Thrifter

Last night, on a  whim, I decided to randomly browse the Hickam Thrift Store FB page. They periodically post pictures of things they have for sale in their store along with events and specials.  GOOD THING I DID! (of all days…) I found out last night that TODAY would be the $10/bag SALE!  Say whaaaaaaat?!  Yep, whatever could be squeezed into a brown plastic commissary  shopping bag = $10 (only including clothing, belts and shoes). SO, bright and early this morning, the kids and I headed out for some thrifty shopping! We are on a budget after all….

Finding one of the very last parking stalls in front of the thrift store, and “just” missing the opening doors rush at 9am, we all headed hand-in-hand into thrifting HEAVEN….a.k.a. chaos…( Excuse my lack of photographic proof…..I was too in-the-zone to take any pics “in” the thrift store!) Good thing Monroe was in the Ergo…there was NO way a stroller was getting anywhere in there…  Picking up our plastic shopping bags just inside the door, we all made a beeline to the baby section (Monroe has been in DIRE need of some new clothes lately, and the Target sale racks were yielding no good finds lately, so what a blessing to be able to hunt for treasures for her here!)  I went to town – Maya holding open her plastic bag as I filled it with adorable dresses for her.  That girl I tell you….she has a definite fashion sense. She made sure she had final approval before anything made it into her bag.  After hitting a dress jackpot for Maya, I again began looking for clothes for Monroe. There were a TON of newborn-6m baby clothes (for both girls and boys) and a lot of 3T and up clothes for girls, but I had the hardest time finding sizes in between for Monroe. Finally, after squeezing through the crowds, I found a bin with a few things for Monroe…a few items that she can wear now but most that are 12-18m. I was just happy to find great deals that the girls can both grow into!  Poor Milo. There was just nothing for him there. But that’s ok. He’s perfectly happy with his “comfy” Old Navy pants and would live in those and only those every single day if he had his way.  So, 45 minutes later and with a few extra add-ins, this was the result:

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(looks are deceiving – this was a massive Sears shopping bag…like the ones that hold comforter sets…and was about 1/2 full with over 40 items)

More specifically…I found clothes for Monroe (an adorable beach hat, bibs, dresses, sleepy outfits, tunics, etc):

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Clothes for Maya (umm….are you seeing that Flamingo dress?!):

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Super comfortable, just the right size wedges for myself:

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A pair of brand new slippers and sandals, along with a pair of white corduroy capris for my mom (not pictured)

All fitting into 2 bags! (@$10 each so $20 total!!) ….we could’ve probably squeezed more into those bags, but after 45 minutes of chaos, I think we all were more than happy to just buy what we had and escape the crowd! BUT, not before first letting the kids play in the toy room.  The way the Hickam Thrift Store is set up, there’s a cute toy room area tucked away just inside the main shopping area. Since toys weren’t on sale as part of the bag deal, there was NO crowd in that area.  Perfect because it gave the chance for us all to catch our breaths in there and the kids had a blast browsing/playing with all the neat 2nd hand toys.  Maya found this little princess, spinning, light-up toy and fell in love.

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At $1…I was sold.  She’s been playing with it all day. I think we’ve gotten a good dollar’s use out of it so far 😉

Milo’s been on a puzzle kick lately.  The way his mind works…he’ll sit there and try and try (sometimes for hours….literally!) until he figures things out – which makes puzzles perfect for him.  I saw this sitting in the corner and knew it would be right up his alley. He agreed (although in retrospect I think it’s too easy for him) and he held the puzzle in his lap all the way home where he quickly went to work.  At $3, it’s more than I would’ve “liked” to have spent, but still a deal nonetheless.

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All together, I walked out with a big shopping bag filled with over 40 clothing items, 3 pairs of shoes, a puzzle and a little toy, all for $25.08 (this is including tax)…knowing that that money was going to a good cause. (<—all profits from the Hickam Thrift Store go to helping community charities, local schools, military-affiliated non-profits)  I am ALL FOR getting a great deal “and” feeling good about it knowing others are benefiting as well 🙂

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…Body Fuel…

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It’s been just about 4 months now since I last did the 21 Day Fix program. (You can click HERE to see my results from that Round 1) In addition to losing pounds and inches, I saw a noticeable difference in the way my clothes fit and how I felt about my body. Perhaps most importantly for my health, towards the end of the 21 Day Fix, I stopped craving my night-time snacks.  I don’t know about you but the only “alone time” I get is after the kids go to bed late at night and is my time to relax, watch Netflix, craft, and SNACK! Hurricane Popcorn, ice cream with fresh sliced bananas and chopped almonds, Hagen Daz ice cream bars, sugar cereals, chips and dip…I could go on and on. Well, towards the end of my 1st round of the 21 Day Fix, those night time cravings (for sweet, salty and crunchy snacks) seriously diminished.  With the guidance of this program, I was able to focus instead on what fuel my body “needed” – mind over matter! – and FELT great in the process! (not starved…)

Since I first completed the 21 Day Fix program (that runs for 21 days), I’ve just been enjoying being a busy mama of three (4 and under) – and truth be told, have once again indulged in one too many ice cream cones and Starbucks frappuccino’s! (<—my weakness)  Well, it’s a NEW month and I’ve decided to once again focus on my nutrition (in addition to my fitness) and begin Round 2 of the 21 Day Fix!

