Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You Look like a loon

Guilty as charged. I watch Kourtney & Kim Take New York.
 In one of the episodes Kourtney talks to Kim about having children and doing stupid/funny/crazy things to get your children to laugh.  Kim wouldn’t get down and waddle like a penguin but I sure will! I make the weirdest faces, noises, and dances in front of Sophia and she gets a kick out of them.  Just hopping in front of her saying the words “bouncy, bouncy, bouncy” gets her to laugh. I may look like a total loon but it puts a smile to both of our faces and that’s all I care about. A lot of people tell me how smiley and happy Sophia is all the time, which is one of the best compliments!

This week I enrolled Sophia in Gymboree class and so far we love it. We go to our 3rd Level 1 class tomorrow. Level 1 is for kids 0-6 months old, so Sophia will be graduating soon to Level 2. It’s a lot of one-on-one time with her while learning & playing. We play with colorful scarves, puppets, parachutes, and sing songs! Since Sophia doesn’t go to a daycare, we felt this was much needed.  Sophia can meet other babies her age and I meet new friends with babies! ;)  It’s fun to get to see other babies and where they’re at developmentally compared to Sophia. From what I’ve seen, Sophia is right on track!

When we're not at Gymboree, Rome is a good source of entertainment. Bella is in her bed snoozing most of the day. 

Snack time over here and I think I'll make a Strawberry-Mango smoothie! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Love, Alex

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tribute to Noah Ayres

Noah (our Great Dane) went to Doggie Heaven this past week. He lived a wonderful 10.5 years with us and I'm happy to have had such an amazing dog all those years!

Noah as a puppy

 Noah in his prime! What a handsome stud!

Noah on the beach. He lived a good life!

Noah & his girlfriend Bella. She misses him 

We love & miss you Noah!


Week End Run Down

Hope everyone had a GREAT week! Is Sunday anyone else's favorite day? I love it! So relaxing, and the only day of the week Angelo doesn't have to do any work. 

Random thoughts during this week:

I want to go back to school…next year.

I know why women cut their hair off after having kids.  I’m thinking about cutting mine short for the summer. Sophia grabs, yanks, and puts it in her mouth ALL THE TIME. It’s also been thrown up on 2 seconds before walking out the door. Most of the time it’s up in a ponytail.

I don’t know what to think about Protein drinks. All I know is that they give me gas! Haha I look at them as extra just calories and most of them don't taste too good. This is the last one I've tried. Has anyone tried this brand? Thoughts?

I think a girl is most pretty when she smiles.  I see so many pictures of girls on FaceBook with weird faces trying to make their lips bigger or cheeks slimmer. Instead of “Oh she looks beautiful!” it’s “What is she doing?” (Duck face google search)

Putting down a family pet doesn’t make for a good day/week/month. After a wonderful 10.5 years, my mom & dad had to put down Noah, our family Great Dane. He was old and had a hard time the last couple of months and just never looked happy anymore. We know it was his time to go but it’s still sad not to be able to see him anymore. I know he’s in doggie heaven now running around, bugging all the female dogs, without any pain in those long legs of his!

I have about 3 mini heart attacks a day because of Sophia. I can only imagine what I’ll be like when she’s up and walking, getting into everything around the house!

I have packs of gum in the kitchen, bedroom, car, and diaper bag. Hi my name is Alex and I am a gum addict.

This might be the first year I get a tax refund in 3 years. Supa excited! $$

Now it’s Marvelous Monday! Cheers to a productive week! (takes a sip of coffee)


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Insantiy DVD Workout Program

I heard some stories about how hard the Insanity workout program was and some people actually getting hurt from jumping into it “unprepared”. How does someone prepare them self for a new workout regime? Well, I've always been pretty active and walked/jogged almost every day until the week I gave birth. I started jogging/running again when I got the clearance from my doctor, which was about 3 weeks before I started Insanity.
When I started the Insanity DVD program I was 8 weeks post-partum. I did the program from beginning to end, only missing about 5 out of the 54 workouts. I was sore for about a month straight but not to the point where I couldn’t do the workout.  My baby Sophia loved watching me do the exercises while she sat in her bouncer or lounger and since it was only 30-45 minutes she didn’t get bored and start fussing. I guess she loved watching me jump up and down, breathing heavily, on the verge of collapse. ;)

