What we've been up to……..this weekend we had a family wedding… So much FUN…I'm from a large family and when we get together, it's always a super fun time.......
Music on… AND AWAY Carter GOES…. He loves to DANCE!!! I CANT say I blame him.. he does have my rhythm…..
Family is Everything!!!! It’s something I take pride in….. we don’t get to see each other as often as when I was younger, but when we do…. It makes for a really really good time…. Growing up we lived closer to each other, but now some live far and some live near…. My family is super supportive, and my cousin was quick to bring up the blog and how he liked to read it (super proud moment for me-Thanks A) .……My aunt suggested I do a blog on “How I lost weight” and since Ive been asked about it by several readers as well, I decided to go for it……… (bring on my awkwardness)
Soooo.....How did I lose weight… Yeek!!!! NOT a comfortable subject to talk about… I try to seem confident about it and try to be proud of my accomplishments, but honestly…. It is HARD for me to talk about-weight is an awkward subject…..years in the making and hard to change … First off, people have judgments about weight and weight loss, and I'm my worst critic…to me, there is no perfect size… there is just you..... and how you feel…. so I figured to help me “get over" my awkwardness, I might as well write about it…..
One year ago, I set out to be healthy and lose the “baby weight.” I wanted to feel good for myself and to be healthy for my family…. So I set out with a goal… lose the baby weight…. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, but I was determined…I’d done it in the past so I could do it again….. Arggggg but totally true…… I have tried all different types of plans, diets, programs, etc…… I still go on a sugar cleanse and/or a detox-especially after the holidays, but in general, what really works for me is calorie counting and meal planning….Here is what I did and what I do to stay on track......
Be Honest with YOURSELF.......
So “they” say that staying healthy is 20% exercise ( click pic for my blog post on my workout regimen) and 80% nutrition…. IM definitely not “they” or any kind of expert… I have to be honest with myself… Long term speaking, I know IM going to eat dark chocolate- not every day but sometimes… so if I do, I have to add in those calories…. If I plan to go out for drinks, then I have to eat lots of veggies during the day to save up calories…. I think of it like my bank account… If I don’t have it, I cant get it…. So I must save for it…. I want to enjoy life but also have a healthy long life so to maintain things; I have to calorie count…. This makes life realistic for me….
One bite DOES count- if I don’t know the calories and cant Google it, then a small bite is always at least 100 calories… better to be over than under.
Staying organized and making things easy on busy workdays is a MUST…. I wouldn’t and wont be successful without it….
I meal PREP and PLAN on SUNDAY … Sunday Funday…. I prep lunches. It helps me stay healthy during the week and makes packing lunches so simple… I don’t have to take time or make time… I can just grab and go….. I actually do the same for Carter’s lunches- super simple.
My Lunch.... I make ALL my lunches and snacks on Sunday for the entire week.... I just stack them in the fridge so they are ready to grab and go!
(Recipe for these Cheddar Bay Bread Clouds- soon to come…..Delic)
Carter Lunches.......For Carter’s lunches, since they DO NOT stack nicely, I use a large plastic Rubbermaid bowl and in goes everything…. I separate each item into sections so I can just grab and put into his lunchbox..... 5 lunches DONE all on Sunday....
When we get home from school... its out with the old and in with the new..…..packed and ready to grab the next morning… .
Dinners....Meal Planning. I also plan out my dinners on Sunday......My weeknight dinners always take less than 30 minutes … start to finish….. it cant be more… I want to get it done and then enjoy my night. I use this calendar and plan out what we have for the week. I find most of my recipes on Pinterest or from Laura Vitale (she’s my fav) … I just experiment until I find what tastes the best….. Have I mentioned I love Pinterest….
Helpful Tip: My Fitness App makes things super convenient… it gives calories (micros if you’re into the little details) of items and lets you log a daily food journal….I started with this App to food journal….. Such a great way to start…… I highly recommend it….… This way, even on cheat days or when we go out to eat.… Im not really cheating…. It all must stay the same calorie count….:0)
A Look at Life this week… we started another sport's season… BASKETBALL!!!! Carter loves to play- takes after his dad on this one……. Colby loves to pass the ball to Carter…. Boys will be boys…. Much Love!!!!
