Monday, February 27, 2012

25 weeks = 175 days of our Diet and Fitness "Experiment"......I'm a little nervous lol

As I mentioned recently my Hubby and I have agreed/volunteered/been talked into carrying out an experiment in the name of Year 12 Studies.  My Mr17 is doing Community Studies this year and his project for the year will be us.  Hubby and I getting slimmer and fitter and the effectiveness of various machines/DVDs/Xbox/Wii games.

25 weeks will be divided into weekly chunks.  Each exercise routine will last 1 week.  Every day we will do at least 30-60 minutes of exercise and at the end of each week we will weigh and measure ourselves. 

As the list of exercises got written down yesterday I began to feel very nervous.  Nervous at the length of our "experiment" and being able to stick to a diet/exercise routine for that length of time and nervous about committing to daily exercise with a body that has been a bit of a couch potato for the last couple of years.  I am very determined to do it though, as it is for Mr17's studies and I definitely don't want to let him down. 

Hubby and I were talking about it last night and we both feel that this is probably the kick up the bum we both need.  We have both been pretty slack lately and exercise hasn't been happening as often as it should.  I know that I, for one, can feel how unfit I am.  I have aches and pains that I shouldn't have at my age and I know that I need to strengthen my body and get it fitter for later life.

Our list of exercise routines are as follows (the order hasn't yet been established):
Vibration Machine
Cross Trainer

Tae Bo DVD
Pilates DVD
Zumba DVD
The Firm with Weights DVD
Kettle Ball DVD
Resistance Cord DVD

Wii Active
Wii Biggest Loser
Wii You Shape
Wii Cardio Dance Workout
Wii Just Dance
Wii Family Trainer
Wii Michael Jackson Experience
Wii Don King Boxing
Wii Fit

Xbox Dance Central
Xbox Just Dance 3
Xbox Jillian Michaels Fitness 
Xbox Your Shape 
Xbox Get Fit with Mel B
Xbox Active

We will be starting off our "diet" by following the Flat Belly Diet and then slowly easing into just a healthy eating approach.  We will be drinking predominantly plain water as our drink.  My son wants me to keep a daily account of my eating and exercise and also would like a daily weigh in.  I might use my blog as my "daily accounting area" lol.  Next Monday is our day to start.  Hubby has already made a list of things he wants to eat this week lol,,,,Smiths Potato Chips are at the top of his list. He actually wanted me to buy 7 packets today so he can have one a day,,,,,,,I didn't buy them so he will do the puppy dog eye routine tonight lol.  

So Monday March 5 through to Sunday August 26 is our time to shine.  We can do this.........I think lol.

Five fun/funny things about meee....???

Hello Everyone

Jen from Let it Go.... awarded me a Liebster Award...thank you Jen!  I apologise for the length of time it has taken me to actually get around to passing this on lol, but better late then never.

With this award I have to share 5 fun things about me and nominate five other bloggers to share the love as well.


1. I love reality TV.  Supernanny, WifeSwap, Biggest Loser etc (I used to love Big Brother when it was on!), I love them all and will generally choose to watch reality tv over normal shows if given a choice.

2. I'm a romantic at heart.  I love walks along the beach, picnics or just curling up on the couch with a good movie and my man next to me.

3. I love to sing loudly when no one is around, particularly country music like Dixie Chicks and Kasey Chambers.  (My neighbours must hate weekdays lol).  I used to have a Kasey Chambers CD in the car constantly when the kids were younger.  My kids used to be able to sing along with those songs lol.

4. Okay don't know if this is fun but my family get a laugh out of my phobias because they seem to be contradicted on so many levels lol.  I am scared of spiders but love snakes.  I am terrified of heights (even the third rung of a ladder is too high) but love going on a plane and dream of going in a stunt plane).  I can't swim and am really terrified of deep water where I can't touch the bottom) but I love going on boats/ferries/ships (not little row boats and canoes) but anything from a yacht upwards.

