Friday, February 27, 2009

Living Healthy, Living Well...

It's Friday again and I'm continuing with my series on my weight loss. It's late in the day but at least I'm getting it done today and not tomorrow. It's been a rough day. Yesterday, I did an ABC poem for MamaKat's Writer's Workshop, all about my sweet son and how much I love him. The boy I talked about in that poem was absent from our lives today. In his place was a devil-child who practically got thrown out of Kids' Corner at the Y and forced me to leave after only 5 minutes on the treadmill. He also bit me on the right wrist (badly!) and got a very huge punishment of the variety he NEVER gets. He spent a lot of time in his room too. It was not a pleasant morning. We did manage to make it back to the Y so that he could apologize for his malevolent behavior and so that I could at least get some semblance of a work out in. He's been much better and I think he's remorseful for his wrong-doings. Crazy kid, who knows what got into him.

So anyway here it is:
Adventures in Living Healthy with CityMomma/ CountryMomma

Speaking of exercise... that's what I am going to write about today. I got weighed yesterday and lost a measly half a pound this week. I will admit that I've been a "tracker slacker" and haven't been writing down all my foods, I got back on that today. I felt like I ate just fine last week, so I'm not unhappy with a half pound, in fact it puts my grand total at 16 pounds lost... not too shabby!

I've been exercising a lot. At least five times a week but usually six for about two hours a day. I'm very addicted to it at this point and I love to sweat. I try all different kinds of exercise, different types of cardio and then my weight routine. One of the girls who works at the Y has been encouraging me to participate in a 5K in May. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. I "run" 5K on the treadmill a couple times a week as it is. Now, you may notice that I have the word run in quotes. That's because I am slow. S. L. O. W. Slow. So my running is actually more like "runking" or run/walking. I'm trying to up my speed and endurance because if I do a race at the pace I'm going, they'll think I'm a really fast walker instead of a person participating in the run portion of the race! Ha! I write down my exercise and for 2009, I have "runked" 35.4 miles on the treadmill alone! That doesn't include my elliptical and stair climber workouts. I think that's pretty good and I'm going to continue to update my total each Friday when I do this post.

After a brisk 5 mintue warm-up today I ran a minute, walked a minute and a half for a half an hour. I read on the Internet that that is a good way to build up your speed and endurance. It wasn't too difficult but I burned 400 calories (including the warm-up) and felt pretty good when I was done. I'll challenge myself a little bit more tomorrow I think with 1 minute 15 seconds of each running and walking. I might have to stick to that plan for a week or so. I'll let you know how it goes. I also did the stair master and climbed 24 flights of stairs in 10 minutes... that burned 100 calories and was very challenging. I love it when I'm finished though. LOVE IT!

So, this may not be a very helpful post since it just tells you what I do for my work out but let me tell you this... I am NOT a skinny girl. I like to say I'm "pretty fit for a fat chick" bit if anyone told me I'd be running on a treadmill and actually enjoying it, I would have said they were crazy. If anyone reading this wants to start an exercise program, no matter what your size or weight, I say, "You can do it!" I started small and then the addiction just took over and I'm getting results. My heart is getting healthier, my body is getting slimmer and although my muscles may hurt right now, I know they're getting stronger too. If I can do it (and like it!) you can do it too!

As you always hear them say, it's a good idea to talk to a doctor before starting any weight loss or fitness program so I guess I should say that just to be on the safe side but mostly, I just hope this post can encourage anyone reading that they too can have a healthier lifestyle if they want to.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Writer's Workshop...

It's Thursday and time again for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. It's only taken me ALL day to get this "assignment" finished and even then, I had to call The Husband to get him to help me a little bit. I'd also like to say that I would never use the word "Xanadu" in a poem unless forced to use the letter "X" but I AM proud of myself for not using "X-ray" or eXact! Here's the assignment:

Write a 26-line poem using all the letters of the alphabet, where the first line starts with the letter "A," the second "B," the third "C," etc., culminating with the final line starting with "Z."

And, here's my poem: (be kind, I tried to follow the rules as much as possible)

The ABC's of The Son
Adorable five-year-old who's the love of my life.

Bouncing off the walls, your days are full of fun.
Curiosity abounds, you want to know it all.
Darling boy, you never fail to make us laugh.
Energy seems to radiate off of you.
Family and friends keep you busy as you
Grow up right before our eyes.
Hugging you and kissing you make me smile,
I never realized how much love my heart could hold.
Jumping and gyrating,
Karate kicking,
Laughing and loving,
Momma's little man.
Never stopping, you play, play, play,
Oh my! You are a busy kid.
Puppy dog tails and snips and snails--they say that's what you're made of.
Questing daily for adventures galore you can turn...
Rocks into fossils and insects into pets.
Sometimes I just can't believe you're ours.
Thankful on daily basis
Unconditional love...
Verdantly abounds.
We cherish our family time as our own personal
You bring us joy, love and a
Zest for life beyond compare.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

The Son just asked me the funniest question. He was watching "Sprout" on TV when he said, "Momma? The pointy things on the Statue of Liberty's head, are those for protection or are they just a part of it's body?" I told him it was just a crown on a lady's head. He seemed very confused, I think he thought she was some kind of creature with points on the head...I think the child might be watching a bit too much "Pokemon" these days.

