Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Day Off for Slavery

Yesterday, I disappeared from social media in honor of the 27 million men, women and children who've disappeared traped in slavery. In brothels. In factories. In quarries. Working as slaves. In 161 countries. Including our own.

Honestly, this is the first break I have had from social media in years!! I didn't get on my Facebook, Twitter, my blogs, and more. It was so hard to avoid it, because I am always receiving alerts on my phone whenever something new happens on my Facebook page.
However, everytime I wanted to get on my Facebook or post a picture to Instagram, I was reminded of the 27 million people who do not have a voice of their own. It was a much needed break that was worth it!

Today, I am again here to shine a light on slavery! If you would like to join the End It Movement and Shine a Light a Slavery, please check out their website here.

This is one of my favorite songs. I hope that you will watch this video of "Twenty Seven Million" by Matt Redman & LZ7.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Olivia's First Valentine's Day

Olivia wearing her pretty dress on Valentine's Day!

Olivia is getting so big!
Olivia with the Valentine she made at church.

Olivia got tired of the photoshoot and almost fell off the couch!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

To Mommies of Little Ones


I just want to start by saying, "Thank You!!" to everyone who has ever emailed me!! You all are a wonderful source of encouragement and inspiration to me.

Today, I took time to write a letter that is specially for mommies with young children. I have received emails from a few of you and I think that there are more mommies out there with young children who struggle to make good and healthy choices for themselves and their families.

Even if you do not fall into this catergory, I hope that you will read this letter and enourage the young moms in your life!
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To Mommies of Little Ones,

I pray that God will give you a few moments of peace to read this letter, because these encouragements are from Him! The Lord is simply using me as a tool to speak His own words of encouragement to you.

I've only been a mother for 5 months and already I know that this job is not for the faint of heart! As a result, I want to remind you of a few biblical truths. 

Please remember, that being a mother is one of the highest callings in life. God has chosen you to be the mother of your children for a specific reason! God also knows the desires of your heart and that you need/want to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. Thankfully, God equips us to complete the tasks that He has given to us, i.e. being a mother and losing weight.  

Here are a few ideas about how you can lose weight with little ones in your house:

1. You must begin to make yourself a priority. Have you heard the saying, "Happy Wife. Happy Life" ? Could the same be said for Mommies? As mothers it is our instinct to put our husbands and kids first, before ourselves. However, in order to be the best mother and wife you need to make your needs a priority. For example, if you need to exercise, ask your husband if he can watch the kids of thirty minutes while you go for a run. You will be a better mother, because you took time to meet some of your own needs.
2. Involve your family, especially your little ones, in your weight loss journey. Be sure to tke time to teach your kids by example. When you make healthy choices, your kids are going to want to follow in your footsteps. Have healthy choices available for your family, so that they can make good choices too. Another great idea is to cook with your kids. Be wise about this and give your children age approriate tasks. However, even if you have little kids they will enjoy measuring out igredients and pouring them in the bowl!

3. This time in your life is a season and will not last forever. Life with little ones can be frustrating. However, you must remember that you children will be grown and gone before you know it. I know that right now, this time in your life seems like it will never end, but that's not true. Thank the Lord, everday that your children are little.

I hope that God uses this letter to encourage you and show you how valuable your family and friends!! For that reason, I pray that God will help you to be able to balance all of your responsibilties as a wife and mother.

God Bless,

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
- James 1:2-3

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekly Weigh In - Healthy Weight Range

The two loves of my life!
I just had to take a moment and share this new picture of Jon and Olivia!! Now that I have gotten that out of my system, we can get to the real reason for this blog post.

Do you remember last week's weekly weigh in blog post? I wrote about My "Bad" Weigh In, beause I was so frustrated with my loss of only 0.4 pounds. I could have let my bad attitude ruin my entire week. However, last Monday I was able to refocus and get back on track!

