Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy 39th Birthday to Me!


And the countdown to "40" has begun!

Our Elf, Gus, Arrived Today


Our Elf on the Shelf, Gus, arrived today.  He delivered a package to our front door!  It was a basket of new Christmas pajamas for the entire family!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian




There are 13 "hidden Mickeys" on the gingerbread house.

 You can buy Gingerbread cookies, cocoa and other treats, yum yum.

High Tea at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Girls afternoon (me, my daughter and my mom):


As many of you know, I go to Disney often.  However, today, I went to "high tea" at the Grand Floridian for the first time!


 I love that you get champagne with your tea, too!

 My daughter could not decide which dessert looked best!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trying to Lose Weight as I approach 40

I turn 39 in 4 days.  I promised myself I would get in shape before my 40th birthday, so I started Weight Watchers two weeks ago.  I am proud to say that I have lost 5 pounds so far!  (I have about 8 pounds to go).  I do agree with the "experts" that metabolism slows down as we age.  I can't eat like I used to. I have had to stop snacking (even the littlest things) between meals; add vegetables to meals; and cut back on soda and beer.  Not fun, but my health is worth it!

We Saw Santa Today at Bass Pro Shops

This is the second year we had to Bass Pro Outdoor World for the Winter Wonderland. The kids love it and the Santa is the best.  Here are a few pictures from today's visit:




Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Table Settings for the Kids

Two years ago I went online to search for the perfect Thanksgiving table settings and found several good ones. (You can see that post here: http://anotheronlinemom.blogspot.com/2009/11/thanksgiving-table-settings.html.)  This year, I decided to see if there was anything out there for the KIDS table, and pleasantly found a few that I really like.

From celebrationsathomeblog.com:


From meetthedubiens.blogspot.com:
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Alphamom.com  had this cute table setting:
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From thepartydress.net:
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From tipjunkie.com
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

376 Days to Go: Losing weight is not so easy lately

So in my 20s, I never counted calories or watched what I hate.  In my 30s, I would gain weight, but could also lose it easily if I wanted with exercise.  As I approach my 40s, good lord, it's not so much the number on the scale as the "mush" on my stomach.

I have spent the past year working out at the YMCA  and really didn't see any changes in my body.  In fact, I gained a few pounds, although I was working out 3 or 4 times a week(including meeting my good friend Allyson for pilates on Saturday morning).

Fortunately, I am still a size 8/10.  However, when I sit down, I have this disgusting blob of belly flat that just flops over my pant's waistline. It's horrifying, and I hate my body right now.  (This is not me in the picture, but very well could be!)

So on Monday, I started Weight Watchers online. I like that the system holds me accountable. (I have to track what I eat everyday and stay within certain "points".)  It's been pretty easy so far, but I do admit that some nights I am hungry at bed time.  I would like to lose 10 to 15 pounds in the next year, before I turn 40 (or roughly 377 days).

I keep hearing from othes that metabolism slows down as we age, and I have heard Dr. Oz say we need to eat less in my 40s, so my goal is to lose the weight now before it gets even harder.

I know I will never have the perfects abs, and I am okay with that...but I just want to feel comfortable when I look at myself in the mirror at night!  Wish me luck!  And if you have any WW tips or hints, please feel free to share with me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A New Look for My Blog: The What and Why (My Journey to 40)

It seems like yesterday I celebreated my 30th birthday, but truth is that was 9 years ago.

My life has changed a lot since then...ALL FOR THE BETTER: I have gotten married, delivered two beautiful kids, and no longer have career goals (I stay at home with my kids).


When I turned 30, I felt no physical changes. My breasts were at their best (plump and perky), I had tons of energy & actually enjoyed working out, and never used moisturizer on my face, but as I approach 40, I feel many different things happening to my body.

In fact, last week I was at the doctor and he said, "You do realize you are approaching 40, things will change!" AHHH!! Don't tell me that, please.  And just three days later my Mother In Law said to me, "You need to slow down and rest. You're not as young as you used to be."

Nice, uh?

I am trying to stay positive.  But, honestly, that's not always so easy.  So I am updating my blog and hopes of finding the bright side of this next phase of my life.  As I approach 40 next year, I plan to look and feel the BEST ever.

So please join me in my journey to 4-0!

The Power of Cranberry (and a $5 off offer!)

With the holidays fast approaching, shelves are stocked with holiday favorites, which almost always include the ingredient cranberry. Aside from being a delicious part of your holiday meals, cranberry has incredible health benefits too. This time of year, it is important to think about our all-over health - not just diet and exercise. 

