Friday, June 15, 2012

Kroger Private Selection Brands

I’ve been fortunate that I’m a bzzagent ( and I am able to get free samples and tell you about great products. Kroger has been very generous and has been giving bzzagents opportunities to try a lot of their private selection products. Most recently we tried their chips and their ground beef. The private selection brand is their select brand and yet affordable.

I will tell you that we bought ground beef that was private selection brand and made hamburgers and they were some of the best hamburgers I’ve had in a long time. I’d highly recommend their private selection beef for a higher quality of beef.

We tried to find their pies but were not able to. It was around Memorial Day so that may be why they weren’t there.

If you shop at Kroger – next time try their Private Selection brand label products. They taste great!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Big long drought…

There used to be a time…back years ago when life wasn’t so hectic where I could actually keep it up with this blog!

Now night time is a time for the boys to be put down after a hectic schedule of sports. It’s time to pick up the house.

April 11, 2012 I decided to start a weight loss journey – again. Yes – again. I saw a photo of my good friend Caroline and talked to her about how she lost 54 lbs. She told me she used myfitnesspal app for the phone/web and worked out.

I thought that had to be way too simple, but I thought I would give it a shot. I hated journaling and had done it in the past and failed miserably. I had also done weight watchers more times (and failed) than I’d like to admit. I reasoned with myself that Caroline was built like me and if she could do it, I could too.

So I just started counting calories. I did not have to total fiber, fat, fiber, etc. I just had to total calories and work on eating healthy.

I set the program up to lose 2 lbs a week. That set me at 1200 calories and more if I exercise. I joined a gym the week after I started and found that I LOVED my gym. I started going weekdays between 9pm-11pm and loved that the kids were in bed and I just had me to worry about and relax. Yes – I actually relax at the gym!

So it’s now been 2 months and I’m down over 17 lbs. That is more than I’ve ever lost in such a short time. I am just being extremely careful about tracking everything I eat (good or bad) and exercising at least 4x a week – most days for an hour a piece. 2 of the 4 days I try to do cardio for at least 60 minutes. I’ll burn at least 600-700 calories in the hour. I’m so darn proud of how far I’ve come. Check this out:

2012-02-26_10-01-29_532Me at the end of February.

2012-05-23_07-31-19_455Me in November. This is terrible…

2012-06-05_10-04-17_796/5 – down 17 lbs since 4/11

2012-06-05_01-01-45_1116/5 – You can see it in my face!

2012-06-04_14-51-49_870My face is thinner!

I have to track my food daily now – it’s a habit and I get all nervous when I don’t because I don’t know where I am for the day. Days I eat really terrible (fast food) I try to work out a little longer to burn it off. I’m so proud of how far I have come!

The other big thing is we adopted a dog yesterday!

IMG_20120609_141126Meet Rascal – He’s a rat terrier – 10 months old.

Joe and I agreed a rat/fox terrier or a jack russell would be best for our family since the boys are so active and they could play catch with him.

The first one I looked into adopting seemed like a good fit – except that they said she bolts for the door as soon as it opens and once she gets loose she doesn’t come back.

Joe and I agreed that that type of dog would not be good for our family. We are in and out all of the time and that would be a major stress we didn’t need.

The next one we looked at didn’t like children – though the petfinder ad for him didn’t say that, or I wouldn’t have inquired.

Then we asked about Rascal. We were told he was 10 months old and he NEEDED kids to wear him out. He had so much energy that the foster mom was asking if anyone had asked about adopting him yet! They told me he was working on being potty trained and wasn’t good at leash walking since he wasn’t keen on other dog. She said he’s extremely anxious and didn’t travel in a car well.

We agreed to give Rascal a shot. We got a puppy pad to put under him in case he got car sick on the way home. He foamed a little at the mouth but he passed out minutes into being in the car.

We got home and we had him go pee outside and then took the few hundred dollars worth of dog supplies into the house. The crate was most of the cost.

We were diligent about making sure that Rascal used the potty every hour on the hour. He had one tiny little poop accident. The entire weekend he peed and pooped outside. We reward him every single time he goes outside. He is doing fantastic with potty training.

We have not noticed him being anxious at all. He fit into our family very quickly. Even though Justin is very loud and moves very fast and Joey is full of energy, he LOVES the boys and loves how they chase after him through the house and throw him his ball.

Joe was the one I had to convince and beg that we needed a dog. As soon as we set foot into the house Joe claims Rascal is HIS dog. Rascal has also claimed Joe and his best buddy and will sleep with Joe and hang out with Joe every chance he can get.

We got a clicker today and I’ve taught Rascal sit and lay down. We are also working on leash training and distraction training for barking when he sees other people/dogs that make him bark. He’s doing a very good job. I am reading a book about positive behavior training and it makes a lot of sense and is working fast.

One of the BEST unknown benefits for having a dog is that Rascal will pick up random things off the ground to see what they are and he likes to chew on the kid’s nerf darts. He also was a beggar and loves to see what is on the table. I used to have the hardest time getting the boys to pick up after themselves. Now I just blame it on the dog and they pick up the table and their toys. Joey didn’t believe me that Rascal was getting a hold of his dart. When we were picking up I heard Joey say to himself, ‘Rascal did get a hold of my darts.’ Sooner or later that boy will realize his mom is usually right!

Justin finished preschool on the 25th of May. He will start kindergarten in the fall. Joey finished 2nd grade May 31st. I can’t believe I will have a third grader next year!