the peanuts gang

Sacrifice {Treadmill Tuesdays – Week 17}

Week 16 || Four Month Update

On this week of eternal sacrifice, I’ve thought often of that word. What does it mean to sacrifice?

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Sometimes, I have to get up earlier than the sun to run. Sometimes, I have to drown out the sounds of Doc McStuffins. I do laundry more often because of sweaty clothes. Some days, I have cramps and other days, I feel so exhausted I don’t want to move.

Some days, I’d rather watch Grey’s Anatomy and others, I’d rather eat everything in sight.

But time and effort are a small sacrifice for health. They are a small penance to pay to want health eternally and to be able to run after my little ones.

Treadmill Tuesdays Week 17

What have you sacrificed for your health lately?

Workout Jam of the Week

Drink of Choice – Orange Dreamsicle

3 clementines, peeled

5 ice cubes

1/2 c. almond milk

splash of vanilla creamer

Blend and enjoy this refreshing drink on this Spring Day!

Samantha

Perseverance {Four Month Update}

 Month 1 ||  Month 2 || Month 3

Perseverance: The greater the obstacle, the greater the glory in overcoming it.

Four months ago, if you had told me I’d be standing here actually feeling good about how I looked and put myself together, I wouldn’t have believed you. But with the weather warming and the proverbial layers shedding, I’m finally feeling more like the real me. This month has had its share of challenges – including a general apathy towards actually pressing on, but I kept being reminded – with every comment, compliment, encouragement that giving up now is not an option.

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Yep, that’s a bathroom selfie. You’re welcome. 

To those of you who have followed my journey, who have offered words of love, comfort, and encouragement, who talk about the inspiration that you find in my simple story, you make it worth it. Know that each word means so much to me. And I plan to continue on to finish this race.

By the Numbers:

Since March 9th: 9 lbs

Since December 9th: 35 lbs

Overall: 54 lbs

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Not the clearest pictures, but photographs with the same workout clothes months apart. Loving these changes!

Monthly Victories

Ran over 100 miles

Continued to train on the weekends and started #planksforplushhorse

No pop since December 8th

Signed up for some more races and aimed to continue to run – even when I didn’t feel like it!

Seeing changes in my skin and my energy levels

Being able to keep up with the boys at the park AND being able to actively exercise almost daily

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I bought this dress from Ross for only $24.99 thinking I’d use it for a wedding at the END of May. I bought it in a size I didn’t think I wore yet, so thought I’d have time to fit into it. Got home and lo and behold, the dress fit (even with a little room!) already, so I’ll be returning and finding something else (and even smaller hopefully!)


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I ran on Sunday and still was able to make two park trips with my boys. I chased them up slides, climbed up ladders and ran across bridges. This season is just beginning and I feel like each month is a bigger step towards this new life.

Also, a quick Treadmill Tuesday since I’m incorporating it from yesterday:

Treadmill Tuesdays - Week 17
How’s your journey going?

Samantha

First Park Trip of the Season

Spring official sprang on Monday with temperatures in the 60s and the sun shining down! The boys requested a bike ride and I never thought we’d make it all the way to the park (about a mile round trip), but we did! And so off we went on our adventure…

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Nothing is quite as lovely as the first trip up the jungle gym. And the first set of dirty spring knees.

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Adventure is the name of the game and we plan to have many of them in the coming months!

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It’s amazing how BIG Jack seems, just from last summer. Running, climbing, jumping, and trying out new things!

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A little musical break

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Swing Love. There is nothing like the back and forth motion of swinging to remind you of how simple life can be. Charlie works hard to pump his legs and move, but Jack is still just enjoying the gentle push and ride of mommy helping.

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How did you enjoy one of the first Spring days?

Samantha

Spring is SPRINGING! {Treadmill Tuesdays – Week 16}

Week 14 || Week 15

Hurrah! Spring has finally arrived and we couldn’t be more delighted. Three bike rides so far, including one, all the way to the park (about a mile) and running around, jumping, playing, laughing. Exercise this week included running (duh!), a killer Spartan circuit with my bro, wallyball, and manual labor at a Habitat for Humanity project. My legs were SO sore, but in a good way! Food was meh this week, so back on that and working on keeping that water intake UP, UP, UP!

Treadmill Tuesdays - Week 16

Turning over new leaves has been amazing – so excited for the NEXT four months!

