Changes I Can Be Proud Of

Good morning lovely friends! How are you? I am feeling super fantastic! I have had some MAJOR lifestyle changes since we last had a chit chat. I have an exciting deal for you but first I want to tell you about some goodness that has been happening in my life!

The first thing major thing that has happened is I am no longer working from home! It sort of happened quickly.  I had applied for a couple of positions within my current company that were a step up and they didn’t pan out.  I applied for another position and, honestly, because of the way the others had gone, I didn’t have high hopes. Apparently, I don’t interview well.  ha! Anyway, I went in for the interview the Thursday before Mother’s Day, I was scheduled to be off the next day for a weekend get away with my mom, my supervisor asked if I’d come into the office and work the next week to help train new people and of course I said SURE! Well, before I left work Monday, they had called to make an offer on the position and asked if I could start the next day.  They were kind of on a time crunch to get me trained as the girl whose place I was taking was moving away at the end of the next week.  Well, of course I said yes.  My supervisor was already aware of when I would need to start the new position.  It’s a relatively small company so all of the supervisors/managers know mostly everyone and certainly each other as there aren’t that many of them. That is the story of how I no longer work from home.

This has been a very good change for me apparently, as I am now somewhat of a morning person? Strange, but being on the road at 630 or before is like a balm to my soul! I love it!

Now the next big change that has come about, has been with my eating.  for the last few months, I have been having some severe stomach pain that led me to believe I had an ulcer. Yes, I do self diagnose.  I’ve also had stomach issues since the very early 90’s, so I’m usually pretty accurate. I was treating myself as I had an ulcer but I was still having pretty bad pain, along with many other symptoms that I didn’t put together until they all started going away. I am not even exaggerating when I say I have had these symptoms since my child was in utero and he will be 25 in November.

The beginning of the end: a friend and I went to lunch one Saturday and we were trying to decide where I could eat pain free.  Now please don’t think I’m jumping on a band wagon here.  I was very embarrassed when I first discovered this could very well be my issue because it has been such a band wagon.  Anyway, she mentioned that my symptoms were very close to another friend of hers who had a gluten sensitivity. We called her friend and her symptoms were nearly word for word my exact symptoms.  I called my doctor the following Monday and he suggested the blood test is not always accurate and I should just begin by eliminating gluten and see what happens.

I eliminated gluten, and let me tell you I am strict.  I will NOT willingly let anything cross my lips that has gluten in it.  If it does, my body lets me know within about 3 bites and I better stop or it is on!

Symptoms that are gone: heartburn, diarrhea, sorry if it is TMI, just being honest! Joint pain is non-existent! I haven’t had ibuprofen except for a headache I had and that is the only headache I had 1 day, so basically, headaches are gone, itchy skin is gone, stomach pain is gone, burping, indigestion, basically all digestive issues-GONE!

My son poked me in the arm one day to get my attention and I looked at him.  He asked if it hurt and he seemed shocked.  I said no.  He said that is the first time he ever poked me and I didn’t wince or say ow.  I very nearly broke down at that point because he reminded me that my skin hurt!

Now the final thing that has happened to me (and Kevin!) WE ARE GOING TO SHIFTCON!!!

Early Bird Sales!

Early Bird Sales!

What is ShiftCon you ask? Well the very lovely Leah Segedie is a food activist who has a heart for cleaning up our food sources and environment.  I have learned so much about the subject from her, and her work and passion has brought about some huge changes.  If you would like to join us in the fabulous city of New Orleans for a wonderful weekend full of Non-GMO food, you can use VALMASDAYS (affiliate code) HERE to receive a $50 discount.  Hurry because the presale ends June 1st and after that, ticket prices will increase by $100.  You do NOT want to miss this! Please even if you can’t attend (I REALLY REALLY want to see you there!) visit both the ShiftCon site and Mamavation and educate yourself. This will help you know WHY GMO’s are so harmful, WHY we need GMO labeling on our food, how you can VOTE with your dollars and with your VOTE at election time.

If you hung out with me all through this VERY lengthy post, I thank you!  Let me know if I can ride a trolley with you in The Crescent City!



What Is in YOUR Gym Bag??

I was provided product for my review, all opinions are definitely my own.

I don’t actually go to the gym, I do my working out at home, but if I did, let me tell you the first thing that would go in there.  Zest Fruitboost Shower Gel.  This is the most amazing smelling shower gel I’ve used in a long time.  Let me tell you, I LOVE my gels and body scrubs.  These fragrances are so light and smooth, not over powering at all!

