Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How I Lost 12 Pounds in 5 Days

This is probably going to be a long, drawn out post. Considering I have been rather quiet for several days, you can handle it. Right?!?

I've been mostly quiet because my weight has been climbing out of control. All this time I've been trying and failing. My workouts have been the same. My food was a little bit iffy. I was feeling run down and drained, but y'all we've had a lot going on lately. I just couldn't figure out why things were just so bad out of control. I haven't had real progression in weight loss since June. I've been gaining and losing the same weight for months....

I decided it was time for a doctor's visit. My energy levels were just way off and I was thinking possibly a vitamin deficiency of some sort or possibly a thyroid issue. I felt run down, irritable, and exhausted. Long story short: We drew lots of blood. I have severe allergies this time of year that caused my inner ear to go nuts and I get dizzy spells. Then I have a pinched nerve in my neck causing my arm to go numb. Finally, I have an active Epstein Barr virus running through my system. 95% of adults have this virus that lays dormant in their bodies. During times of stress and sickness, it can become active and cause all kinds of fun problems. It's rare, but happens. A lot of the time, mono accompanies this active virus. I was tested for mono and it was thankfully negative. The active stages of this virus will make me feel exhausted and blah. So.... I finally had answers that I have been questioning for months.

I was at first very overwhelmed with everything last week. My body was angry and it could be months for this virus to move back into a dormant stage. I don't have to worry about getting anyone sick because most people have it anyways, mine is just in an active stage. But, I do not have time for this! I cried to my husband about how I knew something wasn't quite right and I felt so overwhelmed with it all. And that's when I turned towards nutrition once again to heal me. I am still in the beginning stages of trying this all out, but something is actually working.

You know I'm an open book here and I have a huge heart for helping anyone I can. With big bloggers this is about the time that they start asking you to pay for a program. I am a small time blogger. I am not going to do that. Everything I will tell you is one hundred percent free. The information is already out there and I don't recommend anything that doesn't work for me.

When I started researching nutritional healing, I stumbled across issues with gluten. Y'all know I have not wanted to give up my grains since I started losing weight. I refused. Put my foot down. Not gonna happen. I started reading more and more about the Whole 30 approach to eating. Basically for thirty days you remove foods that cause inflammation and allow your body to reset. Gluten, sugar, grains, legumes (beans), alcohol, dairy, processed junk.... Go back to the basics. Lean meats, veggies, fruits, good fats. Real simple food.

Thursday morning... I weighed 163.8. On Tuesday morning, I weighed 151.8. Y'all...... That's 12 whoppin' pounds!

Are you ready for allllll the crazy details?

  1. Get the junk out!!!!
  2. No cheating. Whatsoever.... Those bigger bloggers? They say something along the lines of #onpoint or some mess like that. I am not going there... You are welcome. 
  3. Give it 30 days. We can do anything for 30 days, right?!? It's one month out of your entire life to give something one hundred percent. 
  4. The apple-cinnamon infused water? Drink it. Every day. All day. That's not Whole 30.... That's Whole Wendy approved. 
  5. You will detox when you remove the crap from your body. It is part of it, it is expected, and it feels amazing on the other side of it. 
  6. Good, quality foods only! I will share my specific meals tomorrow. You have to come back for that because this post is nuts! 
  7. Focus on the things you CAN eat instead of the ones you cannot. I am not restricting calories and I am very satisfied. This is about healing our bodies and the weight loss is directly influenced. 

I have noticed in five days that my joints aren't as stiff. I am slowly getting my energy levels back. I am happier because my body is beginning to feel better!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Chocolate Is Salad

I've got crazy bad allergies and they are running me ragged! I love spring and summer and everything that comes with it, but oh my goodness....pollen hates me! Those gorgeous blooming trees right now?? Killing me....

On a brighter note....

Amen to that!

Ryan and I grilled out last week and the food was simple, but delicious. Eating well doesn't have to take tons of effort to be delicious. Throw some steak or chicken on the grill with some veggies and you can't go wrong.

I also went to my first Zumba® Jam session. Basically you learn five new songs that you can use in your own classes. I loved it! I was able to hang out with some of my favorite Zumba® girls. For those of you who are licensed instructors, I highly recommend taking a Jam session with Nina Idol. She is fabulous!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Thoughts

Life has felt a whole heck of a lot like this lately:

You can buy this {HERE}
God has blessed us with such a strong willed little boy. Some days I am proud of his independence, his perseverance, and his quick wit. Other days? Those personality traits seem to get a five year old little boy in trouble. I'm thirty years old and have trouble finding the balance myself. How can a little boy be expected to get it right so often? When Caleb struggles, I see me and Ryan so much in him. I can totally understand, but I still have to teach him the way to handle things gracefully in life. Behind the scenes, I am cringing because I still struggle with everything I am trying to teaching him. Anyone else feel this way??

