Friday, May 29, 2015

WWI #97 - Down

I'm down. I guess I'm talking weight, but also emotionally. The official weigh-in was down at least. It was a gain for the average, and a new high for the week, so it's really not good. My crunched numbers aren't great either. NUMBERS: Down 1.0, but average up .4 to 160.09. Average in 2543. Average burn 2756. Overage for the week of 1758. So, sigh. 

It was a very off kilter week. Some good, a lot not so good. We had stormy skies, our baby duckies, a long weekend, an ortho appointment, a school program, a little person panic attack, sickness and even death (of a ducky, but I can't even express how sad it made me and Hubs). Here's a weekly recap ...

  • Friday: Hubs didn't leave for work early so he could have some ducky time in the morning. Got the boys off to school, Hubs off to work, and me off to Zumba. Got in some elliptical ... and quite a few goodies (ice cream and Reeses were calling). Prepped a package to go to #1 son in Mexico (we were able to send it with someone traveling there personally) ... LOTS of goodies for him!
  • Saturday: Hubs took my burb in for inspection ... it didn't pass. Dang it, that's another stress to try and get it before it expires at the end of the month. Hubs was able to call and get the cracked windshield replaced on the burb ... and the truck ... and the other truck. Too bad there wasn't a buy two get one free deal. We also went and picked up paint and painted #3's bedroom (which we'd promised him we would do back when we rearranged rooms back in February). Well .. WE didn't. Hubs and #3 did all the work. I was in the kitchen making brownies and cool whip dessert for an upcoming family gathering. Ate some of said brownies, and Hubs picked up some Popeyes ... bad eating day.
  • Sunday: We didn't go to our usual church, but went to my MIL's ward and an open house after. Big food spread ... quite a few calories consumed. No exercise.
  • Monday: Memorial Day. Usually Monday Zumba doesn't take a break for holidays, but with our main instructor gone, it was cancelled. We did our big breakfast we didn't do yesterday. Hubs made the rounds to the cemeteries, I stayed home and supervised as the kids had several friends over all day. Still managed to get in quite a bit of exercise. Eating was too high.
  • Tuesday: Back to the routine, and a great day. Not quite the usual routine, as I'm on duck duty in the morning when I generally try to get in a quick elliptical session. But it's ok, the duckies are SO cute. Just a little time outside, some time in the tub swimming. We do it again in the afternoon and evening. Got in Zumba, elliptical, bike and weights. Totally kept calories in check too!
  • Wednesday: Duckies, kids to school, Zumba. Immediately after Zumba, I had to run to the school and grab #3 and drop him at the orthodontist. Braces for the boy. It was a long visit, so I ran a couple errands (Kohls, Sears, Old Navy).  Got in an hour of elliptical and mowed the lawn. Weeded some ... much more fun with duckies by my side looking through the dirt. NBA game on in the evening when an emergency broadcast interrupted announcing a severe thunderstorm warning. Poor #4 freaked out. It was stormy out.  Hubs was out late, and not feeling well when he got home ... coming down with something. 
  • Thursday: Out with the duckies this morning, one (Joe) was being very sluggish ... I was worried about him. Went to drop the kidlets to school and #4 had a panic attack, I think the emergency broadcast from last night was still affecting him. I dropped off #5, then brought #4 back home, gave him a "chill pill" (Valium) and we did some homeschooling until he calmed down. I missed Zumba. My usual Thursday Zumba had cancelled as the church was getting new carpet, but I had been excited to hit an alternate one.  I was able to get #4 to school, and it was his school program ... so I was at the school watching that during the afternoon. So happy to have #2 able to pick up #3 (as he got out at the same time). I made some chicken soup for dinner. I still had my evening Zumba class, and I picked up crazy bread ... I didn't eat any though, as I had lost my appetite. We lost out little ducky Joe ... he died. What's really sad is our one little ducky left keeps calling out for him. It's heartbreaking. 

 a little painting 

 the goodies got to our Mexico missionary

 weeding and looking for worms
ducky is helping

#4 and Joe


 ... so that was the past week. It was rather tough. #3 and his braces, he's a bit of a complaining kid. The weather this week, lots of storms. Lots of worry from #4, so lots of worry from me. With the bad weather, I have to go to the school early (about 20 minutes early to get a spot) so I'm there right when he gets out of school. Worry about the hubs not feeling well. Worry about the ducky, and then the despair when he died. Seriously, I think Hubs and I felt it more than the kids.

And today?
I've got a barfing boy.

One final week of school next week ... then we'll revert to a summer schedule. Basketball camps and clinics. Scout camps and such. Probably some bowling and bouncing. Dental visits for all the boys (I set them up while I was in with #3 getting his braces on). Hopefully we can get the car to pass inspection and get registered ... I will NOT emotionally eat!

Late link-up with Weigh-In Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Embracing the Black

What I'm Wearing Wednesday ...
I lack in color confidence. I've published a blog post about it (here). I do have a closet full of clothes, and many of those are different colors ... yet I always seem to find myself wearing black. Sometimes, especially in a Zumba class, I feel like I should be brighter. Red, Yellow, Green, Blue ... Zumba just seems to scream for bright colors. But not me ... I'm in black.

I'd picked up a couple outfits with some color ... some Zumba pants with a green stripe and logo. I got a matching tank. I got some bottoms with a hot pink stripe down them, with a matching pink top. I did wear them once in a while ... but recently, I'm back to black. All black, or black and gray.