That boy just cracks me up!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"ON a diet" vs. "Diet"

I recently had a comment left for me by a friend (Yay comments...) who said I should stop saying I was "ON a diet". I do apologize if I said it that way because I completely agree with her that I am not "ON a diet" if I use the word "diet" I mean it in reference to the foods I choose...hence, my diet.

I've been ON diets before and they never worked, this is a healthy lifestyle change. Thanks Nom!

It's been a good day so far today, I beat my top Word Challenge score on facebook, worked out at the Y and burned 615 calories on various torture exercise machines and The Son has already unloaded the silverware from the dishwasher, he loves that job! I'm getting ready to fix myself some yummy lunch and tackle the laundry pile that is overtaking the guest room bed. The Husband is teaching a seminar today at Villanova University and we have a date tonight because it's "Parent's Night Out" at the Y.

Lots going on here...have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Living Healthy, Living Well...

Adventures in Living Healthy with CityMomma/CountryMomma

It's another Friday my friends and I'm continuing with my Friday feature chronicling my journey in healthy living. Click here and here if you'd also like to see my previous Friday posts.

Well, the news is good... I'm down another 1.8 pounds! That gives me a grand total of 15.6. It's slow going but it's being done the healthy way with good eating and lots of exercise so I'm really proud of myself. I DO get easily discouraged so I really hope that it continues to come off with at least a pound a week.

I also achieved another goal today, I beat my previous best time for my "Treadmill 5K" in fact, this time, I managed to shave off one minute and twelve seconds! I just got home from the Y so it's still up in the air as to whether or not I'll be able to walk tomorrow but the Advil is close by and I'll be popping a couple in a minute. I will be working out tomorrow but I will not be running...probably some elliptical machine and bike in addition to my weights.

So, this week I decided to post a recipe that helps me stay on this healthy eating plan. It's a recipe I got years back when I did another diet that involved pre-packaged food. I lost a lot of weight on that diet but gained it back after a year or so for various reasons, the main reason being that I still hadn't realized that I have to think about what I eat for the rest of my life. The pre-packaged meals weren't something I could continue and after I got "thin" I forgot that I still had to worry about my portions and what I ate and drank... eventually, I gained it all back and then some. Years passed... many years passed, and here I am today. This WILL be the last time that I have to do that because as I approach 40, I am finally learning.

So anyway, on to that recipe...this is my favorite recipe for roasted vegetables it's been modified along the way and it's actually a very flexible recipe, you can play around with it as you like. My husband usually makes these and he'll make a huge batch on Sunday and we'll eat them with everything all week long. I usually have them for lunch OR dinner and have another green veggie at the opposite meal. (I LOVE those "steam fresh" veggies that are plain and just cook in thier own bag)

2 bags precut "baby" carrots
onion (one large to three small depending on how much you like roasted onion)
3 large red peppers
1 large eggplant
2 fresh lemons
3-4 Tablespoons dried rosemary (you can use fresh but then you need lots more)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

-Mix the juice of the lemons, the olive oil and the rosemary, salt and pepper.
-Cut up your onion into medium chunks.
-Mix your carrots and onion with half of your liquid mixture
-Roast at 400-450 degrees for approximately one hour, stirring occasionally.
-While your carrot/onion mixture is roasting, cut up your eggplant (we like the skin left on but you could peel it) and red peppers in to medium pieces. Remember that everything will "shrink" down as it roasts, you don't have to cut too small.
-After the first hour, add your peppers and eggplant pieces to your carrot/onion mixture with the remaining half of the liquid, continue to roast for another hour (approximately) stirring occasionally.

Voila'! You are finished! This recipe is very approximate, especially the roasting times. We like ours very roasted but if you like things more crisp, you can do less time. You can experiment with adding other veggies too of course. Please let me know if you do, we've been eating these for years and haven't tried it!

I like to add my roasted veggies to brown rice or cous cous or quinoa with some chicken or shrimp and just kind of mix it all up...delish and VERY healthy or I just have them as a side dish or even add them to salad... the possibilities are endless. Honestly, these veggies keep me on my diet, without them, I wouldn't get even close to the variety of veggies and the amount of servings that are required for a healthy diet.

Try it and let me know what you think! Please feel free to ask if you have any questions or if anything I wrote is unclear to you.

Have a great Friday and a great weekend everyone! I have to go get The Son ready for school, today is pajama day and he's also the "special helper" he's thrilled! Should be a fun day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Going Green...

No, not that kind of "going green."

I forgot to post about this earlier...The Son has moved up another belt level in karate! He's now a green belt. I'm very proud of him. He's working hard and his form is getting better. I hate to say that he's probably not the most coordinated 5 year old out there but he's trying and I definitely notice improvement over the past 8-9 months that he's been doing karate.

