Wednesday, December 12, 2018

iPhone X

I am “writing” to you now from my favorite spot in the house. I am sitting in the living room on the couch with the leg rest up, and with all of the Christmas lights on around me. The room is dimly lit by the glow of the Christmas tree and the lights strung along the fireplace mantel. Our house is never as cozy as it is on a winters night.

I finally received a new phone this week after a couple years of dealing with my previous one. I used to have the iPhone 6 with only 16g but I have needed a new update for about a year now. I was unable to mute my phone without going through some odd back door way, using a triple click of a button. I also did not have enough storage left to update the software. I have upgraded to the new iPhone X and let’s just say that I hope I won’t have to upgrade my phone for many, many years. This phone and I have a five-year plan together. It’s not a contract or anything, it’s just how long I hope to get out of it before needing a new upgrade.

I might have been able to do this on my previous phone, I never really checked into it, but I am actually speaking to text right now, from my new phone. I used to be able to produce content five days a week for my blog, but since I started working part time at the end of summer, the timing of posts have been sporadic. I am hoping that now I found this “new” feature I will be motivated to update my blog even more often.

The thing that I am most excited about with this new phone is the ability to take some good quality photos, conveniently. My old phone did not take the best photos and given the life stage that I’m currently in (being a mom to a three-year-old and working part time) I use my phone way more often than my DSLR camera. It’s just more convenient and more practical to use my phone when taking pictures in most situations, which was a big factor of my decision making process when going to purchase this new iPhone X. It’s well known for taking great pictures! Here is a picture that I took in a dimly lit room earlier tonight.


Probably not the best example of what the iPhone X can do since the photo is so dark but, in knowing the lighting situation, I think it turned out pretty great! More than anything, I am most excited about updating my blog from my phone, quite easily! Hopefully you’ll be hearing more from me soon, because of it!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Meal Planning in December

With all of the friendly gatherings we have scheduled in December, trying to stay on track with our meals has proven to be tough. One thing that always helps me to make better choices come meal time is actually taking the time in advance to plan out our meals.

This Week's Dinner Schedule:

Sunday: Zuppa Toscana

Monday: Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Tuesday: Full Staff Meeting Dinner

Wednesday: Steak Salads

Thursday: Sesame Chicken with Broccoli and Rice

Friday: Steak Salads

Saturday: Christmas Party Dinner

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Whenever I go to plan out our meals for the week, I mainly focusing on dinner plans. I would love to get to a point where I plan out all of my meals for each day but, that doesn't happen very often. I usually just track as I go. 

Today's full meal plan is looking like this, so far:

Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Lunch: Zuppa Toscana

Snack: Ritz Cheese Cracker Sandwiches

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Snack: ... to be determined according to how many calories are leftover

Going back to the week ahead, there are a couple dinners that I won't be making for myself this week, which can make it tough as far as "staying on track" goes but, I am not going to let that take away from the nice treat it will be! The church that I work for always provides amazing dinners (Tuesday) and, I am really looking forward to the Christmas Party that my husband's employer puts on each year (Saturday)!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Our Winter Fun Checklist 2018

It's kind of hard to believe that the winter season hasn't even officially begun yet (not until December 21st) because of all of the snow that has already fallen in our area. Between the early snowfall, the Christmas shopping and, the calendar change to December, I'd say it's "winter enough" to start making a winter fun checklist for our family!

our winter fun checklist

bake a pie from scratch
silently watch the snowfall from under a blanket
Take our Annual Christmas light drive with the family
make so much  soup
enjoy a hot candlelit bubble bath
decorate our home with "all of the" lights ü
Lay under the Christmas tree (try it!) ü
Listen to a ridiculous amount of Christmas music ü
catch snowflakes on our tongue
bake cookies with family & friends
build a snowman
Make a snow angel


As you see, a few of the items on our winter fun checklist have already be checked off!


With snow coming so early, so did some of the Christmas spirit in our house. I love how cozy our home feels with the lights around the fireplace and the Christmas tree all lit up. While I'm sure the tree will come down soon after the holiday, I think the lights around our fireplace will be up as long as the snow is falling.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

First things first - the week before Thanksgiving my 3 year old came home from preschool with a painting of a turkey done with her hand and, I just had to share it here for my future self to look back on. How sweet is this?


Before too much more time passes, I am here to share some pictures from our Thanksgiving day!



On Thanksgiving morning (with cute bed-head and all) Piper and Nick made our annual Thanksgiving breakfast (ham and cheese souffles). Piper was so proud of herself for helping make breakfast (and we were proud of her, too)! She loves helping with most of our meals and we love creating these memories of cooking and baking together as a family.




Thanksgiving morning smelled like oven-baked goodness and chai tea latte as Piper, Nick and I streamed the Macy's Day parade from YouTube. (Side note: I love how we can stream YouTube on our tv, especially since we haven't had cable in probably two-three years, now. Don't panic - we have Netflix and Hulu!)




