Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Running My Life!

Hello There! Hope this post finds everyone doing fantastic and taking time out to enjoy the holiday season! Sorry I have been such a loser about posting this year, I plan to do a MUCH better job in 2016!

My last post was in August and was all about losing weight. I had such tremendous support both here on the blog and on Facebook, I thought it was time to update you again.

I have continued running and working out, and to date have lost 66 pounds total. My husband and I completed our first half marathon the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Kaiser Coastal Half in Orange Beach, Alabama. It was such an amazing feeling, knowing that this time last year I couldn't even run a quarter of a mile. Now, I'll be honest. My time was terrible - 2:47:47 - but I completed a half marathon! Today I am sharing pictures - one of me with my husband, and one with my husband and our friends Gwen and Lindsey. Gwen has been a friend of mine since high school, and we have been running together since March. I've also known Lindsey for years, and we have been training together for about seven months. Matter of fact, I will be running the Disney Princess Half Marathon with these ladies in February and can't wait. We're going to have a blast!

Last Saturday, I ran my second half marathon. It was probably a crazy move to run another one just two short weeks after the first. I'd had dental surgery on Tuesday of last week, and then ran 13.1 miles on Saturday morning. The weather was unseasonably warm - 78* high. My time was 30 seconds slower than the first half, which is not something I am proud of or even want to admit - but you guys know I tell it like it is! My husband ran a different race that day (same event held an 8K). I am so proud of him, because he finished first in his age group for the 8K! Below is a picture of our "bling" from the half and 8K.

My next goal is to complete the Disney Princess Half in less than 2:30:00. I have a long way to go, but know that by training and working hard, I can get it done. I have proven that to myself over and over again this year through my journey.

I am also pleased to say that between Thanksgiving and now, I have managed to lose another 4 pounds. This is notable because most of us GAIN weight during the holidays. I have been determined that wouldn't happen to me. I attribute my success in this area to two things: (1) sticking to my normal exercise regime - making the time for me, scheduling those workouts as part of my "to do list" for the day and (2) taking my Fat Fighters from It Works (many of you know, I am a Distributor for It Works). The Fat Fighter is a carb inhibitor which blocks some of the fats and carbs from my heaviest meal of the day. I'm very thankful for it, especially this time of year! :-)

Are you able to keep up your workout regime this time of year? How about your eating plan? Are you eating what you want and saying "Screw it - I'll worry about it at the beginning of 2016"? Are you actively dieting during the holidays? I'd love to hear what works for you! Please comment and let me hear from you.

It's only NINE days until Christmas - I need to get busy. You?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How I'm Losing The Weight - And You Can Too!

Hello Everyone! Hope you're doing fantastic and enjoying these HOT summer days. I am a certified beach bum and sun lover, but this weather even has me looking forward to cooler temps! 

Yesterday was my 45th birthday (even I can't believe I'm this old). Anyway, I digress. I posted the above picture yesterday on my Instagram and Facebook pages, proving a point that even on my birthday I managed to squeeze in a short workout. This picture has led to a lot of questions from FB friends about how I'm losing weight, as I have now lost 51 pounds.  So I decided to start documenting some of my habits and what I am using, what I've learned, etc.  

Let's start with some of the questions I've received. Hopefully this will help others in their weight loss and fitness battle...because believe me, it's a battle. No doubt about it. 

Question 1: "How did you get started?" This one is actually easy: I joined the gym and starting going to the classes. When I started this journey, I needed to lose 75-80 pounds. It wasn't easy - I couldn't believe how I wasn't able to keep up. There were people so much older than me - many older than my parents - and they could run circles around me. I would push myself to the point where I could still breathe but barely (ha) and then just try to slow down but NEVER stop. I have never once walked out of a class at the gym. 