5.  I am drawn like a magnet in shops, towards diet/health/craft/simple lifestyle items.  I just can't help myself.  Book shops are the worst, but if the kids drag me into EB Games or Game stores I head straight to the workout style games (pity I don't use them more lol).

Now I would like to award the Liebster Award to....(drum roll)...

Niki at Keeping up with the Joneses

Tania at Outback

Kate at Foxs Lane

Tania at Ivy Nest

Sue at Not Enough Butter

I am really looking forward to learning more about other people who's blogs I follow on a regular basis!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lets Get Fit and Lose Weight in the Interest of Helping my Year 12's Study

My Mr17 is studying Year 12 this year.  He is doing a subject called Community Studies.  For this, they have to choose to "experiment" with members of the Community or do some kind of Community work and keep a record of it.  He did this subject last year and chose to cook and menu plan for us.  This went on for about 6 weeks and was great, although due to his work and study commitments we had to cheat a little and I helped him out.  In their second semester last year, they had to pair up with another student.  He chose to team up with the only other boy in his class and do some kind of weight loss study.  I have no idea how they were doing this but it involved going to the gym and asking for info and also studying various weightloss shakes, pills and potions at the supermarkets etc.  I don't think they ever had a firm plan as such and the other boy lost all interest and refused to do anything and subsequently they failed that particular assignment.

This year I insisted that he do something that involved a plan of sorts, something he could record and have definite facts and figures for.

Well after much thinking, he kept coming back to weight loss and fitness.  Now this boy is skinny, he sure as heck don't need no weight loss regime, if anything he needs to beef up not down.  Hubby and I on the other hand would like to lose 20kgs each,,,,,,can you see where this is leading lol.

Yep we are his projects,,,,or rather his guinea pigs is the term I would use!

 Hubby and I will become his Project for the next (I don't even know how long this one is going to go for yet!!) however long.  In a couple of weeks we will begin our diet.  We are trialling the "Flat Belly Diet".  We chose this as we did it for a few weeks early last year and we did get results (maybe not a flat belly but we did lose weight!), and it was relatively easy to follow.  I figure a mix of that and just plain  healthy eating will do. 

Mr17 also wants us to trial different exercise "games" to see which ones give results.  Once he knows exactly how long this study unit will go for he can work out how long we get to "trial" each exercise technique.  He wants us to trial the treadmill, the Bowflex, a vibration machine, and numerous different Xbox/Wii games.  We own a Bowflex, treadmill and vibration machine (this has only really been used as a destress massage machine up until now lol).  The treadmill and vibration machine were purchased when hubby did his back in and the Bowflex we have owned for years.  The Bowflex is a great machine but it has gathered dust since we moved our rooms around so it will be great to get back into that again!  We also own the Wii Fit, a Biggest Loser Game, a few of those Just Dance games (these really can work up a sweat!), a Cardio Fit type game and Your Shape.

In a way I am actually looking forward to having a plan to follow.  These games were all bought with high hopes of being used regularly, sadly like so many things, life gets in the way and "playing" on Xbox and Wii just doesn't fit into the day even if it is in the name of fitness.  Hubby wonders how he will find time but I said too bad, this is something that isn't only for us, you wouldn't want to let down Mr17's study would you?????  Guilt is a wonderful motivator lol.

I will let you know our "plan" when it has been devised.  I don't want to share my weight with my son, its a kind of personal thing and something I cringe at doing, especially when it is going to be seen by his classmates as well.  I think we may just give him our weight loss figures instead.  Hubby doesn't care so maybe he can be documented in full and I will just give the loss/gain figures instead lol.  Hubby doesn't see what the big deal is in telling my weight he said "sheesh you don't weigh enough to go on Biggest Loser so whats the big deal??".  I told him "its a girl thing".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


