Getting Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like Exercising

Getting back into an exercise routine can be a challenge. I know, because I’m right there with you! While I’ve been doing well on the healthy eating side for a while, now I need to work on the exercise aspect. Firming, toning and strengthening are my new focus. However getting motivated to just do the workout has been a struggle for me. I’m home alone for hours with my toddler, so if I’m not playing with her, I’m trying to squeeze in work. Exercise with a toddler around isn’t impossible – but it’s definitely becoming my latest excuse to skip the exercise!

I Just Don’t Feel Like Exercising

I’ve come up with some motivations to move me forward when I have no desire to workout anymore. Sometimes I want to exercise but I’m lazy, I’ll admit it! And I can come up with a million reasons NOT to do it. Tackling these motivators FIRST can set you up for success. I recommend writing things down, posting them somewhere prominent and reminding others around you to encourage you on your fitness journey!

I’ve included photos of me in this post wearing my new workout wear from Fabletics. Keep reading for a review on Fabletics and why I think it’s important to have cute and comfortable workout clothes.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

I received one complimentary outfit from Fabletics. No other compensation was made. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 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.

1. Have a Reason Why

What are you exercising for? You have to know your “reason why” because that’s your ultimate motivator. Write your reason down, whether it’s to lose weight, firm up or get heart healthy. When you feel your motivation waning, put your reason why someplace at the forefront to remind you daily.

My reason? To firm up, yes. But also to be a good example for my children! We frequently exercise together, even if it’s just a long walk outside.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

2. Know Your Excuses

I didn’t sleep well last night and today I’m too exhausted to exercise. I just can’t seem to find the time. My legs/back/head hurts. I don’t like the gym. I’m bored with my usual workout. I don’t feel like working out anymore!

Do any of those excuses sound familiar? Yeah, we’ll come up with a bunch of reasons why we shouldn’t work out. But it goes back to your “reason why” and all excuses need to go out the window. When you find yourself making excuses, remember your “reason why”. Your “reason why” you should be exercising will knock off all excuses.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

3. Have a Workout Buddy

I’ve always found that having someone to workout with makes the “chore” of exercise more fun. You don’t want to let your workout buddy down, so you’re more likely to show up and keep the schedule. Here are some ideas on things to do with a workout buddy:

  • Make a standing twice weekly date on the calendar.
  • Go for a long walk with your kids – even if you have to bring their strollers.
  • Meet in the park with workout bands and kettle bells.
  • Screen a workout video at home to do together.
How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

My workout buddy keeps me motivated!

4. Get It Out of the Way First Thing

I’ve been in the habit of getting up, getting dressed and eating breakfast. Then once I’ve dropped off the kids at school, I just don’t want to change into my workout clothes and that’s just another excuse not to exercise.

Now when I get up, I immediately put on my workout clothes. I find that if I’m already wearing them when I get back after school drop off, I might as well workout! If you can, tackle your exercise first thing in the day so nothing else can get in front of getting it done.


5. Squeeze It In

Okay, so some days you just can’t get the workout done first thing in the morning. But don’t let that be a reason to let the whole day go down the drain. Take advantage of small bits of time when you can squeeze in the exercise.

Here are a few things that I do at home when I have snippets of time:

  • When cooking dinner, I will stay in the kitchen while waiting for the food to be ready. This is a great time to do as many leg squats as you can or do incline push-ups against the counter or chair dips.
  • Before and after school drop off I’ll do a fast walking lap around the block.
  • When playing with my toddler, I’ll stretch, do crunches and planks on the floor next to her.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

6. Develop a Routine

Having a consistent routine can push you through sluggishness. Go through your exercise routine step by step and repeat it. Maybe you always get up in the morning, get yourself into your workout clothes, put your hair in a ponytail, lace up your running shoes and fill your water bottle before starting exercise. Write down your routine and stick with it each day so you can fall into a pattern of repetition.

7. Have a Checklist

I’m all for checklists because it makes it so much easier for me to keep track of my time and routine. You can do a search on Pinterest for workout checklists or just write one yourself. Here are some things to keep track of:

  • Cardio days and weight days
  • Length of time you worked out
  • Reps and weight in pounds
  • How much water you drank

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

8. Anything Is Better Than Nothing

Just becasue you couldn’t work out for 90 minutes at the gym doesn’t mean you should skip your exercise completely. Do what you can, whenever you can. Maybe that means you park far away and walk briskly through the parking lot when running errands. Or you take the stairs instead of the elevator. All those little things really do add up when you’re counting your exercise!


9. Wear Workout Clothes That You Love

I recently received this set of workout clothes from Fabletics. After losing some weight, I was desperate for new exercise clothing. And for me, having something that is cute, comfy and flattering makes me want to wear it. And if I’m already wearing my workout clothes, I might as well workout, right?!

The Fabletics Salar Statement Powerhold Legging have four-way stretch for maximum compression that’s still comfortable. They are also moisture-wicking and quick drying. I love the wide, drawstring waistband. I hate when the elastic at the waist is too skinny because it tends to roll over. These pants totally stayed put during my entire workout.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

There’s an internal waistband pocket to hold something small like a key. There are also slim side pockets along each leg for holding your device. The full-length legging was a bit long for me (I’m only 5’2″) – next time I’ll choose a short inseam.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

Two side pockets on the leg – large enough to hold my phone.

I really love the design on the Fabletics Nicole performance tank. The Aegean blue color coordinates with the leggings and has pretty detailing along the sides. The top has built-in cups, though I still needed to wear a workout bra underneath for additional support. But smooth and flattering, not too snug at the waist or hips.

What are your tested ways to stay motivated to workout?

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

 

How to Create a Get Well Gift Box for Sick Friends

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Campbell’s® , Lipton, Premium Crackers, Theraflu and TYLENOL®. All opinions are mine alone. #SickDaySolutions #CollectiveBias

Think back to the last time you were sick. Oh, that’s not a good memory, is it! Hopefully you had someone that was able to take care of you. You know, that comforting person who can bring you warm soup and tea. Someone to dose out your medicine and fluff your pillow. When I was sick my dad would always bring home a special treat from the store for me, like a new box of crayons and a coloring book. Or a book of paper dolls, remember those? It’s great having someone there to take care of you. It just makes you feel better when you know someone cares.

