The Minimalism Game – Week 1 Items

I have my video clips for week 1 of the Minimalism Game put together (January 1st through 7th). Hopefully it won’t take me as long to get weeks 2 and 3 put together as they are both now past due. I am working on it! 🙂

If you missed my Intro post to the Minimalism Game, what it is and why I am playing it you can view that here.

So I don’t have still pictures of everything which means you will need to watch the above video if you are interested in seeing footage of all the items my husband and I each decided to get out of the house for week 1. I will however at least list the items directly below just in case anyone is wondering and doesn’t want to watch the video:

My Items

  • January 1st (1 item) – Decorative Tea light Candle Holder Box
  • January 2nd (2 items) – 2 Glass Candle Holders With Candles
  • January 3rd (3 items) – Red Decorative Plate, Frosted Glass Tea light Lantern, Frosted Glass Votive Candle Holder
  • January 4th (4 items) – 2 Coffee Mugs & 2 Ice Cube Trays
  • January 5th (5 items) – 5 Round Dinner Plates
  • January 6th (6 items) – 6 White Ceramic Mugs
  • January 7th (7 items) – 2 Roaster Pans, 3 Rectangle Plastic Containers, 1 Tall Plastic Container, 1 Plastic Liquid Measuring Cup

My Husband’s Items

  • January 1st (1 item) – Light Up Santa Star Christmas Tree Topper
  • January 2nd (2 items) – Christmas Tree Ornament & A Set Of Tree Lights
  • January 3rd (3 items) – 3 Christmas Themed Puzzles
  • January 4th (4 items) – 3 Ceramic Mugs & 1 Tall Drinking Glass
  • January 5th ( 5 items) – 5 Random Kitchen Utensils (Flipper, Pasta Serving Measure, Tablespoon, Lemon Juicer, Strawberry Stem Remover)
  • January 6th (6 items) – 5 Forks & A Digital Food Thermometer
  • January 7th (7 Items) –  5 Spoons & 2 Butter Knives

That is it for week 1. Nothing really overly interesting but all things that needed to be weeded out nevertheless. I see it as big or small it all takes up space so no matter what you choose it is a step in the right direction. Stay tuned for weeks 2 through 4!

Katie

What I Ate Today For Weight Loss On A Plant Based Diet

Just another quick post to show you another full day of what I eat for weight loss on a plant based diet (and more specifically while for the most part following the Starch Solution). For the video clips of everything I ate you can check out my Youtube Video at the bottom of this post.

I still really enjoy everything that I am eating, look forward to every meal and snack, never feel deprived or like I am dieting and the weight is coming off! I am so happy!

 

Breakfast

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In all honesty the majority of the breakfasts I eat include hashbrown potatoes. What I do change up from day to day is the combination of veggies I add to them. This time I have added in some fresh kale, red pepper, green onion and tomato. I also had about 1/2 an orange and a glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

 

Lunch

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For lunch I had 1/2 a sandwich on whole wheat bread with some roasted vegetable spread, cucumber, tomato and alfalfa sprouts. I also had some homemade creamy tomato soup. When I make the tomato soup I just make the base soup itself and then depending on what I already have made in the fridge and what I am feeling like I will add in some sort of pasta or other grain (rice, quinoa, barely etc.) to the soup to change it up a bit from day to day. In today’s soup I was trying to use up some things from the fridge so I have some whole wheat macaroni noodles as well as some potatoes with red pepper, kale and green onion which were leftover from dinner last night. To drink I had some water (and on a side note I do try to drink a lot of water throughout the day in general, not just at meal times).

 

Afternoon Snack

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For my afternoon snack I had some Martin’s Family Fruit Farm Crispy Apple Chips. These are SO yummy and crunchy! There is nothing added to these at all (ie. sugar or oil), they are just dehydrated apple. I found them at Costco (Canada) a couple of weeks ago and am so happy I did. They have really helped curb my craving for regular potato chips which are a HUGE weakness of mine.

 

Dinner 

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For dinner I made homemade veggie burgers using a new recipe I found on the HotForFoodBlog. They were SO delicious. I had the burger on a ciabatta bun with lettuce, tomato and a little bit of Veganaise. On the side I had (no oil added) oven baked fries. I just cut up russet potatoes into fry sized sticks and bake them in the oven. On the fries I had some vegan gravy (I was lazy this time and just used a packaged gravy mix). To drink I was very naughty and had a glass of Diet Pepsi…still working on giving that up.

