28 February 2009

the 30 day shred

I tried the 30 day shred. Let me just say that I scoffed when I read that you could lose 20 lbs in 30 days doing this dvd every day- I understand why they said that! It was a rough 20 minutes! Basically, you do a 2 minute warmup, and then three circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and one minute of abs, then a 2 minute cooldown. So, the actual exercise takes 20 minutes, but there are a few seconds of time between each exercise, so if you plan to do this, give yourself 25 minutes.

I think you could lose a lb a week doing this dvd 3 times a week and nothing else. I think it would take a LOT of willpower to do it every day for 30 days, because I am already sore and I only did it 4 hours ago. :)

26 February 2009

so totally didn't hate it

I got the massage! It was fantastic. I have to say, though, that I have been spending a lot of money lately. I am getting my hair cut and colored (very necessary, you should see it) tonight and then the spending spree is over. Back to the budget.

I have some Self Challenge updates/ info to share:

I've been doing it! I did both strength workouts and one cardio (walk). I also just checked out the Jillian Michaels (Biggest Loser) 30 Day Shred DVD, so we'll see how that is. I like how it's only 20 minutes long, though.

I have been eating the food, too. I really like the cereal with the apples in it, and the ricotta wrap was good, too, but I didn't put in all the honey the recipe called for and then I wished I did. For lunch, I tried the roast beef sandwich, which was good but nothing special, and the soup, which I really liked a lot and was easy to make the night before so that it didn't take too much time in the morning.

So far I'm down 1.2 lbs! :)

23 February 2009

Mental Health Day: Part One

Oh, the guilt required to be a mom. I brought my kids to the babysitter/preschool, and both time felt incredibly guilty that I was not using this day to be with them. Then I called and scheduled the massage for 1:30. Right now I'm home, I'm going to go for a walk (self challenge is going quite well, if you don't mind the 100 dollars I spent on healthy foods, which I honestly think is a good thing) and then go buy my mom a birthday present, pick up the house and eat lunch (roast beef sandwich from said Self Challenge) and then head to the massage place.

I hope I don't hate it! :)

22 February 2009

PSA: Hand me downs

Last week, my cousin gave me a huge bag of clothes for my 4 year old, and today I gave my pregnant friend a huge bag of baby clothes. No money exchanged hands, no clothes reached landfills, and we're all happy.

So, if you have clothes your children have outgrown, call a friend who has a younger child! Ask around! Pass them along!

That is all. :)

21 February 2009

Self Challenge Details

It looks like you CAN get on to the website for the Challenge for free (http://www.self.com/challenge) so as far as I can tell, you don't need a subscription to participate. If you don't know what it is, its basically a three month program with three components: cardio, strength and eating. The cardio component is really flexible- whatever you like to do. So you can walk every day, run a couple of days, or do an exercise video a few days a week.

The strength component is a series of exercises that you do in succession- none of them are particularly difficult, but when you put it all together it is a great, fast strength training workout. I remember that my muscles really started to look more toned by the end of the first month.

The eating component is great- lots of flexibility, lots of healthy, fresh food, and easy recipes. If you follow the portions they tell you, it's hard to feel hungry, plus the combination of produce, grain and meat that they use (it's 50% produce, 25% grain, 25% protein) is super filling.

Have fun!

20 February 2009

Yay! the Self Challenge!

I love the Self Challenge. I've done it almost every year, and every time I've done it I've lost about 12-18 lbs (after each kid, for example) and gotten in better shape, with great muscle tone. When I saw the scale this morning, I was already thinking about how off-track I've been with my eating and exercising, so when the Self Challenge came in the mail today, I was so happy to see it! There's no time like the present, so I'm starting now.

Does anyone else get Self who'd like to join me? I know you can follow it on their website, but I can't remember if you have to log in and I'm posting this from my phone so I'll have to check later.

Yay! My weight loss goals are these:

1. Lose about 10 lbs
2. Lower the body fat percentage number on my scale by 3
3. For my back to stop hurting

I'm so excited!!

19 February 2009

Make it frugal or splurge?

I'm all set for my Monday off, but here's the rub- my hairdresser doesn't work Mondays. So, I can't get my hair cut, which means I have to find something else to do. I have two options:

1. Make it frugal: stay home, watch a fun movie, take a bath, get a mask or something from CVS with the gift card I've been hanging on to.

2. Splurge: go to a day spa, get a real massage (something I've never done). Would that even be fun if I was by myself? It sounds really relaxing, but I'm also not the touchy type of person- will I hate it?

My instinct is one. Hmmm.

16 February 2009

what I've decided: a mommy's manifesto

I decided to take next Monday off, and send the kids to daycare. Furthermore, I've decided that I will go and get my hair cut on that day, and then I plan to spend the rest of the day reading and relaxing.

