Moving Madness | Minneapolis Update Week 1

I don’t know what you’ve been told, but I am here today to tell you that relocating is exhausting! All of last week was spent looking at houses, thinking about houses, driving downtown (one of my least favorite things to do, although Minneapolis traffic is nothing compared to downtown Chicago) to pick my husband up from work to drive to the suburbs, or getting things ready to visit Chicago for the weekend. Then, the weekend at home (although I can’t really call it home because Minnesota is our home now), while absolutely wonderful, was so busy that we barely had time to sit down.

The short update on housing is this: we are under contract with a place that checks all of our major boxes, but in terms of looks, leaves us feeling “uninspired” (as my husband has been saying, which surprises me because I was under the impression he didn’t really care what a place actually looked like in terms of decor). I spent the whole weekend telling people about and showing people photos of this home, so I’ve been imagining our lives there, and the more I did that, the more I was like “yes, this can be our home.” Then, the master-of-indecision that I married wanted to continue to look at a few places just to be sure that our current choice is actually the one we want. While part of me respects the fact that he’s thorough and most of his reasoning is to make sure that I’m happy with the choice since I’m the housewife (which I love about him. His goal is always to make me happy), it also infuriates me. I spent yesterday (Monday) staring at 2 other options and trying to find reasons why our place is clearly better and reasons our place is absolutely the wrong choice. Eventually, it got to a point where I just want the whole decision-making process to be over because I literally felt like I was going to explode. I just didn’t care anymore. The pressure of home buying had broken me.

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Moving to Minneapolis: A New Chapter

As I’m writing this, I am sitting at a table in the common area of our temporary housing arrangement in downtown Minneapolis. It’s currently Thursday afternoon and my husband is on day 4 of his new job here in the city. I’m not entirely sure that it has hit me yet that this place is not just a hotel stay. This city is not just someplace I’m visiting for a little while. This is our new home. We are leaving Chicago; leaving my family, my niece, my very regimented workout schedule at the YMCA, and our amazing church. I can’t decide which emotion I’m feeling more: major excitement at the idea of a fresh start or complete heartbreak about what I’m leaving behind.

When my husband started looking for a new job, he tried to find something that would satisfy him from a career standpoint, support us well financially, and keep us in the Chicagoland area. As you’ve probably guessed by now, that didn’t exactly go as planned. Long story short, here I am, sitting in temporary housing in downtown Minneapolis (which I am incredibly thankful for, don’t get me wrong) while the Mister is at work during the day and we’re house hunting with our realtor at night. It’s basically madness and I’m pretty much in denial that this is actually happening.

Here’s How It Will Go…

We are working with company relocation, which is apparently the best way to move because they take good care of you when you’re relocating for a new job. Never having truly gone through a permanent move before, this is a new world for us. Here’s the rundown: We are in temporary housing while we look for our new home purchase. In a perfect world, we are able to buy and close on a home before the 60 days of temp housing is over (which is completely paid for by relocation). That means that since being here on Monday, we have spent Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (we’re talking 4+ hours a day) with our realtor (who was also matched up with us via relocation, and he’s a perfect match too) exploring not only homes but the different areas to live in, and we’re headed out again tonight.

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Dear Dieters, Please Stop Labeling Food as “Bad”

Every day I see people talking about the “bad” food they ate and they are either punishing themselves for it, making excuses for it, or using it as an argument for the anti-diet. I’m not saying that I’m innocent here, but my mindset has definitely changed about “good” food and “bad” food, and I want to get one thing straight.

There is no such thing as a “bad” food.

The second we start to call something bad, we give it all sorts of power that ends up working against us. If you’re trying to lose weight, odds are you already have a pretty rocky relationship with food. The last thing you need is to classify foods (most likely some of your favorite foods) with a label that will make you feel guilty every time you eat it.

Think about it: if you label something as bad, what happens mentally when you think about doing or eating that bad thing?

