Friday, August 26, 2011

Photography Challenge Week 5

Doesn't go with the assignment, but I LOVE this shot...makes me smile.

Hi friends!  I hope you had a great week.  We stay busy here at the Griffith household, even when we really don't have much going on.  This week I've been thinking so much about expectations.  I had very finite expectations of what I thought motherhood would be like, what my kids would be like and how we'd all behave as a family.  Well I've been a mother for almost 3 years now and I've realized that being that rigid in my expectations only sets me up for disappointment.  We've taken a few hits in the medical department.  Rylie has had 2 surgeries and Rowan had one at just 3 months old...I did not expect that.  Rylie is SO smart and unique in her own way, but she doesn't say much...I didn't expect that.  Having two little kids isn't twice as hard as having one, it's 10x harder....I didn't expect that.  I think I'm still learning to adjust my expectations and enjoy the wonderful and surprisingly beautiful parts of motherhood.  My children are SUCH tiny blessings to our family, unique and beautiful just the way God made them.  I can't wait to see all the many ways that they continue to surprise me and teach me more about life.  

With that I leave you with my two shots this week for my photography assignment.  This week it's to take a shot from a high angle.  I captured my babes in a rare moment of quiet playtime together.  

They put the color inside of my world.

It's hard to put into words the joy that this boy brings into our lives.

I'm linking up with the other bloggers doing the photography challenge HERE. Check them out and let me know you favorite ones!  Have a great weekend ya'll!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photography Challenge Week 4

Hi friends!  How has your week been? We're still getting used to our new school-time schedule here.  Rylie is loving school much more.  Both drop off and pick ups this week have been full of smiles and good reports.  I'm still doing the Weight Watchers thing and I am losing weight!  Yay!  WW isn't something I'll do forever, but it's definitely helped me remember what proper portions look like, strive to get my fruit and veggies in and  I still love meetings.  Which leads me to this week's photo assignment: Dinner!

This week I cooked several Weight Watcher's friendly dinners and this was one of them, Pizza Puffs.  I got the recipe from Loser for Life.  Pizza Puffs are delicious dipped in marinara sauce with a big side salad.  It's a great way to get the taste of pizza without all the fat.  I'm thinking of making mini muffin sizes to put in Rylie's lunchbox next week. The original recipe can be found HERE.

I love to do all my prep for recipes before I even get started mixing! 

Delicious and healthy!

Ok, I'm linking up to the photography assignment HERE.  Click on over to get more ideas for dinner!  Have a great weekend friends.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Photography Challenge Weeks 2 & 3

Hi friends!  I'm back to the Photography Challenge this week with my submissions for the second and third assignments.  I combined this one to save time.  Don't you like how I'm cool like that ;)

This week I happened to capture both in these shots of Rylie on her first day of preschool for 2011.  When she smiles it makes ME smile, and the colors happened to be beautiful and bold!  My Mama got this beautiful handmade dress downtown at the Market Days from a vendor.  I wish that I could sew because I'd make a million of these little dresses!

My girl loves to smell flowers!  

As for school, it went ok.  I left her smiling and arrived to pick her up to her smiling but was informed that there were a fair amount of tears today.  She hasn't been to school in over 2 months, so I expected a report like this, but still never fun to hear.  I hope that Friday goes better, heaven knows she couldn't have looked cuter  =)  Any tips for making the transition back to school easier?

Linking up to this week's challenge HERE!  It's never too late to join the photography challenge with me!

Friday, August 5, 2011

What Motivates YOU?

Hi friends! I hope ya'll are having a good week.  We're winding down our summer routine here at the Griffith household because in less than a week Rylie will be back in school for the year.  Yes she's 2, but she goes to such a great preschool 2 days a week.  It's good though because on Wednesday's and Friday's I'll get 4 hours alone with my little man Rowan!  So, onto talking about our health!

The sunrise sky on my way out of the gym this morning!
This is definitely a perk of early workouts!

This week I've been doing some thinking on what motivates me.  I came up with the three main ways that I stay motivated to be healthy, workout and eat well.  I hope you'll give your thoughts on my motivators and share YOUR motivators.

