*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Favorite Homeschool Time Saver

With the start of a new homeschool year right around the corner, I thought I'd share one of my favorite homeschool time-savers.  I don't remember exactly where I saw this first pictured, but I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to implement it in our homeschooling.  It has been the biggest time-saver.

I created it last year, and I've already got it stocked and ready for this year.

Now, let me explain what it is...

I started with a hanging file folder box (this one just happened to be sitting in a closet leftover from my Norwex selling days).  I then added one hanging file folder for every month of our school year (August-June).  After that, I added one file folder for every week of our school year (Week 1-36).  I then put the weeks in the corresponding month folder.  ***If you're not a planner, then this may not seem like an ideal time-saver for you; however, I am very anal and very much a planner.  Being a former school teacher, it's also my nature to write out lesson plans.  Yes, I've already written my plans for the entire year.  Granted, I know life throws curveballs, and some stuff may not get done, and I'm okay with that.  I typically check stuff off in my planner as it gets done.  That way, I know from day-to-day, week-to-week, what may need to be covered or completed.***

Once you've got your weeks and months separated, it's then time to gather all the necessary worksheets, books, and other materials to go into the folders.  If I really wanted to be super organized, I'd have a separate system for each boy.  But -- I'm not there yet.  LOL!  If you take the time to do this at the beginning of the year, it'll save so much time each month, week, day.  Everything you need that's "extra" is right there in the folder.  All you have to do is pull out the corresponding week's folder, grab the material, and off you go.  Like I said, I used this last year and our days ran so much smoother.  I wasn't looking for materials at the last minute, making copies of worksheets, finding math quizzes, etc...it was all right there in the week's folder waiting for me.

I hope you give this time-saver a shot...if so, let me know how much you like it and how useful you find it.  I'm guessing you'll love it as much as I do.  Oh, and I'm going to venture to say that some of you public/private school teachers out there may find this just as useful.  Happy homeschooling!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trim Healthy Mama Week 12 in Review

As you all know, I've been following the Trim Healthy Mama plan for 12 weeks. For me, personally, it's time to take a step back and become more relaxed with it. I'm not throwing in the towel, going back to sugar, white flours, potatoes, and rice. However, I'm going to stop my weekly blog posts. I'm also going to stop weighing in daily (something I never really did...I didn't even weigh daily at the beginning of this). I'm hoping I can discipline myself to weigh in once a month and take measurements once a month. I know the plan works, and it's a great one that can be maintained for life because you can always start over in three hours. However, I feel it has consumed my life. I've journaled everything I've eaten, taken pictures, blogged about it, posted it to Facebook and Instagram, etc. I don't want THM to consume me or my life. I'm not stopping, but I'm not going to write it all down, take pictures, post about it, etc. I'll post once a month check-ins on my blog just to keep myself accountable.
Like I told my husband, as long as my clothes fit better, and I'm able to buy smaller sizes when needed, and feel better...then that's really what matters. The number on the scale is really just that...a number. It should never own or define me. I look and feel better than I did 12 weeks ago, and I can fit into a size or two smaller (depending on the brand, style, etc). But again, that is not going to define me. I don't want to become so neurotic and obsessed by this that I forget to live and enjoy life.
If I want to have a French fry or two while eating out, I will. If I want a slice of bread while eating out, I'll enjoy it. If my hubby brings me home a Snicker, I'll eat it. However, I'm not going to gorge on French fries, bread, or off plan treats. But -- I don't want to fret if I do have one on occasion. The beauty of THM is that you can always start over in 3 hours (the time it takes your body to burn fuels between meals).
I also know that by continuing to add in exercise, my body is going to react differently. The number on the scale may go up, stay the same, or go down. My measurements may shift, increase, etc. So, with that in mind, it's just not going to be wise to continue in the same way I was earlier in the plan. I may also need to consume more calories because I'm burning more (an area where I will struggle I know).
It seems that this week has really pushed me into a different perspective. We celebrated our 15th anniversary, a holiday, and our oldest son's 12th birthday. While I think I did okay, I know I wasn't completely on plan. I stumbled and slipped a few times. I did make conscious efforts to try to stay on plan, but I also made conscious efforts to consume some off plan treats, too. The fact that I'm going to Georgia for a week on Saturday helps, too, because I can't weigh myself; I won't blog about my meals; I will not be eating fully on plan due to travel and hotel stays; etc. So, it seems that now is the perfect time to make the transition to a less structured approach.
I know the premise of THM, which is not to combine my fuels, and I know to watch my portion sizes. There's no way I can continue eating the way I did prior to THM and expect to see results...it's that simple.
Over the course of the past 12 weeks, I've made some very positive changes. I've eliminated most sugar from my diet, and I'm very conscious of nutrition labels, ingredients, and types of fuels (carbs, proteins, etc) and their effects on the body. I've also eliminated white processed flours from my diet...no more white flour, white rice, starchy potatoes, etc. I've replaced those with sprouted flours, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes (although I haven't eaten any, I know it's a replacement for white starchy potatoes), etc. I've learned to bake with coconut flour, almond flour, flax meal, etc. I've also learned how to use sugar substitutes like Stevia, Erythritol, Just Like Sugar, etc. I have learned to enjoy my unsweet tea sweetened with the aforementioned sugar substitutes, and I've learned to enjoy Zevia as a soda replacement. I've come to enjoy Lily's Chocolates as a replacement for Snickers, Twix, etc. Exercise has also become a part of life...granted, I'm not as disciplined as I'd like to be, but I'm definitely moving more than I did 12 weeks ago. Finally, I am very conscious of every bite that goes into my body, and I try to make wise choices. I'm not perfect, and I never will be; however, I'm trying, learning, and growing (not physically though thankfully) daily through this process.  

