Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Healthy Week! Green Smoothie

Fad, obsession, beneficial? Who Knows? 

With the UHC I need to eat at least 2 veggies each day. The fruits for me are super easy, and I am really good with eating salads. However I wanted to try something alittle different.  Many of my colleagues have "green smoothie's" each day so I thought for my personal goal for week 4 to try it out.  
I normally am a slacker when it comes to making breakfast, between waking up 2 boys getting them dressed and ready food is down on the priority list.  Even more considering they eat when they get to daycare.  Week 3, I ate everyday, but many of those days I would buy breakfast at work. WHICH is super yummy, but the $$ adds up quickly. 
Before I really do much of anything though.,. I like to research. I know fruits and veggies are good for me, however I also know that eating an orange is MUCH better then drinking a cup of orange juice; so I just wanted to get some other opinions. 

  • Drinking green smoothies is a good way to get nutrients, stay hydrated
  • The beverages have stirred a few health concerns
  • Nutritionist: Eat a variety of green and other veggies

Why you are not losing weight with green smoothies
  • Watch out for hidden calories, especially in foods that we don't typically count as meals. 
  • Exercise boosts your energy while toning muscle.  This burns extra calories and sets your body into fat-burning mode.  Sure, weight loss is partly (maybe mostly) diet, but exercise is also super-critical to shedding the pounds of getting to a healthy weight.
  • Do not do any of these things. Do not do a green smoothie-only diet. Do not skip meals. Do not become a slave to the guy. 
After reading all that I felt pretty good with my idea!  I don't know how long I will continue to do this, but for now each night I make the next mornings green smoothie and at least I get something in my body other then just coffee AND I get points for the UHC. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Healthy Week! UHC: Ultimate Health Challenge

I have decided for the "WAIT NO MORE" challenge this week, I'm going to adjust it to fit what I really need.  For me right now that is food and heath! So this week i'm gonna dedicate it to that!

I AM NOT A HEALTH NUT!!! Not at all!! I love sugar cereal, mac and cheese, and a good ol' fashioned full fat Hamburger with french fries.   However, that doesn't mean I don't try to be healthy. Every year I think as a new year resolution.  I want to be healthier!  I have never been overweight, but that doesn't mean that I eat well or exercise enough!
Image result for healthy image

My amazing sister had this challenge that one of her colleges started.  It;s called The Ultimate Health Challenge!  It is 10 weeks of focusing on a few highlights of health.  My sis has always been a great inspiration about how to eat and how to live a healthy life.  She now has shared her knowledge and this week I want to share all about it and other healthy living things I like to look into.
Image result for fruit and veggies image

This is prob no big SHOCK to anyone there are certain things we all can do to be healthier.  We all know them, I love studying money for the same reason.
Health: Eat well and exercise. Money: spend less then you make!  

Challenge has a total of 100 eligible points each week for following categories
Exercise: 35 points 
  • 1 pt for 15 min of exercise up to 20 pts. 
  • 1 pt for 30 min of exercise up to 5 more.  
  • 5 pts for mix of 30 min cardio, 30 min Strength and 30 min flexibility.  
  • 5 pts for exercising at least 3x this week

Water: 7 points 
  • 1 pt each day for drinking 40% of body weight.

Sleep: 14 points
  • 1 pt for min of 7 hr of sleep each night
  • 1 pt for going to bed before 11 on weeknights and 12 on weekends

Healthy Eating:  40 points
  • 5 pts per day for servings of fruits and veggies
  • 2 bonus points for having 2 fruits and 2 veggies mix. 
  • 3 bonus points for having different types of fruits and veggies. 

Personal Goal: 4 points 
  • any goal you pick 
    • week 1: take pills every day 
    • week 2: Eat Breakfast
    • week 3: work motivation  
    • week 4: Green smoothie (I'll post about that this week too))

Negative Points: max -25 per day
  • -1 Small Sweet
  • -1 Small Fat
  • -3 Empty calorie soft drink/caffeine
  • -4 Large Sweet
  • -5 Large Fat

My sis got a bunch of us together to make this happen and we are now starting week 5.  So far my scores have been the following. 
Week 1: 43 
Week 2: 66 
Week 3: 67 
Week 4: 51
My goal for this challenge is just to get better each week! It didn't happen this last week, but this week I will recover! 
I don't own a scale, so I have been weighing myself each week when I take my Liam to swimming lessons.  I know at the start of April I was at 149 lbs.  Now starting week 5 I'm down to 144lbs.  Not a huge transformation.  But I'm good with a lb a week for not doing much different other then being aware of what I should be doing. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Full: Landscaping part 5: Decor

Rocking Chairs: I did a whole post about them back a few weeks ago.

