Blake’s Birthday!

Whew! Relief really came in the form of 5 o’clock tonight! What a long day! Today seemed to last forever, I think because I’m tired and not feeling so hot.

We had a very exciting weekend, and I think I’m still recovering.

Saturday was a big day! We celebrated Blake’s 25th birthday! It was so much fun for everyone.  Since everyone says that he won’t get to have any fun after the baby comes so I made sure this one was extra special.

2014-01-04 23.20.22His cake of choice: white cake with cherry filling and my special white chocolate buttercream! He LOVES this frosting! I think I’ve made it for him for the last 3 years now. After lighting all those candle we decided from now on we will just use number candles. Its hard work to get 25 candles lit. But the cake was pretty yummy.

We also had some fun “Dad” party games for the guys. First up, a bottle chugging contest!

2014-01-04 22.37.44Then a diaper changing contest.

2014-01-04 23.44.14Pretty sure Dad is going to have to do some practicing for baby girl gets here!

We (and by we – I mean everyone else) also played some drinking games, like beer pong, cards, and a buzz word game. A good time was had by all! And the guys were totally good sports about the Dad games, even though only one of them has kids. I’m sure it helps that there were some cool Seahawk prizes.

Then Sunday, Blake’s actual birthday, I woke up and made him his favorite breakfast, biscuits and gravy. Then we went to help some friends fix their drywall, but I was feeling pretty lousy so I went home and took a nap.

Now that all the celebration are done… we are in total get organized for moving soon mode. It will help pass the time until baby girl gets here!

How was your weekend?

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Make A Lifestyle Change This Year

Did you put “eat healthy” or “lose weight” on your list of New Year’s resolutions….again?

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Desperately hoping this is the year to lose weight, be more active, join the gym,  and start eating healthy….

Guess what! There’s good news! You can succeed! And you WILL succeed! You just have to change your mindset a little bit.

You need to make a lasting lifelong change! You need to make eating healthy a way of life. You need to make it a lifestyle rather than a diet. I’m sure you’ve heard those words over and over and that’s because its true!

Trust me, I’ve been there! I once lost 14 lbs in two weeks, by following the South Beach Diet….as soon I stopped the diet, I gained the weight back just as quickly as I’d lost it. This is why you will hear over and over and over again- that diets just don’t work. You have to make a change that you can stick with for life. Sure, you will have a few indulgences  here and there but in order to keep the weight off forever, you have to really make a change in the way you eat. Plain and simple.

Ready for more good news??

Diet-to-Go is here to help! This month they are giving away 1,000 meals! (Plus a bunch of other cool prizes!)

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The details:

• 5 lucky winners will receive one month of free meals!
• 20 winners will receive a free week of meals!
• 25 winners will receive a $50 Diet-to-Go gift card!

Click here to see the official sweepstakes rules and to ENTER!.

Then join me and my friends from Diet-to-Go  on January 7th at 9 pm EST (or 6 pm for us Pacific Standard folks.) for an awesome Twitter part! We will be discussing the common sense ways to reach your goals. Find out how to make a lifelong change and make this year the anti-resolution year!

The details:

  • When – Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 9 p.m. EST
  • Where – Twitter: Use hashtag #diettogo to enter
  • Follow @diettogo and @CaitlinHendee so you don’t miss any tweets.

We’ll also be providing a special discount code for Twitter only at the end of the party – $50 off your first order!

For every tweet, you’ll be entered to win one of four great prizes:

  • One tweeter will win choice of a: Fitbit Force Wristband or Fitbit Scale
  • Three tweeters will win: One week of free Diet-to-Go meals

Check this link for official details about the Twitter party!
(I’m really hoping to win a Fitbit this time around!)

Baby A Update: ONE MONTH TO GO! (36 Weeks)

My oh my! We have only ONE month until Baby Alexander is due to arrive! There is no containing my excitement! I’m so ready for her to be here now! Blake is excited too, he’s hoping for a baby for his birthday this Sunday.

babyToday marks 35 weeks and 4 days!

According to What to Expect, baby is now the size of a large cantaloupe! She’s between 19 – 22 inches long, and weighs are around 6 pounds. All of her tiny little organs are fully functioning and ready to enter the world! Except for the digestion system which starts working once she has her first meal.

Mama Details:

The last few weeks have been a lot of fun. I can tell that the baby is big! I feel her completely stretched out, at times she is pushing from the top and the bottom. It feels like her feet are fluttering right below my breasts, I like to imagine her little feet kicking like she’s swimming. And I also feel pressure low in my pelvis. She moves almost all day long, or at least it feels like it.

DSC_0007Blake & I on Christmas Eve!

I do have some days where I feel pretty uncomfortable. I have pain in my low back/tail bone area almost everyday, And forget about leaning forward.She just takes up so much space, leaning forward just presses on her and its so uncomfortable.

Most of my clothes don’t fit! Even the maternity shirts, with only a month left – I DO NOT want to buy more giant clothes, I’d rather save my money for buying new smaller, regular sized clothes. I’m pretty much just wearing long under shirts with sweaters and cover ups. It seems to be working! Then at home, I kinda just like all hang out, but only at home.

