Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding time for fitness

As all mothers know trying to find time to work out when you have a little one is very difficult if not impossible. However, determined to lose all the weight I gained before pregnancy plus the weight I gained during I desperately searched for time and have finally found a routine that works. First I will say that Jack and I are absolutely blessed as Mariah usually sleeps from 10:00pm-6:30am; so I know that this is a little easier as I am getting an amazing amount of sleep for a new mommy. Having Jack is also a huge benefit since he is willing to take care of her while I work on my fitness.

I start out my days by waking up at 5:00am to begin my morning workout. I have several cardio routines to choose from to keep me from getting bored by doing the same thing everyday. I think this is really important as many times I have failed because I just got sick of what I was doing.

Cardio Routine 1:

Tae-Bo: As stated in my previous post I love me some tae-bo. It is such a good work out, you can really feel it in your muscles. I also have several different DVD's so I can change it up when I want.

Cardio Routine 2:

Zumba: I usually go with zumba when I really don't want to work out. It's is super fun so the time passes fast and it's still a really good workout.

Cardio Routine 3:

Couch to 5k: My friend Megan told me about something called couch to 5k, which is a 5 week program that  helps you build the strength to run a 5k. As I'm not a runner at all in anyway I was extremely curious. I looked it up and it seemed pretty easy or at least doable. You start off the first week with a 5 minute warm up walk then you run for 60 seconds followed by walking for 90 sec., you continue this pattern running for 60sec walking for 90sec for 20-30 minutes. You do the routine 3 days a week and each week is more intense than the last. I tried it this morning and I really loved it. I love being outside to work out especially that early because you get to see the sunrise. So I am really excited about this one.
You can google this and there is also an app!

Cardio Routine 4:

Lauren's Workout: This one I made up, obviously. It's a 20-40 minute routine depending on how many times you want to repeat it. I've been doing this every night after dinner. It only takes 20 minutes and I can do it while I watch TV!

  • Run in place for 5 minutes
  • As many push ups as you can (I can only do 5 currently)
  • 40 crunches (preferably on a stability ball if you have one if not regular ones work too!)
  • 30 Oblique V crunches on each side: Description below
  • 15 second plank (or as long as you can hold)
  • 25 lunges
  • 25 Russian Twists

  • Run in place for 5 minutes.

Each one of these workouts burns about 300 calories every 30 minutes. They are all pretty easy to do and I have found them all to be pretty entertaining. Lauren's workout is really good for when you're on your own with the baby because you can easily stop if they start to cry. If I'm doing it during the days I'm home I usually start it when Mariah has gone down for a nap and do it until she wakes up.

I really need to post some before pictures soon as I have already started losing some weight. I've lost 3lbs since Sunday! To be honest though I'm very nervous about putting any pictures of my body online as it's not so pretty at the moment. Soon I will have courage though.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Crescent Chicken

I Made the most delicious meal for dinner tonight; crescent rolls stuffed with chicken, and asparagus with dijon vinegar sauce. I found the recipe for the chicken rolls on and the asparagus on Pinterest. Per usual I changed the recipe for both around a little bit.

The chicken rolls were absolutely amazing, I stuffed them with cream cheese, parmesan cheese, red peppers, chicken and celery. Here's how to make them!

  • 2 cups cubed and cooked chicken
  • Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • 3 tbls softened reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 tbls butter
  • 2 tbls milk
  • chopped red pepper
  • chopped yellow onion
  • chopped celery
  • 1 pkg of crescent rolls (6 rolls)
Mix the cream cheese, butter, milk, and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Saute the chicken with 1 tbls of vegetable oil until fully cooked. Combine the chicken, red pepper, onion, and celery with the cream cheese mixture. Roll out the crescent dough and separate the 6 triangles. Put the filling in the center of the triangle and fold up the 3 corners and seal the ends. Put the sandwiches on a greased cookie sheet and bake them at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

The asparagus is really easy to make.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbls red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1lb asparagus
Saute the asparagus until fully cooked. While it's cooking whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and oil. When done drizzle the mixture on top of the asparagus and voila!

Both of these meals are super easy and super healthy!

