Friday, January 30, 2015

ISO: New Blogs to Follow

Reading blogs and interacting with other health/fitness and weight loss bloggers was a big part of my prior success. I’d love to find some new blogs to read and make some new weight loss buddies so that we can help encourage each other.

I think a lot of people gave up on me. I was absent for a while during my pregnancy and such. I haven’t been much of an inspiration as of late and the things that I have been working through are the kinds of things you’d find in a “before” story rather than an “after”—there’s not a lot of motivation to be found there and I get that. I really appreciate those of you who have stuck around and showed me that you still believe in me. This journey isn’t over. My story isn’t over.

Are there any of you out there are at the beginning of your weight loss or fitness journey? Anyone out there who is starting over? Anyone struggling to maintain? Anyone who is totally rocking this thing and has it all under control? I’d love to hear from all of you!

Hit up the comments with a link to your blog. I promise I will visit each and every one of them and leave a comment—as long as you’re not a spammer leaving a spam comment (which I seem to get a lot of lately).

I removed my blog roll because it was just making my blog too cluttered and it was outdated—but as you can see, I’ve added a tab to the top for Blog Love. I plan on adding links to my favorite blogs there.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Week 4 Progress Post: NSVs

I am happy with the progress that I made this week even though it wasn’t on the scale.

The scale showed me staying the same. Total loss- still 3.4 lbs. I am aware that I am not doing what it takes to show real progress on the scale…but I am making forward steps.

I started the week off feeling like I was starting to spiral out of control so I downloaded my trusty calorie counting app and I started tracking calories. I still allowed myself to eat whatever foods I wanted to, but I was more conscious of the calorie count.

This seemed to work for me. After my weight spiking at the beginning of the week, I slowly got it together and I feel much more in control. I don’t want to be too crazy about meeting a certain calorie count, just as long as I am staying mindful and start losing again. The app shows a fairly high calorie allotment for the day, so I may have to lower that if I don’t see any progress.

Workouts last week:

Thursday- Walked on treadmill = 24 minutes

Saturday- 1.57 mile walk outside = 33 minutes

Monday- Walked outside = 26 minutes

Wednesday- Arms workout using 5 lb. weights and sitting on a fitness ball = 15 minutes

My goal was to workout for more overall time than I did the previous week, which was 1 hour and 10 minutes. I worked out for 1 hour and 38 minutes this week! That’s progress. I’m happy to be meeting my workout goal of 4x per week.

What I did well this week: I started grabbing something healthier for snacks. If I wanted something sweet, I ate an orange or yogurt with fruit. While following THM, I feel like I stopped eating fruits/veggies as much as I should have. I’m still being mindful about the quantity of fruit, but my body is thanking me for eating healthier.

What I could improve on: Watch the sweets and treats. I ate a few too many of those mostly at the beginning of the week. I want to include them in my diet in moderation, but this week I think I ate too many!

How did you do this week?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Self Image: His View and My View

I truly do not understand why my husband loves me sometimes, but he does. Thankfully.

On Saturday, I told hubby that I was going to hop on the treadmill to get my walk in while the baby was napping and he encouraged me to go take a walk outside instead because it was beautiful out. I took his suggestion and off I went.

Shortly after I walked by the window I received this text from him:


It made me smile and it got me thinking.

This is how I was feeling: Fat. Disgusting. Gross. Bloated. Like a teenager with an acne breakout. A hot mess. Jiggly. Exhausted. Hair flying every which way. Too big for my clothes. Largest butt on earth.

But yet he still wanted to tell me he found me attractive. I am pretty lucky to have a man who loves me that much. Now I need to love me that much.

Hubby has seen me at my worst (which is pretty much right now) and he has seen me at my best—but he loves me and he tells me he thinks I am attractive no matter what size I am.

And when I am feeling my worst, I don’t believe him. I can’t comprehend how he could possibly see beauty in me when I feel so ugly and fat. But then I realized that he never stops giving me compliments—the man really means it.

He’s probably blinded by love or something, but still—that’s unconditional love and I am thankful for it with every ounce, every single extra one of them, of who I am.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Our First At Home Date Night

Since becoming parents, date nights seem like a thing of the past. In the past nine months, we have been on one date night and out for breakfast together (alone) once. So, we decided that this year we will have a monthly date night at home once the baby goes to sleep for the night. It will be a way for us to connect as a couple and spend quality time together.

I am lucky to have a husband who will play along with such things. But I learned how seriously he takes our time together when we received a dinner invitation on the scheduled date night he told them we already had plans and would need to pick a different day. I am thankful I have a husband who values our relationship.

I volunteered to plan our first date night since it was my idea. I wanted to keep it simple for the first date so I went with a “game night” sort of theme. I also didn’t want to spend much money…this ended up being free since I had everything we needed at home already!

I found a free printable at The Dating Divas for The Not So Newlywed Game and went from there.


I’m the one who puts baby girl to bed every night—so when it was bed time, I left this invitation for hubby to find.


And because babies know when there is fun to be had without them, they fight sleep for all that they’re worth. Seriously. It took like 2 hours past her normal bed time for her to finally go to sleep. Every other day, she’s like clock work. Funny how that works!

And I admit, at that point I felt like throwing in the towel on the date night—but hubby was uber excited about it and it rubbed off on me.

