Friday, April 22, 2016

Finding Joy in the Ordinary

When I made my to do list at the beginning of the week, one of my goals was to write a meaningful blog post. I've been feeling a little busy and uninspired, and I really wanted to get out of that mindset.

Since starting Plexus in February, I've got so much more energy for the daily things that I had really dreaded previously. Taking showers and giving Reagan baths for instance. Obviously very necessary haha, and they make us feel refreshed and clean, but for someone with chronic illness they also take a lot of energy. Cleaning, cooking, laundry, you name it. I've come to really despise these necessary activities of daily living. I'm used to putting them off because I'm just too tired to do them, and then feeling extremely stressed when I finally get around to it.

I thought once I had more energy I would be so much more fun and happy. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am! But that is only part of the changes I have needed. Now that I have the energy to get these tasks accomplished, I no longer need to dread them. And I don't as much, but I haven't been happy to do them necessarily. Is anyone? Haha that's for another discussion.

My mindset just needed some adjusting! I'm so lucky that I have a little girl who needs mama to bathe her. We are blessed to have hot running water. How awesome that I have food to cook and mouths to feed. When I think about it that way, the mundane, boring duties calling for my attention are blessings that I am more than happy to attend to! 

At the beginning of the year, I said JOY was my word of the year. Choosing joy is still something that I'm actively working at. It doesn't always come easy. But it's there. And you can choose to see joy in so many plain and ordinary places if you're purposeful about it. 

Commit yourself to finding joy somewhere you've been struggling to see it. Where are you finding your joy?



Thursday, March 3, 2016

What Happened in My First Month of Plexus

Starting out, I was such a skeptic. Did you read my post about all the changes I was making in January? Plexus was one of them. I would take it for a few days and then forget for a few, but I finally decided to really give it my best shot. For the entire month of February I took my Plexus Slim and Xfactor multivitamin every morning. I didn't expect it to be any different than the other times 3 times I had tried it. 

Of course, I didn't give it my best those times either. I would start taking it, trying to cut out Red Bull and then later coffee. I've suffered from Lyme Disease symptoms since 2008, which include joint pain, fatigue, migraines, brain fog, forgetfulness, just to name a little bit. For some people who get Lymes, those symptoms don't go away. I went undiagnosed for over a year, and the symptoms improved when I was treated, but they've been very much chronic since then. My sweet friend who first told me about Plexus had been through a very similar situation and she had found incredible relief through Plexus products, not to mention the fact that she's a work at home mom now because she became a Plexus Ambassador. 

So anyway, I've been silently suffering all this time, and this year I'm ready for changes. Here's what has happened in the last month:

*I'm not in constant pain

*I can concentrate so much better

*My memory is improving

*My horrendous allergies I've had since I was a child are nonexistent at the moment,,, and we even have flowers blooming inside the house! I'm just imagining what this is going to mean for my asthma this year. I usually have a trip to the ER for asthma every Spring!

*I have a healthy control over my appetite. I don't want to graze all hours of the day. I do occasionally snack, but most of the time I just don't want anything!

*I don't get blood sugar swings between meals. Usually if I go too long without eating I feel shaky and weak and I have this need to snack just to make that feeling go away, but not anymore.

* I have energy!! This is huge!

*I lost 3 lbs. This is without changing my diet or exercise at all!

*I lost inches in every measurement I took except calves. That's neck, upper arm, waist, hips, and thigh!

Please keep in mind that this is just my personal experience with Plexus Slim and Xfactor, and experiences will vary. Plexus is a line of supplements, and does not claim to cure or treat any disease or condition because supplements are not regulated by the FDA.

I have Hashimoto's Thyroid Disease, and this gives me a very sluggish metabolism, takes even more of my energy, and makes it so hard for me to lose weight and so easy to gain. I have had to keep steadily increasing my medication for this since becoming pregnant with Reagan in 2010, so I'm very excited to see in a couple weeks how my levels are doing and if there has been any change.

I'm also going to be trying a couple more Plexus products in addition to my normal Slim and Xfactor repertoire. And increasing my exercise because I have the energy to do this now! 

