Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Florida Vacation 2013: Day 1

In the midst of blistery cold WI weather and snow up to our eyeballs, we were lucky enough to be able to travel someplace warm again -- visiting my parents in Ft. Myers, FL.  What a treat!

The boys are well conditioned to travelling by now, and we do have a few tricks up our sleeves to make travel easier:

1) pack snacks and lunches -- most TSA will let you through with food and even juice boxes.  The Milwaukee airport let us through with them no problem -- with the caveat that they had to be removed from the cooler I had them packed in.  Now, Ft Myers was a WHOLE different story.  They told me that I could either poke a hole in them so they could 'test' it (and then they would be a piece of tape over that hole) or I could get a 'thorough pat down'.  I opted for the pat down and just kept laughing saying "the things we do for our kids" and "juice is obviously a threat".  It was pretty funny.

2) go to the dollar store and pick up some cheap coloring books -- and stickers.  That way you won't worry if they get lost or roll under the seats.  Stickers are a great fun toy to play with (just don't let them stick them on the plane, LOL).

3) Bring their 'blankie' or other lovey type item that they like to sleep with.  9 times out of 10 the noise and the movement will lull them to sleep

4) If you have a portable gaming device or tablet, bring kiddie sized headphones.  In order to hear the movie/game over the drone of the plane, they'd have to turn it up pretty loud -- no one wants to hear that.  Adult sized headphones fall off little heads and aren't comfie.  Invest in kiddo sized ones.

5)  If you can, plane your trip DURING naptime.  This totally worked to our benefit as both boys passed out hard for the majority of the flight. SCORE.  Just make sure that you have everything YOU want for the flight in front of you in the event that they pass out on your arm (see above).

My parents met us at the airport and whisked us home quickly so the boys could jump in the pool quickly before bedtime.  It was a great end to a day of travel.  Everyone was VERY excited to see each other!

The next day we took out Grumpy's new boat.  Both the boys were thrilled to be riding on the boat. Little Max assigned himself as "Captain Number 2" and decided he only had to answer to "Captain Number 1" aka Grumpy.  He did a pretty good job navigating...

We're always treated to lots of birds and wildlife down in Florida.  Such a nice changeover from the cold and dreary back home!

Grumpy shows the boys how to fish...

Mom got a little lounging time in all by herself at the front of the boat.

Granna and little Max who is 'driving' the boat.

Lots of the area by my parents' house is slow speed zone because of the manatees.  We saw them quite a few times during our stay there.  They are so cute!

We stopped at a mini beach before heading home for the day.  The boys loved throwing little pebbles into the water and searching for shells.  It was a great relaxing way to start the vacation!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Whole Food Cleanse - 3 week challenge - FINISHED!

For the past 3 weeks, I have been participating in a Whole Foods Cleanse.  Today is my first day 'back to reality' but I have decided to slowly re-condition my body back to reality (which admittedly will be a changed reality from before the cleanse...and that's a GOOD thing).  The Cleanse was a huge success -- for MANY different reasons, which I will go into more detail about below.  But first, the background:

My friend and fellow Nov 2007 mommy friend, Heather, is the one that proposed and guided us through the Cleanse.  Heather's full time job is working as a trainer/nutritionist in Arizona (check her out HERE).  Even though she lives in the southwest, she will work with you no matter WHERE you live.  I have purchased a meal plan from her in the past, and she is great about catering to your specific needs/wants and matching up a plan to your lifestyle.  READ - DOABLE!  Nobody wants to be set up for failure right off the bat!!  Having worked with Heather in the past, I know she's a tough cookie....but I also know that her plans WORK (if you have the willpower and drive to stick with it). 


And the best part is that I have maintained this weight loss!  (I even dropped a few more pounds from my June 2012 update...and then during the holidays put them back on, oh well.  My lifetime goal is to stick around 130).  Because I am not focusing on weight loss anymore, my new goals now are to tone and increase muscle mass.  But I want to know about the Cleanse!

So, when Heather proposed to our group of 'Healthy Moms' that we do a 21 day/3 week cleanse -- I know we all panicked a little bit (or at least I know I did!!).  She suggested a contest for the cleanse -- a meal plan was up for grabs (for FREE) -- if we just 'applied' and stated our cause on WHY we thought we should get picked to do the plan.  Naturally, the competitive side of me decided to jump in and apply....I didn't really think she would pick me because...well...I've already DONE one of her plans and, well, I just didn't think she'd pick me....

So, imagine my surprise when I woke up Monday morning only to discover that SHE PICKED ME.  And not only that, but she picked ANOTHER mommy friend (another friend who has also rocked her weight loss in the past following one of Heather's plans).  Fear, competition, name it -- they all set in!  Not only was I going to be in competition with myself...but with and against a friend!!  The rules were simple:  follow the meal plan, provide photographic evidence of workouts and food choices (from the plan) and post updates/progress once a week.  Basically -- BARE YOUR SOUL.  Luckily, it is a private FB group so all my other FB friends were spared from seeing countless pictures of my sweaty face or my lunch for that day.

I knew going into the Cleanse that there would be some pretty strict restrictions:  no coffee, no processed foods, no alcohol, no dairy....I was determined to not let these things scare/deter me.  It's just food, after all -- and I reminded myself that I am in control of MY body....not FOOD.

