Monday, March 8, 2021

Double Digits

 I am bursting at the seams to share so many things.  I can already tell 2021 will be a big blogging year (maybe...possibly...don't hold me to it).   Let me start off on a super positive note – I have officially lost 10 pounds since January 1, 2021.  WOOHOO!  So, this will be what I learned about my body, and what is working for me.  

Knowing my body - I should say – getting to know my body.  I was slowly but surely losing a pound a week, but the next week after my last weight loss/fitness post I had a day or two where I gained and was gaining weight rapidly every day, and not losing and I struggled with the fact that this may be muscle because my measurements were not changing.  Realizing I needed to understand more about the food I was eating I started evaluating myself more after I ate.  I started keeping a 'food journal' in MyFitnessPal and weighing about 2 or 3 times a day.  Granted, in a lot of circles, this is a HUGE no-no.  Keep in mind that I was not using this as a reference to my weight loss but trying to understand when my body would retain water.  My body thinks it is fun to retain water, so I wanted to see what worked best with my body.  I was not happy with what I found out.  

D.A.I.R.Y.  – I would not be lying to say it is my number one favorite food.  I am huge on cheese, yogurt, milk…all the dairies.  One thing my body did not like and reacted to the most…. delicious dairy.  I took it out of my diet (tearfully) and was shocked by the scale that coming week.  I had lost 3 pounds in one week.  I was still eating plenty, keeping my calories at the right place, etc.  I knew that I had to keep dairy out of my diet until I reached my goal, then I would slowly add it back.  Let me also tell you a crazy thing.  This past week I tried Almond Milk because I really enjoy a sugar-free decaf latte for dessert some evenings.  I had about a cup of Almond Milk (Unsweetened, Plain, read the ingredients) and within 24 HOURS I had gained 5 pounds in water weight.  I am not kidding.  I do not know exactly what happened, but I changed nothing in my diet or exercise other than adding that.  Taking it back out, I was back on track about a day later.  So frustrating.

Water – I finally listened to my husband, as well as 1000 other people tell me this is key to healthy weight loss.  Drinking the recommended amount to start with, then as my body understood I was being nice to it (finally), I started craving more and now it is my go-to after coffee.  I believe this also helps keep my water retention at bay as well as any bloating. 

Anti-Inflammatory Foods - The majority of what I was eating fit on this list, but some did not.  I focused more on foods that really help to reduce inflammation, which will also help in my water retention - among a gazillion other things.  Foods like almonds, fish/seafood, olive oil, berries, leafy greens, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, garlic, onion, eggs, brussel sprouts, zucchini, green tea, and a lot of others.  Not only did I pay attention to foods on these lists, but also what other foods would do the opposite and cause inflammation... sugar (white, honey, agave, splenda, aspartame), peanuts, sodas, alcohol, iodized salt, gluten, refined carbs, trans fats, and others.  These foods that cause inflammation are easier to avoid if you eat cleaner, and there are lists that contradict themselves - so take the bulk of knowledge and work with it.  For example, there are some dairies that are good anti-inflammatory foods, but after my snafu with dairy, I just listened to my body and not the lists. 

10 pounds feels amazing, but my goal is not fulfilled yet.  I was talking to a friend of mine, and I let her know that this next stage might be the most difficult.  I don’t know where my 36-year-old body will want to be, and if I can even reach my goal.  We shall see.  You know I’ll keep you updated. 😉  I’d be happy just looking killer in a bikini..which will be shipped very soon. Yay!  

I'd like to add a life moment reality- this past weekend was special.  I took a vacation day and had an amazing day-date with my husband (post/s coming soon 😉 it was seriously such a fantastic day).  I ate whatever I wanted.  This included Dairy Queen Chicken Basket (gravy of course), lattes with oat milk, specialty tacos, diet soda, chips & salsa, mall pretzel bites with cheddar cheese sauce & pretzel covered hotdogs, and ending with a cheeseburger meal. ❤ Balance. ❤

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Ooo la la & Omgoodness

First of all, let me say I am already breaking one of my 2021 resolutions of no self-shopping.  Secondly, I don’t care – Mama has worked hard and I will be rockin’ a new suit in my hopefully toned body.  It has been so hard finding the right swimwear this year, on top of the fact that it's normally hard finding a swimsuit that fits right.  You would think with all the options out there I would find a suit that I like.  Well, finally I did.  Hooray! I was scrolling through Instagram and there it was - the swimsuit I have been looking for.  Come to find, out one of my favorite clothing brands was launching swimwear in a matter of weeks.  I was ecstatic.  I loved it so much, that 2 nights before the launch I had a dream that it sold out before I was able to order.  Woke me up out of a dead sleep.  I'm still giggling about it.  I blocked off my calendar because these products seem to sell out in a matter of hours.  I had looked over the measurement guide and knew exactly what size to get in each, I was ready to pounce.   

