Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Raise the roof.

What a wild week or two! Whew!

We made an offer on a house on Saturday that was accepted Sunday. If you're thinking that seems sudden, you are correct. We got a pre-approval from our lender and just thought we'd take our sweet time looking at houses and narrowing it down. Little did we know that homes in Southwest Portland are all but a myth in our price range. After seeing a lot of yucky ones, we found a great one just a couple of blocks from a fabulous elementary school. We're now in the home inspection period which is totally stressful. As per usual lately, I'm sick so have been trying to keep a handle on my stress level to give my immune system a fighting chance. Now we learn that the house needs a new roof, so we'll see what that means to us in the next couple of days. I'm crossing my fingers that the deal is a go. Time will tell!

Ain't it cute?:

After pigging out a bit during Grammy weekend and then coming home and not getting right back on the workout wagon, I was pretty sure I had backtracked. Not the case. I've been squeezing in a 10 minute Barre3 workout here and there (today I did 3 of them!) and eating well... and continuing to drop weight! I'm down another pound and a half from when the challenge ended. 22.5 more to go! I may or may not make it by the end of April, but I'll be close for sure. It just seems like my metabolism is working which is a very alien feeling for me. I like it. Seeing that I'm still moving in the right direction has re-motivated me to keep on keeping on.

I love that I can do Barre3 when I'm sick. I don't get my heart rate revving so much that I have a coughing fit.

How are you doing?


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

All about Grammy weekend!

What a weekend!

We got in to town on Saturday morning and went to breakfast with our friends... including mimosas. After over a month with no wine, it was a fun way to start the day. Then we headed downtown to pick up our Grammy tickets. This year, the security was super tight. We had to find this super mysterious parking garage after proving to a series of different parking security guys who we were. It felt like trying to find an underground rave in the 90s. Like, go to the 7-11 and hand the clerk a hard boiled egg. He'll give you the password... etc.  Once we got inside, there was a line guarded by some very serious security folks who said things like "NOT ANOTHER STEP!". It all felt a little over the top. There are a lot of factors... one, that the tickets have to go to the purchaser and not be resold - two, that all of Los Angeles is on high alert as the police feverishly continue the manhunt for a cop killer. With so many police around this event, I don't think they were willing to take any chances. It was a very surreal time to be in LA. If you haven't heard about the situation, here is the story.

After we picked up our tickets, we headed to the fashion district so the boys could pick up some last minute accessories for their Tuxes. Then to dinner and then out to our favorite old haunt from the years we lived in Playa del Rey for some good old fashioned dive bar shenanigans. Surrounded by dear friends and wonderful memories, it was easy to forget why we ever moved away. We made it an early(ish) night though. Eric and I had only squeezed in a few hours of sleep before our early flight and we had a big day ahead of us!

Sunday morning (Grammy day!), Jessie and I hit the road at 8 am to head to our hair and makeup appointment in Orange County. Selena Lopez at the Victor Paul salon was AMAZING to work with. She styles celebrities and made me feel like a princess. She's a miracle worker!

Here are some pics:

 The lashes were my absolute favorite. SO outrageous!

Then of course I told you all about the dress fiasco. I sent the two dresses back before I left Portland. Rent the Runway over-nighted me two more options to the B&B in LA... and I packed my backup dress. Well, the two dresses came Saturday afternoon and neither was perfect. I loved one, but it was a little too short to wear with the shoes. The other was too small, but looked fabulous on miss Jessie. I wore my off-the-rack Calvin Klein which I actually ended up loving. Tragedy averted :)

 Don't the guys clean up nice? Woo hoo! 

We made our way downtown Sunday in plenty of time for the telecast which began at 5 PST. We thought it would be funny to get a drink at Hooters on our way. Just us in our fancy pants and a bar full of frat boys. Good times.

