A Work In Progress

Reflections Of A Mommy & Homemaker

Spring Cleaning April 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — briem @ 8:28 am

I am entering a season where I am wanting to do “spring cleaning” in almost every area in my life. It is really exciting for me, especially because I have made progress in some areas. A little while back, I announced that I was tired of not being healthy and that it was time for me to get in shape. Well, it took a couple weeks for me to get real intense passion to be heatlhy, but now I am hard core. I ordered the TransFIRMation kit from www.thefirmdirect.com and boy was that life changing! They specialize in doing cardio exercise with weight lifting so that you can burn fat and build muscle at the same time. I have never done any kind of exercise video that was so intense and rewarding. Even though I have only been doing the program for 6 days, I already have more energy, which motivates me to do more in other areas of my life. I highly recommend this kit if you can’t afford to have a gym membership or you have small children that prevent you from getting there.

I also have been eating 2000 calories a day which the TransFIRMation kit recommends for my height and weight. I have been doing good and sticking to my calorie goal. Right now I am trying to do my best to fill my diet with nutritionally dense food rather than empty calories and also eat mainly organic food.

I have decided not to weigh myself except occasionally. I know most diets suggest that you do this at least once a week, but I have found that it just discourages me. I have done this many times in the past, and I always get so caught up on the number on the scale. I realized that what is important to me is not the number on the scale, but how I feel and how I fit into clothes. For example, if you are building muscle through your exercise, the scale may not budge a whole lot (since muscle weighs more than fat) but yet you may see very visible results. At that point, the scale may be discouraging and make you more inclined to just throw in the towel since you feel that you are not losing significant weight.

But on to more spring cleaning…

This exciting new adventure in my health has inspired me to get more done (especially because I have more energy). These include:

1. Preschool activities with my 2 1/2 year old son. I want to start to have structured time with my oldest son where we do specific preschool activites (painting, coloring, crafts, etc). I want to have a schedule that we stick to most days so that we have a dependable routine. This also includes meal and snack times. I will post more about this in detail in the future along with a downloadable form to help you get started.

2. Complete my Home Management Binder. You can learn more about this on Candy’s blog. She has thorough directions on how to create one.

3. Take drastic steps to become a better steward of our money. I will be seeking out ways to make our money work harder and yet be able to do fun family activities and eat yummy food!

4. Get in the Word more. I plan to have time set aside every day where I do an in-depth Bible study so that my faith and ministry will be increased!


I’m Back! April 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — briem @ 2:18 pm

Well, it is very obvious that I haven’t posted for a very long time! It has been a very adventurous time in the Moon household. Since we moved to Kansas City area, my baby, Isaiah, wakes up all through the night. It is actually sad for me because before we moved, he pretty much slept through the night and was on a great schedule where I could leave occasionally at nights for some alone time. He pretty much wakes up like 3-6 times a night and he is seven months old! Ahhhh! I know a big part of the reason is because he is in our room, but right now I have no other option.

Then soon after we moved, Noah & Isaiah got RSV. Isaiah had it pretty bad and was hospitalized. Then a couple weeks later my husband got really sick (I was sick also, just not as bad) for a week. He had to miss work several days. Then Isaiah got severe exzema which turned into Impetigo. I took him to the hospital for several treatments. Now I am sick again. As you can see, It has been an adventure. And all this happened in 2 1/2 months.

But, by God’s grace, I am back to blogging. I am so excited that spring is here…even though the weather here in KC hasn’t totally caught up. It will be nice to take the kids out walking or to the park. That sort of stuff really refreshes me.


* By the way, since I made myself accountable to everybody regarding my weight loss efforts, I purchased The Transfirmation kit from the www.thefirmdirect.com. I love it so far. It is a combination of weight training and cardio wrapped up in 4 dvd’s. It really works good. I am so sore. I am also counting calories. I am allowed to have 2000 a day. Not bad. I will post in more detail when I have time.