Question 2: "What types of exercises are you doing?" This answer is a little complicated. Please keep in mind, I am not working a "regular" job and am working from home selling on FB, Ebay and am a distributor for It Works. Therefore I have a lot of flexibility (and time) that others may not have. Activities or classes I have done include: Step Aerobics, Zumba, Zumba Toning (Zumba with the shake weights/toning sticks), Strength & Conditioning, Water Aerobics, Pilates and Yoga. I also take walks and have been running (all this outside here at the beach). My "perfect" workout days include a combination of Cardio, Strength training and Core training. For instance, tomorrow I will take a 9:30am Strength & Conditioning class, 10:30am Yoga and 11:30am Zumba Toning. Excessive? Perhaps, but I have the time so why not! Bottom line: Get Moving! You have to turn your body into a calorie burning machine, which means move, move and then move some more. Added bonus: the more you move, the more calories you burn, and the more you can eat. :-) 

Question 3: "What do you eat?" Now, this is the struggle. Because you see, I can exercise and actually enjoy it and don't mind exercising. But this girl likes to eat, I'm not going to lie. I don't think it's healthy to starve yourself...I don't skip meals. I don't deprive myself. I eat. Some days I eat terrible, others I am a model dieter. ha! Bottom line: I eat at home as much as possible. I prepare most of my food. I plan in advance. If man made it or it's processed food, I try not to eat it. There are notable exceptions (such as my It Works Profit protein powder that I use to fuel up post workout). I have been participating in Meatless Monday for weeks. On those days, I have gradually transitioned to a vegan lifestyle. No meat, no cheese, no animal products at all. It's been quite easy and I've noticed I feel great not just on Monday but on Tuesday too! I will likely begin to share some Meatless Monday recipes, in case you are interested in trying this method as well. Did you know that meat sits in our stomach for days? The thought kind of grosses me out, to be honest! To give an example of my meals, I will use a "non Monday" type menu below:

Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats with fresh fruit mixed in (typically blueberries or strawberries) OR Egg White Omelet with fresh veggies such as Kale, Onions and Red Bell Peppers

Lunch - Fiber Rich Homemade Bean Soup (can mix in leftover meat such as shredded chicken for additional protein) OR Big Green Salad with a Lean Protein such as Grilled Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Grilled Shrimp or Salmon OR Low Carb Rollup Sandwich with Lean Protein

Dinner - Grilled or Baked Meat (think grass fed, antibiotic free when possible) such as Boneless Chicken Breast, Lean Ground Turkey Patties, Portabello Mushrooms, etc with Steamed Veggies (avoiding starches such as Corn and Potatoes), Another Big Salad with Balsamic Vinegar dressing, maybe some Brown Rice OR Egg White Omelet with fresh veggies OR Whole Wheat Pasta with lean protein and veggies. 

Snacks - Protein Shake, Whole Raw Almonds, String Cheese, Fiber One Brownies (what can I say, I have a sweet tooth), Dark Chocolate Square (at least 80% Cacao), mixed fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, etc, Crackers and Hummus, Apple Wedges with Peanut or Almond Nut Butter, Homemade Kale Chips

Question 4: "How do you know you're eating enough/not too much/etc?" Not even joking, this is another huge battle. My biggest piece of advice: Journal. Your. Food. I know, I know what you're eating. Guess what!?!? You really don't. You might think you know, but until you start writing it down or logging it into an app (I use My Fitness Pal), you really don't know. Now I understand, this was a huge mistake of mine in the beginning of my journey. I was losing weight but not as quickly as I wanted, but I wasn't being honest about what I was eating. Once I started using My Fitness Pal religiously, and logging all my food, then I could actually SEE the impact of my choices. I had no idea about things like sodium content, etc until it was in my face. Once I was armed with the information, I was able to make better decisions and started to lose a little more weight. 

Question 5: "Are you taking any supplements, and if so, what?" During the first few months of my journey, I wasn't taking anything. I made a promise to my husband that I would do as much as possible on my own, without any help. As it got increasingly difficult, I began thinking "maybe I need to try something". Around the same time, my sister started as a Distributor with It Works, and I signed up as a Loyal Customer. Now I am also a Distributor (website HERE) and am using the following products: Thermofit, Greens, Greens Chews, Profit, Fat Fighters, Regular and our Wraps. After using just two of our wraps, I had lost another 2.5-3" off my waistline. So I can definitely say YES, they are helping me in the battle of the bulge! Maybe they can help you too, feel free to message me ( or view my website

There have been so many people who have helped me along the way. My husband and my immediate family's support has been crucial - they have been amazing cheerleaders and helped me through many a tough day. I have several other family members and friends who have lost significant weight and have been an amazing inspiration - here's looking at Steve, Jennifer, and LJ (AKA Lisa). Watching their journey gave me the confidence and desire to start mine! My drill sergeants (oops I mean instructors) Sherie, Beth and Bonnie have worked my butt into a shape where I can finally do the work. My running friends and 5K partners Gwen and Susanne have inspired me along the way, and their advice and encouragement is making me a better runner every time my feet hit the pavement. Now my husband is running with me when he's home and that's been fun for us! He is so fast and pushes me to get better every time we start at 5:30am to "beat the heat". 