They make my skin feel like I’ve been soaking in a tub of softening agent.  OK.  Maybe I exaggerate, but you get the idea.

Zest Fruitboost Shower Gel

Zest Fruitboost Shower Gel

I am a bath girl, through and through.  I only take a shower 1 time per week and that is only because I have to wash my hair.  The whole thing is an experience for me.  I light my candles, select my flavor shower gel, turn off the lights and get my soak on.  It is necessary to note that I have very sensitive skin so anything that I use, has to not be too harsh for my delicate skin.  I will itch for days if I use anything too harsh.  I have had zero problems.  Also, I shave my legs with my shower gel as well and this has been very pleasant to shave with.  I was also gifted the body scrub.  These smell just as pleasant and I use them about once per week (the delicate skin thing and all!).  Someone else might be able to use them daily, but I would rather not take that chance.

At only $3 a pop, you can not go wrong with these!


Friend Making… Tuesday?

This post is a link up that happens on Monday.  I spent the afternoon being lazy in my new gazebo so… I am a day late! Without further adieu, may I present:

Friend Making Monday

Friend Making Monday

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links too so everyone has the opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 Spring is Here

  1. What city do you currently live in? in the suburbs of Jacksonville, FL
  2. What’s the weather like where you are? It is so crazy wonderful! Mid 70’s during the day and upper 50’s-mid 60’s at night.  It is actually a little chilly at night to be sitting outside in shorts.  But I make it work!
  3. When you eat at a restaurant do you prefer to eat inside or outside? With weather like we are having right now, I definitely prefer to be outside.  I want to enjoy it as much as possible before the scorching summer temps get here and my makeup runs and my hair frizzes thanks to the humidity.
  4. What is your favorite season? At the beginning of whatever season we are in, I love that season, then by the time we are to the end of that season, I’m ready for the next one. Except fall and spring.  Those are perfect and the weather should stay like that forever!
  5. When you go on vacation do you prefer the beach or the mountains? I am definitely a beach person.  I am terrified of heights.  We attempted a “romantic” long weekend in the mountains and I cried the whole weekend because I was terrified I was going to fall out of the car and plunge to my death.
  6. What do you like most about Spring? I love that everything is new with spring.  The trees have leaves, there are flowers everywhere, everyone is coming outside from spending the long cold, dark winter cocooned in their homes.  Fresh.  That is the perfect work to describe it!
  7. Share one of the greatest moments of Spring from your childhood. I’m thinking… I can’t think of a single thing. I am no good with times so I could have a winter memory and think it’s spring and I’d never know the difference.
  8. Do you prefer to wear shorts, capris or dresses at this time of year? It depends on where I’m going.  If I’m casual, I like shorts.  If I need to be dressier, a dress it will be.  Capri’s are somewhere in between.
  9. What do you miss about Winter? Christmas
  10. What do you look forward to about Summer? Nothing, really. We have no big plans, that I can think of, for the summer. I am trying to really embrace and enjoy each day as it comes. We do have a big vacation in October we are planning so that is exciting!

Now your turn, if you don’t have a blog, pick a question and answer it in the comments!


Five Things Friday

Sooo… It’s been nearly 5 months since I’ve visited this little space ‘o mine.

Let’s just pretend this is the very beginning, can we? I have done absolutely nothing of any consequence since I was here last.  I’ve worked and spent time with friends and family and that’s all! I have WANTED to visit here.  I think about it nearly daily.  I just haven’t.  No reason, just haven’t pulled out the laptop. Moving on…

So, today we are going to talk about a few things that have become my favorites over the last week.

  1. The first is a new to me cleaner.  It isn’t new, I’ve heard about it forever, I just bought it for the first time last week.  This Method in Pink Grapefruit is ahhh mazing! The spray cleaner cleans EVERYTHING.  Stainless steel, mirrors, floors, counters, you name it! If you haven’t tried it, go get some now.  Let me know your favorite fragrance if you have tried it!

Method and Clorox Wipes










2. The second thing we are going to talk about is this cake. I just realized I never took a photo of the cake.  It was pretty, also! I guess I’ll have to make it again. I’m sure my family will sacrifice and eat it so I can remake it JUST to get a photo. It was the Peanut Butter Buckeye cake.  There is a video of it on facebook.  Have you seen it floating around? I was a little worried because I had to start and stop the video a bajillion times in order to write the recipe.  I was afraid I was going to miss something. If I did, you couldn’t tell.  CRAZY GOOD! Here is the recipe.  It looks like it’s going to be difficult but it is one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made.  Do it quick.  You won’t be sorry.