My Favorite Products March 12, 2008

Filed under: Favorite Products Wednesdays — briem @ 8:56 am


I thought that I would share some of my favorite products that I use. Some of these products I discovered on my own & others my friend Mary shared with me. I will try and provide links when I can. I will post new products I discover on each Wednesday.

1. Earth Balance Whipped Spread This buttery spread has changed my life! This is one of the products that my friend Mary introduced to me. It taste so yummy…totally taste like margarine or butter to me, yet it is super healthy. It is made with a blend of natural oils that help to improve HDL/LDL cholesterol. For more information about their products, go to their Frequently Asked Questions Page. You can usually buy this spread in the natural section of your regular grocery store or a health food store.

2. Annie’s Deluxe Shells and Real Aged Cheddar. I love Annie’s products. They are either all natural or organic & taste delicious. Their Deluxe Shells and Real Aged Cheddar has become a staple lunch in our household at least once a week. They also have skillet meals that are all-natural and taste great. Annie’s products are starting to be available in most stores, however it may be in the natural section of your grocery store. I have also found alot of their products at my local Super Target

3. California Baby Calming Shampoo & Bodywash I looked it up on the cosmetic database and found that it has a low toxicity rating. It smells really good and lathers well!

4. VitaMix (Before you look, just know that this is really expensive!). This product is life changing, but is something that you may have to save for over a course of time. I am blessed because my mom owns one so I am able to borrow hers. This thing is not your average blender! It has like 50 horse power (ok not really, but it has alot). My favorite thing to make with it is smoothies. My favorite recipe with the Vita Mix is 1 banana, 1 orange, 1/4 a apple & some frozen pineapple. Just add some water & ice and you have an ice cold juice smoothie. My son literally runs to me when I am done making it saying “I wan’t soothie (He is 2 1/2 and we are sill working saying smoothie)”. It also has a dry container for grinding your own wheat, etc.

5. Travel Booster Seat. This is not the one we own, but it is very similar. I loved the booster chair when my son was between 1-2 years old. It was easy to take into restraunts or other people’s houses & easily hooks on the chair, that way you could just give your toddler food on the attatchable tray without having to put the food on the table (I found that my son had a hard time eating off a plate when he was a younger toddler. He would drop the food on the table, and then try and eat it…not very sanitary!)

6. BabyGanics Glass & Surface Cleaner (Lavender Formula). I absolutely love this product! It is a all natural cleanser that really smells like lavender! I use it alot for my kitchen counters & mirrors. It is nice using a cleanser that you know is safe to use. Read BabyGanics “Why BabyGanics” page to learn why it is good to use natural cleansers, especially if you have children. I found my bottle at BabiesRUs.

7. YoKids Organic Yogurt Tubes. This is another product that I found out from my friend Mary. These yogurt tubes which contain probiotics have won my son’s heart! Simply stick them in the freezer for a nice Ice Cream alternative. These can be a little pricey at times, but I try and stock up when there is a sale. You will most likely find these in the natural section of your grocery store of health food store.

Well, there you go! Some of my most favorite products. If you have any great products you would like to share with us, please leave a comment. I am on a mission to find good quality products for my family to use.


A Scary but Necessary Decision March 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — briem @ 10:24 pm

This is a bit scary for me, but I have decided to make my fitness efforts public as a way of accountability. I am sick of watching other people get healthy, while I stay unhealthy. Usually I ask my husband to keep me accountable with this stuff (and he always does) but when he checks me on something, I get kinda defensive. We have decided that this is not the best way to bring more love into our marriage :), hence, I am going to be accountable to all my blog readers. Honestly, I am not sure if I am brave enough to post before pictures of me and tell you my weight. I will tell you that I have had 9 and 10lb babies 2 years apart and love food…hehehe. Also, right now I don’t have a regular exercise routine and I lack energy.

