Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Let's take a short break for a PSA

Keeping our families safe on the road is a very important task that we undertake as parents. We drive carefully, keep our cars in tip-top shape, and make sure everyone is buckled in safely on each and every trip. Unfortunately, we can’t control what other drivers on the road are doing. We must rely on the police and essential safety equipment, such as red light safety cameras, to help keep us safe.

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 113,000 people were injured and 676 were killed in crashes that involved red-light running in 2009 – two-thirds of the victims were pedestrians, bicyclists and occupants of vehicles hit by the red-light runners.

The study also showed that red-light safety cameras helped save more than 150 lives in 14 of the biggest U.S. cities from 2004 to 2008. Had the cameras been operating in all 99 U.S. cities with populations more than 200,000, more than 800 lives could have been saved.

Each time we enter an intersection, our families are at risk of becoming the victim of an accident – whether on foot or in a vehicle. Red light safety cameras help to change driver behavior and reduce the risk to our loved ones, however many people are unaware just how valuable these cameras are to those on the road.

The National Coalition for Safer Roads has created a powerful video, showing just how tragic the consequences of running a red light can be.

You can find the National Coalition for Safer Roads on their website, Twitter and Facebook pages, for more information about this important initiative.

Join the Coalition in spreading this important message. You may save the life of a loved one or spare a family the heartbreak of losing a life to a tragic intersection accident.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dear God, please bless me with some Motivation. Amen.-Mamavation Monday

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, remembering those who have fought and served our country valiantly. BUT, for most, this weekend is all about the eating. And I'm not an exception. This week I gained a susbstantial amount of weight. BLAH.

This past week I've still been suffering from a horrific sinus infection, that left me on the couch, eating-not logging my calories, and getting fat. And I'm disheartened. Which has lead to yet more, (emotional) eating. I've also been on antibiotics, which as I've heard this week, are notorious for scrapping even the most valiant weight loss efforts. I was also on my period. If the deck wasn't stacked against me this week, I don't know what was. And I didn't win, at all. And now I feel like I'm stuck in a rut that I can't see my way out of.

I also had a blinding reminder of how overweight I still am yesterday. DH, lil P, and I were out for a walk, in an effort to get me off the couch, 2 miles out, the tornado sirens started going off. And it started getting dark really, really fast. The worst part is, I'm DEATHLY scared of storms.

The skies looked similar to this--in an instant
It became clear that we would have to run home. Cutting through fields with a stroller was hard work, but running 1.5 miles, without a sports bra, on the tail end of a sinus infection sucked worse. I was out of breath, bright red, and super sweaty. 1/4 mile from home the storm hit, we were trapped in torrential rain. We took cover under an awning in a neighboring apartment complex, and with the sirens blaring, my husband decided to run through the sheeting rain to grab my car.

I've never been so scared in my life. My eyes on the sky, I clung to lil' P for dear life in case I would have to make a beeline for the storm shelters underneath the stairwells of the apartment complex. About 4 minutes later, though it seemed like hours, my husband came barreling around the corner with my car. We loaded up as fast as we could and floored it home.

When I got home, I immediately turned on the TV to see what was going on, only to find out that there was a tornadic cell moving over the main road we live off of--while I was outside. Thankfully, it never touched down. Next time, we'll be checking the weather before we go out.

So running from the tornado was my workout for the past week. I hope your week is way less eventful than mine, and that your workouts aren't running from a natural disaster!

But now for the Mamavation Question of the Week, brought to you by Your Best Face!

What are your go-to tricks for when you need a confidence boost?

I'm not so sure I have some super special go-to trick when I need a confidence boost. Most days I don't really have that much confidence, but my confidence and self-esteem are going up exponentially as I'm dropping weight. 

The "New" Hair
The "Old" Hair
As of late though, my most recent confidence boost was from getting my hair cut. I donated almost 9 inches of my locks, to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and got a sassy new short cut in the process. I felt like my hair was so much cuter than it was a long limp thick heavy mop before. And it gave me a little pick me up, particularly knowing that I was doing something nice for someone else.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

This post is sponsored by Your Best Face and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation and sponsored by Your Best Face.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mamavation Monday-Cough. Sneeze. Hack.

This week has been a little on the rough side.

Let's start with the good news. I lost 0.2 lbs this week. Whether it was from actual work or cutting my hair off, I'll never know.


A serious victory occured yesterday. I FIT BACK INTO MY PANTS FROM HIGH SCHOOL! And I'm excited. Can you tell?

Despite my victory, I've been horrifically sick this weekend. I have a sinus infection from hell. Coughing, sneezing, sandpaper thoat, green goo, fever--I'm having my ass handed to me. Needless to say, I haven't been moving as much as I should, since I can barely breathe when I'm sitting still.

