Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 45

Halloween Revisited from 2005

I was looking through old Halloween photos and realized how fun this Halloween was with the kids.  The triplets were 4 years old. I think Drew was 11 and Tim was 12.  We went to Boo at the Zoo that year at the Columbus Zoo.

halloween

I think this one is my favorite. One of my older son’s John came with us. Elise thought it was so funny that she was on his shoulders along with her horse! I just love the laugh!

Hope you all have a fun Halloween.  Our trick or treating is tonight, so I didn’t have any pictures from outfits this year. But what can beat the young kids costumes?

Link up to My Linky Party

What is happening in your life this week? But as always you can link up any organizing or cleaning or DIY post to my link party.

Organizing Mission Monday

You can find the link for my button and also my “Proud to Be Featured Button” on my top “Buttons” Tab.

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or decorating
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.
7) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click Here.
This party will be open until November 13, 2011

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Nutrisystem – Week 2

October 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

Couch to 1 Mile Revisited

We all know that we are supposed to exercise.  You have those people that do it everyday and love it. They feel good, they usually look good and they are healthy.  Then there are the rest of us. Those of us who WANT to want to exercise, but simply stated we don’t like to do it.  We come up with a million zillion excuses why we can’t.  Let’s see, for me…. something always ends up getting inflamed or injured and I have to stop, I don’t have the time and how about I don’t want to wake up the kids exercising before they get up. (actually I don’t use that one, but thought it was a good one to throw in for a 3rd option.)

I was told by the Doctor not to run until my heart rate could stay under 160 while walking a mile.  That threw me for a loop. I was actually enjoying my beginning phases of being able to run a mile.  I took off all last week.  To just walk a mile, that is boring, and takes longer in the morning. But I have revised my plan and have made it doable for me.

Here it is:

5 Min Warm up Walk at about 3.2 on the threadmill
60 second very slow jog 4.0 (this is a 15 min mile)
90 second walk 3.4

Alternating until 1 mile.

This isn’t much quicker than walking the mile, but when I go to the 4.0 on my treadmill it is too fast for me to walk. I have to go into jog position. It’s funny because I am actually feeling it more in my legs after I finish doing my workout this way than when I was doing a faster jog.

I’ve done this three times this week.  The next 3 weeks are going to be a lot of traveling for me, so I’m not sure how it will work into things, but I’ll try.

Food!!

I’m down to 193 pounds. I’ve lost 7.5 pounds in 12 days!!   I’m really excited about that!   This morning I am driving my Dad to VA to see my sister. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep. My hubby was leaving for work by 5:10. I laid there trying to decide if I was going to try to get another hour sleep because I was worried about driving 8 hours with only 5.5 hours of sleep, but I thought my body would probably feel better if I got up and exercised instead.  I feel great!

I’m going to go over some of the food I had this week. The good, the bad and the ugly. (just kidding) But I will tell you what I honestly thought of each item. Heck, everyone likes different things, so there is no way that someone is going to love every item they have.

One of the mornings I had the Breakfast Burrito.

nutrisystem breakfast burrito You just have to cut the end off it and mircrowave it.  It looked good and smelled good.  But I took the first bite and couldn’t eat anymore. Why? Because I am a spicy whimp!  I just can’t do spicy at all.  This was spicy, much too much for me. Now, for those of you who like it, I’m sure you’d love this.

nutrisystem breakfast burritoHere are a few other things I tried this week.

The Chicken quesadilla was for lunch and I was scared it was going to be another adventure into spicy-ville.

nutrisystemIt had just a touch of spicy, but not bad at all. I enjoyed it.  I had some fat free cottage cheese with it, and that really worked. The cottage cheese reminded me of the sour cream that I like to mix with mexican food, so I kind of ate it together.

nutriystemOne of the evenings we had one of Elise’s volleyball games and didn’t have much time for dinner. Dave picked up pizza on the way home. Ugh…. I knew that would be a killer. Pizza is so good.  BUT…. I jumped into my handy dandy freezer and popped out one of my lunch meals. I had it for dinner with the family.

While they were eating this….

pizzaI got to enjoy having pizza with them. Although mine varied just a bit in appearance, it really satisfied the craving for pizza and I didn’t have the desire to knock everyone out of the way and grab their pizza box and dive in!

