Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: December 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve Eating Help

Are you going to a New Year's Eve Party? Here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you get through to midnight without letting your eating get out of control! 

1. Check out this portion reminder! As you go to get food from the buffet keep this in mind. Opt for the small plates if there is an option. Fill your plate with fruit and veggies and go from there.

2. Make a promise to yourself that you will only get food at 7pm and 10:30pm (if you need to) for a light snack. Try not to graze the whole night long, 

3. Limit your alcohol. There are so many wasted calories in alcoholic drinks. Stick with water as much as possible to stay hydrated. 

4. Don't go hungry to your party. Make sure you eat a nice healthy filling dinner before you go so that when you do go eat you will only eat snack sized. Chicken, broccoli and rice would be a perfect dinner to help you feel full! 

5. Have fun! New Year's parties are so fun to talk with your friends and make new ones! So even though you might be taking it easy on the food and drink you can still have plenty of fun! Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Resolutions

As we come up on the end of the year I start to think about my resolutions. I am not going to share all of them quite yet, waiting till Jan 2 for that but I thought I would off a little help to help you think of new ones for you!

1. Put you first. It would be great to have world peace and there are some things we can do to help with that but not a whole lot. Your new year resolution is YOURS. So make it personal. And if it is personal than it is more likely to stick. Make your new years resolution personal. Not just, GO TO GYM MORE. That isn't going to help much. More like, I want to go to the gym more because... and make your point. Make it personal. Make it deep. That is how you will achieve your resolution.

2. Learn to love yourself. Find a way this year to add in learning to love yourself for how you are today. Not how you will become if you lost x amount of pounds or after you have another kid. Embrace your flaws. You must first love yourself and work on yourself before you can help anyone else.

3. Don't forget to add something about service. Service is a great way to learn to love others and to help you love yourself better. It keeps you humble. It keeps you appreciative for what you have. You recognize more blessings in your life. Trust me try to find a place to add this in!

I have made the lists in the past and I barely do any of them. But they always contain items that are more: of do this, not that. I have never made them personal and have my WHY! Very important.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Year In Review

Here we are! At the end of an amazing year. And what a year it has been. This year has been full of so much joy and accomplishment, as well as needing to give myself a kick in the BUTT! So here it is.

January marked me passing my half way point in my pregnancy. And training going strong for the ENTIRE MONTH! I had to train for my first 1/2 marathon. And I did it all while pregnant.
February had me planning for our Disney Trip and training and some days questioning my sanity to run in a 1/2 marathon at 29 weeks pregnant! And actually completing my very first 1/2 marathon. And doing something that I never actually thought I would ever do! (next time regardless of how I feel, I WILL take a great happy shot of my medal. Kicking myself over that one for sure!)

March was all about baby and getting ready to have one. Getting the room set up and feeling more prepared.

April was about tying up my studio for the year so that I could take 3 months off from teaching. Looking back, I really think that this month was pretty good for me. I also became an Ambassador for Girls Gone Sporty! I love being part of networks with like minded people and I have learned so much from the amazing awesome women who are part of this!

May, I felt like I was the white rabbit always checking my calendar and watch for when baby will arrive. And even did some late term pregnancy running to GET THE BABY OUT! And thankfully we welcomed baby Collin into our family and he was healthy and happy after just a short little scare. But all was well. I had my no drugs needed labor and was able to get up and walk to the NICU, unassisted, 30 minutes after having him to be with him.

June and July I rested and recovered. I did help out with the local Woman's 4 miler training program and another local race on July 4th with Collin in attendance. I didn't start actually running until after August though. I also became a Beachbody Coach to help motivate people one on one  and to achieve their weight loss and lifestyle goals!

August I started running again, as best as I could with still recovering. And I ran in the Woman's 4 Miler again!

September, I became an Ambassador with FitFluential. An origination that I had been trying to be part of for a year! I love working with them and so thankful that we are working together and love meeting and reading all about my fellow ambassadors.

