Healthier Hump Day: Something for the whole family!

If your family is anything like mine, we tend to all like the same foods, but don’t like to put our meals together the same way. When I make tacos, the hubby wants his in tortillas, I like mine with either a crunchy shell or chips and with rice, and little man just wants his meat over rice with LOTS of cheese. I don’t mind it too much…doesn’t make cooking the meal that complicated and everyone is happy!

Well, this recipe works the same way in our house. This meal usually lasts us 2-3 meals b/c of how we split it all up!

CHILI DOGS

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. ground turkey

2 (8 oz) cans no salt added tomato sauce

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans

1 packet chili seasoning mix

98% fat free hot dogs (turkey meat)

Shredded cheese (2%)

Whole wheat bread

This meal is one of our VERY quick meals we do when we’re too tired to cook something else. It may not be the most nutritious, but we have found a way to make it healthier and fit in line with our Insanity program.

It is way too easy to make! Just follow the instructions on the chili packet! (Excuse the opened pack…the hubby started cooking before I got my pic taken :P)

Hubby: Hot dog on slice of bread with chili and cheese

Little man: Sliced hot dog on a plate and side portion of chili covered in cheese

Me: Big bowl of chili with cheese and Fritos! (Yes, even with the chips thrown in I am still within my allotted 300 calories…I don’t use a ton)

Here’s the caloric break down for the regular way of making this recipe and my version. Again, that turkey meat is key! It will really help reduce your calories, fat and sodium intake!

And if you’re like me and will only eat the chili, take the total for prepared chili and divide by 8 to get your chili calorie count = 161 calories/serving…then add your cheese and chips calories.

FREEBIE! Ok…so I know this doesn’t fall into a healthy category, but I was able to make a healthier version of this recipe. Nowhere in this program does it allot for desserts of any kind, but this chick has to have desserts.

Here is my version of a “Healthier” Funfetti Cake Dip

INGREDIENTS

1/2 box Funfetti cake mix (full recipe = 1 box)

1 (5.3 oz) Plain Greek yogurt, fat free* (full recipe = 2C)

8 Tbsp Fat free Cool Whip (full recipe = 1C)

Reduced fat Nilla Wafers for dipping (or reduced fat animal crackers)

This yields half a recipe (which is 12 servings). These 12 servings will be small to keep the calories down. If you plan on serving this at a party, you will need to make a full recipe.

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Cover and chill for 4 hrs before serving.

*The full recipe calls for 2C of yogurt. I only used one container of 5.3 oz. Greek yogurt for the half recipe to keep from having to use just a part of another container to get 8 oz. It tasted just fine, but was a little thick. It’s up to you to use the full 8 oz the half recipe calls for or all 16 oz the full recipe calls for.

The half recipe came to 940 calories = 78 cal/serving (12 servings)

If you do the full recipe with 2 full C of yogurt it will come to 1,960 calories = 82 cal/serving (24 servings)

Don’t forget to count your calories for whatever kind of cookie you use!

Hope you enjoy!

Manic Monday: Insanity #5

Day 13 (7-30-12)

I’m starting to get discouraged. I didn’t end the last week well (my fault) and today hasn’t helped either. Today was the Fit Test, to see how much your workout has improved over the last 2 weeks (this is the same test done on Day 1). Despite the fact I did everything right today, and I know my cardio has improved, my numbers didn’t increase much. I was better on each exercise, but on some just by 2 numbers. 😦 Not the kind of pick-me-up I was expecting after 2 grueling weeks of Insanity.

Oh well! No point in having a pity party. That won’t get me into better shape…unless I exercise while I cry…but then that would just dehydrate me faster. Nevermind!

Guess I’ll just stick it out for another 7 weeks. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to get fat or out of shape by sticking with it, right? πŸ˜‰

Day 14 (7-31-12)

This is what I was thinking almost the whole workout today. :/ Nothing seems more frustrating than having a drooping ponytail swipe your sweaty neck the entire time you are working out…oh wait…burning muscles is pretty frustrating too, but still…that ponytail thing is annoying. If only I had a little bit thicker hair, so it would stay wrapped up in that oh-so-attractive bun I put it in at the start. Haha! Oh well. πŸ˜›

Today was Plyometric Cardio Circuit again. This is a hard one…at least for me. The 2nd half of the workout has a lot of exercises that involve push-ups…and we all know how great I am at those. Needless to say, my arms were hurtin’ pretty bad there at the end. I think those exercises are supposed to be harder on your abs (b/c you keep your core tight during EVERYTHING), but clearly my abs are stronger than my arms. Haha!

