I Slept In Today

I know that’s a ridiculous title for a blog post, but it’s the truth. Because I failed to set an alarm last night when I went to bed (at 1:30 am…) I ended up waking up at 9:30 this morning. I’ve had a weird day ever since. 

If I’m being honest, I was initially pretty mad at myself for not setting that alarm, as I like to be up somewhere in the 7:00 hour because I like to have a leisurely morning of sipping coffee, poking at my phone, and doing morning reflections before I start my day.  However, it wasn’t long until I realized just how energized and motivated I felt. I poured some coffee (which I also failed to set up properly the night before) and headed straight to my desk to write in the guided journals I found at Michaels for only $3 yesterday. They had me setting goals, intentions, and gratitude, getting my head on straight, and creating a well prioritized  to-do list for the day.

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You CAN Eat Peanut Butter and Lose Weight! | Healthy Eating All The Time and Go Bars

Peanut butter is something that I have loved all my life, but let’s be honest when you’re on a diet and trying to lose weight peanut butter is basically one of the first things to go. At least this is the case for me. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had a good old fashion peanut butter and jelly sandwich or didn’t eat peanut butter without mourning how many Weight Watchers points and calories the small 2 tbsp serving ended up being. I pretty much resigned myself to a life without peanut butter unless it was powdered PB (While it gets the job done, it in no way compares to the real deal). Sad day.

You guys all know I love my bars. Quest Bars, No Cow Bars, Dive Bars, and everything in between. Especially when I’m pressed for time, there is something wonderful about having my nutrients all packed into one little portable bar. As per usual, when I discover new brands of bars, I have to give them a try. I’ve seen this brand on Instagram for quite some time now, with many Weight Watchers and healthy lifestyle accounts posting photo after photo, raving about this delicious bar. I finally decided I had to give them a try. 

I ended up with the complete Healthy Eating All The Time and Go (which I will from this point forward call HEAT bars for the sake of length) collection, both purchased by me and sent to me by the owner of the company.  Once I sat down and calculated the Points for all of the bars, which ranged from 6-8sp and 4-6pp, I opened up the one that seemed to be the most popular (cranberry peanut butter granola) and took a bite. 

..and then I died and went to a peanut butter filled Heaven.

I’m not even joking. This bar, which is only 4 PP (I’m currently following the old WW plan), was a delicious mouthful of REAL peanut butter flavor. It was the most delicious bar I had ever bitten into, and I’m not exaggerating. 

Wholesome, REAL Ingredients

Let’s talk about the ingredients for just a second. In a world of processed food that contains ingredients that sound anything but natural, the ingredients in HEAT bars are plain and simple: things like oats, natural peanut butter, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, almonds, honey, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried apple, and the occasional 60% cacao chip or whey protein. Clean, whole ingredients that are easy to read and more importantly, are easy on the body. In a world of sugar alcohols and artificial everything, this was a very welcome change.  Read more

Smart Sweets Gummy Bears

 

Gummy Bears are a classic when it comes to candy. These tiny little guys will bring a smile to your face and joy to your taste buds.  However, for those of us trying to lessen our sugar intake, gummy bears aren’t always something we can enjoy. Until now.

Did you know there is a gummy bear out there that is fruity, chewy, and delightful that contains only 3g of sugar per serving?? It’s true! They’re called Smart Sweets, and they’re most definitely the smarter way to enjoy gummy bears. 

What Are Smart Sweets?

Smart Sweets gummy bears offer all of the joys of eating this tasty, fun treat without all of the crazy sugar that gummy bears typically come with. While they aren’t completely sugar-free, they contain a whopping 3g of sugar per bag. While this would normally be alarming, fear not! They don’t contain any sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners either! *happy dance*

Smart Sweets are sweetened with plant-based, non-GMO stevia.  This means that there shouldn’t be any icky side effects in your digestive system because of artificial sweeteners. I mean, have you seen the reviews for Haribo sugar-free gummy bears on Amazon? It’s hilarious to read, but absolutely NOT hilarious to experience. You see, those are sweetened with the sugar alcohol maltitol, which can cause major issues for a lot of people. Thankfully, Smart Sweets has nothing like that in their ingredients list, making them an ideal candy substitute. 

