Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 1/21 - 1/27)

So this week, not so great.  As I suspected last week, this weekend really did me in.  I'm not sure what happened on Friday, I had a bunch of plans to do a few 10-15 minute workouts throughout the day.  But I just didn't feel like it.  I decided to listen to my body & take a rest day (that's the one good decision I made).  Then I started eating. All. The. Things.  I don't know where that came from, but it happens.  I got back on track on Saturday (YAY!) and then Sunday we were all over the city so eating was pretty bad.

All things considered it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  I am proud that I stuck to my meal plan and made healthy dinners each night.  And I didn't throw away the whole weekend, as I've done SO many times in the past, since I got back on track on Saturday.  Finally, I do think my body needed the rest day on Friday, I'm glad I listened and took it.

Here's the quick rundown of my week:
Wednesday, 1/21 - Taught 2 Zumba classes
Thursday, 1/22 - Taught 2 Zumba classes and did a 10 minute arm workout from YouTube
Friday, 1/23 - REST!
Saturday, 1/24 - Practices Zumba for 10 minutes, Did a 10 minute kick boxing DVD
Sunday, 1/25 - Walked around downtown with the family for over 4 hours
Monday, 1/26 - Taught 1 Zumba class and did a 10 minute ab workout from YouTube
Tuesday, 1/27 - Taught 1 Zumba class and did 15 minutes of Total Body Conditioning Class

And a quick update on my weekly goals:
1. Continue teaching at least 6 Zumba classes each week.  I taught 6 again this week, had to cancel Mon morning for bad weather
 2.  Attend at least 2 classes other than mine each week.  Fail this week.  I didn't get to any other classes other than the first circuit of TBC on Tuesday.
3.  Do at least 10 minutes of strength training at home 5 days each week.  Fail this week.  Only did 4 days.  Not horrible but I should have done something on Friday.
4.  Do at least 60 minutes of yoga or pilates each week.  Fail again.  I had to miss PiYo since I didn't have a car on Fri.  I planned to do videos but it didn't happen.
5.  Continue doing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans monthly calendar.  I'm still up to date on the squat and pushup challenge they are hosting this month.  Feeling it now!!
6.  Make the changes in the year long challenge called A Year of Small Changes.  Last week our challenge was to get active.  I think I did pretty good with this one, even Friday I did a ton of cleaning and went up and down the stairs more times than I had to.  I am continuing to work on my sleep from 2 weeks ago.  The past week has been really good.  I'm going to bed by 11:00pm every night & getting up between 6:00 and 6:30.  Very proud of the progress I'm making in this area.  This week the challenge is to track my food.  I do this pretty much every day so not one I need to work on.

Finally, my weigh in:
1/21 - 218
1/28 - 218
Change for the week - maintain
Change for the year - down 7 lbs of the 52 lbs I'm trying to lose

I will take it!  I didn't do great and the scale didn't move.  I am hoping this doesn't become a trend but Feb is a very hard month for me.  This weekend I have a party on Sat then Superbowl on Sun.  Then the next two weekends we celebrate Zak's, Daniel's and Isabelle's birthdays.  That's a lot of cake!! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Crowded Sunday!)

We had lots of changes to our schedule this weekend because of Adrian having to work overtime and Zak coming down with a cold.  I missed all of my YMCA training that I was supposed to do and Zak missed swimming lessons on Saturday.  We had a very busy day planned on Sunday and when we went to bed Saturday night we honestly weren't sure if any of it would happen.

Everyone got a good night's sleep and woke up seeming well on Sunday so we decided to go ahead with our plan and got ready to head out for the day.  Our first stop was the NHL All Star Fan Fair for some hockey fun.  We got there and were immediately all overwhelmed with all the stuff to do, loud music and people that were there.  We figured we would just start on one end and work our way around the whole event.

The boys had a lot of fun shooting pucks at goals, playing Foosball hockey, trying on professional uniforms and playing some street hockey.  We also got to see the Stanley Cup (although we didn't wait in the gigantic line to go up and touch it).  And we saw a bunch of mascots including the Geico gecko, the Dallas Stars mascot, the Jersey Devil and the NHL Angry Bird.  We also ate a delicious lunch of hot dogs and pizza, although Daniel was upset there was no funnel cake at this "fair."
Seeing the Weiner-Mobile for the first time
Daniel enjoying his giant hot dog
Dad helping Zak against AJ in a skill drill
AJ & the Dallas Stars mascot
Hockey Angry Bird! 
There were a lot of other stations that we didn't do because it was very crowded and the lines were very long.  The patience of our children would not have lasted in any of those lines.  We made the best of what we could do and had a very good time.  I do wish we could have done a few more things.  We were there for about 4 hours and everyone was ready to leave when we headed out.
After the NHL crowd Fan Fair, we headed to the Columbus Museum of Art to see their Lego exhibit.  Once again we were greeted with a giant crowd!  I was shocked at how many people were there.  I knew it was free admission on Sundays, but this was way more people than I expected.  I talked to one of the docents and she said between the weather and the Lego exhibit closing the past two Sundays they had record breaking crowds.  Good for the museum, not so great for our already tired & crowd weary family.