Now think about the last time your entire family was sick. That’s that worst!! When I think of those horrible cold and flu times when the entire household is sick, nobody wants to have to leave for the store to pick up essentials. And so you all lay around in your pajamas, feeling awful together. Everyone is cranky. And bored. And the sick parents still have to take care of sick kids, even though all they want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep!

Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

The Get Well Gift Box

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that her entire family was stuck at home with a flu bug. Nobody in her house felt well enough to drive and they’d run out of medicine. So many friends jumped in that they’d drop by with essentials. The family was so grateful and felt so loved and cared for. I’m sure that just knowing they have generous friends helped them feel better that much sooner.

What if you could create a special “Get Well Gift Box” to take to your friends when they’re all sick at home? The box would include all the needs for a few days at home, while recuperating. The Get Well Box would include soup and crackers, tea and medicines. There would also be a family movie, some reading material and a little activity for the kids. This pay-it-forward gift is heartfelt and sure to put a sick family on the road to recovery that much faster!

Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

Creating a Get Well Gift Box

Any cardboard box or large shoe box will do. If you’re using a plain box, wrap the bottom of the box in pretty paper and leave the top off so your goodies can be on display. A basket would work well too. I had a fabric covered box that I used for my get well gift. Don’t forget to include a card. You can choose to sign it or make it anonymous (that could be fun, right?)

I made this Heard You Were Sick free printable card to include with your box if you want!

Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

Filling Your Get Well Gift Box

I headed to Ralphs to fill my get well box with sick day essentials. Ralphs had everything I wanted to add into the box, including boredom busters like a magazine and crossword puzzle book.

I filled my box with Campbell’s® soup and Premium Saltine crackers, to warm and satisfy hunger. There’s Lipton Soothe Your Tummy herbal supplement for a comforting, warm beverage. And TheraFlu ExpressMax syrup and TYLENOL® Cold + Flu for the grown ups. Because when mom and dad are feeling better, they’re better equipped to care for the kids.

Click through to find coupon savings on these products!


Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

What’s Inside the Box?

  • Family size Campbell’s® Chicken Noodle Soup – nourishing and warm, this family sized can will satisfy them all. I have the kids sit at the table with their warm soup for lunch, which gives me a chance to change their bed sheets and pillowcases. I always feel a little bit better with fresh linens!

Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

  • Original Premium Saltine Crackers – Everyone knows that these are the best crackers! Soup just isn’t the same without them. And sometimes sick tummies only want crackers so Premium Saltines are perfect for upset stomachs.

Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

  • Lipton Soothe Your Tummy Herbal Supplement – These new blends offer a unique combo of botanicals, blended with essential oils known for their wellness benefits.* This Soothe Your Tummy version contains ginger, peppermint, and fennel in a caffeine free beverage. It’s really delicious too! It’s mild tasting enough that even kids would enjoy a warm cup.
  • Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad TheraFlu ExpressMax Severe Cold & Flu Syrup – When the ick hits you hard, TheraFlu is powerful relief without a prescription to treat symptoms of cold and flu.
  • TYLENOL® Cold + Flu Severe Day/Night – And if coughing keeps you up at night, these caplets help to relieve painful cold and flu symptoms like coughing, congestion, and sore throat.

Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

  • Something for the kids – Lend a few family movies from your home collection, choosing titles the kids might not have seen before. Crayons and coloring books are great for small kids. For older kids a simple craft or some modeling clay would help break up the boredom.
  • Something for the grown ups – After a while, scrolling the web on your smart phone starts to lose its charm. Include a favorite classic book, a deck of cards, crossword puzzle book and a magazine for mom.
  • Other Essentials – Sick-season items like lip balm, tissues and juice would also be welcome additions to the get well gift box.

Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

The Surprise Drop-Off

Once you’ve heard of a friend in need, gather up the supplies and get ready for the drop-off. Send them a quick message and let them know you’re headed over with a special box. Then just ring the bell and leave it at the door. Your friends don’t have to get out of their pajamas and you don’t risk catching whatever they’ve got!

And they’ll be so grateful you were thinking of them. I know my kids would be delighted to find a surprise box at the door for them, especially when they’ve been feeling sick. What a sweet way to help someone feel better!


Want to make a sick friend feel better immediately? Make them a get well gift box with all these sick day essentials! #SickDaySolutions #ad

Campbell’s® – © 2018 CSC LP Lipton – © 2018 Unilever Theraflu – Read and follow label directions. Theraflu is for use in adults 12 years and older. Use products only as directed. TYLENOL® – ®Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017. Use products only as directed. The makers of TYLENOL® remind you to use only one medicine with acetaminophen at a time.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.

Simply Earth Review of Essential Oil Recipe Box Subscription

I’ve always felt strongly about using homeopathy and aromatherapy. I feel better when I use them and I like the results. The trouble for me has been in the consistency of using them regularly. I use them sparingly (because darn it, if essential oils always seem so pricey!) and then I just don’t replenish them when I run out. Because well, they’re expensive, right?

I was so intrigued to find Simply Earth essential oils. Their essential oils are reasonably priced. And their special subscription box means a monthly delivery – the perfect way to replenish! With the Simply Earth “recipe box” subscription you’ll receive 4 pure essential oils plus extras. Check out my honest Simply Earth review and find out what I was able to make with my recipe box. And keep reading to find out how you can get a $40 gift card on purchases from Simply Earth!

My honest review of Simply Earth and their monthly subscription recipe box with essential oils at reasonable prices.

January recipe cards

I received two complimentary Simply Earth Recipe Boxes to facilitate this review. I have not received any additional compensation. Please note that I do have affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, I will receive compensation, thank you. 

What’s Inside the Box?