SO, what exactly does the 21 Day Fix  look like?

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In the Challenge Pack, you get:
– 7 color-coded pre-portioned food tupperwares (for measuring out your foods)
– a detailed Eating Guide
– the complete 21 Day Fix workout program
– quick start guide
– 3 Day Quick Fix manual
– Bonus Workout (from purchasing through me)
– 25oz Shakeology shaker cup
– 1 month supply of Shakeology (<—-yummy Superfood Shake with 70+ natural ingredients)

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On this program, you’ll drink Shakeology every day in addition to a wide range of clean foods. The detailed eating guide will walk you through how to figure out how many color coded containers to eat (i.e. 4 red, 3 green, 2 purple, etc) and from there, you’re given freedom with creating your own tasty meals.  However, I fully understand that sometimes, when you’re given too much leeway in creating your own meal plans, it can get quite overwhelming, SO in my Challenge Groups, I offer sample weekly meal plans in addition to posting some of the meals that I eat.  As an example, this is my favorite go-to 21 Day Fix breakfast: plain greek yogurt, fresh cut strawberries, and frozen organic blueberries. (1 red and 1 purple FIX container)

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So, what is a Challenge Group? A Challenge Group is a private Facebook group where people come together with a “like” goal (complete the 21 Day Fix together) and can turn to for support, motivation, accountability, inspiration, recipes, share photos, and just CONNECT with one another. I will be posting daily (and including many of my own personal meals) and find that when people have a group like this to turn to, not only do they successfully complete the program, but they encourage others to perhaps stay more true to and involved in the program than they would’ve otherwise had the self-control to do so alone.

All you need in order to participate in my Challenge Group is the 21 Day Fix program.  Message me or click HERE if interested!

You can watch this video to learn more about what’s included in the 21 Day Fix and learn about my Challenge Group 🙂

***BONUS***  The 21 Day Fix is on SALE for the month of September! It’s just $10 more than purchasing Shakeology alone (did I mention Shakeology is the single most nutritionally dense, healthiest thing I eat/drink every single day? Worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY!) And kids love it too…. 😉

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Take control of your health and fitness……YOU ARE WORTH IT! 

Working for their $$$…

About a month ago, Marv saw these Financial Peace Junior kits go on sale on the Dave Ramsey site (we LOVE Dave Ramsey….if you have no idea who he is…you need to click HERE <— ) and we decided that although the kids are still young, we wanted to get them started RIGHT! We also figured this would give us a good idea on how to start working with them regarding finances:

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Included in each kit (to name a few since I’m sure I’ll forget something…) was an activity book, crayons, parent’s guide, 3 clear money envelopes, magnets, a sticker sheet, clear vinyl “chore” stickers, and last but not least the awesome chore chart!

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There were lots of pre-made chores on vinyl stickers to choose from, but I picked the ones the kids (2.5 yrs and 4 yrs) would be able to do on their own (or with a little help from me) and left the rest for later as they get bigger.  The reason Marv and I decided on this Financial Peace Junior kit is #1 – we believe in Dave Ramsey and follow his financial advice for OUR finances, #2 – it makes sense to us to pay the kids based on a “commission” system vs automatically earning weekly allowances…they need to deserve it first, and #3 – this looked like such a fun, easy to follow system for the kids to grow with!

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SO, how does it work? As seen above, the chore chart consists of – obviously – a bunch of chores. Going down the list, I checked what I wanted the kids to do for each day of the week (some will be every day like “get dressed,” “pick up toys,” “pick up clothes,” while others will only be every M, W, F – like “get mail” <—WITH mom! etc.  We decided that each chore would be worth 10 cents and we would pay out their commissions every night before bed. (we do this every night for instant gratification for the kids whereas older kids could be paid out weekly). Usually the kids each get 30 – 80 cents a day (depending on what chores are checked for the day and how ambitious we were!). We then go upstairs to the office where we have 2 sets of “Give, Save, Spend” piggy banks. I help them allocate their commissions into their three piggies (10-ish% going into the “give,” and the rest split evenly into the “save” and “spend” piggies)

Well, this past week, we decided the kids had earned enough – so we transferred their coins from their “spend” piggies into their clear “spend” envelopes and headed to Target to let them lose in the DOLLAR SECTION! (They each had $1.10 to spend).

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We must’ve spent an hour looking at eeeeevery single toy in those aisles. (aren’t those $1 sections FANTASTIC?!) Maya in particular had a blast playing with the princess wands and headbands while Milo was stuck to a yoyo.

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They each finally decided on their goods – a princess notebook set (that included a pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, tiny notepad and larger notebook) for Maya and a Thomas the Train game for Milo. They were each $3….(darn you Target!)….but we had already told the kids that they each could pick out ANYTHING in that section, which they did, so to the registers we went!

