Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Down 20lbs in 7 weeks

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I promised myself I would take pictures every time I was down another 10lbs so here I am sharing my -20lbs  and my comparison from -10 to -20lbs.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blogger OPP and upcoming IPAD MINI GIVEAWAY

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Looking for bloggers to help promote a blogger sponsored  Giveaway, a $559 Value. 
The giveaway dates will be 3/11 through 4/8. You will receive either Facebook or Twitter link for free (with announcement post HERE) for helping me with this awesome giveaway. NO Google + 
Additional links $3 
Host pages available for $15 (4 links and follow page) 
Co-Hosts available for $20 (5 Links, follow page and Blog's Name on Banner) All money raised will go for the cost of the iPad. (Over half of the funds are already raised)
Go HERE to sign up!!
There is a referral prize of $25 Paypal!
Only taking 75 blogs...all Facebook links will be on their own GT's.
If you sign up be sure to tell them Fresh Start Academy Homeschool sent you...

The POWER of Social Media!!

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   Who knew that a week ago our lives would possibly change in a blink of an eye.  Last Monday being President's Day my Nick, my oldest son was home from school, my middle
son Alyx and I went to run a quick (gone and back in 20 minutes) errand. Upon our return we found Nick standing on the driveway distraught. I asked what was wrong and he said I cannot find Khloe(our little dog), I said what do you mean you cannot find her? He said he let her out in the yard, and a few minutes later went to let her in and she was not there. My heart sank. I immediately dispersed the children in different directions to begin searching for her, called my parents who were in the area on their own errands to look by car and I went up and down the street yelling her name, and becoming more panic stricken by the second. I spoke to several of our neighbors and kept searching. I then kicked into another direction and went internet bound. While on the phone calling the police, animal control and the local animal hospital that takes in strays for our city.
    I then immediately posted to facebook, her photo and her information. Now remember we just moved and I had not changed their tags yet, as we do not take them anywhere and Khloe usually is not out of site. So I sent Taylor down and around the corner to our old house with a note explaining what happened and that we had not changed her tag to our new address yet, this way if anyone showed up there, she had my cell phone number and new address.  I shared the story I had posted on my personal facebook page on our city's facebook page as well as the page of our local Patch news, I was then directed to For the Love of Louie Lost Pet Looker's who then shared the post to our local dog park and them and myself posted the all the local businesses pages on FB as well. I was sick with worry my poor little 5 lb baby was lost and possibly worse hurt or been killed by a car.

   The post was shared over 250 times in the matter of a few hours and all I could do was wait and hope and most of all PRAY! My kids were upset, my husband came home from work and we had to tell him, he was devastated. That dog has become his best friend and he was crying non stop for hours. My husband is mentally challenged and has extreme anxiety. This was the last thing we needed.

   That night around 10 PM I get a call from a lady named Michelle, she says are you Khloe's Mommy? My heart skipped a beat as I said yes. She explained that she had seen our post on a friend of hers facebook and realized where Khloe belonged. Story ends on happy note? Not yet. She explained that she found Khloe under a co workers car at work a few blocks over, they brought her in and could not read her tags as they were too scratched up, khloe likes to scratch at them. They then called Detroit Dog Rescue and they came and picked her up and they assured her they would try to find Khloe's owners(us.)  I called DDR at 10:30PM and left a message, posted on their FB page and emailed them and messaged them through FB. I wanted my baby back and I wanted her now. I was relieved to know she was safe but that was not good enough.