This picture and caption speaks for itself, but after a bike ride to the park, running after the boys there, and riding home, I wasn’t even out of breath. I didn’t feel different and once again, I felt alive. I’m getting healthy so that I can LIVE life with people – not just watch life happen around me. Cheers to the next big adventure!

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Workout Jam of the Week

Samantha

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home {Thanks, Direct Energy!}

Thank you to Direct Energy for sponsoring today’s post, and encouraging me to share tips for a smarter home!

Whether you make small changes (like changing out your light-bulbs for those that are more energy efficient) or switching to the big things (new, efficient, Energy Star® appliances), making changes as a family to make life more “green” is always a step in the right direction!

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Here are a few of our tips for an eco-friendly home:

With warmer weather around the bend and our first full summer in this big backyard, I’m excited to start taking on some fun ways to “greenify” our living spaces. Our first order of business is to build in a big garden – think veggies and fruits to share. I already had the boys start working on clearing out the rocks and I’m making plans to head to Home Depot Soon! I love the thought of growing our own vegetables and being able to go out and pick what we need for dinner or lunch that day. It’s a great way to save money and help greenify the planet!

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Another way I love to give back is by using reusable shopping bags when I head out to the grocery store. I always keep some handy in my car for unexpected trips, a few hanging on the last door we walk out of in order to grab them before we go and I also use them frequently to return items to friends or to carry our sports equipment instead of buying a brand new bag just for that purpose.

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With our thermostat going downwards, my hubby also just got the reminder to change out our air filters. Doing so every 1-3 months can decrease energy costs since your furnace does not have to work as hard to blow the air out. Our smart thermostat sends out the reminders and we just have to remember to do it! (Consider the Direct Energy Smart Thermostat!)

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One other way we keep ourselves in check is by unplugging energy sucking devices when not in use – think computer, printer, DVD player, phone charger, and any attached to a power strip! Proud to say that I’ve been doing this for a while and always try to find ways to reduce our costs and save on energy!

How do you save energy in your own home? Do you have ways you love to “greenify” things? For even more tips, check out Direct Energy!

Samantha

Mustela Skin Care {Review}

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mustela. I received product samples to facilitate to my review and to thank me for participating.

With sensitive skin myself, I knew for sure that my kids would most likely deal with the same issues and concerns. From skin rashes to especially dry skin, we have dealt with a wide-variety of issues. This winter has been especially harsh to our skin. Out of desperation, I was trying most of what was out there with little to no success.

When the I had the chance to try Mustela, I figured we had nothing really to lose. Mustela, the number one baby care and stretch marks brand in Europe and a trusted name in skincare for over 60 years, recently reformulated their Mustela Bébé product line based on 10 years of skin research. Now featuring a patented, next generation protective ingredient, Avocado Perseose, the Mustela Bébé line helps protect skin starting at the earliest stages of life. Here are some of our favorites:

Mustela - Body Products

I LOVED the facial cleansing cloths – after a long day playing in the mud or eating some before-bed chocolate, the wipes made clean-up simple and quick. After bathtime, I loved using the lotion on the boys as well as myself, finding that the scent was not overpowering, but rather fresh and it hydrated our skin without making it greasy.

I was particularly happy with the hydra-stick on my face. After days battling wind-burn, applying this gave me relief, but also helped to hydrate the dry patches without making my skin oily. For once, I felt like I had found something that actually worked! The body wash is also a great addition to our bath routine and the new formula means that 92% of the ingredients come from natural origin and Mustela is committed to finding things that work, are safe, and that you can feel confident putting on sensitive, newborn skin.

After a long winter, I am so happy to finally have options – knowing that they have looked out for what my family needs are, but also made a formula that works just as well on my adult skin means I don’t have to buy twenty separate products for all of us.

What ways to do you treat your skin? What skin issues do you battle that you’re looking for a solution to?

Special Offer

Want to try Mustela for yourself?

Use promo code – Mom314 – to receive a free package of facial cleansing cloths AND free shipping with a purchase of $50! It’s definitely worth a try and perfect as a baby shower gift or for new moms battling stretch marks and post-partum skin issues.

Mustela on Facebook || Twitter

Samantha

New Kicks & Renegade Burpees {Treadmill Tuesdays – Week 15}

Week 14 || Week 13

Happy TUESDAY! The picture for this post was actually labeled Week 14 until I realized that we were already FIFTEEN weeks down! Can you believe I’ve been at this for almost four months? So happy to be sticking with it and making progress!

