Friday, March 29, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: April Goals


Can you believe this is the last H&FF in March? HOW is it almost April?! This year is flying by, but it's exciting to see so many of us still working towards our health and fitness goals for the year! 

I read somewhere that almost 90% of people who set health or fitness related New Years Resolutions have given up by the month of April. BUT...in the same article, I read that April is the second biggest fitness boom (next to January) because people realize, "Oh crap...it's almost bathing suit season!"

So where are all of you in those percentages? Have you been going strong or trying super hard to recommit? Or better yet...what are your health and fitness goals for April?

I've decided to set 4 goals for myself this month:

1. Be outside as much as possible.

2. Set a Nike+ goal to run 50 miles this month.

3. Do more yoga.

3. Eat at home 5-6 nights a week.

We've been doing pretty great with eating at home lately. We've had a lot of parties to go to this month and those have been some really nice cooking breaks. But the rest of the time, I've still been planning meals at home and dare I say...I'm actually enjoying it?? I can't say that I LOVE to cook...but I have been enjoying trying new recipes. Not all of them have been healthy (hello cheeseburger soup) but at least they were homemade!!

Here is our menu for this week, starting today:

FRIDAY: Homemade pizza and salad
SATURDAY: Pioneer Woman Patty Melts (so bad, but SO good)
SUNDAY: Easter brunch & Dinner!
MONDAY: Easter leftovers...there's sure to be plenty
TUESDAY: Crockpot Chicken Tacos 
(toss frozen chicken, taco seasoning and a can of Rotel in your crockpot and shred when done. SO EASY!)
WEDNESDAY: Spaghetti and Meatballs
THURSDAY: BBQ chicken on the grill

As for my other FITNESS goals this month...I am really banking on nice weather. I want to be outside with the kids as much as possible. Taking walks, riding bikes, playing out back, doing some much-needed yard work. We need the vitamin D and FRESH AIR!! Yesterday was our first taste of that and it felt wonderful!



I also want to continue to kick it up a notch with running. I know it will be easier now that the weather is finally transitioning to Spring so I am going to set a Nike+ goal to run 50 miles this month. Any other runners wanna commit to the same and we can check in with each other?!

I also want to do more yoga this month. I have been loving it so much lately and I just bought Rodney Yee's Daily Yoga DVD and I've been trying some different workouts OnDemand. I would love to sign up for another class once Eric is off his crazy schedule but for now, doing these routines at home has been working out great, especially since I have my little Yogi Master to keep me company and show me how to do the moves :-)


So what are some of your goals for the month of April?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Want to Win $50 to ThePolkaDotPosie??!!

When you decide to start a small business, the first thing you wonder is...

"Will anyone visit our shop?"

And then of course if someone does visit your shop, will they like your stuff? Will they come back? Will they tell their friends about it?

Obviously, my mom and I had no idea what we were getting into when we opened ThePolkaDotPosie but we jumped in anyway and started spreading our name. I carried our totes, my mom wore our necklaces and we did the best we could to promote our shop online.

And then something wonderful happened. Friends started buying our stuff. And wearing it. And Tweeting about it. And blogging about it. And LOVING it!! We have been on cloud nine ever since we saw our first Rosie Posie Necklace on Instagram and if my memory serves me right, my girl Kenzie was one of our first necklace orders and she is even sporting it in her FABULOUS profile picture below!!!


The other fabulous ladies in this group are all sponsors of Kenzie's wonderful blog and they have all pitched in to give readers a $50 credit TO OUR SHOP!!!

Words can't express how flattered we are to have them supporting our business and bringing so many new faces to our shop and blog. We just can't thank you all enough!!!

So...now comes the fun part. This post should have gone up days ago but because I am a HOT MESS (and not near as organized as Super Nanny Kenz), I am giving you guys short notice that this amazing giveaway ENDS TOMORROW NIGHT!!!! That's right friends...there is only one day left to enter this giveaway so head on over to Kenzie's blog to enter!!!

