Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finish Strong Challenge 2010 - Vol. 6

Happy Halloween and Reformation Day, everyone!

This week was another good week for the scale. I really tried to focus on my eating this week, as I just did not have time for formal exercise sessions this week. What I mean by "formal" is not P90X in a prom dress - I mean I wasn't able to do a dvd workout, but I was able to get exercise from day-to-day things like cleaning up our stuff for an upcoming yard sale. Hooray for getting rid of clutter AND unwanted pounds at the same time!

I tried a bunch of new recipes - none of which I was especially blown away by. But they did help me to stay on track with my WW plan.

I actually had a nice chunk of weight come off at my weigh in this week - another 3.2 lbs! I was astounded. That was simply eating clean (no processed junk) for about 2 days, and then attempting to mostly eat clean the rest of the week. Amazing. That meant that I was able to hit another milestone this week - I hit (and surpassed) the 60-lb mark in my weight loss journey. I'm down a total of 62.2 lbs since I began my journey in September 2009.

This next week looks like it will be very much the same in terms of exercising - lots of organizing for a yard sale.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dining Room Reno Part 2: new shelf & dining room before pictures

I started on a couple of aspects in our dining room this weekend (mainly sanding down a chair to start the refinishing process). After my electric sander pooped out on me, I decided I needed a break from sanding the chair I was working on and do something different for a while (plus my arm was pretty tired from hand-sanding for about an hour). So I decided to head off to my favorite furniture consignment store in search of my shelving unit for our dining room. I wanted a small, unique thrift store find with open shelves - something like a ladder shelf or baker's shelf - that I could put my cookbooks on, house recipes in a basket, and have a place for our picnic caddy we use for entertaining. It took me about 10 minutes of searching before I found the perfect shelf! And for only $35, I decided to take it home. Here's the before shot:



After that, I stopped at Home Depot to get a can of white spray paint for this baby (along with more sandpaper for my refinishing job to continue later). I found out halfway through that I actually needed 2 cans for a nice, even coat. Fortunately, we live 2 minutes away from Kelly-Moore Paints, so I drove to get another can and was back in less than 10 minutes. After finishing the second coat, this is the after shot:


After letting it dry outside for a few hours in our car port, it started to rain. By that time it had dried enough for me to move it inside. I put it in the entryway to dry overnight, and then moved it into place this morning! Here's what it looks like in its new place:

Pretty nice, eh? I'm proud of my find. :)


And duh... I forgot to post "before" pictures of the dining room before. I didn't take many with our previous set up, but I have a couple with the room empty (pre-move in) and some of what it looks like now (which is a mess). After taking these before pictures, I'm even more excited to see what the final product will be!

Here are the before pictures:

Looking in to dining room from living room (pre-move in)

Dining room window (pre-move in)

Note: the following pictures are post-painting. It's so much brighter now with the ugly green paint gone! You can see the paint transformation of the dining room ceiling here.

View into the kitchen with the new shelf in place

Current view of the war zone mess

Current view of dining room into living room

Another view of dining room mess

I will keep posting as we progress further into our dining room reno. It will probably take a while longer now that the electric sander isn't holding the sandpaper anymore, but I will keep at it until it's done!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dining Room Reno Part 1: Inspiration & Planning

I am so excited to start renovating our dining room! We won't be doing any major construction during this project, just tweaking what we already have and purchasing a few things to make the room fantastic. :) I've spent hours looking for the color scheme, items we want, and step-by-step plan to making this happen.


Here's my inspiration board that I put together:


Here's what the plan is:
  • Repainting our existing dining room table & chairs to a nice espresso brown
  • Paint our china hutch & buffet to match the color scheme (color of the table in the middle of the picture above)
  • Expand our seating to 6 by using a storage ottoman bench
  • Change out our industrial-looking lighting fixture for a more sleek pendant light fixture
  • Hang some curtains on our huge window to soften it up
  • Find a thrift store bookshelf/side table to house the cookbooks & picnic caddy
  • Add a rug under the table, some art on the wall, and some accessories to pull the look together
I put together a budget, and since we already have a dining set, china hutch, and buffet, we might actually be able to make this happen. I am so excited to start on my first real attempt at DIY renovating.

Finish Strong Challenge 2010 - Vol. 5

Weeell...... I did not hop back on the exercise train this week. However, I did manage to eat less junk and focus on eating more whole foods. As a result (kid you not), I lost 3.2 lbs this week. Why? I have no idea. But I'll take it. :) That brings my weight loss total to 59 lbs since September 2009. Oh, and I'm officially at a BMI rating of 29.9, which takes me out of the obese category! Woo hoo! That's a major milestone that I've been looking forward to for a long time. :)

I did buy a new book this week, to help me learn more about the science of food - The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Rena. I've only gotten through the first chapter so far, but I think that it will provide for some good reading and information in regards to what I'm putting in my mouth.

