Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coloring

Each year on Maddie's birthday she paints a canvas to hang in her room. This year the paint had vanished and all I had were crayons, and so she decided to trace her beautiful, little hand. 



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Monday, March 28, 2011

My Workout: My Time

For a couple hours each morning I'm no longer a mother, a wife, a student, or teacher...I'm simply Me.  Working out gives me a break from all other responsibilities and allows me to focus on what I'm doing at that moment and really give something back to myself.

I've recently discovered that 2011 is mine. My husband has done an awesome job of taking on extra responsibilities so that I can focus more of my time on my studies. I kept telling myself that my Master's degree would benefit my whole family, that I was doing it all for my family, which ultimately I am, but it still requires a great deal of my time and effort, and without Sean's help, I'm not sure it would have been possible.

I also have big plans after graduation, I want to pour myself into my fitness and new hobbies of gardening and photography. Of course I want to bring my family into these areas as well, but just the idea of having hobbies is a big step for this Momma. It, again, means Me time. As a young mother of 16, I've never truly felt that I've devoted much time to myself; I feel as if I've lived my life for others and have worked to achieve a better future for my family. I now want to step back for a moment and discover more of myself through enjoyable activities. I want to create life in new ways through gardening and capture all that beauty with pictures.

So, as I set out to finish this year on My time, I look around at all the wonderful people who have brought me to where I am, the good Lord who has provided all the way, and my family who makes it possible. I'm more than grateful, even if I don't show it very often. I hope to repay you all, somehow, someday, with maybe just a little bit more of My time.  :)

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Family




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Birthday Girl!

What an amazing day to celebrate Maddie's 2nd birthday!










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Birthdays!

We are celebrating my daughter's 2nd birthday today!  

Happy birthday, My Love! You've been such a blessing to this family!!




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Friday, March 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Me






I'm a 33 year old closet perfectionist. There are a thousand flaws I could list in this picture. I won't bore you with my egocentric outlook on myself, but I will say I plan on spending the next year examining my life, myself, and hopefully will find ways to accept the woman I am and still strive for the one I intend to be.

I hope you'll join me as I embark on a new journey of me and my camera.  :)





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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Herbs


I have an adorable frame over my kitchen sink that my Dad built for me and for the past couple of years it's held fake flowers, however, I'd like to add a splash of herbs to it for scent and all. What herbs would you recommend that will receive artificial lighting and will need to be mild enough not to create an aroma the whole house will smell?


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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Fly Lady: Beginners Baby Steps

Day 1: 


Recently, I posted that I was finally putting The Fly Lady's advice to practice, and Day 1 begins in the kitchen. Kelly recommends cleaning your sink before going to bed, that way it's still shinning when you get up in the morning. :)

The only probablem here is that I have a husband, and he's not reading The Fly Lady and nor is he even interested in keeping the sink clean and shiny. So, this will not only be a cleaning moment but it will also be a marriage moment as well. 

How to get your family on board with your idea of clean??? That is the question! I don't know. I'll take any advice I can get. Also, I'd like some advice on what cleaner to use on a porcelain sink. Bleach works well, but I don't always enjoy the chemicals. 

Til next time...

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Growing Our Garden

My mom loved gardening. I always enjoyed sharing that with her. :)

Last year I decided to plant my own garden. I spent several months reading up on it, and we have plans to begin tilling soon. While waiting for Spring to arrive, I wanted to see if I could start some seeds. I'd mentioned it to Sean before about saving the fruit seeds {from our food} and planting them in our garden. He didn't think it would work, something about...blah, blah, blah, I don't remember. I tried anyway.  :)



We started with a simple seed starter from the Dollar Store. Maddie enjoyed poking all the little holes for the seeds and then dumped half of them out in the flower bed {we shall see what happens with those this summer}. I placed my tray on top of my refrigerator to keep them warm. I checked 'em every couple of days or so but didn't really know when to expect anything. I came home today and Sean asked if I'd seen my sprouts.