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We were lucky to get a lady who was so patient with the kids! We explained what we were doing with them – that the kids had each EARNED their money and using it to purchase their own goodies and she was SO sweet with them – making them feel grown up and didn’t complain at all that they paid with so many dimes.  (Since they each only had $1.10, and their toys cost $3…Marv discretely swiped his debit card to cover the difference for each of the kids 🙂 )

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Next stop – Target cafe to eat a snack after our long day of $1 section shopping 😉 and to let the kids bust out their new purchases….earned with their COMMISSIONS!

 

 

 

 

 

Derm Exclusive Skincare

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Ever since I was pregnant with Monroe, my skin has gone haywire.  My skin was fine with Milo and Maya, but Monroe….WHOLE other story.  It’s like the moment I got pregnant with her, all the extra hormones in my body decided to have a party…on my face…particularly my right cheek. I know, I know….you probably don’t want to hear about my bad skin, BUT I’ve already started to see a change in my skin and therefore wanted to introduce the products I’m using through a mini product review! 😉

I myself love reading product reviews and after having tried various skincare products (none of which unfortunately have worked on me…) I’m excited to share a review about something that HAS started to make a difference so far. (I’m only a week in though) SO, here goes…

For starters, WHY did I decide to try out Derm Exclusive? Well, obviously as stated above, my skin was SCREAMING at me for some relief! After trying other products with little to no success, and after having heard great reviews about Derm Exclusive, I decided it was finally time to give it a go. PLUS, truthfully, I’m a Beachbody Coach and I like to try out as many Beachbody products as possible so I can assist people accordingly.  Not trying to hide that fact here!  Rest assured though, since I’m still only 1 week in, I will give a TRUTHFUL follow-up review one way or the other with how this product is working out for me somewhere down the road!

WHAT: About a week ago, this came in the mail:

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I ordered the Derm Exclusive Ultimate Kit which included a 7 piece, 90-day skincare supply (plus a FREE zippered storage bag).  Specifically, this is what all came with the kit:

1) Facial Cleanser
2) Micro Peel Resurfacing Pads (this is the circular container to the right of the pic…the pads come wrapped in 3 packs of 15 to maintain their freshness and are in the left big square looking package)
3) Intensive Repair Serum
4) Collagen Lift
5) Fill & Freeze Wrinkle Treatment (x2)
6) Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 24
7) Volume Lip Therapy SPF 15
8) Free zippered bag

Diving a little further in…here’s my thoughts on each of these products 🙂
1) Facial Cleanser – I LOVE waking up and going to bed with a clean face.  I’ve tried other products in the past that leave my skin either feeling too dry, or just don’t feel like it’s doing much of anything at all. This cleanser has a faint citrusy smell that is invigorating and refreshing while you’re washing your face but won’t linger on much after that so you’re not stuck smelling like oranges all day.  It leave my skin feeling fresh and bright. Directions recommended a quarter size amount, but I just use a gentle squeeze (large pea) portion and that suits my needs perfectly. Rubs on like a lotion vs foaming up a great deal, and rinses off easily.
2) Micro Peel Resurfacing Pads – These are FUN for me to use! It’s recommended to use these 2-3 X’s a week and for me it’s like getting a mini 1 min spa treatment in the comfort of my own bathroom. The purpose of these pads is to exfoliate dead skin cells and shrink the appearance of pores. The pads themselves are “scratchy” for lack of a better word but in a revitalizing way. I can almost feel my skin breathing again after each “treatment.”
3) Intensive Repair Serum  – This one comes in a small pump bottle, making it easy to portion out for use. It goes on light and is meant to help treat dark spots (which I will be prone to in the future) as well as help to even out your skin texture (like a laser treatment would). Obnoxiously, this is a non-invasive (much cheaper!) alternative to that 😉
4) Collagen Lift – This one goes on a tiny bit thicker than the Repair Serum. You use roughly the same amount as the serum but this one focuses on boosting collagen production in your skin for firmer, fuller looking skin.  I LOVE this one especially around my eyes (and under) because I feel like it makes me look (or feel at least) rested and fresh.
5) Fill & Freeze Wrinkle Treatment – This comes in a mascara-looking tube but looks like a lip brush on the inside.  You twist up from the bottom and the liquid comes up to the “brush” area.  It’s then so simple – you brush it on to your wrinkly areas. For me, I only use this around my eyes – underneath and on the outside corners near my eye wrinkle laugh lines. Maybe it’s just my eyes, but it visibly almost instantly plumps up the skin and I feel a tingly sensation.  This is meant to replace traditional botox or filler treatments.
6) Age Defense Moisturizer (SPF 24) – Since any skin care treatment that involves exfoliation is more prone to sun sensitivity, this moisturizer includes SPF in it to skip the extra step of having to apply a separate sunscreen.  The moisturizer itself looks like a white lotion (slightly thicker than both the repair serum and the collagen lift) but goes on really smooth and light. I usually “don’t” use a daily moisturizer because I don’t like the feel of it. To me, most moisturizers leave my skin feeling oily and I just want to wash my face all day long but not with this. It soaks into your skin, hydrating it, giving you your SPF coverage, but acts matte – NOT oily.
7) Volume Lip Therapy SPF 15 – This is probably my least favorite of them all….simply because I HARDLY ever use anything on my lips other than plain old lip balm! I will say though that it leaves my lips soft, tingly and has a light glossy sheen to it. If I wore more lip product, maybe I’d feel differently about it, but in the case of being a take it or leave it decision – I’d leave it.
8) Free zippered bag – I’m sure would come in handy for travel purposes, but for the time being sits unused under my bathroom sink 🙂 Always good to know that I have it should I ever need it though.

