Monday, August 7, 2017

Whole30 Round 3...or should I say Whole45?

I started a third round of Whole30 on Friday, July 28.  I'm a week in and feeling a mixture of feelings!

Here's a link to my FIRST Whole30.

This was Day 30 of my first round.  I felt soooooooooo good!

I completed my second round right before my birthday.  Yes, I actually decided to celebrate my birthday early and start a Whole30.  I felt just as great the second time around as I did the first.

First off, for those who aren't sure what Whole30 is, go to this LINK.  In a nutshell, a Whole30 is an eating program where you eliminate many foods that could potentially be a problem for 30 days.  Then you systematically add those foods back into your diet in a controlled way like a science project to see if you have any problems.  It's a complete and total reset for your body.

My reasons for doing Whole30 have always been to get my food addictions and cravings under control.  There are a lot of nice side benefits such as weight loss, glowing skin, energy, clear head, motivation, improved mood, and so much more.

My summer was a little weird.  I had some medical stuff going on for the first few weeks of June.  Then I taught summer school for six weeks.  Then we went on a short vacation.  I knew I wanted to get back to healthy habits after the vacation.  And that's literally what I did.  We got home on Thursday night, and I started Whole30 the next day.

Why am I calling this round a Whole45?  Because I plan to keep up with the plan for 45 days.  Why?  It has to do with getting back into an exercise routine along with healthy eating.

Last November, my friend Laura asked me to join a Boot Camp gym with her.  It was a groupon and the price was good.  I didn't really want to do it, but I agreed, and loved it.  I loved it so much that I signed up for a year!

With the medical stuff going on back in June I wasn't able to work out for several weeks this summer.  I finally started going back to boot camp this past week.  Man, am I sore, but man do I feel good!

One morning while I was working out, I was thinking about how I started boot camp with a six week groupon membership.  I remember feeling stronger after three weeks and noticing the improvements after six weeks.  I told myself to give it six weeks back at boot camp.  It's a mental game I'm playing with myself.  Just six weeks.  Six weeks is 42 days and I add the three days of Whole30 that I did prior to exercise and that takes me to a nice round 45.

I thought pretty hard about my exercise goals.  (Eating goals were taken care of through Whole30, but I'll have to refine that for life after Whole30.)  Anyhow, after a bit of contemplation I came up with boot camp at least three times a week and running at least three times a week.  I want to build back up to a half marathon or maybe even a full marathon!  Bucket list.

Okay, now that you have all that am I doing?  Well, I haven't cheated.  And I won't.

But man, the past few days have been a struggle.  It's back to school time.  There's just a lot going on with putting together classrooms, trying to figure out where we are going to put 32 seventh graders, and ordering enough supplies for everyone.  I feel like I'm having internal meltdowns.

I was working in my classroom this morning and I just had that urge to eat all the things that contained sugar.  I'm not about to mess up my Whole30, but man the stress just hit me and all I wanted to do was drown the anxiety in sugar.  It's my biggest weakness.  I thought to myself, what else can I do besides eat?  Exercise.  I can exercise.  (And write a blog post!)

Even though it was a little inconvenient and out of the way, I drove home, made myself a salad bigger than my head, and changed into my gym clothes.  Then I came back to school to work.  I'll hit the gym before going home.  Let's see how that approach to stress and anxiety work for me!

The salad I made after leaving school and taking a short mental break.

Here are some other photos from this round.

One habit I hung onto from the very first round was drinking black coffee!  So strange even to me since I didn't even drink coffee until about two years ago!

It's easier to snap a quick picture after finishing a run to remember my distance.  Not far, but I'm literally starting from zero.

These types of salads are an absolute staple for me.  Salads bigger than my head.  I pretty much put anything in there but the kitchen sink.

New to me spice from Trader Joe's.  I really like it!

Giant salad #2.

Mango salsa and chicken.  Pretty tasty.

Another gym run.

This stuff let's me feel like I am drinking a soda, even though this is NOT my idea of a tasty soda!  Don't get me wrong, I like how these taste with a meal, but it's not satsifying my craving for sugar.  It does fill the need for carbonation.

