Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Just Keep Walking

Is it just me or is it really tough to pass the chip and cookie aisles at the grocery store?! I've always been a salty snack person; it's definitely a weakness of mine! On my weight loss journey, I have slowly learned how to 'just keep walking' past the things in the grocery store that are tempting. Keep reading for some tips that have worked for me to help me pass on the junk food.

DISCLAIMER! I am a work in progress, and I do fall into temptation often with these things. However, I am constantly working on ways to overcome these weaknesses and avoid junk food! What i'm sharing with you below, are things that often help me avoid chips and sweets and might help you too!

1- If you're into chips because you love the crunch, try going for celery or carrots dipped in hummus. This has become one of my favorite snacks!

2- If you're into the salt, try baking your own tortilla chips! I use whole wheat tortillas, but you can always use corn. Brush the tortilla with olive oil and brush a small amount on your cookie sheet. Slice the tortilla into wedges with a pizza cutter on the cookie sheet. Season with pepper, sea salt and chili powder (if you like some spice). Bake at 350 for 5 minutes then flip them over and bake for another 3-6 minutes. Just keep an eye on them towards the end to make sure they don't burn! Then dip them in fresh salsa or homemade guacamole. This has become one of my favorite snacks!
If you're following the 21 day fix meal plan 1 whole wheat tortilla or 2 small corn tortillas equals 1 yellow container, salsa is considered a purple container, avocado is blue then count whatever you put in your guac accordingly.

3- If you're a sweets person try making homemade protein bars. I recently started making Shakeology balls and bars, and they are filling and delicious! It's the perfect snack, especially if you have a sweet tooth or need some quick protein. Check out my Pinterest for my favorite shakeology bars and balls recipes! :)

4- Drinking shakeology in general has helped me combat my sweet tooth because it's so delicious! The chocolate taste like a dessert. My favorite thing to do is mix chocolate shakeology, a little natural peanut butter, half a frozen banana, splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water and a few ice cubes in my nutribullet. It literally taste like a milkshake!!

5- When i'm in the grocery store or around junk food I really just try to focus on my goals. Whenever i'm tempted, I remember why i'm eating healthy and exercising. I remember the way I feel when I eat junk food, and that I don't like it! 

6- Lastly, FORGIVE yourself and move on if you mess up. There is no point in giving yourself a hard time because it's over, you already ate it. Just realize it wasn't the best choice and make the better choice next time. This is something I am constantly working on, but it's important to focus on the future, and what you need to do to get where you want to be. If you had a cookie after lunch, make a goal for yourself to skip the cookie the next day.

Maybe you need to lose weight, maybe you are terrible about giving into tempting foods, or maybe you're where you want to be in your health and fitness journey but need to maintain. If you're like me, and need accountability, no matter what the reason is, shoot me an email to join my next online accountability group!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Happiness starts with a wet nose and ends with a tail

"Whoever said you can't buy happiness, forgot about little puppies" - Gene Hill

Today is National Puppy Day!
Meet Dory and Riley, our fur babies!

It's amazing the things you can learn from your dogs. They are selfless and love you unconditionally. Here are some things that we've learned from our dogs!

Go on adventures!
Take Naps
Some days you just need to stay in bed
Feel the sand between your toes and enjoy the beauty of the sea
Celebrate life and the gift of living to be another year older, life is short

Stick together
Just dive in
Make sacrifices for the ones you love
Take time to feel the breeze in your face
Soak up some vitamin D
Everyone has fat's okay
Always support your team, win or lose
Play so hard you pass out
It's okay to be curious
Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew but hey, go big or go home right?!
Always look on the bright side of things
Take time to reflect

Always make time for relaxation
Have each others backs
And don't be afraid to lean on each other when you need to
Be a good listener
Don't be afraid to ask questions
Go exploring and spend time outside
Take timeout for yourself
Be playful
It's okay if you need your coffee first
Hang on tight to those that love you and make sure they know you love them too
And when all else fails, just bury your head in the pillows until you feel better

"A Dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself"
"One day I hope to become the person my dog thinks I am"

Happy National Puppy Day! Give your pup (or someones pup) extra love today, because our lives wouldn't be near as awesome without them!!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Making a Change!

In 2012, a year after I had graduated college, I stepped on the scale and realized I was around 40 pounds over weight. My clothes didn't fit, I was tired all the time, hated the way I looked in pictures and had lost a lot of self confidence. Over the past few years I would exercise, but had not been consistent and would only occasionally adjust my eating habits. The scale would fluctuate anywhere from 5-15 pounds, but I would always end up gaining it back.

In March 2014, I got married, and I had lost almost 20 pounds in the months before our wedding. I felt the best I had in the past several years, but unfortunately being a newly wed got to me. Pretty soon I was back up to my heaviest weight. I hated being in a bathing suit, I was uncomfortable in any of my clothes, I lost my self confidence (again) and I had zero energy.

A year ago I started working on consistently and consciously watching what I was eating. I have slowly started to notice changes, but I was often frustrated with how slow they were happening. A few months ago a friend told me about Beachbody and the 21 Day Fix. I figured I didn't have anything to lose so I ordered a Beachbody Challenge Pack that included the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology. She invited me to a 21 day challenge group on Facebook where other people in my similar situation were working to meet their health and fitness goals as well. It was the best 21 days and at the end I was so encouraged and motivated! In the past few months I have been consistently exercising, following the 21 Day Fix meal plan and drinking Shakeology. I've lost 10 pounds, 2 inches off my waste, I've lost body fat, gained muscle, and I have more energy! I still have a long way to go, but I'm so happy with how far I've already come! I'm so thankful for my Beachbody team and the accountability it has brought to my life.