Crescent Chicken - One sandwich
  • 285 calories
  • 16 g of fat
  • 1 g of fiber
  • 17 g of carbs
Asparagus - One serving
  • 83 calories
  • 7 g of fat
  • 2 g of fiber
  • 4 g of carbs

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Let's Get Physical!

For Valentine's Day my wonderful boyfriend bought me the Polar Fit calorie tracker watch I've been dying for since last year. I think it's kind of a hilarious present for Valentine's Day, but so thoughtful. He secretly saved money and bought it for me so it was a complete surprise. I absolutely love it! It's pretty easy to use and so much fun. It does exactly what I was hoping it would, encourage me to keep going when I feel like giving up. Every time I look down at how many calories I've burned I think "oh I can burn so much more!". I haven't used it for one of my intense workouts, but I used it today during my Pinterest workouts and cleaning the house. 

I was also excited to see running in place surprisingly burns a lot of calories. I unfortunately can't get to the gym that often and don't have a jogging stroller for Mariah so my opportunity to go on runs is very limited (not that I'm a fan I actually hate running, buuuuut it's a really good workout so I've been wanting to get into it) I like running in place, because I can do it while watching TV and next to Mariah.

Tonight Grandma is taking the Little Boo so Daddy and I can go out to eat. I'm super excited, we're going to go out for tacos and margaritas!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day!

So I'm not going to lie I thought it was absolutely stinking adorable that my daycare made this little treasure with Mariah. It officially made this Valentine's Day the best I've ever had. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Valentines Day; I mean it's cute and all but I don't really expect any gifts from Jack. He did, however, surprise me with flowers and chocolate covered strawberries for lunch despite me telling him I didn't want anything. While I do love getting a nice bouquet of flowers from a special floral shop I think $50 is just way too much money at a time where we need to be saving for so many other things. He kept it minimal and just picked up some from the grocery store knowing that I would've thrown a hissy fit.

As a Valentine's Present do you guys here are some funny photos I found amongst the interwebs!

funny pictures

It was Him:
funny pictures

For Amanda and Tessa:

More frequently than I'd like to admit
funny pictures

"Lindsay supports the second amendment"
funny pictures

funny pictures

A Gentle Touch

Get Started on the Right Foot

I Don't Think This Kid is Licensed to Practice Medicine

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Saving money on your groceries.

Hannaford homepage 

So I am so excited to share with you guys that I officially saved some money grocery shopping. It took me some time to get it all together, but definitely worth it. I went online to my grocery stores website and looked at their weekly flyer; I also went to and printed off some coupons. Based on what was on sale and the coupons available I created a menu for the week. I made my shopping list on, printed it out, and wrote down the prices for all the items. Since I had to go to wal-mart to pick up a couple of things I took the list with me and compared all the prices. If an item was cheaper, even if it was just a penny I purchased the item there. Doing this saved me $5.23, which doesn't seem like that much but $5.23 a week is equivalent to $272 a year! That's not all either the coupons I printed out saved me an additional $9.00 and buying the items on sale saved me another $5. In total I saved $19.23, if I saved that every week that's $77 a month  or $999 a year! Totally worth the extra time. I spent a total of $109 on my groceries for the week only $9 more than my budget goal. Needless to say I am very proud of myself.

If your local grocery store has an online website where you can create lists I highly recommend doing this. If you live in Maine both Hannaford and Shaws have this option. Their weekly flyers are on their website as well as the coupons from I want to point out that with the coupons I used I didn't need to buy any extra items. I know a lot of times coupons will say $1 off of 3, the ones I printed were not like this. For example I had one that was $1 off any garnier shampoo, conditioner, or hair product. I already use garnier so I was going to buy it anyway.

Also, I'm so excited because I got my new kicks in the mail today. I was in dire need, the last time I bought tennis shoes was years and years ago. I found these on sale $64 down from $80!