Then we made our way over to the Staples Center:

I had the option of purchasing 2 really good tickets or 4 tickets at the very top of the room. We wanted our friends to be there with us, so we were happy to sit anywhere. Once we got seated, we realized just how far away we were. Still though, we were enjoying watching the hustle and bustle of what it takes to put on a live show of that magnitude. So, as fate would have it, our friend Josh knows a gal that knows a guy that works at the Staples Center. He sent a text that said "meet me on the main concourse at the first commercial break." I walked/jogged as fast as my 4" heels would carry me ( which wasn't too shabby thanks to Barre3!!) and was delighted to find that he had secured us seats in the premier section. We went from the nosebleeds to the golden ticket section!

From there, we could see everything! I could see all the celebs interacting... like how sweet John Mayer is to Katy Perry when no cameras are rolling... or how Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were head banging to Jack White when the rest of the front row were sitting still as statues. How Taylor Swift and Johnny Depp would stop to talk to every single fan. Ellen's awesome dance moves in the aisles... all kinds of great little moments. We could also see behind the scenes as they were setting up the next acts. I was giddy the entire time. 

Afterwards, we went out for drinks still all dressed up - and then quickly changed our minds. We headed back to the beach, changed into yoga pants and jeans and went out to sing some karaoke. 

The night will be one for the highlight reel for sure. I'll never forget it. 

Monday we went for a long walk through the marina and soaked up the sun before getting back to reality and coming home to our precious little ones. 

I ate terribly for the most part, so am looking forward to getting back to the challenge this week! Today I did just ok. Tomorrow I'll be back on track. The first day of the rest of my life, right? 


Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 33 - Dress mess!

So, my dresses showed up today and SUCKED. My favorite with the meshy top fit great but was a total mess. The lining was ripped and hanging down and there was a funky repair at the top which was super noticeable. I could have cried! I called RTR and they were mortified that they sent a damaged dress and bent over backwards for me. They're overnighting 2 more styles to the B&B we're staying at, but of course there is no guarantee that I'll like either one (I let the stylist choose)... and there is a blizzard rolling in to NYC, so there is no guarantee they will show up!

So, to Nordstrom I went... in a mad dash. Thank God for Calvin Klein... and Spanx. I got this:

It still totally works with the shoes an accessories (I promise not to wear the Barre3 bracelet OR my FuelBand) and it didn't break the budget. I dropped the failed dresses off at the post office, and now I'm heading back to work!

Leeeeaaaaavin on a jet plane!

I'll blog when I get back and tell you all about it!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 32 - Yoga pants.

I'm trying to get ready for my trip, but it's hard with twin toddlers and a full-time + job. When I run out for errands, I typically have very little time... and very little makeup if any. Yoga pants are my go-to, especially with Barre3 in my life. I can wear them at work and be ready to squeeze in a workout between calls. As Lesley will tell you though, I also usually run errands in yoga pants. My 16 year-old self would be mortified. I know. I'm not proud...

For a long time, I was wearing them because I had ill fitting jeans. Now it's just because I'm always rushed and lets face it, a little lazy.

Today I was at the nail salon in said yoga pants getting my toes done for the Grammys. There was an older woman a couple of stations down from me who was dressed impeccably. Hair, makeup, accessories... the works. She kept staring at me. Of course, my inner monologue went something like:
"Ok, lady. I get it. I'm a hot mess. You can put your eyeballs back in their sockets now. We aren't all millionaire housewives. Give me a flippin break." When I moved over to get my fingers done, she was right next to me... still staring... right at my yoga pants. I felt obligated to say something. I wanted her to know that I know it's not ok. I felt the need to defend my honor for fear she'd call Joan Rivers on me.

Me: "Busy day..."
Her: "Oh?"
Me: "Yep, between work and the kids, I didn't even have time to get properly dressed. (nervous giggle).
Her: "I couldn't help but notice your yoga pants."
My inner monologue: Here it comes...
Her: "They look great on you.  Can I ask where you got them?"
My inner monologue: Listen, I know I don't look like I work out, but I swear I... wait. What?
Me: "Um. Sure... "

Someone on planet earth admired my yoga pant look. I can't believe it. A month ago, someone in the grocery store thought I was pregnant. This is a much better feeling. I could kiss Sadie Lincoln. Another Barre3 miracle, folks. Let's hope it translates to looking decent in my dress. It comes tomorrow! Eeeek!

