My Top 10 Weight Watchers Friendly Items @ Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s ranks pretty high up there on most people’s list of favorite grocery stores, and I’m no different. I often say that Trader Joe’s is my happy place. There are so many food offerings at decent prices for the outstanding quality you get. Often times they also have unique food options, which makes going to Trader Joe’s more fun than just heading to the Walmart down the road.

While Trader Joe’s had amazing food selections across the board, what I am most pleased with is how many items I find on Trader Joe’s shelves that are Weight Watchers friendly. I have an entire list of favorite things that I am sure to purchase pretty much every time I’m in that store. Since the rollout of WW Freestyle, a handful of my favorite items have decreased in Smart Points value, making it even more amazing than before.

Here are my top 10 Weight Watchers friendly items from Trader Joe’s.

Everything but the Bagel Seasoning:
If you shop at Trader Joe’s odds are you have tried this miracle spice given to us by the TJ’s gods. This magic creation adds everything bagel flavor to anything you put it on. Since I’m someone who has never eaten (more wanted to) an everything bagel in her life, I was skeptical as to if I’d like it, but since it was all the rage, I figured I’d give it a try. I am HOOKED. This blend of sesame and poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and sea salt adds an incredible flavor to pretty much anything. I use it in my eggs, my mac n cheese, on top of roasted squash, and anything that needs some extra flare. It takes things to a whole new level and I’m utterly obsessed. For 0 smart points and at only $1.99, I restock several bottles at a time because this is something my pantry will never be without. Read more

8 Winter Skin Must-Haves to Combat the Harshest Cold

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like it is the coldest winter we’ve had in a long time.  I’ve heard that even parts of Florida are getting snow, which means only the most bitter cold for those of us in the North. With temperatures that barely reach double digits, it’s frigidly cold and insanely dry in the Chicagoland area. Wearing a cozy sweater is nice until you do something that ends up giving you enough of a static charge that you see sparks the next time you touch something. Guys, this isn’t even an exaggeration.  There have been several instances in the last few weeks where I’ve shocked myself so hard that I saw sparks and felt significant pain from it. Bottom line: it’s dryer than a desert right now, and everything on my body is reminding me of this regularly. 

Hydration for your skin is so important all the time, but in the winter it seems that dry skin symptoms end up 10 times worse than they’ve ever been.  Even this oily skinned, acne-prone 31-year-old has had to change her skincare game to focus less on getting shine and blemish free and more on getting my skin adequately hydrated to avoid cracked alligator skin. We’re talking there are days where I don’t bother putting makeup on because my dry skin would look worse with a layer of foundation than it would with some exposed pimples. It’s awful. So, I started looking for solutions. Read more

4 Lessons I’ve Learned in 4 Years of Marriage

It’s hard for me to believe that 4 years ago today I walked down the aisle in my church to marry my best friend: a man who I met so very randomly on a free dating website due to him just happening to search what kind of women might be in the Chicagoland area because maybe someday he plans to go to grad school there (spoiler alert: he didn’t).

Under no logical circumstances should mister and I have Found each other, and I’m sure if it wasn’t for the internet, this Chicago gal and Florida boy would have never crossed paths, but God clearly had another plan. When I received a message from him in my OKCupid inbox, I decide to write back simply because he took the time to write a legitimate message and show he read my profile rather than just sending a “wanna hook up?” message, which I got far too many of. Little did I know that writing back would be the beginning of my relationship with the man I would marry. It’s crazy how things like that work out, isn’t it?

Even though we’ve only known each other since summer of 2011, it feels like no time and a lifetime all at once. I can barely comprehend life before him and I can’t imagine what life would be without my husband by my side. I guess that’s a sign that things are going pretty well, huh?

In these 4 years of marriage, through crazy adventures, moves, job changes, and challenges there are a few things I’ve learned about marriage and the relationship I have with my husband. Read more

My 2018 Word of the Year

A big trend that is taking the New Years Resolution setters by storm is the “word of the year.” The basic idea behind it is that you pick one word to sum up what you want to feel or achieve that year.  It’s an interesting idea that adds a new level to the normal annual setting of goals and resolutions.  

