Another great event to add to you list! The New Years Resolution Blog Carnival will feature many blogs (currently at 86!) offering amazing prizes. Do you have a blog? Be sure to sign up to participate in one of the first events of the new year! Eek-I can't believe it is almost 2012! As always I will highlight the sponsor as the event date approaches-this is one sponsor you do not want to miss!
As the month of Breast Cancer awareness comes to a close I wanted to highlight an organization that helps children battling with cancer. Parker Pals is a site offering aid for families that have children under the age of three battling cancer. As a mother of a toddler this cause is very near to my heart-children are so full of hope and any little bit we can do to help a child is amazing in my book. The organization helps families pay bills, maintain daily life activities (food, clothing, shelter), and provides support. The organization also provides Parker's Pails to families that provide gift cards, a camera, toys, and other essentials while the child is in the hospital. There is a simple donation tab on the website-if we all give just a little we can make a huge difference!
So I have been on my weight loss adventure for over a month and can proudly say I have lost 12ish pounds. Nutrisystem has once again managed to surprise me this week-I have tried a full seven days of new food and only found one that I did not like which is not a surprise since I am not an oatmeal fan in general but thought I would give it a shot. I also must say if you are on the plan to give the cranberry orange breakfast pastry a shot-I thought it was going to be weird but wanted to try each food and it is now my favorite food...move over chocolate chip scone you have been replaced! I had a mountain to climb this past week since the in laws were in town. I tend to stress eat and they love to eat out so mix the two and I found myself prowling the kitchen. After a day of stress eating and stepping on the scale I knew that the scale and my in laws cannot win-I have learned so much about portion control and life lessons from the Nutrisystem community and refuse to slip back in my old ways. I now know that I am the only one who controls my weight and how much I let slide-sure a few cookies can't hurt today but it leads to a life of binging on junk food. So after my revelation I have more control over what goes into my body-after all I am working so hard to feel good about myself and nobody should be able to make me doubt myself (thanks Nutrisystem pals for all your encouragement and relatable stories on the message board!) I am so excited to continue my journey...now I just have to survive the Halloween candy!
* A big thank you to Nutrisystem for providing my food in exchange for my honest opinion*
I would like to highlight one of my all time favorite sites-15dollarstore.com! Almost everything on the site is $15! Just look at this amazing cardigan-retail price $119 but you can get it for $15!
The site has everything you could possibly need for any season-shoes, handbags, coats, jeans, dresses, and on and on. I personally cannot wait to hit my goal weight-I will be able to get so many super cute clothes at an amazing price. I have my eye on this swim suite-$15 for two pieces...now I just need to hit that goal weight.
Be sure to take a look around the site there are sizes for everyone-children, men, adults. Don't forget to check out the final call and $5 sale sections-such amazing deals!
Have you heard about Kinderglo? This is a must have for anyone with small children! I like to call it a portable night light that doubles as your child's new best friend. We have a Kinderglo hippo that my daughter named squeaky that goes everywhere with us and helps me out a great deal when we travel. She is at that age where everything in the dark is scary and I did not want to use a traditional night light in her room. Little miss explorer still have a fascination with the wall sockets and I think it would be way to easy to pull a night light out of the wall and put something inside at nap time. There is a large selection of lights to choose from and each is made of soft, durable, non toxic safety approved material. The night light lasts for 8-10 hours and you can choose to either leave the light on all night or to have the light character change colors and fade off in a 30 minute time frame. Since the lights do not get hot to the touch we keep Squeaky on all night long and have not had her wake up once or cry that she sees something in her room. I also love Kinderglo because as I have said in the past we drive a ton and the light is just soft enough for her to use in the car without distracting me while I drive. I can also easily take our Kinderglo to hotels and to visit family without having to worry about not having a light in the room for my daughter. I cannot express enough how much the Kinderglo has changed our night time routine-we now hear little miss talk to Squeaky until she falls asleep instead of her crying because her room is "scary in the dark". Meet the Kinderglo characters:
Lucky us we are not the one moving but my best friend from high school will be moving out of state. Now we are all originally from Ohio and since then my husband and I have moved several times but I feel really stressed about her leaving. We are currently several hours apart but talk often-should I feel crazy about her moving? I mean it won't make a difference on how often we see one another but I still feel like she is moving to a different corner of the world! I think this week has been so stressful that I am literally making everything a project...shopping for groceries today almost brought me to tears because they did not have a tangled fruit snacks and they are little misses favorite. Ah maybe I need a vacation...next July cannot come soon enough! Well I am way off topic but we are helping her move this weekend-nothing really heavy because she found movers. Ever hear of hireahelper.com? I certainly never have but you enter your zip code and it pulls up the searches of things in your area. In all of our moves I have never had any help so I am curious how much smoother things will go since we do not have to haul out all the furniture. In our current home we brought all of our appliances and it was not fun dragging a washer/dryer down into a basement and our couch had to go in a picture window because the doorway was way to small. So I am hoping that we will get to spend some quality time together since she has some "muscle" to lift all the heavy things....maybe a little catching up is just what I need! I will be taking the weekend off-hope everyone has a relaxing fall weekend!