We decided to stick it out and waited about 45 minutes in line to see the Legos.  There was an exhibit along the way so Adrian took the boys in there for a while while I waited.  They also had about half the wait in a theater so you could watch Lego shorts while you waited in line.  Some of them were pretty cool, and the boys loved them.  We really enjoyed seeing the giant Lego creation the artists made, especially the familiar sights from downtown Columbus.

After we finished there, Daniel wanted to see the rest of the art.  That included us running (literally!) through the other exhibits.  Adrian and I tried to look at some of the paintings and sculptures and show them to the boys, but they were not interested.  We'll try again when they are a little older.

The day really wore us out!  Zak fell asleep on the car ride home and we all went to bed early Sunday night.  The boys got an extra long weekend since today is a snow day.  They were able to sleep in and I didn't see them until almost 9:00 this morning.  Everyone seems to be feeling better so we're ready to tackle our week!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 1/26 - 2/1)

We have a super busy day on tap so I'm just stopping by quickly to share my menu for the week.  Last week was another great week food wise!  We loved all of the recipes, I remembered to plan sides and we used all of our veggies that we bought.  And we didn't eat out at all...even though we were tempted.  I'm on a roll this year!!

This week includes Super Bowl Sunday.  I haven't had a minute to talk to Adrian about what he wants to do that night.  I don't think we're doing anything, AJ has a hockey game in the morning and then we will probably record the game and watch it when we can that night.  It's hard to DVR it because we watch both the game & the commercials.  I planned a "fun" meal for that night, but we may push that to next week & do frozen apps or pizza or something.  We'll see how the week goes.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Meatball Sub Casserole with spinach salads
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday - Cauliflower Lasagna with Caesar salads
Thursday - Shrimp Pesto Zoodles with cheddar bisquits
Friday - Sweet Potato & Sausage Hash with Loaded Mashed Cauliflower
Saturday - Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
Sunday - Pizza Mac & Cheese and Spicy Chicken Meatballs

Water Infuser Flavor - Strawberry Kiwi

And finally I'm going to try this Bangin' Good Chicken Salad for lunch one day in an effort to continue to spice up my lunches.  I was thinking I would do this Tuesday, but with snow predicted here over night we may be home all day tomorrow so I'll make it then and have leftovers for during the week.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  We're off to the NHL All Star Fan Fair downtown & possibly the Lego display at the Columbus Art Museum.  Happy Sunday!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 1/14 - 1/20)

Another pretty good week in the books!  The highlight for me was going to the opening of a new studio in town, Brickhouse Cardio Club.  I was hired on as a sub there a few weeks ago and am excited to be a part of the team.  The grand opening was Saturday and it was basically a 4 hour workout class.  I took the whole Zumba class, including teaching one of my songs (and killing it!!), a 30 minute demo of Ripped and a 30 minute demo of Booty Barre.  For me, the best part was seeing some amazing instructors and learning so much from watching them.  It was also great in between classes to eat delicious food chat with them all.

Here's the quick rundown of my week:
Wednesday, 1/14 - Taught 2 Zumba classes and did 40 minutes of core & flexibility class
Thursday, 1/15 - Taught 2 Zumba classes
Friday, 1/16 - Took a 60 minute Zumba toning class and walked for school pick up
Saturday, 1/17 - Brickhouse Grand Opening - one hour of Zumba, 30 minutes of Ripped, 30 minutes of Booty Barre
Sunday, 1/18 - REST!!
Monday, 1/19 - Taught 2 Zumba classes and did 15 minutes of Plyometrics class
Tuesday, 1/20 - Practiced Zumba for 10 minutes, rode the bike for 15 minutes and ice skated for 30 minutes with Zak