I did learn that I liked the pizza better baked in the oven rather than microwaved. Although it still came out pretty good in the microwave, I liked the oven version better. I also prefer the turkey sausage pizza to this veggie one.

nutrisystem veggie pizzaExperimenting with all the different foods is good the first month on the program. There are things I might not have tried normally, but find I really like them over what I thought I might like.

Eating Out

Dave and I tend to eat out a lot the week we don’t have his kids.  We don’t do a lot of fancy dining, but we might run to Subway or Roosters (chicken wings)

Since I’ve started the program we’ve actually gone out for several meals. Let me break down some of what I’ve done to manage these meals.

Japanese Steakhouse -

japanese steakhouse

Ate all of the broth they brought out. I ate most of the salad. It was lettuce and they had already put on the dressing. I tried to work around the blob of dressing and get the “unaffected” lettuce, but didn’t eat it all.  In hindsight I should have told her to leave the dressing on the side for me, but I had no idea when they were bringing it out.

I ordered the chicken dinner. Of course he grilled everything in big blobs of butter. ugh.  I didn’t eat the shrimp, I gave that to my husband. When he served my chicken (huge amount) I gave my son about half of it right away.  I ate about half of what remained with a little bit of white rice (brown rice wasn’t an option and I knew I didn’t want to order the fried rice). I did try to eat more veggies. Even though they were cooked in some butter, they were better for me than the rest of the food in butter and I need more veggies. I then brought the rest home and my hubby had it for lunch the next day.

It was Dave’s birthday celebration, so they brought out one of those pineapples with the sparklers in it. I did eat several bites of the pineapple.

Subway

I got a 6″ sub on wheat bread with turkey breast, spinach lettuce, regular lettuce, tomatoes and mustard. I had a yogurt and water.

Roosters

Side salad without cheese, or crotons. I did get blue cheese dressing on the side. But I didn’t put it on my salad. I dipped my fork into the dressing and then took a bite. I ate all of the salad.

I ordered 5 all drum BBQ wings. I asked for a to-go box when we first sat down and put 2 of the wings into the box. So I only ate 3 wings.

 

I know each of these meals I ate more calories, fat etc, then I would have if I stayed home and had my Nutrisytem meal, but I also know that I have to be able to live a normal life and learn how to eat less.  Dave and I enjoy going out to eat and I know that will continue to be a part of our life after Nutrisystem. Being able to still enjoy these events are important.

I have not felt deprived this week.  I still need to work on more veggies (yuckie poo) though.

 

*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.

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Seagate Go Flex External Hard Drive Review

Back Up – Back Up – Back Up!

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, it is really important to back up your information.  This is something that should be on your to do list routinely. It goes along with organizing your important information.

I’ve had a couple different external hard drives that I have tried over the years.  Guess what one I bought myself? I bought a Seagate. It was a 1T desk top model. I feel more secure with Seagate.  It wasn’t a sponsored thing, it was a…. research online, go to the store, check prices and storage options and pick out the 1T Seagate.

But I recently did get a Seagate Go Flex to try out!  Look at this thing… it is awesome! It is small and a fun color (would love a pink or lime green….. just sayin’ Seagate) and holds so much.

I have put it right next to my iphone so you can see the size.

seagate go flex external hard driveThis is a 500 GB hard drive!!!  I have backed up with this several times already. I currently have well over 20,000 pictures on my laptop and lots of videos! I just backed it up again today and I still have 243 GB of storage left.

What I love about this is how portable it is.  I can SO easily take this on my trips with me.  That is great for a couple of reasons.  The main one is because I like to back up my computer before I travel.  I often download pictures that I am taking on trips while I am on the trip and with this along I will be able to back up the new pictures and info before I travel home.

The other reason it is great is because if something would happen to my computer while I was away and I lost information on it, I would have all my info with me. Or even worse if my computer completely broke and there was something important I needed to do I would still have my info with me if I needed to borrow someone else’s computer.

This is thin and light weight too.

seagate go flexThere is a lot of technical info I could look up and give you about it, but techie I am not. That is one of the reasons I like this.  I just plug it into my computer with the cord (by the way, that little bottom part by my hand detaches. There are different options that you can get for it… you can see those on the web site that I link to) and go to my time machine (I have a mac) and turn it on and it backs up. Simple .. simple

Here is a screen shot of the time machine when I started backing up today.