I ate better, drank more water, and was able to last longer today! See…it does work better when you follow the plan! πŸ˜› I confess though…I still do NOT like working out. I don’t enjoy feeling the “burn” and I’d honestly rather be taking a nap every day instead of putting in the next DVD. But, I have this stubbornness to me…have since I was little. I made up my mind that I was going to do this program, whether I like it or not. If you tell yourself you don’t have a choice, you wipe out that other little voice that says “skipping today won’t hurt me”. Cause you know what? You skip one day, you’re likely to skip another and before you know it, your back on the couch and wondering where you went wrong.

This is my reason for getting up every day and doing my next workout. For some people, they do it for themselves. Me, I do it for my kiddo…because I want to be there for all the amazing things he’s going to do and accomplish! I think, by making it about him, I have a greater responsibility to do it. That way, if I don’t do my workout, I’m not just letting myself down, but him as well…and I don’t want to do that.

Day 15 (8-1-12)

Today was my oh-so-favorite Cardio Recovery…aka Death to Thighs. Again, today is a break from cardio, but you will feel the burn. When I first did this workout I HATED it. Honestly…it wasn’t as bad today. I’m assuming this is a sign my muscles are getting stronger…just like I had hoped! If you don’t have a yoga mat, I would encourage you to get one before doing this workout. It’s not necessary, but you will be on your knees to start off some of the workouts…and if you crash b/c your legs give out, you’ll have that cushion there to protect them. πŸ˜‰

I would suggest something like this from WalmartΒ or this from Target! You want it to have enough cushion to protect your knees, but keep in mind you will be on this mat with your shoes on. Yoga mats are most often used when barefoot, so be sure you pick one that WON’T tear easily if your shoes grip it!

Earlier today (Wednesday), I posted a blog with a recipe that I tweaked to be healthier and more in line with the Insanity program. If you find it’s hard to cook meals your whole family will enjoy and that will still be healthy and not throw your workouts off track, you can check it outΒ here. I’ll be posting more during the weeks to come on Healthier Hump Day (Wednesdays)!

Day 16 (8-2-12)

So, my sweet, sweet hubby comes home from work yesterday and seeing the yoga mat still on the floor, he asks “what workout did you do today?” I sarcastically responded “my favorite…Cardio Recovery.” He looked puzzled and informed me that is Thursday’s workout. I began to tell him that it’s Wednesday’s. He said the recoveries ARE on Thursdays, so I pull out the calendar and wouldn’t you know it…I did the wrong workout yesterday. Which means I got to do 2 workouts today (since I was supposed to do them yesterday). Punishment for not paying better attention…I know.

After doing Pure Cardio today, I’m beginning to see my mind change. I’m actually starting to dislike THIS workout more than Cardio Recovery…especially when you follow it with Cardio Abs. Now, I’ve always had pretty decent abs (it’s about the only thing that was in shape on me :P), but his workout makes me rethink that. It’s rough!…particularly the part where you are lifting both your straight legs up at the same time while your hands are by your side and your feet never touch the mat, like this…

Don’t you just love how she is smiling in that first pic? She’s awesome, but I don’t like watching her…she NEVER gives up. Psshhh!…overachiever. πŸ˜›

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s the truth. The more my cardio improves, the longer I can go in the workouts and the more tired I get. During the Fit Test, Sean asked the guy how he felt then compared to the first day he did the test. His response? “I feel the same.” His numbers had increased a good bit though. He’s pushing himself more b/c he can, so he feels just as tired as he did the first day, but his workouts have improved…and so will yours! Just stick with it! There are a lot of exercises that I am NOT fond of, but I never sit one out. I do them, so I can improve and that way they won’t be as hard the further into the program I get.

KEEP IT UP and PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CALENDAR!!! πŸ˜›

Day 17 (8-3-12)

Today was a little rough for me. Not muscle-wise or because I was winded, I was just give slap out before the workout started. I’ve heard so many times that if you will workout during a particular time of the month (eh hem…ladies (sorry guys)), that you will feel less cramping and discomfort. I guess I will find out in the days to come and can report back to you. As of today…the previous 2.5 weeks apparently hasn’t helped yet. My legs felt like they had been given a tranquilizer and just didn’t want to hold me up today. Not sure how great of a workout I got today, but I did last until the end…almost in tears from tiredness, but managed to suck it up.

One thing I have noticed, and even the hubby kinda laughed at me for it…this white girl CAN’T jump. My push-ups are improving though! πŸ™‚

Just in case you were wondering, this is how I blog every day (excuse the awful panelling…it’s getting painted ASAP)…

I finish my workout, get rehydrated, sit under the fan and blog that day’s workout before I get going with other things around the house or before I pass out on the couch. πŸ˜› I take my breaks where I can get them, b/c once little man gets up from his nap, I can kiss those breaks goodbye. What is it about a mom sitting on a couch that makes a kid come running from wherever he is, only to THEN have a fit that momma won’t get up and come play?

