So I am not a huge resolution fan so I decided to make my self goals for 2012 and why not 12 being it is 2012 and all.  Also as a teacher we are required to set smart goals for ourselves and students (this is a fancy way of saying you set a goal that can be measured) so most of my goals for 2012 are ones that can be measured and I figured I will keep a running tally of these on my home page to sort of keep myself in line.  I decided for the first time in ages I am not going to do any weight loss goals (although I am restarting weight watchers along with my clean eating more on that later)  So here are my 12 Goals for 2012

1. No more Soda-Except on my birthday if I Choose
2. Eat Dairy free-My stomach has been awful this week because I haven't been
3. Scrapbook Josie's first 12 Months
4. Finish Dylan's first 12 Months scrapbook (he is almost five and all)
5. Exercise 3 times a week (166 Times this year)
6. Read 30 books
7. Make 12 projects with my grandma's group on Facebook (not that I am a grandma but we do grandma type projects
8. Make an effort to connect with those people I care about.  Call, Email, or write a good friend once a week (52 times this year)
9. Make 100 posts this year on my blog
10. Spend more time being present with my kids-Be in the moment with them put down the phone
11.  Finish at least four more graduate courses to bring me closer to maxing out on the salary scale at my job
12. Be kind to myself-No negative nasty voice in the back of my head

So there you have it folk, my 12 in 2012.  I hope you are all enjoying your new year!  May this year bring you all that you are hoping for and then some!
So I finally have a few seconds to post a recap about my Holiday.  We have had a lot of sickness in the house plus add to that some emotional stuff going on with my husband and son it was very hard to get into the holiday spirit.  But when the time came who can not help but get into spirit when you have to great kids who love gift and are so stinking cute.  So for your holiday enjoyment.  A photo of my son playing with a science kit in his jammies and my new favorite picture of my baby girl-She looks so grown up here.  Also I have included a picture of my favorite gift-Ugg boots from my parents. I know I am spoiled and 17-All my student's wear them but shit they are comfortable and I might sleep in them if Papa Hunt wouldn't judge me for it!  Hope you all had a great holiday and I am looking forward to the new year!

Mu new boots

Dylan with Papa Hunt-enjoying our science kit

My beautiful Girl

Had to add this one, the puppy standing guard around the tree

Sorry this post comes well after the last ones but I have had a sick baby and the holidays means one crazy Momma!

So the menus
Day Four-Stuffed French Toast, Turkey with Cranberry Quinoa, Salmon with Pepper Coulis

Day Five-Spinach and Ricotta Crepe, Roasted Turkey Breast with Fruit Chutney, and Beef with Broccoli

Day Six-Jungle Chicken Crepe, Turkey Chili, and Chicken stuffed with Brown and Wild Rices

Stuffed French Toast-  Super yummy both Ryan and I liked these.  I really loved the Berry compote to put on top, it sort of made up for the fact I had to scarp out the cream cheese filling.  It even had a soy sausage that was excellent along with the sweet potato home fries.  Yummy

Turkey with Fruit Quinoa-YUMMMMY-First I recently discovered quinoa and love it!  This was great with hunks of cranberries.  The turkey was tender and moist which is almost unheard of in frozen meals. I loved it. Papa Hunt was a big second on these meals as well!  Also lets for a minute discuss the love of the butternut squash side-So good!  So Good!!

Salmon with Pepper Coulis- The salmon was really good I just hate olives and there were olives in the side dish.  To me it tainted the entire side dish. Now again this is just me and my crazy hang up on olives. I thought the Salmon was great.  Perfectly cooked great mild flavor.  Minus the olives it would have been a winner

Spinach Ricotta Crepe-  So I did not eat this because of the cheese so only Papa Hunt, his verdict if he liked spinach it would be great-He of course did not like it because of the spinach.  Oh well can't win them all!

Roasted Turkey Breast- Papa Hunt thought this was just ok, I on the other hand thought this was one of the best meals we had.  The Turkey was tender and the fruit chutney was so good, it was like a mini thanksgiving.  

Beef with Broccoli-  We both really enjoyed this traditional Chinese food dish. We both have been consistently surprised with the quality of the meat that comes in these meals.  I thought it was great that despite the fact that it was frozen it still was tender and had a great sauce.

Jungle Chicken Crepe-Only Papa hunt ate this one and he was not a big fan.  Nothing per say wrong with the meal just not really his taste for breakfast.  A bit too spicy for him and he prefers more of a sweet breakfast.

Turkey Chili-Papa Hunt did not eat this because he does not like spicy stuff.  I was really looking forward to this meal, and was really disappointed.  My reasoning, it didn't have much flavor.  It had great chunks of meat in it, nice beans, and a thick sauce to it.  For some reason it just lacked a lot of flavor.  I still have one left in the freezer and I think I will add some salsa to it to kick it up a notch

Chicken stuffed with Brown and Wild Rices-This was a nice meal, but not one of the better ones.  We thought it lacked some of the other meals rich flavors and needed a little something.  I did love the Ratatouille that was served on the side.  This hit the spot.

