Art supplies!

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Hello lovelies!

So, with the little bit of income I have from my art business I’ve reinvested into more art supplies to try. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve probably seen this video but here it is again just in case

This was my first go at using them, I’m so used to just using pencils or digital drawing so the doodles aren’t all that great since I’m not well practiced with them, but these are really cool! This was done on printer paper so they bled more than they would on thicker paper.

This is the result of my second attempt at using these pens. The paper in this sketchbook is thicker so it worked better but the paper used in this notebook is a little “fuzzy” so blending was a tad tricky but overall, it worked pretty well! I love leatherbound sketchbooks and so far I really like the quality of this one. 

These pens will probably work well on watercolor paper but I don’t have any at the moment. As soon as I get some I’ll do a test run and try to record that as well. But for now, here’s my little post about art supplies.

If you’d like to check these pens or the journal out here are some links:

Tombow Dual Brush Pens – Portrait
Leatherbound Sketchbook

 

 

 

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Sunshine Blogger Award!

Hello lovelies!

I am honored to have been nominated by Christian J. Evans for….

THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

This is my first ever blogger award so I’m pretty excited! I hope you enjoy the questions and answers! I seriously love the community here on wordpress.

“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who inspire and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers.”

  1. Do you believe in giving people second chances?
    1. For the most part, yes. But it depends on the situation. A lot of the time I will give a person a second chance, but as I said, it depends on the situation. If they are truly sorry I’ll forgive them and we’ll move on, if it happens more than once then I normally back off. I always forgive, but there is a difference between forgiving and being friends again. Sometimes some people just aren’t meant to be in your life anymore and I choose to let go in those situations. (was that too heavy? haha sorry)
  2. Would you give your life for someone else you didn’t know if it saved theirs?
    1. I would. I am willing to give my life for anyone, I know where I’m going when I go, but who knows where that person’s heart is. Yes, it would be unfathomably heartbreaking to leave my husband and son, but when it comes down to it, I’d save another life in a heartbeat if it was needed.
  3. Is there a difference between ‘being in love’ and ‘I love you’?
    1. Yes, I believe there is a difference. I’m in love with my husband, but I love my son, it’s two different loves. Equally as strong, but still different.
  4. Have you ever been bullied, if yes, when and why?
    1. Yes, a few times, mostly online, a couple in person. My beliefs, breastfeeding, things that happened in my past. The online stuff is mostly harassment more than bullying, I suppose but still.
  5. Do you believe in life after death?
    1. Yes I do believe in life after death, you either go to heaven or hell. Choose your eternity wisely! haha
  6. If given a chance to, would you have taken a different path in life?

    1. Yes, I could have avoided a LOT of stressful issues had I chosen differently when I was younger. But at the same time I love where I am right now, I think thing’s would have turned out just as well had I not experienced some of the hardships I did, but I have chosen to let go and move on with my life. I love my life!
  7. Could you kill someone to save your own life?
    1. I would avoid it if I could, but yes. If I were being attacked I think I could. I would attempt to disarm/wound them and get away instead though.
  8. What would you do if you knew tomorrow we would all die?
     1. I would be a basket case praying for some of my family members to find the right path before then.
  9. If the world was rid of all of its clothes and we had to walk around nude, how would you manage?
    1.
    uhhh, hide! haha 
  10.  Do you blog for recreation or for work?
    1. both! I love blogging, but I also use it as a way to support my business.

HERE ARE MY NOMINEES

  1. https://hellovulnerability.wordpress.com/
  2. https://beautybeyondbones.com/
  3. https://praisehimsite.wordpress.com/
  4. https://becomingmotherblog.com/
  5. https://michelleludlow.wordpress.com/
  6. https://weightlosswarblog.wordpress.com/
  7. https://marilynnsfiberartfarm.com/
  8. http://2cupkindofmorning.com/
  9. https://cassiellensecretstory.wordpress.com/
  10. http://sparklecatinalaska.blogspot.com/

Here are my questions for the nominees: 

  1. Do you believe in giving people second chances?
  2. Would you give your life for someone else you didn’t know if it saved theirs?
  3. Is there a difference between ‘being in love’ and ‘I love you’?
  4. Have you ever been bullied, if yes, when and why?
  5. Do you believe in life after death?
  6. If given a chance to, would you have taken a different path in life?
  7. Could you kill someone to save your own life?
  8. What would you do if you knew tomorrow we would all die?
  9. If the world rid of all of its clothes and we had to walk around nude, how would you manage? 
  10. Do you blog for recreation or for work?