BUT- yesterday I walked 3.5 miles, in the hot sun, barely breathing, with a fever of 101.  I made a promise that I was going to do a 5k on May 22nd to complete the Walk-It Challenge for Weight Watchers. And though I didn't drive 45 minutes from my house to do an actual race, I still did my 5k--and then some. So take that sinus infection.


The Mamavation Monday Question (brought to you by GruntStyle) of the week is:

What keeps you from having healthy snacks on hand when you are out of the house?

I have a hard time keeping healthy snacks on hand while I'm out and about because most of my snacks are parishable. I favor string cheese and cut up fruit, which I prefer cold. But I don't feel like dragging around a humongo cooler just to keep some pineapple rings and a string cheese cold. Blah.

I know there are more portable snacks out there. Like nuts and granola, but they tend to have higher calorie counts so I tend to stay away from them. I like it when the scale goes down--so a calorie, is a calorie, is a big ol' fat creatin' flippin' calorie. :)

I'd love to know if you guys have any suggestions of portable snacks for me! I get bored easily and love to try new things to switch it up. So get at your girl! :)

Wishing you all a most wonderful week.

Also, if you could say a prayer, do a dance, send up good ju-ju, whatever you do, my husband got called back for a second interview for a job we desperately need. So here's hopin' and prayin'! Thanks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday

This weeks Tackle it Tuesday is kind of simple. Pack up this darn box, and get it to the post office so QVC can give me my money back. It's been sitting in the trunk of my car for almost a month-which is kind of problematic when it comes to a 30 day return policy, so I needed to get off my lazy butt and get this thing packed and shipped.

For those of you who are wondering what exactly I bought from the Q-and needed to return, here ya go.

All Packed Up And Ready To Go!
Philosophy Summer Grace-you should never buy perfume off TV because they will always tell you it smells wonderful, and yet you can't smell it for yourself. I personally didn't like it because it had a heavy top note of coconut, but I did get compliments on it on my trial run, even though I thought I smelled like a walking container of sunscreen. And Bare Escentuals Faux Tan. I got stripes. 'Nuff said.

The box with the enclosed items are now on their way back to Pennsylvania or wherever the heck they came from ( I can't read pre-paid postage labels). And I have a new found sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, knowing that my credit card balance will be a little less this month! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mamavation Monday: Confessions


Well, somehow Monday didn't exsist on planet Lisa last week, so let me catch you up on the last two weeks of my journey.

Last week, I hit a milestone the day before Mother's Day. 15 lbs down. And that put me just over 2 lbs away from losing 10% of myself.

Then, Mother's Day I rewarded myself, with food; chicken, potato salad, cake, rolls, cheese and crackers. I made dinner for my family and In-Laws and seemed to eat the majority of it myself. Big mistake. That one little slip, led to a deluge for the rest of the week. This week's weigh in said that I GAINED 3.2 lbs! I nearly had a heart attack. I'm blaming it on the fact that I was wearing jeans when I weighed, and not just my usual yoga pants and t-shirt. But I know that I can't blame all of that weight on my wardrobe, some of it has to be attached to my ass, and thighs, and bat wings.

So I had a final hurrah yesterday. Mexican. Somehow, despite all that I've learned about portion control, when I get take out-I eat the whole damn thing. Thats why I typically refrain from take-out. And will once again be refraining until I learn to control myself. If anyone has any suggestions on this, PLEASE! Leave me a comment! I'm like a bottomless pit when it comes to Chinese, Mexican, and any form of cake. A taste, just makes me want more and more and more!
Myself, Lil P, and DH in front to THE Detroit Zoo Fountain
But here's the deal. I'm back on track starting today. I'm going to meet and exceed the 15 lb mark. I want that 10% so bad I can taste it. And let me just say, it tastes sweeter than cake. I'm back to logging what passes my lips, and working out. This past week I walked for the Arthritis Foundation @ The Detroit Zoo (it was lil P's first trip to the zoo). A 5k. The only problem- I couldn't resist the damn bagels that they were passing out, though I did skip the brownies. Thank god.

Lil P with "Auntie" Andrea, she suffers from R.A.

And this coming weekend I'll be a Christian supporting The Walk for Isreal on Saturday and doing a Weight Watchers 5k on Sunday. And since the Walk for Isreal isn't until 1pm, I'm thinking about doing The Race for The Cure on Saturday morning. Is this too ambitious? The following weekend I'm thinking about doing The Support Our Troops Walk.

Overall, I'm hoping that all of this walking on top of working out will create a maxium shrinkage in ass size this week. I'll keep you posted.


In your wellness efforts what is the simplest healthy habit that makes you feel most centered after doing it?

I really had to think about my answer for this one. But after great pondering, I really think the simplest healthy habit that I've developed that I feel most centered after is drinking tea.

