Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time for a Change....But Not Too Much of a Change.

I am so happy to report that I've started working again.  It is a part time job at a local ice skating rink.  I am working 20-25 hours a week and I get to sort of set my own schedule.  My boss knew, up front, that I have a family and a strict weekly schedule of drop offs and pick ups so he is willing to work with me on that. 

The job is only about 5 minutes from my home so I have a very short commute and so far, I absolutely love my job!  I am an administrative assistant/personal assistant to the owner and general manager.  I have already learned a lot and I am enjoying everything thoroughly.  I have begun the process of learning the Quickbooks program and have created a filing system to better run the office. 

I am trying to create an efficient, quick system of processing and filing invoices, bills and payments. My boss owns a few businesses so I do some work for him other than just office work.  I'm really just so thankful that I came across this job. I really lucked out. 

Right now, I am working five days a week but as the system gets to a current state and I have a better handle on what I am doing, I hope to go down to four days a week so that I can still participate in school activities with the kids.  The hours will go down as the slow season at the rink is from April to August.  I am actually happy about that because that is summer vacation for the kids and I can spend more time with them. 

I work from 1pm until 5pm and so maybe in the summer I can change those hours to something earlier so that we can plan for fun days or trips. 

This is the first job like this for me so it is all exciting and new to me.  However, this is the type of job that I have always wanted.  I still get to work with the public a bit, I get to do office work and I get to use office supplies (if this sounds strange, sorry, I have a deep affection for office supplies heh!)

I hope to stay with this job for years to come as it allows flexibility and it is just so convenient.  My boss has already said that he hopes I don't have any plans of leaving the job and he constantly thanks me for the job that I am doing.  I appreciate the fact that I am appreciated.  A "thank you" goes a long way. 

So, if anyone is looking for an ice skating rink or a unique birthday party experience, let me know, I think I can get some information to you. ;)

Monday, January 28, 2013

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Running past my goal, The Skirt and Stepping it up

As I have talked about a few times, I am running (I know, I realize that it seems to be the only thing I am talking about these days) and I made it a goal to run 20 miles during the month of January.  I really thought this would be a pretty lofty goal but as of this morning, I am at 36 miles for the month!  I am now hoping to get in four more miles by Thursday so that I can say I doubled my goal! I am so excited about this because I have been one of those people who sets a goal and starts off strong and then forgets about it a few weeks later. I have to say that I enjoy running so I think I will be able to continue on this running trend for quite some time. 

A month ago, I tried on a skirt that I will be wearing in my brother's wedding in July.That is when I knew that I really needed to get in shape and slim down my waistline.  I ordered a size medium thinking that it wouldn't be too hard to fit nicely into it.  That was the size I tried on.  I now have the skirt in my closet to look at to make sure I stay on track and fit into it come July.  It does fit a little bit better than it did a few weeks ago but not good enough.  I clearly have more work to do to look good in the skirt! It is a good thing to have it in the closet where I can see it everyday though.  It's motivation. 

Along with running and trying to eat healthier, I am going to try to up my workouts and make sure I am working my abs and arms.  I need to tighten up those areas and get some definition.  A few years ago, I did just that and I was so happy with the results so I am striving for that again.  I received a prize pack from a giveaway and it is a DVD series of dance instruction from the Jabbawockeez.  They were a group from MTV's America's Best Dance Crew.  I saw them on the show and they were amazing.  I love to dance so this series is good for me and I might even be able to show off some of my new dance skills at the wedding in July. ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Run or Walk to Help Save Lives