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10 positive things you should tell your toddler

 

Hello lovelies!

As a mother, I often wonder if I’m saying and doing the right things. Our children learn so much from watching and listening and most of us worry whether we’re getting it right (I know I do at least).

I’m not sure what other toddlers are like, but I know Joktavious has these moods when he gets really tired and something he is trying to use isn’t working properly he drops it on the ground (sometimes throwing it, he has quite a temper that we are working hard to help him learn to handle, but that’s another post for another day) and just bursts into tears. He wears the most heartbreaking face and just cries.

These moments can be overwhelming for both him and me, so I just take a deep breath, and calmly tell him everything is going to be fine and ask him to show me what the problem is. Usually it’s something incredibly simple, like the cap won’t go back on the water bottle, or he wanted to take the cushion off the couch and it got stuck so he couldn’t move it (ah, the struggles of toddlerhood). He show’s me through tears and his little sounds he makes, he’s still fairly non verbal but we usually figure it out and then everything is alright in his little world again.

I’ve noticed the more I get into his world and share that time with him the more responsive he is and quicker he calms down. Usually all he needs is to know that I’m right there and he’ll get through this because mommy loves him.

So, I put together a list of 10 things that I’ve been trying to say to encourage him and build him up to be the strong, confident young man I know he can be.

A quick thought on that first though, have you ever realized how amazing it is that we have this opportunity? as parents we are the builders of the next generation. We are laying the foundational building blocks for our children to build their lives and relationships on. It’s mind boggling (and sometimes terrifying) how important our job is.

Some of these are probably fairly common and natural for most parents. I probably say I love you to Joktavious every ten minutes. Especially in those moments where he’s being goofy and then stops and looks up at me and just smiles. If you feel that overwhelming swell of emotion, you should speak it so they hear it. (on another note, I think I will probably melt into a puddle of happiness and tears when I hear him say it for the first time)

It may seem silly to compliment on something tiny, like putting a square block into a square hole, or successfully stacking a block onto another bock, but it really isn’t, and chances are you already know this, as parents we tend to get overly excited when they start stacking things and working things out in their little brains. “Oh my gosh, did you see that?! and he’s ONLY 6 months! he’s going to be a GENIUS” (you know that feeling of parental pride, don’t try to deny it!). But I’ve found that the more over exaggerated we are with praise, the more our son wants to do, there is that desire deep down inside of him to impress us and please us, and I want him to know that I am proud of every little thing he is learning and doing (besides throwing tantrums, but you know what I mean). I want him to know I am proud of him, I want him to have that confidence as he’s growing up that his parents love him and believe in him.

Anyway, here are a list of 10 positive things to tell your toddler.

1. I love you

2. You are doing so good.

3. Wow, you are so helpful!

4. You are amazing!

6. Daddy/Mommy loves you too.

7. You are so appreciated.

8. I am so thankful for you.

9. You make my heart happy.

10. I love seeing you so happy

I’m sure we could add many more to this list. But there are 10 to get you started. I love words, and I try to use them as much as possible around Joktavious so he will start being more verbal himself. I have been trying to talk more with him which is what got me thinking about this topic in the first place. So far, it’s more of a one sided conversation, but he still communicates, either his little toddler talking sounds or body language, we don’t sign, but we have our own little way of communicating and I understand him most the time besides when he is overly frustrated and I have to guess what he is asking for. But I know that before long he’ll be talking up a storm (using actual words, more than dada, mama, meow, etc..)

 

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4 tips on Starting a Blog

Hello lovelies!

 

So I’ve been asked this question a lot the last couple of weeks so I decided to take my 2 years worth of blogging knowledge and compile it all here. (which sounds way more action packed than it is)

 

still consider myself a major newbie. I haven’t earned much money with my blog, mostly it’s a hobby. I’ve only recently begun to promote my blog more and attempt to grow this into my own business. So I’m still learning a lot, but the basics of how to start out blogging are pretty simple. 

 

Now, when I first started I had no idea what my goals were or what I was doing and honestly didn’t think I would even keep it up like I have. But I’m glad I did and I wish I would have put more thought into it to begin with because I think my blog would be even better today if I had. So I’ve decided to write a list of the things that really would have helped me out had I thought it out better instead of just diving in, which works but also takes more time and there’s lots more floundering around. 

 

So here are 4 tips on starting a blog.

