I DID IT!!!! Yes, all the caps and all the exclamations because I’m proud of myself! I had to fight to finish this challenge. I struggled with self doubt, poor food choices, exhaustion, angry kids, asthma issues due to the fires as well as a bunch of LIFE. I was originally thinking this would be easy compared to the Chloe Ting 2 Week Shred and I was right however as this was longer it presented different challenges. I regret nothing and would encourage everyone to try it as long as your doctor says it is okay.
It took me 1 hour 11 minutes and 8 seconds (1:11:08) to complete this 5k but I did it. It was past 9pm but I finished. I was shaking and crying but I finished. I was having breathing problems but I finished. My knees hurt but I finished. Now my feet are swollen (need different shoes), my hair smells, my kids are crying and the dog feels ignored but I finished. I am currently writing this right after finishing and as tired as I am I feel amazing.
I’m thinking about my next fitness challenge as they seem to keep me motivated and active while inside. I have a vague idea but I know whatever it is, I’ll complete it. I know the scale won’t magically go down a ton without steady healthy eating habits but it is a start and it is contributing to improving my mental health which is extremely fragile. Any little thing I can do to feel amazing, especially if it is free, I’ll do because feeling amazing right now is an accomplishment by itself. With everything going on in the world, I think everyone should find something big or small that makes them feel amazing! Please pick your version of amazing safely ❤
The title sums up the post but I’ll elaborate! Please note I’ll use restaurant, takeout and fast-food all referring to food we didn’t cook at home.
My husband and I had a terrible fast-food/ takeout/ restaurant habit. It was so bad that I would meal prep then we’d get takeout and have lots of food waste as we wouldn’t double back to eat what I cooked. I kept watching my weight balloon because I ordered whatever sounded good at the moment. My new peak was/is 251lbs; I’m only 5’6″… As the horror of this new depressing milestone set in, my husband pitched the no fast food idea to me. I quickly agreed but was worried he’d have to be my strength due to my sugary coffee addiction. Little did I know I was going to do great!
Week 1: The biggest challenge was finding a coffee alternative to my Starbucks addiction. In case you need an idea of what I mean, I’d go to Starbucks and buy 2 drinks (grande and venti) usually with extra espresso or a syrup and a pastry (chocolate croissant). It was expensive and not the best choice for me. The alternative I found was La Colombe available at some Target and Costco locations. I have tried the four flavors available near me but they have more (listed by preference): Mocha, Triple Shot, Vanilla with regular milk and with oat milk. Though the month is over I continue to buy these or brew coffee at home instead of going out.
Week 2: I really started missing the convenience of fast food. The ease of going through the drive-thru or waiting until night before eating because I could. Around this time I realized I could meal prep without it being boring. I decided to start planning my meals a day or two before we went grocery shopping. I thought of what I used to order and simply switched the drive-thru for the grocery store. I even went back to finding quick flavorful meals on Pinterest. I can’t decide if I want to write about the things I’ve tried on Pinterest or not but here’s a picture of one meal we loved. My husband ate it with his steak on “fancy” days when he didn’t feel like eating his regular meal.
Week 3: We went to the grocery store way too much. This was a strange issue. We were eating at home like we planned but we weren’t sticking to our normal food. We made lots of unnecessary trips to the grocery store for wine, sake, sushi, pastries and frozen pizza. Needless to say I was eating at home but my extras were eating up the money we were saving. Again I had to take a look at what I was eating, when and why. I knew I was an emotional eater but the detailed answers to those questions became clear during this month. Once I started addressing them, I was able to make a more realistic meal plan.
Week 4: I was doing well and even preferred cooking all of my meals. It was a different form of self care. I was choosing to put my health first with every meal I cooked. I had to plan, commit and cook. I would listen to music, think about fun things to do with the kids or just have random internal conversations with myself. I could keep this up no problem. At the end, I knew I’d go back to eating out especially sushi as nothing compares to the actual sushi bar but this time it would be rare versus regular. Plus we like to support local and try new restaurants.
Week 5: The month ended and I had my first take-out in over 32 days! I was excited since I was armed with this new resolve to only eat out occasionally. I opened it up, took a bite and immediately thought “that’s it, right back to old habits” then something cool happened. I felt GROSS. My stomach was bloated and upset, my feet and hands started to swell and I couldn’t finish it. I COULDN’T FINISH IT!!!! That might sound awful to some but for me it was great. It was proof my choices really were having a negative effect on my health. At home, I controlled all of the ingredients and the amounts but when someone else does the cooking you can’t control it. Sure you can order healthy alternatives, eat at certain places, etc but at the end someone else is still in control.
