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!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday & Turkey Day 5K

In addition to our weekly Weigh-In Wednesday link-up, Heather, Ash, and I are excited to share with you that we'll be hosting a virtual Turkey Day 5K to encourage you (and us!) to get moving on Thanksgiving! You don't have to be fast and you don't even have to run... we just want you to get outside for a few miles so that you're not sitting on the couch with an extra piece of pie!;)

Rules are pretty simple:

  • Get moving on Thanksgiving! 
  • Complete a 5k (3.1 miles) on Thanksgiving Day. You can run, walk, jog, or crawl. You can go outside to complete the mileage or do it on a treadmill. 
  • Take a selfie (or have your roommate/spouse take one) for sweaty proof. 
  • Post the photo (you can get creative with a collage if you want) to Instagram with the hashtag #wiwturkeyday5k and tag the three of us (AshHeather, and Erin)
  • Bonus: You can get a bonus entry in the giveaway if you do a 5K on Friday as well - before or after shopping :)  

  • We're even throwing in some goodies to get you motivated. The three of us are working on a prize pack for one lucky participant and will have details of that posted shortly.

    I'm all about enjoying yourself on Thanksgiving and I plan on doing just that. But I also need to get moving because I know that if I don't, one meal off track can turn into one day off track and as silly as it sounds, just one day off track can easily turn to a week off track and more. So instead of feeling stuffed and lethargic all afternoon, I plan on getting outside for 3.1 miles. Heather and Ash will be doing the same and we hope you'll join us too!


    Monday, November 10, 2014

    Thankful for Being a Mom

    Crystal Michelle is hosting the 30 Days of Thankful link-up all month long and today I'm co-hosting the link-up to talk about what I'm most thankful for... and what I'm most thankful for will shock none of you, I'm sure!;) What I'm most thankful for is being a mom and today that's quite fitting as the boy who made me a mom is now a teenager!
    Somehow 13 years has flown by in the blink of an eye and that little chunk right up there is only 5 years away from becoming an adult. That crushes my soul, in case you're wondering!

    When I was growing up, I didn't have big career dreams. Sure, I went to college and planned for a job, but I never had big aspirations to be a career woman. I know a lot of people dream about being a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher, but all I ever really dreamed about being was a mom. That dream came true for me 13 years ago today when Ryan was born.

    I was a young mom, having Ryan when I was just 22. It didn't seem it at the time but now looking back, I think how young I was to have a baby. I really had no idea how to be a mom but you learn pretty quickly once you're thrown into the job! Aside from sleeping, he was such a good baby and made the transition easy for me. Through the years as he's grown, I've done a lot of growing up too. I can't even imagine how naive I was as a 22 year old mom... I'm sure she and I could have quite the conversation over a cup of coffee! You live and you learn, that's for sure!

    Life has thrown me a few curve balls and hasn't turned out exactly the way I'd planned. I think we all envision being married, having 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence... so far a few of those details haven't quite panned out but through all of life's bends, I am always a mom first and I don't take that for granted. It's what I've always wanted to be and what I'm most thankful for.

    I can't say that I've always been the perfect mom and sometimes I'm sure that even a 'good mom' is a stretch (we all have our moments!), but I sure do love both of my kids and I sure do love being a mom. Being a mom is all of who I am... probably too much so but I don't know how to do it any differently. There will be other seasons of my life where I make a little more time for me, but this season is all about my kids. Being a mom is the most important title I'll ever have and it will always be my absolute favorite!
    You can join the link-up today or any day this month... to see a list of topics, click here.


    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Weigh-In Wednesday - Being Healthy

    It's been a hot minute since I've been able to co-host this weekly linkup with Heather and Ash, but now that I'm (mostly) past my recent health issues, I'm glad to be back blogging for Weigh-In Wednesday! Cheers to the girls for holding down the fort while I've been a little preoccupied :)

    If you've been reading here for long you know that I've been on this roller coaster of trying to shed these extra pounds for quite a while. It's definitely frustrating... I think back to all the times that I was on track and fully committed and I think just how much progress I could have made if I had just stayed there. But like with any journey in life, this one has been all up and down for me over the last couple of years. I'll be completely honest... I am 100% back at square one with this battle.

    Nothing, and I mean nothing, will give you a big ol' reality check more than having your health in jeopardy. Of course everyone knows that their health is valuable but I'm not sure that I fully grasped that concept until recently. I know that I want to be here for a really long time and I know that in order to give myself the best chance of doing just that, I need to take care of my body and health.

    So that's where this renewed commitment comes from for me...  sure, I'm absolutely looking forward to wearing smaller jeans and the latest fashion trends, I can't deny that! But, more than anything, I'm making a renewed commitment to my overall health, to nourish my body with the things it needs to sustain a healthy and full life.

    There are a couple of things I won't be doing this time around. I won't be counting my calories because I know better. Your body needs calories and your body needs (healthy) fat... I'm not going to avoid those things because they'll push me over my (ridiculously low) daily limit for calories. I am going to eat and fuel my body in a healthy way. I won't be eating low calorie foods that have zero nutritional value. A few years ago I gave Weight Watchers a try and this was my biggest complaint with them. Things like Diet Coke and 100-Calorie snack packs of whatever were always acceptable because they kept you within your daily goals... but are they good for you?! Of course not. I want to nourish my body, that's my goal. And the last thing that I won't be doing is committing myself to a long-term exercise goal. I've done this so many times and I usually fail before the first week is over. Running, CrossFit, or getting back in the gym and doing some weights would be fantastic... but I'm just not there yet. I'm not going to say I'll do any of those things because I know that I won't, not right now. But I do need to move my body everyday, I absolutely must do that in order to be healthy. So I will take a time that I know I can manage everyday (my lunch hour at work) and get outside to move my body. If it's 30 minutes of walking 5 days a week, that's more than I'm doing right now. Hopefully next month that walking can turn into jogging and then into running... who knows?! But I do know that I can't think about next month or the month after that. I need to think about today and set myself up for success tomorrow.

    I know I need this in order to be healthy and give myself a fighting chance at whatever life throws my way. If you're finding yourself struggling and need to recommit yourself, you can always do that here. I will help you and encourage you! Leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. We need to stop our bad habits, ladies... our health is way too precious to compromise!


    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Halloween 2014

    We all had such a great time on Halloween! I think I love it the most just because I love to watch and listen as my kids are making memories with their friends... so sweet!

    Emily and I went with a group of her friends... your normal trick-or-treating through the neighborhoods and lots of candy! The girls were troopers and lasted a couple of hours before we headed back to one of the houses so the girls could compare their candy and do some trading.

    Once the girls were done, Emily and I headed to meet up with Ryan and his crew at a friend's house. I really didn't think that Ryan and his buddies would want to go trick-or-treating this year, I figured they were 'too cool' for that... but, to my surprise, they most definitely wanted to go! They did some trick-or-treating and, the most memorable part, they also went to a 'fright night' that one of his friend's neighbors put together. I wish I could have been there for the whole evening as the stories were pretty dang funny! The boys were definitely spooked, and not just a little bit! One of the friends dropped their bag of candy and just left it there he was so scared... too funny!

    More than anything else, Halloween was just full of the simple moments... the kids laughing and having fun with their friends. I love nights like these that give me a reminder that those simple moments are my absolute favorite!

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