31 March 2009

The Funny Paper

I am so proud of Miss Kirstyn. We have been talking a LOT lately about not wasting and taking care of this earth that God gave us. I've already mentioned that we are composting and that has been like a giant science experiment. Well, on Saturday when it came time to wrap Kaleb's birthday present...

Kirstyn said, "Mommy, how will we wrap his present and not waste everything?"

Me: "Let's use a bag we already have and some tissue paper we saved from your last birthday."

K: "Great Idea."

*looking through box where we keep bags and tissue*

K: "Mommy, we need another plan. Kaleb won't like a princess bag or baby bag."

*think think think (starting to hurt) think think think*

Me: "I KNOW! Let's look in the recycle bin!"

Kirstyn loved my idea and Kaleb didn't seem to mind at all. My mom used to do this all of the time to save money on purchasing wrapping paper and I can't believe it has taken me this long to "think" of it!

Oh and I just had to share these pictures of Kirstyn at the birthday party. There was a giant bounce house and other fun things to do but Miss Kirstyn wanted to sit and hold "pretty baby Claire". She also talked Trinity into coming over and playing with her too for a few minutes. Wow, Carrie, my baby looks really grown up holding your baby!

Please tell me your favorite way to save the environment or save some money!
For more Word-ful Wednesday head over to Angie's place.
For more Works for Me Wednesday head over to We are THAT Family!

Past Post Parade

I linked up today with Elaine for her Past Post Parade.

While I was looking through my archives I also realized that this week last year, James was getting tubes put in his ears after 6 round of antibiotics didn't cure his ear infections. I just said a prayer because I was reminded how thankful I should be that I haven't even had to take either one of my children to the pediatrician this year!

Oh and apparently this time last year I was also whining about being on a weight loss plateau. That was pretty close to 45 pounds ago. I was wearing a snug size 14 and now I am in a comfortable 8. Okay, guess this exercise of going through my archives was good for my mood after all!

First, go look at a post I did in 2005 and then head over to Elaine's place for a chance to win a fabulous Quaker goodie box!


29 March 2009

My Loot and My Mood

So, at the end of my "mood" week last week I found out that I had won 2 fabulous prizes!

First, I won an 8X10 print of my choice from my friend Christina's amazing photography collection. I spent like 2 hours the other night looking through her pictures on Flickr and I still haven't chosen one. There are so many amazing photographs taken by her. Which one would you choose?

Then, as a result of the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party, I won Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love that was provided by Jessica from Pudget: Losing Weight On A Budget. She recently found my blog and I have been enjoying hers so it is pretty exciting that I won this prize. Plus, who knows, maybe it will be just what I need to get the scale to move again!

I have a plan to change my mood and "turn my frown upside down". (Now I really DO sound like my mother...)

I think I can blame my "mood" on a combination of allergies, pms, a 3 day headache, my weight loss plateau, and not sleeping good. So, have you been in a "mood" too?


27 March 2009

Fat Fighting Friday - W9

Same Report, 9th verse! I got up this morning and weighed in on my home scale. When I saw that it was the same as last week and opted to stay home this morning and cook baked oatmeal for my parents who showed up last night for a surprise visit instead of going to my early morning meeting.

Mom and Dad have been on a cruise all week out of Galveston and they decided they would come by here on their way home to see the kids. They made it just in time to go to pick Kirstyn up from dance and surprise her! She was so excited.

Anyway, I am going to change my number of points per day this week and see what happens. Currently, I have myself listed as "active" and I am going to change that to "sitting most of the time" which will lower my daily points by 2. Hopefully, that will be just the push in the right direction that I need.

Sorry there weren't very many posts this week. I have been in a 'mood' most of the week. The weather is constantly changing here in Texas right now and I keep getting horrible headaches. Oh well, I've made it to Friday and I didn't even miss any of my workouts this week, so I am pretty proud of me.

How was your week?


23 March 2009

Mexican Lasagna

On Saturday morning David let me stay in bed and watch TV (I almost always watch Food Network if given the chance) while I enjoyed my coffee in peace.

Look at what the kids were doing:

Yep, making a giant mess and having a BLAST! They were so proud of their hiding place...