October, November and December have been a roller coaster of training and not training. Still dealing with my body not liking me running, still have issues to this day, more on that later. I have lost motivation and gained it. I have not lost my baby weight either. But I am not perfect. I am human. I am still trying everyday to do better and some days are better and some not so much. But overall it has been a pretty AMAZING year for me!

I am so excited for the amazing goals I have set for 2015 and can't wait to share all of them with you. I am so thankful for the wonderful blessings I got in 2014 and for my healthy family. Thank you so much for joining me on my journey because I love hearing from you and knowing that someone is reading. Here's to 2014. And because it is worth fighting for let's make our dreams come true in 2015!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Song of the Day

Went on a little post Christmas run this morning- felt like I had a ton of bricks in my shoes- and my iPod hit a song that just kept ringing a tone with me. I played it 3 times. Especially the chorus which is in the above picture. Do you have a fav song when running or exercising?
Looking Up
by Paramore

Things are looking up
Oh, finally
I thought I'd never see the day
When you'd smile at me
We always pull through
Oh, when we try
I'm always wrong
But you're never right
Oh, you're never right
Honestly, can you believe
We crossed the world while it's asleep?
I'd never trade it in
'Cause I've always wanted this and
It's not a dream anymore, no
It's not a dream anymore
It's worth fighting for
Could have given up so easily
I was a few cheap shots away
From the end of me
Taken for granted
Almost everything
That I would have died for
Just yesterday
Just yesterday
Honestly, can you believe
We crossed the world while it's asleep?
I'd never trade it in
'Cause I've always wanted this and
It's not a dream anymore, no
It's not a dream anymore
It's worth fighting for
God knows the world doesn't need another band
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
But what a waste it would've been
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
I can't believe we almost hung it up
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
We're just getting started
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh, oh
Honestly, can you believe
We crossed the world while it's asleep?
I'd never trade it in
'Cause I've always wanted this and
It's not a dream anymore, no
It's not a dream anymore, no, oh
It's not a dream anymore, no, oh
It's not a dream anymore
It's worth fighting for
I can't believe we almost hung it up
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
We're just getting started
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
I can't believe we almost hung it up
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
We're just getting started
Yeah, we're just getting started

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas day today! Even if you don't celebrate Christmas I hope you are having a wonderful day! Kids are having so much fun. Mason now has a huge collection of AWESOME Dinosaurs, which he likes to keep his little brother from. And Collin is getting more adventurous and trying to "cruise". Silly kid, doesn't he know that he isn't supposed to be attempting this at only 7 months old?!?!? SERIOUSLY!

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day!


 Wishing you and your family the best!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

FitBit Charge

Need a last minute gift for that health conscience friend or family member??? Here you go! I am loving my Charge! I love checking out how many steps I am taking every single day. Oh and every morning I check how much I didn't sleep! (I love sleep and this nursing this is so hard for me but I am surviving!)

What makes the Charge different than the other Fitbits is that it has the scrolling screen available. I (and Mason)  double tap the screen and the clock pops right up, perfect so I don't have to wear a watch AND my fitbit. Then I just use the clicker to see my steps for the day, calories burned, stair tracker, distance and my daily alarm. Oh and if I had a working cell phone it could be my caller ID too. The screen is super bright, especially in the middle of the night!

To check out my stats I have a little device that hooks into my USB and it does its own wireless sync. It is pretty handy and the little Dongle is small enough that I just leave it plugged into my computer.

Then I go to my dashboard and I see all my stats. Super easy. And customizable. I can even enter that I am nursing to show the extra calories burned. Also it has pregnancy trackers too for the different trimesters too to show those calories burned as well. I love this thing! IT IS AWESOME! I will say that I am not used to sleeping with "jewelry" on. I take off my ring and earrings at night so I am still not quite used to wearing something while I am sleeping but it is getting easier!