They were launching at noon on a weekday, so I made sure to leave work at just the right time to make it home in time.   Because I had a dream that they sold out within minutes, I didn't waste any time.  At noon I refreshed my screen put the sizes in my cart and checked out by 12:02 pm.  Guess what?  By 12:13 pm my sizes were completely sold out, as well as 3 other sizes.  It is such a beautiful suit, I knew it would fly.

My next purchase was a dress for a May wedding I am attending.  The wedding will be hosted in one of my favorite places in all the world – Nashville, TN, and I am counting down the days.   AH!  The excitement is so intense!  You will be tired of seeing the happiness on Instagram I can tell you that for sure.  With all this in mind here are some of the shops that I am regularly stocking.  My recent fashion obsession is cut-outs.  The designs with it in just the right place to add that "Ooo la la" 😲 without the "omg" 😳.   


My beautiful bathing suit is from here.  This is Jessie James Decker's clothing line and I love how it's unlike anything else.  I've window/screen shopped for years, but never actually bought from them until I saw the swimsuit.  Her line is just what you'd think Kittenish would be.  It's cute, playful, and country but yet still has a great deal of sex appeal. The fanbase followers to her line are growing quickly, and she usually sells out multiple items hours/days after launching them.  The good news is that she has a Nashville, TN store and one close to Destin, FL that remain fully stocked.  Here are some pieces that I haven't bought, but I really like (mostly because, you guessed it..sold out). 


Another online retailer that I have screen-shopped for a long time and never purchased.  Also, they sell out quickly as well.  They have daily drops - DAILY - which is why I love following them.  With so many selections, it's hard not to find something that fits your style-personality.  There really seems to be something for everyone.  They've got a brick store in Nashville,'s on my list to visit. 


Southern Alternative 

This retailer has to be my favorite.  I've been following them for almost a year now, and today was the first time purchasing from them, and I am stoked to receive the item in the mail.  Southern Alternative takes a twist with a sweet & southern style and mixes it with sultry.  A lot of open back tops during the summer, plunging necklines, cutoff shorts, crop tops, and everything else that pushes the envelope while still holding onto southern-class.  If you watch them long enough, you will also find out that they are months ahead of trends.  Just scrolling through their Instagram they were posting outfits last summer. that are currently starting to show up in stores    They are simply amazing.  I don't know why it took me so long.  I have so many pieces that I wish I had purchased that are completely sold out now. 

I decided to finally purchase this dress when I realized after a day of unsuccessful shopping that this was the look I was hoping to see.  I'm am nervous about the color, yellow tones can be all over the map. Yellow is normally considered a 'warm' tone but a lot of yellows are mixed with cool undertones that can throw my skin color sickly ill.  I do believe the best way to handle any yellow is a nice coat of darker self-tanner.  Yellow is a color of summer, and usually, tanned skin accompanies & compliments.  Here are some past styles that I wish I had added to my cart.  Cheers to better luck this season. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

The Case of the Caveman


Wowzas – did January last forever or was that just me.  Haa!  So many amazing things have happened since my last post that it seems hard not to combine all the sharing into one huge post.  Don’t worry, I’ll spare you and get closer to that ‘blog every 2 weeks’ resolution I made. 😉

News flash – this post is about my recent weeks with weight loss – BONUS - I am not sharing anything you should buy!  Please remain calm…I know…crazy right?!  Haa!  Goodness, it is everywhere these days.  Okay, moving on.