This game isn't over by any stretch of the imagination, but I am finally ready to get it done. Hopefully these words will help you too! Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. Best of health and wellness to you all!  

P.S. I have other things to tell you about but thought this was more than enough to digest in one post - if you have questions email or comment! I'll get around to covering it all, promise! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Weight Loss - 48 Pounds Down, More To Go!

Hello and Happy Almost The Weekend! I promised I was back and here I am again! 

I wanted to share part of my recent journey with you all. In December of last year, I made a decision to get my health back. My weight was out of control and I was concerned for my general health. Health issues in my family include cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. I had no desire to be diagnosed with any of these either now or in the future. While it's true, we can only do so much to fight genetics, I was determined to do everything in my power. 

On December 26, 2014 I took some of the money I was given at Christmas and bought a year's gym membership. I paid in cash, for the entire year of 2015. I figured what the heck, if it's paid in full, I would feel guilty if I didn't go and do the work.  

On Saturday, December 27, 2014 I went to my first gym classes in more years than I want to admit. I took Cardio Step - think old school Step Aerobics. I thought I was going to die. I couldn't keep up. I was out of breath. There were women in class that were much older than me - some in their 70's! - and they were keeping up. I was absolutely mortified, but damned and determined that I would finish the class. While I managed to finish that day's class, I had that "Rude Awakening" moment. I knew this would likely be the toughest thing I've ever attempted, at least in a physical sense. 

I kept going. I refused to give up or give in. There are days I still want to give in. The above photos were taken on March 28, April 18 and June 20, 2015. I have now lost 48 pounds from my starting weight. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to admit my actual starting weight, but I'm not there yet. I still have 30-35 pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight. 

Look for me to share some of my secrets to losing this weight. Keep in mind, I am no expert...but I love to discuss what's worked for me, and I'd love to hear what works for you! Don't worry, I'm not turning the blog into everything weight loss all the time - but let's talk! 

Drop me a line! Tell me about your weight loss successes. Can't wait to hear from you! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm BACK - For Good This Time!

Hello my friends! It's been a long time since I blogged regularly and I have really missed it! I've made the decision to blog again, likely 3-4 times per week. I sure hope some of you are still with me and will read! 

What has everyone been up to? I left my job (which I really didn't enjoy) the day after Christmas 2014. Since that time, I have been blissfully unemployed and working on myself. I've been dieting and exercising and have lost some weight, and plan to lose a lot more! I have also been enjoying the summer with family and friends here at the beach.

My plans for future posts: diet and exercise tips along with what has worked for me, healthy recipes (we'll start with Meatless Monday and my experiments), fashion finds including my favorite current Lilly Pulitzer pieces, and much much more! 

Who is still with me? Take a moment to drop me a comment! Have a fantastic Tuesday, I'm off to Yoga. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years Resolution: Use Ebates!

Happy Holidays! Hope Santa was good to you all - it was a crazy holiday for us, and now I can't believe it's almost 2015. Wow - where has the year gone? Seems like it was last week when we were all making New Years resolutions for 2014. 

Today, I wanted to talk about Ebates - the world's largest FREE website offering you cash back for online shopping. It's so easy - you sign up free (use my link HERE). Then every time you shop online, start at the Ebates website to link to your favorite retailer website. Often times, there are special or promotional cash back percentages for a limited time. In addition, you will occasionally find very nice coupon codes for your favorite retailer. All this helps to save you money - and that quarterly cash back check is pretty nice. :-) 

Speaking of that cash back check, you can opt for a paper check (this is what I do) or have your rebates sent to your Paypal. As a matter of information, you can see my numbers above. I joined Ebates several years ago and have earned over $700 cash back during the time I've been a member. I currently have $57+ "pending" cash back for the current earnings period. 

