12.09.2011

Brilli Kids Little Reader Chinese Edition


As a member of the BrillKids Blog Team, I was recently given the opportunity to review their Little Readers Program Chinese. I was able to review the online program of Little Readers.

Just like the English version this version is just as great. It exposes your child to words they probably wouldn't hear unless you were doing a language program with them. Kiley sat down and was interested to go over the lesson, just as she was with the English version. In fact, she seemed to like the different accent of words as she wold smile when she heard them. Everyday that we do the Little Reader she becomes more content and will sit longer for the lesson. She also starts to point to different body parts they pick out, by being able to follow the pictures she can see. She may not understand the word in the Chinese language, but when she is able to put a picture with it, she can understand what the word means and will follow.

Just like the English Little Readers program. the Chinese program is very user friendly. Lessons are short but very educational. The Chinese version teaches 3, 576 words and has 2. 768 images to go along with the words. Each word comes with 3 recorded voices, 3-5 images and 2-4 picture audio. All the voice recordings are in Mandarin. You can also select if you would like the traditional or simplified version. The program comes with a 12 month lesson plan. You can also use the BrillKids forum and download more content to your lesson plans. There are two different programs you can purchase from BrillKids. The first version retails for $250.00 and includes the Little Reader software, pattern phonics flash cards, 1 year program of the English Curriculum program, starter flap card kit, The Little Reader storybook series, which includes 25 books, weekly lesson plans, Teaching Your Baby To Read Booklet, 6,000 Loyalty Bonus Points, Teaching with Little Reader booklet, sticker labels for playing the labeling game. Little Reader Basic retails for $149 and includes, The Little Reader software, 1 year program of the English Curriculum, Teaching Your Baby To Read booklet, and the Teaching With Little Reader Booklet.
You can also do a 14 day free trial of the program, which I highly suggest downloading and seeing how much this program can really help your child to read. You can start the Little Reader program in between 3-6 months or you can wait till your child is 1 or 2. So why teach your child to read so young? Well there are many benefits. One of them is that children who teach reading before formal schooling starts are seen to have higher self-esteem and confidence levels, than those who had parents who didn't encourage early reading. Children are also more likely to be more successful in school activities and want to learn more eagerly. Remember keep your lessons fun and exciting and it will keep your child engaged! Kiley likes this program so much that every time she sees the computer she waits for me to turn Little Reader on! I was provided this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. I was not paid for the review, nor required to write a positive review.

12.01.2011

Enter Enter!

Have you entered the awesome giveaway over at Wives Unscripted?

If not, you should! It's for a free holiday card design! You get to choose from 3 different styles. A digital copy will be made for you and all you have to do is send to get it printed!

What are you waiting for? Take a task off of your holiday to do list!

30 Days of Thanks


Day 28-
A Gift
Cuisinart Stand Mixer, love this thing! I do a lot of baking and use this ALL the time!
Day 29-
Something In Your Home
My Bed(I don't have a picture of this, sorry, but it's sooo comfy!)

Day 30-
The Thing I'm Most Thankful For
Again, no picture here cause there's a million of them, but most importantly, my family, pets and friends =)

11.28.2011

30 Days of Thanks






Love
Day 23-
A Feeling




Day 24-
A photograph
A Cottage Sunset

Day 25-
A luxury
My feather pillow

Day 26-

A Charity
Day 27-
A Song


11.22.2011

30 Days of Thanks





Playing catch up here!
Day 18-
A saying/quote or scripture



Day 19-
A favorite piece of clothing
Nothing like a big comfy hoodie


Day 20-
A Keepsake
Engagement Ring
Day 21-
A disappointment or fear
I'm not sure really what to put here. I guess a disappointment would be that I didn't reach my goal weight in the time I wanted to, but life happens, and I plan to after this baby to get back on track!

Day 22-
A Book
Come on, if you grew up in the 80's and are a girl, there's no way you can't tell me you didn't read some Double Fudge!

11.17.2011

30 Days of Thanks



Day 17-
A Store
This is a tie, a 3 way tie. I don't know what I'd do with Wegmans, Kohl's and Target. Seriously these are the best three stores ever. Wegmans because you get everything and anything there, organic, non-organic, lunch, dinner items. Everything!

Kohl's-they have amazing sales, I can always find what I'm looking for.

Target-Do I need to even say anything? It's Target!

11.16.2011

30 Days of Thanks


Day 16-
An experience


Giving birth to Kiley, it's a moment I'll never forget. Not one detail about. The whole process, from the start, being in labor for 38 hours and hearing her first cry after she was born.

11.15.2011

30 Days of Thanks


Day 15-
A Recipe

It's the best recipe out there for a fall day. Taste so good, so yummy and so comforting!

11.14.2011

Big Announcement!


Time for the reveal! Finally after months months of planning, designing, and preparation I can finally share what the big announcement is!

So what is it? It's a collaborative blog, that was started by 12 other amazing ladies and my self! I met these ladies while planing my wedding, on a well known wedding message board. We've all stayed connected from the time we were engaged and till now, 3 years after our marriages. There is a group of about 25 of us or so that still all talk to each other, at least once a day, if not more, via social networking/email/phone calls/text! Anyways, 13 of us decided we wanted to start a blog, since most of are bloggers anyway, we though creating a collaborative blog, where women came come and read and relate to our personal lives would be awesome. So we started it and today it launches! The first week you'll be meeting each of our bloggers and then stayed tuned next week for our blog post to really begin!