  The lady that handles the intakes for DDR called me back after the got the FB message, and she assured me they did not have her, they had no small dogs at all. My heart sank once again and I broke into tears. I called the lady that found her back and asked what the man's name was that picked her up and what he was driving. She gave me the info and I called DDR back. She tried to call the man and his phone was off for the night, by now it was 11 PM. She told me to rest knowing that Khloe was safe and they would call first thing in the morning. Sleep I did not I longed for my cuddle bug all night. In the morning by 9:15 AM I still had not heard anything. I texted the lady from DDR back and asked if there was any news? She said that Rodney the man that picked Khloe up from Michelle would be calling any minute but would not tell me if he indeed had her. Talk about heart attack and stress. A few moments later a man called and asked if I was looking for my dog, asked what her name was what she looked like and If I could text him a photo to prove I was the owner. I did instantly he said I will have her to you in 20 minutes. Oh my gosh I instantly started sobbing in relief. I waited by the door in anticipation... As soon as he drove up Khloe was on his lap and excited he knew she was home..... He brought her to the door and she jumped into my arms, I never wanted to let her go again. He explained that he took her home and was going to return in the morning to where she was found and post a found sign. He is a large black man and the image of him saying that he let my little baby sleep with him and that she cuddled with him made me chuckle. He seemed very tough yet definitely had a soft heart for my baby. He praised us for how well mannered she was and that he gave her a bath since she was dirty from hiding under the car. He told me if we ever needed anything for either of our dogs do not hesitate to call.

  We realized there was some places in our fence in our backyard that khloe could push through. The morning Khloe was returned my Dad and Alyx spent 2 hours sealing up all of the access points. Khloe can now be safe in her yard. Although I think it may take some time before we are comfortable just letting her out and not being with her.

   I have to praise the power of social media, we would have probably gotten Khloe back eventually  but I believe because of Facebook we had her back in less that 24 hours. Michelle called back the afternoon we got her back to make sure she was home safe and sound and I thanked her over and over again for finding her and making sure she stayed safe. The next time someone says facebook is only for evil, remember this story and the stories of prayer groups on FB that have saved many people through the power of social media and prayer.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekly Weigh in Week 7

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 Wow to say I am feeling great this week would be a huge understatement. I am feeling energetic and healthy for the first time in a long time, I guess an almost 20lb total weightloss will do that for you? Although I am not contributing it all to the weightloss itself, I am adding in the fact that I have made healthy choices each week and stuck with them. I have not had any soda pop in almost 8 weeks and I almost always drink only water. I do have an occasional iced tea, decaf and unsweet of course and an occasional decaf coffe, not when I say an occasional I mean maybe once per week each. I am always filling my water bottle and I love the feeling that crisp cold water makes me feel,  refreshed....

    My weigh in this week resulted in a -7lb loss. That puts me at -18.2 pounds total since January 3rd. I never thought it would be possible to see these changes this soon, and I am committed to sticking this out, I am excited to see the end results and I know they are coming sooner rather than later. I am excited to go shopping for new clothes, I have been eyeing all the fun colors out for Spring and Summer. I want to buy but want to wait until I can buy a size I am super proud to wear. I am especially excited to buy at least one nice new outfit for my girls weekend away with some of my schoolhouse review friends, when we go to Cincinnati to The Great Homeschool Convention in April. I will probably buy a cute new outfit for Easter the week before and then use it again for our dinner out while we are at convention. That way I know I will wear it at least two times.

   We are due again for family pictures it has been almost 4 years, I know terrible for a blogger, scrapper and shutterbug. I find myself putting it off because of my weight. I was much smaller 4 years ago. Not as small as I would have liked to have been, but smaller than I am now. I am thinking of waiting until almost Summer I am hoping to be down around 50-60 pounds by then and I should be feeling a little more confident about myself.

   I was feeling pretty confident these last few days, on Thursday one of the moms commented on my weightloss and told me I was looking great and that my hard work was starting to show. That made me feel so good. It is so wonderful when someone pays you a  compliment and you can tell that all your hard work is starting to show to others as well as yourself.

  A few more milestones I hit was, I have lost over 5% of my starting weightloss and am very close to 10%, so close I want to achieve it in my next week or so. Also I have less than 100 pounds left to lose this is a huge deal as 112 seemed like such a big number and now I am in the low 90s which means hopefully next week I will dip in the 80s. Kicking the weight off in 10 lb chunks seems so doable. I am truly enjoying this journey now and it does not feel so much like a chore at this point. I hope I can continue to feel this positive. I cannot wait to see the final results. I am excited.