Day 18Β (8-5-12)

Did you see that? The date? Yep, I skipped doing the workout on Saturday again and did it today, Sunday. It’s for the exact same reason as last week. :/ Auction day! We had a blast and I even won a power tools set with a free raffle, but was too tired by the time we got home from being out of the house all day.

Honestly, I was nervous about today. I was extremely tired this morning from it just being THIS week of the month. I slowly got myself ready to work out and you know what? It really wasn’t bad at all. I still have about 2-3 days left of possible torture, so I’ll just have to see how my body handles those days when they get here. But surprisingly, so far, so good! Maybe those “experts” do know what they’re talking about after all. I will say this though…I’m now EXHAUSTED and will probably take a nap as soon as I finish this post. It may not have been painful, but it was VERY tiring on my already tired body.

Again, this could have been an EASY excuse for me to sit out today, or even a few days for that matter, but what good would it have done me? I think it just gives me bigger brag rights when I finish this program. πŸ˜› I’m kidding, I don’t brag to anybody, except my hubby and my momma. Haha!

Fun Friday! Treasure Hunting

I’ve always had a thing for hanging onto items that have a history or have sentimental value. You could almost say I’m a memory hoarder…I have about 5-6 storage bins full of “memories” from my childhood up to now…old drawings/paintings, birthday cards from family members, old t-shirts, old toys, etc. I even have a lot of my mamaw’s old stuff…some of which I may never put on display (b/c they’re honestly quite ugly), but they stood out in so many of my childhood memories, I just couldn’t part with it.

This is how funny my mamaw was…she was diagnosed with Leukemia in the late fall of 1999 and having decided that she was ready to go “home” to be with my gran, so she could finally have a cup of coffee with him ;), she told my mom and aunt and us grandkids to go through her house and lay claim to whatever we wanted, b/c she didn’t want anybody fighting over stuff once she was gone. So, what did I pick out?

1. A lovely lamp that had multi-colored glass panels in it…very similar to this one. It was in her living room on a side table for years and then was rehomed to a desk when they moved into town many years later.

2. A writing desk that had a compartment with a curved lift door on it…this is where she kept candy! The drawer is also where she kept wind-up toys that we used to race!

3. A VERY 70’s orange curved back chair, that I always sat in when in her bedroom, visiting while she would get ready. I always swore it was the most comfortable chair I had ever sat it. It went with me to college, was in my first house and has made it every move since. It currently sits in our living room…coordinating quite well with the dark wood paneled wall I whole-heartedly LOATHE. Haha!

4. Being an artist myself, I couldn’t stand by and let them sell off her paintings. She picked oil painting up later in life, but there’s just something about owning your grandmother’s own artwork. She liked to paint them HUGE too, so I have 3 giant framed paintings of hers!

I have a tendency to keep an eye out for “old stuff”! I love items with character! I’ve noticed that I’ve begun to move away from buying new items because I’m more drawn to the things of the olden days. They have more of a story and quite honestly were made back when craftsmanship and quality were far better than today.

I’ve bought quite a few things from antique stores, online market pages and even scoured relatives houses! So, when our friend, Brandon, told us about his auction house opening, I knew I wanted to go. Since it’sΒ FUN FRIDAY, I thought I’d share with you what all I got last Saturday at DuBois Auction Co.!

1.Β Piano Bench – It’s not that old, but I plan to make it look that way. It will be painted and distressed and go in the guest bedroom!

2. Ball Jars – I have a thing for Ball jars…especially the color. I’ll use these for decor in the guest bedroom and my office! These are dated 1933 and older!

3. Bowling Set and Croquet Balls – I got in a bidding war with someone over these…I wasn’t about to lose. πŸ˜› The bowling set is not complete, but I didn’t care…it was too cool! Once I got home and did research, I found that this particular set could possibly date back to the very early 1900s! It’s even in it’s original Milton Bradley wooden box. The croquet balls was one of those sentimental buys. My grandmother had a croquet set with this exact type of ball. I LOVED it! The bowling set will go in our entry way and the croquet balls will be displayed in my office!

4. Antique Wooden Ironing Board – There were a few of these at the auction and I just couldn’t resist. It was a STEAL at just $6!!! I want to somehow mount it to the wall and use it as a shelf, but we’ll just have to wait and see if that’s feasible. πŸ˜›

5. Vintage Coke Crate with Bottles – I know all the bottles don’t match and they aren’t all old, but I just love this! He had a few CocaCola crates, but this was the only yellow one he had. I paid a good bit less than what just the crates sell for in most antique stores and flea markets, so I was excited!

Β Brandon is having another auction this Saturday, Aug 4th at 4:00. Check out his Facebook page for all the details and to see pics of some of the items he will be auctioning off.

Whether you bought it an auction, antique store, or it was just passed down from a family member, what are some of your favorite “old” items that you treasure?

