Monday, November 28, 2011

The bird is the word

I've been a bad blogger! I haven't blogged in over a week! Happy belated Thanksgiving! As I posted before, Ben and I opted to have Thanksgiving on our own. It was great that it was just the two of us. We got to do everything we wanted to do and it was great to spend a day together. We also cooked a full Thanksgiving meal. I was nervous about the timing, I wanted to make sure it came together at just the right time. And you know what, I rule! It was perfectly timed. I was so happy. Ben did an excellent job prepping the turkey. It came out beautiful.

Personal Photo

Isn't she beautiful? Very tasty and moist too! We of course had plenty of leftovers. Originally, Ben and I decided on a 6-8 pound bird, but when I went shopping, there was either barely 5 pound birds or 11 pound birds, so we went with the 11 pound bird.

We managed to go for a nice walk while the bird was cooking, it was great to get out and stretch our legs. I felt better about eating after getting some activity in.

Which speaking of activity, leads me into my next challenge. I am friends with Steve, we are both weight loss bloggers struggling with the weight loss aspect (and the blogging aspect). But we've quickly become fast friends.

Well we've issued a challenge to one another. It's 455 miles from my house to his house. And so we decided that we would complete that distance in 3 months. This challenge is going to start on December 1st. And I'll be tweeting about it. I am hoping to be able to plot my progress on a map and share with you. We can walk it, run it, bike it... anything, so long as we get the activity in and log the distance.

This is going to be tough, as I am already fighting my inner laziness, but on top of that, the fact that I have the holidays to get through is going to be tough for me.

Screen shot from google maps
Maybe one of these days, I'll actually get to meet Steve in person!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yesterday's meatloaf is today's sloppy joes

Not sure if you read the news with any frequency, but I saw a story that really upset me. Talking about how Congress had blocked legislation that would have improved the standards for our children. This would have been the first update to the school nutrition guidelines in 15 years! A lot has changed about nutrition and what we know about food since then! Heck, they even changed the food pyramid to a plate.

My stepmom is a lunch lady and often her and I talk about the craziness that is trying to find something that the kids will want to eat, yet fit into the guidelines. And what is actually considered a serving of fruit or vegetable. I don't envy her job, it's not always so easy. 

Kudos to the USDA for trying to do what's right by our children and try to help the growing epidemic that is childhood obesity. 

Congress, go ahead and keep allowing the tomato paste on pizza to continue to be counted as a vegetable serving.

Really? Does anyone else see a problem with that?

And the government wants to run healthcare.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh Hi!

Do we remember this? I did... for a long time I had forgotten about it. But I've dusted it off and I am back to rocking it!

I've also starting logging in to My Fitness Pal again, I'm slowly warming up to tracking my food again.

Who knows, I may even wind up back in the gym again! I haven't been since before the wedding (truth). I've really been slacking.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our First Thanksgiving

Ben and I are planning our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. We just wanted it to be us. Since it's our first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal, we thought it would be best if it was just the 2 of us. That way, if it's terrible, we can just order Chinese food or something else!

But we were both talking about what we wanted to incorporate from our individual families, into our new family. As far as traditions for the day. We planned out our menu, now hopefully we'll be able to execute it.

Part of our pre-martial counseling was talking about holidays and traditions, I think those conversations laid the foundation for Ben and I to talk openly about our wants for our family. Originally, I was planning on going down to North Carolina to have Thanksgiving with my parents, my brother and sister in law. But for Ben, it's important to celebrate the holidays on the actual holiday. Now with my job, he knows that will not always be able to happen, but on the times that I am off, he wants to be with me. And him getting time off this time of year isn't possible, especially after all the time he took off for the wedding & honeymoon.

It's great to be with someone who can talk to me, and who wants me around ;-) I am looking forward to our first Thanksgiving together and sharing in all the fun of the day, which I am sure is bound to happen, given the two of us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Pill

Warning, this post may be a bit TMI for some of my readers.. my apologies!

It's really no secret that Ben and I wanted to start a family, shortly after getting married. We are getting older and still wanted to have children and be able to enjoy them.

After talking with my doctor and talking to Ben, we decided that I would go off my birth control pill right after the wedding, and then we would wait 3 cycles before starting to try.

A little history, I've been on the pill since I was 18. That's 11 years of trying to prevent pregnancy. That's also a long time to be on hormones. There were some issues through the years, first I was just on your normal everyday, ortho tri-cyclen.... but then my insurance company wanted to switch me to a generic, and the formula wasn't the same. It did funky things to me, gave me some terrible mood swings. I could have stayed on the name brand, but it was just so expensive and me being a broke college student I went back to the doctors to try something else.

After 6 months of trying different pills, she finally found one that worked for me, not sure of the name brand but mine was called necon. It was the same level of hormone in every active pill.

You see, in your normal pill pack, you have different colored pills, those differentiate the level of hormone in that pill, which science tries to correspond with your cycle. So your pill pack will give you the right amount of hormone when you need it.

