Thursday, September 29, 2011

Win, Lose or Blog

Well, it's bio is on the WLB contestant page and I have my very own page off their blog that I can start bombarding with my wacky-ness starting on Monday!! I weighed myself this week and sent them my official starting weight. Amazingly I had already lost a pounds since I weighed myself last that's a good start, right??

Sadly though, I had great plans to jump right in and spend lots of time walking and using our elliptical...but this week has just been against me exercising at all!! Luckily, I'm been REALLY careful with what I eat and I hope that will help since I can't get out and exercise right now. Tuesday night we went to an Angel's Game and I was so proud of myself....I only had a few bites of our daughter's ice cream that she couldn't finish, and I mostly ate peanuts...and most of the peanuts I cracked went right into our 2-year-old's sneaky little hands!! Having kids is like built in portion control since they are always wanting to eat whatever I am eating!! I was so proud that I didn't get my own ice cream or any other junk food!!

My little blue-eyed babe and I watching the game...he LOVES going to baseball games and cheering and screaming with the crowd.  Oh, and he LOVES the peanuts!! In the background you can even get a glimpse of Nicole's team spirit with her pink Angel's onesie!!
During the day is hard just so happens that this week was my first week back at work from maternity leave (thank you California!!) and working from home makes watching what you eat a LOT harder since all the goodies you keep hidden are at your disposal. I've been really careful about when I snack, and when I think I'm hungry I've decided to employ my version of an old trick....If I think I'm hungry between meals I will stop for 5 minutes and do part of a craft, or color with the kids - do something fun - and then see if the craving is still there.  Usually it's gone and I can continue working or doing whatever else I need to do. If at that point I still feel the desire I will let myself have a little something. It's worked pretty well in the past, and just being aware of what you're eating really helps!

So, I am trying my best and hoping to get out tonight to go walk at Dos Lagos with all the other 100 Mile Club members...the kids love seeing all the other kids and I get a nice walk around the lake for as long as the kids can go. Last time we went 1.5 miles before the kids called it quits, but maybe this time we can make it to 2 miles.  I would love to go 3 miles, but while I can handle it, the kids will have to work up to it. And since I can't go without them, I have to be patient and try to get them up to that point. Once Nicole gets a little bigger it will be nice to take the double jogger, then any tired kids can take a break!!

Well, that's about it for now...Happy Thursday to everyone!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Let the fun begin!!

For those of you who haven't heard...there's an amazing blog I love to read - Win, Lose or Blog which chooses 8 contestants for each "Season" to participate in a new-age weight loss competition. Not only are there prizes at the end for whoever loses the most weight, but each contestant is given a blog page to write updates on and share their triumphs, frustrations and experiences with weight loss through the 8 weeks in the contest.

They also have giveaways for the blog readers and lots of great weight loss inspiration!!

So...why am I sharing this with everyone here?? Because I was chosen as one of the contestants for Season 6 which starts October 3!!!

As most of you are aware, I worked really hard to lose weight before getting pregnant with Nicole, and I am SOOO excited to be a part of this contest and now have extra motivation to work hard...because all the people who read the blog will be able to see how much weight I lose and my weekly picture. That's motivation enough to work hard and really lose some weight now that I'm accountable to lots of people!!

Once the contest starts I will have my own blog page off their main one and you can follow my 8 week journey with me - please check out there blog and see for yourself how neat it is!! And I can't wait to see how this goes and would love to have all of you follow me through the contest!!

I will post my blog address for the contest when I get it!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Great new blog find!!

So many great places to go for homeschooling info!! Today I found this great blog - Mama to 4 Blessings and as an added bonus to all the great homeschooling info, she is having a giveaway for a PegPerego double stroller!!!

Check out her blog and click the link below to get to the giveaway!!

PegPerego Giveaway

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Free Unit Study Download!!

It's amazing how many resources there are for homeschoolers out there....and the more you look around and make friends (even if they are just e-friends), the more stuff you will find!!! Today, shared this link with us for a free eBook unit study!! The deal comes from a great website called Homeschooling with Heart and I can't wait to check out these books!! the link below and check out this awesome deal and the other wonderful things on their website!!

Homeschooling with Heart - Free Old Schoolhouse Download

I already redeemed my gift set and can't wait to go through and see what wonderful lessons are inside!!! With all these free eBook deals I have been finding I am glad we have an external hard drive to hold it all!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My newest favorite educational website....

