Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just a Quick Update

I thought I would give you a quick update on how Star's birthday party went.  In a word, great!  We are finally getting some nice weather here after having most of September be cool, cloudy, and rainy.  The girls spent most of their time outside.  They emptied out our garden shed/playhouse, cleaned it up, and proceeded to play "Olden days" or "Little House on the Prairie".  They were so busy with their game that I actually had to convince them to come do the few activities I did have planned.

Last weekend as well my parents and brother were out as we are redoing our roof.  We are replacing the original cedar shingles on our house with tin.  It is a big job but the tin should last for a long, long time.  Hubby has put a lot of work into it but is almost done with the house.  The garage is next on the list but it should be much easier than the house.

Also today we finished harvesting our grain.  The yield and quality was poor, but it is good to be done for another year.  It went very well with not many equipment breakdowns, which is always good.

I am on day two of my sugar free week.  I have been sticking to it pretty good but I am definitely craving some sugar.  Hopefully it will get easier as time goes on.  I pretty crabby tonight but I am not sure if it has anything to do with wanting sugar or if I am just crabby (because sometimes I just am).

Well that's all for today.  We have been busy here and it shows in the lack of house cleaning I have done.  Tomorrow I want to do a thorough vacuum as LK is crawling all over and he puts every little thing he can find in his mouth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday: Cutting Out Sugar

Well the scale still isn't budging and I know why.  It is because I continue to eat and drink too much, especially sweets.  I have not been doing so well at cutting pop out of my diet and when I do I replace it with sweetened tea which I love to enjoy with a sweet treat (cookies anyone?).  So for one week I am going to cut out sugar in the hopes that it will reduce my cravings for sweets.  I know this will be difficult but I am only doing it for one week to start with.  I can last one week without sweets, right?

So that is my goal for the week, no sugar!  Anyone care to join me in a sugar free week?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Star's 9th Birthday Party

Star's Birthday is this weekend.  At our place we usually only have a family party or a small party with just a few friends.  This year Star is having two friends over for a sleepover.  We printed off some paper invitations and envelopes from DLTK Kids website. (This is a great website for preschoolers and as you can see we continue to use it.)  Star coloured and decorated the invitations.  I am not planning a lot of games and activities as I believe the girls will just have fun playing on their own.  I am hoping the weather is nice so they can play outside a lot.

One of the activities we are doing is a pinata.  The girls and I made it using a balloon and then putting strips of newspaper dipped in flour and water (we used this recipe) and layering them over the balloon.  We did a couple a layers letting it dry in between (If you plan on doing this start a couple weeks in advance so you have plenty of time for it to dry. FYI putting a balloon pinata into a warm oven to speed up the drying process is not a great idea, not that I would know;) ).  I took Star to the dollar store and let her have $5 to spend on stuff to put in the pinata.  We placed her purchases in the pinata, taped it closed, and then the girls painted it.

Star and Sky painting our homemade pinata.

The other activity I am planning is a treasure hunt.  I will set up a bunch of clues that will send them all over the yard (we live on a farm so it is a big yard) and there will be a treasure at the end.  The treasure is a small key ring bead kit so if they desire they can then do that as an activity.

Oh, and instead of a cake we are having cupcakes and I will get the girls to decorate them.  I will also pick up a couple of movies for them to watch before bed.  With only a couple of girls coming over I think (hope?) it will be pretty relaxed. 

How do you like to celebrate birthdays? family only? themed party's? small and simple? large and elaborate?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday and Buying Exercise DVD's

Wednesday is here again.  I weighed myself this morning and the scale still hasn't budged.  It is stuck at 159 lbs. But don't worry I'm not giving up and I know I still have a lot of changes to make.  But first, how did I do last week?  I did pretty well on the exercise front exercising every day (except the weekend) during LK's morning nap.  This definitely is a habit I want to continue and I feel so much better when I do it.   I drank my water pretty faithfully as well.  On the pop front I did have 3 cans of coke over the week but that is definitely better than the 7+ cans I will sometimes drink.  For this week coming up I want to work on reducing my portion sizes and eating more fruits and vegetables.

Now I mentioned previously that I typically work out using exercise videos.  This work well for me as I do not live close to a gym, the weather is Sask is pretty unpredictable and most of the year not great for working out in, and the DVD's motivate me to keep going.  If you are looking to purchase exercise DVD's I recommend checking out Collage Video.  They have so many workout videos there with short clips so you can get a feel for what you are buying.  They also have user reviews and a bar graph showing how many minutes in the video are devoted to warm-up, aerobics, toning, and stretching.  In addition Collage Video has a forum so if you are interested in a particular video you can post there asking for others opinions of it.   Before you buy a workout video be sure to check if it requires any equipment.  This is important to know as you don't want to get a video home only to discover it requires equipment  you don't have (there are many videos that don't require any equipment).  Another option for those of us who are cheap (ahem, frugal) is to check the discount bins at Walmart and other stores.  I have picked up a number of videos for only a dollar or two this way.  Some of them were not so good but others I have really liked so I think I have come out ahead.  The other place I have purchased videos is  Because Collage Video is based in the States and I am in Canada by buying from I can save on shipping and customs fees.

