Friday, January 29, 2010

Biggest Loser Fridays

Welcome to the second week of Biggest Loser Fridays!


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This week was AMAZING! I lost 3 pounds!! That brings my grand total to -3.5 lbs.

And you know what? I worked for it. I've been at the gym 4 times this week sweating my booty off in classes and on the elliptical (jamming to Glee I might add). I've also been following WW to the letter. I'm in the zone people. I can feel it. This is finally my time.

Tips from this week:
  • I learned from previous WW meetings that it is a good idea to track your fiber and protein and make sure you are eating enough each day. This has helped me in the past so I try to eat at least 30 grams of fiber and 50 grams of protein a day.
  • I also make sure to get at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies, 2 servings of dairy, and 64 oz. of water each day.
Topics for discussion:
  • Flex and activity points. What to do with those litter boogers? The last time I was in WW I freaked about eating more than my regular daily points and just flat out didn't. You know what happened? Week 1 : maintain. Week 2: gain! Oh I was livid. But you know what my leader told me? I wasn't eating enough. So I slowly started eating a little bit more on days I worked out. My current plan is adding 3 points to days where I feel like I got a really great workout in at the gym. So far, so good
  • This does change, however, if I have a splurge day. Say I go out to dinner and eat everything on the table but my napkin? No more extra points on those workout days for me that week. I figure I've clearly used up all of those extra points in one meal!
How do you ladies use those extra points? I know many people who eat all of their flex points and all of their activity points every week and still lose weight...so I'm just curious what works for you!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Easiest, Fastest, Yummiest Recipe of All Time

Thank you all for the wonderful sentiments on my last post. You have no idea how much they are appreciated, especially now :)

I wanted to share a recipe with you that I made on Tuesday. It is called Potato Chowder and it was INCREDIBLE. And....it was only 6 points for 1/4 of the recipe. Seriously cannot beat it. And it was the simplest, fastest recipe of all time.

3 c. fat free milk
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
2 c. frozen southern style hash browns
1 c. cheddar cheese
2 slices bacon
1/4 c. green onions

Heat the milk, soup, and hash browns in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes. (Please note...I brought mine to a boil and covered it...and some bubbled up and out all over the stove. Be careful of this! Perhaps I brought it to a boil too fast over too high of heat. Oops!)

Top with cheese, bacon, and onions.

Seriously ladies. You must try this. And if the man in your life is anything like my husband he will love it. It follows Matt's rule of "everything is better with bacon."

Men.

But it's so true.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Will Give You All My Burdens

Good morning ladies!!

I have had a rough couple of days to say the least. My co-worker...AKA the Devil...is driving me insane and I finally made the decision to tell someone. So...the next few weeks could be rather interesting. Prayers are appreciated :)

But other than that, life is good.

Do you ever experience that moment where you just realize you have no control and you give everything over to God. I am there.

We want to move but have few job prospects. My job blows but what else can I do? We're trying for babies but nothing so far. All of these worries of which I cannot change lay on my heart daily. However, slowly but surely, my burden is being lightened by God. I can feel myself letting go and it has brought me such a peace. There are so many things that I want to pray for...but in the end I mostly just pray for God's will to be done.

So thank you for being my outlet, blogland. And I am sending prayers out there for all of my friends who carry burdens of their own. Love.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good afternoon my friends!! How was your weekend!?! Ours was just lovely. Full of nothing but snuggling, date nights, and lounging around the house. It was heaven.

I even got to finish a book I have been working on Friday evening.

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It seems like I have read a review of this book on every single blog I read....so I'm not going to waste your time. I will just say, if you haven't read this, do it. You won't regret it. And a big thanks to those bloggers who recommended it. What an incredible story of Christ's love for us! It took me a little while to really get into the book, but once I did...I couldn't put it down. Seriously check it out people!

So my question....has anyone read any of Francine Rivers's other books?? Good/not good?? Let me hear it!

Saturday we went out for Mexican food and watched Julie & Julia. Super fun date night if I do say so myself! Sunday we went back to "our" church and it just felt right, you know? I'm pretty sure a decision has been made to just suck it up and drive the 45 minutes because we just love it so much! It's our perfect fit.

