Monday, January 22, 2018

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Jan 21 - Jan 27)

Last week was crazy busy with lots of schedule changes.  We had the holiday on Monday, then a snow day on Tuesday.  Unfortunately I didn't get either day off so I was running around in the snow and everything was taking longer than it normally does, especially driving.  I'm happy the week ended back to our regular schedule but then our weekend was so busy I don't even feel like we had a weekend.  I unfortunately didn't get as much done this weekend as I normally like to so I'm going into the week feeling a little overwhelmed and frazzled.

Now on to the good things.  We have been doing really well sticking to our meal plan and not eating out.  We did skip a dinner last week and we just had pasta for dinner.  This week I'm building in a leftovers day because we have a lot of food made in the fridge and our Monday is jam packed.  The rest of the week I tried to have simple meals that are still filling and healthy.  I loved making the Roast Chicken in the instant pot and am looking forward to using it again this week.  I'll be making hard boiled eggs in it again and also cooking the quinoa in it for my lunches this week.  And finally I'll be making soup in it and may see if I can roast the pork loin in it for the salad later this week.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday - Chicken Tortilla Bake - carryover from last week
Monday - Leftovers
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!  
Wednesday - Greek Chicken Drumsticks with a Side Salad
Thursday - Broccoli Cheddar Soup in the instant pot with a Side Salad
Friday - Southwestern Tilapia with Brussels Sprouts Bake
Saturday - Island Pork Tenderloin Salad

Water Flavor - Orange again.  I'm thankful to have so many & that I love the taste of it, but I may switch it up next week for a change.

Overnight Oats - I am using my normal recipe and just adding some different flavors this week.  I blended up some blackberries for one batch and used pina colada flavored yogurt for the other batch.  I'm still trying to figure out how much I need each week with Adrian also eating them.  We ran out last week and I had to scramble to make more for the end of the week.  Hopefully this week I'll be more on top of it!

Use It Up - I used up the rest of the chicken from last week in the chicken tortilla bake.  I ended up with a lot of lettuce so we're using that up in the salads this week.  We have all of the meat that we're using this week in the deep freeze so it's a light shopping week for me.  I'm also using up the free flavored yogurts that I have got recently in our overnight oats.

Lunches - I'm eating up a lot of the leftovers that we have to start the week, but later in the week I will make this Mexican Quinoa Salad to have for the weekend as well.  We have a busy weekend and there may be some eating on the go so I want to be prepared.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 1/12 - 1/18)

Friday (1/12) We got up and headed out to work and school ready for a full day but knowing there was a good chance that we would get an early dismissal because of the winter storm that was headed our way.  I was subbing in the morning again so I helped get AJ and Adrian out and then I started getting myself ready.  We didn't do as good as Wednesday but we were still on time to school and all went into the class that I was subbing in.  The kids were all excited about the possible snow but I managed to wrangle them and have a productive hour while their teacher was at a meeting.  When I was done, we got the call that we'd be dismissing early so the school was crazy busy.  I ran around helping anyone I could until I had to leave an noon.  I took Daniel and Zak with me and we went to pick up AJ.

When we were all in the car, we decided to make a quick stop at Target because we have two birthday parties this weekend.  We got gifts for our friends and a mouse for the boys new laptop and headed home for the day.  Adrian was also sent home early so he could beat the ice.  I was very happy when we were all home safe and under one roof!  We spent the rest of the night just relaxing, staying warm and watching the storm progress.  We got lots of rain, ice, snow and a ton of wind all night.  After we got the boys to bed, Adrian and I opened a bottle of Cooper's Hawk Sangria and watched the last two episodes of "This is Us."  Lots of tears.  Lots of laughs.  Such a great show!!

Saturday (1/13) We woke up this morning to assess the damage from the storm.  We got a few inches of snow and some ice mixed in with it.  I had to go to work to teach a Zumba class at the Y so I got ready for that.  The roads were OK, not great but I did OK driving.  I had a great time with a small but mighty class.  The roads back home were slightly better, until I got into my neighborhood and tried to get back into my garage.  I got stuck on my way back into the garage.  Adrian moved his car and then we were able to get my car into the garage again.

