Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekly Weigh In - Week 17


How Do I Participate:

1. Write a Blog Post. Somewhere in it you MUST post the 'Weekly Weigh-In' Button and your weight. (a picture is recommend NOT required)
2. Link up using the McLinky below (Please link to your actual Weekly Weigh-In post, NOT your main blog page)
3. # Become a follower of Marvelous Mommy and My Little Apricot with GFC!
4. Visit other blogs on the linky and show your support. Congratulate them on their weight-loss and encourage them when they are struggling! Be sure to return the favor if someone visits/follows you.

Remember, you don't need to link up on Thursdays. The linky is open for the whole week!

**No nasty comments! This is a fun support group of women (and men) on a weight-loss journey! Any haters will be removed from the linky and will not be allowed to participate in the future!

Last Week:
198


This Week:
195.6


STARTING WEIGHT: 211.6
LAST WEEK'S WEIGHT:198
CURRENT WEIGHT: 195.6
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN FROM LAST WEEK: -2.4lbs
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN TO DATE: -16lbs
GOAL BY OCTOBER 7: 194
LONG TERM GOAL:  145


To be completely honest, I really thought I blew it this week. I ate a lot. I drank a ton of soda. I didn't exercise. I was expecting a gain. But instead I had a loss.... a 2.4lbs loss at that! I'm so proud of myself. We did go on a 3 hour family walk last weekend, so maybe that's what did it? Or maybe my eating a lot was actually me adjusting to my new normal amount of food (finally?). Who knows, but a loss is a loss is a loss and I'm proud of it! Only 1.6lbs to go to make my goal for next week.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.





Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Python Printable Halloween Games Pack

I
I don't know if you guys have ever heard of Python Printable Games before or not, but I found them the other day and decided to check them out. The Monster and I had some fun last night with the Halloween party games. And I have to tell you, she really enjoyed it.

A quick glimpse at some of what's included.
 The Halloween pack has over 50 printables, including trivia, coloring pages, crafts and activities. I found that most of the games were a little above and beyond 19 month old (or... almost 20 month old, haha), but they did have stuff for a wide variety of ages. Since she can't follow specific directions yet, I found the coloring pages to be best for M. And they did have a lot of coloring pages... I'd estimate around 14 pages (but I think it only counted as 2 of the printables because it was 2 separate pdfs).

M hard at work
And that's the other thing - everything comes in PDF format! So as long as you have a pdf reader (like Adobe Reader), you're good to print out as many of the things as you want! And they aren't just limited to Halloween. There were also Fall Harvest, Thanksgiving and NFL themed activities in my pack.

My personal favorite printable in the pack were the crosswords and word searches, but I've always been a fan of those. You even get the answer sheets. I also think that the trivia and craft activities would be great if you were having a party or a small get together.... or even for family night.


If you head over to Python's Halloween Pack description, you will see that they've outlined what you can expect to find in your download. Once you purchase your pack (only $19.95 for the Halloween one!), you will receive a confirmation email instantly with your download link (no shipping charges). The only thing I didn't like was that you can only click the link 5 times, so if you forgot to download something or you only have a few minutes, you can only go to the page 5 times. They do tell you this though, so that's a plus. I did all my downloading in one shot.

The site for your downloads will look something like this:
And you will need to click each link to download each game/activity. Each pdf contains multiple pages. So when it says 'coloring pages', you're actually getting multiple coloring pages, not just 1. I'd say you're really getting somewhere closer to 100 printables.


All in all, I would recommend checking out Python's Halloween pack to anyone looking for a little fall fun (and yes, anyone includes adults).

Also, be sure to check out their FREE coloring page section (and you get a $5 coupon, too!).


Note: I received Python's Printable Halloween Games Pack for free in order to do this review.








This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Inspiration - Fabric Pumpkin Tutorials

I've been looking for some inspiration lately to really get me in the mood for fall. I don't know about you guys, but our weather in NJ is still pretty warm (70s-80s) and it's almost October!