Basketball Hoop: Ever since my hubby was a kid he has loved basketball.  Coming from a cute little 5ft 10 in kid his dream lives in a back yard.  So for an early birthday present we got this baby!

We decided to install it our self's.  Which required a 4 ft deep hole by 24in x 24 in and 21 bags 60 lbs of concrete.  It was an experience for sure! Not one I ever want to repeat but so happy to have it!!

Kids House: Ewan's 2nd Birthday Present
Last fall Ewan turned 2! He LOVES to be outside so my sister in law helped me find this cute little play house.  As much as I don't really care about gender spicific stuff, I thought it would be fun for him to have a house that matches mom and dads.  However Liam put the input in for the Red Door!
The paint has NOT held up well, but the boys dont seem to mind.


Patio from back porch

Patio from back porch angle 2

Garden with mulch

Garden with mulch

Mothers day Japaneses Maple

Back property Line

Back of house, plants need to grow a bit!

Front with mulch!

Money Breakdown
Tiki Torches: (6) Brought from old house ($120), purchased 1 tiki 2 small and 1 table top ($35):  --$155
Rocking Chairs:  $176
Basket Ball Hoop: Mammoth $1060.00, Concrete  $60, other tools $40:  --1160.00
Kids House: Gift : Spray Paint: $100
Fire Pit: Already owned
Rock Flower beds & Weed Killer: $100
Hose Holders : 2@ $30-- $60
Hose's: 3 100 ft @ 30  1 50ft @ 20 --$110 
Landscape Lights 5 @ $1.50 $10
Back Patio furniture Already owned
Patio Box; Clearance at HD during the winter: $40 
Mulch: $50

All things done: Out of pocket Aprox $2,000
Running Total:  $11,068.00
---Landscaping:  $8,040.00
---Plants and Flowers: $550.00
---Garden : $378.00
---Drip Sprinkler: $100
---Decor:             $2,000

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Taysom School

Being the youngest of three meant that EVERYONE got to go to school BUT me!!  :'(
My amazing mother noticed this and did something at home special for me. She called it Taysom School! I have no idea what we ever did. I remember mom talking about that we used to do field trips. I have no memory really of that, but I did remember "Taysom School"

I few days ago when driving home with the boys from daycare I got thinking. Summers are LONG and if I'm not careful we are all gonna forget what we learned in school.
Liams wonderful 1st grade teacher sent him home for the year with math flash cards and books for his reading level. 
I told Liam I would like to do school just like I had from "grandma Connie" (my sweet mother). Liam idolizes her so I knew that would strike a good cord with him. 
He decided we would have school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 
I put ewan to bed alittle early and Liam and I got to work. 
We started with flash cards. Those were a bit of a struggle, so I'm gonna look into some fun ideas to do with that. I know Pintrest will deliver.
And yes as ALWAYS!!! I found this site which I love and will use this to help out this summer as well. 
We read one of his books. Practiced handwriting and I ended with starting a new book for my little man. 
The lightening thief 

He wanted to draw a picture and I couldn't be prouder! 

It's amazing how fast he is growing, however I can't wait to see what I can learn to help him prep for 2nd grade!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I know it is NO SHOCK, but i kinda gave up a BIT.  I was gonna work on my linen closet this week, which still looks SO BAD!!! Yep here's the truth pic.... 

However that was not my necessary project that needed to be done. After last weeks laundry room, I realized how badly I needed a place for my kids. Honey We're Home
My sweet 7 yr old goes to daycare each day and they have fun projects each day but he needs alittle motivation sometimes to get up and going. 

I started with these two pages of what we are doing and what projects we are making happen. 

