Rainbow Cupcakes

I know, I know, these are not in part of the healthy plan right now.  But I forgot to post them on St. Patrick’s Day and they are too fun not to share.  I was soooo excited when I found the sour rainbow airheads!ImageThis is the inside of the cupcake, so cool.  Plus these are a total fake out, way easier to make than they appear.  ImageOk, enough food fantasies, time to get back to real life.

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Working on that Beach Bod

Alrighty, last week I was challenging myself and anyone else who’d like, to “Change It Up”.  I really put an effort into this challenge.  First of all,  I made the poor hubby do Max Insanity dvds twice.  The first one wasn’t too bad, 47 minutes and lots of sweat.  But the second workout was Max Cardio Circuit, 59 minutes of torture.  My daughter joined us for this workout and I couldn’t believe she stuck with it because I was dying.  We were all sweaty mush after that workout.  I was sore for 3 days!

Next change ups during the week, I walked to my daughter’s school twice, took the dog on a 5 mile wander, and did a marathon workout of cardio and resistance for 2.25 hours.  Totally things I don’t normally do, so I’m hoping I fooled my bod into releasing some of those lovely fatty stores.

So, since I’m a lazy bum and didn’t post til Wednesday, I was thinking my next challenge could either be very simple or very hard since there’s only 4 days left in the week, it could go either way.    Since Easter is this Sunday I think I’ll go with a food type challenge.  I challenge myself and anyone who would like to join in, to drink 8 oz of water before every snack and meal.  Not too hard, yet I never do it.  Now sounds like as good a time as ever.  I’ll get back to you on Monday about how this worked out.

And lastly, I have to post this fun pic of Freddie.  Here he is all mangy and surrounded by shoes.  He drags out shoes whenever we leave, it’s how he copes with being alone:).  He got a new haircut too, I’ll have to post it next time.

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Confessions of the Bottomless Pit

So I am doing great at my “Changing it Up” challenge for the week.  My workouts have all been different from the norm and definitely more intense.  This however has caused what I call, “The Bottomless Pit” effect.  This morning I ran a leisurely 5k with my little sugar muffin Val…

Here we are at the start.  Trying not to freeze our booties off.  It was only 27 degrees!  I am not a fan of “Spring” in Utah.

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This is after the race.  Finally warm and enjoying some chocolate milk.  This race would have been so great a week ago.  But since it decided to snow, it was cold, slippery, muddy, yucky.  There was also lots of duck doo since it was at a farm, ewww.  But at least we got our exercise.

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Val and her cousin Ash, chilling at the finish line.

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After we got home I decided to torch a few more calories on the treadmill by running another 5k.  This one was much more enjoyable since there was no animal poop to worry about.  I was feeling all good about my workout efforts and thought shopping would be an excellent reward.  Before I hop in the shower I eat some fruit and a granola bar.  My mom comes to pick us up and I was hungry before we even started shopping so I had to get a chicken sandwich.  Then after a couple hours I was starving again. “Ooo I have a coupon for $1 cheese pizza at Sbarro!” Pizza it is!  A couple more hours of shopping and lots of sour patch kids later, I have to go home.  My legs are so tired and I’m hungry…again.  So I’m at home, I have crackers, some clementines, a giant mug of herbal tea, a brownie, and 3/4 of a cupcake!  Someone shoot me now!  The only reason I didn’t finish the whole cupcake was because I finally came to my senses and tossed it.  Well, I’d like to say it ended there, but it didn’t.  I go to the local ice cream joint with the family and order a big basket of fries.  My hubs and Val get a ginormous sundae (seriously it should be outlawed).  So I eat fries and pick at some of the ice cream.  The whole time I’m thinking, why am I not full!  I get home and decide maybe I need vegetables.  I munch some baby carrots, and a whole wheat roll.  What is my deal?!! I drink a big glass of water and finally I think I’m starting to feel full…maybe.  I just need to brush my teeth and go to bed.  This day needs to end before I eat anything else.

