About my blog

In the past year, I have lost over 55 lbs while working full time and being a full time mom to Maddie, 5 and Carter, 2. I want to encourage other moms who are pulled in a million different directions every day - if I can do it, you can too. I promise it IS possible.

On this blog, you will find information about how I lost the weight (this is an ongoing endeavor!), recipes enjoyed by me and my family, couponing and saving money, thoughts on parenting, yoga, people in general, or whatever else I feel like blogging about that day.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Radical Budgeting

I really suck at sticking to a budget. It's hard when one income varies from month to month - when we have a lot of money coming in, we spend a lot of money, but when we don't have a lot coming in, we don't have the extra to cover the deficit. I am so tired of having a big bill come up and not be able to pay for it, then we have to pay with a credit card and make payments with interest. I really want to build at least a little bit of an emergency fund this year so that when we have a car repair, or a vet bill, or a house repair, we can just pay it.

So I was reading through some articles posted on Facebook from a few different budgeting sites, and I read about something that really sounded interesting to me. A woman said her family saves money in the months of January and February by selling items they don't need anymore. The only money they spend on any non-bill items comes from the sales of stuff from their house. Any money they would have usually allotted to groceries, clothes, entertainment, eating out, etc is put into savings. This way they declutter and build up a little savings at the beginning of the year.

I love this idea! I am very interested to see if we can do this. So we have decided to try it in the month of February and see how it goes. We are going to try and live on the cash my husband gets for a Wednesday night gig every week ($50) and whatever we can make for selling stuff like outgrown kids clothes (and my outgrown clothes that are now too big) and toys the kids don't play with anymore. Basically all the crap piled in my garage right now. So if you ask us to go out to eat or go shopping during the month of February we will probably say no. But if you want to come over for dinner or cards we will be happy to have you. I suspect trying this may change more than just our budget...so we'll see how it goes. I'll update each week on how we are doing.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Awareness Intention

In some of my yoga classes, the instructor asks us at the beginning of class to set an intention for the class. It can be anything we want, just something for us to focus on for the class. Like, "I am strong" or "I am joyful", etc. I really like this idea and I now do this for every yoga class, not just when the instructor asks. Sometimes I have a hard time making my brain shut up and this helps me focus my mind on one thing for the class.

For the past few weeks in my Weight Watchers meetings our leader Julie has insisted that we write down at least one thing we are going to work on for the week. It can be small and simple, but we have to write it down - not just think it or say it. I have noticed that even if I don't do everything I'm supposed to do (in weight watchers terms) I usually do whatever I have written down. Last week it was more activity and this week it was planning meals.

This morning in my yoga class I was thinking that I was glad I had a class on Monday morning and what a good way to start the week. I set my intention for the class: "I am aware" (aware of my breathing, of the muscles in my body working, of the correct posture for the poses). I realized that setting an intention could not only work for the class but also for the whole week. So I'm going to try setting an intention for the week for the next few weeks and see how it goes. It seems to make a difference in Weight Watchers to write it down, so I thought I would write about it here so hopefully I will follow through.

So for this week I'm sticking with the awareness intention. I think this will be pretty tough for me. I am ALWAYS distracted and thinking about the next 5 things I need or want to do. I don't pay attention to what's going on around me because I am stuck in my own head. My goal this week is to be more aware and pay more attention to what's going on around me. Especially when it comes to my kiddos. I've been thinking a lot lately about changing some of the ways I deal with the kids, and some of the changes I've been making are definitely showing positive results, especially with Maddie. Part of this is thinking about what I'm saying to them before I open my mouth to say "in a minute" and paying more attention to the things they feel are important. So being more aware fits in really well with these changes I am trying to make.

I think sometimes there are harmonies in different aspects of life, and if you can feel them, you should pay attention and go with it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I love the Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden. So when I saw a recipe for it on Pinterest I was so excited to try it - until I saw the amount of calories and fat. So I decided to try and make my own Weight Watchers version. The result was really yummy and so close in taste to the original. I couldn't wait to share this one!


  • Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and slice thin. Cook potatoes in boiling water with chopped onion for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the italian sausage. Drain potatoes and onion and return to the pot with the water, chicken broth, and garlic. Bring to a boil, add chopped swiss chard and sausage. Reduce heat to low and cook about 10 min. Add the half and half and salt and pepper to taste. 
This recipe makes about 12 cups
1 cup = 4 points plus

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Skinny on my New Year's Resolution

I'm back! I know all 4 of you who read my blog missed me :-)

It's been a while since I have posted - I have had a really rough few months emotionally and I haven't had the energy to share my thoughts (or cook, or coupon, or anything else interesting). I had to make some tough decisions and try to do what's best for me, which is not something that comes naturally to me. I went through a hard time for a while and did a lot of thinking about what's important to me.
            Number one most important: my husband and kids. Period. Everyone else comes after them.

Another conclusion I have made after all this soul searching: life is too short to spend time with people who make you feel bad, whether they mean to or not. I'm talking about people who are not supportive, who always have a negative comment, who aren't happy with their own lives and thus feel the need to make everyone else miserable too. If I am your friend or family, I have your back. I will support you any way I can. I will help you if you need help. I will not expect you to be perfect and will be there for you when you need it. I won't let you cry alone if you need a shoulder to cry on. I don't want to surround myself with people who don't feel the same way about their relationships with friends and family. It's a two way street, and I will no longer be bending over backwards trying to make other people happy. I'm going be make myself happy and surround myself with people who are loving, caring, positive, open, and supportive. I am truly blessed to have a lot of these people in my life, many of whom have helped me through the last few months.

This year I have an unusual New Year's resolution. I was thinking about the phrase, "a new year, a new me." I have learned through making a big physical change that the "new me" is still the same old me. I still have all the same problems and joys in life I did before the change. So my goal this year is, "a new year, embracing ME." This year will be about embracing and encouraging who I am, faults and all. I'm not going to try and change who I am to make anyone else happy. I'm not listening to any more negativity from my inner self or anyone else.

I also survived the holidays and all the food, and overall I maintained my weight. I'm not very happy with no real weight loss since October, but no real weight gain either, so I begin 2013 proud of my 50 lb weight loss in 2012 and ready to get back on track and moving towards my goal weight.