   I was able to put on a pair of jeans and wear them comfortably this weekend, zipped up, buttoned and I could breathe. I felt accomplished but I am hardly ready to quit there. I was also able to wear a warm up suit that was only a 1x. The photos from last week I was wearing a 3x top and a size 26 jeans. My jeans I got into were 24s that fit small. I was never able to wear them even when I was in a 24. So I am thinking they are more like a 22 or smaller. I find myself actually caring what I am wearing these days to show off  my weightloss verses hide my weight. I cannot wait to be able to do that more and be able to wear a swimsuit this Summer at camp and not hide behind my oversized towel.

   I used to treat myself often and go out to lunch, I am not doing that anymore and will only probably go out to lunch or dinner once a month from now on, so I have seen an influx of money in my pocket but have found a new way to treat myself... Crosses for my cross wall, one new one for every 10 lbs lost and a new sneaker fettish. I have once pair that I am waiting for nicer weather to wear they are hot pink and this week I picked up 2 new pair at Costco they were only $20. I could not pass them up. My family is laughing as I usually only have one pair of sneakers I wear at a time and usually retire my old ones for muddy field trips or to leave at the camper. Not anymore I am enjoying brightening up my step these days as there is so much more spring in my step.


This weeks change is adding 2 TBSP of Flax Seed to my smoothies for some healthy added fiber and nutrients and to keep me feeling satisfied longer. I did receive my Creative BioScience HCG 1234 on Thursday and got started right away I will let you know what I think at the end of March. I was sent 3 months worth of supplies and I am excited to add that extra boost to my weightloss regimen.

   What healthy changes have you made. What progress are you seeing?
This weeks Weightloss is -7 lbs
Total Weightloss -18.2 lbs
Pounds left to lose  93.8

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Creative Bioscience hCG 1234 Intro to review

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     As you all know I have a goal to lose 100 more pounds this year and to do this I have been researching different diets and diet aids. In my research I came across a company called Creative Bioscience, they specialize in cutting edge research to help combat consumer's weightloss challenges. I was given the choice of one of their products and after learning about each one, I came to the conclusion that HCG 1234 is the one for me based on my personal needs. The reviews of this product seem to scream great results and I am hoping this is just the extra push I need to conquer my goal.
hCG 1234™ Product Image
Here is what Bioscience has to say about HCG 1234

Product Description
hCG 1234® is a dynamic diet supplement designed for rapid weight loss. It contains select aminos and herbal extracts such as Maca, Pygeum, Rhodiola, and Astragalus, which are clinically supported to promote fat metabolism and provide essential nutrition. Based on Dr. Albert Simeons' revolutionary research, the goal of hCG 1234® dieting is to burn fat quickly, then maintain ideal body weight.  

  I am anxious to get this product in the mail and begin using it and share my results with you, and Bioscience has generously agreed to let me host a giveaway so one of my lucky readers will get to win one of their products, you will get to pick which one is right for you if you are the winner. So be on the lookout in about a month for the giveaway and review to be posted. I will be sure to update you week by week in my weekly weigh in post how it is going with HCG 1234.

    If you are a blogger trying to lose weight please sign up for the 90 challenge from Bioscience....

  Disclaimer, I am being sent a product from Bioscience in exchange for my honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. My opinions will be from my direct experience with their product and are in no way influenced by me receiving a complementary product sample. It is merely being provided so I can accurately facilitate my review.                      

Weekly Weigh in Week 6

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 Well I survived my first week of Medical Weightloss Clinic. My new weekly weigh in day is switching to Monday though for the sake of reporting purposes here on my blog since my offical first weigh in at MWC was a Monday they go Monday to Monday. I am down 2 lbs so far this week but will know my official loss for the week tomorrow. I am not hungry, in fact I feel like I am eating so much more because I actually have 3 snacks for the day as well as 3 meals. These snacks are their nutritional supplement as well as some fruit or veggies.

    My morning consists of 3/4 c. of corn flakes, 8oz skim milk, a fruit serving, and 1 egg, usually my egg is hard boiled.

  Then I have a late morning snack like their delicious cocoa or shake and maybe some cucumber slices or tomato slices.

