Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge 2015

I’m noticing a bunch of traffic to my 2013 Challenge, which means it’s that time again!

Yes, it’s the Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge, 2015 Edition!

Beginning November 30th, 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 11, 2016.

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 7 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 ONE 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. Now that I have 2 kids, I’ve put myself on the back burner. Until now. Though we use weight as a measurement tool, this challenge is about HEALTH. Focus on one HEALTHY HABIT just for YOU each week. Yes, you’ll have major obligations, family demands, cookie swaps, and late-night gift wrapping sessions. So it will be easy to say, “I’ll get to myself in the New Year.” Please don’t wait, mamas. Keep your energy, your vitality, and your spirits up by doing this for yourself this year!

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 you’ve established beyond the holidays! Continue reading

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Committed: All Over the Internet

Hey friends,

I am using other outlets for creativity.
Please stay in touch via Instagram, visit my Etsy shop, and keep up on Facebook.
I’d love to go crazy together!

Etsy

 

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Halloween Candy: What We’re Doing

I’ve been in nesting hyperdrive lately, completing projects around the house that have been patiently waiting. Oh, and trying to finish up work projects, and you know, living life. But something on my mind lately is Halloween and handling candy with my sweets-loving 3 1/2 year old.

What to do with Halloween candy

Keep it? Toss it? How long to keep it? Donate it?

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Makeover Monday: DIY Greeting Cards a Toddler Can Make

I’ve been meaning to post these a while back, but I figure since Mother’s Day is coming up (hint…hint), I figured this would be a timely post!

I figured out an easy way for your young’n to help make a legible greeting card for any occasion, and it’s quick! You don’t need any artistic skill whatsoever, just a little patience to let the paint dry. The pictures are from a farewell gift for one of my daughter’s teachers. She was wonderful, and was leaving daycare to pursue her advanced degree.

Tutorial: DIY Greeting Cards

Even very young children can make a legible card!

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Oh Baby! It’s Tough Staying Organized with a Newborn

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had several friends give birth to their second babe. In addition to making me nostalgic and teary-eyed, it reminded me how tough those early days can be. Back when kiddo was a newbie, I couldn’t remember anything. My brain was lumpy oatmeal. The feed-every-3-hours regime for the first few weeks was brutal, and that level of sleeplessness exceeded anything I’d ever experienced, even in during final exams in college! So once my head cleared, I realized things could be better if I got my sh*t together.

When we needed to leave the house for the inevitable doctor’s appointment, or grocery shopping, or eventually, just to to go out for a walk and get fresh air, I found myself writing the same list of supplies over and over again. And in my insomniacal haze, I often screwed up! And it was time-consuming to keep figuring it out! One time we were out with EIGHT onesies and NO diapers. I suppose we could have fashioned a 5-onesie-diaper in the case of a blowout, but that was not ideal.

The bag packing confusion was further compounded by my husband trying to “help” pack the bag, so we’d both end up shoving the same things in there, and neglecting the same things. Honestly, imperfect packing wasn’t the end of the world. Nobody died, nobody got hurt. Maybe someone would get a peep show if I forgot the nursing cover, or we’d have to rush home with a poop-covered onesie if there wasn’t a fresh one, but the perfectionists in us were ashamed when we didn’t have exactly what we needed when we left the house.

Diaper bag pack list

Eight onesies. No diapers. Big problem.

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A Very Vickers Holiday Card

Every year I do something a little different for our family holiday card. I love getting photo cards from friends and family far and near, so I always like to incorporate our pictures somehow. However, since I’m a designer, I physically can’t bring myself to send a pre-designed card. Ever. So, I do my own.

This year, I was running a little behind, so I made it a New Year card. We’ve had a pretty stellar year: moved into our dream house, have a great daycare, work is going great, so the image that popped to mind when reminiscing about last year was Santa riding a unicorn. This thought would not leave my head, and so I had to go with it. Presenting this year’s card:

Family holiday card

Technically, we sent this in 2014.

The trick is to use normal-looking images of us, with a little something extra going on (that you may not notice right away.)

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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.

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