Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Fitness- Top Supplements for women

Find original post and source here:

"Even if you junk up your diet now and then, chances are you get most of the nutrients you need. But to really stay on top of your game—and out of the doc's office—there are supplements for women that can give you an edge. We dug in to the newest research and consulted with nutritionist and WH advisor Keri Glassman, M.S., R.D., to come up with this list.

Grape Seed Extract
What it does Prevents wrinkles and skin cancer
How much you need 150-300 mg daily
Grape seed extract is rich in proanthocyanidins, a class of antioxidants 50 times as potent as vitamin E. Preliminary animal research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has shown that it may reverse wrinkles, skin cancer, and other damage from UV rays. In pill form, it also helps maintain collagen and elastin, two ­building blocks of smooth skin.
Vitamin D
What it does Protects against cancer
How much you need 1,000 IU daily
In a review of 63 studies, getting more vitamin D was associated with a lower risk of colon, breast, and ovarian cancers. It's hard to get enough through food alone, so taking it in pill form is your bt

Coenzyme Q-10
What it does prevents migraines
How much you need 100-300 mg daily
One possible cause of these killer headaches—which women are three times as likely to suffer from than men—is a lack of coenzyme Q-10, a compound made by the body. A study in the journal Headache found that when patients with lower CoQ-10 levels started taking a CoQ-10 supplement, their headaches were less frequent and less severe.

What it does Boosts energy
How much you need 1-4 g daily
This spice may help regulate blood sugar levels, which can keep your energy up through the day, according to a new study from the University of Birmingham in England. And no, you don't have to carry a cinnamon shaker in your purse—take two 500-milligram cinnamon capsules around midday to help steady your levels before the afternoon slump.

What it does Quells PMS symptoms
How much you need 1,000 mg of calcium citrate daily for the two weeks before your period
According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who get 1,000 milligrams or more have a 40 percent lower risk of having PMS symptoms."

What supplements do you take?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Binder Series- Holidays and Special occasions- part 2

 So last post I left you at the end of November.  Today, I will show you my Christmas Planning pages!

First of all... Our Christmas celebrations are usually pretty busy and complicated.  Here is how it goes.  Either the week before Christmas or in this case the Sunday before, we head down to visit my MIL's family and do Christmas with them.  Then on the evening of the 23rd we head back down to where they live.  Christmas Eve we have breakfast with my husband's grandparents, then Lunch with his dad's family, then drive back home (2.5 hours one way) to have dinner with my family.  Yep... it's that crazy.  Christmas morning we decided to start our first year of marriage a tradition that will hopefully help our family when we have kids.  It's just us.  We celebrate right now just the two of us.  We save a gift and our stockings to open till then.  Last year we changed it just a bit because we only have 1 kitchen so we had breakfast with the in laws.  But we got up and did our private christmas before heading upstairs.  Then we do lunch with the in laws.  My SFIL (husband's step father) usually gets a ham from work so we freeze it and make it for christmas day.  Then after lunch we head to the movies with my mom and dad.  This was a tradition started when I was young.  See I have a blended family. I am the only kid my parents had together.  Christmas Eve was always spent at our house, then Christmas day my parents always went to their other parent's family.  Leaving me home with mom and dad and feeling left out because they came home with extra presents!  So my parents started leaving me a present or two to open on Christmas day and then we went to the movies.  Something special with just us.  The year I got married my husband joined us and last year his parents also joined us.  I don't know if it will continue when we have kids, but we shall see... It is still a time I look forward to all year.  So, as you can see Christmas is crazy- which is probably why we don't do much for New Years!

Now, on to the planning!
Besides the monthly calendar and main planning page I have other sheets. This one from is a stocking stuffing idea.  My husband and I do stockings for each other- even though I usually do all the buying- I usually put candy, or other special snacks, movies, cds, books etc in them.  This year we aren't doing stockings (lack of funds) but will continue the tradition next year.  Here is where I can keep a list of some ideas and price range.
Next, is a budget.  Again, we are budget people, so this is a must.  In my main budget I only have a general HOLIDAY category so this helps me see more of a breakdown.
Next is a baking planner.  Even if we don't host a christmas gathering, we always have dishes to take to the ones we go to, this helps me keep track of it all.

Next is a traditions page, like the Thanksgiving one I talked about yesterday.  For some reason I missed taking a picture of it.  We have a lot including- our advent boxes, advent devotional and wreath, and our Jesse Tree.

 Then I have my decor storage.  We have so many Christmas decorations that they are kept in the storage area, instead of in a cabinet with the other holidays.

