Jan 31, 2014

FTF Recap Style

Wow, the final Friday of January. This is like Follow Through Friday on steroids. 

First up, the easiest goal to reach this month for me...ordering my wedding album! We got our pictures back last weekend and in about 2.5 seconds I was searching for the right album to upload them into and order right away. It took forever to get the pictures actually uploaded to the site but I finally placed the order for our album this morning (with half off, thank you retailmenot.com and 7.5% back on ebates)! I should receive it by Valentine's Day! 

My big goal for January was to complete the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. I completed my full 24 days as of yesterday, and I feel amazing. And to be honest, the hardest part is the cleanse phase which is just 10 days. Did I cheat? I had one cheat during my 24 days....a Werther's Original. Just one. And I am really happy with that. 
As of this morning I am officially down 6.5 lbs and 4.25 inches. I call that a win. I think even more impressive than the pounds and inches is the lack of cravings. Yesterday there were donuts in the office and I didn't really care. Meh. I have an "emergency" Dr Pepper in the fridge...and it's just going to keep sitting there. I've only graced a fast food window one time in the last month and that was for a half size apple pecan chicken salad at Wendy's. 

Since I enjoyed the whole challenge so much, I was thinking about doing a little contest. In February, anyone who purchases and starts the 10 day cleanse would be eligible to win the max phase portion of the 24 day challenge, basically days 11-24 of the challenge. This includes the MultiNutritional System, 14 shakes of your flavor choice, OmegaPlex and two boxes of Spark. All you need to do is record your results from the cleanse, either weight, inches, or body fat and send that info to me along with a brief email about what you liked about the challenge and what you learned during it. Once you order your cleanse here, just email me (janessa1020[at]gmail.com) to say you are in the competition and the date you are starting. What do you think? Anyone interested? 
Now for February goals:

  • Hit the gym 3 days a week
  • Home workouts 2 days a week
  • One long run a week
  • Decide on and purchase our hardwood floors
  • Continue eating under the 24 Day Challenge diet plan

Erica Ashley-Faith, Hope, Love

Jan 30, 2014

My Running Journey

I have started, stopped, and deleted parts of this post for the last 3 days. But here is where I am with my thoughts today...

My family has a history of heart problems. From grandparents to great aunts and uncles to even my dad. When I was a senior in high school my dad went into the hospital for a "routine" heart procedure and ended up in the ICU for weeks and weeks. I was too dumb and self centered to realize how bad things could have been at the time, but now I know my dad was very lucky to come home from the hospital. After that, I started to educate myself on nutrition. I started to watch what I ate. I read more each year about things that were good and bad for my body. I started trying to incorporate exercise in my daily schedule. I joined a gym.

I enjoy running and have done several 5Ks with friends, but recently, I signed up to run a half marathon. I've never run that far ever. My runs are usually short just to get in some cardio before doing weights. But I decided I wanted to mark a half marathon off my bucket list in 2014. I printed out a plan and I got started. The beginning was easy. One mile here, add a half mile, add a quarter mile, etc. Not bad. I started paying more attention to my HRM, and then I got frustrated. I get out of my target heart rate zone after not running that long. I give myself a little more room than my Polar does, but I still have to scale back more than I want to. I want to reach my distance goals and also do it quickly, but my body just apparently isn't ready for that. Last week I was so frustrated I had pretty much decided that I just wasn't going to run the half. I wasn't even going to attempt it because there is just no way I can be ready by then (April 26th). I've since gotten over my little tantrum and decided I'm just going to have to do my best. Whatever that is. I got into this running and fitness thing because of my heart. Because of my family history with our hearts. Giving up is just not an option. That's not part of my 2014. 

I definitely won't be the first person to finish that half, but I will finish it. That is my goal for my first half. Just finish it. Then if I want to keep going, I can keep training to do it faster. 

Question for my runner friends, how closely do you watch you HRM? Do you have a point where you have to slow it down? Did you go through the same things when you started? 

In other news, today is day 24 of my Advocare 24 day Challenge. Once my head hits my pillow tonight, I will have reached my big January goal for this year. I plan on doing a little recap of my experience and of course share my results either tomorrow or early next week. Plus I am thinking about doing a little Advocare incentive for February if anyone is interested. 

How's everyone else's goals going? Tomorrow is the end of the month! 

Jan 29, 2014

First Wedding Wednesday

It's my first Wedding Wednesday post since I've gotten my professional pictures back from our wedding...where to start? where to start? I guess I will try to go in order and I'm saving the "bloopers" pics for the very end. By the way, those are some of my favorites too. Of course!

All of these indoor before pictures were taken at my hair salon. It is located in an old building around our county's historic court square, and it is walking distance to the building our wedding and reception were in. All the outdoor pictures were taken on and around the square. 

This would be my beautiful niece and flower girl. She was standing around looking at the photographer set up my dress, and this shot just happened.

