Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Steps to Success

Here are a few steps to success:
Get a physical: Let me start off by saying if you are getting ready to start a weight-loss journey of your own than the first thing you need to do is go to your doctor. The trainer at the gym is not a doctor, your girlfriend in your mom group is not a doctor, I am not a doctor, and unless your mother went to medical school she isn't a doctor either. Go to the doctor and get a complete physical and full blood panel done. An annual physical should be covered 100% under your health insurance. It will take one hour out of your life to get this done. Five minutes to schedule the appointment, ten minutes to get blood drawn, and forty five minutes to meet with your physician. These are all vital steps to maintain your personal health and get a head start on your personal weight-loss success.
NO Soda: The next thing that I will say is if you are drinking soda, eating any sugar-free chemical filled snacks or sweets, or taking diet supplements...STOP! Stop now. First, soda is horrible for you. Soda is as healthy for you as drinking a cup of Drano. You can even clean your toilet with a Coke...Let that sink in! If you stop drinking soda today I bet you will lose 5 pounds in one week! Its that easy and goes to show just how much sugar is in soda! Next, weight-loss supplements are packed full of chemicals that are harmful to your body and most have extreme amounts of caffeine in them. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine is as addictive to you as cocaine. Caffeine is the most widely used self-administrated stimulant known to man. I highly recommend going caffeine-free all together, but if you can't do that at least attempt to cut it down as much as you can.
Cut Sweets in half: At the very least cut the sweets down by half. You can cut them out more than that if you want, but everyone deserves to look forward to a yummy TREAT (yes that is in all caps so that you know it is just that, a treat, not an every day thing)! I have limited my sweets to twice a week. It is just two sweet things a week. If I do it in one sitting... well then...I'm screwed until next week!
Increase your protein intake: If you are a meat eater, than a grilled chicken breast will become your new best friend. Amp that protein intake up. Start eating lean meats like you mean it! If you are a vegetarian, like me, than amp the nut and bean sources up. Sneak them in to everything. Salads, dinners, etc.
Veggies: If you don't like veggies than you aren't fixing them the right way. I used to think that I hated broccoli. Guess what? I love it. I just hate the way that my mom fixes it. She does a boil/steam combo to the point where it turns to this mush of a broccoli stem. It is gross. I, on the other hand, steam my broccoli with a dash of salt and pepper and could eat a whole head in one sitting. Steamed for 6 minutes on the dot makes for perfect broccoli. Cooked until oblivion, like the way my mom fixes it, does not! Stay away from salad dressings because they pretty much make the salad useless in terms of a healthy meal. Opt for hearty toppings instead, like chicken, nuts, fruit, feta cheese, etc. Figure out what tastes good to you and make it the way you like it!
Lifestyle change vs. Fad Diet: Changing your whole lifestyle is the key to a successful diet. You have to change your mind and your taste buds, but you can do it! My mother in law is the queen of the fad diet. Always something new that she has heard of and is trying. She looks the exact same today as the day I met her over six years ago. She has probably been on about ten different diets in the last six years and hasn't changed one bit. That is a perfect example of how fad diets don't work. Change your lifestyle and you will feel a change!
Pump up your workout routine: If you aren't seeing the numbers on the scale go down or losing any inches than change it up! Take a fitness class, get on a bike and ride for miles, or do a workout dvd that you have never tried before! I just recently changed up my routine! I have been doing cardio and lifting weights at the gym for years. YEARS!!! I just recently added in Beachbody's PiYo dvd series. it is amazing! First of all, I feel so much stronger than I did two weeks ago! I can hold plank for more than 5 seconds without feeling like I am dying, my arm muscles are starting to be defined, my calf muscles are sculpting in ways that the gym has never done for me. I am so happy that I ordered it! I highly recommend it! If you are thinking about ordering it too, you should. Here is a link: PiYo
I am down 2 inches around my belly since I started it two weeks ago!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Strong Mind Makes a Strong Body!