Stay tuned for my over all review tomorrow (if I am lucky) and I apologize for a lack of pictures at the end.  Two kids at meals are crazy add the Santa factor and sickness I am lucky I got to eat sitting down!  
Day Two
Breakfast with Santa, Lunch Cheese Ravioli for Pap Hunt and Moroccan Chicken for Me, Dinner was Grilled Chicken with Spinach Orzo

Day Three
Breakfast-Spinach, Pepper and Feta Omelet, Lunch Papa Hunt-Steak house wrap me-Blackened Tilapia, Dinner-Pulled Pork Caroline Style

Cheese Ravioli-Papa Hunt liked this and said it was tasty but he could have used a bit more, again I mentioned that this is what a portion of pasta really looks like

Moroccan Chicken-I thought this super spicy and sweet chicken was yummy.  Yet, upon tasting it I clearly knew why Papa Hunt did not like this meal.  He is not a huge savor and sweet fan and from the raisins you get a sweet tasty and it was middle eastern spicy which he is not a fan, but I liked it.  The chicken was perfectly cooked

Grilled Chicken and Orzo-We both thought the chicken was good as well as the Orzo our only complaint was it was a lot of spinach and Papa Hunt really does not like spinach and for these past few days there has been spinach in everything!!  Again the chicken was cooked really good and reheated well. To me the best part was the veggies, super good squash and eggplant my favorite combo

Spinach omelet with turkey hash-I loved this-Now I did have to scrap out the feta since I can't do dairy but the eggs were surprisingly tasty for microwaved eggs.  Plus the shredded turkey with potato hash was a great edition to my omelet

Steak House Wrap-Papa Hunt loved it, only complaint was that it was too soft to pick up and eat and you needed a knife and fork

Blackened Tilapia-I hate to admit this because I really have liked the food, I threw it out!  It was way to spicy for me and I usually love spicy.  Plus I was bummed because I never get to eat fish because Ryan doesn't like it.  So I am having my dad eat the Tilapia this week for lunch while he is watching the wee one since he likes super spicy.

Pulled Pork-WINNER WINNER CHICKEN (I mean pork) dinner.  We loved it.  We both had never had okra before and although it was a bit slimy it was super crunchy and squash like.  Also the baked beans and pulled pork were and excellent combo!  This was another favorite of ours.  YEAH!!! Just bummed I forgot to take a picture of it

Well off to eat my breakfast, see you tomorrow with another update
So as I posted before I was Lucky enough to be given sample meals from Bistro MD to try for a week.  Since we didn't know when they were coming we already had a lot planed so we are working the plan into our lives.  So far so good!  We are really liking the meals the only complaint that I have (and its my own fault) I did not tell them that I was lactose intolerant so some of the tastier looking meals I have had to trade with my hubby because I can't Wait them with all the dairy in it.  So below are the meals that we have eaten and some brief commentary and pictures.

Erica-Berry Crepes, Lunch was out, Dinner-Beef Tips
Ryan-Berry Crepes, Moroccan Inspired Chicken, Beef Tips

Erica and Ryan-Sweet Potato Pancakes, Chicken Sausage with Mustard, and dinner was out

Ok so here our thoughts and a few photos to help you visualize
Berry Crepes-They smelled amazing and tasted really good.  We both were actually surprised how good the turkey sausage was alhtough Ryan who doesn't like spicy things felt that the sausage was a bit spicy for the am

Moroccan Inspired Chicken-Papa Hunt said it was good quality food and tasted ok but the flavor combos were not something that he would really choose to eat on his own.  He prefers more traditional flavors.  So he wanted me to point out this was not a flaw with the good it was more a personal flavor choice

Beef Tips- The beef tips were super yummy.  Nice big chunks of tender beef, with wide egg noodles and an amazing blend of mushrooms.  This was by far a stand out in the last few days for both me and Papa Hunt.  Although Papa Hunt and mushrooms are an evil combo but it was tasty enough to deal with the aftermath

Sweet Potato Pancakes0I was in love.  Breakfast doesn't get any better than yummy pancakes, syrup, and some sausage.  I actually thought that sweet potatoes because of the cinnamon tasted a bit like pumpkin pancakes which I am in love with.  Plus a tasty  little sausage dipped in sugar free syrup so good!  Papa Hunt wasn't as big of a fan but his complaint had to do with size-He didn't think that three small pancakes was not enough but I reminded him that this is part of the plan learning what portion sizes are!

Chicken Sausage with mustard sauce, braised cabbage, and mushroom barley-BEST MEAL EVER.  This was so dang tasty.  Be both loved it and our plates looked literally like they were licked clean.  The sausage was flavored perfectly and the mustard sauce was not over powering.  The cabbage with apples was out of this world and the barley was so yummy!!!!  I want to eat this every day.  Sadly even though this was my favorite meal-we don't have pictures of it because....well sausage looks a little ummm....like sausage so no pictures!

We have really been enjoying the food I will update Sunday's meals tomorrow!  Have a great day everyone
I am so excited to post about this....a few weeks ago I was contacted by Bistro MD about testing out their products and reviewing them here on my blog.  We I got lucky and was chosen and was also lucky enough to get meals for my hubby-Papa Hunt to review as well.  I keep using the work lucky because lets be honest not cooking or having to buy groceries the week before Christmas is nothing but friggin lucky.  So for the next week you can be expecting pictures and details about my food.  The program was recently featured on Dr. Phil-and anyone who knows me knows I am a Dr. Phil Junky!  So we got our delivery yesterday in the mail and I was super surprised.  Not only did the food look to be of good portion size, it looked really tasty.  Most of the meals looked to be around 300 calories and a way bigger portion then the light frozen meal I just ate for dinner last night.  It was half the size for 300 calories.  Well I can't wait to go heat up my breakfast and take some photos of it!  I will keep you all update on my journey!  Yeah for new and exciting things!
Ok so I am sucker for any children's book and then add in the fact that this is about Alaska and I am in heaven!  I have a thing for Alaska-I loved it when we visited plus you all know I am slightly obsessed with Deadliest Catch!  Well I was offered to review Musher's Night Before Christmas and I was so excited-forget the kids.  But you know what...my son fell in love with the book. He has been taking it to bed to read before he goes to sleep for the last two weeks since it arrived.  This book is based on the classic Night Before Christmas but has an Alaskan flair.  It features eight champion Alaskan sled dogs and their owner.  I think I loved reading about the historical basis of the story even more than the story itself.  The Author-Tricia Brown does an amazing job weaving in these traditional Alaskan elements to this age old story.  Also, I loved the illustrations by Debra Dubac because they bring the story to life in a realistic cartoony way.  Not only is the story great, the book itself is gorgeous to look at.  This is a great book and would make an amazing holiday gift!  Heck look at us reading it the day it came in the mail!

