Monthly Archives: December 2012

Dance Party and Costco

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I am sure many of you are having an extended weekend which totally makes sense to me since it is New Years Eve but apparantely, the work world doesn’t quite see it that way. Lance has to work so the kids and I are just going to hang out and wait for him to get home. Fingers crossed that it happens early but being that he works in the beer business, I am thinking that isn’t going to happen! Phooey!!

How many of you have big plans for NYE’s?! We keep it pretty low key in the Riley household. I don’t get the point of getting all dressed up and spending a fortune to hang out in an overcrowded bar or restaurant so we are doing the norm and celebrating with some of our favorite friends. Chris and Brandi, here we come!!!

For the past seven years or so we have rang in the New Year with them. Well, I lie a little bit because I am usually in bed way before midnight(party pooper anyone!!!) but this year I am going to give it my all!! Even more exciting, we are having a sleepover with them…in our own room of course ;-).

I stocked up on the drinks, for the myself and the kids.

And since we like to get a little crazy, dance party style I am bringing along these Wii games that Camryn got for Christmas.

(Ignore the torn up game case. The gift givers dog was trying to keep it for herself, ha!!)

Not only will I be having fun but I will be working up a sweat at the same time. These dances are no joke! I broke a sweat several times over the weekend getting my groove on!!


After years(seriously) of debating a Costco membership, I finally broke down and paid the $55 membership fee.

I went back and forth on this for so long because I hate the idea of wasting money. And while I am not sure I will be saving money from shopping there, I definitley feel like it was a good investment. Costco is loaded with tons of organic products and the prices are very comparable to what you would pay for non organic items at the regular grocery store. So overall I feel like I will be getting higher quality products for the prices I have been paying for so-so quality.

This weekend I was able to get a FOUR pound bag or organic quinoa for $7.99. At Wal-Mart I get a ONE pound box for $4.00. Whoop, whoop!!!

The most exciting thing I found at Costco this weekend was this cool new iron!

I am telling you, this shopping trip was meant to be. My old iron decided to die on me yesterday so when I came across this for a big whopping $23 I snagged it right up. Yes people…..a new iron really does get me that excited!!! 🙂


1. What are your plans for New Years Eve?

2. Do you like shopping at warehouse stores? Favorite items to buy?



Filed under Family

That’s the Plan and How to Stick to it

Can I just say how happy I am that Friday is here!! This week has pretty much flown by due to Christmas being on a Tuesday but still, I am never sad to see the weekend get here!

This afternoon we are meeting up with my friend Brandi and her kids for a lunch date at, drumroll…. McDonalds. Not the healthiest place but hey, they have a germ fest, play place to entertain the kids so I am game for it. I WILL be ordering a salad. I will probably get the Santa Fe salad minus the chicken because their grilled chicken is just plain gross. That aversion I get to meat sometimes, yeahhhh, it is back in full force right now.

Take last night’s dinner for instance. I wanted to make dinner easy so I picked up a rotisserie chicken along with some sweet potatoes and bagged salad for supper last night. When it was time to fix my plate, I just couldn’t handle the thought of the chicken so I stuck with a baked microwaved sweet potato and salad instead.

No complaining here! This was delicious and really hit the spot.

I may or may not have had a small bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios Medley cereal later in the evening. I mean, it was Cheerios. No harm there, right?!

There will be no workout for me today and I am SO okay with that. My arms, shoulders and especially my butt are so stinking sore!! I had no idea that the Tae-Bo Bootcamp DVD would leave me feeling like that. Last night Lance was playing around and smacked my hiney with some incredible hulk gloves(yeah, we are mature like that ;-)) and I screamed out in pain. This is a deeeep soreness in the booty, too. Come on butt, LIFT…HA!!!

Speaking of working out, I thought this would be the perfect time to touch on New Years resolutions or rather, GOALS as I like to call them.

I have already seen pin after pin of healthy recipes and workout routines on Pinterest, as well as Facebook posts promising to start dieting just after the new year. Great!! It is always a good thing when someone decides they want to live a healthier life. However, what isn’t so great about it…..the feelings of failure a few weeks in when they haven’t been able to achieve what they set out to do. I know this because I have BEEN there. I am pretty sure we all have at some point in time.

New Years Resolutions/Goals: Sticking it Out

I am no fitness expert but when it comes to making fitness related New Years resolutions, I have learned through trial and error.

My biggest advice: Make long term goals but more importantly make shorter term goals to go along with them.

It is so very easy to be gung-ho about starting a new way of life. You want to lose 30 pounds, run a half marathon and become a vegetarian and you want it all to happen NOW. If only it were that easy. Creating goals in the easy part. Sticking to them….that is where the real commitment comes into play. And this is the very reason that I recommend making short term goals, too.