The afternoon passed quickly with Adrian dealing with the snow outside and me trying to get stuff inside done.  AJ had his buddy David come over to play and I took Zak to his friend Hailey's birthday party.  We all had a good day, it was a nice mix of relaxing and being productive.  Adrian and I were able to watch most of the NFL playoff games today.  We were happy to see the Eagles win and even more happy to see a great game.  We also watched the Patriots win, although we weren't as happy about that.  I actually went to bed after the 3rd quarter when it seemed the game was pretty much over.
Sunday (1/14) After a rough night of sleep for Adrian and I (thanks Zak!), the day started too early for us.  But we got up and moving and headed to first service at church.  We heard a great message about second chances and the boys learned how to pray in their classes.  Great way to start our week!  We got home and the boys played while the adults got a few things done before our busy afternoon.  After lunch, we all got ready to head to the Y.  I took a new cycling class and then met everyone else in the pool because the boys started swimming lessons today.  Everyone did great, especially since we took the last session off.

When Daniel was done swimming, he left with Adrian for a classmate's birthday party.  They had a blast eating and playing at Dave and Busters!  They played for well over an hour after the party was over.  Daniel wants to go back there as a family one day.  While they were there, I finished up lessons with the other two and then came home to watch the end of the Steelers/Jaguars game.  I was shocked that the Jags pulled off the win and again am happy for such a great game.  After the game, I got the boys ready to head to their first night of Martial Arts.  We are trying out a free class at a church near us and AJ and Zak loved it!  AJ has been asking for a few months to take a class and we finally figured out how to make this work.  It's a great intro class and if they continue to like it, we'll look into moving someplace else eventually.  Daniel will join them in class next week.

When we all finally got home, we had meatball subs together for dinner and watched the end of the Vikings/Saints game.  Again it was a fantastic game with a super exciting finish!  I think it would be cool for the Vikings to have a home game for the Superbowl.  I also don't mind the Eagles or Jaguars going to the Superbowl.  I'm pretty much just cheering against the Patriots, LOL.  After the game, it was time to get the boys to bed.  We finished up a few things around the house and then watched a few comedies before heading to bed too.  It was a jam packed Sunday!

Monday (1/15) Since it's Martin Luther King Day, we all got to sleep in a little bit and it felt glorious!  Unfortunately, we woke up to more snow and Daniel having an upset stomach.  We are hoping with a day of rest he will be OK to go to school tomorrow.  I had to teach my Silver Sneakers class this morning so I got ready to head there a little early, just in case the roads were not great.  I had a small class, but we got in a great workout!  I came home to find a soaking went Zachary because he and Adrian played "Toilet Trouble" while I was gone.  He had a blast playing, he loves getting wet!
After lunch, AJ had a med check appointment and thankfully Adrian agreed to take him.  Everything looked good and we're keeping AJ on the same meds he's been on.  When they got home, we did a few things around the house and then I headed out for class two at the Y for the day.  The roads were much worse on this trip but again I had a great class and we had a ton of fun dancing together.  I got home safely and we were pretty tired so we decided to have leftovers for dinner.  We had a relaxing night watching TV and anticipating the phone call that school will either be delayed or closed tomorrow...again.
Tuesday (1/16) We got the call last night that the boys would have a two hour delay and then this morning they called to change it to closed for the day.  The boys were thrilled again to have a snow day.  Adrian decided to work from home after a rough night of sleep and a super messy looking commute.  He stayed home with the boys while I went to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  When I got home, I made everyone bundle up and head outside to shovel the driveway and sidewalk.  My goodness do we have a long sidewalk!
After we warmed up and had lunch, AJ got to work on some homework his teacher emailed while Zak and Daniel played together and I did a few things around the house.  I cooked an early dinner because Adrian had basketball practice and AJ had Cub Scouts tonight.  I did a full chicken in my Instant Pot and it was delicious!!  Adrian ate quickly and headed to practice while I fed the boys.  Then he came and picked up AJ so they could go and cut out his Pinewood Derby car.  When everyone got home, we watched some TV and headed to bed.  We didn't get a call so I'm really hoping everyone is in school all day tomorrow!

