Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Planning a trip to DisneyWorld

I'm so excited!! We're finally planning a trip to Disney World. My last trip to Disney World was back in 2000 when I was still in college - so it's been around 15 years and Disney has changed a lot in those years.

I still remember walking around Magic Kingdom and Epcot with my parents and my sister - watching the fireworks and eating pizza at the hotel and meeting Mickey Mouse. And now, I get to enjoy that with my husband and my daughter. I'm so excited about showing Magic Kingdom to her. She loves princesses and Disney shows.

We're planning a 4-day trip and are staying on Disney property in one of the resorts. Our plan is to spend 3 days on Disney parks and one day at SeaWorld. We tried to do a bit of research already and have found so many website son the internet and tips on planning a trip to Disney.

Some of the big decisions we made already:
  • Staying off versus on disney resorts
  • Which resort to stay at
  • Adding Park Hopper 
  • Adding Memory Maker
  • Which rides to FastPass+ (though we may change this later)
There are a few resources I've found useful so far.
  1. Touring Plans:- This website has a lot of detailed information on pretty much everything Disney. The most comprehensive website - obviously, subscribers get even more information but so far, I don't feel the need to subscribe. 
  2. WDW Prep School :- This was pretty good and I am using this a lot as well. 
  3. Undercover Tourist :- The Crowd Calendar was really useful in helping us determine which days to go to which park. Other than this, there's a lot of other info as well. 
  4. Articles from around the web
I got 2 books from the library - Frommer's EasyGuide to Disney World, Universal and Orlando 2015 and Fodor's Walt Disney World 2015 - Both these books were very helpful with deciding on attractions and giving general information which were the latest. 

We're really excited about going to Disney in a few weeks and I will blog all about it when we get back. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mini-Goal + Challenge: Walk 10000 steps everyday

I did the 30-Day Walking Challenge recently and did not do so well at it. I had 2 issues with it - it asked me to walk 10k steps over my regular day-to-day steps and also, I fell sick quite a bit.

My goal to lose 16 pounds by the end of the year is also not going too well considering it's almost 6 months out and I've ended up putting on weight.

I thought perhaps both of these were a little too ambitious for me at this point and I should probably start off with mini-goals to get started on the right path.

Mini-Goal & Challenge: Walk 10,000 steps everyday including day-to-day steps

May 11: Day 1: 10450 steps
May 12: Day 2: 8515 steps
May 13: Day 3: 8982 steps
May 14: Day 4: 6411 steps
May 15: Day 5: 10010 steps
May 16: Day 6: 5795 steps
May 17: Day 7: 8727 steps
May 18: Day 8: 11379 steps
May 19: Day 9: 10882 steps
May 20: Day 10: 10663 steps
May 21: Day 11: 8269 steps
May 22: Day 12: 10289 steps
May 23: Day 13: 9510 steps
May 24: Day 14: 14538 steps
May 25: Day 15: 4228 steps (didn't wear the tracker for most of the day - this was just the extra walk steps)

Do you want to join me? I will update with progress every day.

I'm about a third of the way through and I've hit  my goal about 50% of the time. I'm trying to do better but it's been hard to take the time out to get an hour of extra walking a day which is what gets me over the 10k line.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Thoughts

Being a mom can be hard sometimes. Some days it can feel as though the world is against you. Some days it can feel as it you give and give until there's nothing more to give anymore. Some days it feels as if your body's not your own anymore - it belongs to your kids and your family.

And some days can feel wonderful - when you feel so loved. When your daughter comes running to you and hugs you. When she says "I love you mama". When you hold her soft warm body in your arms and think "This is heaven".

And some days you may be worried - doubting yourself - are you a good mom? Are you providing her with everything she needs? Are you raising your daughter well?

Some days, you just need a break. You want to shut out the world, take your body back, take your mind back and just breathe.

This Mother's Day I made a promise to myself. I promise to take better care of my health. I can't take care of my family if I don't take care of myself. I promise to take some time out for myself at least once a week and to make that a priority.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers everywhere! Hope you're all having a very special day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

30-Day Walking Challenge!

I came across the 30-day walking challenge by Leslie Sansone here. With spring almost there, I decided to take this challenge up. The goal is to start with 2000 steps and work your way up to 10,000 steps a day over 30 days by adding around 500 extra steps a day

I started on April 6th with a 30 minute walk around my office. The weather was great and it was a wonderful walk. Yesterday, I wasn't able to walk outside but I went for a a couple of walks totaling 14 mins which gave me an extra 1000 steps but I didn't meet my goal.

This 10000 steps a day is outside of my regular daily activities - so it's going to be hard to hit but I'm going to try to do it anyway.