Last year my word was “flourish.” While I did establish that flourish was the word to keep in mind, I did not do a good job of making it a point to ensure I was, in fact, flourishing. Sure, I did lose a few pounds, but not nearly as much as I intended. I also successfully trained our little puppy, learned a lot about myself and my relationship with my husband, and constantly set little goals, hoping to achieve them. I also did a great job of not putting together action plans, being completely unmotivated, making poor choices when it came to how I spent some of my time and managed to accomplish so few of the large goals I had my eyes on for 2017. Clearly, while my intentions were good (aren’t they always?), my execution was not, and therefore I do not feel like I flourished in 2017 at all. 

This year I oped for a word that will hopefully solve all of the issues I had with getting things done in years past. My word for 2018 is: Read more

2018 Goals and New Year’s Resolutions

Good morning and happy 2018!  It’s a new year (I say it every year, but how did that happen??), which means it’s time for reflection, refocusing, and refreshed goals, new goals, and an action plan to accomplish them.  Personally, I love learning about the goals that other people are working towards, and I’m hoping that since you’re here, you do too.

2017 wasn’t anything spectacular.  While we did get Gracie (a year ago on New Year’s day!), spend our first full year as homeowners, and did a bit of traveling, in terms of life-changing goal achievement, 2017 was more about learning about myself rather than achieving my goals.  This year will be different.  I’m stepping into 2018 with a fresh start, renewed motivation, and the knowledge that I will be reaching goals this year, using the things I learned about myself in 2017 to help me. 

First, I want to mention that I have some goals and resolutions for 2018 because while many will say that’s the same, I’m defining those words differently.  Goals are measurable, actionable things that I can check off when I’m done (goal weight, number of subscribers, completing something, etc), while resolutions are behavior changes that aren’t necessarily measurable, but something I want to work on anyway (practicing gratitude, spend less and appreciate more, etc)

That being said, here are my goals and resolutions for the new year:

Health Goals

Hit Goal Weight: This is my year! I can feel it.  My weight loss was slow last year, only ultimately losing about 10 lbs, but making that progress helped me learn what kind of things were working for me, tricks for keeping myself on track, and proved that I can, in fact, lose the weight this time around.  Between my 2017 learning experiences and the release of the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program, which I know is going to make a huge difference, I am positive that I will get to my goal this year.  Read more

Planner Girl Gift Guide 2017

 

Goal Planner

If you have a planner girl, odds are she would enjoy planners other than her day to day agenda. One of my favorite things to plan (other than my day) is my goals and how to achieve them.  There are a ton of goal planners around, which means there is something for everyone.  A few of my favorites are the Shining Life Planner by Leonie Dawson (which I’ve had for 4 years running now), Daily Greatness journals, and this year I found the Kikki.k goal planner. Each planner has a different style of planning, but they are all excellent and would be a really fun gift, as your planner girl could spend the last week of 2017 planning her 2018.  

Planner Stickers

Planner stickers are all the rage right now.  Etsy shops with gorgeous stickers are more than plentiful, and major planner brands have finally joined the party as well.  Some of my favorites are the stickers available from Erin Condren.  They’ve had really cute sticker books for a few years now, but they’ve branched out even further and basically have a sticker page that makes me want everything I see.  They have cute themed sets, including some that are meant to accompany their adorable and awesome new themed petite planners, and transparent dot stickers, which is something I’ve been wanting for a long time to track things on my year at a glance calendars.  Whether your choice is Etsy, Erin Condren, or the amazing planner area at your local Michaels, planner stickers are a fun and function gift for planner girls everywhere. 

Washi Tape

For the planner girl, washi tape is pretty much a given. Whether you’re a total washi fiend or just a planner minimalist, washi tape can be a simple and fun way to jazz up your planner pages.  There are washis with themes (I have cupcakes, bread, books, and more), tons of colors, foils and glitters, and everything in between. The best part is washi is found in craft stores all over, so you no longer have to take to the internet to find sun washi tape.  Head over to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and you’re sure to find plenty. It makes an amazing stocking stuffer. 