 

 

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1. Direction

 

First you need to figure out what you want from blogging. What are your interests? Are you wanting a hobby? Are you wanting to earn money from your blog? What things do you know that can help others? Is this going to be an online journal sort of blog? There are many questions. Sit down with a pad and a pencil and ask yourself what you want from this. Check out some bloggers in your niche for inspiration, (don’t copy them!) but get a feel for what they write like, take notes on what you like about their layout and their voice. Just be sure to only take notes and don’t copy everything someone else is doing. It’s all about finding your own unique voice.

 

 

 

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2. Name

 

What are you planning on calling this blog? Now that you’ve figured out your niche, you can try to come up with an accurate name to describe your blog. Whatever you come up with you should google just to be sure it’s not already in use.

 

 

 

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3. Content

 

Once you figure out a direction and niche, go ahead and come up with as many articles as you can so when you launch you have plenty of content. You could bulk upload them before you launch your blog, or schedule them, whichever way you want to do it. You should also figure out your schedule. Do you want to have a set day of the week or month as your “blog day”? are you planning on doing multiple posts a week or one a month or..? ask yourself these questions and work out how you want to start. You can always add in more ‘blog days’ later on if you want.

 

 

 

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4. Platform

 

Now we have to figure out a platform. The two I have used are Blogger and WordPress. I started with blogger because it was free and I already knew how it worked and have since switched to WordPress, which I love and would definitely recommend. There is a free version, you don’t get as much but if you’re just starting out and depending on what your goals are, it will work just fine.

I recommend purchasing a domain name. It looks more professional to have a .com rather than mywebsite.wordpress.com you know? But that’s all up to you. You can purchase your domain name through WordPress or with GoDaddy if you decide to go with Blogger. (Blogger may have an option to purchase your domain name but I honestly cannot remember right now) If you would like to get started on WordPress.com it’s really easy, just click here!

Go ahead and create your blog, personalize it, write a catchy bio and that’s it! I know, crazy right? 

You may have lots more questions, but hopefully this will get you started. 

As I get more into the business side of things I hope to have a “how to earn money with your blog” post. But until then, stay tuned! 

 

 

 

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5 Ways to Defunk Your Brain 

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Hello lovelies!

So some drama recently happened and it sent me into a funk. Which sucks because Jonathan is home now and it kind of stole the joy from that.

This doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it just hits me wrong and I cannot find motivation to do much. Concentration is hard, I just worry and over analyze things that were said. I’m an empathetic peace maker personality, so my brain just goes on and on trying to solve issues sometimes and it’s hard for me to let go and trust that God will work in hearts and solve the issues that grow between people. 

Most things people say negatively about me I can shake off and it doesn’t bother me. But when it’s someone I really care about it can be difficult to just shake it off. 

I was in no mood to write a blog post. My original ideas for writing just didn’t fit well and I couldn’t focus enough to write them. So I figured why not use this opportunity to help get myself (and hopefully you if you need it) out of this funk!

So here it is:

1. Pandora

It doesn’t have to be Pandora, but play your favorite music. What works best for me is putting on classical music. My favorite is my Ludovico Einaudi station on Pandora. Seriously, it’s amazing. I put it on and start doodling, it helps a lot. It’s also good for getting your creativity and imagination going. I listen to this while writing as well. The best thing about classical music is there aren’t lyrics (don’t get me wrong, I love singing but some moods you just don’t need lyrics because then you’re endlessly skipping songs because they may be too happy or too sad or whatever. So classical is usually a good option) 

2. Reading

If you are a reader sometimes grabbing your favorite book and disappearing into your imagination is a good solution to the mind funk. I prefer fiction in this case, but if you enjoy reading self help books or other non fiction, go right ahead! It’s all about finding what will work for you specifically. 

3. Go for a walk

Sometimes one of the best ways to get out of a funk is to get outside in the fresh air. You can even listen to your music while doing this one and that helps even more. (also, if you have an adorable child, cuddling with them helps as well) 

4. Draw

If you are artistic at all, or even if you’re not, you could always try doodling, painting, coloring or even some kind of small craft or puzzle. I’ve found doodling and coloring to be pretty therapeutic. Especially while, you guessed it, listening to classical music. (Apparently I really enjoy that) I even recently started a bullet journal and that is pretty therapeutic as well.

5. Baking/cooking

This may not be the healthiest option, depending on what you’re baking or cooking, but I find it therapeutic sometimes to just pull  out a recipe for something and start working. 

