are nights that I still feel hungry or "munchy" after dinner and I didn't feel this way when I  took the appetite control pill.

I would recommend giving this company a try. I was happy with the products I received and I was impressed with the outcome of the Hair, Skin, & Nails. There are a variety of vitamins offered by the Swisse company. Go check out their product page and see if there is anything for you.

I know this is short notice, but go to your nearest Walgreens or go to Walgreens.com and try this product. This month they are donating 25 cents for every product purchased to Vitamin Angels. If you go to the Swisse website you can enter to win a trip to see Ellen!

*I was sent the product and a Walgreens gift card to write this review. Opinions are my own.


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10.26.2013

Delicious Cookie Recipe

What is great on a chilly day? That is right a great cookie recipe.

The other day my Pampered Chef Consultant posted a recipe on her Facebook page and I knew I had to give it a try. I had to make some adjustments to the recipe she posted because I did not have some of the ingredients.

Toasted Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
*Adapted from Pampered Chef*
Never mind the green specks, I had color coconut from a prior project. 
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
3 cups quick oats
1 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

2 cups shredded coconut, toasted and cooled*

Directions
In a medium sized bowl combine first three ingredients, set aside
In a stand mixer or large bowl beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
Slowly add the dry mixture until blended. Fold in toasted coconut.
Cover bowl and chill for at least an hour - the longer the better.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a spoon scoop out dough onto cookie sheet - approx 2 tablespoons each
Bake for 10-12 minutes, unto edges are starting to brown.


*To toast coconut - put in a Pampered Chef Micro Cooker, microwave for 30 second intervals until toasted. Careful, with sweetened coconut it is easily burnt. If you do not have the Micro Cooker, put in a pan on stove and stir continuously until toasted.

Yields: 4 dozen cookies

Below is the recipe for the frosting. You can prepare cookies both ways shown above. I preferred the single cookie with a small amount of frosting on top. The breakdown of the recipe is for the single cookie method. These cookies are also good alone.

Butterscotch Frosting 
Ingredients
1 cup (1/2 bag) Butterscotch chips
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup half & half
2-2.5 cups of powdered sugar

Directions
Melt butter and chips in a glass dish or the Pampered Chef micro cooker - stir every 20 seconds until smooth
Beat with 1/2 & 1/2 until smooth and combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Add more 1/2 & 1/2 if the mixture is too thick, a tablespoon at a time.
With the recipe building I put that it serves 75 people because I frosted 4 dozen cookies and still had almost half of the frosting left.


Not the healthiest treat, but so worth the 118 calories. You can leave out the frosting and it is only 87 calories.
They were a hit with everyone at work and Tim enjoyed them.



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10.25.2013

5 on Friday


{One}
My little guy received more mail yesterday than Tim and I combined! He was very excited to look at his Halloween cards.
He actually looked at the card and was talking like he knew what it said and he was sharing his thoughts about it with me.
As you can see it was a little chilly here in Upstate NY yesterday so he is all bundled up.

{Two}
I started Wednesday morning with no hats or mittens for Mason this year. I mentioned to Tim's mom & aunt that he needed those items for the colder weather coming. I went shopping on Wednesday afternoon with my friend Terry because I needed to exchange the slippers I bought Mason for a bigger size. Terry bought Mason a cute monster hat with some black mittens. I ended up finding mittens and hat sets on sale at Target so I grabbed a hat with matching mittens and a 3-pack of mittens.

That night Tim's aunt dropped off what she had bought! She got him numerous hats for home and daycare. She also got him an extra pair of snow pants and an extra winter jacket. We are so very lucky to have her in our lives. Mason will be nice and toasty this winter and we have enough to leave at daycare, Nain's, Grammy's, and our house for those times I forget to bring those items.

I ended Wednesday with more than enough hats and mittens. It is amazing that you can start a day with nothing and end it with enough to feel grateful :)

{Three}
We have the best animals in the world. Mason climbs all over them and they let him. We keep a close eye on the playing because you never know when Mason might do something to agitate them.
Yesterday Mason spent a good 20 minutes "brushing" Nutmeg's hair with a piece of Lego fencing. He kept talking to her and she just laid there on the ottoman trying to sleep.
I had all the kiddos next to me during Jeopardy. When that music starts playing Mason comes running in the room to watch it. He usually rides his horse through the whole episode, but last night he was acting like he needed to find the perfect viewing spot.
{Four}
Sadly it is not my Friday. My Friday this week is Monday. I could really use a weekend to do nothing. I would LOVE to have a date after/night with Tim. That was my plan for last weekend, but we wanted to help with the painting project and I knew he was enjoying putting flooring down.

Do you ever just feel like you need a day to do nothing with your other half? (and a munchkin)

{Five}
We are party animals at our house. Tim took this photo last night just before 9. The arrow is pointing to me, I was exhausted last night for some reason. Mason just passed out and playing like a madman.
Excuse the state of my living room, I usually pick up all the toys after Mason goes to sleep.

Anyone have any big plans this weekend? It is getting cold here so our outdoor activities are coming to an end - we still have to put up Christmas lights so they are up and ready to go for the end of next month.