Of course I took a few pictures, you know I have to, between this blog and my scrapbooking, there's not much I don't take pictures of.

Getting ready to break the board...

After the green belt is put on...
So proud!
A few moves. Don't be scared by his frightening "karate face."

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Better late than never...

I know Valentine's Day is over but I still wanted to post my pictures of my decorations and the super cute Valentines The Son and I made for his class. (Next year, please remind me to rethink the handmade thing;) )

Here's my mantle in all it's hearty glory! I didn't want to buy much this year so I just spent a few dollars at the dollar store and used other things I already had. I hope to add to my Valentine collection next year.

I made this little sign with my Cricut and some scrap paper. The frame is from the dollar store. I love it! ha ha get it, LOVE it! (Sometimes I just crack myself up.)

My foyer table...never mind the papers and other stuff sitting on it. I didn't realize it was there when I took this...(is that a screwdriver?)

I also covered the lids of these boxes, they were green for Christmas but I never used them anyway. The paper I used is not adhered as nicely as I'd like so I'll probably peel it off and use some spray paint and acrylic paint to decorate for next year. I like to change things up.

Here are the valentines that we decided to make. They were supposed to look like heart-shaped lollipops. The Son did all the stickers and he also decorated the envelopes.

He made these two especially for his teachers. Notice the layered heart stickers, he worked really hard on that.

And, lest you think I cut all those hearts out by hand, I'll let you in on my little secret...The Cricut. Sure, it still took forever but not quite as forever as it would have by hand. LOVE the Cricut.

Lastly, I decorated some hand sanitizer bottles for his teachers. I got the idea from Chris at "Just a Girl" hers are really cute. She used mostly stickers, I used paper because I didn't have appropriate stickers. (Notice I didn't say, "I didn't have stickers" I have stickers...boy to I have stickers...they're just not the right kind for THIS project.) Anyway, I thought they came out kind of cute and all teachers can use hand sanitizer, right?

So, that's the end of my very long, late, Valentine post. As most of you are relaxing and enjoying your President's Day off. I am at an all day training for the child care program that I work for in the mornings, after that, I teach swimming from 4-6. The Husband and The Son are probably having loads of fun without me. Oh well, usually it's me having fun with The Son, he deserves to be home with him for a change while I work and make the big bucks. ha ha ha ha ha! Well, a few extra bucks, they're certainly not big!

Have a great President's Day everyone!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

16 years ago today...

The Husband who at the time was just The Boyfriend asked me to marry him...thus making him The Fiance'. I said "yes" of course and the rest is history.

I generally do not like cheesy photos where you dress your child up in goofy costumes to make them look like some mythical Roman God only to torment them years later when you show their prom date, but we had this taken for The Son's first Valentine's Day and it was so cute I couldn't resist it. He loves it now but give him eleven more years and he'll be cringing at this for sure!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Also, I do have photos of my decorations but they have to be edited a little bit so I'll have to post them later. I'm headed to the Y and we're all getting hair cuts today so I must get busy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Living Healthy, Living Well...

Adventures in Living Healthy with CityMomma/ CountryMomma

It's Friday! Time for my "Friday Feature." Two weeks in a row...pretty good huh?

So, I got weighed yesterday and I lost another pound. One pound. Miss Phyllis our group leader says to be happy for that pound and I am but I was really hoping for two or three pounds considering how much I worked out last week. She got sick of my lamenting over "just" one pound and made me hold a little hand weight (with my arm straight out) while we chatted. It started to get a little annoying after a few minutes which is when she informed me that it was only half a pound. OK Phyllis, you win. I'll stop complaining now. (Oh and I'm down 13.8, just in case you're counting.)

At the Y today, while I was working out, I had a woman approach me and tell me, "I've been watching you work out. You work out really hard. Good job!" I thought it was nice of her to stop and say that to me and she didn't even work there! It's nice to see that others notice how hard I work, I hope my body starts noticing soon! ;)

So, speaking of working out. I mentioned in my "favorite things" post yesterday that my new sneakers are one of my current favorite things. Getting them has really improved my work outs which is why I am going to tell you about my "sneaker theory". This is just my own personal opinion, it's what's worked for me.

A little more than a year ago, I was training to complete a 5K and I was having a really difficult time, I get shin splints badly. I thought I had "good" sneakers, they were fairly expensive running sneakers that the person at the shoe store in the mall suggested for me. I don't know if the sneakers weren't the right thing or they were just worn out so I decided to head to our local running store, since I was living in The City at the time, I visited The Philadelphia Runner .

It was a little embarrassing as I was overweight and clearly not a "Philadelphia Runner" but the gentleman who helped me was fantastic! He asked me to take off my shoes and walk across the store while he watched me. I've been suffering with heel spurs and plantar faciitis for years which I let him know. He instantly told me that I had very high arches (which I knew) and foot pronation (which I didn't know) and he trotted off to the back to pick me the appropriate sneakers. He came back with a few different choices, all in about the $100 price range, give or take. I tried them on and ended up with the Adidas Supernova.

