Random Thoughts on Cleaning…

I am holding one of my semi-annual open houses for my Scentsy business this weekend and while cleaning in preparation for the event….I have had a few thoughts.

  • It is AMAZING how much dirtier, cluttered, and overall out of control your house seems to be the minute you realized people are coming over.
  • Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees is so much harder when there is a toddler trying to climb on your back to go for a ride.
  • I use an VERY thrifty, but excellent mix of apple cider vinegar and pure ammonia to scrub my floors.  I love it, it dries quickly, cleans well, and leaves a great shine…the only down side is while I am on all four scrubbing I am gagging the whole way from the overwhelming smell.
  • Scrubbing my floor five days before the event is just asking for it.  It is just testing fate…and I usually fail when up against fate.

Thought of the day (late into the night)…

I was FREEZING last night in bed…But was too lazy (or tired) to get up and put some flannel PJ pants on…and I knew if I got out of bed I would be even more cold until I found the pants in the dark, put them on, and got back into bed…that sounded like too much cold work to me at the time.  So I lay there crowding my husband trying to get him to share his warmth.  Here was a thought I had while trying to fall asleep and trying to get warm.

First thought…I am rarely that cold…it must be the now 7 pounds I have lost!  Second thought…When the twins were in the NICU…they HAD to be kept warm in the isolette. Their little bodies struggled to regulate their body temperature…and also trying to keep warm burned calories and with the babies being so small in the first place burning too many calories was a bad thing…all we wanted them to do it Eat and Grow.  So my thought was…if I turn the heat off in my house and rely on my body to keep me warm will I lose weight from burning calories trying to keep warm?

Oh my the strange thoughts that come to you while you are lying in bed trying to sleep.  HA!

Project: Watch Me (hopefully) Shrink #1

So the last time I talked about all of this was a post on my old blog…so some of you new readers (YAY!  I have NEW readers) may not know, but I made a goal at the first of the year to working my butt off(literally) to help me get rid of the jiggle in my jump, the muffin in my top, the elastic in my waist bands.  Today is the last day in January.  I began running at home a few days less than a month ago today…I have not had a full fledged soda in over a month…though I have had a Coke ZERO twice. Oooooh I want one right now…

The Movement: I have been doing Zumba twice a week since January 8th (I did miss one night though). One 45 minute class is 500-600 calories burned depending on your body type and the intensity of the routine.  I do tend to eat a bit more on Zumba days, because I know I have the room in my 1200 calorie a day goal.

On the days that I don’t go to Zumba I try to fit in a mile run…my time is getting so much quicker!  Depending on the day I am between a 15 minute and a 12 minute mile!  That is amazing for me!  I HATE running!  On an average week I run 3 or 4 times.  Each run is around 225 calories…depending on my speed.  After my run I do sit-ups, squats, and planks.  At the beginning of this month I could not do a single sit-up…I would end up doing crunches.  Now I can do twenty sit-ups!  This is an amazing feat for a mother who has carried three children!  I do ten or twenty squats and I do 8-30 sec planks.  My BIGGEST motivation to go down stairs and workout is….TV.  I picked a show to watch while working out…and I TRY to keep to ONLY watching it while I am working out.  It really does work.  I’ve tried workout music on my mp3 player, but then all I can hear is the music and my breathing….I wimp out quickly.  This way I am more intrigued with who “A” is and what she is going to do next than I am with how much it sucks to run.  I do all of this either during nap-time of my 20 month old or after both kids are in bed.

The Intake: As far as food goes I am very closely watching my calories using myfitnesspal.com.  It is a pretty nifty little thing that does ALL the thinking for me.  I have not found a food or brand yet that it didn’t know all the info for.  It make that part of this behavior change so much easier.  Oh yeah…I am not on a diet…I am changing my behaviors.  I do not want my progress to be a result of a temporary diet.  I want it to be something I changed about myself in the long run.  Because of that I will probably make slower, but more permanent successes.   The hardest thing I need to overcome with my intake is getting over that feeling of NOT feeling full or completely satisfied.  I tend to eat until I had that uncomfortable full feeling…that is not the way.  I eat my portions and then I am done…no questions asked.  I try to fight this feeling with filling up on water.  But that is my other issue I do not drink enough water.  When I am thirsty I want milk, not water.  And because of the calorie watching, I am not drinking near as much milk…and I do not replace it with water.  I have lots to work on still.

I also struggle with what to eat…that is filling, yet healthy.  I will list my regular foods for meals and snack here so that maybe they can help you…  My motto of finding foods in high protein, low calories.

The NUMBERS:  Some of the numbers are great…like how fast I can run a mile…how many sit-ups I can now do, and how many calories I have successfully lowered myself to.  Those numbers are great!  The numbers that all of us women look at…well they are staggering.  I started at 179lbs.  In my first week I was down to 176.5lbs.  Then I jumped back up for a few weeks….and then today I weighed 175lbs.  I think this is all of a reflection of water weight, and muscle gained, and some fat lost.  I do weigh myself at the same time every few days, with very little clothing on.  About two weeks ago I took swimsuit pictures of myself to serve as my “BEFORE” pictures.

