Wednesday, February 24, 2010


We will not be taking our TV back home with us in April.

We're trading it for a closet! It works out for all involved actually. It's one of those flat-screen tv's that I know nothing about. I just happened to win it in a raffle a couple years ago. I'd never won anything until that point and then I win a $1600 gift card to Best Buy for a big flat screen TV!!!

So when we moved to my mom's, of course the TV came with us and fits perfectly in their entertainment center in the living room. When we told them that we were moving out, they joked that we had to leave the TV. Haha, yeah right!

Well....then I saw a friend's closet system from IKEA. She lives in a small, older home like we are moving back to. I knew I wanted one, but didn't have $1000 in the budget to purchase one anytime soon. After I made my first trip to IKEA at the beginning of February, I realized that I indeed really, really wanted a closet system.

So, after some conversation, we negotiated a trade with my mom and step-dad! We are leaving our TV, video camera, and my Pottery Barn dishes. They are in turn giving us cash to purchase the closet system!

And the BEST part is that we got part of the closet system for a STEAL! We were back in Atlanta last weekend and I spent hours at IKEA getting ideas for when we move back home to maximize space in our small home. Well, in the closet area, I saw these huge sliding doors for the closet systems on super duper clearance. Seriously, they are the largest doors they have and are usually $800....we bought them for $249!!!! We totally didn't expect to buy part of our closet this trip, but at a savings of $550, we couldn't pass it up. It's also not my favorite color, but again, $550 savings would have probably convinced me to take anything that was on sale!

So, we'll have no TV when we move back home. Not a problem since I'd honestly already begun a blog about no TV for 30 days once we moved back home! I am so busy with my son during the day and my husband and I have a ton of projects we want to do when we move back. We have more than enough projects to keep us busy! We want to enjoy more time outdoors and more reading. We've both not been reading as much as we'd like.

Now, this doesn't mean that we disagree with TV's in the home. It's just something we're going to try for a while. Plus, I really, really, really want more storage space in our home! Seriously, if you saw the limited space we have, you'd understand too!

We're going to really work on non-TV entertainment in our home. We want to continue developing our relationships in our family and spend more time with our friends that we've missed since moving away from Savannah.

I'll miss HGTV and Food Network. I'll also miss my re-runs of the Golden Girls, Will & Grace and Sex and the City! But, I'll enjoy my new time to spend helping my family grow!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 3 check - in Food Challenge

I suck. I have eaten HORRIBLY for the past two weeks. The first week was awesome. I felt so great and loved that I was making the proper choices. This week I did even worse than last week. And I feel awful....and bloated....ugh.

I did find a jar to start my starter. I tried to look up the starters you can buy, but there were too many choices and I couldn't follow. So, I am attempting to make my own starter. I will wait until after this weekend because we'll be gone over the weekend back up to the Atlanta area - Stone Mountain for my husband's sectionals competition, one of the preliminaries for the World CrossFit Games. I don't want to have to worry about my starter on the trip up!

I was in Atlanta this past weekend and was able to visit Whole Foods. I love that place. I expected it to be pricey, but it wasn't at all. I wish we had that type of selection available to us here.

This challenge is a great challenge, but I'm afraid we'll have to put it into full effect in April, when we move back to our house and have complete control of what is in the house.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Online organization

Don't you just love the internet? I am addicted to it. Seriously. I love reading blogs and just information in general. I love that I can google anything!

After my recent post about needing to get organized, I went on a search for some kind of organization template online. What I found was so much better! It is an online schedule for your chores (or anything for that matter). It EMAILS you a reminder each day for the chores you are supposed to do!!! How cool is that? Okay, now my nerd side is really coming out. I really do think this will work for me. I check my email a lot, so to have the reminder come in my inbox is awesome. You can also choose to have the weekly schedule emailed to you at the beginning of the week if you'd like!

Basically you add the people in that will be doing any chores. Then, you add in the chores and you can categorize them (difficult, easy, etc.). You can assign certain chores to certain people or you can make the program choose randomly. You can also choose whether each person gets the same amount of chores or less. You can color code it! You can also decide how often each chore needs to be done. For example, you can even put a chore on there that you only do annually! You can also assign a dollar amount to each chore - I'm guessing that's if you have children that are paid an allowance based on chores.

It's awesome. It's free. It's what I need...I think. I'll give it a good go at least!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Real Food Challenge Check-in

End of week two in the Real Food Challenge.

