Saturday, August 4, 2012

I think I can, I think I can: Weight Loss!

I am excitedly waiting on my food to arrive for my new diet/way of live, but that doesn't mean I am waiting to  take back my life.  This week I have pumped up my water intake, and finally achieved my goal on that for several days in a row.  I found a calculator on a weight loss site that takes your weight into consideration when calculating the water you need to lose weight, and mine said 16 eight oz glasses a day.

 It sounds like a ton and is.  However, I keep my water bottle that holds 3 cups with me at all times, and it has gotten easy.  I have a favorite bottle with a straw attachment that I am loving and works best for me right now, and you can read more about it in my original post!

I bought Zumba Wii game, and have used it the last two nights, and I love it.  It is hard for me, I sweat the entire workout, and I think it is working.  Regardless, it is a great workout for me at this stage in the game, I can use it when Mika sleeps, and I know it keeps my heart rate up.

The end result is that I have lost 3.4 lbs since Monday.  I am sure most of this is water, but I am owning it and happy to see results.  Mother nature is visiting me soon, so I know my weight will go up for a week or so which bums me out, but it's a fact of life, and I am hoping to stay motivated during this time!

Working out in the Cool with Zumba Wii

I love Zumba!  I fell in love with it over a  year ago when I had a gym membership in town.  It was a hard workout, I am completely uncoordinated so I probably looked hilarious trying to do it, but it was super fun.  While it was a hard physical workout for me, mentally it felt more like fun than traditional workouts feel.

The fun didn't last long. Between driving to football practice daily and sitting there for 3 hours doing homework with my other kids, blogging, keeping house, doctors appointments weekly, cooking, laundry, and a million other mom duties, I quickly found out I don't have 2 hours in a day to go to the gym.  It takes 30 minutes to drive there, 45 minutes to work out, 15+ minutes getting Mika settled in the daycare there and picking him up, 30 minutes back home.  Most days, I don't have an hour to spare much less more.  So, Matt  and I decided not to spend for the family gym membership this year and save $175 for the year.

He goes and works out on the days he works which is 3 days one week and 5 days the next, and it is free for him, so it's all good.  With the extreme Southern heat:  index 100+-108 depending on the day, I haven't had any motivation until this week to go outside and walk.  It's an excuse, I know, but I just wouldn't do it.  I am, past that now, but Mika has little toleration for this heat and walking for 50 minutes with a screaming 3 year old isn't working for me too well, even though we were trudging through.  So, my wonderful husband bought me the Zumba Wii game!


Guess what, I LOVE IT.  I can only complete the beginner level right now, and some of my moves are iffy.  However, I remember what my Zumba teacher at the gym told me.  She said that even if I can't do the moves right, just MOVE.  If I MOVE for the whole class, I am going to lose weight, even if I am not doing it right.  I may or may not ever get the rhythm, but I can have fun, and lose weight doing it!

The workout is a 20 minute dance club music routine that incorporates everything from the Cha Cha, Salsa, Merengue, Hip Hop, and more.  Each dance is 4+ minutes, and it even includes a 4 minute stretch at the end of the 20 minute workout so you don't get cramps!  There are "fireworks" at the top of the screen and they turn colors when you are getting the move right.  Or in my experience, moving in the right direction to the beat!

It incorporates your arms, legs, and has a belt I wear around my waist to hold the Wiimote so that it can keep up with my moves hands free!  At the end of the game it tells me my score which is 445 every day!  I am not sure if this is good or not, but I am covered in sweat and feel so good about completing a workout daily for the first time since I was 19, so I will take it!

I had heard people on tv "dissing" the Zumba Fitness games as not being a true workout, and if you want to lose weight not to try any Wii Fitness games.  My take is this:  that may be true if you are in better shape than I am in, but is certainly NOT my experience.  My heart rate is pounding the whole time, and I go through a 3 cup water bottle during the routine just to keep my heart rate from going too high.  I truly believe this works. The proof, you ask?  It's in the scales.  I have lost 3.4 lbs this week which is probably a combo of water intake and exercise.

