Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fit test #3 and Month 2 of Insanity begins...

Yesterday I started week 6 of Insanity and complete my 3rd fit test. Here are the results:


I did better in everything except for the Power Knees exercise, but it could be because I'm doing the power knees exercise more thoroughly this time around? I'm not sure, but I'm happy with the overall results!

Also, I weighed myself yesterday and I'm down to 147.8. That is a total of 20 pounds lost so far!!

I started Month #2 of insanity this week. I thought the first month was intense but nothing compares to what I had to do today. Each day in Month 2, the workout is about 1 hour instead of 40 minutes, and they PUSH you HARD! I never knew there could be so many different types of push-ups!

Side note:
I've been feeling weaker and I think I'm going to boost up my calorie intake by adding a protein drink after my workouts. I'll be looking into some healthy protein drinks and let you know what one I end up going with!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shutterfly Photobook

My recent project has been working on a "Baker Family Yearbook" for 2010. I got this family yearbook idea from Young House Love and you can read about her family yearbooks here. My goal is to make a yearbook at the end of every year that is filled with all the memories from that year! This will get all those photos stored on my computer into a tangible book, and yearbooks will save a lot of space instead of using your typical bulky photo albums filled with 4 x 6's. I will never go back to using your photo albums again!

I have been having TONS of fun with this project. Organizing and putting together photos is right up my ally. I decided to start my yearbooks from 2010 since that is the year I got a Digital SLR camera, as well as the year I got pregnant. I can't wait to complete the 2010 and 2011 yearbooks and finally be caught up. Then this January I will be right on track for making the 2012 yearbook!

Like Young House Love does, I have begun the yearbook with a summary list of the events from that year. Here is how it looks:


Here is a screen shot of another page I have worked on:


This project is going to take quite a while to complete as I plan on maxing out the photo-page limit to about 100 pages. I'm at about page 10 right now. I will be sure to post more on the yearbook when it is finally complete!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

30 Days of Insanity Recap

I did it! I made halfway through the Insanity workout! Right now I am on the "Recovery" week which has you doing Core Cardio and Balance (not too much of a recovery...but better than it could be I suppose). Next week I will be starting the last four weeks which are the longest and most intense weeks of workouts. I'm a little nervous about it, but I WILL finish this program. Only 30 more days to go!

Insanity has NOT been easy. There have been days I've actually cried during the workouts because of how strenuous and exhausting they are. I've almost given up a few times, but I've forced myself to press on, and I'm so incredibly glad that I've stuck with it! I'm continuing to see results in my body every week! Here are my updated results:

Starting weight: 167.8 lbs
Current Weight: 151.4 lbs
Total weight loss: 16.4 lbs

I've also dropped down two dress/pants sizes! I'm a size 8 now! YAY!

On a side note: Two of my best friends are getting married within the next couple months and I'm so excited for them! I have the honor and privilege of being a bridesmaid for one of them and the Matron of Honor for the other! I don't want to give too many details or information out for the privacy of the brides, but I just wanted to update you on how my days have been filled with reliving wedding planning. I mightily enjoy it! It is much less stressful being on the other side of wedding planning compared to being the bride.

Both "My" Brides have found their wedding dresses which look FABULOUS on them! They both picked the first dress they tried on (I can't believe it! It took me like 1,000,000 dresses before I found "the one"). Anyway, they also both picked out the bridesmaid dresses, which I tried on and LOVE! Here are the two different bridesmaid dresses I will be wearing (in a size 8!!!--I just had to repeat that small detail again). These are the exact colors they will be in:



I can't wait to support my friends on their journey of wedding planning and marriage. They are both so special to me and I'm thrilled to help them with whatever they need!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Haircut!!!!

I surprised Max while he was away all week and I CUT ALL MY HAIR OFF. I didn't tell him I cut it until he just walked through the door a little while ago. He couldn't stop smiling so I'm pretty sure I have his approval!



I love it. I feel so free and it is soooo much easier. I was so scared cutting off my waist-length hair, but I don't miss my long hair of 8 years at ALL =)


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Big, Soft Sugar Cookies

These are the best sugar cookies I've ever made. Soft. Sweet. Moist. Melt in your mouth. You will be drooling as you bake these! They are perfect to decorate and bag for party favors as well. This is the cookie recipe I used for the favor at Jill's Baby Shower.


BIG SOFT SUGAR COOKIES 
(Recipe stolen from my wonderful Mother-in-Law)

 Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup of shortening
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

Directions:
In a large bowl, blend together sugar, butter and shortening until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla until well-mixed. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir until well blended. Form dough mixture into a ball and place back in the bowl. Put plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I refrigerate my dough overnight).

After the cookie dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the cookie dough on a floured surface (you can use powdered sugar for added sweetness instead of flour if you prefer). For a softer sugar cookie, roll out the dough thicker (I rolled out my dough to be a 1/3 inch thick). Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter and space 1/2 inch apart on a cookie sheet.


