Mommy’s Wish List/Products I love

I’m not sure about you, but whenever I go out, I swear I find things I want to buy and then I put it back and buy something for my kids. I feel guilty everything I pick something up to buy and I almost always put it back. Again, I either live at Target, Costco, or Amazon. I love making lists, especially wish lists. Here are a few must-have’s for mama’s! Oh yeah and Howie, if you’re reading this, these are some great idea’s for Mother’s Day, my birthday, and just because hahahah! It’s very random and in no particular order…I keep adding, so keep checking back =)

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Things

VicTsing 300ml Cool Mist Humidifier Ultrasonic Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser for Office Home Bedroom Living Room Study Yoga Spa – Wood Grain

The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day

Swimline Suntan Tub a pool must!!!

Bluetooth Headphones Over Ear, Mkay Wireless Stereo Headset with Deep Bass, Foldable & Lightweight, Perfect for Cell Phone/TV/PC and Travelling (Rose Gold)

LEVOIT Kana Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp Pink Crystal Hand Carved Hymalain Lamps with Real Rubber Wood Base, Dimmable Touch Switch, Holiday Gift (UL-Listed, 2 Extra Original Bulbs Included)

doTERRA Petal Diffuser

doTERRA AromaTouch Technique Kit

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine Bundle – Heat Transfer, Vinyl Pack, Tools Pens & Designs

Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine, White– I sleep like a baby (not really since my kids are up every 2 hours)

doTERRA – Balance Essential Oil Grounding Blend – Promotes Relaxation, Tranquility and Balance, May Help Ease Anxious Feelings; For Diffusion or Topical Use – 15 mL

Food/Kitchen

ONE Protein Bar, Maple Glazed Doughnut, 12 Pack, Gluten-Free Protein Bar with High Protein (20g) and Low Sugar (1g), Guilt Free Snacking for Healthy Diets These are TO DIE FOR!

SkinnyFit Detox Tea: Cleanse with All-Natural, Laxative-Free, Green Tea Leaves, Nettle Leaf, Ginseng, 28 Servings – A Slimming Way to Release Toxins for Weight Loss, Reduce Bloating, Boost Metabolism

Perfect Keto Chocolate Protein Powder: Collagen Peptides Grassfed low Carb Keto Drink Supplement With MCT Oil Powder – Best as Keto Drink Creamer or added to Ketogenic Diet Snacks. Paleo & Gluten Free

Perfect Keto Protein Powder Vanilla: Grass Fed Collagen Peptides Low Carb Keto Drink Supplement With MCT Oil Powder – Best as Keto Drink Creamer or added to Ketogenic Diet Snacks. Paleo & Gluten Free

Perfect Bar Variety Pack, Whole Food, 12-15g Protein, Organic Superfoods, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Peanut Butter & Almond Butter Based Flavors, 8 Bars LOVE THESE!

GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Programmable Air Fryer with 8 Cook Presets, GW22638

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker by De’Longhi, Red

Mom Fuel in Rose Gold Metallic Vinyl on a 22oz White Powder Coated Stainless Steel Tumbler

Hamilton Beach 70730 Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper with Bowl Scraper, 10 Cup, Electric

Taco Bell Fire Sauce 7.5oz Bottles (pack of 3)

Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend 2.3 Oz

Puroast Low Acid Coffee House Blend Decaf Ground,12 oz. Bag (Pack of 2)

FIRE CIDER Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Tonic | Original | 16 oz

Starbucks Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup (1-L.)

Clothing

LUKYCILD Women Sexy Strap Backless Summer Beach Party Romper Jumpsuit

T Shirt Dress for Women Mini Dress Summer Tunic Top – USA

Relipop Women Summer Floral Romper Casual Sleeveless Party Evening Mini Jumpsuit

90 Degree By Reflex Women’s High Waist Athletic Leggings with Smartphone Pocket

Yogalicious High Waist Ultra Soft Lightweight Leggings –  High Rise Yoga Pants

Aurorax Women’s Casual Maxi Short Sleeve Split Tie Dye Long Dress, Beach Dress V Neck Side Dress

Sanuk Women’s Yoga Chakra Flip-Flop

YONYWA Women’s Sexy Ruffle Short Sleeve Mini Dress Crewneck Crepe Shift Dress

Felina Women’s Lace Racerback Bralette. Color Black, Grey. Size: Small.