You can find this {HERE}
Life is full of baseball lately. Caleb has so much energy and spirit that we want him involved in sports to teach him teamwork, discipline, and hopefully get some of that energy channeled into something productive! He has loved baseball so far. I can tell there is a difference between t-ball last year and real baseball this year. It gives me hope... I think football season is going to rock this fall!

I stumbled across this bird candleholder and just fell in love. It's simple, but reminds me of spring. 

This green ice bucket would be perfect for entertaining on the patio or boat this summer! Can you tell I'm getting geared up for some outdoor time? I cannot wait for beautiful weather! 

Starting today and running through Sunday, March 22nd, Daily Dose readers will save some serious cash sitewide at adidas.com when you use code SPRINGSAVE
With SPRINGSAVE, you'll save:
$15 when they spend $100
$25 when they spend $125, and
$40 when they spend $175 or more!
Any exclusions will be listed on product pages.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mid-Week Thoughts

So life is absolutely nuts right now! I promise I am working on something really fun and I will be sharing it shortly. In the meantime, I'm sharing some of my favorite fitness and health motivation quotes....
Image Via

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Advocare 24 Day Challenge with Ashley Scott

Happy Monday! I'd love to share my recap of the 24 Day Challenge with all of you. For the sake of keeping everything open and honest, I am going to share a lot of information with you today. 

  1. I'm sure you're all here to see some outstanding before and after transformation pictures. I'm sorry to say it isn't going to happen. Mainly because I don't have any. When Ashley sent me the kit, my weight was climbing again. I was struggling. I am happy to admit that she helped me stop that process. What more could I ask for at this point in my story? Weight loss is super slow for me right now. Non-existent most of the time because I am at the end of this journey. I am mostly in a maintenance stage. 
  2. I have lost five pounds during the 24 days and I am thrilled about that. It's five pounds that I had gained and was desperately trying to get back off.... so I am happy with that. 
  3. You must be here for me to tell you how easy it was. Well, I am not going to do that either. It wasn't simple. For the first few days I was trying to figure out what to take and when to take it. I am busier than I normally am lately and I can't always remember to take something 30 minutes before this meal or during this meal. If I had time for that, I think I wouldn't have struggled so much. 
  4. Out of everything the one thing I loved the most had to be Spark. When I drank it before my Zumba® fitness workouts, I felt like the Energizer Bunny. I think my life could definitely be sunshine and butterflies if I had an IV drip of Spark going. I would one hundred percent recommend buying the Spark from Ashley over and over. I tried the watermelon and it was really good. 
  5. The fiber drink in the cleanse was actually really good. I tried the peach flavored one and it was really good. I could tell a big difference when I drank it. 
  6. I honestly feel if I didn't have so much on my plate right now (Zumba® classes, baseball practices, moving, getting a home ready to sell, working six days a week) I would have seen much better results. If you have the time to really try it, I believe you would do very well. 
  7. I am beginning to question something medically going on with my health right now. I truly feel like this would have worked better if something else wasn't going on. I am questioning some sort of a thyroid issue or possibly a vitamin deficiency. I will investigate it further. 

Bottom Line: Would I recommend the Advocare 24 Day Challenge to someone looking to lose weight? Absolutely. I really like the products and I believe they do exactly what they say they do. 

Even if you do not buy the whole kit, get some Spark. That stuff is amazing! It will live in my cabinet from here on out. I am one hundred percent sold on that product! If you can purchase the fiber drink separately, I would recommend it as well. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me! I will be one hundred percent open about it. If you are ready to try Spark for yourself, please contact Ashley. She's fabulous and the kit worked very well for her. You can pick her brain too! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Baseball and Family Time

Caleb started his first year of baseball. We played two years of t-ball and we couldn't wait to start real baseball. My brother grew up on the ball fields and we have so many good memories from our summers there. My little boy is playing on the same fields my brother grew up on.

Caleb is fortunate to have his coach from last year. Caleb learned so much last year and we can't wait to see how much he learns and grows this season. He was able to hit in the batting cages for the first time last week and he loved it.

