Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan | July 28th- August 2nd

Hi everyone! 

I have not made a post about our meal plan in quite awhile, so I thought why not, lets share this weeks meal plan. This week is a bit of a busy one. We have some family obligations to attend to, so we will be eating out once or twice this upcoming week. Other then that, all meals will be served at home.

What's For Breakfast?

Colby's latest kick has been oatmeal with fresh fruit (usually strawberries)
I have been loving cereal (gluten free whole O's) or toast w/ scrambled eggs (both w/ fruit)

What's For Lunch?

This week Colby has 3 options
 (served with fruit & celery w/ peanut butter)

-Tuna sandwiches
-Grilled cheese w/ tomato soup
-Clam chowder soup

For my lunches I will have one of the following:
(served with fruit & celery or salad)
-Leftovers (I eat leftovers about 90% of the time)
-Grilled cheese sandwich
-Homemade grilled chicken burgers

What's For Dinner?

-Banana foster french toast w/ bacon
 (we generally have breakfast once a week)

-Pot roast w/ noodles & green beans
-Penne pasta w/ salad & garlic toast
-Burgers w/ broccoli & roasted potatoes
-Chicken parm w/ pasta, salad & garlic toast

Dinner out 1 or 2x

What is on your meal plan for this week?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fashion & Growing Up

Hi everyone! So first I want to apologize for not posting in almost a month! I know, I know, I am a terrible blogger haha. I promise I am going to try to get back to 2 posts a week. Now that that is out of the way, lets talk about today's post...Fashion & Beauty. 

Now, this is not going to be a normal post about fashion and beauty. Instead, lets talk about how fashion & beauty confuses me....at the age of 26! 

Before we get to the fact that I am 26 and have no idea about the fashion/beauty world, lets back up and find out exactly how I got here.

When I was a little kid I was 100% a tomboy. My mom would send me to school in pretty dresses and I would come home covered in mud. My favorite pastime as a kid was making mudpies, riding bikes, and anything that involved dirt. Now my sister was 100% girl but I was 100% tomboy and due to that nature I became the "son" my dad never had. My dad taught me how to throw a spiral football, how to hit a ball with a bat, took me fishing, etc. My best friends ever since I was little have pretty much always been boys. Growing up my next door neighbor "J" and I were around the same age and were pretty close. Having a boy as a best friend rocked! As I got older I still continued to spend more time with males opposed to females. 

When high school rolled around though, I switched fashion wise and became obsessed with shoes, mainly high hells. I wore high heels and dresses/skirts to school ALOT! However, even then, I was never very fashion oriented. While I tried to be somewhat fashionable, I failed pretty miserably lol

 Lets just put it all out there, I dressed pretty weird...and due to this I dealt with quite a bit of unwelcome comments from everyone else. I switched fashion wise again and instead of wearing what I wanted and trying to find my style, I chose simple/plain clothes. Anything to take the comments away from what I was wearing.

 As I progressed through high school and went off to college, fashion took a backseat. Like most college students, I hated waking up early and would roll out of bed at the last possible second and toss on whatever was near me. Yes, I was one of those college students who went to class in sweatpants, pajamas, or a pair of jeans and sweatshirt. Totally fashionable right?

Despite the fact that I have friends who were fashionable, somehow it never rubbed off on me. I have always been pretty clueless as to how to dress fashionable. Although I do try, being girly is just not in my nature.

 I paint my nails and it chips off. I try the latest fashion trend and it looks horrible. I try to create cute hairstyles and end up looking like I was electrocuted. I play around with makeup and it all looks the same.

I will say though that although I am nearing 27 and still haven't a clue how to dress stylish, I am honestly OK with it. While I wish I could pull together outfits easier or create cute hairstyles and have amazing makeup, that just is not me. I am completely OK with having a bare face, no makeup on, and walking out the door. I am OK with wearing something that makes me happy but others might question. 

While I may be a fashion misfit, at least I don't t try to be anyone I am not.

Maybe one day I will figure out fashion and beauty but until that time comes, I will enjoy trying new things out and playing around with clothes/makeup....even if it turns out awful. The only way to learn something is to keep trying. Eventually it will pay off! 