My only rule was that cell phones had to be placed on a table where neither of us could reach them. I wanted us to be un-plugged and not distracted by technology.

So I made us a batch of my Best Ever Microwave Kettle Corn Recipe to munch on while we played our game. Hubby was begging me to make a second batch of this…but we stuck with just one!


There were 50 questions in the printable kit. I love the color scheme of this game design, but that’s beside the point. Smile


I cut them all out, folded them up, and put them into a mason jar.


We chose 10 questions at a time (I think we went through 3-4 rounds), and wrote the answers on our answer sheets.


The questions were fun and great conversation starters. We reminisced about our wedding day, memories from when we were dating, and even learned some new things about each other.

I added an additional element to our game. I also created a BINGO card to make things fun. So while we were playing The Not So Newlywed Game, we had to watch out for the other one to say one of the words on the BINGO card or do one of the actions. And of course, try to coerce the other person into saying one of the words. It was kind of silly and totally random.


My husband doesn’t have the nickname Mr. Competitive for nothing. He was all about this. But I ended up winning anyways—muahahaha. He said it was because he didn’t understand the rules. Of course he would say that.

Even though it got off to a rocky start, our first date night was a success. We both said how much we enjoyed spending time together just talking and having fun.

I can’t wait to see what hubby plans for our February At Home Date Night!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Best Ever Microwave Kettle Corn Recipe


Over the holidays I learned how easy it is to make caramel corn. While I love me some caramel corn, I love kettle corn even more. And so the trial and error of perfecting my own microwave kettle corn recipe began—and I finally found just the right combination of sweet and salty for my taste buds…and hubby LOVES it too!

Calorie counters—please be forewarned that this is a treat to be enjoyed now and again in moderation.

First, you will need to pop 1/2 cup popcorn kernels.

popcorn kernels

NOTE: I have found Jolly Time brand to be the best because all of the seeds pop and the popcorn is airy, but I had Aldi brand in the house and it worked just fine.

I use the microwave for this entire recipe, so for this step I dumped the popcorn kernels into a big paper grocery bag and folded down the top. I used the microwave popcorn setting twice and listened for the popping to start slowing and then canceled it. Carefully remove the paper bag from the microwave—it may be hot.

paper sack

Next, dump the popcorn into a bowl and remove and dispose of any unpopped kernels. Place the popped popcorn back into the paper bag.

Next, place the following ingredients into a microwave safe bowl: 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar, 3 Tbs. butter, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, and 10 turns of sea salt in a grinder.


Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds or until completely melted and blended.

Next, dump the mixture into the paper sack containing the popped popcorn.


Fold the paper sack down and shake the bag to mix it up. Place the bag into the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds on high. Carefully remove the bag (do not open it) and shake it again. Place the bag back into the microwave for 30 more seconds on high. Carefully remove the bag (do not open it) and shake it again.

Carefully open the bag and dump the popcorn into a big bowl. The popcorn will be sticky and hot. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and it will harden. Using your hands, gently break up any clumps of popcorn.


Here’s the recipe:


  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 10 turns of sea salt in a grinder


  1. Pop the popcorn and remove and dispose of any unpopped kernels. Place the popped popcorn into a large paper grocery bag.
  2. Place the remaining four ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave for 30 more seconds or until mixture is melted and blended.
  3. Dump the hot mixture into the paper grocery bag containing the popped popcorn. Fold down the top of the grocery bag. Shake the bag well.
  4. Place the bag into the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Remove the bag and shake. Repeat one more time.
  5. Dump the coated popcorn into a large bowl and allow it to cool. Once cooled, gently use your hands to break up any clumps. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sharing a Giveaway for TWO FitBit Flex

I was so excited when I saw this giveaway  for two Fitbit Flex on Iowa Girl Eats (one of my favorite blogs from a fellow Iowan) and so I completed every entry opportunity.

And since I love you all, I’m letting you know—just in case you don’t follow IGE (in which case you should get over there and check it out).

FYI: The entries are mostly through follows on Pinterest.

Good luck…but I hope I win! Winking smile

Friday, January 23, 2015

Walking my way to a 5K

I contemplated doing the Couch to 5K program for beginning runners, but I decided I would start small and work my way there since I’m not quite at that fitness level yet.

I was happy to find Spark People’s 5K Your Way Walking Training Program.

There is a handy printable calendar that I printed out and put on my fridge. I cross out the walks as I complete them.

I started it this week and it seems perfect for me right now. I walked 20 minutes on the first day instead of 15. I have one more 1.5 mile walk to complete by EOD Sunday.

My ultimate goal is to eventually get back into running again but I’m taking it slow. I enjoy my walks and it’s much easier to be faithful about working out when you enjoy whatever it is you’re doing.

Are you following a training plan?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Week 3: Progress Post & Making Changes to my Diet

After a rough week last week, I had a MUCH better time this week. I felt so miserable and I am still not 100% sure what was causing it—but I have a few ideas. I started questioning my diet and decided to make some changes.

I recently announced that I was following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle and that I had learned a lot about nutrition from the program—and I have. But I’m not sure my body loves every aspect of the program, or at least how I was following the program.

This past week, I decided to go out on a limb and trust myself to eat my way—based on principles I learned by following Trim Healthy Mama and Weight Watchers. With the way I was feeling, I just had this intuition that the way I was eating wasn’t doing my body good. So I listened to my body this past week and I feel 100% better.

