Posts

Showing posts from 2015

Tommy's Portfolio Breakfast - The End of Kindergarten

Image
Wow!  The boys are officially done Kindergarten and moving onto 1st grade next year.  I really can't believe it!  With Liam being sick this week, things have been crazy.  Tommy had his Portfolio Breakfast this past Tuesday, but only one of us could go, as one had to stay at home with Liam.  Tommy said I should go when we asked him in the morning, but then when he got home from school, he said his dad should have gone.  LOL - little guy, we wish we were both there!



 He has such a different personality from Liam, whereas Liam wanted to hang with us and show us what he had done at school and point out one or two friends, Tommy introduced me to a bunch of his friends.


Liam on his day, was interested in all the treats and choosing the sweet ones he wanted. Tommy couldn't be bothered with going to get a snack.  I chose some treats for him while he kept building  things at the tables in the classroom and he snacked while he kept building. In particular, he loved this rocket he built.

Mercury in Retrograde Can Go Suck Eggs!

Image
Let me just say, if you can't tell from this post title, how much I hate Mercury in retrograde.  According to the Farmer's Almanack, today is the last day.

During this retrograde Mercury cycle, we've had:  two separate issues with Tom's car, lots of work frustration, feeling overwhelmed at both work and home, planning going awry, and to top it all off, Liam has missed the last week of school with high fevers and vomiting.  We're currently on the fourth day of fevers that only both Tylenol and ibuprofen can get down.  Both need to be taken an hour apart from each other and every six hours.  Otherwise, complete chaos ensues.  Poor kid.  When his fever is down, he wants to play and is completely bored with me trying to work from home and pushing fluids and bland food on him.  He currently loves goldfish crackers and Honest Kids juice boxes.  Normally when it comes to juice boxes, I have a rule that we need to finish a box of the same flavor, before moving onto the n…

Kindergarten Portfolio Breakfast - Liam's Class

Image
Not sure how other twin parents have their children in school, but our school recommends twins be in separate classrooms.  In our case, I think that's been working out fabulously!  Liam used to be so quiet, shy and let his brother talk for him.  Since November being in separate classrooms, Liam is much more able to talk for himself and complain if he doesn't get his turn to talk!

At the end of our elementary school year, there is a Portfolio Picnic at lunchtime, but Kindergarten is still half day, so they have Portfolio Breakfasts.  Both are an event for parents and siblings to come in and see what the students have been working on all year.  Today was Liam's class, so we got to spend one-on-one time with him reviewing some of his work over the school year, hence the term "portfolio".  It was a lot of fun to have him walk us through his writing and he read some of his papers to us.  We also got to start by seeing how they start their day, with the Pledge of All…

June Goals

Image
I'm getting totally psyched for the month of June!  I'm understanding more about the Beachbody business and have lots to do this month for family, work, fitness and making our house a home!

Family
End of school year on June 11!  Ensure I know of all the school events that parents are requested to be at!Boys start sports camps at the YMCA the week after school.  Do they need any special equipment (cleats, where are their shin guards, etc.)? Get used to the schedule with where to drop off and pick up.Plan what we want to do in August for vacation - one or two weeks?  What would our itinerary be if we go to Massachusetts and Maine?Continue reading with the boys and working on math skills (come up with some good games)Date nights with Tom  - this is a habit now, but I'm afraid to drop it from the goals list.
Work
Build my Beachbody Coach business - Now I have a month and two challenge pack sales under my belt.  Goal is to get to Emerald by the end of the month.  I need to sign …

May Goals - Recap

Image
Where did this month go!!!  It flew by so fast!  I accomplished a lot, but still left a lot more to do and missed my blog friends for the last two weeks of the month!  However, the boys had a great birthday and I'm learning a lot!!!