I am so blessed to have experienced these health improvements. Now I am able to share these products with others as well because a couple weeks into this new Plexus journey, I decided to take the leap and become a Plexus Ambassador myself! One of the biggest drivers of my team is "If you are blessed, be a blessing!" How amazing is that?

If you are looking to improve your health, step up your health game, or join my team, please contact me and visit my website:

I'll definitely be keeping y'all updated on my experience with these products and this company!

Do you have any questions? Comment below!



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Buy This Before Disney!

What to Buy Before Your Disney Trip

            I’m in the process of planning a trip to Disney World! I have never been, so of course neither has Reagan. I cannot wait to see her excitement and experience such a magical trip with her! This is definitely one of the perks of mom life, am I right?!

            So in all my planning, I’ve been researching places to eat, people to meet, things to do, and I can’t wait to share all the tips and tricks I’ve learned and all the details of our trip once we go. There are a few things I know we want to have on hand right away, so here’s a list of what we’re getting before the trip!

1.          Princess costumes: Of course Reagan is so excited to see Elsa and Anna and all the princesses! She already has a few costumes from Disney from past Halloweens and birthdays, so we will definitely be bringing those. I have always been a big fan of costumes from the Disney Store. When Reagan was two, she wanted to be Sophia the First for Halloween. I got her the outfit and all the accessories, and not only was it SO cute at the time, it still fits her now that she’s 4 (almost 5!) and has held up beautifully! Through tea parties, washes, days and days worth of dress up, it practically looks brand new. Part of that is because Reagan is short and small for her age, and she generally takes good care of her clothes and toys, but still, I feel like for costume and dress up clothes it’s worth the extra money to buy from the Disney Store and get a high quality product that lasts rather than the one-size-fits-most counterparts in other stores.

2.      Autograph books: I’ve never been to any Disney location, so I could be wrong, but I would imagine that any time after you enter the park is fair game for a character spotting. I want to have our autograph books on hand so we’re ready from the start. This princess version looks especially magical!

3.       Special or matching outfits: I’ve seen some matching shirts from the Disney Store, but also Disney themed shirts on Etsy. I’m getting the Mouseketeer shirts with the Minnie ears, and the rest I’ll be designing and making. (And posting on Etsy! I’ll be sharing them here too when they’re listed!) I found the dress in the next picture at Walmart just two days ago. This is a great option for a regular outfit, but also if you're looking for a less expensive or more comfortable alternative to the princess costumes! If you've followed my new Instagram for the blog, you already got a sneak peak at this post and saw this picture! (The blog has a Pinterest now too! Follow us!)

4.       Ear hats or headbands: We already have a pair of pink sequin Minnie ears that I wore for Halloween when Reagan was Minnie Mouse. Unfortunately her hat from that costume no longer fits, so I’m just getting her a matching pair and making our first day shirts to match them. They have some really cool themed headbands and hats at the Disney Store, so I’m hopeful that there will be even more in the parks.

5.       Light Up Toys and Glow Sticks:
 Walmart has tons of glow sticks in the party section, and some are even Frozen themed. I already picked up a set to save for a random occasion, so we’ll be taking that for one of the night parades or fireworks shows. We also already have a few princess wands from costumes and Disney On Ice, so we’ll be bringing those instead of buying more while we’re there.

6.       Something special for the trip: There are a number of play sets, especially those that come with carrying cases, which will give kids something fun to do on the trip, in the hotel during down time, or even in line waiting in the parks.

7.       Trading pins and starter set: Pin trading is a big deal for some families, so we’re going to give it a try. Cast members will even trade with you if you ask. I’m getting a starter set and a couple sets of the less expensive pins so we’ll have some we’re okay with parting with. The pins aren’t crazy expensive and with the lanyards they’re kind of self-contained, so I feel like these make a great souvenir also!

8.       Magicband accessories: We’re going to decorate our magicbands, so I’m getting a few sliders and stickers and we’ll make a fun activity of it in the days before we leave. There are of course accessories or even decorated magicbands themselves from the Disney Store, and I’ve also seen stickers on etsy with characters and monograms. I’m sure a small sticker set from the party section of any store would work as well!

Of course there are tons of other things you may potentially need before you leave, but these are all of the Disney specific items I’m going to be shopping for ahead of time to save a little time and money! What are your favorite things to pack for Disney trips?



