Category: Family Life

Relax This Holiday Season

The holidays are fast approaching with Thanksgiving almost here. Thanksgiving is the signal that Christmas will be here in a month. Oh no! I still have to buy the turkey and trimmings, clean the house for the guests, then start decorating for Christmas, buy the presents, wrap them, and send out cards. Whoa! Slow down and take a deep breath. Do the opposite and take time for yourself this holiday season.

While this tidbit sounds great in theory, didn’t you just see all of the things I still have to do. Believe me I understand, but take your finger off the panic button and relax. I’m going to list a few tips on how to take time for yourself and learn how to relax which will make the holidays even more enjoyable.

Make a Plan:
Everyone needs a plan of action. Make a list of all the items you need to make for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. Make a list of all the people you buy presents for or make treats. I realize I’m a little late planning this post as I wanted to write this last week, but this is still useful for Christmas. I always make a list of the people we buy presents for, and I always buy a couple of extra items for those last minute gifts. The plans are also good for cleaning or maybe with traveling.

Delegate:
I realize some of you are probably laughing, but I want you to delegate that list to others. Get your husband involved, the kids (if they are old enough), friends, and other family members. If someone asks if they can bring something for Thanksgiving, then tell them yes. It could be soft drinks or desserts. Maybe they make a wonderful side dish that everyone enjoys. You aren’t superwoman so stop trying to act like one.

Indulge Yourself:
I am very serious. As women we try so hard to please everyone else, that we neglect ourselves. I know I’m not useful to my family if I’m stressed out and snapping at them over trivial things. When I start to feel my breaking point, then I take a deep breathe and lock myself up away from everyone. You don’t have to make a dramatic exit, but just excuse yourself for a few minutes. I realize some moms don’t have as much time to get away, but honestly even five minutes of peace and quiet makes a huge difference in your attitude and well being. Below are some things I like to take time to do for myself.

  • Take a bubble bath. (I have occasionally brought a glass of wine to sip while soaking).
  • Do some reading. (It could be as simple as thumbing through your favorite magazine).
  • Do a craft. (If this truly relaxes you then go for it).
  • Enjoy a glass of wine or beer by yourself. (Maybe a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate instead).
  • Pray or meditate. (I know I feel more at peace after saying a prayer or two).
  • Eat a piece of chocolate. (Seriously I love a piece of dark chocolate and just savoring it).
  • Go for a walk. (This really helps to clear your head).
  • Exercise or dance. (Along the same lines but it really does help to soothe frazzled nerves).
  • Listen to music. (I even do this while taking a hot bubble bath).

I think you get the idea. There are times I just lock myself up in my room for a few minutes. My latest guilty pleasure has been writing. I find it really enjoyable to put my thoughts down on paper. It has proven to be quite therapeutic and relaxing for me. Please take some time for yourself this holiday season. A few minutes to yourself daily can make quite the difference in your attitude.

Back in School & Blog Update


I feel so badly that I’m ignoring my blogs, but my life has been very busy. The first update I want to share with everyone is that I’m back in college! That’s right. I have taken the plunge to finish my degree. I’m very excited but it’s also proving to be overwhelming. Yes that picture sums up how I’m feeling lately.

I have always regretted not finishing my degree. I had 33 hours under my belt when I was at Nicholls State University from 1993-95. For the last few years, I was on the fence about going back. I regained a lot of my confidence back after dropping 100 pounds. I still feel out of place being older, married, and already having a pre-teen. I have met some other classmates my age so I’m starting to get over that awkwardness. But being older than a couple of my professors doesn’t help at all.

I decided to get my Associate’s Degree in General Studies so I will graduate next spring in May. I’m debating if I should get my Bachelor’s degree, but I’m not sure that I will. I’ll worry about it next year. For now, I have plenty to keep me busy. One of the classes I’m currently taking this semester is a Dreamweaver computer class. I got the program heavily discounted as I’m a full-time student. I’m already learning so much. I really think I would like to learn more about managing websites and even SEO. I am taking a class next semester on social networking which I do have a good bit of knowledge but looking forward to learning more.

I am going to work really hard on getting this blog back on track since I’ve lost readers and page ranks. It’s totally my fault, but I have some major plans for this blog. I am hoping to move this blog to my own host. Then I will give it a major overhaul design wise. Stay tuned as I am planning a big contest next month and unveil the new blog design.

My Renovation Reality

Yes just like the show, house repairs are unexpected and extremely time consuming. Our renovations are coming to an end inside the house thank goodness. I don’t think I ever want to look at another paint brush again. Ok so just a bit of an exaggeration, but I am happy to step back from remodeling for a few months. I plan on doing a few posts about time saving tips that I learned and just show off our projects. I’m extremely pleased with how my house has turned out so far. We saved a lot of money by tackling many things ourselves like patching drywall, caulking trim, painting, and lots of comparison shopping. I’m waiting for it to cool down (say October) before I tackle any outside projects. I want to caulk and weatherstrip my windows to further reduce my electric bills. I still have a couple of small projects to finish up, but I admit that I’m procrastinating as I’m burnt out.