Week Two has commenced. I have been working hard to change my mindset this past week. I have been attempting to focus on the good and not the bad. Focus on what I can eat and not what I can't. I'm trying to be a little more adventurous in my food choices and more limiting in my treat choices. I have been drinking Shakeology every day for the last two weeks and I feel a difference! My insides feel cleaner, my body feels lighter, and overall I feel great!
In order to have a strong body you need a strong mind! Your mind is what is making the choices in your day to day life. Your mind is the one controlling what you eat, how much you eat, if you exercise, how you feel, and that leads to how your body feels. If you don't have a strong mind than you will give into urges of your desire. Delicious cakes, bag of chips, doughnuts... oh those doughnuts... mmmm... those warm delicious doughnuts... No! No! No! Strong mind! Staying strong and firm will build your strong body! Treats are just that, treats. They happen once in a while. Not every day and not in large amounts. Decide what your treat is for the week and stick with it. Everyone needs something magical to look forward too, but not binge on. Keep your focus strong and dedicated to what your personal goal is. A strong mind will build a strong body!
Use your strong mind to build your fitness goals. Start at a moderate pace and increase your effort daily. Push yourself a little harder each and every day. That will build your strong body! Workout anywhere and everywhere you can! Dance around like a crazy person in front of a workout DVD, get a gym membership WITH a childcare, or get outside and go for a jog! Or, do all three! That will build your strong body! You will shred your muscles as you push yourself to your limits and then build them back up with the food you nourish your body.
I have been working hard to strengthen my mind and my body. I hope that you will join me in my journey! I created a Facebook page to go with my weight-loss journey! I think I have reformed and gained about 5lbs in muscle mass this past week and down a pound. I feel so much stronger than last week! I am going to keep on pushing to be the strongest I can be! See you over there!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lemon Rosemary Garlic Buttered Turkey

Thanksgiving 2013

Lemon Rosemary Garlic Buttered Turkey
Yield: Serves 8-10


One 12 pound thawed turkey
2 heads of garlic
2 medium onions
3 pounds of baby red potatoes
1 can of chicken broth
1 cup of water
4 lemons, zested and sliced
1 stick of room temperature butter
Dried rosemary
salt and pepper
olive oil


1. Thaw out your turkey for THREE days in our fridge. When completely thaw, remove the giblets from your turkey, wash out the cavity and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Quarter all your potatoes and onions and place on the bottom of your roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. In a bowl, mix your butter, one head of minced garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix well. 
4. Separate the skin from the turkey breast and rub half of your butter mixture under the skin. Rub the rest of the butter mixture on the outside of the skin.
5. Place your lemon slices under the skin of the breast and inside the bird's cavity.
6. Place your bird on the roasting rack in your pan. Salt and pepper the entire bird.
7. Pour your water and chicken broth into the roasting pan.
8. Cut off the top of the second head of garlic and place inside the cavity of the turkey.
8. Place a foil tent over your bird. Cook for 3 hours at 325 F. Half way through remove the tent. Make sure to baste your turkey often (every 20 minutes or so) with the juices at the bottom of the pan. 
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!! 

Hemp Granola

Hemp Granola
Yield: 14 servings


5 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups finely ground flax
2 cups Hemp Hearts
1 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of cinnamon 
1 teaspoon salt


1. Mix all your dry ingredients (oats, flax, hemp, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and salt) together in a large bowl.
2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt your coconut oil. 
3. Pour in your coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract into your dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Line two large baking sheets with foil and spread out your granola mixture. 
5. Bake at 300 F for 45 minutes. Pull out at 15 minute incriminates to stir your granola. Store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.
6. Enjoy the yummy goodness with some fruit and yogurt for a hearty and filling breakfast! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coconut Black Bean Brownies

Coconut Black Bean Brownies
Yield: 9-12 brownies


2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 egg
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 bag of chocolate chips, divided
1/3 - 1/2 cup shaved coconut


1. In  your large food processor, add your: beans, egg, oats, cocoa, oil, sugar, syrup, salt, and vanilla. Blend until smooth (2-3 minutes).
2. Detach your cup from the base of your processor, removing the blade, and fold in 2/3 of the bag of chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of coconut.
3. In a silicone baking dish (mine was 9x9) spread your batter smoothly out. Sprinkle the remaining portion of your chocolate chips on top.
4. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on top after they have finished baking.
5. Let cool for 20-30 minutes and then set in the refrigerator to firm up. These are thick and fudgy brownies! Not only are they almost guilt-free but they are very filling too! Enjoy and let me know what you all think!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rebooting My Diet

