Book Club

Tonight was our monthly book club meeting.  Our book club is a small group of ladies and we take turns picking a book each month to read together and discuss.  The January book was River Bodies by Karen Katchur.   I was traveling last week for work and didn’t finish the book yet.  What I’ve read of it so far I like.  I’ll definitely finish it this week and post a review later.   We were able to discuss it tonight without giving away too many spoilers.

I finished another book today, The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley.   I have read all of her books and she is definitely one of my favorite authors.   This book was so good.  I definitely recommend – 5 stars!!!  I did the Audible version and the narration was great also.   I listened during my four hour road trip for work last week and all the way home as well.  Sometimes for very long drives that like I’ll get bored and need to switch it up to listening to music or something else.  But this book was fantastic and kept my attention the whole time.  It’s the kind of book that once I got where I was going I wanted to stay in the car and keep listening.   There were a couple of moments where I got a little mad at the author, but I was mostly happy with the ending so all is well.

So, back to book club.  I seriously love my book club, y’all!  And I’m not just saying that because one of the other members has read my blog and might be reading this post!   (Hi!  *waves*)   I genuinely enjoy the time out with other women.  We talk about the book, our lives and how things are going, our family, diet and weight loss tips, our jobs, our kids or pets, and all kinds of just random stuff sometimes.  I think it’s important to have time with friends like that and I’m so lucky to have found them.

So, what about you all?   Any of you in a book club or other fun group like that with friends?   What are you reading currently?

Day 6 – Missing the Gym

Today was a lazy day.  I slept late and then watched a Hallmark Christmas movie.  Yes, I’m that person.  I have about 20 Christmas movies recorded and I’m looking forward to watching all of them.  Then I took the kids and we went swimming at the local recreation center with a friend.  So that was my exercise for the day.  I don’t think it really counts, because honestly I didn’t do a whole lot of swimming.  I just floated around a bit and chatted with my friend.  The water, even though it’s heated, was just too cold to swim.

Afterward, the hot shower made me reminiscent of the steam room at my local gym.  I used to workout and then steam for 15 – 20 minutes.  It was so nice to sit in the steam and just be.  It was a time completely to myself to just relax as a reward for working out.  I haven’t been there in ages but I think it’s time to change that.   I want to commit to one day a week at the gym.  On Thursdays I can bring a friend for free, so that’s a good day to try.  Unfortunately this week I need to travel for work so I’ll be out of town for the later half of the week.  But hopefully, the following week I can get to the gym at least once.  I have the trampoline at home and the online workout videos, but I think it might be good to get back to the gym.

When working out a home, I either need to get up early enough to do it before the rest of the house is awake or try to workout when we get home.   The problem with working out in the evenings is that if I try to do it before I put the kids to bed, I often get interrupted and I just feel too guilty to lock the door and let my husband handle the kids while I workout.  There isn’t that much time between the time we get them from school and the time we go to bed.  I feel bad for not spending time with them.  If I wait until they are already asleep them I’m usually too tired and just want to relax.  I think I should start re-thinking my “me time” and instead of going out to get a pedicure or shopping or Starbucks, spend the time at the gym instead.

Do you workout at home or in the gym?  How do you like to spend your “me time”?

Day 5 – Workspace Upgrade

Hello again!  I totally missed writing yesterday.  I fell asleep watching TV with the hubby and then was too tired to write.  I didn’t get my 7,000 steps but I am doing better with drinking lots of water.  I didn’t do my online workouts either.  I need to start getting up early and exercising before the rest of the family gets up.  One of the reasons I wanted a Bellicon in the first place was because it is so quiet.  I’ll try to get up early and bounce a couple of days next week and see how it goes.   Maybe if I can get my bounces in during the morning and do the workouts in the evening I’ll start to get in the rhythm of things.