Calvin Klein Women’s 3 Pack Carousel Bikini Panty, Black/White/Grey Heather, Small

Tutorutor Womens Ruffle Bikini Triangle Padded Bathing Suits Cute Two Piece Swimsuits

SOLYHUX Women’s Sexy Flower Print Ruffle Strap Triangle Bikini Set Swimwear

CUPSHE Fashion Green Shade Lace Stripe One-Piece Swimsuit Beach Swimwear Bathing Suit (S)

Beauty

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara 0.27 Ounce Full Size

CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Hairstyling Iron, 1.25 Inch, 1.4 lb.

Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment, 2.8 Oz

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap – Lavender, 5 Oz (6 Pack)

ORIGINS Plantscription SPF 25 Power Anti-Aging Oil-Free Cream 1.7 oz.

CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50 2 oz with Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide and Ceramides for Broad Spectrum Sun Protection

Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo 1 Liter/33.8oz and Conditioner 1 Liter/33.8oz

EAU Gucci Guilty Eau De Toilette Spray for Women, 2.5 Ounce

Wet Brush 2 Piece Original Detangler Hair Brush, Pink and Purple

Fitness

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos, Original (13-inch), Black

Fitbit Versa Smartwatch, Black/Black Aluminium, One Size (S & L Bands Included)

Strong by Zumba High Intensity Cardio & Tone 60 min Workout DVD featuring Michelle Lewin

Fitbit Versa Smartwatch, Peach/Rose Gold Aluminium, One Size (S & L Bands Included)

NUTRI FIT Digital Kitchen Scale with Dough Scraper, High Accuracy Multifunction Food Scale with Fingerprint Resistant Coating,Tare & Auto Off Function Red

Garmin Forerunner 235 – Frost Blue

ThermoFlask Stainless Steel 40-Ounce Water Bottle (Light Blue/Black), 2-Piece

BalanceFrom GoYoga All Purpose High Density Non-Slip Exercise Yoga Mat with Carrying Strap, 1/4″, Black

3 Week Yoga Retreat Workout Program (DVDs) – Learn Yoga at home in 21 Days

FOCUS T25 Shaun T’s NEW Workout DVD Program—Get It Done in 25 Minutes

 

 

Hot Toddler Items

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Amazon is my best friend. Thank God I don’t have a credit card with them, because I live on Amazon. If I’m not at Target, I’m on amazon. I love that you can just search ANYTHING you need or want and boom, it’s there. Here is a list of must haves for your toddler! I consistently add to this list so keep checking back!

Food

Neat Solutions Neat-Ware Table Topper Disposable Stick-on Placemats – 60 Count

Bentgo Kids – Leak-Proof, 5-Compartment Bento-Style Kids Lunch Box – Ideal Portion Sizes for Ages 3 to 7 – BPA-Free and Food-Safe Materials (Green)

CamelBak eddy Kids 2-Pack Waterbottle, Blue/Grass, 4 L

CamelBak eddy Kids Bottle, Glitter Rainbows.4 L

Lotoii Galaxy Mini Frog Silicone Placemat and Plate, 3 Compartments, Non-slip Waterproof, Suction, Roll up with Travel Bag, Fits Highchair Trays, Dining Tables, FDA Approved, for Babies, Kids (Blue)

Guidecraft Contemporary Kitchen Helper – White: Adjustable Height Wooden Baking Tower, Folding Step Stool For Toddlers, Little Kids Learning Furniture

Gadgets/Necessities

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, White

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat, Gotham, One Size

Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow With Pillowcase 14×19 White

Little Tikes Rainbow Unicorn 4 Piece Toddler Bedding Set, Pink

BOB Revolution Flex Jogging Stroller, Black

Summer Infant My Size Potty – Training Toilet for Toddler Boys & Girls – with Flushing Sounds and Wipe Dispenser

Travel Potty Chair

Milliard Memory Foam Crib Mattress Topper – For Standard Cribs and Toddler Beds

Baby Banz Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection – Ages 0-2+ Years – THE BEST EARMUFFS FOR BABIES & TODDLERS – Industry Leading Noise Reduction Rating – Soft & Comfortable – Baby Ear Protection

Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine, White

SOBETTER- Essential Oil Diffuser Portable Ultrasonic Diffusers Cool Mist Humidifier with 7 Colors LED Lights Waterless Auto Shut-off Changing for Home Office Baby

Cosmetics/Medications

Honest Conditioning Detangler, Sweet Orange Vanilla, 4 Ounce

Zarbee’s Naturals Toddler Multivitamin Gummies, Ages 2-4, Natural Fruit Flavors, 110 Count

Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo – Natural Essential Oil Anti-Dandruff Shampoo For Dry Itchy & Flaky Scalp – Anti-fungal & Anti-Bacterial – Sulfate Free Hydrating Cleanser – Prevent Head Lice & Thinning Hair

Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Gummies, Herbal Supplements with Vitamin C and Zinc, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, 60 Gummies

i-Health Culturelle Probiotics for Kids, 30 Count

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap – Lavender 5oz. (Pack of 6)

Shea Moisture Kids Curl & Shine 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner 8oz

The Honest Company 12 fl. oz. Honest Hand Soap in Lavender Field

Tom’s of Maine Anticavity Fluoride Children’s Toothpaste, Silly Strawberry, 4.2 Ounce, 3 Count

Honest Hand Sanitizer Grapefuit Grove 2 0z.

Toys

CleanSmart Toy Disinfectant Spray – No Rinse, No Wipe, Kills 99.9% of Germs, Bacteria, Viruses, Fungus, Mold, Leaves No Chemical Residue. 16oz, 2 Pk. Great for mouth toys!

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table Playset

Sorbus Kids Foldable Teepee Play Tent Playhouse Classic Indian Style Play Tent and Carry Bag, Walls with Door, Window and Floor (White and Gray)

Best Choice Products 12V Ride On Car Truck w/ Remote Control, 3 Speeds, Spring Suspension, LED Light Black

Learning Resources Jumbo Magnetic Uppercase Letters, 40-Piece

Skywalker SWTC17BWS Oval Trampoline and Enclosure with Wind Stakes (17-Feet)

Square Canvas Toy Storage Bins Basket with Handle Collapsible Toy Organizer for Nursery Storage, Kid’s Toy & Laundry, Gift Baskets (Geometric)

Bubble Machine | Automatic Durable Bubble Blower for Kids | 500 Bubbles per Minute | Simple and Easy to Use

Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic

Strider – 12 Sport Balance Bike, Ages 18 Months to 5 Years, Green

Radio Flyer Classic Red Dual Deck Tricycle

Step2 Little Helpers Kids Shopping Cart

Melissa & Doug Safari Social Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle (24 pcs, 2 x 3 feet)

Step2 Naturally Playful Kids Picnic Table With Umbrella

Stearns 3000004732 Puddle Jumpers

Step2 Play and Store Sandbox With Cover

BigMouth Inc Happy Rainbow Lil’ Water Float with Glitter Inside – Pool Float for Infants and Kids Ages 1-3, Perfect for Beginner Swimmers, Easy to Inflate and Durable

Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool, 62″ X 62″ X 48″, for Ages 2+

Summer must reads 2018

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#teachermomlife 

Healthy Body, Healthy Soul

It took me along time to make health a priority and a habit, but I feel as if I am good enough at it to give advice. Please note that anything in this blog is not a prescription or permission to do any of the following, but just some tips and advice that have helped me achieve my goals and get off my ass. One should always consult a physician before starting or experimenting with anything new.