This game has 3 levels of difficulty, so I will be using this for quite sometime before I buy Will Zumba 2!  All in all, it was well worth the $30 I spent for it.  Four people can play at a time, so when the kids come home, they can hook up their Wiimotes, and Zumba with me!  I bought mine at Walmart, but you can also purchase them at Amazon and Ebay as well!

Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post, and I didn't receive any compensation or product for this review.  I purchased this product, and this review is my personal, honest experience.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Organic, Fair Trade, English Tea with Two Leaves Tea Co? Win it Here

Alright, it's no secret.  I love tea.  I love sweet tea.  I love unsweetened iced tea.  I love hot tea.  Tea is one of my favorite past times.  I even have a special tea pot that I brew my tea in so I can enjoy my tea in style.  I used to own a lot more tea pots, but that's another story for another day.  Point is I love tea.  I also love organic or eco friendly products.  However, when it comes to tea, I don't often see the words organic, and I have NEVER seen a fair trade tea.

I have found a company that offers a new line of tea which boasts both:  Two Leaves Tea Co.  They are known for being pioneers in the pyramid shaped tea bag which allows room for the tea leaves to expand.  They are also known for their organic teas.  Two Leaves Tea Company's new product line, Paisley Tea Co uses traditional paper teabags, but is organic and Fair Trade Certified so people can feel great about drinking them!

The tagline is "More than one might expect,"  which rings true in many ways.  There are more bags in each box, more tea in each bag, and more flavor than in most brands.  If you are looking for more without giving up quality, then Paisley Tea Co. is definitely for you!


I currently am enjoying both the Double Earl Grey and the English Breakfast Tea.  They come in a paisley bag, which adds to the experience.  The Double Earl Grey is stronger than I typically drink, but it is still a nice tea, and is nice to drink in the mornings or after supper!  I like this tea, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a nice hot glass of tea from time to time!

You can find the Paisley Tea Co. and other flavors on the Two Leaves Tea Co website as well as Facebook and Twitter.  You can also win some of your very own!  TWO of my lucky readers are going to receive two boxes of Paisley tea each.  Just enter on the Rafflcopter form, one or more options.  Happy Sipping!

I'm Signed Up for the Soda Stream Free Blogger Op, Are you?

Jenn's Blah Blah Blog, and Diva Fabulosa are giving away a Soda Stream, and you can help them promote this giveaway!  For writing a post, you can get a free link on the Rafflecopter!  The event runs from August 20 through September 15 and  this is such a great giveaway!  I know I have been wanting a Soda Stream for quite some time now!  So if you want to participate and it is a great way to grow your numbers, then head on  over HERE  and fill out the form.  Don't forget, the post is mandatory, or you can pay to join!

I'm a Nutrisystem Blogger! #NSNation

I am so excited to announced I am now a Nutrisystem Blogger!  I have always been heavier, my entire life except for a small stint as a teenager where I was super thin wearing a size five which is tiny for my 5' 7 frame.  I ballooned to my all time highest after my 3rd child about 8 years ago, and when I moved to NC in 2007 I had lost right around 80 of those pounds.  After my 4th child in 2009, I lost another 40 lbs while nursing, but gradually that has come back on, and I am currently sitting where I was in '07:  still very overweight, but 80 lbs less than my all time high.  Although I should feel good that I am not the 350 lbs I once was, I am kinda down about the 100+ pounds I need to lose to be at a healthy weight; however, instead of being depressed, I am taking my life back with the help of Nutrisystem!

I  bought a new set of scales yesterday to ensure the best success with this journey, and I discovered my old scales were off to the tune of 9 lbs.  So, I currently weigh 279 lbs and my goal is to get around 170.  I may re-evaluate things when I reach my goal weight, but that is at the top of my "healthy weight" for my age and height.

I am excited about this opportunity and intend to incorporate exercise into my routine to really help me  take full advantage of this opportunity.  I am waiting for my first shipment of food so that I can get started on this, but in the meantime I have started my water consumption, and for the last two days I have achieved 9 eight oz glasses a day which is a first ever in my life.