On Friday night, we bought his new baseball bat. He's really big for his age and he quickly outgrew the last bat. I think my poor husband just about had a heart attack after seeing some of the prices on some of the bats!

Caleb begged for "dinner with fire".... so we found ourselves eating Japanese after our shopping trip. He loved it!

On Saturday, my husband and brother went kayaking. Tara and I jumped at the chance to get the kids together. Levi was sweet and snuggly around his nap time. I so enjoyed holding him while Caleb and Zoey played. I haven't held him while he slept since right after his birth and he was still in the hospital. He's just precious and I am so thankful to be his aunt.

He looks identical to my little brother at this age. Sometimes it feels like I'm looking at my baby brother at times and it's really a strange feeling.

My brother and my husband have quite a friendship. I've watched it slowly grow over the years and I am so happy. Growing up, my brother just could not stand anyone I was in a relationship with. Secretly I wanted my brother to like whoever I was with and it made me sad when that just wasn't going to happen. I've sat back and watched my husband and brother become friends and it has just made my heart so happy. At first, I was a little sad. My husband had a better friendship with my brother than I did. But then I realized how awesome it was. I have prayed for a good man to be a friend to my brother and I have prayed for a good man to be a friend to my husband. I just didn't know it would end up like this!

It actually works out really well.... I get to hang out with my sister-in-law more often....both of them love kayaking so I know they're safer going together.... and we can all do stuff with the kids more often. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Floor Plans

I think we have decided on a floor for the new home. Ryan and I have researched hardwood floors to death. We asked you guys... Thank you to everyone for your opinions and advice! We read every single one.

We found an engineered floor that had a bamboo veneer. Ryan has wanted solid hardwood from the very beginning, but we both agreed that the price was more reasonable and installation time was much quicker than installing solid hardwood floor. After reading everyone's advice, we kept shopping around.

We went to Hank's Carpet and started to explain our dilemma. The gentleman walked right over to two solid hardwood floor options.... 

We discussed how I wanted a darker floor, but we also discussed how much lint it would show all of the time. Ryan pointed out that my OCD may not handle that very well at all. The lighter option right above had such a rustic feel to it and Ryan pointed out the little imperfections that made it perfect for my farmhouse vision.

We fell in love with it! It has a certain country feel to it and I think it will work perfectly for our other home choices. It has a neutral wood stain that doesn't have a red or yellow tint. I can see a light gray wall pairing well with it.

The biggest selling feature for us was the saw blade marks on the planks. If I scratch the floor, I can simply come behind with some stain and blend it in. As it ages, it will retain the rustic, country look and will last us for years. This is something that will stand up to the everyday use from my busy family. I have a busy husband, a rowdy five year old boy, an active stepson, and a country lovin' stepdaughter. We don't have the time or energy to wipe a floor down twice a day. We'll be good if we take our shoes off in the mudroom!

This handscraped hardwood floor is five inches wide and 3/4" thick. Hank's will be installing this flooring for us for the same amount others quoted to install the floating floor. The installation time is nearly the same as well. When you go with a reputable, local company who knows exactly what they're doing, it's really a simple decision. We got a better price for a much nicer floor that worked even better for our whole family. It helps to ask around and check with friends and family who have bought flooring recently.

We have a few weeks left before it's time to order, but I will be happy to share the whole process and final pictures with you. Again, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to help us choose! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Personalized Wedding Bands

Y'all know I love anything customized. I'm an Etsy addict through and through. I stumbled across Designed to Shine's gorgeous anchor wedding bands and just fell in love. Hillary sent Ryan and me wedding bands to represent our love, our hobby of boating and our history together. Ryan and I work together at a large marina and the anchors represent us so well. I couldn't imagine better rings for us. 

It's a little tough to see in the photo, but the rings have an "R", an anchor, and a "W". Ryan's ring has been through a lot in the past six and a half years since he never takes it off. His new ring looks so much better!

And it looks gorgeous with my wedding band and engagement ring. I love it! Ryan's ring is slightly wider than mine and looks a lot more masculine.

You can customize your own ring {HERE}!

Personalized Custom Anchor Wedding Bands Men and Women

Designed to Shine also has monogram necklaces that include your children or grandchildren's names. They can be found {HERE}. Now's a perfect time to think about a special lady on Mother's Day. 

Mommy Monogram Filigree Necklace - Monogram Jewelry

Hillary also has beautiful monogrammed infinity scarves as well. They can be found {HERE}. 