1. Friends and Family

Two of my biggest motivators, Jason and Amy!

This one is SO important.  Jason is my biggest fan and helps me so much.  He makes sure I get to the gym 3 mornings a week, he's on board with anything healthy I want to cook, he agrees not to buy junky food and bring it in the house.  He pushes me when I need pushing and holds me up when I want to stop.  My sister is also a huge help.  Amy is my workout buddy.  We may not always workout together, but we're always asking about workouts and comparing.  Maybe it's twin competition?  Then there are my friends on Twitter who give me virtual pats on the back and high fives for busting my booty at the gym too.  Every little bit helps!  If you don't have a good support system in this area, create one!  Amy and I just joined Weight Watchers meetings this week to kick up our efforts and I had so much fun at the meeting.  It only took 40 minutes out of my day and I felt inspired, motivated and hopeful.  Who is your support system?

2. Blogs!

My Google Reader is full of healthy living blogs and I read them at any chance I get.  I have far too many to list them all but a few of my favorites are Healthy Tipping Point, Kath Eats Real Food, The Fitnessista, Carrots n Cake and Food Fitness Fashion.  All of these gals have such a healthy and real perspective on food and fitness.  I love reading the blogs to get ideas, feel motivated, set a new fitness goal or even identify with their struggles.  Check them out and I bet you'll feel motivate too.  Do you read any healthy blogs?  If so, what are they?

3. Inspiration Board

Inspiration Board on my fridge.

This is a new one to me and I just made this last week.  I've started going on Pinterest and printing motivational quotes and putting them on the fridge (or wherever I can find).  Jason really loves when I do this.  They aren't meant to guilt you into making a healthy choice or make you feel bad (so that's why I have no pictures of Jillian Michaels abs on there), they're meant to inspire and lift you up.  Try hanging up some inspiration and see if it helps.

Another motivational message on our fridge!

Now I'm off to get us ready to meet Rylie's teacher for this school year.  I finally found my camera battery charger too, so stay tuned for my (late) contribution to this week's photography challenge.  Better late than never, right?  Have a great Friday!

Friday, July 29, 2011


Blah.  That's been my opinion on almost everything lately.  Parenting two small kids, blah.  Working out like mad and not losing a SINGLE pound, blah.  Crazy hot weather in the deep south, blah.  The biggest problem with feeling blah about everything is that it affects my little family, and that' NO good.  Yes, yes, I'm supposedly the "eternal optimist Mama" but lately I've been nothing like it and it's time for a change.  My hope is that by just putting it out there I'll be ready to change it. I feel blah about life even though life is pretty darn great right now.  Ahhh.  Just saying it makes me feel better.  Now it's time to flip my attitude.  Any suggestions on how??  The first step I'm taking is to start something new and go back to something I love, taking pictures.  I'm participating in a 20-Week Photography Challenge over at A Step in the Journey .

Week 1: Self Portrait
A little goofy but here it is.  I have misplaced my good camera battery, but will find it by next week for a better quality pic.

I think this sounds like SO much fun and I hope you'll join in!  If you decide to do week one you an link up HERE with everyone else participating.  When I take pictures I feel like ME (not the red-headed monster I can turn into sometimes).  What makes YOU feel like YOU?  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Health, Fitness and BBQ Chicken Pizza

Cutest. Picture. Ever.

Hi friends!  How was your weekend?  Ours flew by (as usual).  Sometimes I feel like all we do is clean this house.  It never looks like we do, but we do.  I heard someone once compare cleaning your house while you have kids to shoveling snow during a blizzard.  SO true.  Who is with me?