I really, really, really like not having to track ANYTHING on Trim Healthy Mama and so I have been continuing that while I eat in my own style. It makes me really nervous. I have to stay very mindful. When I go to the kitchen for a snack, I have to ask myself if I’m eating the right serving size for how hungry I am, am I choosing a food that is good for me, etc. Is this something I can keep up? I hope so—but it does scare me! My weight loss will tell—I can always re-evaluate and count calories or something as neede.

And the results? I lost exactly the weight that I gained the previous week—so this week I lost 1.3 lbs. for a total loss of 3.4 lbs. I’m happy with that because I’m still averaging over 1 lb. per week. The goal is to lose an average of 1 lb. per week

What I did well this week: I am the most proud of meeting my workout goal this week. I’m making small steps to hopefully make exercise a regular part of my week.

What I could improve on: Eat more veggies. Sometimes when baby is fussy, I quickly throw together a lunch I can eat quickly and don’t take the time to add a veggie.

On another note, I want to thank those of you who take the time to leave a comment now and again—they’re really appreciated and help inspire me to keep blogging!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Memoir of a Plus Sized Child

I don’t know why memories pop into my mind like they do. They’re usually memories I’d rather forget but instead they insist on rearing their ugly heads from time to time, usually in the middle of the night when I’m trying to get some much needed sleep. My philosophy is that I remember so much because I tend to associate emotions with everything. I feel. I felt. And so I remember.

Last night, a memory popped up that I couldn’t even believe I remembered and I’m not really sure why it was still tucked away in a dusty box in my brain—except that there were feelings associated with it. And then I understood.

I was a school-age girl at the time, probably in second or third grade. My mom took me and my siblings shopping for new clothes because we were starting to outgrow the ones we had. We did this every year, but somehow this is my very first memory of it and I remember many more shopping trips after this one.

We were at Sears. I can still picture it. We walked in the entrance, the Photography studio was to the left and the children’s clothes were farther up to the right. The store smelled of rubber and there was a yellow glow from the overhead lights. The floor was light tan with flecks of color.

My mom and I looked through the little girl’s clothes. I probably tried some on. They didn’t fit. I remember my mom asking a store clerk if they had any larger clothes for girls, never in a way that made me feel badly about myself because I’m sure she was sensitive to how I must have felt, but I didn’t want to be near when she asked. And Sears did—they actually had a plus size section for girls.

The memory is hazy here. I don’t remember if these clothes fit me or not. I remember being anxious that there would never, ever be any clothes that would fit my ever growing body. What would I wear? There would be something, my mom would assure me. It was the first time of many, many times that I would have this kind of experience while shopping.

I remember eventually shopping in the misses section, so while other little girls were wearing the clothes that all little girls want to wear, I was wearing the “youngest” looking misses clothes that I could find—instead, often looking like I was dressed as a mother. Well, except for the time that I got to wear a junior’s size mini-skirt from a trendy store at the jealousy of my older sister who was begging my mom for clothes from this store. However, since I was a little girl, the light pink striped mini-skirt came to below my knees and fit me like a regular skirt. I felt special in that skirt.

I looked it up and Sears still has a plus size section for little girls. And while it makes me sad for the young girl who will most likely struggle with her weight for her entire life, it makes me happy that maybe she will be able to find a dress that makes her feel pretty. So she doesn’t feel like she stands out even more than she already does. So that she doesn’t have to worry about whether she will find clothes that fit her, but can just be a child without a care in the world.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

10 Things That Helped Me Lose Almost 90 lbs.

I am not new to this weight loss game. I lost almost 90 lbs. not all that long ago. Apparently, I knew how to lose the weight then yet I am struggling to figure out how to lose it now! Funny the way that works.

Here are 10 things that helped me lose the weight:

1. I Planned to Exercised: I remember waking up during the 4 a.m. hour to work out before going to work for the day. I made it part of my routine so that I would get it done. I remember mornings struggling through the Couch to 5K Week 1 (for months) on a used and worthless treadmill in the living room. I remember moments of triumph and strength as I met my goals.

2. I Made Exercise Fun: Hubby joined me in countless walks that eventually became runs. We biked together—even biked 26 miles one time! We took swimming lessons together. We had so much fun being active together.

3. I Blogged Regularly and Honestly: Back in those days there was no fear of someone I know in “real life” reading my blog and judging me for how much I struggle with my weight and food. I blogged honestly about my struggles and it was good for me. I worked through issues and kept myself accountable in a fun way.

4. I Said No: This is something that I struggle with today. They say self-control is a muscle that has to be worked over and over again until it’s strengthened. However, this muscle can also become weak again. Back in my successful days, I was able to say “no” to the delicious treats and foods that I love so much.

5. I Practiced Moderation: While I did say “no” more often, I also allowed myself decadent food in moderation. I could eat a cupcake from my favorite cupcakery now and again. I could eat all foods—just in moderation. Nothing was truly off limits—and this really worked for me.

6. I Guzzled H2O: Seriously. My co-workers used to tease me about all of the water I brought to work every day. There are so many benefits to being faithful about drinking water—like feeling healthier and having more vibrant skin.