I'm super excited and hope you become a fan!
Follow us on twitter: WivesUnscripted
Follow us on Facebook: Wives Unscripted

And yes, I will still continue to blog here and my food blog!

11.12.2011

30 Days of Thanks




Day 12-
A gadget

The Diaper Genie


Let's face it, poopy diapers STINK. Really bad, especially after a few days. This thing is a must have! Once you change that stinky poopy diaper, that smell is GONE forever, thanks to this gadget!!!

11.11.2011

30 Days of Thanks

30 Days Of Thanks
Day 13 & 14

Day 13-
Something Old

Hair ties! Seriously, they are SOO easy to throw your hair back when you have a little one and even when you don't! How can you NOT be thankful for these?!

Day 14-
Something New
A Keruig. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do love sweet hot drinks, like tea, cappuccino's, and hot apple cider. But I love it because my husband is an avid coffee drinker, which means I got to dump the coffee pot, dump the coffee grounds, etc. and I used to HATE have to do any of that, it's awesome!!

30 Days of Thanks


Day 11-
A Tradition
Christmas Eve Candle Light Service at my church, I know I don't post at all about religion on my blog, but this service at church is super important to me. Every year, my Nana and I would go to this service. There's just something about being in church with only candles lit and celebrating the Christmas Season. My grandmother passed away in June of 2010, and unfortunately last year we were unable to make it to the service and I was pretty crushed. I feel this is something I need to do every year to celebrate her and something she loved to do.

Also, today we all should be thankful for our Veteran's and all they have done for us.

11.10.2011

Cinnabon, Yummy!





Cinnabon is looking for ways to warm the hearts of others this holiday season and needs your help to Spread the Warmth through its Random 'Packs' of Kindness contest.

Cinnabon wants you to share its ooey-gooey awesomeness with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers, and then share your story online! From November 6th through January 7th, share any act of kindness to qualify for a chance to win prizes! Simply photograph or video the reaction to a random act of kindness and submit it to the Cinnabon Facebook page for a chance to win free weekly Cinnapacks or a cash prize of $2,500 and a $2,500 donation to the charity of your choice.

For more contest rules and information on how you can help Spread the Warmth, visit the Cinnabon Facebook page.

This was provided by Cinnabon and General Mills through Pssst...


30 Days of Thanks

Day 10-A Time of Day
Disclaimer: I don't want anyone to think that I don't want to spend time with my daughter or that I can't wait for her to take a nap.
My favorite time of day is about 2:30 in the afternoon. It's when Kiley takes a nap everyday and it's my chance to just hang out, watch my DVR, clean house, snuggle with the pug and get blog post ready. It's my zen time.

11.09.2011

30 Days of Thanks

Day 9-
A Blog

Designer Wife, otherwise I wouldn't of even thought to do this little blog project for the month. I also have to be super grateful for my own blogs cause it's allowed me to meet some awesome food bloggers! Like Nutmeg Nanny, Emily Malloy and My Life on a Plate.

11.08.2011

30 Days of Thanks


Day 8-

A restaurant

Mmm, broccoli cheddar soup!

11.07.2011

30 Days of Thanks


Day 7-
A Scent
Love this, nothing remind me more of home, then this scent !

11.06.2011

30 Days of Thanks






Day 6-
A pair of shoes
If you know me well, you know I live in flip flops, year round. They are the best shoe ever. So easy to put on and so comfy!

11.05.2011

30 Days of Thanks


Day 5-A Place-
Good old B-town, USA, It's were I was born and raised, no matter how tiny, it will always be my number one place, the place I always want to go back too!


11.04.2011

30 Days of Thanks


Day 4- A favorite snack

Honeycrisp Apple, even though I need to bake them before I eat one, because of fruit allergy, they are still so juicy and the best apple!


11.03.2011

30 Days of Thanks



Since we are in the month of November, my friend and fellow blogger Lindsay at Designer Wife had a great idea of sharing for 30 days what she is thankful for.

She's inviting any blogger who wants to participate to do so!
Check out her blog for the prompts and details!

So I need to play catch up here, so here are my first 3 thankful things!

1. A Person- My amazing husband of course!


Without him, I wouldn't have such an amazing life, with an awesome little one year old and another one of the way!

2. An Animal
Puggie, my 9 year old pug. She's my BFF. Love her to pieces.

3. A cozy place in your home
This one I don't have one particular picture for, our whole house is cozy and I simply couldn't post every single picture of our home!

10.17.2011

Betty Crocker-Fun Da Middles

Have you seen Betty Crocker's newest cupcake line? FUN da-Middles are so cute! Not to mention they are so easy to make. They are cupcakes with a filling inside. You just make the batter, then squeeze some of the filling on top and that's it! So easy!

Check out this cute video:



10.11.2011

BrillKids Little Reader




As a member of the BrillKids Blog Team, I was recently given the opportunity to review their Little Readers Program. I was able to review the online program of Little Readers.
So what is Little Reader? It is a program that teaches your child to read at an early age.

At first I was a little hesitant that I could get my 1 year old daughter to sit down for about 10 minutes at a time to go over the lessons. The first day I was able to get her attention for about 5 minutes, but the next day and everyday after she sits down for the whole lesson. We do one lesson a day. Little Reader keeps the child engaged because it's constantly changing to a different word or picture. It also makes sounds, for instance if the word is dog, a dog may bark. After 3 days Kiley was repeating the word dog and was barking like a dog and now does it all the time. As a former educator, I really like this product a lot. It's very user friendly, the lessons are short, but very informative. You can even customize the pictures in the lesson to your child's face, or even you own pets.
My favorite part of the lesson is that every time the child is taught a word, he or she not only sees the word in a different color or font, but she also sees a dog and hears a different voice and sees a different picture. I like this because she isn't looking at the same picture over, and over, or hearing the same voice over and over. I feel it really helps keep her into the program.


