Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Our Visit With Santa

We originally planned to see Santa on Monday since the boys had the week off of school and it would most likely not be too crowded. On Monday afternoon when we were getting ready Carson told me he had a headache and didn't think he wanted to go (which isn't like him at all). I checked his temperature and he was running a fever of 101.8. We stayed home and thankfully with some tylenol Carson was quickly back to his old self. I made an appointment with his pediatrician just to get him checked out and in the clear. Knowing that we are going out of town this week I certainly didn't want to leave town with a sick child. 
We went to the doctor early Tuesday morning and thankfully Carson was negative for the flu and strep (those were two things I was most concerned about). Our pediatrician thinks Carson had a bad cold and his body was trying to fight it off. Since we got the clear from the doctor we decided to go to Lawrenceville to see Santa. When we got to Bass Pro around 11 we realized Santa wasn't going to be there until we decided to make a day of it. We had lunch with Kerry, went to build-a-bear workshop and walked around the mall. Here are some pictures from our day. 

Getting the all clear at the our favorite doctor

I love how all the rooms are painted in his office 
I can't even remember how many times he has been here!! 

They love all the games at Bass Pro 

Carson always keeps his hands in his pockets!  
Finally getting to see Santa 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five On Friday

Happy Friday! Today I'm linking up with Leslie from A Blonde Ambition  for confessional Friday and the girls for Five on Friday.

We normally put our tree up after Thanksgiving and since we have been married we have never decorated earlier. This year we went ahead and started to decorate!! I know people have their pet peeves about this, but we are going out of town for 10 days between now and Christmas, so I want to enjoy my decorations for as long as I can. I
 love the feeling in my home when it's dark and the tree lights are shining. There is still something so magical about this time of year to me!

I set a goal for myself to work out at least 15 times in the month of November. Well it wasn't really going well until this week!!! I have managed to take a Pure Barre Class or go to the gym Every. Single. Day this week!! Woohoo! I guess knowing I'll be in a bathing suit in less than 2 weeks lights a fire to get moving. : ) 

My husband and I worked on this table for the last week and I am in LOVE with the way it turned out! Our dining room has been empty for a very long time and I'm so excited to finally see it with a table! I know this table will be special for years to come just knowing that we worked on it together and laughed so much during the process.

This has got to be my favorite meal lately!! This week makes the third time I have made this chili recipe!! It is Whole30 and Paleo approved!

I had pictures taken, ordered and received my Christmas cards! I'm going to wait until at least the 1st of December to mail them out, but feeling oh so productive! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Family Pictures

It's that time of year again where we are deciding what to wear for family pictures and picking out the perfect Christmas card to send to friends and family. I am pretty certain that the 3 boys I live with dread this so much every year. However, I am certain that they love looking back at pictures from the past years just as much as I do!

I contacted several different photographers to get pricing on photo sessions and scanned through their availability. After much deliberation I decided to let a friend use my fancy camera (that never gets used) and see what kind of pictures she could get. We have so much going on this year that I just couldn't fathom spending $200 on a photo session that included ONE actual print or download! I have paid so much for pictures in the past and sometimes it has been worth it and sometimes it has been a complete waste.

We picked the coldest day of the year to take pictures!! It was so windy and cold and the sun was setting quickly! However, I think we got a couple of good pictures and that was worth it to me!! Here are a few outtakes from our day (more like 20 minutes)  at the Botanical Gardens. And of course I am saving the best ones for our Christmas cards! 

This is how most pictures turned out! What you can expect with the 3 guys?!?! 
Walker could have gotten the marker off his hand first 
How did I get so lucky?!? 

A little blurry
Trying to recreate a photo I saw on Pinterest! Ha-it didn't go as planned! (As with many of my Pinterest ideas) 
This was my favorite picture of all the ones that were taken. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Confessional Friday: {Link Up}

Woohoo it's Friday! Today, I am linking up with Leslie for Confessional Friday. 