Those sneakers changed my work outs so much. Finally, I had no shin splints, my foot was supported and the running was coming much easier. Unfortunately, this all happened as my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and somehow the running and in fact most of the exercise just kind of stopped. Until now.

It's over a year later and I was STILL working out with the same sneakers. Well, it doesn't take a genius to realize that they are now worn out and certainly not supporting my foot anymore, they probably should have been replaced a long time ago. Money is tight but I knew I absolutely had to get new sneakers. I spent a few minutes on line searching the Adidas Supernova again and found them on sale for under $60 which included shipping and handling! I got them a few days ago and I am feeling SO good when I work out. I "ran" 5K today and beat the time I was trying to beat. I'm not going to tell you what it was because it's still really slow but notice how I have the word "ran" in's running for me, it's walking fast for other people! ha ha!

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're wanting to get healthy and you want to begin exercising and working out, invest a little time and money into a great pair of sneakers and get an expert to help fit you. I don't mean a trip to the mall to a "big box" sneaker store with some 17 year old kid who just wants the discount helping you. I mean a real "running" store, even if you're not going to be running per se. I believe that it makes all the difference in the world, your feet and legs will feel so much better and you'll be able to have more productive, beneficial work outs. I'm hoping to run in a 5K in November for the Brain Tumor Society, and this time, I mean real running. It's more than enough time to lose weight and improve my running times.

I'd like to make a trip to another running store the next time I need to replace my sneakers just to make sure that these are still appropriate for my foot since I do realize that things can change as I lose weight and get more fit. BTW, what do you call them? Sneakers? Running shoes? Tennis shoes? I know there's lots of different names for them depending on your location. I'd love to hear the variations when you leave your comment...get it? WHEN you leave your comment. (hee hee)

On a different note...

We have a busy weekend planned. Tonight, The Son is going to "movie night" at his karate school. It's $15 and they get to go from 7:30 - 10:00! They have pizza and play games and watch movies. The Husband and I are thrilled because it's rare that we get a night out together. We'll be celebrating Valentine's Day at a local restaurant. I've already checked out the menu and have some ideas of what I can do to order healthy and still stay within my calorie range for the week.

We're all getting our hair cut tomorrow and probably going out to eat as a family, also to celebrate Valentine's Day. I don't know where we're going tomorrow but I will definitely be making healthy choices, not to mention working out both Saturday and Sunday.

I have some Valentine's things to post for the weekend... I hope to have time to get around to that. Have a great weekend everyone and have fun celebrating your loved ones.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Writer's Workshop...

It's Thursday and I'm participating in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop again. I'm not very consistent with my participation but I like to do it when she has a relatively easy prompt, like today so I'm going to do this one... 3.) List your five most recent favorite things.

These are a few of my favorite things...

1. Bison Burger

As many of you know, I am pursuing a healthier lifestyle. I recently discovered this Bison Burger in the grocery store as I was wandering through the meat area. I love burgers but the "lean" burger at our grocery store was never very tasty to me and the regular burger is tasty but not very healthy. I've had bison at restaurants before and liked it so I picked up a pack for the fam. It. is. fantastic. It's juicy but lean and has all the flavor of a regular burger but without a greasy taste. A 4 oz. burger has 190 calories unlike a regular burger that has 285 calories (and lots more fat). A pound costs a little more than $5 so it's probably a bit more expensive than regular ground beef but it is really delicious. Sure, it's still a treat, and not as healthy as chicken or other lean meats but I save it for Thursday nights after I've been weighed. I serve it with roasted potatoes to make it really feel decadent. I recommend it fully. I don't think I'll ever go back to regular ground beef.

2. My sleeping son
He's awake now but he just woke up and it's almost 11:30 AM. He was up at the crack of dawn with me, complaining that he had a "nightmare" and wanted to get in bed with Momma and Daddy. The thing is, we were just about to get up because "the crack of dawn" is when I am due into work. I got up to get ready and The Son stayed in my bed. The Husband came down to put on the coffee and we thought The Son had gone back to sleep in our bed. Evidently, he got up about five minutes after I left for work which wasn't even 7 AM! The husband coerced and cajoled him to get him back in his bed and as I started this post, he was still asleep. Can you say photo op? He's up now and he missed his gymnastics class but he didn't seem too upset by that and frankly, I'm happy to have had an excuse to not have to be on the run before noon.

3. My new sneakers
I finally managed to get some new sneakers and I am loving these so much that I am going to devote a large portion of my Adventures in Living Healthy with CityMomma/ CountryMomma post tomorrow. They've made my work outs so much more enjoyable.

