Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: October 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tips & Tricks: Healthy Halloween

1) Talk to your kids first and foremost about how much candy is enough. Kids like the idea of candy but do they really need all that candy? Talk to them first and say, we are only going to this one neighborhood this year. Also tell them that they can not empty their bag and start over. It is one bag only and explain how much they will get.

2) Find a smaller neighborhood and just go there. Or just go trick or treating at a local church. When you get home have them help pass out some candy or only go and see their friends house in the neighborhood.

3) Line their trick or treating bag with batting or decorations. (Trick I do with our pass out candy!) (Pictured at top)

4) Fill the bottom of their bag with fruit, or make arrangements with a neighbor to give them fruit (you provide the fruit) Make that your first stop so that their bag is weighted down and so the fruit (apples and oranges) take up more room.

5) Make a "fill to this line only" line on their bag or bucket. Once the candy reaches that line, they are done.

6) Buy a smaller trick or treating bag. Invest in a customized one that just doesn't hold as much candy as the buckets do.
~Masson's Personalized Creations bag. Only about as big as his head!~

7) Talk about what you are going to do with all the candy. Make a pre-planned schedule as to when they will get their candy. Reward for doing chores? Or a sticker system?

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving

Did you know that the average american gains 7-12 pounds during the holidays? I don't want to be like that this year. Do you? I still want to enjoy what I eat but be healthy about it.

Join me for just 21 days BEFORE Thanksgiving to help you lose weight and get on the right track before Turkey Day! Sign up below and I will add you to the PRIVATE Facebook group and we can work together!

5 Month Old Collin

Collin, Collin, my sweet baby boy Collin is growing up WAY too quickly! I miss the tiny little baby and how small he was. But I do love how much personality he has. He loves to watch his big brother run around the room pushing his big trucks around. He loves to watch Archer trot around him, and if Collin spits up, Archer is right there in his face making sure Collin is ok and to sniff out the mess he made.
~Hey there, good looking!~

Collin is moving. We put him one place on the floor and in a few minutes he is in a whole new place. He just moves backwards, and and he can turn himself from one direction to another. He can also flip from tummy to back, not always on purpose but can't do the opposite.
~Perfect flat back!!!~

This past month he moved from our room to his new bed in the nursery and seems to be doing well. He did spend some nights back in our room in his bassinet and in our bed. Thanks so some sickness he got. Sadly he is no longer sleeping through the entire night like he was. He is now waking up 2-3 times a night. 1 for comfort and 2 for feeding. He is pretty consistent. Goes to bed around 7:30-8 wakes up around 11 for comfort more than anything. Then 2am for food and 5am for food. Then back to sleep till 8am. Thankfully he doesn't do super long feeding like Mason did. Collin is done in 20-25 min tops. But the lack of sleep is really getting to me. I have not been able to keep up with my chores around my house, like cleaning, laundry or making homemade bread. (doing laundry is BAD for me right now. I just hate doing it!) Dinners have been hit or miss too. I often don't get a nap during the day and thankfully Shakeology helps out in the "giving me energy" bit but I am just worn out. So glad that Matt is around too, to help clean and pick up my slack.

This past month has been full of such beautiful sounds of laughter and cooing. He loves to giggle at us, or when I tickle him. He is super ticklish on his sides, back and upper legs. And he loves to coo at Matt. He just tells Matt all about his day. He does not do that to me! AT ALL! Matt misses a lot during the day and Collin likes to give him a play by play. It is really cute.
~I had to "reset" him back in the middle of the quilt. But here is where he ended up at the end of the pictures!~

Collin lights up and kicks and squirms when Matt or I enter a room. He just goes bonkers and gives us a super happy grin. Often at night he doesn't want to cuddle he just wants to go straight into his bed but before we close the door he props himself up and gives us a toothless grin to say goodnight and he is out! He is such an impressive little dude!

Monday, October 27, 2014

October Week 4 Recap

Going into the last week of my fav month! But that just means, lots of family time coming up  soon which I am so excited about!

This past week was more of the same with Collin and Mason. Collin is still planking like crazy, but he can get up onto his knees a lot easier. He is also trying to step with one foot while in hands and knees so he will be crawling by Thanksgiving. I am pretty sure about that. He slept really well the other night in his crib. Only squawking a couple of times then back to bed. He did wake up at 2am for a feeding, which I am fine about. Sadly the same night that Collin slept really well Mason did not. He got scared of something during the night and he ended up joining us in bed. Then when we finally got Mason back in bed, Archer threw up on the carpet. If it wasn't one thing it was another. Saturday night/Sunday morning was CRAZY!