Heather put together a very specific meal plan, complete with recipes and exercise recommendations/levels of exertion for each day.  My job was to follow the plan and NOT CHEAT!

I am happy to report that I DID IT!  21 days without coffee, alcohol, wine, CHEESE, milk, or anything processed.  The first few days were ROUGH -- although the caffeine withdrawal wasn't as bad as I was anticipating...but it was still bad.  Smelling a fresh pot of brewing coffee each morning at work was temptation at its finest!  As were the girl scout cookies and other sweet treats that my coworkers snacked on or shared in the break room   It was hard not to break down and 'just have one'...but I managed (somehow).

I grew to like tea (decaf). At the end of it all, I don't think that carrots or blueberries or strawberries or even almonds have EVER tasted sweeter to me.  Without any of that processed sugar entering my body, I was finally able to taste things how they really OUGHT to taste!  It was pretty impressive!

And my first cup of coffee this morning?  I'm still sipping on just doesn't taste the same anymore.  And to be honest?  I'm not really that upset about that!

21 day cleanse results:
Pounds lost = -3.7 lbs (~2.8% weight loss)
Inches lost = -3.5
BF% lost = -1.5%

So there you have it.  I bared my soul and "big" nose (and all my stats -- SCARY) to you all.  Maybe somebody can make fun of me again just to make themselves feel better.  Go ahead...I'm tough...I can take it!  But first, I challenge YOU to try something similar! Just try to cut out some of the processed foods from your diet....or at least pay attention to what you are eating and what is processed and what is not -- I promise will be shocked!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Product Review: L'Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

Anyone who knows me knows I love to try new things...and to get to try them for free is even better, right?

That's why I love being a member of SheSpeaks!  SheSpeaks is a community powered by women who love to get the latest scoop and share what's hot. Signing up is free, so check it out!

So, I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that I was chosen to test out L'Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream.    The cream promises to "give the sheer coverage needed to create a natural bare skin finish, while delivering built-in skincare benefits. With four beautifying actions, this all-in-one innovation primes and smoothes, perfects to hide flaws, hydrates all-day, and corrects and evens skin. The product is infused with skincare ingredients like Panthenol, Vitamin E and Glycerin for 24-hour moisturization."
Loreal BB Cream

To apply, simply dot on and blend with fingertips. Self-adjusting beads will instantly transform and blend to your skin tone.

And yes, you are in luck. I took some before/after pictures and even some VIDEO!  **Gasp**  Don't make too much fun of me, OK?  Promise?

First of all, this cream is really amazing.  I love how it comes out white and then as you rub it on your skin it blends and matches your skin tone.  It was almost magical, actually!  Also, I am not a big makeup fan -- I hardly wear it at all -- mainly because I don't like the feel of something cakey or thick on my I am pretty particular about what I use.  This stuff was SO lightweight it felt like a liquid powder on my skin.  I really liked it. And the coverage for being so light was very impressive.  Well...see for yourself:

And now, just because I know you want to see me in action, I've even taken a video of me using the BB cream.  Eat your heart out!  :)

L'Oréal Paris Magic BB Cream retails for $10.95 for 1 fl oz. It is available in four shades and is sold at mass food and drug retailers nationwide. Click here to find out more.

*Disclaimer:  This is my own honest opinion.  A free product was provided to facilitate this review.*

Friday, February 8, 2013

Project 366: Week 53

365 grandpa and puppies

365|366 Dec 30, 2012 - grandpa's back hurt so he was chillin with the pups

366 cousins

366|366 Dec 31, 2012 - chillin on the couch with cousins on NYE

366 family

366|366 Dec 31, 2012 - spending some quality time with Great Grandma

Project 366: Week 52

358 headlamp

358|366 Dec 23, 2012 -- the real way to watch Mickey Mouse

359 present

359|366 Dec 24, 2012 - little Max picked out the ring for me all by himself and said it was 'pretty, just like you Mom!' AWww....

360 xmas morning

360|366 Dec 25, 2012 -- xmas morning before the craziness!

361 flexing

361|366 Dec 26, 2012 - picking out some new (FREE) workout clothes at Old Navy!

362 buddies

362|366 Dec 27, 2012 -- these two picked it up right where they left off this summer

363 first time on skates

363|366 Dec 28, 2012 - Sam's first time on skates!

363 prepping the ice

363|366 Dec 28, 2012 -- Clearing the ice for skating at Jim and Bridgette's

364 tutu

364|366 Dec 29, 2012 -- Sam took advantage of the tutu since we don't have this at home

Project 366: Week 51

   351 mohawk

351|366 Dec 16, 2012 -- Sam asked the hair stylist for a mohawk. Silly boy!

352 max squared

352|366 Dec 17, 2012 - max squared

353 xmas show

353|366 Dec 18, 2012 -- max performing in his xmax concert

354 snowflake

354|366 Dec 19, 2012 -- my little snowflake

355 Cookie crew

355|366 Dec 20,2012 -- the cookie crew decorating our cut out cookies

355 cookies

355|366 Dec 20, 2012 -- xmax cookies.

356 vampire

356|366 Dec 21, 2012 -- wine makes me silly.

357 caramels

357|366 Dec 22, 2012 -- Max and I make some damn good sea salt caramels.