Conclusion: If you want to try something different or challenge yourself, go for it. You might be shocked at what you discover. Did I lose a bunch of weight? No. Did I save a ton more by eating at home? No because experimenting with food can be pricey. I didn’t expect what I did get. We did start eating all meals at the table. I started being more aware of what I was eating as well as the snacks my kids were eating. My oldest tried kale. I’ve started to take better care of myself; no more quarantine slump. Overall I feel better, am more aware of what I’m doing and am more present with my kids. I also have a schedule and am starting to get active. I would definitely consider this experiment a success. I’ve even moving on to a new challenge but that’ll be for a separate post 🙂
I forgot to actually post the individual blogs so I’m combining three months worth! Going forward, I will include recipes I love if I have one for the month. I will try not to repeat anything but if I like it then it’ll more than likely show up again.
Pillowcases from YugTex and Alpha Home
Washing machine friendly
no fading as of 4 washes
Purchased on Amazon
Canvas Wall Art – Green Leaf
Might have mentioned before
Good color/ print
Purchased on Amazon
Idea from Keke J. on YouTube
Keke J. Method
Style takes a long time but also lasts a while (2 weeks for me)
Great as prep for passion twists as suggested by Keke J.
Helped me retain moisture while in protective style
No need to add hair as I liked the style without it
Great place to read
Good chicken tamales
might have to pay for parking Monday thru Saturday
Dansama Passion Twist Hair 18″ (7pks) T/BUG
Suggested by Keke J. on YouTube
Video name “SAVE YOUR COINS! Affordable Passion Twists W/ Keke J. Method”
Current price is $36.80 but when I bought it was $29.90; point is this is very affordable especially if you’re experimenting like I was
I chose T/BUG which was very different for me and I liked it; next time I’ll buy T30 to compare and see which color I like better
Very soft, no smell and easy to separate
only 1 piece gave me trouble but I was tired so it was probably my fault
Self-care is all I hear about nowadays. I thought I was doing it accordingly until I realized it started to feel like everything else on my To-Do List. Then it got lost in the day-to-day. Once I was feeling good and burned out, I started to think about self-care again. What is it? How do I set aside enough time for it? What should I do during this self-care? And what’s the difference between self-care and hiding in the bathroom with a book and/or a snack?
Well thanks to my husband forcing me to have alone time, I discovered solo dates!
At first, I didn’t know what to do. I grew increasingly annoyed trying to make a plan. Then I remembered seeing a trailer for The Photograph. I knew hubby didn’t want to see it so I decided I’d go see it by myself. Normally I’m not a romantic movie kind of person but this looked interesting and I liked both actors. On Saturday, I got dressed and ran out the house like a little kid leaving on the last day of school before summer vacation (do they still have that?).
I decided to treat my city as a day trip. I took pictures as I normally would while in a new city. I intended on taking pictures of my movie ticket, food and beverage as well as of myself but I was too busy enjoying myself and only took pictures afterwards. The movie theater only had six other people and they were all couples. Everyone was spread out so I was in the row by myself which felt like having a giant home movie room. The movie was good and I’d recommend it if you want a romantic movie that doesn’t feel too cheesy or painful to watch. Next on my solo day trip was exploring the city; yes still my own city. I Googled nearby introvert friendly places but nothing seemed to catch my attention. I drove around aimlessly until it hit me. The LIBRARY!! It was quiet, introvert friendly and best of all free. I looked for the book I started reading during our cruise; it came from the cruise ship library. Once I got a new library card and asked some questions, I ordered the book and looked for two more. With books in hand and renewed energy, I went to a local chain restaurant, ate then headed home.
My second solo date was easier to plan and a little fancier. I knew I’d be going to an early movie because the ticket is cheaper and the theater is usually 90% empty. I got slightly dressed up, threw my stuff into my purse (no diaper bag for me) and left. I was running late so still no pictures before the movie. This time The Call of the Wild was my movie of choice. It was better than expected and focused on the dog so for me it was perfect. Since I skipped breakfast and popcorn doesn’t fill me up, I decided to go eat. I continued the tourist theme and looked for small independent looking places to go. The first was a restaurant I wanted to go to for a while but they didn’t have any parking available. I defaulted to a small coffee shop instead.
Espresso Metro is the cafe I ended up at. I’d driven by it many times before but never stopped as I was usually looking for something. This time I decided it would be my last stop on my solo date. I went in, told the barista it was my first time there. She recommended food (chicken tamale) and a beverage (custom latte) based on my preferences. The place was quiet but not empty like the theater. I took out my book and began reading. After a few minutes, which turned out to actually be over an hour, I noticed the customers coming and going. It had a pleasant buzz of noise but not too much that I couldn’t ignore. I continued reading until I wanted another drink. This is when I realized the actual time elapsed was a few hours so I concluded it was only right to make another purchase.
I purchased a chai and made small talk with the new barista as the previous one was done for the day. We chatted, I picked up my drink, went back to my table and continued reading. After another hour, I decided to head home. Upon my return, we were able to go out to dinner with just the two of us so it turned into a date night. Dinner and hanging out was the perfect way to end my solo date.
