My Spring Bucket List

Spring is here! I repeat: SPRING IS HERE!!!!!

Clearly, I’m a little excited about this. As most of you know by now, I am not a fan of winter. In fact, I hate winter with the passion of 1000 suns. I don’t do well in cold, snow infuriates me (and makes me feel unsafe), and I count down the days until spring from day 1 of winter. I know, you’re all wondering why I live in Chicago if I can’t handle winters. Trust me, if it wasn’t for the fact I grew up here, my whole family is here, and I have deep roots here, I’d be somewhere else.

While the weather app still appears to have a snowflake or two on the radar (typical), since today is the first day of spring, I’m getting myself in the mood for some springtime vibes starting today. What better way to start off a new season than with a bucket list of spring things to do? Here’s my spring 2018 bucket list.

Spring Bucket List

Buy fresh flowers. Fresh flowers don’t make an appearance in my home very often (hubby doesn’t like spending $ on things that are already dead), but spring is a special occasion that literally centers around florals, freshness, and new life. Fresh flowers definitely help set the tone for a beautiful season. Read more

A Different Kind of Self Care | Life Update

Self-care is a super hot topic right now, and rightfully so, as it’s a very necessary and often overlooked thing that people should be doing regularly.  The definition of self-care is “any action we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” This can be practically anything from taking a nap, spending time doing your nails, going to the gym, practicing a little retail therapy, alone time, etc. Like I said, self-care can be anything, and everyone’s definition of self-care can be very different. At the end of the day, it’s about making the unselfish decision to something to care for you and you alone. 

Self-care can often be looked upon as being selfish, but it’s actually quite the opposite.  We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” which is the truth. If your cup isn’t filled, how are you going to pour yourself out to others? As we hear in the obligatory safety video every single time we’re on an airplane “please put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” What good will you be to others if you can’t take care of yourself?  Without making a conscious effort to make sure you’re mentally, emotionally, and physically at your best, you will not be able to be of much help to anyone, including yourself. 

While I am an active participant in my own little self-care routines of at home manicures and facials, time to do what I want, lighting candles and diffusing essential oils, and treating myself to the occasional treat for no reason other than it makes me happy, I recently started on a much more complicated, time consuming, and physically demanding version of self-care, and it could quite possibly be the most important decision I’ve made in recent years. 

I started physical therapy. 

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Currently | March 2018

Eating: No Cow bars on a daily basis. I LOVE that they’re a dairy-free, high protein bar that isn’t off the charts with fat.  They’re only 5sp per bar, which is easy for me to work into my Weight Watchers Freestyle plan. No Cow bars are always in my purse as the perfect on the go snack. Pro tip: the chocolate fudge brownie ones ACTUALLY taste like it. I’ve been loving enjoying one of those at night as my dessert. 

Drinking: Other than the usual (water and coffee) I recently picked up one of the new flavors of Premier Protein: cookies and cream. Let’s just say the flavor is spot on. I don’t typically get iced beverages from Starbucks, but lately, on my way to physical therapy (where I need an extra dose of caffeine anyway), I have been stopping for my triple espresso over ice just so I can put the cookies and cream Premier Protein in there.  Delicious and only 2sp.

Reading: How Should A Body Be? by Bethany Maloche. It’s her personal story about living with CMT, which is the same disease I have. It’s been great reading someone else’s experience and feeling like I can completely relate. Full book review coming soon. Read more

10 Tips To Help You Bounce Back After A Gain

We’ve all been there. It’s weigh-in day, we get on the scale thinking thin thoughts, fingers and toes crossed that the number goes down, and while we can hope all we want the scale does the exact opposite and decides to tell us we gained weight this week. It’s happened to every single one of us. Trust me, you’re not alone.   This happened to me not too long ago, and it got me thinking about what I can change and do right now to help make sure the following week wouldn’t have the same result. I ended up coming up with 10 things to do to help me (and you) bounce back after we see a gain on the scale. 

 #1: Assess What Happened

The first thing you need to do is reflect on the week and figure out exactly what happened to cause your gain. Of course, there are some cases where a gain happens despite the fact we did everything “right” all week long. Perhaps we had a little too much sodium or hormones are messing with us. These situations are unavoidable and will sometimes result in a gain despite our best efforts, but these tend to be the exception when it comes to seeing a gain, not necessarily the rule. Odds are we can find something that happened in the past week that might have helped the scale out a bit. Maybe we didn’t track a whole lot of BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes), which would have added up, or maybe it was not tracking entire meals that contained Smart Points, which I know I’m guilty of.  Did you eat different, less nutrient dense foods? Is working out typically a part of a week resulting in a loss and you didn’t move as much? Just check in and see if you can figure out what happened. Then think about what you can do to turn it around.

#2: Take An Emotional Inventory

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My Favorite Essential Oils & How I Like To Use Them

Within the last year, I have become a huge fan of essential oils.  While I wouldn’t consider myself to be the “crunchy” type of person, I find I really enjoy taking the natural route when I can, and at the very least enjoy some of the aromatherapy benefits that using essential oils offers. Over the last year, I have managed to assemble quite the essential oil collection, and I use them in several ways each and every day. 

While most of my collection is Young Living, and some of this list will be YL specific, I am not a total brand loyalist when it comes to being a Young Living customer.  I have recently discovered a brand called Eden’s Garden that has high-quality oils at much lower prices than YL. I am all for saving a few dollars when I can.  

