Monthly Archives: April 2014

Mommy and Child classes and Eating Healthy on a Budget


You may have noticed that I didn’t post a workout journal on Friday. I felt like those posts were a little dull, so I won’t be posting anything that is just workouts for a while. I will give you a little update on my progress though. I’ve been plugging along with my P90X schedule, but the running hasn’t happened since my asthma attack. I’m planning on getting out for a run tomorrow. I’m a bit nervous about it. My lungs are feeling back to normal, but I’m still dealing with Texas allergies. Yuck!

I’ve also been busy with a class that I’ve been taking through our school district with my preschooler. It is basically a parenting class that helps equip moms (and dads) to prepare their 3-5 year old children for success at school. We have weekly assignments that we do each class that are either done on our own for our children’s use or with our children. Most can be modified for older siblings as well. Tonight I will be making dream catchers with my older 2 children like the one my little guy and I made in our class together. Another assignment we had was to make a picture of something they like with their name in the upper portion of the picture. I really have very little artistic ability (even though I desperately would love some more), but here is what I came up with:

Nathaniel's Train


Yes, those are Texas wildflowers at the bottom. I am not sure how to rotate the picture using our new scanner (I guess my husband better help me with that next time), so I guess you just get a free neck stretch. Sorry!


As usual, we are saving money for something upcoming. This time, it is vacation.I’m guessing, like me, you don’t have one of these growing in your back yard:


If you do happen to have one, might I inquire where to find another like it?

Ahem! Anyway, most of our expenses are not flexible, like rent, utilities, phone bill, etc. BUT, one area where I have some flexibility is our grocery budget.

The best way for us to save money on food is to eat at home as often as possible. For a while, on Wednesday nights, I would go to Whole Foods and make myself a delicious salad from their salad/hot bar and then go to church where the kids would get a Chic-fil-a meal. Just that one meal alone though was costing us almost $30. YIKES! So, much to my children’s displeasure, we are eating at home before church on Wednesday nights. The reward though is going to be great! The money we are saving just on Wednesday nights is going to be used to go play mini-golf in the Outer Banks one night while we are on vacation. When the kids get bummed about no chicken sandwiches, I remind them of the goal: MINI-GOLF! That usually perks them right up!

I also came up with this list of budget-friendly foods that fit nicely into a healthy lifestyle. Please feel free to add your ideas to my list in the comments section.







Nut Butters

Canned Salmon

Greek Yogurt (the fat-free has more protein and makes a great substitute for sour cream)



Chicken Broth (free if you make it yourself)


Healthy Fat


Coconut Oil

Olive Oil


Nut Butters












Pumpkin (canned or make your own)





Frozen Veggies







Green Beans



Salad Greens (Spinach, Kale, Romaine, etc.)


I hope you find this list helpful when planning your meals. Again, please feel free to add to this list and let me know your addition in the comments.



[Linking up with Women Helping Women via Teaching What is Good.]

Cilantro Thai Chicken

Often when my husband is working late and won’t be joining us for dinner, I make dishes that I know he would have zero interest in eating. He isn’t a huge fan of chicken (unless it’s my amazing slow cooker chicken), he isn’t really into Asian cuisine unless its Crab Rangoon or sushi rolls, and he has a genetic defect that makes cilantro taste like soap to him. SO, one night a couple weeks ago, I attempted Cilantro Thai Chicken. I loved it! The kids loved it! It was a success!
Now, I will share the recipe with you in hopes that it is a success for your family as well.

Cilantro Thai Chicken
•2 TBSP Soy Sauce (can use tamari ro make it gluten free)
•2 TBSP Fish Sauce (or replace with more soy sauce/tamari if desired)
•2 TBSP Sesame Oil
2 tsp Dried Cilantro
1 tsp Garlic Powder
•Your choice of chicken pieces

1. Mix all ingredients except the chicken into a shallow baking dish or gallon bag.
2. Add chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Arrange marinated chicken onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (times will vary depending on size and thickness of chicken pieces).
6. Serve amd enjoy!


Cilantro Thai Chicken Leg Quarters

Workout Journal – April 18

I’m posting this a day late. I dropped the ball on typing it up. Sorry! I’ve been pretty busy with my children’s activities, so I’ve only been doing 1 type of workout per day (as opposed to running in the morning and P90X in the afternoon). I would like to have time to do two workouts a day again, but not at the cost of spending time with my family. Saturdays and Sundays will pretty much always be one workout kind of days because my children are home all day, but the weekdays have been pretty busy for us as well. So for now, one a day is how it needs to be.
Here’s what I did:

Saturday, April 12 – P90X Legs & Back

Sunday, April 13 – P90X Kenpo-X

Monday, April 14 – P90X X-Stretch

Tuesday, April 15 – Rest Day.  I picked up our van, which is now transmission fluid leak-free, and my 1st grade daughter had her first school concert in the evening. She had a speaking part that she was very nervous about.  Her daddy and I went over her line with her over and over again. She did a fantastic job! She was completely adorable, too!

