Friday, September 30, 2011

Happiest Place on Earth

What a beautiful fall day with my big girl! We are really enjoying the happiest place on earth!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weeks Two & Three...Plugging Along

Dear Mr. Weight Watcher,

Yes, I know I skipped a week of blogging about my weight loss journey. But, don't you worry, I didn't skip a week of analyzing the sides of food boxes, tracking every ounce I put into my mouth, finding new recipes to try, and losing a few pounds. In fact, I lost 2 lbs my second week, which wasn't exactly what I was looking for but I'm taking it, or losing it rather. And, when I stepped on the scale after my third week I had lost 2.4 lbs. 

I am starting to feel satisfied after I eat my small portions.
I am starting to reward myself at least once, maybe twice a week with either Volcano Burger or 
In-N-Out, or perhaps both.
I am starting to look at fruits and vegetables differently now and trying to find ways to incorporate them in my meals, similar to how I used to try to find ways to add cheese into everything.
I am starting to realize that I can splurge or cheat a little one day and make up for it the next. 
I am starting to work the system! 

I am starting to have more energy and physically feel good again!
I am starting to be able to fit into my pre-baby clothes again!
I am starting to look in the mirror & like my body again!
I am  starting to realize this is a lifetime commitment!
I am starting to figure out this little thing called weight loss!

I know that my journey is still young. I am aware that I have A LOT more work to do before I reach my goal weight. But for now, I am happy. For now, I can say that I am making steady progress towards ultimate success. For now, I can breath a sigh of relief that I'm starting to understand food and how to manipulate it. So, if you would please excuse me...I'm off to eat my crisp zero point red apple with a small side of peanut butter!

Watch out Mr. Weight Watcher; I'm plugging along!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Goodbye Summer Sun...Hello Fall Freshness

With the long days becoming shorter, the warm breeze turning cooler, and the the green leaves coloring hues of orange, pink, and red one knows that the California summer has ended. And, with that brings fall, family gatherings, and a fresh start. 

The memories of sand between our toes, rosy red checks from too many hours playing in the sun, and the many "mini-cations" we took will hold us over until next summer. Until then, we will relish in the last few weeks of the year with friends, family, and festivities. 

Goodbye Summer Sun...Hello Fall Freshness

This weeks photo challenge on iheartfaces is to share the "Best Face Photo from Summer 2011." After careful review of the thousands stored in my Picasa, I decided on this one. You see, this photo captures the essence of our summer, as well as my daughter; And, it speaks lazy days at the beach coupled with growing independence. 

Otter Pop Madness

The summer might be over, but there are still otter pops
in the freezer that the girls get to enjoy. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

The 3/4 Mile Marker!

It's hard to believe that Presley is already 9 months old.

This past month has brought redder hair, two more teeth on top, her 
waving hi and bye, and cruising around furniture. She has blossomed
into a little spitfire filled with energy and excitement. And, she can be found
 hanging on like a monkey to one of our hips now that separation anxiety 
is in full swing. 

She's developing a palate of pickiness when it comes to solids,
but will not turn her head away from any type of ice cream or frozen yogurt. 
Momma's milk is still her go to when she needs a little comforting and
our bonding time has been something we both secretly enjoy. As her first 
birthday quickly approaches and her independence sets in more and more each day,
Momma is soaking up a few extra minutes of rocking her Pella girl to bed 
every night. 

A Touch of Sun

There are certain moments in your life that make your heart melt. 
There are certain moments in your life that make you stop and feel thankful.
There are certain moments in your life that you will never forget. 

And...this is one of mine!  
So, I decided it would be appropriate to start my journey with iheartfaces by sharing this certain moment in our lives. If you are at all interested in photography check out iheartfaces. They have an awesome website and fun photo challenges. This week I am participating in "A touch of Sun." Wish me luck! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A little pick me up!

Giulietta has discovered that she can now pick up Presley. Thankfully she does it only when Daddy & Mommy are there to assist!

And, as you can see Presley loves it!

Friday, September 16, 2011


If you look really close at her top gum, you will see that Presley
has two more teeth! They were a struggle coming in, but they definitely
add to her cuteness! 

Four teeth + Standing = Presley at 9 Months

Who Knew?