I have successfully lost a pound a week.  YAY!  You know what finally worked?  Knowing my flippin’ body type and looking at my macros (percentage of Fat, Protein, and Carb intake).  It was not super fun learning what foods I should eat and what I should not eat, and then figuring out how much of in each category…January was rough.  BUT – it got easier because now I have more of an understanding of what is a healthy fat, what is protein, and what is a healthy carb.  Meal planning is now a bestie of mine.

Body Type

Turns out I am an Endomorph.  This surprises a lot of people because this body type retains/stores fat, is usually plumper/round – and I am a petite thing.  The reality is - it is harder for me to lose weight because if I am not eating a certain way, then my body reacts like a caveman and stores up for winter.  I have struggled MY WHOLE LIFE with my legs.  They confuse so many people who I consider very knowledgeable about fitness.  You could even argue that I am only an endomorph from the hips down – but you need to treat your whole body this way. 


I have also exercised at least 4 out of 7 days, and I have been loving these Pilates / Barre workouts (30 mins).  They are hilariously difficult for me, but strangely in a good way that I am really enjoying them.  I also have random HIIT workouts (10-15 mins) that are mostly leg driven – but my husband thinks it's funny to throw arms in and 60 pushups later I can’t hold a phone to my face and want to put everyone on a speaker (true story).


My macros are 50%-40% healthy fats, 30%-40% proteins, and 20% healthy carbs.  This was really hard for me.  Having healthy fats as your main food group looks REAL funny for this southern raised lady.  My healthy fats are nuts, seeds, avocados, Greek yogurt, certain cheeses, eggs, olive oil, etc.  Can you imagine how my plates look?  I’d like a scoop of seeds, a side of fish, and half a cup of broccoli, please.  The good news is that there are a lot of proteins that I eat that are also good fats so that evens it out a bit.  I eat a lot of seafood. Cod has been my favorite.  I wasn’t getting enough fiber, so that took a while to get right.  You have got to eat things that are high in fiber and still in the correct category.  So chia seeds were like a light bulb, and BOOM– bloating was way down and the flow was smooth – sorry if TMI, but you have to get this right.  My carbs are my vegetables, which I use to fill my plate with but now I am just normal portioning it and am seeing the difference.  Broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, green peppers – mainly dark green veggies.  I do have Ezekiel bread once a week or so.  I usually save this for the afternoon after my Wednesday Weigh-in & Measure. 

What do my meals actually look like – I’ll let you know – your welcome.

Breakfast – ½ cup Plain Greek Yogurt w/ 2 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed in and some cinnamon with about 10 blueberries on top, and ¼ cup unsalted raw almonds.

Lunch – this varies on leftovers.  1/3 cup veggies, chicken or fish (sometimes both), and cheese/avocado slices usually. If it’s cooked it’s in olive oil and seasoned well.

Dinner – same as lunch, big surprise haa! Usually a glass of red wine.

 My ‘treats’ are 85% dark chocolate.  I get this kind from Aldi’s and oooooooo it is my jam.  I drink my coffee without milk/cream now and some stevia.  I have also upped my tea game, and herbal tea now has a special place in my heart. 

Weight Loss

I will also admit that losing a pound a week is the healthiest but hardest part.  I want to see results NOW, but they come in stages.  I have consistently lost a pound a week since January 1, and I have to mentally realize that this is the way to go.  It is gonna take time, I cannot rush it.  I must continue to make good decisions daily.   I’m proud of myself, but at the same time it’s only been 5 weeks, so only 5 pounds, and I feel like I’ve been doing this FORRREEEVVVVEEEERRRR.  But – in 5 more weeks it will be 10 pounds…so, the toughest part is just rackin’ up those weeks. 


Another hard thing is making sure I eat the right number of calories.  My body acting like a caveman tends to store up in case of starvation setting in.  So, I can’t cut calories to a crazy extent.  This is hard for a recovering anorexic.  When I was younger, I did just that – lower my calories to a stupid low.  No wonder I have had a problem with my legs – they are storing ALL the fat from years & years of winter!  Not to mention I never actually worked them…at all…my whole life.


The last thing – meal planning really has made my life a lot easier.  You see – my amazingly handsome husband is the EXACT opposite of me.  He is 50% healthy carbs, 30% protein, and 20% healthy fats!  So we usually make dishes for ourselves that I know I will only get a tiny portion of and he will get a huge portion of.  Like beans, couscous, whole grain stuff, veggies, fruits…etc.  Then you throw in a semi-picky toddler in and it’s chaos without planning.


