Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Healthy Mind....Healthy Body!

Bonjour Bloggies and Bloggettes!!!

    Today's post is a continuation of the previous two blogs that highlight the beginning of my journey to a  healthier life!  This one will be shorter compared to the others, but it covers a lot of deeper thoughts and ideas so feel free to take breaks!  This time try jumping jacks(go for 50), followed by a simple 1 minute plank!  It will get your heart pumping and... well that is reason enough because everyone can benefit from a stronger heart!  On that note lets dive right back in to my body's healing journey....
     December 2010-January 2011...Christmas and New Years had brought us back home to Michigan to be with family and friends for the holidays.  Let me take this opportunity to say, me coming back to be with loved ones was like a huge breath of fresh air, it cleared my heavy heart and mind almost immediately.  It goes to show you home is where the heart is, where you feel at peace, where your body and mind are at ease, and because of the strong love, it is where you dont need anything because you have everything....I know, kind of deep, but this is only the beginning so buckle-up!  This is where I tie in the title of Healthy Mind leads to a Healthy Body.  Because, as soon as my mind and soul felt free and positive, my body reacted the same way.  I was not your average vacationer, my version of feeling relaxed was living out every day doing as much as possible.  My energy level was higher than it had been in previous years, maybe it was eating healthier, maybe it was my activity had increased, maybe it was the positive energy from my environment, but whatever way it was helping!  In between watching my nephew, working at my sisters spa, cleaning families houses, and random other chores, in that 4 week vacation I shed around 10lbs! 
     I got back to Florida in January 2011 and was on almost a "runners high" of endorphins, I was feeling so healthy!  Unfortunately those positive feelings only lasted so long and the emptiness I associated with not being around family dragged me back into a lonely place. I was keeping slightly active by doing things like playing tennis and walking around the development pulling my daughters in their wagon. I would like to note that my weight stayed at a plateau, it was like something pressed the pause button on my body, no movement whatsoever! Still my mind was not in a good place,  I didn't socialize,  my only friends being my two daughters who at that time were 1 and 3.  Again cue in to the title of healthy mind...healthy body.  The year of 2011 was almost a blur, one of those where you could pick 100 random days out of the whole year and ask me what I was doing and my response would've been the same thing.  I didn't branch out, I didn't experience new things, my life was as bland as an assisted living home's mashed potatoes, you know the kind that they have to puree because of the residents little to no teeth?!  Yeah.........not pretty to look at and even worse if you dare try a bite!  Now I know what your thinking, this poor girl, well..don't!!  The past is the past and there is a reason it is behind you.  It was a sad and lonely point in my life but without that stepping stone I would not be where I am today. My saving grace?  The two most beautiful souls that God blessed me with in the form of my daughters.  They are and always have been my dose of reality.  They provide entertainment and at the same time challenge me to be a better person on the daily.  These two chicklets make sure I'm still connected with my emotions from frustration to joy, while reminding me that life is precious and not something to be wasted or neglected!
     Next up?...Our annual Christmas vacation to Michigan...December 2011.  Yes I skipped over a lot, but as I stated, it really didn't take much to sum up that year.  It's like one of those chapters in life where I could've wasted a lot of time talking about little fluff details, but they aren't relevent to the main topic!  If your really interested, I'm sure you could speak with the author and find out more details ;) 
