Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Phase 3 of P90X and me

Okie dokie folks! I have officially started the final phase of P90X. I have two weeks until my brother gets home from the Marine Corps OCS and I can't wait for him to see how I look. I have been able to tell over the past several weeks that I am getting toned in more areas like my arms, back and the ab area. I still have that little bit of flab around the mid section and in my thighs that I want to get rid of, but it's not over yet!

Phase 3 of the P90X workout system shakes it up quite a bit, regardless if you are on the regular routine or the lean routine like me. During the first two phases of the workout system, the first three weeks are the same routine followed by a fourth week that is called your recovery week. During Phase 3 its more about no pain no gain. Instead of doing more reps with a little less weight to get the lean muscle mass, you switch it and try to do a little more weight with less reps. Weeks 9 and 11 are the same routine, while weeks 10 and 12 are a different routine. Week 13 is the final recovery week. So instead of 3 weeks of the same routine you get 4 weeks with two different routines to bust out the last phase of this extreme workout.

Here are some of my pictures before starting Phase 3. I'm almost there!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lisa's Weekly Recipe -- Bread Dip

Whenever I throw parties or go to one, this is one of my favorite things to make. It is a dip that is so easy and so good that one of my girlfriends practically demands it at any party we have! Since my girlfriend demands it and I've shared it with several other people, I've decided to share it with you!

Simply stated, it is called Bread Dip.


2 cups of sour cream
2 cups of mayonnaise
1 package dried beef--chopped fine
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 Tbsp. chives or green onion
1-2 loaves of pumpernickel bread


In a large bowl mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, dried beef, chopped onion, and chives. Cover and chill for a few hours, or make the night before. The dip tastes better when it is cold and gives the flavors a chance to marry.


There are several different ways I plate this dip up, just depends on what you are in the mood to do! One option is to just leave the dip in the bowl and place the bowl in the middle of a large round platter. Take a loaf of pumpernickel bread and either tear it into small chunks or cut it up into chunks (think bite-sized pieces). Scatter the bread pieces around the bowl on the platter and serve.

Another option is to get a round loaf of pumpernickel bread and hollow it out to make it a serving bowl. You can either put the dip directly into the bread bowl you just made or you can place a smaller bowl inside the hollowed out bread bowl and pour some of the dip into it. If you're going to serve it in the bread I personally like to put the smaller bowl inside it, that way if people start picking at the bread bowl, you don't have to worry about the walls getting so thin that the dip starts pouring out the sides. Take the chunks of bread you tore out of the bread bowl you just made and place on a plate or in another bowl to serve along with the dip.

I like the way this tastes with the pumpernickel bread, but if you don't like pumpernickel feel free to substitute it with something you prefer. Also, you can serve this alongside with some vegetables such as carrots, cucumber slices, or even sliced mushrooms. This recipes makes a good amount of dip so you may want to only put half out at a time. Will keep in the refrigerator for about a week so you can keep enjoying it after the party...if there is any left!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Daddy/daughter days

Daddy/daughter day is something my husband and I started some time earlier this year. It came from a need to solve two problems we had, 1) Sean needing/wanting to spend more time with his daughter, and 2) mommy needing a break so she doesn't snap. I love my daughter to death, but there are times when I've heard "mommy mommy" over a gazillion times in a day that it starts to get to me and I need a break.

Our solution is what is now known as Daddy/Daughter day. We decided to designate Sundays as daddy/daughter day, since this was the only day of the week that we knew for sure Sean would have the entire day off from work. Working in the hospitality industry can monopolize a lot of my husband's time, so sometimes he doesn't always get an entire weekend off. So for the sake of setting up a routine, we decided on Sundays.

As a result, Sean gets to go and have fun with Lilly doing whatever they want to do, whether it is fishing on the river or trying to grow some flowers in the backyard. Daddy/daughter day is their special day to play. As for me, I can usually be found at the beach with my girlfriends. I get to kick back in a beach chair relaxing in the warm Florida sun while soaking up some sun rays and some good girl talk!