I would have never guessed that box could be so fun to play in! 
But, these girls had a blast for a solid 30 minutes straight. 
Momma started the fun by pushing G around in the box first! Then....

 laughter filled the air when Giulietta pushed Presley around! 

Tired for all the hard play, Giulietta decided to just sit! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Racking Up The Shoes for Less

My girls have a ridiculous amount of shoes and it's out of control! I know the only person to blame is myself, but they are just too hard to resist when they have a clearance sticker on the side of the box. My shoe obsession goes way back and I blame it on the fact that shoes have always fit me easily my entire life, with the exception of being pregnant, therefore I enjoyed buying them. And, apparently I am training my girls feel the same way by buying them way more pairs then what they need. 

With my shoe obsession comes the heaping pile of soles on the bottom of the girls closets'. And, this annoying mess had started to become a major problem in our little home when one water shoe got eaten by the enormous pile and my awesome friend Marci had to go out and buy Giulietta a completely new pair of water shoes at 8am one morning this summer, because the little princess had water play at school that day. Also, over the last several weeks Giulietta has been coming and telling me that she can't find a match. So, I decided something needed to be done with this pile, and done rather quickly! 

And, you know me, the usual over the door shoe rack or plastic holder would not do. Thus, I racked my brain and searched around for something that I thought would work. It had to be cheap, it had to be stylish, and it had to be functional. Luckily, on one of my many visits to the Dollar Tree this little hanging rack stood out, and I knew it would do the job. I threw a couple in my cart and excitedly headed home. 

The "Hubster" quickly attached three racks to the closet wall in less then 10 minutes by using a drill, 2 anchors, 2 screws, and his electric screw driver. 

Giulietta and I cleared out the closet, matched up the shoes, decided which ones were keepers, labeled the shoe bottoms and rack knobs with corresponding numbers, and then began hanging! 

All in all this little project took less then 30 minutes to complete, only cost me a measly $3, and has made it a million times easier for the little princess to pick out her shoes in the morning! There are smiles all around! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Banana Pumpkin Spice Muffins for a mere 2 Points Plus

Have you ever had a pile of brown bananas sitting on your counter and wanted to do something with them, but didn't necessarily have the time? Well, you're in luck, because just the other day these beauties were staring me in the face. I was hungry, I was craving something delicious, and I had a few extra minutes to make something.  But, I didn't want to spend a lot of my "points plus" on just anything. 

So, I grabbed a box of Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix and a can of Libby's 100% Pumpkin.  

I dumped all three ingredients into a bowl and mixed until the mush appeared smooth.

Then, I slowly poured the mixture into each of the baking cups and placed the cupcake tin in the 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. 

After about 25 minutes I pulled the Banana Pumpkin Spice Muffins out of the oven, let them cool for a few more minutes, sprayed a little I can't believe it's not Butter on them and devoured the yumminess! 

These yummy muffins rock because the girls & hubster LOVE them, they take about 40 minutes from beginning to end to make, and they only cost 2 "points plus" each! 

For all my fellow WW followers...this recipe will yield you 24 good size muffins. The total mixture has 19.75 grams of FAT, 451.5 grams of CARBS, 17.5 grams of FIBER, and 48 grams of PROTEIN. Thus, when divided into 24, each muffin has 0.83 grams of FAT, 18.8 grams of CARBS, 0.7 grams of FIBER, and 2 grams of PROTEIN making them only 2 "points plus!"

Week One...Five Pounds Lighter

Dear Mr. Weight Watcher,

Yes, I made it through my first week on plan. Yes, I stayed on track by logging every damn morsel I placed into my mouth. Yes, I lost weight...five pounds to be exact! Yes, I'm happy, proud, and excited. No, I did not enjoy every minute of it. You see, you made me think, you made me make choices, you made me sacrifice.

Did I feel deprived? Yes, sure at times, but don't we all? Did I feel like giving up? Of course, especially when I watched my pregnant friend eat half of my bag of fries at Volcano Burger after she devoured her entire bag first. Did I step on the scale every morning delighted to see I had shed some weight? Uh huh, I sure did, and then I danced around my bedroom for a minute or two filled with pride.

