Midweek Randoms

Wahoo, it's Thursday! This week is flying by, thankfully
  • I'm currently decompressing a bit, since the Energizer Bunny, AKA the college president, will be in my office for several meetings I've arranged today. Thank goodness for caffeine!
  • I'm going to a Pampered Chef party this evening. I have my eye on a few things I want to check out, from viewing them online. Any must-haves? I currently have a citris peeler, the can opener and apple corer, and love them all.

  • Since I have plans this evening, I knew I should just get up and do my workout this morning. As one of my IG friends said "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Whew. My core is killing me but I've got that done for today. Just have to do 250 squats, 100 v ups and 200 freaking squat jumps.

  • I've told my friend hosting the party to give me "the look" if I'm over indulging.
  • It is SO COLD here, again. I'm ready for spring. Actually, I'm ready for weather in the 90s. And no, I won't complain when it is hot. Never do. We aren't experiencing snow this time, but it is in the forecast for next week. I'm hoping for Friday, so I get a birthday snow day.
  • I came across this on Pinterest the other day and like it. Actually, I love it.

  • For the first time in a few weeks, we have NO PLANS this weekend. Of course, Sunday will involve the Super Bowl/commercial watching, but I believe it will be done in the comfort of our home where I have a bit more control of the menu :)
That's all for now! Have a good Thursday and stay warm!

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Textbook savings!

Now that it's the beginning of the semester again, I'm sure a lot of college students are feeling the burn of paying for textbooks.

I always help with book checkout at the College where I work, and it makes me so sad to see students who don't qualify for student aid but also don't have $500 to spare try to figure out how they are going to buy their books.

That's why I love partnering with Campus Book Rentals to spread the good news.

By shopping through their website, students can save 40-90 percent off bookstore prices and get free shipping both ways. The renting periods are flexible, and students can even highlight in the texts!

Campus Book Rentals also donates to Operation Smile with every textbook rental. This is an international charity for children that heals children's smiths - offering safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with issues such as cleft lip and cleft palate. It's an awesome charity, and how great to be able to save money on textbooks AND know you have helped a child?

Right now, Campus Book Rentals has a new program call RentBack. It's cool because students can rent the books they own to other students - which typically more than doubles what they would make by selling their book back to their school at the end of the semester. Pretty awesome!

This video does a great job of explaining the program!

Most importantly, if you could maybe talk a little bit about both and our new program, RentBack (, that would be great!

RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they'd make through buyback options! (selling their books back at the end of the semester) Isn't that awesome?

My niece will be starting college this fall, and you better bet I'll be referring her on to Campus Book Rentals. I'm sure my in-laws will be appreciative as well!

This is a sponsored post, which I am being compensated for. However, all opinions are my own.
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Weekend wrap up

This weekend flew by and I can't believe it's already Monday. The last Monday of January at that. Say what?

When I got home from work on Friday, it was a pretty lazy night. I did my JM workout, but that was about it. Hubby and I finally carved out time to watch the two-hour season finale of Hostages and it was SO good.

Saturday morning I had to be on the road a little after 9 a.m. for a freelance job. Once I got back into town, hubs wanted me to meet him and little man at Lowe's to pick out some items for our basement bathroom. By the time we got home and ate a quick lunch, I felt exhasted and took a nap ... which meant no Saturday workout, because we had plans with friends that evening! We had some yummy Mexican food, a couple of beers and probably waaaay too many chips and salsa considering I'm on a diet, but it was great. We had a little grocery shopping to do and were so excited to go to Walmart kid-free. It's the little things. We knew we were old when we got home at 9:06 after a night out.

Since I skipped Saturday's workout and really indulged that evening, I told myself I had to do double time on Sunday. That morning, I did JM's 6 week 6 pack and the squat/bikini body challenge moves from the previous night. Following cleaning up and doing some work at the house, C and I went to a birthday party while daddy stayed home to keep working in the basement. Then once we got home and I helped J on a little project in the basement, I popped in the 30DS and cranked out Level 3, plus my squate and bikini body challenge for that day.

