Friday, December 17, 2010

1 .

As Promised, Pictures from The Plunge

As you know, my husband, PJ, and a crew of guys he works with at Texas Roadhouse raised money for Montana Special Olympics and then participated in the Freezin' for a Reason Polar Bare Plunge.  I want to give a very heartfelt thank you to all of our friends and family who made donations.  With your help, they raised over $900!  The fun part for you is that I promised photos if you made donations.  I'm not one to break promises, so enjoy!


Thursday, December 16, 2010


My Chaotic Little Winner

It's done!  With the help of, I've chosen a winner of the Chatic Craftiness gift certificate.  Even if you aren't the winner, I think you should hop over to Chaotic Craftiness and see what Lisa (@TaderDoodles on Twitter) has up her sleeve!  And remember, If you don't see something listed, and wonder if she can make it for you, just ask.

Are you ready?  Are you sure?? Are you positive???  (Only fools are positive, or so my brother used to tell me.)  The winner of the $10 gift certificate is... Anna!!!  Get ahold of Lisa on Twitter and she will hook you up with what your heart desires.

Thanks for playing!  Keep checking back for future giveaways, and let me know if you'd like me to host one for YOU.

* was used to choose the winner of this contest.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The Secrets of My Success

As a lot of you know, today was my 2 month weight loss check in.  The results are in, and I've lost several inches the last 2 months and I'm down 14.2 pounds!!  It isn't enough to win The Biggest Loser, but it's enough that I can fit into three pairs of pants that I couldn't two months ago.  It's enough that a few more of my shirts fit comfortably.  It's enough to keep me going, keep me smiling, and keep me jogging, of all things!

When I shared my success on Twitter this morning, several people asked me how I did it.  Since my goals, plans, and actions were hard to fit into 140 characters, I thought I would post it here for all to see.

First of all, I have made a few changes in my diet.  I'm not ON a diet.  And I didn't cut much out of my diet.  I switched to Splenda in my coffee, and I eat yogurt with oats in it for breakfast instead of a big bowl of cereal.  I try to buy fruits and vegetables to snack on instead of candy and other "bad" foods.  I have made this biggest changes in my portion sizes.  I still eat pizza, but have only one or two small slices instead of four.  I gave up sodas, but every once in a while, I get a craving.  Instead of drinking a Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper like I used to, I grab a Diet Root Beer.  I buy Lite string cheese instead of regular.  Really, the little changes add up quickly.

Next, I've started exercising.  I'm not talking about four hours a day in a gym.  I'm sticking with 30 minutes, three days a week.  If I manage more than that, great!  My main activity is the Couch to 5K program.  Basically, it takes people who have no experience running through an interval program that builds up to an uninterrupted 30 minute run.  I'm starting week 6 tomorrow.  Friday I jogged (I'm not to the point of running yet.) a full 20 minutes, and I covered about 1.75 miles in that time.  I haven't run that long or far in over a decade!  When I do fit something else in, it's a Biggest Loser workout, yoga, or a Walk Away the Pounds video.

Last, I have a great support network.  My husband is a champ, and lets me go out jogging while he hangs out with the kids.  He's very supportive of my efforts, and proud of my accomplishments.  My mom helps out with the kids when PJ is working.  My friend, Rachel, also did the C25K with me while she was in town.  Plus, I have a great group of online friends who are all working toward the same goals as me.  It makes a huge difference when I have friends to hold me accountable, ask questions about what I've done and how I'm feeling, and can understand what I am going through.  I know from previous experience that I would have given up weeks ago if it wasn't for all of them.

In short, I'm doing all those things "they" say to do: Eat right, exercise, and have a support system.  I wish it was easier, but it's not.  I'm not sure I will manage to hit my end-of-the-year goal (I have 12.5lbs to go), but I'm extremely happy with the progress I've made so far.  It's not magic, but if you have any questions for me, please ask away.  I'm hoping I will have a bigger (smaller?) success story to share with you next month!

Friday, December 10, 2010


You Look Like You Could Use Some Chaos!