I let my frustration motivate me to do even better than I had done in previous weeks. I went back to be basics of the Weight Watchers program. I tracked every little bit, lick, and taste. I weighed and measured my food. I also made my good health guidelines a priority. When it came time to get on the scale last Saturday I was not disappointed by the extra effort that I had put in throughout the week.

In total, I lost 2 pounds!! This loss officially puts me back into my healthy weight range as outlined by Weight Watchers!!

Let me tell you that it is okay to be frustrated when your weight loss journey does not go as you planned. However, do not let that frustration stop you from reaching your ultimate goals!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Make Your Fruit Last Longer

On Saturday mornings, I have a Weight Watchers member, Susan, who has been sharing wonderful household tips with all of us! Susan loves fruit, especially strawberries and she hates to see them go to waste! As a result, Susan looked online for some ideas about how to make her fruit last longer. She found great ideas for both strawberries and bananas that I would like to share with you!
The first tip that Susan shared with us was about how to make your strawberries last longer, from Better Than Doing Laundry. Watch your strawberries last at least a week using this method!!

1. Take your fresh strawberries and put them in a large bowl. Run some cold water over top of them.

2. For every 2 cups of water, stir in 1/4 cup vinegar. You can use distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of the vinegar will kill all the mold spores and bacteria on the strawberries. I promise you will not taste the vinegar on the strawberries!

3. Swish the strawberries around in the vinegar/water solution and let them soak for 5 minutes or so. Drain, give the strawberries a little rinse, and then place them on a towel-lined cookie sheet to dry. Once the strawberries are dry, store them in an open container in the fridge. Mine have lasted a week and could possibly go longer, but I eat mine before the week is up. You could also cap the strawberries, leave them on the cookie sheet, pop in the freezer overnight, and then transfer the individually frozen strawberries to a freezer bag. Use the frozen strawberries in a fruit ice cream or smoothie. 
. . . . . . . . . .

The other household tip that Susan shared with us was about how to make bananas last longer. Susan explained to all of us that if you simply cover the stem of the bananas with tin foil it will help keep the bananas from ripening too quickly.

I hate really ripe bananas, so after I went grocery shopping on Monday I came home and wrapped the stem with foil. I do not know where Susan found this idea, but it worked! It is now Thursday and my bananas still have some green left on them!
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I had never heard these ideas before, but I hope these tips help you to continue to make healthy choices all week long!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Few Sweet Treats

I hate to admit it, but I have a sweet tooth! I love chocolate and sweet treats! I try my best to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, every once in a while I need to indulge in a sweet treat or else I will go crazy and binge on a large bag of peanut butter M & M's!!

For the most part, I have learned how to enjoy these kinds of foods in moderation. If this is an area that you struggle with, be careful!! Even low pointsplus treats will add up to a lot of pointsplus if you eat the entire box!!

That being said, here are a few new sweet treats that do not break the bank on pointsplus values.

{Skinny Cow Divine Filled Chocolates}
Serving Size: 1 package or 3 pieces
  4 pointsplus+

 These new Skinny Cow Divine Filled Chocolates come in two flavors, peanut butter and caramel. You get three large pieces of chocolate for just 4 pointsplus+. The peanut butter ones are good, but the caramel are even better. I found these at my local Walmart.
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{Peanut Butter Toast Crunch}
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  3 pointsplus+

If you love peanut butter, than you will really enjoy this Peanut Butter Toast Crunch cereal. The peanut butter flavor in this cereal is overwhelming and delicious! This cereal is a great way to enjoy your favorite peanut butter flavor without spending too many pointsplus values to do so. You can find this a Walmart too!
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{Weight Watchers Bite Size Caramels}
Serving Size: 1 package
  3 pointsplus+

These Weight Watchers Bite Size Caramels were hard to find! Weight Watchers sent me coupons for them, but I could not find them in the store. Finally, my friend Amanda found them at Kmart. There are two different flavors, Caramels and Dark Chocolates. The Caramels are hard and chewy, but the Dark Chocolates have a texture similar to that of a truffle. There are six pouches per box and each pouch is only 3 pointsplus! They were so good that mine are already gone!


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