1. I confess I drink way too much coffee!! I used to have 1 cup every morning and now I'm a 3 cup a day kinda girl! I was a little too excited when I got this notification in my email this week! 
I made it to the GOLD level at Starbucks! I'm really not even sure what this means-excpet the fact that I drink a lot of coffee! 
2.  I completed the Whole30 challenge a little over week ago. I blogged about my experience mostly for my own personal record. However, the Whole30 website and Facebook page found my blog and shared my post on their website. My blog is written for fun mainly so that I can look back years from now and see what we (my family) were up to.  I confess I was a little excited when I saw that I had over 20,000 views to my blog within 48 hours!! I love knowing that someone else was inspired through my journey! I have always had a passion for fitness and healthy eating and love that I could share a little of that with others. 
My blog stats for ONE day! 
3. I confess it absolutely drives me insane when people don't RSVP for an event!!! I am hosting a wedding shower for friends this weekend and have only had SIX people respond saying that they were coming. I sent out 35+ invitations. I hate not being prepared..I'm hopeful that more than 6 people will come, after the time and effort that was put into the preparations for the shower! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Whole30- Day 31!!!

I successfully completed the Whole30 challenge! I am so excited I made it 30 days!

I went 30 days without eating sugars, sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy or any preservatives. 30 days ago, I was unsure if I could really go without these things for an entire 30 days. Before I began I thought I would just cut out some of the things, but the more I read about Whole30 I knew that you needed to be very strict in order to experience any changes at all. So,  I decided to dive in head first and do exactly as it was supposed to go. 

Now that the 30 days is over I look back and think that I chose a busy month to try my very first Whole30. I went to fall festivals, ballgames with tempting concession stand food, the pumpkin patch, and Halloween parties with plenty of sweets!! I know now that I can do this at any time if I was able to stay strong through all the temptation that has been in front of me. 

What Changed? 

So I knew that there would be physical affects after completing the challenge, but what I didn't know were the psychological changes that would occur. I feel like a different person than I did just 30 days ago! Crazy to think that the foods we eat (or don't eat) can have such an affect on your mind and body. 
The number ONE thing that I have noticed is how well I sleep!! I can't get over how much your diet can affect your sleep! I now fall asleep easily, sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed!! There are so many other small things that I have experienced I am sure I will forget to list them all. These are just a few that stand out in my mind: 
1. Clearer skin
2. NO more reflux!! 
3. So much more energy 
4. I no longer crave sugar 
5. I can live without cheese!! : ) 
6. Just all around in a better mood 


I know so many people do this for weight loss and that was not the case for me, I  was so tired of putting so much crap into my body and wanted to see if eating better foods would really make a difference in the way I felt. However, I did lose a little weight. My total weight loss for the Whole30 was 7 pounds. And that was with very little working out. I feel like my body looks the same from the minute I wake up in the morning until the time I go to bed at night (which is not how it used to be) I haven't once felt bloated during the last 30 days!! 

I can't believe I am posting these, but they are true un-photoshopped pictures. The first was taken the morning before I started the challenge and the second is the morning after I finished the Whole30. 
These photos are proof that the saying is true "Abs are made in the kitchen." I knew my abs were under there I just couldn't stay away from the junk food to reveal them!! I know there are many people that would not prefer to look so muscular, but for me I love it. So these photos are my motivation when I fall off the wagon again. 


Over the course of the last 30 days people would ask me "So what will you do when your 30 days is over?" Well- I don't plan on stopping what I'm doing. I will however not be quite as strict. I have no intentions of going through a drive through and ordering a hamburger and greasy fries (and I can guarantee it would make me sick if I did). I plan to slowly incorporate some things back into my diet such as natural sweeteners like honey, vanilla extract, etc. (which were all off limits during the Whole30). I have missed an occasional glass of wine, cheese on a salad, and a piece of bread with dinner every now and then. But,  I have discovered so many foods that I never even thought about eating before and I have loved them!! These are things that I see myself cooking from now on. 