My solo self-care dates won’t always be the same but for now leaving the house with a book, phone charger and an explorers mindset has worked out great<3
I received this for free from Social Nature however I plan to buy it when I finish this tube. The texture takes some getting used to as it is not the same as traditional toothpaste. The mint is subtle so if you prefer an overpowering mint taste you won’t get it. Be aware that the closer you get to the end of the tube the easier it is to waste it due to falling off of the toothbrush from squeezing hard to get it out.
Purchased from Amazon. I’m slowly getting into creating better pictures and videos for my blog, YouTube channel and family but I didn’t want to spend a ton on equipment. This simple lighting and stand set were/ are perfect. The light has multiple settings and the stand can be used with a camera or your phone.
I’ve posted about Dippy Cow Nails before but each time I buy more I can’t help sharing! Even as I write this I’m waiting for more because I wanted to place one big order before her baby arrives ❤ She’s great at what she does and has amazing customer service. I would like to reiterate what she has posted which is orders take a while as she is independent and works alone. She is based in the UK so all international orders will take longer and she recommends tracking. For more details, please visit her website: http://www.dippycownails.com
MoValues Authentic Jade Roller and Gua Sha Set purchased from Amazon. This is a video only as I forgot to take a picture… But here is a little blurb in case you don’t want to watch the video. I bought this in November 2019 and I’m still loving it💛 I keep it in the storage bag in my refrigerator. After cleansing my face, I use the roller and if time permits the gua sha. The roller works great to de-puff my face, ease tension headaches and is very relaxing. The gua sha seems to relieve pressure in my sinuses. This isn’t medical advice but this is how it worked for me. Here’s the link in case you do want to watch my 2min unboxing video! https://youtu.be/FORYKgo4lE8
This is my Thank You letter to the amazing strangers that played an important role in our life.
To Nurses Helen, Jennifer, Rachel, Megan and Midwife (CNM) Susan with a special Thanks to Jamie who was with us for our first child,
You probably won’t remember us but I’ll always remember you. I was terrified with a nervous calm once I found out I would be going to Labor & Delivery the same day as my last NST (non stress test). I had an overall understanding about being induced, most of which I found out the day before, but the details were a mystery. You all played an important part in easing my fears, answering all of my questions and encouraging me.
No one pressured me to get an epidural. If I wanted an epidural you wouldn’t question me or make me feel bad about my decision. No one scared me about the intensity of contractions with pitocin. You told me what to expect with an induction including the pills and pitocin. No one made me feel like a baby when the pain finally took over. You all encouraged me and told me I could do it. You reminded me I could adjust the lights, have more pillows, move around or whatever else (within reason) would help me feel comfortable. You even answered additional medical questions that didn’t have much to do with labor and delivery.
The pain put a smile on my face because I knew it meant I’d meet my baby soon but I was still in pain. I was adamant about using the bathroom and rather than saying ‘No you’re too close’ our midwife reminded me the pressure could be baby trying to come and I should let her know immediately if I felt a bulge. Thankfully it wasn’t but right after she ASKED if she could check me. We were having issues with the baby monitor so a physical check was done. She warned it might be very painful, confirmed my consent to check and proceeded. This was it. The moment arrived.
I truly appreciated the bedside manner of everyone that surrounded us. I loved that despite losing it towards the end everyone was wonderful, reminding me I could do it, saying my reaction was perfectly normal and helping me cope pain med free. Post delivery they were having trouble getting bleeding to stop so pills were given (not orally…), stitches were quick and there was continuous intense pushing/ massaging on my abdomen until the pills kicked in to slow the bleeding. Though everyone was working fast, I was informed every step of the way because part of my birth preferences included being informed on what was going on. All in all the experience was great and I would give them all referrals if I could. But I can’t so hopefully this letter reaches one of them (or another awesome medical professional) to inform them of the positive impact they had on this mommy.
After my second delivery, I have a better grasp on what to bring to my particular hospital. These are items I found useful but this is by no means a list for everyone as your list will vary based on where you choose to give birth and what is available. For instance, my hospital provides diapers, nipple balm, plain cloths that you wet with water as wipes, tucks pads, numbing spray, extra pads (not a full pack but a few) and we both received gowns (sleep sack and nursing gown featuring hospitals logo) as well as other goodies.
Camera or Phone with chargers!!
Socks (to match gown)
Supportive nursing bra
Preferred pads (hospital pads are huge and don’t have wings)
Toothbrush & toothpaste (later discovered hospital had this too…)
Skincare (facial wipes and moisturizer)
Makeup (tinted moisturizer, chapstick and brow pencil)
Hair supplies or protective hairstyle (thankfully went to get hair braided day before so only needed a head scarf!)