Sticking with Workouts from last week’s blog, I thought about “What makes a workout easier”…. Cute workout gear of course!!!!!…… Does anyone else find it easier to work out when you love your tennis shoes (Im an Asics girl myself) or when you have a workout outfit that makes you feel like Alex in Flashdance….. This got me thinking… What is my favorite workout attire?.... Im pretty basic on top: black, black and more black, but what Im really picky with is workout PANTS…. Leggings to be specific….. Leggings and I have a very long relationship- they have taken me through all of my pregnancies, through weight gain and weight loss, and through it all , we have continued to love each other..... They really are my go to….….. I’ve tried all different kinds but three brands have passed the test of time and are my go to, tried and true, ride or die workout/lounge, live in pants…. Here are my favs:
2. Victoria Secrets Knock Out High Waist Tights….. The name fits these- they are a knockout…. These leggings, you must check out… I wear these for all types of workouts- mall-walking, kickboxing, yoga, piyo- these are my go to… They smooth out everything and will not slip or move- they pass the Yoga stretch test…. They are more casual and have small details that make them “workout” gear… that doesn’t mean I only wear to the workout …Nope , I wear these all over the place, but consider them on the casual side. Fit wise- they fit on the slightly smaller size.
3. Free People Capris….. Just call me a free spirit…. I love love love the brand Free People... the style and the look, but honestly the price vs how things hold up… doesn’t impress me… that was UNTIL….. I found their capris leggings…. I have several different styles of these…. They are pricey but I love them and they have held the test of time…… They are more stretchy than both the above leggings but still smooth thing out and provide enough movement without slipping down. I also wear these as workout pants AND/OR, because they have super cute details, for a casual look…. The details on the legs add the perfect “little extra” to a casual outfit. The fit is slightly on the larger side.
Im such a boutique girl!!!! These can be bought at Nordstrom- link above but I bought mine from Too Blue Boutique!!!! A local shop!!! You must must must check them out!!! the styles, the look- such a gem!!! Soooo wonderful!!!! Let me know if you shop there and what are your favorite finds!!!!
Here is the website: http://tooblueboutique.com/
I have my mental list of boutiques and favorite places that I shop at....let me know if you'd be interested in my favorite shops......
WORKOUT gear- CHECK ✔️. Give these a try if you are looking for an excellent pair of leggings or want to spice up your workout gear..…Let me know if you try them!!!….. Much Love!!!
Fashion Finds are something I love look for............What is trending? What are the "Looks" for the season!....... What can be added to my go to style!!! .....So I decided to add a little extra this week and share my favorite finds in fashion!!! Just for fun.....this week my obsession is Booties.... I love looking and making "wishlists" or "soon to purchase" lists! Here is my current list for tan booties.......
Style away loves.......Much Love!!!
Click each Bootie Picture for the Link!!! :)
Top Left: Sole Society Olive
Top Right :Sole Society Bridget
Bottom Left: Toms Majorca
Bottom Right: Lucky Brand Bashina
Fashion Finding -from the COMFORT of HOME!!!!
Working it Wednesday Link Up: Working it this New Year: Fitness Routine… Making a Plan and Keeping to IT!
This weeks post Im Linkin' Up with other bloggers to share "How We Are Workin' It In Life." This week is New Year's goals......the FIRST week into a New Year’s Resolutions didn’t/doesn’t seem that difficult, but WEEK TWO is when things start to lose their SHINE….Were not at “Oh, I’ll just take this day off” yet but the newness definitely starts wearing off…And WORKING OUT is a top goal for a lot of us in 2017...... With Workouts, some people love them …. Some people don’t… personally, working out is good for my stress level, but Id rather be drinking coffee and reading a book…. I don’t love the gym, but I must workout…. So in order to get my needed workout…. I make sure to do it in the AM….if I didn’t, they wouldn’t get done or I wouldn’t be able to maintain the routine…..