Let me start by saying a huge thank you to all my friends who have given me encouraging words this past week! It was scary sharing such a personal blog post with them, but I knew for my accountability I needed to let everyone in my immediate life know what I was going through and what I hoped for my future. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Next, let me remind you that I did not just start the path to healthy this past week. This is a renewing of goals and a re-commitment to myself. I already went to the gym, I already cooked from scratch and made whole foods, and I already made mountains of healthy choices. I am simply cutting out bread, cutting my carb intake by half, increasing my exercise regimen, and adding in Shakeology for lunch everyday. They are not hard goals, they are not large goals, and they are not scary goals!  My goal isn’t even to get to my “pre-baby” size. That is completely unreasonable and unattainable for me. I will have these stretch marks on my stomach, arms, boobs…and so many other places… forever! For…ev…er! My stomach will never be tight again! My breasts will always slide south. And I will always have a little extra junk in my trunk. I am okay with that. I am a mother and I wear my stripes proudly! However, I will push my body to be the strongest it can be! I will strengthen my body with good foods and lots of exercise! I will work harder than I ever have and I will be comfortable in my new skin!
Last week I made a pledge to myself, and you all, that I would do all that! I have! I spent last week rebooting my diet. I drank Shakeology for two days straight (morning, noon, and night) as my meals. I instantly lost 4 pounds. I slowly added real food back in and in smaller portions than I had been eating. I pumped up my veggie portions at dinner and cut my carb portions down. I did great all week…and then Saturday night rolled around and I was faced with a table full of desserts at my friend’s birthday 30th Birthday Party. This happens to be a huge problem for me as a vegetarian actually. There was a catered dinner but literally everything had meat on it, so guess what I ate as my dinner? If you guessed literally every single dessert known to man than you guessed correctly. I also drank a boat load of wine that night. I don’t normally drink, and when I do it usually only one glass. I think I had three glasses of wine that night. I was a lush drunk on sugar and wine. It was glorious! And you know what? Its okay to have days like that …ONCE in a while. Every now and then treating yourself to something yummy and fun is what makes us happy. Nobody wants to be deprived. Nobody wants to hate what they eat and only eat it because they have too and it is good for them. Enjoy the food you are eating, eat the fun things in moderation, and be happy has always been my motto!
Even with Saturday night’s festivities I managed to keep off the 4 pounds I had lost. My PiYo DVDs and month supply of Shakeology arrived over the weekend and I began it yesterday. I started yesterday as my Day 1 since it was my first full day of all things healthy and good. I began my morning by with my first PiYo workout! It went smoothly and it started my morning with a sweat. Next I got the kids ready for school and out the door. I hit the gym after and did the Cybex, burning over 300 calories (woop woop!) and did a couple rounds of TRX. After I was done at the gym I went to my first chiropractor and massage appointment since having baby Charlotte. It was divine! I needed it so bad! My muscles were so tight and I had so many knots in my back…and my feet…my goodness when he touched my feet I about melted. It’s amazing how powerful touch is to the human body! I need to go to the chiropractor and masseuse on a more regular basis, but it so hard to schedule an hour of time away from my kids! After my massage, I came home and drank my Shakeology and had a small salad. Overall, my food choices were clean and healthy and filling.

My goal is to have a similar routine to yesterday five of the seven days a week: PiYo in the morning, gym next, and Shakeology for lunch. I think that it is a realistic goal and I will be able to maintain it at least five of the seven days a week.  I will post again next week, about my “real” Week One (this week)!  

Here is my before picture! Scary! I would like to say it's bad lighting, bad angle, bad.... But it's the truth. Real picture of what I look like. Sigh. I will be posting a picture every week. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fit, fat, and fabulous!

