Monday, January 27, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

It's going to be a crazy work week, so planning a menu in advance ensures we don't have any last minute scrambles. I'm also trying to introduce new food to my pickier eater. Wish me luck! Here's what we're planning on serving:

  • Sunday - Homemade weiner wraps + risotto (adults)
  • Monday - I'm at a work dinner. M will have leftover risotto. The kids will have leftover tacos.
  • Tuesday - Spaghetti & meatballs (late work night for me, so need something quick & easy)
  • Wednesday - Baked tilapia (adults) + baked chicken (kiddos) & pesto pasta.
  • Thursday - Leftovers.
  • Friday - Lubia polo (a Persian rice/beef/bean recipe that I've bumped the last few weeks)
  • Saturday - Meatloaf & mashed potatoes. My attempt to expand the picky eater horizons. :-)
  • Sunday - Homemade pizza

What's being served at your house? Any quick & easy kid-friendly recipes? My youngest doesn't like things mixed together, which makes almost any meal impossible. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The week ahead

Wow, this weekend has gone too fast! It was a wild work week, and next week promises more of the same. I mentioned a couple of months ago that my peer was taking an unexpected medical leave, & I would have to do both of our jobs. The only reason I survived (mentally) was reminding myself that he would be back soon, & things would even out. He turned in his notice on Tuesday. Two of my other peers also turned in their notice. Suffice it to say, this is a very difficult job, & challenging place to work, & it's not getting any easier with an extremely small staff. I did almost the same job back in Seattle, but had a staff four times the size. My manager & I need to have a very direct conversation about what I can do with the current team & workload.

We also have our international teams visiting, so I have 12+ hour meetings/offsite this week, and I worked on an urgent issue all evening on Friday, & yesterday. I'm extremely burned out, and I've only been at the job for 90 days. Not a good sign.

Enough about that. I need to get outside & enjoy the sunshine today, as well as do yoga. My back & neck are killing me from stress.

Here's what else I need to do today (fun things first!) :-):

  1. Take a hot bath
  2. Read for at least 15 minutes
  3. Take Sam to the library. He forgot to bring home his book for a report that's due soon.
  4. Plan a menu.
  5. Plan the week ahead - it's a crazy week, so we need to coordinate kid stuff to ensure that everyone gets picked up & dropped off.
  6. Decide what to do for the boys birthday party - invite friends via email or mail invites.
  7. Return my parents call.
  8. Work on the budget.
  9. Work. :-(
  10. Laundry
  11. Sheets
If I accomplish that, I'll feel very good.

And, on to the positives! 

  • There was *very*  little snow at Tahoe/Squaw, but I did manage to ski one of the days. It will likely be my only ski day of the season, so I enjoyed it!
  • Check out that sunset (and, lack of snow) 

  • M & I had a date night last night! I saved some Christmas cash to pay for the sitter, so it was nice not to scramble to find cash (I never carry cash!) & to know that it was paid for.
  • My cleaning lady is on vacation (I know, first world problems), & even though this was really, really not the week for me to have to clean the house with my work schedule, I did it! Saved $90, which we applied towards our dinner out. It's a good thing, because I had to pay for several meals on my work trip - very annoying - so our dining out budget took a hit.
  • In just a few weeks, we have a lot of celebrations coming up - my birthday, Sam's birthday, & our trip to visit family. Can't wait!
Off to start tackling my list!

