Monday, January 21, 2013

Shakeology/ I work out!/ Updates

Hello, Bloggers!
Yes, yes, I know. It has been awhile. I've just really been slacking lately, huh? Well, here is an update! Enjoy! :)


          Have you ever heard of Shakeology? 

About three months ago, this really awesome gal named Amanda messaged me on Facebook. She had a question about a book that one of our favorite authors (Emily Giffin) wrote. Let me just say, I'm so glad she did! We've become pretty good friends talking back and forth on Facebook. We also discovered that we both enjoy working out, we are both moms, and we both enjoy just chatting with each other. :) Now, that you've read the back-story on how I met Amanda, let me introduce to you Shakeology. 

Amanda is a Beach Body Coach. Shakeology is one of the products that she sells. She mail me a sample of the Chocolate and Green Machine. They were both amazing! I've been searching for a meal replacement for a while. I haven't committed to anything yet because of moving and everything else my life has been a little hectic. BUT, after being able to try it (I'm really picky) I would have to say it is something I will be considering in the future to invest in. It was really delicious. I normally don't like meal supplements because despite blending them well, they always have a grainy/ chalky taste. Shakeology, however, does not! I tried the chocolate one night before bed. I got busy, and I forgot to eat dinner. I was starving. I put Shakeology to the test to see if it would actually fill me up. That is another thing I hate...when I'm still starving after having a meal replacement shake. Guess what? It passed the test! :) I loved it! Thanks to Amanda for sharing samples with me! 

I suggest everyone head over to her FACEBOOK and "friend" her or at least say "hello". She is a very motivated, fit, inspiring MOM. I love that about her! :) While you are at it, check out the SHAKEOLOGY website. 



W O R K O U T

As some of you know, I've been going to the gym and working out on a daily basis. I have always wanted to do a body competition after being a part of Gold's Gym and making some friends that compete. I never thought my body would ever be capable of looking normal again after having kids. I essentially just gave up on trying. I joined the gym in Forest Hills in November. I was a little down on myself, because I had a body fat percentage of 31%. It was "high" considering my height. I just got my percentage recalculated, and it is at 24%!--healthy! Woo-hoo! Despite everything else that is going on in my life, I feel the best when I workout. It makes me happy to be able to see results. I'm proud to be able to say "I did it!" With all that said, I'm going to attempt training for a competition. Yes, I'm saying attempt because my body fat will have to be between 8-10%. Ha, wish me luck! :) I will keep you updated, as always!

Miscellaneous Updates...
  •  I've learned a few lessons in life since last updating. Yup, life is all about learning, right? I've learned never to feel the need to explain myself. If I feel a certain way, or if want to do something--then I should (and will) do it. If you don't like it? Too bad. 
  • I've learned to let things go. I can try my best to explain things and make them right, but if you don't understand (and I'm not asking you to), then that is okay. I respect you and your decisions to do what you want. You have the right to make a choice, as do I. 
  • I've learned it is so much easier to do laundry every two-three days. Yes, we have that much laundry. 
  • I've been reading a book about the laws of attraction. It is really interesting, and I will probably be making a separate post about it when I'm done. Basically, what you want to attract, you will. Are you attracting positive or negative things in your life? Again, you have the ability to make that choice. 
  • I've learned a little bit of my self-worth this past week. I'm trying each day to love myself more. I'm thankful for the people in my life who have instilled this important concept in me. You don't know how much you have helped me regain the confidence I once had. 
  • NEVER, and I repeat...NEVER go to Toys R Us by myself EVER again. Yeah. Long story.
  • I have decided to go back to school in March. Guess what? I'm SEVEN credits short of completing my Associate Degree. Ha, I didn't even know. I know, I know, how could I not know? Well, because I've transferred so many times I wasn't accounting for combined credits from all of the universities I've attended. This was some amazing news to me! I feel like the first time in my life I know what I want to do. Yes, ME, MYSELF, AND I..(ASHLEY)...I know what I want to do in life. Are you ready for this? I'm going to major in psychology. I'm then going to do the Master's program at Queens College in social work. :) I'm beyond excited. I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! 
  • I've learned the importance of laughing and being my silly self. I met another mom that is truly amazing, and she is so fun to talk to. I love laughing with her and being silly. It is me. I've actually met a few people that I feel like I can just be myself around. It is great. I've also reconnected with a few friends from high school that I'm so happy after all these years we can talk about anything and everything. :) 
  • I hate the rain. I hate walking in the rain. Enough said.
  • I'm writing a book. I think some of you might have known this already? It has been so much fun writing it. I don't know where it will end up, but the select few that have read parts of it really enjoyed it. On a side-note...I do not like typing it. I've been writing it in a notebook, and transferring it over the computer is a pain.
  •  I have bruises all over my legs. I have no idea where they came from. They hurt. Has anyone ever used a foam roller pre-workout? I'm thinking maybe that is what is causing it? Is that healthy?
  • I CAN PARALLEL PARK! I CAN DO A PRETTY GOOD JOB AT IT TOO! I will post a picture later. (It is on my other computer). 
  • I'm excited for spring and summer to get here. I'm simply obsessed with all the super-cute pastel stuff that I'm seeing displayed in windows. Come on, March! I'm waiting for you! 
  • No, I have not watched Vampire Diaries yet. Yes, I plan on hopefully watching it by this Thursday. If anyone would like to take the responsibility of bugging me to watch it...or eh, reminding me, I would appreciate it. I always remember to watch it at 11pm every night, and by then I'm just too tired. 
  • I switched laundry detergent. It smells amazing. 
  • Mason I'm pretty sure is a sensory kid just like Allen. We spend thirty minutes every morning trying to find a shirt that "feels" right. Help me.
  • Allen saw his first cemetery this week. Yeah...so many wonderful questions about dead people. Why do they go under the ground? Why did their heart stop beating? What is the headstone for? When will I die? When will you die? ..etc. After explaining everything several...and I mean several times... I think my favorite snippet of the conversation is as follows:
Allen: So, when dead people die it is like they are sleeping but don't wake-up?
Me: Yes. They look like they are sleeping, but they don't wake-up.
Allen: Why can't they sleep in their bed?
Me: Because, it is dark under the ground, so they can rest in peace. 
Allen: They can turn the lights off in their room.
Me: Yes, but since their heart is not beating, and they can no longer do anything, they can't take a shower. So, we put them under the ground so they don't smell.
Allen: Oh. Okay. 