 

Bedtime Snack

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I usually have a snack a couple of hours before bed and this time I had some Pretzel Crisps with Garlic Hummus. These taste amazing with the hummus. Not sure why but something magical happens when they come together as one! No this hummus is not fat free or even low fat but I really love it so I try to use it sparingly (most days). The Pretzel Crisps I buy from Costco but I have seen them in smaller bags in other grocery stores. I have seen a few different varieties of these as well but if you are trying to keep it plant based double check the ingredients because I believe not all of their varieties are dairy free/egg free.

So that is it for what I ate today! I will continue to do these every now and then so stay tuned!

Katie

Sick Baby & Mom Worry

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Mom worry is something I started to experience the minute I found out I was pregnant and since then I don’t think it has ever gone away. Sure it has its peaks and valleys but at anytime on any given day it is always there in one way or another and probably will be until the day I die…if it even ends there.

On the scale of mom worry I would say thus far in my experience as a mom the times when my little one is sick sure raises the numbers on the scale to epic proportions more than most anything else. Silly or not even just a little cough or sniffle or an off day gets my mind racing. Every piece of my being just wants my baby to be happy and healthy so anything that interferes with that sets my teeth on edge.

Over the last couple of days we have been dealing with what I think is just a typical stomach bug and it has been so difficult to watch my daughter suffer as she gets through it. I can tell every part of her just wants to be able to run around and play with her toys but she just doesn’t have the energy. I feel so helpless! If only I could take her place and be sick instead so she doesn’t have to be. (And yes I realize I probably have it coming my way any minute now…gotta love germs.)

My crazy overactive mommy mind constantly goes to all the “what ifs”…what if this is more than just a stomach bug…what if she has a food allergy to dairy or gluten…what if this is something worse? And also all the zillion other questions running through my head…should we go to the doctor…is she dehydrated…when has this been going on for to long…what should I feed her…is there anything I can do to make her feel better faster…am I doing enough for her? And on and on and on.

I hope that with more time, experience and advice from Grandma I will slowly start to be more at ease when it comes to all these normal and numerous illnesses I am going to see my daughter go through as she grows up. For now I will just have to keep my crazy, over bearing, wrought with worry mom brain locked away and under wraps!

On a positive note, although I can’t stand her being sick I must say I do treasure all of the extra snuggles and cuddles I am getting as she makes her way through this. Those are such a rare treat now adays!

Anyway there was no real point to this post other than I just needed to get my feelings down and of course to offer my support to anyone else out there who is going through another round of acute mom worry.

Katie

Weight Loss Update!

I thought I better do a quick weight loss update since it has been quite awhile since my last one! Unfortunately I do not have much by way of progress to report as the holiday season was not overly kind to my waistline. Thats seems to be the story every year when it comes to the month of December for me.

I begrudgingly stood on the scale on Monday January 4th to assess the damage and I had gained 6 pounds! Ugh. I mean I wasn’t overly surprised as my jeans were definitely fitting quite a bit tighter than they had been at the end of November but always still disappointing nevertheless.

So essentially that means I had regained everything I had lost already on this journey (I obviously need a much better strategy for December 2016!). Anyway moving forward and as of January 4th I have been back on track in terms of my eating. My fitness I had back on track as of December 26th thanks to the FitBit my husband got me for Christmas. I already feel much better, more energetic and lighter again. I did weigh myself on  January 15th to see if I was making any progress and I was down 3.5 lbs. My hope is that by the end of January all of the holiday weight gain will be gone and things will just keep progressing on a downward trend again from there!

Anyway I am sorry I don’t have any real progress to report this time but I wanted to let you know that I have not at all given up or changed my plan…December just got in the way a little bit! 🙂

I hope you all got through the holiday feasting better than I did! I will do an update again at the end of January or early February.

Until next time!

Katie

Lets Play The Minimalism Game! Getting Rid Of Clutter & Excess Stuff

If you read my post about My Goals For 2016 then you may recall that one of those goals was to clean up the clutter and excess stuff in my house and in my life. As a way to get started down that path right from the get go my husband told me about a game he read about on The Minimalists Blog called the Minimalism Game.