7. I Set Goals: Who remembers my Columbia fleece jacket that I earned for losing 40 lbs.? Or the pedicures? Or my ever elusive goal of taking a trip to Hawaii when I meet goal weight? These goals at every 10 lbs. were motivational.

8. I Remembered Personal Motivators: The reason I began my weight loss journey was largely in part to a Doctor who scared me into it. She told me she was worried I would have a stroke and that she did not recommend me getting pregnant. Being healthy enough to have a baby was a big motivating factor for me, and I did it—and we have a beautiful baby girl because of it.

9. I Changed How I Treated Myself: I used to hate myself—even more than I sometimes loathe myself now that I’m starting again. I had incredibly poor self-esteem. I changed that so much. I started treating myself kindly and I nipped negative thoughts about my self-worth in the bud. I changed my mind and I made big changes in my life because of it.

10. I Envisioned a New Me: There is a lot to be said about the power of imagination. When I huffed and puffed my way through 30 seconds of running, I would envision that I was seconds from completing a marathon. I would envision who I wanted to be—healthy, energetic, toned, athletic, and happy. And then I worked hard to become that person.

The truth is, I know how to do this—I just have to practice what I already know and that’s the hard part. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

Monday, January 19, 2015

$200 Lush Décor Giveaway


I’ve had the redecorating itch lately. I’ve been dreaming up ideas and perusing Pinterest for just the right ideas.

I love how the gray paint turned out in the nursery, and I’m pretty sure I want to paint our bedroom the same shade of gray, repaint our hand-me-down furniture with chalk paint in a color that makes it pop, and completely change the look of our bedroom.

Lush Décor has some beautiful home goods—from bedding, to window treatments, to shower curtains. They have graciously offered me an item of my choice in exchange for hosting this giveaway and I just can’t decide what I want! There are so many gorgeous options.




Lush Décor is offering you a chance to win a $200 gift card to spend on a single purchase of one item or multiple items. Now it’s your turn—visit Lush Décor and tell me what item, or items, you would choose.

To enter the giveaway, see Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekly Workout Challenge

I did it! I worked out 4 days this past week. It’s a great feeling to have a met a goal.

To meet my goal I did the following workouts:

  • 20 minute bike ride
  • 20 minute bike ride
  • 20 minute walk outside
  • 10 minute bike ride

Anyone who participated, how did the challenge go for you?

This week, I aim for the same goal—to workout 4 days this week for a minimum of 10 minutes. It’s an attainable goal and it’s a good start.

BUT, this week I would like to increase my overall workout time. Last week, I worked out a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes, so I’d like to make that time longer to show more progress.

What additional workout challenge are you aiming for this week?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Keeping at my Weekly Workout Goal

My last post was SUCH a debbie downer I had to post something a little more positive to make up for it!

I biked 4.4 miles in 20 minutes today, got my heart rate up and some endorphins flowing. It felt good!

That puts me at completing 2 out of 4 workouts that need to be completed by Sunday and also puts me at getting 3 workouts in over the past week. So that’s a marked 300% improvement in the workout department from last week. How’s that for positivity?

While biking, I read my baby books, which gave me some better understanding of some of baby’s recent behaviors, taught me more about infant (and adult) nutrition, and also counts towards my resolution to read one book per month.

So there’s a little more positivity in my life.

What’s something positive in your life right now?

Week 2 Progress Post: It’ll get better

I really didn’t want to post about my week at all, but here goes.

I’ve had a rough week. I haven’t been feeling well physically or emotionally. Something is just off. And while no one really cares about how I’m feeling—I’m going to blog about it just to get it off my chest!

I’m tired and have absolutely zero energy. I take advantage of the small bursts of energy I sometimes get during the day to get everything done that needs to be done. I have to keep this ship sailing.

People always tell brand new moms “sleep when the baby sleeps”, and I literally did that maybe once (even now that I’m well past the “brand new mom” status). Her naps are my time to get things done. Yesterday, I was so exhausted that I decided to take a nap during baby’s daily afternoon nap. I quickly fell asleep only to find that she only wanted to sleep for 30 minutes, even though every single day she sleeps for 1 hour and 15 minutes. I slept really well last night and so did baby—thankfully!

I have felt nauseous. At first, I just didn’t eat because I wanted to stay on my eating plan. The less I ate, the more miserable I felt. So when I ate a piece of toast and it made me feel better, I said “screw it” and started eating. And then my diet fell apart and I’ve had three brownies this week. (I’m probably lucky that we’re on this darn budget and have no delicious food in the house or it would probably be worse!! ha)

I’ve had headaches that won’t go away and anyone who gets headaches regularly knows just how physically and emotionally draining that is. I’ve been a little weepy.

I am feeling a little better today—just tired. Poor baby doesn’t seem to be feeling well today and was crying and trying not to nap this morning. Poor thing. I hate those times when there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to make her feel better and I don’t know what it is that she needs.

Maybe we have had a little bug. I really don’t know? It’s not like I have flu symptoms or anything to that extend. But I sure hope whatever it is goes away very, very soon!

So in all honesty, I gained 1.3 lbs. this week. I’ve now lost 2.1 lbs. total. And sadly, at the beginning of the week I hit a new low…which I can’t count now!

