Monday, June 15, 2015

Weight Loss Update

Hello

So it's been a little over a month since I started doing the Atkins diet and my new weight loss/healthy lifestyle journey.  I am proud to report I am down a total of 15 pounds now! 

I will say I haven't been 100% on point with the diet. There have been a few cheat meals and treats, however especially for me 15 pounds in a little over a month is amazing! Now I know my body will get used to it and I will hit a plateau because I am kind of there.  I am working through it and getting exercise into my routine now to help get past it. I look forward to updating you again on even more progress. 

This post I want to be more on what I eat, or don't eat to stay full and lose weight all at the same time.  Since I am doing Atkins I manage my carb intake.  That means all carbs from vegetables as well as fruits. I won't explain Atkins in depth you can just read about it here.  I am mainly going to explain what foods I really like.


I will start by saying the Atkins snacks are lifesavers. I love those snacks a lot. They have so many good ones that are only a couple of carbs a piece. Now I know they are processed but for someone busy and on the go they are great! 

Pinterest has been my lifesaver for excise tips, recipes and so much more. Come follow me on Pinterest, and I will follow you too we can all pin stuff that will help each other!  I will also say I have found some awesome YouTube channels for free exercises from Pinterest. I have those pinned under my Workout section so go check it out.

There are a few things I eat a lot of like chicken, eggs, ham, and sausage.  I have a lot more fruits and vegetables than I had before.  I will also try to make things that I like but a healthier version. I'm putting together some recipes I have modified so stay tuned for those. Mostly it's making good choices and not eating more than 30 net carbs a day. Also eating every few hours helps me stay full and not get snacky.

The biggest difference I am incorporating now that it's Summer is making it a point to get some kind of exercise everyday.  Whether it's swimming with my girls. (And yes I do get in the pool with them and actually swim) Or going to the gym and doing a combination of cardio and weight training.  I also take my dogs for a walk daily since it's good for both of us.  I also like finding cute, affordable, and well made workout clothes.  Having cute clothes to go exercise motivates me for sure! They are sometimes hard to find, but thanks to Zulily it's been a lot easier to find discount high end clothes for any occasion especially the gym.

I am very excited about the changes I have made so far and I am happy to see some progress from them.  I will be posting soon about some of the recipes I have modified that I just love eating.  Let me know some of your favorite recipes or tips in the comments. 



Thanks and have a great day!!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Weight Loss take #189

Hello

So I don't know really how many times I've started and unsuccessfully completed a weight loss diet.  I am sure the title is pretty darn close though. 

This time I feel as though I am on my last weight loss diet I will ever need. My husband and I decided to start Atkins 16 days ago.  We had tried all of the different things out there and for us this is the one that seems to work the best.  It's pretty simple eat meat and veggies.  Of course there's a little more to it than that, but you get the basic idea.  I know 16 days isn't a lot, however for us it's the longest we have ever gone without caving or giving up.  We have also successfully lost weight so far. I have lost almost 10 pounds and he has lost more. Now I know when you change your diet you will lose weight, however this is the first time in a long time I have lost weight like this.  Usually I lose 1 or 2 pounds even after trying so hard, so it was nice to see quick results which help keep us motivated.  Now I say quick results but they are also lasting, we are still going strong 16 days later and we have never been starving or deprived.

We have three girls so at first I though it'd be rough to fix meals we can all eat without depriving them.  I found that is not the case.  If we do have something completely different we just fix two meals, which isn't so bad.  Sometimes though we can all eat the same thing.  

I want to share with you some of the examples of this;



  • Breakfast we can all eat the same egg dishes.  I make scrambled eggs with cheese, ham or bacon.  They can have it as well, and the only difference is I might make them some toast.
  • For Dinner we would make hamburgers and they would have tater tots as a side while we have veggies.  Also instead of buns we use lettuce wraps.  This one is an easy dinner we all can enjoy.
  • Pasta nights I cook chicken for everyone, then for the kids I cook up pasta and sauce. Add the portion of the chicken to the sauce and they have a delicious meal.  My husband and I have chicken and a side of veggies or chicken on a salad and we are completely satisfied. 
  • Fish nights are another easy one.  We are lucky our kids will eat fish.  I just cook up a bag of fish with veggies as a side dish.  They might get mashed potatoes as well but otherwise we all eat the same on those nights.
  • Snacks are completely different they have their foods that we don't touch anymore and we have ours.  One of my favorite healthy snacks for this diet has been cucumber slices with whipped cream cheese like a little sandwich.  So tasty and really satisfies the need to snack. 