I love how excited our daughter gets when she knows it is coming up. "Mommy, is it daddy/daughter day yet?" she'll ask me usually on Friday or Saturday. Not to mention that nothing can light up my husband's face more than when our daughter comes bursting into our bedroom on Sunday morning yelling "Wake up daddy, it's daddy/daughter day!" She'll jump up in our bed and give him a great big hug and then kiss me on the cheek and I just can't help smiling.

So here is my advice to all the moms out there...

There are going to be days when you just feel like 'enough is enough' and you don't know what to do. Talk to your honey and set something up like what Sean and I have done. I can't tell you how much it helps just to get away for a few hours every week. It gives me a chance to just be me for a while and allows my husband and my daughter to have their own time together. It's a win-win situation for our entire family!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Halloween already?

With all of the fun and exciting movies that come out during the summer, there is something else to think about besides how to sneak popcorn in your purse—Halloween! While July might seem like it is too early to start thinking about shopping for Halloween costumes, think about this: your child decides at the beginning of October that he wants one of the new GI Joe costumes this year. You go down to one of the local retail stores thinking you are ahead of the game only to find that it is gone. And not only is it gone at the first store it is gone at every store in town. Instead of scrambling around your local tri-county area trying to find your child’s dream costume, think about shopping around online at a dedicated costume website.

Costume Express is just the website you need! As the #1 juvenile costume brand online, think of how happy your kids will be getting that dream costume early! They’ll be so excited to wear it for Halloween they might try to wear it around the house before the holiday. Right now till the end of the year you can take advantage of FREE SHIPPING on orders of $75 or more. Now, I know what you are thinking, “$75 for costumes, are you nuts!” Consider this, going to this one website you’ll be able to get everything you need without ever leaving the house—the costume, costume accessories and Halloween decorations.

Now last year we decided to have a Halloween party at our house and I did a ton of research. I knew what costumes I wanted for my daughter and myself and what my husband needed to complete his costume, plus all the decorations we needed for the house. I wanted to be able to get as much as possible from the same place, even if it meant getting some online and some from a local retailer. Throwing parties can cost a pretty penny sometimes and I did not want to spend a lot of money on costumes and supplies, and that is where the research came in. I checked various websites selling costumes and supplies, and I checked around town to see how much supplies would cost. Let me take all of that hard work out of the holiday for you.

Go to the Celebrate Express website. Check out the soon to be popular costumes like Wolverine, Iron Man, or Optimus Prime from the Transformers for boys, and any of the princess, Barbie, or High School Musical for girls. While you’re there, pick up all your decorating needs too!

Happy Halloween Shopping!

P.S. Don't forget about the FREE SHIPPING!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Motherhood and headaches

As most of us know, as much as we'd like to think we can handle everything, sometimes we just can't. I've had migraines for years now, and that started long before I had my daughter. Now I do have migraine medication which luckily just takes care of the pain without any kind of loopy side effects allowing me to do what I need to do as a mom. But there are also times when I just get a nagging headache that won't go away. Even though you take the medicine, sometimes the annoyance of it just lingering can be a distraction.

So what is there for us to do? We can't always just go into the bedroom and shut the door and let the world go away for a while. Sometimes all you need is an ice pack to keep on your head for a while but how can you do that while you are cooking dinner or playing with your children? I have some neat advice!

Have you ever seen those pain sprays advertised on TV or the brochures displayed in your doctor's office or at the pharmacy counter? Many people use those for joint and back pain because the soothing menthol in the spray helps to keep the area nice and cool. So why can't you use that cooling spray on say your forehead or the nape of your neck? Some of these products come in different forms such as sprays and gel rubs, and sometimes one form may be a little stronger than another. I tend to like the stronger sprays because the amount of menthol is higher and it stays cooler longer. Now I don't recommend trying to spray it on your forehead because you might accidentally spray it in your eye or it may drip down into your eye. So what I do instead is to get a cotton pad like I would use to clean my face and spray it on that. Spray a couple of sprays on the cotton pad then wipe it across the areas you feel it will help the most, for example, across the forehead, on your temples, and even down the side of your neck. When the muscles in your neck and upper back tighten they can put strain on your head and help create those annoying tension headaches.