Amazing workout with ShaunT as your trainer
Never gets “easy” therefore I never got bored with it
Can push yourself as little or as much as you want
Can do the workout at home or on vacation because it requires little space
Videos are under an hour long
A day off per week
Good stretching routine during and at the end of the videos
No equipment required. I used a yoga mat for pushups and such since I was on my living room tile.
Not for people who have knee or joint issues since the exercises are high-impact
Music isn’t the best. Sometimes I wore my iPod when I needed some extra motivation
My results: I lost a total of 17 lbs of flab. I tightened up my stomach, arms, butt, and thighs. Improved my speed, endurance, and flexibility.  
BEFORE                           AFTER

Love, Alex

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fruits n Veggies

Breakfast for me is basically the same every day. With Sophia, my breakfast has to be quick and easy and always consist of a cup of coffee. Just to clarify, my “cup of coffee” is exactly 6oz almond milk, 2oz coffee, and 2 packets of Truvia. I look forward to it every morning. Now what goes with my coffee differs. It is usually one of the following or a combination of Kashi Go-Lean Crunch cereal, Kashi 7-Grain waffle, 1 egg, banana, biscotti, toast, egg sandwich, peanut butter toast, oatmeal, etc. What doesn’t change is that I always wash it down with a big glass of water with my JuicePlus+ (JP).

Homemade Almond Biscotti atop cup o' java

I’ve been taking JP everyday since the week I found out I was pregnant in December 2010. Even though I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, I don’t think I come close to the recommended 7-13 serving a day. Some days I probably don’t get any :-/ Taking JP is an easy way for me to add more nutrition from fruits and vegetables to my diet.  JP is backed by numerous scientific studies conducted by leading universities and hospitals around the world. I was introduced to JP about 5 years ago and took it whenever I remembered but wasn’t that dedicated. Once I got pregnant I knew it would be a good idea to start taking it every day along with a pre-natal vitamin for various reasons but most importantly to boost my immune system since it was being compromised by the growing human inside me. I had a GREAT pregnancy with no complications whatsoever and give much credit to JuicePlus+.  If you are interested here is a link to some of the JP clinical research results. https://www.juiceplus.com/nsa/content/ResearchShows.soa


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snack Attack

My appetite seems to be different every day. Sometimes I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and feel totally energized
and satisfied. Other days I have full blown snack attacks in between my meals. I try to stay on the healthy side of the
snack regime especially if I indulged a little at lunch or dinner. Snacks are supposed to be easy and ready to go. When I buy a thing of fruit or veggies that I use for snacks I try to always prepare them as ready-to-eat so I can grab as I please. It prevents me from grabbing the chips from the pantry.
Some of my favorite snacks


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Morning Routines

As I mentioned in my first post, I started this blog out of admiration of the many blogs I read on the daily basis. I have a morning routine that includes Sophia, dogs, coffee, and blogs. I can honestly say I have learned something from each individual blog. My favorites tab is ripping at it's seams with links to different blogs, but these are the ones I frequent the most. 

Hope you like them as much as I do!


Baby Fat

 First day home from the hospital I felt heavy and saggy. I didn’t care about what I looked like until a few weeks later and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Woof. Even though I didn’t like the way I looked, because of breastfeeding I couldn’t restrict my caloric intake by much. I needed to do other things to lose the “baby weight”. (How long after giving birth is it actually called baby weight?) There wasn’t much cooking going on the kitchen and lots of take-out was being brought-in. First things first, that had to stop. I started cooking again and eating healthy snacks in between my meals. I started munching on carrots and nuts instead of chips and queso. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat some junky food but I limit it. I am a MAJOR sweets person so there’s no way I was giving any of that good stuff up totally. All in moderation, right? ;) I learned you just have to know your limits and not sit on your butt all day and expect anything to change. I wasn’t going to let “having a baby” be my excuse for anything. Obviously, Sophia became a huge part of my life and I am going to make her be a part of a life that is healthy.  Everything on this blog is not going to be healthy, that may be obvious from the last post with the biscotti recipe.