I reveal in my video what is inside my January Simply Earth subscription box, check it out! Bonus shot of me wearing a mud mask 🙂

Simply Earth Review – Recipe Box Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Full sized-bottles of essential oil (plenty to create the recipes and more!)
  • The price is great for the amount of things you receive in the box
  • Knowing that the essential oils are high grade quality for 100% purity
  • Subscription can be cancelled at any time
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • Not all of the extras to create the recipes is included. Some ingredients you might have on hand, others you may need to purchase
  • You may not want a full sized bottle of an oil you don’t plan on using again

My honest review of Simply Earth and their monthly subscription recipe box with essential oils at reasonable prices.

January Simply Earth Recipe Box

I made and used four of the six recipes in the January box right away. I don’t own a diffuser and didn’t have one of the ingredients on hand, so I haven’t used the other two recipes yet. The roll-on oils are in my daily rotation and I’ve really enjoyed them. The scent is pleasant and I like the feel on my skin (too soon to know how effective they are at eye bags or wrinkles yet!)

The Curb Hunger recipe (called “Fit Roll-On” in the recipe cards) really does work immediately though! I’ve been keeping it in the pantry and I rub a little oil on when I feel a craving coming on!

The Mud Mask is another hit. I’m glad that the recipe box comes with ingredients to make these items several times over if you wish. My husband and I both enjoyed the after effects of this mask on our skin.

February Simply Earth Recipe Box

I was so excited to see some of my favorite oils inside the February box, including lemon and Defender. I’d never heard of Ravensara but it has quickly become another favorite! It’s quite versatile and has a wonderful aroma. I was already able to make a sore muscles roll on, germ cleaner, vapor chest roll on and warts be gone. Looking forward to making the shower disks – those are going to be such a wake-me-up!

My honest review of Simply Earth and their monthly subscription recipe box with essential oils at reasonable prices.

The Simply Pure Promise

Simply Earth is on a mission to make it easy and affordable for people to have a natural home while giving 13% of their profits to help end human trafficking. Simply Earth sources their oils from around the world in order to get the purest and highest quality possible. With thyme from France, sandalwood from Australia to balsam from Canada, there is even a map on their site to see where the oils come from.

Simple Earth has carefully and ethically chosen region where each particular plant will thrive. They work directly with the farmers to ensure plants are harvested safely and fairly. Natural essential oils are collected through either cold-pressing or steam-distillation. And every batch is tested to ensure 100% purity. And they back it with a 365 day satisfaction guarantee.

My honest review of Simply Earth and their monthly subscription recipe box with essential oils at reasonable prices.

Why Use Essential Oils?

In addition to the Simply Earth Recipe Box, the company also sells individual bottles of essential oil, roll-ons, and carrier oils. At a practical price of $9.99 for a 15ml bottle of lavender essential oil, there’s no reason not to have that on hand – lavender oil has so many wonderful uses! My favorite way to use lavender oil is by adding to a carrier oil and rubbing on the bottoms of my kids feet at night. It’s so relaxing with a gentle massage and truly seems to help them sleep better.

My family has found that tea tree, lemon and peppermint are great to have as well. You can use essential oils to flavor foods and water, to mix with a carrier oil and apply to skin, to add to natural cleaning products (like vinegar) and to diffuse in the air for aromatherapy. A touch of peppermint oil rubbed on my temples is a lifesaver when I start to feel a headache coming on!

My honest review of Simply Earth and their monthly subscription recipe box with essential oils at reasonable prices.

I pulled out the label maker to keep track of the “recipes” I made with my Simply Earth January subscription kit

My January box didn’t have labels for the items I made so I had to use my own label maker. The February box included sticker labels to cut and add onto the bottles, which was a bonus!

Simply Earth also offers a diffuser, wooden storage box for your oil collection and wool dryer balls. We already use dryer balls and I’ve never thought to keep essential oils in the laundry room! What a perfect way to scent the laundry instead of dryer sheets. Surrounding myself with natural scents is something that I find really calms and centers me.

Essential Oils Don’t Have to Be Expensive!

After making essential oil purchases in the past, I got the impression that truly good essential oils cost more. But I’ve learned after using Simply Earth that this isn’t true. Simply Earth offers excellent, high-quality oils at prices everyone can afford.

If you’re ready to try the Simply Earth recipe box for yourself, use my code JULIEBIGBOYFREE. You’ll get a $40 gift card emailed to you after subscribing on your first box (remember, the subscription can be cancelled at any time).

My honest review of Simply Earth and their monthly subscription recipe box with essential oils at reasonable prices.

 

 

 

2017 – A Look Back at the Year that Was on Mom Rewritten

Wow!! Another amazing year and I’m so happy to have been able to share my life with my readers! From a HUGE switch on the blog that included an entirely new site, I’ve been making “little changes that make a big difference” (my new blog motto). I’m hoping you’re enjoying the changes as much as I am. Here is what I’ve been up to this year and what I have planned for 2018!

I even got some new photos taken for the blog!

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

Mom Rewritten

Early last year I started contemplating a change on the blog. I was struggling to find topics that were fitting within my niche at the time. But with the blog name of “Saving Up for Disney”, I was a bit pigeonholed into budget and Disney topics. So I switched! Oh, if only it were that easy…

After much discussion with my web designer (who also happens to be my brother-in-law), we came up with the new look. I brainstormed on the name and felt that Mom Rewritten would allow me to branch out into more lifestyle topics. Lots of little behind-the-scenes adjustments with harmonizing all of social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. That was fun, ugh.

With the “rebranding” complete, I’ve been able to cover topics including little changes that make a big difference, health, family travel and positive parenting. I’m loving the changes and hope that you all are enjoying my posts.

Healthier Living

This mama of four turned 44 this year and while I’ve been gradually becoming a more healthful eater, I still needed to make some changes. That happened for me in a big way this year when I partnered with Personal Trainer Food. I wrote a series of five posts about the month-long journey I had while following this program. You’ll have to read the posts to find out how much weight I lost! But let’s just say, I’m delighted 🙂 And I’m happy to share that I’ve extended my partnership and will be sharing with readers in the new year how to successfully reach your healthy goals with Personal Trainer Food.