  Lunch I get a protein such as cottage cheese, tuna or chicken and a veggie and a starch such as noodles, rice or bread.

 Late afternoon snack like their delicious banana cream pudding or granola type bar and a fruit serving.

  Dinner is another protein such as chicken, beef or turkey, another starch and veggie.

Evening snack another nutrient supplement, my favorite is their cheesecake and my last fruit serving which I love to use sliced strawberries and mix them in my cheesecake.

 I am also drinking a minimum of 72 oz of water and I can have unlimited decaf iced tea so I am a happy camper. If I want I can have a nutrient snack bar but I have only felt the need to have one once and that was because I was out running errands and it was past my lunch time.

   I have been 6 weeks without soda pop and I feel great, 2 weeks without added salt and now 1 week without added sugar.

I have been working out on the Wii, and we have been Wii bowling each night as well. I will be starting Zumba soon as well. I cannot wait until it gets nicer and I can walk outside comfortably and  camping season is right around the corner where there is water aerobics every morning and a walking group and a gym.

   Well I will be sure to check in tomorrow with my weekly weightloss.
Hope you are all feeling as good as I am and having positive results.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gear Heads Car Prize Pack Giveaway ENDS 2/28

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picture rights to motortopia.com

  Do you remember your first car? I do but it was not my favorite, it was a little Dodge Omni hatchback. My favorite car was my second car, I got it from my Grandma for graduation and it was a 1985 Ponitac Fiero, Bright Red with Silver accents, 2 seater with a pop off roof panel to make it a semi convertible and man could it fly. I loved that car. I loved everything about. It was great on gas, and with only about a 10 gallon tank, back when gas was less than a $1 a gallon, it was an easy fill-up. Boy do I miss those days, now I am a mini van Mom. Do you ever wish you were young and care free again. I do but not very often, but every once in a while I like to remember the "good ole days". I love my family and would not trade them for anything but I loved the olden days too.
  Remembering my old car brings back some great memories and I am sure you can think of some great car memories too, but how would you like to win a great car prize pack from Gear Heads?? Enter below for your chance to win.

Welcome to the GearHeads Giveaway

GearHeads Car Giveaway Event

I Winner Will Receive the following Car Prize Pack {RV $279}. See form for Entry Details. Open to U.S.  You must be 18 years old to enter to win. Ends 2/28. Prizes Include:

  • SCT Scangauge II from Meezer.com (RV $169) - Read the Meezer Review

  • $50 Buy.com Gift Certificate

  • 3 Fix-A-Flat Kits (RV $60) - Read the Fix-A-Flat Review

  • This event is hosted by The Review Wire and special thanks to all the blogs, LIKE Fresh Start Academy Homeschool, in helping to promote this event.
    Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Fresh Start Academy Homeschool is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact Review Wire Media with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

    Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Apologia Science Schoolhouse Review

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       I am happy to be back in the swing of things and am here today with my first review of the new year   as a crew member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew. I am one of many bloggers chosen to review homeschool curriculum and other family friendly items through The Old Schoolhouse magazine. I will be bringing you more reviews at a steady pace as we are now in full throttle on our cruise voyage for the 2013 year, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

        I was so excited when I was chosen for this particular review, we are big fans of Apologia Education Ministries, last year you may remember several reviews we brought to you for their world view curriculum. This time we were chosen to review one of their Science curriculum,  Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. My kids flip over Science, me not as much so I was so relieved to be able to use this curriculum, as Apologia always makes it so easy to teach my kids by following their textbooks along with my kids.  We were sent the following items so we could dive into our new studies, The Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text book $39, Notebooking Journal $24, and the MP3 CD $29. Now for the younger kids there is a Junior Notebooking Journal  $24, we did not receive this as my kids are older and this would have not been appropriate for our family.