So, I wanted to share a few fabric pumpkin tutorials that I came across today!

From The Cottage Home



This little guy is stuffed with toilet paper!  From Monzanita's

From 700 West

And my personal favorite...

From Tater Tots & Jello



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lemon Pepper Salmon

I don't know about you guys, but my husband is a very picky eater. He likes very few things and wants to eat them over and over and over again. Me? I get tired of having the same couple meals every day. And now that the cost of ground beef has gone up ($4 at Target! It used to be $2!), I find myself lacking for meal ideas.

So the other day, I found a coupon for $2 off some frozen salmon fillets and I figured I'd give it a shot. Now I have never made salmon before... or any kind of real fish for that matter (I don't count fish sticks, haha). And just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, we had it again today. We still loved it, so I thought I'd share my recipe with you guys!

The best part? Our whole meal (lemon pepper salmon, mashed potatoes, salad & steamed broccoli) was under 400 calories! My recipe is for 3 servings. Adjust accordingly.


Lemon Pepper Salmon

3 4 oz salmon fillets (I used frozen and thawed it in the microwave for 90 seconds)
3 tbs butter or margarine (I used unsalted)
lemon juice
lemon pepper
salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. While waiting, melt butter. Place salmon in baking dish. Coat with butter. Sprinkle a little bit of salt across fillets. Drizzle lemon juice (to taste). Add lemon pepper to taste (I used about 4 shakes per fillet).
2. Bake for 8 minutes, flip. Sprinkle bottom side (now top) with lemon pepper. Bake for 8 more minutes.
3. Broil on each side for 3 minutes.

And that's it, you're done!





Friday, September 24, 2010

One of those weeks...

First of all, to the girls who do the weekly weigh in. Amy sent me an email this morning asking me to let you know that she is back. We are going to co-host the weigh in each week, that way if something happens to either of us, the other will be able to take over.

Now on to my reason for posting.

I found out this week that the company where J works is going to be heavily downsizing. Being one of the newer hires, he's on the short list. We were lucky enough that one of the owner's of the company warned him, but even still, it's enough to start stressing over. It took us 2 years just to find him this job. And now we need to start looking for a new one... again. Do you know how hard it is to find a job right now? Especially something full time... So there's number 1.



And then there's my job. I'm the type of person who finds a job and just sticks with it, through thick or thin. And I know that I mentioned this all a few weeks ago (if you missed it, you can check the other post out here). Yet lately, I've begun to really hate my job. Like... I can't stand it. My boss emails me on a near daily basis to tell me what I do "wrong". Mind you, I take more calls each day than most of the other techs here. Yesterday, he emails me to tell me, essentially, that I'm no longer allowed to speak unless spoken to because my 'speaking' handicaps some of our newer techs. I rarely speak to the other techs unless I have a question or have an answer to their question. So this really pissed me off. Then I find out one of my co-workers complained that I never let her finish her calls. This is the same co-worker who only takes 10 calls a day (I take 100) and who has a 30 minute chat with the mailman when he comes in. Why do I finish her calls? Because she leaves them there and doesn't touch them for HOURS.

So I haven't been taking any of the calls she starts and I haven't been speaking in the office unless spoken to. Today my boss calls me and tells me to do some little thing for him and I tell him ok and that I don't need him for anything else. What does he say to me? "You sound... different." Of course I sound different. I sound fed up and defeated. I sound pissed off and depressed. You can't yell at someone every day for stuff that they didn't even do wrong and expect them to stay their happy, chipper selves. You can't expect them to want to keep up with calls when they tell you that they're fed up with something and you tell them "ok" and never do anything about it. Something has got to give.

I'm just really frustrated. And the worst part is that our vacation times are blacked out from now until November. So I can't even take any time off for a mental health day... or week.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Swagbucks, anyone?

I'm curious, do any of you do Swagbucks? One of my friends told me about it recently and it looked interesting, so I joined.

