I started following gerberdays.blogspot.com and found out that they are doing a giveaway along with purseblogger.com. They are giving away a great purse and a t-shirt that I would love to have. I am new to following purseblogger, but an looking forward to getting to read her posts. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading gerberdays posts and hope you will check out both their blogs along with their give away.
So, anyone who knows me knows that I am a total carb addict! I love my bread and butter and have from the time I was a little girl. Now at almost 37 (oh my God am I really that old?), and 2 pregnancies and 3 babies later, I so need to lose weight and get better in shape. I have tried everything to lose weight. In the past, I have done great with weight watchers, but now with 3 kids, the thought of counting points is so overwhelming, I don't even want to think about it. I have thought long and hard about trying the South Beach Diet in the past, but have failed before the first 2 weeks were up. Again, this is due to the carb addict that I am! I am thinking that I need to try it again. I figure, I know that I have carb issues, I don't want to count calories or points, I want to eat less meat and more veggies, and I want to decrease my dependence on carbs. Also, I had a couple of days, in the recent past, where I didn't start my day with carbs (I had a veggie and cheese omelet), I actually lost weight. That was only a couple of days and not fully giving up carbs! I am starting today, I am following the South Beach diet. Unfortunately, I need to do some shopping and I already have dinner plans for tomorrow that are not on the diet, but I need to start now. I will try to write about my successes and my failures. This may be my way of being accountable to myself. Hopefully this will go along with my way of eating healthy. Wish me luck!
On an unrelated note, I have been wanting to make my own diapers and covers. I have found that some of the diaper patterns online have been really intimidating and also time consuming. I have also not been willing to buy a pattern, only wanting to use free patterns. I found a really easy diaper cover that I attempted last night and oh my god it was simple! I am really looking forward to making more and making some really cute covers. I am also thinking that I want to try some of my own prefolds using some material that I already have. Wish me luck!
My first fleece cover! Hopefully it will fit and work well!
This past week was April vacation here in Massachusetts. On Monday my mom brought over some plants from her garden to transplant into ours. My mom, my step-father, my husband, and I spent the day digging and planting and we still had more to do. We did a little more during the week, but then the weekend came and we pretty much spent all day Saturday and Sunday digging, planting and cleaning up 3 of our gardens. It was a ton of work, but it felt so good to be outside in some absolutely beautiful weather. We got a lot done, but still have a little more to go. The butterfly garden is looking really good. I need to still get another plant for a planter, a garden angel and that may be it for the butterfly garden. For the gardens in the front of the house, I want to get a boy figurine since I already have a boy and girl together. Sounds kind of corny, but I'd love to have a figurine for all 3 kids. I also need to get a clay saucer to fix a simple bird bath that I made and I may want to make another one for the other side. I also want to get a couple of figurines for the other side of the house. We still have a lot of work to do on the yard. We are planning on tilling an area in the back for a veggie garden, which I hope will provide a bunch of veggies for us this summer and hopefully enough to preserve for later. And, now looking at pictures of the front of the house, I think I still want to do more there too. We'll see. Since we are on a pretty tight budget, I am trying to be good at not spending a ton of money. I love gardening!
Right front side of the house
Close up of the right front side
Left front side of the house
South side of the house butterfly garden!
On an unrelated not, with the weather getting warmer, I have been thinking about the covers for the cloth diapers that the kids wear. I am thinking that we may want or even need to change to fleece or wool for breathability. It can be pretty expensive to get enough covers for all 3 kids, so I am thinking of attempting to make my own. I found a pattern on line for free that I may try. From what I can see and what I have read, it is simple to make and I have a ton of fleece so I won't need to buy anything new right now. If it works out and I want to make more later, I can get more then, but for now I have more than enough.
The twins are taking their nap and I really need to start cleaning while they are asleep. I really hate housework, but unfortunately it needs to get done. I may need to put a video on for my older son so that I have some time to do things with out him needing my full on attention. The letter factory is m favorite for this and the best part is he is starting to learn his alphabet. Awesome!!!!!
Wish me luck getting all that I have to get accomplished completed!
Today is Earth Day and a couple of the blogs I follow reminded me of that fact. This in turn along with some of their posts made me think about what I am doing to celebrate Earth Day today and every day. Some of the things that I am doing, I fought against when I was a kid.