As I have sat here listing things to sell on auction sites, it has made me realise the need to own less.  Lately I have listed cookbooks and knitting patterns, some of which belonged to my mum.  My mum had a smallish collection of Australian Womens Weekly Menu Planners and a larger collection of knitting patterns, many of which had been torn from magazines over the years.  When I lived at home I cooked many meals from the little Menu Planners and she gave me a few of them which contained my favourite recipes when I left home.  When Mum had to move into a nursing home almost 3 years ago, 2 of my brothers and I were left to clear out her unit.  My sister in law got in on the act too.  I arrived there that morning after taking my kids to school to find a trailer half filled with "rubbish" (or so it was deemed by my sister in law and one of my brothers).  I was shocked.  Perfectly good woolen blankets were in that trailer.  I got angry and hauled them back out,,,,honestly who would just toss out woolen blankets???  I told them that with 6 kids, I would certainly make use of them!  I headed to the bookcase, knowing that my Mum's old encyclopeadias would be hitting the bin too.  I piled them up to bring home with me, knowing that the kids would enjoy looking through them (and they have!).  At the time I forgot about these little Menu Planners.  It was only when I went to visit my brother the other week that I noticed sitting on top of a box at their front door, a large bundle of Menu Planners.  I said to my Sis in Law "I didn't know you collected those too" and she said "oh I don't they were just some from your Mum's house that I'm giving to the Salvos cuz I don't want them".  I took them out of the box and placed them in my car - she wasn't impressed - even though I said to her how sentimental they were and how much I had used them when I lived at home and how my kids have enjoyed cooking from them too.  She muttered under her breath "you probably got the good ones at your house" lol.  Upon getting them home I realised there were about a dozen that were double ups, I have no idea where those ones came from but I decided to list them and as with anything of mum's that I sell, I put the money aside to buy her some new clothes as the need arises.  (My sister in law doesn't see the point in this either, but Mum gets the pension and by the time nursing home fees chew up that, there isn't much left for any luxuries for her, so to me, every little bit helps)

I guess the moral to my story here is that so many of us have so much "stuff" lying around our houses.  When we get old and if the worst should happen and we have to suddenly go into a nursing home or we die unexpectedly, it is our children who get left to go through all that "stuff".  I am a sentimental person and I have "inherited" boxes of mum's ornaments, suitcases of clothes and shelves of books.  Naturally the clothing she has used, as I rotate clothes around for her taking up new clothes each change of season and bringing home the other stuff she has at the nursing home.  As for the ornaments though, 99% of them are stored in boxes in my carport.  I have taken out a few of the more sentimental items and have displayed them in my house but the rest sits in boxes.  So much stuff did get either tossed out or given to the Salvos as there is only so much that you can keep.  Her furniture had to get sold.  It was a lot to deal with when we were all feeling so stressed out about the whole situation.  Doing this made me decide to get rid of stuff in our house.  I have so much to list and try to sell.  So much stuff has been donated to the Salvos etc it is truly unbelievable. 

While we are striving to live a simpler life and get rid of stuff we don't use, thinking back to my Mum's house makes me just want to get rid of it all NOW.  I don't want my children having to go through our things and feeling guilty at having to get rid of it.  My husband is right when he says we should try and sell stuff first and then if it doesn't sell either Freecycle it or give it to charity.  We have always looked after our things and our kids have mostly done the same.  Very little goes into the bin here, it is pretty much all worthy of earning a place in someone else's home to be given a second chance.  My husband and I have decided this week that any money we make from selling our bits and pieces will go towards a holiday with the kids.  Hopefully a trip to the Gold Coast again.  Since so much of the things we have to sell are actually kids toys, we figure that they too, should benefit from their sale. 

So for the time being, I will be striving to list as many things as I can.  I sure could use that holiday and I know that emptying this house out a bit will make me feel much better too.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Growing Up......

My Mr17 is growing up.  I know, I know, he is 17 years old, naturally he is growing up, nearly full grown even, but to me it seems like just yesterday when he was a baby.  My baby that wouldn't sleep, my baby that would wake up the second we got into bed, my baby that slept between us most nights, my baby that cried on his first day of kindy.  My baby that has struggled through school but has never given up.  He has always tried so hard.