Wednesday (1/17) Everyone went to school all day today!!  I couldn't be happier.  Well I could be if I didn't have a stupid head cold.  Anyway, we got everyone up and out to work and school on time and then I ran to the grocery store to do our shopping for the week.  When I was done, I headed in to Zak's class to volunteer, but his teacher didn't have anything since they have been off their schedule too.  So I came home and got to work on my large to do list.  One of the main things I did was some food prep.  I made Ranch dressing, eggplant salad, bone broth, breadcrumbs and set up our dinner.  I also got my playlist together for a new class I'm teaching this Friday.

The day flew by and before I knew it, AJ was home and it was almost time to pick up the other boys and head to the Y for my Zumba class.  Everyone had a great day back to school and were especially excited that it was pizza day!  I made it thru my Zumba class although it was rough because of my cold.  We came home and had dinner and I finished cleaning up the mess I made in the kitchen during the day.  Adrian headed to his weekly Bible study while I hung out with the boys at home.  We watched some TV and headed to bed, it was a tiring day for all!

Thursday (1/18) Everyone got up and out on time again today.  Adrian had a doctor's appointment for his annual physical so he was home a little longer than usual in the morning which was nice.  When I got everyone off to school, I headed to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  We had a fun time and got a great workout!  Then I headed to the library to pick up our movie for tomorrow night's movie night before heading home for a quick lunch.  In the afternoon, I was in the boys' school subbing for a half day.  When Daniel came to my class room at the end of the day, he was super excited to show me his award from his assembly.  He made the all A honor roll again this quarter!!  We are very proud of him and how hard he is working in third grade.
After we all got home from school, we had a relaxing afternoon of hanging out and playing.  Unfortunately AJ forgot that he had homework so that made for a stressful night when he remembered and we tried to finish it up before bedtime.  He did most of his reading and agreed to get up early tomorrow to finish it and his response paper in the morning before school.  After we got the kids to bed, Adrian and I enjoyed some popcorn and TV before turning in for the night too.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Jan 14 - Jan 20)

It's the start of another week and I feel like so far we've been killing it with our healthy eating goals.  I've been tracking my food just about every day and eating really well.  I feel great and I've been full most of the time, unlike the past year few months when I haven't been eating well.  We did have one day last week that we didn't follow our plan but we had pasta and salads ready to go so we didn't eat out or mess up our diet plans.

A few words about my instant pot for those who are still on the fence about spending the money to buy one...just do it!  I didn't use it much last week but just making hard boiled eggs in it was worth it.  I made half a dozen and they are cooked perfect!  They peel super easy and are perfectly yellow inside.  I'll be making more this week since I'm almost out and I can't wait to do it.  I'm also going to try to roast a full chicken in it on Monday.  This is one of the reasons I got the bigger pot so I'm excited to see how it goes.  I'll report back next week!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday - Meatball Subs for the boys & Meatballs with Zoodles for the adults
Monday - Roast Chicken in the instant pot with roasted potatoes & broccoli
Tuesday - Sausage, Green Bean & Potatoes
Wednesday - Chicken Tortilla Bake
Thursday - Southwestern Quinoa Skillet - carry over from last week
Friday - Shrimp Fried Rice and Wontons
Saturday - We're having dinner with my brother & his family.  Not sure if we're hosting or them so I'll figure something out if we are hosting.

Water Flavor - Mixed Citrus.  I have half a lemon and half a lime left from recipes last week.  These plus some orange will fill my infuser for the week.

