Saturday, October 24, 2015

Homeschooling confirmation

Homeschooling is hard work and nothing is better than confirmation that you made the right choice and your children will be successful. It's even better when you get solid tangible proof.

Once a year we are required to test our children and to keep a record. Two weeks ago we completed our tests. Some of the social studies I was a bit concerned about because we cover world history, not baby bites of US History like in public schools. That area I expected to be a little low. 

Got the test results back one child in the 88th percentile and one child in the 99th percentile (there is no 100th percentile...I checked since got all answers correct except for two subjects.) 

I just wasn't sure if I was truly doing an adequate job, but if we can keep this up I will feel good about their progress, and hopefully doubting myself and my choice. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Honest Shakeology Review and Comparison to WarriorForce Warrior Food Extreme

First you should know I am only an average person. I love some good quality dark chocolate and the occasional twix and kitkat. 

This week I tried a few samples of Shakeology. I have been doing the 21 Day Fix since June and using WarriorForce Warrior Food Extreme. (see 3 posts ago). 

Here is Vanilla Shakeology 

And here is Vegan Chocolate Shakeology

And here is WarriorForce Warrior Food Extreme Chocolate 

So let's read those labels:
Vanilla Shakeology 130 calories, 2 g of fat, 200 mg of sodium, 7 g of sugar
Vegan Chocolate Shakeology 170 calories, 4 g of fat, 250 mg of sodium, 8 g of sugar
WarriorForce Chocolate 83 calories, no measurable fat, 6.6 mg of sodium, 1 g of sugar

All 3 have 16 grams of protein per serving. 

Did I mention you can rest assured that the fructose in Shakeology is non-GMO, but nothing mentioned of anything else. WarriorForce Warrior Food....lets just say, they have gone the extra mile.  

Shakeology is $130 for a 30 servings or $5 per serving trial packet.
WarriorForce is $60 for 40 servings or $25 for 10 servings. 

Taste Summary (my random thoughts immediately after finishing them).
Chocolate Shakeology like chocolate milk only sweeter. Has a strong after taste.
Strawberry Shakeology a little fruity VERY sweet. Too much yet tangy after taste. Like a cheap berry lollipop. 
Vegan Strawberry Shakeology too sweet but less after taste than the regular strawberry. A little more chalkier. 
Vanilla Shakeology the best so far. No after taste tastes like vanilla tapioca pudding, still too sweet though. 
Vegan Chocolate Shakeology. Ties with Vanilla on taste. Sweet needs something to dull it down or dilute it.
WarriorForce Warrior Food Extreme Vanilla Plus. Chalkier than Shakeology not as sweet.
WarriorForce Warrior Food Extreme Chocolate Plus. Strong Cinnamon taste. Not very sweet. Good with coconut water or milk.  

Now that I tried Shakeology for 5 days I can't wait to get back to my WarriorForce Warrior Food protein mix. Maybe had I started with Shakeology when I had a bigger sweet tooth months ago I would have been hooked on it (Stevia, found in all Shakeologies, is addicting like sugar but confuses the body with its low glycemic number.) I really like the ability to control my own sweeter if needed and I don't want a bunch of extra stuff thrown in, nor do I want to use over 100 calories on a protein mix or liquid meal. There are so many great whole snack foods I don't want to miss out on. I want to continue to strive for balance.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Places to go in greater Seattle

Camlann Village
Best for 8+ year olds due to some activities age requirements, but something for everyone.
See website for dates and prices.
Carnation, WA

Northwest Railway Museum
Snoqualmie, WA

Dawn to Dusk
Snoqualmie, WA

Cougar Mountain Zoo
9:30am-5pm Wed.-Sun. Jan.-Nov. (shorter hours Dec.)
$11.50 adult/ $8 kids with AAA
Issaquah, WA

KidsQuest Museum
Best for 5 & under
$9.50 pp
10am-5pm Tues.-Sat., Sun. 12-5pm

Bellevue, WA

Mt. Rainier Railroad and Museum
Allow 5 hours. $28 per adult w/ AAA
Weekends June-October 10am-4pm
Elbe, WA  - 2 hours away

Pioneer Farm Museum
Allow 3-4 hours $17 per adult
Best for 6-12 year olds
Friday-Sunday June 20-Labor Day 11am-4pm
Eatonville, WA - 1.5 hours away

Point Defiance Park
Tacoma, WA - 1.5 hours away
Fort Nisqually (1850s)
11-5 Daily Summer & Wed.-Sunday year round
Special event May 16h, June 20th, Aug. 8-9*
$7-9 pp 
Allow full day
Point Defiance Zoo
9:30-4 Thurs.-Mon. & Daily summer
$17 per adult/ $15 online
Allow full day
Tacoma Nature Center

Anderson Island
Allow 2 hours (Ferry)
Farm Tours 1900

Meeker Mansion
Wed.- Sun Noon-4pm (or reserve online) 
Allow 2 hours
$5 per adult
Pulllyap, WA

Pierce College Science Dome
Best for 6 to adults
Lakewood, WA

Seattle Pinball Museum
Seattle, WA

Washington History Museum
Tacoma, WA
Parking $5, Adults $11

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
$10 adults/$7.50 students
Free - first Thursday of every month or see Seattle Public Library
Seattle, WA

Bellevue Arts Museum 
11-6pm Tuesday -Sunday
Free - first Friday of every month
Bellevue, WA

Center for Wooden Boats 
Seattle, WA

Center on Contemporary Art 
Seattle, WA

Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center 
Mon.- Sat. 10am-5pm
Seattle, WA

Frye Art Museum 
10-5pm Tues.- Sun
Seattle, WA

Museum of Flight 
Open 10-5pm 7 days a week.
$20 adults, children 5-17 $12
Free - first Thursday of every month 5-9pm.
Best 4+ years old 

Give me back my body

In a month I turn 35. I am constently fighting my body. I'll admit I like food, but can I please eat without gaining every single pound.

