Pumping Again

Photo by Angelina Litvin. From http://www.unsplash.com

Lately I have been having a lot of anxiety.  Most of it comes from my job and stress with some of my role as a supervisor, as well as beginning my part of an enormously big scary year long project.  I am still getting up around four times a night with Abby and don’t get as much sleep as I want and need.  Family issues and taking care of things around the house probably all play into it too. 

I have been trying to exercise at least five days a week over lunch but don’t always get to.  I wish I could work out in the morning or evening but I will take what I can get. Otherwise there is not much else I have found in the way of stress relief (other than stuffing my face and that has caused me to gain about fifteen pounds, unfortunately.)

  I went to my doctor yesterday and she recommended that I try Lexapro.  The thing that sucks is that I now have to add in a daily pump session after taking the medication so that I can still breastfeed.  I haven’t pumped since sometime in June, so as I sit here writing this attached to the good old Medela I feel like I have reattached the ball and chain.  Bessie the milk cow is back in action.

Every cloud is supposed to have a silver lining,  right?  Maybe the extra daily pumping session will help me lose weight… one can only hope.

My Latest Project: a Hair Accessories Holder/Display

Like so many little girls, my daughter has a ton of hair accessories.  Abby was born with a lot of hair, so people have always liked to give her bows and barrettes as gifts.  These have been thrown in a tub in her bedroom or scattered about the house in a very disorganized manner.  As of late I have been on a quest to be more organized, so I decided to create something cute and functional for storing her hair accessories in one central space in her bedroom. 

Supplies needed:

  • Photo display board
  • Buttons
  • Hooks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks

I didn’t start completely from scratch,  instead, I decided to repurpose a photo display board that I used to use as a decoration in my old apartment but hadn’t found a place for in our house after moving.   The board is covered in a yellow shiny satin-like material and yellow ribbon.  Abby has accents of yellow in her bedroom, so the board will work perfectly.

I found buttons that matched colors in her bedroom, pink and turquoise.  These I used to cover the little rivets that hold the ribbons in place in the board.  I used the hot glue gun to secure the buttons.

Abby has a few necklaces so I also added three large hooks to the board, using hot glue.  I placed the hooks close to the bottom so that the necklaces could hang down.

I added Abby’s barrettes.

Now it is hanging in her bedroom.

She loves to run up to it in her room and admire all of her “pretties!”

I have done a very similar project in the past to display jewelry, but used a heart-shape cut out of plywood, batting, fabric, ribbon, and screw in hooks. I covered the wood with batting and fabric, stapling the fabric to the wood on the back side. I criss-crossed ribbon accross the front, just like on the photo display board, and screwed the hooks in to where the ribbons intersected on the front side.  The end result looked very similar to this project but took much longer to create.​

Five Days of Shakeology: An Honest Review

I have been curious about trying Shakeology for a while.  The reviews I have read make it sound great, but I’ve wondered if it will live up to its hype.  I probably would have tried Shakeology by now, but the price is really what has held me back.  Last week I saw someone at work mixing up a shake, so that gave me the kick I needed to finally try it.  My friend and 21 Day Fix coach, Rebekah, sent me five single serving sample packages to try. I am hoping that it will help alleviate my chocolate cravings and help me feel better in general.

For those of you have never heard of Shakeology, Shakeology is different flavored shakes made up of a mix of nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals.  According to their website www.shakeology.com, there is “70+ super-nutritious ingredients in shakeology,” which consists of proteins and fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, adaptogen herbs, as well as prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.  Together this super mix is supposed to help you:

  • Lose weight
  • Reduce junk food cravings
  • Provide healthy energy
  • Support your digestive system and regularity

Sounds pretty great, right?  

Day 1

I mixed 8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk with 2 tablespoons of PB2 and a packet of chocolate Shakeology powder in a shaker bottle with a metal wisk ball. It mixed up well and had no lumps. The texture was smooth and not powdery or chalky.  This made a creamy chocolatey drink, almost like drinking chocolate pudding- yum!  I would definitely drink this again.