I am having one of those weeks where I feel like throwing in the towel. I’m incredibly discouraged and disheartened—I feel like I’m stuck in a vicious cycle! But at the same time I know I should really just cut myself some slack this week. Not all weeks will be like this one. The important thing is a downward trend and I know that when I am feeling like myself again and have more energy that I will be back at it in full force. It’ll get better.

And now I’m done putting myself out there and will try not to feel sorry for myself anymore! On a positive note, it’s the weekend and hubby will be home to help with the baby! Also, it’s going to be warmer! Yippee!

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I’m in here somewhere

As part of my plan to get rid of “stuff”, I began pulling totes of old clothes out of storage. All of the clothes looked brand new (probably because most of them are) since I hadn’t seen them in probably a year. And they are SO cute. And all of them are too small.

It made me feel very sad. A lot of these clothes hold memories. There’s the Underarmour shirt I wore when running a 5K during a vacation in Florida.

Florida 027

The Calvin Klein shirt I was so thrilled to be able to fit in and that I wore on a dinner date for my birthday with hubby.

birthdayandLukeBryan 104

Shirts that I worked hard to finally to fit into.

birthdayandLukeBryan 080

I could hardly believe that I actually fit into some of the clothes at some point. They look so small compared to what I am wearing now.

And they reflect me and my style—something I have not been able to really express for quite a while with the added weight. It’s hard finding clothes that reflect me in the plus size section and besides, I don’t want to spend the money on clothes I don’t want to admit that I fit in again.

I feel like I am hidden somewhere in this body beneath all of the fat. Those clavicles are still there. That look of accomplishment and happiness with myself can be found again. The energy can be found again.

I’m in there somewhere. I just need to find “me” again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Five Fitness Items to Inspire my Workouts

I mentioned in my Week 1 Progress Post that, although it was a New Year’s resolution, I didn’t workout during my first week and wanted to improve on that in Week 2.

I kick-started that plan the next day by getting up early in the morning and jumping on the treadmill for a walk. I’ve also completed a biking workout as part of my Workout Challenge this week. As much as exercise is a thorn in my side right now, I know that I need to do it for my physical and mental well-being.

With a little inspiration from browsing the products at, I’ve put together a quick list of five things to help me continue my workouts:

  1. Yoga/Pilates: I often think that a good workout has to involve cardio but unrolling the yoga mat and doing some yoga or Pilates is great for strength, flexibility and mental clarity. Pilates is just one of those workouts that I really love to do—so that’s an added benefit.


  1. Gadgets:  I love my fitness gadgets and I love viewing all of the data after a workout. One of my favorite gadgets is my Garmin Forerunner (although I have an older version)—but I will need to wait until we have an unseasonably warm day before I can pull that one out again. (Any of you lucky-ducks in warmer climates could benefit from this right now!) Otherwise, I have my heart rate monitor and a Body Media—talk about loving gadgets a little too much!


  1. Body Ball: When I first started this journey and began working out, I used a body ball pretty often. There are a lot of great strength and stability exercises that you can do with these. I’ve also seen “mommy and baby” type workouts involving a body ball.


  1. Kettle Bell: Would you believe that I have a kettle bell and I’m not even sure if I’ve ever used it? Seriously. It’s time to give it a try and work on toning my arms and feeling a sense of accomplishment after finishing a good workout.


  1. Step Aerobics: Why don’t we take a step (get it? ha ha) into the 80s with some step aerobics? I actually have a set of these too and I know for a fact that stepping up and down on these will really get the heart pumping and calories burning.



The fact is, lack of equipment is certainly not an excuse for me not to work out! I’m actually kind of excited to think about doing some of these workouts and tracking my performance with one of my gadgets—guess I better get them charging!

This post brought to you in partnership with Posts like this help pay A Journey to Thin expenses and sponsor some of the giveaways you love!

All photos taken from the website.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Converting a Mason Jar into a Water Bottle



I have a goal right now to drink at least 80 oz. of water per day. While I’m usually a big water drinker, lately I have found myself struggling to get in all of the water.

I started using a quart mason jar paired with a Ball sip & straw lid and I’m finding I’m having no trouble getting my water in.

These are really cool! The lids are available to fit a Regular Mouth mason jar  or a Wide Mouth mason jar. They’re used with the corresponding ring

The retail pack includes four BPA free lids and four straws, like the one shown below.


I love to fill my mason jar up with ice cold water and I sip on three of them throughout the day. I also enjoy adding lemon or grapefruit slices to my water for some extra flavor.

If you’re a Trim Healthy Mama, these are also perfect for sipping on your Good Girl Moonshine or The Shrinker!

How do you make sure you’re drinking enough water?

I was not paid for this post but I am an Amazon affiliate and if you click on the links I’ve provided in this post and purchase the product I will receive a small portion of the sale.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Workout Challenge for the Week—you’re invited!

This week I am aiming to workout four days this week. It doesn’t matter what the workout is, as long as I complete a workout that lasts at least 10 minutes—it will count.

On Friday, I woke up early and hopped on the treadmill for a 1 mile walk. And embarrassingly enough, that was about all I could handle! I better start stepping it up if I want to participate in the annual Fourth of July 5K.

A friend of mine offered to be my workout accountability buddy this week. That will be a motivator to get moving.

As a challenge for those of you (like myself) who are struggling to get into their exercise groove, I’m inviting you to a challenge.

