about this site

Monday, February 29, 2016 Public 0 Comments

When I was young, my Dad bought a video camera from a garage sale. It was older, and my Dad gave us free reign to video whatever we wanted as long as we promised not to erase anything we made, no matter the quality. He would give us new VHS (tapes!) if we needed, and told us we’d thank him one day. He was right (thanks, Dad!) I DO treasure the amazing vault of videos we have that portray my childhood.

That’s the journaling, the documenting, and it’s what I want to keep going with this site, and my photographs in general. This site for me started in college, and I used it as a blog, and as a space to share our daily lives, and record where we are in time. I’ve used it to play around with different platforms, technologies, try different tools, but ultimately, I have used it to communicate with friends and family. So with that in mind, I really want to hone in on the storytelling aspect of photos and videos, and make our memories lasting.

This site is my attempt to try to document the fleeting moments that seem so mundane today, but years later will trigger a flood of memories. The chair that is falling apart in our living room, or the cards we get in the mail from our parents and grandparents. The toys our kids play with and the spaces they decorate. I want to tell a story and remember the emotions. I know when family members and friends are no longer with us, these photos and videos will be invaluable.

So welcome to my history and my present, and I hope you enjoy the sharing! My main audience is our family, so if posts are few and far between, fear not, I’m still updating behind the scenes. But if it’s for family, why the public site? It’s an easy way for me to stay connected, and engage with the world around me. And heck, I’m still a developer at heart, even if I don’t do it in my day-to-day anymore. So I still use this site as my outlet, and a place for me to play and practice. I also love the online communities I’ve become a part of, and I hope to one day revive and re-purpose the blog. I may not have as many family stories to share as my kids grow older, but I hope this will remain a place I can keep on continuing to grow!

new look!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 Public 0 Comments

Notice anything different? :) Chances are if you are reading this, then YES, you see a HUGE, ENORMOUS change over here. I’ve finally decided that while I’d love to keep up the blogging, I’m stepping back and letting more of the photos tell the story. I have the blog here for me, to jot down our stories once in a while, or share something I think is worthwhile… but I shifted this new design of the site to really make my photos and photo sharing sites the focus and attention. That’s the whole reason people came here anyway, LOL!

I was also part of an amazing leadership group (hello my fellow Voyagers!) and we discussed at length about our “personal brand”. I knew my current site wasn’t reflecting me very well, and I took a long time to research how to best coordinate my personal life that didn’t detract from my professional one. Especially in IT, since I have a development background, but am not actively in development anymore. I wanted to keep this site as a place I could play and learn and practice, but not necessarily use as a resume. Where people could see my personality and professionalism, and help it flow through to the other realms of my online identities. Where I could be “me”, but still have a boundary between personal and professional.

So here it is. It’s a work in progress as always, so don’t be surprised if there aren’t some more changes in the coming weeks, but I felt it was worth an introduction!

I’m here

Friday, June 19, 2015 Public 0 Comments

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I just did the WHOLE 30!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 Public 0 Comments

If you had asked me back in December if I would be willing to give up dairy (cheese, milk, butter, ALL of it), grains (bread, pasta, rice), legumes (peanuts, chickpeas, black beans, etc), alcohol, AND sugar, for 30 days, I would have said it was impossible.

But here I am, 30 days later, and I DID IT. A group of girls and I committed to doing Whole30 for January, and kept each other motivated through a Facebook group. More about what Whole30 is here:

(note: I did not read the book, just followed the website, and signed up for the daily emails)

It was hard. I’m not going to lie. But I needed this. After just giving up from Halloween to New Year’s, and eating whatever was closest because I felt stressed out, I knew I needed a change. I had gained 14 POUNDS from Labor Day to New Year’s. I needed something drastic to snap me out of it.

And now I feel AMAZING. I lost 9 pounds of the 14 I had gained, and I’m not slowing down anytime soon. My energy is back, my mood swings are tamer, I sleep much better, my skin is clear, and I just feel HAPPY most of the time. What I learned on this journey:

  1. I can’t do this without some big support. I had daily check-ins with my friends online, and my other friends keeping me in check at social events. I am so grateful for their support and advice, and I know it is KEY going forward, to keep this going.

  2. If I can do this during one of the most stressful months I’ve ever had, I can do this ANYTIME. I had work craziness, a big presentation for my leadership group to prepare, a talent show to prepare for (which is tonight by the way, yay Voyagers Got Talent!), and the normal kid/house stuff on top of everything. I had many days where I just wanted to give up and veg out on the couch. But I didn’t!

  3. I had a plan. I planned out every meal for the first two weeks, and then by the 3rd week I started throwing together leftovers, and winging it a bit more because I had the hang of the program. When I felt defeated and overwhelmed, I just stuck to my plan (having whole30 compliant foods around at all times was mandatory), and it helped me weather all the challenges and temptations I had along the way. And if I was REALLY tempted, I kept up the mantra that “it’s only 30 days!” to get through.