Happy Sunday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

I'll be out of town for a few nights this week at a work event, so here's what's on the menu:

  • Monday - Homemade pizza
  • Tuesday - I'm out of town. Everyone else will have leftover chicken pasta. 
  • Wednesday - I'm out of town. The boys will have homemade weiner wraps. M will fend for himself. There's lots in the freezer for him to find. ;-)
  • Thursday - I'm getting back from the ski trip late, so it will likely be something easy - breaded tilapia & pasta for the adults/chicken & pasta for the kiddos.
  • Friday - Chicken rice pilaf.
  • Saturday - I'm uninspired lately. Maybe tacos with homemade guacamole
  • Sunday - Possibly a Persian dish with ground beef, rice, & green beans- lubia polo
What about you? What's on the menu for the week?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Loving the long weekend

We took the boys to the Monterey Bay Aquarium yesterday - so much fun! We actually went out to a nice lunch (which we never do with the kiddos) - white linen napkins, etc, & they did fabulously well. It was a kid friendly restaurant, and had an open patio. The weather was gorgeous, so we sat outside, shared a bottle of wine (just me & M, the littler people had lemonade) & talked about the day. Who would have thought we'd be enjoying a nice & relaxing lunch out with the boys? If you'd asked me a few years ago, I'd tell you it would never happen. ;-)

It was an expensive day for us (we used a work discount, but the aquarium tickets were over $100), plus lunch out, and dinner. I did bring snacks & water, and we opted not to stay over in a hotel, so that saved quite a bit.

As for today, we're enjoying the sunshine and getting things done around the house. Sam & M are watching the Seahawks/Forty Niners game (go Hawks!) & Nick & I are cooking. :-) We've made gallons of guacamole with our avocados, so today I'm trying a new recipe. Chocolate muffins, with a secret ingredient. ;-) Let's see if I can sneak them past my picky youngest child.

I also have another 100+ mandarins & oranges to use up. I've given given a bunch away to neighbors, but need to use up what's left. I always consider it a cooking challenge, & try to get creative. :-) M eats muffins every morning, so I'm thinking of cranberry/mandarin muffins for the week ahead.

I also need to pack for a work ski trip (there's no snow in Tahoe, so not sure what we will be doing). Normally I'd be excited for the skiing, but it really means a 4+ hour bus ride each way, two nights away from the boys, & I still have to do all of my regular work with no additional support. :-( I think it's going to be a long week!

I did power yoga this morning, & am still sore from a yoga class I took on Friday - flow yoga. It was crazy hard! I loved it. I still need to get outside for a walk or run, decide what's for dinner, tackle the mountain of laundry, and hopefully get in a shower. ;-)

What about you? What's on your agenda for today?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January Challenge - Week Two

We're two weeks into the first month of the year! It's whizzing by, as usual. ;-)

Here's how I did on the second week of my January Challenge. A special thanks to Carla, for hosting!

January goals:
  1. Lose 2 lbs. - I've lost 1.4 lbs! I'm only .6 lbs away from my January goal! I am working hard on this one!
  2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal. - Yes!
  3. Complete 1,000 minutes of cardio. - I'm currently at 420, so right on pace
  4. Complete 10 strength workouts. - I'm crushing this goal! I'm at 9 workouts. Woohoo!
  5. Complete 8 stretching workouts. - I got off to a slow start, but I'm now at 5 workouts!
  6. Find a half marathon for the spring, and start the training plan. - I've done some research, but haven't finalized. I've also started running more to build up a base before I kickoff my training plan. 
  7. Have one date night with M. - We have a dinner date planned for the end of the month.
  8. Plan/do one social activity with friends. - Yes, I've met a friend for lunch, done a girls night, & attend a speaking event with a friend.
  9. Save $1,000 towards our California house down payment fund. - Not yet. I  expect to be able to fund this with my bonus, coming in a couple of weeks. 
  10. Save $500 in boys college fund. - Done, on the last day of December, we actually put another 1% towards the boys college tuition credits (so, total of $688/per kid, or $1376 total).
  11. Pay $3,000 towards our mortgage(s) - We haven't made any mortgage payments yet. 
  12. Talk to my parents about potentially watching the boys for a 2014 vacation. - Yes, & the flights for my parents are booked! I'm paying for my mom's flight. My dad really wanted to come along, so he's paying for his flight. Pretty cheap ($249/each), so I was happy to get this booked. M & I are planning to drive to wine country. Somewhere I've always wanted to go, and within driving distance!
  13. Work is very, very crazy & the schedule is not something I can handle long term with my health situation. I'm currently working 60+ hours during the week, & I'm on call every day. Every holiday. Every weekend Everything. It's way too much. I need to start figuring out a plan. - So far, things are easing up a bit, although it's not perfect. I'm working on managing my stress. My manager is finally going to be back in the office after not seeing him for a month. I'm hoping he may be able to address some of my concerns.