I drank my shake around 6:00 am and as I was dropping Abby off at the babysitter’s house right before 8:00 am my stomach was growling. By the time I got in to work and to a meeting I felt shaky, so I ate some scrambled eggs in a whole wheat tortilla and felt better.  I noticed that one of the Shakeology ingredients was green tea extract,  so I am wondering if that on top of my normal two cups of coffee was just too much caffeine. 

Day 2

I mixed a tropical strawberry Shakeology packet with 10 ounces of almond milk and had a piece of multi-grain bread with peanut butter for breakfast.  I did not enjoy the flavor of the tropical strawberry shake as much as I had enjoyed the chocolate yesterday,  although it wasn’t too bad.  I had expected this; I normally don’t buy fruit flavored stuff and prefer just to eat fruit. The texture did not seem as creamy as the chocolate shake and I probably should have shook my cup a lot more, as I had a few small powdery lumps in the bottom.  I think blending a banana with the shake and almond milk would have been much tastier,  but we were all out of bananas.

I didn’t feel the shakey feeling that I had felt the day before, perhaps because I had eaten the toast with the shake.  I drank thr shake around 6:00 am and still felt satisfied at 9:00am when I was making Abby’s oatmeal.  In fact, when I finished getting my hair cut at 11:00 I was just beginning to feel hungry.  I felt less hungry all day long and really didn’t feel the urge to snack. 

Day 3

I mixed a vanilla Shakeology packet with 12 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and ice in the blender.  I liked the frothy texture created by the blender, but I really didn’t like the taste of the vanilla shake.  The taste is very reminiscent of shakes I drank while following a low-carb, low-calorie meal replacement diet a few years ago.  I had to make myself finish this shake; I didn’t want more like I had with the chocolate flavor.  Perhaps fruit or peanut butter mixed in would make it taste better, but I don’t know that I could get past the base flavor.  This surprises me because I thought that the tropical strawberry would be my least favorite flavor.  I kind of wish I had another stawberry packet so that I could try blending in some of the bananas I bought yesterday. 

I felt full almost until lunchtime and snacked on an apple while I fed Abby her lunch.  I did crave sweets, but I think it was more because I was bored with doing laundry and playing on the floor all day.  I caved and bought some chocolate covered peanuts at the grocery store.

Day 4

This morning I used a shaker bottle to mix up a vegan chocolate shake packet with unsweetened almond milk and a tablespoon of chia seed and a tablespoon of flax seed.  Although already listed as an ingredient, I added the flax and chia thinking that it would add a little extra hardiness and help keep me full a little longer during the morning since I knew it was going to be a hectic day with a lot of meetings.  This ended up being a bad idea because I had a lump of chia seeds in the middle of my cup and I had to add more almond milk at the end to try to shake it apart enough to drink it.

I did feel full and satisfied for most of the morning, not wanting anything to eat on my trip through the cafeteria to get coffee before a meeting at work.  Only around 10:15 a.m. did I begin to feel hungry.  I ate a snack before working out, but didn’t feel cravings or feel like I needed to have chocolate all day long.  When I got home from work I realized that I never had my normal afternoon caffeine pick me up.

Day 5

Going for a purist approach, I mixed only unsweetened vanilla almond milk with my final packet, Cafe Latte flavor.  I mixed it in the blender with ice for a very creamy, frothy drink. I enjoyed this flavor a lot. I drank it at 6:30 a.m. and ate a piece of multi-grain bread with peanut butter and a some mixed berries, which kept me feeling full until lunch.  I did not feel like snacking all day and overall felt like I had a lot of energy all day long.  I didn’t feel my normal slump in energy after lunch or early in the afternoon,  a time when I am used to heading to the coffee pot.

My thoughts

I liked the chocolate Shakeology powder and could see myself making drinking a shake a part of my daily routine.   Perhaps the lessened urge to snack was just the placebo affect at work, I am not certain.  I liked the feeling of increased energy throughout the day.  

What I don’t like is the price.  At $129.95 for a 30 serving resealable bag, this is more than I could currently afford, or more specifically justify spending on myself at this time… I mean, that would equal a lot of groceries for my family .  The bottom line is that for now, although I would like to, I will not be buying any Shakeology. 

Check out Shakeology for yourself at http://www.shakeology.com!


**I was in no way compensated for my review of Shakeology products.  The opinions voiced above are all my own.**