September 28, 2010

Garage Sales

So I'm gearing up for our garage sale this weekend!  We've done one the past two springs, but this is my first fall garage sale.  Thankfully the weather is supposed to be perfect this weekend, and I have people lined up to help out with the kiddos, so I'm kind of excited for it.  Not to mention that I'm excited to get rid of stuff and make money!

I'm still doing good with the gym.  I've had a few problems with the place itself, but getting there and exercising is not a problem.  In fact, I look forward to the time by myself!  The reason I've had problems with the place is that there is never anyone working there.  I've been using a free 7-day pass for 3 weeks now.  I go 5 days a week and always during a time when it's supposed to be staffed (it's 24 hours, so it's not always staffed.)  She's never there though, so I haven't been able to sign up for my official membership.  I finally got a hold of her and set up an appointment for yesterday, but she wasn't there when I got in.  So I guess I have some minor complaints about the place, but honestly the fewer people there, the better!  And I'm not paying for anything, so that's a bonus!  Wish me luck that she is there tonight, so I can just get it out of the way!

September 19, 2010

One week down, so many more to go

I started my free week trial at Anytime Fitness this past Monday, so I've officially completed one week.  Yay!  My original plan was to go every other day but I went every day except Wednesday (when I was sick) and Saturday (when we had plans all day.)  I actually enjoyed myself, not to mention the time away from the house (and kids!)
Our switch to eating better has been going well  too.  We got our monthly order from Azure Standard, as well as loaded up on basics from Hy-Vee.  (Did you know that the Hy-Vee stores in Des Moines give a 15% discount on the their Health Market items on Wednesdays?)  I was expecting the grocery bill to be much higher with all of the natural and organic items I bought, but it was only about $20 higher.  And most of that $20 could be attributed to the liquid Stevia :)
I find that the most difficult thing for us is snacking.  We typically have healthy, home-cooked meals, but it's what we eat in between those meals that are killing us!  Here are some snack recipes that have been great for us:

Party Mix

1 stick butter (yes, a whole stick, but this makes a large batch)
2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp garlic salt
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cups Corn Chex cereal
2-3 cups cheese crackers (like Cheez-it)
2 cups Wheat Chex cereal
3 cups pretzel sticks
1 cup peanuts and/or almonds (cashews get a little too soft, so I would skip those)

Mix the melted butter with the seasoning salt and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl.  Add the other ingredients until well mixed.  Bake at 250 degrees for about 90 minutes, mixing it every 20 minutes or so.  This makes a large batch, so use 2-9x13 pans, or halve the recipe.  
Homemade Chewy Granola Bars
1/2 cup peanut butter or sunbutter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (or another oil of your choice)
1 cup oats
1 cup total of any combination of:  sesame seeds, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, etc

Heat the peanut butter, oil, and honey in a pan until it's smooth and creamy.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until mixed.  Pour into a 8x8 pan and smooth it out.  Then just pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours and cut into bars.  YUM!!!!!!  Here are some more fun ideas that have worked for me, add a bit of cocoa to the mix and then after they've been in the fridge for a few minutes add some mini chocolate chips to the top and gently press into the bars.  When I make it, my cup of "extras" include sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, coconut, wheat germ, and then more oatmeal to fill it up.  The hardest part of this recipe is eating only one at a time :)

September 6, 2010

Extra Life

My wonderful husband is at it again, doing the Extra Life charity event.  You may remember me posting about this last year (because I'm sure I posted it several times :)  Last year all donations went to the Texas Children's Hospital.  This year we are so thrilled to announce that we get to CHOOSE the hospital that we want the donations to go to, as long as it is within the Children's Miracle Network.  We have chosen for the donations to stay here in Iowa, at the University Of Iowa Children's Hospital.
On October 16th, starting at 8:00am, Jason and his teammates will start playing video games and will continue to play them until the next morning at 8:00 am.  The gaming is the easy part for him though, he needs your help to reach his personal goal of $200.  Please donate if you are able to, and remember that ALL of your donation goes directly to the children that are being cared for at The University of Iowa Children's Hospital.

If you are the first person to donate, we will match your donation, and put it in your name (up to $50)