Wednesday, April 16 – P90X Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps.

Thursday, April 17 – I attempted a 3 mile run plus intervals. At the 2 mile mark I was at an average pace of 9:55 minutes per mile and then I had my first asthma attack in 2 years. So disappointing and scary. I was able to recover and walk slowly home. I’ve been drinking Breathe Easy tea and Nettle tea to help with the chest congestion and allergies.

Friday, April 18 – P90X Back & Biceps

So there’s my week, nothing too exciting workout-wise, but I got in some type of physical exercise 6 days, so I’m choosing to be content with that. Hopefully my lungs will clear up so that I can get in a few more runs next week.

How have you been exercising this week?

Workout Journal – April 11

This week I had a small family emergency Monday evening. Because of the work involved with dealing with the emergency,  I didn’t workout at all on Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, my GPS hasn’t been working correctly, so all that progress I thought I was making so quickly wasn’t quite accurate. I was a bit discouraged, but I’m not going to let it get me down. I’m back on track now, but my workout journal is a little light this week. Here is what I did:

Saturday, April 5 – P90X Back & Biceps

Sunday, April 6 – P90X Yoga-X

Monday, April 7 – 4 mile run / walk

Tuesday, April 8 – Rest Day

Wednesday, April 9 – Rest Day

Thursday, April 10 – 2 mile run / walk plus 3 20-second interval sets

Friday, April 11 – 5 mile run / walk

Even though my workout schedule was a bit light this week, I still lost 1.3 pounds, 1 1/2 inches off my hips, and 1/2 inch off each of my thighs since my last weigh-in and measurements. And I had a margarita with a burger and fries on Thursday night while watching a friend’s band play. I know there’s that meme out there that says, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” But I say: A “good diet” can’t do for you what exercise and moderation together can do for you.

Here’s a couple pictures from our night at The Oasis on Lake Travis Thursday night.


My friend Ashlee and I with our Margaritas (hers was mango, mine was sangria).


The beautiful view we had.


Such a gorgeous sunset!

Go ahead and share what you did to move your body in a healthy way this week in the comments.

Setting Goals

Goals are SUPER important!

At the begining of the year, my husband and I set a goal to have a larger vehicle by the end of March. He worked side jobs almost every weekend in January and February and a few in March. All of the money he made doing that work went into a savings account and on March 30, we bought a van. We paid for it outright and have no payment weighing down on us. There are a couple issues with the van, so now we have a new goal which is to save and pay for the repairs before we go on vacation.

Another goal I have in my life is to be able to run (without a walking break) for a full 10K (6.2 miles). I’ve gotten up to 2 miles non-stop a couple of times recently. The progress is slow, especially as the Texas temperatures rise, but I am working hard to achieve that 10K goal.

I just finished a group study of Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity. In the Group Experience companion book, she writes about Paul’s ultimate goal in Philippians 3:7-14:

The apostle Paul is both the ultimate idealist and the ultimate realist. He sees so clearly the fundamental goal of all who believe in Christ: to be found in Christ, to know Him, to become like Him. In other words, to be transformed! But Paul is honest enough to note that he’s not there yet. He doesn’t dwell on what is past, but he strains with all his energy to move forward. May we share his passion and his forward vision as we seek to leave a strong legacy for those behind us.

So now, like Paul, I’ll be honest: during the time of saving for a car, we were not always diligent.  There were times that we went out to eat when we should have put that extra money in the savings account. There were times when I bought a new lipstick or nail polish or shoes when I could have put that extra money in the savings account. There have been days that I didn’t get out to do my run first thing in the morning and I didn’t fuel my body properly so my run was not as successful as I’d have liked. But I can’t dwell on those things, I have to move forward toward the goals that I have set.

There are some goals, like Paul’s goal “to be found in Christ, to know Him, to become like Him” that are life-long,  ever changing, ever evolving goals. These are goals that, while alike in theory, they are very unique to each individual and situation as they are carried out in real life.  One such goal of mine, as a mother, is to see my children grow up knowing and loving and serving the Lord Jesus. It will not forever be my role to discipline and direct them, but I will forever be responsible for setting an example as a more mature believer and as their parent.