Do you do workout videos?  Where do you typically purchase them?

Taylor Swift Video - Mine

Since posting the video yesterday I saw Taylor Swift's video to her new song "Mine" and I really like it so I thought I would share it with you as well.  I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A (More Real) Love Story

Hi all!  I just had to share this video with you all.  It is a parody of Taylor Swift's song Love Story. 

PS.  We love Taylor Swift here but must admit this video is funny and definately more real.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: We will use up some leftovers from the weekend.

Tuesday: I will be baking bread so we will have tuna sandwiches on fresh bread.

Wednesday: We are starting to run low on beef in our freezer but we have lot's of beef ribs left as they are not our favorite.  We will try these Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs with rice and coleslaw.

Thursday:  Scrambled eggs, biscuits, and fruit salad.

Friday: Star is having her birthday sleep over today.  I think we will either be having make your own pizza's or taco in a bag.

Saturday: Spaghetti and tomato sauce.

Sunday: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn.

Making a menu plan means less stress when dinner time rolls around.  For more menu ideas head over to

Freezing Corn

Well I have been busy the last little while trying to preserve some of the stuff from the garden.  I have shredded and frozen zucchini, made applesauce and chopped apples to freeze, picked tomatoes and put them in the basement (still have to can some of them), and I froze some corn.  Now I had never attempted to freeze corn before as we usually eat most of it fresh and the idea of cutting all the corn off the ears seemed like a lot of work.  However after reading this post at Heavenly Homemakers and checking out this post at Amy's Finer Things I decided to give it a try.

One of the things that made this easier was using an electric knife.  Now I have an electric knife but rarely use it except to cut fresh bread (it cuts fresh bread really nice without squishing the loaf) so I wouldn't have thought to use it if Amy hadn't mentioned it.  It made cutting the corn off the cob really simple and it didn't take any effort at all.  I also used a bundt cake pan and held the corn cob on the part that makes the hole in the cake and then when I cut off the corn it all fell into the cake pan.

So the process was pretty simple.  I picked and shucked the corn.  Then I placed the ears of corn a few at time into a pot of boiling water for three minutes.  Once the three minutes was up I transferred them to a sink full of ice water to stop the cooking process.  I then cut the corn off the cob and packed it into ziploc bags and froze them. Mmmm, now we will be able to enjoy home grown corn for a while to come.

Now if you are wondering how I did this all with a 7 month old baby, I will share (because when I read other blogs I always wonder how they manage to do all they do with young children).  While I was picking and shucking the corn I had LK in the backpack (which I mention in this post).  Then I brought him into the kitchen and gave him a pot and a wooden spoon to play with, which kept him busy for a while.  I had to pause the process partway through to nurse him and then I put him down for a nap.   That meant I could finish up in peace. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday and Book Review: Baby Boot Camp

Well I am a little late in posting this but as I do want to be accountable I thought I better get this posted.  I am afraid that I didn't do all that well with my goals last week.  We made pizza last weekend and I ate a ton of pizza and drank coke.  We had lot's leftover so the next day I continued to eat pizza and drink coke.  So I was not suprised when I steppped on the scale today to find out that I had not lost any weight.  If I want to reach my goal I am going to have to get serious about this.  I also did not do as much activity as I would have liked.  However it is a new week and I am recommitting to my goals.  I want to drink only one coke this week and focus on drinking water.  Also I want to fit in a workout every day.  I know I can lose weight faster by focusing on diet and cutting calories but as a nursing mom I don't want to cut calories too drastically .  Also I find that exercises helps me to feel better about myself which in turn leads to me making healthier choices in what I eat. So exercise will be my main focus.  I have already worked out three days this week so I hope I can keep it up.  My favourite way to exercise (as it is most convient for me) is to use exercise DVDs.  This week I have done Kathy Smith's Power Walk for Weight Loss, the Upper Body portion of Kathy Smith's Lift Weights to Lose Weight 2, and part of Leslie Sansone's Walk Slim 4 Fast Miles.