Anyhow, I just felt the need to document the stress of the day and write out how I was feeling in regards to needing junk to calm myself down.  I resisted.  I fed myself tons of healthy food.  I took a mental break.  I did some blogging.  I'll be going to the gym in a bit.  I think those are all really strong, positive steps towards change.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Favorites - Back to School Edition

I officially start school today, and my kids go back to school next Thursday.

In some ways, I'm ready for structure and routine.  In other ways I don't want summer to end.  I like structure and routine, but I also like lounging in my house.  And I didn't get much time to lounge this summer because I taught summer school.  I like the start of a new year, but it's also crazy hectic and time consuming to get up and running.  Oh well.  The lament of all teachers.

But since this is Friday FAVORITES, I should focus on the good stuff!  Here goes.

1. Hot lunch.  I like it when the kids choose hot lunch at school.  That being said, I don't have much room to complain, because over the last year, I trained them to pack their own lunches.  They are in 5th and 8th grades, after all!  Still, it's nice not to have to think of anything for a few mornings each month.

I was surprised that Hudson only chose three lunches this month and none of them pizza!  Is he thinking of his health?  Did he just not like the choices listed?  I don't know.  I don't care!

2. A new lesson plan book.  All teachers at my school are required to submit lesson plans through a program called  I've been using this electronic lesson plan for years and love the versatility and ease of submitting the plans to my principal.  However, I also like to have a pencil/paper planbook for long term planning and calendar items.  Ah, the wonder of a blank book!

I've gone the expensive route with an Erin Condren planner in the past.  I loved that planner because it was so pretty, but I didn't use it enough to justify the cost.  I chose to go less than $20 for this version at GW School Supply.  If I don't use the planner the way I have it planned in my head, I'm not out that much money.  It's my goal to actively use the paper planner every day at school as reminders for upcoming things on my to do list.

3. New Day Planner
Again, I've had two different pricey day planners in the past and just didn't use them as much as I dreamed I would.  I still wanted a planner for life purposes, appointments, bills, etc.  I just didn't want to spend a lot of money.  This one was from Target...I think.

The start of a new school year is like my New Year's.  I typically get goal oriented and have desires for organization.  It doesn't always happen, but it's where my mindset is this time of year.

Excited to start using this day planner.

4. La Croix - I feel like this is the new "it" drink.  I see people all over my social media feeds drinking this stuff.  I started drinking it last fall when I started my first Whole30.  (I'm currently in the middle of my 3rd Whole30.)  I like this flavor and pomegranate.  I need to branch out from Wal Mart to find more flavors.

I prefer to drink these with meals as a replacement for other beverages I can't have.  I'm not as big of a fan drinking them without food.  Yesterday, I was busy helping at school with registration and it was hot and I was tired.  There was a kid in the room with a fresh bottle of Diet Coke.  I swear, I wanted to trip him and steal his soda!  Cravings suck!

5. My new sparkle shirt.  I haven't bought a new OLPH Shirt in quite a while, so I treated myself to some bling!

The shirt also has a little glittery Cougar paw on the back!  So cute!  I am also glad to get back in gear with school because I do my hair and makeup each day.  If it's a casual summer day, I'm not putting in that type of effort, but I always feel better and more confident about myself if I'm put together.

6. New uniforms.  As much as I hated the task, I made the boys try on all the uniforms in the house.  It was a major process.  Then I was able to snag enough at the used uniform sale that I only needed to buy two new polos for Hudson.  #win

This is only a fraction of uniforms that I store in closets until they fit my boys. #storagebinsfordays

I feel like I "won" at the used uniform sale!  Only had to buy two blue polos at the new prices.  And even then I had a coupon!

Back to school we go.  Here's to early mornings, routines, homework, grading papers, lesson planning, and hanging with my best teacher friend at school!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Why, Hello There! Yes, I'm Alive!

It's an actual, honest to goodness post!  I have no intention of keeping up regularly on this blog, but I have some time today, my laptop was actually on, and I figured I'd do a multi-month update.

The only part of the blog that I actively keep up with is the Books Read tabs.  Go there to see what I read last year and this year.

So, what have we been up to?  A long hot summer.

I taught summer school for six weeks.  We took several day trips to the ocean. We took a mini vacation to Universal Studios. Now I'm getting back to business at school.

We spent last Wednesday at Universal, and we took it easy on Thursday.  We were originally going to go back to Universal on Thursday, but there was a little mix up with ticket blackout dates.  No problem.  It allowed us to sleep and swim!

