Three 31


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Resolution Update // August 2015

Eight down; four to go.

HEALTH + FITNESS

Lose 20% of my body weight
Take advantage of health coach provided by insurance – Spoke to a health coach on August 25 and scheduled another session in September.
Eat breakfast every day
Take a daily multivitamin
Exercise four days a week
Work out with a personal trainer
Drink 150 ounces of water every day
Complete a juice cleanse
Complete a 90-day challenge
Eliminate something from my diet each month (i.e. sweets, fried foods, sugar, fast food, etc.)
January – Rough start at the beginning of the month, but I’ve managed to stay away from excess sugar for two and a half weeks. Small steps.
February – I avoided tomatoes like the plague.
March – Still avoiding tomatoes.
April – No tomatoes.
May – No tomatoes.
June – I don’t remember the last time I ate an actual tomato but I have had tomato-based products a couple of times: pizza sauce, barbeque sauce, and ketchup.
July – Tomatoes are back, at least a little bit, and I’ve not reacted.
August – nothing eliminated

Be showered and in bed by 10:30 every night
Learn more about and use essential oils
Find a skincare routine that works for me – Four days into trying the “Simple” skincare line (cleansing water and scrub) and “Pepta-Bright” serum my complexion has significantly cleared, especially on my jawline.
Participate in a “new-to-me” group exercise class January 9 – tried a 60-minute cycling class, January 24 – tried INSANITY, January 28 – Zumba with Miss Ivy
Schedule annual appointments with OB-Gyno, eye doctor, and dentist January 16 – comprehensive eye exam; January 19 – purchased eyeglasses at Warby Parker; January 20 – teeth cleaned; January 21 – cavity filled (booo!); August 27 – teeth cleaned (all is well)

BLOGGING

Create a blog post calendar … and use it!
Attend a blog conference
Attend a creative writing workshop
Publish a blog post every day for a month SUCCESS – I posted every day in the month of June. Check out 30 Days of Manna.
Publish a “how to” post
Publish an original recipe
Continue the weekly FINISH THIS link up FAILURE – I did not make it 100 weeks. I think I stopped at #73. Whatever the number, this link up was beginning to be a burden, lacked direction and creativity, and I made a commitment to myself at the beginning of the year to eliminate things in life that were not satisfying and/or joyful. I’m grateful to the participants, and I apologize for not noticing them sooner about it’s elimination, but my Wednesdays are improving already – despite it being one of my busiest days of the week!
Start a blog series January 5 – Monday Musings began; January 24 – weekly meal plan with menu/recipes
Meet five bloggers in person
Host a sponsored giveaway
Host a bloggers’ watch party for 50 Shades of Gray February 13
Continue writing for MOMquery 
Continue writing for Sweet Jesus Girls

PHOTOGRAPHY

Organize and back up my photos
Sell my current camera and upgrade to this one I’ve changed my mind and WANT this one.
Acquire a 85mm prime lens
Acquire a telephoto lens
Expand Three 31 Photography by scheduling at least 10 sessions Completed my first bridal portrait session on August 23 and, after making a really stupid rookie mistake in Lightroom and editing twice, the photos turned out really well. I hope the bride likes them just as much!
Take a Lightroom class
Join a camera or photography club January 19 – first meeting with Cleburne Photography Club

HOME LIFE

Refinanced our home mortgage for a lower interest rate February 11
Execute our living wills
Create a gallery wall in the living room
Hang a family picture above mantel/fireplace
Rearrange the living room furniture
Buy new comforter + bedding for guest room
Buy new side tables + lamps for master bedroom
Repaint the side table in Kamden’s room
Install new kitchen sink + granite countertops
Make our home more energy efficient
Have a technology-free weekend
Find a cleaning schedule … and use it!
Eat at a celebrity chef’s restaurant
Try a new recipe every month
January – Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole Husband’s reaction was meh.
February – Blueberry Muffins
March – pork tenderloin in the Crock Pot
April – French Onion Chicken Noodle Bake Husband’s reaction was yum. He went back for seconds … and thirds. He has since renamed the dish “Chicken Scratch.”
May – ?
June – homemade granola bars
July – Peach Crumb Bars and Homemade Nutri-Grain Bars with Strawberry Jam
August – M&M Cookie Dough No-Churn Ice Cream