I would love to know if any of you out there are fashion misfits as well? Does fashion/beauty confuse you as much as it confuses me? I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hens & Chicks

My hens and chicks plant is growing like crazy! Everyday I walk outside and it seems like they have grown even more. Pretty soon I am going to have a monster hens and chicks plant haha.

I thought I would share just a couple photos that I quickly snapped today of my plant.

Have you ever grown a hens and chicks plant? If so, did yours grow as crazy and as fast as mine seems to be? I would love to hear from you! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top 10 Budget Friendly Things To Do In The Summer

With the weather heating up, school out, and 3 months in front of you filled with the ever popular grumblings of, "There is nothing to do, I'm bored" some of you may be questioning not only how to keep your kids occupied but yourself as well. I have composed a list of my top 10 budget friendly ideas that are sure to entertain the whole family. 

So here is my top 10 list of things to do in the Summer while on a budget.

#1. Go for a bike ride.

I used to love riding my bike as a kid and my husband and I still enjoy riding bikes together as an adult. Although bikes can be pricey upfront, the great thing is you can use them multiple summers. If buying a bike isn't for you or you don't think you will use them enough to justify the cost, try renting. Many bike shops will rent a bike to you for the day at a pretty small cost. 

#2. Go fishing
I was quite a tomboy growing up and I loved to be outdoors. My dad used to take me fishing all the time. Fishing is a very budget friendly activity that the whole family can enjoy. The best part about fishing for me as a child was finding the worms. Sure you can buy a container of worms but nothing is better then getting dirty and digging up your own worms the night before. A long stick, some fishing line and a hook makes for an excellent makeshift fishing pole for a small child and yep that is what I started on as a kid before I moved up to an actual fishing pole. Fishing can be fun for the whole family, the adults can fish and if the kids aren't up to it they can still have fun playing in the water and finding what creatures live under all the rocks. 

#3. Go on a picnic
A picnic is by far a classic activity for Summer. A big blanket, a picnic basket filled with lots of yummy sandwiches, watermelon, and some cookies. A perfect way to spend a Summer day. The great thing about having a picnic is you can have one anywhere. A picnic can be as simple as your back yard, a visit to the park or even the river. These are all great places to have a picnic with the family, you really can't go wrong.

#4 Go on a hike
A hike can be a great way to spend the day. It can be as easy or difficult as you choose, that is the great thing about it. It is also completely free. Just put on a good pair of tennis shoes, some water and maybe a snack or two and you are ready to head out the door.  We enjoy hiking in different places each time we go. Sometimes it is fun to take a hike in the woods or up a mountain, other times when we want a nice easy hike, we take a stroll down by the river on a semi man made path. If you have little ones I have seen many different carriers that are made for hiking. This Site is a great resource about carriers and hiking and which would work best for your family. The most important thing when you go hiking with your family is to have fun and don't forget to bring a camera! 

#5 Go for ice cream
 Just as I think a picnic is a classic Summer activity, I also believe going for ice cream belongs on that list. There is nothing better in the warm summer heat as an ice cream cone.The joys of having that sticky sweet ice cream and watching it melt down the side of your cone. Ice cream is a staple food for the summertime, along with popsicles of course! There are usually some great local ice cream shops in most cities, but if all else fails ice cream from Dairy Queen, etc will do the job just fine. Personally we love Cold Stone Creamery. My all time favorite ice cream there is chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups and real scoops of peanut butter. YUM! 

#6 Water, water and oh ya some more water
Water balloons, squirt guns, pools, slip and slides, sprinklers, etc. It doesn't matter how it happens or what form it comes in but playing with water in the Summer is an easy and free activity to partake in. Have a family water balloon fight or take a dip in a local pool (or your own if you are lucky enough to have one). Regardless how it happens nothing beats the summer heat like being covered from head to toe in water. Better yet, why not take it a step further and invite the entire neighborhood to partake in a giant multi-family water balloon fight. Take giant trash cans (not used of course) or buckets and fill them with water, this makes for an easy squirt gun refill station. Set up another area with pre-filled water balloons, turn on the sprinklers and you are ready for some amazing family fun! 