 I love this candid picture of Brooklyn. She had her hair done and she was ready to get the show on the road. 

 I kind of wanted to take this mirror off the wall and take it home. It's fabulous, right?
All my bridesmaids in their monogrammed button ups after hair and makeup
 Brooklyn, my baby sister, my sister in law, me, Leigh Anne (the craftiest friend in all the land), and my middle sister. 
And that's our pre-dressed pictures. Next week I'm going to share our pictures of all the girls. I promise there are some pictures of the men too. They got their moments to shine in front of the lens too. 

Link Up

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Jan 28, 2014


*Do you ever forget to hit publish some days? Yea I do that all the time. So today you are getting part of yesterday's post and part of Tuesday. You're welcome for saving you that extra click. 

Anyone else have a twitter hangover today on Monday? I have always been a fan of the awards shows, but I must say that twitter makes it so much more fun. I jumped in on the Grammy's a little late last night but I caught up completely via twitter thanks to #ipgrammys. I am probably past my twitter prime because I only use it when I need to vent and not have my 80 year old aunts call my grandmother because they saw something I said on facebook OR  when I need to catch up on my favorite trash reality tv stars OR when something like an awards show is on so I can laugh at all the hilarious people I follow on twitter. I can never keep up with it enough on an average day. There's just too much. Am I the only Memaw or does anyone else feel this way? 

Speaking of feeling old, did you check out my face lift?? It's not grandma at all! I big puffy heart love the new look. I feel like a real live blogger now! And if you need a good face lift, click on that awesome Hubby Jack tramp stamp at the bottom of the page. HJ does awesome work. Obviously. 

In other news, guess who got wedding pictures back this weekend?? WE did! I can't wait to start sharing some of them, but I don't want to overload a post with my favorites....because practically all of them are favorites! I think I'm going to link up with Wedding Wednesdays for a few Wednesdays until I share them all. So there's fair warning. If you don't care, go ahead and skip Wednesdays' posts for a while. 

Jan 17, 2014

Follow Up and Follow Through

It's Friday and I am in an even better mood than normal for a Friday! I am feeling amazeballs amazing! And I feel pretty accomplished this week. For starters I am still trucking along on the AdvoCare plan. Today is day 11 which means it's time for a follow up on my cleanse phase. I made it and I'm 7 pounds lighter! SEVEN pounds, yall! I've been consistently hanging at 6.5 lbs down for the last 4 days and this morning I was down another half. I feel like the last bit of pounds will come off slowly. And really at this point I'm not too worried with the scale. I want to see changes in my measurements by the end of the 24 day challenge. I didn't check my measurements today but I think I will tonight just to see where that 6.5/7 actually came from. 
I've been doing pretty good with my food prep. My goal for next week is to be better. Prep and pack at night. I can't take another 30 min late morning. I've had them all week. We are into the max phase of the challenge now so my food options have opened up a little more. 

Exercise goals have been slacking a little too. I didn't stick with Jillian every night like I had planned but I did get some kind of workout in. I like my lunch breaks at the gym. I'm making lists of 45 min workouts to take with me and those may just have to substitute for Jillian on my busy evenings. Lunch time workouts fit my schedule better than a before or after dinner workout. 

A non-fitness goal for January is to get my wedding album put together and ordered. This weekend I am finally getting my grubby hands on my proofs and I can.not.wait! I plan to get my book made this weekend and share a few of my favorite pics next week! 

Jan 15, 2014

Yummy and Kale Go Together

I've decided I'm the next Rachael Ray up in here so I'm sharing a recipe. Or maybe I had two a few people ask about the kale chips I made the other day. And yes I promise they are actually good!

First, take yourself to the grocery store and get a bunch of kale. Not a bunch as in "a lot" but a bound together group of kale stalk/leaves/whatever they are. Second, be shocked that it's only 99 cents for all that kale. Next, tear the leaves into chip size pieces. Throw a few tablespoons of EVOO or coconut oil in a bowl. *Optional: Add a few tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce to the oil. Toss the leaves in the oil mixture until they pretty evenly coated. Lay the "chips" on a baking sheet making sure they are not overlapping. You can add some sea salt here if you would like then pop those babies in the oven for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees (8 minutes was just perfect in our oven). Once you take them out and they cool a little, they are super crispy and tasty. If yours are not as crunchy as you like leave them in a little longer. Just be sure to check them often so they don't burn. There's a fine line between crispy and charred. 

Mine turned out great but I have heard that if your kale starts out a little bitter the chips are not going to be good. Kind of like picking the right bag of clementines. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose I guess. 