    Getting back up north, was once again, the breath of much needed fresh air after a year of smog.  Surrounded by the people I love most was exactly what I needed to get the healthy mind/body connection re-established.  Now I am going to go on a slight detour so you can understand how healing this trip was.  My older sister was 9 months pregnant, and I knew that I wanted to be there for when she had my new nephew or niece.  It was a brisk January day when she went in for what she thought was going to be one of her last checkups.  I had recieved a phone call later in the day that will stay in my head forever.  Something was wrong, and the doctor was going to induce my sister, because, well, there was not an option for what if they didn't.  My beautiful niece was born with the cord wrapped around her neck and long story short, she was born into a battle that, thank God, she was ready to fight.  Circumstances placed my sister, niece, and brother-law in the ICU at a hospital 2 hours away.  I was blessed with being able to hold down the homefront with my nephew and my chicks.  And when I say blessed, I mean by being able to help out and be there emotionally and physically to help out was like an injection of love, joy, peace put straight into my soul.  It was literally more than words can describe.  The saying, it is greater to give than recieve?...  That moment in my life was so humbling and I thank God for putting me in that situation to remind me of the power of LOVE.  My darling niece came home about a week and a half later, a healthy little princess, making a permanent residence in our whole families hearts.  She was perfectly content and happy, like she hadn't just fought the battle for her life.  She is an inspiration that shows you have been given the gift of life, the opportunity to love, the option to live each day to its full potential.  That gift is yours.  Each person has control over their own actions and reactions.  Once you realize and accept this thought, it is mindblowing how uncomplicated and simple life can be!  Unfortunately there is some unwritten society rule that will keeps a majority of the world living their life with this complex, that they can control others actions and reactions.  We as flawed humans need to recognize that anger builds walls and barriers where love can move mountains and knows no bounds!
   Alright, so the slight detour took you on the scenic route of the beginning of my discovery of a healthy mind, and on that positive note I will touch on the healthy body part.  Taking care of the little nuggets wasn't my only task at my sisters, I cleaned/cooked/organized/fed animals/shoveled snow/kept the woodstove going/stacked wood/ and ran up and down stairs so many times I'm suprised there wasn't a worn path by the end of my trip!!  Basically it helped me drop another 5-7lbs, and I start showing some....wait for it....muscles!!  Now those bad girls had been hidden since my high school years of playing sports so I was so excited to start seeing some toning and shaping happening where it had been plump little rolls for the past few years!  This also should provide some motivation to all of you not so interested in adding the G.R. to your title. (gym rat)  Let me elaborate, I have nothing against you who have an abnormal love relationship with your treadmill, to each their own.  For me, personally, I would rather be outside and stay active all throughout the day.  Do I go to a gym?...yes...but it is rare, because for example, if I have the choice of going to the beach and swimming/walking/etc or sitting inside staring at a tv while on a manmade machine, I will choose God's gym anyday!!  It is like fuel for my mind, body, and soul, and my body reacts positively to this!
   The last learning experience of my trip that I want to touch on, because it was healing for me, was reconnecting with past friends and making new friends.  This was so positive because it gave me a self-confidence boost that I could connect with new and old friends.  It was also humbling and amazing to discover that certain people I had distanced myself from had never really left my heart and soul.  You can't force friendships or any other relationships in life, however I truly believe some people are destined to be in your life forever and we need to be open and understanding to that fact.  There is a Chinese proverb that describes this best, called the String Theory, where they believe an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances.  The thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break.  Whether this is true or not is stated in the title, that it is a theory, it cannot be proven.  However I believe this to hold true, that whether people come and go, relationships begin and end, you never really know if they are one of those destined people who will always be there whether its a constant precense or in a different time and place for a different reason.  So be honest and loving to everyone you meet and keep an open mind that you don't know why God has placed this person in your life.  Simply, let it be.
     Alright, right now I hope I have not completely lost you!  I just want you to fully understand how living a healthy life opens your mind, body and soul to working together as one loving, positive unit!  God gave us these complex bodies and minds, yet we try to pick apart and explain other peoples lives and thoughts when we don't even know our own.  Positivity, love and happiness is contagious, try it sometime! :)  Fin.
We will start up in January 2012 on the next post.....