Major take aways – I know this sounds like a LOT of product to wear on your face at once! (repair serum, collagen lift, fill & freeze, and moisturizer can all be used together, layered on top of each other) BUT, everything is surprisingly light and definitely non-oily feeling. I’ve been using these products religiously now for the past week, making it part of my morning and night-time routines (it sounds like a lot of work but really only takes 3-4 mins start to finish).  I’ve noticed that my skin feels softer and smoother <—I’m most excited about the smoothness!  My trouble areas on my face are starting to calm down and I haven’t had any dry spots anywhere. Specifically, my right cheek (that darn right cheek….) is no longer as “angry”.  Since pregnant with Monroe (who’s 6 months old now….so this has to be like a year of bad skin by now, ugh!) that right cheek started to have break outs and an area that was slightly raised and bumpy. It would get itchy but sore, sometimes dry….it just couldn’t make up its mind! And no matter what I did (mild prescription medicine from my Midwife, ordered products, drugstore products, etc) nothing changed how upset my skin was.  So……gulp……here’s my “before” pics. Truthfully, my skin doesn’t look that bad AT ALL here, but in reality my cheeks were dry, splotchy, and I would have flare ups on that right side….no flare ups in this pic tho….of course not. My skin was “almost” behaving for once…almost. I know just how angry my skin actually was is hard to translate into pics…but you’ll get the idea….

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Did I make it sound worse than it was? Trust though, the feeling there was sore, itchy, raised.  Now, Derm Exclusive is targeted to offer great “anti-aging” results. Yes, I’m only 28. No, I don’t really have too many wrinkles…..YET. BUT, it can never be too early to start a preventative skincare routine, right? SO, here’s a short, veeeery impromptu video I made (before putting the kids to bed tonight) about my Derm Exclusive kit and my thoughts after 1 week of use!


Stay tuned with a follow up review a few weeks (or months even) down the road! I’m really liking this product so far. We shall see if I end up falling in LOVE 😉

 

“3-Day Refresh” RESULTS!

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Lately, I’ve been really wanting to do a detox or cleanse.  I try to eat fairly “clean” but fully realize that every once in awhile, it would be beneficial for a cleanse. Well, basically for the past 5+ years, I’ve been either pregnant or nursing (the latter category of which I presently fall into) so a detox is out of the question. So, what’s there to do when a new program comes out that I want to investigate?? Have Marv do the cleanse for me!

For starters, What is the 3-Day Refresh? Basically, it’s a non-starvation (yet low calorie) cleanse that allows you to detoxify your body while pumping nutrients and whole foods back into it – things that your body needs and CRAVES.  It consists of 1 Shakeology shake, 1 Fiber Sweep drink, and 2 Vanilla Fresh shakes per day in addition to 2 veggie options, 2 fruit options, 2 healthy fats choices and 3 optional caffein-free herbal teas.  Sounds like a lot of things right?!  The key here is eating not a whole lot at each sitting but rather eating 5 smaller portioned meals per day.  This fuels your body continually throughout the day – and fuels it with WHOLE foods in addition to the Fiber Sweep drink to help cleanse your digestive system and Vanilla Fresh shakes to load you up with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and protein (20 grams).  That Vanilla Fresh drink smells AMAZING too by the way…..

But enough of the specifics….What was the Refresh like??  Here are some pics of what Marv had to eat on each Day – Day’s 1, 2 and 3:
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Each day basically remained the same with just the 2 fruit options, 2 veggie options, and the dinner option changing.  What’s great about this cleanse is that there’s a huge list of approved fruits and veggies to choose from so if you like variety (or are picky about the fruits and veggies that you eat), there are a LOT of different things to choose from.  I spent less than $20 (keeping in mind I bought more than necessary for just Marv’s cleanse since we’re a family of FIVE…and the kids love their fruits…) but for under $20 I bought – carrots, cucumber, pear, banana, peach, apple, plum, and asparagus. The avocado (Healthy Fats choices) I already happened to have on hand from my parents’ neighbor’s tree so I figured I could easily use those (FREE!) vs budget for any of the other Healthy Fats options (almond butter, hummus, etc). Key here was prepping all his foods the night before so he could easily grab it and have it pre-portioned out and set to go.

