Thursday, August 28, 2014

We just spent a week in Michigan and let me tell you when I say Penelope is an angel baby. We had a six hour flight with a layover included AND woke up this girl at 3am and she didn't cry. Not once. I was so scared of our first flight with her and she handled it like a pro. Throughout the week we did at least an hour of driving back and forth and seriously...I kid you not when I say Penelope cried only a few times the whole week. She's so flexible and sweet.

Now she's running and loves to run back and forth endlessly. I found that going on vacation with a baby isn't really what I would consider a vacation. No relaxing, or mindlessly flipping through magazines, or sipping margaritas on the beach. Our vacation was spent running after Penelope, putting her to sleep, driving, stressing about what she was going to shove in her mouth, making sure all the younger kids didn't freak her out, cooking her meals...you get the picture. 

In retrospect I realize that I'm even more exhausted of making sure she didn't do things I would normally let her do so people didn't think I was a horrible parent. Like eating a card, or letting her explore everything on her own. I spent a lot more time worrying about what she was doing, so as not to give anyone the impression that I was the poster child for bad parenting.

Then towards the end of the trip I realized what people perceive me to be as a parent and what I actually am will sometimes be polar opposites. Because I know I'm a fantastic parent and I know the reason why I let her do the things she does, and not do the things she doesn't. And I have to be comfortable with that perception. So I let her gnaw on a playing card...the worst that will happen is she will poop out an Ace. 

Public perception rarely equals the reality. What you think of me or my parenting isn't my business. Once I realized that, the last two days I was able to relax so much more. Penelope ate some sand, and half a playing card. She moseyed around in the living room on her own and low and behold...she is fine! Ahhhh vacations!

Pre-flight selfie. Yes that look is fear of the unknown :)

This recipe was invented by me due to the need for something easy for dinner and something super healthy. I like to make tons of chicken at once and save it for future salads or meals.

1. Buy clearance meat to save money and cook it the same day
2. Make yummy rice with the leftovers in the pan. Just add 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of stock with some salt and pepper. Nothing goes to waste!
3. Pre-cut your veggies to make an even quicker process the next nights.

pre-cook process

1 tbsp Honey Mustard
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Dash salt and pepper

1 pack of chicken breast organic
2 handfuls of spring salad mix organic
1/4 red onion sliced
1 cup cabbage shredded
1/4 thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Boiled egg
1/3 cup feta cheese
2 tbsp coconut oil
Lemon pepper

Mix together dressing ingredients in separate bowl. Set aside. Sprinkle generous amount of lemon pepper on uncooked chicken and 1 tsp of salt. Heat up 2 tbsp of coconut oil in large pan. When oil is hot, place chicken on pan side by side. When chicken no longer sticks to pan, turn it over and sprinkle generously with more lemon paper and a dash of salt. Cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan and set on plate, set aside.

Using large bowl throw all other unused ingredients in top with dressing and use your hands to lightly mix. DO NOT SQUEEZE!

Use fork to shred chicken into little pieces and top over salad.

Serves 2


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

With vacation just being over and getting back into the grind of normal day to day activities I skipped updating the one week results and instead mashed up two weeks. I'd like to say I was really good on vacation which was my intention. But that would be a lie.

There were many nights of food being made for us for dinner and it was insanely tasty and virtually impossible for me to eat just a small portion. I also drank like a sailor. When in Rome?

With that being said I do want to give myself a pat on the back for at least being conscious and making good choices sometimes instead of going balls out 24/7. Going and buying salad for myself instead of eating with everyone else. Skipping out on ice cream for our ice cream stop. Walking Penelope in the morning when I was able to.

I'm back to eating my signature salad most nights (recipe coming Thursday) and not eating anything after dinner. This really does help SO much. I weighed myself before going to Michigan and I had already lost two pounds just three days into my challenge. After dinner, if I get hungry I drink insane amounts of 100% green tea. And you do feel like your starving the first night of doing this by the way. But let's be real. That's not starving, that's just your body missing nights of mindless munching in front of the tube.

Next week I'll include my meals again.

Losing 1 lb including a vacation week, it could be better but it could of been a lot worse so I'll take it!:


Monday, August 11, 2014

Yesterday after weeks of being put on rest (no activity) I was getting antsy just sitting around with all this extra flab. By sitting around I mean I can't work out, walk too much, do any body weights...nada. Running a few errands is the extent of my allowable actions.

And as frustrating as that is I finally realized I'm not totally helpless to still reaching my goal of getting my weight down. I still have control over my diet. I recruited my hubby to create a buddy program that keeps us accountable for our eating. Yesterday being our first day was extremely difficult, we kept complaining.

