Thursday, April 09, 2015

Shop My Closet!

I'm doing a little Spring cleaning and decided to list some of the nicer clothes I am parting with for sale on the blog. 
Everything is in great, if not perfect, condition and comes from a smoke-free home. 
Most could just stand a little ironing, as you'll see. :) 
All things are freshly washed and will be sent out the next day after Paypal invoice has been paid, via USPS with a tracking #. 
Things purchased on a Saturday or Sunday will be sent out Monday morning.
Shipping will be an additional $6. 
I will combine items if you buy multiple things so that you only pay shipping once, of course. 
If you want something, leave a comment with the number of the item you want, and your Paypal email. When something is purchased, I will update the blog and mark it as sold. 
Invoices must be paid the same day. If not paid, the item will go to the next person or be relisted for sale. I just don't have time to worry about holding things and waiting for payments.

1. Old Navy "The Diva" Jeans - Size 8 Regular

2. Denizen by Levi's Essential Stretch Modern Skinny Jeans (never worn, with tags!) Size 8 Medium

3. Denizen by Levi's Modern Skinny Jeans - size 6 Medium. Worn some but in great condition. SO comfy!!

4. White jeans. Not sure of brand, bought from local boutique a few years back. Super comfy and stretchy!! 
Size 29. 98% cotton, 2% spandex

5. Old Navy teal shorts. 3.5" inseam, size 8

6. Old Navy light blue shorts. 5" inseam, size 8

7. Old Navy khaki shorts, size 8. 3.5" inseam

8. Old Navy Coral shorts, size 8. 7" inseam

9. Old Navy Khaki bermuda shorts, size 8. 11" inseam

10. Mossimo cut-off denim shorts, size 8. 4" inseam. Only worn a few times last year.

11. International Concepts color-block dress. Super comfy, fits bigger and flowy. Size medium

12. Merona blouse. Orange with white polka-dots. Hidden fabric belt cinches in at waist. Size medium.

13. Old Navy "The "Flirt" Flared jeans. Size 6 Long. Fit a little bigger. I'm 5'8" and they are pretty long, but I liked to wear them with heels/wedges so the length was perfect for that.

14. Entro ruffle tier top (purchased from Red Dress Boutique back in December). Cute and comfy. Fits very flowy and over-sized and is stretchy. Size medium. Slightly higher in front.

15. Kerisma color block top. Comfy, soft, and a bit over-sized. Purchased from Blue Door Boutique a couple years ago. Size S/M

16. Express top with jeweled neckline. Flowy fit, slightly longer in front. Size Medium

Let me know if you have any questions about an item. I'll do my best to answer promptly.

Monday, March 23, 2015

AdvoCare Progress Report

I feel like I'm back in my teaching days using words like "progress report". But I haven't checked in on my healthy eating/weight loss progress in a while so I thought today would be as good of a time as any.

First things first:
Since January 9th (a few days before actually starting my 24 day challenge) I've lost almost 15 pounds. I've also lost 2.5 inches from my waist, as well as several inches (total) from my hips, thighs, chest, and arms.
So, that took about 2.5 months. It came off pretty easily at first, but the last few pounds have definitely taken their sweet time to lose. That's bound to happen at some point or another, especially when you get near your goal weight.

A few stats: (because our curiosity always has us wanting to know the actual stats)
Left photo: 147.4 lbs, size 6, sometimes small 8
right photo: 132.6 lbs size 4
(I'm 5'8")

same stats as above, different angle and a different top in the before pic...

You may recall, I did my first 24 day challenge around this time last year in an effort to jump-start losing the rest of the weight I gained with the twins. When I started that challenge, I weighed in at 165.4 lbs. So, in about a year I've lost 33 lbs. I slacked off on my diet toward the middle and end of 2014, so another challenge was in order. Since completing it, I've stuck with healthy eating and done very well in that area. Exercise is another story, which is why I will start running regularly again and doing some workouts on our Total Gym upstairs.
New (bright and fun) kicks will help motivate me to start running again.
They always make it more somewhat fun.
Shoes are Nike Flex 2015

As far as a goal weight, I honestly don't really have one. I know how I want my body to look and that's more what I'm focused on. I do want to lose a few more pounds(mostly on my belly...if only it were that simple, right?) and tone up and get into great shape. Being "skinny" doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy and in good shape, and that's what's important to me.

