Weight Loss Tips and Tricks – 20 Pieces of Advice from a Big Loser

Mind Over Matter

Certain things were crucial as a new mother for me to lose weight and keep it off and I’m going to summarize what these tips and tricks are below. Keep in mind this is what worked for me and not all of the things that work for one person will work for somebody else. But if you stick to some of these suggestions, I guarantee you will have some degree of success whether you are a new mom or just someone trying to lose some weight. You can do this!!!

The List!!

1. Make a schedule of your workouts on your calendar or on a planner at the beginning of every week. You have to be extremely organized as a new mom to seriously get any workouts in. As in detailed enough to plan your workouts during your little one’s morning or afternoon naps depending on when you will be at home. Also – as a new mom you are doing fantastic if you get 2 to 3 workouts in a week that are 30 minutes long. That my friends, is all the time you realistically have sometimes. As your baby gets older the naps become a little longer and more scheduled so you can better plan your workouts.

2. Don’t beat yourself up! You are only human!!

3. Pick small milestones so you don’t get overwhelmed. For example, 5 pounds at a time of weight loss is much less daunting to focus on then 50 pounds. Baby steps!!

4. Celebrate milestones publicly. Post on social media an don’t feel guilty. You are an inspiration to others who want to make lifestyle changes. Your posts make a difference in other peoples lives!! Plus social media posting adds a new degree of accountability.

5. Take pictures along the way so you can compare your progress. Very motivating even though it feels ridiculous!

6. Get rid of clothes that are too big as you lose weight. Buy clothes that fit! People can’t see that you lost weight when you hide in big baggy clothes. Wearing clothes that fit will definitely spark positive feedback that will continue to motivate you on your weight loss journey.

7. Juicing is your friend. But I don’t recommend juice cleanses that last longer than 3 days (4 days at the most). Otherwise you will be too tired to workout and you are likely to burn out. I also recommend taking at least two weeks between doing cleanses, although I’ve done them with as little as a week in between. Its just too hard to remain accountable and you feel like you are sacrificing family bonding moments (dinners) if you do them too frequently. I will be doing an extensive series of posts on juicing over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

8. When not juicing, protein is your friend. I highly recommend a protein shake EVERY day. My favorite is Shakeology by Beachbody but there are several others out there. Contact me if you are interested in hearing more about Shakeology.

9. Exercise videos are your friend!!! You can quickly do your workout right next to your baby (in the same room!) while your little one naps. I think the best workout videos out there are made by Beachbody (P90X, Insanity, Piyo, Cize, etc). I ¬†have been doing Slim in 6 because I had two knee surgeries within the last year and have to do something extremely low impact to workout. Below is the demo for the new CIZE dance workout from Beachbody which I can’t wait to try when my knees are a little stronger ūüôā

10. Baby jog strollers are your friend. My little one can easily go up to 90 minutes without any issues and usually takes a nap somewhere along the way. I just pack a diaper change and a bottle for the road and we’re off.

11. Make use of the gym’s daycare. At my gym I can leave my little one up to two hours and they actually have a separate baby room. I’ve never left him that long but its nice to know the option is there. Honestly, the times I’ve used this service seem like heaven. Its my only baby free time of the day!

12. There are many great teas out there these days and I personally find they have a nice calming effect when I’m stressed that keeps me from pigging out. My favorite is mint tea but the number of teas available is infinite.

13. Stress can make it impossible to lose weight even if you do everything else right. You have to find effective ways to destress whether its doing some type of arts and crafts project, reading a book, or taking a nice hot bath with expensive bath bombs. I’ve also noticed “stress weight” tends to linger on my tummy which is where I most want to get rid of the weight.

14. A smart watch is very helpful. I love my Fitbit. Its fun to challenge myself and others to see if I can get more steps than the day before or more steps than a friend. I’ve noticed that somedays with all my mommy errands I easily hit 10,000 steps without even working out!