Then I went through the daycare list and put what he is doing each day.
I had some left over frames that I had some old papers in and decided they should be put to work.  
I would love to add more color to this corner of my house, but im not sure how to do that and keep it looking classic, since you can see it pretty much right when you walk in the door.

On the left below the coat rack you can see a list there too, it is a weekly breakdown of what happens each day. And just because we have some summer coats for the boys and my hat!

Not a HUGE transformation but such a great thing for my little 7 yr old to get up HAPPY! 

We have also started a fun school project as well to get some learning in his summer days that I cant wait to share. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Full: Landscaping part 4: Drip Sprinklers

Our landscaper did an amazing job with our sprinklers,  he installed a drip system around our house as well, in our flower beds.  The back flower bed against the fence was a dripper hose with a hole every 12 in.  However the rest were just a dropper pipe coming up out of the ground and I wanted to make it the way I wanted to! :D

Greatfully we did this in our last house and had alittle experience, so I kinda knew what I was doing.

Back track just a bit.  Chris installed our sprinkler system
Image result for sprinkler apple rachio

Which made the process quite easy, since I could stand in the flower bed and turn on the sprinkler to make sure it was working well. 
I got one of these and it was a perfect starting point.  I started in the front flower bed.  I really wanted to use these cute little sprayers 

However they  put off between 0-15 gph and were way too powerful :( So I changed to drip lines and tips. 

I installed between .5-2 gph dripper for each plant or area directly from 1/2 in pipe using my handy dandy punch. 
DIGDeluxe Hole Punch
I added soker hose to the garden and a few other places where I felt it was needed.

Money Breakdown
Sprinkler Main lines and 1/2 pipe and barbs: Included in landscaping cost
Rainbird starter bucket: $25
Punch: $10
Mis drippers, sprayers : $25 (some were unused but still kept)
Soaker hose : x2 $15 
extra stakes for hose: $10

All things done: Out of pocket $100

Running Total:  $9,068.00
---Landscaping:  $8,040.00
---Plants and Flowers: $550.00
---Garden : $378.00
---Drip Sprinkler: $100

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Full: Landscaping part 3: Garden

Once upon a time I thought that having a garden would save me money.. I WAS WRONG! :D
In my prior post about building a garden box  I went thought the steps as to how I made the box.  I decided to use starts for my garden this year for all except carrots because I was not so sure about seeds. After a lot of planning and talking we decided to plant the following items. 

Yellow Squash 
Box 1
Box 2
Box 3
Box 4 & 5

I started on our patio, We have TONS of misquotes in our area and they love me.  I do anything and everything  to keep them away, between Tiki Torches with Bite Fighter, at least one or two bottles of off and as many herbs that will keep them away.
Tiki Bitefighter 64 oz. Citronella and Cedar Torch Fuel Image result for off bug spray
I did lots of research and found some of the best Herbs for keeping misquotes away are
Lemon Grass
Cat Nip
So I used some pots we got a few months ago for a killer deal ($10 each for awesome urns) and some others we already had and placed them on our patio and then added many more to garden boxes

I also got 2 raspberry bushes, I chose to go with THORN-LESS, Since we have a basketball hoop just off from where I want to put them, I don't want thorns in basketballs or in little boy's hands.

Money Breakdown
Top Soil: included in landscape costs
Garden Boxes: Wood=$80, Screws=7, Stain= $30 --- $117
Urns:  $20 (originally they would have been $45 each!) 
BrazelBerries Raspberry Shortcake: WAY pricey Plant that i wanted to try out $ 30
Thorn-less Raspberry: $7
Box 1: Lettuce 4 types,  Carrots, Onions -- $ 15
Box 2: Onions, Garlic, habanero peppers, jalapeno peppers.  $15
Box 3: Tomatoes, 3 cherry, 1 early girl, 2 yellow, 1 big beef, 1 celebrity. $15
Box 4: yellow squash, zucchini,  green peppers, red peppers, Anaheim peppers, mini bell peppers $20
Box 5: Lemon Basil, Basil, Lavender, chamomile, Rosemary, Cilantro, parsley, oregano. $25
Patio plants:  $23
Mulch: 3 @ $7 -- $21
Fertilizer: $15 
Tomato Gates and trellis:  10 @ $5.50 -- $55