Healthier Hump Day: Slower Cooker Salsa Chicken

Since the hubby and I have been doing Insanity, I’ve had to watch my recipes a little more carefully. Some of them are fairly easy to tweak to reduce the amount of calories, but some have been put on the back burner. :/ Every Wednesday (hump day), I plan to post at least one recipe I have tweaked into a healthier one! I’ve said before, it can be quite easy to do once you figure out which ingredients need improving. And just because you are cutting out fat/calories, does not mean you lose flavor. Trust me, we wouldn’t eat it if it didn’t taste good!

I’ll give you the recipe first and then at the end will show you the difference in nutritional info between the original and the healthier versions.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts (I had 3 large that were 30 oz total)

1 C salsa

Cream of chicken

Taco seasoning (equivalent of 1 pkg…approx. 4 Tbsp)

Sour cream

Tortillas

Shredded Cheese

DIRECTIONS

After you trim off all the excess fat from the chicken, place in a slow cooker and cover with taco seasoning.

In separate bowl, combine cream of chicken and salsa. Then pour over chicken.

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Remove chicken, shred it with two forks and return to crock pot…stir!

This is where you would add 1/2 C of sour cream if you would like it to be creamier. I actually forgot to add it the first time I made this recipe and we decided we liked it without it/not creamy. So I didn’t add it this time, which in turn just reduced the number of calories even more!

Place 1/8 of the prepared chicken on your tortilla and add approx 1/4 C shredded cheese.

Wrap it up and enjoy!

Here is the breakdown for each version. Since we decided to NOT use sour cream in ours, the calories were reduced to 367/serving instead of 387/serving…20 calories less per serving! It may not seem like much, but when you’re supposed to stick with 300 calories per meal (like I am), it really can make the difference. Note: I didn’t eat my whole 300 per each meal that day, so going over on supper was not an issue.

Also, it may seem like there is not much of a significant difference in calories on the store bought items compared to the homemade items, but you have to remember, when you make your own, you are cutting out all those preservatives/additives that are not good for you and you’re also getting a fresher product!

I hope this helps you see how easy it can be to alter some of your favorite recipes to make them healthier for you and your family! I’ll post more in the weeks to come. And let me know if you have a recipe you’d like me to “alter”!

Manic Monday: Insanity #4

Day 7 (7-23-12)

Today wasn’t so bad! I was back in the comfort of my own living room with a full speed ceiling fan just feet from my head! πŸ˜‰ I seriously did not even want to do today’s workout, though. After the break I got on Sunday (you do this program 6 days a week, getting Sundays off), and the stupid long trip to Walmart I had earlier this afternoon, the last thing I wanted to do was workout. Nevertheless, I put little man down for his nap, relaxed for about 30 min and then started up the DVD.

Let me warn those of you who are thinking of starting, have started or are about to start a program like this. By the 2nd week, the hubby was noticing he was gaining weight. I know that when you work out as extremely as this video calls for, you are bound to gain muscle, but something didn’t seem right. He asked me to look up “gaining weight with Insanity” online. Here is what I found…

1. Yes, you will lose fat and gain muscle and yes, muscle weighs more than fat, BUT you should be burning fat faster than you gain muscle, therefore a weight gain this early should not represent muscle gain.

2. This type of workout is EXTREME and causes sore muscles. Sore muscles are due to the tearing of muscle fibers. This tearing of the muscles also creates fluid retention..aka swelling. Most likely, the weight gain is from the excess fluid.

3. After week 2, your muscles should become a little more used to the workouts and the swelling should decrease. If you have changed your eating habits (for the better) and are continuing to work out properly, you should begin to see the numbers go down during week 3. If you don’t, you need to look at what you’re eating. Exercise does NOT make you gain weight…what you are eating DOES! Make adjustments in your diet where necessary.

TIP: Don’t depend on the scales to see if you are making progress…take measurements on day 1 and continue to check them every 1-2 weeks. That is how you will know if you are making progress.

I plan to start posting some of the healthier recipes our family has been using during this workout. It may seem hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can be rather easy to take a favorite recipe that isn’t too healthy and turn it into one that is!

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED! STICK IT OUT AND STAY FOCUSSED!

DAY 8 (7-24-12)

Today was a repeat of Day 5’s workout…Pure Cardio. I’m honestly amazed at how much my cardio has improved in just one week of doing Insanity. If I had tried this workout on day 1, I may not have made it to day 2. On the first day, I was taking a breather in between almost every single exercise (and they were much easier on day 1 than today). Today, I made it through about 4-5 exercises before I took a break! Now, I did take a few 3 sec breaks to correct my form because I was getting a little tired and slightly sloppy. Sean repeats multiple times during the workout to NEVER sacrifice form for speed. If you lose form, stop and start back correctly…or else the workouts aren’t working in your favor.