And to all the ladies that contributed to this giveaway, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

Good luck, everyone!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Our Weekend in a Nutshell: Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays...and a Concert

You know it's the Monday after a busy weekend when you wake up with day-old make-up, your kids are still wearing party wristbands (that somehow survived the bathtub) and your house looks like a bomb went off.

That was me today. I needed 3 cups of coffee just to make it till 1:00pm and now here I am, WIDE AWAKE at midnight. I wish I could say all this extra time awake has made me productive but no...I'm still in a dirty house with almost 2-day old makeup on.

But let's talk about the fabulous weekend that produced the zombie that I am today.

Our weekend actually started on Thursday with a special double date night!!


Back in January, Eric and Dana decided to get tickets to see Little Big Town and even though I am not much of a country fan, I was down for any excuse to get out for a double date.


The concert ended up being SO FREAKING GOOD and I have to be honest...it may have turned me into a country fan.


As fun as the concert was that night, I learned a very important lesson:

Don't have more than 2 glasses of wine if you have a kid party to attend the next day.

Because no matter how sweet these 20 peanuts from Addie's preschool are...


They are loud. 

Like...CRAZY loud. It was a 3-Advil night for sure and a lesson well learned :-)

After the bouncy house party, I came home and crashed harder than I have in a long time. No racing mind. No playing on Pinterest. No tossing and turning. Just wonderful, un-interupped sleep (thanks to Nana and Papa who invited the kids for a sleepover). And that was a good thing too because I had to be up bright and early to do something a little ridiculous...

Stand in line with a hundred other people to buy tickets to my OWN daughter's dance recital.


Isn't that just the craziest thing you have ever heard of? I guess this is pretty common in the dance world now and it gives people the option to purchase as many tickets as they want. The only problem is to get  decent seats...you have to stand in line. For HOURS!!!!

But the good news is that the weather cooperated and we all got great seats!! But if you are reading this Addie, Nia, Audrey, Paisley and Kacie...this better be one freaking MAGICAL show. Just sayin :-)

The rest of our Saturday ended up being pretty fun. The girls had ice-skating...


And then we met Uncle Adam and Aunt Di for a little birthday dinner!!


And SPEAKING of birthdays...we had our THIRD birthday celebration on Sunday when my little Nolan turned 4-years-old!!


Nolan decided he wanted his "Robot" party to be at the roller rink and it was so much fun!!!! We had cupcakes and candy...


And did a TON of skating. I don't know what it is...but the kids all looked so grown up in their little rented roller skates!


 And I was SHOCKED by how well they all did!!! Even Blake was cruising around! With a little help of course :-)


And these two were old pros...


It's so hard to believe that my baby brother is 29 and even harder to believe that my little God-baby is 4!!!


 Time is just going by way too fast!!!

Except for today. Time doesn't go fast on Mondays :-)

But now that it is officially TUESDAY...it's time for me to hit the hay.

Thanks for reading along guys! I hope you all had a great weekend too!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: Happy First Week of Spring


It may not feel like spring yet, but just seeing the word on my calendar makes me happy. I know it's coming and soon enough, we will all be running outside in glorious sunshine!!

So speaking of running...let's talk about FITNESS first today.

I said last week that I really need to start logging more miles, especially with my first race of the season coming up in just a few short weeks. I am happy to report that this week, I managed to get in 12 miles. I know that is NOTHING to some runners, but for me it's a step back in the right direction. I was also able to get outside for my long run last weekend and that made all the difference in the world!!


My goal for the Shamrock Shuffle 8K is to finish in under 50 minutes and I was shocked when I saw my time for this run!! If I can do this again on race day...I will be a happy happy girl!! And hopefully I won't have to be bundled in 20 layers for that race so who knows...maybe I can shoot for 45 minutes!!!

If you live in the midwest, you know that the weather took a turn for the worst this week and dipped back into the single digits AND we got a little more snow. So I was sadly stuck on the dreadmill for the rest of the week. I did manage 3 shorter runs and always tried to mix them with some other workout. Yesterday I tried a Yoga for Runners workout and this chick on the video was INSANELY flexible. I just had to take a picture of her doing this one move.