I failed miserably this week. It's a bad feeling because I was so good the first week and felt so good about the food choices I was making. The only thing I excelled at was choosing real milk (raw milk) and that's only because we've been drinking raw milk for 3 months now! I did decide to make my own butter from my newest delivery of raw milk though! So that's exciting!

I'm determined to make week 3 a better week for me and stick to the challenge as well as I did on week one.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Time to get organized...

Ok. I admit. I need a schedule. Or a plan. Or a to-do list. Or all of the above.

I've never been a list maker. I always think I can remember everything. I intend do. And I usually do remember everything, usually too late. Frustration comes with remembering late.

Most importantly, we need a schedule to know when to clean our house. Sounds crazy, right? Who can't remember that their bathrooms need cleaning or floors need mopping? I remember, I just put it off. Especially since I stay home, I always think I have tomorrow. It never gets done when it should. It drives me nuts when my tub gets that disgusting ring of ick in it. But when it drives me nuts, I'm usually being pulled in five different directions at that time, so it gets put off yet again.

I've been against a household schedule because I feel like a child that needs to be reminded and it makes me feel like a failure as a homemaker. Shouldn't moms who stay home know just to do these things weekly or bi-weekly? I didn't take into consideration a toddler that knows exactly when my hands are in the raw chicken preparing it for dinner and he decides to open the cabinets and rearrange, by way of removing everything from the cabinet. It's the unexpected messes every single day that I do not prepare for. And it's constantly putting it behind.

Now, I'm not complaining about my cute little mess-maker. I LOVE being home with him, but I feel if I better prepared myself, it would make me not so out of sync when the messes happen.

We've been working on menu-planning for a while and have done fairly ok with it. We just need to do it more. It's so awesome looking at the menu every morning and knowing what we're having without having to think about it at 6 p.m. when we're all starving and only have 2/3 of what we need to make a complete meal. So we're forced to either go the grocery store, hungry, and make poor choices and then eat a very late dinner. Or, we go out to eat...again make poor choices and blew $30 on one meal, when we could have stretched that at the grocery store and gotten several meals from the same money.

I think if we've been somewhat successful with the menu planning then we should be somewhat successful with the household scheduling. We'll see. I'll discuss it with my husband and see what we can come up with.

In other news, my real food challenge is taking a hit this week. Can you guess why? LACK OF PLANNING. I'm so annoyed with myself because I have eaten so poorly today. I feel disgusting and bloated. I think that's what's prompted my intense need to organize right away. With the amount of time my husband and I are both around the house, there is absolutely no reason for us to continue putting off our normal household chores any longer.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

50 day Burpee Challenge

Happy Birthday to me!!!!

And what better present than another challenge? CrossFit has a burpee challenge that circulates around and it's a 100 Day Burpee Challenge. Well, I'm not that optimistic. I would like to be, but I'm just going to be honest and say not quite yet! Once I hit day 50, I'll then reassess and hopefully continue.

I know, I know, I haven't posted a video yet on what burpees are like I said I would a month ago! So here is my wonderful husband demonstrating them. Burpee Example

Now that you know what a burpee is, I'll explain the challenge.

Day One - one burpee
Day Two - two burpees
Day Three - three burpees
and so on.

Don't miss a day. If you miss a day, you have to make it up. For example, if you miss day 20, then on day 21 you must do 20 burpees to catch up the day you missed and then you have to do your current day - 21 burpees. So don't miss one!

The good news - you don't have to do them all in a row. So for example - on day 20 - if you want, do 5 at a time throughout the day. You just have to complete them all in that day.

So, who's with me?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Challenge check-in

Today is our official check-in for the Real Food Challenge!

I've done ok. Definitely can improve. As I posted, my husband and I are living with my mom and step-dad and can't really clear out our pantry like we'd like. So that's a big challenge in itself! I've done really well with it though considering.

One thing I haven't given up is my agave sweetener. I have gotten some suggestions though to replace and as soon as I can get to the health food store (an hour away) I will replace it. Also, we are moving home in 2 months and can definitely have our pantry cleaned out!

As far as beginning my starter for the sourdough bread....I cannot even find the mason jars!!!! Again, I've gotten some leads on where to find those, so I'll be starting that this week.

Confession - over the weekend my husband, son and I went to the Atlanta area for a CrossFit competition for my husband. It was challenging to eat well, but the thing that saved us was that we stayed in a house with a kitchen. That was huge. We went shopping Friday evening and ate well all weekend. The confession part is the huge cinnamon roll that I snatched from IKEA and some peanut M&M's. I'm paying for it. My guts are not all.