And a quick update on my weekly goals:
1. Continue teaching at least 6 Zumba classes each week.  I taught 6 this week, no one showed up for my Tues am class, boo!
 2.  Attend at least 2 classes other than mine each week.  I took 1 full class this week, Zumba Toning.  And I did 40 minutes of core & flexibility plus the two 30 minute demos so I'm calling this done.
3.  Do at least 10 minutes of strength training at home 5 days each week.  Done!  I'm considering ice skating strength training, it's all isometrics for me.
4.  Do at least 60 minutes of yoga or pilates each week.  I missed this one, only got 40 of the 60 in flexibility class.  I had planned on taking 30 minutes of yoga at the Brickhouse opening, but they got behind schedule and I had to leave.  I should have done a video. 
5.  Continue doing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans monthly calendar.  I'm up to date on the squat and pushup challenge they are hosting this month. 
6.  Make the changes in the year long challenge called A Year of Small Changes.  Last week our challenge was to sleep 7-8 hours every night.  This did not go well, but it wasn't all my fault.  Zak has been up almost every night the past week for an hour or so.  I have no idea what's going on with him.  The good news is that I'm in bed for 7-8 hours and if he slept all night, I would hit the goal.  I'm going to continue to work on this one.  This week's challenge is to be active.  I think I have this one down.

I'm a little concerned with this upcoming weekend.  I have no car on Friday so I can't get to the gym.  Then Saturday and Sunday are jam packed with training for me and activities with the family.  I'm going to wear my FitBit all three days and make sure I hit my 10,000 steps every day.  I'm going to do at home workouts and I have a new Salsa I'm practicing for Zumba.  And one day (probably Sat) will be my rest day.  Crossing my fingers it goes well!!

And finally, my weigh in:
1/14 - 220
1/21 - 218
Change for the week - down 2 lbs!!
Change for the year - down 7 lbs of the 52 lbs I'm trying to lose

I am very happy with everything this week, other than not doing enough yoga/pilates.  I had one bad day of eating (Sunday) and was still able to see a loss.  Here's to next week being just as good!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Back to the Grind)

After a pretty great winter break from school, we are trying to get back into our routine now for the second half of the year.  The boys had an extended break because of the snow but did have a full week last week.  And now they have another short week because of Martin Luther King Day today.  We'll find our groove again soon...just in time for Feb birthdays and President's Day weekend.

AJ is halfway thru the second grade and doing great!  He is at or above grade level for everything.  He is making a ton of progress with his speech therapy as well.  After school he is still playing in the local ice hockey league and is loving it.  He has practice twice each week and a game each weekend.  He has learned a ton and is improving each week.  In addition to hockey he is also still taking swimming lessons.  He's doing pretty well but is still a little scared in the water.  I'm hoping he'll be over it by the summer.  We plan to spend lots of time in the pool.

Daniel is halfway thru kindergarten and is also doing great!  He is just starting on reading and I'm so impressed with how quickly he's picking it up.  His favorite subject is Math (no surprise!) and he's really social with all of his class mates.  After school he is taking a break from his activities, he said it was very tiring doing them and school.  He is still taking swim lessons each week and I try to get him to the pool once in a while.  He also has weekly play dates with two different friends, he prefers that to organized sports.  He did say he wants to go back to bowling this summer, as does AJ.

Zachary is having a great time hanging out with me all day!  He loves going shopping and most of the time he is very helpful.  He is also loving the childcare at the two gyms I go to.  He's made some friends and both places have a ton of blocks so he spends his time building things and knocking them down.  He is also taking swimming lessons with Dad once a week and has started taking ice skating lessons with me once a week.  He keeps asking when he can play hockey like AJ.  I told him he has to skate without me holding him up first!  We are getting ready to enroll him in preschool for next year.

So between all of that, work for me and Adrian, a few fun activities and upcoming birthdays, we are very busy right now!  I thought things would slow down after the holidays but that is not what has happened.  I love staying busy though so I wouldn't change it!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 1/19 - 1/25)

Another great week of eating last week!  We are loving all of the zucchini noodles.  For the first time in a very long time, I had all 5 plates in the house cleared of everything for dinner on Thursday when I made spaghetti (zoodles for the adults), meatballs & garlic bread (and apples for the kids).  There seems to always be one kid who doesn't eat one part of whatever meal I made for the night.  I was super excited!

We did miss one meal last week because I was gone way longer than anticipated so I stopped and picked up soup & sandwiches at Panera.  They were so good on that cold night!  And then today the boys begged for Jets pizza and since they have been amazingly well behaved this weekend we agreed.  So there was some juggling of the schedule and are a few meals from last week pushed to this week.

This week is super busy with a few extra things for me, including exercise instructor training at the YMCA Friday night and all day Saturday.  We will also be out all day on Sunday for NHL All Star activities downtown.  I'm trying to keep this week somewhat easy with a few freezer meals thrown in there too.  I may not make everything, some days may be replace with freezer meals, but I'm going to do my best to prep early in the day (or even the day before).