I started training with the 10 miler training group. I am in group 1. Wah-Wah! I only did .75 miles. Yes I can do more, but since I haven't been running regularly I am in the beginning. Nov 3 I will be back at the gym and will be able to definitely get my runs in during the week on the treadmill. I am still planning on doing strength training and yoga to help me out too. Coming up with my plan now but I have my running schedule though. I am hoping to move up in groups fairly soon though. I just need to push past my mental barrier to not stop and walk! If any one has any advice on that please let me know!

In the workout front you will notice that I um... fell off the wagon. I am going to talk about what is going on later this week. It isn't an injury or anything, but I think I have a slight bit of postpartum depression. I am having a hard time nursing right now, since Collin is waking up hungry and fussing more I am thinking my milk isn't going well. But more on that later. I have just been in survival mode this past week. Everything is suffering, not just my workouts.

Sunday: Yoga
Monday: rest
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: rest
Friday: rest
Saturday: .75 miles 30 sec walk/run intervals 1/4 mil cool down.

Total Mileage:
1 mile - 20 weeks postpartum

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reality Weight Loss

I often think about why it is so easy for "famous" people to lose weight. Especially right after they have a baby. Here I am 5 months after Collin and I still am at my weight I was after I had him. Haven't dropped below, I still have a belly and a big butt and I just can't seem to find that workout groove.

"Famous" people, it is their job to be a certain look. Often we criticize these people for getting stick thin after having a baby, or I am even proud of them for not losing all the weight immediately and show what a woman actually looks like after having a baby. But the truth of the matter is, this is their job that is on the line to look a certain way by a certain time.

I was watching a while back the reality show about Tia and Tamera Mowry. It was the time when Tamera was just about to have her baby and I watched up till after she had him. She was on hiatus from her show before she had the baby and had to come back looking like she never had a baby. It was part of her job and a big part that she had to look the same size as she did prior to the show going on hiatus while she was pregnant. Yes she hired a personal trainer to come to her house and train her. And she had a babysitter at her house while with said trainer, and yes she even had someone cook for her. But it was her job to lose the baby weight again. And she did! Through diet and exercise.

So here comes Missy Elliot who just by doing diet and intense exercise lost 30 lbs and LOOKS AMAZING! She did 2 different Beachbody products, T25 and Insanity. That's all it takes. Diet and exercise. No magic pill. No surgery just hard work and dedication!

Do you think that if you were getting paid to lose weight that you would stick with your weight loss regime better? There are apps or pools you can enter to actually get paid for every pound you lose or how much exercise you do a day. There is an app called Pact that you get paid when you meet your goals and you owe if you don't. It costs money, so know what you are getting into first before you participate. is another place to win money when you reach a certain percentage lost in a month or however long the game is going for. Diary of a fit mommy will often host these events. It costs money though, so know what you are getting into first before you participate!

If you need support to get you through your workouts or just need a workout buddy we can work together! You are more prone to lose weight if you have someone else doing it with your or supporting you the way you need to be supported! Just fill out the form below and I will contact you! Help you. We can do this together!

QOTD: If losing weight was part of your job would that make a difference in how you approach trying to lose weight?

(disclaimer: These opinions reflected above are my opinions alone and weight loss apps and games are by suggestion only. I am not responsible for positive or negative affect of the reader participating in these types of activity.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October Week 3 Recap

It's almost Halloween time! YEA! I really do love this time of year. Trader Joe's is going pumpkin everything wild, the apples are fresh and crisp and the AC is turned off saving us major bucks on the electric bill! YEA!

Major news about Collin. I love this, every week there is something new! Well. This kid wants to get moving. We are not teaching him how to do anything he is figuring it out on his own, and frankly, I am not ready for him to be crawling or walking. This week he has mastered the art of planking. And now he is getting up on his knees and doing the wiggle. Which means, crawling is just a matter of days or weeks ahead. He just turned 5 months so this is a SHOCK to me as Mason was 8 months before he even started to crawl. But Collin loves to watch his brother run around him and he wants to get up and go see him and play with his cool toys too!
Sneak peak at Collin's 5 month pictures. He likes to do Supermans too! 
Mason is still no fully potty trained. We are working on it but he hates to wear underwear, even boxer/briefs and will continue to pee in them and refuses to go #2. So maybe we just aren't ready yet for this. Who knows, but it is a work in progress. Hoping he is potty trained by Thanksgiving so that we don't have to buy diapers on our trip. He is speaking super well. He is fully communicating with us on what he wants, or is doing or just to tell us something. He isn't very clear on his enunciation yet but he is getting there. It is cute the way he says words, and we work with him on how to pronounce them better and more clearly. He also started Piano lessons with me. I have a pre-reading piano series book that I pulled out and we are slowly going through that about every other day. He has learned how to play short sounds, long sounds, soft and loud sounds. Mainly it is following directions.

