As an early Mother’s Day gift, my in-laws offered to pick up a pair of running shoes for me at Costco since I don’t have a membership. I am not a picky person, so I didn’t really care what they looked like. All I heard was “Adidas” and “$36″, and I was sold. They ended up selecting a few different brands for me to try on, including a pair of those butt-toning shoes. You know the ones? They look like platform sneakers and they feel REALLY WEIRD, like the ball of the foot is on a downward slope. Apparently they are supposed to singlehandedly transform you into Gisele Bündchen, so I figured I’d give them a whirl. ”Happy Mother’s Day to me!” says my soon-to-be-toned butt.
A toned butt can be yours for the low, low price of $26.00 CAD
During the night after first wearing them, I felt quite sore in my calves and butt. At first I forgot about the shoes but then I quickly remembered — my butt was being toned! Of course I would be sore! Metamorphosing into Gisele has got to be at least a little bit painful, am I right?
It’s only been a couple of weeks so I haven’t noticed any visual difference in my legs and butt, but I certainly feel like walking is more of a challenge. Muscles I haven’t felt since the late 1990s feel much more sore and tight. Honestly, I don’t have high hopes that my Brazilian supermodel career is about to take off, but wearing these shoes has been an easy and interesting way to spice up my daily walks.
Oh yeah, I have a blog!
Yesterday was Henry’s six-month birthday which got me thinking about the past 1/2 year and how I survived this winter with a newborn. I was quickly reminded that much of my sanity was restored by the Internet, and not just from celebrity gossip sites. Indeed, it was restored from spewing my thoughts onto here! So I should at least give my faithful readers a recap of these past two months! (Although I was surprised to see that my blog is averaging about 50-70 hits a day, much more than it ever did when I updated regularly — I’m not going to think too much about that one!).
1. As stated before, Henry is six months old!
He continues to grow much too quickly. His hair is so long I often give him a faux hawk, and he’s blonde! Not sure how to explain that one to my brunette husband He loves to grab EVERYTHING and put it in his mouth. He has decided that pulling mommy’s hair is the coolest thing ever! His sleep has gotten moderately better, although we are still up about 3-4 times a night (I think it’s because he loves me so much. This is what I tell myself at 3 am). He has started solid food! We tried sweet potatoes yesterday. Exciting stuff! Life is never dull with a baby, that is what I know for sure.
2. I cut myself some bangs! Clearly this is almost as important as the progress of my child’s development.
Pictures of me alone no longer exist! It’s ALL HENRY, ALL THE TIME (Can you blame me?)
3. I continue trying to be frugal and fit. Key word: TRYING.
Due to some money we received from the government, both from income tax assessments and an energy audit, I am almost at my $20,000 savings goal. I am extremely proud of the money I’ve been able to save since I first got frugal in January 2009 after reading Your Money or Your Life, but I do worry A LOT about what to do for sweet, sweet cash come November 2011 when the government stops conveniently inserting money into my bank account every other week. Sometimes I think about getting a part-time job, but due to my husband’s fluctuating work schedule, we’d still require flexible child care. I think about taking care of a another child full-time, although this would provide us with just enough money to pay our expenses with not much left over. Plus, do I really want to spend my days entertaining two babies/toddlers!? Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is a booming, ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? I really have no idea what to do, so if you have any suggestions, please fire away! Until then, I will dream about the multi-million dollar book deal I receive from simply updating this blog.
I am down to 170 pounds, which is 9 pounds less than when I got pregnant. I would still like to lose 10 more pounds because I am a girl and that is what we do (“just 10 more pounds lost and then I will be happy!”). But I am feeling pretty good about my post-baby body. It helps that my husband makes comments like “Kate Middleton is pretty but too skinny”. GOD BLESS YOU, DEAR HUSBAND. God bless you so much.
4. Spring is (kind of) here and Summer will soon arrive!
I am totally stoked about the change in weather, however rainy it has been, and I have grand plans for spending many of my days walking with Henry around the neighbourhood and to the beach. I didn’t realize how difficult this winter was until we started getting out more in March. During winter, I’d often go a full week without leaving my house! Now I crave the fresh air and sunshine and am thankful I am but a 10-minute walk from McDonalds, where I can purchase an iced coffee for $1.05. Life is good with affordable coffee within walking distance.
I hope to update more regularly here. I have a few thousand more dollars to save and 10 pounds to lose, so I might as well write about it! Plus there is always that impending book deal to attract…
Today, Henry is 4 months old. To celebrate, he decided to pull an all-nighter and woke up EIGHT times (I really need to stop counting).
