Healthy Meal Plan & Grocery List (1 week)

So, as promised here is the meal plan and grocery list I was talking about the other day. I just listed “Chili ingredients” as it’s own little section since there are simply too many variations for me to go list the ingredients for. Let me know if you’d like to know my chili recipe!
Anyway, it’s made so that you can just bring the grocery list with you, while keeping the meal plan itself in your binder or wherever you store those things. It’s relatively healthy, and has a spot for you to add a few extras, just in case. Who knows, maybe you can’t survive without pineapple in your fruit salads?
The best advice I would give for sticking with this is simple, pick the day you’ll be least busy. Go grocery shopping, and when you get home, do your food prep! Make the salad, fruit salad, and whatever else you need to do. You’ll thank yourself so much for that when you run into a busy patch in your week and the healthy food is sitting there ready to go! Also, do some prep the night before. Like put your frozen meat in the fridge, cut up some veggies for tomorrow’s supper if you would like. It takes a bit of thought, and it takes some action and work, but in the end it’s worth it.

Here’s a picture of this week’s haul! Delicious, healthy, nutritious food.
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Remember, if you’re working out all the time and you have awesome abs, they’ll never show through if you can’t lose the fat that’s sitting on top of them, so fuel your body with smart choices (at least most of the time!) So clean up your eating act now by following this meal plan!

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Here’s the meal plan & list in .PDF form for you to save to your computer as well!
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(I just ask that you don’t claim it as your own and use it all over the place.)

Let me know if you’ve got any requests or questions!
Barb

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Weekly Weigh-in 3

This week hasn’t been exactly the epitome of health. I’m coming down with a cold of some sort, and feeling like crap. I got addicted to playing the Sims 3 which kept me up late, very late, into the night. Surprisingly enough, I’ve had a good amount of energy during the day, but I know that if I keep these awful habits up, I’ll end up right back where I started. On the good side though, my weight is still dropping. I can’t be 100% sure of how much I’ve lost due to the scale problem, but whaddya know, I FINALLY seem to have found one that works! It’s such a good feeling to know I can actually trust this one, hahaha. So I know I’ve dropped approximately a pound during this week of laziness. Also good news? I went grocery shopping, and bought a ton of good, delicious, healthy foods. Stocking my house with good foods has really helped me eat healthier during the day. I’ll post the lists and more details on that later though. Of course it’s too early for me to have lost any inches, but that’s alright. At least I’m headed in the right direction. I need to take a new set of body measurements anyway.
Also, when I felt like doing nothing, I still put my younger daughter in her stroller and went for a walk while Estelle was in daycare. It wasn’t too long, probably about 20-30 minutes, but it was a whole lot better than the nothing I was going to do originally. I’m just sick and tired, of being sick and tired. I might not be able to do anything about the sick part at this moment, other than rest up when I can and take medication, but I am seriously done with being tired.
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Usually my babe is a little happier when mommy is snapping pictures, but it was a little too close to her nap time.

This weeks goals:
Feel better and get over this cold.
Work out at least three times this week.
Go for at least one walk/jog!

Cherish The Moments (Family Time)

Recently, there have been a string of premature deaths in my area. I can easily come up with 10 people in their 20s who have recently passed away, and this has been affecting me, even if it’s not really manifesting itself in grief. It’s just come to show me how valuable life itself really is.

Three years after becoming a mother for the first time, I can honestly say that I truly love the special family moments we’ve been working on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with staying at home and making some homemade playdough, but I really enjoy the outings we’ve been having as a family lately. Aldric and I bring the kids out for a walk on a trail, or around in an area they’ve never been before. It gives the kids some time to explore as we let them run a few steps ahead of us. I know it sounds crazy, but these times together have really made me understand just how much my children have grown! Also, it has begun to put my mind at ease about having both children out in public, haha. It’s taught me that they listen way more than I ever thought they would, it’s shown me how much they love being outdoors, and it really allows me to see the vivid reactions on their faces when we explore a new area. Sometimes we keep it more low-key, and have a campfire before bed with the kiddos. The way the kids light up when we bring out the marshmallow roasting sticks is simply adorable.