We were so tired from the trip the day before.  It was nice to sleep in and spend leisure time at the pool.  The weather was perfect for Eric and me to lounge on a chair poolside.

Hudson enjoyed the pool.

I love it when my boys get along.

Love those smiles!

So relaxed.

Messy hair, no makeup, new sunglasses.  It was pretty nice.

We stayed at the Universal Sheraton hotel.  It's probably the fanciest hotel the boys have stayed in.  I love a striped pool towel that makes me feel like I'm at a private resort!

I got spiffy new Beats that match my phone, my watch, and my iPad!

While it would have been cool to be in a room way up there, our room was awesome as well because it had a sliding door that opened directly to the pool!

I'll do a whole separate post on our day at Universal Studios another day.  Here's a few other things happening in 4C world.

One of the very few days this summer that I didn't get up at 4 a.m.  I enjoyed coffee in bed.  I love it when Eric gets up and makes me my cup of coffee and delivers it to my nightstand!  That's love!  I was really enjoying my coffee, blanket, and bed this day.

I started my third round of Whole30, but I'm pretty certain that I'm going to make it a Whole45.  I'll write another post talking about why I'm doing that.  We shop at Trader Joe's each week for groceries.  I've seen this seasoning in various Instagram posts and needed to try it out for myself.  So good!

I made the kids try on every last living piece of uniform clothing that we own.  They loved it!  It's not anyone's favorite day, but it is a must to see what we have and what we need.  I was able to grab a used items at school and only had to buy two polo shirts for Hudson.  #majorwin

Mango salsa with bbq chicken.  Thank goodness I like raw veggies in a salad.

This is what I was able to snag at school from the used uniforms.  I was super happy to get most of what we needed.

It always cracks me up when I see this dog upside in his bed!

I took this picture yesterday and sent it to Eric because it has been a while since I've had hair and makeup done!  I'm also liking my new sparkle shirt!

I'm not looking forward to the stress of working, but I'm looking forward to days filled with purpose and routine...if that makes any sense!  I love what I do.  I just don't like to get stressed.  The beginning of the year is always awesome with new beginnings, but it can definitely be stressful.

As always, I'd love to blog more, but other stuff just seems to get in the way.  One thing that might help is an idea that we have to redo our family room concept.  I'm hoping to give myself a dedicated spot to do work (school work, laptop, blog, etc.).  I don't have a space like this at home, and I need one!

I'm not putting any pressure on myself to write regularly, but I never want to let this little piece of our world go!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday

I'm linking up with Andrea today at Momfessionals to discuss the topic of Steal vs. Splurge.

Typically I am a pretty thrifty person who is uncomfortable with spending money.  However, after being married for nearly 14 years to a man who has no trouble spending large amounts of money, I've come over to his side on a few things!


There are so many areas in which I don't mind one single bit at saving money.  

Clothes - I wear clothes from Kohl's, Target, Old Navy, or any place where I can spend less than $30 for pants.  However, I did make a conscious effort to look nicer for work last year and spent a bit of money at New York and Company buying nice outfits.  But again, NY&C is not really high end.  I like their stuff and it has lasted well over a year, but I'm not breaking the bank buying a pair of pants and a blouse.

Shoes - I've got lots of shoes, and most of them are from Payless Shoe Source.  Well, my heels for work are from there.  I will spend more on good running shoes.  It's important to keep your feet happy.

Hair - I color my own hair with dye from a box.  I go to the cheap hair cutting place at the strip mall to get trims.

Groceries - Wal Mart Neighborhood Market is where it's at!  Especially with their Savings Catcher app.  I let them comparison shop for me.  We usually earn back $50 every six months or so!  

Books - I love the online library borrowing system.  I like to purchase my "make me better" books, but I'm all for reading fiction for free.

Gas - Costco gas cards all the way.  Cheapest gas in town.

Exercise gear - Every time we go to Dick's Sporting Goods Store, I lust over the Calia line by Carrie Underwood.  But I just cannot make myself buy a pair of leggins for $80.  Not when I can get Champion brand leggings at Target for $20.  This is a category where I just might swing to the other side...someday.