Sunday was also my sister's 1st wedding anniversary!! Happy Anniversary Jessi and Dave! I cannot believe it has already been a year since you became husband and wife! Congratulations to you both!


Oh...and go horse.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Biggest Loser Fridays

I thought since my co-workers and I just started a Biggest Loser competition...and we weigh in on Fridays....I would take this opportunity to check in and tell you about my weight loss and work outs! Oh, and food. Always food. I'm calling it...Biggest Loser Fridays. Genius, I know.


Since I was out of town on Monday (our initial weigh in day) I had to weigh in on Tuesday this week. That only left me with three days of "dieting" before the weigh in today. Eek! Tuesday and Wednesday I hit the gym hard with new classes. I tried out Boot Camp and Cardio Circuit, both of which kicked my booty in a major way. I also did my old standbys of Yoga and Pilates as well as some lifting and cardio on my own. I cannot express to you how sore my little abs are. Well, they're not so little...so I guess it's a good thing they're sore!

I also did great on my food intake. I'm back on "poor girl Weight Watchers" AKA: doing it on my own. I stuck strictly to my points both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday I had a dinner date with a friend at Bonefish Grill. I had never been there before so I checked out their menu online. I couldn't find any solid nutrition facts so I just used common sense. I went into the meal with 8 points left and ordered grilled tilapia with no sauce and some veggies for my side. That's it! And drank water! So I think I did just fine.

At the weigh in I lost 0.5 lbs. It was quite a bit lower than I hoped for but I'm trying my best not to get discouraged. I did only have 3 days so I can't wait to see what I can do with 7! And the people at the site are doing fantastic! One guy lost 9 lbs! So far this morning we have lost about 40 lbs. total and only half of the people participating have weighed in. I'm really excited about the program and the success it is having thus far. Hopefully next week will bring more of the same (except a little more of a loss for me please!).

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We have NO plans so I am completely stoked!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Superdog!

Last weekend, Matt and I headed off to Chicago to visit my sister and her husband! We had just a fabulous time and I cannot wait to go back!

We arrived late Friday evening and didn't really do much but head to bed. That bus ride sure does take it out of you! As an aside, can I just talk a second about the passengers of the Megabus? We had a young man, maybe early college age, sitting across the aisle from us. Here is just a taste of what we got to enjoy during our 6 hour trip:
  • our very own rendition of Fireflies
  • witnessing the conducting of an orchestra (we heard later he was taking out the soprano part in his head and changing it around...apparently he's in the choir)
  • overhearing all about calculus and physics homework (who does homework on a Friday night?? Sad boys who will never, ever have a girlfriend. That's who.)
  • hearing every street we passed relayed over the phone to his friend when we got near the city
By the end of the trip, I was completely delirious and found all of this hilarious. And we heard Fireflies 4 times over the weekend which made it even better.

Saturday we got to spend some quality time with this little man!



He had his very own Milkbone that he carried around with him all the time. He wouldn't even let go of it when he was chasing the tennis ball! So cute!


But my favorite thing about Mook was when his ear did this:


Family portrait!



This is as close as Matt got to Mook. Although his allergies weren't acting up, he didn't want to risk it. The joke all weekend was that Mook loved Matt the most and they were the very best of friends! You can tell by Matt's face that he didn't agree.


We spent the day playing board games, eating yummy deep dish pizza, and watching the Colts win! We also went to dinner and got to enjoy this deliciousness for dessert!




Sunday was pretty much more of the same...board games, leftover pizza for lunch, more football, just a wonderful relaxing weekend with family. Couldn't have been better.

We left Monday morning to go back home and spent the evening recouping from the trip. Isn't it funny how sitting on your butt for hours can make you tired? Weird. But we're back...and back to work...and ready to plan our next visit :)

I shall leave you with a few more pictures of Mook. I know. I am clearly puppy obsessed and I MUST HAVE ONE NOW!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chi-Town!

Today I'm leaving for CHICAGO!!