Today will definitely hold lots of hidden exercise. I'm working on lots of weekend projects today that involve lots of moving around - laundry, housecleaning, and working on stripping the paint from my dining room set. Exciting!

This week's plan for exercise will be Brazil Butt Lift, as I don't feel quite ready to jump straight back into P90X yet.
Monday - Cardio Axe
Tuesday - Bum Bum
Wednesday - Cardio Axe
Thursday - Bum Bum
Friday - Cardio Axe & Tummy Tuck
Saturday - Bum Bum
Sunday - rest

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cleaning Out Clutter

It seems like ever since this recession hit, people have been learning to live with less stuff. I read an article a few months ago about a couple who decided to downsize - to the point of each of them only owning 100 personal possessions. I remember reading that the wife had included clothes, shoes, cosmetics, jewelry, etc into her 100 possessions. Though I do like the idea of paring down, I think that's a little too extreme for me.

However, as I looked through my bathroom drawers this past week, I decided that I simply had too much stuff that wasn't being used. We have six drawers in our vanity, and five of those are filled with my stuff. I also had four plastic drawers sitting outside my bathroom in the hallway, as well as a caboodles makeup box sitting on top of them, all filled to the brim. Every once in a while, I'll search through those for something specific, but in general, it wasn't being used. I just had too much, so I was inspired to clean out and pare down on cosmetics and products.

Fortunately, I have a friend (Janelle) who is a makeup artist and is always looking to expand her supplies. I gave her a call and she was delighted to take my unwanted makeup off my hands. :)

Once I got everything out, I took some pictures!


Here is the caboodles box plus all of the random cosmetics thrown into the vanity drawers.



These were the drawers sitting in my hallway. I've already pulled some products out and stuck them on top. I brought my garbage can over to the couch to start the big purge. Rosie (my kitty) decided to come help out with all the hard work.

And one more picture.....
I don't usually wear makeup because it takes me so long to do it all. If I decide to shortcut it and do only mascara or blush or whatever, I usually think I look weird so I end up doing the whole thing, which would take me 20-30 minutes. I like wearing makeup, but that's too much of my precious time to be wasting on makeup.

This was my makeup bag of everything I would use on a daily basis. There are four pockets in this case - one with primer, foundation, concealer, powder, & blush; another with all eye makeup; another with another blush and all the eye makeup that wouldn't fit in the other one; and the last one with glittery eye shadow and an eyelash curler.

No WONDER it took me forever to do my makeup! Can you BELIEVE how much stuff that was that I had just lying around, not being used, taking up precious storage space?! I plunged into my downsizing with a vicious desire to PURGE!

Most of the stuff in the caboodles was easy to get rid of. I found a perfume I'd been looking for, as well as a bubble bath sample. Everything else went in the box for Janelle. Most of the stuff in the drawers was hair products that I'd tried but didn't work or just had different kinds of things I'd used once and never tried again. A few things I handed to my friend, Kyla, who was hanging out with me for the day. Most of the rest of everything went into the garbage - but I saved all the makeup for Janelle. I was able to condense all I kept to ONE plastic drawer and a tiny makeup bag.

Here are the after pictures:


The one drawer on the right is the stuff I kept, and it's not very full. Everyday things like hairspray, lotion, moisturizer, etc went in there. It fits easily in the bathroom vanity, but I might be able to put the stuff in the actual drawers and just not use it in the bathroom after all. The three drawers in the middle are completely empty and wiped clean. The box on the left is everything going to Janelle.

And here's my current makeup bag:

Concealer, mascara, tweezers, bronzer/blush in one (which doubles for eye shadow), an all-over powder, and my eyelash curler.

I did keep my special green-eye enhancing eye shadow & eye liner for special occasions, but that went into a separate drawer for the next time I need it.

The bag was too small for my bottle of moisturizer to fit, but other than that and my chapstick, there's my whole makeup routine! It takes me about 5 minutes, which is just perfect for me. It feels so great to have that rarely used clutter out of the bathroom (and hallway) and into a box for someone else to take home. Rosie was so tired from all the work, she decided to sack out on the couch. What a good helper. :)



I think jewelry will have to wait for another day. :)

Finish Strong Challenge 2010 - Vol. 4

Confession time.

I had about double the amount of homework this week along with my two jobs, so unfortunately it's time for some confession.

I did not track my food or follow my meal plan.
I exercised on Monday, but that was all.

As a result, I gained a pound this week. It happens. I'll chalk it up to experience and try to do better this week as I try to take on the first week of P90X phase 2.