In addition, I had several other posts about healthy eating habits, including this one about saving money on groceries while still choosing healthy foods. This one about inexpensive & healthy breakfasts for kids was also well-received.

Personal Trainer Food Teriyaki chicken with green beans

Getting Personal

One of the things that I wanted to start sharing on my newly revamped blog were personal posts. Beginning after the name change in July, I shared several very personal topics including things “I Used To Do” and  Just a Little Bit Crazy.

Another little thing that’s important to me is focus on positive parenting and family. I wrote these posts late in the year about Cultivating Family Traditions When You Feel Like You Don’t Have Any and tips for Teaching Kids Gratitude and Thankfulness During the Holidays.

A Local Focus

As a SoCal native, I love to share my San Diego travel tips. Fortunately there’s so much to see and do, I never run out of topics!

I was selected again to serve as an official LEGOLAND blogger for 2017. My kids love their LEGOLAND visits and I was excited to try out their water park for the first time this year. Seriously, I’m not a big water person, but I ADORE this water park! It’s clean, the water is warm and there is so much to do. Definitely worth adding on the water park ticket if you visit LEGOLAND during the summer. (Check out my partner Get Away Today for LEGOLAND vacation packages – they have a new Castle Hotel coming in 2018!)

SeaWorld is another favorite. We love how clean and well-kept the park always is. I’m delighted with the additions during various seasons, like SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular. I’m a new SeaWorld affiliate partner so if you’re planning a visit, consider buying tickets through my SeaWorld link. A new holiday event also arrived in San Diego and I was able to offer my honest review of Global Winter Wonderland.

Celebrate the holidays at LEGOLAND in California with seasonal shows, treats and LEGO-sized Christmas touches around the park!

Living Simply

Last January, I enforced a No Spending Month on myself and shared the tips with my readers. Let’s just say, avoiding the post-holidays sales at Target is hard!!

Despite being frugal, my family still believes that taking vacations is an important way to spend money. If you think you can’t afford to take a trip, be sure to check out my post with ways to take a family vacation on a budget.

As much as I’d love to be that Pinterest mom, I don’t have it in me to spend a bunch of time and/or money on anything. Here is my quick and easy party post for Mickey & the Roadster Racers fans (free printables too!)

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

The Blogorail

In 2017, I continued to write Disney topics for the Blogorail community. Some of these posts are among my most popular and in part, because they are shared in the Blogorail community.

Disney Vacations

One of my most popular posts this year was about which dates to avoid when planning a Disneyland vacation. I’ve just updated this post to reflect 2018 dates so be sure to check it out (and Pin it for later!)

I had the pleasure of taking 4 one-day Disneyland trips and one big Walt Disney World vacation in 2017!

I’d love if you looked at my most popular posts of 2017 about Disney vacations –

Keeping Chewie at arms length, because the kids were terrified!

I also started a partnership with the travel agency Get Away Today! If you have any vacation plans, be sure to check them out (and I’d love if you used my affiliate link). They even offer layaway!

https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529

TravelingMom

Last year my hope was to be able to travel more outside my own community and I’m happy to share that this did happen!

In March, my family of six took an epic road trip from our hometown in San Diego to Monterey Bay. Then we cut across to Reno and then back down through the Eastern Sierra. I wrote about the vehicle we used on She Buys Cars (we loved it so much, we ended up buying one for our family!)

You can read our road trip experiences in these TravelingMom.com posts:

In April, my 5 year old son and just-turned-one year old daughter and I traveled alone across the country to Walt Disney World. It was such an incredible experience, taking the parks at a slower pace and enjoying non-park days to explore the area. I was seriously ready to move to Orlando, we had such a blast!

There are dozens of things to do at Disney World with a preschooler. Here's what to do on a non-park day that doesn't require a ticket (and many are free!)

This play area at Caribbean Beach is made for preschoolers.

My Number One Viewed Post for 2017

This post that I wrote in 2015 and updated this year about the best sandals to wear to Disney, was my number one most-read post!

My most popular new post was Disneyland Splurges with Kids (most likely because it was also my most Pinned, as well!)

Disneyland Splurges for kids (and Money-Saving tips that still feel like a splurge!)

Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road

I’ve had the honor of attending this invite-only event two years in a row, held at the Disneyland resort. This year at Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road we had the chance to test out the brand new MaxPass feature, ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! and see Fantasmic! (the first time ever for my kids!)

This year’s conference was absolutely jam-packed with information! I adore seeing my favorite bloggers and spending the day at Disneyland is a bonus. This time we even had the chance to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade for the very last time, sniff!

What happens at the invite-only Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road? This year's event was held at Disneyland and offered attendees sneak peeks and more!

Sponsored Posts

My hope with product reviews is to let my natural voice shine through, all while sharing with you about a product that I use and love at home. These were some of my favorite sponsored post reviews:

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments.

Partnerships and Affiliates

Affiliate linking is a small way for me to recoup some of the cost of running my business. I thank anyone who has clicked and purchased through my affiliate links! I enjoy writing posts that are natural, informative and share where you can purchase.

If painful feet stop kids from exploring check out these tips and products that will minimize blisters, swelling and foot pain!

My kids wearing their pedipeds at Walt Disney World.

Disneyland Family Media Days

I had the opportunity to participate in two family media days at Disneyland this year. The first was in July, celebrating the “Summer of Heroes” event. We were able to see what was new, returning, and find out what’s coming soon! I even put in a video of myself explaining MaxPass. Hoping to get the courage to do more video on the blog for 2018.

The second family media day was in celebration of the holiday season and I brought my cousin and her son with us. See this post about Busy Days at Disneyland During the Holidays.

These tips for Holidays at Disneyland will help you navigate crowds & enjoy the most magical winter vacation! #Disneyland

Sleeping Beauty Castle glistens with snow-topped turrets, holiday garland and shimmering icicles.

