Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Elf Yourself

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"The North Pole" -- our visit to Winter Wonderland 2012

Every year since Christopher was a baby we started taking him to a semi-local event called Rotary Winter Wonderland in Marshfield, WI.  (Yes. You read that right --- Marsh-field.  It's central Wisconsin where we're known for our marshes and our fields...hence the name!)   Christopher absolutely loves it!  This year he started asking if we were going to go to the "North Pole" again.  So I dressed them in their pajamas - per tradition - and picked up my mom and made the hour-long drive over there!

Winter Wonderland is indescribably amazing.  It's Twas the Night Before Christmas meets 
Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.  

Since I apparently cannot figure out how to get the pictures to go side-by-side you'll have to scroll down this ridiculously long post to see all of our pictures from our most recent adventure.  : ) 







 Christopher kept running from cutout to cutout! : ) 












NO FUNNY!

The past couple of days have been crazy.
I swear life is moving at 100mph and throwing curve balls left and right!  But it's ok.  It really just reminds me to take time and enjoy all of the small things.  

Some small things I've enjoyed in the past couple of days:
-- noodle fight in the garage with Christopher
-- painting Christmas crafts in the garage
-- going shopping with Mary
-- reading Dr. Seuss with the boys



I've finally run out of luck with dodging sickness and have picked up the nasty cold that's going around.  I sound like a 90-yr-old smoker and I feel like my head is inflated with helium -- always pleasant!  ; ) 

 Anyways... so as a result, I'm up late tonight watching the latest episode of NEW GIRL and I started laughing (really) loudly.  -- as you know we're staying up in WI right now and the boys and I are all in one room in the basement: me on the couch, Ryan in the pack-n-play and Christopher on his little cot. -- So I start laughing and Ryan pops up out of a dead sleep and gives me this completely mad little face and says,
"NO FUNNY!"
and then flops back down on his pillow.  I had to contain my next burst of laughter for fear of awakening the wrath of Captain Crankypants! hahaha.  Oh that was by far the highlight of the night  <3 font="font" nbsp="nbsp">




Monday, December 10, 2012

First Snow of 2012 -- Wisconsin



Today was the first actual snowfall I've seen for over a year!  Last Christmas it never snowed until the day we left Wisconsin to go back to Florida (go figure!  That put the kibosh on our snowmobiling plans!) 

It started to snow yesterday and then last night Christopher and I put our pillows on the opposite end of the bed at my mom's apartment so we could see out the window and fall asleep watching the snowfall. : )  I always love the sort of orange-y glow the sky gets whenever it's going to snow. It takes me way back to one Christmas Eve where the sky was glowing and I fell asleep waiting for Santa to come and woke up Christmas morning to find that we got a real "Christmas Snow" and everything was covered in glittering white powder!

I had to sweep (yes -- with a broom) snow off of my car this morning while wearing leggings, my stiletto heeled boots, and a gray flannel: sexy! hahaha  Actually I think that's the definition of "podunk"!  Mind you I had also slept in my extensions and the braid was coming undone so I was just one hot mess!  Got both of the boys in the car and then drove around looking at the idyllic snow scenes down by the river until the gas light on my car came on and I decided we should head back to the house so we could get dressed and then run uptown to purchase winter gear to go play outside!
  

After we made the trip to Wally World the boys and I headed over to Ripple Creek Park and played around in the snow for an hour!  We had a blast -- although at first Christopher was a little over tired and stubbornly refused to play for 5 minutes because he did NOT want to wear mittens!  Ryan only faceplanted a couple of times and he came up with white eyelashes and snow snicking to every part of that furry hat - poor kid!  The snow came up to his little knees but still he refused to be carried. 