Well, I hope these help you like they’ve been helping me. And yes, that does say I had chips, pizza and ice cream. I’m not perfect haha life happens. The important thing is this funk won’t last all week and I will back to eating healthy tomorrow. 

Adventures in the kitchen: Creamy Pumpkin Soup recipe

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Hello lovelies!

So, around this time of year I start craving pumpkin and cinnamon EVERYTHING as well as soups. I know it’s still slightly early for autumn recipes, but when I was at the store and I came across a tin of organic pumpkin I decided a creamy pumpkin soup sounded wonderful.

My first ever job was working at a bookstore and cafe, it was actually one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had, but at this cafe we served a tomato bisque soup that was AMAZING so, I’ve tried to recreate the creamy taste a few times over the last few years and hadn’t figured it out til recently, but now that I have I use it as a base for all my soups (for the most part) it is super simple and delicious!

So I will run over how to do the base so you can do this with whatever soup you want really, just add in the ingredients you like.

Creamy Soup Base:

1 stick of butter (half would work too if you’re watching your fat intake. I’m not however, so bring it!)

1/2 – 1 package of cream cheese (the 80z ones. It depends on how creamy you want it, with more cream cheese it’ll be thicker)

Water, almond milk or regular milk or even chicken broth if you are going for a more savory type soup, around a half cup or even a whole cup, it really depends on how thick you want your soup. Less liquid will make it thicker, more liquid will make it thinner.

Mushrooms, onion, garlic, brussel sprouts, whatever you’d like to add.

Tomatoes, pumpkin or any other kind of flavor you want.

Melt the butter in a saucepan on low to medium heat, after the butter is mostly melted add in your mushrooms and any other veggies you want so you can saute them a bit and bring out the flavors more. If you were making a tomato soup from whole raw tomatoes this is where you would chop them up small and cook them with the butter til they’re nice and melty.

Now add in your cream cheese and let it melt while you mix it gently in with everything else.

Now is when you would add in your pumpkin or other canned purreed veggie/fruit/what have you.

SO, for this particular soup, here is what I used:

Butter

Cream Cheese

Canned Pumpkin

Brussel Sprouts

Green Onion

Red Onion

Cinnamon

Salt and pepper (to taste)

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Start just like the soup base directions above, melt butter and saute veggies

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Melt butter
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Chop up green onions
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Add to pan with butter

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Chop up brussel sprouts
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Add to pan
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Chop up half the red onion (or whatever onion you would like to use, I don’t discriminate.)
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Add in the red onion and the cream cheese
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Add in your half cup of almond milk. Isn’t it pretty?

Time to add the pumpkin!

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Add in whatever spices you want. I used cinnamon, salt and pepper

Tavo and I both loved it! we hope you do as well

5 steps to becoming a more organized person 

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Hello lovelies!

So, as you may have picked up on from previous posts, I’m not the most organized person. My house feels like it’s constantly a mess and I don’t have much of a schedule going.

But I’m in the process of changing that. I would like to be an organized person with a house that is at the least semi clean all the time so I can invite people over spur of the moment or if my mother in law dropped by I wouldn’t be completely mortified (which is one of my major motivators!) but mostly it’s for me. I don’t like chaos and stress and that’s what I feel when I have a messy home 70% of the time.

I just recently read this quote and it resonated with me so much and I decided I needed a change:

“Clutter is a stealer of joy and contentment. Your home should breathe happiness into your family’s story, not slowly suck the life out of you.” – Melissa Michaels

So here are 5 steps I am taking to become a more organized person:

  1. Planning my day

The last few days I have been trying this and it is working pretty well! I sit with a notebook first thing after my workout and write down the things I want to accomplish that day. Feed rabbits, do laundry, feed the cats, etc., It helps get my brain thinking of things I need to accomplish instead of getting sidetracked playing candy crush while watching supernatural (seriously, I’m not sure what it is, but I love playing that stupid game while listening to a tv show. I get antsy when I sit and watch anything so playing candy crush or crocheting helps me actually listen to what is being said, I didn’t used to be like this, not sure what changed. Unless it’s a really intense movie [or Game of Thrones] then my focus is 100% on it.)