It's a common misconception that you can both be fit and have a coat of fat. It's time for me to shed that coat! Right now I am very fit, fat, and am fabulous!
I workout several times a week pushing myself to my limits with each workout. I can easily lift 30lbs in dumb bells, I can press together 190lbs with the hip abducture, squat press 80lbs, and leg press 500lbs. My arms are strong, my core is strong, and my legs are powerful! I am fit, fat, and fabulous!
I am working to shed my coat of fat. I have been working at it since I put the coat on almost 5 years ago. I gained 100 lbs when I was pregnant with my first child. 100 lbs. Let that sink in for a moment. He was my first child. I thought you were supposed to eat for two, I thought that working out wasn't safe during pregnancy, and I quit working to be a stay at home (expecting) mother. Those three factors played a huge roll in my excessive weight gain. I relished every moment of lazily laying on the couch catching up on Real Housewives season one to infinity! I enjoyed eating unhealthy foods "because I'm eating for two"! I happily lounged in my ever expanding yoga pants, because it was what made the baby comfy! I was not fit or fabulous!
As soon as I had my baby, I looked in the mirror and did not recocognize myself. My body was lumpy in places I had never seen lumps, I was exhausted from caring for a newborn that seemed to never sleep. I was ugly. I was sad that I felt ugly,  but the truth was ugly staring back at me. I was not fabulous, but vowed to get fit! I got a gym membership that had a childcare provided, started working out again, my baby started sleeping through the night, and I started feeling a little better about myself. I put in some serious work at the gym. I lost 0 pounds. Zero. Zilch. Nadda. I was fit and fat but not fabulous.
When my son was 11 months old I got pregnant again. I had extreme morning sickness. I threw up on average 6-10 times a day from 6 weeks until I gave birth to her at 39 weeks. It was a hard pregnancy because I was so exhausted from constantly throwing up, never having food in my stomach, and taking care of a toddler! I felt like a starving model with no brain cells. My reflection, in the mirror, told another story. Thankfully, I didn't gain any weight with my second pregnancy. None at all. She was 9lbs at birth and healthy as could be. I had a much easier recovery from my second delivery than my first, so I was back at the gym 2 weeks after I popped her out. I was determined. Determined to lose all the weight I was still carrying around 2 years later from my first child! I was determined to shed the coat of fat. I picked of the dumb bells, I climbed on the elliptical, and I squated my heart out. I was fit and fat but not fabulous.
I was ready for a make over! For the last two years I had given up. I wore clothes that weren't flattering, I didn't do my make up with care, I hardly ever did my hair, so I looked as bad on the outside as I felt on the inside. I decided then and there that it didn't matter what the scale said, I was going to be fabulous. Just because the scale screamed "I don't go this high! Get off before you break me!" I wasn't going to let that bring me down. I pulled my hair straightener out and blew off the proverbial dust, treated myself to all new makeup, and bought some flattering and beautiful dresses and cute workout clothes. I am a girly girl. I always have been, but outgrowing all my pre-baby clothing kind of sent me down a dark path of frump. I never want to go back to frumpy dumpy new-mom me. I am fit, fat, and fabulous.
Just because I am fat, doesn't mean I can't be fit or fabulous! I workout, do my make up, curl my hair, get my nails done every now and then, and wear cute clothes. Fabulous comes in all sizes and shapes! I am fit, fat, and fabulous!
By the time I got pregnant with my third child I was working out everyday and had my pre-babies stamina back. I had lost zero pounds but I had gained a good bit of my muscle tone back. I felt great! I felt fabulous! I worked out every day throughout my pregancy until about 4 weeks before I had her. I didn't want her to come early and I was already dilated and would have intense contractions anytime I worked out, so I went ahead and stopped. As soon as I had her I was already counting down the days I could sneak back into the gym. I was a fit, fat, and fabulous new mom!
My littlest is now three months old! I am determined to shed this coat of fat and be both fit and fabulous with only a little bit of fat...just some...you know so when my kids sit on my lap they are comfy...and when I give them hugs they snuggle in to my warmth and softness...and so when they are sick they can use me as a pillow... I am fit, and fat, and fabulous! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Maple Almond Granola

Maple Granola
Yield: 12-14 servings


4 cups whole organic oats
1 cup fine ground flax seed
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 cup Rice Crispies
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)


1. In a microwave safe bowl, add your coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and sugar. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes until liquid and smooth. Stir well.
2. In a large bowl, add your oats, flax, rice crispies, almonds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
3. Pour your liquid syrup mixture into your oat mixture and mix well.
4. Cover two baking sheets in foil and spread out your mixture evenly. 
5. Bake at 300 F for 30 minutes. Pull out at the 15 minute mark and stir well and put back in baking for an additional 15 minutes. 

As promised, in my previous post, I was going to make granola today and put up the recipe. I took a tiny little nibble and man it was delicious! I can't wait to gobble it up for breakfast! Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. I bought almost all my ingredients at Whole Foods, and I had the rest already in my pantry. The total cost for about a month supply of this granola (two batches) is about $18. Whole Foods sells their bulk granola at about $3.99 a pound which lasts about 3-4 servings for a pound making it about a $32 a month cost. Enjoy! 

New Me!

