Monday, March 10, 2014

Check out my first product review blog post!

Hey folks! Many of you know that I am a writer at Reviews, Chews and How-tos. I've contributed a few of my recipes to the page. Well, I'm excited to share with you my first product review! Please click on that link and check it out! Feel free to comment, share, pin, tweet what have you. Also, don't forget to enter the AMAZING giveaways we have going on over there as well!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday after Daylight Savings time. I know I hit my snooze button a few too many times this morning, but I'm looking forward to being able to take evening walks with more light!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lifestyle Changes are Tough!

Hi everyone! Its me again, your seldom posting, random blogger! I know, I know, its been a while! BUT there has been SO much going on!! We are getting ready to move in a few weeks so I'm super stressed out and busy with that. I've been writing reviews and recipes for Reviews, Chews and How tos and I've started selling It Works! Global products from home.

I've been struggling with my weight and body image for a long time now. Especially in these years of post pregnancy. Last year, I had almost achieved my goal weight through diet and exercise, but come Fall and Winter, I slipped into those old habits again. My weigh skyrocketed up to almost where I was at full term with my daughter! I carry most of my weight in my waist. I am an apple in terms of body shape. I really hate it. Don't get me wrong. There are things I love about myself, for instance: I love my green eyes. I love the fact that at 34, my skin still looks 25. But I hate feeling so fat round the middle. Boo hoo, poor me right!? LOL.

I am not one for New Years Resolutions, but this year I really felt like I needed the new year as an excuse to get motivated to make a life change. My best friend and I have been doing these 30 day challenges and I did great with the 30 day in January then completely bombed it in February. But early on in February is when I bought my It Works! kit. It came with 4 wraps and I also bought some additional products. I was skeptical that the wraps would work on me. I have loose skin and stretch marks from my pregnancy, but I'm also very full round the middle, like I said. I really didn't think that the wraps could do much for me. What I was really excited for were the supplements. I knew that I needed to get some vitamins in my life. I eat relatively healthy, but sometimes I just forget. One of the products that It Works! has is called Greens. It alkalizes your body and provides 8 servings of fruits and vegetables in a drink mix that is all natural, non-GMO and gluten free. All those buzz words must be good for something! Lol. I really love the Greens.

I don't want to turn this into a big commercial for all the It Works! products, but I really think its important to share with the world just how amazing I feel and how I feel I look after giving these a shot. So, here is what I've been doing and then I'll share my pic! In the morning, I drink my Greens and take 2 Confianza supplements. At lunch time, I take the Its Vital Complete Nutrition pak. Mid-day I mix up a smoothie with some more Greens. If I lose my will power and splurge on a big meal, I'll take 2 Fat Fighters. At night, I take Regular. To date I've done 3 wraps, 72 hours between each one. Are you ready to see this?

Three wraps to date.
Now, I know I'm not a skinny girl but look at that! I won't tell you what my pant size is, but I will tell you its one size down from where I was before I started wrapping. The funny thing is, I'm not losing weight yet. So I guess its redistributing? Aside from adding the It Works! products, I haven't made many major changes to my habits. I am trying to fill my diet with more fresh fruits and veggies, but I still love me some bread and cookies (stay tuned for a new Biscotti Recipe). I've been walking at least 3-4 days a week. I know that I need to add some more cardio if I want to keep these results but I'm just thrilled with how this looks so far. Oh, and did I mention that this has only taken THREE WEEKS!? Not everyone experiences results like this, but 9 out of 10 people see noticeable changes after one wrap. I think the important thing is not to have unreal expectations and to realize that "If you change nothing, nothing will change!" just like the picture says. If I go off and eat nothing but junk and stop putting good nutrition in my body, can I expect to keep these results? NO!! Is it hard to take vitamins and drink water and eat a healthy diet? NO!! So why is it so hard to make a lifestyle change? Because we don't focus enough on how important it is to take care of ourselves! As Mom's and Dad's, as career driven adults, as focused artists and creators, we tend to lose sight of how important it is to also focus on "ME". I don't know if this is what everyone in the world needs to do to get that change, but I do know this: It Works! for me! I feel fantastic! I have more energy, focus, concentration and clarity. I feel good from the inside out! Oh, and as a side note. . . I get to do this as my job now! I get to help other people feel this way too! That is incredible!

Got you thinking about that now, didn't I? If you want to see the full product catalog with prices, ingredients lists and descriptions click here. Are you thinking about becoming a distributor? Join my team!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chore Chart: Perserverance pays off!