Personal Sharing

If you’d like to take a look back at my blog over the years, here are my other year-end reviews:

2016 Look Back

2015 Look Back

2014 Look Back 

Looking Forward To 2018

BIG THANKS to my readers and subscribers! Connecting and engaging with you on my blog and in social media outlets is fantastic. I truly appreciate the connections so keep commenting and chatting with me. I also love when something resonates with you and share my posts.

Please continue to comment and share my posts via social media if you can, it helps me (as a small business owner) to grow and succeed. Reach out to me or comment on the posts if things resonate with you!

Blessings to everyone in the new year and cheers for what’s to come in 2018.

Dinnerly Review – Honest Review of Dinnerly Meal Subscription

Have you ever used a meal subscription service? I hadn’t, up to last week. My family and I prepare 99% of our meals at home. The thought of paying to have our food prepped and delivered has never been something we considered. Would trying Dinnerly change our mind? I was intrigued by the interesting recipes, the Dinnerly website photos and the lower-than-expected cost. Find out my honest Dinnerly review and whether it works for families. And does it really save time and money to order Dinnerly versus handpicking everything yourself at the grocery?

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way. I received a complimentary family box from Dinnerly to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

What is Dinnerly?

Dinnerly is a meal subscription service. Ingredients for three meals are sent weekly in either a Two-Person Box or Family Box. Dinnerly is targeted to those who like homemade cooking with fresh ingredients, but are busy and are looking to save time with shopping and cooking. Going on vacation or don’t need or want Dinnerly? When signing up, you aren’t locked in so you can choose when you want or don’t want a box.

I have never used a meal subscription service before so this was a new concept for my family. With six to feed, we are a frugal family. However we do opt to choose organic whenever we can. I agreed to review Dinnerly because the cost is in line with a “fancier” meal that we’d prepare at home (around $5 per person). And Dinnerly sends quality protein such as grass-fed ground beef and antibiotic-free chicken, items we already purchase ourselves. We were excited to try Dinnerly and this is my honest Dinnerly review!

What’s on the Dinnerly Menu?

I received the Dinnerly Family Box which includes 4 portions per recipe (intended for two adults & two children). Each recipe involves six or less ingredients. Subscribers are sent 3 recipes per week. Each recipe appears on the menu once per month for 2 months, with ingredients changing seasonally.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Inside the Dinnerly family box.

Past recipes include Grass-Fed Beef Stew with Black Pepper Dumplings, Meatloaf & Carmelized Cabbage with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Veggie Grain Bowl with Lemon-Goat Cheese Dressing, and Spicy Turkey Pizza with Crispy Kale.

A far cry from the usual “Taco Tuesdays”, right? It appears that at least according to the upcoming menus, one vegetarian meal is sent per box.

I received recipes and ingredients for the following dinner dishes:

  • Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli
  • Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta
  • Fried Spaghetti Pie
Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

You can opt to print your own recipe cards or just look at the recipes on your device (I chose to print them myself).

Preparing Dinnerly Meals

The fresh, seasonal ingredients arrived in an insulated box with a large chill pack inside. Recipe cards are not included so you can choose to pull up the instructions on your device or print them out (which is what I did). It was easy enough to sort out what ingredients went to which dishes. I bundled them together and placed them in the fridge for later in the week. You’ll need a few pantry basics, like oil, salt and pepper. Otherwise all the necessities for each dish are included in the Dinnerly box.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Everything I need for three big meals inside the Dinnerly box!

Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta

Dinnerly recipes are touted as taking 30 minutes or less to prepare and cook. I found that some of the recipe times were a little off and required more time to cook than what was suggested. In the recipe for Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta the recipe says to cook the chicken on the stove top for 6-7 minutes until browned but I found it actually took about 11 minutes. Not a big deal, a few minutes here and there aren’t going to put a kink in the dinner plans.

There are some instances where you’ll cook and then have to remove the food to a plate so you can cook again in the same pan. This is fine with me, as it means less pans to wash! I found the recipes easy to follow. It helps streamline things if you have someone else in the kitchen who can prep and chop the vegetables while you hop to the next step.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

There’s a chicken drumstick underneath that generous pile of onion, carrots and sauce!

I made the spiced tomato braised chicken in my Dutch oven and the house smelled heavenly. Nobody in my family had ever tried polenta before but we all really liked it. And even though I’d never prepared it before, the recipe instructions were fool-proof.

How Do the Dinnerly Recipes Taste?

I was a little nervous that the amount of food included would not be enough for my family. While we do have six in the family, I didn’t expect that my two youngest (ages 6 and 20 months) would try any of these dishes. They are both picky and ended up eating leftovers or pb&j sandwiches instead.

Our two older children are teenagers and they each eat as much as an adult. The family box ingredients are intended for two adults and two children, but we found that there was plenty to go around, even with the teenager appetites!

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli from Dinnerly had a kick but it was easy to adjust the spice to our personal family tastes.

Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli

When preparing the Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli, my husband was there to chop the veggies. He is extremely particular about his food but was very happy with the quality of the produce.

The Dinnerly box came with four packets of Sriracha so we could adjust the heat for taste. I only used three packets in the main dish and my husband put the last packet on his own individual serving. While very easy to prepare and with minimal ingredients, this recipe helped us to think outside the box with introducing us to new ingredients. Neither of us had ever made anything with Chinese broccoli or Sriracha sauce before. We both really loved this dish – There was even some plate licking on his part!

How Much Does Dinnerly Cost?

Dinnerly is priced at $5 per each serving. Shipping per box is $8.99, so be sure to work that into the cost breakdown. Dinnerly is the lowest cost of all the dinner subscription boxes on the market. While the Dinnerly Family Box is noted to feed two adults and two children, we found that there was an abundance of food!