Thank you all again for the wonderful feedback, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Have a wonderfully blessed day/week/beginning of summer!!

Lots of love!!
C'est Si Bon!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Eat Less CRAP...Eat more FOOD!

Bonjour Bloggettes and Bloggies!!

    Today is the continuation of my previous post...Correction..Nothing Tastes as Good as Healthy Feels(can be found on the home page). *Warning Label:This post is going to be long.  Please take regular breaks. Or your legs will fall asleep.  Or you will get dehydrated.  Or you might not notice your child getting into your makeup and then look up and almost die of fright because they look like a weird clown midgit.  Either way, you've been given due notice to possible side effects! :D

  The motivating phrase for today's post is Eat Less CRAP...Eat More FOOD.  Now I'm not a regular user of the word crap, so let me explain this one...
No abusing your body with..
C-Carbonated Drinks
R-Refined Sugars
A-Artificial Sweetners+Colours
P-Processed Foods

Instead indulge in..
F-Fruits & Veggies
O-Organic Lean Protein
O-Omega 3 Fatty Acids
D-Drink Water

This little thought goes along with the next part of my journey to find a healthy life.  So we are going back a few years to May 2010, where Brett,my husband, had just graduated college and there were slim pickings of job prospects in the area we were living in. So he started looking for a place to move that would land him a good workplace.  Conviently, his parents were moving to Florida, so we decided to hop on that bandwagon, and transplant; from one of the top snowfall areas in the USA, to the sunshine state!  With no job lined up right away, his family graciously invited us to live in their house.  This is where my weightloss/healthconcious attitude took a pause.  While Brett started taking on some odd jobs, I stayed at home with my girls and his mom and sister. And this is where an old habit kicked in...which I'm sure all of you can relate, its a little thing I like to call Boredom Munchies.  The meaning of this reminds me of a scene from Lord of the Rings where one guy is asking two others about eating and it goes something like this...."What about breakfast?"
"Youve already had it."
"We've had one, yes.  What about second breakfast?"
"I don't think he knows about second breafast."
"What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon Tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesnt he?"