I was watching Rachael Ray and she was making a Mexican Lasagna. Hers was a little too high in fat for me and required too many dishes and too many individual ingredients, so I modified it and it was such a huge hit that my family was asking to eat the leftovers tonight for dinner! (My family usually whines when I serve leftovers!)

My Recipe:

In skillet brown lean ground turkey, add 2 bell peppers and an onion chopped small (so the non-onion eating family members won't find it...) into pan to cook with meat. Season with cumin, coriander seed, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. When meat mixture is done, add in 2 cans of hominy and one can of whole kernel corn, drained. This is one of your layers.

In bowl, mix together 1/2 jar of your favorite Tomatillo Salsa with an equal amount of your favorite package of guacamole (you can make your own just use about 3 avocados). Set aside as this will be one of your layers.

Start layering with low carb flour tortillas (or corn tortillas).

Add layer of meat and corn mixture.

Add layer of guac and green salsa mixture.

Add thin layer of 2% Mexican blend cheese.

Repeat layering. Bake at 350 until cheese melts and it is hot through.

I served this with some pinto beans I cooked from dried and then "refried" (at my house that means I mashed them and added a little taco seasoning).

I think the next time I make this I will leave out the turkey meat and I will use a mixture of pinto beans and black beans. (Would be a good idea if you are eating meat-less on Fridays right now) I took a picture but it wasn't very pretty so I will spare you.

The best part was that everyone loved it!
What dinner do you make that everyone at your house loves?


21 March 2009

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Welcome to my blog y'all! I am excited to be part of the Ultimate Blog Party again this year.

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Hope you brought your tutu! No? It's okay, we have extras. Okay, now that you look festive, let me take a minute to introduce our little space here on the web.

My blog is all about what is normal to me, Natalie. Normal is always changing as we grow and learn. Not just my kids, but me too. I just started a composting project in an effort to continue to teach my kids (and me) about 'healthy' living. We live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. This country girl from Arkansas married herself a city boy and we are having a blast together.

Here is a picture of my family from when I first started blogging:

Here is a picture of my family now.

My husband, David, is an insurance agent and is currently going to graduate school to finish earning his MBA in Finance. He works very hard so that I can be a SAHM to our two beautiful and very energetic kids. Kirstyn is 5 and never stops thinking and talking so sometimes I share stories about the funny things she says. James is almost 22 months old and is a happy and rowdy little boy that adores his sissy!

And yes, Scooby Doo might as well be considered a part of our family. After all, we make sure we hug him every time we go to Six Flags, he came to Kirstyn's 4th Birthday party, and he often keeps the kids from fighting busy while I am fixing breakfast every morning.

Did you notice that I look a little different in the two pictures? Well, I have managed to lose just over 70 lbs and am on a journey to lose 100 lbs. I have lost the weight by doing Weight Watchers, making up new recipes, and making time for myself by going to the gym. I post about my weekly weigh ins on Fridays in a post I like to call Fat Fighting Friday.

Please feel free to stay and look around or come back soon for more of what is Normal to Natalie, after all, we probably have a lot in common!

Oh and have you picked the prizes that you would like to win? I had a really difficult time choosing, but I would love to win:

58 – Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer Provided by: Moms Who Think

49 – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love Provided by: Pudget: Losing Weight On A Budget

103 — A Surprise Box Filled With Goodies ($50 value)Provided by: Monkey’s Momma

15 — A pair of ChicBud Earphones with Swarovski Crystals Provided by: The IE Mommy

If none of those are available, then I would be thrilled to win any one of the many Target gift cards being offered!

So, tell me, did you notice any thing that we have in common?

I hope to 'see' y'all again soon!

20 March 2009

Fat Fighting Friday - W8

First, congratulations Lawanda, you won the flax giveaway! Send me an email with your mailing address and I will forward it on to the generous people at FlaxUSA! If you didn't win, they have great prices on their website!

Today, I weighed in down 0.6. So that puts me down 2 lbs in 8 weeks. David put it into perspective for me...I could be up 2 lbs or 10 lbs if I wasn't working so hard. Plus even my scale agrees that I have lost over 3% of body fat during that time. I can be proud of that!