Why ellura?
50% of women suffer from UTIs, and UTIs are the 2nd leading cause (behind respiratory infections) of missed work days by women.  ellura's mission is to stop the needless and silent suffering of millions of women with chronic UTIs and eliminate the chronic use of antibiotics. ellura is the only dietary supplement on the market that is clinically proven to have the required dose for effective protection against UTIs.  ellura is also the only cranberry supplement that conforms to a government health claim.  Many women take antibiotics as chronic preventive therapy, but the side effects and increasing resistance are bad for the individual and society.  ellura is an all natural and effective solution that can free women from the cycle of pain and embarrassment that accompanies UTIs.  www.myellura.com

What is ellura?
ellura is actually 100% cranberry extracted from the pure juice of the American cranberry.  The clinical studies show that the bacterial anti-adhesion effect, which can prevent UTIs (it does not treat or cure them), requires 36mg of PAC (proanthocyanidins) from the juice of the American cranberry.  This is the basis of the health claim approved by the French government agency ANSES.  One capsule also has an anti-oxidant ORAC value of 1240.  Cranberry is a powerful fruit, when extracted and processed correctly to harness its efficacy.  Unfortunately, other U.S. cranberry supplements are formulated based on hype and pure marketing dollars, not science.

Here is a coupon code for $5 off total order:
AOmom5
Good for use once per customer valid until Dec 31, 2011.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Want a SIMPLE Thanksgiving?

On newsstands now, Real Simple’s November issue features a 50-page guide to your best Thanksgiving yet.  With tasty recipes and smart tips for planning ahead, your table will be deliciously composed come November 24th.  As will you.

Real Simple’s complete Thanksgiving guide includes:

A Truly Make-Ahead Thanksgiving (page 226)
ThisThanksgiving dinner menu features crowd-pleasing recipes that you can prepare in advance, plus an easy-to-follow shopping list and timeline.  The menu includesCider Glazed Turkey; Bourbon Gravy, Fig and Cranberry Compote;Sausage and Apple Stuffing; and more.

The Best Pre-feast Nibbles (Page 237)
Are your guests feeling peckish? Silence the squawking with these store-boughtparty appetizers and snacks. Real Simple’s favorites, from more than 150 sampled, include a nut mix, a Mediterranean spread, cheese straws, and more.

Wines and Dine (Page 241)
Wonder which bottle is best to serve with your feast? Simply followReal Simple’s grape-by-grape guide to red and white wine for six Thanksgiving-ready varieties.

Simple Sides (Page 245)
They only look fancy:Real Simple’s homemade bread, rolls, and biscuits are bake-ahead and delightfully foolproof. Plus, an easy-as-piechicken stock recipe and three creative cranberry sauce recipes.

10 Ideas for Mashed Potatoes (Page 260)
Just when you thought everyone’s favorite side dish couldn’t get any more tantalizing, it has. Ten times over. New takes on the old standardmashed potato recipe include Toasted Garlic and Smoked Paprika; Olives and Lemon; Bacon and Blue Cheese; and more.

Show-Stopping Desserts (Page 265)
Real Simpleshares four reasons to save room.Thanksgiving dessert recipes include: Sweet Potato Pie with Candied Nut Cream; Chocolate Pecan Tart; Bread Pudding with Fruit Compote;and Apple-Molasses Spice Cake.

PLUS: Thanksgiving Road-Trip Supplies – Whether Grandmother’s house is just over the river and through the woods or 500 miles away, Real Simple shares nifty gizmos and car-friendly diversions to help the ride go more smoothly. Enjoyexclusive savings forReal Simple readers. (Page 302)

Free Christmas gifts from Snapfish

Calendar: Earlier this week, I was able to get my Dad's christmas gift from Snapfish, a free yearly custom calendar. (I only paid $5.99 shipping.) You can grab this deal too at http://fall.snapfish.com/

Christmas Cards: We buy many Disney DVDs and CDs for my kids.  Therefore, I collect the Disney movie rewards points.  And today, I was able to redeem the points for free custom 5*7 photo Christmas cards from Snapfish.  Check out the site today!

I love GREAT shopping days!!

I don't go shopping often, but when I do...I shop for DEALS.  And today was definitely a DEAL day!

I got a sweater and earrings on sale at Ann Taylor Loft, and paid with a $15 Birthday coupon they sent me.  Total = $10.68 with tax for both.  (Yup, 85-percent savings)

JCPenney had Cooks Pancake Griddles (see photo below) on sale, so I got two and paid with a $15 Birthday coupon they sent me.  I saved $95.04 and spent only $5.29 out of pocket. (Yea, 94-percent saings!)


At Panera Bread, I got a free brownie for signing up earlier in the week for the "My Panera Rewards" program.

Wow, if I could only save this much at the grocery store! :(