by jcastles | Jul 24, 2015 | Family, Moving, Uncategorized
Our kids are not good in the car….well they can be. Problem is they hate being in the car (we like to drive around and explore….a lot). But when we told them we could stay in Washington or move home to Texas they obviously chose to deal with the long road trip….like they had a choice, lol!!!
We have an 11 yr old and a 6 yr old that would be traveling with us. They each have an iPhone with the best mobile plans (don’t worry…no service is on my 6 yr olds….it’s and old phone of ours and is basically a Nintendo DS but with better games, lol!!) and iPad (and these were handed down so it’s not like we completely spoil our kids with new flashy items). So first things first on a long trip like this is you have to completely give up all rules and allow them to use them…a lot!!!
A few days before we were to leave for our moving adventure I decided I should get some things for the kids to do so they’re not completely bored or on devices all the time.
Since we’d be going through 7 states I went to the Crayola website for some free state color pages. I printed 2 of each state we’d be going to so each kiddo had their own color page. The great thing is it also had state facts on them. I also printed a US map so they could follow our route. That helps eliminate questions.
Since we’d be traveling on July 4th I printed out a color page for that holiday. I also printed out a few miscellaneous color pages I knew the kids would enjoy. I printed out the kids favorite zoo animals since we’d be visiting the San Diego Zoo. I put all the prints in order of travel, in a sheet protector, clipped to their travel clipboards we’d made a few years back. I also added our Surprise destination of LegoLand!!! I took their favorite Lego character from google images and edited it in photoshop. I didn’t edit the photo…I adjusted the size so I could add words to the top. I added Let’s Go to LEGOLAND!! They were ecstatic when we revealed the packets and saw LEGOLAND was one of our destinations!!
Did our kids do all the activities in their packet…no. But they did read them and learn about each state. They also knew where we were going and what we were doing in each state. And that itself was awesome because it lessens the amount of what are we doing here questions.
I hope this helps you plan a long road trip. They barely fought, were not bored much, and overall just had a great trip.
by jcastles | Jul 24, 2015 | Family, Moving, Uncategorized
I believe it was the last day of school when we were finally told we’d be moving in one week. In Washington state school didn’t end until June 19th. The flyttebyrå Oslo. movers would be at our house on June 26th. We’d already started to declutter but we didn’t think we’d decluttered enough. on the go moving in bellevue company arrived at like 8:15 that Friday morning…..three guys. They had almost everything packed by 5pm!!!! The only things they didn’t pack was the bedding so we could sleep that night and the few bathroom things we weren’t letting them pack just yet (shower curtain and towels). They weren’t bothered by it as it’s normal for them I suppose. They had actually started loading the 18 wheeler believe it or not. Good movers like the Big T Moving (Alpharetta Location) are flexible and helpful like that.
The next morning they got there at like 8:30/8:45. They immediately started tagging and loading. They also finished up the packing and were done by like 3pm!!! I was able to clean and let them take the vacuum cleaner and they left. It was definitely a better experience than the move to Seattle. Those movers were slow.
We took up 3/4 of that dang truck!!!
We dropped my husbands car off with friends (for transit pickup in a week). We finally got to our hotel nearby by 10pm and we got a pretty good nights sleep before we headed out the next morning. And since this was a vacation as well as a move we were taking it kinda slow in the mornings. Trying to make sure we were all ready and stuff, since packing everything well is important for this, as explained by Sky Van Lines an expert moving company that help people with this difficult task.
Sunday morning came, we ate the hotel breakfast, loaded the jeep up and we were off for our adventure!!
30 days of clothes and necessities!!
Dog needs, medications, snacks, and of course the ice chest!
The backseat trio! Btw, I recommend a dog seat belt! That was a lifesaver!
by jcastles | Jun 12, 2015 | Family, Moving, Uncategorized
So about a month ago the hubs interviewed for a job back home. But it’s still with Amazon just a different department so that’s freaking awesome!
Things are moving slow yet fast. We need to get there the first week of July but the moving company is taking it’s sweet time. So everything might get pushed into the second week of July.
We want to drive home to Texas instead of flying. We plan on taking a vacation through California. The boys want to see the beach. What better place than there right?! We want to go to the San Diego Zoo and try to fit Legoland in (SHHHHH! That’ll be a surprise).