My short term goal is to lose 30 lbs by January 1, which gives me a little over 4 months to lose it.  I am going to be here documenting this journey, ups and downs, the whole way, so stay tuned for my progress.  Later this week or next week, I will post pictures of me now, but I need someone to take a full length picture of me!

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting Nutrisystem

*Nutrisystem is providing me with 4 months of free food and support service as part of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger program. In exchange, I will be posting each week with my progress. All thoughts expressed are my own, and my experience using the system may vary from that of other participants.*

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How I Save Money When Shopping for a Family of Six

Just caught your attention, didn't I?  Oh, don't be shy, go ahead and admit it.  Even if you are a family of one, food is expensive and there is nothing embarrassing about saving money any way you can.  Legally, of course.

For the longest time, I relied on coupons, Triple Coupon days at Harris Teeter, and double coupons at Kroger to save my money.  I still do rely on coupons and the great sales a bit, but they are not the main way I save anymore.  Why?  Well, my family as a whole is trying to eat healthier and has made great strides in the area over the last year.  Coupons are awesome, but mostly the coupons we get in our paper aren't for healthy items.  You want Cocoa Pebbles, cookies, chips, soda, or a candy bar, then I can get it for free or almost free with my tricks.  But coconut water, quinoa, almonds, and whole wheat pasta rarely if ever have coupons.

So, I am now shopping at the big box store, Costco.  I am saving so much money buying in bulk.  I even buy my staples such as flour, agave nectar, tea and other items there, and they are way cheaper by the unit than they often are on sale at a normal store.  Not all is cheaper though:  cereal, cleaning supplies, and pet food are way cheaper on sale at the regular markets so I buy them there.

When it comes to shopping for household items, clothing, fashion, shoes, accessories and much more, I am saving money with yhoti.

I can shop for all of these items from the comfort of my home, search over 300 stores, and EARN CASH BACK while doing so.  This is a slam dunk win in my opinion any day of the week!  Check them out and see what all the buzz is about!

Disclaimer: There is an affiliate link in this post; however, all opinions expressed 100% mine and completely honest. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.

2 New Giveaway Winners!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day one of Walking-I MUST be insane!

So you may have noticed I have a new tab at the top of my page labeled Weight Loss.  It's pretty self explanatory so I won't explain WHY I have it.  You will be seeing weekly posts that will be revealed tomorrow along with other posts along the way.


I stepped up my water intake to 9-12 eight oz glasses of water a day about a week ago, and exercise is definitely the next step.  My husband goes to the gym because of his job position he has access to the gym free.  However, there just isn't time or funds for me to go to the gym, so I dusted off my snazzy walking shoes and met him at the door this morning at 6:30 when he got home from work.  I told him that he is watching my 3 year old, and off I went.

My goal was the pond and back, but when I got to the pond I felt pretty good so I kept waking to the cross roads which I regretted about half way home.  My thighs and hips were burning, my back was throbbing and I was sweating glistening which I really think is yucky.  I had to remind myself the whole way that walking is definitely better for me than sleeping, since my body which got less than 5 hours sleep was complaining loudly about this sudden change in the schedule.

My final thoughts are "YAY, I walked 4 miles in right under an hour" and "I must have lost my mind!"  I am a little unsure of why everything that is supposed to be good for us in life either hurts or tastes bad (think about it, it's true), but I need to be selfish and take this time for me.  Right now, it isn't something I look forward to, but I think in the long run I will be happier for it!  And, hopefully, I will some some great results!


Disclaimer: All credit for the above photos goes to  I do not own these pictures, and per the site terms they are free for use with a published disclaimer!

Enter to win 1 of Five Copies of The Lust Garden or $50 Amazon GC!!