Day 1 lunch on the Refresh (while holding a sweet sleeping baby):
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Day 3 dinner (final meal!) on the Refresh:
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Here were Marv’s take aways/thoughts for this Refresh: He normally drinks a Shakeology every morning so drinking one each morning of the Refresh was great to maintain his routine.  Initially, he was a bit concerned with the (small) portions of this cleanse (although he was pleasantly surprised with the total amount of food he was “allowed” each day since he was initially thinking cleanse = no food…).  His concern with the small portions was that he would be grumpy by days 2 and 3.  Turns out he didn’t turn into a grouch during the Refresh. (YAY!)  The Fiber Sweep drink wasn’t as bad as he though it would be.  Anything with the word “fiber” in it really, has that old person thought connection to it.  He got it down each day just fine – not having to struggle to get it down like he initially thought he would have to.  According to Marv, the Vanilla Fresh shakes were outright YUMMY! I didn’t try them but I did smell them and boy did they smell delicious!  They looked smooth and creamy and mixed up great in the plain old shaker cup (vs blender).  The 2 dinner meals that we tried were the Moroccan Carrot Salad and Roasted Asparagus with slivered almonds.  The Asparagus was a huge, tasty hit, but the Carrot Salad on the other hand was a big flop.  I think it was due to all the spices added (cumin, paprika, garlic, cinnamon, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, etc) – hey, I followed the recipe to a T!  It all comes down to personal preference though, and that Moroccan Carrot salad was NOT one of Marv’s favorites….  Marv drank the optional herbal teas about 1/2 the time and actually drank this tea in place of his daily coffee.  Although it doesn’t “replace” a good ole cup of coffee, it did fill that warm drink void for those 3 days (Marv is certainly looking forward to his morning coffee tomorrow though!)

Ok, ok, RESULTS….right??  Are you ready for this?  Without going into specifics with his actual weight and measurements…..I will let you know that in these past 3 days alone, Marv lost 5.2lbs and an inch off his waist!  (in 3 days…..) Here are his before/after pics (before on left, after on right). There are only very slight changes, but I can visibly see a minor “puffiness” change in him.  His body now looks more lean and toned vs puffy muscle toned.
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Why take your “results” pic alone when you have 2 munchkins to join you!
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Marv’s overall conclusion. This. Refresh. Works.  He said Day 1 was tough. He realized just how much he consumed in a typical day and it made him appreciated food SO much more – and understand just how true it is that food is FUEL for our bodies.  Towards the end, he said his tastebuds felt different (no processed foods and only minimal sea salt for seasoning) and he was no longer as hungry as Day 1 – his body was adjusting and knowing just what it needed to sustain itself.  He said although he wasn’t necessarily looking to cut weight, his body felt so much cleaner and lighter (5.2lbs lighter….). He felt FRESH. <—is that why it’s called the 3-Day ReFRESH? lol 😉

Interested in trying this cleanse for yourself? I’d love to give you more info on it, chat about it, or help you to order. Send me a FB message or go here to order your very own Refresh!

PiYo

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Today started off like any other day. Got the kids ready, headed out to our Thursday church Connect Group (got kids settled in for their church playtime), had a great time, headed home,  tucked everyone in for their naps, hopped on the computer w/ my free moment, and BAM.  I see that PiYO (Beachbody’s newest fitness program) was JUST released….ahead of schedule! Right now, Beachbody’s annual convention is going on in Vegas. I “wish” I was there to take part in all the trainings, certifications, info sessions, and pick up loads of amazingly cool gear only available there – at Summit, BUT I know that my heart wouldn’t have been there – leaving a nursing 4 month old behind (or in a hotel room) along with my 2 and 3 year olds (who I think would do just fine but “I” would have separation anxiety from for sure!)  But I digress.  Anyways, I checked into the live stream (so I can at least stay up to date with all the latest business happenings) and got the inside scoop that PiYO was released TODAY!

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SO, I’m sure you’re wondering – “what the heck is PiYo?” I know I would be thinking that for sure….  Basically, it’s a 60 day, low-impact but high intensity workout that combines pilates and yoga to sculpt long, lean muscles and burn fat.  Unlike “traditional” yoga or pilates movements where you have to hold positions forever, PiYo’s movements flow into one another with no time lapses in between. These fluid movements help you burn calories faster – and get much quicker results.  It’s a total body workout, developed by the amazing, supportive, energetic, beautiful trainer Chalene Johnson, that will not only help you to elongate your body, but will also help to increase your balance and flexibility. Did I mention you don’t even have to wear shoes (you can wear cross trainers if you prefer though) and can do it from the comfort of you own living room floor? WIN.

Could it be right for you?  This workout would be great for someone who: – doesn’t want to exercise w/ equipment or weights – lives above someone else and can’t be making all sorts of noise by jumping around to exercise (ever had the neighbor who pounded on the wall to tell you to be quiet?) – has joint issues (this workout is low-impact so that stress is taken off your joints) – is already muscular and looking to elongate their physique or improve flexibility – is looking to tone, tighten, and elongate their muscles/body If you fall into any one of those categories, this could be the perfect fit for you!

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So, what will you get with your workout? – 8 workouts, each ranging from 25-45 mins long – starter guide – Get Lean eating plan – 60 day workout calendar – tape measurer to track your progress – FREE bonus workout DVD (by ordering through me) – ME as your coach 🙂 AND, when you purchase the workout NOW through the end of JULY in a discounted Challenge Pack (comes with your complete PiYo workout AND a month’s supply of Shakeology), there’s an introductory SPECIAL price for an even better DEAL (and I’m aaaaaall about the deal…). The regular price of this discounted challenge pack is $160, but through July, it’s being offered at the introductory price of $140.  The hype for this product is already HUGE and if it’s anything like the 21 Day Fix that was just released in February, it’s bound to sell out within the first few days!