15. Make sure you have exciting music to listen to if you are working out on exercise equipment or walking or running. A good playlist will motivate you to workout harder and longer. I personally love the FitRadio App which is $2.99/month and I get many options!


16. Reward your progress. I usually reward 5 or 10 pound weight losses with a juice cleanse but you can also treat yourself to new clothes that fit.

17. Its okay to have cheat foods here and there. I’ve found its best to go for high quality over quantity when you do this. For example, expensive macaroons or fancy dark chocolates are much more satisfying than a big piece of cake with icing. Savor the flavor.

18. Weekly weigh ins are essential even if you don’t want to. Why? Accountability. You can also see your progress over time.

19. Change things up or you’ll plateau. Change your workouts here and there. Change your meals up. Keep things fresh and exciting.

20. Meal prep is very important for working moms. You can buy all kinds of meal prep containers and books now to help you with this. But basically you can prep all your breakfasts and lunches and even dinners if you need to and prepackage them the weekend before. Fun but time intensive. But if you work I highly recommend!

How to Finally Get the Baby Weight Off – 10 Day Series Discussing What REALLY Worked For Me in My 47 Lb Weight Loss Journey

beforeafter.jpgThe next 10 posts are going to focus on topics that I think  were key to my 47 lb baby weight loss journey. I will be sharing all of my BEST SECRETS!! And I am so excited to share everything with you because I know this 10 blog series is going to make a big difference in your life because these are things that already worked for me!! To kick this series off I am sharing my weight gain and weight loss  story. I am hoping my story will get you motivated and pumped to finally begin your weight loss journey or if you are stuck only needing to lose the last few pounds that it will provide you with the motivation to kick it up a notch. Good luck and enjoy your journey!


Right around the time I found out I was pregnant, my left knee was bothering me yet again and I was 100% sure I needed surgery. So workout options during my pregnancy were limited to swimming, aqua jogging, the elliptical machine or lifting weights. I was frequently nauseated all the way up to the very end so while I tried to get at least two workouts a week in, that was not always possible. I recall many times I jumped off my elliptical machine to go barf in the sink. It seemed that cardio workouts made me feel sicker. Needless to say, pre-pregnancy I worked out four or five days a week so just between feeling sick and my knee going out I was working out way less than usual.

The other problem was that throughout my pregnancy I craved carbs all the time and eating crackers, rice, and pasta were one of the only things that temporarily seemed to decrease my nausea. In my third trimester I gained 10 pounds from one weekly visit to the next and my doctor suddenly admonished me saying I needed to watch my weight or I would gain 70 pounds. I left the office in tears. I hadn’t done anything different that week than any other week so why had I gained 10 pounds!? And truly for the most part I really wasn’t eating that unhealthily. I was just listening to my body. If eating carbs made me feel better than maybe that’s what my baby wanted!!

Big belly

The day of reckoning was finally here. I was induced because I developed preeclampsia at the end of my third trimester (perhaps that’s why I gained so much weight so fast there at the end). They weighed me as part of my check in and I cringed seeing 187 pounds on the scale. My weight normally fluctuates between 135 and 145 pounds depending on how much I run. My running days are over by the way but that’s another story for another time.

I gave birth to a beautiful but large baby boy weighing 8lbs10oz on May 6th around 5:00pm. ¬†I remember being shocked at how big he was the first time I saw him. I didn’t think he was going to be that big! I felt a little relief at that thinking at least 9 pounds of my weight was instantly gone but how long and how difficult were the other 38 pounds going to be to lose? This was three times the amount of weight I had ever tried to lose before! The task felt daunting. Impossible. Maybe since I was a mom of one and a stepmom of two now I could just accept that a little extra flab was normal. But I was an athlete. Could I really be okay with that???

Luke Birth

Before leaving the hospital I looked at my body in the mirror. I still had a tummy but it was much smaller. I can do this I thought. And I knew I would. Because week to week, month to month, I was going to gradually get to buy new clothes and see the numbers fly off the scale. It was going to be fun. And if I didn’t lose all the weight I knew in my heart I would be okay with it. Holding this beautiful precious baby boy I knew that there were much more important things in life than me. But taking good care of myself so that I could take good care of my kids was very important. I wanted to be able to keep up with them while they ran around and played.


