Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! 

What I'm most thankful for this year... truly, truly thankful... is my health. Things really can change in the blink of an eye and this year I'm just so grateful for good health, my family and friends who rushed to my side to take care of me, and of course my kids. I hope you're celebrating today with the ones you love the most and that you have plenty to be thankful for!

"Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving." - W. T. Purkiser


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday - Thanksgiving Week

Gahh, it's so hard to concentrate on a Weigh-In Wednesday when tomorrow is Thanksgiving and there's to be had, isn't it?! I was reading just yesterday that the average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving... 4,500! That sounds absurd but it's also not hard to comprehend with all the appetizers, meals, and deserts we all consume.

I hope you can enjoy the day while still being somewhat mindful of your health goals. Don't forget that Ash, Heather and I are hosting a virtual 'Turkey Day 5K' so make it a point to get outside and move your body... even if you end up eating too much, you'll feel better getting in a bit of movement! The rules are simple and there's prizes to be had so you'll definitely want to join us for that!

If you find yourself off track tomorrow, don't beat yourself up over it... get right back on track Friday and you won't be disappointed with your weigh-in next Wednesday!

Black Friday Deals

I'm so ready for the holiday sales over the next few days! Of course I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and celebrating that with my family as well, but I'm also super excited about stretching my money this holiday season with some good deals over the next few weeks! There's a couple of deals I wanted to share with you to help you get started on your shopping...
Free 8 x 11 calendar from Shutterfly! I love when these deals come up, you obviously can't beat FREE! Now through Friday, just go to Shutterfly, create your 8x11 calendar, and enter the code 'FREECAL' at checkout. You'll only have to pay shipping. These make great gifts for family members, grandparents, etc. Go get you some free!
I've heard people rave about Brady Bands for the longest time and finally just got some for Emily. When she's tumbling or at her cheer practices, she's literally adjusting her headband constantly. She needs a headband to keep her hair out of her face but every one we've bought slips out practically every time she moves. So I picked up a cheer themed Brady Band to get her started and I'm not exaggerating when I say it does.not.move. Girlfriend is never without this head band now at practices because she doesn't have to fix it a single time throughout a 2-hour practice. Brady Bands for the win! She goes on the website every day (no lie) and picks out other ones that she wants. They have sporty ones, dressy ones, and everything in between. I'll be stocking up this weekend when they offer sales and new arrivals... if anyone in your life needs a headband, you should stock up too!
I buy from Finish Line every year because their deals are just too good to pass up! If you have a sports lover in your family, this is a must stop shop for you! NCAA hooded sweatshirts (they have tons of teams!) are 2 for $35 right now with free shipping! I don't think you'll find a better price anywhere. They're good quality too... my only recommendation is that if you're unsure of sizes, size up on the sweatshirts.
Another must shop for me is Aeropostale because Emily loves their clothes. Right now they're having a sale with up to 60% off and there are some great deals to be had!
I was reading just yesterday how this time of year is when you want to stock up on iTunes gift cards. This is when they offer the deepest discounts and if you look around, it seems like many stores are offering the good deals. So if you're buying gift cards for friends and family this holiday season, iTunes seems to be where you'll get the most bang for your buck!

Of course right now all the big retailers are getting ready for massive crowds on Friday, but as I've told you before, pay attention to the computer tomorrow throughout the day if you can because many of those deals will go live online Thanksgiving day. I love scoring a good deal (usually with free shipping!) from the comfort of my own home! And if you're shopping from home, don't forget to go through Ebates... a couple of super quick extra clicks and you'll earn a percentage of your spending back. It's super easy, completely free, and puts your money back in your pocket! 

Good luck to those of you trying to score the good deals this weekend... where will you be shopping and what items are you looking for?


Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Say you have this box... it's a pretty box, colorful and decorated all beautifully and inside it's filled with all the things. So many things... heavy things, light things, colorful things, fun things... just lots and lots of things. Then you pick up that box with all of it's things and you shake it really, really hard. The things are all still there but now they're all over the place and things that used to be here are now there, and things that used to be right side up are now upside down, and things that were on the top are now on the bottom which has given the chance for those things that have gotten pushed down to the bottom to come back up to the top.

That's exactly how I feel about my life right now. And it's pretty amazing.

You guys know I had a rough couple of months this fall and while that all completely and absolutely was terrible to go through, it was also a blessing. It shook me up and I needed to be shaken.

I'm feeling very restless lately... restless in the sense that if I could pack up my life and move tomorrow, I absolutely would. Somewhere where more life exists. Bright lights, big city... I crave it, desperately. More energy, some place that's so much more alive, to match how I feel.

That's not the environment I've chosen to raise my family in so for now, we are here. But there will come a day, sooner rather than later, where this won't be where I'm meant to be. There's so much more out there and I want to see it, do it, and live it.