There are quite a few charities that are close to my heart. There is one, in particular, that I strive to support each and every year, in every way I can. I participate in fundraisers, I walk/jog a 5K in the city and I donate money/products to help the team. That charity is the March of Dimes. We are a part of a family team called Team Kaydence. Kaydence is an angel baby born to Chuck's niece in 2005. She was born at 22 weeks gestational and weighed in at 1lb. and 10 3/4 inches. The doctors and nurses said that nothing could be done for her and so they put a tiny hat a dress on her, wrapped her up in blankets and allowed the family to spend time with her. She breathed on her own for 47 minutes before leaving this earth to be a butterfly. We raise funds in her memory and in honor of her younger brother, Jaxten, who was born premature and spent weeks in NICU until he could safely go home. They also have a younger brother, named Nolan, who was able to make it to full term! It is a sad story but out of it came this passion and drive to help so many other families that need our help. We are trying to help in the efforts to raise awareness, help fund research and funding to those who need it. We are helping to save babies' lives and help lessen the risk of birth defects. The team has several fundraisers but this year, I wanted to do more. I have become aware of the draw of virtual runs through a few of the groups I am in so I decided to start and host a virtual 5K in memory of Kaydence! I have setup an event on and so anyone can participate and help us save babies' lives and change millions of families across the nation. The run details can be found here. Please, consider running or walking to help us out or help spread the word so we can help as many people as possible!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's a Crazy Thought

For years I said I wanted to be a runner and now I am starting to consider myself a runner.  I don't run every single day but I feel I do it regularly enough for it to be a habit and a hobby.  I know I will never break any speed records or time records but that's okay, that's not my goal.  I just fee proud when I finish a run in a respectable amount of time.

After I did a few 5K races, I said that I would love to one day run a half marathon but that seems like a really lofty goal.  I mean, that is 13.1 miles of running.  That's a lot of running. 

I have a friend that did a training program for half marathons and so far she has run two of them and she has said that I should train and do one too.  She says it is totally doable and if I want to do one, I just need to make the decision to be diligent and do it. 

I've started looking at training guides for half marathons, just in case I decide that the timing is right.  I have found a few different ones but they all seem to be about the same.  I like this one, it is very gradual:

It seems to be attainable.  The only problem for me is, if I do a training program I need to make a goal date and begin at a time that coincides with the race date.  However, what if I register for a half marathon with every intent to run it and I injure myself or something happens and I can't run it? Do I just continue to run until I can find a half marathon that works for me?! 

A lot of this is still in my head and it is a lot to think about because it is a commitment I'd have to make to myself.  However, isn't my personal motto, "you are worth it!?"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Feeling Proud of Myself, Birthday Weekend and Clothing

I mentioned last week that I wanted to continue running to try to reach my monthly goal of running 20 miles.  Since that one week has passed, I went from a total of 12 miles to now having a total of 26 miles!! I surpassed my monthly goal and then some!  I am so proud of myself for sticking with it and doing what I needed to do to reach it.

 I don't plan on quitting with the running sessions as I am feeling good and I am enjoying the running.  It is a great way to get in shape and clear my mind at the same time.  I am still having some struggles with my breathing but I think I may be starting to get the hang of the rhythm, at least while on the treadmill.  It has gotten colder here so I have resorted to running in my basement.  I don't enjoy it as much and I find that it is harder to keep going.  When I am outside, I get to tell myself to run to the next mailbox or telephone pole.  It isn't as boring.  I've tried listening to music and that does work well for me.  I've been using Pandora and listening to pop fitness station to help out with the beat.

Yesterday was my birthday, I was sure to fit my run in so that I wouldn't feel as guilty about my eating or drinking alcohol.  I did 3 miles and I felt good.  I didn't eat too great this weekend.  My husband made me a breakfast sandwich with bacon, sausage, egg and cheese on wheat toast.  I had planned on having a fruit and yogurt smoothie but I couldn't hurt his feelings by saying I didn't want the sandwich.  He had good intentions of spoiling me so I obliged.  I did drink a lot of water. I also drank alcohol.  Hey, it was my birthday and we were celebrating!  Today's eating wasn't any better.  Well, I did have an egg, green pepper and onion sandwich on a whole grain sandwich skinny.  But, then we had Chinese food for dinner.  :/

I will be getting back on track tomorrow and I am looking forward to my smoothie for breakfast and a run in the morning!


I'm sure there are people who are getting tired of my running posts on Facebook.  It seems like it is all I post about anymore these days but I am happy and proud of myself so I feel like shouting it from the rooftops. I also feel like buying all the running gear in the world. 

