Parents Night Out

Last night, Aiden stayed with my mom so that we could meet up with friends at Alhambra dinner theater. We saw Beauty and the Beast. We had a couple of drinks, ate a great meal, and watched an awesome show. It was a lot of fun.

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Had to take a selfie with Gaston.

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The show was over around 10pm and Aiden was staying with my mom over night so we decided to go out to the beach.

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We went to a park to go Pokemon hunting for a little bit and there was AT LEAST 100 people there! It was strange. The only light was the soft glow of a hundred cell phone screens. Everyone was walking around like zombies looking down.

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Next, we went to Zeta Brewing and had a couple of locally brewed beers and listened to some live music.

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I had a lemon drop shot made with Carve vodka just because I’m really good friends with one of the guys that started Carve, which is the only vodka distillery in Jacksonville.

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Then, we walked on the beach for a LONG time! We walked and talked about everything: Sawyer, work, the future, etc.

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It was about 3am so we decided to start back towards the truck and head home. The night was perfect until we came up to the top of the dunes just in time to see the truck being towed away! Ugh! We called our friend John and he woke up, came and picked us up and took us to the tow yard. $114 later and we were on our way home. We made it around 4:30am. ? And people wonder why we never go out!

Mini Orlando Vacation

Aiden has been trying to learn how to swim without floaties for quite a while but he was always too scared to try it without holding onto us. We were at a pool party a few weeks ago and I told him that if he swam from point A to point B without any help, we’d take him to Sea World. He jumped right off the side of the pool and never put floaties on again! We left early Saturday morning, spent all day at Sea World, then stayed at a hotel and played at Aquatica (Sea World’s water park) all day Sunday.

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Mommy: “Aiden, on a scale of 1-10 how excited are you right now?”

Aiden: “I’m like 38 excited right now!”

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Sea World has three big roller coasters that Brian and I wanted to do. Brian waited in line while Aiden and I explored and played. Once he rode the ride, he asked for a “child swap card” and brought it to me. This allowed me to skip the entire line and get right on the ride while he & Aiden spent time together. It was perfect.

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Aiden rode everything he was big enough for. He really liked Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.

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Shamu was the only show we got to watch but it was pretty neat. The trainers don’t get in the tank with the whales anymore so that was kind of lame but I suppose their safety is more important than our entertainment.

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I didn’t get a picture of it but one of our favorite things was the Turtle Trek. It was a large dome shaped room where images are projected all around. It tells the story of a sea turtles life as if you were the turtle. Brian was holding Aiden and to make it more exciting he was ducking every time an image was projected towards them (as if it were real). During this, Aiden yelled, “Daddy, it’s not real! It’s a hologram.” People around us laughed.

The Happy Harbor kid area was huge! Aiden loved climbing the nets.

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Aiden wanted to take a picture in front of the beluga whales for Uncle Cory (since he always sang Baby Beluga to him as a baby).

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By far, Aiden’s favorite exhibit was the shark encounter! He must of went through it eight times. It’s a tube that runs right through a huge aquarium of sharks. It’s pretty awesome, I must say!

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We rode Journey to Atlantis. Aiden thought it was “really scary”. I love the picture. He looks just like the emoji!

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Our hotel room was pretty nice. It had a queen bed and a pull out sofa bed. As soon as we left the park, we checked in and went right to the pool. We swam for a little bit, then had to get out because it started lightening. So, we ordered dinner to be delivered to our room.

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Still trying to stay with the low carb diet, I had a burger with blue cheese, bacon and sautéed peppers. The salad was the only “green” side they had.

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Once the storm passed, we went back to the pool. Aiden met some kids to play with and Brian and I enjoyed some adult beverages from the poolside bar. We stayed until it closed at 11pm.

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This was at 11:15pm.

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The next morning, the boys had a really hard time getting motivated so I went down stairs and had breakfast by myself. And, lucky for me, there was a Starbucks in the lobby.

Scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, and a tall coffee with sugar free caramel syrup and heavy cream.

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I thought bringing a coffee to the room for Brian would help him wake up but I still had to wait. Oh well. It was kind of nice having the peace and quiet before heading out for the day.