  4. I need someone to tell me that I CAN’T have something. I used to love Weight Watchers because it was “eat whatever you want, just count the points”, but I got tired of counting points and got lazy about the portion sizes, and then each little indulgence started adding up. I was treating myself with something small every single day, and not realizing how much of a habit it was. Some candy from CVS, a mocha from Starbucks, a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. With Whole30, having stuff be “off limits” gave me an excuse on WHY I can’t have it, and it helped really kill those cravings, and get out of the habit. I realized through this that I need an “all or nothing” approach if I want to stay healthy, and need to be stricter after Whole30 is done. No more pizza Fridays… if I’m going to have pizza, it’s going to be because it’s a super special occasion, not because I’m lazy on a Friday.

  5. I don’t miss dairy, really. I do miss eating slices of cheese, creamer in my coffee, and I did miss sour cream in a BIG way, but I don’t need cereal anymore, and can actually go 30 days without any of the above and not die. So my plan is to slowly reintroduce it, but in really, really small amounts.

  6. My moods stabilized. I still get emotional when I’m stressed, but I don’t feel the dramatic swings/shifts anymore. I feel more even keeled with my energy and emotions throughout the day. I’m not tired at 4pm, and now find energy to get through the bedtime routine with my kids, without needing to down some sugar/coffee at 3pm every afternoon. I’m overall feeling happy!

  7. I also didn’t have any conditions that I was worried about, so I didn’t have any aches and pains that disappeared. I did have headaches, but I realized that I have a teeth clenching problem (exacerbated by hunger pains) that I used to use gum to help with. But I gave up gum during Whole30, so I resorted back to clenching my teeth. My jaw and head really hurt, and I had to make a conscious effort to stop (I fear I may still be doing it in my sleep though). Some pain relievers helped with that, too.

  8. Pre-whole 30, I was not eating out of hunger, but because I was bored, it was there, it was a habit, I was stressed, etc. So I made an effort to listen to my body during these 30 days, and feel REAL hunger pains. When I felt hungry, I’d wait 10-15 minutes, and if the feeling got stronger, I’d eat until I felt full (no measuring, just eating compliant foods). What surprised me is how often it went away! It was hard the first few days when I felt like I was starving all the time, but by the first week’s end, I was able to survive on a lot less food than I thought I needed. I was also surprised at how many times I reached for my kid’s food off their plates. I can’t even count how many times I had to stop myself mid-bite when I realized what I was doing. That snacking was out of control!

  9. I planned out my meals every week, which helped, but by the last week I was only doing dinners and got back into the habit of eggs and a veggie (like green or red pepper) and leftovers for breakfast and lunches. That hurt me, since a few mornings I was scrambling to find things to eat or take for lunches, and I am bored with eggs now. So I still have some work to do, but recognize how much EASIER things are when I plan out everything!

  10. I discovered that I LOVE frozen bananas in the food processor. It was technically a “cheat” but I did it 3 times in 30 days to have something in the evenings when I was still hungry, and it was DIVINE. So creamy, it felt like I was eating frozen custard, but it was only a banana. I wish I had a bigger food processor so it didn’t take so long to make it! But again, that wasn’t technically Whole30, but oh well, I still consider it a success :)

So where do I go from here? I feel so good, that my goal is to keep going! I’ll introduce some things that I know are still ok. Like milk in my coffee (but no sugar), sour cream, and some slices of cheese, maybe some yogurt. I’ll add in some legumes because I miss hummus and I love black beans, but I’ll swap out peanut butter for almond butter. I am going to keep watching out for added sugar, and save it for super special occasions (not the kid’s birthday parties, I’m talking once a year type festivities). I’m also going to limit grains, and try to only have bread/pasta/rice about once or twice a month, if that. So mainly stick to a paleo diet, and tweak as we go along.

It was hard, but SO SO worth it these past 30 days. I highly recommend anyone try it, and COMMIT to the 30 days. You won’t be sorry!

(Benjamin is 6 years 1 month and 3 weeks old and Juliet is 1 year 9 months and 4 weeks old)

Sharing and Caring

Sunday, February 1, 2015 Public 0 Comments

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Halloween and We’re Back!

Monday, November 3, 2014 Public 0 Comments

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Final Results

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 Public 0 Comments

Labor Day was the end of my August challenge, and I’m happy to say… I made it!!! Even with traveling and eating out, I STILL managed to lose 3.5 lbs this week, and weighed in at 159.5 on Monday morning. So in August, I lost 6.5 lbs, in 4 weeks. It’s a 1/2 lb shy of my main goal of 7 lbs total, but it’s SO CLOSE that I’m just calling it a win. I had to battle eating out with coworkers, birthday parties, potlucks, a night of drinking debauchery, and traveling out of town this month. Even with all of that, I still lost over 1.5 lbs/week. I was nervous after last week’s “maintenance” weigh in, but it goes to show you, just hang in there. The scale doesn’t always reflect your efforts right away.

Some non-scale victories to brag on: I was able to fit my wedding rings on without a struggle, but sadly, they are still a bit too tight for every day wearing. I think I’ll need to meet my September goal to be able to wear them proudly again. I was able to shop in my old clothes and find my old size 12 pants that FIT last week! It’s so exciting to be able to wear clothes that have sat in my closet for 2+ years (and some pants that I’ve never even worn because I outgrew them too fast). Hooray!