Make the perfect omelet
Host a dinner party with other couples/families
Host a “Friendsgiving”
Host a game night
Meal plan for a month … and stick to it!
Use the Crock Pot once a week for a month
January – used the CP three times (roast beef and pinto beans)
February – meatballs and homemade spaghetti sauce
March – roast beef and teriyaki pork tenderloin
April – pinto beans, roast (twice), and meatballs
May – roast beef
June – pinto beans
July – beef roast and vegetables
August – pinto beans and pork teriyaki

Save loose change and cash out at the end of the year
Purge the entire house and donate or toss things we don’t use
Have my car detailed inside and out
Sell my car and buy a used SUV or crew cab pickup truck

PERSONAL GROWTH

Find a Bible reading plan (such as this one) that works for me … and use it regularly!
Read and study Scripture regularly and more thoroughly
Seek opportunities to improve (i.e. parenting, photography, blog writing, etc.)
Have regular conversations with Lisa January 14 – the shenanigans have begun!
Create a new resume
Get a job with new resume
Join a professional organization and get involved in the local chapter
Finish The Story Bible study May 27
Lead a small group Bible study August 27 – Finished the 12-week study series, “12 Women of the Bible”
Read 12 books (one per month) 1. Being Christian – Rowan Williams; 2. Captivated By You (Book 4 of The Crossfire Series) – Sylvia Day; 3. Chic & Slim: How Those Chic French Women Eat All That Rich Food And Still Stay Slim – Anne Barone; 4. Fighting Back With Joy – Margaret Feinberg; Grey – E.L. James
Keep a prayer journal August 21 – began a prayer journal
Keep a blessings/gratitude jar
Participate in a swap
Get my hair cut at the start of each season January 16 – hair cut; August 5 – hair cut
Have my eyebrows “threaded” by a professional
Get a facial/mani/pedi every other month

FOR KAMDEN

Create a 529 Savings Plan – January 30
Potty train (no more diapers) by second birthday
Continue weekly classes at The Little Gym  January 8 – Kamden was promoted to the “Birds” class (for kids 10-18 months);  May 21 – Kamden graduated from the Birds class and got promoted to Beast status. He still wears the medal around his neck. Kamden’s last class at TLG was August 24.
Enroll in Kinder-music
Schedule one play date a month An impromptu Mommy&Me play date with T + C at the playground!
Mommy + Me photo session for Mother’s Day SUCCESS – May 8

nicoleandkamden2015

nicoleandkamden2015

Plant a tree
Make a special craft or memento
Install book shelves in his bedroom
Read a book before bedtime every night Kamden’s favorites are Little Blue Truck and God Knows You.

FOR OTHERS

Surprise Husband with a meaningful gift
Continue donating breast milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas January 5 – Donated 332 ounces. January 22 – My pumping days are officially over. You can read why here. As sad as I am, I was able to donated 3,650 ounces to the MMBNT.
Donate to a charity
Throw a surprise party for someone I attended a surprise birthday party on August 15, that counts, right?!
Attend a wedding
Attend a baby shower May 2.
Leave a 100% tip for excellent service
Volunteer at least five hours each month
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
Send a “just because” gift to someone August 30 – Mailed a copy of “12 Women of the Bible” study guide (including copious notes!) to Jenny.
Send 12 handwritten notes (one per month)
Send a care package to a soldier
Celebrate special milestones (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) with greeting cards

ADVENTURE

Go to Bova for a custom ring design consultation
Go to Bova and have my ring and earrings cleaned
Have a ladies’ night once a quarter
February 13 – dinner and movie
March 13 – breakfast with the Zachry’s (and Kamden too)
August 8 – dinner with moms