Hahaha!!!-I laugh no matter how many times I see this..
Maybe you've never watched the film, so I hope you get the humour, nonetheless!!  I find it hilarious because of how much it described me.  If you ever find yourself in a spot where you look at the clock and try to convince yourself its a meal/snack time just to pass the time,  you probably should just go out and take a walk. or swim. or bike ride. or just lay in the grass and watch the clouds pass...God made our bodies so brilliantly that they will let us know when we need to refuel!  So this is big, DO NOT(!!), let some written or unwritten codes of society dictate what time of day you should be eating your meals/snacks or how many times you should be eating.  Let me explain: every day, no matter how similar it may seem as the previous, IS DIFFERENT.  So one day your body may be hungry at 8,12,5 on the dot, and the next it may be 7,9,1,7, and the next even more different!! And even more importantly, everybody is different!!  Some people need just 3 meals while others need more, but let me repeat, take the time to understand and listen to your own body, so you will be able to distinguish the difference between the boredomunchies and actual hunger. I understand everyone has a daily routine where their jobs may have scheduled their lunchtimes for them (I will save my opinions on that for a different time ;)..It's all about small changes, and respecting the body and mind that you have.  Your health will determine your future!
    Alright, sidestory complete...lets dive back into southwest florida where thankfully I hadn't lost complete motivation in staying healthy.  So, while those boredom munchies had joined my everyday routine, luckily my learned habit of staying active helped and those pounds didn't start creeping back.  I took up walking, I'm talking 80-100 degrees, rain or shine I took out my big ole jogging stroller and gave it my best.  Also, I swam in the pool, had dance dance revolution competitions with the sister in law and snuck in crunches/jumping jacks/etc when I remembered.  My activity level was still low-moderate and so with my unhealthy food habits, my body had hit a plateau, very little muscle gain/fat loss. Here's where I met another greatly needed turn in the road, it was only a 2 months from the time we moved and Brett found/started a new job.  A couple weeks later we moved out of his parents house and into a condo that was closer to his work.
    Here's the tie-in to CRAP ;)...We had very little money to work with so unfortunately I thought the easiest/cheapest meals were the best.  My meals consisted of ramen noodles, hot dogs, overly processed pasta with the calorie laden jarred sauces, fa(s)t food, and...well you get the not so pretty picture.  Again, I wish I would have recognized sooner how much the artificial crap was tearing up my body and mind. I had enough personal motivation to stay slightly active by doing yoga, going to the pool or pulling my daughters in the wagon around our development for an hour or two.  I started seeing some fat loss, but my head had that bad food fog starting up so sometimes those activities were limited to once a week and I had myself convinced I was being active enough. :P  I avoided people because I was so uncomfortable with myself and my diet was giving my body a run for its money. Thank GOD my body fought back.  I had bloating(aka foodbabies), low energy, and I kept breaking out in rashes/hives.  Also me and my daughters fought really bad colds/croup/flu-like symptoms.  I wonder if my body was trying to tell me something?! :P  Because of all that, my motivation started dwindling, I was ready to just sit back on my self-pity chair, pout, and let life move on by me...
    However, I met another corner in the road, going home for Christmas/New Years for a staycation of about a month.  At that point, my weight loss was only a couple pounds from July-December 2010.  Going back north was like finally making it around that looong bend and being able to see straight for miles ahead!  I was back in my old stomping grounds and it was like a breath of fresh air..  My family/friends/surroundings were just the positive energy and love I needed, and it goes to show you with a positive mind your body is unstoppable.  Back at home, I was eating healthier (thanks moms all natural/organic pantry!) and had the energy to constantly be going.going.going.  From snow-shoeing, to snowmobiling, to helping haul wood and clean house, my activity level went from low to high.  The results were amazing, my mind and body were happy and it showed, by the time I returned back to FL I was 10lbs lighter.
   Around this time was when I convinced Brett to start up tennis with me..we had played before, but only a few times and to say that I was awful was an UNDERstatement! haha!  I have to say, for those of you who haven't tried it out, please do..and at least a few times, it grows on you!  It is a great whole body exercise, and so much fun!! We tried getting out there almost every day, it didn't really matter how bad I was, the point was being active and making myself better!  I also started incorporating more fruit/veggies in my diet.  I have to point out that my intake in the couple years previous was almost nonexistant, so even though it was more than I was used to, it was still a lower amount than my body needed. 
    My one downfall of that year was getting too comfortable with using alcohol to relax my body/mind.  This led to this bad habit of thinking I could drink everyday?...No, this wasn't an overnight thing, and I wasn't partying all the time, it was simply a small glass of wine with dinner on the weekend.  But after many months, I realized it had turned to a large glass of wine every night.  Basically, even though I was proud of my body and how I was changing, my mind was still struggling to overcome that wall I had built when I was pregnant at 17...that I was the fat bitch that nobody would be interested in being friends with.  I wouldn't say I was antisocial, but I avoided talking to my family/friends from back home and I still hadn't opened myself up for the chance to finding friends and creating a life for myself in a new environment.  I realized it was a problem one afternoon when my exact thought was how many hours until dinner and that large glass of wine, so I could lounge in front of the tv and escape the loneliness, and then go to sleep like a charm. (stop! keep that judgement from coming to your head and don't go there, I was not drinking to the point of passing out, I would get a slight buzz to mellow out.)  And no, I am not taking a stand against you everyday vinos, some people can drink daily in moderation and have no problems with it.  For me, personally, it was a negative thing because I was doing it for the wrong reasons!  My diet was still not where it needed to be for my body and mind to be at a healthy level, and by drinking wine every night I was about to push myself backwards.  Do I still drink? You bet your bottom dollar, definetly not part of my daily routine and definetly not for the wrong reasons. Someone I love dearly once told me drink because you are happy, not to make you happy.  Healthy minds make healthy choices!!
    Now I'm going to sort of skip over a chunk of time(wine was in that frame) because basically there is no long story, it is just short and simple.  From spring 2010-december 2010, my weight was at a plateau, but muscles/toning were starting to show because of the raise in activity level from low-moderate!  Another big positive was I started cooking/baking more often, which is a huge passion of mine!  I put on my apron and I'm transported into another world, a place where amidst the mess of flour dusted counters and piles of dirty measuring cups and cookie cutters, I feel at peace.  And, even though I was still not making the healthiest choices, by preparing mine and my families food, I was visually understanding and educating myself what I was putting into my body.  That is huge to any healthy lifestyle change...going in the positive direction, so while all my choices were not the best, I was changing for the better, learning by living one day at a time....
..To be stay tuned for more experiences and laughs!