I have also decided that I will attempt to do this every 6-8 weeks. I will use these days to get caught up, schedule appointments, and take time to do nice things for myself. Perhaps one day I'll even get a massage. Who knows.

This is not very frugal. What it is, however, is necessary. I'm so completely overextended, exhausted and frazzled. I'm having anxiety dreams, which I never do. I've gained some weight. I don't feel very good! And as I'm sure you all know, an unhappy mom makes an unhappy household, and I can't afford to not take care of myself.

So, who's with me?

15 February 2009

what do i need?

My mom came over yesterday, which inevitably turns into complain-fest for me. So she was saying that I should do something for myself, or get some kind of help. The problem was, I had absolutely no idea what I'd even do if I were to do something like that. I can't imagine having someone clean my house, both because I'd feel bad that I couldn't handle it myself, and also because I have heard that its jusr as much trouble to do the pre-cleaning required for the cleaning person as it is to do the cleaning yourself.

I could take some time off, but I'd end up further behind at work, and as any mom knows, being home with kids is no vacation. :)

I have no idea. What I ended up saying to her was "I'd like there to be 30 hours in each day." Obviously that's not going to happen.

So, if you were going to invest a little in your own sanity, what would you do?

14 February 2009

valentine's day- day of love or money pit?

Yeah, I know I just got divorced, but my feelings on valentine's day are essentially unchanged- other than an excuse to make heart shaped food, I really don't see the point. So instead of spending money on cards for the preschoolers (my son doesn't go to preschool on fridays) and buying things for people, I just didn't do it. Cold? Maybe. Frugal? Sort of (I think this one is probably just plain cheap).

It's hard to make decisions like this as a parent. I don't want to deprive my kids of something special, yet I just don't see why letting them eat candy all day is something special. If they didn't know that I loved them, it would be a different story... But obviously that's not the case. Maybe it's something that evolves over time.

Off to serve up the chocolate banana mini loaves I made with the kids this morning! :)

11 February 2009

I knew it would eventally happen

It was warm out today! 58 degrees! I know it won't last, it's only February 11th, but to think that spring is about a month away- ohmygosh. So exciting.

Which got me thinking about my garden, of course. Although I've been pouring over the seed catalogs with hunger, I've pretty much decided to stick to Burpee seeds from Ocean State Job Lot, and seedlings from the garden store, market down the street and Walmart if I need them. Last year I spent a lot of money on seedlings from Burpee, and while they were great, they didn't do anything different or better than the $1.00 seedlings than I bought around town.

So, this is what I want to grow:
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • squash/zucchini
  • tomatoes
  • broccoli
  • pepper
  • sugar snap peas
  • watermelon
  • pumpkin

So exciting!

10 February 2009


I haven't been posting very regularly, and it's bumming me out big time. I'm sorry!

Life has sort of gotten away from me. After I got back from my leadership conference, I've been insanely busy and insanely motivated on doing things, which has resulted in my starting to feel totally burnt out. I've been messing up a bit, missing a meeting here and slacking off on other things there. I really need to get back on track, and it's so hard!

Financially, we're good. Ex-H has been paying, money I lent has been paid back in a timely fashion, and I got oil and that was even pretty cheap. No complaints for the time being, which after January's meltdown, feels good.

So, a couple of links to make things a bit better-
Managing your work flow, courtesy of the Simple Dollar

Experian free credit score promotion

Are we all made up? :D

06 February 2009

forgive me blogger, for I have sinned

I spent way too much money today. Guess where?

Target. 200 dollars, to be exact.

it was a trifeca of impulse shopping- new outfit/shoes/accessories PLUS 50% off the Global Bazaar stuff I'm in love with PLUS needing party stuff

the good news was I came home to not one but THREE checks in my mailbox whose sum far exceeds the money I spent today.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's been a while since Target got its claws into me. Maybe I should have a quarterly Target "get it out of my system" day... although today's trip was really a perfect storm- an unscheduled two hours, a good mood, and money. I really didn't stand a chance.

I'm sorry to have let you down. (but the shoes... oh, the shoes. they're quite the sight.)

04 February 2009

More party info...

Okay, so this is a grown up party. The kids will be sleeping at their grandparents' house. So, here's what I'm thinking:

  • seven layer dip
  • fruit kabobs or fruit salad
  • chicken satay or chicken shish kebab
  • something with corn
    (this is really hard...)

Drinks: (much easier):

  • beer- summer ales if we can find them, corona, blue moons with oranges, etc
  • mudslides
  • pina coladas
  • margaritas


  • popsicles
  • ice cream cake?

This is totally not frugal... what was I thinking?!?!

02 February 2009

Frugal party planning

I've had a party planned for about 4 weeks now- never thinking things would be so tight financially. It was always going to be a cheap party, but now some creative thinking is going to be required!

The theme is summer- because boy, do we need some summertime in New England. It will NOT stop snowing!!

Any thoughts are welcome- especially menu ideas!