You know, I think we are ready for this little girl to come! The nursery is practically done, just a thing or two left to do. The car seat is by the door and the bag is packed. Oh here’s what’s I’ve packed:

baby's hospital bag1. Swaddle blanket from my friend, Emily
2. Car seat cozy blanket that I made to keep her nice and toasty3. Super soft, bigger blanket from my friend, Tara
4. A couple of newborn size diapers and small pack of wipes*
5. Size 0-3 months onsie in case she is bigger than newborn size
6. Her coming home outfit, the same outfit that Blake and I first picked out when we found out she was coming! Complete with a ducky bib, mittens, and little hat.
7. Little grooming kit from my sister. It has tiny nail files, clippers, comb, soft hair brush, and little spray bottle.*

* We may not need these, because the hospital supplies most of the things she will need right away, but I’m taking it with us anyway.

hospital bag for parents1. Sock and undies2. Deoderant
3. Tums. I will need lots of these I’m sure!
4. Reusable bag for whatever
5. Reusable nursing pads
6. Clothes. T-shirt, tanks with built in bra, and yoga pants
7. Warm, cozy socks
8. Toiletries: shampoo & conditioner, lotion, chapstick, hair balm to take my curls, tooth paste, tooth brush, and comb. Everything in sample size so it doesn’t take up a lot of space!

There are also some things we will need to grab because we use them daily. Like my phone charger, my new fuzzy robe, and my contact stuff.

Did I miss anything?

Hopefully, this everything we will need. I’ve looked over some lists by other mothers, and went with the minimalist approach. I tend to be an over-packer and then never use the stuff I take with me.

So I’m thinking we are ready! I do need to actually put the car seat in the car, but for some reason I’m worried about not having my car when I go into labor.

I’m hoping to do a nursery reveal this weekend or early next week!

2014 Brings New Focus

Happy New Year!

I have to admit, I love the sense of a fresh start that comes with a new year! New Year’s Resolutions tend to get a bad rep. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the hopefulness that comes with making resolutions and trying to change your life!

I feel like I’ve had pretty good success over the last few years with making goals and working on them all year long. Of course, somethings didn’t get crossed off and somethings probably will never get crossed off, but the real lesson comes from WORKING towards a goal, even if its not officially finished.

For me, 2014 is going to be a completely different year than other year. To be honest, I have no idea what to expect!

Baby Elizabeth’s arrival and motherhood are going to totally shake things up. Most days I think I’ll be able to handle it, and things will go smoothly for the most part. And then other days I panic when I think about how I’m going to juggle being a mother, working full-time, and keeping up with “me stuff.”

This year I’m taking a whole new approach, and starting off with a completely new focus on a few  areas, instead of a set list of goals to check off. I feel like it would be most beneficial for me to focus on more short terms goals, then I’ll be able to go with the flow of the year more easily.

Home & Family

I don’t have too many specific goals yet, but they will come as the year starts to get rolling. I have several areas I’d like to really work on.
-Planning Ahead: Meals, Workouts, Doctor Appointments, Blogging, Bill Paying
-Housekeeping:  I’d like to create a schedule/checklist and stick to it!
-Budgeting: I really want a savings account with money in it! We did a fairly good job at it this year, I’d like to do better.

These are the things that really stress me out, the bills, the housekeeping, and not planning ahead. Wondering what’s for dinner or having to run to the store after work. Stressing about a balance the bills with the paychecks. Feeling like I don’t have time to get my own stuff done because the house is a mess. The extra stress causes tension between Blake and I, mostly because I’m so worried about everything that I tend to get snappy or rude to him.

Personal

As for things for me personally, I have so many thing I want to do. Its a little overwhelming. I need to focus and tackle things one at time:
– I have a bunch of crafts and projects on my to-do list.
– I also got a brand new fancy camera this year and I’d like figure out some of the more advanced features and finally take it off auto.
– I would also like to commit to blogging more than I have over the past months, and finally making this blog self hosted.

Health & Fitness

Lastly, I’ve yet to sit down and tackle my health and fitness goals for the year. Sure, I’m already dreaming about the days I starting running again and might have been looking at a hotel for Bloomsday this year. I’m excited about taking my baby girl for a walk everyday! I really am looking forward to having tough sweat sessions and feeling my muscles again. But at the same time, I’m not ready to commit to specific goals yet. I’m going to wait until after I’ve had the baby, and ready to get started again. Then I’ll take it one day at a time.

I’m really looking forward to this year! We have some big, big, big things ahead of us, and its going to be a blast!

Do you do resolutions or goals for the new year?
I’d love to hear them!

2013 in Review WordPress Stats

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Weekend Warriors

This weekend was the perfect mesh of getting things done and relaxing!

I almost always wake up before Blake on the weekends, which is perfect for me because I like to lay in bed and play on my phone for a while before actually getting up. So the mornings were spend being lazy and lounging in bed for a while, then we were up and ready to tackle all the world’s problems…..er maybe not, but we did get a lot done.

