Friday, April 30, 2010

Winner of the Homedics Digital Bathroom Scale

I'm finally feeling better - and I finally have use of a computer. I had a head cold that turned into a sinus infection. Unfortunately, this yucky cough is still sticking around. And then my husband's paper for his capstone class was due today, so he's been monopolizing the computer for the last few days. But, the paper's written and I'm feeling better, so here I am! And, on a happier note, my husband is officially done with school!!! Now we can move on to bigger and better things!

Anyway, it's time to announce the winner of the Homedics Digital Bathroom Scale. I used Random,org and the winner is comment #11!

Schmidty says, "I want to lose weight because I've hit that point in my life that I really, truly, never thought would get here. I've slowly picked up a pound here and a pound there until I'm carrying 15 too many and have realized the longer I wait to take them off the harder it will be. :) Thanks for the chance to win!"

So, Schmidty, email me at with your address and I'll get the scale mailed out to you!

Thanks for all the comments! I know that you'll all be able to achieve your weight loss goals!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Still Under the Weather...

I haven't been around for the last few days because I've been feeling horrible, still! I think my cold has turned into a sinus infection and I'm hoping to get into the doctor tomorrow. I have very little energy and my brain's pretty foggy. Trying to come up with comprehensible blog posts is pointless, so I'm just going to take a couple days off.

Thanks for sticking around! Hopefully I'll be up and running again soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Heavenly Cheesecake Brownies

I know this goes against everything that has to do with eating better and being healthy, but I just had to share these. After all, everyone needs some to die for recipes in their repertoire, or just some good comfort food!

There is an actual recipe for the brownie part, but I've just used a brownie mix and it turns out amazing. You could use any other brownie recipe you have too, if you don't like the box mixes. This is the recipe as written. I wish I knew where I got it but I really can't remember. It's just something I added to my electronic cookbook.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Nonstick spray coating
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. For chocolate batter, in a saucepan melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the 1-1/3 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cool 15 minutes. Beat in the 3 eggs and the 3/4 cup flour.
2. For cheesecake filling, in a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, the 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 4 teaspoons flour, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.
3. Spray an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with nonstick coating. Spread two-thirds of the chocolate batter in the pan. Spoon cheesecake filling over batter. Dollop with remaining chocolate batter.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Bake for 12 minutes more. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Makes 16 bars.

Like I said, I've just used a box mix, which is usually enough for a 13x9 pan. So if you use the box mix, you need to decrease the temp to about 325 degrees and up the time to about 45-55 minutes. Then mix the cheesecake filling and finish as directed. If you want to make them prettier on top, you can swirl the dollops around with a knife.

These are SO good!!!

Time out Thursday: A Call for Home Remedies

I'm dying over here, ladies. The sinus pressure in my head is so overwhelming that it kept me awake for part of the night last night. I've had a sore throat for about a week now. And it's not a horrible sore throat, it's more annoying than anything. I can still easily swallow and talk (though I sound very nasally), though there's some constant "pressure," if you will. . So I don't think it's strep throat. That was my first inclination when the sore throat stuck around, but I've had strep before and this does not feel like a strep-like sore throat. My nose is stuffy and runny off and on and I've got a very productive cough to boot. I just feel like crap - and I'm miserable. I haven't had a fever, so that makes me feel better.

What kills me is that I have an AMAZING immune system, but I got my butt kicked by illnesses this winter. My immune system is literally the best ever. Every year my husband gets some stomach bug for about 48 hours. From the time we were dating up until now (almost 6 years), I have NEVER, EVER gotten it. I usually get one or two colds a year with the change of the seasons, but this year has been awful. We all got the flu in October (thanks to some very inconsiderate people at school, which is a rant for another day) which is what started it. I haven't had the flu since I was like 12! There must have been something horrible in the new strains this year. And then literally 2 days after I felt better, I started with another sore throat and had another cold that stuck around for like 2 weeks. I think I felt horrible for like a month solid. And I've had another 3 or 4 colds since then. I know having the flu weakens your immune system, but geeze!

What kills me even more is what my husband said to me yesterday. He just started getting sore throat on Tuesday.

"You know what confuses me? How I always seem to get sicker than you do," he said.

Pretty shocked, I retorted, "No, that's not true. I just deal with it better than you do." You big baby, I thought to myself.

"No, I don't think that's the case. You don't ever complain about it like I do. I get completely miserable and dou always have the energy to just keep going. You don't get sick like I do."