For instance when we ate Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta my husband, myself and my two teenagers each had one large portion (served with our own side salad). My husband had a second large helping. Then there was still enough for me to pack away leftovers for my husband to take to work the following day. This meal actually equaled out to about 6 servings for us, making this an even better price breakdown.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Fried Spaghetti Pie

The vegetarian meal for the week I received Dinnerly was the intriguing sounding Fried Spaghetti Pie. I can honestly say I’ve never prepared or eaten anything quite like this dish! A creamy sauce and grated Parmesan coats the cooked spaghetti, which is then lightly fried and baked to crisp. It’s topped with a tossed arugala salad. This was a fun twist on traditional pasta dishes and we enjoyed it a lot! The recipe even gave us some ideas on how to add protein, if we wished to.

Dinnerly Review Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Creative meals that got us out of a dinner rut
  • Healthful dishes with fresh ingredients
  • Truly quick and easy meals that seem more “fancy” than usual
  • Convenient to know that all the ingredients for dinner are on hand
  • Time-conscious meal preparation
  • Delicious! The four of us that ate the Dinnerly meals really enjoyed the flavors

Cons:

  • Only delivering to select areas of the United States at this time (check the site to see if Dinnerly delivers in your area)
  • May be a bit pricier than purchasing ingredients on your own (but definitely cheaper than eating out!)
  • Fancier meals may not appeal to picky eaters

Want to Try Dinnerly?

Click through to see what’s cooking on Dinnerly this week! You can see the menu for the month and sign up for a subscription.

My family had a great time cooking with Dinnerly! We thought the recipes were creative and delicious. We were actually excited to cook each night and try something new. In the past, I’ve liked trying new dishes, but I don’t like having to purchase special ingredients just for one dish (like an entire bottle of sauce or a large block of cheese). Dinnerly is perfect because they supply you with exactly what you need. And there’s no waste because you use just what they send.

I highly recommend trying Dinnerly and appreciate that you can sign up for the service without major commitment. There is a flexible subscription option so you can decide ahead of time which weeks you want to receive. And you can always skip a week if necessary. But why would you want to because the food is all really good!

 

Mom’s Holiday Party Prep Tips for the Busy Season

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

Though I really do try to stick to our family motto and keep things simple during the holidays, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the season. That means events, activities and parties just about every weekend in December. The holidays are a time of parties – I have two each weekend this season! I love it all, I really do. But wow, does it get busy! Seems I hardly have time to use the bathroom (we’ll get to that issue later!)

These practical tips will help Mom holiday party prep for an evening out! Ideas for time management & evening bag packing. #MerrySpritzmas #AD

Ready for a night on the town!

My husband’s work Christmas party was this past weekend. With four kids at home, I didn’t have a lot of time to get myself primped. But I still wanted to look good, right?! I’m sharing my tips for getting prepped for a night out, including what to pack in your holiday evening bag. Keep reading and I’ll give you all the details on why Poo~Pourri is a party MUST HAVE!

Hover over this photo and click on the images to visit Bed Bath and Beyond’s website, where you can order directly!

Time Management

When you’re getting ready to go out for the night, plan ahead and make a list of what needs to be done.

  • I chose my outfit the week before the Christmas party. I made sure to try on my outfit with the shoes that I was planning to wear. If you need to pick up stockings or tummy support briefs this will give you a few days time to grab those necessities.
  • I did my nails the day before so I wouldn’t feel rushed the morning of the party.
  • I needed a haircut before the party so I scheduled it for that afternoon. This way I was able to get the wash, cut and style and save time on not having to do my hair myself.
  • Have the babysitter arrive early so that will give you time to put your make-up on and get dressed so you aren’t running around, tending to the kids.

Packing Your Holiday Evening Bag

Just before before the party, I pack up my holiday evening bag. Once I’ve decided on my outfit, I match the bag with what I’m wearing. You won’t need a lot, so your evening bag can be really small – Unless you’re like me and your husband tends to hand you everything out of his pockets to carry in your purse. These are my handbag must-haves for a night on the town.

  • Wallet. Include at least a few dollars, just in case you need to tip or the parking lot only takes cash.
  • Drivers license or ID. You might get carded!
  • Make-up refreshers. This may include blotting papers to get rid of excess oil, finishing powder and lipstick or gloss.
  • A small mirror. Use it quickly to check your teeth and make sure there’s no holiday food left there after your meal.
  • Compact hair brush.
  • Fully charged cell phone. And just in case you get into a selfie mood and post a ton of pictures to social media, bring a back-up charger and cord.
  • Antacids. After eating a rich dinner & having a few drinks, my tummy needed some relief.
  • Car and house keys.
  • Poo~Pourri.

These practical tips will help Mom holiday party prep for an evening out! Ideas for time management & evening bag packing. #MerrySpritzmas #AD

Don’t be the Party Pooper

Time to get real. Think about the last party you went to. Seems like there is always someone waiting outside the bathroom door to use the facilities after you, right? With so many holiday parties at friends’ houses and the bathroom line down the hall, nobody wants to the be the “party pooper” – leaving a stink behind for the next guest!

Have you heard of Poo~Pourri? If you haven’t, this video is a must watch.

Simply spritz Poo~Pourri into the toilet bowl before you go. Poo~Pourri’s pure blend of natural essential oils creates a film on the surface of the water. The protective barrier traps odor under the surface – which means no stink! All you’ll leave behind is a light refreshing scent. When you leave the bathroom for the next person in line, nobody will be the wiser!

Give the Gift That Doesn’t Stink

I was recently at Bed Bath and Beyond and found a large collection of Poo~Pourri. It was located at a kiosk towards the front of the store. There were more Poo~Pourri products on an end cap (including a gift box that looks like a toilet!)

I have Original Citrus in the bathroom at home, which is a blend of lemon, bergamot and lemongrass natural essential oils. Merry Spritzmas® and Secret Santa scents are sold in this clever holiday pull-apart gift set (the text on the box makes me giggle!)

I kept Poo~Pourri Merry Spritzmas® in my evening hand bag. The blend of peppermint, vanilla and citrus is a spritz of holiday magic! And it was a relief to know I had the Poo~Pourri with me on the chance that I needed to use it at the party. Did I use it? I’ll never tell!