SO, with all that being said. Are you in? Are you ready to commit to improving your nutrition with Shakeology? Looking to increase your flexibility and strengthen, tone, and elongate those muslces?  Ready to get started NOW?  Click HERE to order. I’ll be starting a July PiYo Challenge Group, and anyone who orders through me will get the opportunity to join in on it!

Mini couponer here!

With all those episodes of “Extreme Couponer’s” nowadays, it gets one thinking “hey, I can do that too!” Or, “One of these days, I will be able to do that!” “Maybe I’ll get around to using a coupon next shopping trip.”  “Wait, how DO I use coupons exactly?” Or perhaps more aptly, “What the heck are they going to DO with ALL THAT STUFF?!”  I have to admit, I’ve thought all of the above at one point or another.

I love saving money where I can (within reason) and for me, couponing is right up my alley! I’ve been using coupons here and there now for years (especially when we lived in FL since things were so much cheaper to begin with, coupon values were higher than here in Hawaii, and subsequently, the deals were SO much better! Moving back to Hawaii, moving while here “in” Hawaii, adding another member to our family, etc etc….I’ve fallen off the couponer bandwagon.  YET, now that things are slowing down and I’ve been getting into a rhythm, I’ve been starting to slowly dip my feet into the coupon craze once again – stocking up on deals as I see them (or read about them). I fully understand that initially, the coupon world is overwhelming, confusing, and perhaps even a bit intimidating, so I want to start sharing my coupon deals when I can to break it down – everyone deserves to get these deals!  SO, here’s what I bought today, spending just $6.91 from one of my favorite stores, TARGET!…

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Here’s how it breaks down:

– 2 L’Oreal Boost It Mousse $4.49 each
– 4 L’Oreal Lock It Hairspray $3.94 each
– 1 ultra soft, super comfy pair of hot orange lounge pants – on clearance at 70% off – for $7.18 (Yep, these pants alone cost MORE than what I paid out of pocket for EVERYTHING)

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Right now at Target, there’s a special where for every L’Oreal advanced hairstyle product you purchase, you would receive a FREE trial sized L’Oreal shampoo or conditioner. I could’t find them for the life of me, so I finally asked a manager and he said that their shipment of those “freebies” hadn’t arrived yet, so in lieu of that, they were taking $1 off of each product (where one of these freebies was advertised) at the registers (since those trial sized items are usually about $1 anyways). SO, this immediately brought the mousse down to $3.49 each and the hairsprays down to $2.94 each. Already pretty good deals!

From this point, without using any coupons, my total out of pocket should have been $26.91. But of course, this is a post about couponing right? So bring on the coupons!

If you go to Coupons.com, you’ll be able to find a L’Oreal coupon for $5 off 2 L’Oreal Advanced Hairstyle products. I printed 3 of these – 2 off of my computer and 1 off of my phone (you can print 2 of the same coupons per device, so I frequently print things from my computer, iPhone, and iPad if I find great coupons!). Since I was buying 6 L’Oreal products, I was able to use 3 of these $5 off coupons for a total of $15 off.  I always make sure to read the fine print on my coupons to make sure that you’re allowed to use multiple coupons in 1 transaction.  (Usually, it’ll state “no more than 4 of like coupons to be used in same transaction”.)  The last discount I used was a $5 off $15 personal care purchase via a Target Mobile coupon. In the personal care aisles at Target, there are signs posted all over the place about how to get these mobile coupons  (text “care” to 827438), then show the cashier the text barcode to scan. SO easy.  Once you sign up for those Target Mobile coupons – you’ll periodically receive texts with new offers. ALWAYS worth a browse….I’ve been able to get discounts on fresh fruits, veggies, paper products, detergents, etc…all on things I was going to buy anyways!

SO, here’s an overview on how my coupons broke down:
– Mousse (x2) – $4.49 x2 = $8.98
– Hairspray (x4) – $3.94 x4 = $15.76
– Super comfy sweats (on clearance) – $7.18
TOTAL before ANY discounts = $31.92

– $31.92-$6 (minus $1 on each L’Oreal product since they didn’t have the free trial sized items w/ purchase) = $25.92
– $25.92-$15 (3 $5 off 2 L’Oreal Advanced Hairstyle coupons) = $10.92
– $10.92-$5 (Mobile Coupon – $5 off $15 personal care purchase) = $5.92
-$5.92 +TAX (however the math for that factors in) = $6.91 TOTAL out of pocket.  Since the pants alone were $7.18 which is MORE than my end total, this means that I actually made money (to use towards those pants) from purchasing these 6 hair products. I’ll take “making” money while shopping anyday! Even if your Target has those trial items in stock (the free gift with purchase) and therefore isn’t taking off the extra $1 per item, you’ll still end up with free trial sized items, and spending about a buck (give or take) on each item.  That’s still a DEAL in my book!