My Garmin is perfect for the run to track my runs and this is perfect for the everyday wear. I am kind of in love right now with both things! (Oh on avg I am walking 4 miles a day, IN MY HOUSE!) I am excited to see how much it changes when I start adding my runs back into it again!

Here is my weekly stats that I get from Fitbit! Love seeing all that I have done. What would you like most about having a Fitbit?

Seriously, a great gift for anyone!

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Construction Part 2

DONE! We are done! I am so thankful that the construction is all done! Dust and noise all day long is not the best remedy for healing sick kids! But now it is done and they couldn't be happier! We love it and have gotten lots of rave reviews on it on Instagram and Facebook. Gummy and Guppy like it too.

Can't get over how much wasted space was there. Yes, the bump out of the wall was originally there. And I think this is the perfect thing to put here. And we were talking that this could make a closet or pantry or any other type of storage area besides just empty closed off space. I am just shocked that it was so closed off. But this is perfect for our family and since we aren't done having kids we are going to get years and years of enjoyment off of this!

So I hired a contractor to cut the door and window in the walls. He had to move load bearing supports for the stairs. He put in headers to support them and anchored in the stairs to the studs on the sides. He installed 2 lights. And did the drywall. Then he was done. My fun started on Thursday night where I had to prime the walls. 2 coats. I have never had to prime bare drywall and was nervous about it. But it was nice to have the walls go from the splotchy drywall to all out white!

Friday night after Mason went to bed I painted the room. Matt held Collin down here and we were up till 12:30am (Collin feel asleep before then but then had to get him back to sleep.) I was so glad that I decided to knockout the 2 coats that night! The next morning I painted the trim white on the window, door and inside. We went to a holiday party and when we got back it was mommy quiet time for Mason and then I started on the floor.