Today is a new day. I have made the decision to change my life today. Today I change my body and my mind. Today is a new day! Here are my plans regarding diet and exercise:
I am going to start by saying that I am a vegetarian and a picky eater. My diet consists of carbs and fruit with a small side of protein and veggie. My goal is to redistribute my portions, increase my protein and veggie intake, and cut down on the carbs and fats. Whole30 and Paleo are two wonderful diets to partake in, if you eat meat, but because I do not eat meat they would consist of lettuce with a side of lettuce. I am a breastfeeding mom to a three month old baby plus I have two preschoolers to care for…I need to eat more than lettuce to maintain some brain function and be able to produce breast milk for my baby!
Fats and Sugar:  Your body needs fats. I am not cutting them out completely, I am simply going to cut my current intake by half! A fat-free diet may make you lose some weight on a short term basis, but as a long term lifestyle it is so unhealthy. Your body needs those fats for your overall health. Also, I do not eat sugar-free packaged foods. The chemicals and additives in those foods are far worse for you than real sugar. I also do not eat a sugar replacement like Stevia or Spenda… Do not get me started on how horrible those are for you. If you are going to eat something sweet, bake it from scratch with real sugar because those real calories are far easier for your body to digest and burn off than the fake manufactured stuff!!!  
Soda:  I don’t drink soda. However, I do live in the south and occasionally partake in a glass of sweet tea. No, not every day. Not every week even. I would say on average two glasses a month. I plan to cut those out. Primarily I drink water. Lots and lots and lots of water. On average I consume 120oz of water a day. Yes, that is double your recommended minimum amount. I start my day with 16oz of water on an empty stomach before eating anything and continue drinking water throughout the day. Some days I barely drink 100oz and I feel so dehydrated without the extra water and other days I drink closer to 200oz and feel so much better. My goal is to make sure I get at least 150oz a day so that I don’t reach the dehydrated stage.
Sweets: Sweets… oh gosh… I do have a sweet tooth and I LOVE to bake… Baking happens to also be part of my business. I run a small cupcake shop out of my home. Yup. But guess what, I don’t actually eat the cupcakes. My husband is my taste-tester so I don’t have to worry about sampling the product prior to sale, he gets that job and doesn’t gain a pound (lucky bastard). Speaking of the lucky guy, he also loves junk food. He can eat a whole bag of Twizzlers in one sitting and lose weight. He’s a guy and it isn’t fair. I on the other hand, gain weight watching him eat said bag of Twizzlers and don’t even like the damn things.  I try to limit my sweets to once to twice a week. We all need something delicious in our life. I think that depriving one’s self just leads to a whole myriad of issues later on.
Protein: My main source of protein is from black beans, hummus, peanut butter, and protein powder. I plan on adding in quinoa and chia seeds add to those sources for a more rounded and lifestyle. This will also help cut down on my intake of carbs, which is my biggest downfall.
Carbs: Currently my biggest consumption throughout the day is various forms of carbs. Starting today I am completely cutting bread out of my diet. No, that does not mean I am going gluten or carb-free, it means that I am simply cutting out bread. That means no loafs of bread, no rolls, no delicious garlic knots at my favorite Italian restaurant…..drool…………..  I am cutting out bread. I have too. This does NOT include tortillas.  I also am cutting my pasta consumption down to ONE time per week. Typically I make a pasta dish about three times a week so this will help, but not deprive me. As I said in the protein portion, I am going to add in quinoa and chia seeds and I am hoping that I can make a couple quinoa dishes that can take the place of a carb or two in my life. Cereal is a hard one for me, because I eat a bowl of cereal every single morning. Skipping breakfast is A. Unhealthy and B. NOT and option for me. I feel physically ill all day if I do not get my bowl of cereal. I am going to switch exclusively to homemade granola and plain Greek yogurt for breakfast. I love granola anyways, but it is so expensive, so I rarely treat myself to it. I am going to make a batch today and I will post the recipe later. Last time I made my own granola I was 12 or 13. It’s been a long time, but I think I remember how too… haha!