4. This Guy

Here's our puppy Ziggy in all his Pointer Glory. He was out front having a ball this morning when I took this. You see, it's very windy here today, VERY windy and he was having so much fun running around the yard chasing blowing leaves and pointing at everything is sight. I was thrilled to finally get a good picture of him pointing...he is a German Shorthair Pointer after all. He's such a smart and sweet dog and even though he can drive me crazy at times, I love, love, love him. The other day, The Son and I were snuggling on the couch when Ziggy decided that he had to be in the middle of us right then and there. We ended up like three spoons, watching TV with Ziggy behind The Son and me behind Ziggy. The Son and I couldn't stop laughing, it was so funny. I was really wishing there was someone else who could have taken our picture.

And lastly, a really silly thing that is currently one of my favorite things...

5. Word Challenge on Facebook
Are you on facebook? Have you played this game? Well, when I started it, I was terrible, really terrible, but I have goals people. Goals to be the BEST and I practiced and practiced and practiced and now, I am the BEST! At least as far as my facebook friends who play Word Challenge are concerned. I have a high score of over 65,000 and that is 40,000 points higher than my closest facebook friend. I don't know why I've become obsessed but I have to play it a couple times a day just to see if I can beat my high score. I'm working on getting over 100,000. I'll let you know if I get there.

So there you have it my bloggy friends, 5 of my current favorite things. Be sure to stop by Mama Kat's blog and check on some of her other Writer's Workshop participants. It's a great way to find new blogs to read and we all know we could always use some more blogs to read! Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Do you watch "The Biggest Loser?"

Well The Husband and I do and I have oh, so many thoughts on it... I just don't know where to begin. Oh yes, I do...Mandi! I have very mixed feelings about Mandi...

So if you watch the show, you know that Mandi won 24 hours with her husband ON the ranch. Evidently that's a big deal because usually the person has to go home to see family and that puts them behind. They also surprised her and brought her two little boys out to see her too. It was heart-wrenching. I don't know about most of you moms out there but I could never...
would never leave The Son to go on a TV show. I know she's overweight, unhealthy and this show could "save her life" but still, she seems to me like the kind of person who is not THAT overweight who could do it at home if she really wanted to. Yes, I'm being judgemental and I don't like to be that way but watching her little boys sob and cry when they had to leave just seemed so mean and selfish to me, maybe they shouldn't have even let them go back to see her. Actually, maybe the selfish ones are the producers of the show who wanted to add a little more drama...I don't know but I do know that it's been bothering me since I saw it last night. All that being said, I do like Mandi and want her and her sister to do well, it just hurts my heart to even think about leaving The Son for any length of time.

Another thing I wonder about is... how the heck to they exercise as much as they do? I've been on a quest to lose weight and get healthy again and I work out six days a week, five of those days about two hours a day. Let me tell you...I am tired! And Sore! Yesterday I ran 5K on the treadmill (well, it was more like runking... a run/walk combo but I did DO it) and I was exhausted after that and all my free weights. How are they functioning after days and days of constant exercise? I don't think I could move and I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, I'm certainly no where near the weight of some of the contestants. I will say, when I feel tired at the gym, I think of them and push myself to finish my measly little two hour work out! ha ha!

And my last comment about TBL, for today at least is...why do they make the women stand there in that hideous sports bra the entire time while the men get to wear a t-shirt and take it off just for the weighing? It's not fair. I think the women should be allowed to put a t-shirt on after the weighing too. It's awful and not attractive at all. I feel bad for them every time I see it.

Well, a very insightful post for today, don't you think. ;) It's Wednesday which is my very busy day so I need to get moving. I'll be saying goodbye for now! Have a good one.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Hotel for Dogs" a review...

We went to see the movie "Hotel for Dogs" last night. It was very cute. I've asked The Son to give me some feedback and to help me review the movie. Here's his take on it:

"The story was about dogs that lived in a big, wrecked old hotel that became a real hotel. They had a lot of dogs and they were a team together. Always, forever. And then new people came and then it became a restaurant and the dogs were servants really, they did things for the people. They weared handkerchiefs and hats. The dogs looked silly but "Georgia" was pretty cute in the movie. I really liked "Friday" and I have "Hotel or Dogs" toys. Romeo falled in love with Juliet and the grossest part was when Romeo licked Juliet's tongue and Juliet licked Romeo's tongue, that's how they kissed. That was pretty gross but if you think it's not gross, that's OK. I love dogs and we wished we could put Ziggy in "Hotel for Dogs" when somebody sees it. I really liked when the good guys got the dogs back and they tricked somebody, they tricked the bad guys and they loved it. A dog lost her leg but the vet saved her. The dog who lost her leg looked like Ziggy a little bit. It was a great movie, families should see it and I loved the movie. That's my story. The End."

Well, there you have it folks, an official review from The Son. Please don't worry that there are any spoilers in the review because frankly, I'm a little confused about some of the things he said and I actually saw the movie with him. I found it to be a really good movie, and The Husband enjoyed it as well. For official movie information you can click here.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Have a great day!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weekend Update

Just a few little updates about me and what's going on in my ever so exciting life.