There are a few things that I would love to buy but honestly, I just don't have the extra money for it all right now.  However, when I do, look out!  I would love to get a FitBit to easily track my exercise daily.  It would be so nice to have that.  I also would love some running socks.  I have a pair and I love the way they hug my feet.  I really need to get more of those.  Also, the shirts, the tanks, the jackets!  I'd love to wear stuff that announces that I am running, love running, am a runner, etc.  Say it loud and proud and on your shirt!  I have a lot of workout tanks in my wardrobe but I feel like getting a running tank with a saying so that I feel more a part of the running community. 

I just want to make sure that this is really something that I am going to stick with.  The test will be these winter months when I am forced to be indoors.  It gets to be mundane and boring so I need to keep up the motivation for it.  I did sign up to do another Facebook group called "60 miles in 60 days for Pink" which is exactly what it says.  I will be running 60 miles within 60 days as a fundraiser for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I figure that if I am running anyway, why not do so and raise money for different charities in the process. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Making Some Plans...Maybe....Sort of

When Chuck and I got married 13 years ago, I was pregnant.  It wasn't a secret and it wasn't the only reason we got married.  I am willing to be that most people believe that is the case.  Yes, we did not plan the pregnancy, yes we wanted to be married before our baby was born....would we have gotten married that soon had I not been pregnant, probably not.  However, we knew that we would be together forever.  We had been together for five years at that point. We were living together and we were both working full time so it's not like we had a shotgun to our heads. I don't even know if it was something that was important to our parents, for us to get married before the baby came, but it was what was important to us.  We are old fashioned in some ways. 

We always said that we would renew our vows someday and we always tend to say we would do it for our 15 year anniversary.  We want to do the whole shebang.  We went to the local justice of the peace when we got married and had a big reception with our family and friends.  I wore a clearance rack prom dress that was perfect for me.  I loved it and I don't regret what we did but don't most girls want that big, special day with everyone they care about there to help celebrate?  Chuck wants that for me.  He wants me to be that princess for my day.  He feels it is important for us to go through the nice ceremony.

We would really love to go to Hawaii as a honeymoon after a vow renewal ceremony.  He has an uncle that lives in Hawaii so we would have an excellent tour guide or at least someone to tell us the best places to go and see. 

Since our financial woes and our situation, I'm not sure we can swing the trip to Hawaii.  I still want to go and I will do what I can to try to save up for it and we even said we'd love to have some friends or family go too! Once we are financially stable, that is where our extra money will be the trip to Hawaii.  Even if we have to wait until awhile after the vow renewal ceremony, we will day.

So, aside from the honeymoon trip to Hawaii, there are other things that I think about and sort of plan for our ceremony.  Like the location, who we would invite, the color scheme, the decorations, etc.  All those fun and exciting details that every bride gets to plan.  I'm sort of embarassed to say that I have been looking online at wedding gowns.  It seems sort of silly to look at them if I don't know for sure if we are going to actually do it, but I love looking at them. There are so many choices, how in the world do you know if you are getting the right one?!  Is there really that whoa moment? I think I have asked this on Twitter before. 

Here is one that I really like, it is pretty and simple but not too plain. It's not too form-fitting that I wouldn't be able to walk.

Another one that I think I like, it is different, I haven't ever seen anyone, in person, with this style dress. Again, it's not too fancy and overboard.

This one is a bit different and I am not sure if this is something that would even look good on me.  For years, I thought I would want the ball gown style but I'm not so sure anymore.  I am older and this is a vow renewal so I somehow feel like I should have a more, simple style but then again, this is my first real wedding ceremony.

How did you decide what style you wanted?  Did you change your mind once you started trying on dresses? 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

When Are You Available?

I have been on the search for a part time job for quite some time. I have sent my resume to several listing, filled out online applications but my schedule is so messed up that it is truly hard to find something that allows me to be available to my kids when I need to be. 