Smoothies and Shakes: I plan on making a Green Smoothie every morning for my “snack” that consists of strawberries, blueberries, Greek yogurt, banana, and lots of spinach.  As for a daily shake, I am signing up to become a BeachBody Coach as I type this. I have thought long and hard about this decision and am finally making the plunge to lose the pudge. I plan on drinking a Shakeology drink everyday for lunch with a small Greek salad (Lettuce, cucumbers, a tiny crumbling of feta, and a drizzle of olive oil) to complete the meal. Typically the drink is used as a meal replacement, but adding in the little side salad will help keep me full and trick my brain into thinking I have a complete lunch. Now, Shakeology is going to be a big splurge for my budget at about $125 a month, but I will be paying for it out of my own pocket with my earnings from my cupcake business. Ironic that cupcakes will be paying for my shakes.
The Gym: Currently I make it into the gym at least three times a week. My daughter is only three months old so I have to pay extra for baby-care in the gym childcare center, but It is well worth it to both get “me time” and break a sweat. Now that she is three months and I am fully healed and most of my organs are back in their general spaces (or so I hope) I can do a bit more that I had been doing. I currently do 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes of weight lifting. I have an hour time limit in the baby-care, until she turns one and then it goes up to a two hour time limit. I have a busted up old treadmill in my playroom that has something messed up on the track and every minute or so it slips and if you aren’t holding on for dear life you will go flying back or crack your face on the bar… So I plan on getting on that and hoping that I hold on with all my might and don’t die during the kids nap time every day for about 20 minutes… 20 minutes is all my heart can handle on that thing b.c It beats twice as fast out of fear that I will in fact make headlines, “Treadmill Kills Mom While Kids Were Sleeping”…. Ya, that wouldn’t be so good. Then, when the kids wake from their naps I plan on taking them for a walk at least three times a week. It is starting to get cold out, so some days will just be too cold or too windy go but I hope that at least three days a week it will be nice enough to bundle up and put my older two in the double jogger and wear my baby in the sling and go for a moderately paced power walk so as not to jiggle the baby too much! Also, I just ordered Piyo (power Pilates type workout) through my BeachBody coach package and will be starting my morning at 6am every morning (yawn!!!) with a Piyo workout. In order to lose weight I need to do LOTS of cardio, which is where the walks and gym comes in, but the Piyo will be a great way to sculpt my body in a way that the gym can’t. I used to take a power Pilates class twice a week, so I know what to expect and I know what my body can do. I’m excited!
You all might be wondering why now? Why start a new lifestyle with a new baby, the holiday’s just weeks away, and plans of a fourth child in a very near future… Well my friends, why not now? I have woken so many times in the night and lay awake dreaming of a day that I love the way that I look, again, and love the way that I feel. Right now I feel gross. I feel bloated and yucky and can’t wait to shed this weight. I do not have unrealistic goals. My goals are honest and truthful to whom I am as a mother and human. My goals are not restrictive and I am not taking drastic or unhealthy measures to achieve them. My goal is lose exactly 70lbs. Yes, 70 pounds. Right now I weigh the exact same as the day I delivered my last child at 39.5 weeks pregnant. I know I will always be a size large, but I want to be a toned and fit size large and not a flabby and frumpy size large. I am 5’ 9” so the 70lbs is distributed evenly throughout my body. I want to lose weight and more importantly inches. I don’t want to stress about my stomach jigging or my arms flapping. My thighs have always touched and I have always had a badonkadonk, but now I have more than I want. When I met my husband I was 160lbs. That sounds like a lot to some, but I looked amazing. I was toned and fit and looked fabulous. I can say that now, because it’s true. Now, I weigh 269lbs. That is scary to admit. I have never said it out loud. My husband doesn’t know how much I weigh. I will never tell him. He knows I don’t look the same as when we first met/married, but he has no idea how much I weigh. I am making this journey public because I want to help you and I want to make myself accountable. I am a happily married mother of three that is looking to pull out the best, most fabulous, version of my inner self. I want to both look and feel healthy and fit again. I want my husband to say, “You look amazing!” and I sure want to feel amazing! We all deserve to feel beautiful and hot!

