Relieving My Tired, Achy “Mom Body” From the Ground Up

#advertisement I received compensation from Dr. Scholl’s® to write this post. All opinions are entirely my own. #CustomFitRelief #DrScholls

Exercise and moving more is something I’m working on in my rejuvenated quest for little changes that make a big difference. I recently celebrated my 44th birthday and with four kids (ages 19 months to 13 years old), I need all the energy I can to keep up with them. Unfortunately, I have chronic lower back pain that often hinders me from getting active. Years of not listening to my body has taken its toll. I’ve been doing physical therapy and exercising more to strengthen my core. I know that too much sitting can cause my pain to increase and that stretching, exercise and frequent walking helps. However being on my feet more means tired, achy feet in addition to lower back pain. Simply walking my baby in her stroller around the block can cause foot and lower back pain, which is not encouraging me to move more!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

I’ve heard about using orthotic inserts in my everyday shoes but hadn’t tried them yet. Pain in the lower back and knees can originate from your feet. Orthotics can disperse foot pressure to reduce the stress on your knees or lower back that cause pain. I was excited to see that my local Walmart has a Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Kiosk (CLICK to find a Custom Fit® Kiosk near you). The kiosk uses Footmapping® technology to help me choose the right orthotic insert for my needs. Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotics can provide immediate, all day relief for foot, knee, or lower back pain while on my feet…sign me up!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Dr. Scholl’s® developed the advanced FootMapping® technology used in the Custom Fit® kiosk. Simply stand barefooted at the kiosk and the machine uses over 2,000 pressure sensors to create your Custom Footmap.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad
At one point in the process you’ll grab a hold of the bars in front of you and lift up each foot at a time for the FootMapping® technology to “read” each foot.

In just seconds, you’ll receive information identifying your arch type, foot length and unique pressure points. It’s a very quick process – in under 2 minutes, the kiosk evaluated my feet and recommended the Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts that were ideal for me. I’m a CF310!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

At the end of the process, I plugged in my email address to have rebate and all the information about the recommended orthotics sent to me. You can also click through to get $10 savings after purchase via this link at the Custom Fit® Online Rebate Center.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotics are comprised of 4 layers that provide support and cushioning that relieve foot and lower body pain for all-day on-your-feet comfort.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Let’s just say when I slipped them into my new boots, I didn’t experience any of the usual discomfort when I started walking. The orthotic raised my foot slightly, so my walking shoes with the elastic bands across the top were a little tighter than usual.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

I like that I can move the orthotics into whatever shoe I’m wearing that day (my boots, walking shoes, heel or flats). Everyone can try Custom Fit® Orthotics risk-free, with the Dr. Scholl’s® Money Back Guarantee.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Daily use of my Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts has truly helped me to get through my days comfortably. I’m using Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts in my everyday shoes to help me relieve lower back pain. Now I can keep up with my kids…they just need to keep up with me!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Photo Credit: Melendy Britt

Personal Trainer Food Review- Resisting Temptations (Week 3)

At the beginning of week three, I was really starting to notice a change in my figure. And by the middle of week three, other people were starting to notice as well. I had a few friends comment that whatever I was doing, was working! And my husband said he could really tell a difference in my back and stomach. On the 17th day following the Personal Trainer Food program, my jeans were so loose I could slide them off without unbuttoning! Exciting changes and I’m THRILLED! I’ve felt so stuck in my weight loss for years, that I feel so happy to have finally found something that is working for me.

If you’re following along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts, here are the previous posts in the series.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided.

Eating Out on the Plan

My husband and I don’t eat out very often but I was glad to read that the Personal Trainer Food program does allow you to eat out and still stay within the weight loss guidelines. By subbing pasta, bread, potatoes, chips and rice for a salad and approved veggies, I can still enjoy a meal out without cheating!

On Saturday I went to a party and I didn’t know ahead of time what food would be served. I already knew that I would be avoiding alcohol (a no-no on the program). And that I would modify whatever meal was offered to stay on program. Fortunately street tacos were served, which was great! I requested no tortillas, so I ate my meat, salsa and guacamole right off the plate. I skipped the chips, avoided the cookies and drank diet soda instead of wine. Best part: I wore a long-abandoned pair of jeans that night – a pair of jeans I thought I’d never fit into again!

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

An Apple a Day

The only fruit on the weight loss guidelines chart is apple. I am “allowed” one apple per day while in weight loss mode. Some days I save my apple for after dinner. Other days I need the sweet snack on the afternoon. I usually eat my apple with some cheddar cheese and a few nuts. One day I chopped it up, sprinkled with zero calorie sweetener and cinnamon and microwaved it so it was soft and warm.

In the first week, I LIVED for that apple. I looked forward to it, since it was the only sweet thing I was eating. I can honestly say that in week three, there are some days I forget to eat the apple! Maybe my taste buds are changing a little? Or I’m just not hungry!

Sprinkle and Drizzle Flavor

Personal Trainer Food sent me bottles of their butter sauces. I’ve gotten accustomed over the years to eating my steamed veggies without butter or salt, so drizzling these yummy butter sauces is GREAT! Salad dressings, hot sauce and salsa are okay to add, so long as they have less than 2g of sugar per serving. Just don’t pick “low-fat” or “reduced calorie”.

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Bacon on everything!! Yes, really. I added cheese and bacon to my Personal Trainer Food veggie burger as well as on my green beans.

Tempted to Cheat

Have I been tempted to cheat while on the program? Oh yes! But after reading that even a bite of a non-recommended food can set me back 2-4 days in my weight loss, I have NOT indulged on anything off program! If I’m going to do the program, I want to be 100% committed to making it work so I can see the true results.

Here is my thought on this – there are going to be “special days”. Days when I’m going to want to eat off-program and indulge in bread or dessert. There’s going to be a day when I want pizza! But those “special days” cannot be everyday. And it’s just way too easy to make that pattern become a habit.

Every day doesn’t require doughnuts for breakfast, nachos for lunch and burgers with fries for dinner. Every day doesn’t require that I eat simple carbs. I’ve proven I can do without them while sticking to this program. And sorry, but every day doesn’t deserve dessert! As someone who has always had a crazy sweet tooth, I can’t believe I’m admitting that. But it’s true. I don’t need dessert. I’ve gotten by fine without it. And I’m finally losing the weight.