Ready for another nutritional bonus of Smart Sweets? 28 g of dietary fiber! Read more

My No-Makeup Makeup Routine (Actually Using As Little Product As Possible)

Ah, the “no-makeup” makeup look. Where we strive to look like we’re flawless whilst looking like we’re not wearing a stitch of makeup. Have you ever noticed that most of the no-makeup tutorials out there actually use a ton of products and take a lot of time, even though the goal is to look like we’re not wearing anything at all? In my opinion, this is not the way the no makeup look should go. When the goal is to achieve a natural, no-makeup look, don’t you think we should be using as little product as we can?

Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of full face, full coverage days when I’m filming for my channel or going out for the evening, but on a normal weekday, I can be found with nothing on my face except a little lip balm. 

I’ll be honest, I wish I could say that my no-makeup look actually involved wearing absolutely zero makeup, but sadly this is not the case. The truth is, my skin is something that shakes my self-confidence because I have adult acne. I feel very self-conscious about going out in public without at least trying to tone down some of my skin’s imperfections.  While I often throw on a little bit of something, I have managed to create a no-makeup look that actually involves only a few products. The goal of my look is not to make my skin look totally flawless, but simply to help me blur the imperfections that make me most uncomfortable.  Some days, this doesn’t involve any makeup at all, but on days where I’m feeling particularly broken out, there are few products that are quick and easy to use that make me feel like I can go out in public and not worry about my skin’s appearance.  Read more

How To Follow Weight Watchers Points Plus In A Smart Points World

As you may or may not know, at the beginning of April I switched from Weight Watchers Freestyle back to Weight Watchers Points Plus. While I have a love for the Freestyle program, and I understand that WW is trying to encourage an overall healthy, maintainable lifestyle, the truth is I wasn’t losing weight on the Freestyle plan. My feelings for Freestyle haven’t changed, but I felt that the switch back to Points Plus was the right move for me because I had already had success on that plan previously. While Freestyle isn’t right for my body to lose weight, I feel it is the perfect plan for weight maintenance.  Ultimately, it’s up to me to make the choices that are right for me, so Freestyle is taking a back seat to good old Points Plus for now. 

Once I announced I was switching back, questions came pouring in about how I was following Points Plus when the WW app doesn’t have that option.  I ultimately put together a video for my YouTube channel that explains everything, and I decided to post it here on the blog as well since the video will explain it in less time than writing everything out would. 

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6 Ways To Make Your Living Space Feel More Luxurious

I love things that feel pretty, fancy, and a bit glam. As someone who works from home (therefore spending most of my time there), it’s important to me that my living space feels beautiful and luxurious. This is easier said than done for two reasons. 1) I’m on a budget which means high priced items to make my home prettier aren’t always the priority when it comes to spending money, and 2) I live with my husband, who doesn’t care about “pretty” nearly as much as I do. Neat, tidy, and clean, sure, but by no means is my husband a man that cares if the living space feels luxe and beautiful. Let’s be real: the only reason we have upgraded some of our furniture from the old busted leather couches is got as hand me downs after college is because of me and my desire to live like a married couple with a nice home rather than the hand me down bachelor pad my husband had not so carefully fully curated by the time I met him.

While buying new furniture or appliances always feels glamorous and makes home feel a bit fancier (at least that’s how I felt when we said goodbye to those beaten up leather couches and replaced them with what you see in the photos), it’s definitely not budget friendly to make such a purchase every time you want to feel like you’ve had an upgrade. The truth is you don’t need to spend a fortune or buy something large to up the luxe feel of your living space. In fact, I firmly believe that it’s the little details, the small afterthoughts are the things can make a huge impact on your space. I have a few tiny details you can add (or upgrade) to your space to help you feel a little more luxe, even if you’re just curled up on the couch watching some tv. Read more

10 Things That Happen When You Eat Healthy

A healthy lifestyle is something that many of us strive to achieve on a regular basis. Year after year, New Years resolutions are made to go to the gym, eat healthier and cleaner, to lose weight, quit smoking, cut processed food, or to somehow change our body’s current competition and situation making life better and healthier. Many of us want to do it, but a lot of us haven’t quite figured out how. In an effort to help inspire some change, I want to tell you about 10 (not-so) crazy things that happened to my body when I’m focused on eating healthy.