Essentially what you do is ideally starting on the 1st of a month for simplicity sake you start to pick out physical items in your life that you really don’t need, use or get any real value from and get them out of the house by the end of each day (whether that be by selling, donation or giving away, or trash etc.). So on the 1st you would choose one item, on the 2nd you would choose two items, on the 3rd three items, on the 4th four items and so on and so forth until the 30th or 31st (depending on the month you are in). The idea is to try to make it as far as you can through the month doing this everyday. So, assuming I did my math right, if you were to get through an entire 30 day month that would be a total of 465 items gone and out of your life!

Obviously the farther you get through the month the more difficult it will be to come up with enough items for each day. It really makes you think and make some hard decisions about what items really are that important that they should be taking up space in your house.

Both my husband and I are doing this as individuals and have a little competition going to see who will make it the farthest through the month (or maybe we will both make it to the end). We are still trying to decide on some sort of little prize and/or punishment for the winner/loser just to keep things interesting. When we figure something out I will let you know what that is.

We started our first round of the game on January 1st and I will be posting Youtube Videos and Blog updates for each week of January showing what we each decided to get rid of throughout the month. As it is already January 17th when I am posting this I am obviously already a little behind in getting the first couple of weeks worth of items up so I am working hard to get those posted within the next few days so stay tuned!

Also on a side note, we decided to deviate from the original game a little bit in that the items do not have to be out of the house on the same day we picked them because if we are selling something that can take a few days to a couple of weeks and we would rather have one or two bigger loads in the month to drop off for donation rather than a bunch of small loads (to save us time and gas). So instead we have a few bins set aside that we have to put our chosen items into until they are sold or hauled off to the donation centre. Of course if you try the game you can just do whatever works best for you!

I would love to hear if you decide to give the game a try and how you make out!

Katie

My Goals For 2016!

It has been far to long since my last blog post, the holidays and first week of January really had me on the go. I just wasn’t able to carve out the time (and energy) to get back on my blog but I am anxious now to get caught back up and to be better at getting up regular posts that I hope you will enjoy!

Before I go any further I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy new year and all the best in 2016. I hope this year turns out to be everything you want it to be and more! I have lots of plans in store for 2016 and I hope you come along with me for the ride!

So I thought it only fitting to open up 2016 on my blog with a post sharing the list of my top 10 goals for the year (I have also made a Youtube video on this which you will find at the bottom of this post). These are in no particular order and are just a variety of things I want to work on as I believe it is important to always try to keep growing and improving as a person for your own well being as well as for those around you.