Attend a college sporting event
Attend a professional sport event
Invest in quality luggage … and use it!
Visit three museums January 6 – Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas; February 20 – Clinton Presidential Center & Library; July 14 – second trip to the Perot Museum; August 14 – Dallas Aquarium with Kamden, Mom, and Aunt Georgia
Visit Ruthie in Austin
Visit Lisa in Virginia
Visit Jenny in North Dakota
Visit Jacqueline in Houston
Visit Heather in Houston
Visit Jen in Arizona
Visit a Presidential Museum February 20 – Clinton Presidential Center & Library in Little Rock, Arkansas
Visit a popular landmark I’ve never seen before
Go to Lake Ouachita (Arkansas) with Husband’s family
Go to Fredericksburg, Texas
Go hunting
Play a round of golf April 10
Go to a drive-in movie
Shoot a bow-and-arrow
Compete in a shooting sport
Complete a fitness challenge
Go paddle boarding
Attend a cooking class
Attend a line dancing class at Billy Bob’s

And for good measure …

JANUARY
Read and study the Bible for 31 consecutive days following a specific reading plan. DONE!

FEBRUARY
Exercise 1,500 minutes in a month, or 75 minutes every week day, and avoid “bad for me” foods. FAIL!

MARCH
Walk a minimum of 8,000 steps every day for 31 days (must wear pedometer). PARTIAL SUCCESS – I wore my pedometer every day but I did not get a minimum of 8K daily steps. But some days were better than others and there were even a few days where I walked in excess of 10K steps, so maybe I averaged 8K instead. I’ll try harder next month.

APRIL
Walk 10,000 steps every day for 30 days. Begin the “Total Transformation” challenge at the gym. Exercise like it’s my job. Purchase a pair of cycling shoes with bike clips. The month of March was a resounding success at failing miserably. The only thing I accomplished from this list was purchasing a pair of cycle shoes with bike clips, which I thought I did this in March but it doesn’t really matter.

MAY
Submit five articles for SJM. Fail, I only submitted two. Exercise 2,000 minutes in 31 days. Fail.

JUNE
Write four articles for SJM. FAIL – All of my writing efforts this month were focused on “30 Days of Manna.” Exercise 2,000 minutes in 30 days. Semi-Failure. I logged 1.505 minutes in June.

JULY
Write four articles for SJM. FAIL – I submitted one. Publish a weekly health update. SUCCESS! Log 2,000 minutes of exercise. MAJOR FAIL! Make reservations for a mini family vacation. FAIL.

AUGUST
Register for a 5K race. FAIL.

SEPTEMBER
Meal plan for a week and submit two articles each to SJM and MomQuery.


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Mind + Body Transformation: Weeks 9

Weekly Update

Thank goodness for accountability partners asking about weekly updates. I mistakenly scheduled this post for the year 2019. I guess two days late is better than four years, right?!

Weight on August 29, 2015 // 258

Last week’s wins:

  • Kamden started preschool and did incredibly well.
  • Husband and I had a “date day” on Kamden’s first day of school that included an outing at the gun range and lunch.
  • Instead of going to the gym Friday, Kamden and I had a Mommy+Me date with friends at the playground in the park.
  • Completed the 12-week women’s study at church

Last week’s struggles:

  • Only one day at the gym
  • Allergies/sinuses bothering me

Pounds Lost:

  • One – back to 258.

Goals for the week ahead:

  • Exercise every weekday
  • Increase water consumption

5K Practice:

  • No miles or minutes completed this week on the treadmill.

 


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Mind + Body Transformation: Weeks 7 + 8

Weekly Update

I hate that I missed Week 7 because of laziness but it was a total loss and I’m beyond frustrated and disappointed in myself. Last week (week 8) was better, I spent valuable quality time with family (my mom and aunt were visiting from Kentucky) but, health wise, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Weight on August 21 2015 // 259

Last week’s wins:

  • Family time
  • Went to the gym twice and I’m still sore from the 100+ squats
  • Started a prayer journal

Last week’s struggles:

  • Laziness and portion control
  • Comparison stole my joy for a day

Pounds Lost:

  • None – I’m back to 259.