I'm not much of a yogi, I'm too competative. And apparently, that's not what yoga is about?!?! Hehe. So I chillax with a cup of tea. I don't sweeten it with anything, it's just hot water and a tea ball full of herbs. So it's just me, mellowing out, with a tummy full of antioxidants! Pretty darn simple and healthy, to feel so centered afterwards.

**I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win a pair of Earth Footwear sandals.**

Friday, May 6, 2011

"To Every Thing There is a Season...

And a time to every purpose, under heaven". Whether you know this lyric as a Byrds song, or as Ecclesiastes 3:1, we are entering into Graduation season. No sooner do college grads walk across the stage, the high school grads follow, and then the kindergarten graduates as well. As Americans, we love to celebrate these "next steps" in life. The end of one season, and the transition to a new season--with new purpose. That is why every graduation I have ever been a part of  has been a momentous one.

Me, Age 6 Kindergarten Graduation

My first graduation, Kindergarten graduation, was a momentous one. In the middle of the ceremony, when my class was singing "The Months Of The Year" song, I started bawling. My mother chalked it up as stage fright, but at the reception afterward, when I pulled up my shirt to reveal a pock mark next to my belly button--she quickly realized that my tears where a symptom of Chicken Pox (this was prior to the vaccination). That pock mark lead to a neighborhood epidemic, including my mom. This day, also marked my transition into public elementary school (I went to private Lutheran preschool and kindergarten), when I finally had the chance of being in class with my best friend--a big deal to any little kid. It is also marks one of the final memories I have of my mom before she passed when I was in 2nd grade.

Me, Age 18 High School Graduation

High school graduation was just as momentous. It marked my transition into adult-hood. Though my mother witnessed my graduation from heaven, my dad could not have been more proud. I graduated 33rd in my class, with honors. And with 3 different scholarships to the college of my choice. Oakland University. It marked me setting out on my own, moving 50 minutes away from home, and living on my own. All while pursuing my Nursing degree, as a direct admit to the Nursing school, due to my high achievement in high school.

Me, Age 23 College Graduation

The most momentous of my graduations was my college graduation. I was the first person in my family, nuclear, extended, EVER, to graduate from college, let alone a 4 year university. This was the first time that I saw my dad prouder than my high school graduation. I graduated with a B.A. in English. A far cry from my intended B.S. in Nursing, I found that I preferred reading and writing, and that there was just too much pressure having someone's life resting in my hands. I graduated with departmental honors, and as a member of Sigma Tau Delta- English Honor Society, during the height of the Swine Flu. Shaking hands with the President and Dean was forbidden and close contact with friends was "at your own risk". But I was more worried about contracting the Bird Flu. A bird pooped on me right before the processional! Apparently, that means good luck, but I felt far from lucky at the time.

Despite all of the debacles of my various graduations, one thing rings true. How proud my dad, and I'm sure my mom were of me. So when it's time to spread the word about how proud you are of your graduate, you should check out Tiny Prints.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday- Happy Cinco de Mayo Hungry Girl!

One of the people that I am most thankful for on this beautiful Cinco de Mayo is Lisa Lillien, aka Hungry Girl. For those of you that are unfamiliar with her, she is the Goddess of Low Cal eats! She's written multiple cookbooks, has a tv show on the Cooking Channel and her super-famous website Hungry-Girl.com where you can sign up for a free daily e-mail! Not to mention she is super cute! I just love her!

While looking for a Crock-Pot recipe tonight, I decided to take a look through Hungry Girl's newest cookbook (I've practically been living out of it lately)-- 300 Under 300: 300 Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner Dishes Under 300 Calories.

I flipped to the Crock-Pot section and it was like angels descended from heaven. I stumbled upon the recipe for "Outside-In Turkey Tamale Pie" on pg 312. Not only is it a set and forget recipe, it's festive for Cinco de Mayo! So I rushed into the kitchen to get it cookin', before I had to head off to work.

The Recipe
1 1/4lbs raw lean turkey
3/4 c yellow cornmeal
1 c ff chicken or veggie broth
1 14.5oz can of diced tomatos with chilies
1 small onion-chopped
3/4 c sweet corn
1/2 c canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used Northern White Beans)
1/2 c sliced black olives, drained (I left these out, since I'm not the biggest olive fan)
2 t chilli powder
1 t cumin
optional toppings: ff shredded cheddar, ff sour cream

Step One - Brown the ground turkey.

Step Two- Combine all of the other ingredients except for the cornmeal and broth in the Crock-Pot.

Step Three- While the turkey is finishing up, mix the cornmeal and broth together and let sit for 5 minutes.

Before you fire up the crock (7-8 hrs on low), mix in the cooked ground turkey and the cornmeal/broth mixture. It will look like this.

I meant to take a pretty "done" picture of the dish in the crock-pot. But the hubby was hungry and dug in before I could. So here's a pic of it in the bowl, note the tiny bowl to the left, I added some more corn, and due to the dish's mild spiciness, decided that my 1 yr old son would be sharing in mommy and daddy's dinner as well.