#7 GeoCaching 
 This is an older video, circa 2011 but none the less 
we were trying to find a geocache using our gps 
(back before we had smart phones lol)
Geocaching is a new craze that has seemed to be sweeping the world for quite a few years now. If you don't know what geocaching is, just imagine it as a giant treasure hunt. All you need is a smartphone, or a GPS. Basically, you get the coordinates for where a geocache is located and with the help of your GPS system or your phone (you can download the app online) you go on a type of treasure hunt. A geocache is usually some type of container that has a few goodies inside, generally small trinkets. The idea is once you find the geocache, you take a trinket, then replace it with an item of your own and put it back for the next person to find. You can mark off all the ones you have found online so others can see your progress. Colby and I have been geocaching multiple times and it really is alot of fun. You can find out if any are located in your area and more about it in general HERE

#8 Movies on the lawn
During the Summer you will often find that many cities offer free activities for families to partake in. One in particular that I have seen in many cities is movies on the lawn. Usually the movies are geared toward children and families which makes for a great way to spend an evening. Most kids love movies and there is just something special about watching a movie outside on a projection screen. It just creates a type of magic surrounding it and who can resist a good movie under the stars. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs, some home popped popcorn or snacks to munch on throughout the movie and you are ready to go!

#9 A trip to the park
Growing up I loved going to the park and even went well into high school. During the years Colby and I dated, going to the park was one of our favorite after school dates. I absolutely love swings...even as an adult I love swings. A trip to the park is completely free and can provide many hours of entertainment. If the park has a pavilion or picnic benches, which most do, bring along an afternoon lunch to munch on in between playing. If your park happens to be next to a river like mine did growing up, you may want to bring some bread to feed the birds or the ducks in the water. 

#10 Camping
My husband I are both big into doing things outdoors and we love to go camping. There is something magical about sleeping under the stars and cooking over the fire. S more's anyone? If you aren't feeling as adventurous or worried your little ones may get scared in the middle of the night, try camping in your backyard. You can still set up a tent, make a little fire, and create some hotdogs and smore's over the flames. If someone happens to get scared in the middle of the night you can easily go back indoors. This is a great way to give camping a try and introduce a child to camping without worrying about driving back home in the middle of the night if it doesn't go well. Of course it wouldn't be a true camping trip without flashlights and ghost stories! 

I hope you enjoyed my list of activites to do throughout the Summer and maybe next time you get hit with I'm bored, there is nothing to do, you can have a bag of 10 easy and budget friendly ideas to work with.  

I would love to hear what are some of your favorite activities to do throughout the Summer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I feel betrayed

If you follow my Youtube channel many of you already know that about a year ago I was diagnosed with IC (interstitial cystitis).  Since my diagnosis I have had many ups and down. Plenty of bad days mixed in with a couple good days. As time has passed and my medications have changed I slowly have had more good days than bad. For the most part I try to have a very positive outlook and not focus too much on my condition. I really do not want some medical issue to define who I am and stop me from doing things that I want to do and that I love. There is no point in dwelling on the fact that I have IC or the fact that many things I have to do different now or give up altogether. Life is too short to only focus on the bad things in ones life and instead I feel it is important to just take each day as they come and try my hardest to focus on all the wonderful things in my life; my extremely supportive husband for instance. 

However, every now and again I experience a really bad day or week and it becomes extremely difficult to focus on the good things in life and it is very hard to stay positive about my condition. On those really bad days I find myself consumed with my IC and find it hard not to focus on the pain or the multitude of things that have changed in my life since my diagnosis. 

Today has been one of those days.

My IC has really been acting up lately and I knew I was going to be in for a rough day ahead. Today was that day. From the moment I woke up until the time I write this post, my day has been consumed with a great deal of pain. Generally I try very hard to occupy my time with something that will distract from the pain, but today it has been very difficult to do that.

Today I find myself just hoping the pain will ease up enough so that I could have just a tiny moment of relief. Regardless of the pain I am experiencing, stuff still needs done. We still needed a clean house, meals made, and groceries bought. So I put on my big girl panties and did what needed to be done. Unfortunately, that has only made things worse. 