This is my week:

Mondays: Chuck leaves for work at 4:30am, Jada gets her bus at 7am, Chuckie gets his bus at 8am, I pick up a friend's son at 12:20pm, I drop off Lincoln and his buddy at school at 12:30pm, I get all the errands and stuff I need to get done, Jada home at 2:50pm, boys home at 3:50pm, I pick up girl I babysit 5 miles away at 4:15pm, home to make dinner, eat, clean up, spend some time with Chuck, take Jada to dance at 7:30pm where I meet girl's mom for her to pick her up.

Tuesdays: Everything the same up until the boys get home because Chuckie has running club and I don't babysit, I pick Chuckie up at 5pm from the school, home to cook dinner, clean up, relax and spend some time with the family.

Wednesdays:  (Perhaps my easiest day.) Same schedule as above but no pickup of fiiend's son & both boys come home today, no babysitting.  I take Jada to dance at 7:30pm for a 45-minute class.

Thursdays:  Everything the same as Mondays but add in a 5pm pickup of Chuckie from running club. Girl's mom picks her up from my house.

Fridays: Everything same as Wednesday but I babysit girl so add in pickup of her and no dance.  No extracurricular activities today.

So, basically, I have 2.5 hours on a daily basis for me to get done what needs done.  This explains why I am always tired and why I go through gas like water.  I have a 30 gallon tank on my SUV and I go through almost an entire tank of gas in one week.  This is insane. 

All of this to say........

When applying for jobs, when it asks me what days/times I am available, I feel like saying, "there is no time but I need to make money so I will figure this out!"

I babysit though, right?  Well, it is on a daily basis, nothing is written in stone.  I find out the day of, whether I have her or not so it is not money that I can depend on.  Some weeks I have her all three days, other weeks, maybe one day. It isn't consistent so I need something that is regular, is scheduled, is reliable.

I had an interview yesterday that I felt went really well.  It is for a part time office/personal assistant position that is 5 minutes away from my house.  It is at a skating rink!  I would be working 3-4 days a week from 1-5pm.  That would work. The few changes to my family schedule I would have to make is that I would no longer be babysitting and Jada would have to get Lincoln off of the bus and babysit him until I got home. So she would be in charge for one hour.  Not a huge deal. Chuck will be home at that time when he doesn't work overtime hours so it would be fine.  With this position I would be making phone calls to vendors, filing, helping with promotions and event planning, helping to set up and possibly be their snack bar manager (not what I was applying for but they have the need and my last job as an assistant general manager for a food service company helps!)

I don't want to get my hopes up too much but I will say that this would be a perfect fit for me and for my family.  I could still be home in the evenings with my family to spend time together, no weekends unless I needed to make up some time from during the week, less work in the summer months to spend more time with the kids! 

I did also get a call from a retail store, Childrens Place, to set up an interview!  I will be going for that on Sunday.  That position does offer a bit more flexibility as far as when I could work.  I could work more on weekends to get more hours and not disrupt our crazy weekday schedule but not really what I would want to do.  They offer evening hours so I could work and have Chuck take Jada to her dance classes. 

There's a lot to think about and figure out.  All I know is that life is changing and I want to work and bring in steady money that we can rely on and yet, not disrupt everything we have going on.  I do know that I won't be babysitting anymore and I still need to tell the mom, this is all going on as of yesterday so I will talk to her tonight to let her know that I have applied and interviewed for positions. 

How in the world do other people do this?  I thought life was busy when I was working full time and running the kids everywhere but now it seems that I am busier than ever!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Setting myself up for success, running and weigh-ins

I feel like in order for me to reach my goals, I need to create smaller milestones to celebrate and keep myself going.  The goal of losing 2 pounds each month is a great one for me because I don't have to look at the whole picture just yet.  I can (hopefully) lose those two pounds and feel proud and move on to the next goal without worrying about the end result.  Again, it isn't just about numbers, I need to fit into that skirt in July and hopefully have enough room to eat dinner too! ;)

I have been running semi-consistent.  I ran 3 days last week which is pretty good for me considering that I have to do my running outside and it is January in Pennsylvania.  The weather cleared pretty nicely here so I was able to do two days of 3.6 miles and one day of 2 miles.  I am finding that I am doing better at running and I am pacing myself pretty nicely. I thought at first that it was my dog that had me going so well but then when I ran yesterday with my son, I made even better timing, shaving a full minute off my total time.  That is amazing to me and I didn't feel like I was going any faster than the previous time.  Once I got within 3 minutes of my first time, I knew I wanted to beat that time and I picked up the pace lol!