Depending on your size cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough will determine how long you will bake the cookies. It should be between 7-10 minutes. Just be sure to take the cookies out of the oven BEFORE the tops start to brown. If you bake them too long they will be crunchy, not soft.


After all of your cookies have cooled, frost them. I used Betty Crocker's canned vanilla frosting, but blended it with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar so that the frosting was thicker. Decorate as desired!


ENJOY YOUR BIG, SOFT SUGAR COOKIES!


Jill's Baby Shower

Last week, I had a blast planning the "surprise party for a special someone" which I can now announce was a pink and brown themed baby shower for one of my good friends, Jill! She and her husband, Josiah, will be having a baby girl due on October 5th. I'm SO excited for them and I can't wait for Chloe to have a little girlfriend to hang out with!

The shower was last Monday night, so last weekend and all day Monday, I was incredibly busy doing lots of last minute assembling and baking. I am so thankful for all the help I had though! Max was my superhero last week, watching Chloe whenever I needed to run out and do errands, and Sunday after church, Max, my brother, Kevin, and a few other guys helped me set up all the tables and chairs. Sadly, Max had to leave at 2am on Monday for another out-of-state job, but my mom and sister-in-law, Renee, stepped right up and helped me with everything I had left to do for the shower!

I've got lots of pictures to share:


I really enjoyed putting this shower together, and I hope everyone had a great time! I'm looking forward to the next parties I can organize and plan... Next of which should be Chloe's first birthday... I can't believe my baby will be one soon...



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paint Front Door....Check!

We had some leftover exterior black paint from my raised garden beds, so Max and I randomly decided to paint the front door with it. Please ignore our very sad landscaping (that is another house project on our checklist)..

Before:


After:


Much better!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Month 1: Health and Fitness Recap

Time is running away from me with Max being home along with all the daily happenings. It has been amazing spending so much time with Max though. I missed him so much while he was gone!

Max has babysat Chloe two complete afternoons for me this week! I greatly appreciated his help. I've had to run MANY errands lately due to a certain party I am planning for a special someone... I can't blog about it now, but I am so excited to share all the details with pictures soon!

Today is July 11th. Today marks one complete month since I have begun my health and fitness plan, and I feel GREAT! My starting weight on June 11th was 167.8, and I now weigh 154.6! I'm finally back in my normal weight range for my height (I'm nearly 5'8"), but there is a big range for my height, and I'm looking to go towards the lower end of the range...like 140... I don't know yet. I'm looking more at my body than what the scale says.

Month One... Total Weight-loss: 13.2 lbs

To see results like this is so rewarding! Developing a healthy lifestyle is such a hard adjustment, especially the first month. Now, I am past the one month mark and this lifestyle is finally becoming a habit for me!  How I feel and the results I am seeing are pushing me right along to stick with my established health and fitness plan.

I am in the process of creating a "My Health Plan" page. It will explain all the details of my health and fitness plan. Hopefully the page will be done within a week or so!

Today marks my 17th day of the Insanity workout. I know for certain that Insanity is an outstanding factor in the results I've seen in my body. I have also really developed endurance and strength throughout the  program since day one. Here are my fit test results from Day 1 and  Day 15 of insanity. You can see how I've improved:


Well, my baby girl is awake now, and so is my adorable husband. So I'm going to go eat breakfast with them. Then I'm going to do insanity!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Max is HOME! & Body-for-LIFE®

It is 4:30am and I just got up to feed Chloe. I  needed to take advantage of my wakefulness (of course) so I trotted downstairs to quickly write a blog post. I've felt slightly blog deprived lately because my hubby is home now (YAY!) and most of my time has been spent with him.

It is SO nice to have my sweetheart back. What a long month it has been without my better half! Max arrived home Thursday night at 7:00pm, after finally finishing the out-of-state job. Now he has all of next week off to spend with me and Chloe! Then he will be back to work on another out-of-state job =(. I'm taking advantage of this long week I get to spend with him though.

Thursday, before Max arrived, I headed over to my in-law's house and was able to spend some time with Max's half-sister, Lyndsy, and her beautiful daughter, Bella. I haven't seen Lyndsy and Bella since I've been pregnant, so I'm so glad that they finally got to meet Chloe! Lyndsy thought Chloe was adorable of course.

Lyndsy, Wendy, Chloe and Bella:


Wendy and her two cute Granddaughters:


While visiting with Lyndsy, we discussed our health and fitness plans for a little while. She has been following Body-for-LIFE® which has worked fantastically for her. It is very similar to the health plan I've established for myself, although most successful health plans are all similar anyway (eat 5-6 smaller balanced meals, eat lots of veggies, cut out junk food, and exercise).