  • Find a program that works for you. In previous posts, I wrote about Isagenix, a nutritional cleansing program that focuses on cleansing things and fat from the body. The products range from a variety of protein shakes, bars, herbal supplements, to recovery drinks and skin care. It’s a steep program, but if you follow it to the T, you are guaranteed results. This program worked wonders for me from the inside out. When I was struggling with anxiety and depression and at my heaviest, which really isn’t crazy but I felt disgusting in my own body, I decided to jump on the 30 day bandwagon and I freaking rocked it. It was hard work, but to me it was worth the $350 to feel amazing, energetic, light, and happy. I am the type of person who when I feel happy, I feel invincible. People always question how someone can fast, or why it costs so much money, or how can you guarantee you will keep the weight off. The answer is simple. It’s up to you to know what your body needs to feel good. Isagenix taught me that. No, I didn’t have to pay $350 per month, but you better believe I have a shake or 2 almost every day, even when I was pregnant. The best part of Isagenix is that anyone can have it- kids, breastfeeding mamas, pregnant mamas, skinny people, etc. Some products are prohibited depending on your condition, but I can’t praise this program enough. The point? Find something that works for you- you don’t need to dive deep into a weight loss program. But know that you are important enough to spend that- which really isn’t a lot because you are saving money on everything else you may splurge on- Dunkin, Starbucks, fast food, snacks.
  • Wear a fit bit. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing. I love seeing how much deep sleep I get, seeing a fitness score, seeing my resting heart rate, seeing how many steps I take a day, etc.
  • Intermittent Fasting- I swear by this!! I just learned about it this year. This has literally saved my life. I learned about it briefly from someone at work, but secretly judged her because how the hell can someone fast? I am still nursing my 14 month old, so I felt like this was totally out of the question, but when I learned more about it, asked my doctor questions, and researched the shit out of it, I decided to give it a try.Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. Here are a few links that helped me. Here are a few links that help me navigate and understand intermittent fasting. http://burnfatnotsugar.com/assets/if.pdfhttps://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting/https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-intermittent-fasting-might-help-you-live-longer-healthier-life/
  • Run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon. Set a goal for yourself and train. You will feel amazing. I was never a runner, but when I commit my mind to something, I will get it done for me. While training can suck and each mile hurts more and more, you realize how much strength you really have and that does something to you. It built my confidence, became a habit, a healthy obsession- my, myself, and the pavement. I swear I can feel the endorphins seep out of my brain haha.
  • Download myfitnesspal- again, like the Fitbit, this can be either good or bad. Caution: you may become obsessed if you have an obsessive personality like me. I recommend it, but in moderation. Just see how many calories your baseline consumes. It may surprise you. Maybe you need to eat more, or less, or more nutrient dense foods. You can even measure your macros- carbohydrate, protein, and fat run down.
  • Get a RENPHO scale. ABYON Bluetooth Scales Digital Weight and Body Fat Scale – Body Composition Analyzer with Cell Phone APP- Wireless Digital Bathroom Smart BMI Scale,396 lbs This smart scale measures your weight, BMI, body fat, body water, skeletal muscle, muscle mass, bone mass, protein, metabolic age, and more! It can be scary at first and most people probably don’t want to see the results, but how the hell will you make a change if you don’t know what you’re up against? This scale links to Fitbit or your phone to help with accuracy.
  • HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE. I found this random chart on a website that kind of gauges how much water we should drink. I bought a thermoflask water bottle and I just keep drinking and refilling. I don’t really keep count. There are apps that track your water consumption, but I track enough!
  • Demographic Daily recommended amount of water (from drinks)
    children 4–8 years old 5 cups, or 40 total ounces
    children 9–13 years old 7–8 cups, or 56–64 total ounces
    children 14–18 years old 8–11 cups, or 64–88 total ounces
    men, 19 years and older 13 cups, or 104 total ounces
    women, 19 years and older 9 cups, or 72 total ounces
    pregnant women 10 cups, or 80 total ounces
    breastfeeding women 13 cups, or 104 total ounces

    Move ya body, girl..or guy! Whether it’s a walk, a run, dancing in the kitchen with your kids, try to move your body. Go to yoga once a month (it’s all I can afford), or join an exercise class. Or just take a walk after dinner. MOVE!

  • Take your vitamins- We all lack some sort of nutrient and if we eat healthy, we usually don’t need to supplement with vitamins. But if you know what you’re lacking, take the appropriate vitamin. For example, I still take prenatal vitamins because I am nursing. I have a friend who is very tired in the afternoons and needs extra vitamin B.
  • Get blood work- It could be for a physical or just because you are entitled to your request blood work. Get it done and don’t be afraid of the numbers. Your cholesterol may be high or maybe your prediabetic. You need to understand these numbers really before making any big changes.
  • Join a group- support group, exercise group, boot camp class, zumba class, a dance class. I joined a cool mom blog online and we are all still very active in the group. I love asking questions and getting such great advice from new and experienced mamas. I teach a zumba class and it’s not for the money. It’s for the friendships I’ve made and the sanity of other’s who don’t really know me outside of zumba.

These are just some tips that have helped me become successful in my mind, body, and soul. I have never felt healthier and happier. I have shit in my life, believe me. I am not perfect and these feelings didn’t happen overnight. It took me a while to get here and I feel like I am always growing and changing. Let’s build each other up more and stop tearing each other down. Tell someone they are beautiful, give positive affirmations. Don’t be afraid to dig deep within your soul and find what makes you happy and feel healthy. It might be ice cream or fries in that ONE moment, but overall. What makes you happy? What makes you have a healthy body and healthy soul? Tell me some of your tips and tricks!

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Get off your ass, Do it for YOU

Surprise, surprise, here is yet another post about taking care of YOU. I am very passionate about this topic, but I can tell you, it is NOT easy. There are many barriers, especially when a mom, that prevent you from taking care of you- kids, lack of sleep, work, staying on top of chores and bills, time or lack thereof, etc. Even people who aren’t mamas have this barrier.