Now let me explain that the reason I want to do this is not because I want to be some skinny stick figure like the women who are protrayed to us on the media, but rather I want to be strong & healthy so that I can be a better servant to my family and others…and to be able to bench press like 250 lbs 😉 .

 Well, I just had one of those little defining points in my life. If any of you want to send a little encouragement my way to kick off my journey to a healthy me, please leave me a comment. Thanks!


Awesome Meat Storage Idea

Filed under: Kitchen Tip Tuesdays — briem @ 2:48 pm


For Kitchen Tip Tuesdays I found the most awesome post on meat storage by a fellow blogger named Roni over at www.weightwatchen.com. She lost like 75 lbs on Weight Watchers and has kept if off for a couple years. She also has another blog named www.greenlitebites.com where she posts recipes she has invented (all very healthy and diet friendly) along with recipe & kitchen tip video posts.

Definitely check out her video on meat storage. It is so awesome, especially if you don’t have a food saver. Also, using her method, you can defrost the meat much faster! I wish I could take credit for this, but I can’t :). All credit goes to Roni and her clever mind.


That’s In My Shampoo! March 10, 2008

Filed under: Going Green — briem @ 7:31 pm


So lately I feel like God has just been sending a wealth of information my way. Alot of it has come from blogs that I read. However this next bit of information came from my good friend Mary.

Did you know that there are alot of toxic ingredients in our shampoos, conditioners, makeup, toothpaste & soaps (even the ones we put on our babies and toddlers!). I just rececently found this out within the last several months. You would think that when we shop at our favorite stores, they would sell us only good, safe products. Unfortunately, nowdays that is just not the case. We have entered an era where toxic ingredients invade many of the the things we use on a regualar basis.

Thankfully I discovered this website: www.cosmeticdatabase.com

Here is what they state on their home page:

“Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.”

“Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 25,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn’t require companies to test their own products for safety.”

This site is so helpful because you can type in the actual product you use (Suave, Covergirl, etc) and check to see if there are any toxic ingredients. I searched out some of the products that I commonly used and was shocked at the things I found out. I really encourage you to check out the products that you commonly use, especially what you put on your babies. I have even found that some organic and natural products on their site have some toxic ingredients.

If any of you use products that you have found to be generally safe and that you are happy with, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!


A Little Lesson In Self Control (and frugality) March 9, 2008

Filed under: Stewardship,Uncategorized — briem @ 11:28 pm

Today, I took a little trip to our neighborhood grocery store to well…umm…buy groceries. I had a very tight budget because my husband got really sick and missed close to a week of work (right now he is working a temp job, and when you get sick, you don’t get paid). I had to get some food to last us until his next payday. So I frugally went around trying by best to get nutritious (and dirt cheap!) food. Everything was going good until I approached the bakery section. And let me tell you, I LOVE ME SOME BAKERY! Especially at our neighborhood grocery store. They have these homeade (or should I say storemade) cookies that litteraly melt in your mouth. I love them. They also tempt you buy giving you a whole cookie as a sample. Let me tell you that their marketing works, because I took a whole box that they sell which was priced at $4.00. I was so happy! I had been craving something this sweet and good for like a few days.

Well, as I carried along with my grocery shopping, all the while trying to be the frugal shopper, I realized that, considering my budget, I may have not been making the best decision with my cookie purchase. I realized that those cookies costs almost the same amount as the whole chicken I put in my cart that would last us at least a couple days. But then I thought, “I need these!!! Gosh, they are sooo good! I can’t wait to go home and eat like…ALL OF THEM! (You may ask if I really had this conversation in my head. I did, no lie.) But after some conviction set in (and many minutes of debating) I decided that with this particular shopping trip, I was not being wise with my money.

So, I went home cookieless, having learn a lesson in self control. Was it hard? Yes…I love those cookies! But I did leave that store holding my head up high proud that I resisted my temptation…and no cookie can beat that 🙂