I will continue to back up with my desk top Seagate before I go on trips so I have a back up of this back up. But this is so nice to have with me. Just a piece of security.

I did receive this Go Flex from Seagate and MARS advertising. I was not asked to do a review or blog post and was not compensated financially.  I chose to do this post. I wanted to show it off and also encourage everyone to back up their computers.

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 44

The Kids Put On A Surprise Party For Their Dad

My husband is turning 51 this week.  We have his kids every other week and last week was our week to have them. I knew they would want to celebrate, so I decided to give him a little family surprise party.  But the kids did most of the work.  (This picture was when he walked in the door)

Dave is one who doesn’t want money spent on him. When I asked what he wanted for his birthday he kept telling me nothing. Funny thing is that he really means it.  But, I just don’t go for that. He is a hunter and I was trying to think of something I could get him for that, but couldn’t think of anything he really needed.  So I decided getting him some clothes that he can always use would work best.

The kids were off school on Thursday of last week, so we planned the party for that night. No sports practices or games to worry about (and that is unusual)  We headed to Kohl’s and I led them over to sweaters that he likes. They picked out a sweater and shirt that they liked.  Then Zach found another shirt he really liked and Alex wanted to get him a flannel shirt. We picked up a couple pair of jeans and were set.

Once we went home the kids went to work.   Elise wrapped the gifts while Alex and Zach baked his birthday cake.  They made chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. Their added touch was mixing in Heath Bar candy pieces into the frosting. They knew his favorite candy bar was a Skor bar, and Heath bar is about the same thing.

birthday cake

Zach worked on his “mega card” while Elise and Alex made a Happy BDay banner.

They also carved their pumpkins with some assistance, not too much from their older brother. They had the safety pumpkin carvers so I didn’t have to worry. That was what Dave thought we were doing that evening (but I knew he wouldn’t mind if that chore was finished when he got home.)

pumpkins

They decorated the chalk board by the front door and helped clean up the house.  It is me on the left and Dave on the right.

chalk board wall

They arranged everything on the table for him.

They were SO proud and excited I can’t even tell you.  Other than taking them shopping at Kohls, they did it all. I was working in the family room.

After he came in from work and they did their surprise, he opened gifts…  Zach’s mega card is on top.

He was so excited for his Dad to see it. It was actually a “quiz” card.  He went and got Dave a pencil to fill in the answers. lol

Dave realized how hard he worked on it.  Zach tends to think he isn’t as smart as his other triplet brother and sister and tends to let them do the thinking. I told him he had to come up with his own idea because they were no smarter than he was… he just had to engage his brain. This was his idea entirely, and he was just beaming!

Dave read his other cards – from Elise

His card from Alex

This was the other card the Elise made him.  It was a flower. She handed us each a white piece of paper to write our Birthday message on for him, then folded them, added the color pieces inbetween and made it into her “card – flower”.

He opened his clothes and then we surprised him telling him we were taking him to dinner. But we wouldn’t tell him where.  (He figured it out about 5 miles from the restaurant)

Dave’s kids had never been to a Japanese Restaurant and Dave and I had talked previous about trying to get them to one.  So I knew he’d love it.   Dave and I were disappointed when we left. I hadn’t been to this particular restaurant for a long time, but it was the closest one to us. This was the first time that our chef was not Asian. Ok, that is no big thing, but this guy hardly talked to us, did no knife throwing and generally didn’t put on much of a show at all. He did one fire thing at the beginning and did a little onion volcano and that was it.  The kids knew no difference, so they still loved it. But it will be the last time I go to that restaurant.

We came home and had his cake (which was very good. I did have a little piece)

Link up to My Linky Party

What is happening in your life this week? But as always you can link up any organizing or cleaning or DIY post to my link party.

Organizing Mission Monday

You can find the link for my button and also my “Proud to Be Featured Button” on my top “Buttons” Tab.

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or decorating
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.
7) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click Here.
This party will be open until October 30, 2011

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Nutrisystem Week 1

October 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

I’m Ready To Lose This Weight!

I started the Nutrisystem plan on Monday of this week.  I’m happy to say that this first 5 days has been easy.