I can’t wait for Texas. Even though we’re moving 3 hours away from “home” it’s still a whole 30 hours closer! So if your in the DFW area don’t worry…we’ll visit a lot!
When I get to Texas I plan on eating as much Mexican Food as I can handle. Drink as many frozen sangria’s as I want. And be in the sun a lot!!! So if your looking for me check in a Mexican restaurant or by a pool.
by jcastles | Apr 15, 2015 | Uncategorized
So after being on a certain diet “skake” for almost 2 weeks I decided it was time to really talk about it. I’ll tell you what it is in a moment but if you follow me on Instagram then you already know what journey I started.
So a little back story. I’m 35, 2 kids, 1 miscarriage & 1 stepson. I’ve always been skinny but when I had my 2nd child I wasn’t able to loose the weight. We had a lot going on so that made it real hard. Hubbs got laid off and I lost my job because people came to work with the flu and I got it while pregnant and I got very sick from it. I needed to work so once I felt better-ish I decided working in daycare was my way to go. I loved working with kids and have a background in childcare (as well as an office background) so I decided to work in daycare. It paid half my kids tuition and I brought home just enough to pay for groceries. When my son was 3 months old he got very sick with bronchitis (cause the heat didn’t work in our house) and had to be on a breathing machine at home for a few weeks. Which made me lose my job. So we decided at that time I’d stay home. Hubbs was doing free lance work and it just wasn’t making ends meet. We were paying an obscene amount of child support and the state doesn’t give a crap about someone being laid off. So then all of a sudden we get a phone call from my stepson that warrants an immediate move into our home. He was 16 at the time. Then we lost our rent house…yep, hard truth right there. We had no where to go but to my Dad’s house…so we did for a month. Put our stuff in storage and sucked it up. Hubbs finally got a steady job, we move out, I start selling Pampered Chef (again) and life is good. We started to notice that Jayson (the baby) wasn’t thriving but figured it’s a phase and we moved on. At the same time my in-laws move in with us because well they lost their jobs. It was a bad job time in 2009 in Texas. Well I pissed them off fairly quickly with my cleaning rituals and they moved out. With the extra people in the house, no child support or inlaws helping we quickly lost that house too. So we find a house we could rent which happened to be a hell of a lot nicer too and we go for it. While living there I was really convinced that Jayson needed the social interaction. So we set up playdates, went to parks, did more than just staying home. He still wanted nothing to do with toys or other people.
At this time I decide to go back to work….in daycare again. During the training that this particular daycare had you take I came across ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) documentation. I was reading some of the milestones that kids should have at certain ages and was like OMG I wonder if Jayson is developmentally delayed. A few months go by and I decide that it was time to contact ECI. They came to my house and evaluated him. They evaluated him at daycare. We came to the conclusion that he was on the Spectrum for Autism. He was approved for the program and we started therapy right away. I also quit my job to help him thrive. He was 2.5 years old. I wish I had done that sooner because at 3 years old he was no longer allowed to be in the program. So he moved into the school district pre-school classes. WOW!!!! That’s where the change came. He started feeding himself, trying new foods, talking more, playing with toys the right way and more!
So during all this time I was stuck in the house with the kiddo that had meltdowns, feeding issues, not playing correctly. I’d given up on me. It wasn’t on purpose. By the time playing was over and kids were in bed all I wanted to do was relax with the hubbs. In Texas my allergies were so bad that being outside all the time just isn’t an option for me. And in the summer time being outside if your not at a pool is extremely miserable. And being on a one income family after a ton of hard times is not easy on the pocket book.
So fast forward 6.5 years and that’s where I’m at now. Over weight. Why?! Honestly because I like snacking rather than eating. And my addiciton for coca cola and red bull is like someone that has a major drug addiction. I was up to 8 cokes a day and 1 red bull…sometimes 2…that’s it. No water…nothing. And with my allergies, lack of $, and being worn out from my kiddo really does a lot to the body.
So now we’re in Washington. My allergies aren’t that bad here. But it rains. Not as much as you’d think but it does. And growing up and living in Texas for 33 years of your life your kinda not use to being outside in the rain. But we’ve almost gotten use to it. I still can’t do rain and mud…so if being outside in the rain doesn’t involve concrete you can count us out!!