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Orange chicken and veggies

Planning a “Cheat Day”

I started on the Personal Trainer Food program on October 23rd, exactly one month prior to Thanksgiving Day. I knew going in that I would want to relax on the program a bit for that one single day. I’d like to enjoy the meal, maybe have a roll, a glass of wine and a piece of pie. I reached out via email to a Personal Trainer Food coach to ask how a cheat day would affect me.

The coaches highly encourage you NOT to cheat (not even a bite) while in the weight loss mode. It’s a slippery slope! And once you indulge one day, it’s going to be that much harder to get back on the wagon.

With that said, she said that if I do indulge for one day, that they recommend a 24-48 hour liquid fast before starting back on the program again. This will cleanse you of carbs and sugar and get your body back on track for weight loss.

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Fajita steak and veggies – I added the extra cheese!

Personal Trainer Food Review – WEEK THREE

Cravings & Habits

Cravings have definitely subsided this week. I went to my mom’s group this week and there were doughnuts, croissants, bagels and berries. I spied apple slices, broccoli, raw carrots and almonds and helped myself generously!

Feelings & Mood

I’ve been really energetic and feeling great. Each day I wake up without grogginess, despite the fact that my 19-month old daughter still wakes up several times a night!

I do still get a little grumpy when I choose to forgo some of my favorite foods that are not on the program. This weekend my family ate cornbread at dinner and I really did want to try a piece. But I have my goal in mind so I’m sticking to my promise (even though it does make me a little moody).

Body Changes

I swear, I’m shrinking overnight. I wake in the morning and put my hands on my hips, feeling so much smaller each day. Pants are looser. Shirts are bigger. I pulled out my winter wardrobe and several pairs of pants that I hadn’t been able to wear for years finally fit again!

I also noticed that the dark circles under my eyes are gone. The chronic pain I’ve been having in my back for the last 2 years is amazingly so much better. Are those the result in the lack of carbs and sugar in my diet or the actual weight loss? Not sure but I like the results!

Final Results for WEEK THREE:

Weight lost – 1.5 lb this week / TOTAL weight lost – 7.5 lbs in three weeks

Inches lost – after three weeks on the Personal Trainer Food program I have lost 1/4″ total off my arms, 2.25″ off my thighs, 1″ off my chest, 1.5″ off my waist, and 1.5″ off my hips. A total of 6.5″ total lost in three weeks.

Considering the Personal Trainer Food program?

Personal Trainer Food website

Holiday Shopping Guide: Disney Gifts for Toddlers

That first holiday when your child is old enough to enjoy the season is just the best! They can enjoy the holiday meal. They love looking at lights in the neighborhood. And of course, they’re old enough to open gifts now too! I can’t wait for my toddler daughter to see the Christmas tree this year. But I have a feeling we won’t be setting any presents out under the tree, for fear she’ll open them all before the actual holiday! Holiday shopping for toddlers is already so much fun. And of course adding a pixie dust sprinkling of Disney in with the presents is so magical. Here is the shopping guide with my suggestions of Disney gifts for toddlers!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Disney gifts for toddlers including stocking stuffers, toys, bath and meal time fun and favorite books and movies!

Disney Toys for Toddlers

Number one on the lists of all little boys and girls – TOYS! These adorable Disney-themed toys for toddlers include Little People and LEGO Duplo blocks.

Fisher-Price Little People

LEGO Duplo Disney blocks are adorable and really feed a toddler’s imagination!


Adorable Outfits and Clothes

Toddlers love to wear comfy clothes that also feature their favorite characters! These machine-washable outfits are great for a day at Disney…or any day!

 

Disney Books, Music and Movies

What’s better on a chilly day than snuggling up to read, watch favorite movies or listen to songs together with your toddler? These are all perfect for little ones and make great Disney gifts for toddlers. These DVDs are family favorites!


Disney Dollies

Toddlers love to emulate mama and that means having a baby to care for of their very own. Each of my kids had their own special Disney-themed stuffy or doll (even me – my lovie was Winnie the Pooh!)

 

Outdoor Play

Toddlers love to explore the great outdoors. These outdoor play items with a Disney twist will keep them active outside.

           

 

Disney Dining

A favorite character featured at meal time makes lima beans look more appealing! Okay, maybe not, but toddlers love to see Disney characters on their cups, plates, bibs and placemats.



Toddler Games

These games are fine for little ones to play on their own, but everything is more fun with family! Include these fun games on your next family game night to include your toddler as well.

  


Dressing Up Disney

Kids of all ages love to play dress-up! Toddlers too, so keep their dress-up box full and fill their imaginations!

 


Disney Travel Gear

Hitting the road? Even if you’re not headed to the Disney Parks, you can pack your toddler’s favorite characters on everything from pint-sized backpacks, lunch boxes and sunglasses.


Bath Time

I have a hard time dragging my toddler out of the tub, she loves it! But if your toddler has a bath time aversion, perhaps these fun toys and products would help encourage some clean up?

“it’s a small world” Bathtub Boat


Bed Time

What better place to read a bed time story than from your very own toddler sized Cars chair? And how sweet to cuddle up in your toddler-sized blanket set with a favorite Disney character!

Stocking Stuffers

My toddler loves seeing her favorite characters in unexpected places like on her toothbrush! Stuff their stockings with these Disney gifts for toddlers, like toothpaste, Band-Aids, slippers and undies (perfect for those toddlers who are gearing up for potty training!)



For more Holiday gift ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


 

Personal Trainer Food Review- You Won’t Go Hungry (Week 2)

After a successful week one on the Personal Trainer Food program, I was confident going into week two. Week two definitely had a few bumps in the road, but nothing I couldn’t navigate. There were some mighty temptations in the way of Halloween candy and treats! There were times this week when I found myself wanting to eat something, anything. I really checked in with my body to fill that need in a healthy way. I love that on this program, I do not have to count calories. If I’m hungry, I can eat as much salad, meat or as many veggies as I want! That in itself, feels indulgent and not “diet deprived” at all.

If you’re following along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts, here are the previous posts in the series.

Personal Trainer Food Review – I’m Ready to Make Healthy Changes!

Personal Trainer Food Review – Starting a Healthy Meal Plan (Week 1)

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided.

No Calorie Counting!

Certain foods are unlimited on the Personal Trainer Food program. That means if you’re hungry, you don’t have to count any calories – You can just eat! Any kind of meat (including beef, chicken, pork or seafood) are unlimited. Eggs are unlimited. And you can eat as many leafy greens as you want. Non-starchy veggies like tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and avocados are unlimited too. And because everything tastes better with butter, this is unlimited as well.