YAY for seeing success!  Hope this was fun and helpful!



Monday, January 4, 2021


 Someone asked me if 2020 had to be a hashtag what would it be?  I’m sure everyone will have a different answer, and that is one thing I love about people.  For me…it would have to be #mulligan…and I don’t even golf.  Can we just pause and hit timeout and restart?  Just blow the whistle already, let’s take a breather and start over.  Mentally that is what my new years resolution is anyway.  I looked at last year’s, and I am literally doing them over again.  Taking off the one’s I’ve accomplished and added new ones along with those that didn’t even get touched because #2020.  

My Papa-Bear resolution affects a lot of things.  Ready…No Self Shopping.  Ugh!  Like a dagger to the heart!  I made a list of necessities, and that is the only kind of self-shopping I will be doing.  I did get a gift card for Christmas that I haven’t used yet, so I will have one last hooray.  

My Mama-Bear sized resolution is just as hard.  Eating healthy and exercising.  I’m adding the value of friendship to this one this year.  My best friend and I are doing it together, keeping each other accountable.  We made up a game to it and will have a points system with obvious rewards like a girl’s night or spa day.  I’m excited about it.  Snakin’ Momma WILL become Sexy Momma!  

The Baby-Bear resolutions are the most numerous and easily completed. They are more about self-care instead of hard self-altering goals.   Keeping my nails painted and self-tanner on point and blogging at least every 2 weeks.  Keeping the house tidy & organized (maybe a little harder).  Spending time with Jesus & journaling every day.  

I’m going to be honest because that is why I love blogging.  2020 wasn’t a bad year for my family.  It was actually a very good year.  Both my husband and I were able to get better jobs that pay us more.  We became closer than ever because we had a tough conversation about separating and came to the same conclusions.  Now because of that understanding, we can love each other better than before and have a deeper desire and confidence in one other.  We discovered a lot of things we still have in common and realized our goals and are now striving for them together.  Our son is a better person than he was a year ago thanks to increased family time.  I think 2021 will be a harder year than in 2020.  Not better or worse, but harder….and a different kind of hard.  Maybe not emotionally, but in a consistent-active-work kind of way.  I will have to work harder in 2021 on a lot of things that were simply easier in 2020.  

I learned more about myself – good & bad things of course.  I also was able to firm up on a lot of things I was on the fence about.  For example, I am more solid in my political views, am even more certain that I hate living in the Land of Lincoln, and convinced that I feel more myself with false lashes, self-tanned skin, and painted nails.  Bad things about myself…I am incredibly selfish, extremely prideful, and horribly lazy.

My selfishness stems from the fact that I simply do not care about others very well.  I don’t ask questions because I could care less.  Yikes.   That has to change.  To love others, you need to care about them, want to learn more about them, want to talk to them for no self-related reason.  I learned all this because I came face to face with people who are the same way, and the havoc of their words and actions affected others in a way that shook me.  I realized I had too much in common with the disgusting behavior and was humbled.

Good things I learned about myself – my skin is a warm tone; hence cool tones look terrible on me.  This was a huge discovery!  I love fashion and makeup and now I have a clear understanding of colors to wear.  I also found the perfect hair color and am praying that the manufactures never stop making it.   

I also learned random things like….

I hate the taste of Rum and love the taste of Gin.

Lunges are the key to better legs.

Not a total homebody like I thought I was

Silence is wisdom

Summer is my favorite season

And experiencing new things like…. Chili Mac.

Another thing I realized is that my blogs do not have to be perfect paragraphs of well-placed words and rhythmic sounding sentences.  They are thoughts that I need to write, that I need to share, that I need to publish.  

How about you?  Will you try again?  Was it a good year?  What did you learn?  

Monday, February 17, 2020

Finding & Inspiring

Inspiration is my one motivation in life.  It's about the only thing that drives me to move, create, dream...anything that results in action.  Inspiration is something that can contain something so small, or even something not even tangible...but it connects to something deep inside of me, resulting in a change or even more a charge, a spark, a always causes a reaction that produces some of the most meaningful moments in my life.