Going home outfit for myself and baby
Additional: snacks for your support person, medical card/ insurance, book/ tablet/ something to keep you occupied if you’re there for a while, nurses gifts (if applicable)
I’ll probably do a video at some point but this was my quick list. I hope someone finds this condensed list helpful!
A while ago my dad (step-dad), treated my mom, sister and I to a day of pampering. It came out of nowhere! No special occasion or event; he simply surprised us. My dad’s literal words were “Do you have to work Saturday?” I replied and then it was set. We all met at the salon and got the works (mani/pedi/hair).
It had been a long while since I’d been to a professional stylist as I do my own hair. However my dad was so sweet as to do this I viewed her Instagram page and went to the appointment knowing exactly what I wanted. I wanted the one style I was usually too lazy to do myself: flat iron!!
I’m no fanatic but I do treat my hair with special care before applying heat so I was extremely excited and nervous about my experience. I knew I couldn’t let a new person cut/ trim my hair plus I’d already done it so I declined that part. She started off by explaining the process, telling me about the products and saying something I’d never heard before. She told me I had a lot of hair but it was fine. I was shocked. I was always told how thick my hair was so this was news to me. However when I started thinking about everything I knew it made total sense. Curly it looked like it went on forever but straight or wet most of it seemed to disappear and that was why. Other than that shocking info the rest of the experience was as if I did it myself with regards to the care and attention given.
The results as well as the first wash after the service are above. I waited because I wanted to make sure there was no heat damage then I forgot… All in all it was great experience and I would (will) do it again!!
PS – The only reason I didn’t include her contact info is because I didn’t ask. If you’re curious then message me on Instagram and I”ll share
Things have changed. I’m working, failing at being primarily plant-based and other stuff. Most noteworthy has been my mental health. I debated mentioning this but decided it could help my son when he’s older. I hope he realizes there is nothing to be ashamed of, embarrassed about or fearful of because it can happen to anyone. Before I start, I’m not taking anything as I don’t think it is that bad however if you do need help do not hesitate to seek a professional. In my case, I sought comfort from my family.
It started when I was having a hard day. I wasn’t sleeping, everything went from great to horrible over the smallest things and I didn’t seem to enjoy anything. By all accounts, I thought my depression was coming back. I feared not being able to handle everything with a smile on my face. Embarrassed that I lacked endurance because all of this took place in only a few months. And I was ashamed of not being able to balance everything perfectly. Holding everything in was turning me into an emotional monster.
One day I decided to blurt it all out no matter how crazy I thought it made me look. I was nervous as I’d built up a terribly dramatic scene in my head. Thankfully all went well. My husband comforted me and reminded me that taking time for myself is important. Actually following through with what we discussed was extremely hard since I’m not good at relaxing…
Step 1 – Logging off
I stopped checking social media which included watching vlogs. I started comparing my life to the ones I saw which isn’t fair because most only put up the good stuff and even “regular” moments seemed to look shiny compared to my own.
Step 2 – Getting the basics done
I knew there was no way I could relax if I didn’t clean my house to my satisfaction and check off certain things on my to do list for work. I’m the type of person who has to have clean, organized space or my mind feels cluttered. I stopped fighting and used my first (and second) day alone to do just that!
Step 3 Relaxing
I never thought I’d be able to do this! Technically I’m writing this post, working, making grocery list, light cleaning (I truly enjoy cleaning) and planning my return to healthy lifestyle changes. But I am truly relaxed (for me…). Like previously stated, I enjoy getting things done and though I should’ve continued to do nothing it just isn’t in my nature.
Was my time alone perfect? No. Was I relaxing the whole time? Nope. Did I enjoy myself? Absolutely! I may have times when my emotions go haywire and I don’t enjoy anything but now I have steps to get me back into the right head space. I also have people I can talk to that will help me come back down off of the emotionally dangerous ledge. So here are my keys to success*:
identify the problem(s)
talk to someone including a professional if necessary
make a plan
*this is not medical/ professional advice; this is what works for me 🙂
I’ve been considering being a pescatarian or vegetarian for a while but never fully committed. Now I feel inspired to give it a try. I’m not going to commit to a specific duration because I’m hoping this will be a permanent change. I know myself and the people I’m surrounded by so there will be challenges but in the end everyone will be supportive (or tolerant).
I plan to read the Meatless Machine chapter in the book 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris. He was spot on helping me lose weight (though I’ve fallen off the wagon and burned it…) so I trust this source to get me started with all around health and nutrition for my seafood only journey. I still plan to transition to full vegetarian but I feel pescatarian is a more realistic goal for now. I’m not a huge fan of vegetables. So the first thing I need to do is research recipes in order to make my meals edible. Once I get that down I’ll start trying new things. Any advice or helpful tips would be more than welcome.