I was soooo excited! :) We now have like a hundred little cantaloupe plants...OMGosh, what are we going to do with so much cantaloupe...homeless shelter here we come!


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Monday, March 21, 2011

I've Said It Before And I'll Say It Again, SparkPeople Rocks My Socks Off

When you go back to the basics, it all seems to make sense. And that's why I'm taking it back to SparkPeople.com  to make a difference in my life. 

After having Maddie I removed 65 pounds from this body; the same size as my 8 year old. Wow, you say. Yeah, wow I say! It's still hard for me to believe, but when I glance in the mirror, I realize it's still {partly} a reality. 

Around October I experienced some stress, I stopped running due to the colder weather, and overall I was simply lost in my fitness routine. In January I started working on my thesis, and I've come to learn that when I'm super stressed, I can't seem to focus on anything except on that particular stressor. I should have never gotten out of a routine, but I did. I should have never emotionally eaten, but I did. And now, several pounds later, I'm still stressed, still eating, and yet still wanting to make a change in my life. And that's the point, the simple desire to make something different.

Like I said, I went back to what I knew worked before: 1. joining other people on this journey, 2. running. :) It's not always easy, but it's definitely still worth doing.

So this weeks workouts:
Monday: Spin Class
Tuesday: Weight Training
Wednesday: Spin Class
Thursday: Slim in 6
Friday: Running
Saturday: Walk/Run @ Greenway
Sunday: Walk with Family

What about you? What goals have you set for this week? 


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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fly Lady


Ok, we all know her, right? The Fly Lady , her moto: Finally Loving Yourself.

Also, daily rules she lives by:
1. Dont sweat the small stuff; what doesn't matter, doesn't matter.
2. Laugh everyday. Even if it's at yourself.
3. Love like there is no tomorrow.

Kelly, The Fly Lady, and her team of do-gooders has helped hundreds of people declutter their lives, and I hope she can do the same for me.  The Fly Lady actually offers a section, Beginner Baby Steps, where she walks you through 31 days of declutter. I'm taking the challenge. I'll also be adding a section to my side bar that will document all my posts as I simplify my life.  :)  I hope you'll stick around for it all, and even join me as I Love, Laugh, and Let the other stuff slide. 




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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Field Of Daisies Blog Design: Giveaway!

Jeannette @ Crafty Hippo Designs enjoys crafting and exploring her artistic abilities through blog make overs.

She began designing, first working on her own blogs, and has now branched out to designing for others. I recently came across Crafty Hippo Designs while blog hopping and simply fell in love with her style as well as her personality.

Jeannette is offering one lucky reader of Carrigan's Joy a free blog design: the Field of Daisies Design {blogger platform only}. Can I say what a great deal this is!? Check out all the amazing features that are involved in this $70.00 design service:


  • custom header
  • blog background
  • coordinating text colors
  • choice of blog template/layout
  • installation


Plus all available extra design elements which include:

  • navigation bar
  • custom fonts for sidebar widgets and post titles
  • sidebar and post title background images
  • signature
  • divider
  • social network icons and much more!

You can also check out more of her great blog designs, through Crafty Hippo Designs' Portfolio .

So, are you ready to win?!

Mandatory Entry:
1. Follow Carrigan's Joy, leaving a comment that you are following, along with an email address so you can be reached in case you are the winner.

Extra Entries:
1. Follow Crafty Hippo Deisgns , leaving a message here that you're following.
2. Tweet about this giveaway: "FREE Blog Make-Over: Field of Daisies Blog Design Giveaway! http://bit.ly/epMyti"
3. "Like" Crafty Hippo Designs on Facebook, leaving a message here with your email addy.
4. Follow Crafty Hippo Designs on Twitter , leaving a message here with your email addy that you're following.


Giveaway closes March 31, Midnight {Eastern}
One lucky winner will be chosen through Random.org









Sunday, March 13, 2011

LUNA - The Whole Nutrition Bar For Women: Review

 I'm all about a protein bar.