I had some Fitstudio points expiring, so I looked on the Sears/Kmart website and grabbed the leopard print leggings in the picture above (free with my points! I get so many great deals with this program). Not totally black. But black shoes, jacket. I stopped at the store and picked up five black t-shirts today (yes, I just wear plain t-shirts, not special workout ones) as some of my older ones are dying, and Old Navy had t-shirts on sale for $5.

I think I'm just embracing the black. I mean ... it's even in my name (JenB ... Blackham). I need to color coordinate with my ChargeHR on my wrist, right? I'm sure I'll still wear some color from time to time. One of my pairs of Zumba Shoes are hot pink ...unfortunately.

Even my jammies are black ...


Monday, May 25, 2015

Long Weekend

It's been a long weekend. Three days without Zumba. With Memorial Day today, it's not my usual Motivated Monday. Generally my Monday Zumba doesn't take off even for holidays, but our main instructor is gone, so it was cancelled today.  As a family, we all slept in, then did a big breakfast (we didn't do our usual Sunday Circles yesterday). Hubs made the rounds to the cemeteries ... I stayed home and supervised, as the kids had multiple friends over. I'll admit, my anxiety issues do get in the way (anticipating crowds and car rides). 

The photo above is Hubs and my MIL at her folks grave. The picture below is Hubs, MIL and my folks at the graves of my younger sister and brother who passed away as infants. The tree in the background was small when the babies were buried years ago. It sure has grown. 

Other weekend activities ...
  • Hubs and #3 painted #3's bedroom ... something that has been needed since the big room rearrange months ago. 
  • Replaced the windshields in all three of our vehicles, in an attempt to get them  registered. 
  • I made a couple trips to the store, restocking groceries.
  • Made a big batch of brownies, and cool whip dessert, for a family gathering on Sunday.
  • Finished up the last of the basketball videos (Spring League Highlights).
  • Updated the family blog and the missionary blog.
  • Lots of duckie fun (daily bath swimming and outside time)
  • Hubs and I finished up American Crime, and the latest GOT. I got in some Grey's Anatomy and Good Wife (still catching up). 
  • Finished up my latest book, and updated my GoodReads
Didn't get a lot of exercise in Saturday and Sunday. Managed to eat a lot both days though ... isn't that how it goes?  No Zumba today, but I got in 100minutes on the elliptical (it's been a while since I'd done that) and some reading/riding.

Hubs has "Band of Brothers" on right now ... 
that's appropriate for Memorial Day, right?

I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to the return to routine tomorrow. Back to Zumba! Yea! We'll see how it is getting up early again after three days of sleeping in. Only a couple more weeks left of "routine" and then it's the summer schedule. Lots of storms again this week, then I think we'll finally get some sunshine ...

Linking up with Marvelous in  my Monday.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

WWI #96 - The Edge of Unacceptable

Oh dear. Up again. And I barely, BARELY slipped in under 160. I did edge over it during the week, and desperately didn't want to for an official weigh-in. I actually thought I did okay this week. Controlled calories a bit better, added a little additional exercise. But that's where this end of the weed accountability does come into play. As I sit down and input all the stats, crunch the numbers ... I really didn't do that well after all.

NUMBERS ... I'm up 1.3 from last week. Average is up too, from 158.7 to 159.69. Up .99. Not good. My average intake was 2343, I guess I really only had one good day (and one BAD day which cancelled it out). Average daily burn was 2764, not as high as I've hit in the past. I did have a small deficit for the week. Small. -603.

Here's the quick weekly recap ...
  • Friday: Zumba in the morning, and in the evening too! It was a fundraiser event. I had made dinner for the munchkins before going, and ate some myself. Big mistake. Dancing on a full stomach is not good! Also got in some elliptical during the day. Some Reisen chocolate covered caramels were a downfall today.
  • Saturday: Didn't do Zumba, didn't do a 5k that was happening right in our neighborhood. Fail. Did get in 40min elliptical. Also got in LOTS of calories. Way over today.
  • Sunday: It was a rest day for me, but by afternoon I was craving some movement, so I hit the elliptical for 20min. Hubs to the kids out to the inlaws, I stayed home and practiced some Zumba songs, getting in another 20min or so. Calories okay, a little over ...
  • Monday: Great day! Not only kept calories low today, but I hit my high for heart rate in Zumba. I ended up leading a majority of the class, and I guess that's what it takes to push me over the edge. Got in elliptical and bike, as well as stuff around the house. Productive day!
  • Tuesday: Not sure why my Tuesdays have been dragging lately, they used to be a best day for me. Zumba in the morning, an hour of elliptical during the day, and I did get in weights, but I really had to push myself to get started. Spent some time sitting in the afternoon, taking #3 to the dentist. Dinner was a little heavy, with yummy chicken alfredo and cheesy bread.
  • Wednesday: Zumba in the morning, an hour of elliptical throughout the day. I spent quite a bit of time on the front lawn, digging up weeds and then mowing. #5 has a diorama book report due on Friday, so I was breaking out the scrapbook supplies to help him along. Also an exciting day on the egg front ... Hubs is attempting to hatch ducklings in a little incubator and one of them hatched today!
  • Thursday: Long night. Worried going to bed, about the other egg, which had been struggling. I woke up at midnight and checked on it, but still no change. At 2:30 the fire alarm (just the battery beeping) woke us, but at least there was good news, in that the 2nd chick had managed to hatch. After dropping off the elementary kids, I stayed at the school as #4 was receiving a "Principal's Pride" award. I still went to Zumba after, but only got in 20minutes. I got 40min of elliptical, and 35min Treadmill during the day, then hit my evening Zumba class. Little Debbie's Nutty Bars have been irresistible lately!