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

10 Changes to Adopt for a Great Year

New Year, Same Rut

Its the new year, time for a fresh start. This sounds great in theory, but Im currently feeling like Im stuck in such a rut, and its hard to decide where to start when there are so many things Id like to change. Ive found that as a stay at home mom, its especially easy to end up stuck in a rut. When Im not getting out of the house regularly, Im usually scrolling through Zulilys daily deals on my iPad, third day hair in messy ponytail, wearing sweatpants I found on the floor. This is not a pretty picture, but lets be real yall. Even if getting out of the house just looks like running out to Walmart for milk and bread, I still feel so much better when Im out and getting things accomplished. Ruts have been happening for me way more than Id care to admit, and this year, Im setting out to fix that.

Here are my goals for 2016:

Better sleep. It all starts here folks. When you dont get enough sleep or you arent sleeping well, things dont get accomplished. Simple as that. On the worst days, I come home and nap and barely do a thing between morning drop off and afternoon pick up. This does not do good things to my ego. Better sleep = better days. What Im changing: 11:00 is bed time. Not lay in bed and surf the internet time, real bed time. Im also tracking my sleep with my new Fitbit Flex. On really rough nights when I cant get to sleep, Tylenol is a major help. Im usually restless 17-20 times per night, but after taking two regular Tylenol before bed just once, the next three nights I was restless 7, 3, and 0 times. Getting a good night of sleep made subsequent nights that much better!

Self care. I am important, and so are you. I love being a mommy, and I think about my daughter way more than I think about myself, but if I dont take care of myself and Im at the end of my rope, I cant be the mom I want to be. I cant be the mom she NEEDS me to be. What Im changing: What ever gives you life, do that. For me, its showers, makeup, jewelry, and nice nails. No more three day hair. Even when I feel too busy to do anything for myself, Im making the time. Im getting up early enough to do my makeup before waking Reagan. Even if all Im wearing is some yoga pants and a plain tee, Im still grabbing at least one piece of jewelry before I walk out the door. Reagan and I do our nails together. We bond, and when I look at my nails it makes me want to take care of myself. Everyone wins.

Financial management.  I havent been the best at saving, and its caused me a lot of undue worrying and stress. As someone with anxiety, stress here spills over to all aspects of life. What Im changing: Im using budgeting printables from Pinterest to put it all out on paper. Before I buy anything, no matter how small, Im praying about it and really considering if this purchase is necessary in this moment. Intentional spending is crucial. When I let myself buy without thinking, not only do I usually regret it, but I end up tempted to do it again. Even when Im in a financially stable place, spending without thinking is wasteful and leads to stress.

Better risks. I have an etsy shop made with nothing in it. There are so many ideas of written down but havent actually made yet. I have tons of projects planned that I want to post about. Photo shoots, recipes, crafts, trips, products and books to share. I know all about taking risks. Hitting the snooze button just once more and still trying to get there on time, not studying enough and still trying to ace the test, just one more cupcake but maybe it wont go to my hips if I exercise enough. Sure, I take risks every day, but are they the right ones? What Im changing: Im going out on stable limbs. If its not beneficial (ex. all the things I just admitted to doing), I just need to save my time and energy for the risks that are worthwhile. This year I will be building my business, blogging regularly, doing fun things I would normally be tempted to skip, taking a few classes on hobbies Ive been wanting to try (Craftsy!), and other things outside my comfort zone that will enrich my life.

Less procrastination. I have the terrible habit of putting off everything from class assignments to getting out of bed until the very last minute. This is one of my biggest stressors and yet I havent changed, until now. What Im changing: Im praying over how I spend my time. God wants me to use the time Ive been blessed with wisely. Talking with Him keeps things in perspective and makes me want to be intentional about how I spend my time. Less time wasted means less stress and more time doing the things that matter, and that sounds like a wonderful change for me.

