Sunday, May 27, 2012

Saturday Weigh In - 05/26

Technically, it's Sunday right now - but my Saturday Weigh In post is late for several reasons...

1) I initially hoped we would go on a mini family vacation this weekend - so I weighed in but decided I would just have to write my post another day.

2) We didn't end up going anywhere and I was a bit mad about it - so I went to run errands instead (I had to take my iPhone to get replaced due to a battery issue and our van's tires needed to be balanced).

3) By the time I got home from the errands I was tired, grumpy, and my head was hurting so I decided to take a nap.  An hour later I woke up from very uncomfortable low abdominal pain (felt like my pelvic area/abdomen was on fire)... I called and booked an urgent care appointment - soonest available was 8pm.  I remained in bed until then!

4) I didn't get home from the doctor until nearly 9:30p.  Although I was very tempted to go to the ER because I was still feeling terrible after my appointment... Urgent care wasn't able to perform an abdominal ultrasound to figure out what's going on down there.  In order to get me through the night/weekend the urgent care doctor gave me a couple shots - pain medication and antibiotics (I have a fever but they're not sure what's causing it without further testing). 

photo source
5) I got into bed just before 11pm with my laptop, determined to get my post up before midnight... when I noticed a small animal dart out from under my dresser!  I screamed and yelled for my hubster to come - I don't think he took me very seriously because he took forever to come and I had to yell twice that there was an animal in my room!  30+ minutes later we (okay, he) managed to get a baby possum out of my room (he ran from the dresser to under my bed - where it was next to impossible to get him out because I have so many secrets boxes under my bed).

It's now well past midnight as I'm finally able to get my post up!  My abdomen still feels very uncomfortable but I'm wide awake given the fact I spent 6+ hours in bed and being startled by having a possum in my room!  GROSS!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

GIVEAWAY: $100 Amazon Giftcard!

Welcome to the Extreme Amazon Giveaway! I've teamed up with other awesome blogs to give away a $100 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky reader! 

You can choose to do as many entries as you'd like; the more you complete the better your chances of winning!  

Giveaway ends June 3rd at 11:59 PM EST.  Best wishes!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Weigh in - 05/19

My post today is late.  I decided to stay up until nearly 3am so I could finish reading a book I was engrossed in - resulted in me not waking up until 9am which set the ball in motion for my perpetual lateness today!

My twin nephew's last baseball game was today and I planned to take the kids to the game and awards ceremony... we were supposed to be there at 11am and didn't make it until after noon.  Sadly, however, the awards ceremony was missed by our entire family because my brother failed to read the team email indicating the ceremony was being held at a different location from the game (to his credit, however, the awards ceremony has always been held at the field so he didn't expect this year would be any different).  Fortunately the game wasn't scheduled until 1pm so we were early for that!

It was a truly wonderful and inspiring experience I hope to write about another time (my nephews play on the Miracle League of San Diego for special needs kids).

I'm just now sitting down to relax and get this post up...

Friday, May 18, 2012

GIVEAWAY: $75 PayPal or Amazon GC (Winner's Choice)

Last week I announced the voting has started for the Zuuzs Grand Spring Recipe Challenge in which two of my recipes have been entered.   

As incentive to get my readers to vote I'm creating a giveaway for $75 CASH (via PayPal - unless you'd prefer an Amazon gift card... winner's choice)!

But WAIT - there's MORE!

Yes, more!  After you vote you are given the option to share it on Facebook and Twitter.  For every share and tweet you post directly from after you vote - you are entered to win one of 5 $20 Cash (via PayPal) prizes from!  They're giving out prizes for the voters!!! 

Double down by pulling up your tweets and FB shares - copy the URL's and submit them in the daily entry options on this Rafflecopter form as well (you can do this in lieu of leaving a comment on the recipe at in order to confirm your vote).   

You could potentially win $95 ($75 from Surviving Madness and $20 from Zuuzs just for voting!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When Extracurricular Activities Need to Take a Backseat

My old high school, Mar Vista High, has an awesome alumni website thanks to the effort of a single alum, Henry Vargas Ascasio.

