Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Struggles and a Fun Update.

I get so frustrated with how expensive it is to eat healthy. We are a working middle class family living on one income. Our bills are paid, but we don't usually have a lot of money for extra things and lots of fun stuff. Since we've started making healthier choices, our grocery bill has gone up significantly. It's just not fair that anything that is good and healthy for you is so much more expensive than the crappy $1 cheeseburger you can get on a value menu. No wonder most Americans are obese.

Luckily, my in-laws have a small garden and they grow a lot of vegetables that we eat. The butter lettuce has been my favorite thing that they've grown this year. That's saved a lot. One head of that at Walmart is close to $4. The bagged stuff always goes bad within a day or 2 and that is usually $3.

Ground turkey isn't too awfully expensive, considering I'm the only one in the house that is eating it right now (still haven't got my husband on board with that).

We've just been a little strapped lately and I haven't been able to get everything I need at the store for my healthier recipes, so I've been slacking a little with my healthy options. I've done good and not opted for any fast food though. I'm sticking to that! I've just had more carbs than I've needed over the past few days and I'm feeling guilty about it. I did great with the first 10lbs, and I'm kind of just maintaining that loss and not losing any more. I haven't been to the gym as much as I was the first month, but I am keeping up with doing workouts at home. I am working out a minimum of 4x per week whether I make it to the gym or not.

So in other news, we have a major film currently filming in Knoxville right now. It is called Dog Years, starring Burt Reynolds, Ariel Winters (freaking Sofia the First and Alex Dunfee!! lol) and Chevy Chase. I have a friend who is an actor and he was helping out a friend to get extras for the film. I thought it sounded fun, so I sent in my info and I WAS PICKED! I know being an extra doesn't seem like anything big, because I mean who really pays attention to those people, right? BUT, I am super excited about it. I go to film Friday, so I will be sure to do a YouTube video about my experience - I'll try to film there as much as I can, or just vlog about it later. My best friend got picked as well, so at least I'll have someone to talk to and spend time with.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lifestyle Changes and Turkey Meatballs.

I feel like I always start off my blog posts with "It's been too long since I've updated this, and I promise to update more". I really mean to, but life happens. 

Ava is 3 now. She is a firecracker and keeps me on my toes daily. She knows her alphabet, colors, counts to 20, knows all her body parts, days of the week, our names, her name and can even write her name now! She is blossoming into a wonderful little lady. I'm still staying at home with her, but I am considering the possibility of looking for a part time job with few hours a week now that my mother in law has decided to retire. She has always kept Ava for me when I needed her to, and I am so thankful for that. Now since she will be free a lot more, I am thinking about finding something close to her to maybe work just a few days a week (no more than 5 or 6 hours).

I've recently joined a gym and started a whole lifestyle change, basically. I'm eating healthy, working out, and I feel better than I ever have. Things are going well! I wanted to share a recipe for some wonderful turkey meatballs I tried this past week. Check out my YouTube channel for more healthy meal videos and my weekly vlogs about my health and fitness!

Turkey Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp himalayan sea salt (or regular salt, if you don't have this)
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp Ms. Dash
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1 large egg
1/2 cup quick or rolled oats
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp tomato sauce (no sugar added)

Preheat oven to 400. Mix all ingredients together. Roll into 1" balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for about 20 minutes. Makes about 20-25 (depending on size). I keep the remaining tomato sauce (from the can I opened to get my 2 tbsps) and just place the meatballs in that sauce or drizzle it over them so they remain moist. *Tip: Use a small spoon or scoop to make sure the meatballs remain a consistent size.

Here is the link to the meal prep trays that I use to prep my healthy lunches for the week:

*This blog post contains affiliate links

Monday, May 18, 2015 Review

Hey everyone! I am excited about this post today.

A company called reached out to me and asked if I would do a review on one of their products. I followed their instructions, and I received my package via UPS today.

It came packaged very well and secure within the interior of the box. It was attached to a piece of cardboard with plastic around it. I was also provided with tracking information.

