Archive | June 2016

Some quick tips for Meal Replacment Shakes

So I have recently really been getting into doing a “shake diet”.  About a year ago I really wanted to get motivated to start losing weight. Well, it took until this Spring for me to really buckle down and decide that I needed this! And, surprisingly to-even me- I have already lost 15 pounds- 20 from where I was 6 months ago!  My mom and I decided to do it together- it’s always nice to have a friend to help encourage you!

So, I chose to go with the Isagenix program, because I had some friends that I trust, that were seeing really exciting results, but most importantly were getting really healthy! Here is the products I use:  The weight Loss shakes. I think everyone needs to find what works for them- so choose a protein powder that works for you! For the weight loss program, Isagenix suggests that you replace 2 meals a day (preferably breakfast and dinner) with a shake. We replace breakfast and then eat a really light lunch (something  like string cheese and a handful nuts) or a shake. Then have a really healthy dinner. For dinner we eat A LOT of salad and typically a lean protein (tuna, fish sticks or chicken).

I wanted to mostly focus on how I make the shake. So I really don’t like drinking protein shakes- they are typically all clumpy and powdery- ewww! So I decided I was going to add ice to my shakes to make them a more enjoyable texture. I also was thinking how hungry I was going to be… after all I am replacing my meals (and I LOVE to eat)! So, I thought it may be good to mix some fruit or vegetables in there too. So I could get a little extra “food” add even more nutrition.

I barely have enough time to eat breakfast,  let alone prep for breakfast! So I found a few things that work to make a great shake quickly:

I use a hand held blender to make my daily shakes- This helps me cut out the time I spend disassembling the real blender to wash it- not to mention the less space it takes up on the counter.

Similar to this one:

I pre blend my “extra” veggies and fruits in bulk so they are ready for my daily use. I use ice cube trays that I had for freezing baby food (although any kind of ice tray should work). I typically use Spinach and whatever20160310_133332 fruit I have that is getting ripe; sometimes strawberries, blueberries or bananas. Lately, I have just been blending Spinach20160628_185920 and water. I sometimes use a regular blender if I am blending in bulk. I try to fill about 6 trays at a time. This will last me and my mom about 3-4 weeks.

You can pretty much use anything you want in your fruit and veggie cubes. I have a friend that adds carrots and celery (just go light on the celery).

I like blending in bulk, so each day I just pop out the fruit and veggie cubes without having to get out all of the ingredients each time, plus this way they are frozen.

When making my shakes: I add my fruit and veggie cubes (I usually do 3, but add as many as you want based on the texture you want your shake to be). I blend this with water and my protein powder- as recommended.  And Ta-Da- a super easy and delicious shake!


My kid’s even love thier Spinach shakes espcially when they help make them

Not only is it a great way to get leaner, but it is, most importantly very nutritious! If you do not want to lose weight, I suggest having a shake in addition to a light breakfast, or as a shack!

To make a shake at work I suggest using a single serving blender: You can just toss in your protein, veggie ice cubes and water. Blend and you can drink it straight from the cup! I break up some of the f&v cubes and put enough in a baggie for all week- then just store it in the freezer.

I got my mom one like this for her office:

Last tip: Use a thick straw. It’s so much easier to drink it with a straw!

I got mine from IKEA (that place really does have everything!):





Life in Music…

Isn’t it funny that a song can bring you to a completely different place then you are? I have just recently started building playlists of music- and have been thinking so much about my past (and future) and it is amazing how much a certain song can completely transform your thoughts and mood.

A  90s country song takes me back to riding in the car with my dad as a young child and I can still hear his voice singing the words- especially Alan Jackson or Randy Travis! Classic Rock songs, like some good ol’ Led Zepplin or Lynard Skinnard take me camping as a kid. Listening to a Sonia Data brings me back to middle school, where life is all about Discovery. And pretty much any Green Day or 90s pop rock song reminds me of high school, where life is all about fun and learning what the world might really be like. Some songs remind me of certain people that I have known in my life- and makes me thankful I  have a reminder of them, especially if they are no longer around. And some songs I just avoid, to not remember heartbreaking times in my life.