All things done: Out of pocket $378

Running Total:  $8,968.00
---Landscaping:  $8,040.00
---Plants and Flowers: $550.00
---Garden : $378.00

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Full: Landscaping part 2 : Plants and Flowers

Between all the fun with the landscaper and the costs there, we still had LOTS to do on our own.
I used landscaping fabric from Costco to lay at the base of the front flower bed and the back along the fence. For the back along the fence I used PINTREST to save me some $$$.  My mother in law has a BEAUTIFUL yard and she allowed me to take some of the bulbs from her day lily's and hostas, I was nervous at first but so far they have worked out.

However, that was not the end.  I have wanted a BEAUTIFUL Japaneses maple for a long time, and just before we sold our townhouse we got one, but left it with the house. I looked for a long time to find the PERFECT tree and landed on a Coral Bark Maple. It has beautiful color year round. 

Those are some Professional Pics!

THIS IS MINE!!!!!!!!
She is small and still has alot of growth to make her strong but her name is LEAFY! Liam helped me name her!

I tried to keep things as cost effective as possible so I bought a bunch of bulbs.  They are perennial and they sell for about $8 for a large bag. Everything I purchased are summer blooming. 
Image result for flower bulbsImage result for summer flower bulbs Image result for summer flower bulbs

Plants are anything BUT CHEAP!!!  We have some beautiful nursery's around our home so we took advantage of what they have.  I was NOT smart with this part, there was little to NO budget on this so I just kept getting stuff and it added up far faster then I would have liked. 
I love snap dragons and ALWAYS try to get alot of them each year just to bring some fun color to my yard.  I also decided to put above the rocks an annual flower bed so I have alittle to work on each year, but not the whole yard. 

By the time I got to the back yard garden, I'd run out of money :(  and I had purchased WAY too many annuals so I have 2 peony bushes and annuals between.  (the end has raspberry buses, I'll include those with my garden post tomorrow.)

Money Breakdown
Landscape Fabric: 1 large roll: $15
Top Soil: included in landscape costs
Back flower bed against fence: Transplanted from in-laws yard, 1 perennial grass: $15
Back house flower bed: 2 peony bushes: $30
Front Flower beds: 4 bags of bulbs $40
Japaneses coral bark Maple Tree: $50
Lilac tree (mothers day present from Hubby): $100
Small red Japanese maple (mothers day present from inlaws): FREE  (would have cost about $50) 
Grasses, Annuals and miscellaneous other flowers:  $230
Bags of Mulch: 7 @ 10 each: $70

All things done: Out of pocket $550

Running Total:  $8,590.00
---Landscaping:  $8,040.00
---Plants and Flowers: $550.00

May not sound like alot, but when I didn't budget for it and spent it, it added up QUICKLY! 

Anyone else forget to budget and went alittle crazy in the yard?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Full: Landscaping part 1: Landscaper

IT'S YARD WEEK!!! We have finished all we can afford for 2015 but wanted to share all the nitty gritty details! 

This spring we have spent the whole time working on our yard. You can see the first few steps thought, Planning, Bidding, Grass!!!???, We have Grass, and Garden.  However today I want to go over what we have, and what we still plan to do this year.  As well as a full cost break down. Please forgive me in advance this will be a SUPER LONG POST!

Full Disclosure: This is our forever house so we have chosen to do somethings "done right" expensive.  Just to make sure we can maximize every $ so we don't have to fix it over and over! 

This was our planning page. The green is grass and the yellow is drip system flower beds and Garden.

As always things don't always work out like we all want, but this was our landscapers FINAL break down.
Gate 2 5ft gates tan: $1,000
Edging; Curbing, stamped and colored: $570
Grading and Dirt: $1,125
Front Rocks: $550
Sprinklers: $3,100
Downspouts: $120
Grass, 2,500 sq feet Installed: $1,125
Extra load of top soil 4 tons: $125
Load of rocks 4 tons: $325

Welcome to buying a new house! 

I had planned about 10k to do the whole yard.  However have quickly learned. That's just not enough! 
Anyone else start a project that ended up being WAY more expensive then planned?