Thursday, 31 January 2013

New Me

Every Year I seem to be working on the same goal, and for six months I do well then it all goes to hell in a hand basket and I do not know what to do.

So I spent some time and decided that weight loss for me to be skinny, really wasn't a goal that motivated me.  I mean I know that I am not the skinniest chick around but I am not...... I don't I don't feel like I am that fat, I'll just say it. I have one of those crazy body types and shapes that allows me to gain weight all over and not just in one specific area, although my boobs and booty do seem to get more than their fair share.  Which maybe isn't such a bad thing, but I have an ideal body shape for me in mind and I need to work a little harder to get things where I want them to be.

I decided that I wanted to lose two sizes. I am not as concerned with the number on the scale, but I would like them to be lower than what they are.  But it's the size and my clothes, I just want them to fit better so I can wear my clothes that I spent so much money on.  I don't think it's something unattainable, but I have my work cut out for me. So have built myself and progressive goal plan.

I am currently a size 14, I wish to be down to size ten, which sounds like 4 sizes but it's not.  I weighed 202 pounds on the first of January.  I am not happy or proud about this weight, but it is what it is and I have to deal with it and accept it and make changes.  So the big goal is to lose twenty pounds, I think that is reasonable, and I am hoping to do it by April, which gives me 4 months.

The little goals to reach the big goal are part of the progressive plan.  I need to change things in my life, make real life style changes in order to not only see the weight loss goals reached but to be able to maintain and this body shape that I want.

I don't drink much water, so I figured I could start there, I read somewhere that for weight loss to occur you have to take your weight and divide it in half and that's how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day.  Well for a girl that was maybe getting 16 ounces a day and since I told you earlier I was at 202 lbs, I had to drink 100 ounces of water a day.  That was so hard to get that started.  I didn't know if I would be able to do it, but I was willing to try.  I started filling 3 30 ounce water bottles every day.  I began drinking them during the day, and my relationship with the bathroom has completely altered, I am in there like 7 times a day.  It's almost comical as I used to only use the washroom maybe 3 times all day, morning after work, and before bed.  I know a bit of an over share but this was the biggest change and adjustment I have had to deal with.

The second progression goal I made was to not eat junk food at least 5 days a week.  That one has been surprisingly easy.  I mean yes I do eat a little here and there, but I am able to make different choices pretty easily and I don't feel a lot of cravings for them.  I have definitely had an off week this week, but really I actually feel pretty confident that this will be accomplished by the end of the month.  I have definitely given up salty snacks, so it's just those damn sweet treats I need to avoid.  If they aren't in my house though I won't eat them.

The third component was to stop my snacking and boredom eating at night.  I had a chronic problem with this, I still want snacks at night if I am watching television but I am making conscious choices, like cheese and whole grain Kavli bread, or apples and a cheese string, or oatmeal.  Things that are healthy and not full of saturated trans fats.  Chips and chocolate bars used to be high on the snacking list.  And I used to eat snacks at all hours of the night and would eat past 8 all the time.  So I now restrict myself from eating after 8 and that's been so much easier than I thought.  I am even able to avoid snacking even though my hubby is completely inconsiderate and snacks in bed in front of me at ten o'clock at night.  Seriously, sometimes I want to ask if he prefers me to be on the chubby side!

The fourth component of my progressive goals is to work out 5 times a week. This has been the hardest one to stick too.  I was working out 2 times a week fairly consistently when my aerobics class is in session but sometimes things get in the way and it am not always able to go.  So then I have to work out other ways but I am not, how do you say it, the most motivated to do that either.  It really is my achilles heel.  This week hasn't been a great week, I am feeling quite lethargic, today this week, and I can't pinpoint why I also had a concert yesterday so I didn't go to my class :S.  I don't think it will through me off, I think I am determined to get back into my work out regime but I need to find a better routine for myself.  I just don't know what that looks like. I also have to try to train myself to get up earlier so I can do mini workouts at home. so I think next month I will change my progression on this goal as it seems to be the hardest to maintain.

Doing all this won't necessarily get me to my big goal of the weight loss, but I think it's on the right track.  I am already down to 196 pound since the first of January.  Here are my pictures from my last weigh in.



Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Mystery Hostess Time

It is the 25th Year for Fifth Avenue Collection!!! It's an exciting time for all of us in the business and there are many rewards and contests and Head Office is giving our hostesses great rewards to celebrate them.

So I've been thinking I would put my Fifth Avenue business on the shelf for a bit, I had so much going on in my life and I didn't want to be so busy that I missed things with my kids, I already felt stretched to the limit.  But then things changed, unexpectedly, and I am back at looking at what I can have Fifth Avenue can do to help me reach my goals.  So I have decided to take advantage of the promotions offered by Fifth Avenue to explode my business and I am going to be hosting a Mystery Hostess Event.

What is a Mystery Hostess Event?  Well it's an event I host and invite my customers to, at the end of the event I take all the customers who came and purchased and add their names to a draw.  I then pick one person's name and award them the hostess credits.  So they benefit without having to do any of the work.  It's a perfect solution for those customers that just don't want to have the party but you know would love to get the free and half price jewelry.

I usually give the customers opportunities to enter the draw more than once.  Like they get entered by RSVPing, they get entered for purchasing, they can get an extra entry for purchasing over $250, they get an extra entry for booking a show, and they can get an extra entry for wanting to listen to how they can sign up to do what I do.

Here are some of the pictures of the items I have on my table!!!

















Check out my website www.fifthavenuecollection.com/jlacourse

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Another Birthday Party

Lil Man has  a lot of friends born in January, I guess people drank a lot around St. Patrick's Day and Easter... but we had fun.

Lil Man went to another birthday party, for a friend of mine's little girl.  She is nine months older than Lil Man but like half a foot taller.  Lil Man was enthralled with her, he followed her around and they played.  He had a really good time, I wish they still lived in town but now they live in Leduc so we don't get as many playdates as we would like.  Lil man ate snacks, played with the piano, played dress up and threw a temper tantrum when it was time to go.  I didn't get many pictures and the ones I did get are very blurry.

The funniest moment though was when I saw Lil Man and his friend heading into the bathroom.  I was curious, his friend was carrying around some lip gloss stuff so I asked what was going on.  They said they were getting beautiful.  Lil Man climbed on the toilet to check himself out in the mirror.  It was adorable.  I am quite comfortable with my lil man exploring his feminine side but that may have been too much for his dad to handle.  Lil Man and his friend went into a bedroom together because they needed quiet time.  Oh the things that come out of little children's mouths.  They make me giggle and sometimes belly laugh.

So I hope our little friend had a great birthday and I look forward to setting up a playdate with them soon!!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Masters Degree

In September of 2011 I began working for Parkland CLASS as a front line worker.  It was something I did part time while I was subbing but felt that I needed to be making some kind of guaranteed income, so it was a new venture. My friend Stacey was a supervisor with the company and said I should try it.  I was really very hesitant about it, I mean it took me three months or more to finally get all signed up.  

I started working every other weekend in one of the children's homes.  I was very green but the supervisor and staffing team were very good to me.  I pulled my weight and I worked to do whatever was needed of me. I was not a fan of personal care, I don't like changing my own kids diapers so changing diapers or toileting people was not the draw to the job, and really the pay wasn't the draw either, but I always left feeling I had made a contribution to someone's life that left them better than when I had come.  

As this was going on I became disillusioned with teaching.  I needed full time work, not part time work and subbing was not cutting it anymore.  So a position opened in an adult home that had me working evenings so I was still able to work as a sub but I could have a steady income coming in.  If subbing had picked up I might not have pursued the supervisor position, but in 2012 I only worked 4 days in January and that was not enough to make ends meet so I made a decision, I would become a supervisor for Parkland CLASS.

I began as a supervisor in February.  I really liked what I was doing and I was back in the first home I worked at, so I was comfortable with the this new venture.  It was a great job, but I was a little bored, ok, I was really bored, there was lot's to do, but I was able to complete it all and I had plenty of time on my hands and I didn't feel challenged.  So I noticed that a Coordinator Position became available and thought well this might be something to consider so I applied for that position.