If you know me at all, you know where I believe inspiration derives or begins.  "In the beginning, God" is the source of all inspiration we ever see or feel.  So this connection is much more important than a mere moment, it's an opportunity to meet with our Creator, and these moments He is reaching out to us for this, He Himself wants to share in this together.  So that we can know more of Who He Is, and in retrospect know more about ourselves.

I think that is what I love about Beauty.  It gives way to my creativity ever single time.  Beauty is so much more than 'art', it is the magic in the middle that links up from life to soul.  That's why if I'm not writing, I'm not okay.  Do you have those things in your life that when you come face to face with the spark, your next flinch of action is...."that makes me want to _______"?  It could be your own personal connection with God, just waiting to be unleashed, understood, and absorbed.  To me, that is writing.  Now, just like any kind of creativity, there are a gazillion ways to explore writing.  I write for myself, I always have.  To get my crazy deep emotions out of my body because they can easily wreak all sorts of havoc if kept inside.  I almost think that is part of how we are made.  The things that are deep inside need to get out, and if they don't...they turn dark and war explodes inside.  Almost like our own personal "Obscurus" (J.K Rowling fans understand what I just typed). 

If I am not taking time to be quiet and let myself get inspired, then my whole state of being is off the path, and I am not myself.  I am something far less, something on the emptier side.  Your close friends or loved ones will be able to tell.  My husband always can tell, and that is one of the most frustrating things!  haa haa!  He tells me my eyes are dead!  haa haa!  I laugh about it now, but he knows me more than I know myself because he loves me that deeply and that well.  When I am not okay, and he gives me that line about my eyes being devoid of life I get so angry, mainly because it's the reality that I haven't been seeking out my Creator because I haven't been taking him out of my life to pay attention to Him reaching out to me. 

If someone you are close to keeps telling you 'you are not the same as you were'...try to take some time out of your busy life and reflect on why they have come to this conclusion.  Maybe you are having your daily quiet time with God, and yet you are missing those connection moments.  Maybe it is the creativity you need to reconnect to that you use to have more of a handle on.  Search out when your 'best self' was and figure out what was in your life then that now is not.  At least, that is what I did.  It took some time, and I didn't figure it out right away. 

This morning, while reading the latest Magnolia Magazine, it hit me.  Reading such a well-written magazine, sitting on my couch, drinking my coffee, enjoying the quiet, while looking at toy cars on the rug while the rain gently tapped outside our beautiful living room reaction was..."I want to write...I need to write."  And here I am, feeling better than I have felt since the last time I journaled or typed. 

I use to not have anxiety.  I use to be anxiety-free.  You know why...I was constantly journaling and writing...I was constantly being inspired and recreating the beauty that I was moved by.  Bingo.  So, cheers to a day where I listened to God, and grabbed His Almighty Hand that as been reaching for me every moment of every day....the result?  A joy-filled jolt that has my soul singing....anxiety-free.

Today's assignment - take a moment to find the hand of Jesus, and meet Him for a moment or two..or more.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Treadmill Mix Tape

There is no drive or desire without inspiration in my life.  That is how I was created.  Most would label me as a lazy person…and I wouldn’t disagree.  It is harder for me to be driven without a real-deep-desire pushing me.  This real-deep-desire must hit my core fiercely for me to be moved or motivated.  When I come across something that does this, I must make note of it and use it to push me forward most days.

For example …exercise.

I seriously push against it, but I want the results of it.  I’ll do everything possible to get around exercise, even if it’s more difficult…I’ll do it, I dislike it so much.  My excuse list is miles long, and I can come up with new ones every hour.  The real answer is…we as humans need to exercise to be healthy.  God created us this way.  My sin nature really fights it, so I know it’s true.  I don’t like doing things that aren’t easy (lazy remember). 

I knew if I wanted the results I needed to put in the work.  My next task was finding profound inspiration that would motivate me to continue doing this until it was routine and accepted in my mind, body, and emotions. 

I can walk on the treadmill no problem; I plug my earphones in and watch Instagram Stories until my 30 mins goal is complete…but running… 😑😒 U.G.H. 

What can move me?  Visual Art & Audial Art…so I started searching in those mental notes I took of music that affected me, that made me want to run wild.  I have a playlist on Spotify that my workout is a bit different everyday because each song tells my body how to respond…and I wanted to share in case you are needing inspiration.  