Chocolate Peppermint Stick


Breakfast is my favorite time to enjoy them. They're quick, easy, and can be eaten just about anywhere {on the way to the gym, scurrying around the house getting everyone ready for work/school, or even on the drive home when my sugar begins to drop before dinner}.

So, when I put "protein bars" on the grocery list, I wasn't too sure what my Hubs would bring home, even though he is a great shopper/cook, and, I really should have put more faith in him cause what he did find was de-lish: Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick protein bars. :)

They're black and white, built just like a regular protein bar but with the distinct taste of peppermint...I love it! And, I love the fact that in 180 calories I'm getting a great deal of my daily nutrients and that LUNA prides itself on being the number one bar for women. What does that mean exactly? Well, I didn't know, until I checked out LUNA for myself, and what I discovered was a whole fitness community waiting for my arrival! Ok, maybe not just waiting for me, but rather a community of people like myself, wanting to combine good nutrition and fitness into daily living.

I also stumbled upon the LUNA Mom's Club where, each month, your LUNA Moms Club will host playdates, moms' nights out and activities for you and your family. I'm hooked, I'm signin' up!

And now, what about You? Do You have a special bar that keeps You moving through out the day? 

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WINNER of Healthy Options of Days Gone By Giveaway...

True Random Number Generator  4Powered by RANDOM.ORG

The winner of the Healthy Options of Days Gone By is ItsMe! Congrats, I hope you enjoy your gift basket and thanks to all who participated within the giveaway!!


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where Do You Roam When Your Head Hits The Bed??

My teenager toddler got up from her bed and made her way to the couch, where she slept through the night. Not sure if this is a new trend or what. 

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Friday, March 11, 2011

My Amazing Little Girl Went Pee-Pee In The Potty!

That's right, Folks, Maddie is potty trained! Ok, maybe not completely, but today {3.8.11} she went pee-pee in the potty!!! 

At 23 months, I feel as if we've gotten a late start, but everything I read say's "No, right on schedule..." I've never wanted to push potty training, and with good reliable Target diapers, money isn't even the real issues, it's more about growing up and being big. 

So, our morning routine is to wake up, sit on the potty, brush our teeth, and start our day. This seems to work a bit better during the weekends where Maddie sleeps in rather than rolling at out of bed half asleep on the day I take her to school. But, we gotta learn, so we adapt and make it happen.

I also think this whole potty training thing has to do with the fact that my daughter will be 2 in a couple of weeks. I can't believe it. She's grown up so much. She's so independent, just yesterday Sean told me she's not allowed to play in her room {for a second} without supervision since she now can climb up on her changing table {within a blink of an eye} and play the game of "Pull Out All The Wipes With Glee!"

Speaking of which, I should end this here since she's run off and I hear her happily exploring her room. :)

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Does Your Toddler Try To Be A Big Helper?

 Maddie loves to clean up. Ok, maybe loves is too strong of a word, but without even prompting her, she usually will clean up, especially dishes {sippy cups mainly}. And when I say clean up, it's actually that when she's finished drinking, and if there's still milk/water in her cup, you'll see her walk over to the fridge, open the door, and place it back inside. 

Also, other items she enjoys putting in the fridge: elmo dvd players with dvd's. :)

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Will Be Run Over By A Bus

I enjoy Twitter. Always have. Always will. 

I typically get up each morning and check tweets, one of which being a local weather report for the day's weather. This time of year, you never know if it'll hit the 70's or simply linger around the 50's for the day, so I check.

Today {3.6.11}, this is what I read: "chattaweather 
Currently: Cloudy, 40 F. #CHAwx You will be run over by a bus."

It's the, "you will be run over by a bus," that caught my attention. And so I responded back with a, "@chattaweather, why did you tweet that I'd get run over by a bus??" There was no response. 

I wonder.

I'll definitely be on the look out today. For what you ask? Death.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

How To Stay Motivated: Your Workouts

Every Monday, for months now, I've been writing up a fitness post. Some days it's about weight loss, about my weekly goals, while other days I actually try to share some news. Today, it's about motivation and what I've learned along the way.