Treadmill Tuesdays - Week 15

This week, I battled some sinus issues and pushed through some fatigue. I fit in every day of my training and even headed back to Sandburg for some cross-training with my brother (Renegade Burpees are THE worst).

Working on always remembering my water and FINALLY went outside this week for some time on my very stylish bicycle. Can’t wait until I can do that more often! Working this week on meeting my exercise goals, continuing to mindfully eat and keeping my plate “clean.”

How are you doing on your goals?

Workout Jam of the Week

Samantha

A Sneak Peek at the Metal Image Printing Process

A seamless, brilliant, colorful, and exciting imprint of a memory on metal is the result of a special process that involves infusing dyes onto aluminum or steel sheets.  In order to produce stunning metal photo prints, photographs undergo a process that transfers the details of images onto a metal surface. The process has been refined through the years, resulting in the excellent quality of the metal prints that we see today.

Technological innovation

This art medium may be considered a technological breakthrough. It is not that surprising that we have this form of print technology today since there seems to be no stopping human civilization from innovations and creative pursuits. The process is already perfected, paving the way for a wide array of choices in terms of textures and finishes. Aside from a glossy finish, there are other options such as matte finish, satin finish, or sheer finish.

Impressive and vibrant colors that seem to glow are the characteristics that set metal prints apart from traditional photographs printed on photo paper. Although there have also been many advancements in photo paper technology, the unique method used in metal photo printing can produce a different effect that cannot be achieved on photo paper.

Image transformation

Metal is not the only non-porous surface that may be used to transfer images on to. Ceramics and glass are materials that have been extensively used (e.g. images on windows, mugs, car bumpers).

The first requirement in this is a special type of printer that is capable of using sublimation inks. Inks are absorbed well when the surface that the image will be transferred to has a special type of coating, which is also essential to ensure a proper transfer. There are many available sublimation printers, and many do-it-yourselfers have also successfully employed this procedure at home with very good results. With regard to the metal sheet used, the surface to be printed on must be sufficiently light in tone so that the colors of the photos will come through. A dark tint will definitely affect the brightness of the print.

It is also possible to print photos on metal surfaces for outdoor display. There are waterproof materials that are used so that the ink does not get washed off when water comes in contact with it. After a successful transfer, a waterproofing layer is sprayed onto the surface of the metal as an additional cover. The substances used to add a layer of protection to the outdoor metal photo display can also have components that protect the print from fading, a negative effect of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Transfer process

The procedure is quite simple. Once the materials are ready, the first step is to ensure that the metal surface is spotlessly clean. Loose particles must be removed so a final scrubbing and wiping down is in order. The surface must also be degreased. Once the metal surface is clear of particles, two layers of coating are applied to it. Once dry, the metal surface is totally sealed. This is necessary to prevent oxidation that eventually leads to rusting. Soon afterward, the transfer process is initiated. The outcome is a photographic image on a non-porous, lightweight, and elegant surface that stands the test of time.

Sources:

http://www.ehow.com/how_13672_transfer-images-stone.html

http://www.shortcourses.com/display/display2-15.html

 

Samantha

Eat Mindfully! {Treadmill Tuesdays – Week 14}

Week 13 || Three Month Update

This past week was crazy! Two out-of-town trips, some colds, a sinus infection, and being supremely busy meant I had to work hard to find time and energy to run. When I really didn’t feel like I could push myself, I focused a TON on what I was eating in order to ensure that I still stayed on top of things. Happy to report that I still lost 2 pounds despite only running three times this week!

Treadmill Tuesdays - Week 14

Still drinking that water! And 14 weeks without soda/pop – WE CAN DO THIS! (P.S. SPRING IS COMING! So thrilled to get outside to play, run, dance, whatever!)

Samantha

Run (5k) Run! {Treadmill Tuesdays – Week 13}

Week 12 || 3 Month Update

Well hello, lucky number 13! So happy to see you! We are over three months in, 13 weeks down, and enjoying the thick of things. Notables this week? A walk OUTSIDE in 50 degree weather with light jackets AND running my first 5k of this running season (finished in 38:34 – not bad considering it was SNOWING AND SLEETING!)

Treadmill Tuesdays - Week 13

Workout Jam of the Week

How’s things going on your end?

Samantha