45 Ways To Reward Yourself Without Food

I’m not going to lie to you.  I love earning rewards. I am most definitely motivated to get things done by the fact I know there is a special treat waiting for me at the finish line.  It doesn’t matter if the task is getting a blog post up, getting the house cleaning done, or hitting another 5 lbs lost, I will always do a better and more efficient job with my tasks if I know there is something I’m working toward.  I know, getting the thing done should be reward enough, but I’m a huge sucker for positive reinforcement, and lately, I’ll do anything to help me avoid procrastination and get things done.  
If you know me, you know that weight loss is one of my long-term, big deal goals.  For many people (myself included) it isn’t uncommon to have the reward for a job well done be a food related treat.  While this is great in theory (and some days it’s totally worth it), when one of your major goals is weight loss and healthy living, rewarding yourself with food is as counterproductive as it gets.  If you reward yourself with a big old piece of cake and ice cream for seeing a loss on the scale this week… it just doesn’t make sense!  That being said, I want to have plenty of options for how to reward myself without adding to my calorie intake, so I came up with a whole list of ways to treat yourself without food.  

Read more

April 2016 Favorites

April Favorites

Colour Pop Shadow | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush | Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Rebel | FitBit Alta | Jade Citrus Mint Tea | Gilmore Girls


I can’t believe it’s already May!  We’re in the second quarter of 2016, the weather has finally started to warm up, and we’re getting ready for the glorious joys that summertime promises to bring.  In the meantime, I have a few things that I loved using and enjoying during the month of April.  Check them out!  Read more

March 2016 Favorites |Monthly Favorites


Another month, another list of monthly favorites.  This month I actually have a legitimate amount of things I want to share with you.  Buckle up..I’ve got some good stuff to talk about.


Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil– I started using a legitimate makeup remover (rather than just 4 or 5 Bioderma soaked cotton pads) to start my nighttime routine, and my skin appreciates it.  I wanted to find a cleansing oil that didn’t break the bank, but did a good job and this is it.  I take 2-3 pumps of this oil and rub it on my dry face, and rub it in for a little bit. Then, I wet my hands (and sometimes my konjac sponge) and continue to rub my face.  Adding water turns the oil into a milky white cleanser.  Once I rinse, my face feels so clean that some nights I don’t bother to cleanse again.  One swipe of a cotton pad with Bioderma afterwards proves to me how well this stuff works because the pad has virtually no makeup on it.  Winner! Read more

You Know You Have CMT When…


I recently posted a CMT 101 type post to tell you all about my disability (disease, disorder, whatever you want to call it) called “What is CMT.”  I wrote that post primarily because I wanted to write this one, but I felt you guys deserved an explanation of CMT first.

I am the member of several CMT groups online, and one day someone posted simply saying “You know you have CMT when…” and waited for the comments.  Reading the thread of that post brought me so much joy. It was so refreshing for me to read things that are common in my life (and my family) happening to other people.

Now, before you think that’s mean of me to say, remember this: People with CMT live with it every single day.  We learn how to live with what it does to our bodies, and many of us have accepted this as reality.  So many people on the thread commented about how great it is to know there are others like them.  If you know these everyday “mishaps” won’t change, isn’t it nice to know that you aren’t alone?

Read more

2014 Favorites

2014 beauty faves



Tarte Amazonian Clay Powder Foundation– Tarte Cosmetics has been one of my all time favorite brands for several years now.  I find their lip products to be divine and their face makeup to work amazingly with my overly troublesome skin.  This powder foundation offers outstanding, buildable coverage while having a natural, flawless finish.  Some of the “skinvigorating” ingredients include Amazonian clay, tourmaline, pearl powder, and camellia left extract. It’s formulated without paragons, mineral oil, and all that jazz, AND it doesn’t break me out.  I made sure I had an extra to take with me to Japan.  I loved the liquid Amazonian clay foundation, and the powder has me just as much in love.  

Read more

Confessions of A Weight Watchers Lifetime Member: It’s STILL Tough

ConfessionsBefore Banner

After Banner

A year ago on November 18th I went to my Weight Watchers center in Park Ridge, IL, weighed in, and much to my delight I hit my magic number, my goal weight that I had been striving for since I can’t remember when: 135!  There was a little celebration during the meeting where I was awarded my “goal” star charm to do with as I pleased (for a time I put it on a chain and wore it around my neck until it started to tarnish).  Now, I just had to maintain this weight within range (5 lbs under or 2 lbs above) for 6 weeks and then I would officially have accomplished my ultimate weight loss goal of becoming a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers.