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pork & Sage Stuffed Apples and Pumpkin Brownies for dessert (I never got to these last week)
Tuesday - Pumpkin Kale and Pasta Bake (leftover from last week)
Wednesday - Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Thursday - Kung Pao Zoodles
Friday - Baked Shrimp with Feta
Saturday - Freezer Meal
Sunday - Sausage Potato Pie - I'm hoping to make this on Friday and then either bake it on Sat or Sun

Water Infusor Flavor - Blackberry/Strawberry/Lemon - I'm using up some berries that won't make it much longer.  It was either this or freeze them.  I bought kiwi to infuse, but that will keep until next week.

I'm also going to make this chopped salad for myself for lunch on Tuesday.  I'm thinking I will probably have enough for leftovers on Wednesday as well.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 1/5 - 1/13)

Last week I shared some of my fitness goals for this year.  The past week, I kicked butt on all of them!  I had a great week despite the weather cancelling two of my Zumba classes and it not being a great time of the month for me.  ;)  I stayed under my calorie goal everyday except for Saturday.  And even though that was an  "eat all the things" kind of day, I didn't actually eat all that much. 

Here's the quick rundown of my week:

Monday, 1/5 - Taught 2 Zumba classes and did 15 minutes of Plyometrics class
Tuesday, 1/6 - Snow Day!  Did 10 minutes of a Kickboxing DVD and 20 minutes of Zumba practice
Wednesday, 1/7 - Taught 2 Zumba classes and did 10 minutes on the bike
Thursday, 1/8 - Taught 1 Zumba class and did 10 minutes of a Kickboxing DVD
Friday, 1/9 - Took a 60 minute PiYo class and did 20 minutes on the bike
Saturday, 1/10 - Rest Day
Sunday, 1/11 - Practiced Zumba with another instructor for 2 hours, took an hour long Zumba class & did a 10 minute at home strength workout
Monday, 1/12 - Taught 2 Zumba classes and did 15 minutes of Plyometrics class
Tuesday, 1/13 - Taught 1 Zumba class, did 15 minutes of total body conditioning & took Zak ice skating (which was WAY more of a workout than I expected!)

And a quick update on my weekly goals:
1. Continue teaching at least 6 Zumba classes each week.  I taught 8 in this 9 day stretch so I'm calling it a win!
2.  Attend at least 2 classes other than mine each week.  I took 2 classes in this stretch, PiYo & Zumba with another instructor.  Check!
3.  Do at least 10 minutes of strength training at home 5 days each week.  I did strength training 7 of the 9 days!
4.  Do at least 60 minutes of yoga or pilates each week.  60 minutes of PiYo done!
5.  Continue doing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans monthly calendar.  I'm up to date on the squat and pushup challenge they are hosting this month.  I'm also doing their year long challenge called A Year of Small Changes.  Last week our challenge is to drink 1/2 our weight in water every day.  I tracked my water all week and hit the goal 5 of the 7 days.  The 2 days I didn't hit it were the 2 days I didn't exercise very much (Tues & Sat).  But both of those days I was over 64oz so I'm happy with my water intake.  This week the challenge is to sleep 7-8 hours every night.  This is a weak spot for me.

And finally, my weigh in:
1/5 - 225
1/14 - 220
Change for the week - down 5 lbs!!
Change for the year - down 5 lbs of the 52 lbs I'm trying to lose

I'm super excited about the week I had!  I'm sore all over and I love it!  I've had a ton more energy, been sleeping better, teaching better and really just feel better all around.  I know not every week will be this amazing, but I'm enjoying this one while it lasts.

Anyone else still sticking to their resolutions for the year??

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 1/12 - 1/18)

My menu last week rocked!!  I was able to make everything, although since we had some snow days I did switch the order around a little.  And everything was delicious!  I've used just about everything I bought and the stuff I didn't use I will use early this week.  The only food I had to throw out this week was the last of the Christmas goodies, I found a small thing of apple crisp shoved to the back of my fridge.  It was yummy, I'm bummed I forgot it was there!

The one thing we noticed about our meals last week was that I forgot to plan sides for most of the meals.  When I had the Relish subscription, they would send me meals with sides and I would just use those.  Now that I'm on my own, I need to really think about sides.  The other problem last week was that I totally spaced and forgot to buy salad (a staple in our house!) and didn't want to drag the kids out in sub-zero temps just to buy salad.  It's on my list for this week!!