This week's hopeful workout plan:
Monday - Ab Ripper, Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
Tuesday - Plyometrics
Wednesday - Ab Ripper, Back & Biceps
Thursday - Kenpo
Friday - Ab Ripper, Legs & Back
Saturday - Cardio
Sunday - rest

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread

This recipe is FANTASTIC!
Makes 1 loaf or 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup water

NOTE: Additional mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and cloves (amounts to your liking) can be sprinkled on top of the loaf or muffins before baking - I love doing this.

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and cloves.
In another bowl, wisk eggs, pumpkin, applesauce, and water. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry until moistened.
For loaf, pour into a greased loaf pan (will be VERY full) and bake at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For muffins, pour into greased muffin pan (full), and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Home!

Our home has taken on lots of changes in the past few months that we've had the pleasure of living in it. First of all, the interior started as a pukey/olive/asparagus/pea soup green color. It was disgusting. The walls, the trim, the ceiling, the doors - everything was essentially this nasty green color. We set to work right away with painting. We almost have everything finished as far as interior paint, so occasionally I'd like to post about our progress with the house. I don't have before and after pictures of everything yet, so I'll just post about room-by-room as we go.

Just to show you the difference between the old & new colors....
This is our dining room ceiling mid-painting. What a difference, eh? The house is so much brighter now since we painted. And no, that's not white. It's coffee creme. :)

I'm super inspired by this house transformation blog - Young House Love.

I'm definitely into DIY-ing when possible, but there's no way I would have tried this....
Another major project that has been going on since we moved in is the plumbing - the entire line needed to be replaced for our house as well as the other one on the lot. It's been a long process, but the plumbing is FINALLY done. Now our guys are working on weather stripping, replacing crumbling concrete, and fixing the gutters on the roof.

I am soooo excited to start priming the basement this weekend! All we'll have left after that is to paint the basement, add another coat of paint in the office closet, and paint the doors & door frames. Hooray! Stay tuned for more updates. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Finish Strong Challenge 2010 Vol. 3 - P90X Phase 1

Announcement: I have visible shoulder blades now!!! :)


I just finished phase 1 of P90X. Last time I posted pictures, I said I had skipped a bunch of workouts, so I was going to re-do phase 1. This time, I had a much higher success, but it just took me a while to kick into gear. I busted my butt for two weeks doing the doubles program. That meant it was 1-2.5 hours of working out a day with Tony Horton. Oddly enough, I enjoyed doing it.

This past week with the Finish Strong Challenge was a little crazy. I didn't ever end up planning our meals this week, so we ate out a lot. I did my best to make healthy choices. I also ate lots of leftovers, as well as healthy snacks I had lying around. I also only did about 1 1/2 P90X workouts this week. I did confess last week that I slack off during the recovery weeks. Oh well. I will do better this week. :)

Here are my progress pictures. Some of them may be fuzzy, I apologize in advance. The ones on the left are my original Day 0 pictures (end of July), and the ones on the right are my Day 30 pictures (end of phase 1 for the second time).



This week, I ended up losing 1.2 lbs. Not bad for a completely spontaneous week of eating.
My results for this month of P90X (September-October) were 5.6 pounds and 4.5 inches lost overall.

My total loss since beginning P90X at the end of July is 8.6 pounds and 12 inches overall.

Look out Phase 2, here I come!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Finish Strong Challenge 2010 - Vol. 2

I'm checking in a day early this week. We're going to visit my sister at school this weekend, so I went to Weight Watchers to weigh in today!

I'm happy to say that this was a great week. I did a lot better on tracking my food and staying on plan. I wasn't able to get any extra walking in this week, but I feel good about what I was able to do. I will be reading my WW book 3 this week. I would say the name of it, but I don't have it with me at the moment. I'll report on it next week. :)

Next week is a recovery week (read: core work and cardio) for P90X. The recovery weeks in P90X aren't easier; they're just different. In past attempts at doing this program, it's where I've lost steam. I don't feel like I'm working hard enough. I decided to invest in another program from Beachbody called Brazil Butt Lift (hereon referred to as BBL). Although the Legs & Back workout from P90X definitely leaves me sore for about 4 days, it's the only lower body strength training in the program. I decided to get BBL to give my lower body a little more attention. I'm still waiting for it to come in the mail.

I'm thrilled to report that I lost 1 lb this week! I'm finally out of the 5-lb bracket I've been stuck in for the past 2 months. Yay!

Here's my workout plan for this week (P90X week 4):
Saturday: (out of town) walking
Sunday: rest
Monday: Yoga X or Cardio X
Tuesday: Core Synergistics
Wednesday: Kenpo X
Thursday: X Stretch
Friday: Core Synergistics
Saturday: Yoga X