Family
Plan for the boys' birthday on May 29th.  We're not going to have a big party this year, just small with family, but will need to do something for both of their Kindergarten classes and then their YMCA class in the afternoon.
The above picture we went to Whole Foods to find their birthday cake.  We got a pina colada cake, perfect to kick off the summer!
Phoebe's Field Hockey schedule - they have a big field hockey tournament on May 30thRegister boys for CYFF classes in the fall (these are Catholic Youth Faith classes)Register boys for summer camps at the YMCA for June and one week in AugustPlan what we want to do in August for vacation - one or two weeks?  where do we want to go and do? Still working on this.  Definitely looking to go …

Greek Salad Cravings

Image
Before two years ago, I was never a big fan of Greek salad.  I had tried it several times at restaurants, but something always seemed off.  Either there was too much dressing, the feta or dressing was too salty, or something else was off.  Nothing ever impressed me to be like, "Oh my God, I have to have that again!"  But then two years ago, I went to South Africa and let me tell you, they know how to do Greek salad right!  And it was everywhere I went, I swear I had it twice a day!

When this time of year rolls around, I actually start to crave the deliciousness of that Greek salad, but am still very nervous to order it at restaurants.  I had to learn to recreate this goodness at home, and I quite believe I have now.  I made it on Monday night to go with the salmon and I was so happy with the results.  I had to take some creative license though, as we were out of feta, but had gorgonzola cheese  It was still pure awesomeness!

Salad fixings:
Chopped romaine lettuce
Halved cher…

Relaxed Menu Plan This Week

Image
This week, we've had a pretty relaxed menu plan, in that I didn't really plan too much.  Below are the dinners we've had so far this week and considering Phoebe wasn't feeling well Tuesday and Tom came down with a stomach bug Wednesday, I'm glad I didn't have grand plans for dinners this week!  Here's what we've had for dinner so far this week.  I have no idea what we're going to do tonight and tomorrow.  I still need to see how Phoebe and Tom are feeling.  Hopefully no one else comes down with it.

Sunday - Mother's Day - DH made me dinner
Grilled marinated flank steak, wedge salad with chipotle ranch dressing, grilled green onions, marinated cherry tomatoes, red onions and olives in a vinaigrette dressing



Monday
Sweet teriyaki salmon, roasted asparagus, black forbidden rice, greek salad


Tuesday
Leftover tomato sauce and sausage over rigatoni

Wednesday -  Phoebe was supposed to have field hockey practice but it was canceled.
Sandwich night - if it a…

Strength Training Feels Good

Image
During the month of April, I really focused on becoming consistent about cardio.  This month with the Core/Legs Challenge my up-line coach is hosting on Facebook, I'm focused on becoming consistent about doing some strength training with the cardio in the morning.

I'm really loving the way strength training is making me feel.  For those that don't remember, my word of the year is "Strong."  Feeling stronger in my body makes me feel more confident, happy and energetic!  It reminds me that the journey of exercise is not just to look good, but more to feel good and to feel strong.  For anyone that is on your journey of wellness, keep that in mind.  It's not about being skinny and looking good in a bikini (although that is nice), but about how strong do you feel in your body and in your mind.

Don't get me wrong, I still need cardio.  I find that it helps keep me less high strung and gets my stress out.  But strength training is making me feel so much more c…

Sleep, Not as Sore and Getting Things Done!

Image
I got some much needed sleep last night.  It was 6 1/2 hours of amazing, uninterrupted sleep.  The uninterrupted part is the amazing, as usually one of the boys are up at least once in the middle of the night and want me for something.  I'm also not as sore as yesterday as last night's exercises my coach went a little bit lighter on us.  I am fitting into my work trousers I can only wear when I'm on the much thinner side; although my shirt is not tucked in, so I'm still not 100% there.  I also woke up at 5AM for the 3rd day in the row to get my cardio in since I don't have the time to do it with the other exercises at night.  I'm so proud of me!!!  I'm not a first-thing-in-the-morning workout type person and I'm becoming one.  Go me!