Many thanks to you all for taking the time to read and give some wonderful feedback, <3love you for the support! Again, I am writing this first and foremost to move forward with a healthy life.  In order for that to happen, I needed to be honest and open with myself, and others.  I am still quite a private person, but this past chapter on my life is on its final closing words so I have no problems bringing up those old memories because I no longer have the pain that came with them.  For too long I struggled because I wouldn't address the demons that were holding me back and keeping me as the scared and lonely 17 year old who thought the world was going to swallow her up.  To be cliche', I needed to be lost for a little while in order to truly find myself.  I thank God everyday for his amazing love and the strength he gave me to send those demons straight back where they came from...
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint"

Have a blessed day!!
Lots of love!!
C'est Si Bon!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Correction: Nothing Tastes as good as HEALTHY feels!!

Spring 2008

Spring 2013

 Bonjour Bloggies and Bloggettes!!

"Nothing tastes good as skinny feels"-spoken by supermodel Kate Moss... Maybe she is a model to some people, I however have a beef with that. (pun intended)  Now grab a cup of organic tea and a snack, heck maybe a whole bowl of popcorn because this is going to be longg post.  You've been warned!  Feel free to take breaks to do squats/jumping jacks/down-dogs because I myself can't sit for this long!  Dont feel obligated to read the whole thing, I think this post is as much for me as it is to motivate myself and other people to start living a healthier lifestyle in mind, spirit, and body! 
       Let's go back to my childhood where thankfully I grew up with a mom who was extremely health conscious, and even though we didn't have the financials to have everything as natural and organic as possible, we had the absolute best that my parents could afford.  Back then however, I thought it was something to be embarrassed of, I was one of the only kids at lunch who had whole wheat bread with my homemade lunch while everyone else was eating wonderbread and soda.  We were given vitamins and other natural remedies/supplements and frequented holistic health doctors, chiroproacters, etc. when my peers were on antibiotics and used tylenol, pepto bismol, and tums on the daily.  I, being your regular teenager, was fueled by the mindset of wanting to fit in and that meant eating/drinking/etc what all my friends got to indulge in! By my high school years I was a fast food frequenter, my post-sports meal was a chicken sandwich  and fries at Mcdonalds and if i was feeling spontaneous an infamous blizzard from Dairy Queen.  Taco Bell was a late night snack and breakfast was a meal for old people and babies.  I used the excuse that I was young and had my whole life ahead of me to start caring about my health.  Sidenote: while in high school I had bronchitis/pnemonia twice, colds were a frequent visitor, and although some may have considered my weight "normal", now looking back you can see those processed foods and unhealthy habits written all over my body. 
    Well fastforward to getting pregnant, which luckily my metabolism was through the roof and I was waitressing until I was 6months along, so I was able to stay in shape.  However, once I quit that is where the motivation to stay active went down and my weight crept up...I was pregnant at 17, depressed, and my life consisted of television and internet. All day.  Yes, I had myself convinced that walking downstairs to do laundry, and light housework ONCE a week was enough exercise to counteract my sitting on my ass downing chips/frozen dinners/takeout/you name a processed food it was going in my body. So while all my friends were enjoying their senior year of high school I shut myself into our two bedroom apartment where I completed my school while snacking to counteract my own self-pity. To give you numbers...first 6 months of my pregnancy I gained 5lbs max(I had lost some weight in the beginning so it averaged out..)...months 7,8,9 a whopping 15lbs.  That may not sound like a lot for some, but truth is probably 5-10lbs of that gain had nothing to do with pregnancy and exclusively to my lifestyle. 
   November 2007, my beautiful Callie came into the world, and postpregnancy I immediately was feeling good.  I had a babyhigh, and was positive because everyone told me breastfeeding was going to melt the weight away, and I was down 5lbs after the first week.  Unfortunately, birth control pills overtook my hormones and depression set in once again and the same pattern of sitting alll day in front of the tv feeding myself and my baby, I even had pushed some of the laundry/cleaning duties onto my poor husband.  My activity level was nonexistant.  I could drag out this part but hey you get the idea, I was unhealthy, unhappy, and the scale showed it because 3 months postbaby, february/march 2008, I had gained 20lbs.  My brain was full of this horrid fogginess, an aftereffect of the drugs and garbage that shouldn't even be considered food.  I had my mom, giving subtle weight loss hints, and I thought all hope was lost, my biggest supporter calling me FAT.(Today I love my mom for doing this because she always is/was my biggest supporter and I know she was trying to put positive motivation in my life.  Unfortunately when you are in the dark for so long, sometimes, the slightest lightbeams can be harsh, and hurt, because your eyes haven't had the time to adjust.)