In my last post I mentioned writing a few healthy living post.  I love all things health and wellness related.  I'm no fitness model but I do love reading and learning about every aspect of healthy living.  Its hard when you have 2 small kids at home to not want to eat all of their goldfish crackers or put your feet up while they nap instead of spending time on the treadmill.  I have really enjoyed making an effort to workout lately though.  I do RPM (spin) class Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6am and I LOVE it.  It's so intense but the music is fun and I feel so accomplished by 7am.  I also run 2 non-RPM days a week.  Despite working out 5 days a week and drinking tons of water I'm still not losing weight. I feel slimmer and more toned, but the scale isn't budging so I've returned to  Sparkpeople is a great website that helps you track what you're eating (and much more) for FREE.  I have a phone app too (also free) and it's SO simple to add up what I'm eating.  The only thing I can figure is that I just need to reign in the goldfish and weekends full of cupcakes and pies (I'm not kidding).  What do you do, besides working out, that helps you melt the pounds off?  I'm up for trying it!

Now I leave you with one of my favorite healthy recipes.  This is a recipe Amy and I adapted from a Cooking Light recipe years ago.  It's always a crowd pleaser and it's so much better for you than ordering Domino's.  I promise!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 small can tomato sauce
3/4 cup (or so) BBQ Sauce, I use Sweet Baby Ray's spicy flavor
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1-1.5 cups grilled, diced chicken breasts
cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (we like Cabot's light cheese)
1 whole wheat pizza crust or fresh pizza dough (publix has them for less than $2)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix tomato sauce and bbq sauce in a small bowl.  Use whatever ratio you like.  We like more bbq sauce than tomato.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Top pizza crust with sauce, top with cheese, chicken, tomatoes and green onions.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (possibly longer if you're using dough instead of a ready made crust).

Question of the day! What health food or fitness craze can you just NOT get into?  Mine is coconut water  I know it's supposed to be good and hydrating, but yuck!  I keep trying to like it and just do not.
Have a great day ya'll!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Long Overdue

Hi!  How has your summer been going?  Ours has been equal parts busy and lazy.  Rylie and I would love to be spending much more time outside but it's SO hot and the bugs are so bad around here.  To make up for it we've been going on play dates, painting and playing.  Around July 4th we had a jam packed schedule of parties to go to and last weekend it slowed down.  I hate to admit that I'm already longing for cool crisp air, fuzzy slippers and gingerbread lattes.  What can I say?  I'm cool weather girl (unless I'm at the beach).  I thought I'd catch you up on what we've been doing in pictures.  Thank the Lord for my iphone because it is the only reason that I take SO many pictures.

This is a typical day around here.  Breakfast with the kiddos and lots of time playing with these two.

This picture sums up another huge portion of my life lately.  Working out and trying to eat healthier.  My main focus has been working out 4-5 days a week doing either the 6am RPM class at the gym or running.  I can't tell you how good it feels to be back in the habit of working out again.  After working out consitently for over a month now, I actually feel SO much better and less stressed when I workout.  I haven't seen the scale move much but my body is definitely changing shape.  It's much harder for me to eat really well since most of my meals are shared with Rylie or eaten while I'm holding a little boy that grabs everything.  Any tips on getting more fresh foods around here (that are quick to prepare)??

I love summer nights when I can spend time with mi familia.  Sunday night we took the kids on a walk to the park near our house.  I was amazed because Rowan is so little but balances himself up so well in the wagon. Sadly our visit wasn't very long because the gnats were so bad...seriously...we've never had a bad gnat problem around here.  What gives summer?

I've also spent many summer mornings and a few evenings with these girls.  I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have friends like them in my life.  It's funny how you end up meeting some of your friends too. I met Kathlyn through her blog and twitter and I met Jessi because she used to work with Jason.  They're both great bloggers and Mama's and have been great friends to Amy and I.  Last night we went out to dinner and had to say goodbye to Kathlyn. Her sweet family is moving to Dothan, AL because of her husband's job (in the Army).  I'll miss the convenience of meeting her for a play date at the drop of a hat, but we're already starting to plan visits down there to see her.

Well, that sums up what we've been doing around here.  I really do hope to start blogging more.  I'm thinking about doing some healthy living blogs because I looooove all things health and fitness.  Would anyone be interested in those sorts of blogs?  I'm thinking favorite things lists, healthy recipes, workout pointers or anything else related fitness and health.  Have a great Tuesday ya'll.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Fun

Hellooooo =)

Hi there! Long time no blog.  I do not like blogging this seldom but for now it's just going to ebb and flow.  So, how was everyone's Father's Day?  My Dad was in Kansas for a family wedding so I sent him a text and will hopefully catch up with him soon.  He is a super-hard-working Dad. No one will ever convince me that there is a better Daddy than MINE.  Go ahead and try. I won't be persuaded.  He is the best.