There is a plague upon my house.....no seriously.  I am starting to think there might be some type of allergeren or something in my house that is causing this horrendous run of sickness!  My kids are still gross, the hubs is still gross, and to top it off I got a stomach bug this past weekend.  Awesome doesn't even begin to cover it!!!  Yet, we are hanging in.  This past Friday we went for our first therapy appointment to help us deal with D's sleep issues and that went much better than I thought and we are headed back this Friday without the wee one in order to work on some strategies for dealing his anxiety and sleep issues.  It is nice to at least feel like we are making some postive moment.  I will keep you all posted and hopefully things will settle in and I can start to blog a bit more.  Also, don't forget I am a featured mommy blogger over on the #mefirst website so check me and the other momma's out over there! http://mefirstblog.com/2011/12/using-finding-nemo-as-my-inspiration/
Had a great turkey day and hope you did too!  Things have been a bit rough around here Check out my post recent post and I will post more later.  So below are the things I am most thankful for!

Dylan working it

Josie rocking out with her Maracas 

The Turkey all Golden and Brown

Josie dealing her Sesame Street Cards

Once again I was lucky enough to be asked to review a great book.  The publishers at Robert Rose sent me a copy of The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes second editon to preview.  I was so excited when I got it in the mail.  Not only did it have amazing recipes it had tons of pictures.  I am such a foodie, I am drawn to pictures.  They even had an entire section on soups and chilis, which living in New England I love soups and chilis for lunch in the winter.  The only thing I was concerned with is tha tsince I am eating healthy would any of these recipes fit my new guidelines, and the answer is yes.  Lots of recipes were "clean" and others would be made clean but a few easy subsitutions.  Some of the recipes that struck me as super yummy were the Chinese Style Braised Pork, Two Bean Turkey Chili, Delectable Apple-Cranberry Coconut Crisp (stay tuned for an update on this it will be making an appearance during the holiday season) and the recipe I chose to test Turkey Sloppy Joes.  Since the hubby had mouth surgery and was limited to the types of soft squishy food he could eat, we went with this.  It was a super easy recipe with basic ingredients.  It smelt so good I am not going to lie that I had a wee sample before dinner that night.   Below is the image of our dinner.  If you are a busy mom like me this book is a must have.  It also includes sections on what you can make ahead as well as how to half the recipes in case you need a smaller quantity.  Check it out my friends.
So for the past week and half I have been sick. The kind of sick that sicks your ass. Despite my best effort I ended up having to stay home from work one day last week. In addition to that my wee one Dylan hasn't been sleeping. I wish I could say this is a phase, I wish I could say it has been week, but it has been three months. Yes you read that correctly, three months of not sleeping through the night. He wakes up several times during the night and says he has to go the bathroom (he goes three drops), he is scared, he needs to be tucked in. After numerous calls to his doctor for suggestions she has said that he is doing what is called checking and has been so helpful trying to give us suggestions that have worked for her or others. Sadly nothing works. No amount of reward or punishments will get my little guy to stay in bed all night long.
In my heart I have known for awhile that this is some sort of anxiety issue surrounding all the major changes in his lift. He has started a new school, my dad (who is his hero) takes him to school now but drops him off and then spends the day with his little sister, his daddy had surgery and was really sick for awhile. It is a lot for a wee one to deal with. Heck it was a lot for me to deal with and I am 30! So i have known for awhile that despite how much I want to know the answer of how to fix this for him and make him feel better and get him to sleep I don't. After much talking and discussion we have decided that we need to call in the reinforcements. I need to ask for some help from someone who is qualified to deal with these issues in children. For all the moms out there, you can just imagine how much I hate the thoughts of having to admit that I am failing as a parent. Now wait....I know that by asking for help with my children when I need it is doing what is best for my child and it isn't failing....but is sure as hell feels like it.
So yesterday with a sad heart I called my pediatrician and asked her to call me back with some names of specialists who could hopefully get us on the right track to helping our wee man. I know that I am doing what is best for my kid, but it is never easy to admit that you need help or that your baby isn't perfect.
Yeah I wish-This momma is sick.  The kind of sick that you would be hiding under covers except for the occasional cup of tea or chicken noodle soup.  The kind of sick that as of my 645 appointment today will warrant two trips to the doctor.  But sadly this Momma is at work...why you ask?  I used all my sick time taking care of my hubby during his surgery, when my kids were sick, and last week when my dad was sick and couldn't care for the baby.  So here I am a high school teacher with no voice, coughing up a lung, and running on two hours of sleep because I am so damn sick I can't sleep.  Please excuse me while I have this pity party for myself and curl up into a call under my desk at work!  OK deep breaths....I am moving on now! 

The On a much lighter and happier note my bio was published for the #mefirst blog that I was selected to write for.  This is an amazing opportunity for me and I couldn't be more excited.  Check out the link below to see my bio and the other wonderful moms who are participating in this journey with me. 