The floor took forever and I was super nervous about it but I did it. It worked perfectly. I used ever single time we had. We only had 37 and they were all used. (only just a small little part of the A tile was used but we were missing a piece of the A so I couldn't use the tile anyhow) Also I couldn't find my tape measure so I had to improvise for the cutting of the tiles around the entrance and the half tiles. Thankfully I made it work! We love it and am so glad that we have it!

~~~I have been getting a lot of questions on the color of the blue that I used for the room. I used an old Pottery Barn color by Benjamin Moore called Buxton Blue (HC-149). It really is more of a slate blue and not as boy blue as it looks in the pictures. I will be using the same color in my morning room when I get that painted.~~~

Monday, December 22, 2014

December Week 3 Recap

Training has taken a standstill for me the last couple of weeks. I have had 2 sick kiddos and when the kids are sick I can't get to the gym to run. And with construction going on early in the day I didn't get my workout in either. I am doing my min 3 days a week of working out which is great but MAN I AM MISSING MY RUNNING!

How on earth am I going to do the 10 miler in mid March without all the training? I was thinking back to last year though I got super sick last year in December and my running took a huge hit. I still did the half marathon. So like everyone else, after the holidays, I will be back in it. I am ok with that. My kids come first and this is Collin's first big sickness and to be honest I have been worried about him. He is still sick even today after about 10 days now. He had a fever this morning and I am staying on top of it but man this sucks! I hate it when my kids are sick and have a super bad cough that will not let up!

I feel bad that I have this health and fitness blog and I haven't been a very good example of that lately. But that is what makes us human. We have good days and bad days, good months and bad months. As long as we never quit then that is what counts. And I really think having the race a month thing will be just the motivation that I need to make sure I keep it up. I do have my first race of the year on New Year's Day and I am doing it no matter what! It is only a 5k and I can totally handle that!

So that is what is going on with my life right now. Taking care of the kiddos and trying to get better myself. Oh and this week, enjoy Gummy and Guppy in town for Christmas! On a plus side, the construction is DONE and Mason and Collin love it!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


This past week has been full of lots of banging, dust and good fun! We have been busy doing our kid's Christmas present. And the contractor doing the work has let me get my hands dirty and help out a little bit and explain things to me. It has been great!

Final touches and stuff like that he won't let me near but I will be putting in the flooring and doing the final paint and such.

We are making a kids cave under the stairs in our basement. we have put a lot of work into our downstairs area. The backyard has a fence around it and we put a patio in for a safe place outside the door. Now we have a fun, kids only play area that Mason already loves! With all this being done I haven't had much time to write. Mason wants to go in and play so I have been trying to keep him occupied and away from all the fun, which has not been an easy feat!

Today I go and buy the paint for the cave and hoping to have that done Saturday morning. So sorry for the lack of posts but man, trying to keep a 3 year old from exploring all the cool tools and mess has been CRAZY!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Easy Homemade Baby Food

~Today's selection is: Oatmeal and Butternut squash. Blended together to give a more runny consistency. Add a small pinch of cinnamon for extra flavor. Just because they are babies doesn't mean they don't like good food!~
I am now in the journey of solid foods for baby Collin! I can't believe that we are already here and I even waited till 6.5 months. Time really does go by more quickly when you have more than 1.

Even though I am a busy mom of 2 boys I am still trying to fit in making baby food. It really is a lot easier than it seems. And a lot less expensive, even buying organic.

First of all I love this book. The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet. It is my go to book for this age. It is the first thing I will recommend to other mothers when they ask me what I use! It has EVERYTHING! It goes month by month, what your baby should eat. Talks about the consistency and how to slowly introduce new foods and why. And it has amazing recipes! I have tons of pages dogeared and notes written about how to make it work best for me. It even takes you to 2 years old of yummy recipes! We have used many a recipes and even used the older ones for a family dinner recipe. Veggie "Meat" Balls were pretty tasty!
A lot of stores have pre cut and washed foods available to buy. All the hard work already done. I love going to whole foods and getting the butternut squash chopped up. All I have to do it stick it in a pot and steam it or in some boiling water for just a little bit to cook and soften. Stick it in my blender and warm bam DONE!

Also frozen foods are easy too. I used frozen peas, put them in boiling water to cook for about 3-4 min and blended them up. DONE! How easy is that. I know that Whole Foods has frozen sweet potatoes too and that was Mason's fav so I bought a ton of those for him.

~With the lid off. the cubes are rounded off on the bottom to make removing from the tray. Just close up the tray run under hot water for a little bit and they just slide out!~

You will also need ice cube trays or I have these: Mumi & Bubi Solids Starter Kit. This portions out the food to 1 ounce cubes, that I then stick in a ziplock bag, run under warm water to defrost and it is warmed and ready for Collin to enjoy! All you do is just pour your blended up food into the tray, pop the lid on and stick in the freezer. Once they are frozen transfer them to ziplock freezer bags so that you can make more baby food.