Overnight Oats - Adrian and started taking the oats again so I'll need to make more each week.  I'm trying to use up things that I have in the pantry for these each week.  This week I used my normal recipe for one batch of plain oats that I will add blueberries to each morning.  The other batch I added cocoa and peanut butter chips to.  I will see how quickly we eat those two and see if I need to make another batch this week or not.  If I do, I'll do a peanut butter blackberry combination.

Use it Up - I am using up some potatoes that I still have from the holidays on Monday and Tuesday.  I am also using up some corn tortillas that we don't like in the casserole on Wednesday.  And I used up an open bag of peanut butter chips in our overnight oats this week.  I'm also eating a half of grapefruit each day to use up some of those before they go bad.

Lunches - I want to try to spice up my lunches since most days I have salad.  Occasionally I have leftovers from dinners, but I try to leave those for Adrian for his lunches.  I'm going to make one meal each week that is specifically for me for lunch, usually using things that Adrian doesn't like.  This week I bought an eggplant because it looked so good and some avocados because they were a great price.  I'm going to roast the eggplant with chick peas, tomatoes and spices.  Then I'll toss it with balsamic vinaigrette and fresh mozzarella.  When I eat it, I'll add fresh avocado.  This is one of my favorite ways to have eggplant, and it's great for on the go which I will be most of the week for lunch!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 1/5 - 1/11)

Friday (1/5) Our day started super early when Zak woke up around 5am.  Adrian played with him until he had to leave for work and then I finally got up with him.  We had a lazy morning of TV, video games and a few chores for me.  After a delicious lunch of a salad for me and homemade instant pot mac and cheese for the boys, we decided to brave the cold and head to the video game store to try to sell some old video games that we don't want anymore.  We had just enough for the boys to get a brand new game for their Switch, Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle, that they have been wanting since Christmas.  They came home and played it for most of the rest of the afternoon.
Adrian ended up working very late tonight but thankfully made it home for a late dinner and family movie night.  We finally watched Daniel's pick from a few weeks ago - the original Transformers movie.  It started a little slow and then became a really great movie.  We all enjoyed it!  Well, four of us enjoyed it and Zak passed out since he was up at the crack of dawn.  After the movie, we got the boys to bed and then Adrian and I watched a few DVR shows and called it a night too.  Pretty great last day of winter break for us.
Saturday (1/6) Started early again today when Zak climbed into bed with me around 5am.  Thankfully Adrian was ready to get up, but I never really fell back asleep.  I got up and got ready to head to the Y for the Les Mills launch party they were having.  I had a great time working out with a great group of instructors but I'm sore all over!  I came home just in time for Adrian to leave for basketball practice.  He is volunteering again for our church's league and since none of our boys are playing, he's helping another dad coach K-2 grade girls.  He's excited for the change and the challenge!

After practice, we tried to work around the house while also playing with the boys.  Around dinner time, Adrian ran out to Pizza Hut with Daniel since he earned a free pizza for the book it program last month.  All of the boys enjoyed pizza while Adrian and I had shrimp tacos.  We watched most of the Chiefs vs Titans playoff game and were upset that the Chiefs lost.  And after we put the boys to bed we watched the end of the Rams vs Falcons game.  I'm glad both games were interesting for the most part.  And since none of my favorite teams are in the playoffs, I'm just hoping for good football.
Sunday (1/7) Today did not go at all as planned.  We had a bunch of things change as the day went on and got a few cases of the "idontwannas" but we still had a pretty great day.  We really focused and got just about everything on our to do list done.  We took down all of our indoor Christmas decorations, cleaned and purged the play room and I cooked up a storm.  We did a lot of prep to be ready for the busy week ahead - back to our schedule, yay!  We finished up the night by watching the beginning of the Golden Globe awards.
Monday (1/8) We got the call early this morning that school was closed for the day.  Overnight we got a few inches of snow and a bunch of ice and freezing rain.  The roads we horrible this morning so while I really want the kids to get back to school, I know the right call was made.  Adrian decided to work from home rather than fight the traffic to get in to his office.  The boys spent the whole day playing video games and playing with Beyblades and loving the fact that they got another day off!  I had to go out to teach my new Silver Sneakers class at the Y but thankfully it was late enough that the roads were OK.  While I was already out, I ran to Meijer to get a few things we really needed.  Then I came home for a bit then headed back to the Y to teach my Zumba class.  I came home to a pasta dinner cooked by Adrian and then helped him and AJ get out the door to a Boy Scout troop visit.  AJ crosses over in a few weeks so we need to figure out where he'll continue on his Scout journey.  We finished the night watching the College Football Championship game.  I made it until the 4th quarter then headed to bed since I wasn't that interested in the game and it wasn't very close.  I heard it turned out to be a pretty great game, but I never would have made the end.