I really can't wait to have my roots touched up tonight!  Usually at this point, I don't want to be bothered by my hair, which one can tell as it's in a bun right now. God the lighting is awful at work!  I also …

Tired and Sore

Image
My plan tonight is to go to bed early!  I joined a Facebook group started by my up-line Beachbody coach for a 2-week Core and Legs Challenge.  Every day we are doing 3 core and 3 leg exercises she gives us and then we post how we are doing and cheer the other team mates on.  I've been doing this at night after the boys go to bed, but that was when I did my cardio, which has been helping me lose the final bit of weight.  Tuesday this week, I started waking up at 5AM to get my cardio in, which is great, as I've been wanting to do it in the morning and now I have a reason to.  But I am so tired!!!!  However, the scale was great today and I believe tomorrow will be even better.  I am on track to lose this final bit of weight by the end of the month if I keep this routine up.  I just need some sleep tonight as I've now been waking up early two days in a row.

I am liking the nice soreness I have going on though.  My abs are getting quite strong.  Today, I sneezed at my desk and…

Menu Plan - Week of 5/4/2015

Image
Still keeping to our weekly menu planning!  Last night's salmon dinner was pure goodness.

Monday
Honey-teriyaki salmon, steamed greens and black forbidden rice with toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.  If you think your kids won't eat healthy food, just try it.  My kids emptied their plates of this yumminess!



Tuesday - Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday
Ground beef, soft and crunchy tortillas, homemade guacamole, green and red salsas, cheese, sour cream and romaine lettuce.  Our kids favorite!

Wednesday - sandwich night - third week in a row, but it's working for us!  We're tired by this time of the week and our daughter has field hockey practice 6 - 7:30PM

Thursday
Sausage, tomato sauce and rigatoni.  Roasted broccoli on the side

Friday
Pizza night and Caesar salad

Saturday
Steak and salad, gorgonzola cheese.  Mmmmm!

Anyone else menu planning?  What goodness do you have going on?

May 2015 Goals

Image
I'm really moving on the high from accomplishing so much last month.  Let's keep the momentum going and I'll be working on the following goals/projects in May.

Family
Plan for the boys' birthday on May 29th.  We're not going to have a big party this year, just small with family, but will need to do something for both of their Kindergarten classes and then their YMCA class in the afternoon.Phoebe's Field Hockey schedule - they have a big field hockey tournament on May 30thRegister boys for CYFF classes in the fall (these are Catholic Youth Faith classes)Register boys for summer camps at the YMCA for June and one week in AugustPlan what we want to do in August for vacation - one or two weeks?  where do we want to go and do?Work with boys on sight words and numbers/math skills Date nights with Tom - we're on a roll with this one!
Work
Build my Beachbody Coach business - I'm still trying to decide what my exact goals should be.  I'd like to sign two coac…

April Goals Recap

Image
Family
Easter planningUpdate Phoebe's Field Hockey schedule - she's done Spring Break the day after EasterWork with boys on sight words and numbers/math skills - come up with some fun gamesDate nights with Tom (already have next three weekends planned)The last two goals will continue next month!

Work
Become a Beachbody Coach - Working on helping people, finding out who needs our services, products and who wants to be a coach on my team!Blog post 5x a week - This is post #12 for this month, which is not where I wanted to be, but it is better than in the pastGet up to date on blog reading on Feedly - Sort of.  I'm still working on finding time to read and comment on blogs more.Build my blog followers:  Google - 50 and Feedly - 50 This so did not happen.  However, I do have more Instagram followers.  I need to identify what I really need to be targeting for growth in getting my message out.Get to the office earlier - 8:30 is my new target.  This means I need to work on my even…

Menu Plan - Week of 4/26/2015

Wow!  Have I ever been busy working on those April goals! I know some will not get done as the exercising and learning the Beachbody business have kept me busy.  I'm having a great time though and my clothes are fitting me better than they have in a long time.

I will be posting tomorrow on how April goals went.  I'm very pleased and I have been keeping menu plans.  We may deviate from them every now and then, but it is more of moving around menus at home, rather than ordering take out or going to a restaurant.  Healthy eating and exercise has become quite the priority in our house.