Unfortunately not on a jet plane...on a bus. The Megabus. But I'm leaving nonetheless.

Matt and I are going to visit my sister and her husband and are FINALLY getting to see their new house! I am very, very excited!

Our weekend will include but not be limited to:
Lots and lots of board games
Yummy food
Perhaps some rocking out
And of course...Wii time

But most importantly...I get to meet this little guy!


They just got a puppy last weekend and I am thrilled to be the first one to get my hands on this little man!! Oh, he is just the cutest thing! He apparently loves giving kisses and is quite the ball of energy!

My allergy ridden husband is thrilled to say the least :)

Best part. My sister named him after my brother. Meet Mook! (I get a lot of questions about this when I mention Mook so maybe I should explain. My brother's given name is Michael but my dad only named him that so he could call him Mookie. It's after some baseball player I think? Hm. Not sure. But anyways...the name stuck and everyone...even his teachers in school called him Mook or Mookie. It's just our normal now and I forget that it's weird. And when I say weird, I clearly mean awesome.)

I'm looking forward to a fabulous weekend with family! I hope your weekend is super relaxing and I'll probably be back on Tuesday. Chicago vacation = Monday off work for Jenny! Sweet :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Biggest Loser: Lucky in Love Style!

Late last year, a few of my co-workers and I were standing around chatting about, what else, reality TV. The subject of The Biggest Loser came up and I offhandedly said, "We should totally do that here!" Well the other women were all for it!

So after a few months of planning and getting the final approval from management, my work is officially starting a Biggest Loser program on Monday! I am crazy excited about this seeing as even with the new year...my motivation has been low and my attitude blah. I wake up energized and ready to be the best I can be...but by the time I leave work...I just want to sit. I feel like something is wrong with me. But I'm a pretty competitive person so I'm hoping this program will be the kick in the booty I need!

What are you ladies doing to work out and stay healthy in the new year? I think I need a new routine. I got burned out doing the same things everyday last year and I started to hate going to the gym. I'm thinking about starting a few new classes next week and hopefully that will help. Any suggestions??

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book Review...and More!

Last night I finished yet another book! I know, me! I am on a roll people! Good thing since I bought a total of 9 books last week. Oops.

Here's what I just finished:


I heard such rave reviews from so many people about this book. It is told from the perspective of a dog which definitely give the book a different spin.

From Publishers Weekly:
If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoƫ, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter.

Truthfully, I wasn't a huge fan of this book. There was a LOT of racing lingo and references which went completely over my head and I had no desire to understand. And although the ending of the book was quite good, the rest of it made me mad and uncomfortable. It was kind of like one of those movies you're watching...and when something happens you say, "Okay, that's it. I'm not watching this anymore." But I couldn't just shut it off. I had to finish it. And the ending was fantastic. But, did it make up for the rest of the book? Not really.

Has anyone else read this book?? What did you think? I'm pretty sure I am in the minority with this review so please don't base anything on my review alone :)


Onto other things....

I received this award from Paris Pink at The Pink Polka Dot the other day. What a sweetheart!!



The only rule is to pass it along to 10 Glamorous bloggers. With so many to choose from, this is definitely a difficult task...but here are some of my faves:

Sweet Tea Diaries
Post Smith
Pocket full of pink
Naturally Caffeinated Family
Lucy's Life
Living in the Moment
Live.Love.Laugh.
Jeans Friday
for the love
A Suburban Housewife-In-Training

Hope y'all have a great day!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Actuary, Shmactuary

My sister is an actuary.

Yeah. I didn't know what it was either until she became one.

Something to do with insurance, math, statistics. You know, all those riveting subjects.

She has to take 9...yep...9 exams before she is technically an actuary. Her exam 4 results come out today at some "unknown" time. So my poor sister is stuck at home in Chicago, checking the Internet every 2 minutes to see if the results are posted.

If you'd like to know exactly how she is feeling, here is our conversation this morning:

Jessi:

Need a bloggy idea? I noticed you hadn't written anything yet…how about me and how my nerves are about to make me vomit!

I'm at home by the way. We were allowed to work from home because of the snow. YAY! But still no results yet.