I finished my third piano composition last week. I started this particular piece in 2011 and I finally got some inspiration and was able to fill 2 holes in it and it is done. Now it is time to put it on my computer as real music. So I still have some work to do but it is done. I will say that the last 2 weeks have been really rough on me mentally. I have just been out of it. Having a hard time keeping up with the house and the chores I set myself to do. Laundry has  piled up like nothing else, and I haven't been making homemade bread. I just haven't wanted to. I started taking my extra placenta pills to help balance out my hormones a little bit but I am definitely in a funk! Doing workouts has been like pulling teeth for me. Some days I am gung-ho ready to go and other days, nope! Plus this past weekend it was a military weekend so it was just me and the boys and the dog. 24/7. No break, not rest, cause Collin didn't want to sleep and Mason wanted to be up super early. Anyhew. I have had a really hard time getting that workout bug going this past week. I am excited for November. I am going to start going back to the gym so that will be good. Send the kids to daycare for 2.5 hours and me go get my workout done, alone. Running. I really have the need for running. I just wish it wasn't so darn hard to do! Anyhew. We all go through these slumps of  I don't wanna! I just need to get out of it!

Sunday: Yoga
Monday: Total Body fix
Tuesday: Upper Body fix
Wednesday: Lower body fix
Thursday: 45 min walk, pushing Mace in stroller and baby wearing Collin/ Pilates Fix
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 30 min walk, pushing Mace and wearing Collin

Total mileage: unknown exact but I estimate about 3.5 miles.

I will say that doing the walk and pilates totally killed my legs and after doing leg day! So I will probably do Pilates earlier in the day before I do running in the future. With all the hills plus the weight I was carrying and pushing just KILLED ME!

Goals for this week: Continue to workout! Need to get it every day. I missed yesterday but will do today and so forth.
~Continue to go on at least 2 walks a week until I go back to the gym. This Saturday I will be at the 10 miler training program.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


This is totally me right now! LOVE THIS. I'm potty training by day and nursing by night! Who else is a Mombie right now???

Friday, October 17, 2014

Post Run Yoga

Now that you are starting to run, here are the best post run yoga exercises to help you stretch back out and keep you from getting too sore and tight! Run on! 

Be sure to follow me on FACEBOOK for more tips and tons of motivation during the day! See you over there! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beginners Running Plan

Here is a great beginner's running plan to check out! Anyone can learn to run, you just have to take that first step! 

Don't forget to follow me on FACEBOOK too! More helpful information and tons of motivation messages every single day! See you over there! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's An All New Season!

I love fall. The cooler temps, the darker mornings and the chance to start wearing pants and sweaters. But the other thing that I love is the new TV schedule that comes out. New shows, Old shows with new plot lines. LOVE IT!

We don't have cable TV so I do my TV watching on my own time, which is great. Middle of the night feedings can get pretty boring and falling asleep while nursing sitting up is no fun! Thanks so much to Hulu that keeps me up to date on all my fav shows. And if they don't have it I find it somewhere on the internet.

Here is my weekly schedule that I watch.

Sunday: Once Upon A Time- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS SHOW!

Monday: Sleepy Hallow, Originals

Tuesday: Agents of Shield

Wednesday: Nashville, The 100

Thursday: Bones, Parenthood, Reign, Vampire Diaries,

Monday, October 13, 2014

October Week 2 Recap

I have made it! We are in mid-October and 10 miler training program begins this coming Saturday. I am in training mode. I decided that yes, I am in training mode now! I have to get this way if I really want to do this. My goal is to learn to run for longer stretches of time before I take walking breaks. Running straight would be great so that is the ultimate goal for me. But here we go. Doing 10 miler training, I can do this!

Enough for what is happening later this week. Here is what happened this past week! COLLIN has transition to his CRIB in the nursery. This is huge! And it didn't involve hours of screaming like it did with Mason. Collin is 4 months old. This is a little early. I was planning on moving him over at 6 months but his naps have been going so well in there. He was taking 3-4 hour naps mid day in there and I figured he really liked it! And I was right. He loves it. He spent more nights in his crib at night this week than he did in our room. Collin has a little stuffy nose and was having a hard time not fussing cause his nose was stuffed and he likes to suck his fingers, therefore, he couldn't breath. So, he fussed. 2 nights he slept in our room for this reason, but Collin really does like his bed! I still need to clean up the room and get the donated clothing sorted and off the floor.

Mason is still potty training. He will go #1 every time in the potty, except when he is in mommy quiet time and removes his diaper or pull ups. BLAST! Mason is also running around naked butt and if we put undies on him he will pee in his undies. So we are learning the transition. I bought some boxer/briefs for Mason so that they feel different than regular undies. He just doesn't want to wear undies. He likes being naked!

This past week I was part of a 5 day clean eating challenge. So I didn't exercise as much because I noticed that I couldn't do both very easily. I tried to cut out more red meats and dairy and was eating more veggies and whole foods. I need red meat and dairy. I was exhausted this past week. I had a headache and you can ask Matt, I was a crabby grouch! I did lose another pound and a half this past week, but this weekend I added red meat and dairy back in and well, haven't weighed myself today so I am sure it is back up. I am just going to stick with the plan that I know works, I just need to stick with it more though!