I attended a parent certification course for homeschooling parents last week and at the meeting there was lots of information and resources shared. One thing they talked about was lapbooks...I saw an example and thought "wow, Karyl would love that!!!" One problem, I had no idea how to make one, or what to even put in one.

So I was browsing some of the websites they had referenced and decided to check out the one they had given us for free lapbook ideas....Homeschoolshare

We use Five In A Row as our Literature/English curriculum and it makes great books into Unit Studies that relate Social Studies, Art, Math, Science, Literature and many other subjects to the story you are reading. The website I mentioned above actually has lapbook resources for the Five In A Row curriculum!! I saw that and just about died...then I looked at the materials for Madeline, which we were reading at the time, and I think I might have actually died for a split second and gone to heaven!!! I printed out the goodies, put them in a file-folder-turned-lapbook and Karyl LOVED it!!! I have since make lapbooks for the other books we've already been through and started printing everything out for the rest of the books this semester.

For those of you thinking "what the heck is a lapbook, and what's the big deal" a lapbook is a folder of sorts with all kinds of pockets and fun activities that are glued into a "base" (we use file folders and staple/glue additional pages in if needed) so that they are all in one place for the kids to work on. The information is concise and you can really highlight the key points with the minit books and flash cards and pocket after pocket full of pictures and activities and facts and anything else you can dream up!!

Here is an example of a lapbook for "The Glorious Flight" that someone made as an example on the could do this and save money on printing, but I like the neat and organized look of  having it printed out!!

 They even have lapbook resources for preschoolers and specific subjects like animals, weather, character development and traits, bible verses and other books that kids love to read!!

Even if you're not a homeschooler, these could be fun to introduce a new subject to your kids, or even to just keep them busy when you need some quiet time!!  That's right, you're welcome!!

So, head on over to Homeschoolshare and check out what they have to offer...oh, and make sure you have lots of paper and replacement ink cartridges for your printer - you have no idea how addictive this website can be!!!

Oh, and head over to Scholastics eBook website - Teacher Express and get 10 free eBooks!! Just enter the code 10THANKS at checkout in the coupon box!! They are having a $1 book Back To School Special and with the code above you get $10 worth of free merchandise...which, if you can't be bothered to do the math means you get 10 free eBooks!!! I went and got mine right away....I got lots of activity books to help with Word Wall ideas, crafts, patriotism, themed writing pages, math activities and much, much more!! You don't even have to enter payment information!! You can download each book 3 times....I'm hoping that I can download the books onto this computer and then save them on our external hard drive so I'll have them forever!!

I hope this information benefits someone that reads it...I loved getting these references and was excited to pass them on to all of you!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ring Around the Veggies!!!

My friend Claire made this yummy dinner for us a while back and I fell in love!! She gave me the recipe and I just got around to trying it last week. This was WAY easier than I had thought it would be to put together, and I had fun making it my own. The basic recipe is from the Pampered Chef and you can see it by clicking on the title of this post, or here ----> Chicken and Broccoli Braid

Here is a picture of the ring before I put it in the oven.  I put it on parchment paper so it would be easier to serve...I hate it when stuff sticks to the cookie sheet!!  All I did was take the triangles from the crescents and overlap all the wide ends in a circle, scoop the filling around the inner circle and then pull the pointy ends over and squish them together in the middle!!! Easy-peasy!!!

Look at how beautiful and golden brown this looks!! It was delicious with the buttery crescents on the outside, and the inside was a delicious mix of cheesy and yummy!!

Here's the recipe as I made it:

1 cup chopped broccoli florets

1 cup chopped carrots

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
2 tsp Dry Ranch Dressing mix
1/4 tsp salt

2 pkg (8 oz ) refrigerated crescent dough - NOT the extra fluffy, I used the Stater Bros. cheap ones.

I cooked this at 375 for about 25-28 minutes, I basically just waited for it to get nice and golden brown on the top.

Just so you know, I added carrots to the mix and left out the red peppers. I also, per Claire's recommendation, used a little ranch dressing mix instead of the dill mix in the recipe.  I also used Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise because that's what we keep stocked around here!! I steamed the broccoli and carrots beforehand because Greg and the kids prefer the veggies soft, and I wanted to make this as family-friendly as possible!! You can check out the original recipe for a more sophisticated version, theirs has slivered almonds and an egg wash on it as well...I didn't want to waste the time!!

I absolutely LOVED this meal and will be making it again...although next time I think I'm going to try it with a taco salad theme...meat seasoned for tacos and cheese, maybe beans and a few other things. You could really get creative with this and have some fun!!!