My water infuser flavor was delicious, cucumber watermelon and mint.  I drank a ton of water this week (more on that on Weds).  And I made Zoodles for the first time this week, delicious!  I have them on the menu twice this week, plus I'm going to attempt broccoli noodles too.  I'm obsessed with my spiralizer!

OK, on to the menu plan, here's what we're eating this week:

Monday - Zoodles and Meatballs (quick & easy for a busy day!)
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!!  (back by popular demand)
Wednesday Lunch - Zoodles Salad
Wednesday Dinner - Eggplant Parmesan
Thursday - Chili Mac and Cheese
Friday - Garlic & Pine Nut Broccoli Noodles (I may also add chicken to this)
Saturday - Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with mashed potatoes & string beans
Sunday - Pumpkin Kale and Pasta Bake
Water Infuser Flavor - Raspberry Lemon Mint

I am also hoping to make these Pumpkin Brownies, maybe for dessert over the weekend.  We have a super busy weekend though so I'm not sure I will have time.  I will be cooking up a storm next Monday (MLK Day so my husband is off) so they have to wait until then.  I'm glad I cooked a lot this weekend, we should have enough to get us through lunches this week.  If not, I have a few things left in my freezer we can pull out.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Winter Break)

The boys had around 2 weeks off for winter break from all of their activities.  Their last day of school was the Friday before Christmas & things didn't start again until AJ had hockey on Sunday, Jan 4.  It was glorious not to "have to" be anywhere, especially in the mornings.  We had a great time, although I was ready for the schedule to return shortly after the NYE ball dropped.  I love having them home, but I think we all got a little stir crazy.

The first week of break flew by between Christmas and the fact that my parents were here the whole week.  While my parents were here we didn't do a ton of stuff, just really focused on spending time together.  We all got together at Carl's house to make sausage, which was fun to make and eat.  We ate a lot of good food including homemade pizza, turkey and a ton of desserts!!  It was a wonderful time!!
AJ making sausage
Daniel making sausage
Finished product
We had planned to go to the zoo for their Christmas lights, but the weather never cooperated with our schedule.  So instead, we headed downtown to see their Christmas stuff.  We went to library to see the train display.  We checked out the life-size nativity that one of the insurance companies sets up every year.  And we drove by the Commons and Scioto Mile to see their light displays, we couldn't stop because it was already raining.
Beautiful train display
Zak and Nana checking out the fish
Aunt Sarah reading to Daniel & Isabelle
The boys at the Nativity

After my parents left, we spent the second week just hanging out as a family of four since Adrian worked over 60 hours that week.  We had some errands to run and returns to make from Christmas.  The boys also had some money to spend from Christmas, they bought new Skylanders and traps for their new game.  We again hoped to get to the zoo, but between Adrian's schedule and the weather it didn't happen.  We also spent some time going thru old toys and organizing where we wanted to put our new ones.

The boys got one extra day of winter break when we woke up to 3 inches of snow on Tuesday morning.  They closed all the local schools and the gym that I was supposed to teach at that morning cancelled their classes as well so we stayed home all day.  Zak was supposed to start ice skating lessons that night, but Adrian got stuck at work so we had to miss that.  The boys went back to school on Wednesday then got another snow day on Thursday for extreme temperatures.  It really feels like all of last week was winter break too, LOL.

I really enjoyed being lazy and hanging with the boys and spending so much time with them.  I felt recharged after break and I'm ready for our schedules to pick back up for the next season!!  More on what we've got going on next week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Christmas Recap)

We had an amazing Christmas this year!!  It lasted for a quite a while between all the prep we did, the fact that my in-laws left for Florida in mid-December and then my parents were here for 10 days.  I said in my last family post that it seems like the kids were the perfect ages this year and I stand by that.

Christmas started for us 2 weeks before the actual day when we had my in-laws over for dinner before they left for Florida.  This has become a tradition for us and it's kind of nice to have a longer celebration and not feel rushed to spend time with everyone on "actual" Christmas Eve/Day.  We had my mother and father in-law, grandmother, sister in-law, 3 nephews and 2 nieces all over for dinner, relaxing and of course presents for the kids!  Dinner was awesome, especially these new roasted sweet potatoes that I discovered.  And the boys were thrilled with their gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.
Pile of presents from Grandma & Grandpa
Happy boys!
Using one of our gifts - fingerpaints
Our second Christmas celebration was our traditional dinner at Carl's house on Christmas Eve.  This year is was my family, his family and our parents.  It was great to have them in town to celebrate.  We ate the traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner including herring, sauerkraut & mushroom soup, fish & pierogies and of course dessert.  Sarah and I also made yummy Grinch drinks for the night.  While not my favorite meal, everything was really good, especially the homemade pierogies.  The kids exchanged Christmas presents and the boys were super excited about their gifts, especially the new I Spy Disney game and the Lego Duplo Batman set.
Christmas Eve selfie - me & my Grinch drink
Cousins eating dinner
 After we finished up at Carl's we headed home, sprinkled food for the reindeer and left out some milk and cookies for the big guy. 