The real key to any lifestyle change is being prepared.  We prep our meals ahead of time when possible so we aren't left famished and grazing through the pantry.  I have plenty of meals or snacks ready to go for when I get hungry.  That is the biggest thing to sticking with it this time.  I will also say the Atkins brand shakes and bars are a great way to curb those cravings.  They are the only way to get chocolate now, and I will say they satisfy.  They even make fake M&M's.  

I will also tell you this program promises your appetite will decrease as you go, and I will tell you it is true.  We have been 100% true to the diet and I feel so good.  I don't have to eat as much as I used to to feel full at all.  We haven't had 1 cheat meal or snack yet, which is huge for us.  Not to say there weren't temptations.  I started this diet on Teacher Appreciation Week at the school I work at and there were as many free treats you could imagine.  Also we went to a wedding that had the most delicious smelling catering. However when you do it with someone especially your significant other you have a whole new level of accountability.


This is just a little post to share what I have done that has worked very well for me and my family in this big lifestyle change or diet.  If you have any tips let me know, it's always good to share.  

Thanks!
Emily 

Monday, May 11, 2015

More Beauty Favorites

Hello,

This Past weekend was Mother's Day, and boy was it as fun as it was busy.  We were able to visit all our Moms/Grandmas and have some good quality time with family.  In the gift department I did pretty good. I got lots of cute poems from the girls and pictures that they made at school.  I even got a last minute picture/poem they made that afternoon at church.  To top it all off I received flowers and received a gift card to do some late Spring shopping soon.

For those of you coming off the Mother's Day high we all seem to get that 1 day a year it's time to maybe be a little selfish.  You do so many great things it's time to get yourself some stuff.  My guilty pleasure which I've stated over and over is makeup.  Now I'm a simple girl with simple tastes but when it comes to makeup I do love some drugstore mixed with high end. 


I still do love the makeup I mentioned in this and this previous post. These are just my recent new favorites.  

I've been compiling a list of my newest makeup and hair product favorites over the past few months, and I finally had the time to sit and write it all out. 
Sephora just had their big sale for Beauty Insiders and so it was a good time to stock up on some products.  I am now pretty much set for the year on high end as well as most of my other makeup needs. Here is the list for you of some of my go to's lately that are both from the drugstore category and those that are high end but worth every penny.

First up the Smashbox Primer Water.  This product has been making it's way around YouTube for awhile so I was a bit skeptical.  However I can say it is amazing.  I use it as more of a setting spray even though it says "primer" but it works either way.  A little goes a long way, and it really helps me feel refreshed.  I used to use the Urban Decay Setting Spray and I would say it's right there with that product. Although it does feel lighter which is weird since they are both sprays. 



I will say for a drugstore alternative I did have the E.L.F. Makeup Mist and that one isn't bad either.  And at 10 times less the amount it's a great alternative. ELF is found at Target which is also convenient. 

Speaking of Primers, I have been using this Smashbox Hydrating Primer lately and it is very nice. I have dry skin year round and this hydrating primer helps me stay moisturized under makeup all day.  A little bit goes a long way so I feel like for the money it's not so bad. I bet this will last me a year if not longer. 



It Cosmetics is a brand QVC, and Ulta carry but I didn't really know if the claims were true.  The same time Sephora had a sale the It Cosmetics website had a sale so I figured I'd try a few things.  I am really glad I did. I purchased the CC Cream, Celebration Illumination Foundation, and the Vitality Brightening Anti Aging Face Disk.   I will tell you I love all three of these products.  They are high end however they will go a long way. That Vitality Disk is as big as my head.  They really do make my skin feel like I am doing something good for it, which is rare with makeup.  