Jan 13, 2014

Weekend Randoms

It's Monday and day 7 of our cleanse! I'm enjoying my last day before I add a fiber drink back into my life. Bleh. I will say Saturday was our hardest day. Jeremy wanted to take one of Brooklyn's gummy vitamins just so he could have a gummy. Then at Target I think I stopped him from talking so I could "take in" all the smells on the cake and sugar aisle. It was a low point, but we made it through. We did pretty good timing out the days and taking snacks for the late softball night Sunday. It's all about preparation! And not the kind with an H. {side note: my husband just informed me that we both forgot the lettuce for our taco salads today #lunchfail}

Other than dreaming of chocolate and gummy bears, we had a pretty good weekend. Saturday was the first basketball game of the season. We took home a nice win, but I think it's going to be a very long season! 
See all smiles! Or maybe I forgot to take a pic of just my child to plaster on my interwebs. You can see mine, and the twinsies are Lora's. I don't think she will mind if I put them on here. Besides winning, another highlight was having the opposing team's coach tossed. Yea that was fun. Did I mention this is 9-12 yr old basketball? Hmm. Always a good time! Highlight for next week? B swears there's a girl on the other team that has a neck tattoo. Good times!

Another thing we learned this weekend, Costco closes as 6 on Saturdays. What? Yea, and get this, we were there until 6:30. Apparently they don't kick people out since they are a membership store. We ran to the front to check out and noticed there were people ordering food and sitting down in the picnic area. I guess we are just amateurs. 

We rounded out the weekend with some meal prep and indoor softball. It was our late game of the season which means we leave home at 5:30 and get back at 9:30. It sounds like a lot but I have really enjoyed our softball Sundays. We get family time in the car to laugh and usually sing to some weird song that B and Jeremy like that I think is crazy....but then get stuck in my head. During the warm up and games I've gotten to chat more with one of the other softball moms. I have really enjoyed our talks over the last few weeks. I think it's been good for the girls and parents to get a little time to bond other than at practices. 

We got home late but I still made some more snacks (kale chips), ate dinner and packed up our stuff for Monday. Tame, semi busy weekend for the win?
Seriously why didn't anyone tell me kale chips were super easy to make and really tasty?!

Jan 8, 2014

Goal Digger

So yesterday I started working on one of those resolu-goals for January.  I started the Advocare 24day challenge, and if my calendar counting is right, I will finish it up on January 30th. I've always been skeptical about doing a cleanse and a little afraid, but I finally got talked into it. I have to say I'm actually pretty excited. Apparently the cleanse is just the start of it, so we (me and Jeremy) decided to do the full 24 days. You cleanse for 10 days and then start what's called the Max Phase after that. I opted for the extra energy version of supplements for days 11-24. 

Being the Type A, OCD, "create more work for yourself than you should" type person that I am, I organized all my stuff by days so I can just grab a bag and my lunch box and go each day. 
This works for me. If it's all planned out like this, I am better with my follow through. 

Meal planning hasn't been too hard. We eat a pretty healthy diet around the house. I just have to give up my dairy and breads for the first 10 days. Oh and my beloved Taco Bell....
I've made it through Day 1 and most of my meals/supplements on Day 2. I'm not hungry or sick or feeling weird or anything. Yesterday I was a little nervous about how I would feel after that fiber drink, but it was totally fine. I've got dinner planned for tonight and a crockpot dinner planned for tomorrow. The biggest obstacle will be not going through a drive thru after softball practice tomorrow night. I'm guessing my car could almost drive there on it's own it's such a typical drive. 

I'm hoping to check this off my list for January and maybe share a few recipes this month too. Between this, the jmdvdchallenge and another challenge I'm doing at work I better see some big changes this month/year! 

How's everyone else doing on resolu-goals? What about Jillian? Hate her? Love her?

Jan 2, 2014

The R Word

Yesterday was official New Years Resolution start day! Today's Jan 2, how many already fell off that wagon? Not me. I'm still on it. I'm not a big fan of calling them resolutions though. I just don't like that word. It's all the same I'd just prefer to say goals. So roll with it. 

My overall goals this year are to get fit, stay healthy, save a little more, and organize my life. Pretty much the same goals as last year. At work we have yearly goals and one aspect of those goals is that they are measurable. So for 2014 I'm going to give myself monthly goals to work on. 


  • Complete 30 days of Jillian Michaels workouts - #jmdvdchallenge

Big HollyKimmyJenn, & Mel

  • Complete the full 24 day Advocare challenge - Starts Tuesday! Eek!
  • Take down my Christmas tree - I have to add some easy goals in here too
  • Make a wedding book on Shutterfly
  • List all our debts in order of smallest balance to largest - Going to go with the Dave Ramsey plan for 2014
  • Simplify my living room, less is more! Hardwood floors are on the list for February and I don't want a lot of clutter to have to shove into my kitchen while the work is going on
There are many more things I would like to add to this list but I'm going to be realistic for January. I know school is starting back and we have to get back into our routine again. Add basketball games, an indoor softball league, pitching lessons and softball practice into that mix and I am going to need a month to get readjusted to the crazy. 

Anyone else hate the R word? Set monthly goals instead of or to go along with yearly ones? 

Erica Ashley-Faith, Hope, Love