I could also slip my wedding rings off at manicure time! I usually leave them on because it takes about a gallon of Crisco to get them off. I sure do love the feeling of getting smaller and less puffy. It's worth all the hard work... and lack of wine... and chocolate... and cheese... and grains...  Right?

Last night's dinner (and today's lunch) of "a little of this, a little of that" stir fry came out yummy:

Ok, now back to work for me so I can "clock out" in time to get some good snuggles in with these little dudes tonight.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 31 - Spanx you, Barre3

Happy Wednesday!

You might have noticed that I changed the name of my blog to include "and beyond". I'll keep blogging as long as you're with me! Maybe not daily after the Grammy's, but still a few times a week as I incorporate Barre3 into the rest of my life and work hard to hit my weight-loss goal by the end of April!

So, we fly to LA before the sun rises on Saturday morning. I'm starting to think about what to pack... so this morning, I tried on my Spanx with the bra that I was planning to wear with my Grammy dress just to make sure they work together. Good thing I tried them on! BOTH were too big. For those of you that have heard me evangelize for how cost effective Barre3 is, let me officially retract that statement. If you keep it up, you're going to need all new EVERYTHING! Yowza. Not that I'm complaining...

Anyway, baggy Spanx don't do a whole lot of good, so I ran out to get a new set. Lesley told me that Kohl's sells them, so I stopped there. They are half the price that Nordstrom sells them for, so I got the tights too... for a rainy day. :) Seriously though, their delicates department has some nice items. Who knew?

My husband tried on his Tux last night to make sure everything fit as it should...

Arm candy! He's a stone fox, even in his gym socks :)

Today has been super busy. I didn't have a 40 minute window today, so I did a 10 minute this morning, after lunch (Ballet Core!), and will do another after dinner. Maybe Turbo in 10. No excuses, right? Like my friend Sarah said today: "Even if it's 11pm, I have 10 minutes." That's a fact!

I'm trying to go through the perishables in the fridge before we go, so I made a little scramble for lunch:

Egg whites, a little piece of canadian bacon, avo, a little onion... not bad.

Tonight I'm making stir fry using all the things in the crisper drawer. Mmmm

Last night I took a training on financial planning. Now I'm obsessed with buying a house. Hopefully end of summer this year. Any advice?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 30 - Soup & Fashion.

So, yesterday I threw together a really yummy soup in the crock pot. No grains, so I used chicken, celery, carrots, onions, bell pepper, and a big sweet potato. I made enough to last for a couple of days which is good because it has been a big hit around here:

Of course that took hours to cook... so for lunch I made sweet potato hashbrowns. It was just an experiment but they were delicious. Totally having them for dinner tonight with one egg + 2 egg whites. 

Still no grains this week! Now that the Grammys are less than a week away, I'm not even tempted.

Ok enough about food. Let's talk about shoes. The fabulous Regan Nelson, Barre3 instructor extraordinaire and fashion blogger (Cardigans & Couture) pointed out the fact that I talked about new shoes yet negated to share pictures. This is for you!

These are the shoes I have for the big night that I already own:

These are the new ones:

The pictures do not do them justice though. Since it's a music event, I wanted to go a little edgy, so they both have a bit of rock-n-roll to them. Since I won't get to try on the dresses until they arrive on Friday, I needed another option.  I didn't post pictures before because I was thinking that shoes had nothing to do with Barre3... but now I'm seeing my calves! Um. They did NOT look like that last time I checked. Yay for muscles! Woo hoo! 

If you're wondering about the dresses I rented, here they are: 

My favorite: 

 ...and the backup choice:
Fingers crossed that they fit! I also rented some fun accessories... some statement geometric gold dangly earrings and a gorgeous gold jeweled clutch. I can't wait to play dress-up! 