Haha, yeah, how do you explain all of this? He literally wants to know EVERYTHING. 

I hope you enjoyed my updates. I hope all is well with you bloggers/ blogger readers out there! 

Love, 
-A 


Friday, January 11, 2013

Frustrating Friday.

Because everyone has a moment where they just need to rant...enjoy.

video

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Good-bye, 2012.

I know. I've been slacking when it comes to posting on my blog. My apologies.  A lot has been going on in my life since my last post.

What could best sum-up how I am feeling right now? The following quote:



I think that quote not only speaks how I am feeling, but I think it is something all of us should take a moment to reflect upon since the end of 2012 is officially here.

Reflection time...

I couldn't be more thankful for all the experiences I've had this year. We have moved from our home in North Carolina to live in Kansas City. While in Kansas City, we lived with my Mother-in-law. It was good to be home and surrounded by family. The experience was short-lived though, because in October, we moved to New York for Daniel's job. I have discovered I have more strength within me to confront change than I thought I did. I've learned to laugh more, try new things, and to accept whatever situation I am placed in. This year, I also learned a lot about the importance of patience, compromise, and forgiveness. Most importantly, I am slowly defining my roles as a wife, mother, daughter, and friend. I'm finding my "voice", building my confidence, and discovering the things that are important to me in life. I'm not perfect. I still have a whole journey ahead of me to help mold me into the person I know I can be. So, today as I say "good-bye" to 2012, I will embrace the journey I will embark on in 2013. May 2013 bring everyone much happiness and joy!

Okay. Done with my reflection. Now, here are some highlights (with pictures!) to help everyone see what I've been up to since my last post!

Allen excited to see Santa. We had to ride the elevator to the 8th floor to go visit Santaland!

All aboard! We took the train to the North Pole!

Everything was so neat and enchanted in Santaland!

Singing snowmen!


Bears playing drums!

He was so excited....
until we reached the end where an overly excited Elf approached us and exclaimed: "It is your turn to see Santa!" Both boys looked at each other, and then clung to my leg. Awesome. So we manage to walk over to the room where Santa is in. There are six sectioned off rooms all with a Santa, so the lines go faster. Allen took one look inside. Screamed. And started running off. Haha, I was able to catch him, but could you imagine if he ran into another room just to find another Santa? The thought of that happening makes me laugh. I know, I'm horrible. Ha, but seriously, could you imagine? It would be like being in the worst Santa nightmare, ever! Anyways, after calming him down enough to walk back to our room, he didn't understand that we had to walk through the room (it was the only way out). He did not like the idea of this. He started crawling across the room, clung to the wall, sobbing, spitting, and crying as loud as he could. Mason was freaked out, because Allen was freaked out. Mason was literally climbing up my head and grabbing my hair in attempts to, what? Be taller than Santa, so Santa couldn't reach him? Sorry, son, I don't know if you know this, but I'm only 5"1. Once we finally got out of there, I was so excited to get back on the subway and go home. When we walked passed the train again, Allen asked: "Can we go back to see the snowmen? I just don't want to see Santa". 