 #5 and his book report box

 #4 and his school award

 Just hatched baby duckie!
A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on

So ... struggling with the weight! It just keeps edging up. But I don't change my eating either ... I just have a hard time combating the cravings. I cave. Things in this world just taste SO yummy! At least I enjoy the exercise ...the 150s seem to be my body's "happy place" where I stay the majority of the time without too much trouble. But 160 is too high. That's unacceptable!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Who's #1?

On my Fitbit friends list, I've pretty much given up hope of ever hitting the #1 spot. That's okay. There are a couple of gals who are averaging about 40k a day. I did hit 45k in a day. Once. I really don't think I'm going to do that again anytime soon (I hit 30k fairly often, my goal is 22k.) But with friends and family ... I AM generally at the top of the list, there in the #1 spot. One time last summer, my #2 (then 15-years old) did overtake me, after an entire day in the gym playing basketball with his buddies. I was pretty surprised yesterday when I noticed that my #5 had not only appeared on my friends list (I have quite a few random Fitbit friends, so I rarely see anyone I actually know IRL stacked there), but he was BEATING me!

My #5 is nine years old. Yes ... my nine-year old has a Fitbit. At first, I was just curious as to how much my munchkins were moving. But it does appear to motivate them as well. We are often comparing steps during the day. I'm always amazed at how many steps he gets in without any official "exercise". And this is while he is in school too! He has recess and PE, but he's also sitting at a desk for much of the day.
The munchkin (and I) have limited his Fitbit friend's list to just family (even though a couple teachers at school have Fitbits too, sometimes they will compare steps.) I was happy and impressed to see that #4 (my 11-year old) had also moved up, making it on my list as well. I tend to sync and check my stats more often than the boys, so they weren't aware how close they were to me until I brought it up. #5 was pretty proud of himself!

I kind of felt bad beating my boy, and getting back on top. 
Kind of. But I did it. You can see I'm just barely hanging on though!

The number there represents the number of steps over the past seven days. Another view of the friends list (accessed from the profile page) shows the average as well. You can see the munchkin's average is still beating me. I didn't get in many steps this past weekend, whereas he kept moving Saturday and Sunday. I sure do ♥ my little Fitbitter! Linking up with Workout Wednesday ...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TV Tuesday - What I'm Watching

Last month, on my TV Tuesday post (April TV Tuesday) I talked about Orphan Black and The 100. I did wrap up both seasons. I liked them both, but was ready to move on to something else. I caught a few my shows currently on prime time ...

I'm super sad over Grey's Anatomy :(  I'd heard about Derek's demise before I watched that episode of Grey's Anatomy. It's hard to avoid spoilers in this social day and age. I haven't watched the show since then. No ... I'm not boycotting. I just figured I'd let it, Scandal, Nashville and The Good Wife finish up their seasons, then I'd catch up on all the recent episodes.

So what WAS I watching recently?
This was one of those shows I just happened upon while scrolling through available titles on Netflix. I like sci-fi, I like apocalyptic stuff, the pilot did grab me, I liked the cast. It was a pretty good show. It had some interesting music moments! Very incongruous music to the scenes, which was the point, but it was pretty effective. There were some gross/gaggy moments too. Yuck! A virus, not zombies, but the end result did have quite a few similarities. The season finale was VERY open ended, not much wrapped up, still a ton of questions unanswered. That is what season 2 will be for I guess. I'll probably watch it (this is a new series, so season 2 isn't out yet). 

As I finished that up, I decided to try another Netflix ... 

a Netflix original.

So that's what I'm watching now. I'm a few episodes in, and I like it so far. It does remind me a bit of "Arrow" with the whole "I'm trying to save my city" spiel and comic book/superhero feel, and I did tire of Arrow shortly into it's second season.  But we'll see ... just 13 episodes, so I'll finish the season for sure. I like to finish what I start. The episodes are slightly longer than most prime time stuff (around 50 minutes) which messes with my workout routine just a bit. I'd been getting in one episode on the elliptical, 40 minutes for a while. Sometimes an extra 20 to round up to an hour. The 50 minutes just throws me off slightly, as I'm used to 20 minute increments for my shows (and on that note, Helix, above, was often slightly under 40 min, leaving me needing to play some music to finish up).

Outside of exercise ... Hubs and I have been watching American Crime. We only have the final episode left. Not really any likeable characters on that show. Not sure who to sympathize with. We've been keeping up with Game of Thrones (happy to actually use our HBO Go service that our cable company threw in). Next up ... Band of Brothers. It's sometimes really hard to watch a program in bed, before going to sleep. It doesn't keep me awake, I end up falling asleep during it! That doesn't tend to happen on the elliptical ;)

On the movie front, Hubs took the boys to see the new Avengers movie. I elected to stay home in the quiet house. I'll catch it on DVD (on the elliptical or treadmill of course).

Hubs and I did just watch a DVD that I really enjoyed.

About Time.

I had seen the previews, and it peaked my interest while in theaters, but we never made it out. It was a little hard to find on DVD. Redbox didn't carry it, you could buy it, but not rent it from Amazon. Luckily, my local library had it. I give it two thumbs up!

Have you seen Helix, Daredevil or About Time?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

WWI #95 - Up Again

Struggling with the weekly weigh-ins lately. Up again. And there it is ... the tip into the 160s. Twice. I was really hoping NEVER to do that again. I am keeping quite active, what would happen if I wasn't getting in my oodles of exercise? I know it's the eating, I just can't seem to get a handle on it. I just crave, and cave to those cravings.  Here's a quick look back at the week ...