Come back next week. I am planning to party!
Ultimate Blog Party 2009

So tell me, did you enjoy 'diet blog' week? Do you want more posts from me about what I am eating and thinking that is part of this road to good health or should I just stick to keeping it for my Fat Fighting Fridays?


18 March 2009

My Boy and His Nuts

What do you reach for when you need a snack?

Kirstyn ALWAYS wants a cheese stick or yogurt or cottage cheese....yes, she is my dairy girl.

James ALWAYS wants 'nuss nuss'....yes, He loves his nuts. Don't they all, er, never mind. (Oh and yes, this picture was taken on David's side of the bed. Honey, if you are reading this...that is not the closet...or the dirty clothes hamper....or where we keep the mail...but apparently your size 14 shoes make a nice coaster.)

I almost always choose fruit. I keep lots of fruits in a basket on the counter (nectarines, bananas, apples, clementine oranges) and then I usually keep I big bowl of washed grapes in the front of the refrigerator. If I think I need something sweet I usually fix a bowl of strawberries and kiwi and top it with a little fat free whip.

I used to always choose things like Fiber One Bars and 100 calorie packs but I have learned that my body is happier with me and satisfied better by a REAL food. Don't get me wrong....I still like those things, they just fall under the category of the one, ahhhh, okay sometimes two servings of 'junk' I allow myself per day.

I also really love popcorn and so do my kids but my Crohn's Disease does not always agree with that one either. Sometimes I have a yogurt with Kirstyn or I count out 7 almonds for myself from James' mixed nuts.

Now, on to lunches:

1 whole wheat low carb tortilla + laughing cow cheese wedge + turkey breast or
1/2 c egg beaters + laughing cow cheese wedge + sliced tomatoes or
1/2 c egg beaters + fat free refried beans + lots of Joe T Garcia's salsa or
grilled chicken breast + can of green beans or
leftovers (usually when we have beef and broccoli or spaghetti in the refrigerator) or
a gyro (sauce on the side) with hummus if I happen to go to the office for lunch with David

Maybe I should be adding flax to my lunches? Maybe you should go enter my giveaway!

So, what do you eat for lunch? And what is your favorite snack?


17 March 2009

Dinner Discussion with a Side of Questions

Ah, my "diet blog week" is getting me some great feedback and making me evaluate EVERYTHING which I think will be benificial in the long run!

As I open my lifestyle up to your helpful comments, some of your comments have generated questions in my brain that I now need answers to...

  • If I were to get brave and decide to get on a treadmill, what settings would I use? Remember, back in January I completed a 5K in 34:10 so what speed would I use? What incline? What else should I know so that I don't look like a fool?

  • Does anyone have a good recipe for a "light" whole wheat bread? I would love to start making my own because I know it would save us even more money on the grocery bill.

  • What brand of ketchup tastes good and doesn't have any HFCS?
Okay, now on to our Dinner Discussion.

I don't mind eating the same thing over and over for breakfast and lunch but my family doesn't feel the same way. So, I try to plan our meals for our dinners a month at a time and write it on a calendar so that I don't have to answer the question "What's for dinner?"

Typical meal:

4-6 oz serving of chicken, fish, lean steak, pork tenderloin (grilled or baked with various seasonings) My new favorite way to season chicken is with Tiki seasoning! What is your favorite seasoning?

Always served with two vegetables/sides -> one is always green and one is usually oven roasted with some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil if you don't speak Rachael Ray) on it so that I can get in my healthy oil (can you tell I am a rule follower?)

my favorite 'green things':

sorry, still a mommy blogger and that picture was just too cute to leave out!

my favorite vegetables: black beans, roasted cauliflower, roasted sweet potato 'fries', canned green beans, mashed potatoes (made with skim milk, couple of laughing cow cheese wedges, and smashed roasted garlic)

My favorite "all in one" meal is my beef and broccoli that probably should be called broccoli and beef. I usually use about 8-10 oz of lean steak cut into strips and browned in very little EVOO. Then, I take the steak out, deglaze my pan with fat free low sodium beef broth and 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce. Then add in a big bag or two (I make lots to have leftovers for my lunches) of frozen broccoli florets, steam until done. Add beef back in and allow to cook on low heat to reduce the liquid some to be more like a sauce. Serve over rice. YUMMY!