I have been sitting on this topic for a while and I just got finished reading, “Girl, Wash Your Face,” by Rachel Hollis and I will say, it is a MUST READ. In this particular post, I want to talk about doing things for you, summer reading recommendations, fitness, and everything between. Usually I would post one post per topic, but since it’s summer and I have it OFF and my kids are in daycare full time, my mind is wide open and I am able to focus on me. After all, most of my blog in general is about motherhood and self care.

I used to have severe anxiety- not the kind that made me want to stay inside and never come out. Not the kind that I thought I was going to die. But the kind where I was in a rush for everything in my day, whether it was rushing to pee, rushing to be on time, rushing to get the food shopping done, etc. I didn’t even have kids at this time. Where the hell did I get all this anxiety and I would admit some depression? Honestly, past experiences, genes, environment. I was mid grad school and I just broke up with my “person”- MY actual best friend person. He was my world and when he cheated on me, it rocked everything I ever believed in. It actually stripped some of my soul and made me re-evulate myself and what love really was. It’s like when you were growing up and all you knew was your family, your house, your culture. I didn’t really know what else was out there because I thought he was IT. I thought we would get married and have kids and live this perfect life that I had already made up in my head. WRONG. This is where I keep messing up in life. I keep having these visions of the way things are supposed to be, but NOPE. Only God knows the plan and whether you’re religious or not, I firmly believe that you are where you are for a reason.

 I don’t believe everything happens for a specific reason, but I do believe it’s possible to find purpose even in the absence of any explanation.- Rachel Hollis

Life has a way of working itself out, but you need faith. I somehow found faith and purpose through the heartache and I plowed my way through grad school with a 4.0, all while making $12/hr. at a group home that stole my heart. Love you Talmadge boys. This isn’t a huge heartache to most, but I use it here because this was the experience that opened my eyes and allowed me to discover who I really was. Not high school Tracy, or college Tracy, but ME. I started running, not eating better just yet, but I ran off the anxiety and extra energy and I started to feel amazing. At the time, I was on Atenelol, Zoloft, Prozac, Welbutrin, Clonipin- you name it, I tried it. I had tachycardia and I ate too much cake, but I just ran it off. As time went on, I started eating better and reading more. “Eat to fuel your body.” “Would you feed your kids that?” “God made you a body to use, not abuse.” I kept hearing these quotes and thought, I need to stop. I need to stop binge eating. Okay, so I overthought everything and tried to plan my life before it happened- strike 1. I binge ate NIGHTLY- strike 2. As my bff from work always said, “Get it together, STAT!” I started to become a little obsessed with tracking my food, my workouts, find half marathons, train for them, become OCD with getting enough steps, and so on. I even did the whole diet pill thing, but that was in high school. I just broke up with my best friend, trying to find my place in life and the career world, and now I am trying to eat healthy and do me.  Jesus, Tracy, slow down. But honestly, I plowed through that, messy and all, and here I am….I am 33 years old and I am so damn proud of myself and my body. I don’t eat healthy to be skinny, but I do all these things because it makes me feel amazing and when I feel amazing, I can conquer ANYTHING! I hear so many people complain about gaining weight, feeling anxious, feeling tired and sick, feeling like they have no energy, feeling depressed, etc. I have been there, but let me tell you. NO ONE WILL FIX THIS except for you. Get off your ass and do it. Train your mind. Do what makes you feel good, but be mindful when you’re doing it. Who cares if you aren’t rich and can’t afford to eat all healthy. Who cares if you aren’t a runner. I was NEVER a runner, but once I trained my mind to conquer goals I wanted to accomplish, I committed/obsessed (haha). There are ways around it. Who cares if you are too tired, stop making excuses.

When you really want something you will find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse.- Rachel Hollis Girl, Wash Your Face

I hear it over and over and over. I am too tired. I’m scared. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have a treadmill. I didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t have enough money to eat healthy. I have too many things going on. BLAH FREAKING BLAH. I am the master of self-doubt- STRIKE 3. I compare, I lack self-confidence, I self-doubt as a coping mechanism over and over again to the point of making myself actually believe it. And when you keep coming up with excuses as to why you don’t want to GET STARTED with happiness in your life or make a change, then you start to believe it and it becomes a habit. YOU ARE AMAZING. So what? Your family has a history of Diabetes, being overweight, maybe cancer, or Alzheimer’s- beat it. Research about it and beat it. Be strong enough to overcome those obstacles. It may take you months, years, decades- but don’t give up. Maybe your dream is to run a marathon or eat better. Maybe you want to be a nurse but you already have your masters in education- DREAMS and GOALS don’t have an expiration date. Getting off your ass could just mean dedicating 10 minutes daily to meditation or looking up healthy foods. It doesn’t happen overnight. But once you make a habit of it, it becomes part of your life and your routine.