Tuesday (1/9) We were finally back to school and our regular schedule today!  We were a little rusty, but we got everyone up and out to school and work on time this morning.  When I got everyone dropped off, I headed to teach my Silver Sneakers classes and run some of the long list of errands that I have since I've had the boys home for over two full weeks.  I did as much as I could before heading home to get everyone from school and get ready for our evening.  Adrian got stuck at work and then had to go coach basketball so he went straight to the church.  The boys and I had taco Tuesday and then AJ and I got ready to head to his last Cub Scout meeting as an arrow of light.  He finished all of his requirements and will be crossing over to Boy Scouts in a few weeks.  When we got home, we got the boys to bed, watched a little TV and headed to bed ourselves.  It was a tiring day getting back to our schedule!

Wednesday (1/10) Another day of normal schedule!  And it was my first day of subbing in the morning at the boys' school.  Adrian and I got AJ out to school and then he headed to work and I got everyone else ready for school.  It was pretty smooth getting to school about 20 minutes earlier than we usually do, of course we were helped by the fact that it's pizza day so I didn't have to pack any lunches.  The boys hung out with me while I got my sub plans and then they headed to class when my students arrived for the day.  I had a great morning in this class and was happy that the teacher asked me back again for another day she's out.  When I finished up in her class, I headed to Zak's class to volunteer for about an hour before they headed to lunch.

After I finished up in school, I came home to have lunch, make dinner and get ready for my Zumba class this afternoon.  It was a beautiful day and was about 50 degrees at pick up time so I walked up to get Daniel and Zak.  We loved being outside and able to walk home again!  When we got home, we quickly packed up and headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  After an awesome class, we came home for dinner and some relaxing after a busy day.  Adrian got stuck at work again and went straight to Bible study.  I got to kids to bed and when he got home, we watched a few comedies and headed to bed ourselves.
Thursday (1/11) Another day of normal schedules and beautiful temperatures!  Everyone got to work and school on time and I headed to my Silver Sneakers classes.  I had packed up my lunch and some snacks because I still had a pretty long list of errands, including my monthly trip to Costco, so I started on those right after class.  While I was in the Easton area, I decided to prep for the upcoming snow storm and pick up our four bottles of wine from Cooper's Hawk Winery.  I like to be prepared!  I finished everything on my list and got home about 10 minutes before AJ's bus dropped him off.  He helped me finish unloading the car and then I ran up to pick up Daniel and Zak.

When I got home there was a break in the rain, so I ran outside and pulled in all of our Christmas decorations that were on our front lawn.  I threw them in the garage to dry out so we can store them this weekend.  After that I was exhausted, so I rested for a few minutes before starting on our dinner.  Adrian came home fairly early so he ran out and pulled down the lights off the house so our house is officially undecorated!  After dinner, I had to work at the church so I headed up there where I had a great time chit-chatting with friends and getting a few things done while making sure everyone was following the rules as well.  I got home just in time for the boys' bedtime and some TV and snacks with Adrian before passing out after an extremely busy day!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Jan 7 - Jan 13)