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2. Creating a schedule

I bought one of those big desk calendars (like this Monthly Desk Pad Calendar ) and stuck it on my wall downstairs so it’s the first thing I see when I come downstairs in the morning on the way to the bathroom. I’m doing color coded tasks, so like blue would be laundry, red would be change the litter box etc. Tasks that could be done other days as well if they needed to be, but I have designated days so I know they will get done. Other tasks are more monthly, like moving the couch and vacuuming underneath it, or cleaning out the fridge. Sunday’s will be my meal planning day. I know all these things have to get done but I easily get distracted doing other things, even important things and then don’t get these other things done until much later and by then the chore is harder to accomplish and takes more time. Like waiting for two days to wash dishes instead of doing them any time there is a dirty dish. Which brings me to point 3.

3. Always have an empty sink/clean kitchen before heading to bed

I’ve been trying to at least have the dishes washed, if not the entire kitchen clean before I go to bed. It is so nice to wake up to a clean kitchen, it just feels so much nicer than waking up and thinking “ugh, so much work to do…” helps me start off on a more positive note.

Tavo has been eating more meals in his high chair lately, he is loving it, and it helps contain the mess in the kitchen rather than him roaming the house while he snacks. I’m hoping to start doing more meals around the table, it’s easy for me to take my food and sit and watch something while I eat instead of sitting at the table for meals. We are working on that. But my main focus at the moment is making sure the kitchen is nice and clean every night and working towards having it clean after every meal.

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First time trying yogurt, he loved it!

 

4. Giving myself a break

Not necessarily a physical break, but I mean like if I am tired and forget to finish all the dishes one night, I don’t beat myself up about it, I just make sure I do them in the morning. In the past I have berated myself and felt like I just ruined my progress, but it needs to be sustainable. If I can’t do this the rest of my life, then I’m never going to get anywhere, so if I beat myself up on a day when I don’t do it exactly how I like and it de-rails me then I’m not getting anywhere, so I give myself slack. I’m slowly learning and building good habits, just like with my eating and exercise, it’s all a process and I will get there eventually, it just takes a little time.

5. Make time for what you love

While there are some people who genuinely enjoy housework that isn’t something we all love 100% of the time, I know I don’t. I don’t really mind doing housework, especially if I have some awesome music playing, but it’s not something I like spending every moment of every single day doing, so planning my time and figuring out which days I do certain chores, spreads it out more to give me time to do things I love, like write, and read. Once it becomes a more stable system then I have a nice clean environment to do the things I enjoy doing and it flows so much better.

Those are the major changes that I’ve made and I’m working on building them into lasting habits. I know I can do this, because I’ve accomplished so many other things I’ve set my mind to and I’m determined to do this. I want to be an organized person, I want to be a hostess, I want to have cute little “tea parties” and have my gal friends over to talk and hang out, but I don’t want to run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to tidy up ten minutes before people arrive, or spend the entire day before stressing because my house isn’t ready yet. It’s unnecessary stress that I can avoid by planning my day’s better so that is what I am doing.

Hopefully these tips can help you as well! so far they are working for me, but I’m just at the beginning of my organizational/planner person journey. I will try to update later on how well these have been working for me.

x

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Outfit of the day: Floral Print Romper With Long Flare Sleeves

Book review: Prophecy by Elizabeth Haydon 

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(Post contains amazon affiliate links)
Hello lovelies!

This book was just about as good as the first one, again, I will try to avoid spoilers but be warned, there could be some!

Prophecy: Child of Earth (Rhapsody, Book 2)

Written by Elizabeth Haydon  

Prophecy is the sequel to the book Rhapsody : Child of Blood (click here if you want to read my review on that one), it follows Rhapsody, Achmed, Grunthor and Jo as they establish their roles in the new land they have found themselves in.

Elizabeth Haydon is fantastic at describing the environment and all the little details which helps create an in depth picture of the character’s surroundings and feelings. I’m totally awed by her ability to transport her readers into another world. (I only hope I will be able to be half the writer she is!)

Rhapsody travels with Ashe to meet with the dragon Elysynos, then she tracks down Oelendra the Lirin Warrior and previous owner of Rhapsody’s elemental fire sword, Daystar Clarion and begins her training in preparation for when she will inevitably fight the ominous F’dor.

Meanwhile, Achmed and Grunthor discover an ancient buried city left by the Cymrians and meet The Grandmother, which of course uncovers even more questions but they have to wait until Rhapsody returns to fulfill the prophecy.