L'Oreal lately has really out done themselves for drugstore makeup.  I have recently picked up the La Nude Palettes both 1 and 2 and they are great quality for the price.  I also have picked up their L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime eyeliners

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche La Palette

They are also on point with the hair care.  I've been loving this hair mask I purchased recently. The one I have is the one pictured below. You can see it here.  It was only 6 dollars and made my hair feel like I had just had a professional treatment without weighing it down.  I didn't use very much either so this will go a long way.  

L'Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm, 8.5 fl oz 
These are low cost products that give you a high end quality.  Just because you pay drugstore prices you don't want low end makeup.  

Sometimes with drugstore makeup you find a diamond in the rough.  This is truly the case with NYC Loose Setting Powder.  I have mine in translucent and it seriously smooths everything out. I mainly use it for my under eye area after putting on concealer but on days I want light coverage I use it all over and it doesn't dry me out.  I especially love that it is 3 dollars or under depending on where you purchase it.  

NYC New York Color Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder, 701 Translucent, 0.7 oz


This is just a short list of things I have been loving from both ends of the spectrum.  If you have some favorites of your own I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

Thanks and Enjoy!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Big List of Drugstore Makeup

Hello

To say I am obsessed with YouTube makeup videos would be an understatement.  I love them!! I love getting tips/tricks and seeing what is new.  I do love both high end and drugstore products. I think depending on the brand and product both can be just as good as the other.  Today I am letting you know some of my favorite Drugstore beauty items. 

First though let me share some of my current favorite YouTube beauty gurus.

Tiffany D is amazing, real and so down to earth.  She reminds me of just being a great friend who shares amazing finds.  You have to check her out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8t5JpM2WLs


Another that I love is Emily Noel.  She too is very real and down to earth.  She also has some of my favorite drugstore finds. She tells it how it is and I totally trust her opinions. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEJ3KRswFbE

Here is a list of some of my favorite recent drugstore products.


  1. Brushes are so essential to doing makeup. I have found the E.L.F. Studio Brushes.  I have a few of them and I love them all. I find mine at target but you can also find them Here or this brush set Here.  They are only 3 dollars a piece and so much better quality than 3 dollar brushes. 
  2. My favorite foundation from the drugstore as of late is Covergirl Ready, Set Gorgeous. You can find it here on Amazon or at your local store that sells Covergirl products.  I love this foundation.  It really is a beautiful  finish that goes on so nice.  It's inexpensive with high end results. 
  3. My next new favorite is the E.L.F. HD Powder you can find it where ELF is sold like Target or on Amazon here.  This powder is an excellent setting and finishing powder. It's only 6 dollars and really is smoothing and blurs out your makeup so you don't have a "cake face".
  4. I have very bad dark circles under my eyes which are hereditary so I can't just get them to go away completely with creams.  However I can minimize them with products and I found a drugstore one that does just that.  Other concealers are OK for brightening etc....this one is a gem and actually corrects the dark circles.  It's the Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser you can get yours here on Amazon if you can't find it in your stores.  I am in love with mine.  This is a newer one for me but seriously it had me impressed the very first time I used it. 
  5. Can't forget eyes.  I love NYX eyeshadows for my drugstore needs.  They make beautiful pallettes.  My favorite are the Baked eye shadows but I have others and I like those too.  They are just super pigmented and beautiful to blend out on the eyes.  I find mine at Ulta or Target you can find some here on Amazon too. 
  6. Everyone is looking for glowing luminous skin.  These next two products do just that.  One I use and one my friend swears by.  You add these straight to the areas you want to highlight or the best way is to mix a drop or two into your foundation when you put it on.  One is by NYX and you can find NYX at Ulta in the drugstore section or some Targets are starting to carry the product.  If you don't have it in your area find yours here on Amazon.  The second one is the L'oreal Magic Lumi primer you can find here.  