Exercise Bra - That being said, good support up top is of extreme importance (in my opinion) and I spend quite a bit on my Enell bra.  Worth every penny.  It's not that pretty, but it gets the job done.

Purse - I'm always buying cheaper purses at Kohl's and they are ripping within a year.  My husband wants to buy me a nice expensive purse.  We'll see.  He believes you get what you pay for.

Bubble Bath - I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bubble baths.  And I like lots of foam.  I buy the 1/2 gallon size of bubble bath at Wal Mart for $3.  I never feel guilty about dumping tons of suds in for a bath at that price.


Nails - I quit getting my nails done last year and switched over to polishing them myself.  I like to splurge on OPI polish.  

Makeup - I have a sun spot on my cheek that drives me bananas.  In an effort to cover it up, I went to Ulta and the girl (with rhinestones glued to her eyelids) recommended IT makeup.  Tried it.  Love it.  Worth it.

Exercise Bra - see above

Groceries - While I mainly shop at Wal Mart, lately we have been heading over to Trader Joe's for better quality meats and produce.  They are pretty comparable in price, so it's not a huge over splurge.

See?  I'm bad at the splurge side!  It's okay because my husband will spoil me so I don't have to do it myself!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday Talk - Kids in Sports

Today I'm joining in with Erika and Ashley for Tuesday Talk.

Today's topic is completely wide open.  I was giving it some thought as to what I was going to write about and came up with kids in sports.  It's a topic that is NEAR and DEAR to my heart!  The crazy ups and downs that come with sports, the nutty parents (me), and the lessons learned are all a part of our life.  It seems like a natural topic for me to start with today.

A little background:
We have two sons. Evan is 12 and in 7th grade, and Hudson is 9 and in 4th grade.  Both are very athletic.  They both started playing sports at a very early age.  I think Evan was playing outdoor soccer at four, and I'm pretty sure we had Hudson playing indoor soccer at age 3.  Both kids played soccer for their school teams, played competitive travel soccer, ran track, played flag football for school, basketball for school, and they are now getting into competitive basketball.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be a soccer mom.  I never played soccer, didn't understand soccer, and certainly didn't think I'd be screaming my head off on the sideline hoping and praying for a goal!

Evan the soccer stud.

We truly didn't know what we were getting into back when Evan was in 2nd grade. I can clearly remember being at his little school soccer game and contemplating "looking into competitive soccer" after the school season was over.  Evan's best friend was already a part of a travel team.  We asked the friend's dad about it that day, and he basically encouraged/pressured/suggested/cajoled us into going out to the competitive soccer game the very next day!  We went, not sure if the team was looking for more players (they were), not knowing if Evan was good enough (he was), and not sure of what was expected (we learned quickly)!

It has literally been a whirlwind since that day over five years ago.  Evan quickly became a strong defender and we had some of the best times traveling up and down California with our team going to games and weekend tournaments.  Hotel stays with the other parents were a blast!

Winning a State Cup Title was a blast!

My husband quickly jumped in with both feet becoming the manager for the team, organizing events, helping with fundraisers, and being at every practice rain or shine.  If Eric was involved 110%, I was making it to 95% of the practices and events.  It took over our lives.  And then Hudson got involved as well.  Two kids with two practices each week each lasting two hours and countless hours on the weekend.  An hour game come with an hour warm-up, half time, and after game meeting.  It was a minimum three-hour committment for games...and that was when we were in town. 

After five years, I was EXHAUSTED!  And I didn't even know it.  This sporting lifestyle was also on top of participating in regular school sport teams, volunteer work, full time jobs, church, and trying to have some sort of down time every now and then.  A funny thing about soccer (in my opinion), is there isn't really a season.  It just keeps going, and going, and going.  We never really had a break.  In five years.

There were many parts about their time in soccer that I loved. Watching games is fun, hotel stays, winning state championships, watching my kids grow athletically, watching my kids make amazing friends.

These two have inseperable since they were five.  Evan is the blondie.

There were many parts about their time in soccer that I hated.  The time committment was endless.  The extreme weather of dealing with an outdoor sport.  I am not so much of an outdoor girl.  I burn in the summer and freeze in the winter.  The cost.  This stuff is NOT cheap!  That's another reason my husband got so helped to defray some of our costs.

Watching a State Cup Championship in a rain storm.  Good times.