The pill pack I was on, was the same level of hormone for all the active pills. This allowed my moods to stabilize and there for I became "normal" again, I was finally starting to feel like my self again.

11 years on the pill, does a real number to your cycle. My period was very predictable, I could predict when it would come and how long it would stay.

Being off the pill, my period has now taken on a mind of it's own. I can't predict anything about it. I still have my cravings for salty and fried foods. But the one thing I did not anticipate on making a comeback was my headaches.

Honestly I forgot I had them, I had been on the pill so long it made most of my symptoms subside. However that all changed when I went off the pill, my bloating came back, my period is more unpredictable and my headaches...

I remember being a teenager and just having these mind crippling headaches, I am so not looking forward to that time again. I am hoping that they don't continue when I am pregnant. But since they seem to be associated with my period, I don't think that will likely be the case.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Swagbucks Pays For Your Holidays

Wouldn't life by easier if we could get someone to pay for our holiday shopping? Even better if our friends and family already had a wish list that we could just pick from?

Well SwagBucks is running a promotion that if you create a wishlist on swagbucks, and you may just be the one lucky winner who wins a $2500 Amazon gift card. It's completely free to participate. The winner will be chosen on Cyber Monday (11/28)!

This contest is open to all of the countries SwagBucks serve (US, UK, CA and Australia). The full details of the promotion can be found here, but here are the ways you can earn entries to win the grand prize:

- Complete your Wishlist (1 Entry) - Wishlist can be found here.
- Share your Wishlist on either Facebook or Twitter using our Share buttons (1 entry per day you share).
- Have a new user register for Swagbucks through your Wishlist share (1 entry)
- Have that user complete and share their own Wishlist (4 additional entries)

In addition to the grand prize, they're giving away prizes every week day on their Facebook wall, Twitter account, and in their Blog.

If you are a new user to SwagBucks, they've also released a new code to get you started "SBPAYSFORME" - remove the quotes. The code is active from right now until 9:00am PT on Friday, November 18th, and is worth a bonus 80 Swag Bucks ONLY when applied during the registration process - this means a new user will start with 110 Swag Bucks instead of the customary 30.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Locks of Love

I've always been described as a giving person, someone who is always giving of their time and energy. Why should post wedding be any different.

I spent 13 months growing out my hair for my wedding, and it paid off. I had so many lovely compliments about my hair at the wedding. To the point of people were asking me if I had extensions put in! I was happy to tell them that nope, it's all mine.

But it definitely a lot of hair. And it's becoming difficult to manage, or just do anything with it. It takes forever to dry, so most times I just throw it up into a bun or pony tail.

I knew that after the wedding I was going in to have it cut. Then it donned on me, could I be a candidate for donation? After checking out multiple agencies, I found that yes, I could donate. Although only one company would be able to accept my donation. Since my hair was highlighted (read: altered) only Locks of Love would be able to accept it for use. My donation has to be at least 8 inches. Which my stylist informed me, would still give her enough hair leftover to work with.

So, I made the appointment, in a little over a month I will be getting my first real hair cut... I've always had long hair, the most I ever did was add layers and bangs, so my stylist is very excited to be giving me a new do. And I am letting her decide what will look best for me.

I am a little nervous, because I've always had long-ish hair. Never to the the length it's at right now, but still always long. It would almost be like I am losing part of my identity, but I am going to try to look past that and focus on the fact that not only would I be getting a new post-wedding look, but in the process, helping others.

Of course, I will document the whole experience to share with you all here... it should be interesting. My husband isn't sold on the idea of me with a shorter do (he loves my long hair) but thinks that it's really cool that I'll be donating it to help others.

Besides it's only hair... it'll grow back eventually!

New Look!

Hey everyone! How are you doing?

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new look! Do you like? I figured it was time for my first real blog makeover!

Erin from Samantha's Day Graphic Design hooked me up with a sweet new look. And it's completely personalized. I was super nervous about this, I had no idea what I was doing or what exactly I wanted, remember the blog post about my next step? Well I decided to jump in with both feet, and to kick it off, I partnered with Erin to do a redesign. First off, I had no idea what a favicon is. However I will say that Erin is wonderful to work with and she creates everything on her own. You aren't going to find another blog like mine!

So I'm going to continue to blog about my life in general, who knows where tomorrow will take us. Hope you can come along for the ride!

What do you think about my new look?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Randomness on a Thursday

Oh my gosh... I laughed so hard at this. Trust me it's worth a look. If you didn't know, I like to dabble in some celebrity gossip. One of the shows I listen to on Sirius/XM Radio is Cosmo Radio. Specifically Wake Up with Taylor. One of their segments, is the 7 Things You Need To Know Before You Go. This story had popped up a few days ago.

Trust me, go look at the first link, it's hilarious. Although it's probably not appropriate for work...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wedding Recap: DIY

Some a lot of the little touches I did throughout the wedding, I did myself, or had some help executing my vision.

