Monday, February 25, 2013

Working hard, or hardly working?...

Over the past few weeks -well, since around the beginning of the year, I suppose- I've been much more focused on my overall health and well-being.  I've posted about this before, and I've definitely tried to diet and exercise in the past.........  but for some reason it's different this time.  

...I *want* it.

...I *need* it.

...I finally seem to understand that, if I don't do something about improving my health right at this very moment, I probably never will.

So, where does that put me right now?  

Well, on my previous post I mentioned that I had lost 5 lbs., which was great...  buuuuut, even watching what I was eating, counting calories and all, I gained ALL of it back.  Bummer, I know.  

Well, sort of.  It actually put me in a much better place mentally.  I couldn't ignore that eating well alone isn't enough to help me drop the 70 -yes, that's right- 70 lbs. that I'm hoping going to lose.  I also knew that I was so out of shape that, if I wanted to keep myself motivated and stick with it, I'd have to start with something a little easier.  So, I started with yoga.

Yoga.  Oh, I love it so much!  It was the perfect way for me to regain awareness of my body and to test my strength and agility while not pushing myself too far.  Most of the poses are so easy to modify, which was great for my first couple of weeks.  After a few days, I felt that yoga wasn't quite enough though...  so I started doing pilates as well.  I decided to alternate pilates and yoga, and to do my best to not miss a day of exercise (but not come down on myself too hard if I did).

Around this time, I started reading a book that I happened to come across while my husband was dragging the family through Menards and I had to occupy the kids while he went and looked at grease -or something.....  

...the book is called Organize Now!...

...(although mine isn't the fancy expanded version), and it's pretty great.  One of the first things this book suggests is writing a daily to do list then later, getting a planner where you will eventually end up writing down everything you want to do for the rest of your life (pretty much). 

Rather than getting an actual planner, I picked up a sweet little blank book...

...and went ahead and dated the next few months then wrote in -alternating, of course- "pilates, dishes, laundry" and "yoga, dishes, laundry"  .....and what's really amazing is, I followed my plan!  

...Well, for the most part, anyway.

But what counts is that I make a point of not coming down too hard on myself!!!  Change *is* difficult, after all and I'm freaking proud of myself for even attempting to make so many changes and being even partially successful!

Which brings me to where I've been heading through all of this chatter...  Since the beginning of the year, I am currently down in more ways than one!

WEIGHT: 9 lbs!
WAIST: 1 1/2"!
HIPS: 1 1/2"!

I've got a long way to go, but I know that I can do it!  I ended up changing my workout routine for about a month and have been doing "Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred" for ten days now, which is what seems to have melted off that inch and a half!

Anyhoo, in short:
I'm proud of myself and I plan to keep it up.
No, I *will* keep it up!

This is not a diet.  This is not a phase.
This is a lifestyle change.

Tell me about how you've been working to improve yourself and your life!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

More natural house cleaning...

Thanks to Hulu Plus, I have a slight obsession with an Aussie show called "Lush House" (you can watch full episodes here).  I swear the host, Shannon Lush, is a flippin' genius.  Who knew you could disinfect with lavender oil?  ...or tea tree oil?  I didn't, so I'm gonna go ahead and assume that you didn't either.  I really want to check out all of Shannon Lush's books now!

I also discovered an amazing resource for family friendly, eco-friendly and budget-friendly cleaning. helped me seriously decrease the nastiness of a rust stain in my kitchen sink (which was left by a metal thing that the people who lived here before us used to protect the bottom of the sink)....  I think that, with another treatment or two, it should be completely gone soon!

So, here are a few things that I've tested personally and learned really do work!:

  • Lemon oil works wonders.  It not only smells good, it keeps bugs away and can work as a deterrent for cats who like to make nasties on the floor (I'm lookin' at *you*, Fluffy!)
  • Clove oil makes my house smell like I just baked Christmas ham and it acts as a mold inhibitor!  Taking Miss Lush's mold spray one step further, I've made an after shower spray for our bathrooms that's easy and non-toxic, so the kids can spray the shower down when they're done!
    • Fill a spray bottle halfway with white vinegar, add two or three drops of clove oil and top it off with water.  Give it a shake before you spray it!  Easy peasy.
  • Cream of tartar can not only be used for baking delicious goodies, but it can also be used to clean aluminum and rust (as I mentioned earlier)
Do you make any of you own natural cleaners or do you have any "weird" cleaning tricks?