Monday, July 31, 2017

Clean Eating July 2017

After 1 Month of Clean Eating

I had such a fabulous time on our family beach trip in June but if I am totally honest with you I have been struggling with my weight.  Thankfully, I did not let that stop me from having fun with my kids and family.  I enjoyed splashing at the beach with my kids, building a few sand creatures and a few games of beach volleyball.  I realize that I miss being more active.  When I got home I decided that I needed a kick in the pants to restart my journey of becoming a better me.  So, for the last month David and I have been eating clean.  Thankfully my husband is super supportive and joined me on my quest.  What does clean eating mean you may be asking yourself?  Well, it basically means that we are eating whole foods and unprocessed foods.  In the last month we have consumed a variety of fruits and vegetables.  We have had apples, arugula, asparagus, avocados, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, clementines, collard greens, cucumbers, fennel, garlic, grapefruit, green beans, kale, lemons, limes, mangos, onions, pears, peas, peppers, radishes, romaine, scallions, shallots, snap peas, spaghetti squash, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, and zucchini to name a lot!  And let me tell you, the food is good.  Really it is not hard to eat at all.  The hard part for me is cooking it all!  Every day I make our breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus two snacks.  It turns out that I was eating way more convenient food than I had realized - I think most people do.  You need to know that I do have the occasional cheat - like when I ate Chick-fil-A chicken minis for breakfast on Cow Appreciation Day!  Now, for my results.  After 1 month of eating clean I have lost 15 pounds and 7 inches in my waist!  Honestly, I find this pretty astounding.  I still have quite a bit to go on my quest of becoming a better me but I feel like I am well on my way to being healthier.  I have also been amazed at how much more energy I have.  I guess when I eat processed food it makes me feel more fatigued and less satisfied - that's just my experience.  It is never too late to join me and start your own quest.  BE ENCOURAGED!  I plan on giving another update next month.  Enjoy the photos below of some of the meals David and I have been enjoying.

What my meals looked like Day 1 of clean eating.

My Day 2 of clean eating.

I made collages of my first two days of clean eating so that you have an idea of what I ate.  I also have to give a shout out to BuzzFeed as I used many of their clean eating recipes from the last few years.  They are delicious, and the recipes are easy to follow.  The food and recipes are not hard to make but it can be challenging or hard for me to find the time to make them.

 Poached eggs on asparagus - it's really good.

 David is not a huge fan of cauliflower but he really enjoys cauliflower rice.

 This chili with zucchini ribbons has become one of our favorites.

 Tilapia on green beans and lentils

 Turkey Burger

 Lettuce Wraps

 Quinoa with fennel, blueberries and pistachios

 Zucchini ribbons with quinoa and chopped almonds

 Hard boiled egg and radish salad

 Salmon salad with oranges

 Salsa verde chicken and roasted veggies

 Shrimp lettuce cups

 Soft boiled eggs with potato soldiers and kale

 Spaghetti squash with ground turkey and tomatoes

 Spinach, pepper egg muffins with strawberries

Sweet potato and kale frittata

Okay, this post is making me hungry.  Here's to the next month of clean eating and a better me!

Nichole Nordeman Every Mile Mattered CD Review & Giveaway

I have a new CD to tell you about, Nichole Nordeman's CD Every Mile Mattered.  And you guys, it is so good!  If you are not familiar with Nichole then you are really missing out.  I also own The Ultimate Collection CD by her and she has an amazing voice and I love listening to her songs.  My girls simply adore her too.  I love that A has every one of her songs on her Ipod.  It's so great to know that my children love inspirational music.

This CD is a collection of songs reflecting on Nichole's journey that made her into the person she is today.  I love that the theme is not to look back on your life with regret but to instead look at your life with thankfulness and joy to the One that was always there with you.  Songs on this CD include Every Mile Mattered, You're Here, Dear Me, No Longer, Lean, Hush, Hush, Listen To Your Life, Beautiful Day, Sound Of Surviving, Anywhere We Are, and Slow Down.

It's really hard to choose but I think my favorite song on this CD is Every Mile Mattered.  It is so beautifully done.  I am including the Lyric Video below so you can see and hear exactly what I mean.  I love lyric videos because you can really see the power of the words.