 I'd ask him, "Ry do you want mommy to pick you up?"  and he gave me this look, pursed his lips, and turned the upper half of his body while mustering up every ounce of self-reliance and sass and saying, "Nnnn-OH!" ("No" --- but in Ryan's world the "n" is very drawn out and the "OH" is extremely pronouned)

Look at Ryan in his cute little outfit!  The Carhartt bibs Gigi bought him :) 
The rest of the day was rather uneventful and was actually spent trying to get the boys to nap!  I laid them down at 2pm and by 4 they still weren't sleeping. At 5 I decided it was time to give up and have dinner so we ate grilled cheese then it was back to sleepyland.  Turned on "Secrets of Yellowstone" from Netflix for some sleepy background noise: informational programs -- while extremely interesting --  always have the monotone that reminds me of movies we'd watch on Fridays in English class and immediately makes me sleepy.  It worked!  Both the boys and I fell asleep.  Then at 7pm I went out to socialize in the garage (the "hangout" here @ my dad's house!) only to get called by my dad that the boys were -- in fact -- awake and playing hide and seek under the stairs.

The rest of the night has been spent messaging back and forth with team members, working on my website, and of course...playing around with blogs / vlogs :)  Missing the hubsters a little -- I guess :)  I suppose that's always a good thing!  Sometimes we're both too darn independent for our own good.  But lately things have been coming together and I hope we're seeing more "eye-to-eye".  He's been stringing up Christmas lights and has a surprise for us.  I'm excited to get home:  I miss my house.  I miss my bed.  I miss my sanity.  I miss my office.  I miss my morning coffee on the porch.  I miss my space.  Basement life is just not cutting it for me.


-Sara-

                                 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

JustFab -- My New SEXY & TALL Boots that I got for $25 ...STEAL!



I've been boot shopping for well over a year and have searched countless stores but nothing really stood out to me.  The boots I purchased had to meet my criteria:

-- Has to look edgy and non-traditional
-- Must be an "off" color
-- Can't resemble cowboy boots
-- Can't look hooker-ish
-- Cannot be velvet or an extremely fake looking leather
-- Cannot have a chunky heel
-- No large buckles
-- Cannot be flat (I think those look like Peter Pan boots....)

Anyways....you can see where I was running into some problems.  And I was really cringing over the thought of spending $150 on a pair. Last night some fitness instructor in Cali that I follow was posting about her new pair of boots from JustFab.  I saw the website before but honestly thought it was a scam! (Because how could shoes so amazing be THAT cheap with no catches?!?)

Well -- it's because they're JUST FABULOUS!!!  As a New Member I got 1/2 off my first order if I ordered within 24 hours.  NO PROBLEM!  

$19.95  -- pair of boots listed below
$4.95 -- express shipping (arriving by Monday)
__________
$24.90 

Click this link to check out JustFab for yourself!!!  http://www.justfab.com/invite/ReferredBySara/








VIP Perks 
(The only "catch" is if you don't choose to "skip" a month by the 5th, you'll get charged $39.95 to shop with later.  That's not even a bad deal!  You can "skip" however many months you want and there is no minimum order amount.  As an extreme skeptic myself, I think this makes anyone happy!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

PINKspiration NYC / Dandelion Fuzzies / Daily Life



Put in my extensions yesterday for the 2nd time ever!!!

Weather: Sunny. Blue skies -- no clouds!  Chilly this morning.  Definitely starting to show signs of fall. The house smells like rust orange and burgundy (for those of you with non-colorful sniffers:  I'm melting Ginger Spice Cake and Apple Cinnamon candles throughout the house)
Mood: Headache......probably from caffeine deficiency due to the cleanse diet I'm doing this week!  A little grumpy and frustrated.  Trying to figure out how to be supermom / successful businesswoman / housewife / DIY master / chef.....not going so well!
Outfit:  HA!  Grey leggings and neon green sweatshirt with brown sweater boots  I laugh because I literally have NO fall clothes!  Haven't went shopping since 2006!  2007: college. broke: enough said!  2008: 7 months pregnant. Hello maternity clothes!   2009: size 14/16....wearing awkward hand-me-down clothes!   2010: 6 months pregnant. Hello more maternity clothes!  2011: FLORIDA!  I didn't need cold weather clothes!  2012: literally 2 pairs of jeans. 2 pairs of leggings. 2 pairs of sweatpants.  No sweaters. 1 hoodie. 1 sweatshirt that fits properly.  ~~~shopping~~~
Noteworthy happenings: Participating in the VSPink / Elle contest on Pinterest.  Grand prize winner gets $1000 shopping trip with an Elle stylist @ the new VSPink store in NYC.  Considering what I just posted above about not having any clothes?  ....it's worth a shot, right?!  : ) 


My PINKspiration - NYC Pinterest Board

--- Ryan took a nap all by himself in his big boy bed!  (see picture below)




                           

Thursday, September 20, 2012

U of M -- Washington Bridge ....Reminiscing



Absolutely gorgeous.  