With her perfectly tousled blonde hair and pink, pouty lips, Gianna Salvani is the girl everyone loves to hate. She has it all - fame, fortuneand unrivaled beauty. But behind the seductive smile is an insecure girl who still grieves for the father she lost years ago. With a controversial new film in the can, and the release of her debut album looming, Gianna ispoised to take center stage. But when a shocking secret leaves her exposed, her fame will bring her face-to-face with a nightmare she never saw coming. Because lurking in the shadow of her spotlight is an obsessed killer with plans of his own for Gianna. Ignited by his first conquest, Gianna's greatest admirer begins a brutal hunt to claim her as the ultimate trophy in a string of look-alike murders. Motivated by envy, he forces himself into her seemingly untainted world and threatens to ruin everything she's built by revealing a hidden tie that binds them. And if you knew his secret, you'd want to kill her too   Kindle / Paperback

 Billy Jolie graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Mass Communications. He lives in the Tampa Bay area. Follow him on Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Goodreads   Follow the Tour Promotional Book Tours and Billy Jolie are giving away a $50 Amazon Gc and 5 autographed copies! a Rafflecopter giveaway Brought to you by

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let the Good Times Roll this summer with Teas' Teas!

Summertime is a time for just letting the good times roll.  Things like bonfires, going to the beach, spending lazy days in the pool and amusement parks!  We recently took the kids to the beach in Georgia and had a blast.  But boy were we thirsty the whole time we were there, and even the rest of the day when we went to the aquarium.

Good thing I had some Teas' Tea with me to help quench our thirst.  For $1.99 a bottle, it is definitely a better way to hydrate than sugary sweet sodas, and Mama loves all the health benefits that come with drinking tea.  The Green White Tea is my husbands favorite because it is unsweetened and a bit milder than regular green tea.  It  contains the largest amounts of antioxidants among tea leaves.  Bottom line is it quenched his thirst while we were enjoying the waves.


The four kids and I preferred the Blueberry Green Tea.  The kids loved it because of the natural blueberry flavor, but mama loved it because it is low calorie with a light, mild flavor.  The best part is it is sweetened with natural cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup so I can feel great as a mom. 


Teas' Tea is giving away thousands of great prizes all in the Spirit of Fun, and the GRAND prize is a Toyota Hybrid Prius!   You can win things like a TREK cruiser bike, Arctic Zone Cooler, Otterbox Defender Series iPad/iPhone Case, Teas' Tea Beach Towels, Beverages, and Totes!  Entering is Easy.  Enter contest on TEAS' TEA Facebook page for a chance to win!

You can also find these and more great tea products on the Teas' Tea website, or interact socially on Facebook or Twitter.  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Cleanse Naturally with Laventine Oil Cleanser!

About two months ago or so I came across an article that talked about cleansing your face naturally with olive oil or grapeseed oil, and I became intrigued. I tried some homemade recipes to do this, and actually was pretty pleased with the results, but I felt like my skin might be missing some other ingredients it needs in the process.  I'm no doctor, so I am not sure, it's just what I thought.

So when I came across Laventine Organic Skincare online one day, I was immediately interested. They offer quite a few products in addition to a Water Soluble Facial Cleansing Oil For Normal/Dry Skin that is made from botanical oils such as lavender, fruit oils and other seed oils to gently cleanse the face.  I love that it is all natural and very easy to use.

It is an all-in-one cleanser, and you don't need to remove your eye makeup with a special remover because it all wipes off clean very easily.  It contains no artificial preservatives, no chemical detergents, and no artificial fragrances.  It has a nice citrus scent to it, and I love how it rinses off easily without leaving a greasy residue.


I am currently using the oil that is specifically for normal to dry skin, and I find that if I forget to use a moisturizer it is really not that big of a deal because the cleanser moisturizes so well.  Of course I try hard to remember, but there are just some nights that my routine is interrupted by a fussy 3 year old, and I never get back to what I was doing.  Such is the joy of motherhood.

All in all, I really like this cleanser because it incorporates lavender and fruit oils which are not only great for my skin but add such a nice scent to my wash!  Plus, lavender is soothing so it also helps relax me in the evenings.  You can find this product along with many others at the Laventine Organic Skincare website.


Disclaimer:    Laventine Organic Skincare provided me with free sample(s) of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.