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I want my children to have memories, not only day to day average activities. I want them to really have fun times that they can look back on, filled with love and devoted attention. Not only that, but it really brings Aldric and I closer together as well. It’s nice to actually see him actively parenting the children and interacting with them. I strongly believe that a strong bond between father and child is special. It’s one thing that I missed out on when I was younger, which I realize is probably why I find myself making sure that Aldric is a really actively-involved parent. It’s one thing for a parent to be around, it’s another thing entirely for a parent to be actively-involved (and no, I’m not referring to helicopter-parenting).

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I think it would be unrealistic for me to believe that every moment of every day is special. So much of it is filled with the mundane, cleaning, organizing, getting ready, working, and all that jazz. As soon as I made it clear to myself that this was what I wanted in our lives, and that this was important to me, I was able to find the time for it. I’ve changed my attitude to take one solid day a week, not just an hour once in a while, to put aside any major projects, I just do light cleaning, and we just “make a day of it”. We do whatever we would like, but we do it together. It’s really our own, personalized version of stopping to smell the roses.To cherish the time we have together, because I do realize that before I know it my children won’t be babies anymore. True family time is something that Aldric and I missed out on when we were growing up, and instead of bringing up another generation like we were, we decided to put an emphasis on memories, telling our children (and each other) “I love you”, and really solidifying the bond that holds us all together as a family.

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I totally understand that sometimes due to scheduling, or where you’re at in your own journey can make devoting an entire day somewhat tough. Up until the past few months, I would’ve thought that this was nearly impossible! So make sure you’re really cherishing the moments that you DO have together. Tell your children, and those around you that you LOVE them. Spend at least 20 minutes a day on your child’s level. Play with them, colour with them, converse with them. In time, if it’s truly important to you, you’ll find more and more time to spend with your loved ones.

I feel like I could go on all day about this topic, and I’m not going to. You know your own personal scheduling, I’m just hoping that maybe this post will sway you to spend a little more time as quality time… you never know how much you have left.

Until next time,
Barb

Organize Now! – Week 4

So week three is done now. I’ve found that I accidentally left my planner in the car though, and never seem to have brought it back into the house… don’t fret! I’m bringing it in tomorrow. Things are really going to change (two days a week anyway) as my oldest daughter will be starting preschool this Thursday. I’m not sure exactly what that’s going to entail… but hopefully she’ll make some new friends and get ready for school.
There’s not much else to say about week 3…

So on to week 4!
Yet again it’s another fairly boring week. So this should be quick. To be honest, I have accomplished more just by setting my mind to it than I have because of this book so far. It’s good to get your life organized, don’t get me wrong… maybe it takes others a full week to do these things? But seriously… this week is about organizing my cleaning schedule, something which I already accomplished 3 weeks ago when I had a few moments in the morning one day.
So I’ve already gone through and figured out my daily, weekly, monthly chores for the different rooms around my house.
I made a bare-minimum list for 4 days a week. I have decided that I will do this bare minimum list once a day, so if I sweep in the morning, and then one of my kids drop a few cheerios on the floor, that’s tomorrow’s problem. This way I’m not cleaning ALL of the time, but yet my house still remains reasonable-looking because I’m not getting so frustrated at my lack of a spotless house that it builds up. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays get a little extra tacked on, like putting away laundry, bringing out the recycling/garbage and those extras.
I’ve begun taking 15 minutes a night before bed to tidy up. I usually do this about 30-45 minutes before bed though, that way I can relax for 15-30 minutes again before bed. In these 15 minutes I usually refill and run the dishwasher, give a quick wipe to the kitchen surfaces, and pick up any stray toys that the girls missed. It just makes it that much nicer every morning when I wake up.
I do extra cleaning whenever I can, like I just recently did my porch, my bookcase, the top of the entertainment center, the top of the wardrobe, basically a large portion of the clutter-holding surfaces. I fit this in to my 15 minutes at night usually if I only spend a couple minutes putting a few dishes into the dishwasher.
The rest of these things are already done. Quick little things, like switching to an all-purpose cleaner, keeping disinfecting wipes in the bathroom, etc. Those are all pretty good little ideas.