Then the boys went to bed and as soon as all was quiet, Adrian & I started on what could be a very long night.  We were pleased that we were done with everything by 1:00am.

The boys shocked us by sleeping in Christmas morning, no one was up until after 8:00!!  They were SO excited to see that Santa had come and couldn't wait to start opening presents.  We had a chaotic morning opening everything and the boys were thrilled with all of their gifts.  AJ was so excited when he and Daniel opened their big gifts of Disney Infinity 2.0 and Skylanders Trap Team that he yelled "Thank you Santa!  My life is complete!"  Zak was very overwhelmed all day, but is loving all the new toys now.
First gift - a new basketball hoop from Mom & Dad
Zak tearing into a gift
Big gifts - new video games
The rest of the day we spent opening toys, setting them up and playing.  Last year we started the tradition of not cooking on Christmas Day.  We just do appetizers, frozen stuff or easy to heat up stuff.  It's SO nice not to have to worry about cooking a big meal!  I really enjoy being a kid all day long!  My parents stopped by for a few hours in the afternoon for some snacks to and exchange gifts.  They gave the boys the other video game they really wanted, Lego Batman 3 and gave Adrian and I some new pots that we really needed!

It was a nice holiday spent with a ton of family.  I'm glad it stretched over almost two weeks, it was nice to breathe between celebrations!  Hope you all had a great Christmas too!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Keeping Up With...Workouts (2015 Goals & Baselines)

I shared my goals for 2015 over the weekend.  While I have goals in a few different areas, fitness goals are a big part of them.  I thought I'd talk a little more about them today, then going forward I will switch this post to be on Weds because I prefer to weigh in on Weds.  I will talk about what I did the week before and how the weekly goals are going.  I'm not going to recap my week this week because I honestly didn't do much last month week.

Here are my fitness specific goals for the next year and what I have done or plan to do to accomplish them:
1. Continue teaching at least 6 Zumba classes each week.  I have 7 on my schedule right now and I'm super excited about it!!  It looks like I may miss a class tomorrow morning since we're supposed to get back weather.  At least I should still hit 6 for this week.

2.  Finally get under 200 lbs.  I finally weighed in this morning and I'm at 225, up 5 lbs since mid-Nov.  Not horrible considering I've eaten mostly cookies, chips, carbs & processed food in those 6 weeks.  My BFHG (big fat hairy goal) is to lose 52 lbs this year, one pound per week.  That would get me to 173.  I can't even remember the last time I weighed that little.  I'm encouraged that even if I lose 1/2 lb each week I'll still get under 200 by the end of the year.  It's happening!

3.  Get at least 2 new certifications and start teaching new classes.  I signed up for Zumba toning and YMCA training this weekend.  Yay!!  I plan to take as much training thru the YMCA as I can.  I am also seriously considering Zumba Gold and Silver Sneakers as they are huge areas here and will continue to be with our aging population.

4.  Attend at least 4 Zumba jams this year.  I signed up for one in February already!

5.  Attend at least 2 classes other than mine each week.  I have 13 possible classes on my schedule that I can attend this week.  I'm hoping at least 2 work out.  I have 3 or 4 classes that I could go to but get there late, so for this goal I'm going to count anything over 45 minutes as a class.

6.  Do at least 10 minutes of strength training at home 5 days each week.  I'm already going to change this plan.  I just want to do 10 minutes of strength training whether in a class or at home.  Today I did 15 minutes of Plyometrics class so I'm counting that towards the goal this week.  If I know I won't make a strength class, then I'll do kickboxing at home.

7.  Do at least 60 minutes of yoga or pilates each week.  My only shot at this for the week is a 9:30 PiYo class on Friday.  I'm going to do everything it takes to get there for it!

8.  Continue doing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans monthly calendar.  I've completed days 1-5 of the squat and pushup challenge they are hosting this month.  I'm also doing their year long challenge called A Year of Small Changes.  I'm excited about this one as well.  This week our challenge is to drink 1/2 our weight in water every day.  I'm tracking my water for the first time in a long time.  I'll report out how I did next week.