Brings back memories of walking this bridge nearly everyday for 9 months while I was attending the U of M as a freshman.  LOVED the campus.  Absolutely gorgeous.  I miss this city just as much as I miss the ocean.  Maybe someday I can live in both!  Once the awful MN winters start I'll just migrate to my condo on the beach ; )   

Hey.  Dream Big or Go Home, right?

*photo from U of M Facebook   source

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fat Flush Diet Plan

Ok -- so I've had the request to post the Fat Flush Diet quite a few times and here's the general plan ...

FAT FLUSH FOODS:





The Fat Flush Diet is a combination weight-loss and detoxification diet that is made up of 3 Phases; Phase 1 is a restrictive "cleansing" diet that lasts for between 1 & 2 weeks, Phase 2 is a less-restrictive part of the diet that is maintained until desired weight-loss or size is achieved, and Phase 3 is a long-term lifestyle diet for maintaining weight.  The Fat Flush Diet also has a "Miracle Juice" that consists of a 24 hour fast where you can lose up to 8 lbs in one day by eliminating excess toxins and water retention! It calls for Cran-Water daily which reduces bloat and speeds detoxification.  Spices such as ginger, cayenne, mustard, and cinnamon speed metabolism (thermogenic) and balance insulin levels.  This diet utilizes the good fats to make the body more efficient and fortifies the digestive tract for maximum, sustainable weight loss.


***PHASE 1*** 1100-1200 calories maximum
Maintain for at least 1 week; if possible do the full 2 weeks
Detoxifies liver, fortifies digestive tract, decreases bloating, & reduces cellulite

AFTER WEEK 1 : Drink Miracle Juice for 1 day
AFTER WEEK 2 : Drink Miracle Juice for 1 day

DAILY DO'S
--- 8 glasses cran-water (1 part 100% cranberry juice + 4 parts filtered / purified water)
(detoxes body & balances hormones)
--- 1 glass alkalizing hot lemon water before breakfast (6-8 oz plus squeezed juice from 1/2 of a lemon)  decreases body's pH
--- 8 oz "Long Life Cocktail" (8 oz cranwater + 1 tsp ground / milled flaxseed)
--- GLA (gamma linolenic acid) supplement  Evening Primrose Oil
--- 1 egg / day
--- 2 portions of fruit
--- Unlimited raw / steamed veggies (from list: see below)
--- 1 lean protein for dinner (NO SALT!)
--- Herbs & Spices (see list below)
--- 20-30 min brisk exercise AND 100 jumping jacks (preferably in the morning to boost metabolism)
--- 8 hours of sleep
--- Eat every 3 hours
DIET DO NOT'S & FORBIDDENS (see complete list below)
--- Only 1 protein / meal
--- No fruits & veggies together
--- No milk & meat together
--- No caffeine (slows fat-burning process)
--- No alcohol (only during phase 1, counteracts the detox of the diet)
--- Avoid sugars, processed cereal, artifical sweeteners, & white carbs
--- No water with meals wait until 30 minutes before / after and consume fluids between meals (otherwise food becomes waterlogged & it's harder to digest and absorb proper nutrients)



***PHASE 2*** 1200-1500 calories maximum
This ongoing phase fo the fat flush diet is designed for continued weight loss with a more moderate cleansing program and a slightly increased variety of foods.  The caloric allownace is raised (depending on exercise habits).  Phase 2 is kept up until weight loss ro size is achieved.
Continue following foods and plan from Phase 1 but add 1 carb / week back into your diet:
--- sweet potato
--- brown rice
--- fresh or frozen peas
--- carrots
--- butternut squash


***PHASE 3*** 1500+ calories (depending on exercise levels)
Phase 3 is a lifelong weight-maintenance plan.  It consists of 40% whole grain / good carbs or starches, 30% lean protein, and 30% good  fats which can include up to dairy products per day (if you consume dairy) and 4 carbohydrates.  Some starchy veggies, fruits, gluten-free grains, dairy products, and more oils can be introduced back into the diet at a rate of 1 / week to check for any sensitivities!  (Food sensitivities are often the cause for unwanted bloating and water retention in the tissues and we don't realize it!  -----I finally realized that I'm sensitive to dairy after this diet!)