I’m going to show you a few of the breakfast foods you can choose from.

nutrisystem cinnamon roll

The reason I need to be on this plan an on an exercise plan is this one!  I have only seen this number one other time. It was in 2008 when I realized I had to do something serious!

Starting weight: 200.5 pounds (yuck!… ok..Sis.. you didn’t see that!)
Day 5 weight: 197.0
Loss= 3.5 pounds!

weightHere is the dreaded “Before” picture.  Can’t stand it, but you know what? I always tell my clients and others here on the internet to take “before” pictures before they organize a space.  It makes you realize what you don’t want that space to look like again.  It also makes you feel much more accomplished when you look back and see how terrible that space looked before you organized it.  So….. pretty obvious – take the before picture for the same reasons.

I had Dave take this picture with my camera phone up in our room.

Then he got a couple more with my camera downstairs.    You can see the side view.  Sorry… the back view no one can see, until my “after” shot when I have lost my weight.  It is a bit too tortuous to make you, my readers go through!  My hips are obviously my major issue, but with as much extra weight as I have on right now, I also have a stomach now. One thing I always prided myself on was a flat stomach (even after 4 kids!) The only positive thing about this extra 50 pounds on me… is that I actually have some boobs! lol

The plan is simple. I had month of food delivered. Half of the order were pantry items and the other half was frozen food.
Everything is color coded for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
We are given a book to write down our daily meals and how much water we drink, time exercising and weight.
There is a lot of space for other items that do not come with the plan (at least that I have). Vegetables are extra (and you can have lots!). Daily allotments in either skim milk, low fat yogurt and other items. I have had fat free cottage cheese and string cheese also this week.
I have not gotten all of the vegetables that I should have. That is my weakness. I don’t like them, or very few of them. I have to make myself eat vegetables – even when I’m hungry.
I did just buy some Genesis Today juice yesterday so that I can use that as some of my vegetable servings.

You saw the cinnamon roll above.  It is one of the breakfast items you can have. I had heard how wonderful they were.  It is very small, look at the half of banana next to it. But the taste was good.  I do need to look at the directions a little better on the next one. I thought it was just microwaving it for the given time.  But it was actually very tough to eat. The dough was dense, even though tasty and I had a difficult time eating it without a knife to cut it. It wasn’t my favorite.  Here was my breakfast the other morning.  Skim milk (8oz) coffee , 1/2 banana and the cinnamon roll.

 I also have had a chocolate chip scone.  I enjoyed it. It reminded me of one of those large choc. chip cookies. It was nice with my coffee.

Several of the pantry foods have this little packet underneath the food. It kind of bothered me. Reminded me of those packets you find at the bottom of a new purse or such.  But I’ve since seen that it is a non-toxic oxygen absorber.

So far this first 5 days I have not had anything that I haven’t liked the taste of.  I would say the only thing I might hesitate to get again might be the cinnamon roll.  But I’ll leave that judgement until after I try the next one!

I have felt good this week.  There have been times that my stomach has been growling and very hungry. But that was my own fault.  Actually it felt good! But, I could have had some more of the extra vegetables that I wasn’t always having and a couple days I did not have the afternoon snack because I was too busy working to get up and get it.

I hate to admit that I did not exercise this week.  After being told by my Doctor that I had to stop my plan to run a mile (because my heart rate was so high… she told me I had to walk 1 mile keeping my HR under 160 before I could start running) that it took my drive away.  I know I need to get it going again though!

 

*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.

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I’ve Been Boo’d!

What a Cool Halloween Surprise!

The kids and I got home from running some errands this morning and I found this box had been delivered!

boo'd
The kids were saying, “Open it.. I think someone has Boo’d us!”  They were practically jumping up and down with excitement!  I knew we had were had some Boo’s going on at Collective Bias called Don’t Be The Dark House-  but I had NO idea I would get one!!  (I was excited too… just sayin)

boo'd
Look how cute!  Then there was a bit of a thank you from my “Boo-er” .   I’m pretty sure I know who it is from the last name on the return label…
Now to see what is!

Oh look… there are five boo bags!!!  Plenty for the kids!

boo'd

When I actually told them to sit down and handed them each one you would have thought it was Christmas morning!  They were SO excited.  I just realized looking at this picture that 2 of them don’t even have their coats off yet from when we came in the door.