Saturday we had a couple errands to run and things to pick up from various stores.

CaptureHow does this always happen? I’ve decided that home improvement warehouses like Lowe’s and Home Depot should have Ladies Lounge Rooms where tired and hungry pregnant wives can relax while their husbands consider all 500 blades available for purchase. They would probably make more money, because then all of us wives wouldn’t be rushing the men out the door. Think about it, a couple of comfy chairs, a selection of K-cups, and a big screen playing HGTV….yep, that’s a moneymaker.  Just remember you heard it here first. 

Eventually, we made it home and got started on our big project! Following these directions, we made this blanket ladder!

blanket ladderIt was pretty stinkin’ easy and looks great! It’s very thick and chunky which makes it looks pretty cool. And oh so cheap! The wood cost around $6 and we had it cut at Home Depot for us. We bought a “miss tinted” bucket of paint for $5. And now we finally have a place for blankets in the living room.

Also on my list this weekend was painting the bookshelf for Miss Liz’s nursery. Its not quite done but almost there! I think I’ll be able to finish it up tonight. Then I just need to hang a few pictures, and find place for a couple more things to go, and her bedroom will done! I confess, I sat in my rocking chair in there for a few minute this morning before getting ready.

Saturday night, I also picked the meat off the turkey bones and cooked up a bunch of meals. I made turkey noodle soup for dinner, then two rice & turkey casseroles and a potpie to freeze. We will save those for when the baby comes.

Sunday was more of a relaxing day. We slept late, then went to watch the Seahawks beat the Rams at the clubhouse where Blake’s parents live. It was a lot of fun, even for me who doesn’t about football one tiny bit.

Then we headed home for dinner, and well…..

Pregnant wife + tipsy husband = Subway & froyo for dinner

It was delicious. 2013-12-29 19.29.25I had only the good stuff. Vanilla froyo with white chocolate chips, crushed oreos, graham cracker crumbs, a few peices of Reese’ PB cup, fudge and marshmallow topping plus lots of whip cream. MMMM. I wish they were open for breakfast! Only kidding.

And with that I’m off to start my Monday! Kia woke up at 5 am, so this should be a fun day.

Tell me about your weekend!

 

Home Gym Necessities On A Budget

I don’t know how it happened so fast, but 2014 is right around the corner and people are starting to think about their New Year’s Resolutions!

At the top of the list is ALWAYS something like lose weight, get in shape, or workout more, right? I’ve been there year after year trying to lose the weight that was holding me back. (But more on that later…)

I’ve always been more successful at home rather than having to go to the gym. I have no idea why! Maybe its a comfort level thing. I’m not afraid to look crazy or workout my ass off in my living room.

Today I’m going to share with you the essentials for having your own home gym while on a budget! I promise that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be successful at home. You also don’t have to a ton of equipment. Or a lot of space, I do workout in my living room.

Here are the essentials:

1- A variety of hand weights/dumbbells. Its best to buy them one set at time getting heavier as you start to need them. Typically at Walmart or Target you will pay a little over a dollar a pound but check places like TJ Maxx or Ross, even second hand stores – you can find a them a little bit cheaper. Price Range: $5 and up (depends on weight)

2- Yoga Mat! This is a serious must have even if you don’t do yoga! It will add some extra cushion when you are stretching, or doing ab work or push up. If you have hardwood floors like me, it also helps to keep some of the dirt away because no matter how much I sweep there is still dirt everywhere!

I also buy these at Ross or TJ Maxx! They usually have cute patterns and great prices but I’ve also purchased them from Walmart for about $10, I can’t understand paying more than 15 bucks for one of these. Price Range: $7 and up.

3- Some sort of timer. Essential for doing HITT or tabata style workouts. Personally, I just use a free app on my iPhone called RoundTimer. But you can find an actual timer basically anywhere, this one from Gymboss is very popular because you can clip it on your clothes so it easy to access. Price Range: Free and up. Approximately $20 for a Gymboss timer.

4- Workout DVDs. I’ve found the best way to get a full body workout consistently is by using at-home DVDs. There a MILLIONS of them out there…seriously, millions. Right now my Walmart has an entire section dedicated to workout DVDs that are only $9 each! I think the best way to stay focused and have fun is to have a variety of workouts at your fingertips. I’ve also bought them at yard sales or used from my bookstore. There also some available for free on YouTube.

Some of my personal favorites include ones from Bob HarperJillian Michaels, and The 15-Minute Solution series.

You could also purchase one of those at home programs like Insanity (which I tried) or P90x, if that is something that interest you. Some of them like Insanity don’t require any equipment, although I would recommend a yoga mat to cushion under your hands. Price Range: Free and up

That’s all it really takes, of course you could invest in some more expensive things, but its not necessary. Although my current wish list includes a nice sturdy treadmill.

I’m actually getting a little bit excited to starting getting back into shape after the baby comes!

IMG_3730.jpgGood Luck!

Any body else do at home workouts?

What are some of your favorite non-essential pieces of equipment?
Mine include my punching bag (gift from my hubs last Christmas) and my one and only  kettle bell! I need to use them more often!