How am I doing on my planned budget cuts (January fiscal challenge)?

  • Trim our grocery spending down to $450 - I've spent 40% of our grocery budget for the month - $207. So far, so good. 
  • Trim dining out down to $75 (should just cover one date with M) - I had a girls night, & spent $39.17. This leaves me with not much for my date night with M. Will have to plan this one carefully. 
  • Spend $0 on clothes for the kids + me. -Sam needed new shoes, so we spent $21.74 at Target.
  • Spend $0 on gifts, travel, personal, health, liquor, & house categories. - Here's how this breaks out:
    • Gifts = $0
    • Travel = $249 for my mom's ticket in April when she's coming to watch the boys, & my half of our Great Wolf Lodge trip. So far, $588/2. This is the boys' birthday trip in February. Total spent = $543. I hadn't planned to book either of these in January, but the prices were right. 
    • Health = $14.13 on a quick test to ease my mind. ;-) 
    • Liquor = $0
    • House = $0
    • Toiletries (forgot to add, but should have been a January goal) = $14.83. Picked up a super discounted, extra large container of conditioner + dishwasher tablets that were on sale.
    • Entertainment (didn't add as a January challenge, but should have) = $129.80. This is a lot for us! I spent $20 for my oldest son on Sunday, and we're all going to the Monterey Aquarium on Saturday. I bought tickets through my work to get a discount

How are you doing on your January challenge? All told, I'm pleased with my progress, although there's still *plenty* of improvements to consider for week 3!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Planning our menu in advance helps eliminate those last minute, after-work, "oh crap" moments, that lead to unplanned dinners out. ;-)

I'm happy to say that, since we've moved to California, we've had zero unplanned dinners out!! That's pretty huge for us.

Here's what's on the menu for the week:

  • Sunday - homemade pizza. Meatball for the adults, cheese for the kids.
  • Monday - stuffed peppers (bumped from last week)
  • Tuesday - chicken pesto pasta
  • Wednesday - Leftover pizza
  • Thursday - Leftover peppers
  • Friday - Baked chicken risotto
  • Saturday - Likely out to dinner. We were planning to do an overnight trip to Monterey with the kids, but we think we can do the drive back & forth in one day. That will save on the cost of a hotel, but we will likely eat breakfast & lunch out.
  • Sunday - Homemade pizza
  • Monday - (MLK day off for everyone). I may make another giant batch of taco meat. We'll have tacos on Monday & freeze the rest. I also plan to make homemade tortilla chips & guacamole. Yum!

What about you? What's on the menu for the week?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Night Chit Chat

Thanks to Carla for hosting!

I didn't get as much done today as I'd hoped, but I did get to spend some one on one time with Sam, while Nick was at a birthday party. Nick is a complete mama's boy, and Sam is usually off doing his own thing, so it was great to have a little alone time with my big boy. We went to the local arcade to celebrate a prize that he won at school last week - the good citizen award. :-) What boy doesn't like an arcade? :-)

This is an old picture of my boys, but I love it! Sam is on the right, Nick's on the left. :-)