The As many of you have heard with my rantings on face book and twitter we lost power in that big October storm.  We lost it for ten days!!!  So crazy.  I will post more about that later this week.  But in the midst of the ten days with no power I get some exciting new news.  I was selected to be a member of the #mefirst Project.  This is an amazing opportunity that I just had to try and get my hands on.  I was so bummed when I did not get voted to be the prior fat girl blogger over at Jen's site Priorfatgirl.  But as she stated to all of us she believed in us and wanted us to continue on our weight loss journey.  I have been, although I haven't lost a much weight since this summer I have been working on living a healthier lifestyle.  Yet I often find myself getting lost along the way.  Between work, the kids, the house I often find myself stressed to the max.  This project is meant to work with women like me and help us figure out how to take time for ourselves and how that can aid us in our over all healthiness journey.  I am so excited for this so stay tuned for more on my journey.  Also why not stop by the #mefirst Project website 
So yesterday started out as a fairly good day.  Although in our house we have been dealing with major sleep issues with our oldest who is four, things are good. We are getting ready for a Halloween party at our house and I actually had some time to get some cleaning done.  After the kids were in bed I snuck out to snag some leggings to go under my costume and was feeling really good.  Then the shit hit the fan.  The hubs and I got into it good, mainly over how to handle the kid and his major sleeping issues.  I got mad, really mad.  Something I hardly ever do...something up until a few months ago I never allowed myself to do.  I have always shied away from getting mad at people because in my mind if I got mad at someone they would stop liking/loving me.  I know this is sort of crazy thinking but I am one of those good girls who always has to be liked.  I have been working on this and I got mad.  Like swearing and screaming mad.  Although looking back I can say we both had a right to get mad and upset....it was really good to be mad.  I am still a bit pissed but to quote Dr. Phil you have to decide if you want to be right or do you want to live a happy life.  Meaning that if I want to hold a grudge and be mad about something that really wasn't that huge of a deal typical married life stuff (which by the way when I got married no one put this shit in the brochure) then it will create an unhappy household to live in and carry on anger about something that isn't honestly worth arguing anymore about. We are both at our wits end about the wee one and his lack of sleeping and we are starting to turn on each other.  Which we know we can't do.  So I have decided although it was good for me to get mad...it is time to move on.  Thanks for allowing me to vent.  Also for those of you who know me...I am sure you are getting a laugh at the thought of me getting pissed off enough to yell and swear about anything!  God I love having a place to leave everything and move on.  As my school's principal is fond of saying...onward and upward!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Z-Access Display frames.  They offered me a sample of one of their products to test out..and let me tell you I loved it.  This is a super cool way to display unusual items that do not typically fit in frames.  For example your kids art projects, baby toys, baseballs, awards, college keepsakes.  The sample that I was sent was a beautiful frame with an inner frames that basically allows you to shrink wrap your keepsake.  I chose to use one of the signed baseballs my uncle has given my son.  Normally, these baseballs go in one of those boring clear squares-Blah.  So i quickly unwrapped the frames, followed the super idiot proof instructions (which I loved by the way) and my baseball was so displayed in a cool rotating frames.  I loved it...all I could do was think about how I can't wait to use a few more.  For example, I would love to put a few of my son's art projects that are not flat in it.  Also, he has several more signed baseballs (my Uncle and Hubby are huge baseball fans) and I love this frame so much more than than those generic cubes.  Below are the photos I took of my frame.  My favorite part about it, it spins so you can see whatever is in the frame from 360 degrees.  So cool.  If you are interested in this frame check out their websites, they have different sizes and types for all of your display needs. www.displayit3d.com  Seriously go, check it out. 

So as I have mentioned before the Hubs had surgery a few weeks ago and although we both did better than I thought with him being out of commission...it is startin to catch up with me.  I am feeling really run down between being the one woman show. Not only do I have to do the stuff I normally do, up until three days ago Ryan was not driving so that meant I had to pick up Dy at school every day, run every errand, and in order to help Ry not go crazy take him to a few fun places when I got out of work.  Add to this that Dy is still having some major sleep issues and since up until three days ago Ry was on pain meds this means I am the one who gets up every single time with him.  I am tired.  I also haven't been working out because there hasn't been time for that and Ryan could not be left with the kids.  I finally snuck out this Saturday am to get my nails done...I desperately needed them filled.  Finally, we are being evaluated at work...something that happens every ten years to high schools across the nation.  This means that as I type this I am at work on a Sunday waiting to be interviewed for this reevaluation and will be here for three hours, plus two days this week after school we have hour and half meetings.  It is crazy busy.  Without being able to take any time for myself I feel like a cranky pants.  So I have promised myself once I get through this week I am going to be dedicating some time to myself and to my health and get back to eating as clean as possible and working out several times a week.  I can't wait to get back to having some me time! 

What are your thoughts on me time?  Do you take it?  Do you take enough of it?
As many of you know I have a fairly severe dairy issue these days and I can honestly say more than anything I miss eating, I miss my pinapple Chobani..More than all the icecream in the world what I crave is that darn yogurt.  Well recently I was contacted by Chobani about an event that they held in my area called Chobani Champions.  It was just another reason for me to love Chobani.

Earlier this week Chobani Champions and its partner KaBOOM!presented the Hartford Women’s League Child Development Center with anImagination Playground in a Box! The gift of this playground is to encouragecreativity and play and is part of a larger engagement from Chobani Championsto help celebrate what it means to be a “Champion.” This fall, allover the country, Chobani Champions has set up a variety of activitiesincluding a mobile bus tour, a mobile application, augmented reality, social mediaand more.

Why might you ask are they doing this.....well Chobani believes there is more to being a Champion than simplycrossing the finish line- Champions are caring, creative, imaginative andactive and deserve to be celebrated!

While I was not able to attend the event due to my hubbies surgery, it looked like a great time, one I am sad I couldn't attend with the kiddies.  Here are a few pictures from the event

Are you a Chobani Champions fan? One of mylucky readers can enter to win a free case of the Chobani Champions yogurt in either of their deliciousflavors --Honey-Nana or Verry Berry. To enter this giveaway please enter your name and an email address.  If you are a follower of my blog you please indicate that you are and you will be entered twice into the drawing.  The winner will be chosen on Nov 4th. 