My WORKOUT Routine:
I wake up each morning and do cardio….this could be treadmill, cycling, weight training or a video…. Wakes me up and burns some calories…. I started with 20 minutes and over the last year, I've progressively added time as my fitness level increased…currently I am at 60 mins and stopping.... that's enough for me........but sweating doesn’t have to be high impact… this is why I love cycling- it keeps those calories burning. I follow a HIIT routine when on treadmill or bike… Works really well and makes the workout super effective.…
If I’m cycling or on the treadmill, Netflix or TV shows are a MUST!!!! I get to binge watch and workout at the same time….. What are your favorite Netflix shows- getting ready to start Season 1 of Gilmore Girls…. YAYYYYYY!!!!! Please SHARE your favorite shows!!!!! Need ideas!!!!!!
Something new I started adding in is weight training….I read an article that described how important it is to build strength as well as cardio…. So arms, abs, legs, and plank it is…I do this after my cardio...... I follow this format…… Pinterest find!!!!
Working out at home is great and something I must do, but working out with others/ with an instructor really helps me push myself and keeps me accountable…..Two to three nights a week I add in Kickboxing, Piyo, Yoga, Cycling or something fun that I hear about… this would be a little bonus to my workout routine…. This is just a way to spice things up and keep me working different muscle group… what I love most about working out is the friendships with others… I love chatting about what worked for whom, what workouts they love and what they do to be successful….They help me stay accountable and also feel good about my successes….
Either on your own or with an instructor, the key to keeping the workout routine going is to make sure to plan in time… This is why AM works so well for me. I don’t have to worry about kiddos, dinners, things that might come up…. I already have it checked off my list before the sun comes up… Sure I love those extra minutes of sleep- hitting that SNOOZE button for a little extra ZZZZZ, but in order to get my workout done… I have to do it in the AM… any other WORKOUT is just a bonus, I cant count on it- I never know what the day will bring….
Here are some excellent at home videos…..I stream most from Youtube….
Tone it UP- love these girls…. I first fell in love with them when they had a show on Bravo… don’t judge… Im a Bravo junky….. BUT SERIOUSLY…. Their workouts are amazing… Mixed together or tagged onto my cardio… I can find any kind of workout!!!!
Throwing it back here…. WAY BACK…. Cindy Crawford style… This is an oldie but a goodie… This beauty has been with me for literally for years….VHS- to be exact..... I know the arms and leg routine by heart …. .. It’s repetitive but works the whole body… love that it is low impact…. I just had to throw this one in!!!!!
Yoga by Adriene…. This is a great workout for the Yogies out there….. I truly didn’t consider myself a Yogi…. But truthfully I really didn’t give Yoga a fair chance…. That was until I did Vinyasa Hot Yoga….there is something about how Vinyasa flows that makes everything seemed balanced. Not to mention the workout is amazing…. My muscles are so sore after….. Adriene has tons of free videos from beginners to advanced… definitely worth a try :0) All from the safety of your home :0)
AND WHY, might you ask, THIS IS WHY I work out in the AM… evenings are meant for these babies…. Reading, Playing, Laughing… family time is what I wake up looking forward to… it is what I miss the most when things get too crazy…. It is what I MUST keep my evening free for….
Hope this helps a little with managing your New Year’s goals...…Check out some of the other bloggers on this Link Up- soooooo many great reads…. Much Love!!!!!
It’s a New Year and New Beginnings…. For my family this year brings a lot of NEW!!!! I just can't believe it- time couldn't have moved this quickly.......this week Colby started Pre-K. (insert crying momma with large sunglasses, messy bun, waiting in a parking lot so people didn't see me bawling- yup that was me!!!) This was very very scary for this momma…. He was ready… I was not- am not… BUT I had to do what was best for him… and just like that, he thrived. Sweet Colby is taking to school like a duck to water....can you tell I'm proud!!!
With that being said, Im not sitting her saying all is perfect.....I’m sure there will be tough days, I myself have tough days, but he is doing excellent, and we are so happy.
With a child with a disability or any child who may need additional services, at age three services change. What once was followed by early interventions transfers into a school setting… Sweet Colby transitioned beautifully and will continue to adjust…. Again I’m not saying there will not be tough days but for this momma, it was a wonderful success!!!! Here are a couple of pictures from his first day....
This brings me to my New Year’s Resolutions.......
PERSONAL: Try to LET GO!!!! Im trying to let things go… trying to relax in the moments and take my advice to the early Jackie…. It’s not easy. Im overly emotions, overly expressive, overly sensitive, but that is what makes me love and care so deeply…. BUT for my personal sanity… and Travis’s- just kidding…. Im am going to try and let things go....What will be will be….