   By July 2008, add another 10lbs, and this is where I give total credit to my family/very few friends who put up with the fat, mean bitch that I was.  I'm sorry, I was miserable with myself and took it out on a lot of people.  Plus my relationship with Christ was put on the back of the back burner, and without feeling that love in my life I turned bitter and shut myself off to the world.  My disposition reflected the food I ate, it looked good on the outside, but if you dared to get close enough you could see the artificial coating, and the inside was just plain ugly.  Now that you have some background of the rocky bottom I had hit...lets get to some of the good stuff!!! 
    August 2008-I was still in my birthcontrol daze and thank goodness, the one clear thought I had, was, when we decided to try for another baby!  So the evil pills went in the garbage..  It took a few months for the drugs to move out of my system and the fogginess started to lift.  I started becoming more aware of the chaos that I had created in and for myself.  Then in February of 2009, I sincerely believe God threw me my lifeline in the form of another beautiful baby growing inside of me.  From that, it is my view and motto, that a healthy body starts with a healthy mind.  It is my belief that you need to, first and foremost, have faith, and in my personal life battles, without faith and the neverending love of my savior, Jesus Christ, I would not have been able to clear my head in order to start healing my mind, soul, and body.
    Luckily, pregnancy yet again jump-started my metabolism, where I lost about 15-20lbs in the beginning. And as that weight went out the door, slowly but surely did my bad habits.  I brushed off the dirt from the rocky mess I was in, looked up, started climbing towards a better me.  I started watching what I ate..Now UNDERSTAND ME, in my world watching what I ate/eat does NOT mean starving myself/depriving myself or anything else people try/have tried calling it. (just because you see me once a month does not mean you instantly know my eating habits)  Personally, for me, watching what I eat/ate meant/means, choosing better food options by researching nutrition and actually being knowledgable about what I was putting in my body and also by slowing down to enjoy the food I was intaking to refuel my body. By that process, the portions of my meals/snacks went down with the quality of food going up. 
    Next in this transformation was physical activity. Even though pregnancy was draining my energy, there was that voice in my head telling me, "You are better than this, this is your opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning to a new chapter, and don't let life run over you again."  So my inner fighter surfaced, and I started being more active by trying many different types of personal favorite being yoga, which I did as often as I could, sometimes it was daily, sometimes once a week.  Now this was not an overnight success, I still had trouble kicking the fast food/junk food habits/television/internet obsessive habits. So, during commercial breaks I would run up and down the stairs, do lunges, sun salutations and other exercises and then between shows I would take walks.  Was I making all the right choices? NO! But the percentage of wrong choices was going DOWN and that was key!  By the summer of 2008 I felt more alive than I had for the past two years, and I knew I was heading in the right direction.  When my next little beauty,miss Charlotte, arrived in November I had gained 0lbs from prepregnancy weight, BUT i gained 10lbs of the original first trimester loss.  (I have to take a short detour to point out that Callie weighed 9lbs 3oz and Charlotte came in at 8lbs 4oz, so for my body I didnt need to gain a lot to produce a healthy baby!)
   Now, I dont mean to toot my horn but I came home from the hospital feeling so amazing!!  I lost weight before leaving the hospital(hello 8lb baby?!) and I had crazy amounts of energy where I didn't feel like I just had a baby!  However, I knew I had only reached a milestone in my journey and there was definetly rough terrain ahead.  Thanksgiving was just days away and Christmas right around the corner, and all my thoughts were about the holiday goodies from pies, cookies, to schwans peppermint stick ice cream.  Yet this is where I knew progress of of my healthy lifestyle goal had officially been made.   My self discipline kicked in and YES I did eat all of the above and more....BUT in moderation.  So, by the time I had to bare all in a bikini for spring break 2010, I had to do some shopping because I was down 30lbs pre-Charlotte-pregnancy weight!  I cannot express how good it made me feel to hear someone say, "Wow  Melanie, you look really good.".  It had been so long since I had felt any positivity towards myself, and that was the tall, refreshing glass of water I needed to continue my climb.
   Enter late spring of 2010 and my husband's graduation from college rerouted us on a huge move from Michigan, my childhood home, all the way to Florida....and that's where it ends...JUST KIDDING!! haha This is where I take a get a break...and I will post part two of this series very soon! So stay tuned to find out if the move knocked me off track, and other interesting little bits including personal health and nutrition products/ideas/etc that lead me to where I am today! 
This is not a tell-all, and I'm not looking to reveal all my lifes comings and goings. However I have felt guilty for a while because I am the one who shut out and hurt people during those couple of dark years, and I want to again apologize to any and all I may have harmed with words or deeds.  These posts are to shed light on my struggles, as personal motivation, and to offer motivation to anyone else who is/has been in a similar place of doubting their self-worth, or any other struggles with mind and body issues.