I already know whom I’ll be gifting Poo~Pourri Secret Santa to! Poo~Pourri is actually the perfect item for the holiday gift exchange –  It’s funny to give but it really works!

Don’t forget to look out for special coupons on one item at Bed Bath and Beyond’s website before heading out to shop or shopping online. And check out these other fun ideas on how to give the gift of Poo~Pourri this holiday season!

These practical tips will help Mom holiday party prep for an evening out! Ideas for time management & evening bag packing. #MerrySpritzmas #AD

5 Tips for Looking Your Best in Holiday Family Photos

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf®. #HolidayHairCare #sponsored

The holidays are fast approaching! That means fun with family and friends, as well as parties and pictures that come along with the season. Last year my family and I had a weekend vacation and took this photo together. I loved how cute we all looked…that is until I looked closer and realized how my roots were showing and how GRAY my hair was! Ugh, seeing that photo with my gray hairs made me so upset.

Dozens of ideas for taking special holiday photos at Disneyland Resort

Photo Credit: Disney PhotoPass

I’m all for women who aren’t bothered by the gray. But I still have a toddler and I’m just not ready to go gray yet. Coloring my hair makes me feel so much better about my overall look! I don’t have the time or money for a salon so I’m glad there are at-home kits like Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color that give me a professional style. With family photos coming along with the holidays, I’m sharing my tips for creating a head-to-toe beautiful look that’s perfect for lasting photo memories!

Coordinating family outfits while still putting together a beautiful look for yourself takes some preparation! You can’t just throw on your favorite outfit because you want a cohesive look for the entire family. And you don’t want to look back in ten or twenty years and say, “What in the world was I wearing?!” These are a few ideas for creating a flattering, timeless look for family photos.

1. Pick a Theme Around Your Location

Are you going to be taking photos at the beach? Then knee-high boots and chunky sweaters probably aren’t the best fashion choice. And vice versa if you’re planning a snowy mountain photo shoot wearing all white cotton sundresses! Once you know your photo location, you can decide on a direction for your outfits.

2. Start with One Thing

Who is the most particular person in your family when it comes to getting dressed? Start by choosing their outfit first. Once you have that picked, it’s going to be easier to design a look around the color scheme and style of that first outfit.

Is there an outfit that the rest of the clothes can be built around? A plaid or a pattern with multiple colors is a good place to start. From there you can choose clothing with the colors that coordinate (like this floral dress below).

3. Picking a Color Scheme

To create a cohesive look, choose a color scheme that unites the family and doesn’t clash. Things like blue jeans, khaki and white are neutral and can be mixed in with the colors you choose as you see fit.

For this family photo, I wanted to choose from clothes that we already had in the closet. I started with my husband’s plaid shirt. The rest of the family was easy to match, with navy blue, burgundy, khaki and white.

Photo Credit: Amber Barley Photography

4. Mixing Patterns

While it’s okay to choose similar styles, try to avoid anything too matchy-matchy. For instance, instead of having the kids all wear matching sweaters, choose a similar design in varying colors. As in the family photo above, my son had a plaid shirt in his closet that had similar colors to what his dad is wearing. The plaids aren’t matching but they don’t clash either.

Choose patterns that are classic in design instead of trendy so your photo looks timeless and not dated to a particular time period. Same with hair styles!

You could also choose patterns that are coordinating but not identical. I found this trio of outfits for my little ones a few years ago. They are coordinated because the colors unite them, but are not wearing the same outfit.

5. Making Sure Mom Looks Her Best

After the gray root debacle last year, I’m determined to stay on top of my coloring! Once I’ve decided on a location and color scheme for the family photo shoot, I make sure I have my nails done, make-up ready and hair colored. Naturally, I want my hair to look its best during family photos.

Having Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color on hand has been my secret weapon! I’ve already used Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color several times and love my results. It’s been so easy to use and my hair is shiny and soft, even weeks after coloring.

I found Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color at Walmart. The line offers a good variety of intense colors, including my favorite shade, Chestnut. Be sure to do your patch test before coloring! And of course don’t forget to put on the included gloves to protect your hands.

At-Home Hair Coloring Tips

  • Wear your oldest clothes and use your oldest towel that you don’t mind getting stained.
  • Wear a plastic cape to protect your neck and clothes.
  • Rub a small amount of petroleum jelly around your ears and neckline to prevent staining.
  • I prep my bathroom so I don’t drip hair coloring on the rub or splash it on the shower curtain! I put away everything from off the counter, move the shower curtain and put away the bathmat so no errant drips get on anything.

BEFORE (look at that gray!)

Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color has a pre-treatment included that helps give you an even color result. I love this extra step and experienced no dry ends after coloring. The color is thick and stays put, which makes application so much easier.

I colored my hair about 5 weeks ago with the same color, so I applied to the roots for 20 minutes first. Then I applied color to the rest of my head and waited another ten minutes.

20 minutes on the roots first…

Then 10 minutes on the entire head of hair.

  • Don’t just rely on the clock to keep time. Set a timer!
  • I rinsed off in the kitchen sink so I could use the handheld sprayer and really make sure I removed all the color.
  • Any color stains on the skin? Use a cotton pad and rubbing alcohol to gently remove.

I experienced less hair breakage and loss after using Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color and of course, it gave me 100% gray coverage – yippee! Plus my hair is really soft and silky. I’m going to look so great in my holiday family photos this year (no gray getting me down!)

AFTER! Total gray coverage and beautiful Chestnut color.

Want to try Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color for free? Be sure to click through for the rebate!

Dressing for Success

Just like coloring over my gray helps boost my self-esteem, so does wearing clothes that make me feel and look my best. With every purchase of Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color women are getting a fresh start through a partnership with Dress for Success®.

Dress for Success Worldwide provides women education and mentoring, along with revitalized hair and clothing options. This partnership helps women be as successful as they look! Over one million women have been served by this international organization and its programs. I love how Dress for Success encourages and supplies women with the tools they need for confidence and success!