Last week our menu plan pretty much kicked butt!  We loved everything that we made.  I made everything on the plan.  We used up a lot of things that we had in the fridges that needed to be used up.  I stayed under my calorie goal every day except for New Year's Day which was my plan.  It was pretty much the perfect week.  Unfortunately this week all of our activities start back up and we will be busy again.  I'm hoping to keep up with my cooking still, but also have everything ready for either pasta or sandwiches if we need a quick meal one night.
Shrimp Tacos
I used my new instant pot just about everyday and everything turned out amazing.  We agreed that the ribs were the best we've ever made.  The boys loved my second try at mac & cheese and are already asking for me to make it again.  This week I backed off a little, mostly because there were a bunch of veggies I need to use up and none of them sounded good in the instant pot.  I will be doing my first batch of hard boiled eggs in it this week.  And I'll be making chili on Sunday because we need something quick and warm and we love chili!  And there is a good chance I will make the mac & cheese again for the boys.
Ribs & mac & cheese in instant pot
One quick note, you may have noticed I switched the way I set up my week.  I was doing Mon-Sun and that made sense for a while.  But now we have a super busy Sunday schedule so most weeks I will be doing my menu planning on Saturdays.  So I'm going to switch this to reflect Sun-Sat.  I'm also trying to eat a larger variety so this helps me ensure that I'm getting at least one day of each: chicken, beef, pork, seafood/fish and vegetarian.  The other two days are wild card for whatever we feel like or whatever I have on hand.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday - Chili
Monday - Pork Vegetable Soup with Salads
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday - Spicy Chicken Fried Rice (cauliflower for rice) with Baked Wontons
Thursday - Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon with Asian Salad
Friday - Hummus Roasted Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Saturday - Southwestern Quinoa Skillet

Water Flavor - Orange.  I still have a lot more than I thought I did of these oranges so this will be my flavor for a while.

Overnight Oats - I am basically using my normal recipe for the base and adding the flavors that I want.  This week I did peanut butter with chocolate chips, chocolate with peanut butter chips, blueberry lavender (using a flavored yogurt I got for free) and apple pie (with applesauce & cinnamon).

Use It Up - I went thru my garage fridge and found a few veggies that need to be used which will go into the soup on Monday.  We also still have a lot of hummus so I'm trying to find creative ways to use that up.  And finally we have some sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving in the garage that I want to use up.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 12/29 - 1/4)

Friday (12/29) Adrian had the day off and we all slept in a little this morning after a rough night of sleep thanks to Zak.  We had a lazy start to our day and then I took AJ and Daniel out to see "Coco."  Again the show we wanted to see was sold out, so we bought tickets for the next show and headed home to have lunch and do a few things before heading back to the theater for our show.  We all really enjoyed the movie...and the dream loungers.  The movie was way better than I thought it would be, great story, beautiful animation and it made me both laugh and cry.
While we were at the movie, Adrian took Zak downtown to see the train display at the library.  Zak loved seeing it and wants to go back again with everyone if we have time.  After we all got home, we made homemade pizza for dinner and then got ready to watch OSU in the Cotton Bowl.  We let the boys stay up until halftime, although they were bored a few minutes into the game.  Adrian of course watched the whole game, but I went to bed around midnight, somewhere in the 4th quarter.  I'm glad OSU won but I do wish it was a better game.

Saturday (12/30) Another late start to our day since we were all up late last night.  We slept in and then lounged around watching TV and playing video games until lunch time.  We played a fun game of Monopoly Gamer together as a family (I kicked everyone's butt!) and then Zak begged to go outside to play in the snow.  Adrian took him out while the rest of us stayed warm inside. 
Since he was already cold, Adrian decided to head out and pick up dinner.  He got Chipotle for himself and Bibibop for me.  After dinner, we played King Domino while the boys played video games.  Then we cleaned up and watched "Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!"  It's not one of my favorites, but the boys seemed to like it.  After we got them to bed, we finished up with some more DVR shows.  We are trying to catch up on "This is Us" before it comes back in two weeks.  We have three episodes left to watch, such a good show!