*Note: I have been checked out for all things like thyroid, sugar/diabetes, cholesterol levels, etc. All are 100% normal and in the awesome/healthy range.  

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Cooper, Chloe, and Charlotte

Chloe was a Girl on Fire...or a Fireball.. and Cooper was a Fireman!

They were so excited about me taking their picture. Can't you tell?

Dalmatian puppy Charlotte!

I reused the giant red tutu dress I made for Chloe's costume last year (she was a parrot last year) and turned her into a ball of fire. Seriously, she is so full of sass that it fit her personality perfectly! Cooper said he wanted to be a superhero, but because he has never seen a single Marvel movie he had no idea what superhero he wanted to be. He just kept saying "A superhero" when ever I asked. I showed him pictures of Batman, Superman, and Spiderman, and he said, "No! I want to be a superhero" So I was stumped. I convinced him to be a LOCAL superhero instead and be a fireman! He fell in love with his costume, so it worked out. I made Charlotte into a cute little puppy with a white tutu, tights, and a onesie. I ironed on black felt spots and made felt puppy ears for her to wear. I think three costumes looked great together and they loved going trick or treating this year! Happy Halloween!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken
Yield: Serves 6


2 green bell peppers
1 large onion
6 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 


1. Mince your garlic, dice your onion, and chop up your peppers and cilantro. 
2. Cut your chicken breast in cubes and add all spices. Juice one lime and pour the juice over the chicken. 
3. In a large baking dish add all ingredients and sprinkle the juice of the second lime and leave the lime in the dish to bake. Cover with foil.
4. Bake at 400  F for 30 minutes. Take off foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Enjoy this juicy and flavorful chicken over beans or rice. It is a great addition to fajitas or tacos or can just be eaten by itself. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Authentic Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo Sauce with Linguine
Yield: Serves 6


2 cups heavy cream
2 cups Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
1 stick of butter
6 cloves of garlic
2-4 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley, optional
1 box of linguine


1. In a large pot for your linguine, fill with water, and sprinkle in salt to come to a boil.
2. Add your butter, flour, minced garlic, and fresh cracked pepper in your saucepan on a low/med heat. Let the butter melt, but not brown, mixing occasionally so the flour doesn't stick. After about 5 minutes your butter should be fully melted and all ingredients smooth and incorporated. 
3. Pour in your heavy cream and your Parmesan cheese to your butter mixture and stir slowly to incorporate all ingredients. 
4. Boil your linguine for 10 minutes, until al dente. During these 10 minutes continue to stir your Alfredo sauce so the bottom does not burn. Add your linguine to your Alfredo sauce's pot.
5. Mince your fresh parsley and add to the Linguine Alfredo pot and stir together.
6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

First, there are so many recipes for Alfredo sauce floating around Pinterest that have cream cheese...um...NO!!! There is no cream cheese in Alfredo and there never has been. Second, this is a heavy sauce so fix it just for special occasions (or everyday)! And third, and most important, it is addicting! That I can promise! :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back to School We Go!!

School is back in session!!! Cooper headed off to four year old preschool last Tuesday and Chloe started two year old preschool on Wednesday! My babies are no longer babies! This is Cooper's third year of preschool and will be Chloe's first. Cooper is going five days a week and Chloe is going three days a week. This gives baby Charlotte and I some one on one time and also gives Cooper and Chloe the extra days to play and learn with their friends.

I love hearing their stories about what they learned at school that day! I love the school they are at dearly. The teachers and staff are all so kind! Cooper pointed out a little boy today, at pick up, and said, "Mommy, that's my best friend!" Up until now his best friend has been has Teddy. I have never heard him refer to someone else as his BEST friend. Sure, he has friends and loves to play with them but has never titled them his BEST friend. He also told me, "Aw, that's so sweet of you to buy milk. Good job mommy!" so he could have just been in a very loving mood at the moment.

Chloe's stories of school crack me up. Her vocabulary is pretty extensive, for a two year old, but she tells it in little bits and pieces. First I get to hear about the bubbles. The bubbles. The bubbles. Then more bubbles. An hour later she will tell me about the fun time she had playing outside. Oh wait...and then there are the bubbles again! I ask her everyday if she has made any friends and she just says, "I played with my friends!" so I can only hope that she is making friends. Up until now she has only played with her big brother's friends or siblings of her big brother's friends and hasn't actually made any friends of her own. My only hope for this year is that she establishes some relationships of her own and loves to learn as much as her big brother does!

Cooper is so stinking smart is scares me sometimes. The things that come out of his mouth never stop amazing me. He loves to learn. LOVES to learn! I think I get asked 238942 questions a day by him, and I am sure his teacher does too. "Why is that sign blinking?" "How do you make that?" and the list goes on and on.... I love going through his folder after school and seeing what he worked on. To non-parents it would just look like a pile of scribbled papers and cut outs, but to parents we see the effort that they put in trying desperately to carefully write their names, attempt to stay in the lines, and there may be glue all over it but gosh darn it's the most beautiful thing ever!

I'm so excited about what is to come of this year! I can't wait to see what will come next!