Check out www.chobanichampions.com for more information on events, yogurt and cool activities for your Champions!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!
So I am hoping that this might start a wee bit of discussion but I have been pondering this for awhile now. Can we form real and meaningful friendships from social media outlets like twitter, facebook,and blogging? Now I will be the first to admit that if you had asked me this a few years ago I would have laughed and said not that friendships are the kind where you get together, hang out, spend time together and you can't do that through social media outlets. Well over the past few years my life has changed. I have had children, my close friends have had children, and some have moved away. That has left my circle of people who I get together with and spend time with is now very small (not including the people that I work with). After having my daughter a year and half ago I focused more attention on my blog and the blogging community and over the last six months I have really gotten into twitter. I have met a lot of great people. Perhaps not people that I would refer to as true friends, but dear acquaintances. I have met some who are helping bring me support in my journey to healthiness. People in my real life are either doing their own thing, are too judgemental, or are not interested in living a healthy life style. I needed to seek out support elsewhere and found that online. I also met an amazing group of women who we share a common interest, OK lets be honest obsession, with deadliest catch. From that I have begun to get to know these women and their real lives. It makes me feel like part of a community. This if course is all wonderful....the question I pose is this...is this healthy
I think for me it is. I am a super social person. This is why I love my job I get to work with an amazing group of people and I get to interact with over 100 teenagers every day. Yet now that I am older and have my family responsibilities and so do all my friends, those close friendship although they are still there are just not as readily available as they were when I was 25. So I feel that for me the social media outlet gives me a sense of community and interaction with others. I think it keeps me from feeling isolate. Yet, there is always that piece of me that questions whether these are real friendships....the kind where you truly care about the other person and their life. If i am being honest this is what I don't know the answer too.
Yet, I will say this, one of my favorite activities is in the am before the frenzy of my day starts at work I take a few minutes to check my twitter feed and read a few blog posts. Then at night I check the daily twitter feed and read a few more blog before bed. I feel it is sort of the same as me sending my best friend a text while eating breakfast and again at night while snuggling on the couch with my dog. So what are your thoughts, can our online "Friends" be real Friends?
The Social Network Diet the: Change Yourself, Change the World
I was lucky enough to be sent a review copy of this book. I will say that I was hesitant at first to read it because I have been so happy with my clean eating life style. Yet, I love reading so how turns down a free book! So as I started reading this book really hit home with me. It was a book about how the people we spend our times with (our social network) can affect our lifestyle. The book is laid out wonderfully by introducing the reader to the topic of social networks, identifying your social networks, figuring out the positive and negatives of your social network, and making changes to that network. Plus what I really loved about the book is they gave great examples in the book of not only people who worked at changing their social networks, but also suggestions for how to change your own even if you can't do something such as move to a new area or get all new friends.

Now as many of you know I don't have the greatest social network which is why I am greatly drawn to the online forums and communities that I have joined. This book has helped with some great suggestions about how to change my "real life" social network and I am I excited to use this book as a tool on my healthiness journey.

GIveaway Information: If you are interested in winning a copy of this book please leave your name and email in a comment below. Also, if you are a follower please let me know and you will be entered twice into the giveaway
I know I have been a bit off the grid lately at least blogging wise (I am an official tweet-aholic and need a program). My husband this past Tuesday had surgery to help with this sleep apnea and snoring. For the past few months this momma has been one tired girl. Between sleep issues from my little guy and the snoring from the hubby I was more tired than when I had a new born at home and was getting up to nurse every three hours! Well after several sleep studies and doctor's visits my husband decided for a radical surgery to have his tonsils, adenoids, uvula, and part of his soft palette removed. For anyone who has had their tonsils out as an adult can tell you this is exceptionally painful experience...but to have all that out is bit time shit to say the least. So this past Tuesday we got up early (4am) and headed to the hospital. I did the good wife thing and stayed with him for most of the day in recovery and then came home to take care of the kids. Although it was hard to leave him, my kids needed me too. I went and picked him up yesterday and he has been home ever since. I have to say he is doing much better than expected...to be honest he isn't the best with his pain tolerance so I thought this was going to be a disaster to say the least. Well things have been going oddly well.....and then it dawned on me while getting my nails done. Yes, I am totally that person who drugged up her hubby and snuck out to get a mani/pedi while he slept it off. No judging!!! It dawned on me that for the first time in a long time we are ok...I mean both of us were really ok.

As many of you know three years ago Ryan suffered a horrible bout of depression and has been working hard at coming back from that. In fact this week he stopped taking his anti depressant and will be stopping his therapy sessions at the end of the month. I have finally begun after much time with my own therapist have started to get over what was one of the worst periods of my life. Having a one year old child and a severely depressed husband leaves some scars. Scars that make you doubt yourself and your ability to be a good wife, mother, and person. I have been spending my last few sessions not working on getting over this horrible time in our lives but working on me. I have been working on me because I am finally getting over the hurt and anger that has been associated with this time in my life. I have been working on how to accept myself how I am as I am right at this minute. Which for many women is a hard thing to do. To trust ourselves and love ourselves is not easy to do but I am starting to realize the valdity of doing so. So when getting my nails done and holding hands with a stranger for an hour I realized that I am ok. That what normally would have been a monumental task of taking a huge chunk of time off from work, planning to be out, doing the hospital thing, and the single mom thing while he recovers would have sent me over the edge. In fact a year ago when Ryan had hernia surgery I was over the edge. Yet, this time I have a sense of peace about me. That I am capable of doing whatever it takes and that it will be ok I just need to trust in myself and surround myself with people who can help me deal with the situation (thank you to my real life friends and the twitter gang for the mental release). I have gained the ability to know how to ask for help and allow others to get to know the real me.