Sunday (12/31) We slept in a little today in hopes of making it until midnight tonight.  We got ready and headed to the 11am church service, the only one our church had this morning.  Adrian went to service while I served in childcare.  We all came home and had a quick lunch and then Adrian and I settled in to watch our final football games of the season.  The Jets & Cowboys are both eliminated but we still wanted to watch them.  Actually we mostly watched the RedZone channel so we could watch all of the games.  The 4:00 games were way more interesting and we somehow were able to watch RedZone for all of those as well.  It was a fun day of football for us!

After all of that excitement, we called the boys down from upstairs.  They had been playing on the Switch, tablets and watching TV in our room up there.  We all had junk food for dinner and then played a board game as a family.  We hung out and watched some TV and played a bit and waited until midnight.  I have realized this is not one of my favorite holidays, just sitting around trying to stay up with overtired children to kiss my husband and then go to bed.  I'd rather be sleeping!  We all made it to midnight and then we put the kids to bed and followed soon after.
Monday (1/1) Happy New Year!!  While 2017 wasn't exactly a bad year, it wasn't one of my favorite years either.  I'm hoping for a "normal" even year this year, filled with health and happiness for myself and my loved ones.  We started our new year by all sleeping in this morning since we all stayed up past midnight last night.  Once everyone was up and moving, Adrian and I did a few things around the house while the boys played video games.  Then in the early afternoon, Adrian took AJ and Daniel to see the new Star Wars movie.  They all said it was awesome & can't wait to see it again at home with me.

While they were at the movie, Zak and I played (and lost) a few games of Forbidden Island.  He also played some video games while I got some work done around the house.  I have been lazy for the past week and today I finally kicked my butt into gear.  When everyone got home, we hung out for the rest of the day, working around the house, playing video games & board games, eating and enjoying what feels like our last day of break.  The boys are still off from school all week but Adrian and I go back to our normal schedule tomorrow.  We finished the night with the college football playoff games and one more episode of "This is Us" from our DVR.  Back to (some of) our routine tomorrow!

Tuesday (1/2) We were somewhat back to our regular schedule today, minus the boys having school.  They still have this week off for winter break but we are trying to get back to a somewhat normal schedule.  We got up and headed out to my Silver Sneakers classes.  It was freezing out but we survived!  We also ran a few errands that I had to do before next week.  When we were done we came home and warmed  up for a while before heading out at night to our friends' house for dinner.  We enjoyed a delicious meal and the adults had a great conversation while the kids played together.  It was a really fun family night out!  We came home and it was pretty much time to get the kids to bed.  We watched one show from out DVR and headed to bed too.  It was exhausting getting back to our routine!

Wednesday (1/3) We had to get up and moving again because my friend had asked me to sub her Zumba class this morning.  We headed to the gym and I had a great time dancing with and reconnecting with a few old friends.  Then we came home and did a few things around the house, including cooking dinner, before heading out to the YMCA for my regular Zumba class.  Adrian met us there so he could take the boys home because I had a training at the Y later that night and didn't want to waste time driving back and forth.  I had planned to be productive in my hour off but instead spent most of that time chatting with friends who were also at the Y.  I finished my mandatory emergency preparedness training and headed home to help with bedtime and then watch a few DVR shows.
Thursday (1/4) Another morning of having to get up and moving, I'm considering this good practice for the boys for next week.  We headed to my Silver Sneakers classes which were smaller than usual I'm sure because of the sub-zero temperatures.  We had great classes and then I headed home with the boys to get ready for our afternoon play date.  We had our friends Michael and Daniel over to play which was fun, if a little rowdy with 5 boys who have been mostly cooped up for the past two weeks.  The boys were happy to have friends over to play with their new toys!  After they left, I got ready for the surf and turf event at the Y.  I led a few song of land Zumba (turf) and had fun dancing with my friends who led the other songs.  Then we jumped in the pool for some Aqua Zumba (surf) which was a ton of fun.  I was exhausted when it was all done and drove home (slowly) thru beautiful snow flurries.  I got home just in time to kiss the boys goodnight and settle in with a snack and a few DVR shows.  I was ready for a great night of sleep for sure!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Keeping Up With...Fitness Goals (Nov/Dec Recap)

