Monday, July 30, 2012

Health and Fitness

I wanted to do an update for my weight loss. Basically, I haven't lost anything. Kinda went off track for a (long) while, but now things are back in motion. Here is my plan of attack:

Sticking with weight watchers for the diet side. At least for now. It is still the easiest way for me to conveniently stick to something, because I can still eat what I normally would. My brother is trying to lose some weight too, so we are keeping each other accountable and helping each other out a bit. It helps we are both putting some moolah in a pot and having a little competition between now and Christmas too. :)  So I am counting my points and focusing on eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies, drinking lots of water, and exercising. 

Which leads to the next part: fitness.  I am super excited about a new goal I have set! It sounds crazy and lofty, but I am entering a mini triathlon. I realize that my fitness level is very low, but that is the great thing about this particular race - it is "mini." Although there are still three events, they are all condensed from a regular triathlon race. The layout is a 250 yard swim, 9 mile bike ride, and 2 mile walk/run. The first time I did the swimming I finished in 10 minutes which I thought was really good til I googled how long it should take an average person and it said 30-60 seconds, haha. Haven't started bike training yet, and the 2 mile walk/run (which I will definitely be walking) is old hat. 

I know doing all 3 things back to back will be a challenge, but the individual events are not intimidating on their own. I think the time I spend training will easily prepare me to finish without pushing my back and knees too far. And my goal is simply that - to finish. I am not concerned with how long it takes me, just finishing. I am the world's slowest swimmer (so it would seem), don't even have my own bike (am borrowing one from a friend), and walk like a granny. But I don't care! I am not going to worry about all of the major athletic people who will be there probably wondering why someone like me is doing it, I am simply going to focus on meeting a fitness goal I think is reachable with consistent preparation. 

The name of the race is Ramblin' Rose and is held in Charlotte. I am planning to go down the night before with a friend and after the race reward myself with some IKEA shopping. :) 

I am so excited to be doing a real race like this, I have only ever done a 5k. Jason has been really supportive too. My back has given me a bit of a slow start, but my chiropractor has given me the go ahead to start slow. 

Please feel free to ask about how I am doing with these goals! One of the reasons I am blogging about it is so people will ask and keep me accountable. I appreciate each of you being supportive! :) 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What's Up?

Here's what's up in the Caranci household:

1. My back is out, Jason is playing stay at home dad, I'm headed to the chiropractor this afternoon. 

2. The kids have been awesome this week - Harry especially seems to be breaking into some new habits including playing happily, being more content, and being more obedient. 

(yes, I realize this is the back of his head but isn't it so cute?) 

 3. It is REALLY hot. We are trying not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary. I can't wait for fall!

4. We have still been trying out new recipes, including french toast muffins for breakfast on Saturday. They were good. 

 5. We confirmed this week that Jason's sister (Joanna) is coming to visit for a WEEK over Labor Day!!! And...we get to go to the beach while she is here! Plus (as if it could get better), our closest friends (Glenn and Rebecca) get to go to the beach too! Gonna be a great time. 

6. My grandmother has been in the hospital since last Thursday for dehydration and a reaction to some medication. She still isn't home, and the kids are missing her like crazy. She seems to be slowly recovering. 

7. Although I hate Grammy is in the hospital, I'm really excited that my Mom is coming into town this week to stay for a few weeks to help them. That means we get to see her too! 

8. We are doing some little things around the house, and I even picked up painting again. I took a long hiatus after spending months painting the entire house and I finally feel ready to finish up the trim. I'm already tired of it again. 

9. I am excited about my current exercise regime and the next blog post will be all about it.

10. It's time for lunch. :)  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Just a Few Random Shots

For some reason I seem to have an abundance of pictures of Eden, but not so much Harry. Maybe because he is harder to catch! Here's just a couple of random shots from this week. :) 

Eden's red tongue after trying fruit punch:

Her first experience with headphones, she loved it!

Sharing the ear buds. :) I love her look of concentration:

And a bonus shot of Harry boy - his latest favorite thing is to sit in the basket for the kitchen toys:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Recipe Reviews

I have been trying to experiment with some new recipes to get out of the same old, same old all the time. Here are reviews on 4 of my most recent newbies!

First up, Peanut Butter Fudge (found here, through pinterest).  I pinned this because it was a weight watchers recipe and I have been craving sweets recently. The recipe was somewhat time-consuming, but basically you brought the sugar mix to a boil:

Added confectioner's sugar, mixed well and spread out into a pan to refrigerate:

Then cut into squares:

I was super excited to taste them, but honestly they tasted exactly like our family's buckeye recipe (which is delicious!) but this recipe was more complicated. Next time I will just make the real deal. :) 

Next up is a Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake (again through pinterest, here). We had fresh blueberries from the farmer's market (Eden loves them). Jason was home on Saturday morning last weekend so I decided to make a special breakfast. This turned out really good, and was even better the second day. 

Saturday night we had Jason's best friend, Ken, over for practice (they sang a duet and I played for church the next morning) and dinner. I had made everything before except this chicken recipe, called Sweet Garlic Chicken. It was very tasty, although I think I needed to double the recipe for the glaze (I like a LOT of flavor). 