Now, does this mean I am 100% on plan all the time? Of course not. Just the other day I enjoyed 2 delicious slices of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, a Chicago classic, and while it’s not healthy, it was delicious and I enjoyed every bite. A healthy lifestyle means you’ve found a balance between eating healthy most of the time and figuring out how to work your indulgences into your plan in moderation. 

That being said, when I’m eating well most of the time, my body tells me, and there are some crazy things that happen when I’m on track.  Read more

April 2018 Goals

April is here! Spring is trying to make an appearance (although it’s not really doing a great job here in the Chicagoland area), which makes me so happy. I am longing to be outside and not wear a winter coat. 

Let’s talk about goals for the month of April. First, let’s look at progress on my 2018 goals.

Hit Goal Weight: As of today I’m down 4.8 lbs this year. I know slow and steady wins the race, but I currently feel like I’m barely in the race. For the month of April I’m switching gears and I’m saying farewell to WW Freestyle (which I wrote an entire post on) and switching to Points Plus. I had a lot of success on Points Plus and lost 57 lbs back in 2011-12, so I’m hoping my switch back will help get the ball rolling.

10,000 Youtube Subscribers: 8,840. I’m getting there and feeling great about it! 

10,000 Instagram Followers: 3,580. Growth here is a lot slower, but it’s growing nonetheless. I make it a point to post at least once a day and try to engage with others when I can. Help a girl out and follow me on Instagram. 

Read 25 books: 4.5/25.  

Project 50 pan: 17/50. This is SUCH a slow process, but I have to say I have spent a lot less money this year than in years past. All in all, a project pan was an excellent idea.

April Goals

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Saying Farewell To Freestyle… For Now…

I know. This title is probably shocking to all of you. I’m saying farewell to Weight Watchers Freestyle?  It’s true, and while part of me is a little sad about it, I’m not actually abandoning Weight Watchers, but just the current plan. Allow me to explain. 

I love everything about Freestyle except one little detail: I’m not really losing weight! As an experiment, I took the season of Lent as an opportunity to step away from the scale and to focus on what I’m putting into my body more than the number on the scale. Healthy living is not always about the number, and I needed to regain sight of that. So for 47 days, I didn’t weigh myself. Instead, I focused on eating the right foods and staying on track. I had a few indulgences and a few days where I consumed a little bit more than I would have liked, but I tracked everything and in those 7 weeks I didn’t go over my weekly Smart Points allowance once. Not a single time! This means I stayed on track and balanced throughout the entire Lenten season.  I was really proud of this, and I was certain the scale would reflect my almost 7 weeks of effort and focus. Then I stepped on the scale on Easter morning… Read more

Easter Candy Cheat Sheet |Weight Watchers Smart Points Edition

EasterTitle

Okay friends, here’s the scoop.  As I’m sure you know by now, Weight Watchers launched a new program that completely redefined the values of our Points system.  This means that everything you knew about Points Plus is now irrelevant and Smart Points are the new Weight Watchers tracking system.  With the introduction to Smart Points came the recalculating of everything we had the PP values memorized on.  This, of course, includes our beloved Easter candy.  While I had an entire Easter Candy Cheat Sheet made up with Points Plus values (and it’s still valid for those who chose to stay on that plan), I felt compelled to write up another cheat sheet for the majority of us who transitioned to the Beyond the Scale plan with Smart Points.

Due to the nature of Smart Points, which really cracks down on our sugar intake (and for a good reason), you will notice that the Smart Points values of your favorite Easter goodies have gone up drastically.  While this is in fact a sad thing, don’t shoot the messenger.  I’m just here to tell it like it is.  I didn’t get a hold of every candy out there, but I did pick up some of my personal favorites and I wanted to share the calculations with you.  Without further ado, here’s the Easter Candy Cheat Sheet with Smart Points.

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