I was only allowed to take a shower for a certain amount of time. My mother would set an egg timer and we would have to be finished with our shower by the time the timer went off or we were out of luck. I learned to take the quickest shower ever. I hated it then, but now I think it is great that I already am not only saving money, but saving water. My husband is amazed at how fast I can shower.
I am planning on having a garden this year. When I was young we had a garden in my yard and also at my grandfather's house. I hated weeding and gardening when I was a kid. I just wanted to play and wasn't a fan of getting dirty. Now I can't wait to eat veggies that i have grown, I love getting my hands dirty and never wear gloves, and I love being outside.
I want to start hanging up my clothes instead of using the dryer. I hated hanging out my clothes. I always wanted to be like my friends and have a dryer. I now want to hang a clothes line in my back yard and use the dryer less. I know that this is going to save my clothes, save energy, save money.
I am cloth diapering my 3 kids. Before I had kids, I never thought that I would ever want to cloth diaper. Then I got pregnant and decided that I wanted to cloth diaper. I didn't start because of all the disposable diapers that I got as gifts and then I got pregnant with the twins 3 months after I gave birth to my first son and then ended up on bed rest so it was a good thing that I didn't cloth diaper. About 6 months after the twins were born, I decided that I wanted to try cloth diapering. We started with my older son first and very quickly moved on to all 3. I love that I am not adding more disposable diapers to landfills, I am saving money, I am not worried about making sure that I have diapers since all I have to do is wash what I have, and I am sure that there are other ways that cloth diapering is having a positive impact in my life.
I am attempting to use safe cleaners. I try to use baking soda and vinegar as my main cleaning agents. i do have times that I want to use my bleach, but I try not to.
I am attempting to eat less meat. I have some times that I am really good and other times that I am horrible. After watching Food Inc., I at least think a lot more when I am planning my meals. Unfortunately, I can't afford to eat the meat that I want to (pasture fed, free range etc), but I can decrease the amount of conventional meat that I have in my family's diet.
I try to recycle, reduce, and reuse. I am better at recycling, but getting better at reusing, and reducing. I am trying to find ways of "upcycling" clothing. I have made 2 clothing items for my daughter and hope to find more ways of doing this. I am attempting not to by new craft supplies until I use what I have and to try to find ways of reusing items in my projects. I am also attempting to shop differently. When I go grocery shopping, I try to remain on the perimeter and use less things that are packaged and processed (healthier for my family and the environment). I am trying to remember to utilize consignment stores instead of buying new since there are many of these clothing items that have been barely used. I am also attempting to use healthier, more natural health and beauty products. This will reduce the amount of chemicals that I use for my family and will reduce the amount of chemicals that I add to the environment.
These are the things that I am doing of the things that I am attempting to change in my life. This is a lifestyle change for me. I know that there are a lot of people who are like me or even better than I am at changing the way they live their lives so that we all can benefit, but I also think that there are a lot of people that are into Farmer's Markets, free range/pasture fed meat, recycling, and more because it is the in/trendy thing. Hopefully, this trend will become a way of life at some point and more people will want to live this way to make it a better world for everyone.
Last Sunday, we had my family over for a cookout. To go cheap, we bought hamburgers and hot dogs. It ended up not being all that cheap since we bought a ton of frozen hamburgers and really good quality hotdogs (I know oxymoron regarding the hot dogs). Since I tend to be a major meat fan, especially steak, my goal has been to decrease the amount of meat that I ingest. I have done fairly well with decreasing my intake of meat in general, especially steak, but I seem to get in a rut for lunches and this week I ended up eating a hamburger every day and then last night I had 2. I know that doesn't sound too bad, but for me meat eating is such a slippery slope, that I can see myself very easily getting back into each a ton of meat and I so don't want to do that.
My newest goal is to try to decrease the amount of starchy carbs that I eat. As with meat, if not more so, I tend to carb overload. I have been eating pretty much little to no white starchy foods, but there are certain thing I love i.e. potatoes, Italian bread, and things like that. I tend to eat wheat bread and brown rice which are better, but I can still over do with them. I also tend to eat way too much butter when I have starchy foods.