So, do I still use AdvoCare? Absolutely! I'm actually a distributor so you know I believe in the products. In addition to drinking Spark once every day or every other day, I also take Catalyst and OmegaPlex and I'll have a meal replacement shake for breakfast if I'm in a rush, or just want a tasty chocolatey drink.

Being successful with weight loss is hard work. It's easy to get frustrated if you're not seeing the results you want. It's easy to get off track and hurt the progress you've made. The key is to keep your eye on the prize and push forward. If you fall off the wagon, get yourself back up and press on. 
Avoid having temptations at your house. Have healthy alternatives on-hand. Plan and prep ahead of time. Allow yourself the occasional indulgence, but get right back on track with the next meal. 
Realize you are human! 
Be proud of yourself, because you're awesome and you can do anything you want to do!

Friday, March 06, 2015

7 Tips To Help You Eat Healthy (And Stick With It)

Sticking with a healthy eating plan isn't always easy. Believe me, I know.
Temptation is everywhere, and who doesn't want that gooey fudge brownie over some almonds or carrots? I know I do! But part of living a healthier lifestyle means sacrificing some of the things we want and making better choices for our bodies.
I thought I'd share a few tips that have helped make healthy eating easier for me.

1. Plan & prep.
This is probably THE most important thing you can do when you're trying to eat healthier.
Having things prepped and ready to eat as much as possible is vital.
I do my grocery shopping every week. I've tried to do it every other week, but with 3 kids it's just not possible. We always need to stock up on more milk, diapers, wipes, snacks, fresh produce & meats, etc.
The first thing I do is make my menu for the next week. That one thing alone makes the shopping and the prep work so much easier.
This also goes for eating out at restaurants, or at a party or event. Plan ahead and decide what you are going to eat, if possible. If you know what restaurant you're going to, browse the menu and decide what your choice will be. Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions when it comes to sides, dressings, etc. They're happy to swap things out, omit items, or decrease the amounts.
If you know you're going to a party where "bad" food will be served, or there won't be many healthy options, eat something ahead of time so you're full and satisfied, and not tempted to eat what's there.

2. Cook extra!
Making enough for lunch the next day takes all the headache out of coming up with good healthy lunch options.
When I grill up some chicken for dinner to serve with veggies, I grill it all so that I can use some in salads and other lunch dishes throughout the week.

3. Stock up on easy to grab, but healthy, snacks.
My staple snack is a Larabar. They're delicious and filling and could not be better for you.

Another favorite is Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt. I love the vanilla with some berries and a little granola. So satisfying.
You also can't go wrong with an apple and some peanut butter, a serving of almonds, hummus and veggies, or a little trail the sodium, sugar and other nutrition info on that, though.

4. If you can't resist the temptation, don't have it in your house.
I've learned there are certain things I just cannot have in the house, so I don't buy them. Potato chips, cookies and cakes, or candies. If they're in my pantry, it's really hard for me to resist them sometimes. If you know there are certain things you just can't resist, you're setting yourself up for failure by allowing them in your house. This is especially true if you're early into your new healthy eating lifestyle. If you haven't built up the willpower and discipline to avoid them, just don't even bring them into your home.

5. Get a George Foreman Grill
Or wipe off the old one collecting dust in your cabinet.
Yes, I'm talking about the Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine
For years, I hardly ever used mine. During the cold months or rainy weather when you don't want to grill outside, it's just way too convenient and quick to not use it. Get yourself one!
We have this model and it is awesome. It has 5 removable plates, although I mostly use the grill plates. It heats up fast, cooks evenly and quickly, and whips things up in no time. 
I couldn't live without this thing.

6. Try new things.
Don't be afraid to try new foods you've never had before. You may be surprised at what you'll like. And if you don't like it, you know never to buy it again. Haha!
For me, cauliflower is one of those vegetables that I've always hated...mostly because I'd only ever eaten it raw. Bleh!! But when you try cooking something a different way (or in this case, cook it at all), it can completely change its flavor and texture. I love making cauliflower mash when I'm wanting mashed potatoes as a healthier alternative.
Roasting it also makes it super tasty. If you're iffy about any veggie, give roasting a try. Just a little olive oil, salt & pepper and roast it in the oven. It gives things a wonderful flavor.