  7. You've got to have mascara so here is my pick.  Covergirl Lashblast which you can find anywhere Covergirl is sold or here on Amazon.  This is an oldie but a goodie and my favorite drugstore mascara.  I love the regular blackest black and the waterproof too. 
  8. Last one for the night is a bronzer blush duo.  I love this stuff from E.L.F. again I find mine at Target but you can get it here too from Amazon.  You get a beautiful blush and bronzer in one.  Also the packaging is really nice for the price.  It is very similar packaging to NARS and I'd say the quality of product for drugstore is very nice too.  
Here are enough suggestions to do almost your full face.  These are some of my favorite finds, leave me your suggestions in the comments.  I'd love to hear your favorites too!! 

Enjoy!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year and Christmas Recap




Hello

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2015 I can't believe it's 2015 already.  I don't feel old until I realize I graduated High School 15 years ago this year.....Wow! I don't feel like a grown up at all, until I realize I have a teenager and life is moving faster than ever.

I didn't post anything in December and it was kind of nice. I actually ended up getting Strep Throat the week of Christmas, which I promise is not a fun way to spend the holidays.  I also ended up getting it again this week...however thankfully I have dodged getting my tonsils out for now. I hear it's not a fun surgery I want as an adult so let's hope I don't get Strep again for a long time, if ever. 


Something I wanted to talk about today is a tip for making December less stressful and that is getting holiday shopping done early. I know some people live off the adrenaline and the rush of last minute shopping, but I am not one of those people. I was done with Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving this year. That helped me enjoy the month of December and the only thing I had left to do was wrap all the presents. Let me tell you it was sure nice to not have to go out in the cold and shop when it's already busy. 

Tip #1 for holiday shopping is save up the money throughout the year.  Set a budget early in the year on an estimated amount you will need for Christmas. We listed out every person we were buying for and the Christmas meal we do for our family and we made a budget.  That gave us our total goal of what to save up for before Christmas actually came. This helped us not only stay out of debt for Christmas but then when we found something on sale we wanted to get as a gift for someone we were able to buy it right away and not have to wait.  I kept a running list in my phone of presents to buy, what we had bought and the budget.  There are lots of saving plans out there on Pinterest.  We just set aside a certain amount each month and built it into our budget.  This helped us save all the money before November.  

Tip#2 Shop the sales year round. I know Black Friday has some great deals, and even this year we saw sales even before Thanksgiving. Those are great for big purchases and sometimes toys.  However for everyday things like clothes, or not as popular toys shopping throughout the year helped us find the best deals. I was able to score toys on clearance at Target way before the big sales started.  It's all about planning ahead. Then you know what you are looking for and you can keep an eye out for those items.  The other thing is you can get your kids wish lists for "Santa" after Halloween and still have plenty of time to shop before the craziness starts.

Tip #3 Stick to a budget! It can be easy to go overboard and get too many things for your family and friends.  If you just price things right and shop around you can still do a great job under whatever budget you had to set for your gifts.  We found so many great things on sale and we were able to put together so many great gifts thanks for perseverance and patience. 

Tip #4 I mentioned it above but put your Food you already know you need to buy into the budget.  We always do a big Christmas dinner so we know every year we will have that big expense.  If we hadn't saved the money before hand we would've been in a bad place when it came time to buy the Christmas dinner food.  Saving ahead really can relieve stress and help you in the long run.

We had an awesome Christmas despite me being sick and missing some of the fun that week.  We were able to enjoy our family's company and not worry about the hustle and bustle of last minute shopping.  Also for us in Utah it was pretty snowy that week of Christmas so it was nice to stay in and only go out to visit family instead of having to fight busy snow filled parking lots and streets. 

As far as the New Year goes our biggest goal is to do the same thing for next years Christmas.  

Also I'm going back on the wagon of fitness and health goals.  I've said it a lot and I'll say it again but I am going to focus on exercise, and healthy eating to finally hit my goals of losing weight.  I will say having Strep has given me a head start...I wasn't able to eat much for a week and now again that I got sick all over again.  Not a good way to lose weight though :) I will keep you posted on how I am doing and hopefully by sharing it I will be more accountable.