The program comes with a 12 month lesson plan. You can also use the BrillKids forum and download more content to your lesson plans. There are two different programs you can purchase from BrillKids. The first version retails for $250.00 and includes the Little Reader software, pattern phonics flash cards, 1 year program of the English Curriculum program, starter flap card kit, The Little Reader storybook series, which includes 25 books, weekly lesson plans, Teaching Your Baby To Read Booklet, 6,000 Loyalty Bonus Points, Teaching with Little Reader booklet, sticker labels for playing the labeling game. Little Reader Basic retails for $149 and includes, The Little Reader software, 1 year program of the English Curriculum, Teaching Your Baby To Read booklet, and the Teaching With Little Reader Booklet.

You can also do a 14 day free trial of the program, which I highly suggest downloading and seeing how much this program can really help your child to read.

You can start the Little Reader program in between 3-6 months or you can wait till your child is 1 or 2. So why teach your child to read so young? Well there are many benefits.
One of them is that children who teach reading before formal schooling starts are seen to have higher self-esteem and confidence levels, than those who had parents who didn't encourage early reading. Children are also more likely to be more successful in school activities and want to learn more eagerly.

Remember keep your lessons fun and exciting and it will keep your child engaged! Kiley likes this program so much that every time she sees the computer she waits for me to turn Little Reader on!

I was provided this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. I was not paid for the review, nor required to write a positive review.


10.06.2011

For Our Doggie Friends

Did you know that one in three pets will get lost in their lifetime? Of those, 90% never return home to their owners if they don't have proper ID. Microchip identification is helping reverse this scary statistic and as a valuable Pssst... member, we want to make this service more accessible and affordable for you and your pet-loving friends!

Banfield Pet Hospital, the world's largest veterinary practice, is making it easier to give pets permanent identification to make sure they get home safely.

From Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, participating Banfield hospitals are offering 50% off the regular cost ($35) of True Paws® microchip system powered by HomeAgain®. Visit the Banfield website to check out 780 locations nationwide and contact the Banfield Pet Hospital nearest you!

Microchipping is the only permanent pet identification that can't fall off when a pet is lost or be removed if a pet is stolen. With the American Kennel Club observing a 32% increase in pet theft in the past year, microchipping can help safeguard against this growing problem.

The True Paws® microchip system is a safe and quick identification solution for pets and their owners. In the event that your precious pooch or furry feline becomes lost, the small chip can be easily scanned to bring up the owner's contact information.

Be sure to take advantage of this 50% coupon by printing it here! Feel free to pass it on to your pet-loving friends and family so they too can rest easy about their pets. For more information about Banfield Pet Hospital and the True Paws® microchip system, visit www.banfield.com.


Brought to you by Pssst.

9.19.2011

Just In Case You Missed It



That's right, Kiley's going to be a big sister!! A very unexpected big sister, but a big sister!! We are super excited. Baby K #2 is due April 7, 2012.

9.08.2011

Yoplait Light

Did you know that small changes can lead to big differences in helping you maintain your weight?

On Yoplait's Facebook page(
www.Facebook.com/Yoplait?)they have an awesome application that you can use to swap out foods you are currently eating for healthier choices, including Yoplait Light Yogurts.

Read and try the recipes on the swap page!

Biggest Loser host and busy mom Alison Sweeney is working with the brand to share advice for how she maintains her weight by making daily substitutions in her diet and routine, all while navigating her hectic schedule. I’m all about easy solutions, and making simple swaps in my diet helps me lead a healthy lifestyle while juggling everything else,” said Sweeney, mom of two. “That’s why the Yoplait Light Swap is a no-brainer – just swapping a slice of my favorite red velvet cake after dinner for a cup of Red Velvet Cake Yoplait Light can save me almost 300 calories, without even thinking about it.”


Check out the swap page!

8.10.2011

Kiley is 12 Months!



Sorry this post is a few days late, but we've been enjoying the birthday girl's big day of turning one!

So hard to believe you are 12 months. This past year has FLOWN by, I now know why everyone tells you to enjoy the first year because it flies by. You never really believe anyone that tells you that until you go through the process of having your own child.

You've grown so much this past year and learned so much. So what have you done in the past month? Well you've began walking, you aren't too sure to be on your own but you can totally do it. You just know you can get somewhere faster by crawling, so you chose to crawl.

You are saying SO many words, its pretty unbelievable that a little 1 year old can say so much. So far your vocabulary consist of: hey, hello, hi, bye, yea, yep, woo, whoa, dada, daddy, mama, mom, double, baby, bubble, yay, and no.

You totally are over baby food, you only want people food. You are almost off of formula and only on regular whole milk, just a few more days. The past week you started barking like a dog and sometimes will do it on command, it's SO cute. You are still napping and sleeping at night like a champ. Just about everyday we go to the pool and you love the water, you are just like Daddy and Mommy when they were little.

You love to play peek-a-boo and find everything funny, you even try to make everyone else laugh. You learned how to push the stool in the kitchen to the stove and turn on the burners! So needless to say Mommy fixed that quick.

You still love everyone to pay attention to you, no matter where we go, you will yell at someone till they look at you and talk to you! You got your ears pierced a few weeks ago and it looks super cute!

This year has been amazing watching you grow into a little toddler. Can't wait to see what the next whole year brings!

