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Happy New Year!

Yay!  We made it through 2012!  Holy crap that was hard at times!  But a new year can bring new beginnings.  And with that, I’m planning on starting a new tradition of my own:  I’m going to be redoing the idea of New Years Resolutions!  Everyone knows resolutions get dropped as quickly as they were thought up.  Instead, I’m setting goals.  Each month, I’m going to set down goals for that month.  Some large, some small, and some may even repeat every month.  If I don’t get to one, its not the end of the world – it can just carryover into the next month.  The hope with this is that by setting goals, I will be able to mark them off (since I do better with a checklist any day!), and see actual progress.  (Who doesn’t like scratching off to-do items?!?)  Many of these goals are long term, just broken down.  Others are there to help me set routines in place, since most routines take between 21-30 days to become habits.

Anyway – here it goes!

January 2013 Goals:

  • blog about my goals (this keeps me on track, and I can provide any tips or tricks I find helpful)
  • loose 8-10 pounds (2lbs a week hopefully!)
  • exercise every Monday/Wednesday/Friday
  • set up my new sewing machine (that I got for Christmas)
  • (sub goal – make that blanket for my son that I’ve been meaning to)
  • Eat at least 1 fruit and 1 vegetable serving daily (keep in mind, I am used to not being able to eat any, but with the new medications I’m on, I should be able to start incorporating them again)
  • set up a daily beauty routine and stick to it
  • clean my kitchen every night before bed
  • do laundry on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
  • create & stick to a meal plan for the month
  • start prepping dinners during naptime
  • drink more water and less soda
  • start getting my house better organized and decluttered – starting with my desk!

Those may seem like a lot, but most are small and daily things that need to be done.  I hope that this helps me get my daily life better under control.  I can think of about a million others I want to add, which I may very well do once some of the smaller ones get completed off the  list.  I’ll keep you updated :D

Feeling Inspired…

So for some reason I’ve been on this weird kick lately…I apparently looked in the mirror and decided that I could stand to touch up my hair color, get a hair cut, visit a salon even!  I also noticed that I’ve fallen into a rut that a lot of newer moms (or not so new moms) face, which is the öh that’s a hair brush!  what?  I have to wash my face so it doesn’t look like an oil slick?”routine…falling into bed exhausted and forgetting any normal semblance of skin care and/or hair care.  I have gotten it in my head that I want to grow my hair out, but that means in the immediate future that it just ends up in a pony tail or bun, because, well you know, kid=no time to blow dry/straighten/curl…(by the way – if you’re a mom of at least one kid under the age of 5 and you’ve got it all figured out without a nanny, call me cause I want to  hear how you do it!)  The pony tail also hid the fact that I’ve not had the money nor the time to cover my not so welcome grey hairs (thanks genetics!)…apparently I haven’t dyed my hair since before we moved here, and I finally noticed – ugh!  So I found an old standby color (a great cool medium brown) and plan on fixing that one problem asap!

I have stumbled upon a TON of new makeup blogs, websites, etc, and have felt a renewed interest in makeup.  I never really lost it, I just stopped even trying for a while…I mean, when I can barely remember to brush my teeth and hair, I know makeup was way at the bottom of my to do list.  I did, however, organize all my makeup this weekend, so its in 2 nice hanging bags, all separated so I can easily access anything I need.  Plus this cleaned up my bathroom counter a bit, so its a little less cluttered.  I still need to figure something better out there, but that’s a WHOLE different subject.

Also in the “taking care of myself” department, I treated myself to some new bath products and perfume.  There is a new seasonal scent at my fave bath store, so I picked up some of it.  Warm and soft, and not flowery, I think it will go great with this new fall attitude I’ve acquired!  Oh and I got my acrylic nails put back on too, so I feel all girly!

Step by step, I’m bringing myself back from the edge of the abyss…I’m making time for me.  Now, to those naysayers out there who are all “why do you have to wear makeup? Whats wrong with not dying your hair?” Nothing is wrong, and you don’t have to.  I feel better when I look into the mirror and see a not gray-scale color on my head (I mean, I’m only 30…maybe in 10 years I’ll be more ready to embrace it), and covered redness so people stop constantly asking me if I have a sunburn (gotta love rosacea).  I’m doing it for me.  I’m just dragging you along since you stopped by!