So although my poor (very busted and sore hubby) has lost a few important body parts, I have gained the knowledge that I am strong enough to handle this or anything else that might come my way....
Momma Hunt

Ok So I have never done this before so lets give it a go-

I am Confessing

-I confess I have a crush on a reality star

-I confess he stars in my fantasies but as time goes on I realize that this fantasy is bad for me

-I confess that this fantasy isn't bad because of who my crush is, or that I am a married mom with two kids with a fantasy boyfriend.  It is bad becuse of who I am in my fantasies

-I confess in my fantasies I am the person I wished I was-Always confident skinny sexy bitch.

-I confess that even more exciting than the man in my fantasies, it is how i look and how I feel as that other me

-I confess that it is unhealthy to have a fantasy where I am someone other than who I am because what I really need to do instead of daydreaming about my Deadliest Catch hottie is to start accepting myself for who I am at this moment

-I confess that this is hard thing to do!
Momma Hunt
Let me start this post with a disclaimer that this book is written by my Sister in Law so of course I am biased.  My sister in law started this book several years ago about her celebrity obsessions and what they meant to her and what they mean to people in general.  Of course I loved this book, but not for the reasons you might think (she is my sister in law).  I loved this book because it hits close to home.  I of course loved reading about Donna's adventures in her celebrity obsession with Clay Aiken then Jason Castro from the hit show American Idol.  What I was really drawn to was her ability and willingness to actually look at why she (and us as fans) become obsessed with people.  Now I do have a celebrity crush who for the time being will remain nameless, but I found myself reading this book thinking about my own reality TV star crush.  As Donna explores both the good and bad of being a fan, I connected deeply to her reflection that the reason we are attracted to celebrities is because there is a void in our own lives.  For her that void had to do with being in a long term relationship and the tough life of a stay at home mom (which we all know can be rough) for me it is the temptation of a fantasy life in which I am 75 pound thinner, way hotter, and get to spend time with crush. The book is a quick read with lots of inspirational quotes that tells two great stories. One story of Donna's life as a fan and mom and a second one of the not so sunny side of celebrity crushes or obsessions.  Later this month I hope to do an author interview and giveaway for a copy of the book, so stay tuned.  I of course give this book five stars, but then again I am of course biased!  Love you Donna!
Momma Hunt
So I have been really trying to work with this eating clean program for a little over five weeks. Most of the time I am sticking to the plan.  No white anything, protein and carbs with each meal, amd no dairy (that is not eating clean that is just my new lactose intolerance).  I lost a few pounds quickly and have been maintaining around a five pound loss for the five weeks, which is not bad.  I am really ahppy with the program and have been recording my food.  I just felt it should be more.  No if ai am being honest the gym and working out has been non exsisten with the return to school and hurricane.  I am just happy the start of the school year wasn't anymore stressful than it already was. 

Yet, of course that 4.6 pounds wasn't enough for me, I wasn't happy.  I felt like I looked better than four pounds.  So I busted out the good ole tape measure.  Guess what, this eating clean thing is working.  I have lost over an inch on my waist and an inch on my thighs and hips and chest (one inch on each not just all together) that is a big deal in just five weeks.  So I am going to have faith.  Faith that what I am doing is going to work to get me to loose weight, faith that this is how I should be eating forever, and faith that I can do this!  If i doubt, the proof is there. 
Momma Hunt