Goals for the week ahead:

  • Exercise four days
  • Increase water consumption
  • Did I mention that Kamden starts pre-school (two days a week) next Tuesday?!

5K Practice:

  • August 17, 2015 – I walked/jogged for a whole hour and completed 4+ miles.

 


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Prepping for Pre-School // Nap-N-Style

Yesterday I shared with you all the cool gadgets and accessories in Kamden’s lunch box and today I’m sharing the essentials he’ll need to be stylish and comfortable at pre-school. Food takes precedence, what does that say about my priorities?! Before I share these nap-n-style items, let me preface this post by saying 1) Kamden is an only child and just a tiiiiiiiiiny bit spoiled; and 2) it’s fun to splurge on a few quality items while raiding the clearance racks for others.

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Nap Mat // Okay, let’s get the big item – literally and figuratively – out of the way. Yes, this nap mat cost $115 and it’s too large for my toddler child. But, when Husband said he wanted our child to nap in luxury, I felt it was Motherly Duty to make sure Kamden would be as comfortable as possible while snoozing on the floor of his classroom. At 58-inches-long, we fully anticipate Kamden using this nap mat through college ( #kidding #notreally ) to ensure we get our money’s worth. With three-inches of foam padding and an attached blanket and pillow, this is obviously the crème de la crème of nap maps. Be jealous, peasants, be jealous! (We can’t be the only extravagant parents in the world because this particular nap mat is currently out of stock.)

Tops + Shorts // I went into Target for toilet paper and a birthday card and walked out with no toilet paper, three cards, and some clothes from the clearance racks. I had to return the next day for toilet paper though because we were down to one roll in the entire house.

Sperry Boat Shoes // I love every pair of Sperry’s I have ever owned and wanted Kamden to have a pair too. But I delayed buying him a pair until he got older and I knew he’d actually wear them on a regular basis. The Velcro closure is an absolute must.

Backpack // This classic seersucker backpack is a tribute to our Southern roots and proof that we monogram everything! I’ve recently stopped carrying my big, bulky diaper bag because this backpack is so much more convenient and lighter.

Because I’m a sucker for school supplies and I love the smell and feel of new pens and notebooks, I bought myself this Happy Planner. I needed a new calendar anyway and decided to splurge on this colorful version. It’s not an EC planner (if you know who/what EC is, you’ll understand) but it’s good enough for me. Like Bible Journaling, illustrated planning is becoming more popular.

If you or your kids are headed back to school soon, what are some must-have items?


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Prepping For Pre-School // Toddler Bites

It’s hard to believe Kamden will start pre-school in a couple of weeks but I’ve been busy shopping for items he might need before August 25. The school is located within our church and is associated with the local school district, two qualities that put J.U.M.P.S. ahead of the other facilities in our area. Kamden is comfortable in the environment as we are at the church at least two days a week and knows his teachers. One of his classmates is a friend from The Little Gym! I think he will adjust to the structured schedule with ease, including a new nap time, and I am confident he will eat in style too.

school.lunches

Cantigo AutoSpout Water Bottle // I really like this water bottle. Kamden can easily hold it by himself and open/close the spout with his small fingers. I wish they were insulated and there was a way for the straw to stay securely in place but these are minor details in comparison to a water bottle that withstands an active toddler!

YumBox Leakproof Bento Box Container // I cannot wait to pack Kamden’s lunch in this super fun (and functional) Bento box! There are multiple options available from YumBox but I chose one with four compartments. I like that it’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe (top rack only) and includes a sturdy outer box to protect from drops and spills.

CUTEZCUTE Animal Food Picks // Who wouldn’t want to eat their lunch with these miniature forks?! Seriously, my kid will have the coolest lunchbox on the block.

Kai Chuboos Vegetable Cutter // If you’re going to use fancy forks, your food should be in fun shapes too. These cutters are great for fruits, vegetables, and cheese.

Silicone Baking Cups // Traditionally used for cupcakes or muffins, I use these silicone cups as extra dividers in the Bento box or additional snack trays. Kamden enjoys a variety of foods and these cups keep everything neat and tidy … until he decides to pour everything out in the middle of the table.