Occasionally, we receive a bulk email with a request from a current student who needs financial assistance for a unique {academic} opportunity. This morning I received the following forwarded message from the webmaster:

Hello Henry Vargas my name is Keith B***** you might know some of my uncles. Well I wanted to ask you of you could maybe help me put the word out there for me because I have been selected to be part of the Bands of America Honor Band with will be marching in the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade. I am in mar vista high schools band an ROTC an cheer team. I need to raise 2,500$ for this once in a life time chance. So if you could please help me get to word out to all the mariners to see of any of them could maybe help out a younger mariners to get a one in a life time chance I am one of two kids from California an we represent the whole state. After high school I plane to join the marines an be a marine musician I love playing my tuba I am a tuba player an I have two more years left at MVHS. I am a mariner for life an thank you for your time to read this an please can you get the words. Out to all the mariners also I am attaching  my letter of being selected to this wonderful Band an one in a life time chance

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Welcome to the May Extreme Cash Giveaway! I've teamed up with over 80 awesome blogs to bring you the chance to win $400 cash

Complete as many entries as you'd like - the more you complete the greater your chances of winning... This giveaway runs for a whole month - so take your time.  Don't forget there are daily entries too!
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends June 10th at 11:59 PM EST. Best wishes!


I've read many times how important goal setting is when it comes to weight loss; some fitness experts even say writing down your goals is usually more effective? or motivating? than not writing them down...

I took the advice and wrote down my goals 2+ years ago; goals I thought were reasonable.  When I didn't reach my first goal I was slightly crushed.  I had to rewrite my goals because not reaching the first goal when I thought I would set back all my subsequent goals.  Ultimately, after a terrible reaction to a medication which left me dangerously close to suicide I completely fell off the {weight loss} wagon.  Yes, I hopped on the wagon a couple times since then but only for a very brief ride.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday Weigh In - 05/12

This was a rough week.  Thankfully, I didn't cheat or "fall off the wagon."  Of course I know why things were rough...

My hubby is usually away every other weekend.  When the cat's away the mice will play...  I typically stay up later than usual when he's gone and usually wake up later (depending on how cooperative the kids are).  This throws my entire routine off.  I end up eating breakfast later than usual, or occasionally I skip it because of the many things I need to accomplish on the weekend (namely grocery shopping, laundry, housecleaning, etc...).  I don't feel well rested and not as energetic as I usually am (which makes getting things done all the more difficult).

This past weekend I went far outside my routine... I skipped the laundry on Saturday (against my better judgment) and decided to go visit a friend - I was in the mood to get out of the house.  It was a pleasant break - unfortunately, however, it put me way behind.  I ended up missing lunch because I had a late breakfast and I didn't want to eat at my friend's house (some call me determined - but honestly, I've grown to be quite picky about what I want to eat).  By dinner I felt hungry, which I rarely ever feel.  I had planned to make black bean burgers but I knew it would take too long and I wasn't in the mood to cook.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cast Your Vote!!!

A couple weeks ago I posted a couple recipes I entered in a recipe contest sponsored by Zuuzs...  Well, the voting for the first part of the contest is now open.  I would GREATLY appreciate it if you could vote for my recipes; I have the potential of winning up to $500 worth of kitchen stuff (not exactly sure how that works, but hey, I love cooking and I love new kitchen stuff - mama could really use some new pots/pans!)  

First up is my Chicken and Artichoke Rice recipe!

Second up is my Moroccan Beet Salad recipe!

Now, here's the downside... You do have to register for in order to vote.  Yes, I know - I really hate signing up for various sites too.  Sign-up is quick and painless, I promise!  You could feel good knowing you're helping me win...

Oh, wait, there's more!  Yes, more!  After you vote you are given the option to share it on Facebook and Twitter... for every share and tweet you post you are entered to win one of 5 $20 Cash (via PayPal) prizes!  There you go, in addition to feeling good about helping me - you get the chance to win $20 just for voting!

AND, if I do happen to win, I promise to do an extra special giveaway for my friends and followers to share the love!

Deal?  Ok then, let's start voting!

PS. You can vote every day!  Increase my chances and yours!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Much Needed Laugh

This morning has been rough!  First, I was still annoyed with something my neighbor did yesterday and it was slowly eating away at me while I was preparing breakfast (I will talk about it more in another post tomorrow).  Then, Aaliyah insisted on making a breakfast smoothie and ended up putting too much in the blender resulting in lots of milk pooling on, under and around the counter and counter top items.  Completely oblivious to the mess she made, yours truly was left cleaning it up...