April first was my first day as a coordinator.  It's been busy and challenging.  Things are always interesting, but I feel like I am thriving. Sometimes things get a bit stressful, but I love the problem solving aspect of this job. My mind is always thinking of solutions, trying to develop my leadership skills and I am happy, very happy.  

I see myself wanting to go further in this field and even with this company but I would like to have more training and education.  I have always wanted to get my masters and possibly another degree but I  have not ever decided what I wanted to do or what I wanted to study.  So I put in some more time to think about what I wanted to do, every time I think about this stuff it leads me back to the same field.

Counseling!  It's always been something I have been very interested in. My Ed Psych classes were my favourite classes it was the path I wanted to go down when I first moved to Alberta but the timing was never right.  Now it's not so much psychology or educational psychology but counseling and maybe I will specialize in a specific counseling or maybe I will just be a generalist, but I know this is what I want to accomplish in the next two years.  

I have even looked online for some classes or courses to start this path and I think I may try the University of Athabasca for their Baccacellerate  Degree in Counseling, which is like a beginners look at the Master's Program, which since I have been out of school for 10 years now might be the perfect place to start. I am really happy about making this decision, now just to make a plan of action so I can have the finances to do this!!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Happy Birthday to a friend's lil guy

Last weekend, the whole family headed out to Eckville to celebrate Lil Man's friend's birthday. His friend is our friends little guy.  So we all bundled up in our outer wear to head to a skating party on their acreage.

It was a great afternoon, we got to catch up with so many friends, and both boys enjoyed spending time outside.  Lil Man played hockey and went for a sleigh ride.  Chan was able to play with his RC truck. Hubby had a couple beers with a bunch of other boymen, and I got some girl talk in with friends and made new friends.

The kids were the cutest though. Half actually put on skates and skated on the rink, the other half had boots on and "played" hockey.  The hockey mostly looked like kids shooting pucks into the snow banks.  My little guy kept looking for mine or hubby's attention to tell us he "scored".


During the present opening portion all the kids wanted to open the presents but Chris was able to manage them all, if she lived closer I would just have Lil Man there for child care, it would be very nice.  It really was a very nice day and I am very glad we went!!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Week Three 52 Week Photo Challenge

So week three came and I thought I might have to give up, I mean I had ideas but well I couldn't find a way to photograph those ideas safely.  But I am getting ahead of myself so let me start at the beginning.

Week three's theme was Find the Beauty. Which essentially meant take something ugly and use light and make it look beautiful.  So I began to think of things that are ugly, in my mind and opinion only, and well graffiti came to mind, as well as snow, garbage, clutter, but I really wanted to get some photos of some graffiti.

Now on my drive to work I pass by this area by the river where the runoff from the streets is put into the river, you know where the street water ends up going down the drain and draining too.  I am at a total loss for what that is truly called but I think you understand.  Anyways, in the summer when we go rafting on river we always go
by this spot and my hubby and his buddy call it shit rocks, because in the summer it's covered in graffiti and bird feces.  Not a very pretty sight, I am going to look to see if I have a picture of it on this computer but I am not sure if I do.  I was determined to get a picture of this, but Mother Nature and her winter wasteland foiled my plans.  The steps to get down to the drain pipe, were so snow covered that unless I had climbing gear and a way to anchor myself off I was not going to get down there and it wasn't very likely I would get back up.  So I took a photo of the paths and the trees.  I mean the trees are bare and devoid of life, so in my mind that fit the bill as well.

However,  the pictures were so nice that I began think maybe that wasn't ugly.  Then I thought about snow, and some of the ugliness that snow can bring. Yes I will concede that it makes everything look all pretty and clean, but then it melts and it's cold and it gets all dirty looking, and I just don't like it.  So I took a picture of my backyard lights during a snowfall this week.





I am not sure how I came up with taking a picture of the carpet on my stairs, I mean the carpet is pretty embarrassing it's so old and ugly, but I was like, hmmm with the sun shining in, I think I could capture something really neat here, so I played with my camera settings and came up with a really neat photo.  So as you can see it was a journey and I still was able to capture some neat photos.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Running

Running
Ok so I started a bucket list on Pinterest, there isn't much on it yet, but I have been staying off pinterest lately so that I can accomplish more of my goals, but one of the things on my Pinterest board is the Nike Women's Only Marathon (might be half marathon) in San Francisco.  