Today is just a bad day. 

Today I feel like certain areas are on fire and every trip to the restroom feels like HOT sharp knives are cutting me as they leave my body. Pleasant right? On bad days such as today I find myself with a head full of doubts and asking myself why this had to happen. Why did this happen to me, could I have prevented it, how can I live with it, how will it affect me as a parent, how will it affect me as a spouse? I have so many questions that bombard me and it is extremely hard to push them away.

I feel as though my body has betrayed me. I feel like something that I should be able to trust and rely on is now broken and useless. 

I worry about what the future holds for me as a spouse.
I worry about my future pregnancies and how they are going to affect me.
I worry how I will be a good parent to our children if some days I can't even leave the house and am stuck in bed.
Overall though, I simply worry about what my future holds for me as a person.

I wonder if I am going to ever be able to live a pain free life and I wonder if I will be able to be the parent that our future children deserve. That part terrifies me. I long to be a parent with all my heart and having children has always been something I knew I wanted but to be completely honest, it now scares me. 

I know how I feel on a day to day basis and I know how I feel when I have an IC flare. Those really bad days where nothing makes me feel better and I can't leave the house or even get out of bed for too long. How is that going to affect the type of parent I will be. I am so afraid of having children and not only making my IC worse but above all I am afraid our children will wonder why their mommy can't do alot of the things the other kids moms can.

It is days like today when I have doubts about my future and wonder if I can deal with my IC for the rest of my life. The fact that I am only in my mid-late twenties and have many more years of life ahead of me, it can become quite a challenge to always think positive. I know how I feel today and how I feel during the times that my IC flares and I question if I can deal with that type of pain for the rest of my life. That is alot to think about. Generally I take each day as it comes, but I can't help but wonder (and worry) about the future ahead of me.

I by no means am writing this for any sort of pity, I don't need that nor want that. There are so many people who have it much worse than me and I am not trying to compare IC to any other condition. However, I simply wanted to share my experiences with IC and open up and write a more personal story. Not only so others may be able to think differently about this condition but also to support others who have IC or any other type of chronic pain, and to let others know they are NOT alone. It is OK to not be positive all the time and to think about what the future holds for you. To all those out there who are going through the same thing or something similiar, please know you are NOT alone and you have my support.

If you have any questions at all or would like to chat, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be more than happy to be there for you and chat with you, even if it just to say, I understand what you are going through and I am here for you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Enjoying The Little Things In Life

'Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul" -Luther Burbank

"Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same" -Helen Keller

"A weed is but an unloved flower" -Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thursday, May 29, 2014

30 Day Ab Challenge

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you may know that awhile back my husband and I decided to start working out together. My main "issue" was that I wanted to try to tone my stomach. I also wanted to see if strengthening my core muscles would help with my stomach bloating. Let me just say that when we first started this challenge we knew it was going to get tough and it certainly has been a challenge.

If you are up to it , check out this challenge and give it a go!

Day 1 starts off pretty slow with only 15 situps, 5 crunches, 5 leg raises, and a 10 second plank. Every day the amounts increase until you reach day 30 and that is one day I am not looking forward to. Day 30 consists of 125 situps, 200 crunches, 65 leg raises, and a two minute plan. 

Now there are rest days but honestly the majority of the time we only took a rest day if we felt we needed it or if we lost track of time ( Memorial Day weekend for example, yep four days of rest haha).

Overall, I am extremely pleased with how this challenge has been going. We are now halfway through and only have two weeks left to go. I thought it would be fun to post my before and after results, to not only keep myself motivated but to motivate others to try it out as well.

So here is my Before and After photos of my stomach.The before photos was taken the day we started and the after photo was taken today. I am definitely starting to see my abs but not enough to the point where it shows in photos. However, a HUGE difference I have noticed is how my stomach bloating issue has gone down. After only two weeks of this challenge I can already see a difference in how much my stomach bloats, which is awesome! 

I would def. say I am starting to see results and that is a great form of motivation. Now only two more weeks to go, lets see if we can actually do this haha

Have you tried the ab challenge, if so did you see any results?