  • Friday: Got in my usual exercise, 40minElliptical and Zumba. Quite a bit of chauffeur duty with the kids today, I felt like I was in the car a lot. Too many treats, ice cream indulgence. TOM too.
  • Saturday: Pouring rain in the morning. I hit a free class at a local rec center, it was packed. A bit of a down day, got some house cleaning in, but it never seems to be enough. Got in my elliptical also, but ate a lot as well. I'd had some sea-salt caramels I'd been hanging onto till mother's day, and it was close enough, so I indulged today. High calories.
  • Sunday: Mother's Day. The kids insisted I stay in bed for breakfast of waffles, bacon and hashbrowns. Got a record player! Had to hit church for a bit, then Hubs prepped a BBQ for extended family. We also got to talk to our missionary in Mexico. I didn't feel like I totally overate, but I was painfully full! High calories.
  • Monday: Back to the routine! Actually had a good day. Kept calories in check, and got in a little additional exercise (Zumba, 60minElliptical and 30min on the bike). 
  • Tuesday: Rather unproductive day, not sure why. Got in my 40minElliptical and Zumba, but nothing else. Went to watch #2 play in his basketball game at 6:00, and had to attend a parent meeting at 8:00 which triggered a bit of an emotional avalanche. Just worried about stuff ...
  • Wednesday: Still down and dragging. Did go to Zumba, although I really didn't feel like it. Only got in 20minutes of elliptical. Checked the kids out of school early and went to the airport to see my SIL arrive home from her mission (been gone 18 months) and then spent the rest of the day with family. The kids still managed to get a ton of steps running around all day! Cookies and cakes and such out ... I didn't resist. I mowed the lawn when we got back.
  • Thursday: Bit of a better day. Zumba in the morning, 50 minutes of elliptical during the day. Went to #2's basketball game in the evening, then hit half of Zumba anyway. Felt a bit more productive, but still ate too much. 

 Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed

Airport Welcome Wagon

NUMBERS: Up 1.3 from last week. Average came in at 158.70, which is 1.79 higher than last week. Not good. Average intake not good ... 2514. The calories just add up so quickly with bad food choices. Average daily burn was down a bit at 2737. Mostly just Zumba and elliptical. I got in the one bike session for the week, but no treadmill or weights. Crunching all the numbers, I didn't have a deficit, but was over by 1205 calories, in vs out, for the week. 

TOM was an annoyance this past week. I had Fitbit troubles over the weekend (but got my new ONE on Monday) ... glad to have that worked out, it affected my motivation! The constant overcast skies and rain made for some dreary days. There is some stressful stuff hanging over my head (minor compared to what so many are dealing with, yet still impacting my emotions). Basketball is wrapping up this week (for a few weeks anyway, until summer stuff starts up). 

Not a whole lot on deck this week ... I should be able to stay on track. Every time I even THINK about trying to improve my eating, I feel such an urge to just dive into a carton of ice cream. I need to try harder ...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Little H2O

I've been tracking my food on MFP for a while now (I just peeked, and my "streak" is 727 days, so almost two years now). I've been tracking my weight and my workouts for much longer than that (I can probably give you stats for any day in the past eight or so years). But WATER? I've never really tracked that, even though plenty of people/places to (both MFP and Fitbit have water tracking as part of their program). I think I drink enough water.

When I first started going to Zumba a little over a year ago, I'd sometimes take a bottle of water. I'd seldom stop and drink from it though. I don't know if just starting out, I wasn't working hard enough to need a water break, or if I just wasn't used to hydrating during a workout. I felt fine without out.  At some point, I did start taking water to my Zumba classes, and now it would be a definite struggle to get through a class without it! I was just refilling one of the boy's old Gatorade bottles, but I recently switched to a hospital jug (you know, those ones they give you after having a baby or surgery ... I like them!), as I do prefer drinking from the straw to taking off the lid and trying to take a quick drink between songs at Zumba (yes, I've dribbled it down my chin and shirt a few times).

The one disadvantage to my jug, is it isn't quite as spillproof as the bottle with a twist on lid. In the picture above, I was actually showcasing my sad spillage ... much moisture in the car console after my drink tipped. It got in my gum ... my gum had to go. Gross gum.  At least it got me to clean out the car console!

Femme Fit Club is hosting a water challenge for May. And while I still haven't actually gotten to the point where I'm actually tracking my water intake,  I have been keeping my jug filled with ice water wherever I am around the house. I'll drink at my desk, or just when I walk by. I've been enjoying upping my water intake a bit. 

The boys like to take a bottle of water to school, as sometimes they can't get out of class to get a drink when they are thirsty. This is especially important as the weather warms up. So often the kids come in from recess, hot and thirsty, and there just isn't enough time/drinking fountain space, for everyone to get a drink. It's part of the morning routine ... the kids fill their water bottles and stick them in their backpacks. Often, my #5 says he refills his a couple of times at school too! 

Guess who also appreciates this? My houseplants! I'm pretty bad at remembering to water my poor plants! I have to have hardy plants, that can survive my irregular watering habits. Plants that can physically LOOK like they are dying (to remind me visually) yet come back once I water. As the boys have their water bottles around after school, I'll often empty out them out into my various plants. I'm not sure what we'll do during the summer ... I'll just have to remember on my own, without our school day water bottle fill-up. 