I'm so happy this challenge is going and I can't wait to finish it and improve over the next 3 weeks!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm still in the challenge!

The food challenge is going well. Of course I could be doing giving up my agave. I've been told there is a natural sweetener at a natural food store in Savannah, so I'm going to check it out. Other than that, I've done pretty well. I've surprised myself actually because I thought for sure I'd be grabbing the boxes of cereal in the mornings, but I've not even been tempted! I did have a hot chocolate the other night and honestly had already drank half of it before I realized what I was doing! To my defense, it was dark, cold and misting rain and we were on a haunted hearse tour in downtown Savannah! All I heard the driver say was "hot" when he pulled up to a restaurant and asked if we needed anything to drink. :)

Oh, and I did forget about my vanilla latte *hanging head in shame* two days ago. I guess I'll have to either give up my coffee all together or start carrying my sweetener around with me. Or, I guess there is the option of drinking it without sweetener!

I'm not really sure though about going out to eat and choices to make. We went to lunch the other day and I got an awesome salad but was stumped about the dressing. I ended up with oil and vinegar, but I'm not sure if that passes my real food challenge or not!

So far in the challenge we've been asked to clear our pantry of processed stuff, go buy wholesome, one-ingredient choices to restock our pantry (we got extra credit because we already drink raw milk!), improve our grains choices (which I've yet to really read on) and today's was begin your starter for sourdough. I'm very excited about today's challenge, yet when I went to Wal-Mart (ugh) to buy my mason jars, cheesecloth, twine, and whole grain flour, I walked out with not one item on my list. They didn't even have mason jars! Seriously? We're in the south...don't people still can things?

We're headed out of town for my husband's CrossFit competition this weekend. It's in a smaller town north of Atlanta. Check out this site for more information.

It seems like it's going to be a great time! And hopefully I'll be able to sneak in a trip to Ikea, some children's consignment sales and maybe even Whole Foods! We're staying in a lake house so it'll be much easier to eat clean since we can prepare our own meals!

Hopefully this weekend will be a nice little test for me and I am really crossing my fingers I can make it through without a fast food meal!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh, it's definitely going to be a challenge....

So I as I said, I'm taking part of the 28 day real food challenge - from The Nourished Kitchen.

Well, I received my first challenge today. It's much more than a's an impossible challenge.

It's not that I don't want to meet this challenge head on, believe me, I do. This is going to be more challenging for us than most of the participants in the challenge. Why, you ask? Why is my family different? My husband, son and I live with my mom and step-dad. So, we have roommates. Those in the challenge who are living with roommates can probably empathize with us!

So, I'm sure you're holding your breath waiting to find out what the challenge is. Here is the gist of it:

Your first assignment is to take an inventory of your pantry, fridge and cupboards. Remove all processed foods and foods containing those ingredients from your kitchen. That means you'll toss all refined oils, white flour, sugar and low- and skimmed-milk products. Ditch the boxed cereals, margarines, shortenings, frozen pizzas, sodas, lemonades and juice drinks, packaged crackers and cookies, processed cheeses, dried pastas, iodized and refined salts. Toss them and don't look back. No, it doesn't matter if the foods are organic or not: toss them anyway. You may well have paid good money for the food at one time, but remember real health comes from real food and real food never comes from a box.

I actually think this is the perfect first step! And if we were back home, it would be actually a lot of fun to do! I'm not really sure how we're going to do this. I guess if we get through this month with all of the "convenience" packaged foods (mainly cereals) around, then we're much stronger than we think! There is just no way my mother will allow me to toss all of the things from the pantry. It is her house after all and I do not have control over the entire kitchen!

Also, here is what I ate today:

Breakfast - a banana, one egg (fried), cup of milk, coffee (sweetened with agave - which I read I have to give up). Now, I just realized as typing this, that I used Pam spray to fry my egg in. I'll start using real butter from now on!

Snack - orange

Lunch - leftovers from last night - turkey breast, corn, collard greens, mashed white potatoes (yes, I know, mom made them!)

Dinner - Chili and grilled cheese (my mom made the chili, so I'm certain she used salt)

Snack - banana

I think I did fairly well. I do want a nice glass of sweet tea though and I'm really, really craving it. I guess I'll drink a big glass of water, blah.