1. Being A Buddy:
I always chat with strangers, you never know who you might meet or what new bond you might build. That being said, you hop on a treadmill next to me, I'll 99% of the time wish you a, "good morning!" And if I drift in next to you to apply makeup after my workout in the dressing room, I'm almost certain we'll start up a small chat. And that's where I met Heather. We had chatted a few times and then last week she invited me to a spin and weight training class. 5:30 a.m. classes that is. :)
I decided to give it a go. With Spring approaching I really needed something to boost my workouts and really get me back into things. And, it just so happened when I mentioned I'd be going to spin class, another friend of mine, whom I've worked out with before, decided to join me as well.
There is nothing better than a work out partner, except for on those days you'd rather work out alone {as a mom, I sometimes cherish my alone times}.

2. Writing It Down: 
Heather, as I mentioned before, is full of great ideas. She explained to me how she uses a calender to record her success and that each day she works out, she gets a sticker, and after a certain amount of stickers, she gets a new...{fill in the blank here}. What an awesome idea!!!!
And, I agree, if you write it down, you're more likely to stick with it. So, I did. I have Monday - Wednesday documented for the month. These three days I'll be at the gym, bright and early. The other two days, well, I need more help on those. Any suggestions?? I'll have Maddie with me before and after work on those days so make sure it's kid friendly.

3. Connecting To Others:
I've also come across some great fitness
blogs . It seems when we surround ourselves by a group of people, we tend to follow along in that group. So, decide who you want to follow/lead and surround yourself with those people...pretty simple.

So, what about You? What motivates You to keep pushing along and moving through??


 
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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bye-Bye Paci

So, it's pretty much over, the mega addiction to the paci.

Maddie was a breastfed baby up until around 17 months old where I then decided it was time to ween. Maddie didn't seem to fight it at the time, but she seemed to greatly miss the skin-to-skin contact and therefore adopted the I'll-lay-on-my-momma's-belly-with-my-face moment. She does this when she gets sleepy or when she just wants to cuddle. And it's not just laying on my belly that she likes, it's laying on my bare belly that she feels she needs. I'm pretty much ok with it at home, but no floppin' up my shirt while out in public. :) Sorry, baby girl, you're just too big for that!

Anyway, while she laid on my belly, she also wanted that sucking motion and would yell out for her paci. It only seemed to be around me that she was so hard-core addicted to that thing. At first I was like, "only at night time," but that didn't seem to work out well since Daddy and I disagreed {passively} on the idea and he'd give it to her whenever she asked. So no consistency = crazy kid.

There was another time that the paci was actually lost one weekend and so I thought it'd be a great moment to end it all. We spent the next day comforting our traumatized child who would go off into sobs because she didn't have it. It was heart breaking. No, more than that. It was torture {for her, not us}. So, of course I replaced it.

A couple more months went by and I decided to do the "chop". It's where you take small snips off the paci, never taking it away, but allowing the child to decide not to take it. I've heard from some parents that their kid would take a paci with only a stub on it, where others have said their kid dropped it the first time it was snipped. 

The first snip didn't seem to make a difference to Maddie, she simply looked at it and popped it back into her mouth. A week went by. I snipped again. She glared a bit more, and it took a great deal more control to actually hold it in her mouth, but still, she took it with ease. By the third week and snip, it's pretty much become a headless horseman, and she only thinks about it in it's previous form. She may ask for it, and I gladly hand it over, but she doesn't actually put it in her mouth anymore, and when she's really upset at me {after asking for it} she throws it across the room, which is a whole new post in itself: Picking Your Battles With A Toddler. 

Overall, she's done really well. I figure by the end of this month, with her 2nd birthday, I'll have simply filed them away and they'll be a thing of the past. No screams, no fits, no withholding precious artifacts that my child would give her life for, just simply snipping and putting away. And in my book, life is a little better when moments are done by choice rather than through tears.




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