I waited 6 weeks after giving birth to start exercising again. I literally did nothing at all for 6 weeks except be tied down to the couch to feed Sophia. I've read that breastfeeding around the clock burns about 500 calories a day. I was losing weight but I started to look deflated.  After my 6 week postpartum doctor’s checkup I was ready to get physical! My husband and I (it’s great to have a workout buddy and motivator!) started Insanity. I’m not even exaggerating when I say it kicked our ass everyday for 9 weeks. For the first 2 weeks our bodies were achy, but we started seeing results and my body wasn't so deflated.. I was definitely building tons of muscles. I’d put Sophia is her MamaRoo or Lounge and pop the DVD in. She really enjoyed watching us jump up and down for an hour everyday.  

After becoming an Insanity graduate (Thanks ShaunT!) I wanted to do something different. My friends opened up a PowerPlate Studio here in town so I bought a membership and jumped on the vibrating PowerPlate train.

Angelo & I powerplatin' at New wave Fit

Sophia & I watching Angelo do Insanity

Exercise has always been pretty important to me. I've always been a runner but running was put on the back burner until Sophia was old enough to go in the jogging stroller. Now exercise is on a whole new level of importance. It’s helps me get stronger both mentally & physically. I've read too many stories about women and postpartum depression and i know getting out and doing some exercise is a HUGE way to avoid it. I have started to run again 2-3x a week. It is therapeutic for me because it clears my mind and gets me and Sophia some fresh air. Even a short 15-30 min walk around the neighborhood puts me in a better mood!

At some point in my blog journey, I'm going to write a review on all my exercise adventures.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kitchen Adventures

I've never been a real New Year’s Resolution person. I've always tried to have a "better" year than the year before so each year of my life keeps getting better and better. Whenever I want to start doing something, I do it. I don’t need the date to change from 2011 to 2012 to start doing something or try and better myself. I do think it is a great starting point for people that need that specific date though. If you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions it’s great, but if you don’t, there’s always the next day….or the next. I love the “Monday” people. They say, “My diet starts Monday…” while they eat a bowl full of pasta and basket of breadsticks. It’s ok, you don’t have to explain yourself. ;)

This week I started going back to all the food blogs I used to frequent. They give me ideas for dinner that I end up googling. On Tuesday I saw a post about turkey burgers. While I had ground turkey available, I didn’t have any hamburger buns. So I googled a hamburger bun recipe and yada yada yada…they turned out great. Today I saw a post from Christmas about making biscotti as a hostess gift. Googled biscotti and yada yada yada….phenomenal. I love my newly found hobby of making new things in the kitchen. So in honor of the New Year, Ive established my New Year’s Resolution. Start making at least one new thing in the kitchen a week. This week I was an over achiever and made two new things.

Hamburger Buns (source)
**I halved this recipe to make 6 buns. 

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets.

Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. 

**My buns turned out a little small and thick. I expected them to rise and expand a little more than they did. Next time I will make the dough balls flatter and wider before baking.

Simple Biscotti (source)
**This recipe made about 2 dozen biscotti for me

1/2 cup vegetable oil
 1 cup white sugar
 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
 3 eggs
 1 tablespoon baking powder
 ½ tbsp almond extract
½ tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and anise flavoring until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder, stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough.

Divide dough into two pieces. Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet. Place roll onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press down to 1/2 inch thickness. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When The cookies are cool enough to handle, slice each one crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Slices should be lightly toasted.

**These turned out great! I wish I had some chocolate melts to dip them. :)


The Beginning

Here we go!

I am starting this blog because I have been a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM)  for almost 7 months now and have read countless blogs about food, fitness, and fashion. Now, I want my own. I already have written a blog throughout my entire pregnancy just so I would have something to look back on when I become pregnant again. Also, Sophia can look at it one day and maybe get a good laugh. I don’t know how many times I have tried to start this particular blog but seem to have too much to say in one post and make it into a scatter crap. So here it is, my own blog to put everything I learn on a daily basis altogether

 I’m a married 20-something year old with a beautiful baby girl born in August 2011. Our little sunshine. The cutest little girl who makes me smile every day. Since bringing her home.  I've changed a lot about my eating habits, exercise routine, and my fashion (don’t know if that is for the better or not yet). This blog will have no limits. I am a new mom and have a lot to learn but that’s what life is all about. I hope you will enjoy this as much as me. 

This is my family. My everything

Love,  Alex