During the basketball season, the boys are taken care of my the team manager. He fills up water bottles for everyone, so they have them right ready during the games. Spring season is a little more off the books, no team manager. The boys are on their own ... and my boy NEVER remembers water! I haven't been that good at remembering for him either. I can see, when he has water, he drinks it! Occasionally if he's on the bench long enough and a drinking fountain is close enough, he can sneak in a drink ... but honestly, he's not often on the bench, and sometimes a drinking fountain isn't close by. I really appreciate that team manager during the season taking care of my son and the other players!

We have a drinking fountain in our house. It's one of those commercial ones. It was just one of those things we thought would be a fun and unique addition when we built. A drinking fountain! When the kids or their friends need a drink ... sure, we have a place for that.  Guess who LOVES the drinking fountain now? Kitty!

Almost every time we walk past the drinking fountain, Kitty will jump up on it expectantly. Usually, we will indulge him. We'll push until there is a small trickle, which he watches with fascination as it enters the drainage area. Sometimes we'll push a little harder, a full stream, into which he'll push his paw ... yes, we usually get splashed a bit too, and someone has damp paws for a bit.

 Once upon a time, we paid for a nice filtered water service. We had the big jug, the cooler. When the kids were young, it was pretty much a play thing for the kids and their friends though, and it was a little pricey (and damp) for that, so we gave it up. I do often keep some bottled water in the fridge, if there is a preference for WATER ... my guys like Dasani. I get after them if they just grab one and drink it in the house. I mean for it to be used on the go. Also in the fridge, I keep a big water dispenser filled with cold water, which is what I want everyone to use at home (unless they are drinking from the drinking fountain, that is good too, no glasses left out afterward). We do have one faucet with a filtration system ... I'm generally too lazy to sit and wait for it to fill, and if it's up to me, I'll generally just use tap water. I'm not picky. It's water. As long as it's cold, I'm good. 

My oldest son is currently in Mexico ... there, it's "don't drink the water".  Bottled stuff only!

We are a water drinking family (Liquid Calories). I do keep some soda in the fridge. Diet Coke for the hubs (I've never had it myself), rootbeer for the munchkins, an occasional Fresca for me, although I have a hard time with carbonation (gives me the hiccups). We have to refill our water jug a LOT. It's a huge pet peeve of mine when one of the kids just drains it dry and leaves it like that. FILL IT BACK UP! I like to put ice in it, so it's nice and cold. 

Yes ... we've had the occasional issue where it drips or drains... then I get to clean out the egg holder and some of the shelves. Once, when #4 had just refilled it, the entire side cracked, spraying water everywhere! That traumatized #4 for a while, he didn't refill the replacement for quite some time. 

We had such a mild winter here ... there are water worries for the summer. Will there be restrictions on watering lawns, playing in the sprinklers? Will the reservoirs have enough water for the wave runners? We are so lucky in today's day and age ... we need to remember how lucky we are to have water right at our finger tips!.

A bit of a ramble today ... Thinking Out Loud this Thursday ... about water!

Friday, May 8, 2015

WWI #94 - A Weird Week

This was an off week. Hubs was out of town, my Aria didn't register my weight one day, I just didn't get as much exercise in, and then ... my Fitbit died. Here's a day by day rundown -

  • Friday: Hubs didn't go into work, but prepped for his weekend bike trip. I had the usual car trips getting the kids to school, then hit Zumba. Early out at the elementary, rush to the store to get a basketball that #5 NEEDED. NOW. Dropped Hubs off at the freeway, meeting a friend, and he was off. #3 ended up never coming home from school, sleeping over with friends (his first sleepover). Two basketball games for #2. Without Hubs home, I stayed up quite late working on the computer (blogging, making basketball videos, etc.)
  • Saturday: I hadn't planned on Zumba in the morning ... I thought I'd sleep in after getting to bed so late and not sleeping well. But 7:00 ... awake. So I went to Zumba. #5 had a game at noon (an awesome game!) and #2 had a couple games later in the day. In between, I took #3 in for a haircut that he NEEDED. NOW. I sure have some impatient kids sometimes! 40min elliptical during the day. Another late night for me. 
  • Sunday: Pretty usual, family breakfast, church ... stormy weather had #4 on edge, especially as we had to leave the house (his safe zone) to go to a family party at my folks. The weather did clear up though, and it was nice to have the extended family together. 
  • Monday: Just NOT sleeping well. I am usually fine sleeping without Hubs around, not sure what is up (besides me!) this go-round. Zumba in the morning, stopped and bought flowers on the way home. The afternoon was spent mowing the lawn and getting the flowers planted. Got sprinkled on a bit, and #4 had to retreat to his "safe spot" when there was thunder. Not a good weather forecast this week! Hubs called for pickup. Good to have him home safe. With him home, I was ready for bed at 9:30! I did get in 40min elliptical today too.
  • Tuesday: Usually Tuesdays are great days for me. I get a lot done. Started the day with Zumba, got in some elliptical (40min), but spent quite a bit of time on the computer. A lot of basketball video footage to go through, blog posts to update ... more than the usual amount of sitting.Stormy weather. Window well watch and expecting a call from the school from #4 (but he survived).  #2 had a basketball game in the evening. Then we went out to my MIL's ... ate too much, but it was yummy!
  • Wednesday: Fitbit was giving me some issues ... made me late for Zumba. Just 40min elliptical in addition. #5 had scouts after school, and then basketball practice in the evening. More storms. Actually kept calories in check ...
  • Thursday: Fun Zumba morning, with an old instructor I hadn't seen in a while coming back. Did a little grocery shopping after. 40min elliptical. #2 had a basketball game, so I didn't get my evening Zumba in like I usually do. I did stop for Little Ceasar's crazy bread like I usually do. Ate too much. Fitbit giving me fits! Won't sync, won't hold a charge! Grrrrrr.
NUMBERS: Weight is up 1.7 ... high was Monday morning as usual, with a drop by Tuesday as usual, but then it just didn't change much after that, even after my low calorie day on Wednesday (often that does cause a small shift in the scale). Average was up (.15) just a smidgen (156.91). Average in was 2429. Average burn was 2720 ... that's lower than it's been in a while, but I didn't get as much activity as I usually do. I've been back at an hour of elliptical lately, but only 40 minutes most days this week. No bike. No treadmill. No weights.   Didn't have a deficit, was over by 1520.