This year for Jason's gifts I knew that Rylie couldn't help me pick his gifts out but she did help decorate the wrapping paper.  Here she is decorating the paper.  Maybe the In N Out hat makes her feel creative?  LOL.

She also helped create a picture for Jason, she just didn't know that she did.  I went through my phone and found every single pic I have in the past few months of Jason with the kids.  Wow. I had quite a bit.  Jason is SUCH a fantastic Daddy.  He is so involved and loves our kids so much.  My heart is happy when I see him with the kids and I feel very fortunate that he not only CAN spend time with them, he WANTS to.  Here is his picture gift, an 8x10 collage print.  We found a frame for it later.

I also made a little craft for Jason's card.  I can't wait until Rylie is old enough to help me with this type of thing.  I made dynamite from red tissue paper and Rolo's candy, tied it together, and made a little card that said "Daddy, You're the BOMB".

Seriously, how cute is this?

Here are Jason's gifts all wrapped up in the paper that Rylie decorated.  I think he had a fun day.  We went out and did some shopping as a family, I cooked a yummy dinner and we enjoyed some sinfully delicious gelato we picked up from Fresh Market.

This week we don't have much planned.  I am trying to get a handle on my health and fitness lately though. I started another food journal and have planned my workouts for the week.  I used to be fat, then I was I'm in between but I'd like to lose about 15 or 20 lbs and just tone up.  I've been trying to take a few habits from when I was so skinny and weed out the unhealthy habits like negative self talk and obsession over calories like I did when I was skinny.  Those are SUCH bad habits and very destructive.  A good habit for me is a food journal though. I like to see when my hungriest times are or where I can improve.  It makes me accountable without being obsessive.  I'm REALLY enjoying my gym though.  Julianne and I tried RPM (spinning) which I love and tonight we're doing Turbo Kick (kickboxing). I think group exercise is just what I need to get me motivated.  

SO, what is YOUR favorite workout?  And time of day to workout?  Right now I'm loving 6am workouts. I'm always stoked to be done by 7am!  Have a good Monday ya'll!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Five Things I Love Right Now: Summer Edition

Whew! Can you feel it?  Summer is here and it is hot hot hot in Georgia!  When I was little we spent from dawn until dusk outside all summer long.  I doubt I'd let my kids to the same these days because it's just too hot!  As much as I dislike the sweltering temperatures and the mosquitoes that invade my yard, I do love summer.  I thought I'd share the top 5 things I love right now that are ALL about summer.

1. Loreal Sublime Bronze Spray

Last year I decided I was no longer going to go to the tanning bed.  I love the tanning bed but the risks for cancer are FAR too high and I want my kids to grow up with a Mama!  Last year I tried the Jergens lotion and wasn't pleased at all! This year I tried this.  It's a light as air spray and I apply a light mist all over everyday and it's perfect! I actually look a little tan and I've gotten NO streaks and I don't look orange!  I admit I do like to sit out in the sun for about 20 minutes a few time a week, so that little bit of natural sun combined with this, I don't look ghostly anymore!

2. Fresh Fruit (and lots of it).

I think that fruit is THE perfect snack all summer long! It's cool, refreshing and filling.  Lately I cannot get enough watermelon, cantelope, strawberries and peaches.  I buy some fruit on Sunday and cut it up and eat on it all week long.  What's your favorite summer snack?

3. Maxi dresses

Yes, I admit, I'm VERY late to this fashion trend.  I'm not really a shorts person.  I wear jeans or dresses and lately it's just too hot for jeans, so I've been opting for dresses.  I cannot have enough maxi dresses!!  I've found them at Walmart, Ross, TJ Maxx and Plato's Closet.  They're light and airy, they cover a multitude of sins and I think if I had 50 of them I'd still want's a problem =)

Just an example of one of my favorite maxi-dresses lately.  I found this one at Walmart!