Already on the right path

I am calling today a success.  I have lost two pounds since I was weighed at the doctor’s the other morning.  I have remembered to track my food all day.  I managed to not only take a shower but actually blow dry and straighten my hair (with a crappy new hair product sample that will NOT be purchased by me) instead of throwing it back into my pony tail wet.  I took an hour long walk with my son, and I made dinner.  I would say overall that is a good day!

I treated myself to some nail art items and a new nail polish.  All the new pins I’ve been seeing on pintrest have inspired me.  I love my Jamberry’s, but my toenails are so small that they are a pain to try to put on when all I want to do is sleep.  So I’ve decided to paint my toes & use my Jam’s on my fingers (which I find infinitely easier to apply).  That way I can try out all the cute things I’m seeing on fingers, but on my big toes, and still be a walking advertisement for my business!  (If you know me, you know I’m usually barefoot, or in flip flops.  Until I get cuter, more comfy flats, I have no issue wearing flip flops until its snows!)

So its time I faced up to the fact that I’m not happy with my figure, my wardrobe,my eating habits, my exercise routine and my overall caring about myself.  I am overweight, eating bad things, wearing frumpy clothing to hide my body, not caring what I look like, and not getting regular exercise (aside from running around after my 14mt old daily).  I have a hard time eating “right” because with Crohn’s my body doesn’t process food the same way, so things like a healthy salad might make me sick, whereas I know that the hamburger won’t.  I put on tshirts and flip flops instead of the gorgeous tops and flats/heels I have gathering dust in my closet.  I routinely forget to wash my face because I’m either woken up by screaming at 5am or falling into bed past midnight and falling asleep where I land.  I almost never wear makeup – in fact it has become so rare that my husband actually notices when I DO wear makeup, and asks me why.  I usually have my hair pulled back into a bun because it’s out of my son’s grasp that way.  I can’t remember the last time I had it colored, and let me tell you, its not a pretty sight right now.  I remember to exercise sometimes, besides the occasional neighborhood walk, but only when my son has slept through the night, I have all the household things done, and I am not busy doing 50 other things because my son is taking a nap.  These are all habits I intend to break, and break now.  I have gotten some distressing news regarding my Crohn’s disease, and things need to change.  I turned 30 this year, and while that is still very young, I am apparently more sick than I had previously understood.  I need to get my act together.  I want to be healthy for my husband and my kid (and any more we may choose to have).  I want to fit into the clothes I want to wear again, instead of buying the clothes that fit when I can afford them (apparently you have to pay a premium for anything over XL at most stores).  I want to be able to shop in the cute stores, and feel put together.  I want to exercise at least 3 times a week, to get my health back under control.  I want to stop eating junk and be a better example for my son who is starting to watch what I put in my mouth.  I want to get back my good habits that I had before my diagnosis and everything getting tossed aside.  I used to do my hair daily.  I would wear makeup when I left the house.  I would actually notice what I was wearing and try to look like I didn’t just roll out of bed.  I would go for walks, or go to the gym when I had memberships, or even do exercise vids at friend’s houses.  These are things I am going to do again.  So I want you to hold me accountable.  I want to come here and tell you what I have done, where I have lacked, and what I’m feeling about it now.  I know some things will have to wait, like getting my hair professionally colored, or getting salon mani/pedi’s…those cost money, and extra money does not come easy these days.

So all in all I need to get off my butt.  Both literally and figuratively.  I think I will keep up with products that I have found that I love on here, as well as any tips or tricks I find that make it easier for me to do what I am working towards.  I know there are other people out there, like me, that got lost along the way, and want to find their healthier, better looking self out there.  I just hope this helps me as well as them.

To get started, here are my goals:

  • Loose approximately 50 lbs
  • Restart and keep up skin care routine and makeup (when I leave the house at least)
  • Put effort into my wardrobe, including accessories and shoes
  • Exercise 3-5 times a week, be it walking with my son or videos (no gym membership currently)
  • Keep my house clean and mostly clutter-free (already in the process)
  • Save money by couponing and stockpiling (I’m already working on this one!)
  • Remember to take time for me…read, blog, play games online, I need to do something just for me daily to make sure I don’t loose myself in the mix of being wife/stay  at home mom, etc
  • Keep this blog updated with anything I need to share as well as my progress on these goals

I figure there is no point in having a stockpile unless you know what is in it and how many you have.  As well, I needed to decide on how many I wanted to have on hand.  So I created a spreadsheet to keep updated easily from my phone (thank you Google Drive!).  That way, when I go to the store, and I have budgeted money leftover, I can see where I need to add.