Workout Recap: 
Sunday: rest
Monday: 21 Day Fix- Dirty 30
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: rest
Friday: rest
Saturday: rest

Goals for this week:
~Start-Taking on the holidays- 3 weeks at a time, personal challenge. I refuse to let this holiday get to me.
~Follow my nutritionist plan. No more eating out, no more cheats. Real good clean foods!
~Start training this week. 3.5 miles total this week. More running, less walking. Starting slow.
~Continue to cross train along with my running!

Do you want to join me with the Taking on the holidays- 3 weeks at a time? Work out diligently for 3 weeks then enjoy your holiday, for all 3 holidays coming up. Fill out the form below!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I love it how my body naturally craves things when they are in season! Like Christmas time, I ALWAYS crave oranges. Fresh naval oranges. In Arizona they are nice and wonderfully ripe right at Christmas. (if my parents brought some to us when they visit us for Christmas, I certainly will NOT complain!) In early summer I crave berries. In the fall I crave apples and butternut squash stuff!

Like right now, I am craving butternut squash soup, the one a friend of mine made at her little pastry shop. Sadly the shop isn't around anymore but man I crave that stuff! Tonight I am making pumpkin soup courtesy of Trader Joe's. But I have made this, and will make this recipe again of butternut squash soup!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup - CHOW
  • 4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  4. When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
  5. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
  6. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October Week 1 Recap

October already. I love October. It is magical. The fog that rests on the open meadows in the early morning and late evenings. The changing leaves and the awesome Blood Moon that is going to be happening on the 8th is pretty cool too! Halloween is coming up and right now I am looking for our family group costume ideas. And trying to get all our outfits together for our family pictures. I am doing a lot of clothing coordination but I think I have the family outfits planned out well.

This past week has been a doozy for the Allen family. I have been under the weather. I had planned on doing so much more than I did. Especially with my workouts, but I think I just had a linger bug that was knocking me on my butt with exhaustion. Every change I got, I rested. I was even in bed by 8pm one of the nights. Working out took a back seat for me, but I did so some yoga poses to help me relax and de-compress and get rid of this bug that was invading my body. I was finally feeling better by Friday. Planned on doing a run on Saturday morning, but slept in way too late and had a birthday party to get the family ready for. But coming up in a few weeks, no more missing runs because I will be at training! Excited for it to begin and to see the progress I make. November I go back to the gym too so I will be able to do more running at the gym and still plan on doing my workouts at home with Matt. I will not gain weight this holiday season!

Big news too with Mason. He no longer wants to keep his diaper on. So on to potty training we go. Man it has been a power struggle in this house. He will tell me he needs to go and will now go to the potty and pee. But he refuses to poo on the potty (I think he just went out back like the dog by the way!) So that is a work in progress. And if we put undies on him he will pee in the undies. I ordered boxer brief undies and they will be here mid week to hopefully help this area. But we are adjusting. He is telling me he needs to go pee and will go by himself, but he is running around naked butt and will not keep pull ups on or a diaper on and it is off in the morning and at the end of the mommy quiet time, every single day. And I have had to clean up a lot of accidents. It has been no fun. At all. (we have tried sticker charts, candy, a promise of a potty party, books, stories, singing, apps on the phone. But he is just stubborn!)

Collin is doing well too. He is back to sleeping through the night and only doing one very early morning feeding right now. If it were at 5 I would be happier but it is at 4am. Too early to do workout, but I might just have to suck it up and do a workout at 4am! Oh that hurts thinking about it! Next week I will get to talk about his new sleeping arrangements!

Workout Recap:
Sunday: rest
Monday:  20 minutes postnatal yoga DVD
Tuesday: 20 minutes pilates DVD
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 20 min postnatal yoga DVD
Friday: 20 minutes pilates DVD
Saturday: rest

Keep in mind I have been potty training Mason and he would only go pee in the upstairs bathroom. I wish I had a fitbit to tell me how many flights of stairs I climbed. We have a 3 level house by the way! By Wednesday I noticed that my legs weren't as sore or I wasn't out of breath as I was on Monday. So progress.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Disney Bling!

Isn't this a beauty! Oh my, oh my, I have a new prize to eye! The way to earn this is to participate in the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon and then the following weekend take a little disney cruise and run the Castaway Cay 5K.

All I know that if I decide to do this I will have to save for awhile because I will want to spend some time at the parks between the race and the cruise! This does come at a pretty hefty price tag, especially if your family tags along. Which why wouldn't they!?! IT IS A DISNEY CRUISE!

QOTD: Would you do this at least once to earn this medal? 
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