Starting my Healthy Living Journey

Over the past four years I have been battling my want to be fit and healthy and my love for everything junk food. When I moved back home after college, my sister and mom had joined Weight Watchers and had the whole house filled with healthy eats and recipes.

At that point, I was at my highest weight, 150. Now I realize for some people, that doesn’t seem large, but for my height, it left me out of breath and feeling unconfident. Following with their eating plan, I easily lost 13 pounds without doing one bit of physical activity.

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I stayed around 137 pounds for a long time, gaining or losing 2-3 pounds at a time. When Jeff proposed, I ended up moving to Florida and started walking/running 5K races with friends. Before the wedding, I was at about 132 pounds and feeling great! My body felt strong and for the first time ever, I felt semi-confident in a bathing suit at the beach!

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On the day of our wedding, I weighed 135, but things quickly turned around as I started to allow myself more “cheats” and kept saying “as long as I stay under 140, I’m good.”

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In January of this year, I began my crazy 6-month journey while Jeff was in training, moving 3 times and living with a friend, then on my own, and all while taking care of a puppy, working full time, and not tracking what I put into my body. I stopped running, although I kept mildly active with Atlas, but my body lost all of its endurance and strength.

Fast forward to today, I am between 142-145 pounds and looking to get down to 125-130. For me, weight loss is less about the numbers and more about how I feel in my clothes. I’m tired of being too self-conscious to go to the pool. I’m tired of being tired all the time. I’m tired of my clothes making me feel like a sausage 🙂

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My biggest challenge, however, is that I’m a big foodie. I love food! I love fatty, flavorful, and fried foods. I especially love ice cream and sweets (see below). When I was at my best before the wedding, I didn’t allow myself any cheats and constantly felt deprived. I gave myself such a hard time when I’d give into my cravings and eat something “bad”. I won’t do that this time.

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Here’s my plan:

1. Clock in at least 5 miles of activity daily. I have recently started taking a mile and a half walk with my little one at work each morning. Jeff and I also take about a mile and a half walk with the pups each night before bed. That means I need to fit in another 2 miles of movement in my everyday movement or with additional walking. I’m not promising that ill be running all of the time, but I figure 5 miles is still 5 miles in working my leg muscles and getting my heart rate into the “fat burn” zone.

2. Eat what I want, but within reason. If I want something fried, I can have one piece. If I want sweets, I can have a low-cal option (like Skinny Cow!) or eat just one portion. I’m not going to give myself grief because I won’t be “falling off the wagon”. I also plan on increasing my produce, whole grains, and lean proteins and keeping healthy snacks around the house/at work so I’m not tempted to eat those bad foods.

3. Weigh myself every 15 days instead of every day. That way I won’t obsess over the small daily changes.

What do you do to keep yourself on a healthy track?

Leave me a comment or “like” this post if you want to join in on a healthy living journey with me!

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Changes up ahead!

Hey guys! Thanks to all of you who “liked” my past two posts! It’s a scary thing putting your worries out there, but its nice to see that some people can either relate or appreciate the reality that is our economy!

So (kinda) big news: Jeff and I have decided that we can definitely “have our cake” even if we can’t eat it… If that doesn’t make sense to you, check out this post first.

We have decided (drumroll please!) that we will be moving apartments! Although we need to talk to our management to see what the penalty is for breaking our lease, we will either be moving in March (when our lease is up) or sooner (if there is little penalty)!

Needless to say I’ve been scoping out less expensive areas to live and have seen that some people are renting out their condos/townhomes/houses for as little as $800-$1200 a month! That would mean we are not only saving up to $1600 a month on rent, but gaining more space and, in some cases, getting a small yard for the pups to play in!

And we all know how much they love to play…

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Plus, if we can find that cheap of rent, I can not only keep nannying for my amazing family, but I won’t have to pick up another part time job! Woo-hoo for keeping my personal time!

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For those of you who did the math and are still gasping at the thought of paying $2000+ for rent, you feel my pain of living in this beautiful city!

Anyhow, Quite a bit of intense thought and discussion has gone into this decision, but for the overall goal of paying down debt and enjoying quality time together as a couple, we have put the final stamp of approval on the moving idea!

I’m not looking forward to the packing and moving process (especially because the Navy moved us last time and now I’m spoiled 😉 ) but I am extremely excited about keeping my job and working towards our #1 goal!

Recipe of the Week: Brown Sugar Bacon Pork Loin

Yesterday, Jeff made us an amazing (and inexpensive!) dinner that will last us a few meals. This pork loin is moist, flavorful, and easy to put together. Just make sure you prep the night before and put it in the oven early, as it takes about two hours to cook!