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Aiden slowly started waking up. I guess that theme park really wore him out!

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures while at Aquatica. I didn’t want to take a chance on getting my phone wet and damaging it. Aiden rode the smaller water slides and loved the wave pool but he wouldn’t do any of the bigger slides. He said it was because he was afraid of heights. Year, right. After about four hours of playing, he was ready to go and actually asked to leave.

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It didn’t take long for him to pass out.

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We didn’t leave a moment too soon. Check out that storm rolling in!

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Aiden slept the whole way home. We took a stroll down memory lane listening to music that we use to listen to when we were dating as teenagers. Over all, it was an awesome weekend!

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No Carb Isn’t Easy, But It Works!

Once I started back to work, after Sawyer was born, I wanted to concentrate on me. I wanted to get as healthy as I could possibly be for my self esteem and the next pregnancy. When I got pregnant with Aiden in 2011, I was 146 pounds. Through those next three years of sharing his toddler food I packed on 10 pounds, leaving me at 157 pounds when I got pregnant with Sawyer. I was 168 pounds the day I had him in 2016. Two weeks after delivery, I was back to 157. The day I started back to work, I also started eating no carb. I lost 17 pounds during the first six weeks and am now down to 139! I can not tell you the last time I was in the 130s. Literally, I can’t. I’ve tried to figure it out but I think I was in the 140s in high school. One more time for good measure: 17 pounds in 6 weeks! That is from diet alone. Not working out. I have been going to the gym but I HATE cardio so I do 10 minutes max and mostly weight train. Every time I tell someone this, the first thing they say is, “What CAN you eat?” since everyone thinks a meal is not complete without rice, mashed potatoes, or bread. Actually, I don’t feel like eating low carb is restrictive at all. You can eat as much as you want (constant snacking is encouraged) until you are full, as long as it is the right stuff.

Example Day:

Breakfast- two egg muffins (I’ll post the recipe at the end. They are made up of egg, spinach, and sausage. So easy & sooooooo good!) and water to drink.

Snack- turkey (regular lunch meat, I just look for the one with the least amount of sugar) & cheese roll ups and water to drink.

Lunch- grilled chicken with sauteed zucchini and squash (from the deli next to my work) and water to drink.

Snack- peanuts, string cheese, and water to drink.

Dinner- Grilled chicken, green beans, and water to drink. (Dinner isn’t always easy because I’m the only one in the house not eating carbs. I’ll typically make them rice or macaroni and cheese, but saute me some veggies of some sort as a second side.)

Have you noticed a pattern? “Water to drink”! I drink so much water.

It’s basically meat (of ANY kind), veggies (no carrots, corn, potatoes), eggs, cheese, and nuts. I cook with olive oil or real butter. Fruit should be limited (I have none). It’s easiest to cook at home but it is doable if you go out to eat a lot. I will typically look at the menu ahead of time to see what I can have. BBQ is my favorite! A nice brisket with green beans. Yum! The first week or two wasn’t easy but I was motivated so I didn’t cheat at all. Now, when we go out to eat, I can smell the sweetness from the hub’s sweet tea. I know that sounds weird but it’s true! Most any restaurant has some sort of grilled meat (without breading or sauce) and vegetables as a side dish. Although, fast food can be a bit tricky. You can get a cheese burger or other sandwich and not eat the bread, but that gets a little pricey. How many bread-less sandwiched would you have to eat to get full? I’m telling you, by eating no carb you dropped wait continuously until your “body is satisfied”. I say that because I believe once you are at your body’s ideal weight you’ll stop losing and instead be maintaining. Think about it, our original ancestors ate this way. It’s called the Paleolithic diet (Paleo for short) because that is what humans ate during that era, as cavemen. That is what our bodies were designed to run on. Cavemen would kill animals, eat their meat, and eat whatever vegetables were around. If they did eat fruit, it was whatever they came across and what was in season (which wasn’t often). Although, the fruit that we grow today is a lot sweeter than what they ate. Thanks to cultivational crossbreeding, farmers have been able to create fruit plants that taste much sweeter, are more desirable, and more profitable. Unfortunately, our bodies can’t tell if the sugar we are consuming is from an apple or a Snickers. It is stored in your body as fat. We need so little sugar to survive that pretty much anything we eat is overload. If you don’t consume high amounts of sugar while eating, your body doesn’t get that spike in blood sugar and in turn, has to burn stored fat for energy causing you to lose weight.