I'll have you know that I did attempt this move and it was NOT pretty :-) But it's something to work towards!

I am sure you are wondering why I also took a picture of my shoes yesterday, and it's because I finally got a new pair of kicks!! I have been LONG overdue for some new running shoes but I have been trying to decide which pair to get this time around. I have run two years in the Nike Air Pegasus, one year in the LunarGlides and this time...I decided to give Nike Free Run 3s a try. SO many of my running friends swear by them and my shoe guy said that because I am a neutral runner...they may work great for me. Only time will tell as I log more miles, but yesterday's run felt great!!!! And I am such a sucker for neon :-)

Next up...let's talk about HEALTH.

Everyone thinks November/December is the worst time of year for bad eating but I think the month of March is slowly taking over that title. With all the birthdays we have had lately, the abundance of Easter candy already sitting around AND the latest delivery of Girl Scout cookies...I have been on a sugar binge. No matter how healthy we've been eating for our other meals, I just can't seem to resist grabbing a cookie here, two Cadbury Mini Eggs there, GAH!!!

Is anyone else a total candy/cookie hound? I realize there is nothing wrong with having a treat now and then but I am struggling with eating it in moderation this month!!!! Must. Try. Harder.

So here's our menu for the week ahead (starting with today, since Friday is my new grocery day):

FRIDAY: Sloppy Joes (Pampered Chef recipe) with sweet potato fries.
SATURDAY: Birthday Dinner for Uncle Adam
SUNDAY: Birthday Party for Nolan
TUESDAY: Leftovers
WEDNESDAY: Baked Spaghetti
THURSDAY: Paninis and salad

So how did everyone else's week go? Did you get in some extra workouts? Were you sneaking cookies in the closet?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lately...

Lately I've been thankful for all the clean bills of health we've received.  

Both my Dad and Eric's Aunt Sue had their gallbladders removed in the last month and BOTH made it through surgery with flying colors and are now doing great!! I can't express what a relief it is to be at this point, especially after all the worry for both of them. I also received my final clean bill of health from my skin cancer scare and celebrated by buying a bunch of SPF 100 and a few spray tan credits on Groupon :-) Howie also got his clean bill of health this week from the vet who said that he can now "resume normal activity," which in Howie's case means chasing rabbits and eating underwear.





Lately I've been loving birthday parties.

Trust me...in our family...birthday parties are not in short supply. We've had a birthday to celebrate every week since the beginning of February and there are still two left to go. Last weekend, we celebrated Audrey's birthday at the CUTEST princess make-over place. The girls had a blast....I would have KILLED to have had a party like this when I was little.


 My brother Adam also celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday which is CRAZY because he is my BABY brother. If he is almost 30, that means I am almost mid-30s. That's a lotta freaking candles...T-Rex would be screwed.



 Speaking of T-Rex...

Lately I have had a little obsession with my favorite Dinosaur.

I mean, my love of T-Rex has been no secret, but now that more of my friends and family are catching on to my little obsession, I've been finding daily treats on Facebook, text and in the MAIL!!!

My sweet friend Ashley surprised me last week with a little gem that she found in a t-shirt shop. Isn't this hilarious?!! T-Rex hates push-ups just as much as I do!


A friend of mine also gave me this book and I haven't stopped laughing since.


And clearly my love of T-Rex is rubbing off on the kids. Here are my girls taking their "FAVORITE DINOSAUR EVER" to school for Dino week.


And ever since I showed Blake this picture of T-Rex...


He has been taking his grabber EVERYWHERE.


Apparently Large Dinos AND 3-Year-olds are unstoppable with a grabber.

Lately I've been missing Spring.