So because this is on my Pinterest Board I thought I should try to find a running program for me to start conditioning my body to.  I am not saying I am going to run any marathon and come in first, but if I can even complete a marathon that would be awesome.  And by completing I do mean within a reasonable time.  So thanks to a couple of girlfriends from Saskatchewan who are also on Pinterest I found a couple really neat running programs.  One is for beginners and that is where I started.  

The first program I am going to follow is a 12 week program.  The first week has a two minute walk warm up, with 1 min run and 3 min walk repeat 5 times for a total 22 min workout.  This was a bit too easy, I barely broke a sweat, so I upgraded myself to week 2.  Week two is a two min walk warm up, 1 min run and 2 min walk repeat 6 times for a total of 20 min work out.  Which was still easy but I was beginning to breath hard by the last running lap.  I have a pretty quick recovery, but I think I will do this for a few more times then move onto week three.  But I really like this program and I REALLY, REALLY want to complete a marathon.  

I can't even say why I want to complete a marathon, I just think it's something to work towards, something for me to focus my energy on, instead of focusing on being "skinny" or "getting" skinny.  For me my weight problems are not about getting skinny, but about being healthy and I am pretty sure anyone who can run a marathon is healthy.  My family has a history of heart disease and I want to give my heart as much of a fighting chance as I can.  

The other side to this is I think runners have amazing bodies, so much lean muscle and that's what I want.  I just want to be able to fit into my closet of clothes without having to worry about things falling over the top.  If you know what I mean.  So I will be posting pictures on other blogs as I go through this training.  I haven't registered for any marathon yet, but I am going to look into soon, so then I have a real end date!!!

If anyone as any other information please share, this is brand new territory for me!!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A walk in the Park

It's not often that I will willingly go outside in the winter.  It's just not my thing, to be perfectly honest, it's too damn cold out most of the time for me to even enjoy the activity.  So I don't do it, but I have a Lil Man who loves to be outside, he is very outdoorsy, even my other oldest was the same way but he got out lot's at Daycare so he didn't bug me to go out as much.

Last Sunday it was quite tolerable outside so I agreed to take Lil Man out into the front yard to play. He trekked through the snow and made all kinds of paths, then he tried to kick the snow around for awhile but that was not enough for him.


He began to waddle, and I do mean waddle, he even told me he was moving like a penguin. "Waddle, waddle just like a penguin." He made it to the neighbours when I called him back and he looked up at me with his baby blue eyes and asked to go for a walk.






I couldn't say no, so I grabbed one dog, because we may as well kill two birds with one stone and we headed West to the park.  Lil Man did really well, he was definitely played out by the time we got back home, but he had been a busy man on our 30 min walk.  He played on the path, explored through trees, played at the park and slid down the slides.  I would say he had a lot of fun and Sasha, the lucky puppy who came for a walk, ran and dived and sniffed all around.  She was very happy too.








Then we came home and had supper with my brother and his fiance and it was a great Sunday.  Hope everyone else had as great a Sunday as I did!!!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Date Night #1 of 2013

So with having kids and all that their schedules demand on our time sometimes it is very difficult for my hubby and I to get out and be adults and date.  Sometimes we go months without doing anything, simply because we are balancing soccer, swimming lessons, work, work out classes, friends etc, etc.  It can be hard to find the time or energy to want to go out.  And in my opinion the movies that have been released recently are not date movies, so we have to come up with something else to do.

So on January 12, 2013, Hubby and I went on a double date with our friends Nicki and Joel.  It was so much fun to get out of the house and just hang out with adults.  We headed out on the town and went to Cities for supper.  I had been the only one who had been there  previously, so Hubby and our friends were experiencing Cities for the first time. I think we all enjoyed it and Joel even tried the Pizza Beer.

After we finished our supper we headed down to Riverside Bowl for some bowling.  We bowled like 4 games and I maintained my terrible average but it was a lot of fun.  I even got PINK bowling shoes, I was so pumped and they gave hubby a matching pair to mine as well. So Hubby and I had pink shoes!!!  I really enjoy bowling and I am thinking I may take Nicki up and join a league with her, hopefully our hubbies will join us i think it will be a lot of fun!!