We eat beans several times per week. I cook my beans from dried because they taste better than canned and they save me a lot of money in the long run. $1 for a pound of dried beans when cooked is approximately 4 cans of beans that would cost you at least $4. I also occasionally cook 1 cup of cornmeal with 4 cups of water and make what some people call polenta but us southern girls call it grits without all the milk and butter... we eat it as a side dish, often when I fix a white fish.

At least once per month I make spaghetti (my all time favorite). I make my own meat spaghetti sauce with lean beef, crushed tomatoes and seasonings (no sugar or added fat) and serve it on healthy harvest whole wheat thin spaghetti. I also mix in a whole package of cooked and strained spinach. (See, rule follower, even my spagetti has two veggies -> tomatoes and spinach.)

I have a feeling I am going to get some comments about changing the beef we eat to turkey, etc but I probably won't be doing that. If you don't know me in real life then you don't know that my daddy raises beef cattle for a living...and that means that my freezer is stocked with *free to me* lean organic beef that I trust 100%. My ground beef is more lean than the 93% lean I have purchased before because there is NOTHING to drain off of mine once it is cooked.

Are you thinking... she should eat salads with her dinner? I would love to...some days. There was a time in my life where I thought I would rather be fat than have to eat a salad. Well, it turns out that my digestive tract does not like raw vegetables. I have crohn's disease (I have not been on meds since giving birth to James!) but through several years of tracking my food I learned that my crohn's punishes me when I eat too many raw vegetables.

Also, if I eat pasta, rice, or potatoes at lunch time then I don't eat those things at dinner. We also rarely eat bread with our dinner. Although, this past Sunday I made these sweet potato biscuits and we ate them with a little honey for desert! I left out the nutmeg (yuck), used 1/2 c whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup ground oats and added flax!
Speaking of flax, have you entered my giveaway to win some *free to YOU* organic flax for your pantry?

This post is linked up with Wordful Wednesday over at Angie's place.


Breakfasts and a Flax Giveaway!

This week, I'm opening my diet and exercise routine up to constructive criticism, in order to get me off of this plateau I have been on since christmas.

Today, it's time to talk food.

It seemed easier to organize based on meals, so today you get to learn about what I eat for breakfast.

Almost every morning I have 2-3 cups of strong black coffee.

Then, for my first breakfast I eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal made with water and a dash of salt. Then I add a packet of splenda and a sprinkle of Butter Buds. (2 points)

I am trying to cut how much I use artificial sweeteners. I mean, I used to put two packets of splenda in my oatmeal and I had a Diet Dr Pepper with it so I am doing some better... but realize there is much room for improvement. Like I said before, I am open to suggestions and constructive criticisms.

When I get home from the gym I usually make myself a Weight Watcher smoothie. I mix 1 cup light vanilla soy milk (1 pt) with a WW smoothie packet (1 pt) and sometimes some frozen fruit, other times just ice.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays we usually have a "special" breakfast. This last week we tried a new recipe for Baked Oatmeal and I think it is our all time favorite. We liked it as much or more than our Happy Pancakes! The other popular one around our house is Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins.

Baked Oatmeal
combine the following:
1.5 cups oatmeal
1 cup fruit (your choice but we use a frozen blend of strawberries, peaches, pineapple, mango, and blueberries)
1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup organic honey
1 tbs organic ground flax
1/4 tsp sea salt
spread into 8X8 dish and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
Serves 4 at 4pts each.

I may try cutting the honey by a tablespoon and changing the soy milk to unsweetened almond breeze to see if I can get the points down to 3 pts per serving.

Oh and did you follow the link over to FlaxUSA to check out their products? No? Go ahead, I'll wait. I love their ground flax because it is super easy to use and I add it to everything.

Did you know that 1 tbs of ground flax plus 2 tbs of water is a perfect egg substitute (especially since Kirstyn is allergic) but I think I would use it anyway since it is so good for us.

I bought my last container of ground flaxseed at Costco for a fraction of the cost I was paying at Whole Foods for bulk flax seed and it is so much easier to use! Guess what!?!?! Today is your lucky day because the generous people behind FlaxUSA are giving one of my readers flax sprinkles and a roasted snack!