So now on to the good stuff….how did I lose all that weight!!?? I’m still amazed I actually did it. Usually, my go to secret is running but I couldn’t run! Due to medications I have to take I was also unable to breast feed. I’ve heard contradicting information on breastfeeding – it seems some women lose weight very quickly just from breastfeeding alone while others find that it makes them ravenous so they can’t lose weight.

For the initial month and a half (6 weeks to first initial doctor appointment) I decided to take it easy and focus on the little one. I was extremely sleep deprived from waking up every hour of the night so I don’t think I would have had energy to workout if I wanted to. And I definitely could care less about dieting when I was that tired and grumpy. I did notice that almost immediately I was no longer nauseated. And every week I was less and less swollen (my hands and feet were incredibly swollen from preeclampsia when I gave birth). I was wearing a whole size and half larger shoe than normal. In those first six weeks I went from a 36D bra that was bursting at the seems to a 36C. At the end of six weeks I still couldn’t get my wedding rings back on my finger. I went down a half size in shoes. I was amazed that I was still only fitting into pregnancy clothes. I was antsy to get out and do something.

And then….my good knee decided to crap out!!! A piece of cartilage broke lose and it locked up so I couldn’t walk at all without excruciating pain. So I had to have surgery immediately. I felt pretty sorry for myself and I was getting really antsy to workout again but I couldn’t. So instead – I juiced. I have been a big believer in juicing for a couple of years now. And since I wasn’t breastfeeding I didn’t need to worry about my calorie intake. I started off with a 3-day juice cleanse since it had been awhile since I lost weight and I lost 5 pounds immediately. I was super excited. This was the most weight I’d ever lost on a 3-day juice cleanse. I was hooked. Throughout the rest of my weight loss journey I routinely did 3-day juice cleanses every 2 to 3 weeks. Sometimes I ordered them and other times I made the juices at home with my juicer. There are pros and cons to both.


Finally after about a month from my surgery I could workout…but I was still limited by my other knee. The first thing I did was aqua jog in our home pool when the little man was taking a nap. Somedays that would be 20 minutes, but other days I could get 45 minutes or even an hour in. And this is excellent rehab for knees. Trust me – I know!! I was also limited in taking the little one for stroller walks throughout the summer because it gets so darn hot in Texas! Any chance I had though, we went on a walk in the jog stroller. I had to use a mosquito net to keep mosquitoes away from him. We only went on walks early in the morning, or if a storm had come through and temporarily made it cooler outside. Once the fall came and it cooled off however, we went on a regular walk while my stepdaughter rode her bicycle. I’d let her play at a playground half way through and then we’d head home.

Once my son was three months old I decided it might be okay to take him to the daycare at my gym. My gym is very nice – it reminds me of a country club. The daycare has three separate areas – a big kid section, a young kid section, and a baby room. Often the baby room is empty or has only one or two babies in it. I felt confident that it was safe for my son. I still haven’t left him longer than an hour though! I feel guilty even taking an hour for myself!! Need to work on that. At the gym – I rotated elliptical workouts, spinning on a spin bike, and using weights.

At first it was hard to get much of a routine going…but by the time Luke was 5 months I had lost all but 10 pounds of my baby weight and I was routinely working out 2 to 3 times a week. Getting a schedule is key to trying to fit workouts in with a newborn and older kids because you have to know when any chance of a free moment to fit a workout in will be or it won’t happen. I continued with my juicing…completely in love with it. I noticed however, that sometimes I wasn’t losing but a pound while other times I wouldn’t lose weight but I would go down a size in clothes. By 5 months I was no longer wearing any of my pregnancy clothes. But I was still wearing a size large and I couldn’t fit into any of my pre pregnancy clothes yet. I packed up all the pregnancy clothes and felt sad. Other than the little bit of weight left on my tummy those were the last signs that he had ever lived for 9 months in my body. I almost wished we could go back and do it all over again. Weird right!!