Ah a whole month that I actually stuck to something-thank you Nutrisystem for a grand weight loss of 11 pounds and a feeling of accomplishment. Now I have received many questions about the food and portion control so I thought I would focus on the food this week. Luckily my food arrived today so I took a short video to show the size and packaging of the food. I am very excited for this month because I get to try many new foods that I have not tried....loving the feeling of options! Now I did order a dress for my husband's holiday party and ordered a size down...eek! Am I actually going to hit my goal? Passed on this months success I am hoping that the dress will need to be taken in before the party in three months. I know several of you have wrote asking many questions about your own journey and once again I cannot stress enough the amazing support system that Nutrisystem offers. I am now over ten pounds lighter and a million times happier-I find myself making better choices because I never want to go back to the 170's. To celebrate my 10 pound weight loss Nutrisystem will send me a Nutribear that has the number 10 over his heart-no longer do I need to celebrate with food and I cannot tell you how much this little bear will mean to me! Here is to another week and another adventure-please keep the feedback coming we are all on this journey together.
A quick video on the food packaging and portion control:
*A huge thank you to Nutrisystem for providing my food in response for my honest opinion*
As many of you know I suffer from fibromyalgia. Now some days it I think that it is no big deal and I can live each day with minimal pain. Since it has been getting cold I have had a horrible time getting up in the morning and make more crackling sounds than pop rocks. I do not want to start using medication so early in life and have been looking for natural alternatives. In my search I have found the Jadience company which has a philosophy rooted in wellness. The company is based in San Diego and is an East Asian family-run business that combines the science of herbology with tightly guarded formulations that really work. The line is currently available in high end spas (Four Season, Hyatt, Marriott, Rizt Carlton, Hilton) and many natural food markets including Whole Foods. If you do not have a location near you the products are also available at health practioner offices, massage therapist, and online here. There are many products catagories avaiable includeing muscle & joint, detoz, slimming, skin & body care, and meditation. Now let me tell you about my experiance with the muscle & joint plaster kit. I can honestly say that is the best hollistic remedy I have tried to date! The kit includes plaster, patches to hold the plaster in place, and spray to use after the plaster treatment. I put the plaster on my knees, back, and shoulders and within ten minutes I felt great. It was a nice sensation and the pain seemed to melt away into the plaster. My husband also has a back injury and he placed the patch on his back and was amazed at how the pain went away within a half an hour. I love using the plaster because I do not have to take any pain medication that may make me feel groggy or just "different". Because of the huge success of the plaster I am able to live a little better quality of life-now I can't wait to try the detox and slimming kits!
It is starting to get so cold here and I need to finish my summer time room makeover project. We ended up getting most of my daughter's room complete but did not have time to replace the carpet. Because our carpet cleaner does nothing but trap dirt we need to hire a professional to get everything out and make the carpets look brand new....well maybe not brand new but at least get all of the juice and other various stains out. I have never really used a carpet service because we have always had hardwood floors. http://www.thesteamteam.com/austin-cleaning-services/ is a carpeting service I have found that has been around for more than 25 years and has amazing reviews. Best of all the price is right-affordable carpet cleaning austin is both highly recommended and affordable! I love that you can either call, email, or get a quick quote quickly. You know me I love to be able to schedule everything online and not wait on hold for hours! I am looking forward to clean carpets in no time....now I will just have to keep the "stain monster" from dragging more juice and lord knows what into her new room!