Want to stay up to date with Nichole Nordeman?  You can check out Nichole's blog and sign up for newsletters!  She also has a book "SLOW DOWN" coming out in August.  You can pre-order at

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own Nichole Nordeman CD Every Mile Mattered!  Just enter below and good luck.  Giveaway open to Continental U.S. residents only, read giveaway rules below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this CD for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Fun at the Austin Zoo

Ready to see the zoo!

Another fun thing that I did with my "Littles" when A, B and C were at Burn Camp was to take them to the Austin Zoo.  We spent the morning and afternoon there and it was so much fun.  On the way home, I had all 4 kids asleep!  It had been a long time since I have had a car full of sleepers.  Enjoy our photos.  I think the peacocks were my favorite animal of the day.

This beauty was the first animal we saw as we walked into the zoo.  The peacocks are roaming free and they are currently in mating season so they really preformed for us later in the day.

This peacock was showing off in the tree.

We purchased a bag of animal feed when we arrived so we headed over to the petting zoo to feed the sheep, goats, deer, and llamas.

D feeding a goat.

D, E and F posing with the animals.

The goats were super friendly and not shy about asking for food.

Baby G wasn't sure what to make of the llamas.

After the petting zoo, we decided to head to see the "bigger" animals as they would most likely be napping in the afternoon.  We visited the bears and bigger cats.

Watching the bears

My Bears

F absolutely loved the tortoises.

On the move

Up close

We brought in our own picnic lunch but I let the kids each have a snow cone for a special treat.  All three of them chose 1/2 cherry and 1/2 blue raspberry snow cones!

A girl and her peacock

While eating their snow cones, the peacocks loved being around the kids.  It turns out they eat practically anything and anytime the kids would drop a bit of their snow cones, the peacocks were right there to enjoy it.  E kept asking me when the peacocks would display their feathers as she wanted to see them.  And the peacocks did not disappoint, they gave us quite a show.

I loved their feathers!

A peacock displaying his feathers.

And another one...

Side view

The Zoo is full of great photo opportunities including this amazing mural.

My E duckling.

And my monkeys...

Baby G was exhausted!

I would not recommend having this kind of umbrella stroller at the zoo.  I thought I had brought my other one that has a shade and basket underneath but when I arrived I realized I had not brought it and I made this one work.  Luckily, we were able to find quite a bit of shade and we had our hats so that really helped.  You can bring in your own food and drinks which is a huge plus.  They also have a snack cart available at certain times of the day.  We did not ride the train but that is also an option for a small fee.  All-in-all we had a super fun day and we would definitely go back again.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Label Daddy - Save 25% Now

Have you heard of Label Daddy?  They have some pretty awesome customized labels for all your needs - camp, back to school, clothing, allergy, all purpose - you get the idea.  And right now you can get ready for school and save 25% on Label Daddy peel and stick custom name labels!  I love that there is no ironing and no sewing...just peel and stick.  Their laminated coating gives the labels an extra layer of protection and durability.  You can label clothing, books, bags, sports equipment, musical instruments, electronics and so much more.

Save 25% on your entire Label Daddy order by using the code USFAMILY25 at checkout here.  Let me know what you think of your labels!  I'll be sure to post after my order comes in.

Disclosure: Thanks so much to USFamilyGuide and Label Daddy for allowing me to participate in this campaign. I will receive my own Label Daddy customized labels for review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day 2017

This year my youngest 4 children and I celebrated Chick-fil-A's annual Cow Appreciation Day without the oldest 3 on July 11th.  A, B, and C were off at Burn Camp for a week having a fabulous time and the "Littles" as we call them and I had a blast doing fun things and staying busy.  One of those fun things included dressing up as cows and heading to our local Chick-fil-A for some fun and free food.  Enjoy the photos!

D, E and F as cows!

 Baby G Cow

Trying on his brother's hat.

A close up of F, love his smile.

We used D's emoji shirt to show her cow love.

Kissing my baby cow!

Cow Play

 I think someone is really enjoying that waffle fry.

See below what Baby G thought of his 1st Cow Appreciation Day.