Thankfully, he is adorable.
Also, there is this great invention out there called coffee.
He got his 4-month shots on Tuesday which is always disturbing. It takes him a few days to “normal up”, so he’s been more fussy than usual. Hubby was away for a couple of days this week, too, so it’s been a tough week. Thus, not much time for blogging.
We’ve been walking more and yesterday I took Henry to McDonalds for a free coffee and (not free) muffin! He slept the entire way, as he tends to do once he’s in the stroller. Once the weather gets nicer, I imagine we’ll go for 2 or 3 walks a day. I depend on that little break of fresh air and exercise to restore my sanity!
I am not sure how much I will be blogging in here. I am trying to do more around the house, spend more quality time with Henry and Husband, and work on things unrelated to the computer. But who knows? Once I decide to take a little break, I’m often right back at it much sooner than I thought!
TGIF, my babies!
Hark! ’Tis March! This means that Spring is a mere three weeks away. If you want to get all meteorological about it, we are technically in Spring as Meteorological Spring is March 1st – May 31st. It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Henry has his four-month doctor’s appointment today, so I hope we can walk there instead of drive (love living in Toronto!). There is a McDonalds nearby so we can stop for some free small coffees afterwards.
Since it’s the first day of March, I must re-cap on the goals I made for February. I truly embraced my New Year’s Resolution of failing by not successfully completing these goals. So, yay?
1. Drink a Green Monster every day — FAIL
I pretty much drank one every day for the first half of February, but by the end, I was enjoying a mashed banana in my morning oatmeal rather than having it in smoothie-form. I also got kind of sick of cleaning my blender every day. These are my excuses and I am sticking to them!
2. Lose 2 pounds – WINNING! (phrase stolen from Charlie Sheen)
I would go weigh myself to confirm (or deny) this, but I have a stomach full of oatmeal and a pair of jeans on. Everyone knows that jeans easily weigh 10 pounds on their own (don’t try to tell me otherwise). The last time I weighed myself, I was around 174, which is a 3 pound weight loss, so let’s go with that.
I’ve been eating my usual amount (possibly more as I finished a whole bag of Zesty Doritos in a mere two days all on my own!), but have been walking more. Henry continues to be my personal trainer with his demands for rocking/lifting/swaying. I don’t even need to lift weights anymore!
3. Check out the community/early years centre in my neighbourhood – DRAW
I haven’t gone there physically, but I did check out their list of programs online.
4. Try a week of vegan eating – WINNING!
Success! This is the goal I am most proud of accomplishing. I had a fun week of eating tofu and drinking almond milk and experimenting with recipes. I haven’t used cow’s milk for my oatmeal or Green Monsters since. I felt really great during my week of vegan eating, which is not to dispute the fact that I felt pretty great while eating cheesy pizza afterwards too!
5. Put $500 into my high interest savings account – WINNING!
I sure did. See, this is why I get excited about free McDonalds coffee. It’s all about frugal pleasures!
6. Sell something in my Etsy Shop – FAIL
I added another listing to my Etsy shop, but still no dice! I continue to crochet dish cloths, though, with the idea of giving every man, woman, and child I know one for Christmas this year. ’Tis the season…to wash dishes?!!??
So two FAILS, three WINNINGS, and one draw. Not bad, I don’t think! I haven’t made a list of goals for March, though. I’d just like to go for more walks, try some new recipes, and have fun with Husband and Henry.
Even though I don’t consider myself a true cinephile, I love to watch the Oscars! I consider it my Super Bowl.
1. The red carpet fashions
2. The opening monologue/song-and-dance routine
3. The emotional speeches
4. Watching people experience their most intense dreams come true
5. Staying up late on a Sunday night!
1. The long, boring speeches
2. The boring categories (although I think most of these have been moved to a pre-Oscars show)
3. The boring commercial breaks (I am now used to watching TV through PVR. Not being able to fast forward through commercials is just a ridiculous way to live life!) (I am such a snob).
4. Already pretty much knowing who is going to win the main categories (Best Actor – Colin Firth; Best Actress – Natalie Portman; Best Movie – Inception or Social Network).
5. Waking up the next morning and not remembering (or caring) who won each category
But it’s still totally worth it.