Everything in this list are pantry items that I KNOW will get used in a timely fashion, or have such long expiration dates that its just nice to have on hand when I need something.  I know it may sound like a lot for some of the items, but keep in mind, I also do cooking for 3 families once a week, so sometimes I’ll use 3-4 of just 1 item in that one day.  Or things like beans get used 2-3 at a time for chili…Plus I have a ginormous pantry, so I’ve got the space.

Click here to see my spreadsheet on what I have and/or need in my pantry.  You’ll notice things like “cereal” are not on there…we don’t eat a lot of it, so I see no point in having it go stale on my shelf.  And I have a few frozen items on there – yes I have a large stand up freezer so don’t worry about not having any room!

Ok so before I get started here is a little background.  I simply can’t start slow.  I decide I’m going to do something, and I jump in head first.  I have immersed myself in sale ads, meal planning, grocery list creating, and coupons all week.  I have been reading 2 blogs by ladies who get such awesome deals that I’m jealous, and getting fantastic deals and great advice on how to start out, where to shop, and how to use my coupons judiciously.  I have decided on what and how much to stockpile (since I have a pantry the size of a decent walk in closet and my husband and son have some great canned/boxed favorites).  I have decided to join with a friend (who I know is reading this – Amanda!) and we are going to be couponing together because lets face it, two heads are better than one!

So here is where I started, how much I should have spent, and how much I ended up really spending:

Store 1: Safeway (groceries) I spent $68.25 and got 2 more coupons that printed at the register.  I should have spent $106.03 without my savings and coupons.

I chose to go on Friday, because Safeway has $5 Fridays.  This means that several dozen items in the store that are usually at least $10 are marked down to $5 for Friday only.  I also used my Safeway Rewards Card.  This gives me points towards up to $1 off a gallon of gas as well as the normal store sale priced items.  Also if you sign up for their Just for U program, you can add coupons to your card, as well as receive specially personalized coupons (based off previously purchased items) downloaded to your card simply by using their website or their phone app (I do both).  I get an email from them about twice a week letting me know what new deals I have ready to download.  I just basically add them all!  My best deal here was getting 3 packages of ground turkey breast (brand name!) for $10.  Normally, that would have cost me $20 but I had not only a store sale, but a coupon and a personalized coupon on my card saving me $10!

Store 2: Albertsons.  I spent $28.29 and I should have spent $50.78 – I saved 45%!!!!!  Now here I simply used coupons and their sale prices on my Albertsons card.  This was all stockpile items but a great deal.  I got 2 more shampoos and got 2 conditioners and 1 styling product for free (just like the other day), as well as half price on the breakfast biscuits my husband eats every day that he works from home!

Store 3: Fred Meyer.  I spent $44.98 and I should have spent $63.24 and another coupon for baby food.  Not as great on the savings, but all for the stockpile (except for 1 item).  I got my perferred laundry detergent for $2.50 a bottle, as well as 12 cans of soup and 10 cans of black and kidney beans (which all will probably get used before this time next month) as well as baby food!  These again were sale prices with my Fred Meyer reward card (which also got me a gas discount) and a few coupons.  I would have spent even less had I grabbed the right coupon for my soups…but oh well – next stock up trip!

My first “Couponing” Trip

So for my first couponing trip, I think I did fairly well!  I got all this

for $12!  (Normal price would have been $32!)  I got 3 shampoos, 3 conditioners and 2 styling products.  I still have 2 more coupons left so if I work it right, I can get another two shampoos, two conditioners and two styling products for $9…I just have to get back into the store!  :D

So I need a budget.  I’m a buy-whatever-looks-great kind of girl when it comes to groceries, and that leaves me with a pantry full of food that never gets eaten, and a fridge overfull of items going bad.  I need a meal plan, I need a grocery list, and I need a budget.  We have 2 adults and a toddler (still transitioning to “big boy” food) so I don’t need a ton of food in my house, but enough to get from week to week.  I also cook 1 very large meal once a week to feed 2 other families besides ours.  This meal usually is some sort of pasta or bake that is easy to refrigerate/freeze/reheat so that the other families only have to throw it in the oven and dinner is served that night.  I have recently discovered a love of coupons as well!  Since moving to a much larger city, I get many more coupons than I did living in Fargo, so its much more of a motivation to use them.