Then they went to it…

Mini Snickers and Snickers Peanut Butter, MilkyWay and 3 Musketeers bars!


There were also little decorations in each bag..


and some mini pumpkins.

I was going to leave the other two bags for my teenagers…. but the dogs were driving me crazy. They kept sniffing one of the bags left in the box…

Look what we found… the dogs got a Boo bag too!!!  lol  Love it!!

I had a hard time getting any good pictures of them.  Sadie (the one in this picture) is scared of my new camera.  When I first got it, it was programmed with the “beep” when I took a picture. She is scared of that tone due to a shock collar for an invisible fence we had when she was younger. Anytime she hears it she gets scared. Even though I immediately reprogrammed my camera without the beep… the damage has been done.  So I had to get a couple quick ones when she was almost more enticed by the food than her fears.

 I have to tell you this… in total honesty. I asked Alex to bring me out the candy so I could see exactly what was in there for this post. I heard Zach saying, be careful Alex. I said.. why do you have to be careful bringing me in the bowl of candy?
“Because… look what we did with it!!!” he said… I was shocked!! Absolutly no lie I had NO idea they had arranged it like this. Isn’t this cool?

Thank you much Lisa from East Texas Saver – I know for sure it is you after I just found your post!!!  You totally made our day!!!

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Hoarders Are People Too!

What Are Your Thoughts About The Hoarders On TV?

hoarding

Have you watched some of the shows on TV about hoarding? Had you known this condition existed before you first saw about it on TV?

What are your thoughts about hoarders? The people who live in those situations, those houses filled with junk? Would you want to be friends with them?

My guess is that there are hoarders that you know…. but you have no idea they are hoarders. They are usually very “normal” people. People you see everyday at work, at school, in the neighborhood but you have no idea that they have a problem.

This is the home of a client I once had. She was a very sweet, nice woman. She has many unfortunate events happen in her life that led up to this. No one knew her home looked like this. She had a full time job, was very involved in her church, but kept this a secret. She was too embarrassed to let anyone know.

She wanted help, she wanted to move past all the stuff and she knew she needed help.

I put out comments on Twitter about hoarding, for instance:

“You might be a hoarder if: You can’t find a place to sit down in your house because all your chairs have stuff on them. #hoarders”

I had a disturbing comment back to one of those tweets.  Someone said,

“I bet that show just makes your skin crawl! Those ppl are soooo gross! All those dead cats, rats, spoiled food….yuck!”

It actually made me cry. Now also realize that I had just come home from seeing the movie “The Help” and it was a disturbing movie portraying the treatment of the black maids had to go through back in the 60′s.  But it just made me SO sad that someone thinks of the people as “sooooo gross.”  I think specifically of the two clients that I had that were true hoarders. Both were very nice people… not gross. They just both had problems that they needed help with.

I commented back with this:

“Hard 2 watch but I feel 4 those ppl. They have real illness, I don’t think of them as gross, just their situation #hoarders

I think the hardest part about hoarding is that people don’t understand it is an illness. They do just look at the people who live in home filled with junk and often filth as “filthy people”.  They view the people simply as “lazy” and “gross”.

For the majority of hoarders, this condition has developed over time and their accumulation of “stuff” has grown over time.  It isn’t like they lived in a pristine home one day and the very next had stacks of stuff piled everywhere.  It happens gradually and gradually their defenses, their coping mechanisms build up so that they rationalize their situation as “normal”.

The illness has trapped them into a life where their “stuff” is their security, their safety net, their sanity. So that the thought of losing that stuff, is intolerable to them. They don’t feel they can cope in their daily lives without it.

What about people who smoke? It isn’t really the same, but you can draw parallels.  The smoking is the coping mechanism to help deal with stress. To go without cigarettes for some people is intolerable… they need them to deal with what live hands them.

I know they are completely different things…. the smoking just popped into my head when I was thinking of vices that people need to cope with everyday life.

Please try to watch those shows (if you do) with compassion, with empathy, and with caring for the people.  You can think their living environment is gross and filthy (usually it is), but don’t relate the grossness & filth to the person.