Well my baby now has his P plates and is therefore driving independently.  My baby has bought himself a car.  My baby now leaves the house in his car and I seemingly hold my breath until I hear that car pull back into our driveway.  I have been feeling more stressed than usual lately and hadn't been able to put my finger on it, now I think it has hit me.  I am stressing because he is driving, alone and also with friends in the car.  Even though he isn't driving far and I know he is a responsible kid, it doesn't make you worry any less.  I know I have to get over it and accept it is just a part of life, but right now I want to turn the clock back and start over lol.  My youngest will be turning 10 years old in a few weeks, how did that happen?  My stepdaughter is now a teenager, the little munchkin, who a week after I met her, had her goldfish die and she cried so much and I told her that he was swimming with all the fishies in heaven.

Watching your kids grow up, is so wonderful but at the same time, so sad.  I truly makes you want to just take a step backwards in life and appreciate every moment just that little bit more.  To have taken more photos, enjoyed more time, put aside the housework and the mundane chores and just lived that little bit more with the kids.

I feel like I didn't take enough photos.  I so wish I had taken more. 

Life is full of "I wish"es isn't it?

Life is moving so fast now,  the weeks are whizzing by.  Mr11 has just started playing soccer.  Mr9 still doesn't have a sport of his own.  Other than swimming lessons he doesn't do anything else, he isn't sure what he wants to do and that is ok, he will work it out.  In a way I am glad.  Just with two kids doing sports our weeks look like this.

Monday - No sport - its homework day (get as much done that night to free up time in the rest of the week lol)
Tuesday - Mr11 soccer training
Wednesday - Mr15 soccer training and Mr11 Karate
Thursday - Mr 9 and 11 Swimming lesson and Mr11 Soccer training
Friday - Mr15 soccer training
Saturday - will be Mr11 soccer game
Sunday - will be Mr15 soccer game

Mr17 no longer does sport as he has chosen to concentrate on his Year 12 studies and his part time job.
Miss13 does no sport as she is only with us alternate weekends during school terms and her mum refuses to allow her to participate in it as "she just doesn't have the time to take her to training and games etc" (I won't even start on that one!!)
Mr11 (stepson) sadly cannot participate in anything due to the nature of his Autism.

This post has really been a waffle of a post lol, I apologise.  I didn't really have much to talk about but I have waffled on for what seems an eternity.

I guess the whole point of the post is my desire to shout from the rooftops that I want life to slow down a bit.  I want to hit the Pause button lol.....please???

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reading at the moment.......

I used to be a real bookworm.  I always had my nose in a book at every possible moment.  Over the course of the last few years I have read very few books.  Sure I browse through nonfiction books from time to time but it is rare to see me reading. 

This year I have decided that that will change.  Currently the book on my bedside table is the last book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn.  My kids got me the series of these books for Mothers day in 2009 and I am yet to finish it (told you my reading has fallen off over recent years! lol).  I read some more last night and I am now back into it and can't wait till I hop into bed tonight and read another chapter or so.

I have decided my fiction books will be my bedtime reads, a chapter each night and during the day when I get one of those spare little pockets of 5 minutes or so I will look through nonfiction books.  At the moment my nonfiction book of choice is Amanda Blake Soule's Handmade Home.

This one is a library book and I have just realised it should have been back there 3 days ago, whoops!  I have really enjoyed this book and I am going to have to reborrow it as it has some really lovely ideas for things to make (even me as a non sewer should be able to manage them I think)

Also this year I am making sure I read a story to the younger two boys each school night.  We always used to read stories but got a little out of sync with it last year.  Both of them have heaps of chapter books but neither are great readers so unless I read to them, these books sit there unopened.  Last year we got so caught up in the encouraging them to read and helping them learn to read better that our bedtime reading routine time was just gobbled up.  This year I have decided that bedtime stories are essential and have pushed the bedtime routine back by 15 minutes to ensure time for a chapter or two a night.

This week we have been reading Bushfire Rescue by Justin D'ath.....