7. Cheat.
Kinda. You know I allow myself one "treat" meal a week. This is usually on a weekend, preferably for breakfast or lunch. I just don't like eating a big or rich meal for dinner.

I think it's so imperative that we allow ourselves a little cheat from our healthy eating for a few reasons: 
1. We're more likely to stick with healthy eating if we know that little treat is coming. 
2. It's important to reward ourselves on a regular basis so we don't feel deprived and go on an eating binge. 
3. We're human, and life is too short to not enjoy the ice cream or the pizza from time to time. Go for the splurge. There's too much delicious food in this world for us not to eat it. 
Just, maybe, don't eat it every day. :)

Happy Weekend!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

My List of Must-Haves with 3 Kids Under 4

As you can imagine, having 3 kids 3 and under (Hudson will be 4 in April) isn't the easiest job in the world. It requires energy, patience, planning and preparing when possible, and of course...a sense of humor.

I can only imagine what family dinners will look like when my kids are a little older.

But I made a list of a few things that help make life just a smidgen easier...if that's possible.

We have two of these and use them so much! We keep one in the kitchen by the highchairs for clean-up after meals, and we keep the other in the diaper bag so we always have one when we're on the go.
We use Pampers diapers in our house, but prefer Huggies wipes (especially the One & Done that are thick) so these are just perfect for us. They are super durable and you can refill it over and over and have it any time and place you need it.

With twins, this thing is vital. Not to mention, Hudson likes to get in there with them from time to time. We went with the big 8 panel one and I'm so glad we did. It fits perfectly in our living room and they still have tons of room to play and run around in it. Our house has a pretty open floor plan so for us, it's not really an option to just let them roam around freely just yet. Door openings are far too wide for a normal baby gate to fit, so this keeps them contained, but allows them a good bit of freedom as well.

Because, obviously.

We used these with Hudson when he was younger and they are a life-saver when you're at a restaurant. They stick to the table, then just toss 'em when you're done. 

Simple to use and totally worth the price, especially when you have 3 sick kids like I have had the last week. They're almost 100% now, thank goodness. But, this made it so quick and easy to check temps one after another.

A good monitor is not cheap, but it's so worth it! We use this one for the twins and we have another small one for Hudson. (Yes, I still have a monitor in his room.) This one can hold up to 4 cameras, so that's pretty awesome. The only (minor) con I've found: if it's not plugged into the wall adapter, the screen goes black after a minute or so(I guess to save the battery), making you press the top button to turn the video back on. I usually always leave it plugged in, so this hasn't really been an issue for us. Also, occasionally the Wifi will mess with the video/sound for a minute but it's not all that common.

Our Suburban has a DVD player in it, but before we got it we had a portable set like this. There was a time when I said I wouldn't have a DVD player in my vehicle. 
Well, I'm smarter now than I was then. Haha!
Especially for road trips, a DVD player is definitely a must for our kids...and our sanity.
Anybody need me to quote Frozen or Despicable Me for them? No?

I have proclaimed my love for this sound machine many, many times. The twins have one and Hudson has one. If it weren't for this thing, they would not be the great sleepers they are. The twins would hear Hudson's loud mouth in the mornings when he's up before them, and vice-versa. For that reason, it's a must have for us.

9. Go-go juice for momma

10. And the occasional...

Hahaha!! Kidding. Maybe.

Seriously, though, when you have multiple children who are close in age, the most important things you can have are not material things....
Patience - not always easy to come by
Energy (insert go-go juice here)
Preparation - planning ahead is huge!
A sense of humor - you have to be able to laugh so you don't cry
Flexibility - not the kind where you can touch your toes or put your body into a pretzel, although that'd probably come in handy, too.
A routine - kids thrive on a consistent routine. Things don't have to be done the same exact time every day, but it helps if they're done the same way and in the same order as much as possible.
They like knowing what to expect.

So, if you're a parent of multiple children, especially younger ones, take a deep breath and know you're not alone. We're all figuring this thing out together. Practice a little patience(I say this mostly to myself), keep that sense of humor, go eat some chocolate in the closet, and get that bottle of wine ready for bedtime. ;-)

Oh and keep the Clorox wipes handy, 'cause kids are gross.