***FOOD LISTS***



Lean Protein
-- any fish or seafood
-- lean beef, veal, or lamb
-- skinless chicken or turkey
-- tofu
-- high-protein whey powder

Allowable Veggies
-- artichokes
-- asparagus
-- aubergine
-- bamboo shoots
-- beets
-- black olives without oil
-- broccoli
-- Brussel Sprouts
-- cabbage
-- cauliflower
-- celery
-- cucumbers
-- green beans
-- mushrooms
-- onions
-- peppers
-- radicchio
-- spinach
-- tomatoes
-- water chestnuts
-- parsley
-- kale
-- watercress
-- dandelion root tea

Allowable Fruits
-- blackberries
-- blueberries
-- cherries
-- cranberries
-- grapefruit
-- oranges & citrus
-- peaches
-- plums
-- raspberries
-- strawberries
these fruits are rich in anti-oxidants

Allowable Herbs & Spices
-- anise
-- apple cider vinegar
-- bay leaf
-- cayenne
-- cinnamon maintains & stabilizes insulin production
-- coriander
-- cilantro
-- cumin
-- dill
-- dried mustard
-- fennel
-- garlic
-- ginger
-- parsley
-- tumeric



FORBIDDEN FOODS DURING PHASE 1
-- oils & fats, except flaxseed oil
-- margarine
-- grains, bread, cereal
-- sugar, starchy veggies (beans, potatoes, carrots, corn, & peas)
-- dairy products
-- most herbs and spices except those from the list
-- alcohol


----------> MIRACLE JUICE RECIPE<----------
After weeks 1 and 2 drink this cocktail for maximum weight loss
GIVE UP SOLIDS FOR 1 DAY (24 hours) & DRINK THIS EVERY HOUR WHILE AWAKE
RECIPE:
-- 64 ounces Cran-Water: 8 oz unsweetened 100% cranberry juice to 56 oz purified water
(MUST be 100% Cran juice... either Knudsen's or Trader Joes.  NOT Ocean Spray, Northland, etc)
-- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-- 1/4 tsp EACH ground ginger and nutmeg
-- 3/4Cfresh squeezed orange juice (approx 3 oranges)
-- 1/4 C fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx1-2 lemons)
DIRECTIONS:
Bring cranberry water to a boil; reduce heat to low
Add cinnamon, ginger, & numeg
Let simmer 20 minutes; cool to room temperature
Stir in orange & lemon juices


 SAMPLE DAY: PHASE 1
-- Wake up, drink hot lemon water & do 100 jumping jacks
-- Prepare cran-water for the day
-- Drink Long Life Cocktail & prepare breakfast (wait 30 min before eating after drinking cocktail)
-- 2 scrambled eggs (1 egg, 1 egg white) with spinach, onion, & parsley; wait 30 min
-- 1 glass cranwater & 20-30 minute walk
-- SNACK: 1/2 large grapefruit
-- 1 glass cranwater
-- LUNCH: 4 oz salmon w/ lemon & garlic, steamed asparagus, & broccoli floret salad
-- Wait 20-30 min, 1 glass cranwater
-- 1 apple
-- Wait 30 min & cranwater
-- DINNER: grilled chicken with cinnamon & dried mustard (actually very good!), sauteed kale (use 1/2 TBS olive oil) & sauteed veggies from list if still hungry
-- cranwater



Sources:  Fat Flush Diet
Google Search

Thursday, September 13, 2012

INSANITY Meal Plan Weeks 3 & 4

So if you know me...you know I have a short attention span.  That applies to boring conversations, sports, and (sadly!) diet plans that have the same food.  I like variety!  I'm finding that the hardest thing for me to overcome right now is sticking to the meal plan.  The food is great and there's a great variety initially...but after following it for 2 weeks I'm already getting bored.  So I've added in some flexible foods and different recipes but am keeping it to 300 calories and all recipes will be FIT  : )  If you're curious about any particular recipe please email me!