  • Reading: I'm reading some sort of murder mystery on my kindle. It's so good that I can't remember the title. ;-) 
  • Listening to: The sound of the dishwasher!
  • Watching: Nada. We watched Brave with the kids earlier tonight. I have to admit, I really liked it!
  • Cooking/Baking: I made homemade pizza tonight (and roasted my own red peppers - YUM!), as well as homemade bread, and hummus. 
  • Happy you accomplished this week: Well, let's just say that I'm almost done with a 2014 goal already. After putting it off for four years (YES - FOUR YEARS!) I finally filled out all of the paperwork to have our wills, guardianships, POA, & living wills put together. They should be done by the end of the month. And, our vacation house is now listed. Wow! Talk about putting on my big girl knickers (love Elaine, over at Mortgage Free
  • Looking forward to next week: So happy for a three day weekend! We're taking the kids to Monterey to the aquarium, on Saturday I think. 
  • Thankful for today: having a handy husband. He repaired our brake pads & saved us a bunch of money. 
  • Bonus Question: If you could choose any time period to live in, what would you choose? I love this time - I feel very grateful to be alive now. 
What about you? How was your Sunday? Is there any big task that you've been putting off? Time to tackle it! I felt like a million bucks after I finally worked on our wills. 

Sunday Funday

Well, not really, but I'm going with it. Sundays are all about getting things done at our house. Similar to your house, I'm sure. :-)

Yesterday, we kicked off the day with power yoga, & then a bike ride to the state park. From there, the boys & I did a very challenging hike. It was awesome. I'm sure proud of them for making it up the steep switchbacks. We live way, way, way down at the bottom of that hill. It's about a 3 mile hike, with another 3 miles of biking. Tough boys!

I'm taking Nick to a birthday party this afternoon, so I've done pilates this morning & need to go for a walk as well. I'm currently roasting red peppers for the freezer, and need to prep our dinner for tomorrow night - stuffed peppers.

I just checked the MLS, and our house is officially listed & live! Woohoo!!! Super excited that we're finally making progress. :-)

What are you up to today? I need to update our budget a bit, tackle some laundry, and plan for the week ahead.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

We did it!

Our vacation house listing is approved & should be on MLS almost immediately.

This is a huge thing for me, as I really didn't want to sell. But, I know it's what we need to do for our family, and for us to eventually afford to buy a house in California.

Also, just looking at the calendar & planning/budgeting our next trip made me realize how infrequently we will use it.

We've had such a fabulous time with it, but now it's time to let it go. Fingers crossed that it sells quickly & painlessly.

And, a few pictures from our last trip, when Sam's best friend stopped by for a visit.

Tons going on today & this weekend, so more later, but . . . it's done!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January Challenge - One Week In

Thanks to Carla for hosting the no spend challenge. I always need a kick start to get things going after the holidays. :-)

I posted about my January challenge goals here, but here's a quick summary of how I'm doing after the first week!

  1. Lose 2 lbs. - I've lost 1.2 lbs. :-) 
  2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal. - Yes!
  3. Complete 1,000 minutes of cardio. - I'm currently at 240, so just a tiny bit off of my monthly goal. Oh, & I plan to workout today, so that should push me past my weekly goal.
  4. Complete 10 strength workouts. - I'm crushing this goal! I'm at 5 workouts. Woohoo!
  5. Complete 8 stretching workouts. - And, not so much on this one. I did my first yoga workout yesterday.
  6. Find a half marathon for the spring, and start the training plan. - I've done some research, but haven't finalized. I've also started running more to build up a base before I kickoff my training plan. 
  7. Have one date night with M. - We're having lunch this week, but I don't have an evening planned yet.
  8. Plan/do one social activity with friends. - Yes, I went to a speaking event with a friend yesterday, have a girls evening planned for tomorrow, and two social lunches planned!
  9. Save $1,000 towards our California house down payment fund. - Not yet. I  expect to be able to fund this with my bonus, coming in a couple of weeks. 
  10. Save $500 in boys college fund. - Done, on the last day of December, we actually put another 1% towards the boys college tuition credits (so, total of $688/per kid, or $1376 total).
  11. Pay $3,000 towards our mortgage(s) - We haven't made any mortgage payments yet. 
  12. Talk to my parents about potentially watching the boys for a 2014 vacation. - Yes, & I think we have dates selected! Just sent an email to my mom this morning about potential flights. I think we're driving to Napa. So excited!
  13. Work is very, very crazy & the schedule is not something I can handle long term with my health situation. I'm currently working 60+ hours during the week, & I'm on call every day. Every holiday. Every weekend Everything. It's way too much. I need to start figuring out a plan. - So far, things are easing up a bit, although it's not perfect. I'm working on managing my stress. After my coworker returns from leave towards the end of January, I should have a better sense of longer term implications. 