Brown Sugar Bacon Pork Loin

Ingredients
– One 3-4lb pork loin (we got ours on sale for $8!)
– 2 cups apple juice
– 4 cloves garlic
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup chili powder
– 1 lb. sliced bacon

Directions
1. The day before you will be eating, slice four evenly spaced cuts into the pork loin and insert one clove of garlic into each cut. Place the pork loin in a zip-top bag or deep baking dish and pour apple juice over the top. Seal and refrigerate overnight.
2. On the day of cooking, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Remove pork loin from marinade and discard excess liquid.
4. Combine brown sugar and chili powder and cover whole pork loin with the mixture. Pack it on! You want to use all of the mixture as it will be flavoring the meat.
5. Place pork loin in a glass 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Layer strips of bacon over the top of the pork loin, making sure to seal in the brown sugar mixture. Fold excess bacon around the sides.

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6. If wanted, sprinkle on extra brown sugar/chili powder mixture onto bacon. We did!

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7. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
8. Uncover pork loin and continue to bake for 30-60 minutes or until bacon is crisp and internal temperature is 165 degrees.

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How to Have My Cake and Eat it Too?

Over the last two days I have been stuck in a negative thinking rut. If you know anything about me, you’d know that I try to stay positive 99% of the time. I have my bad days every now and then, but can usually snap myself out of it in an hour or so and change my mood around. The past two days have not been that way.

Here’s what’s weighing so heavily on my mind:
With my current job, I’m making about half of what I was teaching. Now, let it be known that I absolutely adore my current job nannying. Also I’m emotionally invested in this family, having taken care of their little one for two months. I work 40 hours a week, and I love every minute of it!

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In order to help reach our financial goals, however, I need to be making at least $500-$1000 more per month. That means I either need to find a work-from-home position that I can work on while the little one is napping/at night when I’m home, or quit this job to find a higher paying one.

Here are the pros and cons to both:

Working from Home
Pros:
– Would not have to quit nannying
– Flexible hours
– Can be completed while I am at work (during nap times) or in the evenings

Cons:
– It’s so hard to find a legit work-from-home job!
– Adds even more working hours to my schedule
– Not in my fields of interest; most are data-entry or transcribing. I don’t hate these fields, but I don’t have experience in them.

Getting a Different Job
Pros:
– Higher pay
– 40 Hour work weeks
– More time to spend with J and the pups
– Financial Goals reached faster

Cons:
– Having to quit nannying (which I LOVE)
– not being able to see the little one as often/if ever
– Leaving the family to find another nanny, when I know they feel 100% confident about leaving their little one with me

What do you guys think? Any suggestions or advice? Do any of you work from home? What do you do? Do any of you monetize your blog and how did you do it?

Leave me a comment!

Starting New Adventures

Having missed the past couple weeks, this is going to be a big post, but filled with big news and changes. Prepare yourself 🙂 it’s about to get real.

Have you ever been put in a situation that makes you appreciate everything you have and everything you want in life?

Has some event or discussion made you really realize what you want and motivate you to set new goals for your life?

Has a fire ever been lit under your butt so hot in an instant that you become overwhelmed at the thought of it all?

That’s all happening to me.

Not so much in the “someone I love is in bad health” kind of way (thank goodness and knock on wood!) but more in the “it’s time to buckle down and get serious about life” kind of way.

Jeff and I have been talking about our wants and goals for our life together lately; and let me tell you, I am so grateful to have such a strong, supportive, encouraging partner in life. I won’t get into specifics, but we have come to realize that what we do now in terms of spending, health, and planning, will directly affect how soon we can start working towards bigger goals for our lives.

Here are our top goals as a couple:
1. Pay off our debt (both cars and our college loans, totaling around $70K, give or take)
2. Build a large savings
3. Invest in our future (retirement, college funds, etc)
4. Buy a house
5. Start a family

As you can see, we kind of need to accomplish the first few before we can work on the last two. And the real conundrum is that with many things in life, we can’t have our cake and eat it too. We are looking for ways to increase our income and/or decrease our spending so that we can accomplish our goals faster. That suggests that I either get a second job to make up the difference of what I would be making if I were teaching or we can seriously cut our budget down by moving to a cheaper apartment or cutting out all unnecessary spending. Yikes! See what I mean about overwhelming?! Breathe, Lisa, Breathe.

On top of that, I have a few goals I would like to accomplish personally as well (in no particular order):
1. Reach and maintain my goal weight of 125-130 lbs.
2. Blog and reach 100+ followers
3. Get both of our pups certified to be therapy dogs

I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But on the other hand, my goals kind of coincide with our goals as a couple right? If I’m working towards better health, training the dogs, and blogging, we aren’t spending money. Win, win?

So here’s what’s going to happen. Every day on the blog will be something different. There won’t be pre-planned posts with themes. It’ll just be me, updating you on the good, the bad, and the ugly of what’s happening. Hopefully, most of it will be positive! It’ll be real pictures of us, (like this one of me napping with the pups this weekend)

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, real stories of our experiences, and real accounts of what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes I’ll throw in a fun post about our home or a product I’m totally in love with, but mostly it’ll be about life.

I would love to have you all as my accountability partners. I would love if you will keep me on my game and keep pushing me forward. I’d love to help you get motivated to reach your goals by sharing and commenting and talking about what we are doing in our household to make our dreams come true.