"Ummm, you want to rethink that one? I don't have a choice - I still have responsibilities to deal with."

He walked away muttering something under his breath. I was a little furious though. I don't get as sick? Ummm, no. I just don't get to sit around whining about how crappy I feel. I still have a house to clean, and a little boy and grown man to look after! I don't get days off. *Sigh*

Anyway, my real point is to ask for any home remedies that help you feel better when you're under the weather. Are there any miracle medicines you've come across? I'm willing to try just about anything! And is there anything you do to strengthen your immune system? Herbs, vitamins, supplements, anything? Thanks!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MLM is now on Twitter!

So for the past almost year, I've been a loyal Facebook user. But I've decided to expand my horizons and join the Twitter family! You can follow me by clicking on the button below or by searching for MyLifeMakeover.

I'm still getting used to it, so bear with me as I get it going. But I've love to see you over there!

Follow MyLifeMakeover on Twitter

Weightloss Wednesday: Strengths and Weaknesses

Unfortunately, when it comes to eating habits, exercise, and the like, my weaknesses greatly outweigh my strengths. So here's the good, the bad, and the ugly. We'll start with the ugly first. You have to know where you need help in order to know where you can improve.

  • Carbs - all forms of breads, pastries, and ooey-gooey goodness
  • Snacks - salty, sweet, and anything in between!
  • I'm not very fond of many fruits and vegetables
  • I don't like exercising. I don't think I'll ever be one of those people who looks forward to going to the gym...
  • I don't like the mess that cooking makes, so I accept every opportunity to eat out
  • I like baking, despite the mess. But that means I have muffins, brownies, and cookies laying around all the time...not good!
  • My husband's job - he works at a restaurant. Enough said!
  • The fact that I'm an emotional and stress eater
  • I don't drink soda, so it's not something I have to try and cut out
  • I drink mainly water, so getting the suggested daily amount is not hard
  • I don't like much candy, so it's not a temptation
  • I do actually like cooking
  • I have meal plans and buy so that I can make complete meals
  • Probably the biggest one - I have the desire to be healthy!

So how do I work past my weaknesses and avoid temptation? That's the challenge. Whether or not I actually every enjoy exercising, the big thing is changing my eating habits. Otherwise I'm still going to be stuffing my face with junk and I'll never get where I want to be. So, I need to change what I actually bring into the house. The means I need to stop buying the junk food and I need to stop getting the ingredients to make the ooey-gooey goodies. Things like chocolate chips and brownie mixes need to stay at the store. I also need to stick to my meal plans and just say no to fast food and restaurants. Whenever I'm tempted to eat elsewhere, I need to think about the amount of calories, the chemicals, and unnecessary fat and sodium that's in all that crap. It is truly CRAP! Why would I want to put that in my body? Because it tastes good? When I'm tempted, I need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you avoid temptation?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time at Home Tuesday: Doing the Dirty Work

I'd have to say that the bane of my existence is housework. I have so many other things that I'd rather be doing - so many! But, alas, it must be done. I really don't want my house looking like the ones you see on reality TV shows like Clean House, Hoarders, or whatever other ones are out there. We don't actually have cable, so I'm not sure if those are actually shows - but you know which ones I'm talking about. So unfortunately, the housework must be done. Oh, and just to clarify, that is NOT my house. That's from some TV show called "How Clean is Your House?"
Before my son was born, I was really good at cleaning. I would set aside one night a week to do the bigger cleaning jobs (bathroom, vacuuming, etc). Usually I did it because I was bored and because my husband was at work anyway. But once I got pregnant, things started to change. I had less energy, I couldn't move around as well, etc. I could list lots of excuses! But that's exactly what they are - excuses.

One of my biggest pet peeves concerning housework is that it just keeps getting dirty again! I finish doing dishes (no dishwasher here) and 10 minutes there's another pile of dishes starting. I pick up the clothes and start laundry and an hour later my husband's underwear is laying on the bathroom floor, AGAIN! I've given up on folding my son's clothes, because his daily routine includes pulling them out and strewing them about the floor. Do you see where I'm going here?

So, one of my goals has been to be a better housekeeper. But I don't like to see myself as a "housekeeper." That makes me feel like Alice on The Brady Bunch. And even though they treated her well, thinking of myself as that kind of housekeeper makes me despise keeping my house clean. I also don't like to think of myself as having chores to do. That brings back some not so fond childhood memories about chore charts and such.