Hm, guess this week was quick!

Talk to you soon! I’m starting my weekly weigh-ins this Thursday, so stay tuned!
Barb

10 things you should do now!

Really life is simple. At the end of the day, if you’re happy, you’ve got it made. With that in mind I just wanted to post a small list of ten things you should do for yourself, so at the end of the day (or week), you can feel happier. The happier you are, the better off you’ll be. When people are happy, they accomplish more… and this list is a good one to get you well on your way!

1) Tell yourself how awesome you are. Everyone is awesome at something and it’s time you appreciated what you’re awesome at. Admitting you’re super at certain things is an amazing confidence booster, and confidence (not cockiness) is sure to bring you a long way in this world.
2) Make a list of goals. Make sure that some are long-term, like going back to school or getting that raise/promotion at work. Or maybe for you it’ll be saving up for that kitchen renovation. Whatever it is, make sure you write it down. Then take the time to break it down into smaller, more achievable steps. Include some short-term goals as well, maybe try drinking more water each day, or get in a few minutes a day to work out. This will make sure you have something to work towards, and give you a sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed it.
3) Organize a corner of your room. Spend no more than 30 minutes at a time trying to clean and organize whatever section of your home you’re working on. Then once it’s done, make sure you keep it that way. Every time you see or use the area, you’ll feel better about yourself and it’ll help give you the motivation to work harder and get something else done too.
4) Find the time to exercise. Everyone should be able to take 15 minutes a day to work out. http://www.youtube.com/blogilates has a good number of quick workout videos that you can do in the comfort of your own home without any additional equipement. No more excuses! You’ll feel better, and over time you’ll learn to live the burn and enjoy the extra energy you’ll have in your day to day life.
5) Organize your finances. Whether you’re in good financial standing, or maybe you just have a few bills to take care of, figure out the easiest way to get it done, and pay your bills on time. If you’re going through a tough time, break it down and work it out slowly. You’ll feel better and sleep easier knowing that you’re working on getting yourself to a better financial standing.
6) Take a moment for yourself. Maybe this means getting up a few minutes earlier to enjoy your cup of coffee before your kids wake up to get ready for school, or maybe just before bed just sit down and spend a moment by yourself to collect your thoughts. If you think of anything you need to do, or any ideas you have, jot them down in a notebook so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them later on.
7) Teach your children how to do some chores. Usually the homes of parents are sorely in need of some extra helping hands, your children are usually the biggest mess-makers, and they should be learning how to take care of their living area. This will give you an extra set of hands to help out, while giving your children more self-confidence and teaching them important lessons.
8) Treat yourself. Every once in a while, make time to do something special for yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be as simple as staying home and painting your nails or trying out a new hairstyle. Take this time to rejuvinate yourself whenever you can, if you give yourself more time to relax you’ll feel much less stressed and able to focus on the task at hand more often.
9) Stay connected. No, I’m not talking about Facebook. Clicking “like” on someone’s status simply does not equate to spending time with another person. Make sure you have actual conversations with your friends and family to keep yourself connected. Make a lunch date, or take a coffee break with friends once in a while. Also, make sure you have time for your other half. Spend time together bonding and solidifying your relationship. Make sure you’re both on the same track and have an open line of communication. The best way to do this is to set time aside to just be together and talk. Sitting next to one another watching t.v. every night isn’t truly keeping yourselves connected.
10) Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something you don’t do often, or have never done before. Sign yourself up for some classes, belly dancing, rock climbing, canoeing. It doesn’t have to be high risk either, go check out that new restaurant you’ve been dying to see. Whatever it is, doing new things, going to new places and meeting new people are always good things to do for yourself.

So seriously, get on this! These are things that will really help you feel better, and start living your life as a 10!

Barb

Organize Now! – Week 3

So, how did I do last week? I think I did pretty alright. I do still have to work on scheduling in time to do the things I wish I did more of, but otherwise things are great. Also, I am getting 7-8 hours of sleep nowadays, but it appears to be sort of on the wrong side. I’m still going to bed late, and therefore sleeping in. That two hour readjustment is something I’m still working on.