Erasable Pens

My planner forever changed when I got my hands on these erasable pens.  I wanted to write in color, but was always afraid of things changing and then having to cross it out and make my planner look less pretty.  Maybe that’s crazy, but it’s the truth.  Erasable pens allowed me to color code and write pretty things in my planner, but erase it clean if something needed to change. For this planner girl, it was a dream come true.  Bonus: there are also erasable markers on the market!! I have them, and yes, they work! Read more

6 Free Apps I Use For Weight Loss (Other Than The Weight Watchers App)

We all know that I use the Weight Watchers app a billion times a day because I am a Weight Watchers member, but many of you have asked for suggestions of other apps that I use throughout my weight loss journey.  I tried to stick to free apps, but there are a few where the app is technically free, but you need a piece of technology to use it, which costs $, or there are optional in-app purchases. However, technically, all of these apps are free and they’re all on my phone, getting used almost every day.

Fitbit

The first (and most obvious) app I use every day is the Fitbit app. While the app is free, you obviously need to own a Fitbit device in order to use it.  I’m that person that not only uses her FitBit each and every day, but I have grown so used to it that if I forget to wear it or it dies, I feel like my steps don’t count.  Maybe that’s not exactly a healthy relationship to have with a little electronic wristband, but I love it.  My Fitbit helps me make sure I am getting the necessary activity I need every day, and it ads a gamification (*nerd alert*) element to activity.  I want to hit all of my daily goals and beat my friends! If there is any app that is as important to my weight loss as the Weight Watchers app, it’s this one.

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Fit Girl Gift Guide 2017

Next on the gift guide list is a guide for what to get your favorite fitness enthusiast.  With the wide range of fun products that fit any budget, you’re bound to find something the buy your fit girl this holiday season.  

 

Fitness Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are everywhere lately, from boxes for date nights to candy and chocolate, whatever your genre, there’s a box for that.  Fitness is no different.  If you want to try new supplements and treats that are for health enthusiasts, you could gift Bulu Box.  Not only is it a less expensive subscription ($10/month, but as low as $8/month with 6 or 12 month subscriptions), but there are also 2 boxes to choose from: an original or weight loss focused box. 

Alternatively, there are also a ton of food-related subscriptions out there.  One that feels particularly healthy is Daily Harvest.  Originally, Daily Harvest was just premade soups and smoothies, but they’ve expanded to include overnight oats, chia parfaits, and even sundaes.  They send frozen superfoods, preportioned, straight to your door, and all you do is keep them frozen until you’re ready to use them.  I’ve tried several of the smoothies, and they were delicious.  I know I’d love to see a Daily Harvest gift under my tree this season!  You can gift a box of goodies or just buy a gift card and let your recipient choose their own.  Use this link and get 3 of your first 6 cups for free!  That’s a reason to gift a little to yourself too 🙂  Read more

Cozy Home Gift Guide 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, my friends, and that means it’s time for us to forget that Thanksgiving is even a holiday and skip ahead to Christmas shopping.  This year I’m actually trying to get a few gift guides on the blog, and here’s my first one.

As a housewife, blogger, and certified homebody, I spend 90% of my time at home, so I feel that I have the expertise to create a gift guide perfect for the woman (or man) that spends a lot of time in her cozy little part of the world.  I love having things around that make my home feel warm and cozy, and I think this list covers several different bases and price points.  Let’s jump right in.

Interchangeable Letter Board 

This is a less expensive gift on the list, but it’s a great addition to the home, especially for the blogger or Instagram addict in your life.  If I had one, you had better believe it would make a regular appearance in photos.  It’s a great place to put your favorite inspirational quote or Bible verse, or even a little note to your husband.  They come in a bunch of colors and you can find letters for them in all kinds of places.   Read more

31 Thoughts on Being 31

Happy Birthday to me!  Today I’m 31 years old, and quite frankly it feels no different from any other day or year.  As a blogger, I feel like there should be some post about my birthday, so I decided to do 31 thoughts on 31.  I actually meant to do a 30 on 30 last year but didn’t get around to it, so here we are.  31 thoughts, facts about me, and statements on life, the past year, and being 31 years old.

31 Thoughts On Being 31

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