Have you ever had a day like this?  I didn’t even post all my consumptions!  Because it was a little this here and little this there and it would take all night to remember it all.  So as good as I have been at burning lots of calories everyday, I have also been eating waaaay too many.  I need a plan of attack.  A plan to attack “Bottomless Pit Girl”.  The plan starts with getting out the food tracker, again, and writing foods down before I eat them.  Next, more water, more veggies, more lean protein.  I know sugar is my kryptonite.  I fully know this, but I have to have a little everyday or I’d shrivel up and die :).  Sugar just needs to be portion controlled (boo!).

That’s my plan and I will implement it and get back to you on how it turns out.  In the meantime, I will be resting my legs so I can run as far as possible tomorrow, in order to burn off my indiscretions.

 

30th Birthday Citrus Party

I have to share some pics from the party my Mom threw for me.  The theme was Citrus and it turned out super cute.  I love to style parties and pretty much everything.  So thanks Mom for putting up with this Birthday Girl’s demands, love you!

Here is the dessert table!  Isn’t it adorable?!  I loved how it turned out.

ImageYummy, orange brownies.  Dessert is my favorite food group.  Oh yeah, I forget, it’s not a food group….sigh.  But it sure is cute and fun!ImageMy favorite thing at the party.  Pink Lemonade cupcakes!!  I don’t usually eat desserts for more than a couple days after an event.  I like to freeze them or give them away.  But these little babies…yeah…I ate them all.ImageAdorable fruit.  This is the healthy alternative 🙂Image

I love the colors and freshness of citrus, so spring like.Image

No party is complete without a candy buffet.  Ooo wait, I take back desserts being my favorite food group.  Candy IS my favorite food group!!  I guess it’s a dessert too, but better.  Candy is portable, colorful, happiness, rolled into little sugar filled nuggets.  ImageImageImage

Lemonade Stand!  I think we had every form of citrus flavor available for mixing.  I loved the orange cream soda with a splash of orange vitamin water, very tasty.ImageImage

The food was all citrus themed as well.  So delicious.  I wish I could have a lemon tree!Image

Gotta love a good party!!

Cheap Flights to from SLC to MCO! Plus my Disney Rambling

This deal is just too good not to share.  If you are planning on going to Orlando in April or May, you need to get on kayak.com asap.  Round trip flights from SLC to MCO for as low as $254, that’s taxes and everything!  Compared to the $550 they were asking yesterday this is amazing.  People ask me all the time how my family can go to Disney World so frequently and this is the main reason.  I log on to airfarewatchdog.com every tuesday just to see if there are any good deals.

 

Ok, so I’m going to give you the lowdown on my economical opinion of Disneyland vs Disney World.  I live in Utah where most people frequent Disneyland.  It’s within driving distance so it cuts the cost of flights for most families.  However, I really dislike driving long distances so we fly. On average we pay $200-$220 round trip to California.  I watch for airfare sales to Long Beach, LA, and Orange County, but the days to fly out and get the low price are usually too restrictive.  Not to mention the best sale I’ve seen in 2 years has been for $160 round trip, not super stellar.  So when an Orlando sale comes up, it’s like Christmas!  So for about $50 more I can fly all the way to Florida compared to California, crazy.  The times of year that I notice these Orlando sales are January, late April, May, September, October, & occasionally after Thanksgiving and the first 2 weeks of December.  That’s a lot of options!  Now, we are only a family of 3 so that does make it cheaper for us to fly than most families.  But I have more comparisons for you…

Ok I’m only comparing Disney destinations since that’s what most families travel to California and Florida for so that’s all I’m basing this off of.  Plus I’m totally unscientific so what works for me may not work for you.  But you can enjoy what I call “Disney Math”, haha.  Alright, in Disneyland they have 3 hotels that they own.  Just going off of the cheapest hotel (Paradise Pier) the least expensive room you could get (limited times of year) is around $200 plus tax (17%) and parking per day ($15).  There are hotels around Disneyland, but if you would like to walk and avoid having to pay to park there as well ($15 per day), you are going to have to keep an open mind.  The hotels are older and really not Disney quality.  The least expensive and cleanest place that I like is the Howard Johnson.  On average during all months of the year we pay about $140 per night plus tax.  