Business email:  livelaughwrap@gmail.com

Also -- my weight loss is NOT where I wanted it to be after following the INSANITY plan almost exactly for nearly 2 weeks and -- although I haven't done the INSANITY workout every day I still did a workout and picked up where I left off with the Insanity Plan. On the days I had to skip INSANITY (I was so sore I could barely move much less do plyometric circuits!) I did Zumba and Yoga instead.  According to the INSANITY calculations I did for my weight loss I should be eating 1800 calories / day.  I'm not sure why; but I've actually gained weight.  Seriously.  2 lbs.  I'm assuming (and hoping!) it's muscle because I'm feeling more toned.  However, I'd really like to lose weight.  So I'm nixing some of the meals and replacing them with lighter meals like sauteed veggies instead. Feel free to replace them with other things from the Insanity Plan if you're not looking to cut calories!  

I'm using Noom to track my workouts and food intake.  Download the app!  It's amazing!



Friday, September 7, 2012

Sometimes "C" is for COFFEE

                                                          
Well my love / hate relationship with coffee is in the "love" stage again...at least for today!  It's been 54 days since I've last had coffee.  Out of nowhere I just didn't want to drink it anymore!  I didn't want to smell it or even be anywhere near it.  It was so weird because never once did the caffeine withdrawal headaches make their ugly appearance. 

Today, however, I woke up and all I wanted was coffee.  Coffee.  Coffee.  Maybe because this is one of the first brisk mornings that actually feel like fall and all I want to do is stand outside and watch the sunrise while holding a steaming cup of joe.  Or maybe it's because I have terrible allergies and am seriously dragging @$$ today.  Who knows.  But I drove myself and my muddy boys over to the podunk gas station on the corner and grabbed a 1/2 Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino 1/2 mild coffee and downed that sucker like free shots on a 21st birthday.  Must say -- for a gas station coffee it wasn't that bad!  (I guess it helps that I can barely taste anything either thanks to these terrible allergies!)

And -- of course -- Pumpkin Spice always reminds me of my hubby and the first time we actually really talked to each other way back in high school when he knocked over my cappuccino in first hour creative writing class   <3 font="font">




         

OK.  And while I was making THAT video here is what the boys were doing :)  Thanks Isaac --- my boys are having a blast in our muddy driveway thanks to all the rain you dropped off this past week!  




         


Monday, September 3, 2012

We Ate Dinner in a CAVE! -- The Cave Restaurant, Richland MO


                               


Photos of The Cave, Richland


Photos of The Cave, Richland

                                                                              This photo of The Cave is courtesy of TripAdvisor





Photos of The Cave, Richland

                                       This photo of The Cave is courtesy of TripAdvisor

        View the pictures from Picasa HERE

                                


Mountain Lion Decor -- my photo

Mountain Lion!!!  Rawr -- my photo

The "Ofus"  --- I think this was a spoof on "office" 

Waiting on dinner

Ryan and Robert on the boardwalk

Ryan inside of the restaurant

Christopher outside of the old-time shops : ) 

The menu

I think the canoe floats sound so fun!!!
9 miles down a gravel road in the middle of nowhere!!! 


Spiral staircase that's an emergency exit to the back of the cave.  I believe this is where
the rickety old ladder used to be placed in the 1920's where teenagers would climb up
and use the cave as a dance hall! 
The Parking Lot

The water fountain & fish pond

Hot baked bread & whipped butter

Calamari (nothing compares to fresh seafood in FL!)

The ceiling right above our table : ) 

So excited for his hot chocolate!!!

My yummy dinner salad with homemade bleu cheese dressing

Rates for float trips

The original founder of the resort in the early 1900's

Dave was a cow farmer (or whatever you call them) in the 1980's
and was sick of it.  He decided to buy the old resort.  This is what he said upon
exploring the cave and decided to turn it into the restaurant that it is today!

Hot chocolate.  Perfect drink for a cave! 









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