However, I wanted to talk a little about this book I have Baby Boot Camp.  If you are new mom who wants to workout at your own pace and incorporate your baby into some of your moves this is a great book.  It has excellent pictures showing every exercise.  It is broken down into chapters by your baby's age (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months).  Each chapter has two nine minute total body strength workouts: one using your baby and your body weight, and the other using dumbells.  It also has cardio workout guidelines, tips for walking with your baby, and a chapter on stretching. I have done a number of the workouts in this book and enjoyed them.  I like the tips on using your baby so I can play with my baby while I get some activity in.This book would be a great gift for any new mom in your life.  I still like doing DVDs when I can but this book has great workout tips for when I have to workout when my baby is awake.

Friday, September 10, 2010

An Update of my Little Guy

So I thought I would give you an update of how my little guy is doing since he turned 7 months last week.  He has grown and changed a lot in the last month.  The biggest change is that he is very mobile.  Nothing lower than 2 feet is safe from him.  Which means I have to work on keeping our floors clean and safe as everything he finds goes in his mouth.  He will crawl on his hands and knees a little bit but mostly he scoots around on his tummy using his hands and feet to push himself along.  He can also get into a sitting position on his own. Which means that he can crawl up to the entertainment centre, open the drawer, sit up, and then remove all the DVDs from the drawer.

He remains a fairly happy and content baby.  He is a thumb sucker, which while it can be a hard habit to break later on, makes for a good sleeper as he sleeps 11 hours straight each night.  My eldest (Star) was also a thumb sucker and she was a good sleeper as well.  What is interesting is that Star sucked her right thumb but LK sucks his left.  Star is right handed, will LK be left-handed?  Time will tell I guess.  LK also got his first two teeth (the bottom front ones) last month.

Today LK once again demonstrated a new skill as he managed to pull himself into a standing position.  It seems everyday he manages to do something new.  One position he often gets into is something similar to the downward facing-dog pose in yoga.  But when I tried to take a picture of him doing it he just crawled toward me and tried to grab the camera.

Well that's all for now.  Relish whatever stage your child is in because they pass so quickly.


When I started this blog I decided that while I would like to post pictures I would not use my children's names.  Many bloggers use nicknames or pet names when referring to their children but I couldn't come up with nicknames I liked.  You spend so much time deciding on a name for them that it seems a shame to call them anything else.  However I am getting tired of referring to my children by their ages (which will soon be changing) so I decided to bite the bullet and come up with some nicknames.

My eldest I will call Star.  She will be turning 9 this month. (Oh my goodness I can't believe I will be the mother of a 9 year old. No way am I that old!)

Next is Sky, who is 6 and will be 7 in November.

And the little guy I will just call LK.  He is now 7 months old.

So that's it.  There was no rhyme or reason to how I came up with these names.  But those are my little people. 

How did you come up with Internet names for your kids or do you just use their real names? 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well today was that dreaded day to step on the scale again.  I did pretty good with drinking my water last week, but I am afraid I ate a lot this past weekend.  We had company and I like to make dessert when we have company.  But do I eat one small piece as a weekend treat.  No, I eat a large piece and go back for seconds. 

On the exercise front I didn't do a whole lot but I did try to fit some extra movement into my days.  With diet and exercise I have to work on getting that all or nothing attitude out of my head.  Small changes do add up and they are easier to maintain for the long-term.  My little guy is going to bed a little earlier now so I am going to try and do some yoga each evening after he goes to bed.  During the day I will try to fit in a walk and/or some strength exercises.

So this weeks weight is the same as last week 159 lbs.  I am just glad that number did not go up.  Hopefully I will see that number go down in the next few weeks.

For this week I am going to continue focusing on drinking my water and in addition I am going to try to cut out pop.  Over the summer I started drinking coke again and now I am drinking almost one a day.  This week I am going to try to only have one coke the entire week.  Pop has no nutritional benefit and cutting it out is a simple way to reduce your calorie intake.  Note I said a simple but not easy way.  As those of you know who have been hooked on pop it is a hard habit to break.

So that's it for this week: drink lot's of water, no pop, and add in some extra movement by doing some yoga at night, and strength exercises and walking during the day.

This post is linked to Watch My Weight Wednesday's at Angie's Healthy Living Blog.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday (or Tuesday)

Well once again I am late in posting my weekly menu.  But this week I have an excuse as yesterday was a holiday and I had company.  My menu is fairly simple this week and there a few things carried over from last week as we didn't get around to eating everything. 

Tuesday: Roast beef, potatoes & gravy, peas, fresh tomatoes.

Wednesday: It is parent info night at school and they are having a BBQ.

Thursday: Pork chops, rice, corn on the cob.

Friday:  BLT sandwiches, hopefully on fresh bread as I will need to make bread by then.