I have loved that in addition to the frozen Personal Trainer Food I was provided, I’m still able to add from these unlimited foods to satisfy my hunger. I’ve been adding salsa to my eggs in the morning, a salad at lunch and extra veggies for dinner when I’m extra hungry.

14 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

I dipped my chicken strips in blue cheese dressing, yum!

Add Your Own Toppings

While you can certainly just heat the Personal Trainer Food and eat it as is, the “fun” is in adding things that add to the flavor. So long as the food meets the guidelines and doesn’t contain more than 2g of sugar, you can add salad dressing, salsa, tomato sauce and cheese to your foods. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on a salad and top with extra approved veggies like bell peppers or tomatoes. Chop up your chicken and add it to a bed of greens with crumbled parmesan crisps for crunch. Herbs and spices are also great way to season foods to your liking.

20 Minutes of Walking Each Day

I took the first week off from exercise so I could see how the change in my diet would treat me. I was totally fine, no side effects or headache at all. So on Monday morning of last week, I got back to the gym. Personal Trainer Food recommends 20+ minutes of brisk walking each day. I already do a walk each night with my daughter in her stroller so I’m adding yoga and weight lifting two other days during the week.

14 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Boneless beef ribs with green beans (and a healthy sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese!)

Personal Trainer Food Review – WEEK TWO

Cravings & Habits

Halloween day was HARD, I won’t lie. Walking around while my kids collected candy and I couldn’t eat any, was HARD. Normally I would have eaten about 20 pieces during trick-or-treat time. And I would have eaten about 20 pieces the next day. And the day after that.

But I didn’t eat ANY! I was tempted for sure (and by the chocolate cake that my kids won at the Halloween carnival cake walk!) But I kept reminding myself that indulging would set me back several days on my weight loss. So I didn’t cheat. However I did set aside a few of my favorite pieces for a day I have planned a diet break!

Feelings & Mood

I was a little grumpy the day after Halloween, knowing that some of my favorite chocolates were in the garage and I couldn’t eat any of them! But then I told myself that I could eat them, if I really wanted to. However I was choosing for my good health NOT to eat them, that I was making the choice. This made a big difference in my mood.

Body Changes

On Sunday (14 days into the Personal Trainer Program) I pulled out a pair of jeans that I haven’t worn in 3 years. And they fit. I’d could definitely tell that my stomach is flatter and my thighs and hips are trimmer. These jeans are the smallest pair of pants I own and are a full size smaller than what I have been wearing.

So, in two weeks on the program, I’ve lost one size!

14 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Photo taken on Sun Nov 5th, 14 days on Personal Trainer Food program.

Final Results for WEEK TWO:

Weight lost – 2 lbs lost in week two – TOTAL weight lost: 6 lbs

Inches lost – after two weeks on the Personal Trainer Food program I have lost 1/4″ total off my arms, 1.5″ off my thighs, 1″ off my chest, 1″ off my waist, and 1″ off my hips. A total of 4.75″ total lost in two weeks.

Considering the Personal Trainer Food program?

Sign up on the Personal Trainer Food website and receive discount codes sent via email.

14 days without sugar, bread and limited carbs. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Personal Trainer Food Review- Starting a Healthy Meal Plan (Week 1)

Sooo, it’s been one full week since I started on the Personal Trainer Food program. For this first week, I’m sharing my entire food journal. You’ll see how I used Personal Trainer Food as well as the provided guidelines for weight loss to eat other foods prepared at home. This is a healthy meal plan that does limit carbs and completely eliminates sugar.

Check out my first post in this series, Personal Trainer Food Review- I’m READY to Make Changes!

Keep reading for my Personal Trainer Food review, my take on the provided food on this program, how I feel, and how much it’s already changing my body.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided.

Pre-Program – Consider Fasting

Need a sugar and carb detox? Consider a fast to jump-start your fat loss. The Personal Trainer Food plan recommends starting the program with a 24 to 48 hour fast. I’ve never been able to go that long with fasting; I get faint and lightheaded, which is not so great when I’m taking care of four kids! I was able to fast 11 hours on the first day without eating before I caved – I still stuck to the program though!

It is suggested that while on the program, participants try an intermittent 24 hour fast to get past plateaus. Even an overnight fast of 12 to 14 hours from dinner to breakfast the next day can improve results.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of liquids will help the body detoxify faster and diminish cravings. I’ve been upping my water intake since starting the plan. The plan guidelines give the green light on flavor enhancers so I’ve been occassionally adding those to my water when I want a “treat”. I’ve also been drinking a few cups of green tea during the day.

And thank goodness diet soda is okay, so I didn’t have to give that up (I’m not sure I could have gone cold turkey on carbs, sugar and diet soda at the same time!) I only drink one max per day, but it is a indulgence for me. Let’s just say with all this extra liquid I’ve been staying close to the bathroom. Hoping my body adjusts soon!

Mix in Your Own Snacks

Recommended snacks are meats, cheese, nuts, veggies and one apple a day, spread out over two snacks. Approved nuts include almond and walnuts, which I bought, measured and bagged individually. Each of those bags contains 3 oz, which is actually a pretty large serving! Nibble on some during snack time and then sprinkle some on your salad. You may eat up to 6 oz of cheese (including cheddar and mozzarella) through the day. I eat half an apple during my morning snack, about 3 oz of cheese and a few nuts. This balance really gives me energy and keeps me satisfied till lunch. Another great snack that has been helping with salty cravings is salami and Parmesan.

You may also purchase the Personal Trainer Food plan that includes snacks, including sausage sticks, olives and packaged nuts. I found it was easy enough for me to measure and bag up the snacks on my own. I suggest purchasing a small food scale to help keep your portion sizes accurate.

A small food scale is very important when measuring foods into portion sizes.


Personal Trainer Food Review – WEEK ONE

Day 1-

For breakfast on day one I ate a frittata and bacon. I’m not a big egg eater so the thought of eating eggs everyday is a little daunting. However when ordering the menu from Personal Trainer Food, I was able to request only eggs that had cheese because that’s the only way I like them. The frittata was really delicious, with bits of sweet peppers inside. The bacon was paper-thin, but still tasty!

First week on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

I chose to fast through lunch, supplementing with some warm broth and a cup of tea.

At dinner, my husband had made roasted brussels sprouts and asparagus so I ate the veggies along with my family. I added a butter chicken, which was flavorful (albiet a bit tough). I drizzled the veggies with the Garlic Butter, which then everyone at the table had to try. It was yummy!