For those wondering how I did with the TerraFit challenge that I was doing for the holidays...epic fail!  I did great for the first month, then we were hit with sickness, holiday stress, husband working overtime, sickness, cookies, holiday stress, etc.  My eating & exercising pretty much went out the window.  But that's done now and I'm looking forward.  Here's to a great, healthy & fit 2015!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 1/5 - 1/11)

After a brief break, I'm back to menu planning!  On Friday I shared my goals for this year and one of them is to continue menu planning.  I actually do pretty well with menu planning, my problem tends to be sticking to it.  I'm also almost done with my stock pile of recipes from my Relish subscription and since I won't be renewing it, I'll be on my own to scour the internet for healthy and interesting recipes.  Thankful to have this link up for ideas and inspiration!

I have a few new toys to play with that will help with meal planning and healthy eating.  I got a spiralizer and a water infusion pitcher from Santa and I'm so excited about both of them!  My goal is to use the spiralizer once each week to make either zoodles (zucchini noodles) or some other veggie noodle.  I know there are a ton of recipes out there, just have to find them.   I also got 3 new pots from my parents, they were really needed!  So much so that they were used before I could snap a picture of them.
My "fitmas" gifts - spiralizer, new water bottle, water infuser, oil diffuser & new socks
My other goal is to do a different flavor of water each week.  I drink a ton of water already (most days I'm over 100oz) but I like the variety of having some with flavor.  Between this and the essential oils that I have I'm excited for different flavors of water this year.  My first experiment was just to use up some fruit before it went bad so I made lime/grapefruit water this week.  I loved it!  I'll share each week what flavor I'm infusing.
Grapefruit lime water
OK, on to my plan for the week.  We are back to our regular schedule starting tomorrow with school, hockey, swimming, ice skating, Zumba and work.  Adrian will still be working a lot of overtime, but hopefully this is the last very crazy week.  My goals for this week are healthy, easy and full of flavor.

Monday Lunch - Detox Salad - my normal lunches are leftovers or salads, but since the boys aren't back to school yet, I thought I'd make this and have it for most of the week.
Monday Dinner - Chili in the Crock Pot
Tuesday - Mexican Baked Potatoes (Relish recipe)
Wednesday - Skillet Gnocchi
Thursday - Shrimp Stir Fry (Relish recipe)
Friday - Zoodles with this light alfredo sauce and homemade sausage
Sat/Sun Lunch - Kale & Quinoa Bake - I'm getting back to cooking one extra meal over the weekend so we have it for lunches or leftovers
Sat Dinner - Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake
Sun Dinner - Broccoli Pad Thai (Relish recipe)
Water Infuser Flavor - Cucumber & Watermelon

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

Anyone else get anything fun to cook with for Christmas??
Do you use a water infuser?  Any flavor combos I should try??

Friday, January 2, 2015

Keeping Up With...Goals for 2015

I was going to do a recap of 2014, but then I realized that it wasn't the best year for me or my family so I'm just going to skip it.  I also looked back and I didn't do any goals for the year, probably why I didn't accomplish much.  I felt like a lot of the year I was just kind of going where the wind blew.  Some of that was life happening but some of it was from lack of focus.  So this year, I'm back to goals.  I'll be doing monthly updates on how I'm doing so I can keep myself accountable and see where I need to adjust.  I'm SO excited for this new year, I have a ton of fun and exciting things coming up and I can't wait to see what's in store for us as a family!!
Fitness Goals:
1. Continue teaching at least 6 Zumba classes each week.  I have 7 on my schedule right now and I'm super excited about it.  I know things will change as the year goes on so I'm targeting 6 per week.  That still gives me time to sub and time to take some other classes.
2.  Finally get under 200 lbs.  I don't know where I'm at right now, but I'm assuming it's around 220.  I've had this as a goal for over a year now.  It's happening this year even if I have to cut off a limb.  My BFHG (big fat hairy goal) is to lose 52 lbs this year, one pound per week.  It's a stretch but I think I can do it.
3.  Get at least 2 new certifications and start teaching new classes.  I'm signing up for Zumba toning in March and I'm so excited for it!  I'm also doing a bunch of training at the YMCA and would like to get either spinning or step class certified.  I'm also interested in Zumba Step, Gold & Aqua so we'll see which one works out best.
4.  Attend at least 4 Zumba jams this year.  That's one per quarter, I think that's doable.  They are such a great experience.  A fun way to learn new choreography, meet other instructors & burn over 2,000 calories.
5.  Attend at least 2 classes other than mine each week.  This will be a stretch goal, but one I really need.  I need some variety in my workouts to help lose the weight, tone things up and help me become a better instructor.
6.  Do at least 10 minutes of strength training at home 5 days each week.  I'm going to start doing the 10 min kickboxing DVD I got last year for Christmas and then branch out from there.  I know there are a ton of workouts online and other 10 minute DVDs so we'll see what I'll do when I get bored with kick boxing.
7.  Do at least 60 minutes of yoga or pilates each week.  This will go hand in hand with goals 5 & 6.  I will try to take at least one yoga class each week and if I don't make it, then I'll do it at home.
8.  Continue doing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans monthly calendar.  This is a habit for me now.  I finished all 12 months last year & I saw the difference.  I've already started January's squat & push up challenge.