The boys are loving these books.  Mr11 got a boxed set of these last year and this is the 4th one we have read.  They are great books as they keep the kids interested because they are very action packed.  They are easy to read and we have managed to almost finish this book in 4 nights of reading.  Tonight will see the final two chapters read.  I would highly recommend these books to anyone with kids, boys in particular, who don't like books.  Mr11 has taken one of the ones we have already read to school to read as his book for classroom reading time.  It is nice to see him show some interest in a book after struggling for so many years.  The text in these books is fairly simple and as the stories flow really well it gets the kids interest and holds it.

Even I can't wait to find out how it ends lol!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Do you remember when........

I may be showing my age a little here lol but.......

When 10 cents used to buy you a little bag of lollies at the corner shop;

When petrol used to be around 19 cents a litre;

When 40 cents would buy you a serve of hot chips at the local fish and chip shop;

When shops used to close at 12pm on a Saturday and Sundays the shops were shut completely;

When weekends used to be a time when majority of people didn't work and you could plan a family get-together with ease;

When going outside and making mud pies could entertain you for the whole afternoon;

When parents used to let the kids go bike riding alone and the kids would be gone for hours and the parents wouldn't worry;

When we used to go and spend the whole afternoon at the local rollerskating rink, skating to the Ghostbusters song and songs from Wham etc;

When there was no such thing as Playstation, Xbox and Wii and your time used to be spent reading books or colouring in and the like;

When songs on the radio didn't have to be censored and there were no songs like "Dirty Talk" that 8 and 9 year old children are singing along to;

When you didn't hear the "F" word coming out of young kids mouths and kids just out of nappies talking about things that kids have no place knowing about;

When times were simpler..............

Sitting here today I was thinking of my childhood and how simple and easy it was.  Sure I used to complain that I was bored and had nothing to do sometimes but I would happily spend hours colouring in, making mud pies in the garden or my favourite,,,,absorbing myself in books.  I remember as a teenager catching the bus to the library and coming home with a bag full of books on a Saturday afternoon and often sitting outside on a Sunday totally absorbed in my books.  I remember when I was 10 or so and my next door neighbours and I would go bike riding down the local creek and catch tadpoles.  We would be gone for hours but as long as were home for dinner our parents never worried where we were.  How can the world have gotten so out of control in the last 30 years or so?

Times used to be so simple and kids used to be kids.  Today life is just so complicated.  I often think it is just me adding more stress than there needs to be, but today thinking about my childhood I realise how little I actually had but how satisfied I was.  I often think that I would love to have brought my children up a little differently.  Don't get me wrong they are fantastic kids and I think they all have good morals and values in them.  None of them are troublesome kids.  Sure we struggle with school but none are little terrors and get into trouble with the law.  They know right from wrong.  I would just like to prise them away from technology and show them a simpler way.

When we went camping for New Years, they had a great time.  3 days without an Xbox or computer etc in sight.  To me it was perfect, to them not quite the same.  When we arrived home after they helped us unpack, they all made beelines for their Xbox and others were straight to the computer to check their Facebook.

Website for this image

Simple Living in Oregon
 We have been watching the show "Worlds Apart" which is on Foxtel.  This show takes an average American family and puts them with families in Africa, Mongolia, India, Malaysia etc.  They are plunged into areas that have no running water, no electricity etc.  They all struggle initially but at the end they have all been sad to leave.  So many have commented that they have enjoyed the simple living, even the kids.  I would love to do something like that with my children, to show them how little you need to live and to make them realise just how much they have.

While I am desperately trying to declutter, the whole thing overwhelms me.  Before my divorce I lived a fairly simple existence.  We never had much money (still don't lol) and we made do.  My new Hubby is a little different and loves his technology.  Of course my boys have just adapted to that without a problem.  I am the one that feels "out" of it.  I can survive quite nicely without technology and in fact prefer it.  Hubby says that in today's world you can't live like that, you have to move with the times.  I tell him to read some blogs and find just how many women are trying to do the same as I am and turning away to so some extent from the materialistic technology driven world of today.