3. I have a planner obsession.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here before.  I’m sure I have.  Anyhow, I am switching from a ringed planner to a midori.  I can’t link to the one that I have ordered but it is a Foxy Fix.  Their site is down for maintenance right now.  I’ll be sure and leave a link when it is back up and running.  I’ve already received my inserts for it so I’ve been getting the ready.  It’s been fun but different.

Midori Inserts

Midori Inserts

Inside Calendar Insert

Inside Calendar Insert










Weekly view

Weekly view

The first picture is of the insert. The second picture is how I took the monthly out of my ringed binder and used washi tape to put it into the insert.  The on the next pages, I created a weekly spread. On the left page will be the days of the week where I can write in appointments, etc and on the right page, it is left blank, and it will be for lists for the week: cleaning I want to get done, budget, etc. So far, I am LOVING it! You can find the inserts on etsy. I am SO pleased with them.  The seller was awesome as well.  She has different paper preferences: lined, plain, music, dot grid or 1/4 inch graph.  You can specify or get a mix.  I wanted the mix since I’ve never used this before, I wanted to use them all so I can decide which works best.  Almost as soon as my order was placed, I received a message from the seller verifying I wanted mixed paper.  I thought that was awesome that she was checking that I didn’t mess up with my order.

4. My latest favorite snack is pretzel crisps and hummus.  I have a hard time finding things to eat that appeal to my since getting my braces.  I’m NOT a picky eater but as soon as you tell me I can’t have something, it’s all I think I can eat. This works perfectly for me.

Pretzel Crisps and Hummus

Pretzel Crisps and Hummus

This is my snack on top of my sale paper.  I was making a grocery list on my break from work.  It made me hungry!








5. I have no pictures for this one but I’M BAAAACCKKKK! I plan to keep it up. I miss this space when I’m not here. I pay for my domain so it’s a waste of money if I don’t use it, yes?

To celebrate my big return (laughing till I’m crying right now, as I picture that football player who “retired” about 15 different times before he actually retired!) Anyway, I’m linking up with Bain this week for a coffee talk link up. Please visit Kristen and tell her I sent you.  She will appreciate a hello!

If you have anything you want me to talk about, let me know.  We are working on some pretty big things as a family and I hope to talk a little about our plans!

Until next week


TOLT and Some Eats

Happy Thursday.  I have said this before, but I’ll say it again.  This is my all time favorite day of the week! I LOVE Thursdays! There is so much potential in the next couple of days!

Today, I am linking up with Amanda for a little bit of a brain dump, otherwise known as thinking out loud.  This is the perfect end of the week post because it give a person the opportunity to clear the brain just in time for a fantastic weekend, ya know?


First of all, I am doing the healthy living challenge with my work from November through January.  To coincide with that, Sweatpink is doing a challenge as well

Would you like to join the me? Just follow Amanda and FitApproach on instagram for daily prompts.  Lets work together to make this the healthiest holiday season yet!

I am trying to do the challenge of The Monican as well but my body hasn’t cooperated since “The Fall”.  My back was very sore and still is somewhat but that is easing off and I can’t bend or straighten my right knee.  It has to be JUST SO to avoid pain.  How long does it take to recover for this craziness once you start aging?

One thing I can tell you, my body might be falling apart but my food has been on point for about… 4 days now? I have found if I begin my day with a protein shake, I don’t crave poor food choices the rest of the day. Here is just a sampling of what I’ve been eating:

eggs, spinach, corn and cheese

eggs, spinach, corn and cheese

apple, melted peanut butter and chocolate chips

apple, melted peanut butter and chocolate chips

baked egg and avocado

baked egg and avocado


























Now I want you to pay attention to the above picture.  Baked egg and avocado. These are two of my favorite foods ever.  Together? Not so much.  Not sure why I didn’t love it but there it is.  Also? Not as easy as it looks to get that egg to stay in that avocado.  The first yolk slipped right out.  It is laying under all of that egg white there on the bottom of the container!

That is about all that is running through my brain at the moment.  I’ll close out and remember 75 things I wanted to tell ya.  I’ll try to make a note for our next chat!

Don’t forget to enter my hemp hearts give away.  Time is running out and you WANT these in your life!

What is your favorite day of the week? Any foods you love but not so much when mixed?