There was one EVIL pin from last night that Left Pin was horrible I couldn't knock it down for the life of me!!!  I really despised that pin..... next time my pin you will be mine!!!!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Week two 52 Week Photo Challenge

On Sunday we were given the next weeks challenge, the theme or motif was daily.  It was to be a picture of something daily.  Now this can be interpretted many different ways, and I struggled with finding my daily shot.  There are so many things that come to mind, the view of the river from my drive to work, the view outside my house of something I see daily (it's not a pleasant sight so I turfed that idea), my kids, but I am sure they will be feature plenty this year.  My hubby, but he's not really one for taking photos.  Then I thought what about photographing something from my daily routine.  Something I do daily.  Then that became a, "well what do I do daily?"

Finally, I settled my mind, and I photographed my facial cleaning supplies. It's something I do daily, and I thought it fit the bill.  So here is the picture I submitted for this week.

Here are a couple other photos I take that sort of fit in this category.
 Walking the dog
Cuddling with little man

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Soup, Soup, SSSOOOUUPPPP

One of my favorite meals to eat is soup, and it can be a wide variety of soups, but really anything homemade is good by me. I also like stews and chilli. So I have pinned a few new soups on Pinterest and in the interest of keeping my pinterest a useful tool I had picked a recipe to attempt awhile ago.  Cheeseburger soup!!!  Let's be honest I have posted about Hamburger Soup previously, so this was just the next step in burger soups and IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!!

I followed the pin to this website.  It seemed pretty easy and I was in a trying mood I noticed on the recipe that it called for Velveeta, and well I am not a big fan of Velveeta so I used Cream Cheese instead.  It turned out phenomenal!!! And everybody who has tried it loves it and has requested the recipe so I must have done something right.  So aside from adding cream cheese instead of velveeta I also added in some extra veggies like asparagus and broccoli.

That day I also made some wild meat soup.  It was just hamburger soup with ground elk meat instead of beef hamburger.  Here are the pictures from those two soups!!



Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Lil Man's Videos

So my lil man enjoys being photographed and video taped, as long as he is the center of attention.  Here are three short videos of him from the past year.
video
This is from his family birthday celebration, he is "singing" Happy birthday.
video
There is a Looney Tunes show where Bugs Bunny is at a saloon and Yosemite Sam comes in and they play a game of 21 for Bugs' Gold nuggets.  Bugs asks Sam if he can stand on one card and Sam is like oh Sure sure.  Uncle Nelson taught Lil man to do this routine and this is him doing it.  Lol.
video
This last video is Halloween night, it was cold and Lil man doesn't really like chocolate so we stayed home doing something he wanted to do!!!


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Christmas Baking 2012





This year I was a tornado in my kitchen. I made some family favorite recipes and I tried some new recipes(that became family favorites).  It was a busy few weekends when I got to baking.  Here is a list of things I made for Christmas baking; bread, crescent cream cheese puffs, oatmeal muffins, pumpkin cookies, butter tarts, thimble cookies, rolo snickerdoodles, shortbread cookies, and cheese cake thumbprint cookies.

Our family favorites are the shortbread, butter tarts and thimble cookies.  The new favourites are the rolo snickerdoodles, and cheesecake thumbprint cookies.  The pumpkin cookies went over pretty well, but I don't know if I would put them in the favorites category.  The oatmeal muffins, were a breakfast muffin but they weren't very good at all, I may try the recipe one more time, but I will do some things differently for sure.  And the pastry puffs were ok, but I am the only one who likes those and well with trying to lose weight and stuff, I couldn't eat them all so they didn't stay around too long.

Here are some photos of my cooking.  The family favs came from our family recipe book, the other recipes were from various sites that I found via pinterest!!! So check out my pinterest page for the recipes.



I couldn't find regular rolo bars at the store, so I used caramilk buttons instead, I also put in cookies and cream hugs and reese peanut butter bells as well.  They were so good and so worth doing again!!!


Monday, 14 January 2013

Ice Balls

Oh Dear Pinterest, how you come up with some very interesting ideas for us to try.