Day 2-

I started the morning with a cheddar omelette and maple sausage. The sausage satisfied the salty-sweet combo I was craving.

My mid-morning snack was 2 oz of cheddar cheese and a few almonds. Later in the afternoon I ate my apple.

For lunch, I chose the Buffalo chicken sticks and mixed veggies. The breading on the chicken had a bit of kick, which added lots of flavor! I used a tablespoon of blue cheese dressing for dipping. The dressing has less than a gram of sugar, so it’s acceptable on the plan.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

My husband made dinner that was on my program. We had grilled chicken kabobs with squash, red bell peppers and onions. My family also ate potatoes, which I skipped.

Day 3-

I was kind of all about the cheddar today! Breakfast of cheddar omelette & maple sausage again. This time I sprinkled a little extra cheddar on the top…yum!

My snack was an ounce of cheddar, almonds and walnuts and my apple.

At lunch, I went with the meatballs and capri veggies. I added a tablespoon of tomato sauce, approved since it was under 2g of sugar. It was like eating a nice Italian meal and I really didn’t miss the pasta.

First week on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Dinner was the leftover chicken and veggies from the previous night. My kids ate it with refried beans and tortillas. I reheated mine and sprinkled with cheddar.

After a walk I came home and put the baby to bed and my older kids each had a small bowl of ice cream. Normally I would have joined them but instead I gauged my hunger. I definitely needed a snack so I had some nuts, cheddar cheese and a few big glasses of water.

Day 4-

Today was my first real challenge on the program. I attend a weekly mom’s group Bible study and everyone brings snacks. It’s usually a free-for-all of pastries, home-made treats, fruits and veggies with dip.

I ate my Personal Trainer Food egg & meat breakfast at home before heading to the group (I would usually skip breakfast and then indulge in snacks during the group). I remembered to take my water bottle so I could drink and refill during the two hours I was there.

I did eat snacks during my group – I passed over the doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake and dove into the walnuts and almonds, raw carrots, sliced Parmesan-Romano cheese and salami. I was happy there was something I could enjoy and not feel left out while everyone else was snacking! PS. I did bring a bag of nuts with me, just in case.

Instead of stopping for fast food at lunch like I usually would on this day, I drove home and made the gluten free breaded chicken with Venice blend veggies. The baby helped me to eat them!

For dinner I’d made the family pot roast with celery, onion, carrots and potatoes. I skipped the potatoes and was able to enjoy the rest of the meal. It wasn’t until later that I saw online that only raw carrots should be consumed and that cooked carrots are starchy and should be avoided in too much quantity. Ugh, hope I didn’t mess up too badly with the extra 5 bites of cooked carrots I ate. The veggie packages that Personal Trainer Food sends DO have small amounts of carb/starchy veggies in balance proportions. But Lesson Learned: Check the weight loss guidelines before eating!

First week without sugar & limited carbs - Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Day 5-

Frittata with bacon for breakfast. I was off to run errands, including getting an oil change for my car. In the past I would have stopped in at the local fast food restaurant for a breakfast sandwich (even if I wasn’t really hungry). But this time I took my bottle of water and a bag of almonds so I could snack while I waited.

Lunch was a Personal Trainer Food peppered chicken breast. I cut it up and served it on a bed of chopped romaine with blue cheese dressing and sunflower seeds.

My afternoon snack was an apple, walnuts and cheddar.

For dinner I made the kids pumpkin spice French toast and I made myself a Personal Trainer Food meal (Works burger with veggies). Later in the evening I snacked on a few slices of parmesan and salami.

Day 6-

Today I added broccoli to my egg and sausage breakfast, which helped to fill me up. Lunch was orange chicken and Venice veggie mix, which was tasty and satisfied the Chinese food craving!

Dinner was the very delicious Prime Rib fajita strips and Nantucket blend. It was a healthy portion of food and so good!

I saved my daily apple to have as an evening snack with some walnuts.

First week on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Day 7-

After my morning breakfast of egg and sausage, my 5-yr old son and I headed out to an early soccer game (he’s the player, I’m the coach!).

Came home and dined on Nantucket veggie mix and chicken bacon sticks which were so delicious, I had to share them with my son! I drizzled mine with some of the Sriracha butter sauce for a little kick.

Dinner was pork roast made on our smoker with steamed squash. I cut up my daily apple and put it in a coffee mug with a pat of butter. I sprinkled it with chopped walnuts and some artificial sweetener then microwaved it for a few minutes. Not quite like apple pie but still good!

Week One Results

Cravings & Habits

There were a few times during the week when I really had to pause before just randomly shoving food in my mouth! I was serving cereal for the kids and normally I’d nibble on the dry flakes. I stopped myself mid-trip to my mouth several times, I’m so used to eating without thinking. My family had bread during dinner so I sniffed it deeply instead of indulging in a bite!

I definitely had sweet tooth cravings on occasion this week. I saved my apple for those times so that I could have something sweet and crunchy. Willpower was strong though and I wasn’t tempted to cheat, even when my kids had ice cream!

Feelings & Mood

I’d read online how many who have done a Personal Trainer Food review that they suffer from headache, irritability or even a flu-like symptom, all a result of detoxing from the sugar and carbs. Fortunately I didn’t have ANY of these symptoms! I was actually extremely surprised because sugar and carbs were definitely my major food groups before starting this program.


Body Changes

I’m drinking TONS of water. At least 5x what I used to drink. Therefore I’m in the bathroom, a lot! Hoping this will balance out soon. Perhaps this is TMI but I think it’s important – I thought I might get some constipation from all the cheese and meat, however I’m actually having the opposite effect. I’m going once a day (usually it’s once every two days). Perhaps all the extra water and veggies are moving things along more than normal?

My clothing is fitting slightly looser. I’m chalking that up to loss of some of the bloat.

Final Results for WEEK ONE:

Weight lost – 4 lbs

Not sure if that’s mostly water weight at this point? But hey, 4 lbs off of me and I’m happy! On to week two…

Considering the Personal Trainer Food program?

Personal Trainer Food website

Check out the current discount code: Enter PROMO CODE 10DAYSFREE when purchasing the 28 day plan.