House Remodeling Projects

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in so long. I was going to start another blog about my weight loss journey, but that hasn’t happened yet. I will say the main reason I haven’t posted in so long is I’ve been remodeling my house. We are in the midst of multiple house projects including painting, new floors, plastering drywall, ripping out old and trying to make new items fit. We also had our house leveled, which is great, but now many of our doors have to be shaved or door latches readjusted so doors will shut again. I’m also kicking myself for not doing some before/after pictures. I’m cutting out old drywall around door cracks. My husband wasn’t sure if I could handle fixing all of the crumbling drywall above the tub where we ripped out an old cabinet. I have proved him wrong, and you can’t even tell there were big chunks of drywall missing exposing the wood beneath it. All I can say is the internet, google, and youtube are your friends in diy projects like this.

On the flip side, I have also spent countless hours planning and shopping. I do enjoy all the shopping, but I don’t always enjoy making all the decisions. I can be extremely indecisive plus I love getting a bargain. When I would find something I liked, then I would worry that I could get a better deal somewhere else. I solved that problem by downloading a free app to my iphone to price compare called Shop Savvy. It also lists all the local & online stores with the cheapest price listed first. That cool app has saved me time plus I know if I’m getting a good deal or not. I love technology.

The other reason I haven’t done any blogging is I’m still trying to get my son all the help he needs. That has been an ongoing struggle with the school and doctor. The doctor finally came to the conclusion that my son does struggle with major anxiety along with the autism. The doctor thinks he has more Asperger’s syndrome coupled with anxiety plus the Sensory Disorder. Trying to find a good balance of medications to help him has been very hard. He was having lots of trouble in school at the beginning of the year. He had three different teachers in a matter of two months. Not good for a child who resists any change especially in his routine. That has been a fight at the school along with fighting with the doctor my son needed to be put on an anti-depressant. I hate medicating him, but I knew in my heart he needed to be put on one. Right after Christmas, the doctor agreed with me and was put on Zoloft. He has been doing so much better. He is now making straight A’s again, and I’m curious to see how he did on the ileap. His teacher thinks he did extremely well.

With the summer coming, I’m looking to make some big changes with his diet like I did with mine. I have been struggling some with my weight loss for the last several months. I gain a couple and then lose them. I will save that for another post. All in all, life has been very hectic so I tend to forget about the blog when I get very busy with other projects. I am excited to share pictures and my experience with these projects. I have to share here since my husband refuses to go on Renovation Realities with me. I know we would have the highest rated show ever since I do have a bit of a temper. Ok, so that is a tad of an understatement I admit. I am a bit of a perfectionist so it’s better that I’m doing most of this work myself. I do enjoy having an ipod on this phone since I love to sing while I’m plastering and sanding.

New Blog Project

I decided to create a new blog just for my weight loss. I know some of you think I should post about it here but I really feel like I should have a separate one. I won’t have it up and running until the weekend so I won’t reveal the name yet. My wonderful baby sister is making me a header for it. She is a very talented artist and only 13 years old! I am going to post some of her artwork here on the blog. I am planning later to help her run a website to show off her talented work. I’m extremely proud of her.

The other reason I haven’t posted much is school started last month. I’m just so frustrated with his doctor and his medicine situation. Little man has way too much anxiety for an almost 10 year old. No kid should be this worried about so many different things. As if that wasn’t enough, we just found out recently that my step-father has terminal lung cancer. So I’ve been busy helping her making phone calls and arrangements. I’m still working on my weight loss, but I’ll be honest some days it’s hard not to cheat. I do keep trying to remind myself that binge eating due to stress will undo my all hard work. I’m not beating myself up about it either, and working out daily has been a great stress releaser. I am proud for keeping up my workouts and at this point it’s like my therapy. It is definitely helping me to cope with the stress and I have incorporated more yoga during the afternoon. I am hoping to have the other blog up and running by next week. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

I am 90 Pounds Smaller!

I have to apologize again to my readers for not posting more often. My son started school last week, and I have had a lot on my plate lately. I won’t get into all the details, but I will say life is keeping me busier than usual. I am proud to say that I have been continuing to lose weight. I am now a size 14/Large which is very exciting. I have lost so many inches, that I don’t have an accurate total, and I am down 90 pounds! I haven’t felt this great in many years. My outlook on life is extremely positive and I feel unstoppable. I am doing things that I never thought I could. I don’t limit myself anymore like I did in the past. I know I can handle any challenge that comes my way. If I don’t at first, then I will keep trying until I can.