Now, before you go thinking that I’m hoarding hairspray (and mousse), I just wanted to say that they’re not all for me! I barely even use hair product (aside from plain old shampoo/conditioner), but my mom does, and I’ll be delivering all these this weekend to her:
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See, wasn’t that fairly easy? Who wouldn’t want to coupon and get free or super cheap items?! 🙂

June Beachbody Specials!

It’s the start of a new month meaning NEW specials!  The month of June is all about Mr. Shaun T – with TWO of his amazing Challenge Pack specials:

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INSANITY Challenge Pack (the discounted Challenge Pack price is regularly $205) on SALE for $160 this month!  This is the LOWEST price this Challenge Pack has EVER been offered at, so if you’re been thinking about it, NOW is the time to scoop it up!  INSANITY is a total body conditioning program designed to completely transform your body in 60 days through interval training.  It is the #1 fitness program in America and will easily have you burning up to 1,000 calories/hr without having to use weights or any equipment.  With this Challenge Pack, you’ll receive the INSANITY fitness program, a bag of Shakeology, and a 30-day trial membership to the Team Beachbody Club where you will have access to online chats with trainers, a menu and grocery planner, and all the tips, tricks, and recipes you could ever need.  Click HERE to hear about this INSANITY June special right from the man himself – Shaun T 🙂

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– Shaun T Dance Party Challenge Pack – (the discounted Challenge Pack price is regularly $160) on SALE this month for $140.  This Challenge Pack will include 2 workout programs – Hip Hop Abs and Rockin’ Body – along with a month of Shakeology and free 30 day online access to Beachbody Club Membership.  Hip Hop Abs is a 30 day program that focuses on your core through a dance-like workout and will get you fit through Shaun’s “Tilk, Tuck, & Ticken” technique.  It has easy to follow, step by step moves, and no, you don’t have to already be a dancer to benefit from this workout 😉  Rockin’ Body focuses on getting a great workout through dancing and has fantastic music that will get you pumped and help you to easily forget that you’re actually “working out.” Click HERE to hear about this Dance Party June special again, from the man – Shaun T :-p

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Again, both of these Challenge Packs include a month’s supply of Shakeology – your daily dose of dense nutrition. This superfood shake includes 70+ ingredients sourced from all over the world into a tasty, vitamin and nutrient packed shake that will help to cleanse and detox your body while supplying a boost of energy in a natural, non-artificial, organic way. *Say that 3X’s fast! lol…* Shakeology alone is regularly $129.95/month, so getting either of these Challenge Packs at $160 or $140 respectively is a FANTASTIC deal!…it’s like getting the workout programs for $30 for INSANITY or just $10 for the Dance Challenge if you were already planning on getting Shakeology anyways.

Ready to make a change and UP your fitness?!  If you’re perhaps already an athlete and looking at improving your conditioning , or wanting to finally get that muscle definition you’ve always wanted, or just ready to go all in and give it your all – INSANITY may be just the program for you!  Click HERE for more info or to order.  If you prefer a workout more geared around tightening your core (get that 6-pack!) with great, energetic, upbeat DANCE music, then Shaun T’s Dance Challenge Pack may be right up your alley! Click HERE for more info on it or to order.

These specials are good for all of June, but remember, the quicker you order, the quicker you’ll receive your program and be able to get your butt in gear!

 

Who needs to buy Almond Milk…..

…..when you can make your own anytime you want it!

Now, in this family, we go through almond milk FAST – mainly in our daily Shakeology shakes and with cereal.  (YUM!)  We used to get our almond milk in a 2 pack from Costco for just over $8 (or $4 for each carton).  WELL, a couple months back, we invested in a Vitamix, AND, in the recipe book that came with it, there was a recipe for almond milk! Turns out, it’s as simple as simple comes to make it.  SO, thus began my almond milk making endeavor.  Seriously, it’s SO simple….

First, pick up some almonds.  I like to buy in bulk and get the 3lb bags from Costco for $16.

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Then, I soak them in water for anywhere from 30mins to overnight.  Soaking isn’t necessary since the Vitamix pulverizes everything so easily, but I like to “rinse” or “clean” them just a bit. (I think it yields a smoother, cleaner tasting milk)  Once soaked, discard water.

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Place in blender.  The Vitamix recipe book almond milk recipe calls for 1 cup of almonds to 3 cups of water.  After making it this way a few times, I realized I like my milk thinned out just a tad more, so I up the water amount to closer to 3.5 cups per cup of almonds.  Even by “thinning” the milk out with the extra water, this recipe produces almond milk that’s stronger, and more almond-tasting than our previous store bought milk!  If using a vitamin, blend on Variable slowly increasing to level 10, then on High for 40-60 secs or until everything looks adequately blended.