So now, on to week 3. Man am I ever glad I’ve been busy working on some other things! Because this week is a breeze.
I already do all of my scheduling in one beautiful planner, the girls don’t belong to many activities yet, and therefore we don’t need monthly meetings about our family schedules.
I do need to focus on working on my to-do list. I can’t leave my planner next to me when I go to bed as one of my daughters will surely get to it and begin uhhhh… “scheduling” in her own work, just like she checked off a number of things in this book for me well before I even had a chance to get to them.. so I’m thinking maybe just a little notepad and pencil. That way I can still jot things down, and schedule them in the next day, but I won’t have to worry about the little hands.
Otherwise thd rest of this week is pretty much about making to-do lists. Seems easy enough… now all I need is one for house renovations, one for cleaning, one for heavy-duty cleaning, one for my outdoor area, one for my garden… hm, maybe this week will be slightly more time-consuming than originally thought afterall.

Oh well, it’s about time I started writing all of these things down!

Keep an eye out for a post about the recent organization that’s been going on.

Til next time,
Barb

Organize Now! – Week 2

Okay, week 1 is finished! Yay! How did I do? Hmmm… overall, not bad, I’d say.

I answered most of the questions on the previous post, so now I’m going to quickly fill you all in on the rest: It advises getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. There was only one night I didn’t accomplish this, which is a massive improvement in my life. I’m starting to feel better, at the end of my days I want to sleep. This is really a good thing. I used to go to bed at about 2, wake up at 7, feel dead in the afternoon, nap if at all possible, and then go to bed at 2. This schedule just wasn’t working out anymore. I really had to sit down and have a chat with the boy, because honestly he was a huge part of why my sleep schedule had been so skewed. I suck at going to bed without him there, and he stays up playing video games or whatever until that time. Now he gets off at 10, and we’re in bed by 11. I feel tired at nighttime, not during the day, and therefore my days are much more productive again… even with two children running around!

Although I don’t specifically write out a to-do list every morning, I usually do it the night before, and if there’s nothing specific, I have my regular daily to-do list made up for each day of the week. Most of them are pretty simple, but on the days when I know I’ll have a bit more time to accomplish a bit extra (like cleaning the bathroom or putting away the laundry) I stick it on to one of those days.

I have yet to get my exercise time scheduled in, but don’t worry! It’s coming, I promise.

I have begun doing more and more organizing, although it is a long, slow, tedious process. This week I organized the top of the bookcase in the back of my living room. I hadn’t touched it in about 6 years. I went through everything, and now there are only 4 small decorative vases, a lamp, an old picture of my property, and one extra vase that has some glass roses. The books underneath are also organized, although I want to do something a little more special to it.

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So, now on to Week 2:

There are some more general questions I’ll answer to the best of my ability for you all :). This week it’s all about priorities.
I most value my children. Out of the entire world, my children come first. I love them to death, even though every once in a while we don’t see eye to eye. I’m not going to lie and say I’m the perfect super-mom. But at the end of the day, I love my children with everything in me.
The things that are most important to me would have to be my children, my relationship, my health and my life in general. That is so odd to say, I know. But I can’t be specific as right now, it’s the whole thing. I’m trying to figure out what I want to become, how my life will work out, etc.
I’m here because this is where I chose to be. I’m unsure of where I’m going. I just recently began looking into getting back into school and completing a college or university degree geared towards counselling.
My purpose is to provide a better life for my children, and to become someone I am proud of. I want to really be proud of myself.
My top ten priorities for life are:
1. Getting my children ahead in their lives.
2. Figuring out exactly what I want to become, and the best route to take to get there.
3. Organizing my house.
4. Organizing my life.
5. Becoming a healthier person/family.
I guess I just don’t have 10 priorities right at the moment. My life is simple, and although shortly enough I feel like I will add to the list, that’s it for right this moment.

Tomorrow I’ll schedule down the important stuff in my life :).

Like I said, this is a simple week, so I’m pretty much already done! However, I do need to go to bed so that I can get those 7 hours of sleep ;).

Goodnight everyone!
Make sure you all keep being hot bosses in your lives!
xoxo
-Barb