Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Skeleton Daniel, Rainbow Butterfly Isabelle, and Wolverine Henry!

Happy Halloween from my family to yours!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

RIP Red Tail

Our totally ignored beloved fish, Red Tail, passed away on Saturday after over a year with us. I came down in the morning and noticed him laying on the rocks at the bottom of the bowl. I wasn't that surprised since he hadn't been eating as much and I think it was just too cold in the house for him. He was a Beta fish and wanted to be swimming free in the tropics not held up in a bowl on our desk with only a Spider man figurine to keep him company.

So Saturday morning I did what any busy mom does and totally ignored him and carried on with the day while waiting for a kid to discover his demise. You know what? No one noticed. So that night I flushed him down to the big open sea (or our septic - details, details). I then washed out his bowl and put it in the basement. That was Saturday and it's now Tuesday afternoon and still the kids have not even noticed that he's gone. Poor, poor Red Tail. I assumed Isabelle would be the first to notice but I think she's been preoccupied with all her birthday festivities and after school activities. Henry has no excuse since one of his classmates today even asked him what his fish's name was. You'd think that might encourage him to go give Red Tail a hello when we got home but nope.

So the desk remains a bit emptier and I'm just waiting for someone to realize it. Henry's school friend is coming over Friday for a playdate and at this rate I think she'll be the first to notice. Poor, poor Red Tail - swim on my friend.


Monday, October 28, 2013

The No Bread Challenge

A couple of weeks ago my boot camp instructor challenged us to go two weeks without eating bread. At first I scoffed at the idea but I can't pass up a challenge so I went for it. I envisioned just not having sandwiches for lunch and I'd be fine. When I agreed I didn't realize that "bread" is actually everything that I eat. Suddenly it meant I couldn't have bread, pasta, crackers, pizza, or Cheez-Its (gasp!). The first three days of the challenge were HARD. By the late afternoon each day I was feeling miserable. Two days I thought I would vomit and one day my hands were shaking. I think my body was literally going through detox! Once I started day four of it though I was good to go and I'm happy to report that I went the full two weeks without "bread"!

So how did I survive?

Nuts - I think I've eaten more nuts in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life. They were my go to snack since they are easy and portable. Nuts (and cheese) kept me going.

Make Ahead Meals - One of the things I found the most challenging was having meals ready when I needed them. Before I would just whip up a PB&J while I made the kids their lunch but that wasn't allowed anymore. I found that it worked best if I made a dinner the night before that I could have leftovers of the next day. I ate a lot of chicken and steamed veggies and you know what? I didn't hate it. Veggies are always a struggle for me since I don't like them. Cooked I can do but raw in a salad - ick. If I didn't have a meal made ahead I would whip up some scrambled eggs with veggies since that's pretty quick.

Fruit - If you run into me now I will most likely have a banana or an apple in my bag. Before this challenge started I wouldn't have been caught dead with fruit in my bag (the kids bag - yes, but not my bag).

New Foods - Since basically everything in my prior diet was on the "do not eat list" I had to find new things to eat. Much to my husband's dismay I brought home things like edamame, quinoa, and kale chips. Although I didn't love everything new, I was proud of myself for trying them and would eat some again.
And these don't even taste bad - who knew?
I'm now a week or two out and am still loosely following the diet. I'm not being as strict about it but am trying to keep up with the habits I formed over the challenge. I don't think it's reasonable (for me) to completely exclude "bread" but I have been eating more healthy as a result and do want to keep that up. Some people say that they feel worlds better after not eating bread but honestly I didn't feel a huge energy boost or anything like that. However, I did lose a couple of pounds and I feel better about what I'm eating so I'd call that a win!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Sixth Birthday, Isabelle!

Today my craft-a-holic, clean-a-holic, amazing little girl turns six years old. On Friday night, we had a special girls night out with my cousin Janet where Isabelle got to pick out her own present and have dinner out. Today we had her party at a local bouncy house place with her friends. There were 21 kids hyped up on bouncing and cupcakes. Needless to say a good time was had by all!

If you need to find us, Isabelle will be at the dining room table for the rest of the day working on assorted craft projects that she got for presents. I'll be staring across the table at her wondering where my toddler went.

Also, I'm starting a new tradition of asking questions on each birthday as a keepsake to see how they change from year to year. I have them written down to go in her "special box" but figured I would share here as well.