Here are a couple examples:

Losing weight: If you have a larger amount of weight to lose(over 10 pounds) it can seem daunting when they scale starts to plateau. Instead of expecting to see big losses week after week, aim to lose .5 to 1 pound per week. This way you can step on the scale without that dreadful feeling each week. It is much easier to lose 1 pound at a time rather than thinking non-stop about that big 30+ number. Don’t worry, each pound of weight loss WILL add up to the loss that you are ultimately aiming for.

Cutting out food groups: Personally, I feel all groups are okay in moderation but I have toyed with the idea of being vegetarian so I certainly understand the motivation behind it. Whether your goal is to be vegetarian, paleo or gluten free, I don’t recommend going cold turkey. Instead, aim for three days per week of incorporating the new way of eating into your lifestyle. It can be quite overwhelming to overhaul your diet all at once. Slowly transitioning can make life much easier!!

Working out: I am a firm believer that everyone should work out!! It doesn’t have to be in a gym and you don’t have to do it for an hour each day but you should get your heart pumping several days per week. It is so good for the body and mind!! Before jumping in think about ways you enjoy working out(if that is possible!!). If you despise running, you probably shouldn’t aim to complete a half marathon this year. If you dislike working out inside, the gym might not be the best place for you. If you are short on funds, there are PLENTY of free and inexpensive options out there. Hello…sidewalks are free and pinterest is loaded with ideas. Again, pick something you enjoy(more likely to stick with) and start slowly. Rather than working out for an hour each day, aim for 30 minutes three times per week. Something is always better than nothing and as you become more fit, you can increase the days and amount of time you workout!!

And now my final piece of advice: Stop Making Excuses!!! If you truly want it to happen, it will. If you don’t, it won’t. It really is as simple at that!! Your destiny (in diet and fitness at least) is in your hands!!! You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to stop giving up!!!!

Source: via Gorjuss on Pinterest

Source: via Rebecca on Pinterest


Do you make New Years Resolutions? If so, what are your for 2013?

Did you accomplish your goals for 2012?


Filed under Fitness, Food and Recipes, Motivation

Holiday VoxBox Video Blog

Well, hello there again!!!

Two blogs in one day, just look at me!! Actually, this one is a little bit different as it is going to be my very first ever VIDEO blog. Eeeek….exciting, right!

I don’t know about y’all but when I read blogs about people I have never met in “real life” I sometimes wonder if their voice is anything like I imagine it to be. Funny thing is, I am usually WAY off on it.

Since I wanted to share with y’all what I received in my Holiday VoxBox sent to me by Influenster I thought it would be fun to film it rather than type it up with pictures.



Let me know, did you like the video blog or did you find it a bit annoying?

Do I sound like what you imagined I would?

Do you use any of the products that came in my voxbox?


Filed under Uncategorized

Taking it Way Back

At the same time every year, when the temps drop I quickly realize how much I love 100 degree weather and wonder how I ever complained about it?!

Seriously, I will take hot over cold ANY DAY!!! Anyone else out there feeling me on this? Bathing suit vs Parkas? Yeah, that’s a no brainer for me!!

As cold as it was yesterday, I did manage to get out of the house later in the afternoon. Any guesses what I left the house for?

Shopping!!! Of course, it wasn’t for me. No, no…it was for my kids. I happened to browse the online Target ad and saw that many toys along with lots of other stuff was 50% off so I had to go.

My kids certainly didn’t need any more toys but their grandpa sent a check for them to do some shopping so I figured we could get more bang for our buck if we shopped clearance. They both found something they loved and we were out of there pretty quickly!

I was tempted to stock up on the 50% off Christmas candy but I held strong knowing I was going to treat myself to a Starbucks drink on the way out of the store.

I have heard many rave reviews about the eggnog chai latte so that is what I went with. It was good but SO SO sweet. I like sweet things but I don’t handle sweetness in the form of drinks very well. I got a tall and I couldn’t finish it. Sadly, it left me feeling not so well to my stomach. Darn it….I wanted it to be a winner. 😦

Since I overdid it on food the last few days, I stuck to my plan to eat “cleanish” yesterday. I did pretty well at it, too!

Not that I advise skipping breakfast but I don’t really think you should eat just to eat either. I was not the least bit hungry yesterday morning so I stuck to coffee and ate lunch a little earlier than normal.

I didn’t snap a picture but I had ham(for the FOURTH meal in a row….OVER IT!!!) with some cheese and crackers. I added a couple of juicy clementines to it and boy were they good!

Dinner was a quinoa medley and while it was nice and healthy, it kind of lacked flavor. I still ate it and it did the job of filling up my belly so I am not going to complain.