So, with all of this said, there will be no scale results or inches lost this week. I'm still keeping up with my results, and I may include them when I post monthly, but I'm not going to promise that. While I've enjoyed sharing those results, I again, don't want to feel like they consume or define me.
Anyway, I have to do this for me. I am a believer of THM, and I'm very pleased with the pounds and inches I've lost over the past 12 weeks. However, it's time to live life as a THM, as opposed to letting THM be my life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Trim Healthy Mama Week 11 in Review

Here we are at week 11 on Trim Healthy Mama (THM)...to top the end of this week off, today is also our 15th wedding anniversary...15 years ago, I married my best friend.  Wow, time sure has flown.

Here's what I ate during this past week (you'll notice less pictures, and that's because I ate the same thing for several days or it's something I've posted many times before)...

Week 11 meals
Day One
Breakfast -- 2 blueberry muffins, bacon, eggs w/cheese (S)
Lunch -- hot turkey and cheese; 000 yogurt with a cutie (E)
Snack -- 2 blueberry muffins with coffee (S)
Supper -- Pizza quesadilla with a salad (S)
Day Two
Breakfast -- 2 blueberry muffins with bacon (S)
Lunch -- hot turkey and cheese with a peach (E)
Snack -- cashews, blueberry muffin, coffee (S)
Supper -- pizza casserole with a salad (S)
Day Three
Breakfast -- 2 blueberry muffins, cheese eggs, bacon (S)
Lunch -- cheesecake smoothie (S)
Snack -- same as Day Two (S)
Supper -- same as Day Two (S)
Dessert -- cupcake with frosting (S)

Day Four
Breakfast -- same as Day Three (S)
Lunch -- hot turkey and cheese with a nectarine (E)
Snack -- cupcake with coffee (S)
Supper -- 2 fried eggs, bacon, blueberry muffin (S)

Day Five
Breakfast -- 2 blueberry muffins, bacon (S)
Lunch -- same as yesterday (E)
Snack -- 000 yogurt with apples (E)
Supper -- cheeseburger pie with salad (S)
Day Six
Breakfast -- bacon and eggs (S)
Lunch -- hot ham and cheese; 1/2 000 yogurt with a nectarine (E)
Snack -- cheesecake smoothie (S)
Supper -- same as Day Five (S)
Dessert -- cupcake (S)
Day Seven
Breakfast -- 3 THM pancakes smeared with cream cheese and Polaner spread; 1/2 000 yogurt with a cutie (E)
Lunch -- taco salad with a nectarine (E)
Snack -- cheesecake smoothie (S)
Supper -- 3 THM pancakes smeared with cream cheese and Polaner spread; 1/2 000 yogurt with a cutie (E)
Number of Each Meal Type
S -- 21
E -- 9

Scale Results
Week 1:  5.2 lbs
Week 2:  1.6 lbs
Week 3:  0.4 lbs
Week 4:  1.6 lbs
Week 5:  1.6 lbs
Week 6:  1 lb
Week 7:  1 lb
Week 8:  1.2 lbs
Week 9:  +0.2 lbs
Week 10:  2 lbs
Week 11:  1.8 lbs
TOTAL weight loss so far:  17.2 lbs

I'm really pleased with my results on THM, and I'm really proud of myself for sticking with this program.  The best thing is that this is something that I can implement for life...I'm not denying myself any food groups, either.  I'm also able to go out to eat and enjoy a good meal with my family. I try to stay on plan, but should I go off plan, the best part is that I can start again in 3 hours.  I'm really LOVING THM.  If you'd like to check out more on THM, please click through my affiliate link.  It doesn't affect your purchase, but it does offer me a small percentage for sharing my love of THM with you and keeping up with the blog.  Please ask me any questions in the comments...I love encouraging others who want to learn more or need some extra help.

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