We did NOT go back. Instead, we  got back  on the subway to come home.

On Monday, December 17th, Allen and Mason started school! Allen is attending a Pre-School program, and the school just so happened to have an opening to offer Mason for the Nursery School program. I immediately jumped on the opportunity to sign him up. Mason attends school from 8:30-11:30am. During this time, Allen and I hang out in the parent room. It is nice to be able to have one-on-one time with the boys. At noon, Allen starts school. During this time, Mason and I have lunch (Allen gets lunch at school), read books, play, and my favorite: he allows me to hold him while he naps. Allen's school ends at 2:30pm. It might seem inconvenient  to  some people that I literally sit at the school all day from 8:30am-2:30pm. However, I like it. Like I said, I get quality time with the boys. Plus, if I really wanted to, I could leave at noon and come back at 2:30pm. The drive isn't that bad. I plan on starting school again soon, so it will be nice to have some time to sit and read also. Above, is a picture of the Holiday party. Mason was interested in seeing Santa. This is the best picture I could get. The school had a Christmas puppet show, a visit from Santa, and Christmas treats. It was adorable. 

Allen got to attend Mason's Christmas party! 

Enjoying lunch with Mason!

Mason napping in my arms. I love it.

All done with school! 

Allen and I playing blocks. :)

Mason napping while I get my nails done while Allen is in school. It was so nice!

Allen and Mason made their fist slingshot. Oh, boys. 

My sweet bear.

Santa left taxi chocolates in the stockings!

Santa came to visit us! So here is my Christmas story...
The night before Christmas, Allen, Mason, and I made cookies. Before bedtime, Allen  reminded me that we need to set out cookies. Okay. So, we set out a couple of cookies on a plate. After finally getting him in bed about ten minutes later here he comes."We forgot milk, Ma". I get milk. He goes back to bed. Ten minutes later..."I think I heard him! I think I heard Santa Claus!" Me: "No, he still isn't in New York yet. He is waiting for Allen to go to bed".  Back to bed he goes. Ten minutes later..."Mom, I want to stay up and meet him". Me: "Well, you already met him. Twice. Once at Santaland and once at school". Allen: "But, I want to meet him here". Me: "Well, he has to leave presents really fast because there are so many people on the Nice List". He contemplated this, and he decided it would be best to go to bed. 

Excited about all the stuff Santa left! He asked me if I got to meet Santa. :) I told him that Santa came when mommy was asleep too. 

Mason yawning. I woke-up at 5:30am on Christmas thinking that I would have to be prepared to keep Mason from opening all the gifts. Instead, Allen woke up at 7am, and Mason decided to sleep-in until almost 9am. Really, Mason? The one day I don't mind if you wake-up early....


Overall, we had a wonderful Christmas. :)

TO ALL OF YOU THAT SENT ME CHRISTMAS CARDS:
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM! THEY ARE CURRENTLY ALL HANGING IN MY ENTRYWAY WHERE MY DOORWAY ARCHES. EVERY TIME I WALK BY THEM I SMILE. IT WAS FUN ANTICIPATING THE MAILMAN TO SEE WHICH NEW CARD I WOULD BE ADDING TO MY COLLECTION. YEAH, I KNOW. I'M SUCH A KID. :)

My new friend, Larisa, found out that I was having a birthday on the 28th. She surprised me with this beautiful purple scarf. I absolutely love it. It is so soft and warm. :)

She also bought me this beautiful bracelet. 

Dakota came to New York on mid-night of the  29th for a visit. He flew in to Philly because it was so much cheaper. Ha, it was the most stressful experience trying to drive there. My car GPS got me lost, the written directions were hard to follow, because I didn't know which lanes I needed to be in on the NJ Turnpike when it was time to exit; and I'm pretty sure I got lost in some sort of Philly ghetto. My phone died. My car charger didn't want to work, and I spent an hour driving around in the same ten mile radius trying to figure out how to get back on the highway. Ahh. I have a confession, I actually really like being able to drive here in Forest Hills, and I don't mind NY driving. However, it was so comforting to know that once I got home I did not need my car again for day-to-day things.

Above, is a picture of Times Square the day before NYE. Ha, I will never got to Times Square the day before NYE ever again. I have never seen so many people in one area in my entire life. If you look closely, and I mean closely; you can see the "2013" on the ball drop sight. Yeah, as I've said before, so small and disappointing. 


Here we are waiting for the F train! 

Our tourist picture! 

Mmm. Everything bagel, toasted, with  sun-dried tomato cream cheese. Perfection. Or as Melissa Byler says, "food porn". Haha. I give her full credit for deeming this food porn. I've posted some other food pictures on Facebook. I need to stop with this mouth-watering food picture obsession.