David is sad that he can't enter to win because he really wants to try the packet of roasted flax seeds!

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me if you currently add flax seed to any of your food and if you don't already, to what recipes would you add it? Oh and I want to know what you eat for breakfast!

Fine print:
I will announce the winner of the giveaway on Friday in my Fat Fighting Friday post (3/20).
I will use random.org to select a winner.
Giveaway only open to US. Sorry Canada readers...I still love you!
Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you.

Come back tomorrow to discuss Dinner. Then, Thursday we will talk about my easy lunches and snacks.


16 March 2009

My Routine

This is not a diet blog. I don't want to make this blog only about what I am eating and how much I am exercising...

But, with that said, I am going to use this week to reach out to the bloggy world for advice, encouragement, and a little extra push to get me off and out of this plateau!

As I mentioned before, I have been playing with the same 2 pounds since Christmas. On Friday I got several comments with lots of great advice and some questions about the methods to my weight loss madness so I will be answering those and bracing myself for some constructive criticism. I want to hear from ALL OF YOU...everyone will have something to contribute. I mean, we all have at least one thing that has worked or hasn't worked when it comes to weight and being healthy.

Today, I will be revealing my exercise routine.

All of the classes that I take are Les Mills classes. I take group fitness classes for several reasons:
  • the social aspect keeps me accountable because I have made friends that expect me to be there and will send text messages to me if I am running late to see if I need my bench set up, etc.

  • I love the instructors and know for sure that they push me much harder than I would EVER push myself

  • I have no idea how to use any of the equipment in the gym. (Former fat girl here...I have NEVER before exercised and can't afford a trainer right now!)

Okay, now for my routine:

Sunday: Body Pump (1 hour full body weight lifting class). In the past couple of months, I have been increasing the weight that I am lifting in at least one muscle group every Sunday. I am SHOCKED at how strong I am getting.

Monday: Body Attack (1 hour cardio class) Also, about once per month I get up really early and go to a Body Step (1 hour choreographed step class) that my WW buddy teaches.

Tuesday: Body Pump and sometimes I take an additional Body Attack class for a two hour workout. This usually depends on David's schedule so only happens about once a month.

Wednesday: Body Step and Body Combat (kick boxing class that works my shoulders and arms in addition to my legs. And I should mention that this class also makes my back fat sore!)

Thursday: Body Pump

Friday: Body Step and Body Flow (1/2 hour of yoga and 1/2 hour of Pilate's)

Saturday: off (well, as "off" as you can be when playing full time with a pre-schooler and toddler)

Okay, there you have it...my gym schedule. The best part is that I actually ENJOY going to these classes and in spite of the fact that I am not losing pounds I can see a difference in my muscles and shape.

Tomorrow we will start talking food.


13 March 2009

Fat Fighting Friday - W7

I have a theory.

It makes sense in my brain.

I am going to attempt to tell you my theory.

I think every time I lose about 25 lbs my body has to take its time to get used to the new me and the new lifestyle I created while losing that weight. You know, when I started WW, it wasn't really about getting healthy and being healthy, it was about dropping some weight. I started out just eating less of the same crap that I used to eat.

Then I lost 25lbs and got stuck. So, I changed some of the things I was eating. Like I remember when I lost 2 pts per day, I just quit coffee creamer. Then I changed from regular cheese to 2% cheese. Then I realized that for this to be permanent weight loss I could not just stop ordering double cheeseburgers and order only regular cheeseburgers. It had to be about WHAT I was putting into my body.

Then after being stuck for a while, I started following the Core program by weight watchers. Basically that means you give up white flour, sugar, and fat in your dairy (there were more rules but that was basically it). I stopped making casseroles and hamburger helper for my family. We started eating more vegetables. Most of our dinners now are a meat and two vegetables on the side. I mix it up A LOT. We eat vegetarian at least one dinner per week (easier on the budget too). Then I got stuck again.

I joined the gym. I added exercise. I discovered that I LOVE to exercise. I started working out more and more. I started changing my shape. I started lifting weights. I have been tracking my food. I am stuck...AGAIN. I don't know what else I can change...