Saturday: Not sure yet.  Either leftovers, or sandwiches, or maybe something cooked over the fire.

For more (and probably better) menu ideas check out

Monday, September 6, 2010

Celebrating Birthdays With Paper Hats

First of all Happy Labour Day to everyone.  A long weekend is always reason to celebrate.  But we had extra reason as today was my brother's birthday.  We don't usually have large parties or anything for birthdays but usually celebrate with a family dinner and birthday cake.  My girls wanted to make the celebration a little extra special though so we decided to make some party hats out of newspaper.  This is very simple to do (you can find some instructions here) and the girls had fun decorating them and then making my brother wear the special one they made for him.

Here is a picture of the birthday boy.

The girls with their hats beside the pink (yes they love pink) cake they made him.
(Oh in case your confused, no he is not 30 but we reuse candles around here.  I'm sure he would like to think he is still only 30.)

Of course the little guy had to have a hat too.

It was a an easy, cheap, and fun way to add to our simple birthday celebrations. The girls could make these on their own and it was an activity that kept them occupied for at least a little while. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wrap Your Baby

My son and I at the Big Muddy this summer.  He is 5 months old in this picture.

I thought I would share with you the wrap I made and am using with my son.  It is made from 100% cotton and I just bought the fabric at Walmart for about $5/meter.  To make a wrap you need about  5 meters of fabric (it is advisable to buy extra as you can always make it shorter but it is more difficult to make it longer.)  Cut the fabric anywhere from 25 to 30 inches wide and hem it all around.  That's it.  You can find more detailed tutorials if you search the web but basically it is just a piece of fabric.  The tricky part is wrapping your baby in it.  I highly reccomend the site Wrap Your Baby.  It has lot's of videos and instructions for wrapping your baby.  The two I use most often are the cross carry (I like this one because you can pretie it on you and easily pop your baby in and out) and the the front wrap cross carry (this one offers a little more support for longer hikes). 

With my other children I had a snuggli and that did work well but I thought I would try something new this time.  I was also looking for something I could nurse in.  I did nurse in the wrap a few times but honestly I prefer taking the few minutes that is takes to feed my son to sit and relax.  Wrapping does take some practice to get it right and sometimes you have to readjust it but it is very comfortable to wear when you get it right.  The fabric is long and bit difficult to deal with but if you pretie on a cross carry before you leave the house you can leave it on and pop the baby in and out as you run errands.  I do have a stroller and use it regularly but I love having the option to carry my baby.  I live on a farm so the ground isn't exactly stroller friendly and we have snow at least 6 months of the year which again isn't exactly stroller friendly.  Also in the cold weather I can wrap the baby to me and zip a large coat over both of us so that I know that he is warm.  I also use the wrap sometimes to get some work done around the house when my baby is fussy. 

However, I have not yet been able to put my son in a back carry (there is video instruction at wrap your baby on how to do this but it doesn't seem secure to me and I am worried he is going to fall out).  It is difficult to do some things when your baby is in front of you.   Now that he is six months though I can carry him in the hiking back pack that I have.  This is also a comfortable way to carry your baby and I have done many dishes with a child on my back.  The back pack is nice in that I can easily put in on and off by my self and I can set it down with the child in it.  I will say that the wrap cost me around $25 to make in 2010 and the backpack cost $150 in 2001.  However, I definately got my money's worth out of it as it is now on child number 3 and I used it until each child was 2-1/2 or 3 years old.

My youngest daughter and I July 2005.  She is 20 months old in this picture.

So there are the two things that I use regularly to carry my son.  What is your favorite way to carry your baby?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday

I need to restart weigh-in Wednesdays.  While I have had an enjoyable summer I really didn't focus much on healthy eating or exercise.  I enjoyed a lot of fruit and berries but I also a lot of ice cream with them.  I did some hiking and yarrd work but I also spend a lot of time lounging around and I didn't do really any focused workouts.  Now that we are getting back into a regular routine I need to add in some healthy habits.  This week I am going to focus on adding in some small workouts (yoga, walking, some simple strength exercises) as well as drinking my water.  I want to drink at least 4 bottles of water a day.  This is such a simple thing to do but when I don't make a point of drinking water I just don't drink enough.  When I am drinking my water I do feel better and I have more energy.  So those will be my steps to work on for this week.

My current weight is 159 lbs. so my weight did not go up over the summer (but it did not go down either).  My goal is to be 150 lbs by Dec. 1 and then to maintain that weight through the holiday season.  So here's to a healthy fall season.  What healthy goals are you working on this week?

This post is linked up with Watch My Weight Wednesdays at Angie's Healthy Living Blog.