This probably all sounds very confusing... it's confusing for me to feel it everyday too. But I love it. I feel so much more awake and alive than I have in a long time... and restless. I never knew restless could feel so good... but it does. Feeling restless means feeling alive, it means yearning for the world, for more life. Feeling restless is the biggest blessing in my life right now and honestly? I hope I feel restless forever.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday - Drinking Your Calories

I really need to get a new scale, or at least batteries for my current scale... that's kept me from actually weighing in on 'Weigh-In Wednesday' and I definitely need to see that number each week to hold me accountable! I am on track but probably not as much as I would be if I was staring at the scale everyday. I'm ready to see those numbers go down-down-down! As much as a lot of people hate the scale, I'm one that needs to see it everyday to stay focused and on track. It's a love/hate relationship, but a necessary one for me.

How are you with the scale? Do you check it everyday, once a week, or less often? Do you find that it discourages you or motivates you?

Aside from the scale, I wanted to talk today about drinking your calories. It's so easy to think that Diet Coke doesn't have any calories and that coffee is low calorie as well... but it's such a mind game! Diet Coke (or whatever diet soda you like!) may not have any calories but we all know the health risk it poses. And coffee... ohh coffee. I'm a coffee drinker out of habit, not out of necessity. I drink it every day but it's not the flavor or even the caffeine that I need, it's just the habit of having that cup in my hand and a warm drink to sip on in the morning. The problem with coffee (for me) is that I can't have my coffee without cream and sugar... and even if that's just a small amount everyday, that adds up as the days go by!
To keep myself from drinking my calories all day long, I've been making it a point to stick with tea when I need something other than water. Drinking soda isn't even on my radar anymore, which is a pretty big deal for a former Diet Coke addict. But that morning hot coffee (or cold in the summertime) is giving me way more calories than I'd like. So to curb that habit, I stick with hot tea. I drink caffeine-free and don't add a thing to it so I don't have to worry about adding any calories to my diet. It's still a daily struggle and one that I cave into more times than I'd like to admit... but I know it's a necessary change to make when it comes to being healthy.

Do you drink more calories than you should? Are you successful at staying away from the high-calorie coffee drinks? Share your tips!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Life Lately...

There's not a lot exciting going on over here but I figured I should blog just the same. A random post to update you on life lately.

Last week was crazy busy, hence the lack of blog posts. This week will actually be even busier and I'm wondering how we'll even make it through! Between Chiropractors and Doctors and Dentists and Cheering and Tumbling and Parent Teacher Conferences and work and school, it's just one of those weeks! Not complaining at all, but we'll definitely be busy!
I saw this quote recently and I absolutely love it... I like to think I've always been the 'Carpe Diem' type of person but, after having a rocky last couple of months, I'm even more so now. This quote... I need it on a notebook, I need it on a phone case... I need to see it every single day! And that reminds me, I've been on quite the quotes kick on my Instagram lately... I'm sorry or you're welcome, if you don't like them or you do :)
Oh and one more quote because I absolutely love it... and it's very true! I'm a car dancer, every single day... and those few minutes of singing and dancing are some of my favorite parts of my day!

Steph is the winner of a $25 gift card giveaway from Swagbucks! If you haven't signed up yet for Swagbucks, you're really missing out. I just redeemed yet another $25 gift card for myself using the points I've accumulated. If you'd like to get started, head to Swagbucks and enter the referal code 'shesabigstar' when you sign up... just for using that code, Swagbucks will throw an extra 70 points into your account!

Speaking of earning money in a really simple way. it's cash back time from Ebates. I've told you about it before but I'm probably going to keep telling you until every last one of you uses it! If you're shopping online, you just take a couple of extra mouse clicks and find your store through Ebates. Ebates will track your purchase and give a percentage back of what you spent. Then, every quarter, you'll get a check in the mail... free money. I have a $100 check coming in the mail this week for very little effort. You won't get rich through Ebates but that extra cash sure does come in handy! You can sign up here.

I have Christmas on the brain... anyone else?! I haven't started decorating yet except for two of our smaller trees that I couldn't help but put up. They go on either side of our TV stand and it's just perfect watching TV at night with the room lights out and the tree lights on... perfection. I know a lot of people are against putting up Christmas decorations so early but I say do what makes you happy :) I have shopping on the brain too... lots and lots of shopping. I have my lists ready to go and I'm making a plan, checking Black Friday prices, etc. I've already found that by planning it all out, I can save quite a bit of money. I might be out and about in the stores on Black Friday (but it won't be until later on in the day!) but I've found in the last few years that you can totally score just as great deals online. So that will be my first plan of attack... warm and cozy at home, saving some money that way. I'm hoping to get a good chunk of my shopping done during Black Friday / Cyber Monday so we'll see how it goes. Where are you at when it comes to the holidays... prepared and ready or dreading it and last minute?!

Speaking of the holidays... I have a super fun giveaway coming up for you! Lots of my blogger friends are throwing in prizes and collectively we're going to give one of you a really great holiday gift! Details coming in the next couple of weeks... tease, tease! ;)

That's it for this cold, rainy Monday around these parts. Which reminds me... even cold, rainy Mondays don't get me down any more. Or the fact that I was in the office over the weekend working away. I had (and have today) good music and good coffee to get me through and I truly see it all as a blessing. I certainly have a new perspective and appreciation for life lately... and I hope you can start your week off with a positive outlook too!

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