Gift Guide – 100 Best Books for Kids of All Ages

Books are the BEST gifts! I love giving books and I love when my kids receive books. The hardest part about giving books as a gift is choosing something that the child hasn’t already read or received. There are the beloved classics, like Good Night, Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Where the Wild Things Are for young kids. And so many kids have already read through the Harry Potter or Little House on the Prairie series. Nobody giving a book as a gift wants to hear, “Oh, I already have this one!” I’ve created a list of the 100 best books for kids that might be off your radar. Perhaps you’ve heard of these titles or maybe even read them as a child yourself but it will be a new discovery for the little ones in your life!

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Gift guide to the best books for kids, including a bunch you've never heard of!

Choosing the “Best Books for Kids”

A few years ago my eldest son got stuck on reading a comic book series. Again. And again.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the series. There are some that will say to let kids read whatever interests them because at least they’re reading. However, I liken some books to “junk food”.  Sure, they’re light and easy to read. They go down easy. But then, where’s the substance? What are you reading that’s making you learn or grow? We all enjoy a little junk food but if that’s all your diet is, you’ll need to round it out with MORE.

Not every book has to be life-changing but finding books that literally move your child and make them think, those are the diamonds in the rough!

I took my son to the bookstore and showed him a few of my favorite books that I knew he’d enjoy. He started on the Hatchet series by Gary Paulsen and was completely absorbed with the story. I was able to say, “Told you so!!” As a result he’s been taking bigger stretches on his book choices.

Each of the books suggested are my family favorites. They have been read and owned by my own children, stand the test of time and are age-appropriate. I’ve also included BONUS BOOKS that were suggested by friends as their family favorites!

Gift guide to the best books for kids, including a bunch you've never heard of!

Best Books for Babies and Toddlers

I’ve been reading to my kids since they were newborns. Text can be minimal to allow you to riff off the pictures and simply talk to your little one and make up your own story. Or choose a book with a fun rhyme that will help your toddler pick up words and rhythm. I always choose sturdy board books for babies and toddlers.
Look, Look! – The black and white contrasts with minimal text, making this perfect for newborns.

Jamberry – One of my very favorites, with tons of detail and wonderful read-aloud rhyme.

 

Time for Bed -A bedtime book (or two, or three!) is a baby and toddler must. This one is gentle and sweet.

More Great Books for Babies & Toddlers

Good Night, Gorilla

The Napping House

Dinosaurumpus!

First 100 Board Book Box Set

A Porcupine Named Fluffy

Say Goodnight

Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book

Bonus Books for Babies and Toddlers

Corduroy

Giraffes Can’t Dance

God Gave Us You

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean!

On the Night You Were Born

My Heart Is Like a Zoo

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Bear’s Busy Family

Big Red Barn

Snuggle Puppy!

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

Cheep! Cheep!


Read-Aloud Books for Preschoolers

Preschoolers love to cuddle up and read together. They are looking for “more to the story” at this age though a fun read-aloud with fantastic pictures and rhyme is always welcome too!

When The Wind Stops – For that preschooler who wants to know, “Why?”, this book about days and seasons and beginnings and endings is gorgeous and perfect.

“The Way I Feel” Library – My mother-in-law bought these for my eldest son when he was young. They were such a Godsend when he was struggling with emotions. We’d snuggle together, read and discuss. I’ve kept them in our library for the other kids too, they are such important books.

Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales – So you may have read Peter Rabbit before, but what about Jeremy Fisher, The Tailor of Gloucester and my favorite, the Tale of Two Bad Mice? These soft illustrations and story lines are ideal for preschoolers (Wow, do those little animals get into mischief, kids LOVE that!)

Other Books We Love for Preschoolers

The Book with No Pictures

My Book About Me

Miss Suzy

Read With Dick and Jane – Jump & Run

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

Quick As a Cricket

Mix It Up!

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

Llama Llama’s Little Library

Mother Mother I Want Another

Bonus Books for Preschoolers (suggested by family & friends)

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Good Night, Little Dragons

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Madeline

Dragons Love Tacos

I Love You, Stinky Face

Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!

Press Here

Thelma the Unicorn

The Prince Won’t Go to Bed!

The Day the Crayons Quit

Skippyjon Jones


Great Books for Beginning Readers

Beginning readers tend to waffle between wanting to read a little and still wanting to be read to. I’m suggesting a mix of beginning chapter books, longer read-together chapter books and picture books. Many beginning readers still find pictures very important to the story experience.

Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon – This was the first read-aloud chapter book I read to my boys. It’s a fantastic story of imagination, wit and creativity. My kids have read it alone to themselves again when they were solid readers.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch – My youngest son pulled this off the shelf recently and his teenage brother gushed, “I LOVE that book!” The sentiment about seeing & caring for others is sweet (even when it’s not Valentine’s Day).

 

 

 

Mr. Putter & Tabby series – I can admit it. Whenever we get a new Mr. Putter and Tabby book I’m on the edge of my seat with excitement about what silliness will happen with this creaky old man and his elderly cat. They are so fun to read (and how many books for little kids celebrate the elderly?!)

Other Wonderful Books for Beginning Readers

Miss Twiggley’s Tree

Badger’s Parting Gifts

Johnny Appleseed

Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury

Good Night, Good Knight

Wolf Story

The Little House

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything

Henry and Mudge Ready-to-Read Collection

 

Bonus Books for Beginning Readers (suggested by family & friends)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Complete Series

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Iggy Peck, Architect

The Lorax

Leo the Late Bloomer

How I Became a Pirate

In the Night Kitchen

The Stranger

Junkyard Wonders

Galactic Hot Dogs Collection

The Last Kids on Earth


Engaging Books for Elementary

Elementary aged kids enjoy a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction must to have engaging photos and interesting text that’s easy to comprehend.

All-of-a-Kind Family – One of my most favorite book series as a child, I devoured these stories about 5 diverse sisters living in NYC at the turn of the century. So much charm and spunk, you’ll love each character (it also is a fantastic series about Jewish culture and holidays).

 

DK Eyewitness Books – There’s a DK Eyewitness book for just about every topic on Earth!! Seriously, if your child has an interest in something whether it be Castles in Ireland, Sportfishing, Elephanits, Astronomy or the American Revolution, you can find it. And they’ll love these amazingly detailed books with tons of images.

 

 

My Side of the Mountain Trilogy- I never knew there was more than one book after My Side of the Mountain, but my son found them and was so absorbed by the continued story line. My Side of the Mountain is followed up by On the Far Side of the Mountain and Frightful’s Mountain.

More Great Books for Beginning Readers

Material World: A Global Family Portrait

The Disney Book

Ella Enchanted

The Way Things Work Now

Barefoot Books World Atlas

Look-Alikes: The More You Look, the More You See!