 Next is a decoration inventory page to keep track of everything

 A Christmas Card worksheet- we do  either a photo card or include a photo, and a christmas letter, here I can plan it all out before I get started -something I should of done this year since I still haven't started any of it!
 Handmade gifts- these are always fun to make and receive.  This year we are doing homemade vanilla and snowman hot cocoa (if I ever get around to making them!)

 Gift list- to help plan with all the gifts we get!

 Gift ideas for people we buy for!

 To keep track of who sends us gifts, so I know who to send a thank you card to!

 Plan your shopping trips!

Great for tracking stuff you buy online-when you ordered it, when it was recieved, who it goes to.

This is at the very back of my binder (after New year's Eve planning sheet).  This is great for keeping track of family traditions for other times than Christmas and Thanksgiving.  I think the only one we do that's not tied to those two holidays is buying a wine stopper during trips.  But I am sure we will start more traditions as I find them :-)  I love traditions.

Now it's your turn... What traditions do you have in your family!?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Words

It's all about your perspective!

We are all at different points in our journeys... don't try and compare yourself to someone else's... because they are not in the same place as you are.  Look at how far you have come... Compare your middle to your beginnings!

Binder Series- Holidays and Special Occasions Binder

This week's binder feature is my Holiday Planning Binder... My cover is from Clean Mama Printables.

I normally love decorating and usually change decorations every month.  This year with being unemployed so long (had some bouts with depression too) and things being so crazy with my husband being in school we didn't really do much decorating may- august.  And for some reason i can't get in the holiday spirit for Christmas so our Christmas decorating is lacking.  Our plan was to always do Christmas decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving... and we did... sortof.  As of today (wednesday) the tree is up, lights are on (although we only did lights on the tree and one strand across the beam that goes across where we live in the basement- normally there would be lights around the windows and doors too) but not many ornaments.  I did a few today.  And most of the other decorations- candles, signs, odds and ends are up too. So it's mostly done.  But, I just can't get into the holiday spirit.  I printed some craft ideas off pinterest to work on over the next few weeks so maybe that will help.

My decorating has always been haphazard... no real plans, but this binder will (hopefully) help change that.
First I have monthly calendars from nest Effect for each month.  Then I have holiday planning sheets for the major holidays behind the month they fall in.
These are from Clean Mama and they all pretty much look like this just with different colors.  has a place to write menu, guests if you are doing a party, decorations, traditions, and To do list for each holiday.  There is even one for birthdays

Normally we do the same decorations for the whole month for whatever holiday falls in that month- Feb-Valentines, March- St pats.  If two holidays fall in the month, I will decorate one from the beginning of the month till the holiday and then the other after the first is over until the end of the month.  Next year, I believe St. pats and Easter fall in the same month.  We are Irish so St. pat's decorations will probably stay up until a few days before Easter, but we shall see.  I plan to start adding religious holidays that we don't really celebrate but want our kids to know about too, so will add sheets to help plan for those, as well as other world holidays, just so our kids can develop cultural sensitivity.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are bigger holidays than some of the others... so I have special pages for them.  I will show you Thanksgiving today and Christmas on Thursday.  Besides the monthly calendar and Thanksgiving Planning Sheet I have:
This Guest list from List your Way.  Sorry these are blurry- I am not feeling well and weak so I was shaking while taking them.  I know my main sheet has a guest list but this one expands to include a RSVP column, dish they are bringing, and allergy columns.
Next is a baking planner.  Right now, since we don't have a house, we usually go somewhere for Thanksgiving, but at some point we will probably host it, so here I can plan cooking.

Next is a family tradition sheet where I can keep better track of our traditions.  On the main planning sheet it only list traditions, this expands it into materials you might need to buy or prepare and other notes.  Currently our only Thanksgiving tradition is our Thanks Board.  We will probably add more at some point.
Next is a decor inventory sheet.  We usually decorate big for Thanksgiving (ha, i said usually- I have only been married for 2 years, oh well).  So it's nice to have this bigger sheet to list decorations.
Next is a budget sheet.  We live on a budget here, so its nice to have this extra breakdown for the holiday.
Next is a Black Friday Shopping List.  I didn't go this year (mainly because we had no money), but I usually do most of my Christmas shopping on Black Friday, plus we save big purchases for the awesome black friday deals.  Past Black Friday deals- A new Printer, a washer/dryer, our dyson, and a blu-ray player.

Well that is my planner up through the month of November.  Come back on Thursday for my Christmas planning section.