Today, I was up 0.4..... a wash really because last week I was in spring clothes and today I was back in winter clothes. But still, I WANT TO SEE A LOSS! I have been playing with this same 2 lbs since Christmas.

So tell me, on your best day....what is the thing you do that makes you proud of yourself. What is your "healthy" secret. Or what did you "give up" in order to be healthier?


11 March 2009

Princess at the Movies

Did you know about this?
Me either. But my mother in law saw something about it in the newspaper and wanted me to look into it.

This week's matinee was advertised as:

Dress in your favorite princess ball gown (mine is at the cleaners, but Kirstyn was ready!)
Attend Sleeping Beauty's Curtsy School (I passed but just barely!)
"Part of Your World" Sing-a-long with Ariel (I was ready...long time Ariel fan here.)
Feature Presentation "Mulan" (My favorite princess....she is tough and smart and not just waiting to be rescued!)

Kirstyn had a great time! I have to admit, it turned out to be a great rainy day activity. I mean, when was the last time you got to dress up as Cinderella and go to the mall?

For more Wordful Wednesday, head on over to Angie's place.


09 March 2009

Arboretum Adventure

Our playgroup ventured to the Dallas Arboretum today. We had a great time smelling the flowers and eating our picnic lunch. As a bonus it was also Mommy and Me Monday so there were extra activities for the kids like coloring and a little petting zoo area.

We even got a miracle shot of all of our kids...or at least I though it was all of them until I looked closer at the picture and realized that Elaine's kids were missing? Anyway, I was really busy snapping pictures and praying that James would not end up in the water before I could stop him.
Oh and here is a picture of our playgroup just a couple of years ago. I am going to say it one more time....WHO had all of these kids!?!?!?

See why I was worried. Look how close to the fish he wanted to get!

Oh and thanks Tracy for taking such a great picture of us! I think my camera likes you better. Guess I better sign up for that photography class at the store where David bought it!


08 March 2009


It is feeling a lot like Spring here in our part of Texas, at least for today. It has been in the upper 80s around here and will be nice for the first part of the week but then on Thursday we are expecting our highs to be back down in the 40s. ugh.

Anyway, with spring comes my attempts at teaching my kids new lessons. One of those lessons has been gardening. This year, I not only doubled the size of my garden plot but we have also purchased a composting bin and started composting.

So far adding to the compost bin has been a lot of fun! Kirstyn and her friend that she had over had a blast picking up leaves and sticks from all over the yard to help me build the base for the compost. Then they used their little shovels and put in some of the turf we had pulled out of my new section of garden. Just since noon today I have collected probably 8 cups of scraps from the kitchen that would have otherwise been put in the trash or put into the garbage disposal. Did you know that you can compost everything from tea bags to strawberry tops to potatoes to shredded paper. I am so excited to teach my family to be just a little bit 'greener'!

I have gotten some really great information from blogs like this one. Oh and did you know that compost is not supposed to smell? I didn't realize that until I started doing some research. Actually, right now my whole backyard smells like coffee! Did you know that in an effort to be more friendly to the environment, Starbucks will give you their used coffee grounds for use in your compost pile. David went by today and picked up a whole bucket full!

So, what "new" project do you have on the brain for this spring?


06 March 2009

Fat Fighting Friday - W6

Conversation starters:

I really like your shirt... or

Wow, you have really pretty skin... or

Where did you get that cute purse... or

Are those shoes as comfortable as they are cute... or

ANYTHING OTHER THAN... When is your baby due?

Let me make something clear. I am not now, nor do I plan to ever be again... pregnant!

Seriously, I have had it with people asking me when my baby is due. Yes, I have lost a lot of weight and yes, apparently the stomach is that last place that I am going to lose it.... but there is a difference between a pregnant belly and my ugly muffin top!

So, now I know you are wondering what I said back today. Today, I smiled and said, "Guess we all could stand to lose a few pounds." She took it well and said, "girl, I know I could stand to drop 25 lbs." I just smiled and left the shoe repair store with the purse I was picking up for my MIL.

Thirty minutes later, my MIL and I walked into a dress store and the girl behind the counter said, "Are you losing weight?" She is the one that sold me my LBD back in December. Anyway, she made me feel really good. And then I tried on some summer dresses in size MEDIUM and they fit! I didn't buy one yet because we ran out of time and I couldn't decide on my favorite...but I will go back and buy me a cute little number in a MEDIUM!