For those of you unfamiliar with Swagbucks, basically, you do different things and earn points (called swagbucks). Once you collect enough points, you can trade them in for prizes. Prizes range from downloads to jewelry to gift cards. You collect points by searching the web (through their search engine), answering surveys, taking polls, doing special offers, etc.

Search & Win

I joined swagbucks about 3 weeks ago and I already have $25 in Amazon gift cards and enough points for another gift card. How awesome is that? I think I'm going to save them up to get the Little Monster some of her Christmas gifts. They say the gift cards take about 2 weeks to process, but I've been getting my codes in under a week.

The first thing I'm going to get with all my gift cards? This:
If you do swagbucks already, do you have tips for anyone that you'd like to share??

Here are a few of mine.
1. Make sure you go into the polls, NOSO and surveys section every day (you get 1 point each for those)
2. Do the special offers! I set up a new email address specifically to collect all of the emails so that it wouldn't flood my normal mailbox. You do not need to sign up for the special offers with the email address that you signed up on the site with.
3. If you are uncomfortable giving out your home address and phone number for the special offers, put in an old one that you used to have!





 

Weekly Weigh In - Week 16

How Do I Participate:
  1. Write a Blog Post. Somewhere in it you MUST post the 'Weekly Weigh-In' Button and your weight. (a picture is recommend NOT required)
  2. Link up using the McLinky below (Please link to your actual Weekly Weigh-In post, NOT your main blog page) 
  3. Become a follower of this blog and at least 1 other blog listed on the linky. Visit them and show your support. Congratulate them on their weight-loss and encourage them when they are struggling! Be sure to return the favor if someone visits/follows you.
**No nasty comments! This is a fun support group of women (and men) on a weight-loss journey! Any haters will be removed from the linky and will not be allowed to participate in the future!


Last Week:
197.5

This Week:

  198

STARTING WEIGHT: 211.6
LAST WEEK'S WEIGHT:199.5
CURRENT WEIGHT: 198
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN FROM LAST WEEK: +0.5lbs
 TOTAL LOSS/GAIN TO DATE: -13.6lbs
GOAL BY OCTOBER 7: 194



A half pound gain this week and I'm really ok with it. It's just about that time of month, I switched to a new bc pill and I was sick this week, which means no exercise. So really, I'm surprised that I didn't gain more than a half pound!




Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Cool Baby

She found her old pacifier & sunglasses the other day. She kept saying "I Cool"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's all about the monkeys....

On the 4th, we took M to the Philadelphia zoo for the first time in the last few months (mostly because it's been way too hot to walk around). Every time we go, the monkeys are always her favorite. And this time was no different. She just started calling me Mommy last week, but for the longest time she was calling me "MeMe" or "Muhmah". What did she call the monkeys this time around? "Mommy". Go figure.


She loves the gorillas

Our first time on the zoo's carousel
This guy was so cool looking!




Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weekly Weigh In - Week 15




How Do I Participate:
  1. Write a Blog Post. Somewhere in it you MUST post the 'Weekly Weigh-In' Button and your weight. (a picture is recommend NOT required)
  2. Link up using the McLinky below (Please link to your actual Weekly Weigh-In post, NOT your main blog page) 
  3. Become a follower of this blog and at least 1 other blog listed on the linky. Visit them and show your support. Congratulate them on their weight-loss and encourage them when they are struggling! Be sure to return the favor if someone visits/follows you.
**No nasty comments! This is a fun support group of women (and men) on a weight-loss journey! Any haters will be removed from the linky and will not be allowed to participate in the future!






Last Week:
199.5

This Week:

  197.5

STARTING WEIGHT: 211.6
LAST WEEK'S WEIGHT:199.5
CURRENT WEIGHT: 197.5
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN FROM LAST WEEK: -2.0lbs
 TOTAL LOSS/GAIN TO DATE: -14.1lbs
GOAL BY OCTOBER 7: 194








Woohoo, another 2 lbs! Now I'm back down to where I was 2 weeks ago and I'm definitely ok with that. We walked the mall for 4 hours last weekend and I only slipped up with eating twice this week. I remembered to do some weight lifting most days, too.