Today was also the most I’ve sweat yet…pretty sure that’s b/c my cardio has improved so much that I can last longer in the workouts! Improved cardio = longer stamina = harder workout = better results!!!Β 

Even though I feel like this when I finish a workout, I’m excited to see what the results will be when all is said and done!

DAY 9 (7-25-12)

Today SUCKED! It was a repeat of day 6…Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Again…b/c my muscles can withstand the workouts better now, I push myself harder, which means I get winded faster. Despite the fan full-speed today, I sweat my butt off (I wish it was that easy to lose my extra butt poundage!). I made it through though! I’m at that point now where I’m wanting to see results already and even though others say they can see some difference, I’m not noticing it as much. I guess it’s because I see myself everyday and slight changes go unnoticed. I’m hoping there’s a difference in my progress pics I take this weekend.

I had a friend recently tell me that she and her hubby didn’t see much of a difference until week 6 and then they really saw results. So, I’m not giving up! She also stressed how important it is to keep a healthy diet! We knew this, but it’s still hard…especially when you have a somewhat picky toddler in the house that has to eat too. Breakfast and snacks are easy to manage, but it’s supper we have a hard time with. Like I said earlier, I plan to start posting recipes again, but just healthier versions. They may not be 100% in line with what the Insanity program calls for, but they will be “reduced” almost everything…except flavor!!! πŸ˜‰

Tip: An easy way to reduce fat intake and not lose flavor…use TURKEY substitutes for recipes that call for ground beef and bacon. You lose the grit that is sometimes in ground beef and a good amount of fat (if you use the 97/3) and we can’t tell the difference in the flavor! You’ll see me use ground turkey meat in a lot of my recipes. Turkey bacon is AMAZING! They even sell it in “lower sodium”…EVEN BETTER! Due to the lower amount of fat in turkey bacon, you don’t lose a lot of your substance when you cook it. The bacon is thicker, doesn’t shrivel up and it tastes great. FYI: Bacon is on the list of approved breakfast foods and mid-morning snacks! But with the reduced sodium turkey bacon, you can eat twice the amount!

Check out the comparisons for Oscar Mayer’s Original vs. Turkery Lower Sodium Bacon.

Oscar Mayer Original Bacon

Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Lower Sodium

Here’s a sample breakfast for me. Keep in mind, my caloric intake per meal (3 meals, 2 snacks) is right around 300 calories. Yours may be different depending on your goals.

2 organic eggs (with approx. 1 Tbsp organic 2% milk) – approx 140-150 calories total (organic and free range eggs appear to have fewer calories and less fat!)

1 slice of cantaloupe (8-9 pieces) – approx 25-30 calories total (I cut 12 slices out of a large cantaloupe)

2 slices of turkey bacon (lower sodium) – 70 calories total

Total of 250 calories. I had 50 more I could and maybe should have eaten, but I honestly couldn’t hold any more food. πŸ˜›

If you need more calories, add a slice of reduced fat cheese OR use a whole wheat tortilla wrap. Check the calories though to make sure you aren’t going over your allotted amount.

Don’t forget…you HAVE to change your eating habits too…especially if you are wanting to lose weight. Bad eating habits are what led to being overweight in the first place. And don’t torture yourself…if an unhealthy food is NOT in the house, you WON’T be tempted to eat it!

Day 10 (7-26-12)

Today was Death to Thighs…I mean, Cardio Recovery. It’s still just as awful as it was the first time I did it last week. Again, your heart rate won’t go up hardly any with this workout, but when Sean says “deep muscle burn”, you better believe it. Today was definitely a nap kinda day, but I didn’t succumb. Cardio Recovery is just a little over 30 min long…one of the shortest videos in the set…so it doesn’t take long to get through it. I know there are a lot of girls who have thigh issues like me. If I gain weight, that’s straight where it goes…nothing else ever seems to get much bigger…which is sad. Weight gain only in the hips and thighs is AWFUL…at least for me. πŸ˜› Thankfully, Insanity works your thighs and glutes A LOT! So hopefully by the end of this those trouble areas will be redefined!

Not that this is a recipe, but here’s a sample lunch for me on this new nutrition plan. Again, this is not exactly a meal that they suggest in the guide, but it does use a lot of the same “ingredients”.