Even though I didn’t post anything yesterday, I did work on the blog a bit and added a side menu with a calendar of my posts (all 4 of them after this one), an easy link to follow the blog, and some of my Goodreads stuff.  I’m still working on it to get it how I like it, but it’s shaping up nicely.   When I tried to view the site on my laptop at home though, the side bar wouldn’t fit because the page was too small.  It really was difficult working on such a small screen when my day to day at work is with two 24″ monitors.   So, I decided I needed an upgrade at home.  I searched around a bit and found at 31.5″ Dell LED monitor at Staples on sale for $139.99.  I couldn’t resist.  So it took a bit of moving things around but it’s totally worth it.   I love the screen.  And, as a bonus the screen will work great as a way to view my online workout videos for the both the online training and the Bellicon Home videos.

What do you think?

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Day 3 – Blog Facelift

I knew I would do it y’all!   I knew that if I started blogging again that it wouldn’t be too long before I decided to fiddle with the theme and the settings and ultimately spend more time designing the blog than actually writing.   I almost made it three whole days before giving in.  The thing that bothered me the most about the old format (which I really, really liked otherwise)?   The fact that the comments were at the top of a post instead of the bottom.   Who does that?   I mean after reading an article, I know I wouldn’t normally scroll back to the top of the page to comment.   Comments are supposed to be at the bottom of the article!

Big shout out to whoever created Independent Publisher 2. I’m sure if I go back and look at the notes it will say who created it.  Anyway, this is a free WordPress theme and so far I really like.  It has options to add your own header, have side columns if you choose (maybe coming in the future… had to actually get some writing done today first), and has some pretty nice fonts available.

So, on the weight loss goals and my baby steps — I think I’m not taking baby steps I’m still crawling, LOL!  But at least I’m moving in the right direction.   I am drinking more water, if not the 64 ounces that is my goal and I’m walking more than I normally do, even if I’m not hitting my goal of 7,000 steps.   On a positive note, I have done at least 15 minutes of exercise for the past two days.   Yesterday, I followed along with the online training that I mentioned yesterday.  It was a lot of arm work.  I think there was supposed to be some ab work in there, but I didn’t make it that far yet.   Today, I followed along with my Bellicon at home studio for 15 minutes of bouncing fun.  I don’t know how much fun it was after a few minutes. 😛 . My calves are really out of shape and start to ache almost as soon as I start to bounce.  I had to take a couple of breaks during my brief 15 minute workout.  That sounds really pathetic when I type it out, but hey – it’s the truth.  I need to be honest with myself about what I’m doing and not doing and what I’m eating or not eating.  The only way to improve is to acknowledge where I am in the first place.   If this time a couple of weeks from now I can jump for 15 minutes without stopping, I’d definitely say that’s progress.

I’ll leave you with this quote from a friend.  It’s not her original quote and I’ve heard it other places after she told me, but it will always be her quote because she was the first person that ever told me this.

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What about you?  How’s your new year going?   Also, what do you think of the new blog theme and layout?

Day 2 – Small Changes

First things first – how did I do with my two baby step goals?  Not terrible, but not great.  I did drink at least 64 ounces of water if coffee counts.  I think coffee with no cream or sugar should definitely count.  I’m normally a “have a little coffee with my cream and sugar” kind of person.  So, the fact that I had two cups of coffee today, both with only Truvia to sweeten it and no cream at all is progress to me.  I only had two packs of Truvia in each coffee too, which some people think is way too much, but I quite like my two packets thank you very much.   Maybe I’ll work my way down to one packet in the future, but come on.  I normally have at least 4 Tbsp of creamer and a couple Truvia and maybe even a little sugar on top of that.   You know what was really cool about the coffee I had today, I could actually taste the coffee!  🙂

So, next baby step goal – FitBit steps – not as great.   As of right now I’m a little over 5,000 steps.  I’ll get in some more before bed, but I doubt I’ll hit the 7,000 mark.  Oh well, I won’t let it get me down.  Tomorrow is a new day to try again!