Well two weeks has passed and I am finally starting to feel back in the swing of things.  Although I desperately love my job, it is always hard to transition back from being home with the family to getting back to work.  Add to this the hurricane and no power for several days made a hairy start to the school year.  My son started preschool with great success.  Not a single tear shed (well by him, mom was a wee bit emotional). Now to be honest with all this going on normally this would be an excuse to
Thumbs up for starting school
Riding with J to school
eat junk and gain five pounds.  Well although I have been maintaining after a quick five pound loss while eating clean I am pleased with that.  Something had to give with this new back to school business and sadly it was working out. I am pleased to say that I am back on track and started scheduling my workouts again.  Plus I cooked a ton on Sunday to prepare for this new week of eating healthy and clean.  Although I have been off the grid on my blog, I have been faithfully reading blogs and keeping up with twitter.  So glad to be back in bloggy business again.
See ya Dad and Grandpa
Momma Hunt
I don't want anyone to think I have gone off on a bender and am eating myself silly...no its something equally as devastating..................The end of summer!!!!  In a week from Monday I will be back working full time and I am already stressed about getting my classroom set up, my lessons revised, and my graduate class done.  Not to mention my wee little man is going to school for the first time!  So although my new eating clean plan has gone amazing -3 pounds, I am tracking my food, and I am doing the weight challenge from prior fat girl....I just needed to take some time to get my life in order before going back to work.  I will start posting again regularly in about two weeks as well as faithfully reading blogs from my reading.  Right now all I can manage are those who post links on twitter.  Thanks for hanging in there with me and see you all in a few weeks!
Momma Hunt
I have been bouncing around between 35-40 pounds lost for the last few months and have really been thinking about why I am not loosing weight.  In the spirit of honestly, half assing it would be the reason.  I have been doing weight watchers for so long that I get lazy with my points.  In this I mean there are days where I don't record my food, where I eat within my points but don't make good food choices, or in general just don't follow the plan.  I think the only reason I haven't gained weight the last two or three month has been that in the last month I have had to stop eating diary (which rules out a lot of food I would love to eat) and that I have to walk the dog for 25min every day.  So I took the advice of some of my work friends and picked up a book called "Eating Clean Recharged" by Tosca Reno.  Now let me be clear this is not me looking for a quick fix (I know they don't exist) but looking for something more to suit my life.  Although I will still record my food (I took the suggestion of Jen over at Prior fat girl) about a great journal.  I think that right now the whole finding time to record my points, even if I get an iphone, is just not something with two young kids I can do.  Also, with this Eating Clean program you are eliminating white flour, white sugar, and white rice..basically its anti-white!  Then you eat well rounded meals and three snacks a day all which contain protein and complex carbs.  I have noticed that in the past few months I have been needing a cup of coffee in the afternoon, according to some of the info presented in the book that is most likely due to not eating well.  The reason I am drawn to this plan is that is very easy to do all the time, you follow the plan and eat well and enjoy yourself on special occasions.  This to me is how I should be eating....good healthy food, working out, and enjoying life.  Not figuring out how I can manipulate my points.  Now don't get me wrong, I love me some WW!  That is how I lost 70 pounds pre wedding and how I have lost 35 pounds plus about another 15 of post baby weight.  I just think that it is time for a change.  For me and my family, especially the hubby who has been experiencing some major health issues (that is for another post).  So for me to accept that what I am doing isn't working is a huge step usually I hate to admit I am failing but what I am doing isn't working so I am moving on. I will update everyone on how it works out on Monday with my new weekly weigh in day.  Wish me luck!  
Momma Hunt
Product Details I have to say there isn't much by Janet Evanovich that I don't like and this was no exception.  I have to say as much as I love her, I have found that her number series was getting a bit old and some of her other books were not 5/5 they were more 4/5 which is still good in my book.  Well this book was probably one of the better books I have read by her in a few years.  It is an older book by her when we was writing romance novels pre-the number series.  This book was great.  A little bit of mystery, a little bit of romance, and I lot of funny moments.  This was a really fun read and a must for anyone who enjoys Janet Evanovich.  I am giving this book 5/5
Momma Hunt
So I am still a bit bummed that I am not farther along in my journey but then again I need to keep in mind that it isn't how long it takes me to get there just that I get there.  Well last weekend we had friends over (former roommates of my hubby from college) and this is now an annual event.  So last year we took a photo and we did this year too.  When I compared these two photos I realized just how much of a difference those 35 pounds make.  It puts it into focus that I am doing OK, that I am making strides, and that as long as I keep plugging away I will get there.  So here are the comparison photos of last summer and this summer (it is probably more like 30 pounds but still) what gets me the most is I thought I looked good in that green shirt (what the hell was I thinking).  
Last summer-Me on the end
This summer me in the back holding Miss J
Momma Hunt
AFTER The Before & After: A Real-Life Story of Weight Loss, Weight Gain and Weightlessness Through Total Acceptance About two months ago I was reading one of my weight loss blog sites and someone mentioned that another blogger had written a book and was talking it up at fitblog.  So I checked it out and it looked like it would be worth a read.  Now I will say that this book spoke to me in many ways.  It was a great discussion on how for the author loosing weight needed to be not about the number on the scale but more with a more positive relationship with herself.  Loving herself as she was.  It also discussed the heartbreak of loosing weight and then gaining some of it back.  This is something I have been struggling with over the last few years.  I lost a bunch of weight then gained it back, partially due to poor habits and partially due to those two amazingly cute kids a had.  So this book was an eye opener for me.  It made me realize that along with working on my eating issues with a professional maybe I can spend some time on my own looking at some of the various resources that Anderson presented in her book. Now I know that every one's weight loss journey is different and there were some things that she discussed in the book that I would not really be into there were other books and websites that I plan to spend part of my summer reading about.  I also liked that this book read like I was reading a bunch of blog posts, which we all know that I love!!  I think that this is a great read for anyone who is struggling in their weight loss battle but more importantly this is a must read for anyone who is struggling with self acceptance!
Momma Hunt
Ok so I am going to piss and moan here for a bit.  I have tracked my food all week and exercised almost every day and the scale this week.....NOTHING.  I big ole-nothing.  I know that it is more than the scale.  Lets be honest though we all know that when that scale goes down we feel like we are really heading in the right direction.  I have been stuck at his weight for over two months now.  I know this the weight that I usually get stuck at (I did two previous times) so I know I just have to keep going.  I think of Finding Nemo when they sing "Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming" I know it will happen.  I know that the 100 plus degree heat with humidity isn't helping things.  I know I can't quit and I wont.  I just really wanted to loose some serious weight this summer.  I am thinking that maybe rather than have a time frame for my goals I just need to have goals and that is it.  I will save those thoughts for another post!  I did finish another book this week about another bloggers weight loss journey and I will post a review about that first thing next week.  Have a nice weekend everyone!

Book Progress 2/10
Weight Progress .6/20 ;-(
Momma Hunt
I am really going to give this book 3 1/2 stars.  I didn't love it but it still sucked me in anyways. I am in a complete tudor England phase and this was a nice break of pace from my other current novels.  This novel focused more on post Henry VIII rule and on Queen Mary's rule and Princess Elizabeth's rise to the thrown.   My only issue with the book is there were tons and tons of people.  So many that you sometimes got lost in what you were reading.  I do think that I might go back and read one of her early books since I really did like the characters that were created in the book. Not a must read, but still for those Tudor England/Elizabethean England fans a good read.
Momma Hunt
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Ten Random Questions
1) What do you like most about yourself?  My laugh and smile
2) List three characteristics that you like to have in your friends. Generosity, humor, and the ability to understand that as a working mom of two, sometimes the only time I can talk is via text
3) How often do you brush your teeth? I brush like a maniac.. Twice a day
4) If you could travel anywhere today, where would you go?  Probably to London again to share it with my hubby
5) Have you ever met anyone from the blog world in person?  No but I really want to go to a prior fat girl conference but the funds are low in this house
6) What is the last show you watched on TV?  Breaking bad...LOVE it
7) What kind of perfume/cologne do you wear?  None
8) How long ago did you complete your last workout?  This am with walking the dog for 25min
9) What will you eat for dinner tonight?  I had a hamburger, some tortilla chips, and a diet soda which I never drink
10) Share something fun that you did over the weekend.  We had a reunion party for my hubby's college friends and it was an amazing time getting together with old friends!