6 weeks later, I did.

Now, with a year’s worth of weight maintenance experience under my belt, after working for Weight Watchers for almost a year, and after several whirlwind life changes I am hear to tell you this: It does NOT get any easier!

Read more

Weight Watchers Back to Basics Week 2: Tracking

Tracking: The most integral part of the Weight Watchers plan (or any plan for that matter). yet sometimes the most neglected and/or cheated part of the program.  I know that Weight Watchers has the Simply Filling plan (eat what you want as long as it’s a power food, rely on hunger signals, your 49 weeklies are then spent on non-power foods..that’s the really basic idea of it), and i know many have found success with it, however I was not one of them, and probably never will be one of them.  I don’t have the self control to rely on hunger signals; I need sizes, portions, and numbers to live by.  This is why tracking is so important.

Raise your hand if you have ever lied (lies of omission count) to your tracker since starting your healthier lifestyle…

**I know you all are mentally raising your hands at this very moment**

It is one of the self-sabotaging moves that we are guilty of when it comes to taking our healthy lifestyle seriously.  Why is it that we think that if we don’t put it in the tracker it means we didn’t eat it?  The tracker might not say “(enter guilty food here..half of a pizza, entire chocolate cake, box of cookies, etc)” but your body most certainly will.  I sound a little rough about this topic simply because this is what I am most often guilty of.  My mind tries to tell me, like the little devil sitting on my left shoulder, If I don’t write it down, it means it just didn’t happen, right?  WRONG!

My back to basic goals with tracking are simple: Write down EVERY SINGLE THING that goes in my mouth.  Weight Watchers makes it incredibly easy to do so, especially if you’re a smart phone user.  My iPhone is always near me, and the Weight Watchers app is sitting there on my home page.  I have absolutely no excuse to not track what eat.   NO EXCUSE!

Let me tell you a little about the Weight Watchers app (free, with WW membership).  You have access to the entire WW online database right from your phone.  Access your tracker, Points Plus Calculator and even their information on restaurants’ values.  Have something in front of you that you can’t track right at this moment, perhaps a plate of food while you’re out with a friend and you don’t want to spend 5 minutes tracking every item on it? Just snap a pic with the Snap and Track option and you can come back later!  At the grocery store?  Get the Weight Watchers Barcode Scanner (also free, with Weight Watchers membership).  You can scan the items in the grocery store and a Points value will just appear.  No muss, no fuss, 2 seconds.  Item not in the database? Then the Points Plus calculator will appear so you can punch in the info yourself.  Seriously guys, smartphones make it excuse proof.


There is also something to be said for the good old paper tracking route.  THere is something nice and concrete about busting out my 3 month tracker book, which tends to sit neglected in a drawer thanks to my dependance on my iPhone.  Research shows that people who write down what they eat consume 30% less calories in a day than someone who doesn’t.  That being said, the awesome power of writing something down doesn’t just reign over our food.  Goal setting, lists, motivational post-its, and things of the like all make us feel powerful and in control when we write things down.  Thoughts in your head keeping you up at night?  Experts say write your thoughts down to get them out of your head and into the world.  The satisfaction you get from writing things down is incredible.  When I take that pen to my tracker, I note that there are a limited number of lines on which to write foods.  I can’t eat more than that (or so I tell myself).  The 3 month tracker gives you a few pages to plan your week as well, so you can write down meal and exercise plans and track goals for the week.  People who don’t use smart phones have a very reliable tool as well.  The basic paper tracker is your friend!

Now, I am obviously speaking primarily in Weight Watchers terms because that’s the program I intend to use the rest of my life, however, the benefit of tracking goes well beyond the Weight Watchers program.  Not on WW? No problem!  Smartphone users, there are tons  of apps out there, many for free, that let you track your calories and your activity, and they usually have a nice database of information for you too.  Websites like SparkPeople.com (the place I had success pre-WW) is a great place with all of your tracking tools and an insanely active and supportive community to boot.  Not into the digital tracking? Get a notebook and one of the many books with calorie count information in them, utilize nutrition labels and restaurant nutrition guides and make your own tracker.  The possibilities are endless and the rewards will be fruitful.

So, my friends, get yourself a new notebook and a pretty pen (I always get a new pen when I start something like a new journal…makes it feel special), or open up that app on your phone and keep the WW tracker pulled up on your computer and get tracking!  Let no food that passes your lips go unregistered!

If you bite it, write it! 🙂