Jan 30, 2014

Lost Energy - Again!

I wrote Tuesday's post last week - the day my energy literally felt like it had come back. Too bad it didn't last. By Friday I was dragging, again, and almost worse than before. Then came a cough. I was up all last Friday night with it, so running didn't happen Saturday morning as planned. 

I barely made it through the Sacramento Home & Landscape show that day - and returned home to take a 2 hour nap. Basically, I sleep hard but still wake up exhausted. It's really irritating me now, so I went to the doctor Tuesday and had blood drawn Wednesday in hopes we can find out why. 

The cough is allergy-related. With how dry and unseasonably warm it has been, allergy season has begin in Northern California early - super early. We can only hope that the rain that started yesterday continues for a few more days and brings even more storms our way, behind it. Honestly, please pray for rain in California. Our food supply (& prices) depends on it.Any how, the cough has already been greatly reduced by the use of a new inhaler. 

Let's just hope the blood work reveals why my energy levels are so low and that there is an easy fix to the issue. I can't stand it right now. All my doctor can tell me right now is to take it easy - and when I do rest, I have a little more energy the next day, which results in me going overboard in trying to get things done, creating a vicious cycle for myself. Ugh!

The good news is I have stayed motivated and dedicated to our meal plan and tracking my caloric intake. My exercise habits not so much, but a little is better than none, right? I did lose over 1/2 a lb last week too, which is a healthy direction.

Jan 28, 2014

Working on Weight Loss

What's up in your neck of the woods. We're working on getting into a nice little rhythm here. After this holiday season, Cameron and I both agreed it was time to get bcak on track with eating healthy and managing our weight. A few too many pounds had krept up on the scale for the both of us. 

Luckily, my work encourages participation in a Biggest Loser competition each year, that starts mid-January and runs for 9 weeks. There is a small fee to participate and any time you don't lose weight or gain weight from week to week, we owe a dollar for each pound gained. All this money is then donated to The Wounded Warrior Project. 

I participated last year and was doing ok, but then caught a stomach bug from Sydney, which resulted in me going downhill quickly. When I'm sick, my will power and eating habits going right out the window. Does this happen for any one else? I also think I just wasn't in the right place last year for the competition. I was just coming off maternity leave and lacking sleep thanks to Sydney. 

This year my head is more in the game. I am more motivated than ever. Cameron and I chose to follow the South Beach Diet plan, along with tracking our calorie intake via MyFitnessPal. We just completed the 1st week of phase 1, and both of us shed 5 lbs. My clothes already feel as if they are fitting better.

I'm also trying not to introduce too much at a time. Last week, the focus was on tracking our food, and cooking healthy meals. Luckily, I was already pretty good at devising a weekly meal plan & grocery list and we know we have grocery shopping to do on the weekends. This was enough, especially with how I felt by the end of the week. Sydney came down with a nasty cold two weeks ago and I caught a small one last week. I had that dry-throat feeling for 3 days and then had 2 sore throat days. Plus, I had no energy. But my motivation prevailed as did my will power. I stuck to the meal plan, even on the night Cameron wasn't home. 

Now, I have my energy back, though the dry throat is persistent. This week, I've focused on bring in some strength training to help tone my arms and core. And by the weekend I hope to having my running routine back. 

It's not easy though. The toughest thing Cameron and I have both found, after the initial feelings of starvation because it was obvious we were consuming too many calories, has been not taking a bite here or there of the kids food. 

We have settled into a nice routine though. First, we try and get a walk or run in before picking the girls up from daycare. Once we are all back at home, I work to fix the girls dinner. Someday, they will be included with ours, but Sydney is starving for food when we get home and bed isn't too far behind after she finished. 

Cameron sets to work making our dinner, while I deal with the girls, baths and dishes. Usually we are sitting down to dinner just as Sydney is down for bed. After eating, we spend time with London before she goes to bed. From there, I work on getting a few things done around the house. This week I am tackling our ironing pile. I have been ironing for 1/2 an hour each night. Then I do my strength training and core workouts before settling and relaxing each evening (usually, this involved my working on Sydney's Christmas stocking - I'm determined to have it complete by December but feel I have a long way to go still!).