HEALTH- Drink MORE WATER…. Im a coffee addict… coffee to me is like a warm hug… it just starts my day…. BUT this winter especially, Ive had a little … well actually A LOT too much… So my goal is one-two cups per day and then the rest WATER!! (I will probably throw in a cup of tea in the afternoon but for the most part… WATER) …… So here’s to it!!! CHEERS!!!
FAMILY- Getting back into a routine….. I love routines and schedules and lists… they are part of my soul…. YET during the holidays, we didn’t really have a schedule. With holiday parties and an attack of a not-so-nice bug….our routine was completely forgotten. Since the holidays are over, it's back to our routine. Cleaning schedule, Workout schedule, and Meal Planning…. (Blog post soon about each of these…more to come)
Hope your New Year has started off fantastically.....Life is about enjoying the moments- with a little extra or a lot..... Much Love!!!
The holidays are officially a wrap….. It feels like a blur of happiness, joy, and memories-made…Here is a recap of our last two weeks… unfortunately, my babies got the flu during the holidays so we were “shut in” for part of our holiday break…but despite sickness we thoroughly enjoyed every moment!!!!
We started our Christmas break with a “Christmas Lights Tour”…..
Stop 1: Wild Lights at the Zoo- This is our second year of going to the Wild Lights at the Zoo… and I have to say I loved it even more than Boo at the Zoo… such a fun way to spend the night… seeing animals and finding the hidden scavenger hunt –stamps from the animals/characters. Carter was on a mission to find all… and he did!!! Travis, of course, was just as apt to find them as well… where does that acorn fall….
Before the lights, we ate at Cheesecake Factory… I must say a far a Gluten Free is concerned, Cheesecake Factory has my vote…. The salad, fries, and flourless cheesecake were delicious!!!! Definitely returning for another piece of cheesecake…. You must try!!! Godiva Flourless Cheesecake
Stop 2: Santa’s Magical Kingdom: This was the first year we went to Santa’s Magical Kingdom….My sister in law and brother in law invited us and It was so much fun. There are several ways to enjoy the lights, but we took a carriage ride through the park. Colby and Carter loved every minute of it…. Being outside with music playing and light shows displaying…. It was so much fun… we definitely will be going back….
Stop 3: Way of Lights- this is such a wonderful place… we actually drove through two more nights because it is so magical. PJs, Coffee and Christmas Lights… what more could you ask for…. We love to drive through with coffee and hot chocolate… it’s a nighttime treat for our family AND it is only a few minutes from home.
This was just moments before Carter became ill with the flu…one would never know from these smiles. Trying to get open eyes with Christmas lights and a camera flash is not an easy feat…. It’s the best I could get!!!!
Christmas Wrap Up, New Years and MORE Decorations….
I don’t want to take them down!!!!!! Its my Holiday Card Tree- I just can’t get over this tree. This is our Holiday Card Tree. I use the Holiday Cards as ornaments. To me a Christmas Card is a piece of someone’s heart… I love looking at the pictures and how kiddos have grown OR the world travels of friends…. I keep each one..… such a fun way to display….
I promised Id share…. Here is our Christmas Card for the Year…
My heart shines on Christmas morning… the saying is true… There is nothing brighter than the eyes of a child on Christmas…. The boys create their Christmas List to Santa using this saying. We spent the morning rejoicing about the day, enjoying our new gifts, and having a Christmas Brunch.
I just have to share this gift: It’s the “Something for our Family” gift-a gift for our whole family will enjoy. This year we needed…. AHHHHHHH… A New Rug (I said that in an Ana voice from Frozen expect insert rug instead of sleigh), … yes, I’m such a goof but I just love it……this one fits our décor beautifully. Santa noticed it on Overstock, and delivered it magically to our door…. I highly recommend- so soft , if interested, Click the picture for the link.
New Year’s Eve: Full Bellies, Warm hearts… We spent this New Years at home with the boys… 2016 has been good to us but we are ready for the new beginning of 2017… My favorite saying is “Beginnings are Usually Scary, Endings are Usually Sad, but What Counts is in the Middle.” Cheers to making 2017 the best Middle yet!!!! Much love to all!!!!