I will post when I have completed my workout on my Facebook page (even more accountability—eek!) and I’d love for anyone else who wants to be accountable to post on my Facebook page too. We can do this!


  • Workout four days this week. The workout week runs Monday through Sunday
  • Each workout must be at least 10 minutes long
  • Any workout will do—just get moving, lifting, stretching, cycling, etc.
  • Post on my Facebook page when you have completed a workout and let me know what you did. I’m hoping this will give me (and all of you) some workout ideas!

I will be true to my promise and post my workout today!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Trim Healthy Mama: A Summary (My New Healthy Eating Plan)

**** Update 12/27/2015: I am no longer following Trim Healthy Mama due to the way I felt while following the plan. My stomach began to feel “off” and I just didn’t have that “healthy” feeling and I went with my intuition and quit the program. I also want to note that it was during the time that I followed Trim Healthy Mama that my Postpartum depression symptoms became the worst. I do not know if the two are correlated or not, but I do question if it could have something to do with the large amounts of stevia and erythritol that I was consuming. However, I did learn that consuming some fat is helpful for satiety. A lot has happened since that time and I am now happily following a new nutritional plan which has yielded amazing results for me and I feel better than ever. If you’re interested in hearing about what I’m doing, contact me via social media or emailing *** 

Trim Healthy Mama A Summary

I began Trim Healthy Mama back in October and lost 7 lbs. from October to the end of November—which is amazing progress for me (a turtle when it comes to weight loss). After falling off the wagon during the holidays, I’ve started back up and have lost 3.4 lbs. in my first week back on plan.

I’ve been on the plan long enough to know that it’s not a “lose weight quick” scheme or the newest fad that promises weight loss but either doesn’t yield results or can’t be done long term.

Trim Healthy Mama involves real food and has turned the “dieting” world upside down for me. I have learned so much. And this is why I am finally sharing my new plan with you—I know there will be readers out there who could benefit from the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle.

Let me give you a few basics about the plan:

What is Trim Healthy Mama? The healthy eating plan was designed by two sisters, Serene and Pearl, who became fed up with the various fads out there. The sisters researched and, through trial and error, came up with a plan that is healthy and also effective for weight loss. The book has a Christian approach.

How do I learn about the plan? Serene and Pearl wrote a ginormous book (642 pages) called Trim Healthy Mama with their research findings and recipes. But don’t get scared away by the length of the book—as I mentioned, there are a lot of recipes, so it’s almost like getting a book about the plan and an additional cookbook for the price of one. I read a few chapters about the basics before getting started and then finished the book while I was following the plan—it took me about a month to read the book! The printed book costs just shy of $35 on Amazon (and is available on Prime) and is well worth the price for what you get.

You can also visit the Trim Healthy Mama website to learn about the plan and watch videos.

How does Trim Healthy Mama plan work? In a nutshell, there are two basic types of meals (there are more once you get the handle on the basics)—Energizing (E meals) and Satisfying (S meals). These meals always have protein and veggies in addition to the carbs or fats.

Energizing meals are carbohydrate based—and that means from healthy sources like fruit, sprouted bread, oatmeal, quinoa, beans, sweet potatoes and so on.

Satisfying meals are fat based—and this includes butter, coconut oil and other healthy oils, red meats, eggs, nuts and even cheese.

You never combine large amounts of carbohydrates with fats for a single meal.  The important thing is that you are eating BOTH, but not together and at the same time. In this plan, E meals and S meals are never eaten with less than 3 hours in between. You can have days when you only eat E meals or days when you only eat S meal—you can even mix it up. In the event where you are eating the same meal types consecutively, you do not have to wait 3 hours.

Oh, there’s no sugar. But stevia is a substitute. (and if you know me, I love me some sweets and I do just fine on this plan—the cravings are minimal, it’s kind of amazing)

This is a very general summary of the basic premise of the plan. But when it is followed, you turn into a fat burning machine.


  • You can eat chocolate on the plan—not all kinds, but there’s chocolate on the plan!
  • The only cost to begin is the cost of the book.
  • It’s real food and minimal processed food.
  • THERE IS NO COUNTING CALORIES OR POINTS—it’s liberating. I am one of those unlucky people who typically cannot practice “intuitive eating”; However, on Trim Healthy Mama I don’t count a thing and I continue to lose weight. And, aside from the occasional stress eating episode, I don’t go on eating binges.
  • It’s a plan you can stick to because there are so many delicious eats.
  • The biggest lesson I have learned on this plan is that I never came close to eating enough fat on previous diets. I cannot believe how much less I want to eat when I am eating healthy fats—I feel so much more satisfied.
  • There’s also a great Facebook group for immediate support.


  • It can get costly if you choose to buy special ingredients regularly. You really have to budget and pick and choose what you are going to buy each week or it does it get expensive—but it can be done on a budget.
  • It’s easy to fall into the “low carb philosophy” trap where you think eating cheese, foods cooked in butter and unlimited cream in your coffee is all you need to do to lose weight. The entire premise of the plan is that you need to include BOTH carbs and fats—not only one or the other. I fell into this trap the first time around and I started feeling really crummy and miserable—but adding in a healthy E meal made all the difference. Make sure to follow the plan the way it’s designed and you won’t have a problem!
  • The format and organization of the book is a little chaotic, but you can find an alternative index in the Facebook support group.