There is nothing worse than waiting patiently for something to arrive, only to make it to that day and be told that it is DELAYED or in Spring's case...NEVER COMING!! The weather is just plain miserable right now. I know we will all be complaining about the heat in a matter of weeks, but right now, I have never had cabin fever this bad in my life. I am stir crazy, the kids are stir crazy, and I am over my winter coat and boots. OVER THEM! So I bought a new pair of sunglasses this week to make myself feel better. They were $9 and I am still not sure I am sold on this aviator look. When I look at myself in these glasses, I just want to ask someone, "Do you know how fast you were going back there meow?" or "License and registration chicken..." (thanks for that quote JennM).


 Lately The Polka Dot Posie has been blowing up with orders.

I know my blog has been a bit lacking around here lately friends, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that our shops have been doing SO GREAT!!! We just listed several fun new items today...


And my mom got her first wedding order a few weeks back!! Wouldn't you die to get a bridesmaid gift like this?


Our printable shop has been doing great as well, and I have had the privilege of working with so many cuties for their birthdays!!! This is my friend Ashley's nephew and I was able to design everything for his sock monkey party!!! Isn't he a sweetie?!!


My mom and I just can't thank you all enough for spreading the word about our shop and being the best customers ever. We are approaching our 1 Year Anniversary and you better believe we will be doing some celebrating with a fabulous coupon code and giveaway!!!!

Lately I've been loving my babies.


Okay...maybe I shouldn't put "lately" in front of that because I ALWAYS love my babies. But lately I have been getting to spend more time with my niece and nephews too and that just makes me so happy. 

This past weekend, Uncle Ryan, Aunt Meagan and Owen came down to have dinner with us and it was SO FUN watching all the kids run and play together. Nana was loving all her cuddle time with them too.


Dana and I have also worked out a little sleepover rotation with the kids and it is something that we look forward to just as much as they do now.


Addie and Blake are so lucky to have these relationships with their cousins :-)

*****

Well thanks for reading through my random post today guys!! We have a crazy weekend ahead of us and I can't wait to share my picture overload with all of you on Monday. But first, don't forget that tomorrow is Health & Fitness Friday!!! Feel free to link-up and join the fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Treats & A Bunny Picture

It's hard to believe we're less than 2 weeks away from Easter, especially since our weather has felt more like Christmas the last two weeks. Whomp, whomp :-( But I am willing Spring in every way possible and I am praying that the Easter bunny will finally brings us a little sunshine.

And treats.

And tulips.

And speaking of treats and tulips...I have a great printable to share with all of you today! Just head over to ThePolkaDotPosie blog to download a free sheet of "Happy Easter" tags :-)


So speaking of Easter...and the bunny...we decided to hop on over to mall this weekend to give the big guy some cuddles.

Well...Addie gave him cuddles. Blake told him to suck it. Either way, it was a super cute picture!!


The lady working the picture area told the kids to tell the bunny want they want to find in their baskets on Easter morning and Addie replied:

Lipgloss
A Care Bear
The My Little Pony with the rainbow hair
Some Lego Friends
Headbands
Nail Polish
Clothes for Saige
A flashlight
Earrings
...

And Blake replied:

Skittles

I love how these two even each other out :-)

So now that we've seen the bunny and all of our little treats are made, it's time to start planning Easter Brunch, which we are hosting at our house again this year. Do any of you have any fabulous brunch recipes that are a big hit in your family? I really want to try something new this year. But don't go too healthy on me...I have to feed my Dad, Eric and my brothers. A veggie scramble with egg whites is NOT going to cut it. And I don't blame them at all! I mean...it's Easter brunch and there is only one thing I am thinking when I sit down at the table.

Give me all your bacons.

So let's think meat, people. And cheese. And anything else naughty you can think of. And of course we need to balance with sweet. Man...I really need to stop writing about food right now :-)

So is anyone else hosting an Easter meal at their house this year? Have you all seen the Easter Bunny yet, or are you saving that for the last minute? I'm glad we went now so that the Easter bunny has time to hunt down some Skittles :-)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: Before and After Ripped in 30

Do you know which link-up is celebrating its SIX MONTH anniversary??

You guessed it!!


