10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

The past two weeks have been FULL in a very good way.

We actually started this week out at Magic Kingdom on Monday. We spent the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Tuesday, then got up on Wednesday and drove to Animal Kingdom to squeeze in a few more hours of fun before flying home to Chicago on Wednesday night.

I’ll share more about our trip in another post, but we spent a total of ten days in Florida and loved every minute of it! Okay, we weren’t excited about the insane heat and humidity that greeted us every day, but other than that, it was a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime vacation!

make-a-wish-epcot

I decided not to set goals while we were away, because what’s the point? :)

Now that we’re back home, though, I need to get back into working on my weekly goals. And I need to pay particular attention to my goal of waking up BEFORE the children.

I slept in today, and, as a result, my morning didn’t feel very peaceful, if you know what I mean. It seemed like everyone either needed something or had a question to ask mama…through the bathroom door.

So, yes, after today, I’m definitely ready to get back in the saddle!

And here’s what I’m planning on tackling this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan Breanna’s birthday celebration — We keep things low key, and it’ll just be our family of seven. But still…her birthday will feel a whole lot more special with a bit of planning ahead.

Personal Goals:

3. Start a prayer journal

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Get up by 6:00am every morning

Home Management Goals:

7. Sew my slipper

8. Fill a bag with items to donate

Business Goals:

9. Return emails

10. Write a blog post recapping David’s Make-A-Wish trip!

What are your goals for this week?

Join Us for the #MyMarianos Twitter party!

Twitter-Party-Disclosure-2014 #MyMarianos-Twitter-Party-9-15

Do you enjoy a good Twitter Party?

I sure do. ;)

And that’s why I’m excited to host a Twitter party about back to school shopping! On September 15, 2014 at 8:00pm CT, I’d love for you to join us for the #MyMarianos Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing quick and easy back-to-school meal solutions from Mariano’s, and giving you a chance to win prizes!

Of course, back to school means busy schedules for the whole family, but shopping at Mariano’s can provide the shortcuts you need when it comes to meal planning. From everyday lunch essentials, to busy weeknight meals and snacks, Mariano’s has a department to fit your needs. Join us for a super fun Twitter party where we’ll be discussing these things and so much more. Plus, learn about exciting new events at your local Mariano’s, a sweepstakes to celebrate their four year anniversary, and even about new Vero Gelato flavors!

Join me and RSVP for the #MyMarianos Twitter Party on SoFabChats!
DATE: September 15, 2014

TIME: 8:00 – 9:00 pm CT / 9:00 – 10:00 pm ET

PRIZES: 5 – $100 Mariano’s Gift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 – $50 Mariano’s Gift Card

HOSTS: @SweepTight, @JManMillerBug, @grandbabycake, @AFewGoodJens, @thesensiblemom

SPECIAL GUEST: @MarianosMarket

RULES: #MyMarianos Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID: #MyMarianos Twitter Party Page

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP: How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!

How I’m Using the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport Smartphone to Make Workouts and Eating Healthy Easier

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint. I received a sample device to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating. #SprintMom

Learn how the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Smartphone can make workouts and eating healthy easier and more enjoyable! #Tech

For the past three years, I’ve been working on losing weight and eating healthy.

It’s been quite the journey…full of failures and successes. I have loved my scale and hated it. I have been at my lowest weight in about 14 years — only to gain 10 stubborn pounds that simply wouldn’t budge.

Sure, I can blame the weight gain on the roller coaster that life has been the past year, but when the roller coaster became a lot less unpredictable, I found myself with no more excuses. It was time to focus on my health again and lay off the unhealthy foods, especially now that I have the time to make good-for-you food at home.

A Tool for Workout and Healthy Eating Success

I’ve said in the past that I’m NOT a fan of counting my calories. When I was a young girl, I enjoyed keeping track of the calories I consumed, and I actually lost 30 pounds doing just that. This was before I had children.

After my first baby was born, I tried to count calories like I had in the past, but I failed. Every time. I’d forget to write down what I ate, or I’d just plain be too busy and let the whole thing fall by the wayside.

Fast forward to today, since Sprint sent me Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport Smartphone, I feel like I’ve discovered “calorie counting” of the future! It’s true. The features included in this particular smartphone create for me a very powerful lifestyle tool that’s not only helping me to begin losing weight again (after a long plateau), but also motivating me to get back to strength training.

That’s right, the resistance band is out of retirement. ;)

Smartphone Features to Love

There’s so much that I love about the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport Smartphone. For instance, there’s the Sprint Fit Live feature that makes it super easy to access your fitness apps or simply get up to date on the latest health news that interests you.

Learn how the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Smartphone can make workouts and eating healthy easier and more enjoyable! #Tech #HealthThen there’s S Health, which happens to be the app I use to track what I’m eating and the amount of calories that are in the foods I consume.

Learn how the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Smartphone can make workouts and eating healthy easier and more enjoyable! #Tech #Health

It literally takes minutes (or seconds) to record foods in S Health and see how I’m doing as far as my calorie intake for the day. I love the way this particular app does most of the work for me and allows me to save foods that I eat regularly as “frequent” foods.

Learn how the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Smartphone can make workouts and eating healthy easier and more enjoyable! #Tech #Health

Super easy.

Learn how the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Smartphone can make workouts and eating healthy easier and more enjoyable! #Tech #Health

Now MapMyFitness is an app you may already be familiar with. I’d heard of it but never used it myself. Now that I am using it, however, I can see how helpful it is because of the way it allows you to track workouts and your calories burned. I’ve used it to record some of my walks on the treadmill, and I’m still working on learning more about the good stuff in this app.