So without further ado…

  1. Be consistent with eating healthy (at least 80% of the time) and working on increasing my fitness. I want to do this for both my overall health and for weightloss. I want to continue following a plant based diet (for more info on this see my posts on my diet here) and get in at least 15,000 steps a day (I got a Fitbit for Christmas) and do a high intensity 20 minute workout 5 days a week.
  2. Post weekly blog posts (ideally at least 2 per week) as well as at least 2 Youtube videos per week (check out my Youtube Channel here). I really want to grow my blog and Youtube channel to reach a wider audience and to connect with more people. It is also something that is an outlet for me to talk about and explore my interests, goals, struggles, feelings etc.
  3. Clean up the clutter and excess stuff in the house and in my life. My husband and I are really trying to take more of a minimalistic approach to our lives and part of that is eliminating things and items that really don’t add value to our lives. We want to get the house completely decluttered, minimized and organized so that everything has a place and a use and brings real enjoyment and value to our lives. If we haven’t looked at or used something within the past year it probably doesn’t need to be taking space in the house. We don’t want to have stuff just for the sake of having stuff anymore.
  4. Spend more time training our dog Watson. For example, teaching him new tricks, improving the tricks he already knows and maintaining and improving his basic commands. Since our daughter came home we just haven’t spent as much dedicated time to his training or as much time just playing and snuggling with him as we did when he was an “only child”. I want to work on giving him more one-on-one time with myself and my husband where he doesn’t need to compete for attention with my daughter.
  5. Get an Esty Shop up and running and attend a few craft shows, handmade shows and farmers markets this year. I enjoy and am quite good at making various hair accessories for babies right up to adults, as well as a few different pet accessories. I make different kinds of bows and fabric flowers which I turn into hair clips and headbands etc. I am hoping to turn this hobby into a bit of extra income (as I am a stay at home mom) for some of the things that might not always fit into the budget or just to help boost our savings each month.
  6. Carve out more time for my husband and I to spend together doing things we enjoy as a couple. This could look like perhaps maybe a dedicated date night on a regular basis where we would get a baby sitter as well as just doing more things even at home where we are playing a game or doing an activity we enjoy together more often. I think as the foundation of our family it is really important to keep that relationship as a couple healthy, strong and fun. It is not at all that I think our relationship is bad or that we don’t do things together now but I just think there is always room for growth and improvement.
  7. Having more patience in certain circumstances or situations that would typically annoy, frustrate, upset and/or stress me out. It isn’t that I am an impatient person but I think we all have those certain triggers (specific situations, people, behaviours, events etc.) that get to us faster than normal. Basically I want to work on not giving my “triggers” as much hold over me and also not sweating the small stuff as much and just going with things even if something isn’t going the way I hoped.
  8. Be more social and outgoing. I am actually a pretty introverted and quiet person. I really dread being the centre of attention and much prefer just hanging out in the background at larger social gatherings. I would definitely describe myself as a homebody and that is where I am most comfortable. Now that I have my daughter though I want to work on becoming more comfortable going to social events and gatherings and the like because I don’t want my shortcomings in that area to hold her back in any way if she happens to be the personality type that thrives on being around large groups of people and just being out a lot doing things and socializing with others. To work on this goal I will try to accept more invitations to social events of any size as well as to initiate more of these types of events with friends and family. I would also like to get my daughter and I into more organized activities on top of the many that we already do to give us both more opportunities to socialize and meet new people.
  9. Work on my self-confidence and growing a more positive body image. This kind of ties into and is an extension of number 8. For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my self-confidence and body image which in turn makes me shy away from being around others and initiating conversation with people I don’t know. I really have a hard time viewing my body in a positive way and convincing myself that everyone around me isn’t always judging the way I look in a bad way. I often have negative thoughts about myself such as “you are so fat”, “you aren’t pretty enough”, “you look terrible today” etc. I know that isn’t healthy and as a role model for my daughter I really want to portray to her a positive body image and lots of self-confidence because I want her to be confident and positive about herself no matter what she looks like on the outside or decides to do with her life.
  10.  Live more in the moment. I need to be better at just focusing on and enjoying exactly what I am doing in the here and now. It is so easy to let your thoughts wander into the list of things you still need to accomplish or what you need to do tomorrow or later that day when you should just be focusing on whatever is happening at that exact moment.

So there you have it, my list of goals for 2016. I in no way expect myself to be perfect or to walk away from 2016 saying I have completed these or no longer need to work on these things. Many of these goals I am sure will be ongoing for years to come and for 2016 I am just hoping to move forward and make some progress. I also wouldn’t be surprised if some of these happen to evolve or change as I go along and perhaps I will decide to add in a few more as well.

I will try to do a progress update on my goals in 3-6 months depending on how things go so stay tuned for that! If there is anything you would like me to elaborate on further or if you have any questions please let me know. I always love to hear from you.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you come back again soon!

Katie

 

Favourite Drugstore Makeup Products

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Another quick post to share with you some more of my favourite products. This time it is 3 of my favourite drugstore makeup products. A full coverage foundation, a concealer and a pressed setting powder. So without further delay here they are!

 

Concealer – Maybelline New York Fit Me Stick

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The Maybelline Fit Me Stick is just a nice silky smooth concealer that does a great job of covering up those dark under eye circles and other unwanted skin imperfections. I have been using this for a few years now and it is my go to concealer. I believe it is generally about $10.00 CAD give or take depending on the store and if you can get it on sale or not.

 

Foundation – Revlon 24 Hour Colorstay Foundation

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The Revlon 24 Hour Colorstay formula is just a really nice full coverage foundation. It goes on smooth, covers up all the imperfections really nicely and doesn’t feel super heavy on your skin. It really does seem to stay in place very well all day. This is definitely my go to drugstore foundation and has been for a couple of years now. I generally find it to be around $16.00 CAD give or take depending on the store and possible sale pricing.

 

Pressed Powder – Loreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder

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I have been using the Loreal True Match Super-Blendable Powder for many years now and that is because I just really like this product and how it goes on and keeps everything in place all day. I don’t find that it feels heavy and it doesn’t seem to cause unwanted dry skin. It comes in a variety of shades and you can also pick the best formula for your specific skin tone (cool, neutral or warm). I believe this goes for about $15.00-$16.00 CAD again give or take depending on the store and if you can get it on sale.

 

So those are the 3 favourite drugstore makeup products I wanted to share with you today. You can also check out my corresponding Youtube video below

Until next time!

Katie