So, I'm not a housekeeper and I'm not doing chores. I am simply choosing to have a clean house! And I'm starting small and involving my son. One of the things I want to pass on to my children is the ability to clean. Not OCD cleanliness, just the ability to recognize messes and clean them up. Frankly, that isn't my husband's strong point and I don't want THAT trait to be passed on to my children.
So, small steps! Here's what I do to make my life a little easier, and cleaner.
Everyday, my son and I do dishes together. He LOVES being able to "help" and play in the water and I love making him happy. So seeing him happy is a motivator for me. We've been doing this for about a month or so now, and he's even started asking to do them. If we haven't done them by the time 3 or 4pm rolls around, he starts asking about, "help didtes." He knows that we pull the chair up to sink and he gets various dishes (clean, of course) with which he can play. So far, this method has been successful in keeping my sink and my kitchen, in general, cleaner. I'd say out of the last 30 days, we've only missed maybe 5 days. And those are usually because we've been too busy. What I love the most is not having piles of dishes to wade through. Dishes have always been my most hated cleaning job. Even before I got pregnant, I'd have a sink full of dishes. As sick as it sounds, I'd just gotten used to washing a few dishes when I needed them. You know, pull a few dirty ones out of the sink and clean them? Don't try to tell me you've never done that before.

Also, I use my son's bath time to straighten up the bathroom. I've got to be in the bathroom anyway, so why not make good use of my time. Of course, I also occasionally use this time to pluck my eyebrows or read a magazine. I don't use any of the really smelly cleaners while he's in the bathroom, but it helps keep my bathroom more tidy!

We don't have a playroom, so toys are usually scattered about the house during the day. But, I make sure that they're picked up and put away before my son goes to bed. I love being able to walk out of his room and hear the sound of silence and see a clean floor. I despise waking up in the morning and seeing the same mess that was there when I went to bed.

So, I'm slowly getting back into my routine of cleaning. I don't want cleaning to over take my life, but I want to be able to welcome people into my home without doing the mad cleaning dash. To be honest, I'd rather know that I've spent my time playing with my child(ren) than cleaning. I've always heard that kids remember the time you spent with them, not how clean your house was.
What do you do to help minimize your time spent cleaning? Do you have any tips to make cleaning easier?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mommy Moment!

My son definitely keeps me on my toes! So much so that I'm not sure how I'd ever manage having more than one child. Anyway, he has been quite the mess maker lately.

This afternoon, for lunch, I gave him some leftover mashed potatoes. He's never had a problem eating them before, but today he decided he wanted to smear them all over his face, his hair, and the high chair. Luckily they didn't fling too well so the mess was pretty well contained.

However, dinner rolled around and I gave him some spaghetti - which DOES have a good flinging range. I put him in his high chair, made sure he had his drink, and decided to pick up the house a bit. We don't usually have dinner together because of my husband's work schedule, so he was eating in his high chair watching Sesame Street. I noticed he had a small little pile of spaghetti on his tray, which didn't bother me. I walked into my bedroom to gather up some clothes and start a load of laundry. He wasn't making much noise, which should have been my first indicator. As I stepped out of the bedroom and headed into the laundry room, I felt this slimy little piece of something land on my cheek. I quickly flung it off my face, thinking it was a creepy, crawly spider (my arch enemy), but when I looked down I discovered it was *just* a spaghetti noodle!

That's right. My son managed to fling a fork full of spaghetti 15 feet across the room. I looked over at him with my frustrated mommy glare and he was staring right back at me with his mischievous little boy grin. Not only was his tray covered in spaghetti goop, but so was the floor around his high chair. He'll usually start playing with his food when he's done, but he also usually will tell us, "all done" when he's finished. He hadn't said a word!

I was tempted to be upset, but it's hard to be mad when my little man is giggling and looking at me with those baby blues. Fortunately, most of our apartment is tile. And fortunately I'd rolled up the rug earlier in the day because I'd planned on mopping and hadn't put it back down yet. Even more fortunately, I hadn't mopped yet because I forgot I was out of cleaner stuff.

Had I put the rug back down, not only would have I have had spaghetti sauce stains to try and remove, but I would have been digging those little Angel Hair noodles out of the rug for not only the next hour but I still would be finding them a week later! The rug is a mixture of browns and creams and they definitely wouldn't have been easy to find!

This is most definitely his biggest food mess. I sure am not looking forward to the terrible twos!

Mommy Time Monday: Educational & Creativity Tools

Right now, my main focus is helping my toddler love to learn. It's important to me to find activities for him that are both educational and fun. And they need to be fun for both of us. I don't want it to feel like a chore to be doing these things with him.