I have done well with my no coffee drinking. I think since just after Christmas I have had 2 cups and only really drank one of them. I am really enjoying being a tea drinker and really don't miss my coffee. I have always like tea, especially iced tea since I was raised on it my Southern grandmother. I love tea cups and tea pots. I love the taste of tea. My husband and I having been buying our loose tea from Teavana, which is really good tea, but expensive. Since we are a family of 5 living one 1 teacher's salary, we have been researching other places to buy tea. I believe that we will be placing an order with adagio teas. It will be interesting to see how they compare with Teavana.
The weather here, just north of Boston, is getting better. Of course, we have a few great days then we have horrible rain. I am starting to work on some of the gardens that we plan on having. Right now I have just worked on starting to edge around some bushes that we already have. I have started seeds, but I'm not sure how they are going to be when it gets to be time to plant them. I think this year, we may have to start with plants that are already started. Oh well, I can't have everything!
On non-food related note, I have a few projects that I am trying to complete. I have a couple of sundresses that I want to make for my daughter, a couple of rompers that I want to make for my sons, and I noticed today that the covers for our high chair seat are really disgusting and it says that they are not machine washable. I am thinking that I may be able to make a pattern from the existing seat covers that I can throw in the washing machine every so often. I have many more projects that I want to work on, but for now those are the main ones!
Oh, and I plan to have my husband put up a clothes line so that I can hang clothes outside now that the nice weather is here. As a kids I always hated that chore, but now as an adult thinking a little more green, thinking about cost effectiveness, and thinking about how much better it is for my clothes, as well as hearing from many people that hanging the cloth diapers out in the sun helps to clear away any yeast issues, I now look forward to hanging my clothes out!
This recipe was awesome and oh so easy and cheap! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sauteed-Greens-with-Cannellini-Beans-and-Garlic-241906 My husband loved it and was disappointed that there wasn't more for him to eat. He had to decide if he wanted to have lunch for today or have more last night! It's always nice when you try a new recipe and it goes over so well! Tonight we are having the old standby Indian lentils, another of my husband's favorite.
When the twin wake up and the kids have lunch, I plan to go outside and transplant some of my seedlings and hope that they continue to grow and get stronger for when it is time to plant them outside!
Last night I made Adzuki beans with 5 spice blend http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=16324. It was so good! Tonight I am making cannellini beans http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sauteed-Greens-with-Cannellini-Beans-and-Garlic-241906 I am really looking forward to this recipe too. The rest of the week will be food that we have already tried before!
I love eating beans now. I never really ate beans other than baked beans, Then when I was older I started trying new foods such as indian lentils, hummus, black bean soup, and maybe refried beans. It is such an inexpensive way to eat and so healthy for you. I love trying new recipes! I can't wait to try more recipes for other beans.
I need to start transplanting more of my seedlings into bigger pots. I can't wait to have a garden! I think maybe this weekend, we'll be spending some time getting things ready for the garden. I will be planting my seedlings hopefully then end of May. Hopefully they will survive until then. I'm sure we will have to buy some plants already started, but I can't wait to get out in the garden and pick my own veggies instead of having to go to the store. How nice will it be to just go out to the back yard and pick veggies and herbs fresh for dinner.
I have been trying to make changes in my eating habits and have done pretty well. I have some pretty major lapses here and there though. I am doing better with cooking a little healthier, but I am still eating way too much food. I have also been really bad at planning our meals for the week. This is all about to change as I am going to plan out my meals for this week right after I finish this post. Tonight we are trying a new bean recipe with Adzuki beans and a 5 spice blend. I am really looking forward to trying something new. We have the old standbys and they will definitely be used this week. We will have lentil dal, indian spiced chick peas, maybe a white bean soup with kale and even a butternut squash and black bean soup. I think that might mean 1 more dish at least to get through the week. I am thinking that I will have a salmon dish since we haven't had that in some time, and then there is the old standby of salad with chicken, especially now that the weather is getting nicer and hearty foods aren't needed or desired as much as they are in the winter. I will also be starting to exercise more!