I am enjoying the running though.  I do need to do more training for my breathing.  I am struggling to find the right rhythm of breathing so I do cramp up a bit on my right side and I end up having to walk a bit to calm that down.  I'm not quite sure which breathing method is best just yet but I hope to figure that out soon. I have seen some articles on that very subject so I need to go back and read them.  I find myself trying to do a count to stay on track but then my breathing gets away from that count so that isn't the answer for me.  I also tend to just let it go and try to think about other things and sometimes that works, to just not think about the breathing but instead get into a rhythmic cadence instead.

I hope to continue running on a regular basis.  I made a goal of running a total of 20 miles this month and so far I am at 12.1 so I am off to a great start.  I may even surpass that goal and I won't be purposely stopping at 20 miles, I will keep going if I can. I like the challenge of pushing myself to see how much I can do.  I didn't want to set myself up for failure by putting up a crazy number and 20 seemed reasonable to me. 

My weigh-ins haven't been anything to celebrate as I'm not showing a loss but I know that muscle and fat are very different and my clothes are still fitting nicely so I'm okay with the numbers.  I am noticing the arm measurements going down which is very nice.  The other measurements are staying steady at this point but I anticipate that to change as I continue to run and do my weight training.  I'd like to add in more cardio so I may be adding in some zumba to my daily routine.  Maybe the days I don't run, I can do the zumba instead. 

Anndd...I am going off for a run, today is the last nice day here so I gotta get it in today before we are back to cold and snow!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Surprising Myself

One of my main goals this year is to get back into shape, preferrably a slimmer and trimmer shape.  I have my weight goals but I do track my measurements also for my stomach, hips, arms and thighs.  The numbers have gone down a bit since October but I hope they continue to go down and my measurements improve. 

I have been doing a few workouts here and there for my abs and my arms.  I try to do these exercises both in the morning and at night.  I am hoping that this becomes quite routine for me and is second nature after awhile.  It isn't anything too stenuous but I know that it will make a difference in the long run. 

In an effort to get back into running, I signed up for two different challenges or groups.  They are #13in2013, where we are challenging ourselves to run 13 different races in 2013 and the second is #5bythe5th, where we are challenging ourselves to run a 5K by the 5th of each month from January through June.  These are personal challenges and we do log them online with the group.  There are no fees but there are options for t shirts and medals!  Both challenges are doing a few virtual races to make it easier since some people, like myself,  live in areas that don't have actual races during the winter months.  I know that I am going to see this challenge through to the end.  I already have 10 races written down that I am doing. 

I hope that by the end of these challenges, I am feeling the best I've ever felt and feeling like I am a true runner.  I have always wanted to be a runner and never really saw it through but these fun challenges will help me to keep going. 

Today I ran 3.6 miles with my dog and I finished in 33.08.  That is a very fast time for me, I've never run that fast before in my life!! I think it helped to have my dog with me! He must have made me run faster.  I feel good though.  Tomorrow may be a different story. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Time to Start Thinking About Valentine's Day! WARNING: SOME ADULT CONTENT IN THIS POST!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Yes, that sexy, loving, romantic holiday is coming up and one place that has everything you need for a special night with the one you love is EdenFantasys. They have a wide variety for those looking for something new, different or exciting. 

They have lingerie that ranges from sweet and innocent to sexy and naughty. Lingerie is not only for those that have bodies that are much like Victoria's Secret models but they also carry lingerie in plus sizes.  Every women deserves to feel sexy and confident when she is with her man or her partner so allow EdenFantasys to help you find just the right thing for your next big occasion in the bedroom. 