How am I doing on my planned budget cuts (January fiscal challenge)?

  • Trim our grocery spending down to $450 - We are one week in, and have spent $76, so at the 17% budget mark. In good shape to close out the month at $450. 
  • Trim dining out down to $75 (should just cover one date with M) - $0 spent so far!
  • Spend $0 on clothes for the kids + me. - $0 spent so far! 
  • Spend $0 on gifts, travel, personal, health, liquor, & house categories. - Here's how this breaks out:
    • I did spend $2.07 on toiletries ( a super on sale giant conditioner at Rite Aid, to use up a reward). 
    • I will also be purchasing my mom's flight whenever we land on dates. It will come out of our planned 2014 travel expenditures. 
    • The boys also got $30s of haircuts (3 haircuts, $10/each) on the weekend. We had intended to do this before Christmas, but ran out of time - hence the January expense.
    • I may also have some medical/health expenses that need to be paid, but should get reimbursed.
I feel pretty good about the progress so far! What about you? How are you doing at the end of week one? Staying focused? Areas for improvement? I need to add some more challenging goals for the rest of the month. I think I sandbagged myself. ;-) 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Trying to get back in the habit of regular meal planning again. Here's what we're planning on having this week!

  • Monday - Homemade pizza. I made dough yesterday, so this should be easy after work. I'm thinking artichokes, roasted pepper, & meatballs for the adults, & cheese for the kids. With veggies & hummus on the side.
  • Tuesday - Leftover burgers + homemade buns.
  • Wednesday - Tilapia/chicken (adults/kids) + pasta with pesto sauce.
  • Thursday - Stuffed peppers. I'll roast whatever is left. 
  • Friday - leftover pizza.
  • Saturday - leftover peppers.
  • Sunday - Likely, grilled chicken. If not, spaghetti sauce from the freezer.
What about you? What's on your menu for the week? How are you keeping your costs down this January? I'm trying to do my same old plan - staying out of the stores, except for my weekly shopping trip (to avoid impulse purchases), sticking with a relatively core menu, and making as much at home as possible. And, reducing food waste. We're getting MUCH better about this one!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Busy in the kitchen & trying new things on a Sunday

It's been a super busy & productive day, & I'm exhausted! :-) We got up this morning, & after breakfast, decided to harvest the rest of the ripe produce. We typically do this 1x/month to avoid the fruit rotting and falling off the trees.

What we picked today:

And, here's what I made. I juiced over 100 lemons & oranges. With a hand cranked juicer. I'm considering that my strength workout for the day. ;-) Check out this epic lemon!

The avocados will go on the counter to ripen, along with the six others. Fun fact about avocados - they don't ripen on the tree. I kept waiting for them to ripen, feeling them on the tree for about a month. Finally, I did some research online. You need to wait for the avocado to grow to a large size (my Haas are giants!) & then pick. Ripen in a brown paper bag with a banana. It typically takes at least a week, sometimes up to 10 days to ripen. We'll be making guacamole for the next few weeks!

And, post-harvesting, here's our mandarin tree. Love this fruit. How gorgeous are they, all cut up & ready for juicing? (We juice rather than eat raw, as the kids struggle with the seeds. The adults eat them raw. ;-))

After the fruit was juiced, I whipped up these amazing hamburger buns (thanks, Carla, for the recommendation!). We had them with grilled burgers tonight & they were absolutely fantastic. I used some of the leftovers for school lunches (groan, back to lunch packing with school starting again tomorrow).