The woman who owned this home, got some other help (she was also receiving psychological help) from her church members I think. She wasn’t able to afford to have me (or any other Professional organizer) help her for long. I suggested to her to reach out for help from her church – they would be more understanding than she thought. There was no way she could do it physically by herself, even if the mental part of it wasn’t there. But she did receive help, was able to clear the things out and move into a smaller home like she planned. There is hope!

 

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Organizing Your Schedule

October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Family & Friends, How To Organize, Time Managment

Feel Like You Don’t Have Time?

We all seem to have schedules that are so over loaded, work, kids, cooking, cleaning, car pools, kids sports, etc…..

Do you often feel like you don’t know where your time goes?  Feeling over whelmed at all you have to do for the week and have no idea how to do it?

My son just started college a couple  weeks ago.  He is living at home (his choice) and working part time along with taking a full college load.  Some of his classes are in class on campus, others are online classes.

He has ADHD and although he has been functioning since his senior year in high school well without his medication, he was overwhelmed today with trying to figure out his schedule. He felt he didn’t have the time he needed to study, work and still have time with his girlfriend and friends.

We worked on a schedule to help him visualize where his free time was and how he could manage it.  Of course college has to be first priority. I have told him that work is secondary. Although he would like to be able to have some income (he is supposed to pay for his books, my ex husband and I are splitting tuition) so that he can take his girlfriend out and save for a car, pay for books etc….  I told him school is priority.  If he has to cut down on something (between school & work) then he needs to cut down on work. I will pick up the books etc. I want him to be able to succeed in college.

Here is the schedule I made up for him on excel.  It is something that is simple to make up and anyone can make one.  Of course you can do the same thing on your online calendar or go buy a planner, but for Tim, this was all he needed.  I told him we can print a new one up each week.  He seemed to really appreciate it.

Simple…. easy…. but extremely helpful.  Visualize Your Schedule!

I color coded it to make it easier to “see”
He has classes on the college campus on Mondays and Wednesdays – blue
He has already slotted out Tuesday to do his two internet classes. This will also be some study time for those classes and possibly his other two classes. That day is in green.
Work is Thursday, Friday and Sunday morning. – yellow
He can now see that he has free evenings every day, all day Saturday and most of Sunday free. It is just a matter of now deciding how much time he can make for his girlfriend and studying.

I printed a copy for him to take with him today as he went in search of a quiet study area at a local library. He will need a “clutter free” “low stimulus” area to study.

Often just being able to see something on paper was helpful to him (I know it is me). He can plan his study time and “play” time.

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 43

Halloween Is Fast Approaching

Are you a big Halloween buff?  Have you started decorating the outside of your house in lights and accessories?

I have seen several houses in my town that have up more Halloween decorations than most people do for Christmas!  It is amazing how big this holiday has become.

I have to admit that I’m not a huge Halloween participant.  We have fun with a few little decorations, carve jack-o-lanterns and take the kids trick-or-treating – but I don’t have major parties, or do the blood & guts decorating or costumes.

How extensive do you do Halloween?

Here are some photos from our recent visit to Pigeon Roost Farm. We just discovered this place this year and loved it.

pigeon roost farm

They had So much for the kids to do. There were a couple gift shops, food to eat, animals, and all kinds of pumpkins of course.

The corn maze was huge!!  If you looked at it from an airplane you would see the outline of a rooster.  There is Alex & Elise coming out of the maze.

pigeon roost corn maze These tubes were a favorite of the kids.  There was a big area and several of these tubes that everyone took turns in.

The kids each picked out a pumpkin before we left. It was a pay per pound system.  I think they averaged out to $5 per pumpkin, which was pretty much the going rate for the sizes they picked out.

Elise got one of those gross warty pumpkins. I can hardly stand to look at those things!!  It should be interesting carving that one. She plans on making it into a witch.

Next up will be carving the pumpkins!

 

Link up to My Linky Party

What is happening in your life this week? Feel free to post your halloween preparations this week! But as always you can link up any organizing or cleaning or DIY post to my link party.

Organizing Mission Monday

You can find the link for my button and also my “Proud to Be Featured Button” on my top “Buttons” Tab.

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or decorating
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.
7) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click Here.
This party will be open until October 30, 2011

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I’m Going To Start Nutrisystem!

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Reviews & Giveaways

I’m So Excited!