About a year ago, there were some changes in the soccer rules and regulations that changed the age brackets for the kids.  It changed the structure of the team and things just weren't the same.  Evan came to us this past summer and said he wanted to take a break.  So we did.  And it was GLORIOUS!  I didn't realize how run down and ragged I had become until the child helped us all to stop!  He needed a break, we needed a break.  He said he wanted to focus on basketball.  So we are.  And I love it.

We put both boys into a summer basketball and a fall basketball camp.  Very little committment and they both had a lot of fun.  We are now nearing the end of the school basketball season and will put them in a spring camp before starting competitive leagues.  

You may be wondering why?  I just got done moaning about the competitive soccer, so why would I start this all over again for basketball?  Plain and simple, because the boys like it and they want to participate.

Hudson is playing for his school team.

Get it, Huddy!

Hudson earned the Sportsmanship ribbon that week!

I'm a firm believer in the value of sports.  I think the lessons that kids learn from working together as a team, winning and losing, dedication to practice, working to get all makes kids more well rounded.  Physical activity is especially important.  We have noticed a HUGE difference in Evan's attitude when he gets physical activity.  He's a whole different kid.  Pleasant, funny, and easy to be around.  When he sits around all day, watch out!  He's cranky, listless, and nasty.

Is the money, time, and energy worth it?  Will these kids move past high school level sports?  Yes, it is worth it for the reasons I just mentioned.  Will they make it past high school?  I can't answer that.  However, I always say, someone's kid has to.  Will it be mine?  I don't know.  But if playing college or professional sports is a dream of either of my boy's, then I'd like to do anything I can to help them get there.

For any of you out there with littles just about to get into sports, I'd say a very important thing to do is listen to your child.  We listened when Evan said that he wanted to take a break.  However, it was a break.  He did not quit in the middle of a season.  He knew he'd be going back to a sport in the fall whether that was soccer or something else.  And he knew we valued his opinion on what he wanted to do.  I think those lessons were important for all of us.

Plus, it's fun!  We just won 2nd place in a basketball tournament, and we are all still riding high on the fun of it from the weekend!

Evan is #15 in white.

I love it when I catch him smiling while playing.  That is what it's about!  Having a good time doing something you love.

Two years in a row going to the Championship Game!  Second place winners!

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Little Bit of This and That

Hudson was back to school after one day home.  A good night's sleep did him wonders.  I, however, have been fighting cold symptoms for six weeks.  I finally took myself to the doctor this week and got antibiotics and steroids to clear up the severe congestion.  I'm finally feeling a little more like myself.

We did an art project with our Jr. Kinder buddies and then all walked back to our classroom for some partner reading.  My class was wall to wall kids that afternoon!

I love my Apple watch.  I was impressed with myself on the 5th because that green ring means I got in at least 30 minutes of activity and the blue ring means that I moved each hour.

Laura and I went to Boot Camp and then we headed to a church meeting.  The Pastoral Council is starting six different areas of ministry that are designed to revitalize the church.  We are interested in the Religious Education ministry.

I've been using this app to keep track of my water intake.  

I put Christmas away last weekend.  It sucked.  I hate taking down all the pretty Christmas ornaments, lights, and sparkles.  Eric took all the boxes out to the shed before that massive rainstorms hit our area all week.  I hated doing it, but I'm glad it is done.

This second week back to school was rougher for me than the first week back.  It could be because it was raining ALL WEEK LONG!  We aren't used to this much water falling from they sky.  It made me want to get home, change into pajamas, and burrow into my blanket.  And that's pretty much what I did all week.  I didn't work out, I crashed under my blanket, I read books, and I ate a bunch of comfort food.

I've been keeping up with lesson plans, grading, and responsibilities really well over the past two months.  For some reason, I didn't keep us as well this week.  That is also quite frustrating.  It will just take a few hours of concentrated effort to get back on track, so I'm trying not to beat myself up too much.  I just hate falling behind.

We have a basketball tournament this weekend.  That will be fun, but it takes us an hour out of town on both Saturday and Sunday.  Evan is fighting a cold, so hopefully he'll make it through the tournament without too much struggle.  

Besides wanting to do nothing but read and be in my pajamas, things are good!  We get a few days break from rain and then are scheduled for three more days of rain next week.  It might sound goofy, but the rain wears me out!