DID YOU KNOW? You can have more fun during your workouts when you use the Sprint Framily plan and get 3 months of Spotify premium for free!

Learn how the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Smartphone can make workouts and eating healthy easier and more enjoyable! #Tech #Health

So there you have it. I’m using the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport Smartphone to get back to a healthier lifestyle.

And it’s working. :)

Do you use fitness or healthy living apps?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Even though I set goals late last week, I didn’t do all that bad getting things crossed off my list.

It helped that we spent most of the weekend at home. We did have a long day away on Friday, because we had to drive to Chicago for a regular appointment with David’s stem cell doctor. We ran a few errands on the way home, but didn’t get to everything we’d hoped to before traffic and hunger started to get the best of us. ;)

Then on Sunday, we went out to shop for groceries and things we need for our upcoming trip to Florida for David’s wish. But other than that, I spent the rest of the weekend planning, cooking, cleaning, watching movies, and eating.

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini muffins — I ran into a few problems with the zucchini. First, it seems they froze having been in a bag towards the back of the refrigerator. I noticed that some of the pre-made mashed sweet potatoes I’d put in bowls for later also had icicles on them, so we obviously needed to adjust them temperature of the fridge. ;)

Anyway, I had set the zucchini out to thaw, and afterwards, they just didn’t look good. So I decided not to make zucchini muffins after all!

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Go to bed by 11:00pm the rest of this week — Oh man. I failed miserably at getting to bed by 11:00pm, but I am going to bed earlier overall. I’m also getting up earlier, which is my ultimate goal. I want to get to bed at a reasonable time, so that I can be up and ready before most of the kids are up.

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms

8. Finish homeschool planning

Business Goals:

9. Rework my home/work/homeschool schedule in Google Calendar

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts — I’ve been letting this slip, but now that I’ve reworked my schedule, I’m hoping to cross this off next week. :)

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Night

Personal Goals:

3. Finish reading  Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Get up by 6:00am every morning — So far, so good! I woke up when my alarm clock went off at 6:00am today.

Home Management Goals:

7. Sew two items that need it

8. De-clutter my desk

Business Goals:

9. Shoot and edit photographs for an upcoming post

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

It’s Thursday. Yes, I know.

I should’ve written this post and published it on Monday. I’ll blame my lateness on the endless dishes that need to be washed, getting ready to start our new homeschool year, and the many impromptu family nights that seem to keep happening so that we can squeeze in more Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies.

(I love family nights, by the way. :) )

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Go shopping for clothes to wear on David’s wish trip! I need to pick up some things for myself and the kids.

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill — I ended up logging around 45 minutes on the treadmill. Now if the treadmill had been located in front of the television, then I’d have made my goal easily. ;)

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub — I’ve decided not to finish this book and instead just work on going to bed earlier, so that I can wake up before my kids. I made it to bed before 11:00pm last night (big accomplishment), and next week, I’m going to try to be up by 6:00am every morning.

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum stairs

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Shoot and edit photographs for an upcoming blog post

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts — I didn’t write every day, but having this as a goal has definitely made a difference.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini muffins

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Go to bed by 11:00pm the rest of this week

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms

8. Finish homeschool planning

Business Goals:

9. Rework my home/work/homeschool schedule in Google Calendar

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Child Hunger Ends Here: Map the Meal Gap and How We Can Help

This is a sponsored collaboration with The Motherhood and Child Hunger Ends Here
to bring awareness to child hunger in our country.

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)

When I read the online headlines or simply check my Facebook news feed, it seems like there’s no shortage of bad things happening in this world.

They’re everywhere. And it all seems so overwhelming.

I’m sure you know a lot of the headlines I’m eluding to, but one particular issue that has my attention right now is child hunger. To be more specific, child hunger that’s happening here in the United States — in our own backyard.

Child Hunger Ends Here Program

Last month, I talked about the Child Hunger Ends Here program and how you can easily make a difference in a child’s life by simply buying foods your family already loves and entering the codes found on certain products into the widget in my sidebar.

For those families and others across the country, every meal counts, and you can help! You can continue to visit the Child Hunger Ends Here website to enter codes found on participating ConAgra Foods product packaging through August 28, 2014.

Each code represents one meal for a child who needs it!

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)

Map the Meal Gap

This month, I want to show you one way you can get an idea of how child hunger impacts your state and even your local community by using this hunger map. I checked my home state of Illinois and found that there are nearly two million people that are food insecure! That simply should not be true! :(

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)The hunger map actually lets you take things a step further and allows you to see how many people need meals in your local community. This was also eye-opening for me.

DID YOU KNOW? Child hunger is an issue that is closer than you think. You can find hunger statistics for your area on the Child Hunger Ends Here website.

Just select your state and county from the interactive map and learn more about your neighbors struggling with hunger and the food banks that serve them.

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)
Teachable Moments

I’ve been working on planning our home school year, and I’m going to add a lesson on child hunger and what we can do about it. I’m hoping my kids take it to heart and it becomes teaching that sticks with them for a long time to come. :)

Did you check out the hunger map for your area? What are some ways you’ve helped fight hunger in your local community?

A Quick 1 to 2 Minute Survey

Would you be willing to take a quick 1 to 2 minute survey to help gauge awareness about child hunger? If so, head on over here to share your thoughts. Thank you kindly.