Whew! I was pretty exhausted last night and my abs still hurt, but that's good, right?

My squat and bikini body challenge wrap up on Thursday, and Saturday will be Day 30 of the JM challenge. I still haven't decided what to do in February! I'm leaning towards trying to get in treadmill time 3-4 days a week, alternating with DVDs that focus on arms and abs. I'm also contemplating a plank challenge. Suggestions?

When it comes to this week's menu, it's pretty easy. I made a big pot of chili yesterday, so that really simplifies things. Here's the plan:

Sunday: Chili, celery w/peanut butter
Monday: Chili, PB sandwiches
Tuesday: Baked chicken, potatoes, green beans
Wednesday: Chili
Thursday: I'll be at a Pampered Chef party, so I've planned for the boys to do burgers and fries
Friday: Pork chop bake (carry over from last week), corn
Saturday: Leftovers!

Have a good week, friends!

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Thursday thoughts

Baby, it's COLD outside. Polar vortex again? I am so, so ready for it to be warm again!

I got our DISH bill the other day and it was almost $10 more than last month. Crazy. I'll be calling today (if I remember) to see about cutting back or getting some sort of a discount, because the amount we pay for TV is rediculous. I have considered dropping down the the least expensive, basic package, and then just doing Netflix or Amazon Prime for things we'll be missing, like C's beloved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I'm getting REALLY sore from all the workouts, so long, hot baths have been a must! I'd love to have a glass of wine, but it's not worth the calories.

Earlier this week I went to the doctor for my annual physical/mole check. Yup, I am covered in moles so we check them out annually. Thankfully nothing needs to be removed right now, although we are monitoring a couple. However, I have one on the back of my neck that Cooper loves to play with/pick on, so we decided to go ahead and shave it off. Pretty easy and painless process, with only a tiny scab :)

How fun does this wine glass look?

I don't think I ever posted after C's doctors appt. last week, but he ended up having a double ear infection. Yikes. His first one, and it was in both ears. Thankfully the medicine worked very well and he was back to himself in no time!


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On losing weight

Last night, when updating IG with the day's progress on the #jmdvdchallenge I alluded to the fact that I would be SO much skinnier if I were a stay/work at home mom. And I was only half kidding. Y'all, I think my job is making me fat.

First I'm gonna back up a little bit as to why I need to lose weight and what my goal is.

Stepping on the scale on Jan. 2 and seeing the biggest number non-pregnant was a wake up call. Especially since my pants were fitting a big snug and with having a California trip in April. I decided then and there I not only wanted to lose the 10 lbs. I put on in the past year (approximately 5 betwen November and Jan. 2) but drop another 10 as well that I've been trying to get rid of for good four about four years. After that, we'll re-evaluate.

Thankfully, when I was needing motivation and encouragement, two wonderful things came my way. First, I caught whiff of a #jmdvdchallenge on Instagram. The premise is to do ANY Jillian Michaels DVD every day from Jan. 2 through Feb. 2. That's actually 32 days so it builds in two rest days. I've completed 18 days so far, some days adding in treadmill time as well. This is an amazing community of so many encouraging women, so I'm glad I've linked up. It keeps me motivated. About a week into the challenge, an IRL friend posted on Facebook about doing the Shred. She had so much interest, she formed a Facebook group for us girls, and it serves the same purpose. We are talking about, when the weather gets warming, meeting up for runs on weekends and doing a Color Run or something in our community together.

Back to the job making me fat part ... once I saw that number staring back at me two weeks ago, I asked "how did I get here?" And I realized it was a lot of little things. The sodas. The snacks. The catered or lunches on the run. I could go on and on and on. Unfortunately during part of break that carried over - I found myself eating iced sugar cookies for breakfast one day. Who does that?

I can actually tell you who does that. The woman who birthed a toddler and was back to pre-pregnancy weight one week postpartum. Who nursed for a full year and was able to eat two breakfasts and dinners the same size as her 200 lb. husband and still managed to take off another 5 lbs. Then she weaned and didn't adjust her food intake accordingly. Whoops.