8.08.2011

Happy Birthday Kiley!

Grab your tissues, you may need them, I did like 10,000 billion times writing and watching this!

Happy Birthday Kiley! I can't believe you are one today! Wait, I just wrote that you are one? So weird. How fast did that go? When I first went into labor with you I never imagined after waiting 9 months, Daddy and I would have to wait another 38 hours to meet you! Everything was well worth the wait though! I remember waiting for that first cry, it's the only thing I wanted to hear at the moment you were being born, and as soon as I heard it, tears fell down my face. It was the most amazing feeling ever! We fell in love with you at that moment, and we never knew how much we could love you. We've loved watching you become the little toddler you are. The first time I held you, you were so tiny, all 5 pounds of you. Tinier then a baby doll. You fit perfectly in my arms and Daddy's arms. Now that you are one, you are still a tiny peanut, but you are Kiley, and if anyone has spent time with you, they know what I mean.

You are a bubbly, little dainty girl. Totally a girl, with your toes painted and all. You are so smart and exploitative. Let me tell you a story, before you were born I had a great job, a really rewarding job, a job I wasn't sure I wasn't ready to leave, but nothing would ever change that now today. I knew in my heart I needed and wanted to spend everyday of your first year with you and watching you grow.

In this short first year, you've taught Daddy and I a lot! We learned you really do never wake a sleeping baby, we learned that poop has a way of making it out of the diaper, we learned that babies know how to unswaddle them self, we learned that a routine at night time is the best to help you sleep through the night! You helped us become parents. we only learned because you guided us through the process of becoming a good parent. Seeing all your first, first roll, first crawl, first smile, first cruise around the coffee table, first everything you have done have been amazing and a joy to watch. You might think we are crazy, but we are just super excited when you do something new.

This year probably has been the most challenging of my life, most sleepless and most rewarding because of you. Being a mother or a parent in general is probably the most selfless thing I've ever done. In the beginning I wished there was a fast forward button to get through the newborn stage, and now I wish there was a rewind button to get those days back. Soon enough you'll be sick of me kissing you all the time, hugging and snuggling you, taking a billion pictures of you, calling you cute names and putting silly bows in your hair!

I could write all day to you Miss. Kiley but nothing I write will ever show your love, your cuteness, your sweetness and everything that is Kiley. Daddy and I are so incredibly blessed to be your parents. You've changed our live in a way we couldn't of ever imagined.

We are so proud of all you've learned in your first year of life. We can't wait to see you grow throughout your childhood and see the little lady you will become


Love you Kiley!


8.05.2011

Shape's August 2011

I always feel so much better about some of the snacks I eat when I see them on list for best snacks to be eating. Granted not the gummi bears and swedish fish that I'm addicted to are on there, but for the most part it seems most of my snacks are the right choices! You can see the complete list here, but here are just a few:

Sweet Snacks:
Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Brownies(90 calories, 3 grams of fat per brownie)-These are awesome I have one almost everyday as my morning snack. It has a ton of fiber in it, 20% of your daily intake. It holds me over to lunch time.

Creamy:
The Laughing Cow Sharp Original Mini Babybel(60 calories 5 grams of fat per round)-These are great tasting and just the perfect amount of cheese. They have 14% of your daily dairy intake.

Salty:

Snack Factory Preztel Crisp(110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat per 11 chips)-I love these "flat" pretzels. They taste so salty, so yummy!

Crunchy:

Snackwell's Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn(130 calories, 3 grams of fat per bag)-This taste so rich, just as good as regular caramel popcorn.

7.27.2011

Keep It Cool

It's been HOT. Super extremely hot. But you can beat the cool with health-boosting foods while working out.

1. Run Longer-
Snow cones and Slushies.
A 2011 study found that having a slushie flavored with sugar syrup prerun can help you run 20% longer than drinking cold water with the same amount of syrup. The slushies cools you down better then cold water, preventing overheating. Top shaved ice with real fruit syrups. Or blend up frozen berries, juice and honey. Pour over shaved ice.

2. Combat Inflammation
Cold Soups
Refreshing, chilled soups made from colorful vegetables offer a wide range of antioxidants that help combat inflammation that causes soreness. Soups made from fresh summer fruits make for a healthy dessert that packs carbs and fiber. Make gazpacho; puree one pound yellow tomatoes and half a cucumber. Add a cup of kefir, garnish with basil.

3. Boost Immune Health
Frozen Yogurt
A new wave of frozen yogurt shops has introduced the creamy dessert with a tart kick. Compared to grocery store versions, this fro-yo contains more live cultures that promote gastrointestinal health and boost immune system strength. Top vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh fruit and chopped nuts for added antioxidants and healthy fats.

4. Increase Circulation
Popsicles
Popsicles can be healthy-just check the ingredient list. Store-bought brands made from real fruit and with no added sugar supply vitamin C and potassium; both are vital for healthy circulation. Make your own pops. Blend up your favorite summer fruit; pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

5. Speed Recovery
Fruit Smoothies
Creamy and cool, fruit smoothies provide everything you need to recover post workout, including carbs and protein. Plus, a recent study found that fruit extracts can help lower measures of oxidative stress following a strength training session. Whether store-bought or homemade, make sure your smoothie has about 15 grams of muscle-building protein.

6. Cut Back On Fat
Gelato
Gelato actually has fats butterfat than ice cream. A half cup contains 150 calories and four grams of fat, versus 200 or more calories and 8 grams of fat for ice cream. Look for gelato made with real fruit and stick to a half cup.