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Here’s what it’ll look like all blended up:

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Next, strain the almond milk through a nut milk bag or yogurt strainer.  I use a nut milk bag (purchased on Amazon).  It looks like a super fine mesh or cheesecloth drawstring bag.  Now, some recipes say to just pour the milk into the bag and let it naturally drain through.  Well, I’m just too darn impatient to sit around waiting all day for it to drain on its own! So I let the bulk of the milk drain through for a couple minutes, then – while holding the top of the bag shut – gently twist and squeeze the rest of the milk out.  All that’ll remain is the almond pulp in the bag. (discard pulp and thoroughly wash nut milk bag for next use)

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This whole process is truly SUPER simple! I’m just trying to outline every step….it really takes just a matter of minutes start to finish.  And, you’re left with fresh, amazingly tasty, homemade almond milk! I store my milk in a sterilite secure top closure pouring jug in the fridge …each batch usually only lasts 2-3 days 🙂  Maya approves of it too!!

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P.S. Cost-wise, I’ve figured out that store bought almond milk runs about $0.50/cup.  My home-made milk runs closer to $0.78/cup.  Yikes! BUT…..I’m LOVING the fact that there are NO extra ingredients in this.  It’s amazingly smooth tasting, has an intense almond flavor, and is FRESH.  No preservatives to hold its shelf life (as found in store bought almond milks), and I can make it whenever I want 🙂  I can also play around with the flavor profile – increasing or decreasing the water I add to it (store bought almond milk definitely tastes more watered down compared to “my” version, lol), and I plan on trying a vanilla version soon using pure vanilla extract.  Hey, if Maya loves it, I must be doing something right, right?

* I fully intend on doing an organic version in the future….but those organic almonds are just SO pricey! (like 2x’s the cost….)

Overall review….Both Marv and I (and apparently Maya too now) are loving our homemade almond milk!  I’ve had many cooking/baking/experiementing flops lately. Thankfully, this was not one of them! 😉

 

RESULTS – 21 Day Fix

After a long, at times hard, yet very eventful 21 days, I can say that my 21 Day Fix program has finally come to an end! (Round 1 of the Fix that is, since I can do it over and over again as many times as I wish for desired results!).  Just in case you haven’t been following my progress and are clueless as to what the “21 Day Fix” is, it’s a fitness and nutrition program that combines CLEAN eating and healthy, portion controlled choices with 30 minute (enjoyable) total body workouts. Everything works together to give you RESULTS in just 21 days.  SO, with that said, I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s my rundown:

Stats:
– down 3 lbs
– lost 5 inches
– clothes are not as tight, especially in the tummy area- face is thinner (most noticeably in my chin/jaw)
– abs are starting to peek through in my stomach
– I now have slight definition in my back/shoulders
– lower back is more defined
– overall FEEL better!

Let’s keep it real…sometimes all I wanted was a Venti Caramel Frappuccino.  I could very well have caved and satisfied my coffee cravings, but the whole idea behind the Fix is making healthy choices and getting quick results. So, I stuck to my guns and to get my Starbucks fix (I just LOVE the way Starbucks smells….and those green straws….gets me every time…..) I would opt for an iced (decaf) Americano (sweetened with honey) instead. Not the same, not the same, BUT, I didn’t want to sabotage my results and, I now no longer “crave” those frappuccinos. WIN!  Although at times, it was hard sticking to my meal plan, and making healthy choices I found that the longer I stuck to this Fix plan (without caving in) the easier it got!

For my fitness portion, I’ll also admit that at times it was difficult to find the time, energy, motivation or willpower to workout.  I am NOT an early riser and my kids typically wake up between 6 and 7am, so for me, getting a workout in BEFORE they woke up wasn’t an option that I wanted to entertain. This led to late night workouts after they were all snuggled up in bed. Although I didn’t always “want” to do it, I ALWAYS felt so much better after I did. (Mind, Body and Soul) 🙂

My overall take-away from the 21 Day Fix program – it works! You CAN get amazing results just from 21 days of dedication to eating right (clean, unprocessed, portion controlled foods) and staying active (daily 30 minute Fix workouts). (I do my daily Shakeology too)  I do NOT feel sluggish in the least anymore.  I don’t seem to need as much sleep now too (I typical go to bed at midnight, wake up once to feed Monroe, and get up with the kids around 6-7am with more than enough energy for my day!). I no longer “crave” sweets, and spend more time and money in the fresh fruits/veggies section of the supermarket.  My body – although I was happy with it before, I am now starting to see actual definition.  I still wear the same jeans/pants but my belly area is so much firmer and not so floppy. Everywhere is starting to firm up and I’m feeling so much stronger too. I notice this when I go to pick up the kids – I no longer have to strain in my quads or back area since those muscles have gotten noticeably stronger.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. Although you may not see a huge difference in these before/after pics, I sure do! (It could be because I get to “feel” the difference too, lol)  If I’m able to experience results from the 21 Day Fix (2 months post partum) I am confident that you sure can too! So, here goes! My before and after pics, taken exactly 21 days apart…….

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It certainly isn’t a get-fit-quick-miracle workout that just “happens.” You need to put in the time, effort, and dedication, but if you stick with the program, you WILL see/feel results! (speaking from my personal experience here).  Ready to make a change in your life? I’d LOVE to talk to you more about it. FB message me HERE to chat, or click HERE to order or read more about the 21Day FIX program.

I’ll also be holding a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group starting Monday, May 19, so if you’re ready to make some health/fitness changes and want in to this group, I’d be happy to chat with you about it!