I also made homemade pizza dough. I was planning to make pizza tonight, but after the buns turned out so well, I decided to switch up the menu & take advantage of the gorgeous day. I ran to the store to grab ground beef, & Nick & I discovered a huge sale on pasta - $.25/package. Pasta is probably our number one staple in our house, so we picked up 10 packages. I hope to go back this week for more. In other news, we found this GIANT bag of spring mix salad for $1.49 at the local produce stand (note the highlighter for size reference).

We also took the kids to the elementary school, to roam around on their scooters, & I ran laps. Three miles, so not a huge run, but very enjoyable in the sunshine.

I also tried my hand at homemade hummus (again, yum! I need to tweak the recipe a bit, but it was great!) Served with cucumber, broccoli, & a few pita chips.

And, on to the chit chat! Thanks, as always, to Carla for providing the inspiration!

  • Reading: A book on my Kindle - "To Dye For", I think? 
  • Listening to: The boys, playing Kinect Bowling.
  • Watching: Ditto above.
  • Cooking/Baking: I made so much - hamburger buns, hummus, pizza dough, & juiced 200 citrus fruit. . .
  • Happy you accomplished this week: Happy I survived my first week back, even if it was just two days.
  • Looking forward to next week: Getting back into a routine. I'm hoping to spin a few times, and do some yoga. Also, I have a girls evening planned on Wednesday!
  • Thankful for today: I'm thankful for a happy, healthy family, & the energy to work in the kitchen & enjoy my life.
  • Bonus Question (do you like any winter sports): Absolutely! We love skiing. I got a late start (I was 25 when I learned), so I'm very average, but love it just the same.
And, in "living in the moment" news, I was off on a leisurely walk in the sunshine on Friday, when I started getting "urgent" text & calls from work. I was responding on my phone, when I looked up & almost tripped over a deer! It was only about five feet from me, & I hadn't even seen it. Let that be my lesson for being distracted by work in the midst of such gorgeous scenery.

Happy Sunday! What did you do today?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The great January clean out begins, and first harvest of 2014

We spent the first three hours of our day cleaning out the kids rooms. Phew! So much in there that needed to come out. M is about to head to Goodwill with five large shopping bags of stuff, plus a giant bin. Lots of outgrown clothes, toys, & books.

I also tidied up a closet, and discovered a few potential eBay items, which I hope to use to offset my girls Las Vegas trip this summer. Time to start thinking about snowflakes again - financial ones, at least. :-)

I also picked our first batch of 2014 fruit from our garden:

  • 8 Valencia oranges
  • 12 lemons
  • 9 mandarins
  • 8 small oranges (variety unknown)
  • 6 avocados

Now, to figure out what to do with all of the bounty! 

Other things on the agenda for the day:

  1. Haircuts for the kids.
  2. Making a couple of dinners for the freezer.
  3. Figuring out what to do with all of the fruit.
  4. Yoga, weights, & a run.
  5. Bake bread.
  6. Take the kids to an arcade - they have gift cards. ;-)
  7. Hit Rite Aid to use a $2 reward that's about to expire. 
  8. Pick up cucumber at the produce stand.
  9. Start working on our wills and/or taxes. Both are super fun projects, so I'll do whichever one I'm most in the mood for. Good times around here!
  10. Organize my pantry.

That's a wrap - on to accomplishing more today. What about you? What's on your weekend agenda?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 End of Year Net Worth Update

We've been tracking our net worth since mid 2010, and it's nice to see it continue to rise, despite all of the changes in our lives.

Year over Year Changes/history:

2013 End of the Year Net Worth -
Drumroll . . . $1,234,033. We're up almost exactly $300,000 from last year - helped primarily by the giant uptick in the stock market, and paying down our mortgages.

Here are the nitty gritty details (note that we don't include employer stock options, as they are on an extended vest):

-$939,808 (property loans). We're below the $1 million mark! Woohoo!

+Seattle house value - $1,045,000
+Vacation house value - $400,000
+Retirement savings - $701,616
+Cash - $28,505
Total assets = $2,175,124

Assets - Liabilities = $1,234,033.

