Sunday, August 30, 2015

Updates and Football

I started my new eating plan on Saturday. Overnight I dropped two pounds. Wow!!! I haven't had a loss in a while, so this is great news. I am just really proud of that. I feel like I am finding my motivation to rededicate my life. I am finding the energy and determination to tackle things at home, with Caleb and Ryan, and finding what it means to be healthy again. 

Ryan and I had a big heart-to-heart this weekend about my views on weight loss and the lifestyle I want. He admitted that he loves me bigger as I am now and I tried to explain that I am not content with the weight gain from the past year. I know I have been sick, but I am ready to put that behind me. Even though I feel rough some days, I can always make better food choices. I am tired of turning to comfort foods when I feel rough. 

I also admitted that my views of food and exercise last year were a little obsessive. I wasn't anorexic by any means, but I can see now that I was well on my way to that lifestyle. I don't have to be tiny to be happy. I can fully appreciate my size last year as being about as far as I care to take things. I don't have an overwhelming need to be any smaller any more. I think my mind is in a much healthier place now. Maybe I was supposed to go through all of this sickness to discover that. 

I've realized that I want my comfort foods, but in a healthy way. I am tired of restricting everything in life and obsessing. 

*** If you emailed me about my eating plan, I sent out the first week's plan this weekend. Please check your email. Remember, I am not an expert and you always need to check with your own doctor before starting ANY plan/supplements/fitness plan. I care about you guys and I want you safe and healthy! 

Saturday morning, I ran out of ACV (apple cider vinegar) and I wanted to experiment to see if I noticed a difference in my energy levels. I sat through Caleb's football games and I began feeling run down, dizzy and just generally blah. These symptoms have stayed with me for months and are part of my adrenal fatigue diagnosis. We picked up some ACV on our way home, I sipped my drink and mowed the grass. About 20 minutes into mowing, I perked back up. When I have mowed this summer, it typically takes me an hour and forty-five minutes. By the time I finish, I am drained and sore from the lawn mower. Saturday afternoon, I felt better. I was able to clean, finish laundry, and get Caleb cleaned up. I also slept better than I have in a while. I think there's really something to this.... You can find my favorite recipes with ACV {HERE}! 

This weekend was the kick off for football games! Caleb is wearing my dad's high school football number this year. 

And we played football where I graduated from college. I can't believe how much Caleb has grown in just a year. He went from the baby of the team last year to one of the biggest this year. His team is very disciplined this year and I am proud to see Caleb stepping up and doing his part.

We celebrated with lunch after the game. Caleb was worn out, but happy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes

Happy Friday, y'all! 

If you contacted me about yesterday's post {HERE}, don't worry! I am working on some things for you and will reach out shortly. 

From curing tummy troubles to weight loss, apple cider vinegar seems to have many health benefits. From my own reading, I have read that apple cider vinegar can help with energy levels and adrenal function. I am all about finding better ways to manage my energy levels. Any of the other possible benefits are just icing on the cake. 

Drinking apple cider vinegar in water takes a LOT of getting used to. If you're like me and it tastes disgusting, you won't stick with it. I've found several ways to dress it up. Hopefully you can find one that you enjoy better. 

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, found {HERE}, is all that I use. 

ACV and Lime

2 tablespoons of ACV
1.5 tablespoons of lime juice 
Truvia/Stevia to taste (I use 3 packets)
1 quart of water

ACV and Tea

1 Pomegranate Fizz Herbal Tea (or your preferred herbal tea)
1 quart of water
2 tablespoons of ACV
Truvia/Stevia to taste (I use 3 packets)

***Prepare tea in boiling water. Then add remaining ingredients. 

Apple Pie ACV

2 tablespoons of ACV
1/4 teaspoon of caramel extract
A dash of cinnamon to taste
Truvia/Stevia to taste (I use 3 packets)
1 quart of water

Knock Your Socks Off ACV

2 tablespoons of ACV
1 tablespoon lemon juice
cayenne pepper to taste (Go easy!) 
1 quart of water

The tea recipe is my current favorite. I have enjoyed sipping it in the mornings while taking my little one to school. You can drink these hot or cold. It's totally up to you! I normally sip these three times per day. I always follow up with water after to rinse off the ACV on my teeth. 

Remember that I am not a pro! Always consult your own doctor before changing things up! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Full Blown Chaos

We're random today. My thoughts are all over the place....