I've already shared my goals for 2018 but I wanted to do a quick recap of where I ended with my family and fitness goals from the past two months.  I decided to start with the family goals because I did pretty good and am happy with where we finished up the year, both me personally and as a family.  As for my fitness goals, I didn't make much progress.  I knew the months would be crazy with holidays, travel, stress, etc so I set the bar pretty low.  And I still didn't even make those goals.  It's disheartening but I'm not letting it stop me.  I'm looking forward to 2018 and I've got a good start and a strong support system so I'm ready to kick butt this year!
So here's how the last two months of the year went and a few thoughts on the whole year:
1.  Maintain my current weight (0 lbs gained in two months) - I actually gained 5 lbs over the two months.  All things considered it's not nearly as bad as it could have been.  I thought the number would be much higher when I weighed in yesterday for a baseline for this year.  I ended the year gaining about 20 lbs which is obviously not what I wanted.  I just could never get my butt in gear to eat right and it showed on the scale big time.  I'm not looking back anymore after this post so that number will only go down from here!
2.  Do my measurements and maintain where I started this year (0 inches in 12 months) - I didn't do my measurements but considering the weight gain and the fact that a huge chunk of my clothes no longer fit I'm guessing I gained some inches.  This goal was actually very stressful for me as I hate trying to do my measurements.  I always encourage my students to do them when the scale isn't moving and I know it's another indication of how I'm doing, but it stresses me out.  I'm tabling this for right now and judging solely on the scale and how my clothes fit.  If I hit a plateau this year, I may do measurements so I can see how my body is changing.
3.  Learn 4 songs to add to my Zumba classes (4 songs in 2 months) - I learned and added three songs in the two months:  "Stayin' Alive," "Wobble," and "I Wanna Dance."  I also relearned a few of my old choreos for the student choices in December.  I didn't teach a lot in the two months and was so busy with other things that I didn't stress out about new music.  Honestly I think I did a pretty good job this year of changing up my classes each week and keeping my students happy.  I am signed up for two jams already in 2018 so that will ensure more new choreo in Jan and Feb for my classes.
4.  Exercise as often as possible - I managed to exercise 24 days in the two months, which is pathetic since it's not even half of the days.  But 24 days is more than 0 days and I know being as active as I was helped keep the number down somewhat.  My goal is to exercise that many days in Jan (at least!) so I have no doubt I'll be kicking butt on this goal this year!
5.  Use MyFitnessPal to track my meals for 30 days of the two months - I tracked for 6 days.  Awful!  I have no excuses, I was honestly just lazy.  I didn't feel like tracking.  I'm back at it this year and I know I will do better this year with it.  I've already tracked for 2 days in Jan, that's 1/3 of what I did the past three months!  I still love MFP although I have been considering a jump to Weight Watchers for a change.  Right now we can't afford it but if our finances change in the way we are hoping they will it may be an option for me in a few months.
6.  Continue to use essential oils in my water everyday and diffuse them as well to boost the whole family's immunity, especially before Disney - I actually did this every day over the past two months!  I used the oils in my water and diffused them most days.  I'm not sure if it helped boost our immunity, we all got a stomach virus the week before Disney.  But at least we only got that virus over the past 2 months when there is a ton of crud going around!  And it was a 24 hour thing that we all bounced back from very quickly so I'm assuming that was also due to the increased immunity.

So that's a wrap on my 2017!  I'm so excited for 2018, I really think this is going to be a great year for me fitness wise.  I haven't been this excited about my own health and fitness journey in a long time.  Maybe I needed to have the few steps back this past year to take these huge leaps forward this year. 
Here's to a great 2018!!