From Runners World, August 2011.

7.26.2011

Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies



Have you tried the new Fiber One 90 calorie brownies? They come into flavors, chocolate fudge and chocolate peanut butter. When I first saw these I was wondering how a brownie for only 90 calories would taste. I didn't think they would be awesome, but let me tell you that they ARE! They are are so moist and the perfect portion size for a morning or afternoon snack! They probably would be awesome on top of some vanilla ice cream!


Rather than focusing on the foods you can’t have - Fiber One® is giving you the opportunity to eat what you love without the guilt. New Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies are moist, chewy treats that let you have what you crave while helping you stay on track with your balanced diet. With 5 grams of fiber, which is 20 percent of the Daily Value of Fiber, the new brownies are a smart snacking choice. Check out Fiber One's Facebook Page!

Guess, what? I have a chance for you to earn a gift pack that includes
a box each of the Chocolate Fudge and the Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies, as well as a Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownie themed duffel bag, jump rope, water bottle, snack case, headband and bracelet Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies. All you have to do is enter the giveaway and leave a comment telling me where you'd eat your fiber one brownie, maybe a snack or a late night indulgence? You tell me! Good luck. One winner will be chosen from random.org. Giveaway ends Monday, August 1st!

Fiber One and General Mills through MyBlogSpark provided prize packs.



12 Ways to Save This Month

I read this article in this month's Parents Magazine and I though it was worth sharing. Did you know that the average family will spend about $150,000 on their little bambinos?


  1. Be stroller smart. There's no need to spend $800 bucks on a ride when you can get a decent one for 200. It's not like the designer models have anti-lock brakes.
  2. When on a family vacation, rent a house instead of a hotel room. You'll save a bundle and make sure it has a kitchen to trim restaurant bills.
  3. Turn your home into a preschool. Many preschools now accept 2 year olds. But hold off for a year and you'll save thousands in tuition.
  4. Cut your kids hair. A salon visit can set you back $25 bucks or more. But you can trim their hair easily at home. You need a spray bottle, sharp scissors or clippers and a comb to clear loose hairs from their face and neck.
  5. Shift your hours. For two income families, paying for daycare or a babysitter probably takes the single biggest chunk out of your budget. Instead see whether your employers allow for flexible hours. Some couples eliminate child care expenses by arranging for one spouse to work evenings while the other toils during the day.
  6. Pick "pre-owned" clothing and gear. Shopping clearance racks can save money. Look for bargains at consignment shops or garage sales, host a clothing swap party or trade with moms across the country via thredup.com. Just don't buy a used car seat or crib.
  7. Breastfeed. Mother's milk isn't just better for your baby. It's a lot cheaper then formula too. Nursing a child isn't exactly free of course. You'll probably need nursing bras, nursing pads and a breast pump.
  8. Make your baby food by hand. Tired of paying $1.00 a jar for mashed carrots? Puree fruits and veggies yourself. Your baby can eat most of what you do, as long as you wait four to six months to start her on solids.
  9. Know the first rule of baby shopping. Buy big ticket nursery items, such as a crib, a dresser or a rocker at a general purpose or discount furniture store. You'll often save 20 to 30 percent.
  10. Brush away dental bills. A single filling costs up to $300 bucks. Prevent cavities by brushing your child's teeth twice a day until she has the dexterity to do it own their own. Begin flossing a soon as teeth touch. And book your first dentist visit before they turn 1.
  11. Give meaningful gifts. When your friend has a baby, get her something she can really use; a home cooked-meal. Deliver a pan of lasagna and a salad to her door one night. You can also offer to babysit so she can catch a movie.
  12. Buy in bulk. Reduce your disposable diaper bills by purchasing mega size packages at clubs or amazon.com.

7.14.2011

Help Me, Please

Do you ever wish you could get more help from the people that surround you? Don't you wish they know exactly what you wanted them to say?
To get support instead of criticism from people you love, you may have to train them. Instead of begging. Clarify what you want and be specific. Decide what type of support you truly need. Do you want words of encouragement? Silence? Help with cooking meals?
Instead of being angry and frustrated because people don't do these things, let them know how they can help you.
Speak up about the challenges of leftovers or open pizza boxes. Maybe you wish family members would eat their snacks in another room instead in front of you. If so, then tell them. Set up agreements with your support people by saying, "It will help me if, you.." followed by what you want them to do.
Also be sure to let people now things you don't want them to say or do. Let people know which type of comments feel good to you compared to the ones that make you feel uncomfortable.

Today's Assignment:
  • In your journal, write a list of things people are always welcome to say or do in regard to your weight-loss efforts:
  1. Offer compliments, offer to exercise with me, encourage me when I hit a goal
  • Create another list of things that you don't ever want people to do:
  1. Give me lectures on what I shouldn't be eating or should be eating
  2. Tell me that I really need to work out
  3. Tell me, remember when you lost all that weight before, you should be like that
  • Read both list to your support people including your spouse, children and best friends.

7.13.2011

I can it! Day 7

To increase success with your program, skyrocket your self-talk and create a strong belief you can do this. Become your own cheerleader, shouting out words of encouragement that will keep your motivation strong every single day.
Think about why you are so convinced you can be successful in your program. Invent special phrases that reinforce your determination to stay on your plan for at least 100 days. Here a few ideas to get you started:
  1. I'm totally determine.
  2. I've done it before and I can do it again.
  3. I'm using a great weight loss plan.
  4. I'm capable of accomplishing anything.
  5. Other have done it and so can I!
Recite these phrases every day, using them to reinforce your determination to make this program work.