Instead of making a dish to take to Thanksgiving lunch at my mom's house and dinner at Nick's Busha's house, we ordered a large pumpkin roll to share at both places! While I love to cook and bake, ordering this pumpkin roll from a new bakery in town made me happy in knowing that the purchase blessed the family who just opened a new bakery and also blessed my family's bellies at the same time.


I am guilty of not taking enough pictures after we left our house on Thanksgiving day but, instead, spent all of the time together in the moment with our loved ones. Here are a few from my phone:





A couple days later, on that Saturday, I cooked my own very first Thanksgiving dinner for our little family. 



It turned out really well and, we have frozen leftovers (stored in pot-pie form) that will provide about 4 more meals for us... one day. That is, when we get our craving back for Thanksgiving type food! We have definitely had our fill, for now.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Avoid Losing Sight of Your Goals

It's the first week of December and I've created an image below of what I have hung in my bathroom to help keep myself on track for the month ahead. If you find it helpful, please feel free to copy and print for yourself!

The image includes a list of my goals for the month, an inspirational motto, a place to record weekly weigh-in's, a small calendar to track vitamin intake and, a bible verse to reflect and pray on daily this month.


One of the downfalls to accomplishing my goals is the fact that I easily lose sight of the goals I've set for myself. I am hoping that by having these reminders taped on the mirror in my bathroom, that I will be well reminded.

I'll be searching for ways that I'm working toward my goals every day. Today, I'm realizing that creating this visual falls under both my intentional planning and accountability goal for the month. This is a good reminder that just because December is the month of holiday parties, Christmas cookies, etc., it doesn't mean that I should take a break from making and reaching goals to better my health. Even the smallest steps in the right direction (like printing this visual), add up.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Just Not Fine + December Goals

Happy Friday and happy last day of November!

If you follow my blog's Instagram profile: @goaloflosing100 then you may have already seen the post where I shared about gaining half of my weight back (that I had lost during my diet bet) over Thanksgiving break. Yep. I am guilty as charged for enjoying Thanksgiving dinner and that dessert table a little too much.

That is all fine in my book. Enjoying Thanksgiving is fine! What isn't fine, however, are all of the habits I've developed and let stick around ever since. Late night snacking, lack of planning/following through with meal plans, eating out excessively - all of that is just.not.fine!

At the beginning of November I made some goals and, I didn't keep them in mind much throughout this past month. The first day of December starts tomorrow and, I'm not only going to set some new goals but - I am going to keep them in plain sight, too.

December Goals
Drink more water - I need to get back into the habit
Intentional planning - this goes for meals, this goes for time - everything
Vitamins daily - it's time to refill and recommit
Increase activity - stop thinking about it and start doing it
Accountability - more blogging and tracking my results



Friday, November 23, 2018

Pumpkin Patch 2018

This is me, hurrying up and posting pictures from our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, before too much time passes by. I really started feeling the pressure to hurry up and post these since yesterday was Thanksgiving and, if you're like me, that signifies the transition to all things Christmas!

Before we do that though... here are the pictures from our annual pumpkin patch trip with the family.















For pictures from Piper's first trip to the Pumpkin Patch, click here: 2015. This is the season for traditions and this is one we cherish greatly!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Traditions + Fall Family Photos

My 3 year old, Piper, is on Thanksgiving break from preschool! I am also getting some time off from work this week, through next Tuesday. This morning, I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized we didn't have to rush off to preschool drop off today or, for the next 6 days. 

God bless Thanksgiving break!




Today, we are taking it nice and slow and plan to for the remainder of our Thanksgiving break! 

Nick and I were just recently reflecting on years previous and have come to find that our Thanksgiving tradition is really quite simple, and we like it that way. Nick enjoys making breakfast for the three of us on Thanksgiving morning. Last year he made souffles, which is now very much a part of our family tradition (I love his souffles!). While he is in the kitchen, I usually bounce back and forth between watching the Macy's Day Parade with Piper and prepping whatever dish we will bring to the main event: Thanksgiving dinner with our families. 

Eating breakfast while watching the Macy's Day Parade is our little family tradition. What is yours?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Weekly Recap 11/16/18

Happy Friday, everyone!

It's been a wild and wonderful week over here, with something scheduled each night. Let me take you through a little recap.

Last weekend
  • It snowed a lot more than I expected it would!

Monday
  • won my diet bet, literally by a few ounces
  • visited the library in the evening, borrowed a couple look & find books

Tuesday
  • worked from 9:30 am - 7:30 pm
  • finding that it is possible to be both tired and in love with your job at the same time :)

Wednesday
  • went straight from preschool drop-off to the gym (treadmill, sauna, shower = self care)


  • ordered pizza for dinner, met up for a cohort, discussing the book Hero Maker from 6:30 - 8 pm

Thursday
  • worked from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm in the office
  • went to a friendsgiving event for the worship crew at our church from 6 - 8 pm
  • Piper caught snowflakes on the way to the truck; it was a snowy ride home

Friday
  • slept through my alarm but still made it to preschool drop off in time (yay!)
  • working through loads and loads of laundry
  • making a meal plan and grocery list for next week
  • going on a date with my guy tonight :)

Make it a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, November 9, 2018

First Snow of the Season + Weekend Plans

The first snow of the season is upon us! Let the Christmas music playing, commence.