Now it’s your turn!
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Momma Hunt
So I am getting on board with a fun group called prior fat pack from prior fat girl.  One of the prior fat pack Kris suggested that we all put on our big girl panties (or big boy boxers) and just start doing what we need to be doing.  So I figured I would get on this.  I have tracked almost every day this week and walked the dog and hit the gym most nights or did a second trip with the dog.  Although the results were not what I would have wanted such as a five pound loss, I posted a half pound loss this week and read half a book so here are my stats up to date.

Weight Loss .6/20
Books Read 1.5/10
Momma Hunt
Its happened....I never thought it would again.  I have fallen in love. Head over heels in love.  The kind of love that makes you not care when that loved one does something wrong,  pisses you off, because you are so smitten with them you can easily forget any wrong they have committed.  So meet the new love of my life....it official I am head over heels for this one
Look at those ears, you would be smitten too!

Awhile back I posted about my two former dogs.  I  really truly believed I would never love another dog as much as I loved my little Wiener Dog Rocky.  He was the love of my life, perfect for me in every way.  Yet, after a year or so I realized the greatest compliment I can give my former dogs is to love another one.  I still talk about all the things I loved about my old dogs, but our newest one is so different and I love her for that.  Olivia is now 8 months old, weights a bit over 10 pounds and is a ball full of energy until she crashes and needs to be snuggled.  She loves to play catch, something my other dogs never really got.  She loves to go for walks.  Most days she gets me outside and walking twice a day for 20-25 minutes at a clip and I love it.  It makes me feel a bit less guilty when I don't hit the gym.  She is a Diva in every sense of the word. She wears a rhinestone collar and struts when she walks.  She loves to sit in my lap and snuggle-Sometimes its a pain should I be trying to do important stuff like knitting or playing words with friends.  She is also an attention whore (which I totally am so she and I get each other).  She isn't always perfect, she can destroy a chew toy in less than 20 minutes, she has a proclivity for my unmentionables that some how get out of the laundry basket and into her bed, and she will eat anything out of the crash (and I mean anything).  Yet I am in love.

She brings something to my life that was missing.  It is weird to say it. Those of you who don't have pets might not understand.  She some how completes my life.  I have a great hubby, amazing kids, a job I love, yet she was some how the thing that I was missing.  So now its out in the open I am completely utterly, head over heels in love with my dog!

Here is a few more photos because she is so that cute!
I like this photo because it shows off how small she is

Investigating Mom's Camera
Momma Hunt
So as I have discussed before I have been spending a lot of time working on figuring out who I really am.  After so much needed time with a qualified professional (Aka Doc C) I have come to the conclusion that for a large portion of my life I have pretended to be something that I am not.   I was always pretending because I so disliked myself that I pretended to be perfect, always happy so that I would be sure people would like me...well over the past few months I have realized that it is better to be myself flaws and all then be something that I am not.

So that brings us up to a few weekends ago when my college best friend Dave married the most amazing and wonderful woman Tammy.  While at the wedding I got to spend the weekend with some of my old college friends who were all Dave's groomsmen.  I was lucky enough to be asked to do a reading at their wedding.  Although I was nervous to go up and see everyone (some of these guys I hadn't seen in over 8 years) after ten minutes I realized it was just like it had always been.  These were amazing men (now with their amazing wives, one of whom was a college roommate of mine).  These were the guys who always made me laugh, were always there more me, and were friends of a lifetime.  Especially Dave, who to this day is hands down the sweetest, kindest man I have ever met (don't tell my hubby that he isn't number one on the list, he runs a close second).  As I went to say goodbye to everyone after a weekend of fun I get very emotional and began to what I lovingly refer to as "Pussy Cry" (aka cry so hard your nose starts to pour snot).  Not only because I would miss Dave and the rest of the guys but because it hit me in that moment...they would have liked the real me.  The completely imperfect me, the crazy one that says stupid stuff, that sometimes eats her troubles away, who sometimes hates herself...they would have still been my friends, they still would have loved me just the way I was.  I didn't have to hide, I didn't have to pretend....they were those amazing people who would have loved me for me.  It breaks my heart in a way that I didn't realize it then, that I didn't trust them or myself enough back then to be myself around them.  Especially Dave, who whether he knows it or not helped me through some of the hardest times of my life.  So to those guys, their wives, and especially Dave and is wonderful new wife Tammy...thank you so much for a great weekend and allowing me to be myself...I just wished I had given you the chance sooner

Oh and here are some pictures from the wedding.  First one is of me and Dave and the second one is Dave and Tammy (aka the kind of girl I always hoped my college BFF would meet and marry)

Congrats Dave and Tammy hope you have a lifetime of happiness.
Momma Hunt
Well this week I got a ton of exercise in walking my puppy and I managed to get to the gym once this week.  Which isn't bad considering we had swim lessons every day this week.  So not only did I get to the pool four times for Mommy and Me lessons (which anyone who has hauled a baby, mine is 25 pounds, around in a pool that is a work out for sure) I walked the dog for at least 30min everyday.  Which leads me to be pissed that even though I tracked my points this week I lost .1-Seriously what the hell is that!  But I just figure it will catch up with me eventually.  I did manage to finish a book-The Queen's Captive by Barbara Kyle and I will be posting a review by the end of the week.  So here are my stats for my summer goal

Book Goal 1/10
Weight Goal .1/20 (not nearly as impressive at the first one!)