Alright, moving on to the Disney World lodging.  In order to keep this from turning into a novel I’m going to really generalize.  Dis World has 24 Hotels, Value, Moderate, and Deluxe.  My fave place is one of the least expensive, Pop Century.  There is a big range of prices during the year for the exact same rooms, but Disney always has some kind of sale going.  On average we pay about $100 per night plus tax (parking is free).  I have to say though that when we go in October and January, rooms usually only run us $75 with promotions.  Another thing I love is that transportation from the airport to the hotel is included as well as the transportation to all the theme parks, water parks, and other Disney owned attractions.  So we save at least $40 per night on our hotel and we don’t have to pay for a rental car or shuttle service.

Next up, food expenses.  I think Disney does a great job offering a variety of food options but they aren’t always the most economical.  At Disneyland I’ve noticed that the prices tend to be a bit more expensive than Dis World.  No idea why since some of the items seem almost exactly the same.  On my most recent Dis trips a pickle at Disneyland was $3, but that same pick was only $1.50 at Dis World, go figure.  Also the character meal prices at Disneyland, 32.99/17.99 (kid/adult) for breakfast at Ariel’s Grotto vs character breakfast at Dis World’s Crystal palace, $24.49/$13.84 (kid/adult).  There are a bajillion was to make comparisons, these are just the top 2 that I remembered from personal experience.  

The moral to my story is to do your research :).  For my family, the extra costs of flying to Florida are more than made up for in less expensive hotels, transportation, and food options.  And my last little plug for Disney World is that if you haven’t seen it…it’s gorgeous there.  Seriously!  If you are used to the run down surroundings outside Disneyland like I was, you will be amazed at how extensive the beautiful the grounds are at Disney World.  I could go there and not even set foot in a park.  It’s so pretty.  Ok, I think I’m done obsessing about Land vs World for today.

Feel free to shoot any questions you may have about either locations my way!

#2 Get a Passport & #16 Read HP 2 & 3 to Val

I was hoping that checking #2 off my list would be more exciting and that I would actually be planning an international trip.  But we don’t have any immediate plans to leave the country :( .  We are going on a cruise next month that will technically be leaving the US, but since we are going to an island owned by Disney, no passports are needed.  

Brainstorming the top places I’d like to travel to internationally…

  • Japan
  • Italy
  • England
  • France
  • Spain
  • Any anywhere that looks like this…Tropical Island.jpg

 

What are your top dream travel destinations?

Ok, moving onto #16.  Valie and I finally finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban a couple nights ago.  This is her first time hearing the actual literature that is Harry Potter.  We’ve read The Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets as well in the past year and Val says that The Prisoner of Azkaban has been her favorite so far.  When I asked her why it was her favorite she said that it has more action, she likes the Animangi aspect, and she loved the bit at the very beginning when Harry turns his aunt into a balloon, haha.  It’s funny how much of a ritual it has become reading these stories every night.  Last night we didn’t read a Harry Potter and Val had the hardest time falling asleep.  I guess we will be breaking out The Goblet of Fire tonight :) .  

 

Cruise Countdown & Beach Body Challenge!

Ok, I just mentioned in the last post that I’m going on a little cruise next month.  39 days to be exact.  I’m super excited and of course I’m trying to tone up and slim down for it.  I think lots of women out there can relate to wanting to lose the jiggle before going on vacation, so I thought I’d post about strategies I use when trying to get ready for a vacation that I know will involve swimwear :).  I’m going to post all kinds of exercise related info, tips, and challenges. So feel free to join me in the Beach Body Challenge!