 Picture Hubs took Thursday night.

... and MY post to Instagram on Tuesday.
Featuring the view from my bedroom window
(as I sit at my computer)

Between hubs being gone, the stress of the storms (with my little weather-phob), all the basketball and all the resulting video to go through (making highlight reels ... it's what I do), the Fitbit frustrations ... just an off feeling week!

I have talked to Fitbit customer service. I believe they are sending out a replacement. Until then, I suggested to the 9-year old that I pull out the Zip we have around for him to have, and I use his One. Just temporarily. He said no. He was quite emphatic about it. Luckily, Hubs volunteered up his One, so he has the Zip, and I have his One until I get things settled. I'm pretty much expert at setting up Fitbits at this point!

Late link-up with Weigh-In Wednesday ('cause my official day is Friday)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thrifty Thursday - Fitness Rewards

I've posted several times about the many fitness rewards programs out there. As I continue on with the programs, I still want to share some of the great deals Ive been getting! You can get them too.

A while ago, I got an email from Acheivemint. This was just a general email to all the members asking if I'd like to participate in a little extra earning program. I went ahead and said yes (on my account only, I didn't bother with the Hubs or the boy's accounts). As a participation prize, I received an Amazon giftcard for a little over $4. The purpose was to purchase a sport wristband, but I supposed the credit could have been used on anything. I did go ahead and get the wristband, as I thought my dad might like it (he wears his Fitbit One in the sleep wristband all day long). My parents (also being signed up for Acheivemint) had also replied to the email, received the credit and ordered the wristband. So now Dad has two ... (of course last time I saw him he still just had the sleep band on! Silly Daddy!) Achievemint also offered some extra points for sending in fitness selfies ... I did it a couple times. Not sure if they were going to actually use them for anything, but I got 200 points for each (limit of one per day for a short period of time).

Generally, I don't think too much about Achievemint. I'm just slowly but steadily earning  points, getting to my next $50 payout (I've already earned a couple!).  I did hear back from my sister that at this point, Achievemint is only accepting applications for the waiting list. But go ahead and apply NOW! This is a great program!

Fitstudio is the fitness reward program associated with Kmart/Sears. Can I express how much I ♥ this program? *** UPDATE: This program has now been discontinued (Farewell Fitstudio). I mean what's not to love, free store credit! I have my account, Hubs has an account, the older boys have an account and my parents do too (they don't get to the store, so my mom tells me to go ahead and use their points ... and I do! Gifts from Grandma!) Seriously, sometimes I feel guilty I've gotten such great deals (walking away with free stuff is a pretty good deal!)

The other day, my son needed (NEEDED) a pink (PINK?) tie. Because said son had $6 credit earned in his Fitstudio account, I figured we could put that toward a tie. Sears is close by, but unfortunately ties are still around $30. Ouch. Except there was a pink tie on clearance. How much? $3. I bought two ties (as I have multiple sons!) What a deal! My younger son NEEDED (the emphasis comes from the kids, not me!) a new  basketball. With our Fitstudio points, and $5 in surprise points off a sporting goods purchase ... free basketball. The boys have picked up more shoes and clothes than I would normally buy them, because I'm not really spending much money.  I  have to laugh a little, as the cashier who checked me out regularly went out and bought a Fitbit and signed up for this program after seeing me in the store each week! Thank you FitStudio!

Now FitStudio does require some pretty active followup. I need to check and see how many points I have, when they expire (and they do expire quickly, use them or lose them), if I have any surprise points ... but the small effort is certainly worth the return!

Walgreens has a Balance Rewards program you can sync up to and forget about ... until it's time to redeem those rewards (My Walgreens Reward Redemption).

PACT is another program that I just do, and don't think about much. I've committed to five workouts and five food logs per week. It's pretty much a no brainer, I always get my exercise in Mon-Fri (often on Sat and Sun too, but I'm not committing just in case). I always record my food (but just give myself that leeway in case). I redeemed my rewards at the end of 2014, so my current earnings total is this year so far.

I've never had to pay out anything to Pact ... but with my dang Fitbit giving me issues yesterday/today, it actually does have me a little stressed. I've worked out today, that little bubble should be filled in! But my Fitbit isn't syncing, so while my device shows my steps, the actual online Fitbit record (which Pact connects to for authorization) does not. I do have a ticket into Fitbit customer service, I'd rather not have to deal with Pact customer service (I did my workout, I really did! It's Fitbit's fault!), so we'll see what happens. I may need to take a little PACT break until a get this resolved.

So there's just a little peek at the programs I've been using lately that have been making feel a bit thrifty! Check them out ... and check back for more Thrifty Thursdays!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fitbit Friends

Back when I first got my Fitbit (about five years ago), I didn't know anyone else who had one. Through the Fitbit Community and such, I friended some people, and received friend requests. I have quite a few friends on Fitbit now. I have to admit ... I only know a very small portion of them. Some I have exchanged a text or two with,  others, I might follow on Facebook or on their blog. But I probably only have 20 or so that I actually know in real life. 