4.  OPI Hot and Spicy Nail Polish!

Before I went to the nail salon yesterday I tried my best to think of what were the summer nail color trends and couldn't come up with a thing.  I stood in front of the polish and instantly gravitated towards anything with a coral, orangey tone!  I decided that this is my summer color!  Hot and spicy!  I got my toes painted and came home and ordered my own bottle on Amazon!  What summer color do you love?

I bought this water bottle a few weeks ago at Barnes and Noble and I absolutely love it!  It holds 24oz of water (the oz are labeled on the side of the bottle) so I have a goal to drink 3 of these a day, which is over my 8 glasses of water a day goal!  Another cool feature is the fact that you press a button and drink, release a the button and it's closed.  No screw on tops to worry about!  Finally there is a latch that you can use to hang the bottle from your bag or do what I do and latch my keys onto it when I'm at the gym.  With the weather as crazy hot as it's been lately, we need to hydrate!

So, what are some of your favorite things right now?  I'd love to know.  I think when you find something you love you should spread the word =)

*Also, to update ya'll my surgery went fine.  I was shocked at how much pain I was in though. I'd much rather have a baby again than have surgery again.  The pain was much worse with surgery!  Everyday I'm feeling better and better though and I'm really grateful for all the help I had while I was recovering (thank you to my family and my sweet sweet friends).  I'm hoping I'll be back at the gym next week, yay!  Ok, I'm going to get ready and head to hang out with my sweet friends this afternoon.  I love summer playdates because they're so laid back!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Have a Confession...

...I feel like a blogger bore lately.  I'm not sure what to write about and I really don't have much time to write anyways.  I really really miss blogging though.  I miss sharing my life with ya'll and just getting my thoughts out there.  So here is my new plan.  Blog.  Several times a week.  It will make me feel better (and lately it would be nice to feel good...I've been a little down).

First off, let's get caught up.  Summer is finally here! Can you feel it?  It's been SO hot around here.  We've been doing a little of this.

We let this girl play in the little pool or sprinkler at any given chance!  Who wouldn't want to hop in there with her?  Rylie is out of school for the summer and I'm on the hunt for some fun crafts for us to do.  Any suggestions?  No more school until August means tons of free time and we need to fill it up!~

Last week went to Atlanta for Rowan's post-op appointment with the neurosurgeon and it went great!  His doctor thought that he was NOT a candidate for a band or helmet and that the stitches looked amazing.  He wants us to see the plastic surgeon for a follow up in 4 months and back to see him in a year!  This boy truly amazes me.  He is SO sweet and smiley and loving.  He's such a little sunshine in our lives.

Lately everything has gone right in his mouth...ohm nohm.

Besides time with the kids and coffee/play dates with my girlfriends, I do have one other even looming on the horizon.  Without going into too much detail, I'm having minor surgery on Wednesday.  For about a year now we've known about a cyst on one of my ovaries.  We monitored it all throughout my pregnancy and decided not to take it out while pregnant but now, it needs to come out.  My doctor will take it out through laparoscopy first thing Wednesday morning.  If need be, they may take the whole ovary out (which is completely fine with me).  It's outpatient surgery and I should be home that afternoon but I will have 3 small incisions on my abdomen.  I've never had surgery and I'm a bit worried, but I keep reminding myself that my 2 babies have had 3 surgeries between them and so if THEY can do it, I can do it.  Just keep me in your prayers please?  I'm SO blessed to have my Mama, Aunt Pam, sisters and husband to help me out but I'm hoping for a super speedy recovery because I JUST got back into a routine at the gym (yep, I'll be there at 5:45am tomorrow).  

I hope ya'll are having a fantastic summer so far and I promise that the next blog post won't be as heavy. SO, any craft ideas for a 2 year old? I'd love suggestions.  Love ya'll!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm Not Dead

I'm just busy with two little kids.  Lately I've been 100% consumed with my R&R.  Rylie wants my attention all the time and so does Rowan, it's getting...interesting.  I often worry that I'm not doing enough housework, but if it's a choice between playing on the floor with the kids or having floors we could eat off of, I'll choose my kids.  Here are some pictures that capture what our life has been like lately.