Now it's your turn... how do you organize for the holidays?  Do you like to decorate all year long or do you usually only decorate for the 3 biggest decorating holidays- Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

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MMM- Week 17- a few days late

SW: 156.8
BF: 32.8
M%: 34.7

Hello there.  I know it's Wednesday.  I know I am two days late with my update... sorry!  Been having a rough week 18!  The issues actually started a few months ago, but have gotten almost unberable lately.  Having stomach issues when I eat certain things- mainly pasta, bread, and sweets.  Chad and I did some independent research in his massive nursing materials and are thinking carb intolerance, celiac disease, or some other GI issue... Not thinking its a temporary bug since it has been going on for months.  Anyways, I see my doctor tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully I will have some answers soon... In the meantime I will be staying away from pasta, bread, and sweets as much as possible and continue tracking what I eat and how I feel.

On to Week 17.  Monday was a no exercise day- but I still reached my burn goal. I spent the whole day with the kids I will be nannying for- so at least I know my new job will help me reach my burn goals :-)

Tuesday I did great- way over goal!  Besides my workouts I raked leaves at mom and dads.  Wednesday I worked out and went hiking with Lauren.  Thursday was Thanksgiving.  I did my workouts in the morning and then spent the rest of the day at my parents.  My goal was to eat what I wanted, but to try and have more fruit and veggies than anything else.  I did gain a little weight, but not too bad.  Friday- yeah felt like crap.  Bread, stuffing, and desserts are not my friends anymore.  Saturday I finished the leaves at mom and dads and we started decorating for Christmas.  Sunday was more decorating- tree up, lights up, only a handful of ornaments that I finally put up today...  We did take family pictures on Sunday too.  My MIL wanted one of the four of us (husbands and only child raised by a single mom) and then we did some couple christmas pictures... Chad and I also went ahead and did our anniversary picture since it is next tuesday (2 years!).  We got a CD so I will share them in my update next week- since we can pick them up on Monday.

EW: 155.4 (down 1.4- even with a holiday!)
BF: 32.3 (down .5)
M%: 34.4 (down .3- not enough weight training last week!)


I know I am late on this week's posts... haven't been feeling too well... will try and get monday's update and my binder post up later today... along with wednesday words post.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that those of you who went shopping- survived!  I had a great Thanksgiving.  It was small, quiet, and relaxing.  What?  Those words can never be used to describe a big holiday?  Oh well, sorry, they fit!

Originally my husband was supposed to work on Thanksgiving, but his shift was cancelled.  So, in the morning we spent some time doing a little cleaning and I exercised.  Then, around 1:30 we headed to my parents. 

It was just my parents, Chad and I, and one of my uncles.  See- small.

We had quite a bit of food options, but not so much food that we will be eating it for the next week.  In fact, Chad and I only brought home some ham for sandwiches today.

We had turkey loaf (my dad loves it... he's weird), ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans in it, fresh steamed green beans, crescent rolls, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, pineapple tidbits, peppers, carrots, celery with cream cheese or PB and cranberries.  Dessert was gooey butter cake and then later in the day we had Spinach artichoke dip and chips.

I think I did really well with eating.  Had alot of the fruit and veggies.  I only had one small spoonful of stuffing, one roll, and no gravy or dessert.  I made a point to only eat what I like and to make sure my plate had more veggies and fruit than anything else.  I did eat the dip and chips and paid for it later- too much garlic lol.  I drank water all day, except for 2 sips of my husbands soda to help get rid of the garlic taste.  I helped clean up and load the dishwasher, so there was only a few pots and pans left for my mom to take care of.

After we ate, mom and I went to Michaels.  She wanted some cricuit cartridges and I needed a new blade for my paper cutter.  Since I braved the store with her, she bought my blade and a paper creaser for the paper cutter too.

Then, we went back to her house, where the boys had apprently spent the time we were gone talking (since none of them had moved while we were gone).  Everyone but my dad (he is a party pooper sometimes!) played Mexican Train Dominos (I won! :-) ).  I admit, it wasn't always quiet during the game, but we did have alot of fun.

It was very nice to not have to come home and cook food, or do dishes.  We had some leftovers from the week at our house, so for Thanksgiving and Black Friday we did cereal/oatmeal for breakfast, and leftovers for lunch and dinner.  For Friday's dinner, and Saturday, I am making Chicken Sausages but they just have to be heated.  It is very nice to be able to take a few days off from cooking.