Things that have helped me reach my goals and BE HAPPY- letting go of the things I can’t control-

  1. Changing up my tribe. Have you ever heard the quote, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” OR “You become who you are friends with.” Be friends with all colors of life. Extend your tribe. Find other people like you and not like you.
  2. Staying true to my roots and stop apologizing for it. I have recognized that I am human and will feel a million emotions AND I won’t be sorry for it. Take it or leave it. I am full of energy (thanks Dad), but I have found my outlet and I won’t apologize for being me.
  3. Make a list of all the goals you have accomplished. Small and big. You will surprise yourself. When you start to feel down, go back to it.
  4. Make sure you have a person (Love you, Stephanie). That person will never ever judge you or make you feel small. I tell this person almost everything and I know she will always be there for me. Remember too, quality is better over quantity. I used to be so jealous of people who had millions of friends.
  5. Practice self care. SCHEDULE you time, especially if you have kids. Once a week, once a day, whatever fits in your schedule, make time for you. I run almost everyday, sometimes slow for my mind or fast for training. I am extremely blessed and grateful to have summers off, so I commit to laying by the pool, reading as many books as I can.
  6. Which brings me to my next tip- STOP feeling guilty.
  7. Track your food and workouts/eat healthy. Tracking my food using myfitnesspal helps me, but it’s not for everyone. I also intermittent fast–> coming up in my next blog post. Stay tuned. I also love my FITBIT.
  8. I won’t even touch on getting enough sleep because that’s a sore subject for me having 2 kids 3 and under. Remember to rest.
  9. DRINK WATER WATER WATER. My husband and I went to Costco and got these amazing Thermoflasks that can help track your water and keep it cold.
  10. Write, write, write- whether it’s a blog, a journal, the notes section in your phone. Write down your feelings OR just talk out loud. I always talk to God in my car haha. He listens and I feel better. Win win.

Dear reader,

STOP feeling bad for yourself. Medication can help, but it doesn’t fix the underlying problem. It’s a band-aid for the right now. My medication is sweating it out, dancing, teaching zumba, running, yoga- anything that gets the heart pumping. My husbands’s medication (even though he actually might need some, but that’s for another time and place) is chasing his dreams and smashing his goals AKA building his dream barn in our backyard and working out. Time can be a barrier, but this kid doesn’t sit down for a second because he will make sure he has enough time for those things.

Do it for YOU. God made YOU the way you are. You are wired to succeed and feel happy, but there will be obstacles, strike outs and barriers along the way. It’s up to you how to dodge them.

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Isa Mama

I’ve always been a smaller person, but I’ve also struggled with confidence and self-perception my whole life. I was very skinny as a little one, but then as I got older I was a cheerleader and started to bulk up and become muscular. It was never enough for me though. I felt “too fat” or “didn’t even big enough boobs.” My legs felt too big and then my stomach felt fluffy, etc. Cheerleading in college was exceptionally hard, especially because I was the one they would throw in the air. It was such a hard position to be in because I felt like I constantly needed to lose weight, all while being in college. Thankfully, I was never a big drinker, but I loved my Ramen Noodles and More Than Pizza (those of you who went to Southern know what’s up).

Fast forward and I am out of college and grad school. I am done cheerleading and I actually felt like I was thinning out because I was losing muscle. When you just get out of college in the real world, there are still things that are hard to understand- like it’s better to have muscle than not have muscle, that being skinny isn’t sexy and that strong is, etc. I decided to take up some running, but really sucked at it. I worked at a group home and landed my first professional teaching job at an outpatient hospital for kids with severe emotional disturbances. I really didn’t have time to work out or eat healthy so I started to really lose my self-image. I also had a really tough break up, that my heart is still recovering from today, so that just threw me in a loop- poor self-esteem, feeling depressed, emotional eating, etc.

I met my husband in 2009 and I was probably at my worst. I wasn’t huge, but I wasn’t happy and I would rather be fat and happy than not and miserable. Howie met me at my most vulnerable state in life and I was trudging my way through life trying to find a job, a purpose, and a direction.