All told, we're up almost 200% since our first official tracking in September of 2010, when our net worth was $628,009. I would like to retire (meaning, move to a part-time job) at 50, which is 13 years away. My health will dictate if this is realistic. M has no plans of retiring, and he'll be 47 this year.

We have lots of plans for the year ahead. . . we hope to sell our vacation house (well, plan to, I certainly don't hope to sell it, but you know what I mean), continue to accumulate cash so we can purchase a home in California, & potentially adjust our retirement savings over the next few years so we can build a downpayment.

Do you track your net worth? What are your plans to increase it this year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goals for the week - kicking off January!

I like to kick start the new year with a big list of goals, since my motivation is typically higher. ;-) Here's what I'd like to get done this week:

  1. Get in 5 workouts, of all three types (cardio, strength & stretching)!
  2. Plan my half marathon & get a training plan.
  3. Email a friend for lunch.
  4. Figure out our vacation plans for the year. I'd hoped to do this yesterday, but we may need to cancel all of our vacations so that M can fly to Dubai to visit his father. He's ill & can't travel. That trip will wipe out our travel fund for the year. 
  5. Inventory the freezer for next week's meals & shopping list. 
  6. Cancel a subscription service that was once, very long ago, a gift for my dad. I hadn't intended to pay for the subscription (it was a one time gift), but long story short, I've been paying $200/year for the past seven years. Anyway, the device attached to the subscription finally died, so I get to cancel! :-)
  7. Call the realtor & get next steps together to list our vacation house!
  8. Average 1450 (or lower) calories for the week.

Woohoo - here's to a great first month of 2014!

What are you hoping to tackle this week or month? What's on your short list of "must dos"?

2013 Fitness Details

First of all, Happy 2014! May the year ahead be fabulous for all of us. :-)

We hung out with the kiddos last night, & I tried a new crostini recipe that Michael found online. It was amazing! If you need a good party appetizer, try this artichoke & goat cheese recipe. Yum! We have leftovers, so I'm thinking of serving it with pasta, and/or maybe as the base of a pizza sauce. . . *drool*

We started off this morning with a 5K family fun run. Nick & I shaved a minute off of our turkey trot time, but Sam learned the valuable life lesson about staying up late, sleeping in, & not getting a chance to digest breakfast before your run. Live & learn!

One of my goals for 2013 was to track my calories daily. I'm not doing this because I'm obsessing over every bite that I eat (clearly. See August. And December), but because I like using a data driven approach to understand why my weight loss has stalled. Below is a chart showing my daily average for each month, as well as the total calories consumed in that month. As you can see, the numbers were all over the map. This was very enlightening for me, as I thought I was both averaging 1,500/day and remaining pretty consistent over the year. Clearly not the case!

Daily AverageTotal

My low weight for the year was 142 pounds in May, and my  high was in January at 150. I haven't weighed in yet today (too busy getting the crew ready for the run this am), but I'll get that information to start off my progress. I've mentioned before that getting to 135 is very important for my health, due to a prescription that I take. 

My goal for 2014 is to average 1500 calories/day, and be more consistent. 

In 2013, I completed 10,148 minutes of cardio, 90 strength, & 46 stretching workouts. I need to improve this in 2014!

I have a bunch of tasks on my to do list today, as I head back to work tomorrow. Yes for a short, two day work week! :-)

Tasks for today:
  1. Return a few things at the mall
  2. Complete & strength & stretching workout.
  3. Update all of my spreadsheets for 2014
  4. Work with the kids to send out thank you notes for their Christmas gifts.
  5. Laundry
  6. Dinner - I'm making a yummy chicken rice pilaf.
  7. Pick the ripe fruit in the yard, and decide what we need to use up.
  8. Finalize our 2014 budget.
  9. Finalize our 2014 travel plans, and incorporate them into our budget.
  10. RSVP to a birthday party.
I think that should do it! What are you up to today? I love the first day of the year - getting all organized & ready for the months ahead. :-) Did you achieve your health goals in 2013? What are your plans for getting there in 2014?