  • You feel guilty
  • That thing is off limits
  • Classifying something as “off limits” starts the deprivation mindset
  • Deprivation mindset starts a downhill spiral
  • You feel shame for eating that “bad” food
  • Shame and guilt has the potential to start a downhill spiral
  • You feel negative about yourself because you gave in or you weren’t strong enough to resist the bad thing
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Time For A Mid-Year Goals Refresh |June Goals

I can’t believe it’s already June! When this month is over, half of 2019 is gone! How are you doing on reaching the goals that you set for the year? I won’t lie, some of my goals are coming along just fine, while others are not. June is a great time for a goals refresh to set up for the second half of the year. Who wants to join me?

As you probably know by now, I use the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets to plan out my goals for the year and my action items every single month, and I absolutely love them! I love the way they help guide you to set meaningful goals for the year and well as the format of the monthly tending list to make sure you get all the things done. I will 100% be using this tool every year until further notice.

If you’re feeling a little bit of Powersheets FOMO right now, I’ve got great news for you. The 6-month undated Powersheets set is on sale for only $29, which means you can get your hands on this tool to help you set goals and intentions for the second half of 2019! How awesome is that? It’s something I highly recommend you try, especially if you’re struggling to find meaningful goals.

My June Goals

Every month the Powersheets has a tending sheet that helps you put together action items in 3 different categories: monthly action items, weekly action items, and daily action items. I love this structure because it helps give me a visual to all of the tasks I need to get done this month and how often I need to do it. Here is my breakdown of goals for this month

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I Love Mondays (and Why You Should Too!)

I have a confession to make: I love Mondays! 😱

I know, it sounds crazy right? I’ve spend most of my life longing for the weekends and dreading the return of Monday. Monday means work, obligations, chores, routines, schedules, appointments, and all of the other things that we don’t necessarily look forward to as school children or as adults. There’s a reason that having a case of the “Mondays” is a thing.

This was my life for the last 30 or so years. Don’t get me wrong, typically once my Monday started and I was off to school and back with my friends, it ended up being just fine. Of the many Mondays I have been blessed with on this earth, I’m willing to bet there’s actually a decently small percentage of time that I dreaded them. Sure, I went through phases, and I most definitely had some very “Monday-feeling” Mondays, but overall I don’t think I’ve ever hated them.

Now, I don’t just tolerate them, but I actually love Mondays. I’ve managed to switch it up in my mind where quite often Monday is the best day of the week. If all goes according to plan, I went to bed at a decent hour on Sunday after a relaxing evening at home so I’m energized and ready to hit the ground running. Let me tell you, it’s truly a game changer.

Monday has the power to set up your entire week!

Do you ever notice that most of the time the type of day or attitude you have on Monday tends to carry over to the rest of your week? If you start the week grumpy, stressed, and bogged down with work and life, odds are you’re going to feel that way until Friday when the work week finally ends and you can let loose and try again next week. Take a second and and flip the script. What would your week be like if you had a spectacular Monday? You woke up energized and happy, ready to tackle the week’s tasks (both planned and unplanned) and take steps toward accomplishing all the things? What would your week be like if you started it like that? What does that ideal Monday look like for you?

Go ahead and visualize it for a minute. I’ll wait..

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Rachel Hollis x QVC Clothes Have Launched!

Love her or hate her (full disclosure, I’m one of the people that loves her), you have to admit that self-help guru (is that what I should call her?) Rachel Hollis is doing things right. She’s a 2x New York Times best-selling author, has a sold-out self-help conference, a documentary, 2 top charting Podcasts, an online morning show, online coaching, an awesome goal setting journal, and now she has her own line of clothing! As someone who is regularly encouraged and inspired by Rachel, I am thrilled for her and her success. It’s really cool to see a woman dominating in her industry.

Because I’m a fan and a blogger, I felt it was necessary to share Rachel’s latest endeavor with all of you. If you’re looking for a few new things to add to your wardrobe, perhaps this is it. Rachel designed a line of clothes meant to be cute while being exceptionally comfortable. As I sit here in yoga pants and a fitted T-shirt, this wardrobe philosophy speaks to me on a personal level. From a new take on the good old t-shirt to a dress that doubles as a kimono, Rachel has a practical line of clothing to offer the everyday woman in a wide range of sizes (XXS-3x).