Any way, I lost 17 pounds and I’m excited. I haven’t lost any in the last two weeks so I think my body is telling me that I am at, or close to, my ideal weight. Now I’m concentrating on toning up at the gym. Once I get a routine down and start seeing results, I’ll post it!

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Egg Muffin Recipe:

I made these with cheese because I didn’t have any veggies in the house.

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1 pack of sausage

8 eggs

Whatever you want (cheese, spinach, broccoli, etc)

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Brown the sausage.

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In a large bowl, combine eggs, sausage, cheese and vegetables (cooked per package instructions).

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Spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way full.

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Bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Store them in separate containers in the fridge. It’s so easy to pop them in the microwave for 60 seconds and eat breakfast on the go!

It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

Owning a house is non stop work and my honey do list is a mile long! Unfortunately for me, my honey has an injured shoulder so there’s not much getting done. Here is my wish list…

  1. Paint the master bedroom
  2. Refinish dining room table
  3. carpet all three bedrooms
  4. Replace master bedroom closet door
  5. Replace bathroom fixtures
  6. Paint kitchen cabinets
  7. Tile kitchen floor
  8. Create a half-wall in between the kitchen & living room

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Aiden had a birthday party to go to today and I convinced Brian to take him so I could stay home. Little did he know, I had an ulterior motive. Looking over that wish list I realized there was only one item that I felt confident I could do by myself. When they left, the master bedroom looked like this…

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Our bed wasn’t that messy. I took that picture after I started prepping the room for paint.

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And yes, that’s a surf board being stored in our bedroom. It gives the room a real romantic feel, right. No. No, it doesn’t.

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Now it looks like this…

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I can’t wait to switch that closet door out for a bright white bi-fold door.

These are the tools I used. I HATE trying to wash paint off so I cheated and got tray liners.

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I’m also really bad at cutting in so I bought a few tools to help with that but they didn’t really work like I had planned. The edger kept getting paint on the sides so it was constantly putting paint where I didn’t want it (on the baseboards, trim, and ceiling). I ended up taking my time and using a regular old 2″ angled paint brush.

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The corner painter worked okay but it was difficult getting an even amount of paint on both sides. I had to go back over the corners with the paint brush so it didn’t really save any time. It’s very possible that it was operator error.

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Halfway through cutting in the ceiling, it occurred to me that I did not remove the TV from the wall, nor did I even know how. So I did what any adult would do and cut around it, in hopes that Brian will help me remove it and I can finish behind it…. at a later date.

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Now to decorate! I wanted a more grown up, romantic bedroom so no more surf board or tacky beachy picture. I’m thinking a big, horizontal mirror over the dresser with a cool, maybe metallic frame.

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A few years back, Brian made this really cool picture out of a solid piece of wood and I LOVE it! It will definitely have a place on our bedroom wall. Not to mention the below picture he got me for Mother’s Day this year. (He also got me a vegetable peeler ?).

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“Can I borrow a kiss? I promise to give it back.” He can be sweet when he wants to.

Eventually, I’d like to get curtains but that’s where we will disagree. I’d like to get some sort of pattern in white and grey. I know he’s going to call that “too plain” and want something colorful. We’ll see who wins. Also, we WILL have carpet in all three bedrooms… one day.

I’ll post updated photos once we get somethings on the wall. Feel free to place bets on the great curtain debate of 2016!

Update: I guess you could call the curtains a compromise. I was browsing Target when I stumbled upon them in the clearance aisle. They were $7 per panel and they were black out curtains, which is exactly what we need in our hot bedroom (The house was built in 1957 so the insulation isn’t great).

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Now to hang some pictures!