Served with green beans (with onions and bacon):

Potatoes au gratin, courtesy of Omaha Steaks (10 points if you can see the face):

And zucchini cornbread:

A recipe I have been wanting to try for a while is mashed cauliflower. I really don't like cauliflower but I have heard it is supposed to be a good switch from mashed potatoes. I gave my favorite paleo girl, Jennie's recipe a whirl and thought it was great! Jason wasn't a huge fan, but the more I ate it the more I liked it. Very light and fluffy, not so heavy as potatoes. It was a bit of a pain to make and it is a bit runny, but overall a good experiment. I will make it again, for sure (sorry the picture is in a leftover container, I forgot to snap shots as I prepared it):

Last up is not a recipe I tried, but a picture of what my sweet friend brought us for dinner one night (again my paleo friend, Jennie). We were supposed to have dinner with her and her husband last Friday, but after a very long and difficult week I rescheduled. She was so kind to offer to still bring her part of the dinner (basically all of it, minus the salad) and wow am I glad! It was DELICIOUS. She brought zucchini noodles and lamb meatballs. The house smelled so amazing when she dropped it off, I couldn't wait to try it - which is why I only have a picture (once again) of the leftover containers:

Now you are probably all hungry. :) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

House Projects

We have still been working in the house, little by little. One of the most recent things I have done is hung some decor in the dining room. This is a rubber mat, spray painted white. I am trying to decide whether to sand it some to copy the look from the website, or just leave it white. Opinions?

Sorry about the horrible pictures, you will have to use some imagination. :)  I got the idea from here, and thought it looked really pretty but still simple. Not to mention cheap! And I needed something somewhat large on that wall. I still need to add some sconces to each side, but then I think that will be it. I don't like to overdecorate, just to fill a huge space. Once the table is centered, new light fixture installed, etc., I think it will be a nice clean space.  

Eden and I also did some new decor for her room. She is all about ballerinas these days, so I thought it would be fun for her to paint some dance pictures on a couple of canvases. Here she is getting her creative side going:

These are just stick-on stencils from Hobby Lobby, leftover from a baby shower project. 

All done and ready to hang:

Here they are hung in her room above her changing table. This is the wall we eventually want to have the tree mural, so this looks fairly simple on such a large wall. Any ideas on how to help it look a little more beefy?

We also made her a little reading nook, as inspired by pinterest. Check out my inspiration here, herehere and here. The book shelves are just $5 spice racks from IKEA, spray painted white. The letters are from Hobby Lobby for $3 each.

As she gets older I would like to expand it to something like this with shelves around it, but for now it is a cute addition to her room decor. Plus, she loves saying the letters out loud to spell "read." :) 

Current projects include sconce hunting for the dining room, assembling an IKEA light fixture for the entry, spraying/hanging shelves (the same spice racks from IKEA) in our bathroom for my hair products and such, and a futon makeover. Pics and posts to come!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Catching Up

I know I have been somewhat MIA the last 10 days or so, but things have been a bit stressful around here. Harry has been going through a rough time, I think related to teething. He has been cranky, not sleeping (which means we weren't sleeping either), somewhat aggressive towards Eden and me, and overall difficult. I am happy to say it seems to have passed! Although I definitely think his temperament leans towards being stubborn, I really believe he did not feel good and was just acting out because of it. 

Anywho, that is my excuse for the lack of blogging. But this week will make up for it! I have several posts for this week, and this one starts the catching up. Basically this post is all about the kiddos - what they have been up to and pics I have been able to snap along the way. Enjoy!

Eden and me hanging out:

One of the few things that seemed to soothe Harry was hanging out in Eden's room, in her chair, watching TV (with his pacifier and blanket, of course):

Eden trying to help Harry feel better (she hates for him to be upset!):

The kids love wrestling together. These are some shots I got while they were into it one day. It was absolutely hilarious (please excuse Eden's extremely full diaper!):

Eden has been showing Harry how to climb and get into things, including the laundry basket:

This is their cart from Ikea...they took turns pushing/pulling each other around in it:

Harry likes his own chair pretty well, too:

This week we transitioned Harry into a booster seat instead of a high chair. Here is a shot of both kids eating at the "big" table together for the first time:

We are working with Harry to simply eat his food rather than picking up the entire plate and dumping it over. :) 

The last few days have been great with the kids, and makes the hard days (like last week!) disappear. I am so grateful for praying family and friends! :) 

Be back soon with more updates on our latest adventures. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July

This year we had a very low-key 4th of July celebration, but it was still great. Lots of family time! Usually we would get together with my grandparents, sister and her son, and Jason's dad, but this year they were all going in different directions (camps, work, etc.). So we decided to hang out, just the four of us! First on the list was a trip to our neighbor's pool:

Don't let the down faces fool you, they were excited! Just hot. :) 

After swimming for a bit, we came home for lunch and naps. Jason did some work around the house while I made out a grocery list. Really exciting stuff, I know!

In the evening, the church was hosting a cookout so we got everyone up and dressed and headed out:

I managed to snap one shot of the kids outside, dressed in their red, white and blue garb:

All in all we had a nice day, albeit extremely hot. By the time the cookout at the church was over we were all sweaty and tired. Not to mention Eden's run in with the pavement:

I was only going to post one pic of her knees, but then I decided you guys needed to see this girl's eye lashes:

Such a beauty, even with her eyes closed. :) 

We had a great time celebrating our country's freedom - I am so thankful for all of the soldiers who have fought/are fighting for us. I can't think of a better way to spend a day celebrating than being with my sweet family of four! (Unless all of our family could be here, of course :D )