Only 3.5lbs to make my October goal and 3 weeks to do it in. I can do this!













Thursday, September 9, 2010

Weekly Weigh In - Week 14





How Do I Participate:
  1. Write a Blog Post. Somewhere in it you MUST post the 'Weekly Weigh-In' Button and your weight. (a picture is recommend NOT required)
  2. Link up using the McLinky below (Please link to your actual Weekly Weigh-In post, NOT your main blog page) 
  3. Become a follower of this blog and at least 1 other blog listed on the linky. Visit them and show your support. Congratulate them on their weight-loss and encourage them when they are struggling! Be sure to return the favor if someone visits/follows you.
**No nasty comments! This is a fun support group of women (and men) on a weight-loss journey! Any haters will be removed from the linky and will not be allowed to participate in the future!






Last Week:
201.5

This Week:

  199.5

STARTING WEIGHT: 211.6
LAST WEEK'S WEIGHT: 201.5
CURRENT WEIGHT: 199.5
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN FROM LAST WEEK: -2.0lbs
 TOTAL LOSS/GAIN TO DATE: -12.1lbs
GOAL BY OCTOBER 7: 194





I did better this week. I was determined to get back under 200, so I was more careful about what I ate (though we did get a lot of soup from Panera this week). We also walked around the zoo for a few hours, so I'm sure that helped. Hopefully I'll lose that other 2lbs this upcoming week to get back down to where I was at the end of August.







Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weekly Weigh In - Week 13


How Do I Participate:
  1. Write a Blog Post. Somewhere in it you MUST post the 'Weekly Weigh-In' Button and your weight. (a picture is recommend NOT required)
  2. Link up using the McLinky below (Please link to your actual Weekly Weigh-In post, NOT your main blog page) 
  3. Become a follower of this blog and at least 1 other blog listed on the linky. Visit them and show your support. Congratulate them on their weight-loss and encourage them when they are struggling! Be sure to return the favor if someone visits/follows you.
**No nasty comments! This is a fun support group of women (and men) on a weight-loss journey! Any haters will be removed from the linky and will not be allowed to participate in the future!



Last Week:
197.5

This Week:

  201.5

STARTING WEIGHT: 211.6
LAST WEEK'S WEIGHT: 197.5
CURRENT WEIGHT: 201.5
TOTAL LOSS/GAIN FROM LAST WEEK: +4.0lbs
 TOTAL LOSS/GAIN TO DATE: -10.1lbs
GOAL BY OCTOBER 7: 194


This week was a really bad week for me. Work has been stressing me out - my boss has been making me incredibly angry and I'm pissed that I'm supposed to babysit one of my co-workers who's been with the company much longer than I have. Plus, we went to visit J's family to celebrate his mom & sister's birthdays and, of course, we went out to eat. 
So... I ate... a lot. I'm going to try to do better for next week.



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jobs

I lucked out with my current job. I found it less than a month after I graduated from MSU. Full-time with benefits. The dream job for any new college grad. It's been a little over 2 years and I'm still there, but I've hit a wall... Do I really want to stay there? Do I really want to work at this company for the rest of my life? The simple answer... no. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad job. It's just not what I expected myself to do. And more recently, I've begun to hate some parts of my job. I come home depressed or angry. I only get to see my daughter for about 3 hours a day... and most of that time is spent cooking or putting her to bed.
But I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to hate my job. I'm lucky. Most people I graduated with 2 years ago have yet to find jobs, especially full time ones with benefits. I should appreciate my job. I should be glad that I'm there. But I'm not. My degree is in French & German and here I am working with unappreciative or stupid (not all, but a good handful) school district employees. I want to be doing something I love. I'd rather go back to working at a bookstore. At least that was interesting. Something I enjoyed.

Am I wrong to want something more? Should I just sit there and be appreciative that I have a job is this market? I am glad that I have a job. I just wish that it were something more....