I honestly can't believe it's been 6 months since my first H&FF post and 7 months since my girls and I started Operation L.G.N. on Facebook. It's been a great 7 months of health, fitness and fun and I would have NEVER been able to go this long without all the motivation I get every single day from my peeps.

So here is a big THANK YOU to every person who has ever linked up, commented on one of my fitness posts, joined our Facebook group or simply stopped by to read. We have a great group of ladies linking up weekly now and it is so fun to catch up on everyone's week and steal workouts, recipes and inspiration :-)

So this week...I have something very fun (and a little embarrassing) to share. When I signed on to do my DietBet and drop those last 5 pounds that were bugging me, I also committed to doing Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30. I've always done her videos here and there, but never fully invested the time to go through the program the way it was intended. But with bikini season and race season just around the corner, I thought this was the perfect time to give it a go and really see what 30 days could do.

And let me tell you guys...30 days made ALL the difference in the world!!! The changes aren't crazy dramatic, but I definitely look different and best of all...I FEEL different!

To be honest...I was very reluctant to post this before/after pic because I didn't want to look like a total ass clown. I haven't posted a bare belly pic since I was 9 months pregnant with Blake and posting that seemed natural. It was a baby bump! But this is a little different and even now, I am feeling totally exposed. Ha! But then I was texting with my mom and my girl Chelsi last night (because they always give me their honest opinions) and they said that I should post the pictures because I've shared everything else about my fitness journey over the last 3 years...why not show how all the hard work is paying off?? Plus, it may even inspire someone else to commit to a 30-day challenge of some sort.

So guys...I'm just going to quit writing about it and show you the results of 30 days (and 3 years) of my commitment to get fit.


Yesterday I worked out in just a sorts bra with no tanktop to cover my belly. Now...you will NOT see me doing this running down the road or during a yoga class...but to have the confidence to even do it in my own home yesterday was a big step for me!

Now this doesn't mean that I won't ever be back to looking like the pic on the left because let's get real...birthday cake happens. Remember my post from last week? And truthfully, I am okay with that because birthday cake makes me happy. Cheeseburgers make me happy. And WINE! Let's not forget wine! I want to live and enjoy life and at no point do I ever want to become so obsessed with how I look that I will refuse to share a cupcake with one of my kiddies or turn down a big bowl of pasta that my friend Barb makes me. 

Not. Gonna. Happen.

But I also don't want to enjoy life so much that I forget my ultimate goal, which is to live a happy, HEALTHY lifestyle. One cupcake won't hurt, but 10 will. One week of missed exercise won't hurt, but one month will. My kids have watched me work hard this month and they have joined in on MANY of my workouts and I think that is such a great example to be setting for them. Addie asks me daily if certain foods are healthy and Blake even mentioned the other day that if he eats too much ice-cream, he won't get strong like Batman. Eric also recently signed on to play softball again and has been taking his lunch to work. I think fitness and the desire to be healthy is contagious and I hope that this fever sticks around forever :-)

AND...if any of you are looking for something to commit to for your own 30-day challenge, I highly, HIGHLY recommend Ripped in 30. Each week is a new workout and I didn't think that Jillian was over the top with her inspirational talk and jibber jabber. She pretty much cuts to the chase and in just 20 minutes (plus a warmup and cool down), I am sweating like a pig with shaky muscles. The workouts increase in intensity each week, and some moves are SUPER hard! Even after doing all 30 days, I still can't do Week 4 without a ton of modifications, but that is something to work towards! This is also a great workout to pair with running so all you Couch to 5Kers would really benefit from it. In fact, I think anyone would benefit from this workout. Be sure to let me know if you give it a try :-)

Well that's all I have today, friends! Thank you all so much fore reading through this insanely long post today and I hope you will forgive me for not posting my weekly menu. The truth is...I haven't made it yet. Ha! But I did just get a great new cookbook and I hoping to share some delicious stuff with all of you next week and give the HEALTH section of this link-up a little love. In fact, it would be awesome if we could ALL post some of our favorite recipes next week and get a great stock-pile for our April menus.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So What Wednesday: From Blake's Perspective

Hey dudes. Blake here. Today I am saying 

SO WHAT IF...