But, I have to admit it wasn't all that bad. I did learn that it's no longer "points" we count but "points plus," one point items do not appear to exist any longer so one should be happy with finding something for a mere two points plus,  and thank goodness most fruits and veggies are zero otherwise I would have exceeded my points plus allotment almost everyday. The new program makes sense, it obviously works, and it allows me to feel  like I tricked you by being able to eat Volcano Burger at least once a week and still losing those few pounds at the same time.

However, it doesn't get any easier as time goes on like most other things do. In fact, it gets more difficult to resist the urge to eat the entire slice of Costco pizza instead of half of it, it gets more difficult to cook food at home instead of eat out, it gets more difficult to throw in the towel when my mouth is still watering, and it gets more difficult to realize that my yummy indulgences in the past are now few and far between.

I know! I know! At the end of the day loosing weight, feeling healthier, and looking good are my ultimate goals. And, I know they are attainable! Therefore, I keep plugging along this weight loss journey.

Here's to a good second week Mr. Weight Watcher! I know I'm still in the game!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kick, Kick, Kick

Since the end of May Giulietta has been taking private swimming lessons
at Aquatic Explorations in Los Alamitos. And, every week she makes
great strides in becoming a more water safe and independent swimmer
 Plus she loves it! 

Bye Bye Baby!!

Presley can now wave Bye Bye!
And every time her little hand starts going, my heart melts! 

Confession Time

Yes...I do let my almost 9 month old eat Costco Pizza!!

Why?? Well...because it's delicious of course!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I know what this looks like!

You are all probably thinking, "OMG...they let G drink beer."
No way, no how, we don't even drink it.

Hiding inside her cup is just some yummy kettle corn which
she enjoyed while watching Uncle Pete in the lawn mower races.
(More to come later about our amazing time at the races.)

Dear Mr. Weight Watcher,

Dear Mr. Weight Watcher,

Yup, that's right, I joined your following again! Fat Ladies Anonymous, I mean Weight Watchers, here I come. I know it's been a while since my painted toes have stood on your scales, tracked your points, and listened to your words of encouragement. But, excuse me for enjoying food, I mean life a little too much. I'm sorry if you have missed me, however I was busy packing on the pounds during my second pregnancy, and then continuing the indulging because I was breastfeeding. 

I know these probably aren't acceptable excuses to you, but quite frankly it was fun while it lasted! And, I promise now that you are holding me accountable again that I will do my best to listen to what you have to say at MOST of the meetings,  count MOST of my points, make good decisions about what I put into my mouth MOST days, and lose a few pounds MOST of the time. I can't promise that I won't cheat a little, binge every once in a while, and indulge when I feel like I need to, but I'm only human, I only live once,  and I know that you will forgive me like you have in the past. 

I hope our time together is quick and painless. Hell...who am I kidding? You and I will continue to have our love/hate relationship for the rest of our lives. After all, aren't you the one promoting the plan that requires one to make a "lifestyle change?" Don't worry, I understand that the things in life you want and value the most never come easy. Therefore, I have thrown in the towel on big Italian dinners full of carbs, Volcano Burger & In-N-Out multiple times per week, and big bites out of blocks of cheddar cheese before I go to bed. 

I am up for your challenge! Truth be told...I'm excited for it. We all know that I find great pleasure in finding a way to eat the foods I love while still staying within my points for the day. We all know that I relish in excitement by watching the number on the scale decrease each time I step on it. We all know that I desperately can't wait to wear all those pre-pregnancy clothes stuffed in the back of my closet. And, we all know that I take great pride in accomplishing my goals. 

So, here's to you Mr. Weight Watcher, to me, to our journey together! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Extreme Couponing Made Manageable

I am definitely not one of those Extreme Couponing Momma's that you have watched on TLC's show, however I do enjoy good bargains and I am willing to put work into finding them. 

Like so many other Momma's, part of my ritual of bargain shopping is clipping coupons. What I have found is that clipping the coupons is actually the simple part. It's organizing them for easy access while shopping that is challenging. 

I've tried the side pockets of my purse. I've tried large envelopes. And, I've tried accordion file folders. Although these tools may be effective for some, not a one of them have allowed me to effectively organize my coupons in a fashion that granted me easy access while shopping. 