From now until December 31, they are having an After Christmas Sale and many retailers are offering double cash back. An example:

Brooks Brothers - was 2.5%, now get 5.0% Cash Back
American Eagle - was 2.0%, now get 4.0% Cash Back
Sears - was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
Sephora - was 4.0%, now get 8.0% Cash Back
Nike - was 6.0%, now get 10.0% Cash Back
Lands' End - was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
HSN - was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
Macy's - was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
Bon-Ton Stores - was 2.0%, now get 4.0% Cash Back
Horchow - was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
Walmart - was 1.0%, now get 2.0% Cash Back
L'Occitane - was 4.5%, now get 9.0% Cash Back
REI - was 2.5%, now get 5.0% Cash Back
Home Decorators Collection - was 3.5%, now get 7.0% Cash Back - was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back
eBay - was 0.0%, now get up to 5.0% Cash Back
Amazon - was 0.0%, now get up to 8.0% Cash Back

In addition, there are some fantastic coupon codes available for your After Christmas shopping...

Target - $10 off $50+ or $25 off $100+ Bedding order. 
Expires: 01/03/2015
get up to 2.5% Cash Back

Sephora - Extra 20% off Sale items
Expires: 01/01/2015
was 4.0%, now get 8.0% Cash Back

Old Navy - 25% off Styles for Women
Expires: 12/30/2014
get 2.0% Cash Back

Banana Republic - Extra 50% off Sale items
Expires: 01/06/2015
was 2.0%, now get 7.0% Cash Back

The Children's Place - Today Only! Monster Sale: Extra 50% off select clearance styles plus FS on every order and 20% off savings pass.
Code: 20SAVE3
Expires: 12/29/2014
get 2.5% Cash Back

Macy's - Private Sale - Extra 20% off Week of Wonderful
Code: WOW
Expires: 01/01/2015
was 3.0%, now get 6.0% Cash Back

Kohl's - $10 off $30+ order
Code: SAVE10
Expires: 01/01/2015
get 3.0% Cash Back

What are you waiting for? The After Christmas sales have been awesome - and it's a great time to get on board with Ebates! If you're not a member yet, please use my link HERE to signup for your free Ebates account. 

If you're a big Ebates user, I'd love to hear about your experience and how much Cash Back you've earned! Tell me about it in the comments, and have a fantastic Monday! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday Beauty Bundle from Younique

Happy Thanksgiving! How are you celebrating the day? We are visiting family in Mobile. My house smells wonderful this morning, as sweet potato souffle and corn casserole are currently in the works. Those two dishes are always my contribution to the family Thanksgiving meal.  

Have you started holiday shopping? I have to admit, I'm a little later than normal getting started this year. Over the past two days, I have picked up a few gifts. It's finally setting in - Christmas will be here very soon! 

Throughout the holiday season, I will be blogging about my favorite things and sharing deals with you all. Hope you enjoy the posts - it's going to be a lot of fun for me. I have missed blogging and am glad to be back. 

Today I start with the Black Friday Beauty Bundle from Younique. Many of you might recall, I am an Independent Presenter with Younique and use all of their products. The 3D Fiber Mascara is the product that started it all for me - I tried it once and was hooked! Now I am in love with everything and am so excited about this Black Friday Beauty Bundle

Here are the details: 

Offer begins: November 27 at 1:00 a.m. PT
Offer ends: December 1 at 11:59 p.m. PT
The holidays are around the corner, and that means it’s time to get gorgeous! Play up the beauty of your skin, your eyes, and your lashes this season with Younique’s exclusive Black Friday Beauty Bundle. Snag the set for 40% off retail!
The Black Friday Beauty Bundle* includes:
-Your choice of Illuminate Facial Cleanser (Clean or Clear—your preference)
-Moodstruck Minerals Pigment Powder (choose your favorite from 32 colors)
-Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes
-Eye Brush Set (3-piece)
Retail value: $125.50 US
**Your Cost: $75 US
* Offer available while supplies last. Some exclusions apply.

The link to order from my current Younique party is HERE - all you have to do is click the link, and then click "Shop from my party now". I am confident you will love this set! Please feel free to comment or message me with any questions. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping this weekend! 

P.S. These are my personal results with the Younique 3D Fiber Mascara - you can see in the picture how it helps me add volume and length to my lashes.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shopaholic Returns - Anyone Out There?

A big hello to you all! How is everyone doing? It's been so long since my last blog post...

I am planning to return to regular blogging, but I wanted to ask a question first. Do you still read blogs? Has Instagram replaced a traditional blog? I would love to blog again, but I don't want to talk to myself! HA! And I have lots of things I'd like to throw out there for discussion. Comment and let me know! I can't wait to hear what everyone has been doing. 

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