Originally when we first starting planning, we wanted a fall theme. Ben was great with helping to secure the big things, venue, food, rentals, etc. But the finer details, the colors, the centerpieces, flowers, etc., he largely left up to me. Which I really appreciated. He went with the flow with a lot. And he put up with my excitement of the little things.

One of the ideas that I wanted but it really came together in the last few weeks was a sign. My parents made fun of me about it at first. But everyone that saw it thought it was the cutest thing ever. We had it placed at the foot of the bridge, just before everyone walked over the bridge to the ceremony site.

And when the morning came and dad placed it, he thought that the pumpkins were a good finishing touch. I would agree with him. I thought this just really simple and nice.

Inside we opted to do a mix of tall and short centerpieces. My amazingly talented friend helped with all of my flowers. She also lent me some of her candles. Which went really well with the mason jar candles I had done up.
These short centerpieces where mums that were in a birched wrapped container with some ribbon and a sugar pumpkin. You can see in front of this short centerpiece my mason jar candle. And her smaller tea light candles on the right hand side of the pic. She did all of the tablescapes for me which included some rose petals and acorns scattered on the tables. 

And here is the tall centerpiece in a tall cylinder vase, I love the curly willow branches coming out of the top. The wide ribbon near the top is just a perfect color.

The guestbook was something that I really toiled on. I didn't want the traditional guest book. I just didn't want something that would sit on a shelve and go unnoticed for years. While cruising on some wedding boards, I saw the idea of doing a fingerprint tree, I fell in love with it. I wanted to modify it slightly since we couldn't get the ink to wash off easily off of people's fingers. So we got leave stamps and used those. I ordered the poster from a seller off of Etsy and really fell in love with the idea.

Lastly, we opted not to do a seating chart. At first I really wanted to do one, but as the planning went on, I realized that there was just too many loose ends and I really didn't want to deal with the drama. So we opted to just have open seating. I wanted to at least have a sign for that.

Ordered that one off of vistaprint with like a week to go! Thankfully, it came in time.

So that is just some of the DIY and details from the wedding. I really think that everything tied into my theme and our day perfectly.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Doctor's Appointment & October Nor'Easter

First of all, if you didn't know, I live in New Hampshire, the Northeast and if you live under a rock, you wouldn't have known that we had a Nor'Easter on Saturday. We still had leaves on the trees, people... which is probably what caused the biggest problem.... power outages.

The heavy wet snow weighed down the trees, and in doing so made contact with the lines causing them to short, in other cases, the trees broke or fell completely taking out lines.

Ben and I had gone over to our friends house for dinner that night, we haven't seen much of the barn gals in the weeks leading up to the wedding and since we came back from the honeymoon so it was great to spend a nice evening with them. It had already been raining earlier in the day, and was just starting to snow, the heavy wet snow. The power was flickering all night at the farm, we stayed until they lost power at about 10pm. We drove home to find that we too had also lost power.

Sunday we were supposed to go Christmas tree hunting but with all the snow and left over wind, and no power, we didn't go. All in all we got about 4-5 inches at our house. meh, almost nothing by New Hampshire standards, but combined with the fact that it was heavy wet snow and the leaves still were on the trees, the power loss did more destruction.

We got power back sometime between 2-4:30 am on Monday. But even today as I write this post, my friends at the farm still do not have power. Along with several other of my friends. And the power company is saying that it's still going to be several days before power is fully restored.

Ugh, I just feel so bad, it's never easy when you lose power. We realize how dependent we are on power once we loose it.

Yesterday, Halloween, I had my yearly physical and who-ha check. If you need to know what a Who-ha is, go ask your mother, or sister, or girlfriend...

Well the only concern on the part of my doctor is my weight, which I knew going into my appointment. Just 2 years ago I was 288! and now here I am 314... which was my highest weight when I started Weight Watchers.

I want to have a healthy pregnancy, my doctor warned me that even if I do get pregnant that I need to not take the mentality that I am eating for two. And I said frankly, because I already have been eating for two! Which we both chuckled a little, not that it excuses it, but it is nice to know that her and I are on the same page.

She also gave me a lab slip with a date of 6 months from now, to have lab work done to check my cholesterol in the hopes that I would be either a) pregnant or b) that would be enough motivation to lose the weight.

Now that the wedding is over, I can re-focus on my weight loss. I am still in a weight loss challenge that ends in a little over a month from now. So who knows, I may be able to win that. I am still going through the name changing process (what a pain!) and also Ben and I want to start the process of looking for and buying a house. So life is moving pretty quick, but I want to make sure that I remain focused on losing the excess weight and living a healthy lifestyle. 

Across New Hampshire, many trick or treat nights have been cancelled or rescheduled to this coming weekend. But our town still had trick or treat last night. Ben loves that holiday, so he sat outside with a bowl of candy and waited for the kids to come around. He passed out candy for a solid 2 hours in the frigid cold. I joined him for awhile. But I made sure I bundled up! We had some out of towners who were trick or treating, their town had cancelled and they still wanted to go, so mom found which town was still doing it and drove them to our town!

All in all, it's been a pretty wild weekend.


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