It's all about lifestyle

If you've known me, you've known that I've always been 2 things:  tall and thin.  That is, until I had my babies.  For some reason, rebounding after a 2nd child in your LATE 20s isn't very easy.  Or it wasn't easy for me - the one who, embarrassingly, is very sedate in her exercise and lavish in her food choices.

NOTE:  The next 3 months are going to contain very personal and vulnerable posts.  I am going to document my challenges with losing weight AND changing my life, or at least the unhealthy part.  Otherwise, I'm pretty awesome and if it ain't broker...  More than anything, I'm writing here as another place to make myself accountable.  Something about strength in numbers and being responsible for things.  I've heard it helps.

And before you jump in to the "you look great" talk (which I love, so I guess I won't protest too hard) let me just say: STOP.  I'm pretty sure I only have female readers (other than the occasional husband over the shoulder) and you know as well as I do that you're only as happy as YOU feel.  Compliments are great, but the internal ones mean the most.  This is totally for me. 

It's reasonable to expect that after a baby your body would need some time to adjust.  I am, however, not always a reasonable person.  After Liv, my body had gained 21 lbs.  Not a ton, but a lot for a girl who was always the "skinny one."  Life moved on, body bounced back (and the bounced up again) and here comes Avery.  Again, not a HUGE weight gain, but for me, I wasn't an ideal starting point to begin with.  I had gained 17 lbs with her, and while that number in it of itself doesn't seem like enough weight for a pregnancy, it was enough to put me at my largest point in my life.  Again - really really hard to come to terms with.

Chalking it up to baby weight, loose skin, water.... and here I am, still not fitting into clothes that I want to.  And I know why.  We like to eat out, snack on chips, having cocktails and relax rather than go for that family run we're always talking about.

Nate has agreed, we need to make some changes.  We're not junk food junkies in front of the kids.  I mean, Liv asks for broccoli more than any other food, but still.  I want to put on clothes and feel GOOD, you know?

Last weekend we went and bought "The Mayo Clinic Diet."  I had first referred to it as the "Mayo Diet," but I'm sure that's a totally different thing.  It was also during this time that I discovered I wanted a Nook Tablet.  (Santa, are you listening???)  This is a diet that requires a lot of obvious lifestyle changes, but also a 2 week period of "habit" changing activities.

A few of the critical hurdles for us will be not going out and not drinking alcohol.  That being said, the diet will start on Sunday, December 4th:  the day AFTER my 30th birthday party.  Perhaps doing this around the holidays is a poor choice setting ourselves up for failure, but at the same time, if we can support one another and stick to it, the rest of the time should be cake.  Or carrot cake at least.


I'm Blank Because...

I'm weird because...
I like ice in my milk.
I watch TV with the remote resting on my chin, over my lips.
I love to read, but would rather watch the movie.
I'm not a cuddler.  I love hugs, but I am a contact sleeper.  You have your side, I'll have mine, thank you.
My secret craving is sour cream and onion chips dipped in ketchup.
I could eat green olives like popcorn.
I love holiday decorations, and yet, I really really hate putting them up and taking them down.
I know every word to the movie Speed.  (A youthful obsession with Keanu Reeves.)

I'm a bad friend because...
I don't always return messages or texts right away (if at all)
I "might" use my kids to get out of social activities if I'm too tired.
I'm happy to bring a treat/food/drink to share, but expect that you'll feed me if you invite me to your home.

I'm a good friend because...
I'm a good listener.
I'm trustworthy.
I'll remember your birthday without Facebook (though it is sometimes a crutch)
My friends are my "chosen" family and I'll love you like no other.

I'm sad because...
My sister doesn't live closer to me.
I HAVE to work.  Not that I GET to.
The stress of life may be making me a bad, crabby mom and wife - though I do try.
My girls are growing up so fast and some days I feel like I'm missing it.
I feel selfish with my "honest" thoughts some days.

I'm happy because...
I have a lot of good things in my life.
I have a husband who supports my hobbies (ie Etsy and such)
I have parents who live close enough to watch my girls - they'll have memories that will last a lifetime.
I have DVR.  (Don't judge the shallow nature of that statement.)
I have had two healthy pregnancies and two healthy babies.

I'm excited for...
Hearing Avery's speaking voice (though I know once that can of worms is opened, it never stops!)
Going on a warm vacation with Nate - we've never done that.
Liv on Christmas morning this year - she's so excited and it's not even Thanksgiving yet.
Every Food Network magazine that comes to my door.
The next trip to Beaches - spring 2012! (Actual reservation TBD)

My favorite things

So I may not be Oprah, but I thought I should share some of my favorite finds out there.  Something fun to spark those shopping (or menu lists) for the holidays.  And while putting this together, I realized this was fun.  I may have to do one of my "wish" list too.  Skies the limit, right?!  Enjoy!!