* I said I wanted to wear Lightening McQueen undies today. CLEARLY I meant Batman. Get it right.

* I threw a massive fit in Target over Tic-Tacs. Mom said the green ones were mint but I didn't believe her. I can't believe the bitch gave them to me anyway. SO GROSS!

* I had Pop-Tarts for breakfast this morning...in the car. Mom is a hot mess.

* I like my cars in a straight line. Why is that so hard for people to understand? A STRAIGHT LINE.

* I live for salami sandwiches and get a little upset when someone tries to convince me that turkey is the same thing. It's not the same thing.

* When I tell you I'm cold, it does NOT mean I want you to blast the heat in the car. I was simply stating a fact.

* I pulled out two chunks of your hair in the car today. YOU let me bring the grabber! It has a mind of it's own!!



* When I say I don't like you, it really means I LOVE YOU MAMA!!!! Now buy me a new car.
 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Our Weekend in a Nutshell: Birthday Recap & Some R&R

Happy Monday friends!! Addie's week-long birthday celebration has come to an end and as FUN as that week was, I was so happy to have some down time this weekend to rest and recover :-) And when you see all these pictures...you will understand why.

But let's start with her actual birthday on Thursday, shall we?

I started a little tradition a few years ago to set up our kitchen table for the birthday girl/boy and have their gifts wrapped and waiting for them (along with their own special "Happy Birthday" banners hanging in the background). Blake is still at the age where he could give a crap about the sign, decorations, etc. He just wants what's in the box.

But this girl...she is SO easy to please. In fact, she didn't even want to open her gifts until I took a picture :-)


Blake picked out roller skates as his gift to Addie...


And Mommy and Daddy got her this sweet kitchen for her American Girl doll (Mommy scored it for a freaking STEAL after Christmas at Target).


Is this not the cutest thing ever?


She played all morning with it and was too excited to even eat her pancakes. The only thing that got her away from it was going to see this guy...


I know we already had a party for Addie the Saturday before, but I just couldn't let her actual day go by without doing something fun. So the Grandmas, Aunt Dana, Nia and Nolan all met us at Chuck. E. Cheese for some pizza and games.


Mima and Nana even had a special cake delivered by the mouse himself.


And Addie got to make ANOTHER birthday wish :-)


We all survived 2 1/2 HOURS at that place and burned through a ridiculous amount of tokens (and hand sanitizer). But I think you can tell from this picture that the kids had a BLAST!


After a very SHORT nap on the drive home, we changed and got ready for dinner with Great Nana and Richard. I knew we would be having cake that night so I asked my friend Barb to make Addie something special.

AND THAT SHE DID!!!! Have you seen a more beautiful cake for a little girl?


My grandma, who has made cakes for years, couldn't stop talking about how gorgeous it was. In fact, ever person I showed the picture too couldn't get over how beautiful it was!! And of course the birthday girl thought it was the most special "rainbow cake" ever :-)

But before we could dive into that beauty, we had some gifts to open!


My grandma has been working on Addie's birthday gifts for a month and I was SO EXCITED for her to see them.


It was an ENTIRE BOX full of sweaters, hats and booties for Saige (Addie's American Girl Doll).


You are looking at two of the most talented women I have ever known. 


The front row of clothes are all outfits for Saige that my mom made, and the back row was all knitted by my Grandma. An entire handmade wardrobe for one very special little girl and her dolly :-)


I honestly don't know what this little girl even had left to wish for, but she definitely took her time blowing out that last candle. 


And then we were FINALLY able to dig into the most delicious cherry chip cake I have ever had.


You see? This is why we relaxed (and detoxed) all weekend!!!

Addie pretty much had the best birthday ever and even though we celebrated it 20 times...it's still so hard to believe that my baby girl is 5!!

THANK YOU so much to everyone who helped us celebrate this week and/or sent Addie special birthday wishes. I can promise you it is a birthday she won't soon forget.

xoxo