  • My little kindergarten kid seems to be adjusting better now. He found some of his buddies and is getting used to the new schedule. And I have officially cried less today! 
  • Zulily released Christmas decor and gift ideas this week. The thought of Christmas at the new house is making me so happy. 
  • I am researching stuff this week involving food and weight loss. I am kinda thinking I want some volunteers to jump in with me and try it out. Any volunteers? Seriously.... Email me at for real. It's FREE! 
  • I'm also realizing that I have had a pretty unhealthy approach to food. I went from one extreme to another. From binging on food to deprivation. That's no way to live. 
  • I'm starting to piece together my weight loss issues may very well be health related issues. I've put so much pressure on my weight loss that I didn't stop to think some of it may be out of my control. 
  • My husband is clearing out my future studio. Yes, he has given me a place to turn loose, turn up the music, and dance! 
  • I am being referred to another specialist soon. I'd like to have a third set of eyes on my health just to make sure we are on the right track and are doing all we can to heal things. 
  • I struggle when people in real life ask how I am feeling. For some reason I have a difficult time letting people in to see my struggles and battles. I adore them for taking the time to ask how things are, but it's so hard to actually talk about it. There are so many people who have it ten times worse than I do and I don't like complaining. But in reality there are times I fight being sick the majority of my days. Some days it takes everything I have to climb out of bed. What kind of life is this? I don't know how to ask for help or accept help, even from my own mother. I just want to stay tough even though I am really not so tough anymore. 
  • I don't know what I'd do without my husband. He sees the mornings that I can't find my motivation, he sees the nights that I collapse, he sees the frustration that I have bottled up from not being able to do everything I want. He sees it all. I can't hide from him. 
  • My little boy is getting a Nintendo 3DS XL because I am a full blown sucker. He cried that the other boys at school have them and think he's a baby because he just has a Leap Pad. Yep, I am a sucker. But I am not alone.... my parents joined in. Because obviously he's great at convincing us he's pitiful. I keep telling myself that I am rewarding him for his stellar behavior lately. I am convinced he will make a great attorney or salesman one day.... I thought I had my daddy wrapped around my little finger....This child has taken my skills and mastered them. I am in trouble.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Structure and Balance

Kindergarten has been tough, y'all! Caleb and I love structure and order, but that got flipped around when he started something new. Have I mentioned I really struggle with change??? Apparently my child does too....

The first day I dropped him off in the car line. It literally felt like I was throwing my kid out on the side of the road to fend for himself. I cried when I got out of sight....

Then we tried a different approach. I walked him in early the next time and it was a little easier for both of us! Day five and I think we may finally be getting a handle on things. I think we're going to make it. Ha!

Meanwhile, I have flung myself back into Zumba® classes. It feels amazing! My body is tired, but it's a good kind of accomplished tired. Last week my doctors determined I am suffering from adrenal crisis due to all of the steroids I've been on for months. I am currently being treated for it. I am finally beginning to see some changes and I am quietly hopeful.

With fall coming and the weather getting just a bit cooler, I changed things up. I chopped off about six inches of hair and went to the dark side. It's drastic, but I think it's just what I have needed lately. Mentally I think I'm going through some major changes. My health has sidelined me and made me reevaluate my lifestyle. Last year my biggest goal was to see how small I could get. I didn't realize that it consumed me and I gave up so much just to be smaller.

That's not what life is all about. Now that I haven't had it, being healthy means so much more. I admit that I am still struggling with accepting the weight gain. I do think I will drop weight once I get my health issues straightened out, but I am growing impatient. My mind is ready to do so much, but my body isn't letting me yet.

I guess I'm trying to discover my new normal and find the motivation I need to redirect things.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


I completed Day 1 of Whole 30 yesterday. I feel like I deserve an award or something like that. Maybe a ribbon. While I have felt so run down, I have not had the energy to even really care about what I was eating. Sure, I knew it was bad for me but I absolutely did not care. 

Now that I am beginning to feel better, I am assessing where I am physically. I don't like what I see. Trying to find the motivation to buckle back down is a little tough mentally right now. I feel like I have so much to catch up on. 

Having a chronic illness stole so much from me. Now I'm just angry. Not only did being sick bring on the pounds, but it took a lot from me. It took my ambition and happiness. I missed things. I've got a lot to make up for. 

I had an amazing Zumba® fitness class last night! Being gone for several weeks was torture. I came back to smiling faces and a few new ones. We rocked a couple of new songs and it just felt so good to physically be able to workout. When I walked away from my last class a few weeks ago, I called my husband in tears. I told him I just could not teach another class until I had a treatment. My body was done. 

Coming back was just awesome! I am sore today, but it's a good kind of sore for once. My body worked and it feels the pain of being challenged. I have never been so happy to have sore muscles. 

What are you happy about today? What are you working on this week?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Roundup

This kid started Kindergarten last week. Can y'all believe it? I started this little blog when he was just a couple of months old. The only time I've seen my child nervous was walking into the elementary school for the first time. Fortunately that passed and he really enjoyed his first day. My biggest prayer for him right now is that he loves school. He has a fabulous teacher so I think the odds of him loving it are pretty good!