Many times now when I realize I'm getting a headache that isn't bad enough to require migraine medication but I don't want to keep taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen, I go and get the pain spray out of the medicine cabinet and it helps so much! That cooling sensation just stays on your forehead and helps the pain to go away, allowing you to do the things you want or need to do. Sometimes you may need to reapply it and other times you might not. Either way, I'd rather have to use some pain spray once in a while then to keep taking too much medication.

What's your favorite kitchen gadget?

A while ago on Facebook one of my girlfriends posted a question to everyone: What is your favorite kitchen gadget? After seeing all the responses and then going into my kitchen and thinking about which one I love the best, I decided on my mini food processor.

My mini food processor is just the best! There are some things that just become so tedious when cooking, and one of them is cutting up a bunch of vegetables, in particular, when you have to cut them very small like mincing or dicing. Last night when I was making pico de gallo for or fajita dinner, I thought about how much I love using the mini food processor. Not only is it quick and easy to use, but it allows me to spend more time with my family and less time in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I love cooking, but sometimes I don't want to spend so much time doing it!

I mean just think about it, what would you rather spend time doing? Chopping up a bunch of onions and herbs or spending time with your family? Before I got my mini food processor I would spend so much time chopping up onions and garlic and herbs to put into some of my favorite dishes. Now I just cut an onion into a few smaller chunks, throw it in, push the button and ta da! I think this is a good gadget for anyone to have that might be a little more hesitant to trying out new dishes that involve more prep work.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bedtime routines and interruptions

So here is how bedtime works in our family…usually.

Our normal bedtime routine involves several steps, as I’m sure most families do. First we brush our teeth—which consists of my daughter attempting to brush her teeth while I brush mine, then me going back over hers to make sure they actually get clean. Next it’s time to try and go potty one last time before bed. After that we go to her room and put on her pajamas, which of course she picks out herself…lol. Now comes one of the most important steps of all—story time!

I don’t know how we decided on the number of stories we read each night to her, but somehow it evolved into three stories. I think that was the amount we originally started with, but as she got older and all of her story books were short, the number slowly grew and grew until it became “we’ll read until we get tired of it”. After a few weeks of that I decided to invest in some newer more detailed stories, and the number went back down to three. At times though that sneaky little girl tries to see what she can get away with!

Today was just like any other day—ate dinner, played around for a while, and then it was time to start our nightly routine. We brushed our teeth like normal and then Lilly picked out her pajamas. Then the little monkey wrench got thrown into the mix. I’m not sure how it started, but somehow the three of us got involved in a stuffed animal fight. First it was just my husband and I throwing one or two at each other in response to smart-mouthed comments we had been dishing out. Next thing I know Lilly has started picking up all of her stuffed animals and throwing them at us as well! Sean goes and runs into our bedroom which leads to the dog following him up onto the bed. I go in there next because Sean is just dying laughing at the dog going all crazy running in circles on our bed.

So there we are, me, my honey, and the dog lying on the bed trying to calm down, when next thing I know here comes Lilly with more stuffed animals. I immediately grab a pillow to protect myself, but nothing happens. I look up to see her bringing out all her stuffed animals and piling them up in the hallway on the floor. That little girl is building an arsenal and getting ready to attack!! So Sean sneaks over to the bedroom door while she goes back into her room to gather up more toys and starts throwing them back into her room which results in squeals of laughter from our little girl.

