Monthly Archives: March 2012

30 Day Shred!

Today was my last day of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I had tried to go through it twice before, but without accountability, life’s issues (aka, my children and my down days)  always won.

But not this time, buddy!

When I saw my friend, Missi, on Facebook saying that she was going to start it, I knew I needed to jump on board and ask for some accountability. It makes SUCH a difference knowing that someone else is doing it with you!

Some background for me: I got married right after turning 20 and weighed around 125 pounds. Since then, I’ve been married for 8 1/2 years and have had 3 children. I kept about 10 pounds after each child so I started this 30 day shred at about 160 pounds. Besides the workout, I also started tracking my calories. As much as I hate writing down what I eat, it really helped me to see how many calories I was taking in. I didn’t want to reduce too much as I’m still nursing my almost 7 month old and that could affect my milk supply. (Nursing mommas need an extra 4-500 calories a day.) I tried to keep it around 2000 calories but was not crazy strict about it. Some days I was a little under, some a little over.

I didn’t take pics so I have no before and after shots, but here are the results I do know about:

I lost 8 pounds!

I lost inches all over! (Keep in mind that you’re strengthening muscle so you might see inches come off before the weight does.) My arms and legs are tighter, my tummy is flatter (trouble zone for me!), and even my chest is a little smaller (3 kids remember? lol).

I’m fitting into pants about a size and a half smaller and I can fit a size smaller in shirts.

I feel stronger, and good! I’m able to go longer with more energy which is so needed with 3 small kiddos.

Overall, I am thrilled that I was able to discipline myself to follow through with it. I am a good starter but not usually a strong finisher. Ask my husband about all my unfinished art and house projects… And because I’ve been working hard at it and seeing results, its been easier to discipline myself to eat better. Seeing change really is a great motivator.

Last, but certainly not least, the Lord deserves the praise. This is an area I’ve been praying about for a while. As I mentioned, when I attempt these areas alone, I always fall short and have to deal with the disappointment. I had been praying for the Lord’s grace to help me in this area, and of course, He came to my aid. It’s by no means over because I can’t stop here. I have to keep the momentum going, for my health and for my children to have a good example to follow.

Next up, Ripped in 30 by Jillian.

Let’s git ‘er done!




Urban Farms!

For a while now, I’ve been fascinated by urban farms, and what people can do with just a small suburban or city plot of land. My hope is to one day have an acre or two…or three to do with what I please and for my kids to run around on. But, since I don’t have that right now (Its a saving season. Thanks Dave Ramsey…) I have been researching what you can actually do with a smaller plot and its AMAZING! Its kind of what kick started my want for chickens; seeing other people with them in their little suburban yards!

This guy lives in a suburban Chicago neighborhood and raises chickens, heats their home with wood collected from the area, and has planted fruit and walnut trees on his property.

Some people go above and beyond…

See all that greenery? Yep, that’s edible food right there. Granted, living in an HOA may have more restrictions, but still! Isn’t it awesome what you can do right where you are?

So, as I was drooling over these sites and things, I stumbled upon a new magazine called Urban Farm. After checking it out,  I signed up and got my first magazine yesterday. In love. Yep. I love it! Here’s their site in case you’re interested in reading some articles or subscribing for the mag ;o)

Some of the highlights ~

  • Conservation Districts. Yeah, I’d seen that title before in those little city newspapers that come in the mail and never paid any attention. But did you know that in some cities, they will help finance some urban projects? The article, called “Modern-Day Deserts” told about a NC woman who wanted to install a rain garden and not only did she get consultation on how to do it from her city Conservation district, but she was also reimbursed for over half her costs! Definitely worth looking into.
  • Books! They have a whole page dedicated to what books having to do with gardening and urban farms they recommend, with highlights.
  • Vertical Apple Trees. Never in my life have I seen it, but you can grow thin, vertical apple trees in a planter on your patio! Since we live in a rental, I’ve put off the desire for planting fruit trees and the like because I know we won’t be here forever, but I can definitely start in a planter! Check out for more info on it.
  • a whole 8 page article on Seed Starting!
  • Edible Flowers. I had no idea you could eat roses. I still don’t know if I will, but I’m glad I know now! There’s even a recipe: 3 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 10 rose petals. Lightly coat the rose petals with egg yolk. Dip petals into the sugar and lightly coat both sides. Dry in room temp overnight. Serve as a beautiful garnish on a dessert.
  • How to start grapes in a planter. …!!!…
  • Different breeds of chickens
  • And an awesome story about a company in Chicago called Growing Home ( that is taking in homeless people, teaching them how to garden and harvest, and also giving them classes on finances, resumes, etc. They are also allotted a share of the crops, and its right in the heart of Chicago!

I hear the urban farm movement is picking up and I’m so glad to hear it. Its about time Americans realize that we can produce our own food, and live sustainably on our own, no matter where we are! I’m a novice, for sure, but so glad I have resources to help me learn.

In other news, tomorrow we are going to get our hens! I will be posting pics for sure!