As you know I am continuing my online shopping adventure for the holidays when I stumbled upon Kudzoom. It is a great site that has daily deals on popular brands and deeply discounted prices. Right now they are offering one of my favorite brands Skidders at roughly 50% off! I also found other great labels that I did not even know existed-ah the love of shopping designer at a fraction on the price. If that is not enough for you to rush right over Kudzoom also offers free shipping on orders over $50 and a $15 credit for every friend your refer after their first purchase. Still not sure? How about a $5 credit for signing up-no catch just sign up and $5 will be credited to your account. Don't forget to register below using the rafflecopter form to win a $25 credit and start shopping now!
Prize Pack: $244 value! hello! SkinnyJeans: winner's choice of 1 pair jeans
Davey Cakes: winner's choice of 1 cupcake onsie or tshirt
Cuddle Boutique: $25 Gift Card to the store
isABelt-one product from isABelt
The Grand Prize for the Event is a Fendi Mini Beige Red Pochette Bag from Bella Bags. For every giveaway in the Fall Fashionista Event that an entrant enters, the gain one entry toward the Fendi Bag. Link To: Giveaway for Fendi bag http://stillblondeafteralltheseyears.com/?p=9539
Register below using the rafflecopter form to win a Plasma Car! A great way for kids to get from house to house on Halloween night (or anytime!). Please hop from blog to blog to win other great prizes!
What is a plasma car? Just the greatest invention of all time-really anyone with a frustrated toddler will be doing a happy dance! My daughter tries to ride a bike, tricycle, anything with pedals and always ends up on the floor throwing a gigantic fit! She cannot get that you have to push the pedals forward or that you have to keep pushing to keep going...I am sure it does not help that she is so tiny and can hardly get enough force to push once. So when I read about Plasma Cars I felt a surge of adrenalin-could it be possible a "bike" she could actually use. The Plasma Car is a crazy, amazing invention that moves forward by turning the steering wheel back and forth. When the car arrived it was very easy to assemble and came with all tools necessary-simple snap on the wheels and it as ready to go! My daughter sat down and after a few tries figured out how to make it go forward and backward. After she went to bed my husband and I both tried the Plasma Car (it holds up to 200 pounds) and it was a complete riot. I will admit we times ourselves to see who was better at the moving...I of course was the winner! The car comes in a variety of colors and has won the Fat Brain Toy Award in the Active Play Category. If you are looking for something great and different for the holidays I say Plasma Cars is a must-best of all the toy will actually grow with your child and can be used by the whole family!
I would like to highlight one of our great sponsors hello! SkinnyJeans. Now I first saw hello! SkinnyJeans on The Drs. tv show (love that show!) and I was sold right away. A pair of jeans that are not only stylish but also make you look thinner....it was amazing. So I ordered the dark denim pair and was very pleased with how the jeans are sized-my waist and height not in a generic number. When my jeans arrived they fit me perfectly because they were "made for me" so to say. I wore my jeans to girls night out and with my current weight loss and the jeans I received several compliments about looking the best that I have looked in years-ah the flattery :) Now let me tell you a little more about the jeans and why they make you look thinner: Here are my top 3
1. hello! SkinnyJeans are made of a high nylon/elastane that is exclusive to the brand. What does this mean for you? No longer do your jeans stretch and grow by the end of the day and you do not have to wash them after every wear.
2. The jeans are designed to make you have some shape! The jeans are designed to separate and slim the thighs and pushes the butt out...with my jeans I actually have space between my beefy upper legs!
3. Inseams on the jean are drawn forward which means you look like you have less area on the front of the leg. This is a huge plus for me because my thighs are what kill me when shopping for pants.
Now there are several other great ways the jeans make you look fantastic but the best part is you no longer have to worry about muffin top, plumber butt, or any other jean induced condition because hello! SkinnyJeans are medium rise! The jeans come in such a variety of sizes and lengths you really can create your very own "it jean". Happy shopping-I know you will look fantastic!