My boys give great encouragement :)

So that's where I am. Since I opened my eyes while I was home, I made some big changes. Healthy breakfast, healthy lunch, and whatever I wanted for supper, as long as it was done in moderation. I had five days to do this. The great blessing of being home was that I didn't get "bored" of sitting at a desk and just automatically reach for a snack.

Since returning to work, I've had some temptations, but done pretty well overall, I believe. It's mostly about the prep work. I like to do oatmeal in the morning, but I am a slow eater and oatmeal takes forever. So I pour the oatmeal and sprinkle cinnamon in a container at night and add milk in the morning. Easy enough.

I've been sticking with protein-packed salads for lunch. I buy the bagged salad over the weekend, and also cook up a 3 lb. package of chicken in the crock pot and boil eggs. I go ahead and peel and wrap the eggs individually, so all I have to do the night before is put the egg and a chicken breast in a container, and dump the salad in another. Easy peasy. But I am getting a bit bored, so very open to ANY suggetions y'all have. Considering trying tuna on top of the salad instead.

Boiled eggs, peeled and wrapped up, ready for lunches!

For snacks, I'm keeping fruit on hand, and have oranges in my fridge at work. If I think I need a snack, I chug some water and walk to the front office or around the building for a bit before I give in. And like I said, I'm not really limiting my dinner because I don't want the boys to "suffer" from my weight loss nor do I want to feel really deprived, so I just try to include more healthy options and veggies and REALLY watch my portions.

Also, I'm chugging plenty of water. This week, I've been trying an infused water and love it. It's a lemon, lime, and half a cucumber mixed with water. I've been finishing off a gallon container each day and not only is it tasty, there are good benefits to having each type of fruit. The best part is that I'm doing all this at home and it costs me less than $1 - which I was surely spending on bottled water I consumed while at the office.

I finish off this gallon jug (sometimes more!) daily
I considered Friday a HUGE win. I had to be over in PB for a 7 a.m. mtg., which meant leaving the house at 5:30 a.m. We always have breakfast at the meeting, but it's not too healthy - so I mixed up a protein shake for the drive, then had fruit at the meeting. Yummy and healthy.

For workouts, I'm doing a JM DVD daily, and hubby and I are doing a squat challenge and 30 day challenge, both from Pinterest. Some days (like when I was still at home) I will throw in a walk on the treadmill as well.

So far, I'm down about 6 lbs. and thrilled. I'd love to see more than that, but I do see the difference in how my clothes fit (that muffin top is a lot smaller) and in my tone. My belly pooch is still there but A LOT smaller. It's rounding out and the stretch marks are even fading! I keep reminding myself muscle weighs more than fat.

A yummy salad with tomatoes, tuna fish and boiled egg white.
As opposed to year's past, I'm not going to do weekly check ins, just throughout. I did do before pictures for the JM DVD challenge and am considering posting them after. Maybe. We'll see. I'm still a tiny bit embarassed.

Now I want you to "weigh in" on your advice! What are some easy, healthy lunches? Ways to make healthier suppers without making the rest of the family feel deprived? How do you keep motivated? And what should my next workout/challenge be?

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Weekend wrap up

This was a great weekend. It flew by way too quickly, per the usual, so I'm glad to be off work today in observance of MLK day, to catch up on things around the house.

Friday I had to leave the house at 5:30 for a 7 a.m. meeting then spent the day on that campus for staff planning meetings, then a speaker of the house event that we hosted. By the time I got home just after 4, I was beat. I thought a quick nap would help, but I parked it on the couch for the night, only getting up to eat some soup and a PB&J sandwich. 

Saturday was jam-packed! Since I didn't work out on Friday and we had plans for the evening, I knew I needed to knock that out in the morning. Hubby and I did Level 2 of The Shred, then did two days of our squat and beach body challenge work outs, to make up for the day we had missed. After that, we went to get some hay and unload in our shed. After wolfing down an amazing lunch, I had to get to town to help greet attendees at a play being sponsored by the College, and pick up a few groceries that were on a killer sale. 