1. I am officially a sell-out. Yes, I added ads to my blog through Googles's adsense. Anyone can do it really, it's quite easy. Here MamaKat has a great post that gives you a bit more info so you too can add ads to your blog. Just so you know, when a person has ads on their blog, they get money each time you click on the ads. It's a small amount but small amounts add up. The person who has ads on their blog is prohibited from asking you to click on their ads...strictly prohibited so of course, I would never actually do that.

2. Remember a couple months ago when I had to stop seeing my good friend Chardonnay? Well, we definitely haven't been spending much time together at all and the results are that I'm losing weight. BUT... last night her cousin Mr. Malbec came over with some girlfriends of mine. CityMomma/CountryMomma spent a little too much time with Mr. Malbec and now, I'm suffering from a headache. I even had to go back to bed this morning after I got up. I was supposed to go to the gym but didn't manage to get there. Not good for the diet, I tell ya! I will be going though, I promise. Part of the problem is that I didn't eat very much when my friends were over because I wanted to hang out with Mr. Malbec. Probably not a good choice but you know they say hindsight is 20/ least, I think that's what they say. Another part of the problem is that my dear friend, Amy Advil was practially empty this morning and I only had one little pill available. Momma needed a bit more today, that's for sure.

3. The family STILL has not made it to see the movie "Hotel for Dogs" but we really want to. I'm trying to include that on the agenda for this weekend. I'll let you know if we make it there. Perhaps we'll even do a movie review, I'm sure The Son would love to help with that.

4. The weather is really nice today and is supposed to be even nicer tomorrow. I've been wondering if The Son's LLBean snow boots would also work in the mud. The answer to that question is yes, yes they do work, in lots of mud. I hope the hose works to hose those bad boys down! ha ha!

5. And the best, and probably most important news of the weekend...I was finishing up getting ready in the Y's locker room yesterday afternoon and was talking to a middle-aged woman. She mentioned that I was "too young to remember" and "probably didn't have kids yet" when I realized she thought I was WAY younger than I am. I turned to her and said, "I am thirty-nine years old! I'm not that young." She was flabbergasted (yes. genuinely.) and said she thought I was 24! I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day let me tell you...must be all the water I drink! My mom always looked younger and we always joked that it was because we were both on the "plump" side that the wrinkles were filled out and didn't show. I hope I don't start to look older as I lose weight. That will NOT be a good side-effect.

Well, I guess that's it for now, have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Living Healthy, Living Well...

I'm starting a new Friday feature that I'm going to call...

Adventures in Living Healthy with CityMomma/CountryMomma!

I hope to continue it and be consistent with my postings, but as usual...we'll all have to just wait and see! ha ha! I might even decide to write about my healthy living other days of the week but I'll definitely feature it on Friday.

What exactly am I going to write about you ask? Well, I'm going to write about my weight loss journey, my successes and failures, my ventures into new types of exercise, new foods or products that I try and old foods that I make healthier but still enjoy. I'll give you a little background...

I've been every weight, skinny, fat, and in between. I have every size clothing, if not in my closet then, packed away somewhere in hopes that I'll fit into it again. I've done every diet, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Deal-A-Meal (yes, really). It's the classic story, I'd lose weight, keep it off for a while and then eventually, it would creep back on, gaining more each time. I had great success with Jenny Craig about ten years ago, I was down to about a size six and I'm five foot eight! I looked good and felt good, well, at least physically, but for various reasons, I gained it all back. I've been through a lot in the past year and many of those things I can't control but I've realized I CAN control how healthy I am. I'm a year away from turning forty and right now, I'm fat. I know some people don't like that word but frankly, that's what I am, I know it, you'd know it if you saw more than just my face, and in my opinion, "fat" is not a bad word, if you're fat, you're fat and that's just the way it is.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I work at the YMCA. It's a great place to work, especially if you want to be a healthy person. My gym membership is paid for as part of a benefit for working there, I get discounts on programs and free childcare...I can't beat it! Right before Christmas I attended some trial meetings of a "Living Healthy, Living Well" program that's been running at the Y. I was hooked and decided that it was going to change my life. It's a simple program really, kind of similar to Weight Watchers, in that you're eating healthy, and making changes that you can continue for the rest of your life. It's kind of cliche' to say it but, it's not a "diet" it's a lifestyle. The woman who runs the group, my "weight loss lady" as I call her, is named Phyllis. She's a registered nurse and a licensed nutritionist, who herself, lost over 100 pounds and has kept it off for years. She also has a cute southern accent which makes me want to call her Miss Phyllis so that's how I'll be referring to her as I blog.

Our group meets once a week to talk about strategies for weight loss and healthy living. Her goal is for us to lose one pound a week. Losing much more than that at a time, is not healthy or sustainable, according to Miss Phyllis. She has a phrase that cracks me up, "If you bite it, you write it, if you drink it, you ink it." We keep a food journal in which we write down everything we eat and drink and the calories and fiber it contains. It's truly been eye-opening. I have a lot of weight to lose so my daily calorie total is fairly high. Of course, that doesn't mean I can eat all my calories in cheese curls but it does mean that I can pretty much eat whatever I want, within reason of course.