But what do my clothes say?  My jeans I think are fitting a bit better.  My underwear no longer gets “lost” in my love handle rolls (because they are GONE)….wait the rolls are gone, not my underwear. HA!  And I can feel my ribs all the way around…I definitely am getting an hour glass figure, it’s just that the “middle” of the hourglass is up at my ribs and not at my waist.  In due time…it will be.  I just need to keep it up!  This is only after a month, I am anxious to see what things will be like in 3 months.

And on a side note…several months a go I went to my OB complaining to her that I was having monthly periods and cramps and that I thought being on an IUD would stop all that…it worked perfectly after my first pregnancy…why is it not working the same way this time.  Her answer:  You need to get more active.  And guess what…so far so good…no period…and no I am not pregnant!

Breakfast food ideas:

  • Coffee (with or without fat free creamer)
  • Greek yogurt…Dannon Fit & light is only 80 calories a cup
  • chocolate protein shake made with skim milk with added flax meal…sometimes I also add a banana or frozen raspberries of strawberries to this.
  • raw almonds-unsalted I pretty much eat these here and there all day.
  • plain shredded wheat with milk and a tbs of brown sugar warmed up in the microwave
  • oatmeal(not the packets…they are full of sugar) made with water/ with a tbs of brown sugar.


  • grilled chicken breast seasoned with garlic, or a WILD TREE blend (I LOVE the Scampi Blend)
  • Sauteed chicken breast in extra virgin olive oil and chopped garlic.  I will cook broccoli the same way in the same pan after the chicken is cooked through of course.
  • I do the aforementioned protein shake for lunch quite often also.
  • Healthy Choice Lunch Express creamy Tomato Basil Penne – this is not one of those scary tv dinners of goo.  It it one of those that you boil the pasta in the microwave and then add the provided sauce.  I love Italian and I get my carb fix all for 250 calories.  It is really good and I found them on sale!
  • Whole wheat pasta of any sort…and the Wild Tree Hearty Spaghetti Blend with a can of crushed tomatoes.  Making my sauce with the wild tree blend and crushed tomatoes makes it a VERY low calorie sauce…not usually the case with most jar sauces.
  • lean turkey on whole wheat bread with mayo made from olive oil.
  • Most the time I eat what I am serving my family at the evening meal…I just watch my portions very closely…and keep track of the calories of all of it.  That is the beauty of the working out…it can cancel out some of those yummy, can’t pass up meals.


  • a cup of raw broccoli, cauliflower and/or carrots.
  • rasins
  • banana
  • raw unsalted almonds
  • Special K whole grain crakers
  • Special K sour cream & onion cracker chips
  • Weight watchers ice cream cup
  • Ben & Jerry’s Frozen Greek Yogurt…I only eat 1/4 of the pint at a time.
  • mini m&m’s  I grab a hand full and each one at a time…it makes it feel like I am eating more than what I am, I guess.
  • 3 Hershey’s kisses
  • Colby jack cheese sticks
  • Carbonated flavored water-0 calories.



Serious Comfort Food

This Tuna Noodle Casserole is baking away in my oven as I type…Colin Hay sang to me about getting through the tough times while I made it.  Dreary days like this are only doable if there is something warm and yummy baking in your oven.

K’s Tuna Noodle Casserole

6 oz. egg noodles (wide or extra wide), cooked*
1 small can of tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
1/2 cup (or more) grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh bread crumbs cooked in 1 T. butter until slightly crisp**
fresh grated Parmesan cheese***

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, stir together first six ingredients until well combined.
3. Spread into a small greased casserole dish then sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
4. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and serve warm.

yield: four servings

Recipe notes:  This recipe makes a fairly small casserole but it can easily be doubled if you have a large family or like to have lots of leftovers!  *Don’t overcook the pasta! Read the package for times and use a timer.  **If you don’t want to use fresh bread crumbs, use the seasoned dried kind from the store and cut the amount in half.  Toss the seasoned dried breadcrumbs in one tablespoon of melted butter before sprinkling over the top of casserole. ***I now use a good quality parmigiano reggiano sprinkle on the top but we grew up using the stuff in a green can.  Just use whatever parmesan cheese you normally keep on hand.  Taken from http://pinchmysalt.com/serious-comfort-tuna-noodle-casserole-recipe/

Beautifully Foggy

It is crazy foggy outside this evening.  It has been a pretty wet, drizzly, January day.  But inside it is beautiful…  Left over chili on the stove…a warm cup of coffee in my hand….Nora Jones and David Gray playing on the kindle in the kitchen, and my children are happily playing in their playroom.  All that is missing is the hardworking man of our house.

Our Kitchen is for Dancing…

As a child of five in a very modest family, I along with my siblings, spent many nights dancing in the kitchen with my mom and dad.  These are some of my most favorite memories…we would dance our hearts out to Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll until we were all out of breath and sweaty…or we would slow dance to John Denver’s Annie’s Song.  And by slow dance I mean…stand on my dad’s boots while I held his hands and he danced.

Now that I am grown with my own children we have become another household of kitchen dancers.  There is all the same amount of sweating, and cheering, and laughing, and love as there was in my parents’ kitchen…the only difference is that the music is no longer being produced by a needle and a piece of vinyl.  These are now some of my favorite memories in my own little family…so I thought it only just to use it as the name of our new blog.  I am glad you are here….keep reading in days, weeks, months, years to come!