Have you read any real life stories about people who have lost a lot of weight and also maintained their success? Draw from these examples as well as from friends or colleagues who have accomplished phenomenal goals. Let these people inspire you and help keep you motivated to stick with your efforts. Tell your self, "If they can do it, I can too!"
Practice saying the words, "I can do it!" over and over. Write them on sticky notes and then post them on your mirror, your computer screen, and your car dash. Push them deep into your mid and use them as a powerful affirmation that you will succeed with your plan.

Today's assignment:
  • Tell yourself, "I can do it" at least ten times. Use this to cheer lead your self throughout the day.
  • In your notebook, write "I can do it because.." and then add a few supportive phrases such as "I'm capable of doing anything."
  1. I can do it because I have the willpower to do it and I'm capable of doing anything.
  2. I can do it because I have the support of my husband and I'm capable of doing anything.
  3. I can do it because I have the means to exercise everyday and I capable of doing anything.
  • Read your phrases often, using them to reinforce your goals and build your enthusiasm.

7.11.2011

Protect Your Program Day 6

Face the truth, no one will really care about your weight loss program as you. So it's your job to protect it from people or events from pulling you off track. For instance, yesterday I attended the Phillies game, and had to get crab fries, but instead of eating a whole container my self, the husband and I split it. I just watched what I ate the rest of the day as well. It was pretty easy!

Instead of depending on others to help you be successful with your diet, make it a commitment that you will protect your program. Watch for ways to see and avoid situations that might cause you to weaken. Rather then assume you'll be all to resist a large blue raspberry gelati at Rita's! (Hey, I got fat-free custard last night!)

When you are around others, try this:
If you feel pressured to eat something, pushing away the food pusher by hinting that you will eat later. If someone offers you food, respond by say, "Not just yet, I'm going to wait a while."
If they ask again, repeat the phrase. Saying not yet, gives you a way to not eat when you don't want to eat. The pushy person will leave you alone because you are telling them you will eat later.

It's always best to avoid getting caught up in conversations about dieting and weight loss. When people ask you how you're losing weight, simply tell them you are following a healthy eating program. This I find hard, because it's something we all talk about and for me it's encouaging to talk about my program with others to to hear theirs.

Finally, protect your program during long, empty times such as evenings or weekends when it's easy to start looking for food. Stay busy by planning activities or pulling out some good books.

Today's assignment:
  • Watch for chances to respond to food invitations by using the line, "Not yet, I'm going to wait a little while."
  • Identify at least three high risk times or events such as family gathering or weekends. In your notebook write down how you'll protect your diet program during each.
  1. Graduation Party I attending yesterday I had a small piece of cake instead of eating the bigger slices that were already cut. I cut my own piece.
  2. Weekends-This past weekend we ordered pizza for dinner, instead of eating the heavy crust I ordered a flatbread for my self.
  3. Phillies Game-Instead of eating a whole container of crab fries my self, I split it with the husband.
  • Do at least one thing today that reinforces your determination to protect your program at all costs.
  1. Our A/C is broken(yes, in 90+ degree weather) I could be drinking all the yummy sweet frozen drinks or eating ice cream, but I'm not, I'm drinking nice cold water!

7.08.2011

Kiley is 11 months!















11 months, wow! I can't believe that in one month Kiley will already be a year old. It's so hard to believe how fast that year goes. The other night Chris and I were watching videos of her and couldn't believe how much she's grown. We were watching videos of her when she was 3 months old and just sort of laid there and every once and while said some baby gibberish. And then we watched her first giggle video, and it's just as cute then as now.


Anyways, this month has been fun, just like all the rest Miss. Kiley. You are getting SO big. Your hair is starting to come in thick, you may even have enough to get a first haircut when you turn one, because your bangs are so long! Mommy has to brush them to the side so they stay out of your face. Your hair is also starting to turn a lighter blonde. We go to the swimming pool everyday and you love to stand in your float and walk all around. You love to play with your little friends there and steal their toys =).

You love to use your walker to walk around the house. You also like to push anything you can to help you walk, like the kitchen chairs. Mommy can't tell you how many times a day she has to put the chairs back because Kiley likes to push them. You also want to walk but can't quite get the balance yet, though last night you took one tiny step towards Mommy. As soon as you realize no one has your hands you say the heck with it and sit down! You also like to play with Puggie's food and water bowl. Last night you hid Puggie's food bowl in the cooler, you silly girl! You still like to dump Puggie's water bowl also, a ton.

You love to eat grown up food, like meatballs, babybel cheese, goldfish pretzels, any kind of meat. Grandma even gave you a sneak peek at some ice cream weekend, you looked like you'll be just like Mommy and love it! Last night Daddy made you a turkey burger with cheddar on it, he spoiled you! =) You love to be outside and explore the grass, and also pull it and try to eat it, yucky!

Each new thing you do is amazing to watch. You are starting to say a lot, so far you can say, "hello, hiya, bad, no, dada and mama" Besides the typical, "eh, oh, ah". You started clapping just randomly last Saturday and you get SO excited when you do it. Love it!

One of my favorite things this month, is you give kisses and hugs now. Sometimes the kisses are super sloppy, but it melts my heart when you give your kisses and hugs. You love to give Daddy sloppy kisses on his nose. You still only have two teeth on the bottom and so far I don't see anymore coming in.

I can't believe this is your last month to be considered a baby, next month you'll be a toddler. But that doesn't matter cause you will always be Mommy and Daddy's little baby =)

Happy 11 Months Kiley!