Challenge #1, changing up the workouts.

I get in exercise ruts.  I find myself running the same 3-4 miles, at the same pace, same incline, same route, boring!  It is time to change it up!!  In the past month I’ve been attempting to try new things.  I torture the hubs by making him do Insanity and P90x videos with me about 2 days a week.  I do feel less jiggly, so something must be working.  But we’ve been on the same videos for a while now and I think we need a change.  So, today is the day.  Hubs doesn’t know it yet, but we’re about to do the Insanity Max videos, hehehe.  I’ll let ya know how that one goes over.

So my challenge for everyone this week is to change it up.  It doesn’t have to be big.  It could be to just park the car farther away, take the stairs, squeeze your booty at red lights, whatever!  Change is great.  Your body knows routine and gets used to it.  I know mine does. Fat cells are smart!  You have to trick them into burning the storage.  So here’s to a week of confusing the fat!

What will you do this week to change it up??

#12 Splits on the Right and Left Side

Gross Sweaty Girl Alert!  We’re all human though right?  We sweat when we are working hard.  So here’s a couple of shots of the Splits Challenge on my 30 before 30 list.  I learned that I have to be very warmed up, practically on fire, in order to get a really good stretch.  Man, it used to be so much easier when I was a teenage!  I got the right side pretty good though.  Not too painful 🙂

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The left…OUCH! Even my eyes are closed it’s so bad, haha, just kidding that was just comical timing.  Freddie kept jumping in the photo and trying to lick my sweat, so this was as good as it was going to get.  The left isn’t perfect, but I feel like I made a lot of progress.  At least it looks like a split.  When I started working on this, it looked like I was attempting a dance move gone horrible wrong.  I’ll keep working on it though 🙂

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#27 Have a Food Fight

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I turned this one into somewhat of a game. I got a few kinds of “clean” foods to use, pretzels, red hots, chocolate candies, and cheerios. Yeah it’s probably cheating, but I say it counts! I put a big bowl behind Valerie and one behind me. We had to block the bowl with our bodies and whoever got the most in the bowl was the winner. As you will soon see, this game was mostly ignored and the food was just being thrown. Warning…You may want to watch this video with the sound off because we tethered Freddie to a door and he was very unhappy about that. So the barking/alien noises you hear are his protest and horror to what we were doing 🙂

#20 Have Daughter Give Me 5 Guitar Lessons

Learning a musical instrument has always been something I wanted to do.  So why not now?  Let’s give this a go!

Valerie has been giving me guitar lessons here and there for the past couple of months and I’ve learned the first 3 strings, reading the music, playing simple songs (very slowly :)), and realized how much work learning an instrument is.  Valerie took lessons for a year before her teacher went back to college and we’ve just never found her a new teacher.  I was hoping this challenge may spark her interest in the guitar again.  I’m not quite sure if that happened because apparently I’m a difficult student.  I make way too many side comments, don’t concentrate, and I sing while I play (which bugs Val to death).  I do think she realized how difficult it can be to be a teacher though.

I probably should have practiced in between lessons if I really wanted to make progress.  But that didn’t happen :).  Funny, because when Val was taking lessons I was always begging her to practice.  Now she was begging me, haha.  Love how the shoe was on the other foot this time around.  So basically I think we both learned more about how it is to have our roles swapped more so than anything about the guitar, which isn’t a bad thing.

Here we are!  Val is trying to be patient with me as I slooooowly try to read the notes to Rockin Robin.  And yes that is a kiddie guitar and I’m borrowing Val’s sweatshirt in this photo :).  Do you also like our little groupie there in the middle?   Little guy never missed a lesson.  I guess he didn’t mind my off key plucking.

 

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And here’s my crazy tyrant of a teacher.  Gotta love her.

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More recaps to come!!