Create your balance. Design your life.

Finally Friday!

Finally Friday!

May 31, 2013

It’s finally Friday!  What are your plans?  As with most weekends, we have so many things to do we will be lucky if we get any of them done.  With the To-Do list full of at-home obligations, it is important for us to do something fun, right? That might be a tall order when the forecast looks like rain, rain, and more rain!  Since my little-ones are at home with me during the week, it is ESSENTIAL that we leave the house every day.  One day of being rained-in is enough to make us all go nuts.  The weekends are no different.  I’m not sure about other people whose work does not take them outside their own home, but for me it is often hard to tell when one week starts and another stops.  I’ve started making sure we all do something exciting as a family.  It doesn’t have to be big, just fun (read: stress free). For those of you who might not be aware, Florida is celebrating its 500th year (since discovery and naming by Ponce de León).  Regardless of your feelings on the “discovery” part, the state has a pretty great web-site listing tons of wonderful places in Florida, many free, and cultural things to do.  Here, specifically, I found a link to ALL the museums in Florida.  There are museums I never even knew about in every county!  Some are more elaborate than others, but it might be fun to check off all the ones that aren’t a far drive and see what else is in the area. Trains? Old school houses? Lighthouses?  We got ’em! Museums are great in bad weather! Also, libraries.  I read a local blog post about all the great things that libraries offer these days that I wasn’t even aware of.  As much as it pains me to admit, I often forget about libraries with all the e-books and Interwebs out there.  The library system in my county is awesome, and offers programs for kids (like puppet shows and sing-a-longs, classes for kids and adults, and a bunch of electronic rentals I didn’t know about.  Read the blog post about library offerings here. P.S.  There is also a link for upcoming events on the...

Get a job(s)!

Get a job(s)!

May 30, 2013

It is easy to feel off-balance when you are overwhelmed by debt.  Trustmeonit!  The worst for me, in the past thankfully, was feeling trapped by a job I couldn’t stand because I was living pay-check-to-pay-check.  Feeling trapped made everything worse; it made every task at work more grueling. When there is some financial clarity, or space to breathe, it is easier to listen to the strings of your heart as they tell you where you should be, or should be heading.  “The median household wealth in America is at a 43-year low. This is partly due to the great mass of recession foreclosures, but also because a huge segment of the population is simply not earning enough money to save — and saving is the first step on the road to economic security,” says Bruce Watson, a senior features writer for DailyFinance.  He’s right!!  (I say this with surprise because I actually understand something written in a finance article!)  It wasn’t until we were able to pull ourselves out of debt that we had the freedom to really look at our life from every angle. In a recent article, Watson compiles a list of 25 ways to help get you some cold hard cash (make sure to click on the scrolling picture list at the bottom of the article for the 25 ways). Some of these ways are pretty harsh (disclaimer: I am not endorsing any of these methods and will not be held accountable for any results—unless they are awesome results—then please send your friends to this blog), but most of them have one thing in common: GET ANOTHER JOB!!! I cannot tell you how many people I have encountered in my life who were reluctant to get a second, part-time job, in order to pull themselves out of dire straits.  And I’m talkin’ DIRE!  It is not going to damage anything but your pride, maybe, for you to suck-it-up for a little bit and pay off those cards, catch up on late payments, whatever.  It will be way worse when you have to find a new place to live, and then can’t or have few options because of your horrible credit.  People I love are going...