I’ve got three different kinds of potato chips (with my very favourite — Zesty Doritos — in attendance! This ain’t no time for kale chips), dark chocolate-covered almonds, my hubby with a Film degree (excellent for informative commentary), my son who is going to experience his very Oscars telecast (that is, if he isn’t in the midst of his evening meltdown), and my expandable pants on a cold, wintery night. I AM READY. In the words of Charlie Sheen, “Bring it!”.
Since I’ve been home this winter, taking care of this little guy…
I’ve been able to make delicious oatmeal for breakfast almost every day. I’ve made Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Apple Cake Oatmeal, and, now, Banana Bread Oatmeal (my current obsession!).
1 cup of almond milk or 1/2 cup soy milk and 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 ripe banana, mashed
Handful of walnut pieces
Sprinkle of shredded coconut
Have I mentioned that I’ve been buying TWO bunches of bananas at the grocery store each week to feed my Green Monster and now Banana Bread Oatmeal habits? Someone call Dr. Drew!
I love hot oatmeal, especially since I now know the trick is to cook them in milk rather than water. Oats are so disturbingly healthy for you and so cheap! I think I should appoint oatmeal as the official grain of the Frugal ‘n’ Fit blog.
1/3rd cup of oats contain:
2 grams of fat
3 grams of fibre
4 grams of protein
49% of your Daily Value of manganese. Mmmmmm…manganese
Along with small amounts of many other vitamins and minerals as well
I’ve seen oatmeal at Starbucks for a while now, although have never tried it. I have a hard time buying a processed food that I can easily “process” myself for much cheaper. But if I travelled more or lived a more expensive lifestyle, I’m sure I’d appreciate having it as a breakfast option. When wanting a quick breakfast when you’re out and about, usually the only option is a muffin that will leave you hungry one hour later or an egg-and-cheese sandwich that will sit in your stomach like a rock.
I recently read an article by Mr. Foodie himself, Mark Bittman, about how McDonalds now offers an oatmeal option (turn your speakers down before clicking on this link)! McDonalds describes their oatmeal like this: ”We take delicious 100% natural, whole-grain oats and combine them with brown sugar and a touch of cream. Then we get fruity, with diced fresh apples, dried cranberries and two kinds of raisins.” Sounds like this breakfast has six ingredients: oats, cream, brown sugar, apples, dried cranberries and raisins. But, as Bittman points out, “A more accurate description than “100% natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”
Without a doubt, making your own oatmeal is the healthiest, cheapest option available. But when out and about and needing a quick, delicious breakfast, I’m still glad that Starbucks and McDonalds offer these not-as-healthy-but-still-better-than-egg-and-cheese options. Now we just need Tim Hortons to get in on the oatmeal love and we’ll be all set.
Last week, I bought some kale for 99 cents with the intention of making kale chips. Perhaps you’ve heard of kale chips? They are all the rage with those wacky, health conscious foodies! Basically, you take a bunch of fresh kale, remove the stems, tear the leaves into bite size pieces, “massage” with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and spread them out on a baking sheet. You then roast them in a 350F oven for 15 minutes.
I made the mistake of storing my large bunch of kale at the back of the bottom shelf of the fridge. Unless the jar of almond butter has migrated back there, I never venture to that area. My mainstays (almond milk, nut butters, jam, vegetables) are kept at the front of the fridge. Rarely do I need to bend over (the horror!). So it was surprising to me today that when looking for something (probably almond butter), I saw my wilting bunch of poor, forgotten kale inching ever closer to a compost-bin demise!
Motivated, I decided right then and there to make some kale chips! Luckily, Henry was napping and a baked pasta was just about to go in the oven for dinner. 99 cent kale plus an already-heated oven makes this recipe FRUGAL and FIT.
Kale, revitalized with a sense of purpose and a large drizzling of olive oil!
Roasted and ready to be consumed while watching Oprah
Of course these chips are not as tasty as potato chips. These have nothing on the splendor that is Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles! But these also have nothing on the calorie or fat content of Ruffles either. These are freaking tasty! I pretty much ate this entire bowl which means I pretty much ate two giant bunches of kale in one sitting flat. My blood is probably now a light shade of green. But green is good! Better than brown from too much chocolate or coffee, y’know?
You know when you get in a mood where you just want to snack? You want food that takes a long time to eat? (That must be a psychological/comfort food thing.) Well this is your food! Sure, it’s a bit of pain to get the kale ready, but it pays off in the end. You get a salty, crispy snack, but don’t get weighed down by 2500 calories of fried potato.