When I got home I had to rush, as we were to attend a banquet on behalf of the College, an hour drive. Plus my parents were keeping Cooper for the night, which added to the drive. We had a ton of fun at the event, which included an open bar :) Since we were kid-free and got back into town around 10:30, we decided to drop in at Applebees for half-price appetizers. It was totally my cheat day. 

Yesterday, we decided to tackle some house projects since Cooper was with my parents, and they offered to keep him for the day and also grilled for us for supper! Once we got home we had a few other things to finish up downstairs, and little man loved playing with his toys again. 

Today I'm finishing up laundry and cleaning around the house. Oh, and I have a doctors appt. in a bit, as a well check and to take a look at a couple of moles. 

I'm keeping up on menu planning because it helps me SO MUCH. I got the essentials at the store yesterday and just sat down to make up the menu and only need two items from the store. Win!

Sunday: Dinner w/Mom & Dad
Monday: Beef stroganoff over noodles; green beans
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Salmon, rice, salad
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pork Chop bake; corn
Saturday: Leftovers

Have a great week!

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Man oh man

It's been a week.

To start out, it's our first week of classes. So things at work are ca-razy. Not to mention that one of our employees here took off Monday-Wednesday (usually not allowed and she is in a leadership role. ) Not talking about my feelings on that.

So anyhow ... my hyena of a two year old decides that Monday night he doesn't want to sleep and proceeds to come in our room approximately every 1.5 hours, giggle and climb into bed with us. Not cool. And not happening, Cooper Michael. Daddy and I will not have kids in our bed.

Fast forward to noon Tuesday and I get a call from the babysitter thatn he has a fever. Thank God she isn't licensed because She didn't make me pick him up, but wanted the OK to give him some Motrin.

Last night the hyena acts just fine. But we wanted to keep up the Tylenol/Motrin and didn't have Motrin, so at 8 p.m. I'm heading to Walmart (post workout so probably a great People of Walmart shot right there) for Motrin. Get there and realize I don't have my holder with my credit/debit cards and have a minor freak out. Have my checkbook and they let me use that, even though I don't have an ID.

Get home, tear apart my car, purse, everything and STILL can't find the cards. Panic attack. Last remember using it on Saturday night (no spending here) and likely having it at the movies. Thankfully there aren't any charges on any cards, so I quickly call the movie theatre.

THANKFULLY, a theatre employee found it while cleaning and it's locked up in lost & found. So thankful for good & honest people. So now I'm just hanging out, driving around with no license. Whoops. (And wondering if I need to get new cards?)

Oh and then last night the hyena sleeps until 4:30 then decides it's time to party (guess we should have woke him up for that next dose of meds after all). So now I'm cranky, anxiety-ridden and exhausted.

My mom is pretty convinced Super Cooper has an ear infection because she said I did the exact same thing when I had them - not sleep, run fever, but generally act OK. So in the midst of the craziness at work (my lunch break the two days earlier this week consisted of wolfing down a salad while at my desk) I will be taking him to the doctor today. Momma needs some sleep.

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Happy birthday, hubby!

Today is my hubby's birthday. Unfortunately, it's another nasty day with semi-slippery roads and he has to drive in the mess :( Why isn't there some sort of standard that you get your birthday off work every year?

Thankfully, due to the road conditions, my work had a two-hour delay today, so I was able to stay in bed and cuddle (along with the Mister who decided to join us at 6 a.m.!) then prepare him a yummy breakfast of coffee, a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on toast, and a hashbrown. And we can't forget the yummy birthday cake oreos Cooper got for his daddy and they had to have this morning.

With every year that passes, I love this man more & more. The saying that seeing your partner as a parent makes you love them more is true - and even that love grows & grows as you get to see them really interact with your child.

I know that Cooper looks up to his daddy soooooo much, and I'm glad that hubby sets a good example for our little boy. If we ever have a girl, I am confident that she will be daddy's little princess and have him wrapped around her finger.