Dakota and I had Sushi Time for lunch! (I will skip all the "food porn" pictures from this event).

Looking at SNOW!

Below, are pictures of when Allen first saw Dakota for the first time! I know, I should re-arrange the pictures to go  above, but it is a pain. So you get to see them now! :)

Allen screaming: DAKOTA!!!!!!

Jump.


Hug.

Happy Allen!









My sweet mason had a birthday on the 31st! He is now officially in the "Terrible Two" stage! However, I feel like he has gradually been building up to this stage for a while. Not that he is "terrible". I hate using that word. He is strong willed. I think that sounds much better. 

I will never forget the day our little Mason made his appearance. If you are interested in reading it, the story is archived under my 2011 posts. :)

Mason has brought us so much joy. Happy Birthday, MasaBear!

Here Bear is cuddling with his Da. 

Happy Birthday cupcakes! 

Check out his awesome Sponge Bob candle! Thanks to Maw-Maw for buying the party wear and candle! 


Here is the Birthday Boy! He is uncertain of this birthday thing.

He then saw his cupcake, and was so excited!

Haha, his cuteness is too much for me to handle sometimes!

He got shy when we started singing to him.





Here is my NYE outfit! 

My hair and make-up. Okay, so I have a confession. I've never really dressed my age in terms  of wearing a NYE outfit, doing my make-up, and going out to celebrate. In fact, I wrote another blog post about this. About how I haven't really dressed-up ever. I'm comfortable wearing sweats, a t-shirt, and sweatshirt every day. Being a mom, I don't feel the need to dress-up in something nice just to have it ruined  by some sort of stain five minutes later. Since moving here, I've done a lot of self-reflecting. I feel it is important to look nice. I feel it is important to do my hair. I feel it is important to not always live in my t-shirt and sweats. It has really made a considerable difference in my confidence and my view on my self image. I know that looks aren't the only thing that makes a person, however, it is nice to be able to look in the mirror and love and accept the person that stares back at me. 

I participated in a NYE Blogger "Cheers!" event. It was so much fun! Basically,  Bloggers from all over submitted their names and contact information. You were then paired with a "Cheers Buddy". You had to buy a "cheers" glass for your buddy and mail it them. I was paired with a lady named Joni from Texas. She sent me this adorable glass. (It is plastic so it won't break!) and she also sent some cute glasses for the boys. I completed my December Checklist with having some sparkling grape juice with the boys! :) Cheers!

Click here to check out the lady that hosted the event! She is amazing, by the way! Fun fact: she used to be my neighbor  in North Carolina! I love her! :) She has done so many things with her blog, and she has a Facebook Fan Page too. I know she is making a huge difference in the lives of many Marine spouses/girlfriend/etc. It is nice to know that you aren't alone while you are a spouse in the military. Semper Fi! 

With our Birthday Boy!

Daniel and I before heading out to our NYE concert! We went to go see NAS in concert. It was actually a lot of fun. It was at Radio City Music Hall (which is beautiful inside). I will admit, I personally think the energy Tech N9ne brings to the stage is much better. Then again, I might just be biased since he is from Kansas City. :)

On the subway! 

The concert venue!

As I've said before, I'm excited to welcome a new year! Here are 13 personal goals of mine this year. Expect blog updates as they are completed/as I figure them out. They are in no particular order....

13 GOALS

  1. Continue to update this regularly. 
  2. Grow out my hair. Yeah, I know. Silly. You don't understand how obsessed I am with cutting my hair though. It is ridiculous. I miss my long hair.
  3. Start school this year. I keep going back and forth on if I want to start online classes in spring, or if I want to wait and enroll in classes this fall. Along with this goal, I want to make my final decision on what I want to major in. So far, I have managed to not change my mind for about six months, but I have two majors that I'm equally interested in. 
  4. Keep up my healthy eating and exercising. I've lost twenty pounds. Only ten more to go until I am at my target weight! This has been important to me, because of the pre-diabetes concern. 
  5. Continue to set boundaries and  communicate what I want with others. 
  6. Read 50 books this year. Feel free to send me suggestions. 
  7. Write a letter to three different family members and three different friends every month. 
  8. Find an organization to volunteer for within the community.
  9. Go on a date with my husband once a month. Even if that means we sit at home and watch a movie. 
  10. Take the boys to do something new in the city (go to museum, central park, Lego Land, etc.) once a month.
  11. Start writing a novel. Ha, maybe this is a waste of time, but I feel like I have so many wonderful experiences I could share.
  12. Laugh more and have fewer expectations of how I think everything should be. I guess, work on accepting situations, forgiving, and learning from experiences.
  13. Patience. I could use a lot of that!