I would say around 2012 is when my life started to turn around and I started feeling like me again. II think I really found myself in college, but as they say, you often lose yourself and then find yourself again through experiences- good and bad. Howie and I got married, bought a house, I became a zumba instructor and I got pregnant with my first child all within 2-3 years. In the middle of it all, 2014, I discovered ISAGENIX, a nutritional cleansing program that is designed for losing weight and ridding toxins in your body. The program offers a different range of products depending on your goal- primarily focusing on healthy weight loss, increasing muscle, increasing energy levels, and improving your overall health. Like everything else, I was skeptical because everything is a multi-level marketing scam that gets you to buy all these products and then you go back to the way you were if your willpower sucks. I discovered this amazing woman named Tara Romano who is also a zumba instructor and I started using some of her choreography in my zumba classes. I fell in love with her and immediately felt connected to her when I reached out to her about Isagenix. I tried the program and LOVED my results, but more importantly, LOVED how I felt. I actually loved myself.

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I got married and felt beautiful. I’m not saying I looked horrible before because some people would say that the picture to the left looks healthier, but ME?! I felt more beautiful and healthy in the right. It is 2018 and I never got back to the left picture.

In 2018, post 2 babies, I decided to jump back on the Isagenix bandwagon. I love the community and I love the products and results. I am in no way or shape trying to sell the program because let’s be honest, there are a million, but this one worked for me. I am currently on day 25 and lost a total of 6 lbs and 8 inches. I haven’t been able to cleanse because my chunky boy still has a strong nursing game and if you cleanse during nursing, the toxins can be released through the milk. At this point in my life, I am not looking to lose a ton of weight, but I want to feel better, more energized and feel less tired (even though I only sleep a grand total of 4-5 hours a night #babiesandtoddlers). The most important thing I learned about this program is that it’s not just 30 days, but it’s a lifestyle. I have become more conscious of healthy choices, my caloric intake (for a smaller girl I can inhale food, especially sweets), more confident, I have increased my running pace, and I have improved my overall mood. Between running being my anti-anxiety medication and now putting nutrient dense foods into my body, I could conquer the world!

Starting a diet or buying a new shade of lipstick won’t put you on a path to freedom. It might make you feel good on the outside, which is a natural part of your womanhood, but the change must begin with the transformation by the Spirit- the renewing of our minds. -Candace Cameron

I will say, change is so hard, especially when you are already stuck in a routine. I was eating Costco ancient grain granola with unsweetened almond milk every morning, drinking decaf coffees, but with TONS of creamer (1 tbsp= 5g of sugar!), going to Dunkin’ EVERY day for a medium iced coffee with caramel swirl and cream (the swirl itself is almost 30g of sugar and carbs), 2-3 snacks before lunch because I am hungry every hour- most snacks were empty snacks. For lunch I was eating almost 2 meals including a quest protein bar. Then I would come home and would snack on all my kids snacks until dinner. Then I would eat a snack before bed, sometimes 2 and let me tell you, I would eat until I felt like I was going to puke. Cue to my stomach hurting and feeling bloated all the time. Most of the time I just blamed it on breastfeeding and thought I could eat whatever I wanted since I was running too.

For real deets on Isagenix- it was hard for me. I had to change my whole lifestyle and renew my willpower. I had to be ready in my mind before jumping into such a big change. The 30 day program is about $350 and then you buy your products as needed per month. When you pay $22,000 per year in daycare, $350 SUCKS. But my health is way more important. Happy wife, happy life. Happy mom, happy family. The 30 day consists of 4 protein shakes- French vanilla, dutch chocolate, strawberry, or chocolate mint (you can mix and match). It also comes with 2 bottles of cleanse for life for deep cleansing or daily cleanse, ionix supreme (which tastes gross), which is a nutrient-rich tonic with adaptogens designed to protect against stress, 4 packets of amped hydrate (like a healthy powder Gatorade), a natural accelerator (a metabolism pill with cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, etc), isaflush (pill to take at night to help with regularity), isasnacks (wafers to help with cleanse days), and my favorite, isadelights (dark or milk chocolate infused with green tea for cleanse days). This is the 30 day product review in a nutshell.

As far as the program goes, ideally, you would take all your before pictures the night before and take all your measurements. Take an isaflush at bedtime and you are ready to start day 1. Day 1-5 starts with 1 oz. of ionix supreme, 2 oz of daily cleanse (which I do because I can’t deep cleanse due to nursing), 8 oz of water blended with a shake, and a natural accelerator. Then about 2-3 hours later, you can have a healthy snack before lunch.