While I am posting about great gift ideas I wanted to share the link for blue sky scrubs. http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/categories/Scrubs/Scrubs-for-Women/Original-Scrubs/ . My mother in law is impossible to buy for but this year I am determined to make her say wow! She is a nurse and very difficult to buy for-it seems she has it all or does not need anything. Now one thing I have heard over the years is how she hates her work clothes. Either her pants are not big enough or very baggy. Well blue sky scrubs makes custom scrubs that are sure to make her happy. They quality will fit her better than any generic store brand and the scrubs will actually be something that she can use day in and day out. Not only will I avoid buying something that will cause clutter but I am hoping that the gift will come just in the nick of time. She has also been losing weight so I know by the holiday a new set of high quality scrubs will be perfect-finally I will be able to give a gift that does not follow with a "what were you thinking" look from the mother in law!
While searching for a few more presents online today I found an ipod touch sale. As you have read I plan on doing all online shopping this year to prevent the remorse buy. My cousin has started high school and really wants to get an ipod touch and anything else apple. I am so glad I found the comparison shopper-it charts the price history and where the best place to buy is based on price. I am so amazed at how many sites offer things like this to help the shopper (remember the how to buy a pearl site!). I think that I am more informed on how to buy electronics because I can compare everything in one place instead of relying on a person in the store to have a little bit of knowledge. I can't wait to be the best cousin ever when we go home for the holidays-I really have found some great deals online. Hope this helps some of you who are looking to start your holiday shopping-especially with some of the bigger ticket items like an ipod touch :)
As you have read I am on a weight loss adventure which means I no longer turn to processed food. Although I love eating fresh fruit and vegetables I hate going to the store three times a week. Seriously even with the produce in the crisper drawer my fruit goes bad in days-often before we get to eat everything which means we basically throw money in the trash. Then I found a great new product Bluapple! The Blueapple is a cute little blue apple that you can throw into your crisper to increase the life of your fruit or vegetables. Blueapple has been featured on The Drs (one of my favorite tv shows!) as a great product to help save families money. Did you know that the typical family throws away $600 of produce each year! Yikes I do not know about you but that could easily pay off one of our many credit card bills. We have used out Bluapple for an entire month and I can honestly say that my strawberries have lasted more than a day which is amazing! Do you want to know my favorite part of the Blueapple website-they have an area to entire when you start using the apple and they will email when it is time to replace...wonderful for those of us that tend to forget everything! Be sure to enter below-3 people will win!
So it is officially three weeks since I have started my Nutrisystem journey. This week started out a little bit rough but I finished strong and have stuck to the plan. This week I went out to eat with my husband and did not eat the food provided. Although I was cheating on the ultimate plan I found something out that night- I no longer can eat the same amount of food that got me in this mess. After a little less than half of my dinner I was full which was a great feeling and I drank water with my meal instead of an empty calorie soda. After that night I realized that I may be able to eat out and the scale won't change but I will suffer in the end because if I keep adding food I will not get to my goal as quickly. So I have not added anything else and I feel great. I plan on stepping up my exercise routine this week which has also been a little lax and losing another 10 pounds next month. It is so great to see the scale under the 170 mark- I have officially gone from 179 to 169 and my pants fit so much better! This week the food has been pretty good and one of the breakfast burritos I found to be to big for breakfast and was not able to eat the whole thing...can you imagine I used to eat so much food and now a burrito keeps me satisfied until lunch. I also love that I can eat with my family and we can all have a similar meal. For example I can make pasta for everyone and have my pasta which makes a world of difference because I do not feel left out at meal time. Nutrisystem has really been a life changer for me-I do not consider it a diet but a way to reteach myself how to live life and be healthy.