But sticking to it gets easier...and easier...and easier.

Below I've shared constant tricks and tips that have worked for me. These are tried and true and used consistently they will shred lbs off. KEY WORD: Consistency.

And so the challenge is back. But with no physical activity I have to be realistic about my goals. So my goal this week is to lose 2 lbs.

Starting weight: 154


- Drink a glass of hot water and lemon in the morning
- Eat like a queen for breakfast, princess for lunch, and peasant for dinner
- Don't eat your heavy carbs at dinner, try to stick to soups, salads...anything light
- Don't eat anything after dinner
- Always eat breakfast
- Meal plan

(This is for M, T, W only as we are going on vacation)

Bfast M, T, W - Homemade pesto, egg, parmesan burrito
Lunch M, T, W - Brown rice, stir fried veggies, chicken
Dinner M, T, W - Salad, chicken
Snacks - Grapes, Fiber One Bars, Greek Yogurt, Veggie Shake

If anyone wants to join with me please do comment below and also if you've already started then I really need your comments below to keep me motivated!


Friday, August 1, 2014

So I frequently get the question "How do you guys do it?". By this people mean how do we live in the Bay Area off of one income with a three person household. And in all honesty I get both ends of that questions. On one end we live in a society where car payments are considered a normal bill like PG&E (which I think is false) and where we pay $1 a minute in the Bay to breathe the air. On the other end of the spectrum, I also believe that it's a lot easier then people may think.

But there are so many different components to answer the "how do you do it" question. So today I wanted to touch on one that scares many new upcoming families. Or to just help out the families who feel like they're spending up the ass for their babies.

This advice is NOT for older children. I know nothing about saving for them yet since we haven't reached that bridge. But here's some great tips that I use to save crazy amounts of $$ for Penelope who is drinking excessive amounts of formula and using I'm sure what is the regular amount of diapers. 

Target Target Target. I've searched for the cheapest pack of economy sized diapers and it's at Target. Secondly, if you watch the ads you will consistently get a $20 gift card for buying two boxes. Third, Pampers ALWAYS has coupons for BabyDry. Fourth, if you are a Target RedCard member (which is free and not a credit card) you get 5% off your entire purchase. Always buy two boxes, it saves you money here in the long run. And lastly, because you are a frequent shopper of baby items you get coupons for those items in the mail. So let me give you a standard diaper shopping trip equation for me:
Pampers Baby Dry Economy Size $34.99 x 2 = $70
Target Buy2 Economy boxes get $20 gift card
Target Coupon $2 off two boxes diapers
Pampers Coupon $1.50 off box Baby Dry Diapers (Print 2)
Target Coupon Book $10 gift card with baby purchase of $50 or more
Use Target RedCard get 5% off total
GRAND TOTAL = $33.00 for two boxes saved $37

Also, please don't waste your money on Swaddlers. If your a new parent and you still don't know for the first month or so then fine. But after at most two months, you should be able to know without looking at the line that your baby needs to be changed. 

Again Target. First, buying name brands of baby formula is a waste of money for us. For example Similac for 22.2 oz is $22. Target brand formula for 40 oz is $22.49. So virtually double amount of formula for the same price. I read all of the reviews on the Soy Formula before Penelope was born and decided to try the Target brand. Same ingredients, no sensitivities and Penelope loves it. Also have a couple friends who used it and loved it. That gift card I just got for buying diapers I now use to buy formula. Simply buy your formula in a separate transaction to use your gift card. Meaning, separate your purchase on the register belt with that fancy bar thing and wala!
Target Soy Formula $17.99 x 4 = $72
Use $20 gift card 
Use $10 gift card
Use Target RedCard get 5% off total
Use Target Cartwheel App save 5% off Target brand formula
Use Target coupon online $1 off 2 Target formulas (print 2)
GRAND TOTAL = $35.80 saved $36.20

Every moms favorite category :) Toys I believe are over rated and personally I think we go way overboard. So we have some, but not many and realistically I don't believe a child needs too much to be amused. Just your time and their own imagination. Also, going places with them is virtually free. And if you get a library card you get to visit places like Exploratorium for free. Just ask them about their museum program. For clothing here's a list of great stores that you need to sign up for immediately, to receive emails about discounts. And pleassse don't be a secondhand snob, because you can simply wash used clothes and you have options for your precious little baby:

Old Navy
Crazy 8

Lastly. If you do a lot of online shopping like me, sign up for Ebates. You get cash back on shopping virtually anywhere online. For free...a fancy check in the mail.

Sorry so long but hope it helps some of you mothers out there trying to save $$$ for funner things like vacations or date nights!