I'm excited to announce that I have taken a leap of faith and decided to become a Beachbody coach. Am I in perfect shape? No. Do I have a perfect body? No. Am I motivated to be healthy? Yes! Do I need accountability just as much as the next person? Yes! I'm so excited to begin this journey towards a healthier me while also helping other people reach their health and fitness goals! If you're interested in joining me on this journey please send me a message!
I'll be hosting a challenge group in April, and I would love to have you in it!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

This is one of our new favorite meals, and it's 21 Day Fix Approved
Add 2 chicken breasts, a packet of ranch seasoning and Frank's Buffalo hot sauce to your crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Once it's done shred the chicken in the crockpot and serve! Here are a few of our favorite recipes to make with the chicken.

Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pizza
Whole wheat tortilla, tomato paste, buffalo chicken, chopped celery, red onion, and cheese
Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes!
Containers: 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 blue, 1/2 green

Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Whole wheat tortillas, lettuce, pico de gallo, greek yogurt ranch, buffalo chicken, chopped celery, cheese
Containers: (for 1 taco) 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 1/2 red, 1/2 blue

Buffalo Chicken Salad
Lettuce, pico de gallo, greek yogurt ranch, buffalo chicken, chopped celery, cheese
Containers: 1 green, 1 1/2 red, 1/2 blue

For more info on the 21 Day Fix or if you have any health and fitness questions send me a message at !

Cabin Kitchen Re-fresh Part 2

After re-finishing the kitchen island, we had one more project to finish updating the kitchen at my parents cabin. I wanted to remove the old curtains that were in some of the cabinets and replace it with chicken wire.
First I removed the curtains. Then I unscrewed the doors from the hinges.
I bought a role of chicken wire at Home Depot and some brown spray paint.
You'll also need a pair of wire cutters, some plastic to paint on, a staple gun and some patience.
The hardest part was measuring the chicken wire and cutting it with the wire cutters to fit in the door frame. Once I had all my pieces cut to fit the doors, I laid them out on the plastic and spray painted them. I did 2 coats of paint on each side, letting it dry between coats.
Once the paint was completely dry I laid the wire on the door frame and began stapling it around the edges while holding it taunt. Finally, I put the doors back on their hinges. I'm so happy with the final result!

Before, with curtains

Cabinets in the background with curtains

Finished product!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cabin Kitchen Re-fresh Part 1

Several years ago my parents bought an awesome cabin on Lake Blue Ridge, and it has become our home away from home and absolute favorite place to spend time! You're surrounded by woods, huge mountains and lake water and it is truly serene. The architecture of the cabin is one of a kind and so unique and rustic. In the kitchen is a handmade kitchen island with a chopping block on top, painted in a light green wash. Over time we realized the color made the kitchen feel dark and didn't really go with the rest of the cabin decor. My dad asked me if I would take on the project of re-finishing it, and while I've re-finished dressers and large pieces of furniture this would by far be the largest! We decided on an off white color to compliment the granite and back splash, which would also brighten up the kitchen a lot.

I started by putting a cloth under the island to protect the floor and taping the bottom of the chopping block to keep paint off of it. I painted the whole island with 2 coats of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint, which I love because you don't have to strip or prime your surface. If your piece of furniture is really shiny you can sand it down some, but you really don't need to. Then I dry brushed some Annie Sloan Coco Chalk Paint in different spots all over to give it a rustic look. Then using a medium sand paper I sanded to blend the coco into the old white a little bit. Once the paint completely dried I put a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. Then I used some Annie Sloan Dark Wax in the creases and random places to give it a rustic look. Then I sanded some more, distressing the island to my liking. Finally I finished by adding one more coat of clear wax to protect the piece. I'm thrilled with how it turned out and so is my dad! The kitchen looks so much brighter. See before and after pictures below.
We finally finished the project by cleaning the chopping block using some household ingredients, and it looked brand new!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Manly Birthday Cake

For my husband's last birthday I wanted to do something special that he would actually enjoy, plus we aren't huge cake people. So I got the idea of a 'Beer Can Cake' from pinterest and put my own stamp on it. Check out the finished product below!

I bought the following:
2 types of his favorite beers (Sweetwater IPA and Red Hare IPA - both local beers in Atlanta)
several cigars
blue burlap ribbon and orange ribbon (we are Auburn fans :))
some small string or ribbon (this won't show as it will be under the other ribbon)
cardboard cake circle stands (Walmart, Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc)
a bottle of bourbon (I went with one of his faves, Breckenridge)
2 small stick balloons

1 - cover the larger cardboard circle with 1 type of beer and tie a piece of thin string around them to hold them in place
2- set the smaller cardboard circle on top of those beers and make a circle with the other type of beer, then placing the bourbon in the middle, tie another piece of string to hold them in place
3- tie your decorative ribbon over the string into a bow
4- stick the cigars in any gaps you can find
5- stick the balloons in

TaDa! You have a fun beer/bourbon cake your man will love!!