Oh yeah, and I was down 1.6 today at WW. So, as far as my 20 lbs in 20 weeks quest goes, I am down just 1.8. This last 20 is fighting to stay on my body...but it will not win. We have been together since the early 80s, but I am done with my body's relationship with this old fat!


04 March 2009

My Favorites

My pal, Auds, over at Barking Mad is hosting a contest with a prize of $250 Target Gift Card so I just had to enter. (Auds, I tried to add the button but it wouldn't work...)

How do you get in on this action and lower my chances of winning?

All you have to do is put together a post that showcases your favorite 5 to 10 posts from your blog archives. Easy enough...

I guess I better get busy and share my favorite blog posts!


When I started blogging it was just to be able to share pictures of Kirstyn without having to send them in emails to people that may or may not care to even look at them. My posts didn't even have titles back then, just pictures with captions, but in order to link to them I have to add titles so your reader may be a little annoyed with me.

Then, my friend Elaine started sending emails trying to increase her blog readership. Something I didn't understand yet because I had no idea there was a way to "meet" the blogging community short of pushing the 'next blog' button in blogger and eventually landing on some scary sites and giving up. Then, as I started reading her blog and following some of the links on her sidebar, I started making some fabulous friends and I participated in my first meme and Blog Carnival.

Then, I came across a blog where someone was being successful on Weight Watchers and using her blog for accountability. Amanda's blog made me believe that I really could lose weight and be successful! So, I started sharing weekly about my progress. I posted before and after pictures when I lost 50 pounds and then when I lost 20 more pounds on my 20 lbs in 20 weeks mission I posted pictures again! I have also shared personal victories like running my first 5K! I am currently on a new mission to lose my last 20 and am posting about that on Fridays.

I still use my blog to post pictures of my kids James and Kirstyn along with funny stories that come up in our day to day life. Occasionally, I share about my husband David. He is my best friend and the love of my life. He works very hard to take care of our family and make sure that I can be a stay at home mom.

Okay, IF you are still here...thanks for reading and going back through some of my favorite posts! And now you know.... all of those events and people make up what is Normal to Natalie!


Here are the links to my friends that I didn't know if I could put in my contest entry post: my in real life blogging friend Elaine, fabulous blog friend Kami (I redesigned her site by the way!), and weight loss inspiration Amanda.

So, tell me, how would you spend $250 at Target if you win? I plan to buy myself some smaller clothes!


01 March 2009

They ARE Real

Saturday night as I walked out of the house wearing a cute black dress and high heeled boots I actually said, "Off to meet my Internet friends." Then I added, "I plan to return alive!"

See, I was attending a DFW Blogger Meet Up Dinner! Texan Mama and I figured out a few weeks ago that we work out at the same gym so we coordinated and rode to the dinner together.

About 10 minutes into our drive over, David called me and informed me that I had actually left my camera battery on the charger! What?!?!? Here I am attending a blogger dinner with my camera in my purse but it won't take pictures without the battery! Agh. There are several pictures that prove I was there!

Anyway, I had a blast meeting these bloggers in real life! I laughed about the fact that some of them did not sound like I expected. You know, like when you have read a book and then go to see the movie and the character doesn't have the same accent that you had given them in your brain.

I also have to say that dinner was fabulous. I was already being brave and eating dinner with almost 30 people that I had just met so I went ahead and ordered something that I had never eaten! I ordered an Ahi Tuna Burger because I had seen several people on the food network rave about such a thing. Well, add me to the list of people that love these!

Christina asked me as we were reading through the 150 menu items if I was mentally figuring out how many points each item had. I said yes but what I have learned from doing Weight Watchers for so long is that I have no business ordering anything that is fried or covered in cheese or doused with a cream sauce. Those items would use all of my points for the day, all of my extra points for the week and probably then some.

It was really a great night and I am so glad that I went. I can't wait until we do this again! I am adding everyone to my reader so that I will know you even better the next time we meet!

Oh and one more thing...Kami, the next time we do a blogger dinner you have to at least sit at my table!