Thank you Jesus for loving the world, one can only hope to reflect that sort of love everyday...and for giving me the courage to open up more about the darker years of my life.  I want to dedicate this little series to my family and friends who stuck by me through thick(literally.) and thin.  Their continuous love, understanding, and support is what drives me to be a better person everyday. 

Have a blessed day!!
Lots of Love!

Monday, April 15, 2013


Hello Bloggies and Bloggettes!! 
Today I have another book to recommend to you..Shattered by Dani Pettrey.  This is the second in the "Alaskan Courage" series that I have had the opportunity to read and review.  I was hoping that it would be at least as good as the first one, but in my opinion I think this one is a little better! :)  The story is set in Yancey, a small Alaskan town that is home to avid snowboarders, cute lawmen, and a murderer? The suspect is Reef, a Yancey-native who swears he's innocent and he's got his loyal family and friends who will do anything to find the matter what the end result may prove. Leading the investigating are his sister, Piper, and local deputy, Landon, who have a love-hate relationship. Will working together cause more friction or will it help them to discover more than just clues about the murder? I couldn't wait to finish this book so I could find the answer to that question and many more from the twists that the author planted in the plot!! A chilling adventure that you will love!

Happy Reading!!!

I would like to thank Bethany House Reviewers that gave me the opportunity to review this book. However, all comments are my personal opinions!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weeding our Gardens...