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10.24.2013

Meet Nicole from Lunges & Laces

Sorry for the problems with the link up yesterday - I believe it should all be working now - Go link up so I can read your post this week :) Also go check me out on Skinny Meg's blog post! Eek :) 

I recently received an email from Nicole from Lunges & Laces and I was happy to do a post swap with her. I am obsessed with her blog and her life across the pond. You can see my blog post with questions from her here


*****************
Hi Everyone! I'm so happy to be writing for Ashlee today.
My name is Nicole. I have always loved fitness and being healthy has always been a part of my life. I am a fitness instructor, and I love helping people out and making them feel good about themselves. Right now, I teach mostly Pilates, but my real love is anything with high energy and dance, like Zumba! 
My husband is in the US Air Force, and we are now stationed over in England (it's been almost a year!). We have been given the wonderful opportunity to travel the world, and I'm loving it! I am the author of the blog Lunge and Lace (can you link it up?), where I talk about all my fitness, recipes, and travel adventures!

- Do you prefer going to the gym or a nice sweaty at home workout?
I have always been a fan of the at-home workouts. I can workout while watching TV in my underwear, and that's ok! Some people think they can't get a good workout at home, but with all the access we have to workout DVDs and Youtube, there is literally something for everyone. I am a huge fan of finding hour long workouts on Youtube. And, huge plus, you are in the comfort of your own home, so you can look like a crazy mess, you don't have to go drive anywhere, and you can shower right after.
However, while I am keen on sweating it out at home, I am a huge believer in mixing things up, so I do hit the gym occasionally for a change of scenery.


- What are a couple essentials in your gym bag?
Face wipes! I picked this up from another fitness instructor who I worked with. I always try to wipe my face down before and after a workout. I do it before so that my face is clean to start with, so that when I sweat and my pors open up, no yucky dirt or makeup get in. And then, if I'm not going to shower any time soon, I wipe down after to cleanse and refresh my skin. I love Simple Cleansing Wipes, because they are really gentle (for my sentisitve skin) and have lots of awesome ingredients, like vitamins.

- What is your favorite exercise gadget? Any recommendations for the readers?
I am an extreme minimalist when it comes to exercise equipment. Like I said, I almost always workout at home, and the only things I have are a set of dumbells and a Pilates mat. I am a huge believer in using your body as resistance. But if I have to pick a gadget I find really useful, I would say an interval timer. I actually use mine alot, because I love doing HIIT and other interval-based workouts. You can simply download an interval timer app on your phone. It is so much easier than having to stare at a watch!

- How do you stay motivated?
Hmm, that's a hard one for me. My whole life I have been very active and athletic, and it is still such a big part of my life. If I skip workouts or eat really unhealthy for a few days, my body CRAVES exercise and healthy food, because it so use to this routine. If I don't exercise and eat bad food, then I feel gross and my body doesn't feel good. So, I guess that would be my motivation: not to feel lousy.


- Name two things you do not leave the house without.
1. A good pair of sunglasses, because my eyes are so sensitive to sunlight. I am like a vampire! If I don't have sunglasses when I drive and there is a glare through the clouds, I have to squint to see. 2. Hand lotion. I cannot stand the feeling of dry hands! Especially after you wash your hands in a public restroom. Ugh those soaps are so drying!

- Favorite "cheat" meal?
 I'm a sweets freak. Especially anything involving chocolate, so this includes cookies, brownies, cake, ice cream, you name it! I never deprive myself of these things, and because I don't, I have enough self control to eat just a little bit at a time (usually ;)  
And I am a huge sucker for macaroni and cheese.

- You have an amazing opportunity to travel while living in England. Do you have a favorite spot?
Oh, I have so many! I am absolutely loving Europe. I really enjoy London, and if you go by the Tower of London and find a nice bench to sit near the river, you will have the Tower Bridge (the London Bridge) right in front of your view overlooking the river, with the legendary Tower of London right behind you. It's a pretty wonderful place to sit and take everything in.
I completely fell in love with Paris when I was there back in July. The Luxembourg Gardens was probably one of the prettiest parks I've ever seen! It was so picturesque; kids playing with sailboats in the fountains, crepe stands, balloon stands, stunning flowers, old statues. I could have sat in that park all day!
Another little gem that I loved was Brugge. What a stunning little city! So beautiful and old, it's perfect for a day trip.

- Are there any differences in the way Americans view exercise as opposed to those in England?
Yes! I hate to say it, but a lot people in America can have a lazy attitude towards exercise. It has become seen as almost a chore. But here, exercise is simply part of life. Everyone rides their bikes and walks everywhere, I see a million people a day run by my house as they are on their daily jog. It is very much ingrained in a lot of these people's lives.
Also, I think it is part due to how fitness is portrayed in America vs. England/Europe. In America, it is very commercialized: a completely ripped man with his shirt off, or a hot skinny girl in her bra, telling you to do this workout. It can be discouraging. While in England, it is more realistic.

Thanks Nicole for the guest post!

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10.23.2013

My Little Goblin

This afternoon I am linking up with Darci & Meredith.

This kid is getting harder and harder to get a photo of. He is always on the move. When I try to stand him up and take a photo he runs for me.
In this photo he is looking for the kitty under his crib. He can usually find her there, but I had to break it to him that she was not there this time.
I am not a big novelty items person for Mason, I am not sure why. Tim's aunt usually buys most of Mason's clothes and she picks out some pretty cute clothes and some are holiday themed. I actually bought this pajama set at Walmart for $5. You cannot go wrong for that price.

I do have a question for all of you moms.
For the two piece pajamas - how do you keep their feet warm? I am worried that socks will be too tight or uncomfortable for bed. I have bought a few pair of 2 piece ones, but worry about his feet. He has a blanket on him when we say good night, but by morning it is usually at the end of the crib and Mason has his butt in the air face down fast asleep.




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