       Now let me start off by saying the recommended age guidelines for this are 4-6 grade with the standard notebooking journal meant for 3-6 grade and the junior notebooking for K-2. Now what a love about Apologia is that most of their curriculum choices can be adapted or shared with students on both sides of their recommended age range, which leads me to where I am today. My boys this year are in 8 and 9th grade respectively, but I did not even hesitate for a moment on asking for this curriculum to review because I knew there would be plenty for my boys to do. The standard notebooking journal for instance challenged my boys who are lacking in the writing area, as there was much writing to do in the journal. Now if you know your student is not a huge proponent of writing, you may lean towards the junior version as there is more pictures and less writing. For us we need to get the boys up to grade level for writing so I knew we would stick with the standard choice. The Text book has beautifully illustrated pages and explores anatomy and physiology from a creation standpoint which is very important to me and my kids.

       The CD Rom is an invaluable tool as the author, Jeannie
    Fulbright reads through the complete course, this is helpful for auditory learners, and special needs children that might have difficulty keeping up with the reading of the text, we also enjoy listening to it as we ride along in the car. It is important to know as this is an MP3 CD you need to use a compatible device and not just a standard CD player, also you can play it in a computer disc drive as well.
    Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD

       Through the course you will learn about parts of the body and their distinct function and you will be taught why God made us the way he did. There are bible verses that correlate to the study of the chapter you are working on, this is a great way to tie Bible into your Science. We used the verses from our Science chapters as our key verses for that week's Bible lessons. I also incorporated key words like Anatomy and Physiology for instance into our spelling and used up words from our Science studies to make up the boys spelling lists for the week. This helps burn the words they are learning into those wonderful brains of theirs. This has always been helpful to me using Apologia, we did the same thing when we are using their world view curriculum, it helps the boys to grasp what they are learning when they are putting extra effort into studying the spelling and meaning of key words in a certain subject we are learning.

        There is even some history thrown in for good measure as well, it tells the science aspect like for instance Egyptians and mummies. There was a lab that asked us to use and apple, table salt, Epsom salt, and baking soda to test the theory of mummification. The boys loved turning the apples into mummies. They even tried it out on other fruits and vegetables as well, such as potatoes and bananas to see if they all worked the same. I won't give you the conclusion in case you would like to try this out yourselves, I would not want to be a spoiler.

        Most of the labs use household items that you may have already on hand or are easily attainable and not too pricy, one investment you may want to make is in the blood typing kit, this is available from Apologia for  $14. I am going to be ordering this soon as my kids find things like this very interesting. The other small things you may want to invest in are petri dishes, you can find these at any teacher's store or online, I was lucky to come across these and beakers and droppers and such at Target in their dollar spot last summer and I snatched them up knowing we were going to be getting into biology and such in the coming months. I am always on the lookout for ways to save money on our accessories to make our curriculum a fun learning atmosphere. You may also want to invest in a microscope although these hints are not mandatory I do highly recommend them to make your Science class the best it can be.

         We are continuing on with Exploring Creation and Human Anatomy and Physiology as we are having so much fun exploring the make up of our bodies and minds. We have been having a blast learning how God made us each so unique and how each component of our bodies has been designed with the most utmost of detail so that we can all be as healthy as possible.

       If this sounds like something your family would enjoy, I highly recommend looking into this curriculum for your next Science subject, and if you are curious of what other Science offerings Apologia has be sure to check out their website as you will find everything from this to Zoology and all that comes in between.

        Also do not forget to check out the reviews from all of my fellow Schoolhouse Review Crew friends, as many of us received different topics to review, this way you can get a feel for what other offerings Apologia has for you.

    “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
    services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
    on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
    and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
    with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
    Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Valentine's Day 2013

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     So this year Valentine's Day fell on an Enrich day, which is our homeschool co-op. I gave valentines to my class as well as the students in the class that I am a helper in. Then I came home to make my family a wonderful Valentine's dinner of steak, green beans and red beans and rice. We then opened V-Day presents, everyone got a Tervis tumbler, to match their uniqueness. Grama got a adorable one with pink and yellow and grey butterflies on it, she loves butterflies, they are all over the walls in her room. Nick has had his eye on one that looks like goldfish swimming in the water, Alyx got a real tree camo tumbler. Taylor just stripes as he is pretty simple, and David got a cool Detroit Red Wings one. As for myself I picked out a really cute owl one, that has owls in all different colors. I matched each of them with a whistle straw so everyone knows which one belongs to who.