Caleb's sister went with us to his first day of school. I am so thankful she got to share that moment with him. Our home has been filled with wild and crazy these past six weeks. On Friday, we spent the evening with Ryan's parents. We all played football until it was almost too dark to see. Then we were entertained by their body bending skills.... Never a dull moment around our house.

 They also got to see Caleb's football practices.

Last year we played Caleb a little early. He was 4 playing on a 5/6 year old team. He was the smallest kid out there, but he had a lot of heart. This year he is one of the biggest. And his motor skills have improved drastically! It's amazing what a difference this past year has made. He's playing on the offensive line so far and I think he is beginning to grasp the concept of the game.

On Saturday, my stepkids went to their other home. Ryan was on the road all day, so Caleb and I spent the day together. He got in an early morning practice and then we had a date day.

We ended up at the trampoline park so we could get some energy out. 

He's really struggling with going back to a family of three the past couple of days. I'm trying to keep him distracted. I think between school, football, and family time we can help him transition back to being the only kid in the house.

My husband and I are ready to continue progress on the new house now that things are slowing down. We spend our summers wide open and now it's time to get back on schedule. I made a list of things to do in each room. We plan to tackle a room at a time to get things done. 

Today marks a week post-IVIG treatment. I am beginning to see a pretty big change. I got a Fit Bit a few days before my treatment. My heart beat was pretty high, but I've seen a big drop since the treatment. So something is working....

On Sunday we went to family night at our church. Lots of kids, sugar, and inflatables. Caleb and I tried to run the three legged race together. Epic fail! We definitely didn't win any graceful coordination awards either. 

We absolutely love our church. The people are some of the nicest you will ever meet. It's not the fake nice either. They have just honest to goodness amazing hearts and they love Jesus! It was great seeing my Zumba® Divas in the crowd too. 

It feels like life is finally returning to normal and I'm excited for the things to come. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Family Vacation 2015

With our old house sold (you can read more HERE), we were able to squeeze in a much needed family vacation! The beaches were gorgeous as usual, but the waves were huge this time. The kids spent their days body surfing and boogie boarding. We always stay in Panama City Beach. We know and love the area, so we enjoy going there year after year.

We tried to do some surf fishing, but the waves were too crazy for us to catch anything. Ryan was so disappointed!

We had plenty of time to spend together as a family. Ryan and I were so thankful to have our kids with us and make some great memories together. I feel like this was the first time in months that we could finally rest and relax. This whole house thing has been so stressful for us. Between home repairs, packing, moving, renovation, and the selling process, we were just exhausted.

My stepdaughter and I spent some time shopping. We share a love of clothes and shoes for sure! She picked out some new shoes and beautiful new backpack for school. I found tons of stuff I loved!

The best part of our vacation was renting jet skis and going on a dolphin tour. We did see two dolphins really close and it was amazing! Caleb yelled that it was the best day of his life.

The kids were so good on the car rides there and back. It surprised us that Caleb didn't drive us insane!

Now that we've rested we are ready to regroup, get back to "normal", and make some progress!

Friday, August 14, 2015

How We Sold Our House in Five Days

I promised you I had plenty to update you on! Now that I am feeling a little more human, I can't wait to share some of our biggest news. We finally sold our first house! Praise the Lord! We no longer own two homes and I am thrilled to share that with you.

I think the shock that it finally happened is beginning to wear off a bit. The last week of July was an emotional roller coaster. You can read about our week {HERE}. My husband's grandfather was laid to rest and then we turned around to close on our old house in the same day. It's an emotional storm just thinking about it. We currently live in Ryan's grandparents' old home. One of the people who helped give us our dream was laid to rest on the day that all of the details of owning our dream home all worked out. It was a tough day. I was crying for so many reasons.

When Ryan and I sat down at the closing table, we were just so amazed. We met the wonderful buyers and had time to talk about their dreams for our old house. I actually got to walk away knowing they would love and care for the house that contained so many of my memories. What a blessing! When I listed my home, that was one of my concerns. I felt like I had poured so much blood, sweat, and tears into it. It broke my heart to imagine someone coming in that wouldn't love it. I worried for nothing and I am so thankful for that.

Now, I have to brag on the people who made this all happen.

On Instagram many months ago, I posted something about moving. One of the guys I went to high school commented that I should let him sell my house. I just kinda laughed to myself and thought, "Sure." Doug Edrington was always kind in high school and that stuck out in my mind. Over the course of several weeks, I researched Chattanooga Realtors like crazy. Seriously, I research everything to death. Ask my husband.

I came across some great reviews and spoke with several potential agents. I really thought I had narrowed it down to two agents in Chattanooga. One I knew personally, one I did not. I went to Zillow and just happened to notice a top rated company on their site: The Edrington Team. I read review after review and something deep inside of me knew that I had to at least meet with Doug.