We have some big things coming up this year like a family trip to Disneyland I am so excited and I will be checking my favorite vacation website Get Away Today for deals and specials. 



I hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let's all make this a great year by tackling our goals and facing new challenges!

Have a great day!!





Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Current Obsessions

Hi

Sorry it's been awhile things have been busy around here. In addition to being a Jamberry Independent Consultant I work as a part time aide at my girls school.  It is way fun but it now takes up a lot of time during the day. I have been super busy the last few weeks. 

I decided to give you a list of the things I am currently obsessed with because it is a long list.  

First up my biggest Obsession is Sephora the best makeup store on the planet! I love that place. 

I just bought this great holiday palette the Tarte Bon Voyage palette.  It is beautiful and amazing. This picture is courtesy of Sephora.com.  The eyeshadows are what makes this palette worth the money.  20 full size shadows that are incredibly easy to blend, beautiful on and they last all day. The other things you get with it are great too. The mascara is a little bigger than a normal sample size and I really like it.  It has two lip products which are nice neutral colors. The blush is gorgeous and wears really well.  

One of my favorite You Tubers Make Up Geek has a great video going over some of the big holiday palettes this year.  Her website has an awesome breakdown of the palette, But trust me it's awesome and I love it.  So worth the money for sure. 

So I found a new Makeup You Tuber thanks to my best friend that I love watching. Her name is Tiffany D and she has awesome reviews. She seems really down to earth and isn't too into herself which is refreshing to see online. 

The next thing I have become obsessed with my best friend also turned me onto, and to be honest she is why I have my Sephora obsession (it's a good thing) The Original Beauty Blender.  Photo courtesy of Sephora.com
I had a knock off one before and it wasn't even half as good as this original one is.  I love this thing.  It flawlessly applies my makeup and concealer.  It is completely worth the money for sure.

This one is from the drugstore the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer.  Photo courtesy of Amazon.com.  I love this concealer.  It works great as an eyeshadow base as well.  It is so smooth, creamy and everyone says it's a great dupe for a Mac Concealer. 

As far as brushes go there are definitely more pricey better quality options, but for me right now I like a good deal.  I have found these Real Techniques brush sets to be very good quality for the price.  I have quite a few and none have had problems yet.  They are easy to wash, and work great. 

I found a new one just a bit ago thanks to my neighborhood Costco.  I found the face care mask Glamglow for a discounted price.  However here is a great gift pack that Sephora has available online and in stores.  This face mask does the best job at declogging all my pores. It makes my skin feel fresh and clean like nothing else before it has.  It truly is an amazing face mask that since you don't use a lot at a time is worth the cost. However if you can find it somewhere like Costco or when Sephora does their Insiders Beauty club sales that would be better too. 

The last thing for now is something a little different. It is my Silhouette Cameo I received for Christmas last year.  I love cutting paper and mostly vinyl.  I put vinyl everywhere. And I also love cutting out things for my friends. I plan on making wood crafts with vinyl in the future. It is well worth it's price tag for all the great things it can make. There's a new Silhouette Cameo 2 but since I just got mine I can't quite upgrade yet.

These are just a few of my current obsessions. Stay tuned for more in the future.  

Let me know some of your obsessions in the comments below I'd love to hear what you love!
Thanks
Em

Saturday, October 25, 2014

An Oldie But A Goodie Fall Wreath

Hello

I have been busy around here I just started a part time job at my kids elementary school which is so much fun but means I am very busy all the time now. So I thought since I don't have much time I'd revisit today because it was one of my favorites.


When I pulled my wreath out of storage and almost forgot how much I loved it while it was downstairs waiting for Fall to come.   Fall has always been my favorite because it means back to school, my birthday then Halloween.  I lived in Arizona for a few years and it was never the same back then as it is in Utah.  I am so glad I moved back to Utah for various reasons one of them being the seasons Fall in particular.  HERE is a link to the original blog post on how I made this inexpensive wreath to celebrate Fall. It's super easy to store and has held up nice this past year.


It's just as gorgeous this year as it was last year.  I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do.

Thanks for stopping by

Emily