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Archive for February, 2012

**CONTEST CLOSED, WINNER INFORMATION BELOW****

Several weeks ago I was asked by MyBlogSpark if I would be interested in sharing some information about Progresso’s “Souper You” contest and give one of you the opportunity to win a prize pack with 5 varieties of Progresso soup and a copy of “The Biggest Loser” Workout DVD. You know me and free, of course I said yes.

Unfortunately, I forgot to tell them I moved.  They sent the stuff to my old address and I started getting e-mails saying “Why haven’t you posted about this yet?” to which I replied “because I don’t have the stuff yet.”  Well, we finally got it straightened out and my package arrived last week.  So, without further ado, here is some information about the contest that is about to end!

(Information provided by Progresso soup from BlogSpark)

Now that the ball has dropped and the confetti has settled, it´s time to consider how you will stick to your resolution for the New Year and maintain your weight management plan, without sacrificing on variety or the taste of foods you love. Thanks to Progresso®, you can have your soup and eat it too!

  • With 40 delicious soups with 100 calories or less per serving, Progresso Soup has a variety of offerings that help you beat diet boredom and satisfy your taste cravings, while helping you stick to your weight management calorie goals. Progresso soups are packed with hearty ingredients like pasta, beans, rice, meat and vegetables that suit your taste buds and make you feel good about including it in your meal choices. 
  • This year, the Souper You® Contest will provide three lucky winners with an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood; this includes a trip for 2 to Los Angeles, California where the winner will receive a head-to-toe makeover including hair and makeup, guided shopping spree with a $1,000 fashion retailer gift card, $1,000 spending money and 2 tickets to this season´s live finale of NBC´s The Biggest Loser
  • Progresso is asking fans to visit http://www.SouperYou.com and submit their photo with a brief essay about why they love Progresso soups and why they deserve a makeover, by no later than February 22nd
  • Fans can check back on March 12th for the announcement of the top ten finalists, and to vote for their favorite finalist until March 25th 
  • In addition, visit http://bit.ly/ProgressoCoup to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of four (4) cans of Progresso Soup today, and feel free to share with your blog readers so they can take advantage of the savings as well
  • Also, tune into The Biggest Loser on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c

Okay, back to Heather-  as soon as the package arrived, I realized I was not going to be able to review a fitness DVD.  Silly thing called a hernia was not going to allow that.

Fortunately, my friend Carrie Miller was excited to try it out for me and write a review.  Here is what she thought:

I better start by saying I don’t enjoy work out videos.  I do them regularly, but I’m VERY picky.  When I saw that it was 5 ten minute workouts, I was initially disappointed because for me, 10 minutes isn’t much of a work out.  That barely burns off one cookie.  I immediately decided I would try doing all 5 consecutively and see if that made into a ‘real’ workout.  Each segment has a short warm up and cool down and then a ten minute work out.  So each segment was more like 15 minutes.  I started with the first Cardio segment and just kept on going.  Warming up and cooling down in the middle of my workout (after each 10 minute workout segment), although not totally awful, seemed to kill my momentum.  Each video definitely got my heart pumping, but none of the segments were very rigorous.  I liked how frequently I changed exercises, but sometimes I didn’t feel like I was getting much of a workout in some musle groups because they didn’t stay with one workout long enough.  This was VERY true of the leg workout.  I HATE squats and lunges but I don’t feel like this video challenged me much at all.  Didn’t feel the burn enough.  The video does use weights, water balls, and/or resistance bands.  I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t need equipment to lose weight, so I was a little turned off by that, but I was able to do most of the work out with just my free weights.
 
Having said all of that, this is promoted as a jump start video.  With that in mind, I totally think this is a good, strong introduction to what is needed to burn some serious calories as long as people view it as a ‘jump start’ and NOT a workout to help lose weight.  I feel fairly confident saying you would have to move past this video to really see any significant weight loss.  There were times when I really couldn’t understand the instructor, some times where instructions were unclear, but overall, it was a fun, quick workout that does what it is advertising if you do not already have an exercise regiment.

Thanks, Carrie!  Sounds like the video is more of my (non-hernia) level than I expected.

Luckily, I still have the ability to eat soup, so the other day my sister Liz, her friend Mindy, Steve, and I busted in to them for lunch.  I don’t usually buy Progresso soup, because 1) I’m not a fan of canned soup and 2) cost per serving is a bit higher than I like (if you feel the same way but love their soup, make sure to check out the above link for a coupon!).  Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect.

I tried the Light Chicken Noodle soup, because I was the least adventurous/most picky.  It only had 70 calories per serving (all of them have two 1 cup servings per can), which impressed me.  It was very brothy, but the noodles and chicken were pretty good.  Unfortunately, I’m not a big salt fan and this soup has 690 mg, or 29% of your daily value.  Much too salty for me.

My sister, however, is a HUGE salt fan, as well as a huge fan of canned soup in general.  She had the Minestrone.  It has 100 calories and the same sodium content as the Chicken Noodle, but it boasts a full serving of veggies.  She really liked hers, but tried mine and thought it was too salty, as well.

Steve tried the Light New England clam chowder- 100 calories per serving, but that same high sodium content.  He thought it was thin but he liked the flavor.  I tried his and it didn’t seem nearly as salty as mine.

Mindy had the Light Beef Pot Roast.  With only 80 calories per serving and 470 mg (20%) of sodium, of course the skinniest person picked the healthiest option.  It also boasts a full serving of veggies.  She liked hers, too. With the lower sodium content, it definitely had the least salty flavor, which is a bonus in my book.