I’ve made so many mistakes already as a mother. I will make countless more as my children grow and mature. However, I won’t let those mistakes define my years as a mother. I will continue to grow in Christ, and therefore continue to grow as a mother. I will “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).


Workout Journal – April 4, 2014

Happy Friday!

It’s time for my weekly workout journal, so I’m just going to get right to it.

Saturday, March 29 –  I was planning on having today be a rest day because my legs were a little sore on Friday. However, after playing at the park and flying kites with the kiddos, I felt really good. So I decided to go ahead and do P90X Legs & Back.


Fun flying kites!

Sunday, March 30 – 2.01 miles at a pace of 10:35 minutes/mile. I had planned on doing Kenpo-X later in the day, but my husband found a van online and we went to check it out. It took longer than expected, but we bought it. Yay!


New van!

Afterward, my husband and I played some Frisbee Golf for 9 holes, so that was some active entertainment. The Frisbee MAY have gotten stuck in a tree for a moment or two, but we had a lot of fun together.

Monday, March 31 – P90X Kenpo-X

Tuesday, April 1 – Rest Day. I was planning on my 5 miles today, but then I found out about Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at Whole Foods. I just had to take my youngest, so that left no time for an a.m. run. My scheduled P90X workput was X-Stretch and I knew I’d want to do that one after my 5 miles, so I took the rest day that my body needed anyway. Plus, how cute is this kid?!

Wednesday, April 2 – I ran/walked 5.03 miles at a 10:26 min/mile pace. I ran all but the last two big uphill sections. My goal was to get it in under an 11 min/mile pace, so I am very pleased! I also did P90X X-Stretch and it felt REALLY good after that run.

Thursday, April 3 – I did 3 miles, plus 3 20-second interval sets. My total distance was 3.38 miles at an average 11:03 min/mile pace. It wasn’t my best, but I got it done. I also did P90X Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps. It’s still pretty hard for me. I’m working on increasing my wrist strength and flexibility so all those pushup variations will be a little bit easier.

Friday, April 4 – I didn’t get a run in this morning because my husband is away working so I couldn’t leave my little guy alone in the morning. I did do P90X Plyometrics though. That’s a rough one for me sometimes. I have to modify many of the moves so I don’t wreck my fragile knees, especially with all the running I’m doing now. Even with the modifications though, it’s still an intense workout!

I’d love to read what you’ve been doing this week to exercise your body. Feel free to leave a comment about it.

Have a fun and healthy weekend, friends!

Homemade Toothpaste DIY Beauty Tuesday

For the next few months, I’m going to be posting a DIY beauty recipe or trick that I use on the first Tuesday of the month. I love homemade products because they have fewer ingredients and are generally cheaper.

I’m starting out my first DIY Beauty Tuesday with a recipe I get asked about often: toothpaste.

I’ve been making my own toothpaste for a while now. I have read so many mixed studies about fluoride that I’m not really sure how to feel about it. Therefore, I’d rather be safe than sorry,  so I make my own homemade toothpaste without the fluoride.  It is super easy to make and lasts a LONG time because you don’t need to use much of it. The basic ingredients are coconut oil and baking soda. I add raw calcium powder to help remineralize. I also use my doTERRA essential oils to add flavor. Some people use xylitol to sweeten theirs up, but I don’t really feel that is necessary with the essential oils. I’ve been tweaking this recipe for a while now (because it lasts so long), and I have finally found what is, to me, the perfect formula. Please, feel free to use this recipe as a general guideline. What works for me may not work for you and what tastes great for me may taste terrible to you.

Oh, and be prepared. When you use this regularly, you may end up getting compliments on how white your teeth are, like I did last week. It was super flatteting and sweet to hear, especially since I don’t use any whitening products on my teeth anymore.

Here is the recipe I use:

DIY Homemade Toothpaste
1 TBSP (15 capsules) Calcium Powder (optional)
2 TBSP Baking Soda
2-4 TBSP Coconut Oil, melted
30 DROPS Trace Minerals (optional)
Essential Oils (to taste)
Stevia or Xylitol (optional, I don’t use)


Mix calcium powder and baking soda (and optional stevia or xylitol) together. Add trace minerals and then coconut oil, one TBSP at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Add essential oils to desired flavor (10-15 drops total should be enough).

Essential oils I used this time: 10 drops On Guard and 5 drops Peppermint.
(If you are interested in doTERRA essential oils,  check them out here.)

Because of the calcium powder I use, my toothpaste ends up brown, so it doesn’t exactly look pretty:


To use it, I just run my toothbrush under hot water (the heat helps melt the coconut oil) and then scoop a little onto rhe bristles and brush as usual.