Most of the everyday things that we do with our children are teaching them things anyway. My son loves to "help" with dishes, so while I wash on one side of the sink, he gets to practice pouring and stirring on the other side. He's still at the age where pretty much everything he does is a learning experience, but I wanted something more - something to keep us focused on learning.

Here are a few resources that I've come across.

Fisher Price
One site, in particular, that I love is Fisher Price. Did you know that they have a Games and Activities section on their website and that there are activities geared towards infants and toddlers too!

They have games that infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can play online and even coloring pages you can print. One of my son's favorite games is the Infants ABC Zoo game. This particular game lets you hear and see different animals when you push a button on the keyboard. We like the infant version a little better because all he has to do is push a button and it will make the sound of the next animal. The toddler version is great too, but the animal you see and hear is based on the key that you push. So if you push "A" you hear about an alligator. Right now he's not so focused on picking a button to hear a certain animal - he just loves to push the buttons! They've got lots of other great online games too.

Besides the online games, they have a section called Play and Learn Family Activities which has ideas for learning activities you can do with your child. You're able to pick the age of your child (Birth to 6 years) and they give you a list of activities you can do. You can also click on each activity to get an explanation.

How cool is that? And it's all free!!! has some great ideas for learning activities you can do with your toddler. They also talk about other topics too, like potty training and discipline, which is helpful.

Their activities section has ideas for learning ABC's and 123's and Shapes & Colors, different Games you can try, Printout pages for coloring time, Rainy Day and Holiday ideas, and ideas for Art & Craft time. also has a lot of online learning activities and ideas for offline games for children from newborn to about age 12. I really enjoyed the ideas they had for Toddler Games. Most of their ideas can be done with things we already have around the house or are easily modified to work with what you have.

Of course, this site has a lot of advertising that you have to weed through, so be careful when you're clicking around. is geared toward young preschool- and toddler-aged children. The activities they offer are based around themes (holidays, seasons, etc).

Craft Stores
Also check out your local craft stores. I know that Michaels Arts & Craft stores have special classes geared toward children. Some of them cost, but they also have a lot of free "Make & Take" Activities in their stores. Those usually happen around holidays. They even have a crafting program geared directly towards parents and teachers to help children enjoy crafting called The Knack. In fact, they have a lot of free Mother's Day activities coming up. You can check them out on the Events Page. Be sure to check throughout May for more Mother's Day activities (send your hubby with the kids) and June for Father's Day activities. I worked at Michaels for a while and know that these events are supposed to happen in each store, but be sure to check with your local store to confirm times and dates.

If you have a large enough Joann's Fabric and Craft store, I think they also do some events and classes. But ours doesn't do them, so I have no idea what they're like. Click here to find out what's happening at your store.

Local Library
Besides online resources, you can also check out your local library for reading "groups." Most libraries have different times or activities for different ages. I'm a huge advocate for reading and we love taking trips to the library. Our library doesn't allow children under 3, but a neighboring city's library has a special toddler time. So if you're willing to drive a bit (it's only about 10 minutes for us), then make sure to check your neighboring cities.

Do you have any special websites or books that you use to facilitate learning and creativity? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Marketing Mondays

It's time for Marketing Monday which is hosted by Trendy Treehouse! Be sure to link up for some free advertising.

If you're looking for the Homedics Digital Bathrooom Scale Giveaway, click HERE to enter!

The Trendy Treehouse

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spiritual Sunday: Making Scriptures into a Workbook

Earlier in the week I came across an AWESOME idea for making scripture studying more meaningful. For me, it's not just about reading the words on the page, but about feeling the meaning behind them and getting the inspiration I need to be a good mother and a wife.

The Creative Homemaker has found a great way to do just that. She's turned her scriptures into "Picture/Work Book Scriptures" If you were LDS as a teenager, you might remember glue-ins. Her idea is a spin-off of those! With this method, she covers the pack of the picture so it's plain white and then uses that space to write down her thoughts. I agree with her that the margins just don't give you enough room to make significant notations. And this way, she has room to write but she also gets to feel the power and message of the pictures.

As a side note, her post has inspired me to make another sort of quiet book for my little guy using pictures from the Ensigns. My mom has a stash of Ensigns (a magazine published by the LDS church) from probably the mid 90's that she's been looking to get rid of. So I think I'm going to take a few off of her hands. So be sure to check back to see what I come up with!