This morning I did the 30 minute Length workout with Lisa, then 15 on the TreadClimber at lunchtime. I'll do a 10 minute Ski Conditioning with Regan before I head to the financial planning training at the Junior League office tonight. My husband and I just got audited... I need to soak up some serious knowledge! 

Hope you're having a fabulous day! 


Monday, February 4, 2013

Day 29 - ...and feelin' fine.

Well, I woke up this morning feeling sort of awful. Sluggish, stiff, and my stomach was upset. I'm calling it a junk food hangover. It was just the wakeup call I needed though. It's not like I was doubting the fact that this way of eating is best, but to feel my body writhing in protest is more than enough to keep me on the straight and narrow. Lesson learned. Moving on.

For those of you that ended the challenge yesterday, tread lightly... and I strongly recommend that you steer clear of pub cheese.

So, I'm now in the home stretch before Grammy weekend. I was looking at my arms this morning and willing them to get awesome. Lesley's arms are looking AMAZING. I have hope! I had yogurt and berries with walnuts for breakfast. I miss my Muesli, but no grain no gain, right? I had a busy morning at work, and then tried a new workout. The 40 minute Wisdom with Sadie. It's definitely my new favorite. LOTS of arm combo work. Seriously, my arms are still shaky as I type this. I'm telling you... I think she can read my thoughts.

For those of you that are just starting the challenge, I'll share what has been working best for me. I followed the challenge to the letter the first two weeks and had awesome results. Week 3, I felt like it waned a little bit. I know I was still building muscle... it was more of just a feeling. Then I started the 3 workouts a day routine and started seeing quick results again. Just a 30-40 minute in the morning, 10-15 minutes of something in the afternoon (I do the TreadClimber) and then a 10 minute Barre3 workout after dinner. Those extra little quickies really got my body to pay attention. Then, when I cut grains, I felt it even more. I don't think I'll keep grains out forever, but definitely if I feel like I hit a rut. It's funny though, with nuts and sweet potatoes, I don't really miss the grains other than at breakfast time.

Also with the trifecta of movement in the day, I'm earning way more NikeFuel points. Most of my workouts go relatively unnoticed by the FuelBand... Barre is so fluid as is the TreadClimber... but I'm just staying more active. I had my best week ever!

This thing is training me to move more. I had an 11 day streak going until last weekend... that Sunday I wrote a song and recorded it so I wouldn't forget and then worked on my book for a few hours. I have a lot of hobbies that involve sitting on my tush. On those days, I'll try to get outside and get some bigger movement to offset it. Still though, I'm thinking about it habitually which is new to me, so hey.

A shout out to my friends Stephanie and Sarah who have signed up for Barre3 this week! You ladies are going to love it. Know that I will be here for you anytime you need me! I'm taking this thing to 90 days (at least!), so we'll be in it together!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day 28 - Manic Sunday

Today is the last official day of the challenge. This morning I weighed in another half a pound down and did a little happy dance. I had some yogurt with berries and walnuts and a 20oz glass of water. Then Eric and I took the twins to a bigger and better park then our little neighborhood has to offer. It's a special treat reserved for the rare days when both my husband and I have time on our hands. Anytime the twins get let loose in an open space, they take off running in complete opposite directions as fast as possible.

Exhibit A: 

After the park, we got takeout salads for lunch, put the boys down for nap, and then I ran out to the grocery store to get snacks for Super Bowl and for band practice tonight. I loaded my cart with some healthy things for my week ahead (remember, this is not my last day! 33 to Grammy!) and lots of tempting delicious evil things for everyone else. I even grabbed a couple of fancy beers for my Hubby. I was at the register checking out and chit-chatting with my favorite Trader Joe's gal.
Her: "Oh, getting some beers for the game, eh?"
Me: Oh, they aren't for me. I can't have gluten and I'm on a diet."
Her: Oh not today!" Then abandoned the register and briskly walked over to the beer aisle and came back with a sixer of GF beer.
"You'll like this." She said confidently. Who am I to argue? Besides, there's no harm in buying them, right?