Food Goals:
1.  Continue to menu plan every week & cook what I plan (or at least use up what I buy).  This saves time and money and is also less calories than going out.
2.  Use my new water infusing pitcher and try a different flavor each week.  I currently have lime and grapefruit water.  Next week I'm trying cucumber mint.  Yum!
3.  Stay under my calorie goal 27 out of 30 (or 31) days each month.  This gives me 3 days to "cheat" if I feel the need to.  I will continue to use My Fitness Pal to track my calories and keep it set to lose 2 lbs/week.

Family/Life Goals:
1.  Take at least one picture each day for the whole year.  I have done this the past 2 years and I love it.  It's a great way to look for the good in each day.
2.  Continue to learn more about essential oils and possibly start selling them.  I love how much they have already helped all of us!
3.  Read 12 books.  My reading has fallen off recently but I have a ton of ideas and 2 book clubs so I have a lot of material to pick from.
4.  Significantly declutter this house!  I had this under control and now it seems out of control again.  My main areas of focus will be the loft, basement and our closets.  But there's clutter everywhere!

OK, that is 15 goals and that sounds like a nice round number to have 15 goals for the year 2015.  Some of them I'm already doing, it's just making sure I continue.  Some I will really need to work hard on.  Wish me luck!  I'll keep you posted!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Santa Prep)

Our lead up to Christmas this year was really awesome!  I think the boys are at the perfect ages (7, 5 and 2) for the whole Santa thing.  They were excited to find Doctor Donkey everyday, enjoyed writing letters to and seeing Santa and everyone did pictures with him without tears.

Who is Doctor Donkey?  Well, he's our Elf on a Shelf of course!  We started doing the Elf a few years ago and they boys really enjoy it (and honestly so do I).  Our Elf doesn't do a lot of crazy antics, but he did get a little creative this year.  Every morning, the first thing Daniel would ask was "Did someone find Dr. Donkey?"  Then he would run downstairs and find him.  Zak got into it most days as well.  And AJ really enjoyed it when Dr. Donkey would leave a note for him to read to his brothers...and he also really enjoyed the treats.

I mostly did the Elf by myself this season because Adrian was working a ridiculous amount of overtime.  I had fun thinking of places to put him and a lot nights I wrote a note.  I typed it up so the boys wouldn't recognize my handwriting.  Some days he would leave a treat (left over Halloween candy - I want it out of my house!)  The boys loved that the Elf knew what they were doing each day.  The last few days before Christmas they got different crafts (TMNT ornament supplies and rice krispy snowmen), a new decoration for the lawn (inflatable Santa) and the supplies to make white fudge Oreos.

Daniel also talked to Dr. Donkey a lot during the month he was here.  He would tell him about things going on at school (more than I get sometimes!), where we were going when we were leaving and even suggested a few places for him to hide the next morning (and he always ended up there!)  It was SO cute to see Daniel be so into it this year.  He also told everyone who came to our house about how Dr. Donkey toilet papered our tree one day.
His arrival
On a decoration, the boys thought this was hysterical
He toilet papered our tree!!
Stay out of my wine!!
Goodbye Dr Donkey - see you next year!
In addition to the elf, we did a bunch of Santa themed things as well.  We went to Snowflake Castle, had breakfast with him and the boys school and wrote and mailed letters to him.  The boys were thrilled to get letters back from Santa, each one was different.  They also got videos from Santa using the Portable North Pole website.  I was a little disappointed in those this year, they really scaled back on what you get for free.  I may skip that next year.
Mailing our Santa letters
Our responses from Santa
All in all our Christmas prep while frantic at times was really a fun month.  We did everything we planned to do, and I even got to do a few extra things.  I really hope AJ still believes next year, it will be fun to have at least one more year with all 3 boys believing.  And I love that we got pictures with Santa and no one is crying!!