Turkey & Cheese toasted wrap, cantaloupe and chips

Tortilla – 130 calories – Mission 100% whole wheat

Cheese slice – 70 calories – Sargento colby jack, reduced sodium

2 oz. Turkey – 40 calories – Sara Lee mesquite turkey breast from deli (you can look up nutrition for deli meats online…just be sure you remember the brand name)

Chips – 60 calories – about 7-8 Baked Lays

Cantaloupe – 25-30 calories – 8-9 pieces (1slice)

Approx 330 calories. The chips put me over and are definitely not included in the nutrition plan, but I splurged a tad. :/

Day 11 (7-27-12)

I admit, I was NOT feeling the workout today. I dreaded it, was not in the mood, too tired, wanted to take a nap, etc. I still did it though and now I feel sick and am shaky. I said before that I am not the type that uses exercise as a stress reliever (I wasn’t stressed today, just not in the mood) and today proved that. I took a lot more breaks today than usual and I just didn’t care. Earlier today I was having dizzy spouts for no apparent reason and mostly when I was sitting down. They cleared up before the workout, but I’m still not sure what was going on. All this to say, I can come up with a million excuses to NOT workout, but none of them are legit (unless you’re sick of course…and I’m not). They’re just that…excuses. So…are you going to get up and do your workout or just give another excuse? Time is ticking and it’s just your health that’s fading away.

Day 12 (7-29-12)

If you pay attention to my dates, you may have noticed that I didn’t do day 12 on the actual 12th day, but rather the 13th. We were going non-stop yesterday afternoon and were out of the house from about 2:30-9:30pm. My workout falls into the first part of that time slot, so I missed it. Once we were home, there was no way I was about to do Insanity, so I waited until today. Good thing too, b/c I was exhausted last night and to have done it then would have destroyed me. πŸ˜›

I admit, I did NOT even come close to eating the way I was supposed to before the workout today. Let’s just say, I didn’t eat much, what I ate was nowhere in the nutrition plan and I didn’t drink any water, but instead just an 8 oz. glass of V8 Fusion. Today SUCKED for me. Best part?…the hubby was home to watch me crash and burn (this was the first time he’s ever seen me do Insanity). On top of that, the schedule called for Pure Cardio AND Insane Abs…yep, 2 workouts. My chest was actually hurting after some exercises and I took longer breaks than normal to help it recoup. Like I said, it was ROUGH.

So, take my word when I say you HAVE to eat and drink properly before you take on this workout. You will seriously regret it if you don’t.

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party

I have a few friends that are planning Mickey Mouse parties, so I thought I’d share this on the blog, from little man’s party back in February. Since the party, we’ve moved and things got a little crazy so I’m just now getting around to sharing all the projects I made to help make his day special!

I may have gone a tad overboard, but I had so much fun creating all the details! I had so many, that I didn’t even have time to finish some in time for the party. Yes…I had more than what is shown in this post. πŸ˜›

The invitations! I got the idea off Pinterest. They were actually for sale on Etsy, but I knew I could recreate them for free, so I did! I included one for the parents too! The kids brought their tickets to get in to the “Clubhouse” and then got a sticker, hand stamp and Mickey ears!

I’ll start at the street and move on into the house since this is how the guests saw it!

I made this sign using some scrap wood we had from building an addition onto the house we were living in at the time. I’m a craft supply hoarder and already had the paints on hand, so this project cost me absolutely nothing…other than time. I scanned in the clubhouse logo at about 900dpi (graphic designer jargon…sorry) so I could enlarge it big enough and then traced it onto the wood with a ball point pen…which creates an indention in the wood and makes it easy to see where to paint without extra steps!

Next, I created sidewalk signs that featured all the Clubhouse characters. I bought one of those birthday bundle supply books from Walmart for like $8 and it turned out to be the BEST purchase. (Since I’m a graphic designer, I could scan anything in the book and use the graphics to create anything I wanted on a larger scale…for FREE!) The book had napkin rings, table displays, placemats, table runner, etc.) I had scanned all the characters and enlarged them so I could use them for lots of different projects! I printed out each character and spray mounted them onto pieces of cardboard (I cut up a moving box since we had plenty lying around). The only cost to me on the sidewalk signs was the ribbon (3 rolls/$1 at Michael’s) and the dowel sticks (also at Michael’s…one stick was long enough to make 3 signs…less than $1/dowel stick).

Next, I had 4 different games outside as well as an inflatable jumper!

Pluto’s Frisby Toss – $1 Store laundry baskets, signs on dowel paint sticks, stuck through basket holes and then staked into the ground. The store also had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse frisbies for $1 each, so I bought 5! Total cost…about $7

Then there was the Bucket Toss. Again…saw this idea on Pinterest. It wasn’t a new idea if you’ve ever watched the Bozo Show! πŸ˜‰ The kids obviously didn’t get the reference, but still had a blast playing it! Costs: 6 buckets – $1/each, 1×6 – about $5, screws – $3, balls – $1.50 for 12. Total = $15.50

Donald’s Duck Pond! This was a huge hit and a huge mess! The kids flocked around the pool (luckily this February day wasn’t too cold) and not much later, I had a soaked Birthday boy. I had a star on the bottom of one of the ducks and prize candy to give out, but completely forgot to bring the candy out. They didn’t seem to mind at all. We eventually had to empty the pool, but it was fun while it lasted! We already had the pool and I found the ducks on clearance for $3! Total cost = $3

Clubhouse Bean Bag Toss! This one took us a while to finish, but I think it turned out great! We already had the board from the house addition leftovers. The hubby cut out the circles and I painted it blue (we already had this paint too). I printed out enlarged characters and decoupaged them to the board. The only expense I had on this one was the fabric and peas for the bean bags…about $4-$5 total.