This was a lifestyle change for me not just a 30 day challenge. I will definitely have some of those foods I missed on occasion. But, I will continue to live the Whole30 lifestyle for the most part. I don't see why I would stop now with so many positive changes that I have noticed. I am eating great food, loving the changes in my body, and feeling wonderful! Why stop now?

Confessional Friday

It's FRIDAY!! Today I am linking up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition  for confessional Friday. 

1. I confess that I successfully completed the Whole30 challenge this week (more on that here), but went waaaay overboard with sweets since it ended!! I'm going to have to throw all the Halloween candy away!! I am not good at resisting when it's right in front of me!! 

2. I confess I am ready to decorate for Christmas TODAY! And if it were up to me I would go ahead and get started....but my husband thinks its a little early! There are only 47 days until Christmas!! That's not long! 

3. I confess I am not liking the time change at all!! I have been ready for bed by 8:00 every night this week!! Why do we have to do this anyway??

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Ball

Carson and Walker both decided to play baseball this fall. Fall ball is a short season so it was a quick, but busy 6 weeks. They each had 2-3 games a week needless to say, I felt liked we've lived at the ballpark lately. During the fall the team names come from minor league baseball teams. Carson was on the Rivercats and Walker was on the Sandnats. They both had great coaches that were so encouraging and really helpful. Carson is already wanting Spring ball to start so that he can play again. Walker on the other hand is not so excited. He got hit by a ball during one of his games and was actually excited for the season to be over. I think he was scared so much by the hit and I can't imagine that he will want to play again for awhile. They both finished up their season this week. Here are a few pictures that I was able to get throughout the season.  
Warming up before his game 

The only thing close to a team picture for Carson's team 

He was so proud of his trophy! We were also freezing!!

Before the first game. 
Walker after his last game with his trophy. 

Sandnats team picture. They don't get professional pictures during the fall so this was the best we could get.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Goals

How is it that it's already November?!?!? This year is flying by. I really love the month of November. I love the weather, the upcoming excitement of the holidays, family get togethers and so many other things. I'm blogging about my goals for the month of November, it helps in keeping myself accountable for the things that I want to accomplish. Here are few things that I'd like to accomplish in November. 

1. Have our family pictures taken and order Christmas cards. 

2. Get the majority of the Christmas shopping done! We are going on two trips in the next month and I know the weeks before Christmas are going to fly by! 

3. Go to the gym/Pure Barre 15 times this month!! I have been a total slacker lately :( 

4. Re-paint the boys bathroom and finish painting the laundry room (I embarrassed to admit how long ago I started on that) 

5. Organize the playroom (makes me anxious just thinking about that) 

Halloween Fun

We had so much fun this Halloween. Carson wanted to be a ninja and Walker wanted to be a Vending machine..yes a vending machine. So the ninja costume was no problem to find, but of course you can't just go out and find a vending machine costume. So, Kerry and I decided to see what we could come up with. Kerry is the best when it comes to building things and having a vision for something when there is nothing to go by. We worked together hot gluing pieces of cardboard and painting each part. Kerry added lights to each shelf in the "machine" and made it look even more realistic. On Halloween night Walker's costume was a huge hit! I started to feel bad for Carson because I don't think people even realized he was there. It seemed that each and every house we went to they gave Walker extra candy because they thought he had the best costume. He had is picture taken by complete strangers a minimum of 10 different times...He was most definitely  loving all of the extra attention. After the boys got home they sorted and counted all their candy. I love that they always do this because I can remember doing the same thing with my sister and brothers when I was young. Here are some picture of our Halloween. 

Love my little Ninja 

The lights really made the costume- there was even a box built in where people would insert candy and it would fall down into the box!! 
Attempt to get a picture before Trick or Treating 

Riding in the golf cart with a blanket was definitely the best way to trick-or-treat!! 
One last picture when we got back home 

Look at all that candy!!