Workout Wednesday

Workout Wednesday

May 29, 2013

Workout Wednesday: Get movin’ Even when (100 years ago) I worked out every day, sometimes twice, for over six-months, I didn’t miss working out when I stopped.  People always tell me, “You’ll get to the point where you just HAVE to do it.  You’ll miss it too much if you don’t.”  This. never. happened. to. me.  I don’t think it will, honestly. I will have to find a way to trick myself into making activity a part of my daily life!  I love dancing, I love a great hike or walk in beautiful weather, I even love the feeling of a hearty cardio session—just not all the time.  In order to really trick myself, it is going to have to fit into a routine and it can’t be about me.  I know, I KNOW!  I hear you.  Everyone should fit in moments in their day where they do something just for them (can you hear the chirping of birds in the background?).  I believe this too.  But if I spend that precious moment for myself on something like exercise, I will be mad at how I wasted my moment on exercise!!  My moment should be something like reading or a pedicure or both. Several articles I read talk about how you just have to make your life more active and then the weight will start coming off, and it won’t seem so hard.  I hear this; I just want to see results sooner, so I can stay motivated to stay on track.  For me, when I talk about losing weight, I am talking about losing 65 pounds (for the first goal and reevaluating at that point).  This is good.  It used to be that I had to lose 100 pounds, so things are looking up. If you happen to be one of those people who have over 50 pounds to lose, you can talk to me! I do understand and I continue to fight the good fight. Each success feels a little dampened by the fact that you have such a long way to go.  We cannot be on a timeline, though.  We have to appreciate each accomplishment for what it is–a success!! Back to the point of the post! ...

Two-fer Tuesday

Two-fer Tuesday

May 28, 2013

Monday was Memorial Day.  I took it off.  The goal of this site is to encourage balance in a life…even my own!  To make up for it, here is a little something extra for today. As a habitual, maybe even chronic, multitasker,  this article from my WW newsletter struck a chord with me.  Here’s a few tips on how to workout while playing with your kids (or how to workout using playground equipment) at the park.  This comes in handy because: 1. I always try to track playing with my kids as exercise. 2. I have a hard time finding moments to exercise without my children. 3. I can cross two things off my for one!  Hooray for two-fers! The article highlights include using the base of the slide for a stepper, using the monkey bar or slide ladder for pull ups, and a bench for push ups.  The best part is author Michele Stanten’s idea to use a swing for a warm-up!  She suggests really getting in there, pumping your legs, pulling your weight against the chains and swinging your guts out!  I love this. Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Balance the Hassle: Super-fun Gooey Jello Cupcakes

Balance the Hassle: Super-fun Gooey Jello Cupcakes

May 28, 2013

I have to spell desserts backwards to make sure I’ve spelled it correctly.  Baking can certainly leave you s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d! (Especially if you are crunched for time, have to deal with dietary restrictions, or are cooking for a bunch of people).  In honor of the holiday weekend that just passed us, and in honor of all those who don’t have the time to try and fail on their own, AND for all those on a diet or allergic to eggs and peanuts  this post is for you!!! Super-fun Gooey Jello Cupcakes or 3 PointsPlus WW Cupcake/No Peanut/ No Egg (This recipe is for 24 cupcakes.  I doubled everything and made 48) Ingredients for cake: 1 Box of Cake mix (I used yellow) 1 can of Sprite Zero Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly and transfer to a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray; bake in the oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Refer to cake-mix box for pan size and approximate bake time.) The nutritional info says a serving is 1/12—but this makes 24!  The WW calculation came out to 2 points for the mix I used and I added a point for the dollop of topping=3! Ingredients for filling: 1 Box  Fat-free/ Sugar-free Jello Mix 2 C Water You can stop here and proceed to topping OR do what I did, and make it super fun for little ones!  My daughter picked out blue “Mike Wazowski” jello.  We poked a hole in each cupcake after it was cooked and put a shot or two of jello in each cake.  I used a syringe and put a full dose of the LIQUID jello (uncooled, after being mixed with the water) into each cupcake.  Then stuck them all in the fridge and let them set up over night.  Next time, I will just poke smaller holes in the cupcakes (with a toothpick) and let them absorb a tablespoon or 2 of the jello.  Mine turned out fine but was a lot of my taste. Note: I did not need two boxes of jello for all 48 cakes.  One 2-cup batch of liquid was plenty.  I still had some left over. Ingredients for Topping:...

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