Here is my daily routine-

My snacks of choice are the Kirkland egg whites microwaved for 2 min with garlic, pepper, and salt, a green apple sliced with cinnamon, 1/2 IsaLean bar or 1/2 quest bar (I love the Kirkland protein bars), a slice of Ezekiel bread with almond butter, cucumber with lemon garlic salad dressing (high in good fat, low carb, no sugar), or strawberries/blueberries. For lunch, I LOVE myself a good hearty salad- I love getting the chicken skewers from Costco and cutting them into little pieces for the week, spring mix salad, 1/2 avocado, and lemon garlic dressing by chosen foods. SO YUMMY!!! I will usually have 1 isadelight for my chocolate fix right after lunch. When I get home from work, I will try to bang out a 2-3 miles on the treadmill alone while the kids are at daycare and I watch Friends, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Grey’s, or This is Us on Netflix/Hulu- Running after work is NOT EASY at all! But remember, it takes about 10 days to create a habit. After my run, I try to eat some good carbs and my FAVORITE thing lately is cutting sweet potatoes into chunks and putting them in the oven at 400 degrees sprinkled with olive oil, cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and pepper for about 45 minutes. OMG YUM!!!! Sometimes I will have a frowned upon treat and have my own homemade decaf iced coffee with Coffeemate sugar-free French vanilla creamer and 1 stevia. I find that it fills me up until dinner. For dinner, I always cook a veggie with a protein. I love the organic steerable bags of Brussel sprouts with olive oil and Himalayan salt. I also love steamed broccoli, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers for veggies.

By no means am I trying to push Isagenix on anyone, but also showing that different things work for different people. I am a firm believer that if you are ready in your heart, mind and soul to make a change, you will. Even if it’s in small steps. Do it for you. Start with the inside and work your way to the outside. In a world with a million choices and all these money stealing scams, find what works for you and go all in.

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http://www.isagenixhealth.net/nutritional-cleansing-cleanse-life/

Dear Last Baby

Dear Baby Boy,

You are one year old today. I can’t really explain how much love my heart can actually hold. I remember carrying you in my belly for almost 9 months and I had no idea who you were- if you were a boy or a girl. I remember obsessing over wondering if you were a boy or a girl, but Dada and I decided not to find out because we wanted it to be a surprise.

I remember driving to the hospital going back and forth with Dada about what your name would be. Then, you were here and it was the most amazing moment of my life. It was love at first sight. Til this day, I will close my eyes and relive that moment over and over again. The midwife who delivered you yelled, “It’s a boy!” And at that moment, my heart melted into a million pieces. I never ever knew how much I could love. I remember being scared to share you with your sister and I was scared my heart wouldn’t be able to multiply the love, but my God I was wrong. You shimmied up to me and cuddled right under my chin. In that moment, I have never been happier or more complete. It was such an emotional day because I knew you had completed our little family.

When everyone came to meet you, the room filled with joy. It was the best surprise for everyone. You are the sweetest, most curious, chunkiest, loving, baby boy in the universe. You started out so calm. You slept through the night from the womb up until about 8 months (in the rock n’ play). You were NEVER cranky or colicky and you loved to cuddle against my chest in my shirt. You were my chill baby and you slept all the time.

At around 8 months, you became curious about the world and you’ve never stopped. Today, you are feisty, won’t sit still for us to change your diaper, you love to laugh at your sister, you love being outside, you don’t want to cuddle mama anymore and when you do, you usually try to fly out of my arms, you are chunky and sweet, you love Koko’s dog food and water, you love baths, and you love to cuddle in mama’s armpit all night long. You aren’t a cranky babe, but when your teeth come through, you are not a happy camper. I wish I could protect you from any pain.

Dear last baby, I love you and I pray that you continue to have this zest for life. I can see you riding dirt bikes and playing in the mud, but I hope you always want your mama. I pray you know how much I love you unconditionally. I pray you live your best life. I pray your heart stays the same as it is now- innocent and pure. This is a hard time for mama because you are my last baby. Because even through the sleepless nights and nap strikes, I would do this all over again because you NEED me and soon enough, in a couple years, I have to let you go into the world where I can’t keep you cuddled up in my armpit safe and sound from the harsh and scary world. Because you I love and hate this phase of life and I don’t want to say goodbye to this amazing chapter; the chapter that made me a mama of 2. Because I know you will conquer the world, but right now I can protect you and in a few years when you are independent and free (like your sister), I can’t always keep you safe and warm. I love you baby boy. Don’t ever change.