Is there anything you might be interested in picking up? I’m personally debating between which size to get the adorable sweater & with one of her camis to go underneath it. I like things a little more fitted, and since this line is super flowy, I’m thinking I’ll need to size down. Let me know in the comments if you’re planning on getting anything from Rachel Hollis X QVC!

My Workout Playlist

Since music is such a huge part of my life, one of my goals for the month was to put together a few playlists to share with everyone. Today, I’m sharing my Spotify playlist of songs I love to listen to while working out. Some of the songs are uplifting, most of them have a great tempo, and some are just plain fun.

What other playlists would you like to see from me? What songs would you add to this one?

The Friday 5 | April 26, 2019

Why hello there blog, my dear friend. I’m sorry I am not a good blogger and have been neglecting you so much for so long. I promise I am actually trying to rebuild our relationship. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s going to take some time, but I think we’ll get back to the place we once were and maybe even be stronger than before. I promise. 💗

1. A Brand New Computer

My husband is an amazing man. His personal computer has been failing him for a long time, and he kept talking about getting a new computer and this week he finally did…sort of. Since he really only uses his personal computer to do our finances and to maybe browse the internet, he actually decided that he would take my 5-year-old MacBook Pro and I would be the one to get the shiny new one. I mean, who actually does that?!

So here I am, listening to the keys click-clacking away as I type on my new MacBook Pro. Stronger memory, storage, and processor to make my job of creating video and blog content easier and faster. I’m not going to lie, the fact I really enjoy the feel of this different keyboard is one of the things that inspired me to sit down and start typing out a blog post this morning. Watch out world! I feel like this new computer will help inspire me to get things going even harder.

2. A Weird Struggle For a Child-Free Woman

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7 Spring Must Haves

Springtime has finally arrived and it is glorious. Granted, it’s still a tad chilly here in Chicagoland, but the sun is shining and there is no snow on the ground at the moment so I will take that as a win. To me, spring means freshness and renewal, as well as a time to prepare for summer. This got me thinking about some of the products I tend to use or fashion items I tend to look for in preparation for the warmer months. Since I found (or already use) some pretty awesome things, I figured I’d share some of them with you.

Fashion

You all know I’m not huge on fashion blogging, nor am I really a fashionista in any sense of the word. I love things that are comfy and easy to move in. I consider it a bonus if they look super cute. My fashion picks are two things I recently aquired and love, and one thing I’d just love to have.

First, let’s talk about my “would love to have” item. I feel like a good looking, clean cut and flattering denim jacket is a great piece for spring. I’m really getting into the basic T with a fashion jacket over it look, and having a nice denim jacket would be the perfect addition to anyone’s spring wardrobe. This jacket from Macy’s is super cute and gives great lines and is decently affordable (and as of 4/12 it’s on sale).

I saw this amazingly bright chrome t-shirt from White House Black Market online and ever since I saw it I could not stop thinking about it. As I said before, basic tees are something I wear on the regular, and a lot of my tees are dressed up ones with a little bit of sparkle. I love all things glittering and shiny, so I needed to see this shirt in person. The other day, I went to the store and tried it on. It’s everything I ever needed in a chrome colored t-shirt! Flattering, shiny, and not see through. Epic win! Even better, WHBM was having a 40% off the entire store sale, so the shirt landed in a more reasonable price range. Needless to say I now own it and can’t wait to wear it out.

Finally, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about my latest purchase from Grace & Lace. I bought their super stretch zip up midi shorts and they’re basically the best pair of shorts I’ve ever owned. I had them in time for my latest trip to Florida, so I was able to give them a solid test run. They’re stretchy all over, including an elastic band in the back which helps keep things super comfy. The length is perfect: long enough to not be showing your booty, but not so long that you feel like you’re in Bermuda shorts. They come in several denim shades as well as new colored pairs as well. I currently own the olive green and the mid wash denim, and I just ordered a pair in black. I will likely acquire most, if not all colors eventually. I wear a medium, but they are clingy enough (not constricting though. They’re perfect!) where I know that if my body dropped a size, they’d still fit fine. This will be my most comfortable and stylish shorts season ever!