Jenny:
I was wondering what was going on with that!! I'll write you a good luck post right now!!

Jessi:
Yay! I'll call you as soon as I find out... either calling you from running around celebrating or crying in a hole.


Clearly, the girl needs some of those great bloggy "good luck" vibes y'all are great about sharing! So give it up ladies!

Wishing you the very best of luck sister!! AND, just in case passing your test isn't cool enough, you get to see my face in 7 days! Here's to a big weekend of celebrating!

XOXO

**ETA**
SHE PASSED!!! THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR WELL WISHES GIRLS!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Little Things

Matt and I left our house at the same time for work today. About 97% of the time I leave before him...and on rare occasions when he is crazy busy he leaves before me...but today we left together.

When this happens Matt usually ends up driving behind me because I tend to be a little on the speedy side. I've slowed down tremendously with age...and cruise control is now my friend...but I still end up passing him if he's ahead of me :)

Since it's so dark in the mornings though, I never know which car he is. I think sometimes he is behind me...but then the person passes me and it's not him. There is only one way I can tell where he is. He flashes his brights at me when he reaches his exit.

For some reason today...this melted my heart. He could've easily just gotten off the interstate without doing a thing. But he wanted to tell me goodbye.

Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? It's the little things for me ladies. And after a tremendously horrible morning at work...it is this exact "little" thing that is making me smile.

Simply love him.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Help

As you probably deciphered from my earlier post, I had some time on my hands during the holiday season this year. I filled up three of my days with this:


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I'm not a very fast reader so for me to finish a 450 page book in three days...well that is a feat ladies! This book was beyond amazing. I couldn't put it down.

Here is a review and a brief summary of the book I found from The Washington Post. Don't worry...I made sure it didn't give away anything important!
Newly graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in English but neither an engagement ring nor a steady boyfriend, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan returns to her parents' cotton farm in Jackson. Although it's 1962, during the early years of the civil rights movement, she is largely unaware of the tensions gathering around her town.

Skeeter is in some ways an outsider. Her friends, bridge partners and fellow members of the Junior League are married. Most subscribe to the racist attitudes of the era, mistreating and despising the black maids whom they count on to raise their children. Skeeter is not racist, but she is naive and unwittingly patronizing. When her best friend makes a political issue of not allowing the "help" to use the toilets in their employers' houses, she decides to write a book in which the community's maids -- their names disguised -- talk about their experiences.

Do you ever read a book and then just cannot stop thinking about it?? That is what this book did to me. I definitely recommend it and I just know you will not regret picking it up.

So have any of you read it?? What did you think?!?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Four Days of Bliss

What I did with four days off:

Thursday:
Slept in
Baked double fudge brownies (in my perfect brownie pan...in case you were curious)
Baked Monkey Bread
Ventured to the grocery store and brought home Loftus Candy Cane cookies
Went out to lunch
Played Monopoly Deal (and beat Matt three times in a row therefore causing him to quit)
Sang my heart out on Rock Band
Went to a New Years Eve get together
Ate Loftus cookies, Monkey Bread, and brownies

Friday:
Slept in
Had Monkey Bread for breakfast
Started The Help
Played Rock Band
Ate all of the leftover Loftus cookies
Ate 1/2 of the brownies

Saturday:
Slept in
Had Monkey Bread for breakfast
Did at least 2 weeks worth of laundry
Besides to fold laundry, didn't leave the bed until dinner time
Read The Help
Finished off the brownies
Went to Chick-fil-a for dinner
Bought two new books

Sunday:
Slept in
Took down the tree and all of the Christmas decorations
Organized my wrapping paper and decorating supplies into my shiny new carryall
Finished The Help
Went out to dinner



Conclusions:
I do not cook on vacation (therefore I eat like crap...on vacation)
I do not clean on vacation.
I stay up late and sleep in every day on vacation.
I only do housework that is necessary on vacation.
I play an overwhelming amount of games on vacation.
I lay in bed all day and read on vacation.

I had the most wonderful time....on vacation!

Hope you all did as well!! Happy New Year!