I chose a photo collage of 3 prints of bridges in Central Park in NYC. It has special meaning to me because Josh and I went to NYC for our honeymoon. The prints are sepia tone. The frame is black with a white matte on the inside. The prints are clear and very detailed. The frame is sturdy. It came with instructions on how to hang the picture (I didn't see them while filming the un-boxing video) and hardware attached to the back. I haven't hung this up on the wall yet, because we are still deciding where to hang it. Maybe in our bedroom for now, but it will for sure go in the basement when we finish it this summer (fingers crossed). Here is the link to the actual picture I chose. has an excellent selection of artwork to choose from - from movie posters to nursery decor, they've got you covered. I love that you can also personalize your matte and frame to meet your decor needs. The search options available on the website are excellent. If you're looking for a certain size, or even just a black and white photo, they make it so easy. I had such a hard time finally choosing what piece I wanted! I am so happy with this. I hope you check them out the next time you're in the market for a nice piece of artwork.

**I received this product for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be informational to my visitors.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

fun in the sun.

It is finally time for warm weather, which means lots of playing outside in our future! We pulled out the water table yesterday and stayed outside almost all day long! I pulled out the patio umbrella and we even grilled hamburgers last night. So much fun! I was able to do a little work on my newsletter for Young Living Essential Oils and even had someone call me to ask to questions and find out how they could get their Premium Starter Kit. I feel so blessed that my name is getting out there and that people know to call me. I've never been successful in these types of things, but this is coming so naturally to me, and it makes me happy!

I am doing my 3rd vendor event this coming Saturday at the Thorn Hills and Hollers Day. Lots of vendors will be set up, plus there will be food and music - and I have friends and family who will be there as well, so it will be a great day! I will be selling home made sugar scrubs, bath salts and oatmeal face masks as last minute Mother's Day gifts.

Speaking of Mother's Day... it's always a hard day for me. I'm glad that I have a lot going on this weekend to keep my mind off of things. Since my mother died when I was 3 of cancer, I've never enjoyed this day. Having Ava has made it much less depressing, but I still get a little down when I really sit and think about it. Seeing all the pictures of everyone with their mother just breaks my heart a little that my mom isn't here to share this day with me, see how I grew up and watch her granddaughter grow and thrive. I know she can see me, and is always with me, but I wish I could just sit and talk to her and hug her. I have only 2 memories of her, and I cherish those and play them over and over in my head so I won't ever forget. My best friend lost her mother in a car accident when she was 15, so I do have someone who can empathize with me. I hate that we both lost our mothers, but I'm glad to have someone to talk to who understands.

Ava had her 2.5 well visit today, and she did so much better with the Dr. than she has in the past. She did cry when the nurse came out to the lobby and when we did her height and weight, but she didn't cry at all when the Dr. came in. I was so happy! Normally she has a crying fit and nearly hyperventilates because she doesn't like people she doesn't know touching her. She was still very nervous, but there was no crying and screaming. I was actually able to talk to the Dr. instead of screaming over Ava. It was nice. She is doing a lot better with her size. She is still petite, but we have moved up to 18% in weight and 2% in height. She was very impressed with her speech and how well she spoke. She did say we are ready to see a pediatric dentist, and that frightens me, because I already anticipate her being inconsolable. We will cross that bridge when we get there.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Citrus Burst Body Wash.

I've been waiting on that perfect recipe for some good body wash that lathers really well (hard to do with castile soap), smells great, and makes you feel nice and soft afterward. After playing around, I finally perfected it! Since I typically shower in the morning, I thought a good Citrus blend would be great at waking me up. I was right! This stuff smells awesome!

What you'll need:

  • A glass bottle to keep your body wash in. Citrus oils are so potent that they will eat through plastic. They will also leach any toxins out of it. I opted for an olive oil bottle found at Walmart for under $3. It doesn't have a lid you need to worry about opening, and is small enough to sit on the corner shelf of my shower.
  • 8oz. Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap (I use Baby Mild)
  • 20 drops Vitamin E Oil
  • 4 tsp. Vegetable Glycerine
  • 40 drops Young Living Orange Essential Oil
  • 40 drops Grapefruit Young Living Essential Oil

 I just started out with putting in the castile soap, then added all of the other ingredients, saving the essential oil for last. Once everything was added in, I shook it up really well. The vegetable glycerin is the secret to the suds. I really need things to lather for me to feel like they are getting me clean. This worked with my body poof, but I think a sponge would be even better. I'll be getting one of those to use with this body wash my next grocery shopping trip. Just plan on shaking it up a little to get everything mixed well before each use. This is such a better, natural alternative to store bought body wash - no chemicals!

Comment below with a review if you make this. I'd love to hear how everyone else likes it!