Then there was the bouncer! This was a gift from us and my mom! To rent one runs about $200 and just for a little more you can own a smaller one! This one has an attached ball pit and he absolutely loved it! It’s small enough that it can be inflated indoors! Of course, the kids had to take their shoes off before they got in…so I made a sign and placed it on a “shoe shelf”.

As soon as you entered the door, the kids got their stickers, hand stamp and Mickey ears. Before the party even started, I said “I have a feeling the adults are going to wear these more than the kids”…and I was right. My mom and sis even sported them the whole time! This was, by far, the most time consuming of all the projects. I got the headbands from the dollar store for 2/$1. The felt was on sale and I used maybe a yard and half?…so maybe $4-$5? I honestly can’t remember…or I intentionally blocked this project from my memory. Haha! The foam I used was a roll I got from the dollar store. I doubled up the circles on each ear to make it sturdy enough. Total cost = $12…and a TON of patience.

This is the serving table!

Cups, solid color serving plates, tablecloth all came from the dollar store. The character plates and napkins are from Walmart. The table garland is made from foam and outlined in sharpie marker. The buttons on the pants were painted on, but you could probably use stickers too. All strung together with ribbon. I used some leftover stars I cut from foam as table confetti.

I had these canvases left over from a project I had done months earlier, so this was another one that just cost me time! (I told you…I hoard craft supplies!)

The birthday banner…done in Clubhouse font! I don’t own a cricut, so all of the letters were hand cut. Not as bad as it sounds…cut them while watching TV! πŸ˜‰This is the main table set up! The topiaries I had placed throughout cost more than I wanted them to, but those styrofoam balls are stupidly expensive. I honestly don’t remember how much they cost, but I got them at Michael’s…on sale (still too pricey in my opinion). TIP: Do NOT spray paint styrofoam. It will MELT it! I already knew this, but you do not want to make that mistake and ruin them after you paid so much for them. The stars are made out of foam and the stakes are skewer sticks. I spray painted the pots and hot glued white buttons on. The crinkle paper is from the dollar store…I LOVE me some crinkle paper!

The framed pic is something I saw on Pinterest too! I intent to do it every year. It’s just too cute of an idea to not continue. Since I knew we were going to have out of town family at the party, I decided to have some wallet pics they could take with them…especially since we were getting ready to move out of town ourselves.

This was on the coffee table in the living room. We didn’t expect too many people to be in there with everything else that was going on, but wanted it to be fun too! These frames were bought at Michael’s for $1 each and painted. The Mickey stickers are just scrapbook stickers!

This is the table in the sunroom…where people could visit and eat and where we opened gifts. BTW…we had Hot Diggity Dogs! πŸ˜‰

More topiaries, but balloon ones this time! Balloons were bought at Walmart…and so was the table cloth.

He had so much fun and thoroughly enjoyed this one particular birthday card!

After all the presents were opened, we moved on to the cake! My mom made my and my siblings cakes growing up and that was one tradition I wanted to do with my own kids. I helped out with his first birthday cake, but due to the overwhelming amount of projects I set out to do, I wasn’t able to do it this year. 😦 Thankfully, my mom is fully capable of still doing it by herself! Cakes sure have come a long way since I was a kid!

Once it was time to leave, each kiddo got to take home a Mickey Mouse goody bag! I made each of them the size of a small pillow case and hand-sewed the buttons on, so they could still be used once the contents were emptied out of it!

Here’s what was included in each bag! Everything cost $1 or less.

Each M&M container had a sticker I designed on it as a “Thank You”!

We had a blast and I think all the kids that came did too! I hope you were able to get some great ideas for your own parties!

See ya real soon!

Lisa

Manic Monday: Insanity #3

Day 3 (07-18-12)

Today kicked my butt, but I have to admit, I wasn’t well prepared. Today may have beat out yesterday for most stressful day in a while. This didn’t help me with my eating plan too well. A lot of people eat when they’re stressed, but I’m the opposite. I managed to eat breakfast and lunch, but not much of it. I didn’t get in my mid-morning snack and I failed to drink a lot of water (HIGHLY recommended when doing Insanity). Funny how eating more will help you workout better (as long as it’s the right foods).