Biggest takeaways from this month: planning is everything. The weeks I did the best and felt good were the weeks I planned out all the meals, including snacks. When unplanned events threatened to guilt me into sabotaging my efforts, I kept this challenge in mind, and used it to power through cravings and weaknesses. Having my group of ladies keeping me accountable was immensely helpful! Never underestimate the power of a support group, no matter what you are struggling with!

The only thing I didn’t do right: exercise. I barely got in any morning workouts this month. It goes to show how important the FOOD portion is to weight loss. But it’s not the only thing, so for September, I’m going to focus my efforts on the exercise portion instead of the food. I feel like I have the food part under control, and will now work on getting my exercise in 6 out of 7 days per week. Hopefully I can also resurrect my Saturday morning Zumba classes that I loved. At the very least, once we are back from vacation, starting next week I’m going to make it my mission to plan out my daily workouts for the mornings, and check in weekly on my progress. It will be interesting to note how adding in fitness will impact my weight loss. I’ll plan another food-focused month in October, right before the holidays. Hopefully, between now and November I’ll have both food AND fitness under control, and be even closer to my goal!!

For my next goal, I’ll use the 1 lb/week guide, and aim for 4.5 lbs (or 155) by Sept 30. That’s 4 weeks away. This week might prove a little tricky since we’re currently out of town, and usually that throws my efforts a bit.. but it’s something to shoot for :) This week may be a wash, but I can give it my all and then some next week :)

For my fitness plans, I’m going to start slowly back in with the 21 day fix. It’s so easy to do in my basement, it’s a fixed time, and I can do it in my pj’s. After September, I’m going to start T25, and see if ramping up cardio helps with the losses in October. But for this month, it will be all 21 day fix. Can’t wait to get started with Autumn again!

On a side note, I did look into the E&E ingredients, and realized that there is artificial sweetener in it. So that, combined with my new philosophy of adopting things I can continue with forever, I decided to drop the E&E supplement. At least, drop it as something I do every morning. I’m going to experiment with different techniques to get me going and power through the workout, and see if I can’t find a better replacement. I may reserve it for those days I have my least favorite or most challenging strength training, but skip it on my easier cardio/yoga days.

We’ll see how it goes!


My stats for this check-in:

Start Weight (May 2013): 191.5 lbs
Start Weight (September): 159.5 lbs

Current Weight: 159.5 lbs

Goal Weight: 130 lbs
Goal Weight (September): 155 lbs

Lost in September: 0 lbs (4 lbs, 4 weeks to go)
Total lost (since 5/27/13): 32 lbs (29.5 lbs to go)


Week Three Results

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 Public 0 Comments

Well, I’m not sure how to interpret last week. I’ve completed 3/4 weeks, and the results were: I stayed the same. I weighed in at 163, BUT I managed not to gain after a night out with a lot of alcohol, and followed by a friend’s potluck. Not a loss, but not a gain either. I’ll take it.

To meet my BIG goal for this month, it means I need to lose FOUR pounds this last week. Which, only in my absolute BEST week ever did I lose that much. So I’m going to get realistic and say I’m probably not going to get to 4 lbs. *Maybe* I could, but most likely, it won’t happen. BUT, my “good enough” goal was to get close to 160, and I am pretty confident I’ll get there this week.

Challenges that I think impacted my results: hormones (maybe even from new medication that I started). Not enough water. I was using coffee as a way to hydrate instead of including glasses of water, so for this last week, I will up my intake of water significantly. I think it will help at least lose some of the bloated feeling. Too many snacks. Too many nights after work I found myself eating my kid’s dinners or snacking on random food. This last week I’ll reign in the “bites and tastes” after work, and get myself some veggies to eat if I’m really hungry and dinner is not ready yet. Mint gum after work is also a god send, and keeps the cravings at bay until dinner time.

With that plan, I’m feeling good that I will get super close to my goal. Even though I could fit my wedding rings on last week, it still hurts to wear them for more than a few minutes. I think it will take a few more pounds (maybe when I get to 155) where I can wear them all the time. My pants are definitely looser, and I have a pair of black pants in size 12 from Old Navy that I’m also close to fitting in. We leave for vacation on Friday, and I will use both of those as reminders and motivation not to go crazy on break all next week in New York!

For the most part though, my meals were really good. I wasn’t going overboard at meals, snacks were healthy, and I didn’t even splurge on dessert at all. I’m going to carry that into this last week, and really go for broke. My meals for this week are planned out (save for our time in New York on Saturday/Sunday), and I have focus and motivation this week to stay on plan.

Here’s hoping it pays off!


My stats for this check-in:

Start Weight (May 2013): 191.5 lbs
Start Weight (August): 166 lbs

Current Weight: 163 lbs

Goal Weight (August): 159 (7 lbs)
Goal Weight: 130 lbs

Lost in August: 3 lb (4 lbs and 1 week to go)
Total lost (since 5/27/13): 28.5 lbs (33 lbs to go)