 Jane's son is on my boy's basketball team, and Terrilynne is my neighbor!
Love it when I see people I really know appear in my featured Fitbit friends!

Most everyone I KNOW, always comments about how I am #1 on their Fitbit friend list ... but you can see, looking at the image up top, that I am NOT #1 on MY friend list. And I don't think I ever will be! The top two on mine? They are consistently above 200,000 (a seven day day step total). I just can't compete with that, active as I am. I'm generally in 3rd, 4th or 5th place, although I do drop lower sometimes too.  You can see, looking at the three different "friend" lists featured up top, that many stay the same, yet other friends make appearances and shuffle up the list at times too. 

In the center list ... Scrapjen? That is me too! Wearing my ChargeHR. While it does seem to have a lower step count than my One, I think the discrepancy is more from my bike rides (I move the One to my sock, so it still picks up steps, but the ChargeHR on my wrist doesn't pick up any), and the fact that I don't wear it all the time (I take the Charge off at night, and often leave it off on Sundays, as I'm not anticipating much exercise and it usually doesn't go with my outfit). 

On the third list ... I love it when my family breaks into my featured friends! GrayBlack is Hubs! ColtBolt is #5 (my nine-year old ... active little kid, he never "exercises" he just plays!) Speaking of Fitbit Family ... they generally haven't added a lot of friends, so their lists are all just us (and a friend or two).

I've mentioned my oldest just left for a Mexico Mission. I sent him with a pedometer (unfortunately not a Fitbit, as due to religious restrictions he can't have his iphone or wifi access). But each week as he writes, he includes his steps as Mommy requested.

I then take them and manually enter them into Fitbit. It's fun to see where he falls compared to the rest of us. This past week, his 7-day total of 117.812 was his high to date. Ironically, he'd almost always claimed the #2 spot in all the previous weeks. This past week though, the family at home has been extra active. Hubs spent the weekend biking (he hasn't even made it onto Landon's List in past weeks, not even in the top seven). My basketball boy Callahan had multiple games this weekend, which pushed him up the list.  Even #4 (the 11-year old, SuperCooper) was extra active.

I do love seeing the Fitbit Family list! I wish Fitbit was a little more user friendly in their friends list. I wish I could make different "lists" that I had control over. Oh well ...

I must admit, at this point ... I don't accept every friend request sent my way. Not that I've been the victim of any stalking or inappropriateness, but sometimes when I get a random request from an unknown guy, and I can see all his friends are women. I'll pass. I'm a bit picky too ... something as simple as not having a profile picture. I don't care, it doesn't have to be an actual picture of the person, but I hate the generic silhouette.  And ... if I get a request and I can see this person has a really high step average... is it bad that I don't know if I want to add another unknown person that is just going to push me lower on my list? I know some people probably don't want to be friends with me, if it means I'll take up their top spot. I understand *Ü*

Linking up with Workout Wednesday ... 
I really need to take a few more steps to hit my 22K step goal for today!
Best get off the computer ...


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recent Reads ... First in a Series

I've been getting a LOT of reading in recently! Most of it while on the stationary bike. Last week, I did 30minutes of reading/riding on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (in addition to my elliptical and Zumba).  I haven't been back on the bike since. I miss my reading/riding, I've just been filling my time with other stuff I guess.

As I read my books, I try to make sure I update my Goodreads account with a quick rating and review. This is more for me then for anyone else, but hopefully it might help others too. I know I appreciate all the ratings and reviews out there! I don't always get to my review immediate upon finishing my book, but I've tried to make it a habit to review any books I've finished during the week over the weekend. I've done well lately, and I've been reading so much, I was often reviewing 2-3 books a week!

I just looked back and several of my recent reads and realized many were all the first book in a series. Another common feature, I enjoyed them all (a nice change after the "blah books" from my last Recent Reads post). I plan on reading the next book in all my recent reads!  I thought I'd feature five of them here for my monthly book report. 

  • Son of War. Daughter of Chaos: I picked this up for my April Kindle Prime borrowed book. While I want to continue on with the series, book 2 isn't written yet ...
  • Mila 2.0: I quite liked this story, and the sequel was available immediately from the library ... but I did decide to deviate and pick up another book and come back to this one. I will in the very near future, but a couple of the other book sequels do have dibs.
  • Bloodlines: I read the entire Vampire Academy series a couple years ago and really enjoyed them. This spin-off series was available back then (at least the first couple books) but I decided to wait. I've now started up again (and am currently reading book 2).
  • Marked: This is available as a FREE Kindle download. Many authors (especially independent ones) will do this to introduce readers to a series and get them hooked. This one did that for me! Luckily I don't have to buy (I'm SO cheap!) as the sequels are available in the Kindle Lending Library. I'll grab book 2 as my borrowed book for May. **Parental perspective, this is an adult book (sexual content and language).
  • Grasping at Eternity: I paid $.99 for this book, but I see as I'm writing this that it is also available as a free Kindle download (probably temporary though, grab it while you can). I quite liked it ... and its sequels are not available in the lending library, or my local library, so I may have to actually shell out some money to read them (they aren't very expensive at least, about $3 each). 

Back when I was reading growing up, there were several series out there. The Dragonriders of Pern, Anne of Green Gables, All Creatures Great and Small ... these were some of my favorites. I actually LOVED finding a series,  because then I KNEW what I'd be reading next. Now though ... it seems like there are so few stand alone books! Everything is a series. Sometimes I'm not sure I want to commit myself to reading several books back to back ... but waiting and reading others in-between often ends up with me forgetting storylines and characters.