I think everyone should have a little chaos in their day.  I don't mean the kind that makes you hide in the bathroom, or that you find at Wal-Mart any Saturday in December.  I'm talking about the Chaotic Craftiness you get from "four kids, three cups of coffee, two sewing machines, one hubby, and zero sleep", better known as Lisa from Chaos Appreciation.

My beautiful card holder

Just as her headline says, she's a momma to four kids, and she's very crafty.  A few months ago, Lisa started selling her fun and useful products in an Artfire shop.  (You'll be really happy she did because you're going to get a chance to win something from her!)  When she asked if I'd like to write a review of one of her products, I jumped on the opportunity.  Imagine how excited I was when I received not one, but two business card holders from her.  There was a fun, feminine one for me, and a manly denim one for my husband. 
The current contents of my
business card holder
Now, my husband has his business card holder packed full of, well, business cards.  I don't have business cards, so I packed mine full of the cards I keep with me at all times.  Take a look at the picture.  It currently holds my debit card, driver's license, PetSmart card, Subway card, Flex Spending card, insurance card, and a Famous Footwear discount card.  Though you'd think this would pack it tight, I know it will hold more.  That's right.  I used to have even more stuffed into this little card holder.  Trust me when I say that they're well worth the $8 she sells them for in her shop.  Plus, she has lots of fabrics to choose from!

These bibs can be personalized!

Now the kids can take their crayons
along without the hassle.

If business cards aren't your thing, how about bibs?  Or tissue cases?  Pacifier clips?  Maybe an apron?  Lisa has a lot of great items in her store.  They are all handmade, and they'd make great Christmas gifts.  And the best part?  I'm giving a lucky winner a $10 gift certificate to Chaotic CraftinessAll you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what you'd buy if you won the gift certificate.  Besure to include your email address or twitter name so I know how to contact you!  Each person gets one entry, so make it good!  (To leave a comment, click on the number to the left of this posts' title.)  Sounds easy, right?  THAT'S BECAUSE IT IS! 

Now, go on.  Go check out her wares, leave me a comment, and early next week I will randomly choose a winner.

*Disclaimer: I do not receive monetary compensation for my blog. I do receive a sample product free of charge for evaluation. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Do it for Kevin

I know this time of year brings a lot of messages telling you to give money here and donate to there and help this or that...The only difference between all of those other messages and this one is that this request involves two men who are very important to me.  Most of you don't know them, and probably never will.  That's ok.  I will fill you in, and then you can decide if I'm giving you a worthy cause.

PJ and his winter beard :0)

The first man I'm doing this for is my husband, PJ.  He and the rest of the Texas Roadhouse management team have set a goal to raise $5000.00 for Special Olympics.  I will tell you right now, they aren't even close to reaching that goal.  In two days, these men will plunge half naked into a frozen Montana lake whether they raise the money or not.  It's because they are dedicated, and this is an important event. 

Kevin with his 2010 SO Medals

The second man is Kevin.  He's PJ's big brother, my brother-in-law, and he has Down Syndrome.  Kevin has participated in Special Olympics his entire life, and he has a closet full of medals to prove it!  The sense of accomplishment he gets from competing is huge.  Kevin is one of the sweetest, most down-to-earth people I have ever met.  It's no wonder PJ is so committed to this cause.

I can tell you want to know how to help.  I will tell you, but first, consider this: If we all do something small, we can make big things happen.  I'm not going to ask any of you to donate $5000, though if you can and you want to, I won't stop you!  I know the economy stinks, and money is scarce.  But do you have $1?  Or maybe $5?  It'll help.  If each of my blog subscribers gave $5, that would be an extra $105.  If each of my twitter followers gave $5, they would raise $4295!!!

I wouldn't ask if this wasn't important to me.  Will you help??  Every dollar is appreciated.  The fun part is, if you get involved, we will share pictures of the guys during the plunge!  They're not just dedicated, but also a little crazy!  If you've decided you can spare a buck, visit their website here.  If you can't, that's fine.  I thank you for taking the time to read this anyway.
GM John and PJ before the 2008 Polar Bare Plunge