Lots of time in the sprinkler!

Sitting on the front porch soaking up the shade.

Tons of time playing on the floor.  Rowan has mastered the 
tummy to back roll and he's close on the back to tummy roll.

Baking cookies together!  I'm trying to research some fun
crafts and activities to do together this summer. 

Tummy time!

Lots and lots of hugs!

Friday will be Rylie's last day of preschool.  I cannot believe how far she's come from the beginning of the year.  The child that cried nonstop when I left her actually loves going to school.  I will miss all the fantastic artwork she has come home with and her amazing teachers. I'm SO proud of her  =)

So, what have ya'll been up to lately?  Also, any suggestions for summer crafts/activities to do with a 2 year old?  

Friday, May 6, 2011

5 Things: Playing Catch Up

My girl loves flowers!

Yay. I finally made it to the weekend. Some weeks fly by and others seem to drag on SO slow.  We have a fun Mother's Day planned with family and I'm excited to just relax and visit.  I figured it would be easier to catch up if I just had a list.  So here goes, 5 random things just to catch you up on our life!

1. Rowan is healing SO well!

We're almost 3 weeks post op and his head is healing SO wonderfully.  He never experienced any of the sleep problems I worried about (not really) and his 3 incision sites look fantastic.  I put a hat on him sometimes but lately I've forgotten.  I was in Target today...with him on my hip...wondering why the woman at the checkout kept looking at my baby.  LOL. I totally forget he has 3 huge incision lines with stitches.  Ooops.  Sorry folks, if you wonder about it, ask please.  A nice lady at Rylie's school did today and I actually appreciate it!

2. We're joining the YMCA

She's the Y in YMCA =)

The local downtown YMCA is virtually brand new and very affordable for a family membership.  There is no contract, they have brand new equipment, group classes (like body pump and Zumba) and childcare.  I have realized that unless I have childcare I'm probably not going to workout.  Working out just puts me in a better mood, and when Mama's in a good mood, everyone is, right?  I have a date with my sister first thing in the morning at the gym. Whoo hoo.

3. Two kids is 10x harder than one.
Oh, I'm NOT supposed to lick the whisk while helping you cook?

It's our reality.  It may not be that way for some couples, but this is the realization that we've come to.  Neither kid on their own is hard, but together it's really hard.  The past few weeks have been tough for me, I think they're just growing pains.  Rylie has realized Rowan's here for good and Rowan wants to do things but really can't do much yet.  This results in everyone needing my attention all the time.  Plus the house and the dog need my attention too.  This leads to Mama being spread SOOOO thin.  I've read several great blog posts this week about not having to do it all...but wanting to do it all.  It's a struggle I think all of us Mama's face.  How did our Mama's do it with such grace?  Mid week I made a point to adjust my attitude and it all changed.  It doesn't have to ALL get done everyday.  Some days it will all get done, and some days nothing will get done.  I'd rather have my sanity than spotless floors.  I'd rather have happy kids than dinner ready at 6pm.  I'll get the hang of this eventually, I know it.

4. My husband got a new job!
I'm so proud of him!  It's local and it's even closer to our house.  I really think that it's the best decision for our family at the time. I hope he loves what he does at his new job (starting in a few weeks).  He has so much education and experience and I think it's finally paying off for him.  He makes me a proud wife.
Plus he's a great Daddy!

5. I feel SO blessed that this is my 3rd Mother's day (not counting the one where I found out I was pregnant with Rylie).

I love getting Mother's Day gift's from Rylie's school!

As hard as this job is, as much as I want to just run away some days, I LOVE being a Mama.  There is no better job in the entire world than MY job.  I get to teach, love, guide and play with 2 darling kids all day.  I only hope that I do it with an ounce of grace and patience like my Mama did/does. I'm so excited to celebrate Mother's Day with my babies, my husband and my family who is full of fantastic Mama's.  Cheers to all of you wonderful Mama's that read my blog. Ya'll inspire ME!

 I love my babies!!

Have a great weekend!