That’s a little basic information for you on the new healthy eating plan that I’m following. As I mentioned previously, my first goal is to lose 10 lbs. and as a reward I will get a pedicure—I cannot wait to meet that goal!

I’m curious, are there any other Trim Healthy Mamas out there? Hit up the comments!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Week 1: Progress Post and Life Update

Hello everyone! I hope your first week of 2015 has gone well and you are making progress on your goals.

I lost 3.4 lbs. for week 1! I am happy with that.

What I did well: I was really good about getting back on plan if I ever ate something that wasn’t 100% on plan and I didn’t let it trip me up—I stayed mindful.

What I could improve on: Exercise. Didn’t do any. I am still trying to figure out how to fit everything into one day with a baby. I want to keep the house clean and keep up on laundry, cook and eat healthy meals, blog, look for ways to make additional money to help with the budget (and complete them), and play with baby and give her the attention she needs (#1 priority). I’ll get there.

And now for a little more personal check in for the week.

It has been SO cold—like –20 to –40 wind chill. This means that baby and I have been stuck in the house for a week now. Talk about cabin fever.

I have been trying to find ways to keep baby entertained. She grows tired of the same old toys. I made a little fort by putting blankets over our coffee table and putting toys underneath (she loved it). I’ve been giving her kitchen items to play with, like Tupperware, measuring spoons and cups, putting a small toy inside of a container so it makes noise—WHATEVER I can think of. We read books for a few minutes but she’s not old enough to have much of an attention span (unless the book makes sounds/noises). I lay on the floor to be her personal jungle gym—she loves that one, but one day she bit me so hard I have little baby mouth marks to prove it. She takes her baths and splashes and plays with her toys. Any mamas out there have any other ideas for an 8 month old?

The little one is starting to have little tantrums. And I am not sure what to do! She gets mad and bangs her head on the back of her high chair, for example. I put kitchen towels behind her head so that she doesn’t hurt herself or something. She gets really angry sometimes! I didn’t know this started at 8 months. Oh boy…!

I’ve been selling “stuff” up a storm lately! We’re up to over $218 since January 1st and more scheduled to be picked up tomorrow! I’ve started selling my clothes and I’ve had a good response. Slowly but surely we will be rid of the clutter.

Hubby and I haven’t had a date out together since October. I decided we will have to start having monthly “date nights” at home. We will alternate months planning them. I volunteered to plan our first date—so I’ve been brainstorming ideas for that. I found a fun “conversation starter” type game with free printables—which I’m sure will give us lots of laughs (don’t tell hubby—it’s a surprise). Maybe I’ll make a favorite snack food or something and we can just chill having quality time together. I’ll do a recap when it’s over. I’m glad I have a hubby who will play along—it’s good for the marriage! Any suggestions for at-home date nights? Hubby was so sweet and surprised me with the prettiest flowers this week.


So that’s a little of what I have been up to lately! I’d love to hear from you—hit up the comments, shoot me an email (, or say hello on my Facebook page or Twitter!

Oh, and I’m giving away a cute workout tank top!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

‘Sweat is Sexy’ Workout Tank Giveaway

If you’re like me, one of your New Year’s resolutions probably has something to do with working out. I want to work out more regularly—at least most days of the week.

Maybe during week one you are energized and ready to meet your goal, but as the weeks progress you start to get bored and start losing sight of your goal. Pretty soon, you find yourself sitting on the couch in your stretchy yoga pant eating ice cream.

But sometimes all you need to keep from finding yourself on the couch is just a little extra motivation. Something to spice things up. That could be changing up the workouts, finding a workout buddy, or a new piece of workout clothing.

Wear Luck produces “The clothes that say GOOD LUCK!”. Good luck on your goals, good luck on your workout, just plain and simply good luck with all of your endeavors. They have a great line of inspirational clothing with some really cute stuff! Definitely check out their site.

Wear Luck graciously sent me a Sweat is Sexy tank. (image from website)


I chose the coral color and I love the flowy A-line style and especially the gathered racerback. The top is great workout inspiration that with a little sweat, I’ll be looking and feeling better in no time.


This Wear Luck fitness line comes in coral, grey, and green and size small through XXL. I love the message that comes with the tank:


And I have one Wear Luck Sweat is Sexy tank to give away to one lucky reader! Yippee! You may enter through Rafflecopter below—giveaway runs from today through EOD 1/14. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Must Haves for Traveling with Baby

This will be one of a series of posts of “must haves” for baby. I want to share items that I have found the most helpful and that I have used the most as a first time mom. Baby girl is 8 months old now, so I am sure I will add to this list in the next 4 months, but this is a start!

The items on this list apply to various situations when leaving the house with baby; whether it be just going shopping, spending the day at a friend’s house, or going on a road trip—these are my top items that I’ve found the most helpful.

  1. A big, huge, stylish cross-body baby bag with lots of pockets: I LOVE my baby bag. After much research (and a great coupon), I decided on a Coach Signature tote in black/white/silver. It’s cute and no matter how much use it gets, it continues to look brand new—and that’s what I’ve always loved about Coach. I saw it as an investment—one that will last me through more than one baby.  This in one splurge you should make.  Sometimes in my post-baby body wearing my post-baby clothes, I feel like this bag is the only part about my wardrobe that really reflects me.