Here is this week's menu plan (better late than never) and without any pretty pictures.

Sunday
Ate out at Not Your Average Joe's. We have not eaten out in quite some time. They have lots of healthy choices.  I had grilled chicken with a cauliflower mash, garlic-y spinach and cucumber & tomato salad.

Monday
Teriyaki salmon, Asian cole slaw, roasted asparagus and braised endive.

Tuesday
Taco…

Menu Plan - Week of 4/19/2015

Image
We're continuing to rock the menu planning.  It keeps our budget and our bellies happy!  Although I'm sure the kids would love some Chinese take-out at this point.....

Sunday
Tom made dinner:  Corned beef brisket, mashed potatoes and roasted green beans.

Monday
Leftover night - Phoebe wants to go to a yoga class at 7PM with me.  We have leftover fish, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese and green beans.

Tuesday
Taco Tuesday!  Ground beef soft or crunchy tacos, home-made guacamole, shredded cheese, black beans, green and red salsas and lettuce.

Wednesday
Sandwich night - Phoebe has Field Hockey practice at 6PM.  I bought lunchmeat at Whole Foods this week and the ham is beautiful!  Ham and smoked mozzarella sandwiches on whole wheat rolls or ezekiel bread, lettuce and tomato.

Thursday
Liam's favorite chicken and roasted veggie quinoa salad.

Friday
Home-made pizza night with a roasted beet and gorgonzola salad.

Saturday
Keeping it simple - we will probably have leftovers and sal…

In Search of Happy Mornings

Image
Lately, I've really wanted the kids to go off on their days to school in a good mood.  It's been very important to me.  I've been making them the berry-kale smoothies, which make them very happy.  I've been playing perky music while we eat breakfast.  I want the kids (and my husband and I) to start our day off right by being happy and energetic.

Today, Tommy was in a grumpy mood.  He was getting his clothes on all wrong, he had a complaint about everything, including the music.  I teased him it was odd as he's usually our happy guy.  I teased him I was going to have to bring in The Odd Squad.  Nothing was working.  He had complaints the whole way down to the kitchen for breakfast.  As he sits down at the island with his brother for a bowl of cereal, the sun is in his eyes.  OK, let's move to the dining room.  It's too sunny in here too - grumble, grumble, grumble.  All of a sudden, I had a brainstorm that made smiles all around!




When it's too sunny, eat…

Menu Plan - Week of 4/12/2015

Image
We're getting glimpses of Spring this week!  Weather is getting warmer and we wanted some easy dinners this week.  Breakfasts for me have been Shakeology, as usual, lunches for Tom and I have been salads and some kind of protein.  I have my salads with a homemade salad dressing.  I'll need to post some of those dressing recipes soon.  With the healthy eating we've been doing and the cardio I've been doing in the evening, I'm doing really good on my losing weight goal.  I've lost almost 4lbs so far and have 9 more to go.  That was even with Easter candy around!  However, I have not been drinking any wine most evenings, so that helps too!

Sunday - French onion soup, cheeseburger sliders and cole slaw
Monday -  Homemade pizza - with grilled chicken, roasted garlic and spinach
Tuesday - Hot roast beef sandwiches and roasted Brussel sprouts
Wednesday -  Fish and chips - made with cod fillets, I need to post this recipe! It's become a family favorite.


Thursday -…

Berry-Kale Protein Smoothie

Image
I will post this week's menu plan tomorrow, but here's the latest breakfast love of my kids.  I started making it over the weekend and especially the teenage girl is in love.  Recipe is as follows and it is so easy!
1 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 cup plain greek yogurt 1 cup frozen berry/kale mix bought at BJs Tbsp or two of local honey for sweetness
Blend all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix.  If you do not have a Vitamix, I highly recommend one!  It blends things so fabulously and has much more power than anything else I've ever had before.
The boys are getting used to it not being as sweet as the recipe they used for samples at BJs over the weekend.  Theirs had sweetened vanilla almond milk and sweetened vanilla greek yogurt and the honey on top of all that.  Here's the pic of the frozen fruit and kale mix.