Calzones Made Easy

Yield: Serves 4

1 ball of fresh pizza dough (I recommend Whole Food's dough!!)
1 15oz container of Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan 
1 egg
1 jar of your favorite Tomato Sauce  
Pizza Stone
Flour for dusting

1. Place your pizza stone in your oven, set to 400 F, for 20 minutes.
2. Divide up your pizza dough into two or four balls. You can either make two very large calzones or four individual calzones. Dust your counter with flour and very gently flatten the dough with your hands. Work the dough as little as possible so it doesn't become tough or gummy. If you are making four than each circle should be about 8" in diamater and if you are making two each circle should be about 16" in diameter.
3. In a bowl mix together all three of your cheeses. Portion the cheese mixture onto each half of your circles and then fold the dough over top. 
4. Pull your pizza stone out of the oven and dust with flour. Place your calzones carefully on it.
5.  Beat your egg and brush with a pastry brush across each calzone top. 
6. Bake at 400 F for 12-15 minutes depending on how many and how big you made them. Should be a light golden brown when finished and firm to the touch. 
7. Heat your tomato sauce in a microwave safe bowl, in the microwave, for two minutes and serve. 

These calzones are addicting and so easy to make! I highly recommend the fresh pizza dough from the Whole Foods Pizza Counter! Just go up to the counter and ask for fresh dough. It costs $4 and is well worth it for both the taste and ease! 
My children have been turning their noses up at pizza as of late (crazy heads), so I decided to change it up a little and whipped these bad boys up. Yummy! I almost like them better than pizza too. Almost!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Nautical Birthday Party

Cooper, my son, recently turned four. His favorite place on earth is beach. He has been talking about "his party at the beach" for months and months and it finally happened!! It was so fun hanging with friends at the beach and playing in the sand to celebrate Cooper's birthday. It was my first first party away from the house and that was the hardest part of the whole party. Packing up the minivan, trekking everything out on the beach, keeping things from blowing away, keeping sand out of the food, and then loading everything back up... It was EXHAUSTING but Cooper had a blast and that is all that matters! Who cares if the pesto pasta had a bit of an extra crunch of sand and the doughnuts kept wanting to fly away... :)  

Happy Birthday Banner!

Beach pail thank you's for guests

Doughnut tower of "life rafts" 

Pesto Pasta 


Watermelon stars

Ocean Water (blue dyed soda)

Drink bucket

Hot dogs and corn

Happy soon-to-be family of five! Blast of a birthday and Cooper had an awesome time playing with his friends!
(Baby Charlotte was still in my belly - 37 weeks pregnant)

Chloe covered in sand :)

Cooper at his favorite place on earth after an awesome party!

His party was a blast! We all had fun eating, drinking, and having a sandy 'ol time! I tried to keep the food and decorations as simple as I possibly could so I wouldn't stress myself out. I used my Cricut to make the decorations and I just did some simple foods to satisfy guests. Also, I decided not to make cupcakes for Cooper's party and instead bought two dozen Krispy Kremes (yum!!) because I knew the cupcakes would melt in the 100 degree heat would just be piles of hot messes. The doughnuts held up for the whole 10 minutes they were on the tower before they got gobbled up. :)

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Yield: Serves 8-10


2 cups of fresh basil
1 100oz can of Roma tomatoes
15 large tomatoes (fresh and roasted)
2 onions, diced
1 head of garlic, minced
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
olive oil


1. Slice up all of your tomatoes. Throw 1/3 of your tomatoes right into your Crockpot. For the remaining 2/3 of your tomatoes spread out on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes.
2. In your Crockpot, add your can of Roma tomatoes, basil, garlic, onions, and sugar. Turn on LOW for 8 hours and 30 minutes. 
3. When your tomatoes have finished roasting, in the oven, add the entire contents (oil drippings and all) to your Crockpot along with your stick of butter. 
4. When the 8 hours and 30 minutes are up use your immersion blender to smooth out the lovely lumps and make it nice and creamy. 

This is a great soup to make if you have a bunch of tomatoes and basil growing in your garden...which is exactly why I made this! I made the huge batch in the Crockpot and froze the remainder in containers to save for cooler weather. My husband is the only one in the house that likes soup, so he gets this all to his self! Lucky guy! :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tomato Basil Chicken

Tomato Basil Chicken
Yield: Serves 4-6


3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
pasta of your choice


1. Salt and pepper your raw chicken breasts and set aside.
2. Mince and chop all your veggies. 

3. Add your oil to your saute pan along with your chicken breasts and veggies. Cook for 8-10 minutes on each side (16-20 minutes total depending on the size of the breast).  
4. Boil your pasta to pair with your chicken. I think a penne or bow tie pasta works well with this dish.

5. Remove from heat and serve immediately. 

This is such an easy dish to make for your family in under thirty minutes! The chicken is moist and flavorful and the pasta helps fill you up. I add pesto to the pasta to add another basil dimension to the meal. Yum yum!