Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jeans

I'm kinda wearing jeans... that I haven't worn.. in almost 5 years... and I'm actually SITTING in them. Comfortably!!!! and with no muffin top!! (q23w4!!!23asdfasd!!!

That's me doing a happy dance- fyi. Excuse the excessive punctuation.

I love Weight Watchers. Not gonna lie. It's the best thing that has happened to me in a long time (besides meeting hubby, getting our awesome super-pup, buying a lovely home, and graduating college...). Seriously though, Weight Watchers has taught me portion control, how to balance a healthy lifestyle and eating habits with the occasional indulgence, and overall how to nourish my body! I am not one who lives well with restrictions. I love to do what I want to do..  and the fact that Weight Watchers encourages you to find healthy alternatives for the foods you love, or to ever so slightly indulge every once in a while.. that is the deal MAKER for me.

The tracking system really aids my obsessive organizational needs, too. By tracking my food, I already feel like my day is a success. It's the little thing- I'm tellin' ya! It does help that the iPhone app rocks my life and makes losing weight that much cooler. That goes to say, all of the above would have also been IMPOSSIBLE without E-Mealz. (read my post about e-mealz here). So.. 22 down, 20 more to go to get down to my healthy BMI weight.

Anyhoodle, I was so excited after I pulled out my "not-fat" pants today and they FIT, that I took a super cheesy picture. Chase wasn't here to aide in my endeavor this time- so you're stuck with my awesome (*ahem*) self-photography skillz.



Thanks so much for the encouragement, friends! Making this lifestyle change has been amazing, and I really appreciate the encouragement. You rock.

Toodles.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Super-cute pup FTW!

Super-cute pup is giving me sad puppy dog eyes because I won't let her
go sniff and slobber all over Chase's guests. They're having a meeting for the FJC.. or somethiing. :)

*snaps picture*

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wachaa!

This is going to be a hodgepodge of a post, so hold on!

This week has been pretty crazy. I've been running a lot, and improved my pace yesterday by three minutes! The pace was 1.3miles/17 minutes. Not great by any means, but slowly getting better.

I don't know what it was about yesterday, but I felt great! When I got on the scale this morning and my eyes almost popped out of my head. I lost two more pounds?! That makes my loss this week 4 pounds so far. I haven't had a loss like that since my first week of Weight Watchers. :) I think it was a culmination of a few things. First- it is my "time" of the month (I'm sure you needed to know that), and I am pretty sure I retain water the week prior.. actually I'm really sure. I think that's why I didn't have a loss last week.
 Second, I had wine last night... for the first time in a very long time... after exercising... and eating a light dinner... and that didn't sit well on my stomach. I'll stop there.
 And last, I ran a lot more this week than I normally do!

 I didn't go over my daily points this week once- even with the wine yesterday, so I'm proud that I haven't had to use my weekly flex points this week! This week was also focused on eating more vegetables and drinking more water--I even ate only veggies a coupla' days last week.

Cheesy- but I had Chase snap a photo just so I could see if i liked my outfit and to see on camera what my progress looks like... and to make sure I didn't look like a total chub.


and here's my attempt to get a shot prior to asking hubs...  hehe


So after this, we went to Fayetteville for the FJC at Scarpino's. While Chase played, Stephanie and I relaxed and enjoyed! I love this girl.
 

To make this post even more random, here's a picture from the conference last weekend! This is Dr. Artie Almeida. I <3 her. 




She was such a fantastic teacher. Her lessons were fast paced, activity packed, and involved total physical response to the extreme! Her directions were precise and wow.. she just rocks. Now I am looking even more forward to finding an elementary job and having my own classroom to try some of these ideas! Especially Mallet Madness! What a great teaching tool.

That about wraps up all the randomness!
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Btw... we're waiting for the rain to stop so we can go camping! *crosses fingers* that it will stop soon. Normally rainy days are appreciated- but we really want to get out of town and relax!

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's [almost] the weekend!!!

pace was: 1.3 miles / 20.00 minutes.