I started at the very end of August on this weight loss journey not sure where it would lead me. I’m just so happy that I haven’t quit, and I am continually improving my habits. I now eat whole foods, with very little convenience food, drink water or herbal teas, and exercise six days a week. I do take Sunday off for a nice rest. I have also started taking 2 tablespoons coconut oil daily plus I drink Sunrider teas. I am now following more of a Belly Fat Cure plan as of the last three weeks. I find it helps me to eat more fiber and really cut back on my sugar and carbohydrate intake. My belly has started flattening more plus I can see more definition in my abs. I am doing a hybrid program of Beachbody Turbo Fire and Chalean Extreme. I am in the third week of the Push phase, and I can’t believe how heavy I can lift. I am lifting a minimum of 12 pounds up to 25 pounds! I feel so much stronger, and my arms are starting to show definition which is great. I can also see more definition in my legs. These are all things I really want to post more about, but not sure if many people would want to read about my weight loss journey in this blog. Or should I start a blog just for weight loss? I feel like most readers want to read about saving money and frugal living so just wondering what I should do. This is one reason why I haven’t posted anything. I would love to hear what you think.

TMR Gets a Long Overdue Facelift

So I haven’t posted in over two months. I know it’s terrible, but life has really gotten in the way since last year. I finally gave my blog a long overdue face lift. I hope everyone likes it. I’m not sure if I’m happy with all the text colors but it will do for now. I’m pleased with the template design, and I find it a little whimsical. It fits with my blog perfectly I think. So let me know what you think.

I had posted an update in February about how things were going for my family. If you had read then you know that I had a lot going on between my son and myself. I am happy to post that things are so much better for both of us. He finished the 2nd grade making straight A’s most of the year with only 2 B’s on his report cards. He finished the year very strong and should have a much easier time in 3rd grade. I’m very hopeful and just extremely grateful we found some wonderful people to help us.

I had decided to start losing weight at the end of last August. I had tried several times in the past, but I would never stick with it. I would quit all my bad habits at once which would overwhelm me. Then I would completely quit and undo any bad habits I had stopped. I decided to try a different approach by doing it with baby steps. My first step was to quit drinking soft drinks. I thought I had acid reflux, and I was drinking alka-seltzer 3-5x a week. Some days twice a day! It was craziness and I had to stop. I switched to sweet iced tea so no caffeine withdrawls or headaches. I would make a gallon of tea and put 1/2 cup of sugar so it wasn’t very sweet at all. When I got used to that, then a couple of weeks later I cut it down to a 1/4c. Then I finally got used to drinking it without any sugar. I drank more water and I lost 6 pounds in 10 days! That was amazing and 2 weeks later I noticed that I wasn’t having heartburn anymore. It finally dawned on me that the soft drinks were causing my heartburn. Once I quit drinking them it magically went away! That saved me lots of money as soft drinks are expensive. Then I was able to take another step by watching my calorie intake. I made switches from honey wheat bread to dark German bread. I also quit eating white rice by switching to brown. All of these small changes made big impacts on my appetite. I started walking with my Leslie Walk-Away-The-Pounds DVD’s at the end of December. I began slowly and kept challenging myself with slightly harder workouts. I was out of breath but I never quit. I also didn’t berate myself if I had to modify or quit. I just told myself tomorrow you will do better and I did.

I will say that my biggest motivator came in October. I got my prescription for Zoloft and my doctor ran a blood test on me. The results came back that my sugar level was elevated (126) and my cholesterol was 190. The worst part was she wanted me to take Glucophage since I was pre-diabetic! I was shocked and refused it. I had already lost 17 pounds at that point, and was committed to losing this weight on my own. I knew I could do it and I would prove to her that I didn’t need a diabetic medicine when I wasn’t truly diabetic. I had talked to a good friend of mine who is a diabetic and former nurse. She was also shocked and told me no way. She advised me to get a glucose meter and just check my blood after eating to see what would trigger it. I learned a lot by talking with her and really changed my eating habits more than I had. My blood sugar level went to normal quickly and has stayed that way since. I haven’t had a formal blood test but am planning one soon.

We finally got to Disney World at the end of April. I was down 65 pounds and it felt wonderful. I got to a size 16 in bottoms and XL in tops. I had prepared myself for all the walking before we went. Walking around WDW was a piece of cake. We also hit the beach in Panama City. It was a very long overdue vacation and our first family trip ever. I wasn’t even worried too much about the long drive. It was fine and we saved a lot of money by driving instead of flying. We broke up the drive by spending the night in Tallahassee. My husband and son have never been outside of MS or TX so it was a great experience for them. We had a wonderful time and didn’t want to leave. We can’t wait for our next family trip which we hope will be next year. I’m going to wrap up this super long post soon. I am down 75 pounds as of today. I have lost 10 dress sizes and am currently wearing a LG in tops/14-16 in bottoms. I still have another 55 pounds to go but I know I will get there.

I have also started working part-time again as a merchandiser/mystery shopper/demonstrator. It’s not really steady right now, but it’s harder with the summer. My son is home with me so I can’t really dive into it like I want. I did just pick up a great job that has wonderful hours and nice pay. Once he’s back in school, then I’m sure work will pick up for me. I’m going to try really hard not to neglect this blog anymore and adding posts regularly. Thanks for letting me share. I’m not planning on leaving for long periods of time anymore. I will make this blog more of a priority again. I really enjoy having it to share my good deals, thrifty tips, and even about my family.