A Street Through Time

Bunnicula in a Box

Bonus Books for Elementary (suggested by family & friends)

Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done

Smile and Sisters: The Box Set

Nancy Drew Diaries Supersleuth Collection: Curse of the Arctic Star; Strangers on a Train; Mystery of the Midnight Rider; Once Upon a Thriller; … Clue at Black Creek Farm; A Script for Danger

Absolutely Almost

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog (Hank the Cowdog (Quality))

Peter and the Starcatchers


Upper Ages

Kids reading in the upper age category crave compelling story lines that transport them to a different part of the world, an old (or future) era or a completely new realm. I tried to choose titles that my own tween/teens didn’t read with their class at school.

The Cay – I read and reread this book a dozen times growing up. I just loved the story of this castaway boy and the man he’s been lost at sea with.

The Gary Paulsen Collection – I’d read Hatchet (the first in this collection) and had recommended it to my son. He’s since read the entire collection in the series as well as many other Gary Paulsen stories.

 

 

 

Rebecca – This is a classic but unlikely that your teen has ever read or even heard of it. Filled with intrigue, mystery and secrets, it’s a page-turner!

 

Other Must-Read Books for Upper Ages

Cabin on Trouble Creek

Warriors Box Set: Volumes 1 to 6: The Complete First Series

Julie of the Wolves

The Ranger’s Apprentice Collection

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind

Kingdom Keepers Boxed Set

Bonus Books for Upper Ages (suggested by family & friends)

 

Brotherband Chronicles (7 Book Series)

Inheritance Cycle 4-Book Paperback Boxed Set (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, In)

I Survived Collector’s Toolbox

Masterminds

The Lunar Chronicles Boxed Set: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter

Personal Trainer Food Review- I’m READY to Make Changes!

18 months ago I had my third (and last) baby. With home cooked meals, lots of veggies and moderate exercise, I was able to shed the “baby weight” and returned back to my pre-baby size within six months. However my pre-baby size is still about 20 lbs heavier than I should be.

After each of my kids, I was able to lose the weight I’d gained and have always gone right back to the same size. I’ve always just thought, “My body wants to be this weight!” I just can’t seem to reduce smaller than this, despite what I thought were good attempts.

But while I’ve tried diets that limit my caloric intake and increased my physical activity, I’ve never tried to eliminate some of the foods that are keeping the weight from budging. So yes, I fit back into my jeans, but I’m still not where I need to be.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

At Disney World, April 2017. I’m the exact same size and weight now.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary.

My Usual Eating Patterns

My family and I eat 99% of our meals at home. I cook a good breakfast for my kids each morning, alternating oatmeal with apples, scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast or cereal with bananas. I might join my kids with this meal or just make an almond milk protein smoothie instead.

My kids eat lunch at school and I’m left to my own devices (which is not usually a very good thing!). Some days my lunch is yesterday’s dinner leftovers, other days it’s tortilla chips with guacamole, an apple with cheese and crackers or fast food that I pick up while I’m running errands.

At dinner, we always sit down together. Depending upon the day we might have grilled meat with baked potatoes and steamed veggies, nachos with refried beans, salsa and avocado or spaghetti with meatballs, broccoli, and a loaf of bread shared between us.

So most of the time I eat okay when I’m with my family. But left on my own, I make poor, simple carb-heavy choices every time. This body was built on pizza and doughnuts. I have the bad habit of wanting to end each meal with something sweet. Dessert, sweets and candy would be indulged in after each meal if I had my way. I’m seeing how the foods that I’m choosing are preventing me from losing the last 20 pounds that I’ve been carrying for over 20 years.

Personal Trainer Food Review Opportunity

When the opportunity arose to review Personal Trainer Food, I jumped at the chance. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to make some changes. Laying it all out there for my readers is a big incentive to stay on program and not to cheat!

Meals are high-protein, low-carb and high veggie. I received a 28-day box of food, which included breakfasts, lunch, and dinner as well as three bottles of special butter sauce. I’m on my own for snacks and I have a guideline of foods to follow.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

I love that this program will be a no-brainer for me. Even when I’m home at lunchtime with the baby, there will be no question what I’m having for my meals. Just a minute or two in the microwave and I’ll have a filling, complete meal. I will be able to supplement with other “approved” weight loss foods for my snacks as well.

Receiving Your Box

Upon placing your order, you’ll receive an email that will tell you to make space in your freezer. They aren’t kidding! The 28 day Personal Trainer Food plan I received includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. This all needs to be stored in the freezer and it took up all but one shelf.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

I separated my food, storing breakfast on the top shelf, meats on the middle shelf and veggies in the bottom bin and side doors. I’d suggest investing in some inexpensive plastic bins to hold it so you don’t have a frozen food avalanche each time you open your freezer!

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

One shelf left in the freezer…for my kid’s fish sticks & ice cream!

Pre-Diet Preparation

Before I started my Personal Trainer Food review, I wanted to get all those “cravings” out of my system. I happened to be on a press trip in the days leading up to starting my diet, so I ate quite a bit of pizza, warm chocolate chip hotel cookies and an occasional glass of wine. I knew that it would be a long time until I ate these foods again. I want to commit fully to the program so I do NOT want to cheat!

I also ate a big box of candy, which after the stomach ache kicked in, reminded me why I need to cleanse these foods out of my system. I was sluggish and sleepy. I know that my food choices are the reason why I just can’t get past this plateau and I’m ready to make the changes I need.

I’ve cleared out the fridge and cupboards of any of my temptation foods, so there’s nothing there that I might want to eat. With Halloween coming (and me being a candy fiend), I’m determined to avoid the mini candy bars at all costs. I’m looking forward to see how the Personal Trainer Food program works for me and can’t wait to share my reviews with you over the course of the next 4 weeks!

Pushed into the Spotlight – Honest Review of Goodbye Christopher Robin

I received complimentary viewing passes to watch the movie Goodbye Christopher Robin. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is the movie description from the website Rotten Tomatoes:

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne, and his nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald), Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?

Review of Goodbye Christopher Robin

Goodbye Christopher Robin is not the movie you’d expect. While the movie poster shows father and son walking through the illustrated world of Winnie-the-Pooh the movie is less about the actual books than it is about the author and his family. The movie does not sugar coat the cracked relationship this child has with his parents. Christopher Robin’s mother Daphne and father A.A. Milne are wealthy socialites. Much of the boy’s time is spent in the loving care of his nanny, Olive (whom he calls Neu).