I've started exercising consistently again too. I've been into exercise for a few years now. I like to say, "I'm pretty fit for a fat girl" because I can do a lot more than the average girl my size, I even "ran" 5K twice last week and climbed 40 flights of stairs on two other occasions. I do all that exercise though and I've never managed to lose much weight because I used all my working out as an excuse to eat and drink whatever I wanted to or I'd find excuses to stop going to the gym. Now that I'm consistent and combining it with healthy eating, I'm actually losing. It's so exciting and I'm definitely addicted to the endorphins the working out gives me, it didn't take long to get back into it, that's for sure. I try to get to the gym at least 5 days a week and if I can do 6, that's even better. I have some girlfriends that I work out with (they're already skinny) and I'm trying to get The Husband back there too...he needs it as much as I do.

So, thus far, I've lost 12.8 pounds. I sort of started before Christmas and lost 5 pounds right off the bat. I gained one back over the holidays and started "officially" in the beginning of January for my now grand total of 12.8 pounds! I have a lot more to go and NO, I'm not going to tell you what I weigh or post a "before" shot but I do hope to share some insight into my new and healthy lifestyle with you. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Country Fiasco.

Did you know that if you have propane heat you have to watch the level on your tank and call your propane company when your tank is running low unless you've already set up "automatic delivery" with them. Neither did we. We do now. It would have been nice for said propane company to tell us this when we set up our account, and by "us" I mean The Husband, who they very well may have told but he insists they didn't. Who knows? The man is busy and has a lot on his mind. Anywho...

I was boiling some pasta last night, or at least I was trying to when I noted that the flame on our stove top was very low, very, very, low. Eventually, there was no flame which made me think there was no propane. (I'm kind of smart that way) The Husband had just finished putting The Son to bed and he came down and checked the gas fireplace. Not working. He called the propane company who instructed him to go check the tank. It was snowing, and he traipsed out there only to come back a few minutes later and tell me it was in fact empty. He called the propane company back and discussed our account, of course, we owed them money although neither one of us could find, or recalls receiving a bill. They arranged to come out and fill our tank, which they did shortly after. There was an extra fee for after hours filling of the tank which irritates me but at that point, what else can you do? They filled us up and told us we could "turn the heaters back on". We then came to realize we also didn't know how to do that. It took a while but The Husband did figure that out thankfully because the heater company's "emergency" number never called us back until this morning. It was less than 20 degrees last night, I'd love to know what exactly constitutes an "emergency".

Our insulation must be pretty good, it was just a little cold in here, the thermostat was reading 65 by the time it all got taken care of and we usually keep it set at 68. I'd LOVE to keep it set at 72 but 68 I can handle if I wear an extra layer. I should have known something was up earlier when The Son complained of being cold, the child is never cold. Anyway, we all learned some valuable lessons last night. We went to bed well after midnight, tired, grumpy and disappointed that we didn't get to eat The Husband's Healthy Shrimp Scampi that we were both so looking forward to. (tonight, with any luck)

But we do have a happy ending...
5:45 came early this morning but then... a phone call from the heaven's above, (really it was from one of the child care supervisors at the Y) There was a 2-hour delay this morning! The Husband had registration at his University so I didn't have to work at all. We both went back to bed and I didn't get up until 9:30! Thank Goodness. Now I sit here toasty and warm blogging to you. Wednesdays are my busy day so I'll be saying "goodbye" for now.

Stay warm everyone and don't forget to check the level on your propane tank...just in case.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Melville, NY, United States
Southampton, PA, United States
Overland Park, KS, United States
Florence, AL, United States
Houston, TX, United States
Jamison, PA, United States
Cambridge, NE, United States
Orlando, FL, United States
Macon, GA, United States
Shreveport, LA, United States
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Freeport, ME, United States
Lake Worth, FL, United States
Bethlehem, PA, United States
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Tallahassee, FL, United States
Atlantic, IA, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Salt Lake City, UT, United States
West Ossipee, NH, United States

Those are all the visits I've had today... TODAY! It's only 10:45 AM

Comments I've had in the past 48 hours= 5. Do you see a problem here? I hate to be a crybaby and beg, beg, beg for comments but seriously people, if you're coming here, how difficult is it to say that you stopped by and leave a little comment. I do it when I visit your blogs, maybe not every single time but pretty much every other time.

I guess what I don't get is how many of the blogs I read have hundreds of comments a day...hundreds! Yeah, they're better bloggers than I am that's true, but still... hundreds! I guess it's not all about the comments but a few more would be nice. Just saying...

Anyway... I'm done complaining. (for now) Today, I'm home with The Son and I plan on decorating a little bit for Valentine's Day. I started a few things yesterday and hope to get it all finished today. I "heart" Valentine's Day...get it? ha ha! I crack myself up! I also have a lot of cleaning to do. I know it makes for very exciting blogging to hear about my cleaning. I will be showing pictures of my decorations soon and I'm contemplating starting a Friday feature on my "Adventures in Healthy Living." That should pretty much get us through the rest of the week.