As you can see I also opted not to use any of the optional toppings-the recipe was so good that I ate two servings, at six points+ per serving it's pretty weight watchers friendly as well, even if you end up eating 12 points+ worth. :)
Lil P also really liked this dish.

My family gives this recipe 6 thumbs up--or two thumbs up per person, if you're not math savvy. Thanks for a great dinner Hungry Girl!

Don't forget to pick up a copy of 300 Under 300 for this awesome recipe and many others! (Shoppers secret-Amazon has it for the cheapest price--click here to pick up a copy)

Monday, May 2, 2011

The scream heard 'round the world

Cue the Jaws music...

So I must confess, I have a pretty bad Silverfish infestation at my place. I live near water so I've kind of just chalked them up as inevitable. They're fast, and nocturnal, so I kind of just let them be, but that doesn't make them any less creepy (and yes, I often wonder if I would wake up if one crawls up my nose while I'm sleeping). Occasionally, I'll find one "left over" in the morning, one who was taking it's sweet time making it back into the crack, crevice, or fixture that it came from. So, I just smash him and move on.

One day, I was sitting at my dining room feeding my son who was about 9 months old at the time. I do a sweep of the ceilings of my place every morning, on the hunt for stray Silverfish and gave the all clear. But while I was feeding lil P, I felt something drop on my head. I ran my hand over my head and came up with nothing. So naturally, I chalked the sensation up to a bout of the mommy-crazies.

About 2 mintues later, I felt something crawling down the side of my face! Screaming and smacking myself, I managed to knock the lil sucker onto the floor and squish him into oblivion. It was quite the spectacle!

Apparently, my lil one was just as creeped out as I was, because he joined in the scream-fest. The only problem, he was a bit harder to calm down!

**I wrote this blog post as part of the Raid Max Bug Barrier contest on 5minutesformom.com**

It's Just Another Manic (Mamavation) Monday

Whew! I don't even know where the weekend went, but nevertheless, here we are--another Mamavation Monday.

I bumped my weigh in day up a day this week--I'm going to start weighing on Saturdays, because that's the day I've switched my Weight Watchers meetings to so I can start attending church services at the new church I've discovered.

That said- I LOST 0.2 lbs this past week! It's just a teeny little loss, but after I dropped over 3 last week, and over 5 the week prior, I'm not going to complain. Particularly after my hardcore Easter food bender, which I'm sure despite my workouts spent it's time catching up with me this past week.

This week, I've had some identifiable pitfalls and some small successes. We'll start with the good news.

Good News
At my WW meeting this past week we had a Hula Hoop demonstrator come in to introduce us to "Hooping" as a way to spice up our excercise routines. She said that the American Council on Excercise (or some other prestigious organization that sounds something like that), endorses hooping as as effective as a group excercise classes, like kickboxing! So naturally, I had to buy one of these hoops from Tammy Brenner. I got this super sweet collapsable "infinity" hoop made by BodyHoops from her. It's hot pink! Woot! Anyways, I used to hoop when I was a kid, and didn't realize just how hard it would be as an adult. But the more mistakes you make the more calories you burn right? But after about a half an hour, I got the hang of it--AND IT IS SO FUN! Not to mention, my husband thinks it's hot. He started playing Shakira's Hips Don't Lie while I was doin' it last night! But the best part is that I now have a fun activity that I can do while I watch TV - DWTS tonight!
If you want to look into hooping, or get a hoop yourself here's the link to BodyHoops.

Bad News
Saturday night, after I weighed in, I decided to watch Life As We Know It, you know, that movie where Katherine Heigl inherits her dead best friend's daughter. Yeah, well, I cryed through almost the entire movie. The problem was that I sat down to watch it, with a bag of pretzels and a bag of 50% off Reese's Peanut Butter Bunnies. Emotional eating at it's best. I'll be using my Hula Hoop to work off those bunnies-that's fo' sho!

And now for the Mamavation Monday, Question of The Week!
How do you reward yourself after you have worked hard towards a goal? Do you have any pampering rewards thought out for future goals?

Okay, Leah will probably kick me for this one, but I usually reward myself with food. Cake for being another year older, dinner for an anneversary, rewards almost always seem to revolve around food. But I'm working on that.
I don't have any pampering rewards thought out for future goals--money is really tight and hubby just took a pay cut. AGAIN. So I'm giving up myself for the security of my family--moms know what I'm talking about. However, I'm planning on hitting the down 15lb mark this week! I'm determined to earn that badge (I guess that's a reward in and of it self right?)! But if I won an Eco Ethical Skincare basket by Tilvee that would be an excellent reward for 15lbs down! ;)
**“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win a Eco Ethical Skincare Basket from Tilvee**