It’s crazy how so many songs, takes me back to an event that I remember as if it were yesterday. I don’t think you realize how much a song that you hear or love will represent that time period until you hear it and  remember. Makes me wonder what songs will represent this time in my life. Only time will tell.

It’s not only about the tune, although that is a big piece of it, but the lyrics speak to me and are so often what I need to hear. Music to me is so much more then something I listen to. To me it’s who I am.

A Vent about Responsibilty

Today is one of those days I just need to vent. I feel so grumpy and I blame it on the cloud cover outside! Where is my sunshine?

Anyway- today I am really feeling down because I feel like I sometimes hate being responsible. I feel like I am nothing but responsible- for the last 10 years anyway. Welcome to adulthood right? But should we be so responsible that we lose our identity and not have any fun?

I am the only one who has been nothing but a mom since my kids were born? It IS who I am, but is it ALL that I am? I am a wife and a mom, but who am I actually? I have just recently started going out and spending time by myself and relaxing and doing what I actually want to do. But why is it that I want to be irresponsible when I am away from my everyday life? I want to spend money and get a cocktail or two… you know, stuff that is not the best, but it sure does make me happy. I just want to me without complication. I have been so thankful for the break that my husband has given me almost weekly. I try really hard to make sure he gets his fun time- most recently he has spent it motorcycle riding. I love to see him happy. I just and to be happy too.

I wish being responsible was more fun! I guess a lot of the problems in this world would not exist if it was. For me, it is always the fear of consequence that has kept me responsible (you know, what would happen if spent too much money, or drink and drive).  I am just tired of consequence. I wish I was young and dumb again and only cared for myself sometimes. Ha! Not really, but I do miss my own identity and feeling independent and not having to answer to the whole world about every move I make and why I do it. There is something so appealing about being an adult when we are younger, until we have families and houses and bills. I admire people who can feel happy in their own responsible situations.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and enjoy almost every day with them; I just wished I could have my own life 1 day out of the week where everyone else is not my main focus.  People often say I struggle with this because I set such high expectations for my life, like the way I parent and the goals I set for myself. I have started to become more laid back, so that is really helping. Maybe that is why I can recognize my own feelings and wants now.

Basically, I just have started remembering who I am and what makes me happy as a person, not just as a wife and a mother. I just feeling like an individual- I just wish it didn’t have to come at a price. Ok, that is enough venting today. Now it is time to put on a good song!

Family Reunion

This past weekend we attended our family reunion. I have always felt like it was officially summer when we have our reunion. It’s a long standing tradition, that we get together once  year to celebrate the original family members and all of the family that God has given them. My grandmother is one of 13 children, so it is so interesting to learn who everyone is. It’s hard to keep track sometimes!

I get the pleasure of “helping” my 91 year old grandmother  and  mom prepare for the reunion each year. I love to help them choose their outfits and do their hair.  So for me, the reunion is a week long event. For some family members it is the highlight of their summer.


                                Bouncy house!! 

This year it was at my favorite location. It was at a park an hour and half away.  Just long enough to feel like a road trip, but not too long for the kids. Jason and his brother rode their motorcycles- (yeah, have I mentioned that he got a motorcycle? A topic for another time)- so that was exciting. We had a really fun time this year. I was a little bummed because there were some people that were unable to come. For the people that were there, it was really fun.

There were so many things for the kids to do. There was a little bouncy house with a slide that they loved. Unfortunately, as the mommy, I had to spend most of my time watching the kiddos jump instead of visiting with family, luckily many of my favorite cousins hung out with me in the grass. The kids jumped for hours! The food was amazing. I love the food at our reunions. Not to mention, that is was my cheat day and I loved every second of it!


               Lunch time!! My cute family!

One of my favorite parts of the reunion was when we went swimming. Not as many of us were able to go, but we still h


So excited to swim!!

ad a great time! Aimlee loved it. She would have stayed all day! She just wanted to independently swim with her water floaty. Evan was not equally impressed. He was already exhausted; he just wanted to be with mommy. I look forward to going swimming again and seeing if he likes it- because he loves the bath.


Road trip! The car load!

Overall, it was a wonderful day! I love spending time with my family! I’m so thankful that my little babies get to spend time with these wonderful people who love and care for them so much! What a great way to start off the summer!