I lost another 5 pounds by 6 months and decided to finish off the weight loss adventure with a 5 day juice fast. I lost my final 5 pounds!!! So at 6 months and 1 week after giving birth I was back to 140 pounds!!! Yay! What was really weird though was that it took another two months before I was really able to fit into all my clothes again. Even though I’d lost the weight, certain parts of my body still hadn’t finished changing back. My boobs and feet actually never got as small as they were pre pregnancy. My hips however, did! Between months 6 and 8 they got narrower and I went from a size 12 jeans/shorts to a size 4/6. This was so weird to me!! But I’ll take it.

So for New Years Eve I decided I would show off my post baby body (about 8 months post giving birth). I finally was able to wear most of my dresses by then. I felt beautiful and was very proud but I also felt sad. My Lukey pooch was all gone. It would never be there again. I never imagined that I would actually miss my baby weight a little bit!!! But looking back it was really an easy journey to lose the weight. It came off quicker and easier than any weight I’ve ever tried to lose before. I think never being able to finish my food at meals because Luke was fussy and I had to take care of him helped. I think seeing the weight fall off so easily and getting to change sizes so frequently helped keep me motivated. I didn’t feel pressure to lose the weight because I felt like I had an excuse for at least a year to stay pudgy if I needed to – so that helped. I also had a loving husband and step kids and sister that never really mentioned my weight even when I was losing it. That almost made it seem more just my thing and it was okay even if I never got any skinnier than where I was at. No one seemed to expect me to lose it all. Would I do it again? Well – Luke is definitely worth it! It was a small price to pay for such a beautiful little life. Of course I would. Do I think anyone can lose weight? Yes I really do! You just have to believe in yourself and not put too much pressure on yourself.



How to Make the Perfect 4th Grade Science Fair Board – Tips and Lessons Learned

alex computer
Alex working diligently on her PowerPoint presentation.

Things in the elementary school science fair world have changed dramatically since I was a 4th grader. Heck PowerPoint didn’t even exist when I was in elementary and the first stage of judging at the school level was entirely based on her PowerPoint exhibit!! We didn’t even have to make a board until we found out Alex made it to the District level. I’m not going to go into details of how to make a PowerPoint presentation because Alex actually made the PowerPoint at school by HERSELF!! (Such a proud mommy ūüôā !!) Below is some insight into how we made the board and I’m guessing we didn’t do half bad because this smart 4th grade placed 1st in her school and 3rd at district level!!

Steps for Making the Perfect Board

Edit the Content of the PowerPoint Presentation. Alex and I walked through all herslides and I alex computerhelped her edit any slides that I thought needed some touching up. We also
had many slides with the s
ame heading for “Data” but the board only needed one title for each category, so we enlarged pictures and deleted the titles on these slides. Alex had skipped the Reflection and Research categories so we added those in. Then we loaded our printer with shiny fancy glossy paper and printed the entire PowerPoint presentation out.

Buy a Board and Paint It…Outside.¬†We were hoping to find a pre-colored board at the store but had no such luck. We checked Walmart, Target, and Office Depot. We settled on a thick foam board over a cardboard board as the price difference wasn’t enormous and the quality seemed much better (price was $3.99). Since we couldn’t find a colored board we decided that we would spray paint our board to give it extra oomph. My husband bought bright royal blue spray paint from Home Depot (I’m not exactly sure of the cost but it took two cans to fully coat the board). We chose blue because our project was “How Does Biology Affect Water Quality in Clear Lake?” and we thought blue would go well with our water theme. My husband decided to spray paint the board inside because it was very windy and cold outside. This turned out to be a big mistake. We had two parakeets living in the kitchen (where my husband painted the board) and within twenty minutes of painting the smaller parakeet named Michael was no longer with us in this world. The birds were named George and Michael so we could jokingly call them George Michael after the singer so it was especially traumatizing that Michael passed because its not the same just talking to George. So we sadly learned that all future spray painting or anything involving chemicals was never to be done in the house.