My Favorite Podcasts Today

Image
I really love to listen to podcasts on my ride to and from work, especially as I am so sick of pop music radio again.  I go into waves of hating the radio and I'm on one right now.  I feel like they play the same music over and over again.  For music, I'm a huge fan of Spotify and Pandora, as well as whatever Phoebe downloads when she gets an iTunes gift card, LOL.

Back to talking about podcasts...  I have more that I like than I can ever listen to in a week of commute time, so sometimes I also listen when I'm cleaning the house.  I'd also really like to spend more time with the Coffee Break French podcast, but that would require creating another 20 hours in the week!  Here are my current favorite podcasts:

The Chalene Show - One of the reasons I decided to become a Beachbody coach is that I already listen and follow a lot of Beachbody coaches and trainers.  Her shows are truly wonderful and the topics have been spot on, especially the ones on how to increase focus and…

Menu Plan - Week of 4/5/2015

One of my goals this month is to have a weekly menu plan.  During the craziness that was Spring Break last week, we ate out a lot.  We need to stop that or else we will blow our monthly budget.

Sunday
Easter Sunday - sister-in-law hosted dinner

Monday
Mussels in butter, white wine and garlic
kids - angel hair pasta; adults - spaghetti squash
sauteed kale with garlic

Tuesday
Fish and chips (homemade from cod fillets)
Fennel, grapefruit and asparagus spring salad (Tom made this and it's amazing!!)

Wednesday
Phoebe has field hockey practice at 6PM - leftover taco night

Thursday
Liam's favorite chicken (I need to post this recipe.  It's crispy seasoned chicken thighs.  It's a kid favorite in our house.  Eaten down to the bone!)
Roasted carrots
Brown rice

Friday 
Pizza Night (Tom makes great homemade pizza dough)

Saturday is TBD based on what we feel like after a long week, how many leftovers we have and if we are out late running errands.

For breakfast every morning, I have Sha…

More Easter Pictures

Image
Had fun at the sister-in-law's annual Easter Egg Hunt and dinner.  Getting the boys in pictures is difficult, especially when hyped up on so much sugar and excitement!  You'd think Phoebe would be easier to get in pictures too, but I have lots of out-takes with her with goofy faces.  As many as the boys.








Belated Happy Easter!

Image
I'm really happy with how our Easter Bunny picture came out this year, but unfortunately I could not get my free download until today, as there were technical issues with the company's website.  Really funny, is Phoebe told me she thought she looked huge in this picture, as in Amazon woman huge.  I looked at her with a straight face and said, "Darling, you're taller than me and you're pictured with two 5-year-olds, of course you look like an Amazon woman!"  I think she looks beautiful.


Asian Zing Chicken Wings

Image
I really do love yummy crispy chicken wings.  Restaurants of course make them this way by deep frying them.  How's a healthy frugal girl going to reproduce this at home so we can put it on our dinner menu when I get the craving and don't want to spend the money on take out (or feel my hips expanding)?  My ultimate favorite is the Asian Zing sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings!
After numerous tries of baking chicken wings that were failures (soggy), I've finally come upon how to make the crispy wings I'm looking for.  You need to bake them on a rack!  I've also found online a recipe for the Asian zing sauce that is made of ingredients we always have in our pantry, so I'm always ready if I get that craving and need satisfaction!


Asian Zing Chicken Wings
Asian Zing Sauce 2 tsps corn starch 
4 tsps rice vinegar 
1/2 cup corn syrup 
1/3 cup sugar 
1/4 cup garlic chili sauce (has a rooster on the jar)
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tsp lemon juice 
1/4 tsp ground ginger 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp ga…

April Goals

Image
Spring has sprung and I'm starting back posting my monthly goals!  I'm really excited about all the opportunities I have right now: corporate work, new Beachbody coaching, family time, and personal goals of fitness and eating healthy.  I think this excitement for warmer weather and the opportunities will put my goals into overdrive.  Let's see what we can do:

Family

Easter planningUpdate Phoebe's Field Hockey schedule - she's done Spring Break the day after EasterWork with boys on sight words and numbers/math skills - come up with some fun gamesDate nights with Tom (already have next three weekends planned)
Work

Become a Beachbody Coach - DONE!  Now working on building a business.  I'm not making any specific goals for customer and coach signups, as I want to be realistic based on initial results.Blog post 5x a week - I will be planning my blog posts to help me remember what I wanted to blog about.  I come up with ideas and write down notes, but then forget to g…

Now a Beachbody Coach

Image
I'm not sure if I've ever posted about my love for Shakeology, but it is my favorite go-to breakfast as part of my default diet.  "Default diet" not meaning when I'm on a diet, but I don't like to think about what I'm going to eat in general, so I have certain things I prefer to eat to make it easy to eat healthy.  I've also done P90X as an at home exercise plan and it's awesome!  Love the yoga video!

I've decided I love the products so much, I'd finally decide to break down and become a Beachbody coach.  I won't make this blog become about pushing that business, but if you have any interest in the products or having me as a coach, the websites I have for this endeavor are as follows:

Beachbody coaching - http://www.beachbodycoach.com/joysinmylife
Shakeology - http://www.shakeology.com/joysinmylife
Ultimate Reset - http://www.myultimatereset.com/joysinmylife

I'm looking forward to being able to help people progress in their fitness g…

I Missed My 10 Year Blogoversary 2/24/2015

What a difference a decade makes!  I can't believe I started this blog 10 years and a month ago!  So much has happened and when I look at how time has gone by, it's amazing.  I read earlier blog posts and am amazed at where I was.

I was trying to rationalize to have another child or not.  We had so many problems and infertility treatments were not working.  I was sometimes trying to accept our fate in life as a one child household and other times desperate for hope, wanting to understand what could help us expand our family.  I already loved yoga, having found it before our daughter was born and that love has blossomed; however now I need to find time to go back to the mat.  I learned about eating clean, healthy food and what my diet was doing to my lack of fertility.  I embraced Traditional Chinese Medicine, leaving one acupuncturist when I didn't feel she was on my side and finding another fabulous one who by twist of fate, was good friends with my yoga instructor!

We …

I Wish God Didn't Have Such Faith In Me - LOL

Image
Did you ever hear the saying "God only gives you what you can handle?"  Sometimes I wish he didn't have such faith in me!  In the past few weeks, Phoebe had a concussion that caused her issues for three weeks, we had rough weather last week, that kept the boys out of school for all days but one and last but not least, Tommy had a stomach bug that took him to the hospital last night.  He's still working on getting his appetite and fluids back.

Phoebe got the concussion in cheerleading, which she will never do again, thank goodness as it conflicts with field hockey going forward.  She's doing great now, but it did involve two doctor's visits, being out of gym and sports at school for three weeks and therapy for the concussion.  Thankfully, that was over as of last Friday when she was cleared for all activities again.

The weather last week was crazy!  Icy roads from freezing rain on Monday, Tuesday was good, Wednesday icy roads, Thursday we had a big snow storm…

So Much To Say!

We had a great Christmas and a very peaceful New Year's.  Hope everyone did the same!  We also became a great aunt and uncle on January 6.  It's our oldest niece's baby and her name is Nora Grace.  We've also all been getting over colds.  About three weeks ago, both Tom and I came down with something very flu-like, if not the flu exactly.  I'm still getting over the congestion and cough that is lingering.  The boys had it a few days before us, and they recovered much faster than we did, LOL.  At least the fact they had the same cold and got through it without antibiotics told me it was definitely a virus of some kind.

Other than that, Phoebe has had winter cheerleading and having some indoor field hockey practices with the high school team.  The boys are busy with Kindergarten, learning their sight words and enjoying their swimming classes at the YMCA.

I need to get back to training!  This year, we have the Spartan Sprint in July and the Philly Rock n' Roll ha…