While his parents work at building social connections via travel and parties, their child is home with Nanny. As to be expected, the relationship that he has with his nanny is often a tighter bond than what has developed with his own mother and father.

This is not to diminish the love that Christopher’s parents have for him, however each bring their struggles to the relationships of those around them. A.A. Milne (known as Blue in the movie) suffers from post-WWI trauma, which paints a sadness over his days.

Milne’s wife, Daphne comes across first as superficial, belittling and selfish. She dresses her son in baby girl clothing because, heart-set on a daughter, had purchased the dresses before he was born. She interacts with her son by purchasing the menagerie of stuffed animals, including what would be Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, and Kanga and Roo. She does love her family but is challenged in expressing it at times. I see this more as a sign of the times, when women were coming into their own independence. She is also an affect of her class, a wealthy wife of a famous writer who wants to grab each shiny opportunity that passes her way.

Grabbing these opportunities includes pushing her son into the unwanted spotlight. Once the joyous Winnie the Pooh stories gain popularity in the post-war era, fans flock to Christopher. His sweet childhood days are suddenly filled with responsibilities and obligations towards promoting the books. What was once a sweet way for father and son to bond, is now turned into fiction shared around the world. Well-loved and eventually classic stories, nonetheless, the childhood experiences are lessened in the process.

How Are We Pushing Our Kids Unwillingly Into the Spotlight?

As a lifestyle blogger and mom, I most definitely use my children as inspiration for my posts. I often use their photographs to help illustrate my stories. In the movie, Christopher Robin accuses his father of participating in his childhood games only as a means for having a story to tell. Could I be accused of the same? I think so, in many cases.

In my niche, there are often certain criteria for receiving invitation to particular events and press trips. I do get invited to participate because my children fall into certain age brackets. Would I be invited to these same events if I didn’t have children? Nope. Would I be able to write about these events without the benefit of having my children participating? Nope. Am I participating in activities purely so I’ll have a post to promote? Yep, sometimes. Am I exploiting my children or making them do anything they don’t want to? No, never.

The differences to me lie in when the story is shared and what happens afterwards. If Milne had simply written the stories, I don’t think that Christopher Robin would have struggled so much with the story’s popularity. Perhaps changing the character name in the books so that the story didn’t share his son’s given name would have been of good mind. The fault was in the exploitation of the boy’s childhood. It was in the showiness, the use of Christopher Robin as a marketing tool to promote and connect fans with him to the books. He became a living and breathing story tale come to life, despite his insistence that he was not the same persona as he was being portrayed in the stories.

Sharing, Without Oversharing?

I think that most bloggers balance this aspect in a healthy way. While many of us do write about our children and share stories from their lives, I’d venture to say that most are used as a way of illustrating a specific point. I don’t use the names of my children in business social media accounts or in my blog. My children know what I do as a blog writer. My kids know that if we’re attending a special event or if I’m taking their photograph, that it’s likely to end up on social media. I would never share a story about my kids that is intended to embarrass or otherwise exploit them.

My older kids have on occasion requested that I not share particular photos and I absolutely comply. And if my children ever expressed to me that they no longer want to be included in blog posts or photographed for social media events, I’d understand and comply with this as well. It’s not my intention (and I don’t think it’s the intention of most bloggers) to push our kids into an unwanted spotlight in exchange for our own publicity.

The movie definitely brings up the valid point (especially when seemingly EVERYTHING is shared 24/7). What things are appropriate for sharing and what is sacred to keep private?

Should Your Kids See Goodbye Christopher Robin?

The movie is PG-rated, which would imply that it might be appropriate for younger children. This is not the cuddly story you’d expect from such a topic, since the story focuses more on the relationships between the author, his wife and child. I brought my two 13-year olds, who enjoyed the historical story and understood the underlying darkness of the recovery from war.

There is very little here for younger children, as the movie doesn’t include much of the Winnie-the-Pooh story line except for the fact that the boy brings his teddy where ever he goes. I wouldn’t bring a child under 12 to see this movie, the topics are going to be too adult in nature.

Should You See Goodbye Christopher Robin?

Despite the dark elements of the script, the movie is beautiful to watch. Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred-Acre Woods come to life vividly during the times when Milne is developing his characters. It seemingly never rains in East Sussex! Somehow I don’t think that’s to be believed, though.

The little actor playing Christopher Robin was natural and sweet. I spent a good part of the movie trying to figure out how old the child was (he has his permanent teeth, yet is dressed like a preschooler and has dimples and the innocent imagination of a toddler). My favorite parts of the movie were when he was interacting with his toys, just being a child.

There are some truly beautiful moments in the film (I highly recommend bringing tissues!) And the topic at hand, whether his parents were in the wrong for pushing him to perform as the story book character, makes for some intriguing discussion points.

 

Tips for Moms to Create a Relaxing Spa Experience at Home

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TimeWithAveeno #CollectiveBias

Getting the Spa Experience at Home

I went to the spa over spring break vacation earlier this year. It was just me, by myself. My husband had the four kids with him so I went into the spa for a few hours alone. I’d like to say it was totally relaxing. I’d like to say that I never wanted to leave. However, I have to admit that while I was sitting in the sauna (alone) and drinking basil cucumber water (alone) and resting inside the salt chamber (alone), I was really actually bored and lonely! I had a hard time relaxing at the spa, is that weird?

Now that’s not to say I don’t like “me time”. All moms need and deserve their own time, spa or not. I think a stroll through the store by myself is bliss. And to have the bathroom alone? Now we’re talking. But the best is having rejuvenating time to recharge – my own spa experience at home with AVEENO® products from Walmart!

Looking for a spa experience at home? Here are the tips for mom to get beautified and rested in her own bathroom! #ad #TimeWithAveeno

Grabbing Mom-Time When You Can

Let’s be honest: How often do you skip steps in your daily care routine to save time? Raise your hand if you’re not shaving your legs, not washing your face or you skip conditioning your hair? I get it, you’re in and out of the bathroom as quick as you can.

But what if those little things that you’re skipping are really the most important things? Here are a few tips for creating your own spa experience at home, reason enough to slow down and enjoy the mom-time whenever you can grab it.

Occupying Little People

To avoid that dreaded knock at the door (or worse, someone barging in!) make sure kids are taken care of. I take my showers after dinner, when everything at home is winding down and I have time to really relax. I also give my husband an approximate length of time I’m going to be busy so he’s not hunting me down!