Plan Your Layout For the Board.¬†After printing all the slides out and actually having the board, we table workcut out the titles and the body of each of the slides and glued them with a glue stick (to prevent any lumps) onto construction paper. We use green and red to contrast with the royal blue background. Then, using a paper cutter, we cut the construction paper so each slide’s content
and titles looked very uniform. We then placed out everything on the board to make sure it would fit. We double checked the guidance to make sure everything was in the correct location and that we had all the required information on the board. I didn’t actually let Alex use the paper cutter…I didn’t think it was safe for a 10 year old to use it even though she gladly would have. So super mom spent a couple of hours on this step.¬†

4. Glue the Layout Onto the Board. To prevent lumps or unevenness on the board, spray adhesive is the way to go to glue the layout onto the board. This is another step you probably want to do outside or in a well ventilated area away from all pets. Once its on make sure to let the glue dry completely before touching it. Our board looked like this once everything was glued on.

board and journal

Set the Board Up and Pray for the Best. The day after we finished the board, we had a four hour window to take the board to the gymnasium at the Clear Falls High School. Alex and I were a little shocked at how many boards there were on display. I told her it did’t matter how she did at district because I was already proud of her for placing 1st at her school and this was a learning experience. She was so excited to set up her board and to get a glimpse of the future high school she would be attending. She wished kids she knew and didn’t know good luck. After glancing at the boards we decided there might be a chance she could get an award but we wouldn’t get our hopes up.

alex and board
Alex setting up her board in the Clear Falls gymnasium.

Reap the Rewards of Your Hard Work! I invited Alex’s grandfather and her former stepfather o the awards ceremony for extra support because her father was out of town for work and she was a little bummed. We were all excited and nervous waiting for the announcer to list the winners in her category “Earth Science”. Finally, her name was announced as the 3rd place winner. We were super excited and the happiness was radiating from her like sunshine. It was lots of hard work but Alex was already ready to participate in science fair again. It was a great experience for kid and parent alike, although a lot of work!!




Top iPhone Apps for Busy Moms – Get Organized for 2016

Alright I’m well overdue for a post. Had lots of exciting and crazy life events¬†get in the way including two cheer tournaments and a district science fair project (that unfortunately resulted in killing a pet bird – don’t spray paint a science fair board in the house even if its cold and windy outside!!!) So back on track. Today I’m bringing you a list of fantastic iPhone apps (some may work on other phones – I haven’t really checked into it) that will help busy moms out! Some of these deal with organization and others are just great apps for a mom to have. These are not listed in any kind of order so check them all out!


Awesome List of Busy Mommy Apps!!

Evernote РThis app has been touted on many mommy blogs as being an essential apps for Evernotemommies. It is essentially the best note taking app out there. You can even include audio notes which is very handy for work at home mommies. Within this app you can set reminders, make lists, make notes including pictures and web links, and you can even chat. I just found out about this app in the last year and its very useful when I work on notes for new blog entries.

ZocDoc – This app is super handy because you can schedule doctor appointments without zocdoc.jpghaving to make a phone call. You just input what kind of doctor you need and your location and all available appointments pop up so you just pick one. Super simple and saves lots of time! Also very handy if you are out of town and aren’t sure where to go if someone gets sick.


Cozi Family Organizer – This is another app that was very well rated by lots of mommiescozi. It is basically a planner for your iPhone. You can track everyone in your family with different colors and sync the app so everyone’s schedules show up on different family members phones. In addition to scheduling activities, the app has a to do list which is shared between phones, a recipe box, a grocery list, and Cozi even keeps track of your trash day which is super handy since I always seem to forget trash day. I prefer a written planner but this is definitely useful to track appointments for different family members so my phone sends me a reminder.