I still stuck it out and managed to finish…just with less energy this time and more out of breath. The fun thing, though, is that when you finish a workout like this, you look “cut” for a short while afterwards! Just a little bit in my case, but still…whatever helps to encourage, right?

Tiny abs starting to show again! Notice the photo is carefully cropped to omit the baby belly…not quite there yet πŸ˜‰

Sooo…EAT RIGHT AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!!!!

DAY 4 (7-19-12)

Today was Cardio Recovery. Sounds like a break, right? If you consider burning thighs a break, then yes, it’s a break. πŸ˜› Today was definitely a test of how long could my thighs hold me up for each exercise. The one pictured below seemed to be the hardest. Why?…

“Death to Thighs” exercise πŸ˜›

1. You start in this position, raise up to straighten your legs, only to go back down into this position…16 TIMES!

2. You stay in this position to barely raise up, only to go back down into this position (looks like a slight bounce…but it’s not a bounce).

3. You stay in this position and HOLD IT…and there are no breaks (or standing up straight) from 1-3.

4. Then you switch sides and do the other leg!!!

Yeah…cardio may not have been a factor today, but honestly…I think I’d rather have cardio over extreme muscle burn in my quads and hamstrings. But that’s just me. Haha!

DAY 5 (7-20-12)

“That s*#@ is BA-NANAS y’all”

Sean (instructor) pretty much summed it up right there…as he lay on the floor after the last exercise of today’s workout. Β With 10 min left in the video he went over to one of the girls as she was doing Mountain Climbers and askedΒ “How you feelin’?”. She exhaustedly responded “I wanna leave!” He immediately told her to take a break. He then tells them “I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m trying to make you feel better.” If you need to take a break, TAKE IT. I find it’s more important to cut one exercise short in order to take a break and be able to do the next exercise, than to stick it out for one whole exercise only to be too exhausted to even do the next one.

Today was PURE CARDIO and boy was it! Here’s the breakdown…

Minutes 38-34 – 7 warm-up exercises (I know a lot of people who would consider these warm-up exercises to be a complete workout if done longer. That is why this video is insane. What some consider a workout, Sean considers a warm-up.)

Minutes 34-31 – repeat those 7 warm-up exercises, but faster

Minutes 31-27 – repeat the 7 even faster

15 second water break

Minutes 27-21 – stretching…still a slight workout, but definitely gives your heart some time to slow down a little

30 second water break

Minutes 21-5 -round of 15 different exercises (some exercises consisting of more than one move)

1 minute water break

Minutes 4-finish – cool down stretching

FYI…I still prefer this workout over the Cardio Recovery that I did yesterday…even though my glutes were pretty sore this morning. πŸ˜‰ I also felt the burn in my quads during some of the exercises today, but it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t do them…just maybe couldn’t do them as long.

“DIG DEEPER” and stick with it!

DAY 6Β (7-21-12)

Today was a repeat of day 2’s workout. I was able to last longer than I did on day 2, but I got tired a bit faster at the same time (maybe it was b/c I felt I could go longer…and did). I think part of my problem was I was in a room MUCH hotter than what I usually workout it (my mom’s living room with huge windows that let lots of sunlight (heat) into the room). We’re back in town today for personal matters and while the hubby was out handling stuff, me and the kiddo went to my mom’s house so he could take a nap. If this tells you anything about how committed I am to completing this time, I brought my workout clothes and the DVD workout. Yep…normal Lisa would have never even THOUGHT of doing that, but “Insane” Lisa did. πŸ˜› My mom was in the room while I did it and she even told me “I know how much you hate working out…I’m impressed with how well you stuck with it!”

Extra red face after today’s workout…compliments of my mom’s toasty living room. πŸ˜› **Smiling thru the pain and exhaustion…haha**

It is getting easier…on the body. I’m not as sore as I was the first few days, my heart rate has slowed a little during the exercises (which is good, b/c mine was high, but not so high it was dangerous), and I’m not as tired after the workouts. Mentally, I still hate working out though. :/

Note: If you are working out on a hard surface, like I am, be careful when going to your knees to take a break (mainly from the push-up position). I have bruised both of my knees this week by dropping, instead of lowering myself down into the child’s pose to rest. Whoops.

I’ve never had a bruise quite like this one. It actually seemed like more of a blood blister b/c it was raised. Pic on left is later the same day it happen and right pic is the next morning…the 3rd day it was lighter but covering almost my entire knee cap. The bruise on the right knee wasn’t as bad.

The pic below is my encouragement. He loves to “workout” with daddy and even requests us to put the “dance” video on so he can do it by himself. Kids soak up everything and I want to make sure he’s soaking up the right things. Seeing his momma and daddy eat better and exercise only sets a better example for him! A kid’s health/nutrition is determined by his/her parents…what kind of example are you setting for your children?

Doing the stretches after his workout! Very important…even for toddlers πŸ˜‰