Good day my beautiful friends! I am so excited to be blogging about my daughters chore chart! So, many of you know that I have an high spirited, 4.5 year old, only child. She is the light of my life! I am learning that if I want something to work I really have to give her free reign to get to know the idea and really see the ins and outs before it will stick. Such was most certainly the case with the Chore Chart!

Lets see. . . I think it was about a year and a half ago that I jumped online looking for preschooler friendly household chores. I found a wealth of resources and ultimately decided to combine many of them to make my own program. I created the Chore Chart and explained the process to Bugaboo. She was interested at first and excited to help Mommy around the house. But as with all pre-k attention spans, it waned and fell by the way-side. We kept revisiting the chart at various times but she would just lose interest. Don't get me wrong, she was still helping out around the house. But it would only be when I hounded her about it. The idea of the Chart was to get her to self motivate.

Cookie sheet+Spray Paint=Instant Magnet Board!
Well, the chart has been hanging out on the fridge now for over a year with me consistently reminding her of its benefits. Lo and behold, the idea seems to have finally sunk in! She is now actively participating in the system and even reminding me when new chores need to be added! I'm so excited that its finally a working system because now I feel like I can share it with you!

So, here is how the system works: There are about 25 different household chores that Bug can do. I have a cartoon picture of each chore with the words printed below them. Each card is laminated so it can be re-used. We chose four or five chores and place them on our magnet board. Each chore has a colorful ticket attached to the back. When she completes the chore, she moves the card from "To Do" down to "Done" and places the ticket in an envelope. After she earns five tickets, she gets to "spend" her tickets in our toy bucket. A few times a year, I'll go to the dollar store or the bargain bins at Target and load up on little toys, crafts and goodies to put in the buckets. Each item costs five tickets. When she chooses and item from the bucket, she hands her tickets into me and I keep them in a jar on the fridge!

The "Toy Store" includes books, crafts, puzzles, little toys and candy.

Chores that we have include: Clean up, wipe the table, tidy school room, make bed, set the table, empty the dishwasher, dust, feed the dog, clean your room, wash the mirrors etc. . I was able to find images for all of these by searching on Pinterest. I printed them from my computer, cut them out and laminated them all so they will last. I purchased this home laminator from Amazon and it gets a lot of use in our house.

We also use a Gold Star Rewards system. Gold Stars are awarded when we have a really good day. For example, the other day Bugaboo decided to clean out her closet where all of her dress up's are located. She did this on her own with no prompting from either parent and she did an awesome job! She gets a gold star for that! When she has accrued 9 gold stars, she gets a special treat like a lunch date with Mommy or a movie theater date.

Gold stars and tickets can also be taken away if we are having a particularly rough day of not listening. Not listening is probably the biggest issue we have with Bugaboo and she really hates it when she loses a ticket or a star. All I have to do is grab the ticket envelope and sit down with her and say, "Here are your tickets, are you ready lose them over this choice you are making?" Usually the answer is no, but sometimes she is just so stubborn she will lose tickets. She gets the chance to earn them back though, so it's been a really good system for us.

It takes patience and a lot of explaining, but I think the benefits are awesome. Chore Charts teach personal responsibility, self confidence and the value of a job well done. Bugaboo is learning that you need to earn the things you want by working for them. Everything isn't just a given. She is learning that everyone in the house needs to do their part to keep things in order. Its important for us all to work together.

It also helps to take pictures of how you would like things to look when they are "cleaned up". Kids are very visual learners and knowing exactly what you expect can make their "job" easier. That was a whole lot of quotes! LOL!

I hope you all enjoyed my Chore Chart Tutorial. Please feel free to share, comment and ask questions! I'd love to hear your feedback!

p.s. Here are links to some of the places where I found chore graphics.

Confessions of a Homeschooler
Homeschool Creations

p.p.s. If you loved this and would like to see other totally awesome tutorials, reviews and recipes check out this: Reviews, Chews and How-tos
I am a contributing writer over there and it's such an amazing blog! Please give it some love!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Biscotti gets around!

My Biscotti has a first name, It's E.A.R.L. Gray!
Good day everyone! I've been away again, but this time its because I've been working as a contributing writer on another blog. Reviews, Chews and How-tos is a product review company that features first hand reviews, tutorials and recipes. A few weeks ago, I cooked up these wonderful little Earl Gray Tea and Vanilla Bean Biscotti and I wrote up a little how-to for the recipe. RCH featured it on their blog and lo and behold, it was picked up by another blog! Makes me feel kinda famous!! I'd like to invite you all to check out both blogs. They each feature wonderful and useful information!
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Reviews, Chews and How-tos