I am So out of shape and So heavy that I have to do something!  I was thrilled that Nutrisystem accepted me to do a  four month review* of their system!

I received my first months supply of the pantry – shelf life products already!

nutrisystemIt’s like opening a Christmas present! lol   What stood out to me really quickly and that I thought was really cool was that the meals are color coded.  Breakfast is Blue
Lunch is Green
Dinner is Red
Snacks are Pink

Being an organizer I love to color code! It makes it quick and easy to see what you need.

nutrisystem color codingI lost almost 50 pounds with a similar system back in 2008.  It worked well, I just didn’t stay on it after I stopped the plan and over the two years all the weight came back.  The combination of menopause, sitting and blogging majority of the day and not exercising, along with a huge sweet craving… you will gain weight.. just sayin’

I think it is interesting that although I weight as much as I do back in 2007-2008 it has distributed a bit differently this time.  My arms are now very heavy looking, my hips & butt are huge  of course (where I always gain) and I have a stomach.  ugh

I actually about 25 pounds MORE than I did when I was pregnant with any of my 4 boys!

I always weighted in the 130′s until after my 4th son. Then I got up into the 140′s.  Now I’m higher! lol

I’m still have to get my frozen products.  They should be coming soon.

I’m planning to start the program on Monday, and will be reporting to you every Friday on my progress.   I’ll be using the hashtag #NSNation which stands for Nutrisystem Nation.
I will do my weight in and show you my gross.. gag.. before pictures.   Since I had been doing the Couch to 1 mile (my plan) to start running, on Fridays, I’m going to add that into my posts.  My Doctor put a halt on my running because my heart rate was going up to 200 on my 60 second runs. Sad huh? She said I can’t run until I can walk a mile keeping my heart rate below 160.

I’ll let you know next Friday how my first 5 days has gone!!

*I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem Nation blogger program. For four months, Nutrisystem will provide me with their meals at no charge for my review. I am not being compensated for my participation.

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Couch to 1 Mile – Week 4

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Health & Safety

Stop the Running my Doctor Said!

(This is my post from last Friday that I wasn’t able to post due to my site being down) 

Can’t believe I’m already in the 4th week! I have been consistent in getting my three workouts in each week.  I still have a LONG way to go, but I actually look forward to my workout mornings now. That’s hard to believe isn’t it?

I say I’m going to do my “run” which is a LONG stretch of the term, but it is the positive view point.  It makes me feel more motivated.

My heart rate has been my major concern with the work outs.  It is going way too high. But I’m not keeping it high for a long period of time and I’m not feeling dizzy or symptomatic in any way (other than your normal sweating and hard breathing).  What I have noticed is that I’m not breathing as hard with my little runs as the first two weeks. I’m not easy breezing it either though.  I do get winded, but it is better.

This week I am moving up to 90 second run followed by a 90 second walk.  I did my first workout today as I write this (Sunday) and the first 90 seconds wasn’t bad at all!  I felt pretty relaxed and good. My heart rate was 170 after that one.

The 2nd 90 seconds was a little harder, but I didn’t feel like I was dying either.  But… my heart rate was over 200! So I walked for 2 minutes after that so that it could get back down to a reasonable number.

The 3rd 90 seconds was ok, heart rate was right about 200 after that.

I could have done one more 90 seconds (and not had much more time before I hit 1 mile) but I decided to just walk it out, not because I felt I couldn’t to it (which was a great feeling) but because I don’t like that my HR is going so high.  Just shows how terribly out of shape I am.

But even when I was younger (in 20′s) and was taking some aerobic classes, my HR was always going way over my target rate and I’d have to slow down what I was doing.  So it isn’t a new thing I guess… being out of shape.. I’m just older! lol

Step In… Doctor Visit

That is what my Doctor told me on Tuesday. I’m SO bummed!!  I told her what my heart rate was doing and she said to STOP RUNNING! She said I should not let my HR go over 160.  She said that my heart is doing all the work, not my muscles. She said I’m to not start running UNTIL I can get my HR to stay under 160 walking a mile.  Since I don’t want to end up being a “poster child” for a heart attack… I’ll listen. But it feels SO unmotivating!  I was really enjoying it.