Magic Notebook Day 5

For many people, recording mental thoughts or actions each day provides valuable insight. It also serves as an outlet for emotions and struggles around weight loss efforts. If you enjoy writing, experiment with tracking your daily calorie intake and exercise. Feel free to write one sentence or many pages. If you don't find it helpful to write things down, then don't do it. But do keep something handy to quick jot down ideas for manging your eating plans.

Just because you are thinking about that peanut butter cup, doesn't mean you have to eat it. If you get a craving for a certain type of food, write it in your notebook. By writing it down, it may help you take it out of your head. When a food thought crosses your mind, remind yourself that you don't have to act on it. Instead, write down the name or even a description of the food and then anticipate the pleasure of eating it sometime in the future.

Practice the skill of observing food cues, then letting them go. When you walk into a movie theater, notice the smell of popcorn, and then forget about it(gosh, that is hard!). Tell your self, or record in your notebook, "That popcorn smells good, but I'm not going to eat any right now, I'll simply postpone till another day."

Today's Assignment:
  • Whenever you think about a particular food you want, write it in your notebook.
  • Plan that you'll eat it at another time, if you wish, add the amount you'll have and how often you'll fill it into your program.
  • Stretch the times further apart for eating that food. You may discover that after a while, certain foods, don't seem as important to you as they once did.

7.07.2011

Boundaries Not Diets, Day 4

The problem with diets is the perfectionist, rigid way we use them. If you are like most people when you are on a diet, you try to follow it perfectly. Each day you strive to take in the correct amount of calories. But if you slip up and eat something delicious, you figure that you've blown the diet, so you minus well eat more. Soon you throw the whole diet out the window. The all or nothing method doesn't work, because when you go off your diet you cancel out all progress you made.

Like it or not, to lose weight you have to follow some type of system. For me personally I just watch my calorie intake. Some have plans that are quite rigid and meticulous. Instead of getting stuck on the word diet, learn to think of it as setting boundaries for your eating plan. Picture your diet as a road or a path. You can define the boundaries of your diet road based on the number of calories, points, or other factors you choose to follow. As you walk on the road each day, your goal is to stay between the sides of the road. Unlike strict or rigid diet plan, boundaries stay flexible. There are still guidelines, but at the same time they allow for common sense and good judgement.

When you are strong and focused on your diet you move boundaries closer together, making the road narrower. When you take a break from your program or work on maintenance, you widen the boundaries and allow more variety in your plan.

Boundaries should give you benefits not punishment! They should provide guidelines for you to live by, but not burden you with rules. Depending on your needs you can simply adjust the edges of your plan to match where you are in life. You will be far more successful than if you punish your self every time you step off the road.

Today's assignment:
  • In your notebook, draw line down the middle of the page, creating two columns.
  • Label one column, "Narrow road" for your diet plan. Label the other "Wider road" for your maintenance or alternative plan.
  • Under the titles define your eating and exercise plans for each of the roads.
    Then decide on ways you can be flexible with them without losing sight of the healthy road you want to follow.

My narrow road:
  1. Stay with in calorie limits for today.
  2. Don't deprive my self of something I really want.
My wider road:
  1. Work out for at least 30 minutes a day to counter calories I have eaten.
  2. Work out for an extra 10 minutes if I eat something that takes me over my calorie limit.

7.06.2011

Vote For Kiley!

Kiley is entered in The 2011 Gerber Generation Photo Search! She has a chance to win a grand prize of a $50,000 scholarship and a chance to star in a Gerber Generation print ad!

How exciting!!!

Vote for Kiley here!

You can vote daily!! Do it!! Kiley will give you hugs!!

6.30.2011

Do it Anyway Day 3/100

Wow, if there could be any chapter in a book written totally about me, for me, this would be IT!

This chapter starts off with:

I don't feel like exercising today!
Do you push your self to exercise? Some days, yes, some days, no. What happens when we don't feel like eating healthy, cooking from scratch every night to make sure we get the ingredients that are healthiest for us? If you aren't careful how true is it to fall off(did she hit the nail on the head or what?!?)

You don't usually wait to go to work till you feel like it, do you? Nope, typically when I smell a dirty diaper it's time to change it. Because it's important, we do them however we feel at that moment.
You don't have to feel like working on your plan to stick with your program. Learn to focus your attention, not your feelings. If you aren't in the mood to exercise or eat healthy, tell your self to get up an DO it! If you are TRULY committed to your plan, you'll get up and MOVE. Take small steps each day when you don't feel like it.

Here are some examples of people who are interested in losing weight and those who are committed:
Interested:
  • Stick with it till something better comes along.
  • Take action only if they feel like doing it.
  • Need to see results in order to stay motivated.
  • Blame people or circumstances for their struggles.
  • Easily give up when a challenge if faced.
Committed:
  • Stick with plans no matter what.
  • Take action when they feel like doing it or not.
  • Assuse that if they stay motivated, results will follow
  • Take responsibility for their own actions
  • Keep going in spite of challenges and setbacks
So today assignment is:
1. In your diet or exercise plan, identify a task you don't feel like doing and do it anyway-Last night for dinner the husband was working super late, and I almost didn't cook dinner and was going to have something(didn't decide) takeout, but instead I cooked a home made healthy mac and cheese for dinner!
2. Notice how it feels to accomplish a goal by taking a "no matter what" approach-It felt good to cook something that I knew was healthy and was in my calorie count.
3.In your notebook make a list of actions you plan to stick with today, regardless of how you feel at the moment.-Make sure I drink ALL of the water I should be drinking everyday. We are traveling today, so my biggest action is to make sure I'm satisfied so I'm not snacking on snacks mindlessly.