People have suggested all types of other organizational strategies to me, such as baseball card holders and binders with protective sheets. They all seem so brilliant. However, I have wanted something small, something easy to access, something that is able to fit comfortably in my purse, something that works for ME! 

And, after a little perusing at the Dollar Tree I came up with my $1 Photo Album Coupon Organizer! 

To get started I dumped all my coupons out on my ottoman and placed them in neat piles according to the different aisles and departments in the store.

Then, I grabbed my new $1 Photo Album from the Dollar Tree , carefully organized my coupons into one of the 48 "pockets" (picture windows), and used my colored 3M Labels to make tabs.

Twenty Four Colored Tabs later, I began placing the coupons that I wanted to use on my immediate visit in the front of the pocket & the ones for later use in the back. 

After about an hour of sorting, labeling, and marking all the tabs, my $1 Photo Album Coupon Organizer was complete and ready for my next shopping excursion! And, I am proud to say that the few times I have used my Organizer my shopping experiences have been quicker, more organized, and I have saved far more money then before. 

Kicking Back

I'm not sure why, but apparently Daddy-O's legs make a comfy couch. 

It's amazing to think that one day her legs will be as long, if not longer
then the ones she is snuggled up in! 

Our Happy Place

Sometimes, but very rarely, I find myself at a loss of what to do with the girls. Sometimes, the multiple colored walls of our home seem boring, dull, and routine. Sometimes we escape to the park. 

Sometimes we picnic on the luscious green grass. Sometimes we feed the ducks that wade in the sparkling blue ponds. Sometimes we dig our toes in the warm rough sand on the playgrounds. 

Sometimes we spend a few quick minutes or what seems like a short hour. Sometimes we walk all packed in a wagon, other times we drive. Sometimes we find ourselves not ever wanting to leave this place that brings a smile to our face. 

What place do you find to be your happy place with your kidlets? 

Monday, September 5, 2011


I have always thought of myself as a rather organized person. Yes, the papers pile up on the bar! Yes, I hide my mess in my bedroom before a party so no one can see! Yes, my purse is littered with receipts and God only knows what else most of time! However, I'm organized. At least, the organization makes sense to me. I know where things are and it seems to work most of time. (We won't count the one time I got in a car accident, couldn't find my insurance card anywhere, and then months later it appeared in a pile of "things to be filed" in our bedroom cabinet.)

Regardless of how organized or put together I may appear to be, I always feel like I can't quite catch my breath. I'm always running around like a chicken with my head cut off, doing everything, keeping busy and loving it along the way. I tend to "let things go" as the hubster suggested I do when I was feeling helplessly buried in everything and desperately needing some me time one night shortly after I gave birth to Giulietta. And, by "letting things go" I mean allowing dishes to be piled mountain high in the sink, clean clothes overflowing the laundry baskets waiting to be put away, and dog hair matted on the hardwood floor for a few days. Somehow by allowing myself to let certain things go in order to get in the much needed me time I have eased into a better groove. I feel less exhausted, more patient, and a hell of a lot happier. 

But, every now and again I find myself in the same place feeling like I'll never be able to dig myself out of my hole. So, that's when I find myself a project. Something to change, master, and make me feel a little more in control...a little more organized. 

My latest project has been organizing my kitchen. It all started with the Sippy Cup Drawer re-model, and then turned into an entire kitchen cabinet make over. I would have to say my greatest accomplishment, the one that makes me smile each time I open the doors, is my pantry. 

For fourteen bucks (the collapsible containers were purchased for a buck each at the Dollar Tree) and two hours of up and down on my step stool I am now able to shut the cabinet doors completely, quickly find every key ingredient I need when I'm cooking a meal, and know what to buy when I'm shopping at the grocery store. This little organizing might not have been something that NEEDED to be down, but it sure makes me happy!

What have you done lately that has left you feeling renewed, refreshed, and re-organized?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011


She's surely enjoying her farmers market treat of grape kettle corn! Yummy!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

What to do on a HOT day

The best thing the girls and I have found to do on a HOT 
California day is to make a slip-N-slide in Nana & Fafa's 
backyard with an old plastic table cloth & sprinkler. 

Then, play in the shady sandbox! 

After we are all hosed off, we nap in their big
King size bed soaking up the AC! 


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