Not the best time... but it's slowly getting better! It was the first time I have actually timed my run. Usually I just jog/walk through a couple of episodes of Grey's Anatomy on Hulu.

Today is my rest day, and then Saturday I'm going to do a trail run while we're camping at Beaver Lake. Since Chase bought me a super fly pace/runners watch for Valentine's Day (MUCH cooler than chocolates ;) , I'll be able to track like I've been doing at home.

and... thank my lucky stars, it's FRIDAY!

In other news:
I've lost two more pounds this week!!! (Official weigh-in is Sunday, though) That brings my total to 20 lbs!!! Now I'd be happy with 20 more before bikini season... lol. Really though, I feel amazing, and love this gift of life.

God is good.

Two weeks from tomorrow is graduation!! (does a happy dance)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Running!

This week has been very mentally... and emotionally... stressful. I've given it to God. After tomorrow, hopefully things will be brighter. In lieu of my healthier lifestyle, I've taken up a new challenge (granting tomorrow and my body bodes well).

I've been jogging more and more lately on the treadmill and outside (since the weather is just fantastic) and I'm starting to really enjoy it! I'd like to run a 5K in May (Family Field Day) and then maybe a 10K later on (suggestions for a site?). I don't want to do it half way, so I'm going to try to do 5 weeks of prep. I'd really like to do 8 full weeks, but I'll see if I can condense into 5 weeks and still do well!

Here's what I have for an 8 week plan. Any comments on how I should condense into 5 weeks and be successful? 


Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
1
Rest
1.5 mi run
CT or Rest
1.5 mi run
Rest
1.5 mi run
20-30 min EZ
2
Rest
1.75 mi run
CT or Rest
1.5 mi run
Rest
1.75 mi run
20-30 min EZ
3
Rest
2 mi run
CT or Rest
1.5 mi run
Rest
2 mi run
20-30 min EZ
4
Rest
2.25 mi run
CT or Rest
1.5 mi run
Rest
2.25 mi run
25-35 min EZ
5
Rest
2.5 mi run
CT or Rest
2 mi run
Rest
2.5 mi run
25-35 min EZ
6
Rest
2.75 mi run
CT
2 mi run
Rest
2.75 mi run
35-40 min EZ
7
Rest
3 mi run
CT
2 mi run
Rest
3 mi run
40 min EZ
8
Rest
3 mi run
CT or Rest
2 mi run
Rest
Rest
5K Race!


The Sunday run (EZ) is just a light, relaxed jog to loosen muscles. I was thinking combine week 4-5 and then 6-7. So I would go from  2 mi to 2.5 mi in a one week period and then again I would go from 2.5 to 3 mi in another week period. The CT night is a cross training activity (biking, hiking, swimming, etc).

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. I can lightly jog 3 miles, but I really want to improve on endurance and a slightly better pace.

Comments, ideas, suggestions? Also, I am wondering that since I have been focusing on losing weight (and have successfully lost almost 19lbs), should I change my diet any (I focus on eating my daily portions of veggies/lean meats/and drinking lots of water, but try to stay away from extra carbs/sugar).

Help, darlings!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tomato-Zucchini Tart FTW!

The Tomato-Zucchini Tart from the Points System E-Mealz Recipe/Meal Plan was a-freakin'-mazing.

This time I took photos of the process just to show you how yummy it looks as you prepare it! I made a few slight alterations to the original recipe (spinach for basil b/c Wal-Mart was OUT of fresh basil??)

I try not to share the E-Mealz recipes too often.. but I know many of my friends who have signed up after sneak previews! If you want to try E-Mealz (read my post about it here) just click the little link on the right side of the page. It'll change your life (only slightly exaggerating here, folks!)

Tomato-Zucchini Tart


Ingredients:
GV Pie Crust (the unfold and bake kind) 
1 medium zucchini 
(1 T olive oil) 
1 large tomato 
3 slices FF turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled 
1/2 c fresh spinach, chopped
1/3 c FF Parmesan cheese 
(1/3 c light mayo, 1/2 t salt, 1/4 t pepper)


Instructions:
Bake pie crust 9 min @ 450 until golden brown. Let cool.