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2

Fast Pace/Brisk: Getting Ready
What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber
Send My Love – Adele
Water Under the Bridge – Adele

California – Phantom Planet
Geronimo – Sheppard
Keep the Car Running – Arcade Fire
Where Are U Now – Skrillex, Diplo, Justin Bieber

All Out Run
Wake Up – Arcade Fire

I've only missed one day in the last 13 days.   I have discovered my drive, and also discovered that I needed more than one sports bra, one pair of workout leggings, and one pair of athletic socks.  haa haa!  😆😂  Which is why I'm excited to tell you about my Calvin Klein find at my local T.J. Maxx! First of all...I love Calvin Klein.  So I was thrilled to find this sports bra and leggings!  I was looking at getting another pair of athletic leggings and sports bra so that I wouldn't be doing a load of laundry every day.  During the memorial day sales I was shopping around and found amazing sales at Old Navy, but of course I would need to order my favorite pair because it wasn't in my local store.  The price was phenomenal though! Then I thought I'd look at our local T.J. Maxx just in case.  I found these Calvin Klein pieces for the same price as the SALES at Old Navy!  YAY!  My original tribal print sport bra and leggings are from Target. 

I would love to report that I can see an instant change...but no...not at all.  I hate that exercise takes time and you can't see results instantly.  U.G.H. It reminds me SO MUCH of paying off debt.  I literally feel like exercise/eating-right and debt reduction is the SAME EXACT thing.  It's saying "no" to the now, so that you can really enjoy life rightly in the future.  It's not fun during it, but afterwards its one of the greatest things of your life.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Know Thy Addiction

I am an addict…and no, this is not some cute topic that is printed on a fashion tee. (although I do love those fashion tees haa!)  I have an addiction when it comes to sugary treats.  Aaaaand some of you I have just lost because my kind of addiction is not really taken seriously in American culture.  I get it, I ignored and made excuses about my addiction for a very long time.  You know the only time I had any kind off control over it?  It was when I completely abstained from it. 

I think that my addiction is like any other.  To help you understand the severity, replace ‘sugary treat’ with Alcohol.  Do you tell an alcoholic to ‘cut back’, or have it on special occasions…no.  You have things like AA and celebrating how many days or years of sobriety.  It’s also safe to stay not everyone that drinks Alcohol is an alcoholic…same with sugary treats.  For me…I have an addiction.  I know that now.  Does it make me sad that I probably can’t ever have a sugary treat again? If I felt that way, I would just struggle with my addiction for the rest of my life…and that is no way to live…not really.

I knew it was an addiction because I could not control it.  I tried so many ways to combat my over-indulgence and every time I lost.  Every time…for years. 

I knew it was an addiction because I could not control the amount I would eat.  One always turned into more than 5 or more, and then I added other treats to it and there were days when most of my daily food was sugary treats. 

I knew it was an addiction because I hid it from my husband.  My biggest place of gluttony was at work, because my husband doesn’t work with me.  My second biggest red flag was in our home, when I would eat sugary treats and hide the wrappers deep under layers of trash to prevent anyone from seeing them. 

I knew it was an addiction because it changed my mood, and it changed the way I treated myself and the others around me.  Almost every negative emotion I struggled with.  I was distant, short, depressed, lazy, mean, selfish, sensitive, annoyed…the list goes on. I felt real rage when faced with the possibility of a sugary treat and not eating one.

I knew it was an addiction because of how much I thought about when my next treat was.  Multiple times and hour I would think of treats…I would obsess about it.

I am now 12 days without a sugary treat.  I feel victorious!  Because I am a solid “no I can’t have that” it doesn’t bother me when other people around me eat sugary treats.  My family has eaten special ice cream each week, and I’m completely fine feeding my two-year-old treats.  For me, putting a “NO, not at all” has really been a sigh of relief and cornerstone in my addiction.  Sure, there will be people pushing me in the future who have no addiction…and that’s fine.  They just don’t understand it because they haven’t lived it.  My husband and family understand it because they’ve seen firsthand how I can’t control it! 

If you feel like you have a sugary treats addiction, I would love to talk to you about it!  Or if you think that I am off my rocker, give me your feed back and I will answer any questions honestly.