Now that I have the supplies needed to pack Kamden’s lunch for school, I’ve got to decide what to put IN his Bento box. The kid doesn’t eat peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches or sliced deli meat and prefers Mom’s home-cooked meals. I can’t really blame the kid but packing a sensible lunch is going to be a challenge. Like most toddlers, he has a love/hate relationship with food and his tastes are constantly evolving. One day he’ll eat everything in sight and the next he won’t touch anything. Yesterday, he ate enough for an entire football team. So far today, he’s eaten five Cheerios. For his school lunch and snacks, I’m going to pack everything and the kitchen sink!

Here’s what I’ve got so far … please share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for a toddler-friendly lunch and snack in the comment section below. :)

simpleasthatSimple As That makes Jello ahead of time in the lunch container – genius idea!

Even though this recipe is a bit time consuming, I think Kamden would devour homemade pizza rolls. Plus, they’re something I could prepare ahead of time and freeze for future lunches or dinners in a pinch. I already have an excellent recipe for homemade pizza dough so this might get a thumbs-up!

0004Maybe Kamden would be more inclined to traditional sandwiches if I used the same ingredients to make a wrap?!

Kamden would love this chicken and veggie rice bowl, but he’s a messy eater (especially with rice and noodles with sauce) so this might have to be reserved for meals at home. I don’t want to make more work for his teachers!

I am in love with these ham and cheese pinwheels – who doesn’t love ham and cheese wrapped in flaky crescent dough?! – but I omit the mayo, mustard, and horseradish for a milder flavor and add extra cheese.

Other sandwich-less meal ideas include: chicken bites, mini corndog muffins, no-bake granola bars, and orange mini muffins. I made the mini corndog muffins a while back and they turned out great, but Kamden only ate the cornbread. What can I say? My son’s blood type is bread!

I know all of you fabulous people have more ideas of meals and snacks, so please share in a comment below.


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Mind + Body Transformation: Week 6

Weekly Update

Weight on August 7, 2015 // —I legitimately forgot to step on the scale while at the gym yesterday. Oops.

Last week’s wins:

  • Got to the gym three days.
  • I improved my 5K pace … again.

Last week’s struggles:

  • I was on the brink of death during cycle class on Tuesday. It was really intense but it was a good kind of exhaustion – thank you, Crissy.
  • Stomach and sleep issues.

Pounds Lost:

  • I didn’t step on the scale this week but I seriously doubt I lost any weight.

Goals for the week ahead:

  • Exercise five days and rest Wednesday and Sunday
  • Strength train at least twice
  • Increase water consumption
  • Go to bed by 11:30 every night

5K Practice Results:

  • August 3, 2015 – 46:26

I’m getting closer to the 45-minute mark.


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Mind + Body Transformation: Week 5

Weekly Update

Weight on July 31, 2015 // 259

Last week’s wins:

  • Got to the gym three days.
  • I lifted Thursday and you know you’re a bada$$ when you break a resistance band in two. SNAP!

Last week’s struggles:

  • Hip is still sore.
  • Skipped going to the gym Tuesday, which means I didn’t ride the bike (indoor cycle) at all.

Pounds Lost:

  • And I gained a pound. Awesome. Obviously, the au-gratin potatoes and chicken parmesan were not the best choices for the dinner menu this week.

Goals for the week ahead:

  • Exercise five days and rest Wednesday and Sunday
  • Strength train at least twice
  • Increase water consumption
  • Go to bed by 11:30 every night

5K Practice Results:

  • Monday, July 27 – 49:00
  • Friday, July 31 – 47:35

I’m actually impressed with my 5K progress thus far. This week, I increased my brisk walk speed to 3.5mph and jogged up at 5mph. Obviously, using an electronic treadmill makes this process much easier but I need to learn my pace habits before going outside on pavement. I also have my eye on a 5K event in Fort Worth on September 26. That’s both exciting and terrifying.

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