My Week 1

5 minute fast walk to warm up
30 Seconds run
90 Seconds Walk
For 20 Minutes

My Week 2

5 minutes fast walk to warm up
60 Seconds Run
90 Seconds Walk
For 1 mile (less than 20 min)

My Week 3

Repeating week 2
5 min fast walk
60 Seconds Run
90 Seconds Walk
For 1 Mile

My Week 4

5 minutes fast walk to warm up
90 second run 
90 second walk
For 1 mile

Walk 5 min fast walk to warm up
Walk  even faster, keeping HR below 160.
For 1 mile

I am going to incorporate my walking exercise plan with the post I do each week for Nutrisystem. I’m going to be beginning the plan on Monday and you can follow along with me each Friday.

I’m using the Couch to 5K plan as a guideline – but I’m modifying it greatly. This is just want is working for me. I’m not saying this is right for anyone else. You are more than likely more advanced than I am, in better cardio shape. But if you aren’t, please discuss with your Doctor – do not feel like my plan is sanctioned by anyone or recommenced by anyone with credentials to do so. I am just sharing with you what I am doing.  - As you can see…. my Doctor told me something different…. so be sure to see yours before you start a running program.

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My Blog is Back!

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Conference, Blogging and Social Media

Evidently I Was Linked To A Site That Was Being Blocked

My site has been down since October 4th.  I guess some people could get into it, I was still receiving some comments etc.  My blog designer worked on it for over a week before I heard back from her. She said she couldn’t find anything. She went through all kinds of files and finally deleted WP and reinstalled and had to reinstall all my plugins.

Then I had to go through the process of submitting it to Google for reapproval.  I’ll tell you what, this is where my “untech” comes in and I get so frustrated.  I’m trying to find how to do this and I kept getting information pages, I was looking for a form. Then it came up that I didn’t have my sites verified. What? Are you kidding? I’ve done that!  Ding Dong me finally realized that I was signed into the wrong Gmail as I was checking all of this.

Finally figured out how to submit it and waited….but nothing.  I waited over 48 hours and then contacted Chris from where I work. He got in and looked at it and said, “Do you have a link to Standard Post Card .com”   I said, “No, I’ve never heard of that”.  But I went into my site ( I could still get in the back end of my blog the whole time) and decided to check a button I had in my sponsor spot. They had paid for a spot months ago.  But it was for PS Sprint.  First thought was… nope.. that isn’t it.  But I looked at the html code of the link and guess what! Yep…. it had that Standard ….  link in it!!  I was SO excited!  I deleted it Chris resubmitted to Google for me and I’m up about 12 hours later!!

I wanted to let you all know just in case any of you have issues, be sure to check your widgets and links.  I’m so thankful he was able to help me!

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 42

October 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Organizing & DYI Monday Link Party

Staying on Target!

target

Maintaining Focus and Concentration

Do you have difficulty doing this? I’ll admit to you that I do! When it comes to certain tasks I have trouble staying on task. It is so easy to get side tracked. Other times I can become “hyper-focused” and go into what I call “work mode”.

I have trouble when it comes to reading and focusing to do written work. I have to (and have always had to) have it completely quiet to concentrate. If the kids are around, tv is on or there are distractions I have a lot of difficulty. I can read the same paragraph a dozen times before I actually “get” what it is saying.
When I do get into the “zone” I can go like gang busters and get a lot done. But don’t interrupt my focus!

Of my four boys, all four of them are ADHD or ADD. My oldest was evaluated when he was young but determined not to have ADHD. As an adult in the Army now, he has been diagnosed with it. It came to light during his intensive 6 month training as a lab tech.
The other three boys were all evaluated young. My middle two were in 3rd and 4th grade. My youngest was three years old.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to realize that you aren’t alone! I don’t want you to feel like you can’t achieve things because you have trouble focusing or you have ADD. It might take you a little longer to finish the task. You might have to adjust to the situation (for instance: putting on headphones to bring in “white noise” to block out other distractions) but you just have to find your “focus zone” and work it.

Link up to My Linky Party

What is happening in your life this week? But as always you can link up any organizing or cleaning or DIY post to my link party.

Organizing Mission Monday

You can find the link for my button and also my “Proud to Be Featured Button” on my top “Buttons” Tab.

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or decorating
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.
7) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s on this post please Click Here.
This party will be open until October 16, 2011

Subscribe by Email