Then my Little Man managed to spill his entire cup of strawberry smoothie all over the carpet.  The kids just stood there staring at it as if the smoothie was going to magically reverse itself back into the cup.  As the cleanup was in progress, Little Man then spilled his sister's entire cup of smoothie all over the carpet as well.  Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?!?!?!  ARGH!!!   

Cue quite a bit of yelling, anger, and mini mental breakdown!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bipolar Doesn't Have to be a Weakness

At the end of last year I had gone to urgent care for severe back pain.  During my exam the doctor had viewed my medical record and asked what a few of my listed prescribed medications were for.  I sheepishly admitted I had been diagnosed with Bipolar but I wasn't currently taking my medication.  She asked why not and I was too upset to answer her.  Instead, I cried and told her it was complicated.  As the doctor handed me some tissue she told me, "You know Bipolar doesn't have to be a weakness.  In fact, it can be a strength."

Honestly, I thought the doctor was just trying to be nice and supportive but didn't really know what she was talking about.  For more than a decade I've struggled with depression/anxiety/Bipolar - and never once have I thought any of these things were strengths!

Yesterday, I was visiting with my dear friend April (who I've known for 20+ years)... we were catching up with each other and we got around to talking about how I was doing mentally.  I admitted I haven't been on medication in quite some time, but for the most part I was fully functional and doing okay (not perhaps my greatest, but again, okay and functional).  I mentioned how focusing on my diet and exercise has really helped.  April said, "It's really great you're able to channel..."

I'm not really sure what she said after that because the proverbial light bulb went off inside my head.  "You know Bipolar doesn't have to be a weakness.  In fact, it can be a strength." 

The thought reverberated inside my head and I finally understood what the doctor meant!  She wasn't just trying to be nice - and she did know what she was talking about!

I {unintentionally} ultimately learned how to channel my Bipolar into a strength (focusing my attention on getting healthy - diet and exercise).  It was an awesome, eye-opening moment for me.  I no longer have to feel handicapped or limited by my illness - I'm actually empowered because of it!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Weigh in - 05/05

The cold virus has been playing a never ending game of tag in my house; Usually starting with my hubby, then the kids, one by one, then me - only to start right back with hubby a week or two later.  Thankfully, my immune system is fairly strong so I only get mild nasal congestion and a scratchy throat for a couple days.

Most people opt to skip exercise when they're sick - but as long as you don't have a fever and you're not taking decongestants you can safely do so.  In fact, I always feel drastically better after a workout and I think it helps me recover quickly too!

Last Friday I splurged on a new GPS heart rate monitor.  I was obsessing researching for nearly a week and ultimately decided on the Garmin Forerunner 610.  It was a wee bit more than I initially budgeted for a new one, but it had all the features I needed/wanted and more.  I knew the speed and distance on my treadmill was inaccurate because I typically run 4+ mph outside but if I set the treadmill to 4 mph I feel like I'm going to die after a few minutes!

Friday, May 4, 2012


In the last few days I've become increasingly annoyed with the plethora of blog posts, Facebook posts and websites promoting products, fad diets, and food programs for weight loss.

Admittedly, I've had my fair share of {expensive} misadventures in weight loss since I was 18 (I'm 33 now) - such as Metabolife 365, Phentermine, the Atkins diet, etc... I desperately wanted to believe in something that would speed up the weight loss process.

The stark reality is there are no supplements, pills, shots, shakes, or fad diets that work.  Deep down I knew this, and I'd venture to say we all know this.  Yes, there will always be someone who swears that this or that helped them in their weight loss.  Ultimately, however, weight loss comes down to the simple and straightforward FACT of less calories in and more calories out (eat less, move more)!

Restricting or eliminating food groups is not the answer! 
Vitamin and/or hormone shots in our rump are not the answer!
Horse-pill sized supplements are not the answer!
Body wraps are not the answer! 
Meal replacement/protein shakes are not the answer!

Proper nutrition (aka a well-balanced diet) and exercise IS the answer!

The money wasted on all this crap could be spent towards buying fresh, healthy food, cooking classes (for those who need a little help in the cooking department), exercise equipment/gym memberships, a well fitted pair of exercise shoes, etc...

In all this frustration I had the following thought:  If you wouldn't allow a child follow this diet or take this supplement/product - then you shouldn't either!!!