Jan 23, 2014

Life on the Farm


 Cameron snapped these pictures of London pretending to drive the tractor sometime around Christmas when he was working on moving gravel into the eventual dog pen. Hopefully we'll be pouring cement there soon. 


Country life seems to be agreeing with London pretty well. She loves to make the trek down to the mail box with Cameron every evening after daycare pick up and any time the compost bin inside needs to be emptied (which is just about every other day with Cameron and I working toward some healthier eating habits right now.)


One of these days we'll get a good shot of her cute work boots too. You can kind of seem them in this last picture, but they've got flowers on them and are too adorable. Only wish they made them in my size. I had to settle with regular old black.

Jan 16, 2014

Virtual Tour: Our New Home

And now let the fun begin - here are all the "before" shots of our new home: 

Front Yard - Looking toward the house




 Front Yard - Looking Toward the Street




Front Entrance


Entering the front door, again, you come upon Cameron's office immediately




Continuing on down the hall, you spill into the kitchen





Dining room




And family room





Backyard - Looking Out




I plan to paint this shed to look like a barn - we have even bought all the paint for it! We originally thought we would turn it into a chicken coop but Cameron is going to build one instead and we'll store tools and feed in here, once we rid it of spiders as best we can and add a window.

Backyard - Looking toward the house
 
Photo bombed by the dogs - I'm lucky they didn't end up in all the backyard shots.

 

  Go around the closet that separates the front bedroom and entry way from the rest of the house and you come upon Sydney's room



London's Room



Master bedroom




Master Bathroom

Master Closet

Girls' Bathroom


The house came with quite a selection on curtains, many which appeared to be fabric from the 70s! Sadly, those such curtains are still up in the master bedroom!

Otherwise, the house already looks quite different with our furniture in the house and we've made a few improvements already. 

In the master bathroom, we have replaced the straight curtain rod with a curved one so that we don't feel so enclosed when showering, and we've replaced the toilets in both bathrooms. The old ones were too short and had a round bowl. We quickly realized we're oval-shaped bowl people.

In the backyard we have added some fencing to prevent the dogs from going from the backyard to the front yard and the road. This fence is only temporary. Cameron is in the process of building a much more permanent dog pen, given Gibson's propensity to dig (though we think part of this is because he is going after gophers; we have a gopher problem). 

And in the laundry room we have added some shelves to make it more functional for our laundry storage needs. 

There's so much we want to do inside and out, but we definitely need to pace ourselves  as money is always something we have to be mindful of and we don't want to burn out either. We learned that the hard way just getting the old house ready for selling - at the time I didn't think I would want to paint another wall for at least another year. But I have to admit, I'm starting to get the itch in the new house already.My first goal in this house is to get the entry way painted and decorated. That could take me all of 2014 given all the other projects I have to work on as well.

Jan 15, 2014

Virtual Tour: Our Old House

We moved over 3 months ago and I never did do a final house tour of our old house and I still need to provide you with a virtual house tour of the new house. So, let's take a look back and say goodbye to the old house, before we look forward. Here is most of it in it's staged glory. I wasn't able to get all rooms in their staged glory before we packed, including Cameron's office and the kitchen so you'll have to settled for some older pictures there. Apparently with Cameron's office we never did a "Finished" photo. 

The Front
The Front at Move-in
And Front when we were ready to sell

Entering through the front door, you first arrived at Cameron's office, an addition we added when we found out we were expecting Sydney.

The walls painted but no crown molding
The doors were eventually painted white, too.
Since it was Cameron's office we installed a hunter green colored carpet. Because it was a small enough room, we were able to find a remnant at the carpet store at a reduced price so the carpet ended up being an upgrade - it was nice and soft and cushy. I loved walking barefoot in this room.
 From Cameron's office, continuing toward the backdoor, you came to the Powder room



Followed by the Kitchen (again, I didn't get any staged pictures, so there isn't any paint on the walls and some of the best photos I have are from when we moved in!)








and Family room





Backyard



Up the stairs (just after Cameron's office) you entered into the Loft





And continuing clockwise from the loft and stair landing, the girl's bathroom




London's Room





Sydney's Room



Master Bedroom





A favorite of this room was the view out onto the fields behind the fence


And the two rooms I miss the most from the old house, the Master Bathroom and...



Totally miss this tub!

the Master Closet!




Laundry Room