I am now struggling just to stay under 140lbs. A month ago I was struggling to stay under 137. What happened? Life. I went on 1 over night trip and ate out 3 meals. Leading up to it I took about 10 days off from exercising. Aparently not a wise choice.

Enough complaining...

2 years ago I tried the Tupler Technique to get my body some what back into it's original shape. It helped until I stopped wearing it daily, then everything went back to blah. I have been wearing the splint/belt on and off for the last 2 years. I decided I needed to start wearing it again regularly...well the velcro is done.

I decided to go hard core and look into corsets. I spent some time looking around and stumbled upon Orchard Corset. I fell in love. Cotton, sturdy, and great reviews. I ordered the 426 S and it arrived in less than a week.

Please excuse my dirty mirror.
 The gaps on the top and bottom are normal for about the first week as I am still breaking in the corset. For reference I am 5'2" with a longer torso.

I really like it. I just wish it was already broke in or that is was perfectly acceptable to wear a corset (on the outside of clothes.) I love the look of a corset, but I don't think I can pull it off as an everyday outfit.

Now with the help of my online friends I am hoping to weigh 135 for my 35th.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I am ALWAYS starving. I have a difficult time gaining lean muscle. I have a sweet tooth and I do not drink enough water. 
I typically consume 30-40 grams of protein a day. Enter my online research which lead me to this.

WarriorForce Warrior Food Extreme Vanilla Plus.

I started doing 1-2 servings a day to take me up to 80-100 grams of protein a day. 
Even though it's that time of the month, I honestly am not craving chocolate. I don't go to bed with my stomach growling. I have even been able to keep my calories within a reasonable zone. 

Interesting enough it doesn't taste bad at all in a glass of milk and I can stir it in decently well (yes a few things still sit on the bottom) with a spoon. They are very meticulous about ingredients and adamant about their product being stored in a safe container.  As an added bonus it was half price at my local organic market this week.

Now let's see how this works out long term...

Monday, February 09, 2015

Tracking Life and Expenses

     I am a stay at home mom and a homeschooling mom. My husband always asks me what I did with my day.  Most days it is a little bit of everything and yet it feels like nothing. I decided to buy a planner to keep track of my days and to set goals for myself.

    I looked at the "Passion Planner", everything on Etsy, everything on Amazon. I looked at $100 planners and planners I could print myself. I narrowed it down to two. Then I just went for the one that would fit in my backpack/purse.

I won't go into all the details, but I feel a little bit more organized and when my husband asks what I did today, now I can show him. I track meals, activities, exercise, chores, homeschooling lessons, books I have read, and finances.

So what exactly did I spend for January for a family of 6 (eating organic food.)

Grocery Stores - $1431
Costco - $481
Clothes/Shoes - $397 
Lessons and Activities - $320
Gas - $84
Entertainment/Eating out - $133

Total - $2846

Yes, that was a "cheap" month because I pay for some activities every 3 months and we didn't have 2 of our activities during the month of January.  Just wait until you see next month..... 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Botanical Gardens

Today we were able to go on a "field trip" to a local Botanical Gardens. While the program was structured for 5-6 year olds my 4 year old and 8 year old also had fun and learned a lot.

We learned how natives in area used cedar planks and loops to make their houses. We learned that Douglas Fir Trees do not burn easily in a forrest fire. My son was taken back to learn that parts of tree cellulose go into toothpaste. :)

As it goes, nature is always found easily in your own backyard too.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Curriculum Currently in Use

Story of The World Volume 1
Story of the World Volume 1 Activity Book

Language Arts
Daily Language Review 
(and weekly writing assignments)

IXL Math
Spectrum Math Workbooks

Harcourt 4th grade Science Wolf Text
Learn and Do Botany
Giant Science Resource Book

Art In Action

Alfred's Basic Piano Prep Course (with their piano teacher)

I also supplement with material I create myself, or find online and at the library.

my oldest 2 take Taekwondo
the youngest Ballet
all 3 Swim twice a week

1 month down

This week we will be completing one month of homeschooling. 

I have talked to other mothers who have children at our old school. 

Normal stresses I am missing out on:
- PTSA meeting with new principal
- Program I used to coordinate has no coordinator and they will likely drop the program
- School Fundraising Program (no nagging kids, emails, or letters begging for $200)"
- Picking up the kids up and rushing to extra curricular activities.
- Nightly homework struggles and short notice projects
- Worrying about Common Core in all its weirdness

Things I actually miss:
- Morning walks to the bus stop
- A quite(r) house
- Going places with only 1 child

Things I love about homeschooling:
- Completing the days (school) work by 9:30am
- Knowing what my children have learned and need to improve on
- Attending some extra curricular activities during the day
- Having extra help around the house
- Educational Outings 

I am still learning/improving upon:
- Our routines and schedule
- Adding more hands on activities to our week
- Organizing topics and materials (long term)
- Making sure the kids learn everything they should including the stuff I think is boring 

I really am struggling with activities to fill our down time (20-30 minutes here and there). I want activities that are educational, not boring, require no real prep for me, and not in front of a screen. Yes they already read 20-120 minutes a day. Thinking about getting a mini trampoline and slowly working towards a game/exercise room in the basement (since it rains a lot)...but it will take 5 years to complete this plan. :/