For my teething baby, who is a mess of drool, boggers and pain, these have been a Godsend.  What baby doesn't love to put ANYTHING in their mouth, and what mom isn't always looking for the cleanest item to appease them.  Insert the teething bracelet.  Worn as a standard cute accessory, it's fantastic and look, with the flick of a hand, instant teething ring.

Five bucks.  Bam!

From TNTees on Etsy

After watching Top Chef and seeing Rick Bayless rock the house (or the kitchen for sure) I am obsessed with Frontera products.  I'm actually hoping the next trip we make to visit the Hattons in Chicago, that we can make it to his restaurant!

I discovered his salsa when I shopped from Coburns delivers, now, in your grocery aisle, there are various enchilada and taco sauces.  SO EASY.  Our favorite is the red enchilada sauce.  Simply roll shredded cheese in tortillas, dump this pack over, bake for 15 minutes and you're done.  Easy peasy!  These packets are only about 3 bucks - not bad for a tasty dinner that makes you look like a kitchen rock star!

This next item is completely selfish.  The price tag isn't terribly high for boots, and yet I still haven't been able to just go ahead and swipe the ole card at DSW.  Being that boots and leggings are all the rage (thus the diet that's coming up for me very soon to fit INTO those leggings and skinny jeans) these are so cute, I can't stand it.  I saw them once and have gone back a few several many times to look at them since.

I love them in black, but the chocolate brown is also very nice. 

And what's a pair of boots without a cute pair of leggings to go with them!?  Winter leggings from Ameican Apparel - so nice!  Comfy, warm, thicker so you don't freeze immediately upon leaving the house.  Got mine in charcoal (not burnt orange or evergreen.  Love the colors, just not on my legs!)  Now again, to start that diet (the day AFTER my birthday) so my ass can once again look like this.  I can promise you, this model is never had a baby come out of her body.  Or at least that is what I must tell myself.

$38 well spent.  A bit steep for my cheapo budget, but then again, I see these getting a lot of wear.  ESPECIALLY if I got those boots (hint hint husband)

 My Levenger Circa notebook - ah-maz-ing..  My boss bought one for me as a "thank you" for completing the various projects we had running right when I started my new job.  After using this, I'm not sure I'll ever go back to using a regular spiral bound notebook.  The pages are punched in such a way so that you can easily slip things in and out.  And being that I've been trekking between two office buildings lately (now to be moving BACK to my original Golden Valley home), the portability of documents for meetings has been great.

I'm tempted to get a smaller one to use at home for my According to L shop and blog planning, but then, that would also indicate that I have DO planning for that sort of stuff!  Mostly, I just jot stuff down on post-its when the ideas come to me.  Again.  Get your act together Liz.  You've got a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it!

Now, wouldn't this be great if I WERE Oprah and now the elves would come pouring out from back stage with boxes and bags for everyone.  Well, maybe someday.

Happy shopping all the same!!!

DIY Infinity scarf

This might be the easiest project out there.  Probably the hardest part is making time to get out of the house to get a t-shirt to use, that is if you don't already have an old one lying around.

I saw one at American Apparel and loved it.  Not so much the price tag.  $37 for cotton.  Yeah, no thanks.

The steps are simple:

Take a t-shirt, the bigger the better (XL or larger)  I used an XL woman's from Old Navy, but probably should have gone for the XXL.
Grab a pair of scissors.

Lay the t-shirt out flat and cut along the bottom seam, removing the entire length of the bottom.

 Next, line up your scissors under the armpit and cut straight across the chest of the shirt.  I'm sure I'll think of something for the extra shoulder and arm fabric.  A short sleeved shirt would have made more sense, but oddly enough - they don't sell many of those in November in winter!

Almost done.

Now STRETCH.....and stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch.  I would suggest using something stationary and leveraging as much strength as you can without ripping it.  Trust me, the stretchier the better when it comes to actually wearing the scarf (again, XXL would have helped too!)

The blury, constantly moving baby was ZERO help in the stretching task.

REMINDER:  Go to National Camera and get help with using your camera.  You spent too much to not get good photos.

Dear GOD, I have a dirty bathroom mirror.  Nate was napping when I did this, so I didn't have my normal photographer on hand.  Note to self, CLEAN UP.  Here, the iPhone photo isn't better but it at least isn't shameful in the cleanliness of my house.  Something about my kids making memories or something like that.

Now wrap and your fabulous.  Seriously, that's it.  The jersey fabric doesn't fray, so there's no need to hem.  Why didn't I buy more t-shirts when I was out!
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