Bonjour Bloggies and Bloggettes!! 
Now I'm sure you all must be wondering where the random title of my blog comes from today, so allow me to elaborate.  Backstory...our condo looks out onto a beautiful preserve and creek that tends to get overrun with random shrubs and other foliage overgrowth.  This tends to be a favorite residence for wild hogs and our condo association is not friendly with the idea of these pigs digging up their precious sod and rooting through garbage bins in our development.  So right now outside of my condo there is a big tractor/ tiller type thing completely mowing down the marshy overgrowth so the pigs will have to migrate to another location.  I know this sounds crazy and probably most of you are yawning and giving up hope I will ever get to my it is!  Recent life situations have helped me realize more often than not that we need to weed/till our lives of people/environments/etc and know whats worth keeping and whats worth getting rid of.  If you have certain friends/acquaintences/family/ that you have issues with you need to deal with it like pruning a can either trim it and nuture it so it can grow into something big and beautiful and deep rooted otherwise if you ignore it, it will make the relationship/plant stay dormant and not grow or if it is really toxic it will shrivel and die.  Am I making any sense yet?...  This can be applicable not just with relationships but with your job/house/finances.  Life is a crazy yet beautiful mess that constantly will have weeds growing/diseased plants/harsh conditions that will make it seem like its easier to just uproot everything and toss it to the side.  This is where I believe even though we don't control the world we do have the God given talent to step back, pray, meditate and reflect how you want to approach your life's garden...Some plants do not work with everyones garden, and you need to be okay with that.  Basically what I am trying to work on in my personal life and recommend that you TRY is weeding your garden on a regular basis, get rid of the people/places/things that aren't necessary and work on the ones that are going to make your life more fulfilling.  The most important thing I must stress to you is you must spend the time to see results.  You will find you love your life and can have a deeper appreciation and understanding for this beautiful world that God has lent us for a short time.  I hope that this little post will at least give you something to think over and will end this post with one of my favorite quotes..The infamous Mark Twain penned "There is no security in this life, only opportunity".

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Change of Fortune~Review

Bonjour Bloggettes and Bloggies!! 

Today I am letting you in on another fun book sent to me to review!  It is "A Change of Fortune" by Jen Turano (a new author to me!)  I am by no means picky about the types of books I will read, it can range from Historical NonFiction to Little House on the Prarie (reading with my darling Callie who is 5) and everything in between.  However I must say my feminine genes favor reading romances, so I was very excited to read another one!  I have to say I loved the beginning of this book!  Unlike most novels that can be slow to start, this one started of sprinting, and you have no problems jumping right in!  The backstory: It is 1880 in New York, and Lady Eliza Sumner has encountered some unfortunate luck in her life in England, so she has traveled to America to try and fix her present/future situation.  It follows her journey to find her faith, fortune, and maybe even a fiance?! <3  This is a very enjoyable clean romantic story with a light touch of mystery.  The reason for four stars instead of five is that 3/4 of the way through the story; more characters are thrown into the plot that are unneccessary, and in my mind ruined a smooth running story.  Sometimes its better to have some unanswered questions instead of overtelling.  Otherwise the characters and the plot are extremely fun and you will find yourself laughing over male/female banter that is very relatable to present day!  Overall a great read that is witty and entertaining!  I will definetly consider this author again in the future.

If you are interested in purchasing Change of Fortune, click on the title and it will link you to amazon! :)

Disclosure: Bethany House Publishers graciously sent me a copy of this book to review and all thoughts/ideas/opinions are my own!  Thank you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!!!!

Happy New Year's bloggies and blogettes!!  May this year bring you wisdom, good health, peace, happiness and blessings!!  Yes that may sound like a long list off of a hallmark card but I believe people should make resolutions like these that have no barriers.  For example, a very popular resolution, losing weight....maybe if you go for good health-eating right/exercising/etc you will find weightloss plus you will be happier because you are treating your body right!!  Or for example: travel some more-why not just wish for continuing happiness?!  If that means traveling then that's great, but what if you can't make that dream trip happen?...Usually leads to temporary disappointment/sadness/and well literal pouting.  Life isn't in our control, so I believe resolutions need to be a thing of the past and we need to live our lives to the fullest and not make these shallow goals that are usually selfish and backfire.  When you start actually living your life you can find all of the above goals, and they don't need to cost a thing!  Volunteer, spend time with those you love; that make you a better person and not poison your life, read, go outside and do whatever makes you happy, literally what can't you do outside?!  It is sad how this world has gotten so into staying indoors 24/7! God gave us this beautiful Earth to enjoy!  Our lives are constantly changing so be the person you want to be, you will never fully understand life but you definetly have been given the opportunity to live it!  Stop overanalyzing what you think your life should be and just be! Just some deep thoughts to ponder as we jump into a fresh year!  Talk soon!....

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.  ~Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojarhiu)

ps-I got to spend New Year's with one of the very few people in my life who is as real and open as I am, and had an amazing time!!  Carpe Diem!!