6.29.2011

Interested or Committed-Day2/100

If you tend to start and stop eating right and working out, you have to decide if you are just interested in becoming healthier or if you are truly committed to becoming healthier.

If you are interested; you tend to stay with your plans until something better comes along. You maybe eating right, but someone happens to bring doughnuts into your workplace and you quickly go off your diet by eating a few. You depend to see your self looking thinner. As long as that scale is going down, your content. But if you start to plateau, you may get tired of it and give up. You may blame it on your friend, because they ate something yummy in front of you.

When you are committed, you stick with your goals, no matter what. Instead of depending on seeing the scale go lower, you keep your motivation strong, knowing results will come. You don't blame others or life for not meeting you goal.

If you tend to easily fall away from your plan, decide if you are taking an interested approach. If so, strive to be committed.

Adopt a no matter what attitude.

Today's Task:
  • Decide that you will always be committed to your weight-loss plan, not interested.
  • In your notebook, describe how you will stick with your program, no matter what.
  • Do at least one thing today that demonstrates you are truly committed. For example, take a walk or eat your vegetables, no matter what.
I'm going to stick with my program this time, no matter what. I'll keep track of my calories even if it does take more time to write them down, then not to write them down. I'll make sure I get some type of exercise in everyday even if it's as simple as going for a walk.

My one thing for today was having a glass of water, instead of a snack.

6.28.2011

I Used To Be That Way-Day 1/100

Day 1 basically says that you are afraid to do this challenge, because you are afraid you will get off track once again. The most important line in this chapter was:

Your past does NOT determine your future
!

Starting today, get rid of ALL your previous failures. When those past failures start to come back, say to your self:
" I used to be that way, but now I'm different"

So today's assignment:
  • Make a list of any fears or negative behaviors that have hurt your weight-loss success in the past. Read each one out loud, and then say, "I used to be that way, but now I'm different."
  • Then write new endings for them by completing this sentence: I used to _______(fill in your old behavior) but now I ___________(write in new ending).
  • Read these new outcomes often, and then live in a way that makes them true.

My fears/negative behaviors:
  1. Falling off track for a day and letting it continue for days or weeks.
  2. Eating something that I know I shouldn't of eaten so much or at all.
  3. Eating because I was bored.
New endings:
  1. I used to fall off track for a day without exercising or eating right but now I know if I get off track one day it's easy to get one the next or the same day.
  2. I used to eat more of something but now I will keep track of my calories so I'm aware of how much is going into my mouth.
  3. I used to eat because I was bored, but now I drink a glass of water first before choosing a healthy snack.

Feel free to leave your fears or negative behaviors and your new endings in my comments!

100 Days of Weight Loss

My good friend Kim, from Berly's Thoughts, suggested to a message board I frequent that we start a group and read 100 Days of Weight Loss, The Secret To Being Sucessful On Any Diet Plan, by Linda Spangle. She also has a website you can find here.

It's so easy to start a diet/workout regimen and slip off. We've all done it, me personally about one, err 50,000 times. Life gets in the way is typically the excuse. The concept of this book is to read one page daily and complete the exercises that go with that day. It keeps you on track. Honestly it was so easy to read, I wanted to keep reading each page, but I didn't I only read Day 1.

It's pretty easy to use, first choice the best diet plan that works for you, for me it's counting my calories, but not limiting the choices in food, also create your workout plan. Second, follow your plan for 100 days.

So each day for the next 100 days, I'll be sharing what each day's task is and my response to it.

6.15.2011

Snacks

I love snacks, who doesn't? Sometimes though when we snack, we aren't eating the best option for us, we just grab whatever we are craving and don't think about it.

Craving something salty, try some popcorn, it's high in fiber and low in calories

Craving something crunchy, try some roasted peanuts, more antioxidants when roasted.

Craving something cold, like a cold drink, try cherry juice.

Craving something filling, eat cereal and milk, a whole grain, no lucky charms =)

6.14.2011

Ways to Think Slim

I'm a firm believer of that you do not need to cut foods out of your diet to lose weight. I know many people disagree and believe you should, but I totally feel if you eat in moderation you can still lose weight. For me, I just need to change the way I think about eating and what I am eating.
  1. Food isn't a prize-You shouldn't reward your self with food. It's hard to do and I'm guilty. I will lose 5 pounds and my prize will be a yummy Oreo Peanut Butter Milkshake. Instead, I should put the money into buying a new pair of jeans!
  2. Eat dessert on a full stomach-You won't eat as much. My husband loves to take his dessert home from restaurants, or even after eating dinner at home, he always waits to have desserts, so it's something I've adapted and do as well. You should eat dessert after eating your meal so you don't eat that whole piece of cake.
  3. Diet foods aren't always a diet-Food makers try to trick us, by making "diet" food, by labeling something low fat, or cookies for 100 calories, are you really going to be satisfied after eating only two small cookies, doubt it. So eat a serving size of the regular, not diet food.
  4. Free food-Foods that are "free" of ingredients always have something more. So they maybe fat free, but they have more sugar or salt to replace that free ingredient. So eat the real deal, just with in the serving size limits.
  5. It's there, so I need to eat it-you know you've passed by something in your office or kitchen and said well it's there, I see it, I need to eat it. Think about it before you put that something in your mouth, "Do I really need this'? Make your self a deal, like only if it's dark chocolate, or one sweet a day.
Inspired by Self's Keep Shrinking.