I think a lot of times people think that sites like EdenFantasys is taboo or that they cater to strange, sex-crazed people.  While that may be true, they also have items for everyone: men, women, gay, straight, bi or for just yourself!

EdenFantasys even carries a section for vaginal exercising.  Listen, let's be honest here, once you have children and you carry your babies for nine months then push them out during the childbirth process, you lose some muscle control or muscle tone.  Your gynecologist will tell you to do kegel exercises to help gain that muscle strength so that you don't pee your pants every time you sneeze. ;) Most women have heard of these things but haven't ever seen them, go ahead and click on the link above and see if these products are something you would be willing to work with.

Here are a few of the things that I think would be great for Valentines Day:

The Love Candy Collection by Kendra kit

The Stretch Lace Corset is so pretty and sweet.  I'm sure anyone would love to see you in this.  It is sexy and not overly revealing.

The Romantic Rendezvous Love Set, with bubble bath, lubricant and massage oil for a romantic evening with your love.
You cannot go wrong with anything you choose!

Get sexy this Valentine's Day, show your loved one a great time with the help of EdenFantasys.  They are there to help you with your needs.  They have some specials going on right now if you hurry! They have a closeout clearance section for those deeply discounted items.  They even have free shipping on orders over $25! 

Visit EdenFantasys for all your bedroom needs, they are a company you can trust to send you your items in discreet packaging and quality items to spice up your life!

*The opinions stated within this post are solely mine.  I was not prompted for content or wording. I am a real customer of EdenFantasys and am happily sharing my opinions with my readers.  I will be compensated a small reward for expressing my opinions.*

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Fresh Start....or something like that....

So, here we are at the beginning of another new year. It's the time for new beginnings, fresh starts, exciting new goals and just a sense of starting anew. So many people have posted about their goals and resolutions. I wasn't going to but sometimes being held accountable helps and when others see it, it may make you try a little harder, push a little harder or strive to reach those goals. So, here are my goals, in no certain order: Start meal planning and grocery shopping accordingly. I have done this before and it worked out so well for me. I was working full time outside of the home when I did it and it was awesome to just go home and start on the listed dinner. I have gotten away from it and we all know how stupid it is to just go to the store wandering around looking for something for dinner. It might work well for some but for me, not so much. I ended up wasting money at the store because I was buying on impulse. Menu planning will allow me to outline my grocery shopping and buy less in the long run. I would like to aim to spend around $50 less every two weeks which is when I will do my main grocery shopping. I have been browsing the sales ads and coupons to try to further help in attaining my goal. I will try to run my household a little better. I have been doing a good job on keeping up with laundry so that is under control but I can stand to do better with my general cleaning. I have 2.5 hours to myself each day and I can better utilize that time rather than oh, say, watching tv. :/ I will try to workout at least 3-4 days a week. I would love to say that I will workout every single day but I know that I am going to have off days and I feel it is better to put out a goal that is realistic to myself. I dont' want to set myself up for failure so 3-4 days a week is totally realistic. My overall weight loss goal is to lose 12lbs. by July 15th. I have lost a few pounds from being sick so I am already starting the new year at a lower weight than I thought I would (perhaps the only pro to being sick!) That means that if I can lose 2 pounds a month, I will reach my goal. However, as always, it is not just about the number on the scale. I will be in a summer wedding in July so I would really like to have nice, toned arms and legs for the wedding. I would love to look great in the photos. It is my baby brother's wedding so I want to look good. We would like to build our lives up again. The past year has had more bad than good so we are hoping to bulk up our savings again, take a few small, short family trips and just do better than we did in the last year. We are finally starting to get back on our feet and we hope to continue to do so. I am hoping to get a job and help my husband with the income. I am doing some small things now that bring in small checks but I need to do more so the burden isn't all on him. I will be working part time but as long as I have something steady, it is better than what I am bringing to the table now. So, there are my goals. Here's to 2013, may it be better than 2012!