With the exception of the first book I listed, I do believe the other series are complete (with three or more books to the series). I do want to read them, maybe in a future blog post I'll revisit and write about how it goes ... :)

You can check out my GoodReads account for full reviews/ratings of these five books.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Biking, Basketball and a Box of Childhood

This past weekend just flew by. Busy with basketball. 
Watching. Videotaping. Cheering. That's what I was doing. 
Hubs was gone, busy with biking (a weekend camp/bike trip). 

He just barely got home (left on Friday).

My 16-year old had EIGHT games this week. In addition to the time spent going and watching him play, the basketball continues when I get home. I man the video camera during his games, and so I need to go through the clips, discarding those where nothing memorable happened. I then take the remaining highlights and make a Muvee ... again going through the clips to highlight the important parts, adding a title/credits, and music. It can take a lot of time where I am just sitting at the computer. I was pretty happy when #2 and one of his friends did the first "going through the clips" portion. Saved me several hours, and I was able to get straight to the muvee making. I also updated the Basketball Blog, where I showcase the YouTube links (and I've been getting into Instagram and Twitter more too, as that's what the teenagers are using most these days.)

Here's #2 in action ...

A video posted by BlackhamBall (@blackhamball) on

Saturday, I also went to watch my nine year old play. I often jog the track during his games, if one of my other boys will come man the video camera. As they weren't willing, I was the videographer this week. I was glad I was, because the munchkin had an AMAZING game! Normally I only get one or two usable clips from these games, but on Saturday I had enough to make a muvee of just that game!

Between all the basketball ... I DID hit Zumba on Saturday. With Hubs gone, I stayed up late on Friday night. I really thought I'd sleep in ... but I was awake around 7:00, so off to Zumba I went. On Sunday, the boys and I went to my folks for a monthly celebration (all the current birthdays), and my brother brought "a box of childhood" in the form of records that he had somehow ended up with. I'm not sure why, because some of these records were MINE. 

I've been searching online for any updated digital editions of the "Animals" and had never had any luck. I had located "Music Machine" but not the Chip and Dale "Little Red Caboose" ... that one definitely did belong to my brother. He's apparently not as sentimental about it as I am though, as I ended up coming home with the box of records. Now ... I need a record player!

That was my weekend, it was marvelous. Weight actually stayed about this same Sat/Sun, but did bop up this morning, as it is wont to do. 158.9 for Monday morning ... back to the schedule, return to the routine!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

April 2015 Zumba Stats

 Ah April ... lots of Zumba this month!
31 different classes!
Although I'm a little loath to stop dancing long enough to take a picture, I have been quickly grabbing  shots in some of my various classes. I need some illustrations for my blog post, right? And I'm an unofficial Zumba ambassador, trying to spread the word about these free Zumba classes (Free Zumba in Utah), so I'm also sharing them there. Above ... Dancing with Debbie in Daybreak!

** click on image to enlarge **

I'm a gadget girl. I have my Fitbit One, which counts steps(speed and impact) to calculate a calorie burn. Then I have a PolarFT4, which uses heart rate. It can be a little unreliable ... and uncomfortable (with it's chest strap), so when Fitbit came out with the ChargeHR, I picked it up too. I wear all three, and compare the different stats. My goals for class are a calorie burn of 400 or more, at least 6000 steps (but 7000 is really what I'm reaching for), and upping the average heart rate. At least in the 120s is the goal ... In the graph above, when two numbers are listed, they are the readings from the Polar/Charge respectively. If only one number is listed in the HRM columns ... it's the ChargeHR (my Polar must have been misbehaving!)

I hit a couple new classes, Nicole (I'd been before, but it was a long time ago) and then a class at USSD (a local karate studio)  ... I also threw in a jogging (track) workout, just to compare the numbers to a Zumba workout.  31 total Zumba classes for the month.

Looking back on the stats, the "winners" for the month are ...

  • Highest Heart Rate ... goes to Southziders on Monday, April 20, with an average HR from the Polar at 149, and 138 from the Charge. Both had calorie estimates over 500 for the class. Charge HR snag shown above. 18 minutes in peak (often I don't have any). What was different about that day. Actually ... I lead SEVEN songs as Nina was out with a sick child. Being up on the stage does make a difference I guess!
  • Highest Calorie Estimate Average: I take the three calorie estimates, then take the average. The day after my Heart Rate High, I went to support Marian as she subbed in Debbie's Daybreak class. I did help lead a few songs, and was "up front" even when I wasn't leading. This lead to an calorie burn average of 518! (The second class on April 21, in the evening). 
  • Highest Steps: The highest steps award for April goes to MZL, on Wednesday April 29, with 7887 steps. Class did go a little over (68 minutes) so that does affect it. But MZL also always has their songs back to back, no waiting at all in between ... so that often helps them win the high step award :)
Here's a few snapshots from the past 30 days ...

 Marian's Tuesday Class on Leslie Dr.

 Marian/Mountain View Zumba ... 9000 S and 2900 W

 SouthZiders in Draper ... 12100 S 700 W

 Debbie in Daybreak

Heather Jones in Sandy

 MZL in West Jordan ... on this day, a youth group was gathered at the church for a different activity, but seeing Zumba going on, they joined in for a few minutes, even though they were dressed in their Sunday best. It was so fun to see them participate!

Check back to see who the "winners" are for May, 
and if I can top the highs from April!

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