Chandler came to me before Christmas, on the day we were decorating the house actually and asked if it would be possible for us to fill balloons with water and food colouring and let them freeze.  Being the loving and supportive mom that I am, I said for sure we could.

Out I ventured, into the blizzard I might add, to get to the store to buy balloons.  I also bought some other Chirstmas decorating things as well, but balloons were the main reason I went out.  With the way the snow was coming down, I may have been a bit nuts to go out, but my child wanted to be creative so I was all about supporting that.

Now filling the balloons was an interesting experiment, we couldn't just fill them from the tap because then they would just be clear balls of ice, so how did we get the balloons to fill with water from a pitcher that had been coloured with food colouring???  It was a bit of a conundrum, until I remembered how I had made a stress ball in sensory class a couple days prior. Then it was easy peasey pudding pie!!

See the trick is to put the water into a pop bottle, then blow up the balloon with air and stretch the lip of the balloon over the pop bottle and turn the pop bottle upside down to pour the water in, forcing the air up.  It's so simple that it's almost embarrassing that it took me three attempts to figure it out.

So we did up like 12 of these balloons, chucked them out on the deck to freeze and waited a couple days before we had our decorations.  These are not decorations I would put in my front yard, because, well people are jerks, and I could just see some idiot child picking it up and throwing it at my picture window, which would not make me happy, so we decided to put them along the railing of our deck, so that our backyard also got some Christmas Decorations as well.





I think they were lot's of fun and I think that they could be great for theme decorating and stuff.  I will definitely be doing this again next year!!!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Week One 52 week Photo Challenge

The premise for the challenge that I have entered is not from my own head, but from another photo blog that my friend Alicia found, here is the link.  It is going to be a serious amount of learning for me this next year.  Sometimes Alicia explains things she wants to do and I just stare at her with a blank look because I don't know how to do any of that yet, but I am anxious to learn.  

So the rule of thirds states that you divide your picture into 9 equal sections, and that the most eye catching pictures have the focal point in one of the center intersections.  Here is a picture that demonstrates this better than I can explain it.


If you took a marker and drew two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines you would see that Chan's eye is right in the intersection point of two of the lines.  Which means this photo follows the rule of thirds.  

So in breaking the rule of thirds, you would try to not have your focal point in any of the intersections but rather in the squares themselves.  It can be right in the center or off to the side just depends on what you want the picture to look like.  Here is the picture I submitted to the group for breaking the rule of thirds.  

Now in this picture the main focal point is Lil Man and Hubby, if you draw the lines they are mostly in the center square and there is a lot of negative space around them.  Even where the sun is shining through the trees casts an interesting light on my two subjects.  

There now I kind of understand the rule of thirds, what will be my next photography rule to learn?

So what do you think?  Think I may have some creativeness left in me?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

52 Photo Challenge

I am always impressed with people that take photos every day and post them on blogs, and I am sure I see things every day that I would like to capture but finding the time to take the picture everyday and to post it is just not in my realm of possibilities right now.  So a friend, Alicia from Triple Ten Photography, suggested doing a picture a week for the year, where each picture has a different challenge or motif to follow.  I thought this was a great idea and a great way for me to practice my blooming photography skills.

So each week I will submit my photos to the group and I will post them on my blog and share the challenge and how I came to the final picture that I have submitted.  I think it will be fun and if you want to join me on this endeavor let me know.  I am going to have to do research to be part of this challenge though as some of the concepts are photography concepts that I only vaguely understand.  I hope Alicia is ready to tutor me!!!


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Christmas Decorating

I am so far behind in my blogging, but the my excuse is that the Christmas Season was incredibly busy and things got crazy.  But I did want to share my Christmas decorations with everyone.

I am still not really back into the Christmas spirit as it were, I am more grinch than Santa, but I do love decorating the house.  We did it one weekend at the beginning of December after we bought our tree from Costco.  I got into the decorating spirit for one day then the Christmas spirit seemed to go dormant.

Truth be told, all the decorations are already down, on one hand this makes me sad on another, I am glad I don't have to do it.

This year for Christmas I did more of the window decorations and built up my Christmas Village again. I love my Christmas village and I add a new item each year.

Here are some of our Pictures from the Christmas Decorating night!!!