Here is a quick summary from the Body-for-LIFE® website.
Body-for-LIFE® is more than just another diet program—it’s a new way of living a healthy life. Body-for-LIFE® is not about deprivation or giving up any one food group. Your meals feature a great-tasting balance of carbohydrates, protein and essential fats, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. Best of all, Body-for-LIFE® suggests that you take a FREE day every week, where you get to eat whatever you want! The Body-for-LIFE® program consist of eating five to six small, balanced meals every two to three hours to keep your metabolism humming, three quick 45-minute weight-training workouts three times a week and three fast, intense 20-minute cardio sessions each week. Once you get started on this journey, you’ll literally be a different person with a new mindset. As you make progress and meet your goals, set new goals and move forward again. This program is a way of life, not a temporary quick fix.
Body-for-LIFE® Nutrition
Monday thru Saturday you consume 6 small meals a day, each meal containing a protein portion the size of your fist, and a carb portion the size of  your fist. You can eat as many vegetables as you want, and on Sunday you are allowed to cheat on as much junk food as you want.

Here is the Food List of what you can (and can't) eat.
Here is a sample Week Meal Plan.

Body-for-LIFE® Fitness
Day 1: Upper Body Training (Chest/Shoulders/Triceps/Back/Biceps, 45 minutes)
Day 2: Cardiovascular Workout 20 Minutes
Day 3:    Lower Body and Abs Training          (Quads/Hamstrings/Calves/Abs, 45 minutes)
Day 4: Cardiovascular Workout 20 Minutes
Day 5: Upper Body Training (Chest/Shoulders/Triceps/Back/Biceps, 45 minutes)
Day 6: Cardiovascular Workout 20 Minutes
Day 7: Rest Day

More information regarding the exercise plan HERE.

I have to put a couple more photos because I have such beautiful relatives!






Tuesday, July 3, 2012

They may be cute but...

For my post of the day, I'd like to warn those of you with lilies.
If you want your lilies to stay safe, and NOT get devoured, then take a good look at one of these little guys:


Then squish him between your fingers. Or smash him with a rock.

Although, I can't lie, they are really cute. However, they will destroy your lilies. They multiply like crazy too, so kill them and their larva immediately (The larva of these bugs look like muddy slugs).

Have a great day and go protect your lily.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Sensational Strawberry Cream Dessert

This is the mouth-watering, creamy, sensational dessert that I made for Kevin's birthday party. Everyone at the party drooled at the sight of it, and stuffed themselves at the taste of it.


Each bite has you going back for more...


SENSATIONAL STRAWBERRY CREAM DESSERT
(Adapted from Crumbly Cookie’s recipe)

Bottom Layer:
♦ 18 full, long Graham Crackers- Crushed
♦ 10 Tablespoons of melted butter

Middle Layer:
♦ 4- 8oz packages of Cream Cheese, softened
♦ 2- 8oz Tubs of Lite Cool Whip
♦ 3/4 cup of sugar
♦ 4 Teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract 

Topping:
♦ 2 pound package of Strawberries, sliced
♦ 1/3 cup of sugar

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs become moistened. Gently and firmly press this mixture onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass pan.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Then gently fold in the cool whip until it is completely blended in. Pour this mixture onto the graham cracker crust and spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

In another medium bowl, mix together the sliced strawberries and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and let this refrigerate for a couple of hours also.

When ready to serve dessert, drain all the excess juice from the strawberries and evenly place them on top of the dessert.


Kevy's 19th Birthday Party

We celebrated Kevin's birthday on Sunday. Even though Kevin was the star of the party, I once again managed to take more photos of Chloe than anyone else, but who can ignore her cuteness??


As always, it was rejuvenating and relaxing to be with family. My Dad made some good food.



Kevin showed me his new decked out 1994 Honda Accord. He just added subs, which shake your body from the inside out.



There was a "playtime" during the party where every male in the house (ages 8-51) started playing with legos. Every one of them was deeply focused on their creations. It was cute ♥... but not as cute as Chloe playing with her book of course =P



For Kevin's birthday dessert, I made Sensational Strawberry Cream Dessert. It was a hit, and everyone stuffed themselves on its creamy delisiousness. I will post the recipe soon.

Hope you had a great Birthday party, Kevin!

Fun at the Lake

Last Saturday was so warm out, I decided to head to the lake with Chloe, Nana, Grammy and the little uncles. It was gorgeous!


My baby has an EXTREME fascination with sand. She wants to sit in it, throw it, clap it, and eat it. We all had fun watching her, and tried our best to keep the sand out of her mouth!





 Chloe is also fascinated with water...just like her momma!


Chloe's uncles had fun playing in the water together, too... might I add how ripped my baby brother, Austin is?


After swimming, we brought Chloe on the swings, she was more interested in the chain though, and getting thrown in the air...


 And... because I'm a photo fanatic, I will add one more photo from the end of the day.