But we’ve been out and about more since we moved here. We like exploring our area a lot. So my activity level is higher…but only on the weekends. Why only the weekends you ask? Well during the week the boys are at school. I’m not use to being home solo during the day but me going to work is still out of the question. So I’m doing my home business stuff and starting another chapter in that business too. I’m slowly starting to grow.
I spend a lot of time on social media. Like….a lot!!! I saw a friend selling Thrive and asked her what it was. She sent me a 3 day sample. First day was ok. I had to choke the nasty shake down but my energy level was outta this world! I thought…I can do this. Second day…didn’t feel the energy and the patch made my arm break out like crazy…it was burning and everything. Third day….couldn’t choke the shake down but I put the patch on and the same thing…along with me hitting the bathroom like a thousand times. I realized I can’t do it.
I’d tried Plexus Slim in the past and that was HORRIBLE!!! If you can drink Crystal Light then you can probably do that. But I could not. It was soooooooo sweet it made me sick.
So one evening 2.5 weeks ago I was in an app on my phone called VarageSale. I see this person selling this stuff called Shakeology. She was selling a 7 day supply for $35. Not too much money and I think that’s a great way to try it. I’d already heard of it but didn’t know anything about it. Before we moved to Washington I started following someone on Instagram that used the stuff and her transformation was amazing! But I still didn’t read about her story.
Seeing this lady selling 7 day sample packs made me go read this other lady’s blog about it. She started out slow. She drank the Shakeology and her cravings for sweets and bad food disappeared. She was loosing weight. So much that she gained energy. Energy to exercise. She started exercising with the program you can get from Shakeology. Her weight loss was amazing!! So I tell the hubbs I want to try this stuff. Payday comes and I buy the sample pack. I get all chocolate from her. I’m not a chocolate person so I was already skeptical about doing this but I know I wouldn’t like the vanilla or strawberry so I went with it.
Day 1) I got home that day from getting it and I throw a packet, ice and water in my blender. BLECH!!! It’s so chocolatey I’m not sure I can do this. It’s got that bitter chocolate taste that I hate. I tell this lady and she tells me to try one of the recipes. She also tells me that the vanilla might be the way to go because you can pretty much flavor it any way you want.
Day 2) So the next day I add in frozen strawberries. Pretty darn good…next time I’ll add more strawberries in.
Day 3) I decide to meet up with her for a chocolate/vanilla exchange. By the time I got home from errands it was so late I didn’t want try one that day.
Day 4) I try a vanilla and frozen peaches. OMG YUMMM!!! Only thing is I wish i’d have added more peaches.
Day 5) I finally talk the hubbs into trying one. He had a chocolate and I added almond milk, banana and peanut butter (natural/organic btw). He says he can taste the super foods and wasn’t all that thrilled about it. So when I was making his I thought I’ll try the same mix. OMG that was so friggin good to me I wanted a lot of it!!!
Day 6) I get the hubbs to try one more. This time vanilla shakeology, almond milk, and peanut butter. He loved it!!! I was still craving the chocolate shakeology, almond milk, banana, and peanut butter one that I made that one again. So since we’ve been sharing I’m out…but I already ordered a month supply because with the chocolate, almond milk, banana, and peanut butter mix I knew I could do this!! I’d already dropped from drinking 6 cokes a day to 2 or 3 a day. And I was actually wanting water!!! I’d already lost 3 p0unds, and I could tell my stomach wasn’t as bloated from all that soda!
I finally get my order in. I went basically a week w/out it. During my time w/out it I had one red bull. My son was having surgery at 6am so I had to be up super early and I was tired tired. The first thing I noticed is my face turned red and stayed red and I was hot all day from it. Hmmmm, wonder why I’m hot all the friggin time…..my daily red bull habit!!! So after that day I kicked it. It made me feel like crap. And I wanted nothing to do with it!
I’ve been drinking Shakeology for a week and a half again and I can not express to you how good I feel. Well…I can tell you but believing it will be hard as it’s really shocking to me how great I actually do feel. The first few days kicking cokes were hard. I’m still at 2-3 a day (mostly 2) but I only drink them when I eat. Because that’s when it tastes good to me. If I have 3 a day it’s because the headache of coming off 6-8 a day is killing me so much that I have to drink it. Or I’m a raging bitch.