Bright Nest – This app is a nice little gem. It has great home cleaning and organizing tips brightnestand caters topics to things you’ll be interested in after asking a series of questions. You can also pick pre-listed cleaning activities and schedule them on your calendar. The pre-listed activities have nice descriptions on helpful tips and include the time estimate the cleaning activity will take so it schedules the time accordingly when you add the event to your calendar. Great if you lack motivation to clean or get overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start. Definitely worth checking out if you are planning on doing any cleaning or home improvements.

Day One¬†– This is an awesome journaling/diary app but it isn’t free (cost is $4.99). It’s essentially Day_One_Logoa structured digital journal. Your entries are tied to a photo. Cool features include an automatic time stamp which includes weather and GPS location details. You can sync the app across multiple devices (computer, iPad, etc). It also autosaves to the Cloud and you can PDF a month worth of entries as a single PDF. The only negative is if you want to post multiple photographs you have to enter multiple journal entries.

Stigma – This is a personal journal, gratitude tracker, and mood tracker. You enter 200 stigmacharacter mood entries whenever you journal reminds you to write an entry (at least once daily). You can either keep your entries private or anonymously share them. The app will show you your average moods by color coding them on a monthly calendar. Very useful app if you are interested in tracking your mood for any reason.


Mom Maps – While this app isn’t particularly useful in a suburban area such as where I mommaps.pnglive, I can see how it would be useful if you live in a city or are taking a vacation to a city. This app shows where any nearby parks are located and where indoor play areas are located. Definitely a must download for the urban mommy.


Mint РThis is probably the best free money manager and budgeter according to mommies. mintInitially inputting everything is difficult and takes time, but once you have all your information loaded you will be able to see all your separate accounts in a central location. This is great to get a big picture idea of what is going on with your finances and to see where your money is going.


Calorie Counter and Tracker By My Fitness Pal – I wasn’t planning on including any diet or myfitnesspalfitness related apps because I plan to include a long list of these apps when I do my series on losing weight here soon but this is by far my favorite calorie/workout tracker. Its simple but gets the job done. The list of workouts and the inclusive list of foods is impressive. You will find anything you are looking for. And if you can’t it is easy to manually add it. Finally, as you lose or gain weight graphs are plotted showing you how you are doing which is lovely to see when the weight is going in the direction you want. And if it’s going the wrong way it is nice motivation to turn the graph around.

That’s it for today. My next blog entry will be about How to Set Up an Award Winning Science Fair Board with your child and I have lots of fun pictures of my step daughter who just won 3rd place at District to include in the writeup. Can’t wait to share :). After that I will be spending the rest of the month doing a 10 blog series on Finally Losing All The Baby Weight. I have lots of great advice and plan to¬†share with you what actually worked for me to get my 47 pounds of baggage off! See ya soon!














Awesome Websites to Help You Follow Through with Those New Year’s Resolutions

Its hard to keep a resolution all year long. Family life and work always manage to get in the way. That’s why you need to read this post and learn about the online articles and printables that can help you meet your goals. I’ve searched far and wide to bring you the best tools to help you on your journey. Read on and enjoy!!

Online New Years Resolution/Goals Worksheets and Printables

1. Want to write a personal mission statement for 2016? Here is a link to a worksheet by Boho Berry to create your Mission Statement. Fun stuff!


2. Here is a link to Daily and Weekly Challenge Charts that are downloadable and printable. JILLEE also provides 50 challenge ideas to get you started.


3. How does writing a New Year’s Letter to Yourself sound? Daily Mom recommends starting a new tradition and writing yearly letters that you can look back at later in life and cherish.¬†Daily Mom provides excellent guidance on how to start this tradition.


4. Love worksheets? So do I. Thirty Handmade Days has a colorful and fun New Years Resolution worksheet for kids. However, if you are a kid at heart this worksheet will be great for you too! Enjoy.


5. Did I mention I love worksheets? Here is another great worksheet for kids and adults alike by Moritz Fine Blog Designs.


6. Looking for inspirational posters/printables for the new year to decorate your office space or kitchen fridge? Look no further. These beautiful inspirational printables are yours free!