The first snowflakes of the season fell a little sweeter this morning. While sitting at the dining room table, I heard the little pitter-pat of Piper's feet coming down the stairs. She ran over to me with excitement and said "Mama, the sky is doing something amazing!" I asked, "What is it doing?" and with a big smile she said, "It's snowing!" Those two words, coming from my three-year old, gave me butterflies in my stomach; that child-like excitement of the first snow overtook me. We ran over to the window together and I tried to hold a tear back as it became abundantly clear, it's memories like these I never want to forget.


I'm not sure that it will be cold enough for the snow to stick to the ground but, catching a glimpse of the first snowflakes earlier this morning was enough to make me very excited for the change of season coming our way! 

Christmas songs and housework are in the plans for this morning. Along with meal planning and grocery listing. I don't work today and so I will be picking Piper up from preschool around lunchtime. As for this weekend, we don't have many plans. We may visit the YMCA (Piper's been asking to play with the kids in child  watch and, I really should get a workout in), we will definitely be grocery shopping and, we're looking forward to an All-Church Worship Night on Sunday evening!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Right Now

Hi friends! I'm popping in today with something fun that I found on another blog. The theme is "right now" and the first word of each sentence is the prompt.

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Right now, I am...

marveling at my husbands work ethic, at work and at home for our family
working part-time, three days a week and I'm loving it
smelling burning candles (Rustic Woodlands from Pier 1)
noticing progress in my mindset, with my health and with the housework
feeling a sense of contentment
listening to something random, Darlingside "Hold Your Head Up High"
feeding my family chicken stir fry for dinner
making a list of upcoming blog topics
finishing the night with this blog post
reading Hero Maker by Thomas Nelson (gifted from our church)
hoping to post blog posts more frequently
smiling at my husband for clearing out the garage for our family truckster
knowing that our vehicle will be covered in bad weather makes me happy
wishing for more days of sunshine and mild temperatures
accepting that snow will be coming soon enough
rejoicing in all of our blessings, big and small
watching the candles burn
kissing Piper's soft "kissing cheeks" as we call them
wondering how much work I'll get done tomorrow with my new, longer hours
wanting to snuggle up with hot chocolate before bed 
looking forward to the first snow (secretly)
loving this season
thinking that I may try more of these types of posts in the future

What do you think?

Monday, November 5, 2018

November Goals 2018

Another November is upon us and I am here to share my goals for the month.

First of all, next week is my final weigh-in for a 4-week diet bet I'm currently involved in. I have one week to lose about 3 lbs. and to say that I'm nervous about not meeting my goal is an understatement. I feel like this always happens though. I always wait until the last minute in these diet bets and end up working my butt off in the end to reach my goal. 

While the first 3 weeks of my current diet bet had plenty of "cheat days" and lots of Halloween candy, this final week is a no-excuses and no exceptions kind of week! No exceptions as in I must stay within my calorie range, I must drink all of my water and I must stay active this week!

My diet bet weight goal is 236 lbs. My weight goal for the month of November is 233 lbs. - which just so happens to be my pre-pregnancy weight (you know, that weight you always keep in mind even though your child is now 3 1/2 years old - haha).

Thinking ahead, I would love to end 2018 at a weight of 228 lbs. I weighed in at 248 lbs. at the beginning of the year and so 228 lbs. would mean I lost 20 lbs in 2018, which sounds like a happy ending in my book and, a great way to start a new chapter.

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While I don't think it's healthy to always focus on the numbers on the scale, I must admit that I do enjoy having a number to work toward. It gives me incentive and helps with my accountability when I have a number in mind. All in all, I want to end the year feeling better and healthier than I do now.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Happy Halloween 2018

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween! Our family sure did!


Piper dressed up as Miss. Buzz(ette) Lightyear for Halloween and so, Nick and I decided to be Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, too!


Thankfully, the weather wasn't too bad for trick or treating this year. It did sprinkle and was misty most of the evening but, the temperature was mild.





This year, Piper was so excited to run from house to house with her Uncle Evan, who dressed up like a minion this year. Piper felt like such a big kid as we allowed her to run up to each house by herself (with Evan). She would run back giggling, ready for more!



It was such a treat to watch her enjoy trick or treating with a more freedom this year. Last year we wheeled her around in a wagon most of the evening, which I think she would have been okay with toward the end of the night this round, too. We covered a lot of ground!


Halloween was a lot of fun! We have a lot of candy stashed away that I hope we can all just forget about for now, at least until our diet bet is over in 12 days. :)