In the 2.5 weeks I’ve been drinking Shakeology here’s what I’ve noticed. I’ve lost 7 pounds! I’m not as bloated! I’m not taking my heartburn pills….cause I don’t need them! I’m sleeping better at night! I’m actually feeling like a normal person! I’m kicking coke! I’ve already kicked red bull! I don’t want candy at all!! I even tried eating my favorite candy bar (Butterfinger)…couldn’t do it! I actually thought it tasted gross! I’m still hooked on Jersey Mike’s but I tried my favorite sandwich as a sub in a tub and loved it!! So for now I’ll still eat the places I like just try to make better choices.
I plan on continuing this journey. I also plan on becoming a Coach with Shakeology. Which means you’ll able to purchase from me. In becoming a coach I’ll receive a workout dvd (which you can also buy if you don’t want to be a coach). And with my energy and time during the day I’ll be able to do it. So watch out…..I plan on becoming my skinny self again!
Once I feel a little more comfortable with my self I’ll also post pictures of my journey. It was hard as hell talking about it now so pictures will have to come later. 😀
by jcastles | Jan 2, 2014 | Uncategorized
Ever want to do something that’s not life threatening to someone but yet you totally want to do it? Well…….I’ve always wanted to drive through a puddle and splash a person walking on a sidewalk. Like get them completely wet ruin their day kind of puddle.
I say I want to do that….I’ve wanted to for a while. Why, not sure. I remember walking to school and it happening to me but not where I was completely drenched. A few weeks ago I had that opportunity. And you’ll be happy to know that I couldn’t do it!!! I had picked my kiddo up from school and on the way home there was a puddle. And kids…on a sidewalk!! They just stood there too….like they wanted me to do it. But I couldn’t. Maybe me being in Seattle where it’s rainy a lot has changed my feeling on that. Either way they went home a little wet (from the actual rain, not me) instead of a lot wet, lol!!
My point behind this post…..I am the reason these were invented!! LOL!!!
Not my Photo
by jcastles | Sep 23, 2013 | Birthday Parties, Crafts, Family, Uncategorized
My youngest son has recently become a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan. We have no less than 50 episodes saved to our DVR and yes I taught him how to use it so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing every 25 minutes. No I’m not the parent that limits my kids TV time. They play outside plenty and their rooms plenty so I don’t feel I need to limit it. I have on occasion but mostly they do manage their own TV time well. Ok..back to MMC.
For his birthday he wanted a MMC party. I was happy because I knew that I could make just about everything for the party. I knew I wanted to cherish his birthday forever, so I had to seek professional help from https://www.youngfilmacademy.co.uk to make a birthday movie for my son. Since we’re in a new state with rain possibilities all the time and I’m not use to it yet we were having a hard time finding a location for a party. There isn’t much here that’s indoors which is totally weird to me. I wanted to have it at a local farm and if I hadn’t waited so long (he has a labor day birthday–gotta plan a later party) for his party we could have but the rain came the day of his party so i’m really glad we didn’t do the farm. I decided to go with the ole Chuck E Cheese birthday party. Which it turned out GREAT so I can’t complain!
Now onto the birthday party! One month before the party I was trying to decide between 2 different types of invitations. I had created a 4×6 invitation but decided to go with a crafty one. The yellow insert with all the party details comes out of the pocket. I used my Silhouette Cameo for all of it. I was so glad that I had it!! I seriously made everything for the party with it!
Here’s the banner!
The good bags! I’m not big on goody bags so I usually make them sweet and simple. I made it from a popcorn template and added ribbon. Each goody bag had cheese it’s, mini fruit rollup, mini play-doh, and mini bubbles.
I had to add a mini Mickey Mouse head to each bubble bottle!
Mickey Mouse head cake pops!!!! I made the cake pops like normal and added mini oreo’s for the ears. I attached the ears with chocolate first and let that dry. Then I dipped the entire pop into the chocolate (well I use almond bark).
Because I wanted some really good looking cake pops I made a few regular.
I had leftover chocolate so I made mini Mickey Mouse heads as a treat to just have on the table…I came back with almost all of them…ah well.
Here is my bucket of bags! I made the giant Mickey head and used the saying at the end of the show “Thanks for Stopping By”.
The cupcakes!!! Yup, I made them. Even made cupcake toppers!! I loved them and so did everyone else.
My little guy loved his party. I was glad it was over…..a month of party planning and I was sick of hearing about it, lol!! But it was definitely fun!
Here’s our post party coma coming on.