NaBloPoMO and Self Sabotage

Well, I did the craziest thing ever.  I signed up for NaBloPoMo today.  I tried this a couple of years ago and did not complete it. If there is one thing I could wave a magic wand and change about myself, it would be my inability (unwillingness?) to complete goals.  Not sure why I set so many goals and refuse to complete them, but there ya have it.  Sometimes it even seems like self sabotage? For instance, for the month of November, I have entered 3 very different physical challenges.  Friday night, I threw myself on the concrete and have been barely able to move this week.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t intentionally throw myself down but it makes me wonder.  Why do I have this… I don’t even know what to call it? Is it a subconscious fear?

Anyway, I am going to do my best to actually complete this. It is writing a blog post for every day of the month of November.  So far, I will only have missed one day so maybe my psyche will consider yesterday as making this an “incomplete” challenge and will not get in my way.  Can a person trick their own psyche? Hmmm…I wonder if any psychological studies have been done on that.

Ok.  I’m thinking I’ve rattled on enough about things I know absolutely nothing about.

On a lighter note, have you had this yet? I ordered a Chestnut Praline Latte tonight. Oh dear heavens! This is the best coffee ever to touch my lips! Go. Get one right now,  It is worth not sleeping tonight for!


Before I go, don’t forget to enter my give away for some good ole hemp hearts.

Do you have a problem reaching goals? What is a trick you use to meet them?


Marvelous Weekend

Good morning! What? Two days in a row!? Who is this even posting? Not tricks here, only treats!

Today, I am linking up with Katy for a Marvelous in My Monday post.  I’m going to tell you all about my weekend.

I’m just going to begin with Friday.  It started out less great and ended less than stellar! My mom sent a text asking if I would like to come carve a jack-o-lantern and have pizza.  Of course I was all over that! Our pumpkin turned out fabulous.


When it was time to order food I decided I didn’t want pizza because eating that causes my teeth to be sore (braces!) so while there is a mexican place right next to the pizza place, I decided that would be easier.  When I mentioned mexican, everyone decided to get mexican.  We ordered and all rode together to pick it up.   I volunteered to run in while my mom, aunt and nephew stayed in the car. Well, I was prancing up to the restaurant and as I stepped up onto the curb, my toe wasn’t quite high enough and I stumbled.  Normally, this would be the end of the story, right? Stumble, catch yourself and it’s over.  Well, I must have been moving pretty fast because It took me a moment of stumbling and I thought, if I can just make it to the door, I can catch myself.  Don’t you love how you can have coherent conversations with yourself in a millisecond during times like this? Well I made it to the door but it wasn’t enough.  I went down, but not flat.  While the lower have of my body was going down, the top half was sliding down the door.  Basically I was doing a very fast, very forceful backbend.  It wasn’t pleasant.  I could hear several pops in my spine while this was happening.  When I landed, I thought to hurry up and get up before anyone saw, then I realized I couldn’t get up. I was in such excruciating pain I was certain my back was broken. It also knocked the wind out of me. Next thing I knew, I was surrounded by what felt like 50 people but I believe was only about 5.  They were asking did I need 911, and then telling me they were going to call 911.   I didn’t want that.  If I became certain I was for sure hurt, I would have let them call but I needed a moment to decide.  Someone let my mom know what was happening and she said it took me about 10 minutes to be able to get up.  I was still in some pretty bad pain but by then, I was pretty sure nothing was broken.  When we returned home, I got on a heating pad and took some ibuprofen.  I did get up and walk around and stretch a bit because I was afraid of getting stiff.  I am still quite sore and the soreness is seeping into other body parts as well.  My arms, shoulders and forearms are incredibly sore.  My back still feels like I was run over by a semi and crazy enough, my boobs are crazy sore! I think if I had implants, they would have busted! It was a scary situation and I keep waiting to be able to look back and laugh but I’m not quite there yet.  I was terrified I had seriously injured myself. Also, I keep thinking if I had done yoga as much as I’ve thought about it in the past, I would have been more flexible and would not have been as sore in the end!

Saturday, we had plans to go to a fall festival and a couple of stores.  We did go to the fall festival but I only had 1 store in me.  I was SORE! The only reason I went to that one store was because it was for groceries. The fall festival was at a girlfriends church and it was really well done.  They had tons of food and activities for all ages.  We at a little dessert but had not had breakfast too much earlier so we weren’t ready for lunch just yet.IMG_9625


Jasper has not always been a fan of animals but he decided yesterday that he LOVES ponies.

Sunday was a lot of sitting, standing, stretching and trying to get over this soreness.  It isn’t happening quite as fast as I’d prefer.  Imagine that! Fortunately I had already planned a super easy evening meal for us of pre-made pot pies from the deli at Whole Foods yesterday.  Those are SO good!

Now tell me, did you have an adventurous weekend? What was your highlight?