Realizing That Self Care is a Must

Self care is important for moms. Beyond the full day at the spa, little steps in the daily routine can be relaxing and enjoyable. I find that I actually look forward to them because they just make me feel and look so good! Take the time to shave your legs. Indulge in a facial. Floss your teeth. Clip and file your toenails. Paint them to go the extra step! Those little daily self care steps are so important to your personal health and hygiene and also to your well-being.

Looking for a spa experience at home? Here are the tips for mom to get beautified and rested in her own bathroom! #ad #TimeWithAveeno

Putting Together Your Spa Kit

I have all of my skin care essentials in a small make-up bag. Each morning and again before bedtime, I put my bag on the bathroom counter. It contains a facial cleanser, serum, eye cream and a morning and evening moisturizer. I also have a headband and hair elastic in the bag so I can secure my hair away from my face while cleansing.

It’s great having all the products in one, easily accessible place and not scattered in the medicine cabinet. I take a few minutes to cleanse and treat my skin twice a day. This small task is so relaxing and enjoyable. Plus my skin is looking better than ever from all the extra care and attention!

Looking for a spa experience at home? Here are the tips for mom to get beautified and rested in her own bathroom! #ad #TimeWithAveeno

Ways to Make Your Spa Experience Better

  • Play music (to drown out the noise outside of the bathroom!)
  • Have a special robe or slippers to wear when you’re doing your spa routine
  • Light a candle, use a diffuser or have scented oils in the room to engage your senses
  • Infuse your water with fruits and herbs
  • Indulge in luxurious towels

Turning a Shower into a Spa Experience

I don’t always have the time for an all-day spa event. More often than not I grab my moments when I can, like when I take my shower. I love to transform a quick shower into a relaxing “me time” experience.

For my everyday routines, I frequently use AVEENO® products. I have moisturizers, facial cleansers and shave gel, all by AVEENO®. I was excited to find AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Shampoo and Conditioner sulfate-free formulas at my local Walmart.

Looking for a spa experience at home? Here are the tips for mom to get beautified and rested in her own bathroom! #ad #TimeWithAveeno

I LOVE how well the AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Shampoo lathers. A fantastic lather really adds to your “mom-time spa experience”! The dye-free, paraben-free and sulfate-free formulas remove impurities but bring hair back to a naturally healthy, more balanced state. These products are also safe for color treated hair.

And the conditioner doesn’t require that you leave it on for any lengthy amount of time. Of course, follow the directions for use on the packaging.

Looking for a spa experience at home? Here are the tips for mom to get beautified and rested in her own bathroom! #ad #TimeWithAveeno

I was truly delighted with how shiny and healthy-looking my hair is after using the AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Hair products. I’d recently cut my hair (about six inches) because I was increasingly upset with how drab and dry my hair had been looking. After several weeks of using these formulas, my hair has literally bounced back to life! The shampoo has been so gentle on my hair and scalp while the lightweight conditioner has softened my hair without weighing it down. Those are my natural curls, air dried after using the AVEENO® hair products!

Looking for a spa experience at home? Here are the tips for mom to get beautified and rested in her own bathroom! #ad #TimeWithAveeno

Multi-Task to Maximize Time

When you’re ready to up your in-home spa experience, it’s time to incorporate a facial. Maybe you don’t always have time for a twenty minute process but I bet you’ve got a minute! AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® 60 SECOND IN-SHOWER FACIAL helps moms get the spa experience and multi-task during their normal shower routine!

Looking for a spa experience at home? Here are the tips for mom to get beautified and rested in her own bathroom! #ad #TimeWithAveeno

This oil-free, non-comedogenic formula contains soy and lemon peel extract that reveal radiant skin in just one minute. The facial works with the steam of your shower to deeply but gently exfoliate dirt, oil and dead skin. My skin has been wonderfully soft and noticeably brighter after using the AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® 60 SECOND IN-SHOWER FACIAL.

Click here to download a coupon and save $2.00 on AVEENO® products!

Taking Mom-Time in your own at-home spa experience is a little thing that makes a big difference. Share how you’re going to create your own spa experience at home!

SunRype & Disney●Pixar’s Coco Sweepstakes

Are you looking forward to the release of Disney●Pixar’s Coco? I know my son and I are excited to see it (it opens in theaters November 22, 2017, just a few days before his sixth birthday!) Of course there’s nothing like watching it on opening night but what if you were able to be there for the premiere screening?! Here’s your chance!

I received complimentary SunRype products in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post includes affiliate links. Clicking and purchasing through the links helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

SunRype Snacks

We honestly do not have a lot of prepackaged snacks in the cupboard but we always have SunRype! These are 100% fruit strip snacks, which is important to me. No added processed sugar, just natural ingredients and no preservatives. SunRype Fruit to Go are also vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and peanut-free making them perfect for the school lunch box.
SunRype and Disney-Pixar Coco Sweepstakes

I always keep a few SunRype Fruit to Go in my purse for the kids to snack on when we’re out and about. It’s also what my son takes with him to school every day for his “recess snack”. And at only 50 calories, it’s a treat I indulge in as well! Apple Wildberry is our new favorite. You’ll find SunRype snacks in the produce section or purchase by the case on Amazon.


Disney●Pixar’s Coco

SunRype snacks is sending one lucky winner (and three guests) to Hollywood for the Los Angeles Premiere Screening of the Disney●Pixar’s Coco film in early November! Entries for this amazing prize are being collected from October 2nd-20th. Weekly SunRype & Disney●Pixar’s Coco prize packages will be up for grabs from October 23rd to November 24th, 2017.

ENTER the SunRype & Disney●Pixar’s Coco Sweepstakes

Movie Premiere Trip for 4: October 2-20, 2017 – ENTER TO WIN

Weekly Prize Packages: October 23- November 24, 2017 – ENTER TO WIN

SunRype and Disney-Pixar Coco Sweepstakes

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  The sweepstakes begins on October 2nd, 2017 at 8:00am PT and ends on October 20, 2017, at midnight PT for the Premiere Trip Sweepstakes & October 23rd through to November 24th, 2017 for the weekly prize packages.  Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. or D.C. who are 18 years of age or older. The sweeps can be entered ONCE PER DAY. Find a full list of the prizes available to be won, how to enter, odds of winning and drawing dates along with the full rules and regulations at www.facebook.com/SunRypeUSA. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Sun-Rype Products Ltd.