To me the Amish people and the people living in remotes parts of the world are in some ways so much more fortunate than we are.  They may no know about luxuries and they basically work just to survive but they are all so happy, they don't seem to have anger issues, their children are happy with very little.  What is our western society teaching our children, when will our society say "Stop, enough is enough, lets get back to basics and work together to make this world a better place".

OK that is off my chest now, if you have made it this far you have done well.  Lol my mind lately just seems to be in overdrive and constantly thinking,,,,this has been my morning thoughts of today.  If you have got this far, I would also like to share with you a piccie.  This bag is made with acrylic wool and cost me a whole $3.  I love the way it has turned out.  I am supposed to line it but my sewing skills kinda suck so I haven't lined it has yet.  I figure it will be used mainly for evenings so it won't have much in it so I could probably get away without lining it.  I can't wait to start using "real wool".  At the moment I can't justify the extra money and my crochet work is still in the early "learning" stage so the cheaper wool will have to suffice for a little longer lol.

Sorry for the pic, not that great.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mish Mash Post for a Mish Mash Week

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you seem to do nothing but rush around and in the end achieve very little.

Over the past week I feel that my feet have barely touched the ground.  First week back for the kids at school saw mixed emotions from them and from me.  In some ways I was happy to see them back to school as it gives me a few hours of "alone" time during the day, but that alone time also bought a sense of "where do I start and how do I get it all done",,,,,I truly felt out of sync with the world.  On the other hand I quite honestly can say that I hate the school routine.  I hate the lunch box packing and the kids declaring that they hate sandwiches,,or should I say they hate lunchbox sandwiches lol.  Give them a toasted sandwich and they will gobble it down but for some reason none of them are overly taken with fresh odd I am the opposite.  I just can't get my head around making sure there is a piece of fruit for each lunchbox, a muesli bar, a yoghurt/custard and maybe a piece of cake.  I haven't even baked yet.  Normally I have baking done ready for lunch boxes but I cheated and bought some from the shop instead and I also bought some marked down cinnamon donuts as back up in case I hadn't baked by the time the other cakes ran out.....soooooo bad!!

Last week saw small amounts of housework get done and I can quite honestly say my house is a bomb site even by my less than perfect standards.  There is ironing I did on Saturday still waiting to be put away.  Unless I nag at everyone, it will continue to just sit there.  Sometimes you get so over all the nagging that you constantly have to do that you just think "stuff it, I'm  not bothering, it can just sit there...." which is precisely what I have done.  I have more ironing that will need to be done tomorrow so I'm saying nothing to see what happens but I can guarantee you that until I nag, none of those piles of clothes will move!

My crochet frustrated me so much this week.  I started on a new project, another scarf which may be for me or I may put away for a present, will see how it goes.  It took me 3 restarts to get it right.  I couldn't believe the first two times it just didn't look right.  I was getting so frustrated.  Then as I unravelled the second attempt, I sat there staring at the now familiar pattern and realised that instead of doing 3 trebles as part of the pattern I had only been doing one,,,,,DUHHHHHHHHHH lol, it clearly said 3T, 3CH, 3T but I was reading it as 1T, 3CH, 1T,,,,,just don't ask me how I managed that twice!!!  Anyway it has now been started again and it looks similar to the pictured scarf and I am happy.  I am still have problems with my tension, I think I crochet a little loose but I refuse to restart and at the end of the day it is a scarf, it won't really matter too much provided it is consistently the same tension lol.

Oh I forgot to show off my bag that I made too.  Here is a pic.....hmmm well I thought I would have a pic but at the moment I cannot get this darn thing to co-operate with me and load my pics,,,,,,have I ever mentioned how much I hate computers??? lol.  Tomorrow I will try again,,,,stay tuned......

Okay I really have to go and do something about these dust bunnies that are hiding in the corners of each and every room, if I don't return you will know the dust bunnies turned ferocious and ate me lol.

Cya tomorrow!!! :-)

PS....I really think I should turn the name of this post into the "Whines and Whinges of  a Crazy Housewife" or something along those lines lol, I truly am sorry for the amount of moaning and groaning I do on here,,,,I really am a nice person lol.