If you like this idea of things being unplanned and honest and scary and real, comment!(I could totally use the positive vibes right now!)

If I’ll lose you as a reader because you like the way things are going, comment! and I’ll do my best to do two posts per day. I won’t know if you don’t tell me though!

I want you guys to want to read this blog. I would love your feedback, negative and positive. You all are the reason I keep blogging and my inspiration to share my ideas.

So, yea.

There’s my current life story. It’s scary. I’m kind of, maybe, very nervous. I’m also kind of, maybe, super awesomely excited for the things to come. I hope you’re all with me during this adventure. Big things are coming, and I have a feeling they’re going to be very, very good 🙂

Where did the last week go?!

This past week has been a doozy! I will be updating the blog with all the posts I planned, but missed, and fill you all in on what’s been going on around here for the past seven days.

For now, know it has been filled with touristy fun while my mom was in town for a few days and many sleepless nights with the pups as Atlas has been battling a bad case of the hives and Rhea is such a light sleeper and still adjusting to nights in her crate.

So, all in all, be on the lookout for my missed posts and updates to come this week!

Introducing: Tuesday Tester!

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Alright guys, after polling my friends and family members since I didn’t get any votes for the new Tuesday Topic, I’ve decided to make every Tuesday a Tuesday Tester post!

What that means is I will be reviewing a product that I have in my home (health/beauty, fitness, fashion, grocery, home, kids products, etc.) so you will have some unbiased opinions before you buy a product.

If you would like to see a specific product reviewed, just leave me a comment. If I don’t have it, I’m always willing to try out new things!

Today’s review: the Rhonna Designs App

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Found in the Apple App Store, this inexpensive app is a great design tool for those of us who are not professional graphic designers.

Cool Features:
– Use your own photos as backgrounds
– A multitude of editing options and add ons
– Multiple sets of fonts for text editing, as well as many color choices
– User friendly, little editing experience necessary

Drawbacks:
– New update and add on packs cost $0.99 extra (although I bought it and LOVE it, so it just depends on your preference)
– Preloaded backgrounds are muted colors. I would love to see some backgrounds that have a little more pizzazz or color to them.

Examples of how I use this product:

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The masking feature lets your background shine through the graphics/text you insert! How cool is that?!

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My rating: 10/10!
I think, if you’re a design nerd like me, this is a purchase well worth the couple dollar cost.

Fall Fashion: Layering & Blazers

Here in San Diego, stores are putting out Halloween decorations and costumes, but still selling kiddie pools. There really isn’t a time that there isn’t a need for kiddie pools. My point is, that although it’s becoming cooler in most parts of the nation, it won’t ever really be Fall here (insert crying adorable fall boots here…)

So for all of you lucky enough to experience the crisper air, crunchy, colored leaves, and events like corn mazes and hayrides, this post is for you!

I’m a huge fan of fall fashion for a few reasons:
1. I love long sleeves. There’s something so comforting about them.
2. I really enjoy layering. Tanks under button-downs, under sweaters. It’s like a fashion tur-duck-in ( if you don’t know what that is, look it up).
3. I love blazers outside of work. Cute, comfy, and a quick way to look like you’ve put a lot of effort into your style.

In honor of all those reasons and so many more that I won’t get into now (pumpkins, apple picking, boots!, etc…) here’s a few ideas of layering with blazers!

Credits: The Look for Less, Chloe Rose Boutique, Stylish Petite

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Recipe of the Week: Lemon Rosemary Chicken

The recipe this week is the perfect Sunday dinner. Warm, savory, crisp, and buttery, this whole roast chicken cost just under $10 to make! Here’s the recipe:

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Source: Divas Can Cook

Ingredients
1 whole fryer chicken
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
Zest of 4 lemons
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic
Salt and Pepper
1 onion, quartered
2 sprigs rosemary
2 lemons, sliced
The juice of 2 lemons

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. Place the whole fryer chicken onto a cutting board. Remove neck and organs if not using. Dry chicken well.
2. In a food processor, combine the lemon zest, 2 springs of rosemary, and 4 garlic cloves. blend until well incorporated.
3. Salt and pepper chicken liberally on both sides and inside cavity.
4. Stuff chicken with quartered onion, lemon slices, and remaining rosemary. You will later discard these items so they do not have to be pretty 🙂
5. Using the lemon rosemary butter you made, rub the outside of the chicken, making sure to get some butter between the skin and meat of the chicken. Coat well.
6. Squeeze the juice of two lemons over buttered chicken.
7. Bake for 45 minutes or until skin is golden brown. Cover with foil and bake 15-25 minutes more or until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Enjoy!

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Busy, busy, busy!

Hey guys!

So today had been a long and interesting day so it’ll be a short post of photos to sum it up:
Our 5:30 wake up from the pups made for lots of napping and watching the Buckeyes take another win. When Atlas came home from daycare, he and Rhea played like crazy and eventually passed out together on the couch and in his bed.

Needless to say with the new pup, we haven’t been doing much other than spending time with both of our beloved fur babies 🙂

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