Coloring your hair at home is a great way to save time and money but how can you assure the best results? Check out these tips (along with ideas for looking your best in holiday family photos!) #HolidayHairCare #ad

 

Personal Trainer Food Review- Weight Loss Program Comparison

Maybe you’ve tried other weight loss programs. Maybe you’ve tried several other weight loss programs. You might have lost weight. But in many cases you’re left feeling frustrated by the high expenses of the program and unappetizing food. I’ve been following the Personal Trainer Food program and want to share my thoughts about the taste, convenience and cost compared to NutriSystem.

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

To be fair, Nutrisystem has a small selection of frozen choices on another menu. I did not test or compare their frozen menu items, the items tested were part of their largest selling food division of non-refrigerated items. Personal Trainer Food did send me the day’s worth of Nutrisystem for an honest comparison between the 2 meal plans.

8 lbs down after nearly 4 weeks on Personal Trainer Food program!

What Stalls Weight Loss?

Besides the obvious, like desserts, potatoes, breads, juice and pasta, what does Personal Trainer Food recommend that you avoid while in weight loss mode? These items may stall your results and are best avoided –

  • Milk, including yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream.
  • Milk alternatives, like soy, rice and almond milk.
  • Peanuts, cashews and pecans (this includes nut butters of any type).
  • All fruit, except for one apple a day.
  • Protein bars and shakes (plus you’ll be getting enough protein in the foods you’re eating anyway).
  • Alcohol (even low-carb varieties).
  • Flour, oats and rice.

Nutritional Comparison to NutriSystem

I received a sample of a NutriSystem meal to compare with Personal Trainer Food. The NutriSystem food I received is shelf-stable and doesn’t require refrigeration. Those on the NutriSystem program are expected to supply their own fruits and veggies. When looking at the ingredient list of the NutriSystem foods, they are loaded with ingredients that actually could stall your weight loss!

NutriSystem shelf-stable foods

The NutriSystem breakfast is a very small (1.4 oz) Harvest Nut Bar with 7g of sugar, 22g carbs and 7g protein. Personal Trainer Food breakfasts include eggs and sausage or bacon. My favorite, the frittata omelette with breakfast sausage contains 1g of sugar, 2g carbs and 19g of protein. I have always felt full on my Personal Trainer Food breakfast for at least 3 hours before needing a snack. I can imagine how hungry I’d be eating only the tiny NutriSystem bar for breakfast.

NutriSystem Breakfast Bar

The NutriSystem Chicken Pasta Parmesan contained many unpronounceable ingredients as well as agave syrup and sugar! I’m not sure why a chicken and pasta dish would need 6 grams of sugar. It also contained 24g of carbohydrates and 15g of protein. There weren’t any vegetables included with this dish.

In comparison, the Personal Trainer Food Rotisserie Chicken Breast contained no sugar, 1g of carbs and 23g of protein. I was also able to choose my own vegetable packet that was shipped to me. Personal Trainer Food frozen vegetables contain a well-balanced amount of carb-loaded veggies like lima beans, corn and peas.

Personal Trainer Food Teriyaki chicken with green beans

The NutriSystem meal also came with a package of walnut chocolate chip cookies. At 7g of fat, 17g carbs and 7g sugar for about 5 small cookies. Also the ingredients contained wheat gluten, oats and sugar – all ingredients that may slow weight loss. As a side note, I did find it humorous that the cookies contained 8g of protein, which was more than the tiny breakfast bar!

Food and Flavor Comparison

The meals I’ve received from Personal Trainer Food are really great tasting food. Each dish is high in protein, contains good carbs and healthy fats with no heavily-processed food products. The food is cooked and flash-frozen to preserve freshness and flavor. Their products require no fillers, hidden sugars nor bad carbs. Meals are also low or no gluten.

My husband is really particular about what we eat at home and even he is totally sold on the Personal Trainer Food. He’s snuck them on occasion to eat for himself! Not only are they wholesome, good-for-you meals but they are also really delicious.

Personal Trainer Food Gluten-free breaded chicken breast with veggies

In comparison, the NutriSystem food that I received simply does not look appetizing. I refuse to eat the NutriSystem Chicken Pasta Parmesan because it just looks bad. I asked my mom, who has been on the NutriSystem program, and she said the shelf-stable foods do not taste good. She’s now on the Personal Trainer Food program and very happy with the food choices and flavor. It definitely makes it easier to stay on your weight loss program when the food tastes good, is filling and keeps you satisfied!

Cost Comparison

Many weight loss meal delivery plans can cost $600+ a month for food. Add in contracts, support costs and often hidden fees. With Personal Trainer Food, everyone receives healthy meals for weight loss, free support and free shipping with no hidden fees.

My mom went through the NutriSystem program on her own over the course of one month. At a cost of around $350 for the month, she lost no weight. She also had to purchase her own fruits and vegetables on NutriSystem. $350 for food that she didn’t like and no weight lost!

In contrast, my mom recently started on Personal Trainer Food and lost two pounds in the first week. I personally lost 8 lbs after four weeks on the program. The cost of three full meals a day on PTF is under $11 per day. They also frequently offer specials so sign up for their newsletter and receive email notifications.

Looking for Convenient and Fast

I’ve loved having the Personal Trainer Foods handy in my freezer. So quick to grab and heat – in just a few minutes I have a complete and healthy meal. I’m very happy that there is a program like this that is convenient but doesn’t sacrifice flavor and health! Check out the next post in my series- Personal Trainer Food – How Important is Convenience to Weight Loss?

Want to Learn More About Personal Trainer Food?

See their website for the latest sign up specials!

Considering the Personal Trainer Food diet program? Check out my honest review with details on the food, cost & how much you can lose #PersonalTrainerFood AD

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. 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!

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 – Be sure to check out their site and sign up for the newsletter to receive special discount codes!

Follow along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts – here is the next post in the series.

Considering the Personal Trainer Food diet program? Check out my honest review with details on the food, cost & how much you can lose #PersonalTrainerFood AD