Sauté zucchini in olive oil until tender


Arrange the zucchini in the bottom of the pie crust. 




Layer fresh tomato slices on top of the zucchini slices.


Combine remaining ingredients and spread evenly on top of the tomatoes.



Bake 15-20 minutes @ 425 or until heated thoroughly. Divides into six portions. 



This is most definitely a repeat! I froze 1/2 for a later date and saved some for lunch tomorrow. What a filling and delicious meal. We served it with green beans with 1/2 slice turkey bacon and 1 small slice of a fresh mini-loaf of pumpernickel bread.


The best part?? 

7 points TOTAL for dinner.
Veggie Tart= 5 Points
Green beans w/turkey bacon= 1 Point
Pumpernickel Bread= 1 Point

Second best part?The meal in total cost less than $7.00! That includes the tart, green beans, and bread which will feed two for dinner and two lunches! 

Amazing? Yes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

An Orff-tastic weekend ahead!

I am traveling to Conway with my coolest, most raddest, red-headed gal pal Kaci today to attend the Artie Almeida Orff Workshop in Conway, AR. ( I also have a coolest, most raddest, red-headed gal pal Jayme who will coincidentally be there tomorrow as well!)



Dr. Artie Almeida teaches in Florida where she has over 1000!! students in her elementary music classroom throughout the week.

Kind of intense? Yes.

Her bio includes lots of amazing things and you should read it here.
Basically, I get to spend time on Saturday learning and playing all types of new fun "games" that hopefully I use in my own classroom *cough cough* when I get a job! *cough cough*

I also think she is cool because her husband is a trumpet player... and we all know how I feel about trumpet players. ;)

Now tell me this doesn't look like fun!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nom Nom!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just want to EAT everything?! Seriously... all I want to do is just eat, eat, eat. I have been hydrating with my 8+oz every day, and eating well balanced meals...and using as many "filling" foods as possible, but seriously... EVERYTHING!



I just want to eat.

I'm not even hungry, but I want to eat. Weird. It has been hard to not gorge myself, but I have been pretty good about staying with healthy/balances meals and no junk.

Friday-Sunday was especially difficult though. Friday, we took Helen Tyson MS kids to Solo and Ensemble, and before we left they served pizza.. That morning, April had brought donuts for the kids (I abstained, thank you) I just drank water while we were at the event, but by the end I was famished... (no healthy snacks in sight... just concession), so when we finally made it back to the band room (8:45) I ate a donut! 7WW points for one silly, delectable Krispy Kreme donut.

I didn't go over points at all that day, but I don't like eating greasy/unhealthy food like that for a main course.

Saturday was the Philharmonic concert and we met our friends at Hugo's before hand. I stuck with chicken and blue cheese... but lovely hubs ordered french fries and I had absolutely no will power. (tisk tisk). Usually I do fabulous at not eating things like that, but I was amped up on nerves about the concert, and stress ate.

Sunday I went over points... it was only by 4 points, but still.. I went over.

Monday = fine.
Tuseday = okay but nom nom...
Today = great, but OMM NOM NOM!




This happened a few weeks ago when we were visiting Little Rock, and I just healthy snacked through it... hopefully I can do the same this week!

Sorry for boring you with my food choices/nommy ness!

Toodles.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Passed passed passed!!!


Praise the Lord I am officially FINISHED with the Praxis II tests! Now I can cross one more thing from my 101 in 1001 days challenge!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Also...

the interview I had... still waiting to hear back. Praying that God's will be done-- whether that means me working at Smith or somewhere else, I don't mind. I would absolutely love the opportunity to work with some of my friends at Smith, but hey- if it's not meant to be, then I understand.

But.. I would like a job.. because I miss elementary music like crazy!!

Dad's and Drapes



It has been an exhausting day. This goober hurt his back yesterday and "thought" he'd be just fine.