I did get a little bit of workout time in tonight.  I’m doing online personal training.  She posts videos each day and I’m supposed to follow along doing as much of it as I can.  I did almost half of it tonight.  I didn’t stop because I couldn’t finish.  I stopped because my five year wanted all of my attention and I was trying to check on the dinner that I was cooking at the same time.   My arms are already sore and tomorrow I probably won’t be able to wave at anyone.  But that’s good, right?

Now, on to dinner.  I know I’m trying to do a low carb and make healthier choices, but I had bought all of the stuff to make tonight’s dinner before the New Year and I wanted to go ahead and try it out.   It was actually really good!  It was definitely not low carb though.  It was a dish called Chicken & Noodles that was sort of a cross between chicken and dumplings and chicken noodle soup.  It had the consistency of chicken and dumplings, only with noodles instead.  I made it in the instant pot and it was a one dish, super easy meal.

Instant Pot Chicken & Noodles 

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Ingredients
  • 2 small cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 small cans chicken broth
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 lb frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 24 ounce package of Rheams frozen egg noodles
Steps
  • Put chicken in Instant Pot first
  • Pour in the 2 cans of soup, chicken broth and butter on top
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and use poultry setting for 15 minutes
  • Natural Pressure release
  • Pull chicken out and shred
  • Put chicken back into broth and add the bag of frozen noodles
  • Stir and put lid back on pot
  • Set the Instant Pot to the Soup setting for 5 min.
  • When complete, use quick release, but very slowly to avoid starchy spray

This is the recipe that I used but I made a couple of changes.

After cooking the chicken, I left it out while I cooked the noodles.  After reading a few reviews I decided to cook the noodles for 9 minutes instead of 5 and they turned out great.  After cooking the noodles I added the shredded chicken back to the pot and mixed everything up.   My husband and my five year old LOVED it.  Both of them had a second helping.

Alright, that’s enough for today.  I need get a few more steps in before bed.  Goodnight, all!   See you tomorrow!

New Year, New Me

Happy New Year!  Today is the day that thousands of people across the globe will set new goals for a healthier, happier new year … and I am jumping on the bandwagon.  I’ve been trying to get healthy for a while and get my life a little more organized but life always seems to get in the way.   Looking back, trying to start Weight Watchers in October with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas coming up was not my best decision ever.  Oh well, today is a not only a new day, it’s the beginning of a New Year.

My big picture goals for 2019:

  • Lose Weight (50 lbs minimum)
  • Get Fit (complete a 5K)
  • Read & Write more (do both everyday, even if it’s only a little)
  • Clean and organize more (goal 1: clean out bedroom closet)

Phew!  That’s enough for now.  Just typing all of that makes me tired,  LOL

Since one of my goals is to read and write more I hope to make these blog posts a regular thing.  I don’t want to commit to writing here daily because I’d just be setting myself up for failure, but I would like to post at least three times a week.  I can use these posts to update you on my progress (and inevitable setbacks) and in that way I’m almost my own personal accountability coach.  You’ll have to keep me on my toes.  If you don’t hear from me for a week, drop me a comment to let me know you’re here and missing me.

For Christmas, my wonderful husband got me a writing desk for the bedroom.  It was on my Amazon wish list.  I wanted a desk that can double as a vanity table for the mornings when I want to wear makeup (which is starting to be more often as I get older).  I’ve been having so much fun setting it up.  First I had to clean up the space, which had an old entertainment center piled up with stuff.  We went to Big Lots and bought 6 cube storage shelf that I’ve setup in front of the bed instead of in the corner.  I’ve moved the TV to there for now, but will probably mount it to the wall above the shelf later.   I’ll post of pic of that in a different post.  Right now it’s still a work in progress.

This was the before pic of the area where I wanted to put the desk.   What a mess!

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And the finished product!

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I bought a new chair, a lamp, and a makeup mirror to personalize the area.  I love it!   It’s where I’m sitting now to type this.  Alright, well that’s enough for tonight.   Here’s to a new day and a new beginning tomorrow.

Baby step goals for the day:

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water
  • Walk at least 7,000 steps

What are your big picture goals for the new year?   What about baby steps?