Doug came over to the house one afternoon. We had everything torn apart and I was slightly embarrassed about our mess. My five year old was running wild and dirty in the yard. I smelled. My husband was covered in who knows what. But I was desperate. If there was any chance this man could sell our home, it did not matter that my child interrupted our meeting forty-seven times and I was ready to cry.

Doug walked through our house quietly. I was afraid he would actually walk away from us because we weren't a million dollar listing (he had really amazing Zillow reviews, y'all). Instead, he kindly made suggestions about changing some key items in the house. Ryan and I thought we were done with all of the projects and here he was making more changes?!? In all honesty, I was mad for a full twenty-four hours. How dare he???? Did he not know how much we did to the house and then he comes in asking for more? We were soooo done!

In all reality, he didn't ask us anything unreasonable or major. He didn't ask for anything I didn't deep down know I needed to do to make it more appealing after my countless hours of research (I told you....). But still, I was angry. It hurt to know that someone came in and found anything undesirable about the home I had so many memories in. But, he did his job. And he broke it to us gently. Want to know what else???

He was one hundred and ten percent correct! Once we saw the changes, Ryan and I both agreed that Doug knew exactly what he was talking about. He has an eye for that stuff, y'all! I told Ryan that we should have done those things years ago and our home would have worked so much better for us. I could have kicked myself.

Our home was on the market for five whole days. That's it. We had a full price offer after five days. The underwriting process was the only thing that slowed us down. The whole team was amazing to us. From Doug (best agent ever), to Darren (the professional photographer), to Amanda (our go-to info girl), each member of the team helped us, informed us, and gave us peace of mind every step of the way. You can honestly tell when people work well together, and Doug is part of an amazing team. They communicate well with each other as well as with us. I couldn't ask for a smoother process (except for the underwriting, but it was totally out of all of our hands!). If you need people that go above and beyond, value you and your home no matter how large or small, and actually get your home sold, I would recommend Doug and The Edrington Team any day. They are good, down to Earth people who truly do want to help find the right home for the right family. They brought us someone who would love and care for the home we left behind.

I know you're at the point where you're just ready for me to tell you how to sell your home quick. Am I right?

My Top Tips For Selling Your Home Quick

  1. Find the right agent. This is absolutely the key to it all. You must do your research for your area. Start with Zillow. If you enter your own address into the search bar you will notice on the right hand side the top three recommended agents. Look for the one with the most and highest reviews. You want someone who sells many homes, but also someone who has great reviews. Take the time to actually read the reviews. They will point out key sellers if it is a group of agents. 
  2. Prep your home. You must detach yourself from your home. Take down personal belongings and box them up. You will not only be thankful that those items are already packed when it is time to move, but you also allow potential buyers to imagine their own belongings in the space. 
  3. Make sure your home is in nice condition. Most people do not want to move into a place that needs a lot of work. If you have a leaky faucet, repair it (you'll have to do it after an inspection more than likely anyways). If you have bright walls, paint them a neutral shade. A lot of people hate painting (my husband especially). Many people will pay for a home inspection prior to listing so that they can repair necessary items before listing. 
  4. Clean your home! Take time to clean up your home, friends. No one wants to walk through a smelly, cluttered home. Remember: Your idea of clutter may drastically differ from mine. When in doubt, clear it out. You're not selling your stuff. You are selling countertops, appliances, and storage space. 
  5. Put your pets away. Do not leave animals at home for showings or for listing photographs. 
  6. Use the right photos. Do not let an amateur photographer list photos of your home. No offense, but I did that the first time three years ago and got zero real offers. The photos make or break your home. Most of us start looking for potential homes on the internet. If you use poorly lit, cluttered, narrow photos on your listing, you will scare off many potential customers. 

My husband and I finally were able to celebrate the sell of our first home together! We absolutely did not do this alone. Our families and friends have helped us so much along the way. They have prayed with us, cried with us, and rejoiced with us. Just when I didn't think I could do one more thing, our family stepped in and carried us the rest of the way. From painting countertops, to cleaning, to moving furniture, to watching Caleb and cutting grass, they have helped us in every way possible. I am so grateful for all of the love and support we have had from our friends. My Zumba® Divas were the best prayer warriors I could ever ask for. So many of them sent me messages, stopped me after class, and called me to offer support, prayers, and encouragement. I don't think I could have handled it all without them. They were with me the night I got fabulous news about closing and we just praised God together! It was such an amazing experience for me.    

Ryan and I went through a lot to get this house ready for the market and then we did some more. We had the best real estate agent anyone could ask for. And we ended up with fabulous buyers who will care for the place we called home for many years. We are blessed and praise God for orchestrating it all. We could not have done any of this without Him!

Shared With:

The DIY Show Off
Tatertots and Jello
Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design
Whimsy Wednesday
11 Magnolia Lane
The Shabby Nest
Rattlebridge Farm


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