NEW Monogram Knit Infinity Scarf - Available in Four Colors!

You can also like Designed To Shine on Facebook for updates, coupons, and giveaways. Hillary is so sweet and helpful. She has such a love for the Lord! Visit her page for inspiration and joy. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Sunday, y'all! This weekend was gorgeous compared to the weather we've had lately. I taught my Friday night Zumba® fitness class at Fit One and actually had plenty of daylight coming home. 

I've been looking for ways to use my new electric pressure cooker and decided to see how quickly meatballs and spaghetti could be made. I tried the Barilla pasta with veggies. If you have a picky eater at home, this is perfect! You get a full serving of vegetables while still enjoying your pasta. I worried about it tasting funny, but I honestly could not tell a difference with the meatballs and spaghetti sauce. 

The meatballs cooked for nine minutes in the pressure cooker and they actually tasted like they had simmered slowly all day long. I was so impressed!

On Saturday, we shopped for hardwood flooring. I believe we have found "the one". This entire time Ryan pretty much let me make all interior choices for the renovation. He'd offer his opinion here and there....but the decisions were ultimately mine. That is until we found our hardwood floor. I have never in my life seen someone fall in love with a floor, but I'm fairly sure it happened Saturday. My husband was so excited about it. I'll share it later on this week because it's a little different than my original plan.....

While we were shopping, Caleb fell for the stuffed animals. Keeping him from actually touching one on his level was tough....

That afternoon we made a few trips between houses to move boxes. We are storing these until we get the renovation done, but at least our other home is getting emptied so we can finish up a few projects before listing it for sale.

We stopped to enjoy the sunshine for just a few minutes. I still cannot believe that I will get to enjoy my coffee looking at this view. I just feel so thankful.

Caleb is busy learning to climb trees. Heaven help us.... I see broken bones and casts in our future. Pray for us!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Monogram Decals

I have always wanted to add a monogram, but I couldn't find just the right one. Tandra over at CuttinUp2 steered me in the right direction. CuttinUp2 made me a monogram decal for my SUV. I got to pick my color, font, and size and they sent me just the one I've been wanting! 

customized monogram decal

 It was such a simple, quick process. She was so helpful and answered every question I had. I second guessed my idea until she sent me a quick picture.

customized monogram decal

Not only do they have custom vinyl decals, they can customize other products. I love this monogrammed beach bag with anchors! It would be perfect this summer on the boat.

Monogrammed Beach Bag

These collapsible chevron baskets would be perfect carrying everything when we spend our summer at the ball fields. I always have more than I can carry when I'm walking to the field. 

You can check out CuttinUp2's Etsy store {HERE} to see all of their products! 

Friday Finds

I've been thinking a lot about spring lately! I'm so tired of ice and threats of snow. Sure, it's beautiful but nothing compares to the colors of spring. This rug reminds me of happiness and sunshine! 

Riley Rug

And we can't forget that Easter is right around the corner. I collect bunnies and I like to bring them out for Easter decor. This would be so cute sitting on the kitchen counter. 
Bunny Dishtowel Set
I think this dress would be so pretty on Easter morning with a white cardigan. I am seriously debating ordering it. 

What are you wearing for Easter? Do you match with your whole family or just do your own thing? Some years we have matched, some not. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cast Your Votes!

I love the home improvement blogs that ask readers choices in decorating options. When you see those choices come together in the projects it seems the chosen items look great together. While I'm not a home improvement blog, I love the idea of asking for help! 

For those of you who want to play along.... I could really use your help and opinions!

1. I need help choosing flooring. I want a farmhouse feel for the house with light colored walls, lots of light streaming in, and gorgeous dark hardwood floors. My inspiration has been something like this (but with dark floors):

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I love how bright and pretty it is. Our home needs some updating. Ryan and I will remove the carpeting and have hardwood flooring installed. We are gathering prices and quotes now, but we are stuck. Would you install solid hardwood or engineered? The flooring will be installed over plywood, so we can choose either option. 

2. Ryan is making me a farmhouse table. I have wanted one for so long, but now I actually have the space for one. Our goal is to seat up to eight people. Our family of five gets squeezed together at a regular table and we'd like the option of having friends and family join us more often as well. I need to make some lighting decisions pretty soon.... What looks best over a farmhouse style table like this? 

Image Via

Option A

Option B

Option C

3. I need help picking a nice, neutral greige color! Thoughts??

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