      After our dinner my parents came and brought treats for us all and stayed and had dessert and chatted for a bit. It was nice to visit with everyone all together, life seems to be so busy it has been a while since we were all in the same room at one time.

      My other gift this year was the ability to begin my cross wall, I have envisioned something for the wall above our couch and when my cousin's wife posted about putting up their cross wall after moving, it came to me that is what I had envisioned I just had forgotten where I had seen it. So off to Hobby Lobby I went with my good friend Gyda, since she had to trek out that way to drop her daughter off at work anyway and we came home with the makings to create this...

      I have one more that is still packed away that I am on a mission to locate this weekend, that will go on the top right side above the big picture. It is a bluish color like the one on the left so it will balance out nicely. I look forward to adding to my collection as time goes on. So if anyone is looking to buy us a gift you can always help us add to our collection.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day and celebrated God's Love.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Wordless Wednesday. Happy 2nd Birthday Bailey

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    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Weekly Weigh in Week 5

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    So this is week 5 and I had my 5th weigh in yesterday at weight watchers and I am happy to say I was down another -1.6 pounds. For a total so far of -9.2 lbs lost. I am so close to 10 pounds I cannot wait, it feels like a magic number to me, I know that sounds stupid but I feel like 10 pounds is such an accomplishment. I have noticed I feel much better and have more energy just by changing my eating habits and drinking lots of water each day. I forgot to take before pictures when I first started but had Alyx take them of me yesterday so I can document photos at the end of each month. So my Month 1 pictures look like this...
    I have 102.8 pounds to go to my goal of 112 pounds lost.

     I have been keeping up with my marble jars I shared with you in my first post and here is an updated look to them as well....

     I am learning that even when I splurge I tried to stay healthy, our favorite place for lunch is Chipotle and it is all Organic. Alyx and I went yesterday for lunch while we were out running errands. We love the Steak Burrito Bowls.
    It has spicy lean steak bites, cilantro lime rice, lettuce, cheese, a little sour cream and usually mild tomato salsa but they were out yesterday. I would have normally got a bag of tortilla chips but when I found out how many weight watchers points they were I decided they were not worth it. Funny how I think like that now. I have definitely learned to make some wiser choices. I am starting a new stricter diet tomorrow so I was sure to get my chipotle fix before I cannot have sour cream and cheese. 

    I cannot wait to share with you my results next week after my 3 day cleanse and a few days on my new diet I am hoping for amazing results and to make my goal even sooner that I had previously hoped. I am looking at maybe October 1st now. 

    I hope the rest of you are having great results and sticking to your plan as well, please share if you are having progress or even if you need encouragement feel free to drop me a comment or message me. 

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    Weekly Weigh In Week 4

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     Well I am moving right along, I am feeling great and I am motivated to drop this weight. I went to weigh in yesterday and I was not sure which what I was feeling, but I was greeted by an additional -1.8 pound weightloss for the week. That brings my total so far to -7.6 pounds lost.

       This past week I cut down on added salt, this coming week I plan to eliminate the salt shaker from my table all together. I also purchased a new Wii with some of our tax money and I got wii fit and zumba for the wii. I will use these to work out until we get our approval for our scholarship for the YMCA.

      We also went to FiveBelow and I got some 1lb and 2lb hand weights, resistance bands and a Fitness ball. I also stumbled upon an armband for my ipod so I can walk the treadmill and listen to my tunes. We found some great water bottles for the family as well so we make sure we stay hydrated. I feel very positive about the direction my whole family has taken to join me on this journey and that we are all commited to this year of getting healthy so we will be healthy in the long run.

       We  have been enjoying some new things we all got with some of our income tax money, after the bills were paid of course. We always love this time of year it is like a second Christmas for us.
      I am running a Biggest Loser Challenge in a weightloss group on facebook that some of my TOS buddies are in. Today is the official start to our first week. I cannot wait to see everyone's results by the end of the week. This is going to be so much fun.

      Until Next week, keep on losing.....