 So he waited until today at 11:00am to text me and asked:

Dad:  "So what are you doing after school?"
My reply:  "Nada, just a meeting."
Dad:  "Ok, call me when you can"

So I called at lunch time, and I had JUST told April how much it worries me sometimes that dad lives all alone etc.. and  as soon as he answered the phone, I knew something had happened. Poor guy had been in pain all morning unable to drive to the doctor.


The stinker... I was so upset that he had been laying there all morning hardly able to get around. So anyhoodle, I left school and got up there and we got him to the car and went to the clinic and then they redirected us to the Workman's Comp. clinic. An hour later we have dad some medicine and then not long after that he's asleep from the medicine. It was a seriously pulled muscle somewhere in his lower back. Dad is a pretty tough/stubborn guy, so if he shows he's in pain.. and severe almost pass out pain... then it's gotta be bad.


So say a prayer for him and for my mom because she has had a terrible time with sickness lately and has a pretty severe ear infection/bronchitis! I wish I could rush over there now and take care of her, too. I hate hearing of my family hurting.. so pray that they feel better soon.

On a much happier note- we finally have some drapes in the front room. They look stellar cute. Here's a before/after photo of the living room now.




Here's a look at a few of the new items up close. 








Anyhoodle, there you have it folks!! Have a fab day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bacon Spinach Penne

DELISH low point meal. It goes something like this:


Ingredients:
12oz whole grain wheat penne pasta
1 bag fresh spinach (marketfresh)
8 slices turkey bacon
1/2 medium onion (diced)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 T fat free Parmesan cheese/serving (sprinkle on top)

Cook pasta separately in water.
Cook bacon and cool/dice. Set aside.
Leave of bacon grease (turkey bacon produces VERY VERY little , so I usually add 2 T water to help saute my onions/mushrooms.)
Add diced onions, garlic and mushrooms and sauté. Add spinach and bacon. Cover and stir until spinach wilts. Add in penne pasta and 1/2 water. Stir well. (I sometimes drizzle a mixture of 2 T olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.)

Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Yields 6 servings.
Points Total = 5.5




Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring Cleaning:

I am two bathrooms away from being finished with spring cleaning!

I was able to clean/sanitize just about everything today. The list looked somewhat like this:

*dust
*sweep/vacuum/mop
*sanitize/shine counters/refrigerator/stove/dishwasher
*wipe all cabinets down inside/out
*clean refrigerator
*organize pantry
*organize office closet/desks
*clean/organize spare bedroom
*clean bathrooms
*Windex all windows
*dust baseboards/vacuum around all baseboards
*vacuum sofa (hard core!)
*sanitize all light switches/door knobs

My goal for the future is to someday buy better organization systems for the office. Right now, I have two shelves in the closet that I have my labeled deco boxes of crafts sitting on as well as miscellaneous electronic stuff. I want to purge any of the electronic stuff that is obsolete/we no longer need and use the office primarily as an office/library/craft room. Someday... oh someday.. we'll buy a new desk/bookshelves, too!

The finished product in my dreams would look somewhat like this:


When I finish cleaning the bathrooms, I'll take a few photos of the fresh and clean house for ya. (I know you just can't wait...)

Today has been quite lovely! I played two church services at Bentonville First Baptist, drove home with the windows down, grocery shopped for the week, and spent all day alone in my house! (Chase is playing the last two South Pacific shows today). It's been quite a long time since I have been able to spend an entire day in my home doing as I please. It was smashing.

Coming Soon: 
Clean house pictures!

Ta-Da!












Saturday, April 3, 2010

Warning: Photos Galore

I have bangs... again. You might remember last year (2009) around this time when I added some hip bangs to my 'do:


         I promise they weren't crooked...  and ...

..they're back!



The finish up this super short post, I'll leave you with a few more photos from Spring Break in Branson with Dad. 

Nom nom. Delish salmon!

Waving hello!

Lake Taneycomo.

Branson Landing.

Dad at Branson Landing. (I like this picture a lot!)

Visiting the hatchery.. 

Driving around Lake Table Rock. 


Ta-Da!

The End.