After having several large shopping trips (I go to the grocery store weekly) that have come out so under budget (like getting almost $200 of groceries for barely $100), I have been inspired!  I CAN  have a small “stockpile” on hand!  ( I use “stockpile”  because I can’t think of a better word, but it keeps bringing images of the crazy ladies on the TV show with 100’s of boxes of toothpaste.)  I can plan out meals!  I can cut and organize coupons!  These are all things in my grasp, and now that I have a HUGE pantry, easier to accomplish.

I have 2 grocery stores, one drug store, and 2 discount stores in the next town over that I do my shopping.  I get ads for all of them.  I also am lucky enough to be in an area with 2 large newspapers, so I get double the coupons on Sunday.  I have become a very big fan of a lady that coupons in the area and blogs on how she does it, since its local to me, I get all the same deals.  I can do this!!!

So far, I have cut multiple coupons (I bought 2 of each city’s papers this Sunday, and ended up with multiple coupon flyers).  I have begun organizing them (to be completed today).  I have the sale ads from Sunday and yesterday.  I have a meal plan made up from today through the next 12 days (basically the end of the month).  I have started using Ziplist to organize my grocery list – this also allows me to meal plan and it searches local store ads to help me save even more (I add it to my grocery list, then it says “hey this is on sale at XYZ grocery”).  I have fallen in love with this site, especially now that it has an app for my phone!  I highly suggest it!

I will budget out my groceries for this week, and using my list, and a small “stockpile” list that I am going to create next to keep on hand.  I am going to keep track of  how much I should have spent total, what my coupons were, and how much I added to my stockpile, as well as my overall total so I can remind myself of how great I am doing!  I am also going to work on a coupon organization plan and implement it as well!

After having various family members in our house during most of the month of July (3 solid weeks of my parents, my niece, and my  mother in law, not necessarily all at the same time, but back to back none the less) I am getting back into the groove.  I have relaunched my mark business (click here), joined weight watchers, and started getting the house back under control.  Now don’t get me wrong, I loved having my family here, especially because it meant I had at least 1 extra set of hands to help with the baby.  Unfortunately, I was barely able to even keep one room in my house clean because I was so busy.  My meal plan went out the window as well, and I ended up gaining a few pounds due to holiday cookouts…  not that I’m complaining!

So 1 week into weight watchers and I’ve already lost 3.6 pounds!  (Go me!)  I also am making myself more accountable for my mark business since I’ve let it flounder the last few months since we moved.  I want to be a successful rep and I’m getting there.  I’m currently hosting an online relaunch party if you’d like to purchase something (use code MPOPENHOUSE3 at checkout) that is going on until 7/27/12.  I’m also doing daily drawings for products out of any purchases made each day.  I really feel like just because I’m a stay at home mom doesn’t mean that I can’t earn some extra income (and get my makeup & accessories at a deep discount).  My son is getting older, and I need a bigger car!  :D


135 here I come!

So after many sleepless nights, and much contemplation, I have finally resigned myself to the fact that I am overweight.  Its not just a little baby weight left over either.  I need to loose quite a bit.  I have come to the conclusions that I eat the wrong things, I eat too much of the wrong things, and I sit on my butt playing with the baby all day.  Yes, I clean, and yes I chase after him, but that has become my “normal” day, so my body isn’t using that as exercise anymore.

I’m tired of not wanting to look in the mirror.  I’m tired of my clothes looking wrong.  I’m tired of not finding clothes that fit my body properly.  I’m also tired of some of the comments that have been made to me recently.  This all is going to stop, starting NOW.

I will not let myself be overweight any more.  I know where I need to go, and I’ve decided I’m going to get there come hell or high water.  I’m done. BUT KENDRA, HOW DO YOU PLAN ON LOOSING APPROXIMATELY 50 LBS?  Well strange capitalized question, I plan on doing it this way: I will exercise somehow each day, be it pilates, yoga, cardio, or just taking an extra walk with the baby.  I will NOT diet, but I will incorporate more of the healthier foods I need to eat and remove most (I have no delusions that I will be able to remove all) of the not healthy foods that I don’t need to eat.  By doing this, and making these healthy changes, I will change my life.  But I’m going to need help.  I will be posting exercises on FB through my weight loss tracker/coach app on my phone.  I would love to have “likes” all over the place.  This will show me that you are behind my goals 100% and that my friends care that I am getting healthy.  Encouragement will always be welcome as well.  I’ll try to keep the blog updated with my progress, so that you can share my journey with me.


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