This bag is for the times when you will need everything but the kitchen sink with you when you go somewhere. And no matter what brand you chose, ALWAYS chose a baby bag with a cross body option. Believe me, you will thank me when you realize how many extra hands you wish you have when you become a camel mother. Hands free cross-body is the only way to go.


  1. A mid-size cross-body bag: . There are other times when you just need a couple toys and an extra diaper (just in case) when you run into a store quickly. Lugging the BHSCBBBWLOP in #1 can be a bit of a chore and sometimes it’s not necessary. I keep a cross-body bag handy so I can stuff a few necessities in with my wallet and keys and it makes for a much lighter trip. I’m actually currently in the market for a new cute one of these—the one I’m using isn’t all that cute—but it works.


  1. My Baby Corner Diaper clutch: We were given one of these Etsy shop items as a baby gift and I absolutely love it. It’s cute and it keeps the diapers and wipes organized and in their place.


  1. PishPosh Mommy Wet Bag: These wet bags have one compartment that is water proof and another that is not. It folds in half and buttons so it’s easy to carry in the baby bag. This bag works great for stashing a dirty diaper when there is no place to throw it away, storing dirty clothes, burp cloths, toys and pacifiers when out and about. Easily machine washable and super cute.


  1. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket: I keep one of these rolled up in my bag to use to cover whatever surface I’m using for diaper changes (changing station, seat in the car, wherever). They’re light weight and super cute. They’re also a great summer time blanket. And, of course, they’re a great swaddling blanket.

Aden + AnaisSwaddle Blanket, Rayon Bamboo, Tranquility, 3 Count

  1. Security Blanket: Trips out of the house used to be a nightmare filled with sounds of a screaming and inconsolable baby. They have gotten much better now, especially since we started giving baby a security blanket to hold on to. She clutches it while in her car seat and it helps me get her to sleep when we are at home and away from home.We actually have two of these—one for the car and one for her nursery.

Circo® Up We Go Security Blanket

  1. BooginHead PaciGrip: Why, oh, why did we wait 7 months to get one of these? The only times baby uses a pacifier is while napping and when she gets fussy outside of home—which includes in the car. It’s SO much easier to locate the pacifier from the passenger seat now that the pacifier is attached to this lovely device! I just clip it to her clothes or bib.

  1. Jewel "The Merry Goes 'Round" CD: This may be the single best thing for traveling yet. My sister gave this to us as a “yay—you’re expecting!” gift and we have been listening to this since baby was a newborn. It is the only music that she never, ever tires of—and mom and dad like it too (just yesterday, my husband came home from a solo trip to the store and told me he didn’t even turn it off--hehe). We have become “those parents”, mostly because it makes baby happy in the car and when baby is happy, so are mom and dad.

The Merry Goes 'Round

  1. Sassy Go Go Bugs: We have been using these since the day she was born. At first, she just loved to stare at the lady bug. As she developed, she has started to play with the various bugs, which all make a different noise (crinkle, rattle, bell). She loves anything with a face, and these are just perfect. She still prefers these over any other car seat toys. (the ones pictured are slightly different than the ones that I have—I must have an older version).

  1. JJ Cole Car Seat Cover: So easy to just zip up and it keeps baby toasty warm. The “shower cap” type (like this one) are safe because they do not sit behind the baby and cannot interfere with the straps.

JJ Cole Car Seat Cover, Khaki

  1. Graco Jogger Stroller Click Connect Travel System: We registered for a jogging stroller that also came with the infant car seat. They work great together. The stroller was a bit bulky for traveling with, but it came in really handy and worked for us in those first 6 months or so. Since baby has grown, we’ve invested in a smaller stroller for the vehicle and keep the jogging stroller at home for our exercise excursions, but this duo was awesome when she was a sleepy newborn—very simple stroller to car transition.

  1. Pre-packaged food: When I began formula feeding, I always kept 3 bottles of liquid formula (enough for one feeding) in my baby bag just in case I ever forgot her bottles. And I have been saved by them too! Now, I also carry one pack of baby food, a spoon & a bib, and HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs. I make her baby food at home, but when it comes to travel—having these in my bag works great.

HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs Sampler (6 Count), 60g each, (Strawberry, Sweet Potato, Banana, Purple Carrot and Blueberry, Green Puffs, Apple)

  1. Portable Swing: Baby loves her portable swing and we use it almost every time we’re at the grandparent’s. It helps calm her down when she gets fussy while playing.

Bright Starts Portable Swing, Flutter Dot

  1. Pack and Play: The best way for baby to sleep/play while traveling and very easy to transport.

Graco Pack 'n Play Playard, Aspery

  1. Portable baby monitor: We used this so much. When visiting family, we can let her sleep in a safe and quiet place while we listen in. When camping, she slept in the camper while we sat right outside the door and enjoyed a bonfire and could listen in on our sleeping beauty. It’s nice for a peace of mind.

VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor 

  1. Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine: We use a sound machine because our little one hears absolutely every little sound when awake and when sleeping. This helps muffle the noise and she sleeps so much better. It was rough until we learned this little trick! We make sure to bring ours when traveling and it usually helps everyone get a good night sleep—as long as there isn’t a LOT of loud unfamiliar noise, of course. This particular sound machine has various white noise options and lullabies.

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine, White

If you’re already a mama, what are some of your must haves while traveling with a baby?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...