7. Looking for more printables to honor your recharged Steadfastness in Christ? My Daylights has some nice posters/printables for you to download as part of her Press Forward campaign for 2016.


8. Need some New Years stickers for your new planner? Gotcha covered. Check out these awesome planner stickers from My Planner Envy.

THP New Years Sampler

Websites with Guidance to Help You Meet Your New Year’s Resolution

1. Want to decrease media influence in your life. Try this guidance on doing a Media Cleanse

2. Was being kinder your New Year’s Resolution? Try out this¬†Kindness Challenge¬†from Cleverpedia. The heading on the page says its for 2015 but it seems like a great challenge for 2016 too!

3. How about decluttering?? Here is guidance for Decluttering Your Home in 6 Days.


4. Additional guidance on purging can be found at How I Purged 91% of Our Stuff. You too can be a mean green cleaning machine.


5. If your New Year’s Resolution is to read more books, this Ultimate Reading Challenge by Popsugar might be just what you need to stay motivated.


6. Are you planning to journal in 2016 as your resolution? Creative with Kids has 20 journal prompts on nurturing yourself. Fun right!


7. So you decided to give up soda for 30 days. Sounds harsh. This website is for you Рthe 30 Day No Soda Challenge. Quirky Inspired offers great advice including a soda step down program to help you taper off from your usual soda intake.

8. How to Drink More Water. This resolution is probably one we could all do better. Jillee’s site gives 23 tips to help increase water intake and they are all great ideas!


9. Perhaps your New Year’s Resolution is to start a new hobby but you don’t have any ideas what to do. Well Darby Smart has a fun listing of crafty ideas on Start a New Hobby.

10. If your goal is to start a savings plan but you are looking for guidance look no further. The Survival Mom has a 52 Weeks Savings Plan to save an extra $1378 by the end of the year that is very doable.


11. Are you seeking to be happier in 2016. Check out the 30 Day No Fail Happiness Challenge by Popsugar. If this challenge doesn’t seek your fancy, they have several other challenges that you should definitely check out. Other POPSUGAR Challenges


That’s all for today but I have several phone apps that are great for keeping those New Year’s Resolutions that I’ll be reviewing over the weekend. Stay tuned!! ūüôā








New Year’s Resolutions – List of 25 Resolutions Worthy of Keeping

It’s that time of year!! Time to make a promise to yourself to improve or better your life in some way. More often than not people come up with ridiculous resolutions that they can’t keep. One of the most common failed resolutions is the classic I’m going to go to the gym everyday and lose 25 pounds. Well, the following is a list of resolutions that you will find attainable and realistic. And to help you keep one of these resolutions, tomorrow I will be reviewing¬†numerous websites and phone apps that are available to help you stick to your plan.

2016 Blog Photo.png

List of 25 Resolutions That You Can Really Keep

  1. Get more sleep


2. Cut out soda

diet coke

3. Weekly money saving challenge


4. Reduce negativity

5. Stop procrastinating

6. Meditate more or start if you don’t


7. Start a journal


8. Try a new hobby

9. Volunteer more

10. Read more books


11. Declutter

12. Drink or smoke less


13. Start juicing/detoxing


14. Drink more water


15. Read the bible daily


16. Decrease debt

17. Do a random act of kindness everyday


18. Become more organized


19. Stress less


20. Keep a gratitude list

21. Eat out less


22. Make new friends


23. Be more patient

24. Be more frugal

25. Love yourself more


Planner Obsession – Top Free Mommy Planners for 2016

planner post 2

One of the most common New Years Resolutions for mothers is becoming more organized. A mommy planner is an ideal way for mothers to plan their daily, weekly, and monthly activities. While there are many planners available to buy, there are a surprising number of FREE planners readily available on the Internet. Some of these require becoming a member of a blog, while others are instantly downloadable. I absolutely love organization tools and I love getting anything for free. While searching for my own free 2016 planner, I reviewed several different planners and other organization tools that are available for free online. My favorites are listed and evaluated below.