Today’s Workout

I am taking it wayyyyy back in time today.

Billy Blanks. Tae Bo. Anyone remember those workouts?  I happened to find this DVD tucked back in our entertainment center for who knows how long and decided to bring it back into rotation. After I had Camryn 7.5 years ago, this was my go to workout when I needed my butt kicked good. It is a long workout, almost an hour and from what I remember, it is pretty darn tough.

I’ll be sure to let you know is that still rings true!!

**edited to add workout update**  It most definitely rings true!!! Ouch…my arms AND legs are shaking something fierce right now!!

Did you do any after Christmas shopping?

Do you prefer hot or cold weather?

Favorite Starbucks drink?

Have you ever done a Tae-Bo workout? Did you like it?


Filed under Family, Fitness, Food and Recipes

Love, Snow and Gluttony

Well hello there day after Christmas!!! See, I am back as promised.

As much as I enjoyed my time away from the internet, I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about jumping on here a time or two to share with y’all some of the happenings in my days. However, I told myself I needed this break, not just for myself but to devote some much needed extra time to my kiddos(and shopping, wrapping and cooking!!) in the days leading up to Christmas.

And I have to say, it was a wonderful few days with Christmas being the “Happy ending”! It was such a sweet, sweet time(pun intended :-)) filled with Love, Snow and yesssss, Gluttony!!!

Starting today, I have no desire for anything that is not a fruit or veggie to enter my mouth. Seriously. I need a detox in a bad, bad way! Sweets be gone!!!

It started on Christmas Eve with the sugar cookies we made for Santa.


My oh my, these things are GOOD!!! I cannot claim the recipe though as it was provided by Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers. These have got to be the best sugar cookies I have ever tasted. Light and fluffy little pillows with just enough sweetness without being overwhelming. That is…if you stop at one or two. Me? I managed to down about 5 or 6 and yep, a couple of those may have had frosting on them!!

Next up was a no yeast cinnamon roll recipe that I found at Iowa Girl Eats. I have always wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls but the intimidation of using yeast stopped me in my attempts. Not anymore!! These babies were so flippin’ delicious and I have a feeling they will become a tradition in our house.


I didn’t let my cream cheese soften enough before making the icing so while it may not look too pretty, it tasted Fan-tas-tic!!!

Other unpictured desserts I consumed were Pink Stuff(cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, cool whip and sweetened condensed milk all combined) and Butterfinger pie. Yeah, just thinking about all of it kind of makes me want to hurl. I am SO over it!!!



And I guess I should apologize at this point because this post is going to be a bit long, I think.

Christmas in my house is really all about my kiddos!! I mean, while I enjoy the decorations and food, the real spirit(other than Jesus) comes from watching the joy that it brings my children.

We have a tradition of opening one small gift on Christmas Eve and I think it helps release some of that anticipation of opening gifts on Christmas morning. Can you tell they were quite excited about it? At least one of them!!


After that it was off to bed with zero complaints or begging to stay up. They wanted to make sure Santa came and they know if you aren’t sleeping, he will skip right over your house ;-)!

They needn’t worry though because he did indeed come and they quickly tore into the gifts he left behind.



While Lance and I don’t like to spend a lot on one another at Christmas, we did exchange a few things but mostly we let the kids pick them out for us. They did a good job this year!

I am in love with my Vera Bradly accordian style wallet, K cup holder and La Vanilla perfume. That perfume is the best stuff EVER and what I like most about it is that I don’t know anyone else who wears it. I like to be special like that. 😉



When we awoke yesterday, it was to major thunderstorms with loud booming thunder and lightening. However, shortly after opening gifts the rain turned into this white stuff….called SNOW!!! It rarely ever snows here in Texas. I mean, a couple days ago it was 7o degrees so I honestly didn’t think much of the forecast. Boy was I wrong!

While it certainly was no blizzard, it was enough for the kids to go out and play in. IMG_0923

We don’t buy snow gear in Texas(at least I don’t) because normally, it isn’t even cold enough to need a heavy jacket. So yeah, I am the mom who dressed her kids in about 6 layers of regular clothes and sent them out to play. Hey, it did it’s job!!


As pretty as it was to have a white Christmas, I am now ready to see the stuff melt away. I don’t like the cold and I have errands I need to run!!

Speaking of running, I guess I will finally end this post because I have a workout video that is calling my name. Yep….I can hear it now! Time to work up a sweat and get back to my groove. After all, bikini season is only 5 short months away!!!! No more EXCUSES!!!!

Did you have a white Christmas?

Did you eat too much over Christmas as well or are you better at practicing portion control?

What was your favorite Christmas gift received this year?

What is your signature perfume?


Filed under Family, Food and Recipes