And that’s as much story as I will give away at the moment. This book is available on Amazon Kindle so, go buy it and read it and let me know what you think! (though I suggest you read Rhapsody first)

The book answers many questions that were brought up in the first and asks a few more that I’m sure will be answered in the next and ends with a wonderful cliffhanger. I’m eager to read the next book and I’m hoping Elizabeth Haydon doesn’t go the route of George R.R Martin and kill off too many main characters *fingers crossed*

 

Weight-loss while breastfeeding 

I can see my collarbones!

Hello lovelies! 

I know I’ve been pretty focused on weight-loss and health posts lately, but this is going to be another one, so bear with me!

Today I’d like to break down how I’ve been losing weight while still breastfeeding my son. 

First off, I’m not a doctor and you should always check with your doctor or health care provider before trying anything if you have concerns. Being healthy is priority, dropping weight can take a long time or a short time, it depends on the person and the work put in and I firmly believe that work begins in the grocery store and the kitchen. All of this is based solely on my own experience.

Second, I did wait til Joktavious was eating solids before I started really focusing on weight-loss, so he wasn’t exclusively breastfeeding when I was dropping serious weight but he still nurses pretty frequently.

I started my journey in November 2015 at 210lbs

Here’s a list of what I did:

-Cut back my sugar intake-

I stopped buying barbecue sauce because I had no self control and was putting it on everything. I stopped buying chocolate. I stopped buying any kind of drink from the store besides water or the occasional kombucha drink (and I would choose the one with less sugar). If I wanted chocolate I scoured pinterest for paleo fudge recipes and I would have a piece or two. Honestly I don’t have too many days where I crave chocolate anymore and when I do having a cup of homemade hot chocolate or a dark chocolate almond milk smoothie does the trick. (yesterday we had s’mores, we used Justin’s Peanut Butter cups and organic graham crackers, it’s better but still sugar so we don’t do it all the time) 


-Cut out bread-

I stopped buying bread, occasionally we had pizza or burgers but it was rare.

-Cut out processed food-

No more bags of chips, ginger brew, burgers every couple days, subway, lots of junk we had all the time. There were occasional “junk days” but at the beginning I was really strict and tried to mimic some of our favorites in healthier ways. It’s really paid off too, we still have pizza or burgers occasionally but we have healthier options and don’t feel the need to have junk as often as before.

-Water-

I drank lots of water, as much as I can. I shoot for at least 64oz a day if not more.

-Walking-

I really didn’t kill myself with exercise, I mostly just walked in place in my living room. Started at 6,000 steps a day and worked up from there. I try to shoot for 10,000 now. It’s only recently that I’ve added in more intense exercise.

-Cut my portion size-

I didn’t start out counting calories or anything, I just realized I was eating a lot so I cut my portion size down some and shrunk my stomach. I eat way less now, I track my calories just so I know roughly what I eat. I eat anywhere from 1000-1300 a day. Depends on how much I do. If I’m hungry I eat, if I’m not, I dont.

-Bored eating-

I tried to stop bored eating. It’s still hard some days. Sunflower seeds help some but I can easily eat a whole bag of those so I try to keep my hands busy if I’m watching a movie. Crochet helps, not having anything besides my water bottle within reach is good. If there’s a bag of chips I’ll devour those way too fast while bored so if we have any I try to keep them downstairs, I’ll grab a handful and put them in a bowl and leave the bag in the cupboard and it helps. But I don’t buy chips hardly ever. Figure out what works for you, we have to break our bad habits and build good ones.

-Documentaries-

A lot of times when I was walking I would watch anything and everything I could find on YouTube and Netflix or anywhere online about food, health, weight-loss and fitness. It helps me stay motivated, focused and informed on good choices. Here are a couple of my favorites:

-Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 1&2

-Hungry for Change

-Fed Up

-Food Matters

-Fittest on Earth

There are lots more, but those are good ones to get you started.

And that is pretty much it. Mostly just focused on healthy ingredients, more veggies and water and more activity.

I’m focusing on building my willpower now, I’ve come a long ways, but I would like to be even stronger in that area. Being able to tell myself no, I don’t want that cheesecake, I’d rather have a piece of fruit or go home and make my own healthier option.

Weight-loss is such a tremendous process. It’s more than just looking good, it’s a mental and physical journey with lots of ups and downs. I have to remind myself often to slow down and relax, I get too rushed thinking I have to lose x amount of weight in the shortest amount of time possible, but if you lose just 1lb a week that’s still around 50 lbs in a year. That’s no small feat!

Hopefully my experience helps someone out there, just remember health begins on the inside and works it’s way out.

July 2016 weighing in at 162lbs