~Peas and butternut squash~

Cost of my homemade baby food: 
Container of Cut and cleaned butter nut squash from Trader Joe's: ~$4
Makes 27 ounces

Jar of Earth's Best Sweet Potatoes: 2.5 ounces:
$.89-.99 per jar.

Helpful hint: Make your own rice or oatmeal cereal for baby! Place 1/2 cup of oatmeal or rice in your blender and place on the highest setting to pulverize it to a fine powder. When cooking I find that it makes it really thick. So I add the cooked rice or oatmeal back to my blender and add more breastmilk or water to thin it out. Easier for baby to enjoy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

JANUARY 2015 first race is going to be...

New Year's Day 5k here in C-ville VA! It is a race recommended for my training program anyhow and I wanted to do it last year but with being pregnant and ice, I didn't run in it. I stayed indoors on the treadmill. But not this year, I will be hoofing it with the rest of them!

Looking for a February race. Need to find out what my mileage for the training program will be in February first to see if it can be a 10k or not!

Know any good races in the central VA area for February???

Monday, December 8, 2014

December Week 1 Recap

As far as training weeks went this is my all time low! I didn't do one single run this week. I know, slap on the wrist bad and I will be paying for it later but I have had my first "injury". It is not from running but it did take a trip to the chiropractor to remedy, for now at least it is much better.

For the past week my left foot has been hurting, mainly when I was doing my runs out of town. I have had the worst cramping in my left outside arch of my foot. The only time during the run I didn't have the pain was in UT when I opened up my stride and was running down the mountain that I walked up. So this week I just walked to keep my mileage. But I still feel bad that I didn't get any running in. Saturday morning my wonderful birthday gift from the boys was to let me sleep in till 9:30am, and then I had a baby shower to get to and it was go go go the rest of the day.

I did go to the chiropractor and he said that my foot was majorly out of alignment as was most of my entire body. My right hip was out and my right neck was totally out. I have been in lots of pain for a couple of weeks. Every night on the trip I would carry Mason from the car to the hotel room. It was just too much for my back apparently. (need to do more core too). Also the relaxin has left my system finally and my body is just sticking in bad alignment. So I got my AMAZING adjustment, (I purr when I get cracked, it feels so good!) and I feel like I am brand new again. Tomorrow I will try out running again. If it still hurts off to the running store I go to chat with my running coach and hopefully I can still keep my shoes.

That's the bad. The good from this week. I had my birthday. I normally don't blab about my birthday because it adds one more year to my life but I have decided that I am going to continue to make my birthdays count and make smart choices. Last year, I continued to run while pregnant, amazed me and many people I know that I could actually do that. This year I have made it a goal that I am going to run in a race every single month of 2015. (even if I get pregnant again I will run a race.) I don't want to do 5k's all the time so they will range from 5k-10 milers, and maybe even throw a 1/2 marathon in there. Let's just see what the next few months hold. (I am hoping to do the Disney Wine and Dine in Nov 2015.)

I did get an upgrade to my Kitchen Aid mixer. I had the classic and now I have the professional series drop down bowl mixer and it is AWESOME! I have already put it through the ringer with making my own birthday cupcakes (amazingly yummy), 2 batches of cookies and 2 loaves of bread for the week. (the cookies are for my studio recital later this coming week and I will be good because I still have that diet bet thing going and I will win!)

Collin update: Collin is full on crawling now. He crawls to me anywhere I am. I put him down in my living room and go make breakfast and in a few minutes he is at my feet pawing at them. Even when Matt is holding him and puts him down he will crawl crying to me to hold him because he wants me over daddy. It is totally adorable that he is crawling but very weird. He is so young. He can't even roll over of his own free will yet. He flops over like a fish. Can't get into a sitting position. It is just weird. Also caught him by the stairs and about had a heart attack. Also Mason has learned that he is strong enough to pick up Collin and will fetch him and bring him back to the carpet safe area of the living room. It is very cute. Oh and Collin started solid foods on Monday evening. He loves eating and is so eager!

Mason update: Mason is all things Dinosaurs now. Ever since we got back from our trip, he goes around reading his new dino book that Great Grandma gave him and carrying around his new T-rex and Raptor toys that were also given to him. He talks about dinosaurs all day long too. He even started to refer to Guppy (Grandpa) as Guppy-saurus. (Since Guppy read some dino books to him while we were visiting.) The only thing Dinosaur he doesn't want right now is this awesome blanket that Gummy and Guppy (my mom and dad) got him for his birthday. He calls it his tiger blanket because one of the raptors on it is stripped orange and black and he doesn't see that it is a dinosaur. Oh well. It makes a great blanket for a fort though.

Workout Recap: 
Sunday: rest
Monday: rest (flew back home)
Tuesday: 2 mile walk around neighborhood
Wednesday: 2.5 mile walk around neighborhood
Thursday: 1 mile walk around neighborhood (chiropractor visit later too!)
Friday: rest day. MY BIRTHDAY
Saturday: rest day (slept through alarm for training group)

Total mileage: 5.5 miles walking only
Goals this week:
~Get back into running, hopefully the adjustment fixed things.
~Less walking breaks in my running.
~Cross train more with strength training and cardio on non running days.
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