Then I made a detour on the way home and bought myself a pair of super sexy heels to wear on Grammy night. I love them. OMG.

Of course then I was running late and hustled home to lay out the spread. It was healthy...ish. Rice crackers and pub cheese, potato bites, olives, chicken meat balls... cookies... caramel corn. Um. Did I mention oranges?

So, yeah. The second half of my day was a cheat day. My first cheat day of the challenge... on the last day of the challenge. I was about to say it was a celebratory cheat day... but I seriously need to stop celebrating things with food. Such a bad habit! I am calling my shoes my 28-to-Great reward and calling my afternoon a moment of weakness. 

That being said though, it SO could have been worse. The capacity of my stomach isn't big these days, so after some chips, a couple of meat balls, and a few dips of pub cheese, I was full. I opened a GF beer and drank about 1/3 of it before I saw something shiny and wandered off... it was tasty, but I was full and never came back for it. At band practice, I had a few skittles and some veggies. I didn't eat dinner... so all in all, not SUPER bad. 

Congrats to the Ravens for a great game tonight. Also, congrats to Beyonce for (barely) managing to keep her crotch in her biker dominatrix onesie. I thought it was going to be a major wardrobe malfunction that would make Janet's nip slip seem family friendly. Instead, she gyrated the lights out! Gotta give the girl credit though. She sounded great. I don't think I could hit a single note after air humping an entire stadium of people like that. She must do a lot of cardio. 

Band practice was awesome. We worked on a couple of new songs that I cannot wait to record and share with you. I am so lucky to play with such amazingly talented musicians. 

So, tomorrow, it's a grain-free day for me! 

I hope you had a great weekend! 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day 27 - Poopocalypse.

This morning started off great. My husband worked today, so I got the boys up and out in to the sun. We went to play in Papa's yard and then hit the farmer's market. I'd already earned more than 1,000 Nike Fuel points before lunchtime.

Then we came home.

The twins were having lunch, just like any other normal day. Xander wasn't very hungry, so I let him out of the highchair and gave him the broom to help me "clean". Suddenly, I hear this awful guttural sound come from him. It sounded like a large dog growling. Then I see poop coming out of the bottoms of both of his pant legs. The blowout was like nothing I've ever seen. I'll spare you the rest of the details, but let me tell you... my stomach was churning by the time I got him cleaned up and into his crib.

Then I came out to get Easton who was still quietly eating in his high chair. He looked up at me, smiled, and said "Poop Mama". His remained in his pants, but just barely. I took a break half way through getting him cleaned up and threw up a little.

By the time my husband got home from work, I still hadn't worked out. I can't take today as a rest day because tomorrow is Super Bowl and band practice... so, I took a couple of Tums and spent a 10 minute Turbo with Kait and then did 10 with Regan.

That's all I have to give today.

The good news? I have absolutely no appetite. Heading to see a zombie rom-com with Lesley tonight. I may reward myself with a kid's popcorn to go with my peppermint tea.

I hope your day is far less disgusting.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 26 - Let's talk results.

We have just a couple more days to go before the challenge ends officially. I am committing to 90 days though... with the exception of Grammy weekend! I want to keep it going. I'm feeling great and am not ready to see it end. Anyway, Sadie put an email out asking about results, so I whipped out the tape measure today and here are the findings:

By week 2, I started seeing some pretty phenomenal changes in my body. The first big one was the complete disappearance of my triple chin. In the next two weeks I started seeing long lean muscles appear. My waist was shrinking and I was feeling stronger and more balanced. My abdominal separation now feels almost completely healed. I feel more steady on my feet and have all the stamina I need to wrangle my now toddling twins. Also, my tush lifted from sort of flat and sad to perky. My husband is pleased :)

Now lets talk numbers. During this challenge, I have lost: 

13 lbs. 
1 inch around each arm (and have lost cellulite!)
4 inches around my waist 
3 inches around my hips
2 inches around each thigh
2 chins

So, I'm 25 pounds or so away from my end goal. That feels achievable. Slow and steady... 

How about you?