One of these days, Steve and I will bust out the Wild Rice, but I probably won’t tell you about it unless it changes my life in some dramatic way.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for- YOUR chance to win everything I’ve just told you about!

Because the folks at Progresso and MyBlogSpark are so nice, they want you to have the opportunity to try out some soup and a new workout DVD as well.  Simply leave me a comment answering this question:

“Which of the Progresso Soup flavors are you most excited to incorporate into your weight management plan this New Year?”

Or you can say something else, I’ll still let you qualify if you just say “pick me, pick me!”

You have until midnight until Wednesday, February 22nd!  And don’t forget to check out the Souper You contest at the link above for an opportunity to win even more cool stuff!

Disclosure:  The Progresso® Souper You® prize pack, information, coupon, and giveaway have been provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.

 

***CONTEST CLOSED*****

And the random number generator picked #3

Julie L – “like to try their roasted vegetable plus the DVD lol thanks”

Julie, please e-mail me your mailing address and I’ll get this shipped out to you asap!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you all had a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Our little Valentine looked so cute on Sunday I couldn’t help but share this picture.  I even managed to make a little heart out of her hair.  In the background you can see that I finally managed to reupholster our couch and we are VERY happy to have it join us in our new little apartment.  I’d say I finished, but I do have a few finishing touches to do, then I’ll post some before/after pictures.

Steve was very sweet to bring me flowers and candy, and he bought me the awesome LDS scriptures app for my phone that I’ve been missing since we switched from our iPods to our Android phones.  It was hard to buy an app we had already bought for a different device, that is why it took us almost a year.  The free one is great, but I love this one.  I bought Steve the classic version of Risk, because it really was silly that he didn’t have it.  I think there will be a Risk night for us in the near future.

For Evelyn, Steve has been scheming for over a month about his gift.  While we were in Sequim for Christmas, our niece Lili was playing with a purse full of Disney Princess dolls.  This sparked Steve into dreaming about Evelyn playing with a purse full of… Star Wars action figures.  While I’ve yet to make the purse of his dreams for her (it will be pink taffeta embroidered with Darth Vader and the words “Come to the pink side”), he managed to find the action figures and was very excited to give them to her this morning.  She was also very excited to receive them and has been pulling them out all day.  It won’t be long before she has all their names down, but for now her favorite part is saying “It’s a trap” when she plays with Admiral Ackbar.

For breakfast, we enjoyed the heart-shaped bacon I made for Steve, and the cinnamon-swirl french toast he made for me.  I’ll admit that I burned the bacon, but Steve loves me anyway.

When I was growing up, my mom threw a tea party for me every year for Valentine’s Day, and I decided I wanted to continue the tradition with my daughters.  After Steve went to school, we had several of kids from church who are close to Evelyn’s age over with their mommies for a little lunch party.  Thanks to my sister’s help yesterday, the house was in reasonable order for us to have guests, even though we are only half-way moved in still.

I made heart-shaped peanut-butter sandwiches for the kiddos, and turkey/cucumber sandwich cakes for the adults, inspired by this (much more elaborate) post.  I had a good time, and I think most of the kids did, too.

And then we all took naps, relaxed on the “new” couch awhile, and Steve left for work.  We are excited to go on a “proper” Valentine’s date this weekend before we head to Yelm for our niece Lydia’s baptism.

Too much information about our day? I thought so.  But I’m glad to at least have written this down for my memory’s sake (I can’t for the life of me remember last Valentine’s Day…)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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This is what my kitchen looks like right now, and yet I’m making cookies. Steve and Evelyn are sick, which means I’m exhausted. I need cookies.

I just realized I don’t have cookie sheets in my house yet… I guess I’ll be having cookie dough tonight, instead.

More pictures of the new apartment to come- hopefully slightly less messy ones!

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We’re moving!

The Flynn family is finally making it back to Ellensburg! Tomorrow at noon we get to go sign our lease and do a walk-through our new apartment.

This morning, however, I woke up in a panic and can’t get back to sleep. I can’t believe we are actually moving into a place we haven’t seen! What if our king size bed won’t fit in the bedroom? What if the kitchen is too small for our table and we have to keep it in the living room along with the (still unfinished) couch, the computer, the bookshelves, the sewing machine table, the chest freezer, etc, etc, etc.

We were so lucky to have the place we did before. For a 2 bedroom apartment, it had a fair amount of space. We used every inch of that space, too. And now we are going to add another person! It has been difficult living at my parent’s house- trumping up and down the stairs, Steve’s daily commuting and the fact that means we see him less often, the awful bunk bed we’ve been sharing. But the blessings have been tremendous! I’m so grateful that both Evelyn and I have been able to have the help and companionship of my family.

Should we have waited a little longer and held on to the hope of a 3 bedroom apartment? Should we have spent (a lot) more money and moved somewhere else?

And then I think to myself “Wait a second, Heather… You haven’t even seen this place yet! Why are you freaking out? Could it possibly be because you are hormonal and exhausted and pregnant and laying in an uncomfortable bed and suffering from constant hernia pain?” Yeah, maybe that could be what is wrong…

This is the place that the Lord has provided for us to live. We have prayed about it, thought it through. By living here we can save up the money to pay off our student loans, and (hopefully) replace Steve’s aging car.

Is it the end of the world if I have to leave my fabric stash in our storage unit? If we can’t have big groups of people over to party with us? No.

And so I’m now choosing to get up off the bunk bed, cozy up in a comfy chair, and start my day over again. Today is an exciting day- one I get to spend with my family, preparing for a move I’ve been praying for for a long time. It is going to be a great day.

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