I am so obsessed with them. They are such fun colors and are super comfortable.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Quitting Smoking

I started smoking cigarettes when I was 18 and I won't lie I absolutely loved it. I wasn't just addicted to the nicotine I was extremely addicted to the actual habit of smoking. My favorite part about it was the slight break from the day just going out for a quick break sitting outside with just me and my thoughts, I loved it. When I found out I was pregnant I immediately knew I had to quit smoking. This was very hard for me, but I did manage to do it and I was really proud of myself. When you quit smoking there are obviously a hole mess of invisible benefits such as you will be healthier, your life expectancy goes up, your risk of 101 diseases goes down, etc. etc. The visible benefits, however, are so incredibly exciting and it wasn't until just recently that I started noticing them.

The First thing I noticed was obviously our bank account, it wasn't dropping every single day. There would be days where it hardly seemed to change. Jack and I were smoking together about a pack and half a day which is equivalent tp $10.50 a day. Right away we are saving $320 a month a little over $3,800 a year!

The second thing I noticed and loved was the fact that I no longer smelt like cigarettes. I went crazy over the fact that I didn't have to douse myself in perfume 1800 times a day.

The third thing I noticed was my absolute favorite and this one took me the longest to figure out. Before I got pregnant I would do my tae-bo workouts and after 15 minutes I would be completely out of breath and wouldn't be able to do it for much longer. Running was completely out of the question, I'd run for about 5 minutes and want to collapse. When I started doing tae-bo again I expected to be out of breath after 20 minutes and planned on only doing it for that long. I was shocked to find that I made it through the entire video without gasping for air. It honestly took me a couple work outs to realize Duh! Lauren you're not smoking anymore. This was such an amazing feeling I can't even explain. I immediately wanted to run all over town and do everything that would normally leaving me desperately out of breath.

Another one of my favorite things about not being a smoker any more is not having people stare at me like I'm punching kittens. Non-smokers are sometimes really brutal to smokers, I've had so many vicious comments said to me. It was honestly so annoying and I am so glad I don't have to deal with it any more.

I wish I had some good advice for anybody who may be trying to quit, but to be honest I don't. I fought it tooth and nail and had such a hard time with it. Honestly, I wouldn't have been able to do it if it wasn't for Jack pushing me and of course being pregnant with my daughter. My only suggestion is to not wait until you're pregnant to quit, because that made it so much harder. Having my crazy hormones and being super emotional from pregnancy was NOT easy.

P.S I'm pretty sure my daughter is a snow queen. I went into labor during a horrible snow storm then she decided she wasn't coming and the storm stopped for a day. Sure enough it started again the next day and she was born. Now, we're having the worst blizzard in history, coincidence? I think not.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Meal Planning

I am absolutely loving my pantry list that I created, yesterday I decided to finish it by going through my fridge. I wish I had gotten a before and after picture, but to be honest I started to go through the items in my freezer and the next thing I knew my entire refrigerator was clean. I just want to point out that the entire thing was filled to the gills with guck and spilled stuff everywhere and now it looks like this:

The bottom shelf of my fridge only had two things on it. I was absolutely amazed at how little edible food was actually in there, ESP my freezer. I felt so horrible throwing away that much food, it encouraged me to never make that mistake again. Getting the fridge clean really helped me figure out exactly what food needed to be eaten and helped me create recipes for the rest of the week based on this, saving me money and helping me not waste any more food!

I also discovered an awesome recipe site in the process of all this. I am absolutely obsessed. She has so many wonderful recipes, I wasn't even aware but I've already used two of them! She has a skinny version of every single recipe you can imagine and so far the ones I have tried are fantastic.
Also I've started slightly couponing again. I used to clip them out of the newspaper, but I wasn't a huge fan unless you're super into it it's kind of hard to save any actual money. is a great alternative to the standard clipping. They have tons and tons of coupons online that are actually useful. Most of their coupons are certain amounts off of ONE item, which I love because I hate buying more than one I almost always throw the second one away. They also have tons of coupons on items you actually want to buy such as garnier shampoos and yoplait yogurts. I already have some saved for my next grocery list and it's going to save me $15 and I needed everything on the list!

I'm getting super excited to continue on my meal planning roll. Now that Jack and I are really getting into our budget and diet I find it more than necessary. Our goal is to spend less than $100 on groceries next week, let's see if we can do it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Zumba Vs. Tae-Bo

First I want to say how proud of myself I am; today I got up and was planning on doing just 20 minutes of tae-bo and accidentally completed the full 40 minute video. I haven't been able to do that video since months before I even got pregnant. I guess carrying around 8lbs strengthens your muscles a little bit.