Before I dive in, here are a few things about the companies is this post.  Eden’s Garden, which is what I’m starting to use for any non-YL specific blends, has a rewards program with a referral reward.  If you want to join, use this link and I earn 50 points (you don’t have to use my link either. Just go straight to the site). This system, unlike Young Living, is totally free, doesn’t require any purchases to stay active, so it’s worth joining for anyone looking to get into essential oils. To get the best pricing at Young Living you need to be a member, which I think requires you to spend $50 a year.  This is not a difficult thing to do, but I just want to be clear what it means.  You also need to be linked to someone to join, so here’s the link to become a member under meI’m not at all trying to push this business system or whatever it is, as I don’t use YL’s business structure at all. I simply use their products and being a member is a requirement for best prices.  Stupid? Yes, but it is what it is. 

Okay, now that all that is out of the way, let’s talk essential oils!

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9 Weight Watchers Instagram Accounts You Should Follow


I love Instagram. I spend a lot more time on there than I really should on a daily basis. While there are plenty of Weight Watchers related blogs and Youtube channels out there, Instagram actually has it’s very own WW community filled with members that aren’t necessarily blogging or making YouTube videos. While I’m on IG to help grow my own following, I love following, engaging with, and becoming friends with fellow members of the Instagram community.  While there are a ton of great accounts out there, I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. If you’re not following them, you should be! 

9 Weight Watchers Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

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40 Things I’m Giving Up For Lent

Lent is the season of time in the Christian church that we take for reflection as we journey up to Holy Week and Easter, which is the week on which the entire Christian faith is built. For many Christians, it is traditional to give up something for Lent, something that isn’t easy to give up, as a form of fasting to grow closer in a relationship with God. Most years, I do this as well. Typically, it ends up being some food-related thing because this woman loves food. I’ve done coffee, Starbucks, chocolate (many times), and I’m pretty sure I gave up cheese one year. As I’ve grown older, giving things up has grown beyond the spectrum of sacrificing a favorite food for the 40 days. Truthfully, there are so many better things to give up. Choose to give up things that will truly help you grow as a follower of Christ and as a human being.  Sure, giving up chocolate is fine, and for many, it feels like a true sacrifice, but I encourage you to dig a little deeper and give up things that will truly help you grow.

As an example, and inspired by the 40 days in Lent, here is a list of 40 (yes, a long list) things that I will do my best to give up this Lenten season. Read more

5 Gifts To Buy Yourself For Valentine’s Day

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day that in centered around romance, the pressure to have a date, wear fancy undies, and go all out for that special person in your life. As a married woman, I always love an excuse to do a little something extra special for my hubby, but I also have a few things that bug me about Valentine’s day this year:

  1. My husband isn’t even going to be home. My hardworking man is earning his keep in another state this week, which means I’m alone and romanceless. 
  2. The truth is we should not need a holiday on the calendar to tell us it’s time to have a special night with our significant other. This should happen somewhat regularly.  What’s wrong with a random Tuesday in the middle of June? Nothing, that’s what.
  3. Who says this romantic day needs to be about someone else?? When is the last time you showed yourself the love and special treatment that you deserve?

Today’s post is about #3.  Just because Valentine’s Day is typically centered around someone else in your life doesn’t mean you should neglect yourself. Whether you are single and headed out on the town, have a hot date with your favorite person, are going out with the girls, or you’re like me and for whatever reason (married or not) you’ll be spending Valentine’s Day with no one but your dog, you can always do a little something for yourself. That’s why I put together a list of 5 different things you can (and should!) buy for yourself this Valentine’s Day. I kept it to categories rather than specific items because no one knows what you like better than you! Read more

February 2018 Goals

Well, the first month of 2018 is already gone! That went by in a flash, huh? Clearly, I’m not used to it yet because not 10 seconds ago I titled this post February 2017 goals without a second thought.  Does anyone else feel like it takes 1/3 of the year to get used to writing down the new date?

January Recap

I laid out my goals and resolutions for 2018, and so far I’d say I’m doing a somewhat decent job at reaching them. Here’s where my goals are sitting at the end of the month:

Hit goal weight: I’m down a whopping 3.4 lbs. Considering I was coming off of the holidays, a month-long vacation that included a cruise and a road trip, and getting used to the new Freestyle plan, I’m thankful I was able to lose at all.  Down is down. 

10,000 YouTube Subscribers: I’m at 6,500, with growing about 600 just this month. I’m optimistic about meeting this goal, but it will take continued work.  Read more

The Secret To Staying Motivated

Motivation is a funny thing.  You’re likely to notice it the most in January when you make resolutions and set goals as you’re determined to make this new year the best year ever.  You wake up on the 1st with a renewed lease on life, a fresh start, and with your self-confidence soaring knowing that THIS YEAR IS THE YEAR.  You hit the ground running, and for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, you’re nailing it.  You’re fired up and you’re seeing success. 
Until one day you wake up and you’re feeling a little less motivated and inspired. Maybe you let some of your new habits slip, just for a day or two. Then a day becomes a week, a week becomes several, and before you know it it’s December again, and you have to talk yourself back into the same new year’s goals, and how this next year is for sure your year…
And on and on the cycle goes. 
Want to know the key to staying motivated? The magic formula for reaching your goals and living your dream life? I’m about to tell you a THE secret.  Buckle up! It’s a bumpy, truthful ride.
The secret to staying motivated is knowing that you can NOT depend on motivation, EVER.  Reaching your goals has nothing to do with being motivated. Not really.  Sure, you start off highly motivated and inspired, but we all know that after some time, no matter if that time frame is a few days or 10 months, our motivation will lessen, our willpower will weaken, and we will start to take the lazy, easy route, even if it costs us our goal.  It’s human nature, and for whatever reason, it’s how we’re built.  Is it okay to take a little break if you’re totally burnt out? Sure, but that’s not why we’re here today. Losing motivation is the problem and we are here to talk about the solution.
The secret to overcoming your lack of motivation and reaching your goals can be summed up in one word:

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