*Thank you to Nutrisystem for providing the food in exchange for my honest opinion on the program*
We are officially in the “I can do everything and I need you for absolutely nothing phase” which is wonderful and horrible all at the same time. Because my daughter has such a temper some of her “do it myself” activities cause a ton of frustration. One of these actives is feeding herself and clearing/setting the table. Now when she gets really frustrated she turns the entire plate upside down and throws it to the floor-great for the pups but not so much for our grocery bill. While at the ABC kids expo I met a wonderful company called Lil’ Diner. The company makes a great product called the Baby Diner Dish Holder that suctions both to the table and to the dish. Because the dish has two suctions you can take it with you anywhere and attach to any smooth surface. I personally find it great for restaurants since they do not give you plastic dishes....one of this days if little miss has a fit I am sure she will break a dish! So far we have used our Baby Diner at home and I have been overly pleased with the suction of the dish-I was a little skeptical if it would hold our light plastic dishes but it has held her cheap little plastic bowls and the heavy glass dinner plates. The Baby Diner Dish Holder is able to hold a variety of plates and bowls and includes clear instruction on how to make the diner work for size of plate available. The Baby Diner is also BPA free and contains no lead or phthalate. I personally think the Baby Diner is a great gift for toddlers and children just beginning to eat solids at the high chair....I only wish someone would of told me it excited when my daughter was born I could of saved several plates and my sanity!
Fall is quickly turning to winter but the weather is so crazy! We start the day at 40 and by the afternoon I am sweating from my now over dressed wardrobe. Unfortunately my daughter feels the heat way more than I do-she gets so sweaty it is out of control! Because she is still in her stroller most of the time she gets a really sweaty back from the stroller and car seat because there is no ventilation! Lucky me I found a great solution-the "Cool Mee" Seat Liner by Meeno Babies. The seat liner is universal which means I can take it from the my car seat and use it in both cars (although once you use the product I would buy one for each!) and is available for infant and toddler cars eats and strollers. The liner is also a great solution for proper padding and to reduce stains on the seat. Since we have but the seat on I feel that my daughter is cooler and when she falls asleep in the car in the sun her back is no longer drenched with sweat! Want to know where to buy your very own? The website has a great link of retailers here based on state!
Have you ever seen the amazing Miche Bags? They are great bags that allow you to change the outside of your purse with an easy magnetic cover (shells) without having to dump all of its contents into a new bag. Miche Bags can be purchased online or at home parties....I prefer the home parties because the company offers great work from home opportunities. Hostesses often get exclusive offers to certain shells and have an opportunity to earn some serious cash-you are the boss so you decide how much you work and how to book your parties. Now back to the amazing bag. The Miche bag comes in a variety of sizes with many different shells. It is so easy to buy one bag and change the outside look without having to transfer everything to a different bag. Miche now offers four sizes of bags-everything from a small bag to a large Prima Bag. I personally use the Prima Bag because it is perfect for the on the go mom-they even have a diaper bag shell! I also love how easy it is to wipe the shells clean and throw the whole base bag in the wash (my bag carries a ton of snacks so it does get messy!). Want to win? One lucky reader will a Prima Base Bag and two shells!
I cannot believe how cold it was today! The worst part of closing up the house for the winter is all the dander and dust in the house. My daughter was recently diagnosed with airway problems-similar to asthma but she is too young to call it asthma so we have to change many things. We first started by ripping up the carpeting-although I hate how cold the hard wood floors can be in the morning it was worse to see all the junk trapped in what I thought was a clean room. Our next big step is to get an air purifier. Did you know that the EPA estimates that air indoors can be five times more polluted than outdoor air? Since we live in a cold climate that means our house is closed up seven or eight months out of the year. We started our air purifier search and soon found the greatest air filter for the price- the Holmes Air Purifiers. Now we have many Holmes products in our house already so I knew that it was a brand we could trust. The air purifier uses a new aer filter system that has been proven to trap and lock 99.97% of harmful airborne allergens that are present indoors. The aer1 filter delivers 30% air quality and can effectively reduce cold and flu since the amount of germs and bacteria are reduced. The filter is available in the following options: Total Air, Odor/Pet, Allergen Remover, Germ Fighter. Based on your personal needs and the season the filter can be changed to effectively meet your specific needs. Personally I could not be any happier with our Holmes Room Air Purifier-my daughter has not had to use her action plan once since we installed one in her room! The unit is small enough to put in a corner and be out of the way and easily blends into any decor. This is a perfect addition to any home to help allergy sufferers, asthmatics, and removing second hand smoke. I love not having to dust as often and still offer my daughter a clean home with high quality air!