Isabelle's 6th Birthday: October 27, 2013

Favorite Color: Pink, Purple, Yellow
Favorite Show: Sofia the First
Favorite Thing to do Inside: Crafts
Favorite Thing to do Outside: Ride bikes
Favorite Snack: Cookies
Favorite Meal: Cheese and Wheat Thins
Favorite Song: "Hello Song" from Music Class
Favorite Thing to do with Dadda: Yardwork
Favorite Thing to do with Mamma: Go out for dinner
What I Want to be when I Grow Up:  A Baker
If I Had Lots of Money I Would Buy: A Groovy Girl

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good-bye, Papa

Papa's 85th birthday party in February 2013
Last Wednesday, my grandfather passed away. While he had ongoing heart issues, the end came more quickly than I think anyone in my family expected. Before his death, he and my grandmother were still totally independent. Even at the age of 85, he was still living in the house with my grandmother that they had raised their four children in. He went to the hospital a few days before his death after battling a cold the week before. It turned out it wasn't a cold and was fluid around his heart. Although, my family was told that fluid buildup would ultimately be his demise it didn't appear that the end was so imminent. He was recovering in the hospital and they talked about sending him home shortly.

On Tuesday during the day, my cousins saw him and he was his usual self. He was giving the nurses a hard time, trying to get people to bring him a soda, and talking about going home. He then took a quick turn for the worse and passed away during the night. I was able to see him Tuesday night before he passed away. He was unresponsive but peaceful. When all is said and done, although we never want to lose anyone, this is how we want people to go. It was fast and peaceful. After watching my mother slowly deteriorate and have a horrible final week, I can really appreciate this ending. I would never want my grandmother to watch her husband of 62 years slowly fade away in front of her. Learning to live a life without him will be hard enough for her.

In times of struggle though I'm reminded of the amazing people in my life. I have friends that I don't need to ask for help because they've already offered. Friends that rearrange their days and schedules so that they could babysit for his services. Friends who leave wine and chocolate at my doorstep. Family who sends flowers and cards. These people shine the light in the darkness. These people are incredible and give me the time and tools to mourn an incredible man. So to everyone who has helped me this past week either in person or sending positive thoughts and prayers, I send a big thank you to you. It is most appreciated by me and my family.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Electric Run 5K at Gilette Stadium

Last Friday night, I laced up my sneaks and headed to Gilette Stadium for the Electric Run 5K. I honestly was not excited about it. In fact, I was pretty much dreading it. If you've been following along you know that I ran my first 5K ever this summer and then the Diva Dash last month. The problem is that I keep signing up for races but when all is said I just don't like to run. Plus, during the races and after I just feel down on myself. I want to be a better runner. I want to be faster. I want to like it - but I don't.

So when the Electric Run arrived (which I had signed up for a while ago), I was expecting another torturous race. They also had 15,000 registered runners and I envisioned traffic and parking being a nightmare. Much to my surprise though I actually had a really good time! I easily parked, met up with my friend the Maven of Savin and her sister, and we headed to the starting line. The atmosphere was so fun that it would be hard not to have a good time. There were no timing chips and not even a clock at the end. The vibe was all about having a good time. Some people ran the whole thing, some walked the whole thing, and some did a combo of both (that's what we did). The course went around the parking lot of Gilette and then into the actual stadium. At the end they had a stage with music and glow sticks galore. The whole night was a lot of fun and I MIGHT even *gasp* consider doing it again sometime (someone please stop me).
Feeling Electric

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mother's Therapy Organics

If you're anything like me, you go through lots of hand sanitizer. I have it everywhere - kitchen, bathroom, car, bag, you name it. With back to school in high gear and cold and flu season creeping in, I know I'm only going to be using more and more. One of the problems I have though is dry hands. It doesn't matter how much lotion I use those puppies just can't seem to stay hydrated. Cold weather plus hand sanitizer equals very sad hands for me!
That's why I was excited to try out Mother's Therapy Organics products. They are a woman owned company that uses natural and organic ingredients in their products. For their hand sanitizer they use natural alcohol in addition to aloe vera, Echinacea, goldenseal, and lavender oil. The end result? 99.9% of germs are killed and your hands are still soft. A total win/win. The products also have a light cucumber scent as opposed to a chemical smell which is nice. I also really like the Germ-Fightin Hand Lotion. It is non-greasy and a little goes a long way.
Mother's Therapy products are currently available exclusively through Amazon. You can purchase them HERE. Now they are more expensive than regular hand sanitizer but the price is comparable if you compare it to purchasing an organic/natural product.
So with the help of Mother's Therapy, I'm hoping to keep my hands germ free and hydrated over these upcoming months!
*I received complimentary products from Mother's Therapy Organics to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own.*
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