It was after all this that I decided, okay, we’ve had our fun and it’s time to calm down and seriously get ready to read stories before bed. All of that laughter and family fun was the perfect way to end the day!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Working out with P90X

Okay, so like most women after having a child, my body did not look as fit and trim as it did pre-baby. In fact, had I realized how cute my body was before I had my daughter, I think I might have flaunted it a little bit more! Like most busy moms, I didn't exactly work hard at getting back into shape. I did get luck and most of the water weight came off pretty quickly, but I still had that mommy pooch that can occur after gaining an extra 50 lbs. along with a little extra flab here and there.

My daughter is now 3 years old and a little more independent, so I decided this would be a good time to start getting back in shape. Another motivating factor was that my younger brother was about to leave for OCS and would be gone for 10 weeks, leaving behind his newly purchased P90X system that he just bought. The entire workout takes 13 weeks to complete, meaning I wouldn't be able to finish the entire thing before he got home, but I'd be able to get most of it done so that once he did return he'd hopefully be able to tell a difference.

Now as a note, I haven't followed the diet to the letter, but I have added more protein into my diet via protein bars and shakes, as well as my diet. I am currently finishing up week 7 and I have definitely noticed a difference. Not only can I tell physically, but I can also tell in my over all well-being. My energy level is much higher (especially useful when chasing around a 3 year old) and mood is just better. I just feel so much better about myself! When I look in the mirror and see that my abs are getting more toned and my legs and arms are looking nicer, I just feel excited that the program is working. I look forward to my daughter taking a nap every day so that I can do my daily P90X workout. I get to have my "me time" and do something productive at the same time.

I highly recommend this system to anyone and everyone! I personally don't like working out at a gym, so this system was right up my alley. Right in the privacy of my own living room I spend about an hour a day getting fit and feeling better about myself. I love the look on my husband's face when I start getting all pumped before or after a workout and how excited I get when I can see the changes. He just gets this grin on his face and I can see how proud he is of me and my commitment to working out.

At the beginning of each phase--in which there are three--you take several different pictures so that you can see your progress from one phase to the next. Here are a few pictures from right before I started working out and from the start of phase 2. The pictures of me in the flowered swimsuit top and shorts are right before I started and the ones of me with the white top and brown shorts are right before I started phase 2.

Welcome to my blog!

Aloha everyone!

My name is Lisa and I live in Central Florida with my beautiful daughter Lilliana and my loving (and fun-loving) husband Sean. I've spent most of my life here in Florida, but I am originally from Texas and yes, I'm still faithfull to my favorite Texas sports teams!

My husband Sean and I have been married now for six years and our daughter Lilliana is three years old going on 20. Sometimes I look at her and I just see that teenager waiting to come out!! We also have two crazy dogs--Allie and Koa. Allie is a black labrador and Koa is a straight mutt. We think she might be part bassett hound and pit bull, but who knows. The one thing I do know is that these two dogs are so loving to our family and we wouldn't know what to do without them.

As for me I am a stay at home mom to Lilly. Back before I became a mom I thought that after I had a child I would go back to work after a couple of years, but now I could not imagine spending that much time away from her! Don't get me wrong, there are times when I need a break, but all in all motherhood is much more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. As a stay at home mom I work with Lilly every day to help her learn and grow as a person. We have fun reading books and learning how to write our ABCs. I also try and teach Lilly about her Hawaiian heritage, and what better way to do that than to take yearly trips to Hawaii!

My mother is Hawaiian and we have been going just about every year to Hawaii to visit my grandparents since I can remember. Lilly is only three years old but she has already been to Hawaii four times--probably more times than some people will ever get to go. This past year my grandmother tried teaching her some hula dancing moves and Lilly just had a blast!

As for the rest of my family, we live pretty much halfway between both of our parents which is so nice for Lilly to grow up with her grandparents so close. I have a brother that is well on his way to becoming and officer in the US Marine Corps and I am very proud of him. My husband runs a hotel right on the beach near where we live and life is great!!