More exercise. I work and attend college from home. Im a stay at home mom. Im not out and about often, and I have reason to sit at my computer basically all day. The last couple years of this have equated into less and less time moving. Virtually no exercise has taken a huge toll on my health and my self esteem. What Im changing: Im getting up and getting moving! Im using my Fitbit Flex to track my steps and starting out with a 10k step daily goal. I just started last week and I already feel SO MUCH BETTER. Walking is easy and I know I can stick to that. Im not going to set myself up for failure by trying to commit to something intense when Im not ready for that. I sneak walking in all the time throughout my day. Everyone has time for this! I walk while the microwave is counting down, while Im brushing my teeth, when Ive been sitting at my desk for a while I hop up and walk for a few minutes. I walk in place, outside, around the house. My Fitbit Flex keeps track of my steps, and I love that all I have to do is look at my wrist to find out where I stand with my goals. Its exactly the motivation I need to keep moving all day. My friends and I also use the Fitbit app to challenge each other and that works wonders as well.

Good nutrition. I feel pressed for time 24/7 from stress and procrastinating too much which leaves me with very little time. Its much easier to reach for a quick fix with poor nutritional value when Im busy than to take the time to fix a healthy meal. Ive let this business be my vice for far too long. What Im changing: Im making better eating choices. It is faster to grab something at home than to hit the drive thru, no matter what I try to tell myself. I dont NEED that coffee while Im running errands, I can just fix a much healthier one at home and bring it with me. And when I dont feel like cooking my lunch, I can grab an organic Lean Cuisine instead of unhealthy alternatives and have a much healthier lunch that I love in the same amount of time. Im also giving this one to God. When I talk to him about my choices and think of my body as the wonderful gift from Him that it is, it makes me want to treat myself better. Correct portion sizes, fresh fruits and veggies, and unprocessed protein are delicious fuel. I will not limit or restrict myself, Im simply making better choices and changing my perspective. Im tracking my calories in the Fitbit app so I know where I stand with the calories Im taking in. Im also drinking Plexus Slim and taking the Plexus Xfactor multivitamin daily.

More time outside. When Im sitting in front of my computer working and studying, or cleaning and organizing the house, or the million other things I feel like I need to do NOW, I dont take the time to get outside and get fresh air. This is so unhealthy!! What Im changing: Every single day that weather permits, Im going outside for a minimum of 15 minutes. Sunshine and vitamin D and taking the time to stop and enjoy this beautiful world He created does me so much good, and it is important that I make time for this. It is such a mood lifter!

Tidy living. When Im feeling super exhausted, its hard to motivate myself to tackle the clutter in my house. Then I look around at the mess thats already taking over and I feel that much more exhausted because I dont know where to begin, and so the cycle continues. What Im changing: Every morning, Im starting a load of laundry. Even if I dont do any laundry for the rest of the day, at least I know well have some clean clothes ready to go. It doesnt have to take up my entire day to make a difference. Im also taking 15 minutes to take on the clutter. I pick a room, grab a trash bag or bins for organizing, and set the timer on my phone. 15 minutes of intense cleaning gets so much more done than sitting on the couch stressing about everything I need to do and the lack of time I have to accomplish it all!

Choosing JOY. This is my word for 2016. I prayed for God to show me what I needed to focus on this year. I asked Him to give me a word that could be my mantra. I was cooking dinner and listening to the Christian music station, and a song came on that really struck home with me and made me think of joy. I have a beautiful necklace with the words Choose Joy on the front, and its always been a sentiment I loved. When I stopped to think about how Id been feeling lately, I realized that I had NOT been choosing joy. Ive been letting the negativity of situations cloud out the good parts of my day, and it was stealing my joy. My biggest mission this year is to change that. What Im changing: Im putting my focus on the bright side of everything. When my daughter is pressing on my last nerve and Im about to lose it – how blessed I am to have this issue. I have a child that I love, I am a wonderful mother, and I am so blessed that I have an independent little girl that I get to work through these issues with. When Im feeling exhausted and worn out – Im so lucky to have this body that has never failed me, and a bed to go rest in, and a warm home to protect me so that I can get some much needed rest without worry. In pretty much any situation, there is a way to choose joy over upset. And when you make a conscious decision to pick joy, it changes your outlook on everything for the better. I could use more joy and positivity. I cant wait to see how my life changes this year because of these new choices. I hope this inspires you to have a wonderful 2016 and choose joy!