Beauty

My first spring beauty choice is my all time favorite spring nail polish: OPI You’re Such A Budapest. For several years now it has been my go-to springtime purple shade. It’s light and fresh, and I truly feel like it’s a purple shade that can go with almost anything spring has to offer. I wear it all the time during the spring months and I will continue to do so until OPI stops making it.

Sticking with the pretty purple theme, I have been loving Stila’s Glitter and Glow eyeshadow in the shade “Plum On.” I own several of these shadows, and while they’re all amazing, this deeper (but not too deep) purple shade is the perfect pop of color to was across my lid. It offers me my favorite color and a little bit of sparkle, which basically makes it my perfect eye shadow.

In the warmer months, I love using a lip gloss with a hint of color. I recently discovered the brand Lano and am obsessed with the two lip products I already own by them (a strawberry lip treatment and their original ointment), so when I saw they had these pigmented glosses, I knew I had to get them. While I don’t have them yet, my Ulta 20% off coupon just came the other day, which means I will own them soon. If they’re anything like the Lano products I already own, then I’m certain I’ll love these too.

Finally, I think a spring refresh means something new and awesome to your skincare routine. One of the best serums I’ve ever used in my life is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This magic potion is packed with good for the skin ingredients that make my skin soft, smooth, and I swear it even helps clear things up a bit. It’s one of my all-time favorite facial serums, and I’m pretty sure it’s perfect for all skin types, making it an ideal universal suggestion as a new step in your skincare routine. Have you tried this serum?

What are some of your spring time must-haves?

Brianna’s Favorite Chili Recipe

Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods. I am very particular about my chili because I don’t like spicy foods, and neither does my mother, which means that if my father wanted to cook chili that the whole family would eat he had to come up with a flavorful recipe that didn’t rely on heat for flavor. He started with my grandmother’s recipe and made some changes, then eventually, my sister took dad’s recipe and modified it (aka made it even better…sorry, dad), and from there I took her recipe and turned it into this. So what started with my grandma has evolved into one of my all-time favorite WW friendly recipes. I only wish she was around to try my version of it.

This recipe makes a stellar bowl of chili. It is super easy, filled with good for you things (except the brown sugar, but hey, no one is perfect), and fits perfectly into Weight Watchers Points Plus and Freestyle plans. I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Diva and the Divine’s Turkey Chili

A delicious bowl of comfort food that will leave you feeling full and satisfied for only a few WW Points, regardless of what plan you’re following.
1 Cup is 3 PP and 2 SP
1.5 Cups is 5 PP and 4 SP
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chili
Servings: 12 Cups
Author: divaandthedivine

Ingredients

  • 2-3 diced Bell Pepper (diced) 2 or 3 peppers based on preference, diced to preferred size
  • 2 Onions (diced)
  • 1 lb 97% lean Ground Turkey Can use other meats but points might change
  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 4 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Minced Garlic Add more or less depending on preference

Instructions

  • 1. Dice peppers and onions to the desired size
    2. Brown meat in a pan. *Full disclosure: I use 97% lean ground turkey and drain the extra fat after it has been cooked and I call it a 0 Smart Point food. If you want to follow things specifically by the book on WW Freestyle either use 99% lean meat or recalculate the recipe using 97% lean. I did use the 97% to calculate Points Plus*
    3. Put everything in a slow cooker. Stir, and turn on high.
    4. Cook until veggies are cooked down and the chili’s consistency is to your liking. I typically cook it on high for 3-4 hours, then turn it on low for another 2-3 hours.
    5. *OPTIONAL* If the chili needs thickening, corn starch is a great option. Mix a small amount of cornstartch (1 tbsp MAX) with enough water that it mixes well. Pour mixture into chili while stiring consistently, and continue to stir for a minute or two. Then let it sit and simmer for 10 minutes. This should thicken your chili.
    6. Serve as desired