I was going to give blood on Friday- my first time ever!  But, I ended up canceling it because I was just so tired and my back was hurting from all the extra workouts this week.  I will give blood before the end of the year though- that's my promise to all of you!  Like I said, I never have before, and with all of the blessings God has given us the past 19 months since I lost my job, I really feel like I need to pay it forward a big and do something for other people.  And do something out of my comfort zone- and voluntarily giving blood is definitely out of my comfort zone... I am not a fan of needles or blood!

Chad and I will put up the Christmas decorations this weekend, so that is exciting.  Advent starts soon, so we will start doing that too.  December is always a bit crazy for us with all the different sides of the family to juggle... and this year I will be starting my job in December as well, so it will be even crazier.  So, it was very nice to have a small, quiet, relaxing Thanksgiving. 

Now it's your turn- How was your Thanksgiving?  Quiet and small, or Loud and Big?  Does your family do anything around this time of year to help those worse off than you? 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fitness Fridays-10 Commandments of Weight Loss

I love these and they are all true!  Every one of these affects your life and lifestyle. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Binder Series- Menu Planning- part 2

To see part 1, click here.
Today I will share with you the rest of my menu planning binder.

This is the grocery list I use.  It's from  First of all, I love the verse on the bottom.  "She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar." Proverbs 31:14.  It helps me remember that even things like menu planning and grocery shopping should be done with the right attitude and the right focus, to serve my family.  The whole focus here at AoV, and in my life, is based around the Proverbs 31 Woman... and this verse comes from that chapter.

I haven't used this sheet yet, I just found out it.  I am looking forward to seeing if it works for us... I might have to make my own and make it bigger, since we do shopping for 2-3 weeks at a time, I don't know if this one has enough boxes, we shall see!

Next is some Recipe List pages.  I have a ton of cookbooks and I love using them.  But with so many, I just don't have the time to flip through them every time I make the menu, this sheet will help me keep track of recipes we like and recipes we want to try.  This is from Clean Mama Printables.

Next is a Take Out Numbers sheet.  From  Sometimes, you just want some take out.  This will hep keep track of numbers for our favorite places.  Behind it I will place the menus for those places in plastic sleeves.

The last few things in my binder are some informational sheets.  I don't remember where the nutrition facts sheet is, but the rest are from Life Your Way.  These are just good reference sheets to have around, I will add others as I find them too.

Well that's my menu planning binder.  It has everything I need to plan healthy meals for my family all in one place and I love it!

Now it's your turn... how do you plan your meals?  What resources do you use?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Words

If it isn't.... change what you are doing.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow... remember the people and things you are thankful for and celebrate.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Binder Series-Menu Planning

Time for another binder from my Binder Series.  If you would like to see previous binders, you can check them out here. This series will continue for at least December and Janurary.
This week's binder is my MENU PLANNING binder.  This was my favorite, and most needed, to create.  I do all the menu planning in our household (and cooking too...).  I will use this binder and my Recipe Binders to help be better organized when it comes to our menus.

I do not know where this cover came from... if someone knows, please let me know so I can give them credit!  I used a pretty green binder (maybe to help me remember to schedule some good healthy, veggie-full, meals!).

The first item in my binder was a monthly calendar.  These are from Nest Effect, I love the colors she uses on her calenders and they are nice, simple, and big boxes.  We have one of these calendars up on display on my command center (which I will talk about in December).  But, that one has everything from bills due, to birthdays/anniversaries, and our schedules.  I wanted to have one here so I can just put things that will affect our menu- holidays and special occasions, schedules (will I be home to cook).  Etc.  I have one for each year in a little pocket sleeve that I can just have the one for that month showing.

Next is a sleeve full of these weekly menus.  I have created this document and have been using it for a few months now.  It is very simple, and maybe at some point down the road I will make it more appealing, but it works great for me right now.  If you want your own copy, you can get one by clicking here.  I have printed a bunch of these, and will print more when I run out.  I use one of these every week.

If you want to know how I plan the menu, you can read my post about it.  I try and plan menus for the next month, about half way through the current month.  This helps us to be able to grocery shopping when there are sales and when we are free.  We usually shop twice a month for groceries.

Next I have a bunch of inventory sheets.  I have sheets for the Fridge, Pantry, Freezer, and Household food (spices, condiments, premade meals etc.)  These are from Clean Mama Printables.  I haven't used them yet, but I think it will really help cut down on the time I spend creating my grocery lists, so I will start using them in the new year.

Come back on Thursday to see the rest of this binder!

Now it's your turn- How do you go about planning your meals for your family?  Or do you not plan at all?

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