(April 6th) Day 1: Goal: 2000 steps Actual: 3299 steps
Day 2: Goal: 2500 steps Actual: 1008 steps
Day 3: Goal: 3000 steps Actual: 0 steps (had a bad cough)
Day 4: Goal: 3500 steps Actual: 0 steps (had a bad cough)
Day 5: Goal: 4000 steps Actual: 2500 steps
Day 6: Goal: 4500 steps Actual: 0 steps (had guests - spent a lot of time on my feet cleaning the house)
Day 7: Goal: Rest Actual: 2000 steps (went shopping)
Day 8: Goal: 4500 steps Actual: 2200 steps
Day 9: Goal: 4500 steps Actual: None (had errands & dentist appt)
Day 10: Goal: 5000 steps Actual: 2500 steps (hit 9000 steps over entire day)
Day 11: Goal: 5000 steps Actual: 3000 steps (Almost 10k steps over entire day)
Day 12: Goal: 5000 steps Actual: 0 steps (developed a fever and stayed home & rested)
Day 13: Goal: 5500 steps Actual: 1000 steps (still sick but played with my daughter outside for 15 mins)
Day 14: Goal: Rest steps Actual: 1500 steps (still sick but played with my daughter outside for 30 mins)
Day 15: Goal: 5500 steps Actual: 0 steps (Getting better)
Day 16: Goal: 6000 steps Actual: 0 steps
Day 17: Goal: 6000 steps Actual: 0 steps
Day 18: Goal: 6500 steps Actual: 2700 steps
Day 19: Goal: 6500 steps Actual: 2000 steps
Day 20: Goal: 7000 steps Acutal: 0 steps
Day 21: Goal: Rest Actual: 0
Day 22: Goal: 7000 steps Actual: 2000 steps
Day 23: Goal: 7500 steps Actual: 3000 steps
Day 24: Goal: 8000 steps Actual: 0 steps
Day 25: Goal: 8500 steps Actual: 2000 steps
Day 26: Goal: 9000 steps Actual: 5600 steps
Day 27: Goal: 9500 steps Actual: 2000 steps
Day 28: Goal: Rest steps Actual: 2000 steps
Day 29: Goal: 10000 steps Actual: 0 steps
Day 30: Goal: 10000 steps Actual: 7000 steps

What I've learnt over the past few days is that life gets in the way of getting a workout or even a walk. I've been sick on and off for the last month. Clearly, you can see this is a challenge for me. However, I'm determined to see how far I can get.

At the end of this challenge, I've realized that maybe this was too big of a goal for me. 10000 steps outside of my regular everyday stuff is perhaps too much for me with regard to a time commitment for this season in my life. But it's made me exercise some and has give me some ideas on other challenges I could do.

Monday, May 4, 2015

April Update On Goals

It's May, finally! And the temperature is in the 70s!! Yay!!

April was not a great month for me. I got 2 rounds of a nasty virus (cough, cold, etc) and so did my husband. So we were sick most of the month and just getting the essentials done.

Some good things that happened was that I started walking around 15-20 mins a day at work whenever the weather was good and I was feeling OK. It just felt really good to be out walking again. I've also been doing a lot more cooking and experimenting with new foods.
  1. Lose 12 lbs: Not much progress on this. I'm still at 136. 
  2. Learn swimming: Waiting for my summer plans to get fixed before I can register for classes.
  3. Read 12 books this year: I read Eighteen Acres, Early Potty Training and Parents Magazine August 2014
  4. Do 12 craft or knitting activities this year: Didn't get to this. 
  5. Introduce a new experience to AGirl once a month: I spent some time outside on our lawn with my daughter this month and I started my seeds indoors and introduced this process to my daughter. 
I'm starting a new section below for my parenting goals. I'm hoping the accountability will inspire me to do more. 

Parenting Goals:
  1. Potty Training: We want to potty train AGirl by the end of summer as a soft goal. While I feel she's not completely ready yet, I want to start the process and lead her gently into it. 
  2. Teach her to recognize ABCs: AGirl already recognizes her numbers most of the time and a few letters - A, B, O, W. I've been pretty nonchalant about this so far and want to start getting her to recognize all her letters by the end of summer. 
  3. Drinking milk from a cup: AGirl loves her milk but she refuses to drink it from a cup or even a straw cup. She only drinks from a spout sippy cup. She was on a soft spout sippy cup all these days - I finally switched her to a hard spout sippy cups. My next challenge is to switch her to straw cup. 
How has your progress been on your goals?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Recipe: Potato Fry

Fried Potatoes are one of my favorite dishes - especially served with curd rice. Yum! And the best thing about this recipe is that it is very simple to make!


Recipe: Potato Fry

Ingredients: 

Small Round Potatoes
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Red Chilly Powder
Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Pressure cook the potatoes just till they are cooked but still firm. In my pressure cooker, that's upto one whistle.
  2. Once it's cooled down, peel off the skin of the potatoes. They should slide off fairly easily. 
  3. Take a non-stick skillet or pan and heat the oil on medium-heat. 
  4. Once oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. 
  5. Once the mustard seeds start to splatter, add the chilly powder. The chilly powder will turn brown
  6. Keep the heat on medium-high and add the potatoes and keep stirring them. Keep moving them around every 2 mins so they don't burn in one spot. 
  7. Add salt
  8. Continue till you see more brown spots and all the potatoes look well-fried.