I recently bought a new sewing book and would love to buy even more, but right now it's just not in the budget. I also bought some supplies to try out a sundress for my daughter. I am so looking forward to trying it, I just have to sit myself down and try to make it. It's simple enough to do and I think it will look extremely adorable. I also have a couple of other things that I need to sew. I'll get there before the weather gets nice enough for them to wear the things that I plan to make.
I also need to start working on my garden and planning on what I want to plant. I have some seeds started and probably need to transplant them, at least some of them to a bigger pot. Then I have to plan what I want to plant and more than likely by the actual plants for the garden. My husband started to put some hostas in for our new butterfly garden and then we need to decide on what plants/shrubs need to go in the front of the house. I need to start spending some time researching plants instead of just reading peoples' blogs (which I love to do, it just takes away from what I have to do!).
So there you have some of my projects for the nearby future! I have many things to do and much research to complete, but I am looking forward to this type of research and plan on documenting my new gardening venture!
I am loving my blogs. I love this one because it helps keep me honest and helps me to think about what I really want out of life. I am getting very excited with the weather that we are currently having. It makes me want to get outside with the kids and enjoy nature! I love taking the kids to the park, going for walks, playing in the back yard! I can't wait til we start our garden. I have some plants that really need to be transplanted into larger planters so that they don't die. I am so excited that I was able to start plants from seeds, I just hope that they last until it is time to plant them outside. I think this year, we may need to plant our garden with plants from the store instead of plants that I grew from seeds. Next year I will have a better plan. I need to start planing my flower garden for the front and the side of the house. I talked to my husband about putting up a clothes line and I think we will. Our weekends are going to be busy trying to get everything in order, but what a great way to pass the time!
I need to get my act together a little bit more so that I am not wasting this valuable time. I love being home and I have so many things that I want/need to do. I need to organize myself so that housework gets done, cooking gets done without waiting to the last minute, projects get completed and don't build up so that they are overwhelming and not enjoyable, and so many more things. This is not a means to beat myself up, but just a means of me writing down what I need to do so that I get things done and enjoy this time I have with my kids!
I am now off to do a little housework while the twins sleep and then I really need to get the thank-you's completed since it has been a month since Michael's birthday. Then I need to start making a couple of dresses for my daughter and some short sets for my sons. Never mind taking care of my plants
BTW-My neighbors who are very much into gardening have offered to come over and make suggestions on what we should plant. The husband also works at a nursery nearby so he knows what they have in stock and can make recommendations as well as the wife may be able to get us cutting from her mom's garden. What a great way to be green, use cutting from another garden in the area that you live so that you know they grow in your zone and you are not buying new plants, just using existing ones. I am so looking forward to my gardens!!!!!!
I wish to bloom into the person that I wish to be: a green living, healthy, creative, natural living person. I am slowly becoming that person, but it is ever so slow. I almost feel like a flower that opens up each day then closes as the night comes. By this I mean, I start out every day with the best of intentions, but often by then end of the day, I lose some of the ambition that I started the day with. Hopefully, as time goes on, I will totally bloom into the person that I wish to be. I will continue to work at this wish daily and as I have said in other posts, I will not beat myself up when I do not reach those goals.
Thanks Jamie for having these Wednesday posts. Not only does it make me think about what I want, but I love reading everyone else's wishes.
As I said above, I wish to change who I am currently to who I really believe that I am. I am amazed at how some of the things that I wish to change about myself are the things that I never wanted to be growing up. It is amazing how things change when you become an adult. One of my facebook friends just wrote about hanging out her laundry. I so want to have a laundry line. This is one of the things that I resisted as a child. I hated hanging out my laundry and longed to use the dryer. I hated weeding the garden and picking dinner from the garden, but now I am planning on planting a garden that will hopefully feed my family. I am saving scraps of veggies so that I can make veggie broth instead of wasting all those good nutrients. I want to make my kids clothes and maybe even myself clothes. I hated the handmade clothes that I wore as a child. I also hated hand me downs, but I really need to start looking at consignment stores as a place to shop. They have so many nice items that are barely used. This will help by buying used and also help with saving money. I also want to continue and increase the amount of personal care products and making my own food. I also want to use the car less and walk or ride my bike more often. Again this helps to save money and also is healthier for me, my family, and the planet.