So anyways for those of you who follow me on facebook you would have noticed that I've been recently trying my new zumba DVD's that I got for Christmas. For those of you who have known me for awhile you also know that I have always been a die hard tae-bo fan. Here is my take on the two: Caution I may be a little biased because I have been doing tae-bo for 11 years and have only just started out with Zumba.

I'll start off with Zumba because I just started it. First off I love it, it's so much fun to do you hardly notice the time passing by. It's definitely a fast paced workout that has you shaking and moving the entire time. One thing I don't like about it is that I don't really feel it in my muscles very much. After about 20 minutes I'm completely worn out, but I don't hurt in the morning. Now this could absolutely be that I'm just not good enough at it yet and that I'm only on the first video. So as I get better we will see.

Tae-Bo I love it and for some one who has lost 50lbs by doing it before I am a huge believer that it actually works. It is not as fun as Zumba not even close. However, the biggest difference is with tae-bo you can feel every muscle working. It's not nearly as fast paced as zumba and there are a lot of breaks, but your muscles get tired very fast. You will definitely hurt in the morning after tae-bo. There are also a lot of different tae-bo tapes all of them are very good. I am currently using tae-bo amped, I believe that this one is the best out of all for a very good muscle strengthening work out. Adding the bar makes a huge difference to the workout. I also really like Tae-Bo Celebrity Fit; this tape is more fast paced and will wear you out while also wearing your muscles out.

That's my take on the two, I think they are both really awesome workouts but have their own pluses and minuses. I think I like having both, because if I wake up and am in the mood for a really hardcore good workout I can do tae-bo, but if I wake up and am really not in the mood to work out I can do Zumba because it's so much more fun and still an awesome work out.

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Projects

I realized yesterday that I only wrote one post last week! My sincerest apologies, this was the first week in months that I felt good enough to actually get up and do things so I tried to keep as active as possible. I unfortunately have not been keeping up with my organization duties and really need to get going on that. Since I'm still on maternity leave we have been trying to watch every penny and not spend money on things that aren't necessities (for the most part). This sadly means that I haven't been able to buy things that I want for my organization projects, because of this I've noticed the clutter in my house is getting out of control.

Remember my beautiful desk my boss made me that I swore I would keep organized and clean?? Yup that did not happen. It quickly turned into the spot where Jack and I threw the mail, pens, markers, important papers, etc. YAY Us!

I did manage to buy a letter organizer, however, we haven't been using it. This is my first project that I'm going to work on as soon as I start working again and we have extra cashola. I did buy some cute file folders at wal-mart and one drawer organizer to get started. So *fingers crossed* you should see an "After" picture pretty soon. 

I'm realizing more and more that I am just not as organized and neat as I thought I was or thought I could be, I have a very hard time keeping our house clean. So something Jack and I did come up with is a chore list to keep our house from becoming a complete disaster every week. My goal is to get a white board or chalkboard that lists the chores and we will check them off once they are complete, but for now we'll just have to remind each other. Some of the daily chores will include daily living room pick ups (we have a tendency to completely cover our coffee table with everything we can find) dishes, taking out the trash, and putting away the laundry.  Starting this weekend my mom is having Annie come over once a week to do little things here and there so that she can make some extra cash! I'm really hoping that these things will help keep my house clean on a more regular basis.

My BIGgest project is getting back into shape. I have gained 60lbs since I started dating Jack, including what I gained while pregnant with Mariah, and I am really not pleased with it.  I am dying to get back into shape and start eating healthy again, but to be honest I'm struggling a little okay let's be real a lot. I've started doing my zumba once a day, but I can really only do it for 20 minutes at a time for now because I haven't done cardio in so long. Starting this week I plan to go all out and create a health binder and fitness journal to motivate me. 

I know my blog entries have been very sporadic, but I'm hoping to get better and start some projects I actually finish. Here are some of the things I plan on doing in the very near future. 

  • More healthy recipes
  • The organization of my desk
  • diet/fitness journal
  • closet organization
  • cabinet organization
Keep an eye out and hopefully these will all be coming to you soon!