SmartBones are a premium no rawhide chew. The bones come in a variety of sizes and are made with real dried chicken breast. Now I have two pups-Olivia is a size pound Chinese Crested and will eat anything and everything. Suprise, Suprise she ate her bone like it was the finest thing on Earth. Now the real shocker-I have a 90 ish pound Mastiff (Blake) who will not eat ANYTHING. Let me stress this again we have to buy the tiny bags of dog food because he will change his mind so much! Once I had to soak his food in chicken broth because he was on a hunger strike. Now treats are a complete disaster. Blake will not eat any hard bones and is super picky about soft treats. He has turned up his nose to so many treats I wonder how he even survives. To my surprise when I offered him his SmartBone he sniffed it and licked it...success in my book! Then I went to put away laundry and came downstairs to him eating his bone!! I am hooked on SmartBones if they can get Mr. Picky to eat a bone they are the best in my book. Now on to the benefits of the bone: SmartBones are the first of its kind to be fortified with vitamins and minerals, chewing promotes healthy dental care, safe and rawhide free. The bones are available in a variety of sizes and flavors including chicken, peanut butter, and dental.
Teaching children about the values of green living is not very easy when not many toys are available. My daughter asks a bunch of questions about recycling and our garden but I had a hard time finding an easy way to explain things in toddler language. I knew there had to be books available to help me teach my daughter how to care for her planet-I mean there are books on everything! I then came across Little Green Books and fell in love! The books are from recycled material and explain the concept of recycling using kid friendly concepts. My daughter loves the books because they have flaps and keep her entertained. We even have a book that explains your first garden and there are tons of other themed books like The Adventures of the Plastic Bottle. Little Green Books offers tons of valuable material online as well as great presents for everyone in the family!
Looking for a great way to keep lunch fresh and money in your wallet? I found a great company called Planet Wise that focuses on green living. I love the reusable snack bags offered-everything from sandwich bags to snack bags. They offer two kinds of sandwich bags-one with a window and one sandwich wrap. The wrap is so easy to use that my two year old likes to make her own "car lunch". With the bag I now can pack my daughter a sandwich without having to cut it up into a million pieces to fit into a little bag. Best of all the bags are reusable! This means I am not only helping the environment by not throwing away a million tiny plastic bags but I am saving my money. I have washed my bags a bunch of times and they are holding up as well as the day I received them in the mail. Be sure to take a look at all the great patterns-you can be trendy and green thanks to Planet Wise!
Week two of Nutrisystem and I am down 3 more pounds! So in two weeks I have lost a total of 7 pounds-that's right 7lbs! Now some of you may say, "oh that is not so much" but if you are one of those then you have a freakishly good metabolism or have not hit the mid life everything sticks to my thighs age. This week was a roller coaster ride-I started out feeling great then I hit my first road bump.... I had snack for the week and had to make a cake for the cake walk. So a little batter would not hurt which turned into a taste of frosting and by the end of the night I felt terrible! The next day I stepped on the scale and gained the pound I tried so hard to learn. That was it I drank my full two bottles and stuck to the plan-the next day I had put on a pound and ate a cookie-epic fail! That night I wanted to go out dinner and give up all hope but my wonderful husband told me so you added a few pounds think of the 4 you have already lost-what a lifesaver! Now if you do not have someone to walk you away from the cookie jar-turn to Nutrisystem! They have a great online support team and I am sure I am not the first to stray from the path and go into a sugar frenzy. My final road bump of the week was finding a dish that I was not so crazy about but guess what I pick the food so now I know not to order the chicken dish. My upside of the week-I actually ate a candy bar/chocolate every day-Nutrisystem brand of course :) Looking forward to next week's update- I am determined to lose 3 more pounds and stay on track! Thank you everyone for all of your support-you are the greatest support team on Earth!
Thank you Nutrisystem for providing my food in exchange for my honest opinion on the program.
Trick or Treat! It’s almost Halloween, and free & frugal mommy of one has joined up with over 30 other blogs to bring you the ‘Trick Or Treat’ giveaway blog hop! Each participating blog is offering a package worth $50 or more, but, here’s the catch: You won’t know what it is, or if you’re getting a Trick, or a Treat, until you receive it! To enter for the prize package I am giving away, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below, then when you’re finished, hop on over to the other blogs and enter theirs too! Happy haunting!