We have a very low-key night planned. I'm just going to do burgers & fries (J's favorite) for dinner, along with a homemade birthday cake. On Saturday night, we are planning to go out for a nice steak dinner and then maybe the casino or something else. Nothing big this year, but that's the way we like it!



Seriously ...

Back at work today! Double digits temperatures today.

Took until 3 p.m. to get on the Internet. Not joking.I hated seeing this image.

Most of my databases, etc. are web-based ... so it was low-key. Other than answering phones and telling students we can't check out books or advise them. Seriously.

So I did a bunch of cleaning and purging. My trash bin is overflowing :) I can continue filling up a trash bag a day even though I'm no longer doing it at home.



Snow day!

So after a lovely two-week Christmas break, my time off has been extended with a snow day today. Really, I think it's more like an ice day, as we {thankfully} didn't get near the accumulation that was predicted. Hubby, of course, had to work today but said the roads are more patchy than anything. It's just in the single digits with negative wind chills, so I'm glad to keep my booty in the warm house today.

Even if I'm with the two-year-old dictator. And the day will be filled with Lightning McQueen and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I've already done the Hot Dog Dance twice.

What kinda stinks is that when I'm home like this I LOVE to bake. But baking and dieting don't really go well together. I think I'll post more on my weight loss goals later this week.

Our weekend was very low key :) I spent Saturday primarily working in the kitchen and decluttering/organizing the laundry room and pantry. I had hubby move out the washer/dryer so I could sweep/mop up the inch of nasty lint, and then he insisted on leveling them. Boys will be boys :)

That evening we had to run some errands so the boys decided to be twinks.

Sunday we did a lot of work in the basement. I am so sick of it being ripped to the studs, so while I organized, hubs got some things lined out and ran to Lowes for supplies. I'm hoping we can dedicate several weekends to getting work done down there, because I hate it being such a mess.

With it being so cold, I thought it was the perfect time to make a big 'ole pot of chili {and would be some good, easy suppers with me heading back to the office this week.} So we chowed that down for supper, but were really good with our portions, since we are both on diets and working out right now.

With that being said, I won't have to worry too much about cooking the rest of the week! But here is my menu plan:

Sunday: Chili, peanut butter sandwiches
Monday: Leftover round steak, mashed potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Chili, peanut butter sandwiches
Wednesday: Frito pies
Thursday: TBD. It's J's birthday so I'm going to let him choose what he'd like.
Friday: Chili dogs and tater tots.
Satuday: Out for J's birthday. Our niece is watching C so we'll probably just get them a pizza.

How cold is it where you are? Happy Monday!


Hello, 2014!

It's hard to believe that another year is here already! Our family had an amazing Christmas, and I've been off work for two weeks. This week, C's daycare was open so I've had some great "me" time and a chance to do long-neglected projects like clean out closets and do a lot of purging {which now has me questioning whether to do yard sale or try consignment}.

Anyhow, right now, like many of you, I am focusing on the year ahead and trying to become a better me. I definitely need to lose the 10 lbs. I've put on in the last year {ugh} , save more money, and all the big, usual resolutions. 

But I want it to be more than that. I want it to extend to ALL aspects of my life. So, copying off some of my fellow bloggers/IG friends, I've decided instead to choose a word for 2014. 


While thinking about my goals, it kept coming back to the fact that I have so much on my plate. I make excuses for eating like crap because of how busy I am, and in turn make excuses not to work out. I make excuses for a messy house rather than getting off my duff, and encouraging my husband to do the same. Unfortunately, while a messy house may be OK, my lack of focus, at times, causes things to fall to the wayside.

This year, I will be focused on, and give 100 percent of my energy, to the task at hand. I will do some sort of exercise every day. I will clean up the kitchen and living room at night. I will be a better wife, mom, and employee.

I'm very excited about 2014. We don't have any huge plans for the year --- it's more of a posturing for some very big plans we have for 2015 --- but it's important as we will be getting things in line for next year.

What are your resolutions or words for 2014?

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