Have a great day everyone now...go leave a comment!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Today is my little sister Cathleen's birthday. Usually on my blog, I call her The Sister and link to her blog but since she hasn't blogged in months... I'll revert to calling her by her real name, Cathleen. Cathy was born a little more than three years after me, I remember being excited for her to come home from the hospital but I also remember being disappointed when she was too small to play with me. Strangely enough, I remember my parents wanting to name her Megan and for some reason, back when I was just turned four, I didn't like the name. At all. They called her Cathleen instead. (She now has a cat named Megan and I now like the name...for human or cat.)

It was great having a little sister as a kid. She pretty much did whatever I wanted her to do. She followed me around and thought I was the greatest...that's pretty good for the ego. Maybe that's why I still require lots of attention today.;) We had the greatest imaginations and had so much fun playing, house, school, (remember "Nadia Bishop" Cathy?) Barbies, etc. Some of our more creative games were "fabric store," "gas station, " and "Hollybrook King's Road." I know none of these games will mean anything to any of you, but Cathy's probably LHAO as she reads these.

Speaking of Barbies, I played Barbies with her (and by myself) well past the normal age of playing Barbies and if we wanted to play outside and make them go camping (we had all the camping gear) , I made her swear she would tell any of my neighborhood friends that I was just helping her "do their hair" so I wouldn't be embarrassed. No one ever saw me, but I know she would have done it for me.

Our summers were spent anxiously awaiting the arrival of our cousins Chrissy and Jennifer. We would spend hours and hours working on our "Commercial Show" that we would perform for our parents and grandparents at the end of each of their visits . It was so much fun but I'm sure our mom dreaded it every year because we made a huge mess. We looked forward to our trips to "Great Adventure" with them and we would dress in matching outfits with our cousins thinking we were so cool. She and Jen used to mix up their socks and wear mismatched pairs of socks...maybe that's why The Son likes to wear his mismatched's genetic. We would play the game "Snodberries and Pronghorns" (don't ask.) with our cousins and inevitably end up in a huge fight until it finally blew over and we'd be back to playing again.

For the most part, I'd say my sister and I are pretty similar, but there's one HUGE difference. She's VERY neat and organized and I'm VERY... not. I don't know how we differ so much in that way but we sure do. I often wish I could be more like her in that regard. She's also got much better willpower when it comes to eating healty and dieting and remains a nice small size, even when pregnant, like she is now. I think she has someone else's genes or something because I certainly don't have that trait! ha ha!

My sister is a very talented woman. She took dancing for years and ended up in the Entertainment Department at Sesame Place dancing as The Count. I was always so proud of her in that job, those were coveted positions. She's a fantastic flautist (flute player?) and she played at my wedding and at The Son's christening which has always meant so much to me. She's very crafty and makes beautiful scrapbooks and cards. Our recent weekend away was so much fun. (Just don't ask her to knit.)

So yesterday, I had this brilliant idea to ask my Dad to scan some pictures of her as a baby. Unfortunately, he's still learning to work his scanner. We decided he could photograph some of the pictures and e-mail them to me. I think they came out OK and because they're old...really old huh Cathy? They wouldn't be all that much better if scanned. Here's the few that he picked.

This one's SO cute of both of us I think!

See any resemblances?

Her first Cabbage Patch Kid...Darren Bill. She wanted a bald-headed boy in the worst way and I remember my Mom being ecstatic when she got him because as I'm sure many of you remember CPKs were the "Tickle-Me-Elmo of the early 80s and it was very difficult to get one, especially the one you really wanted. See the bow in her hair? LOVE IT!

After my Dad sent those, I had to get in on the action with a few of my own pictures...she might not like me so much after a couple of these but I think they're cute!

I took this one and still can't remember why I thought it was a good shot. I had to post it because I know she'll think it's hilarious...nice roller skate lace in your mouth Cathy! ha ha!

This one was taken when my family came to visit me at college my first year. I don't quite remember where that cat came from, I felt it was OK to post this one because it really shows us in all our 1988 glory! That's hot. I was about 18 in this picture so Cathy must have been 14 or 15.

This is on our way to the airport when she and her best friend were going to a dance competition in Florida (I think they won) I had to include my picture in there too because I also wanted to put these on my facebook and I'm "facebook friends" with the "little" boy who's sitting next to me... he's all grown up now of course.

Cathy and our Mom one Christmas. The sweaters and turtlenecks are also hot aren't they?

Lastly, I thought I'd include her wedding picture so that she'd forgive me for posting the above pictures. What a beautiful bride... and yes, I had short dark hair and was much thinner. I'm working on that. (the thinner, not the hair)

Well Sissy, I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I'm sorry that it falls on the dreaded Super Bowl Sunday. If you do go to a party tonight, you can just pretend that it's a party for you and not football, right? I love you very much and hope you liked this blog post. You're a wonderful sister, daughter, friend, wife and mother. (BTW, have you ever thought of the names Soup or Cadita for your new baby?) Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!