green child РThis is my absolute favorite planner for 2016 and is the planner I am personally using. This yearly planner includes calendars for 2016 and 2017. It includes cleaning schedules, weekly schedules, monthly schedules, meal planners, and to do lists. It also has an option of either a heart or leaf   multi-color border. It also has motivational sayings spread throughout the calendar. You must subscribe to the blog in order to download the calendar. http://www.greenchildmagazine.com/ultimate-customizable-personal-planner/













The Handmade Home РThis is another solid yearly planner. There are three themes you can choose from: floral, lemon drop, and plaid. Motivational quotes are sprinkled throughout the calendar. Sections include Year at a Glance, Contacts, Goals, Monthly and Weekly Calendars, To Do List, Budget, Cleaning Schedule, Menu and Shopping List, Chore Charts, and Lesson Plan Format (useful for teachers or those who home school). These are directly downloadable but you have to individually select each page to print so its a little tedious. http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2015/06/free-planner-2016/



design finch РThis site has a myriad of weekly based planners including to do lists, menu planners, cleaning checklists, and blog planners in a variety of styles. Highly recommend checking this site out! http://www.designfinch.com/2011/07/31/sunday-planning/



Creative Home Keeper РThis site has an awesome meal planner but you must subscribe to the blog in order to download it. The meal planner is very comprehensive and consists of several tools including a kitchen measurement and substitution chart, master shopping list, recipe cards, freezer and pantry inventories, organization sheets for fridge and freezer, and holiday planning sheets. http://creativehomekeeper.com/simplify-meal-planning-with-your-free-meal-planner/


Neat House. Sweet Home РThis site has a nice weekly meal planner and shopping list. Its formatted very logically and has a nice color scheme. http://www.neathousesweethome.com/weekly-meal-planner-free-printable/



Creative Home Keeper РThis site has a nice monthly cleaning checklist. There is a blank sheet so you can fill out additional cleaning tasks in addition to the ones already listed. http://creativehomekeeper.com/monthly-cleaning-checklist-2/



psychowith6 РThis is a nice productivity list that includes daily, weekly, and monthly sections. Nice for keeping priorities straight. http://www.psychowith6.com/wp-content/uploads/One-Thing-Productivity-Blank.pdf

IDLIZED РThis is a creatively formatted to do list and a nice change if you are bored with typical to do lists. This site also has a nice blog ideas/links worksheet. http://idlized.blogspot.ca/2012/06/trying-to-get-things-organized.html




frugality gal РThis site has a nice password keeping list. Simple but effective. http://frugalitygal.com/2015/04/free-printable-password-log.html

password keeper








Wendaful РThis site has adorable flagging stickers that you can use in your planner. You must subscribe for freebies but I highly recommend you do! http://www.wendaful.com


My Decorated Bliss РAnother site with cute stickers for mommy organization. I love hearts and these are adorable. Directly downloadable. http://mydecoratedbliss.com/?p=42


Laughing and Losing It РThis site has adorable hedgehog stickers to use with your mommy calendar. http://www.laughingandlosingit.net/free-hedgehog-planner-sticker-printable/



















Hello World

So I’m now almost 8 months into this new mommy adventure with two awesome step kids that are 10and 12 of about a year and half and my own 8 month old son who is quickly growing everyday. Basically it’s been a whirlwind crash course in how to be a mommy in a small amount of time. I just made the decision to resign from work and stay at home with the baby due to a myriad of circumstances. But I plan to use this blog to document my journeys in mommy hood as I try to retain some self identity and sanity.

A New Year

To start the year off, I’m going to blog on a series of New Year Resolution topics throughout January. Topics will include the Best Free Online Planners for Moms, Finally Getting Off the Baby Weight (this will be a 10 day series covering tools I used to lose 47lbs in 2015!!), and series of posts on Stress Reduction for Moms. The image below is a collage of some of the things I’ll be presenting this month! Stay tuned :).