I am trying to be a more green, healthy, creative, natural person and hope that some of those things that I resisted as a child will come back to me so that I can work on being the person that I want to be.
I've been working really hard on changing my bad ways. That includes eating, watching tv, exercising, and others. I have my good days/weeks and my bad ones. My newest goal is not to beat myself up when I don't reach my goals. Like people have commented, this is a huge lifestyle change and it isn't going to happen overnight. This is something I will probably continue to struggle with my whole life, but it is a struggle that I welcome and want to work to beat!
Thursday, I had planned to try a new chickpea recipe and then that night, I decided that I didn't want to. Why, I don't know. I ended up making the recipe Saturday night and it was delicious. I guess there is still a part of me that is afraid of trying new things. I need to remember times like these, that lots of times when I try something new, I end up totally liking the recipe and want to make it over and over again.
This weekend, we started working out in the yard! It was so nice to be outside and to play in the dirt. We started to get some of the garden beds dug and will be looking to plant as soon as the weather here north of Boston gets to the point where we don't have any more frost. I started to plant some seeds indoors a couple of weeks ago and luckily they are starting to grow. I was so afraid that they wouldn't grow because right after I started them, we had miserable weather with rain for days and days! Luckily, the seeds grew and I have a decent amount of plants that are started. Now to try to hold off til the weather is nice enough to plant outside.
I do need to clean my house tonight after the kids go to bed, but once that is done, I hope to be able to maintain it better so that I have more time to do other things. I need to start scrapbooking the kids pictures, I need to start sewing, and never mind all the projects that I have to finish along with the books that I want to read. I am going to try to set aside time to complete these things and enjoy the things that I love doing instead of just vegging out in front of the tv.
I am still working on changing my lifestyle and will be blogging about how it is all going. Since I very rarely post pictures on this blog I thought that i would post a picture of my latest gardening attempts!
So, I write about all these lofty goals, and I really do try hard to follow through, but sometimes I am so weak when it comes to food. Tonight we ate out instead of trying the Chickpea tangine that I wanted to try. I had the best plans for eating healthy! I will start over tomorrow and try to follow through with what I want to truly do! I am trying so hard to be a better, healthier person and it is so hard. I will continue to try to follow what I truly want out of life and be the person that I want to be. Also, I will continue to try to be the mother and the person I want to be for my children.
Thanks to all who read my blog and comment on the posts.
The Challenge for the week is to eat whole foods for an entire meal, an entire day, or an entire week. I think I am going to try for a week to eat whole foods. I already try to shop the perimeter of the store so that I am only buying real food, not processed foods,. Now it is time to step up and challenge myself to eat a weeks worth of whole foods for every meal and every snack.
My post from yesterday is "What do I wish to accomplish?". I wrote about wanting to be healthier and more creative, and more active. This weeks challenge will help me get to accomplish that, hopefully! I am hopeful that eating a whole foods diet, since it is healthier, will give me more energy to be creative and more energetic. I have wanted to become a vegetarian for a long time,but never thought I could give up beef. I eat beef so infrequently now, I think I could become vegetarian, and maybe even close to vegan. I don't think that I could ever become a total vegan, but I could give up eating animal based products where animals are killed for the food they provide. I could probably give up almost all animal products, but I think it would be hard to give up everything. I guess though, I never thought that i could give up beef and I pretty much have and don't really miss it.
I am now researching recipes for soy free/gluten free vegan diets. I was shocked that there are many blogs about this. I am attempting to find out if my kids have a dairy sensitivity and my husband is allergic to soy and I want to give up gluten. Can our family rise to the challenge? I certainly will try and since I am the cook for the family it will be up to me to find recipes that are tasty and healthy!
Oh and on another note, I am still trying to be less reliant on materialistic and store bought items, unless they are truly healthy. I have started seeds and they are actually growing even though we have had some horrible weather since I started them. I need to start more and actually plant my lettuce outside. I am still attempting to only cloth diaper my children and other than this rash I am trying to clear, it is going well. I am using my own wipes made from old receiving blankets and pretty much just plain water for cleaning their sensitive little bums. I have made my own shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant and am pretty pleased with how it is all working out. I still need to work on using my car less. Hopefully with the better weather coming, I can get out and walk with the kids more instead of having to drive every where.