Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge 2013

I’m noticing a bunch of traffic to last year’s challenge, which mean’s it’s that time again!

Yes, it’s the Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge, 2013 Edition!
Beginning December 2nd, I’m giving you weekly challenges to conquer the holiday temptations and to maintain your health and weight through the season. Final weigh-in is on JANUARY 6, 2014.

Melting Snowmen Cookies

You might feel like this after a hectic holiday season. Melting Snowmen Cookies via http://www.jeannebenedict.com/

BACKGROUND:
Every year, I gained weight during the holidays. Some years, it was ridiculous (yes, 14 pounds in 12 days. I did that.) I became so sick of it because DAMNIT, I worked so hard all year long, then totally blew it in the span of a few weeks. My friend and I started a challenge about 5 years ago: to maintain our weight throughout the holiday season. I think trying to LOSE weight over the holidays is unrealistic, so this challenge is designed to force you to embrace a healthy habit every week despite being surrounded by indulgences. Every year I’ve done it, I’ve actually lost weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It’s pretty simple, but not necessarily easy.

You can do this alone, or with friends, family, and coworkers. We’re getting a later start this year, but I’m carrying the challenge through the week after New Year’s to give you a chance to keep those good habits beyond the holidays! Continue reading

Advertisements

Flame Weeding: Organic Weed Killing for Badasses

The ongoing saga of our yard is this: it’s big, it’s overgrown, and it’s overwhelming.

We paid mucho dinero to have the yard weeded and trimmed back, and true to form, six weeks later, that work was completely undone. It’s not that the area is that large, it’s just a lot of varied spaces, a challenge to access, and rife with invasive, aggressive species. Since I didn’t want to pay basically RENT to have someone do this job every month, I turned to the internet for ideas.

Committed garden stairs

Watch it bring you to your knees, knees.

Luckily, my friends are smart. They referred me to Seattle Tilth. They offer a great service: garden consultations to identify plants, generate a plan, and help figure out organic solutions to turn your garden into something sustainable. To me, “Sustainable” doesn’t just mean organic, it means something that I can actually take care of with reasonable effort.

Many of the ideas she gave me were great, especially flame weeding. It’s exactly how it sounds: kill weeds with FIRE! Yeah! Continue reading

Another Liebster?!? Color Me Flattered

I come back from vacation and see a nice little comment posted on my About page: another Liebster Award! What a nice surprise from Bre over at Average But Inspired. I liked her new questions, and since my last Liebster post, I’ve started following a few more blogs worth sharing. So here goes!

Liebster Award

The Liebster is a nice way to share some love with fellow fledgeling bloggers. A brief intro of how it works:

1.  Acknowledge the person who nominated you:  (Thanks again, Bre!)

2.  Share 11 random facts about yourself.

3.  Answer 11 questions given to you by the nominator.

4.  Nominate 11 other bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers.

5.  Come up with 11 questions for your nominees.

  Continue reading

Toddling Around Spain

We just got back from a two-week trip traveling through Spain with our 2 1/2 year old daughter. I know, poor me. But in the true spirit of being Committed, it did get a little crazy.

Toddling around Spain.

Balloons make everything better.

FIRST. 
I loved the trip. The architecture was amazing, the culture is admirable (drinking and eating all the time! Siestas!) The wine was cheap and delicious. Oh, the food…

BUT.
The kiddo was a handful. She may read this years down the line, so I don’t want her to feel like I’m putting her down. It wasn’t her fault–the 9 hour time difference was rough on all of us. And she’s 2 1/2, which means discovering strong preferences, a desire for instant perfection (well, we never outgrow that, do we?), and just general upsettedness at basically everything. We thought her familiarity with travel might make things easier, which it probably did (but didn’t feel like it at the time).

Toddler dinner in Spain.

Sometimes kiddo had a low sitting threshold.

SO.
For this post, I’m going to focus on how we handled the tears and tantrums. (HINT: Wine. Lots of wine.)

We learned a few things on this trip, lessons that weren’t too unexpected:

  • Lower your expectations for how much you’ll get to see or do each day
  • Respect the schedule, but sometimes stretching it to experience something amazing is worth the crankiness
  • Staying in one place is MUCH easier than hopping cities (duh, but it was worth a shot)
  • Twos CAN be terrible, but they can also be amusing
  • Rely on your partner and take the burden if you’re up to it
  • Talk through your plans first (ie, how are you going to get off the train? Who is carrying the car seat? Carrier on the front or back?)
  • The carseat & baby carrier were helpful. We were glad to leave the stroller at home.
  • Don’t forget that you’re ON VACATION and laugh and enjoy the little things as much as possible.

Continue reading