The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Andrea from A Measured Life. She has a wonderful blog full of information, tips, advice, and recipes for healthy living! She has lost weight herself and is now in maintenance, and totally rocking it in my opinion! Hop on over and check her blog out if you’d like! I highly recommend it.

Thank you Andrea! It’s taken me a while to get back to blogging again but this was awesome to see while I was on my “hiatus!”

liebster award discover new blogs

The intent of the Liebster Award is to help bloggers get to know each other and expose us to new bloggers.

My nominees are:

No Love for Fatties

It’s Good to Be Crazy Sometimes

A Momma’s View

11 questions for my nominees:

  1. Who is your favorite artist? Hmm my favorite artist has been Jesse McCartney for so long I feel like that’s a default answer. While I still love him, I’m not necessarily sure which artist is my “favorite.”
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Artist, vet, and author/writer.
  3. How do you take your coffee? With hot chocolate powder these days. Mmm it’s the best of both worlds: coffee + cocoa!
  4. What food do you love that other people think is strange? I’m not sure about strange but everyone always thought I was crazy for liking broccoli.
  5. Who inspires you the most? It’s too hard to pick just one person, so I’m going to list a few: my mom, my sister, and all of my amazing friends on SparkPeople who support and encourage me no matter what.
  6. What is your favorite tree? Coming from California, I want to say a palm tree. However, I would say that redwoods or other trees you would see in a wooded area. Those are so beautiful, so tall and grand.
  7. Rain or sunshine? Sunshine definitely, although a good rain is good on occasion.
  8. What’s your favorite body part (of your own body)? Hmm usually my eyes. I used to have brown eyes when I was a kid and wanted so badly to have blue eyes. Now my eyes are mainly green and I love that, they have become a point of pride for me.
  9. What’s your favorite song to sing? I don’t know if I have a favorite. Really any song that is fun to sing, i.e. I can remember all or most of the lyrics and can actually form the words while singing, is my favorite! Of course it also has to have a great message and nice rhythm.
  10. Tea: sweetened or unsweetened? Lightly sweetened.
  11. What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Find the beauty and strength within yourself. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to!

11 random facts about me:

  1. When it comes to jewelry, I prefer silver over gold.
  2. My favorite forms of exercise include: walking, running, the elliptical, and kickboxing.
  3. I love turning on music through iHeartRadio and just silly/crazy dancing with my nephews, and one of my nieces when she’s over.
  4. My favorite meat has always been chicken, which was an easy transition when I started my weight loss journey because grilled and baked chicken is some of the healthiest meat.
  5. I love reading Young Adult book series because I find I can relate to them a bit more. I’m an old soul with a young heart. These books seem to speak to me a bit more than books written for adults.
  6. My favorite radio station to listen to through iHeartRadio is K-Love Christian Radio. When I workout, take a walk, need to de-stress in the evenings, or even when I simply need to block out the noise going on in the house around me, it is a great station. It lifts me up and helps me focus at the same time.
  7. One of my favorite things to do is curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book, especially in the colder months!
  8. My favorite color is purple, but pink has really been growing on me recently.
  9. My ideal weather would be in the 70-80 degree range. Oh how I miss California, although it could get sweltering hot in the summer.
  10. I think snow is pretty, but I do not like living in it. Once I move away from Indiana, I will probably do all I can to stay away from snow for at least a couple years.
  11. I am allergic to many things: grass, trees, mold, dust mites, feathers, cats, dogs, vinegar… and really I am never sure I’ve listed it all because there are so many things. Thankfully not too many foods but vinegar is in a lot of foods so it’s something to be careful of and limit. Otherwise I do fine.

11 questions for nominees:

  1. What is your favorite TV show?
  2. Which hot beverage do you prefer: coffee, hot cocoa, or tea?
  3. What is your favorite color?
  4. How do you get to work (ex. public transportation, your own car, carpooling, etc.)?
  5. What is the weather like right now where you live?
  6. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working or doing something else you have to do?
  7. Do you prefer cats, dogs, or another kind of pet?
  8. What is one place you have always wanted to visit?
  9. What color eyes do you have?
  10. If you were in the circus, which act would you rather do: walk a tightrope or tame the lions?
  11. What type of movie is your favorite to watch?




How to Survive a Big Slip-up

The truth of the matter is that slip-ups happen from time to time, for all of us. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes we also go through periods of time where all it feels like we do is slip-up! Those are really the pits! I had one of those myself recently and I had to constantly fight the “I’m a failure” feeling that kept creeping in simply because I was struggling so bad and nothing I did was working.

There is some great news… It is completely normal for this to happen in your weight loss or healthy living journey and I guarantee that you will get through this as long as you don’t give up! So no matter what you do, keep trying to forge ahead with your healthy living goals. As long as you keep trying, you will find something that works for you. It just takes time! It may even take longer than you imagined but it will indeed happen.

Use your bad experience to fuel you as you move forward, instead of seeing it as a totally negative deal. Learn from it and keep moving forward. There’s no use beating yourself up about the past. As I like to tell myself: “It is what it is and all I can do is move forward.” You can’t change what already happened, but what you can do instead is keep trying to do better.

Here are some of the things that have helped me get out of my big slip-up:

  • Look at the big picture. When things are tough and it feels like everything is fruitless, look at the big picture of your goals. It can be a beautiful tool because it reminds you of the big reason as to WHY you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy.
  • Focus on what you CAN do. Focus on each healthy decision you can make to help dig you out of the hole that it seems you fell into. What can you do right now, right here, to better your mentality?
  • See what you can do TODAY to move forward. There is only so much you can do each day. Think about what you can do today to work towards your goals. That way it seems like so much more of a manageable chunk.
  • Take it all one day, one moment at a time. No one can achieve their goals in no time flat. You think about each day, or each moment at a time, whatever works for you to make it easier and more doable.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult it seems. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of all the things you need to do in order to achieve your goal. Just put one foot in front of the other no matter what and keep yourself moving forward.
  • Get yourself pumped up about something! Nothing can spark your motivation to do well like getting yourself excited to do it or something else you really enjoy. Feeling happier and more at peace will certainly help you get back on the right track with your weight loss and healthy living goals!

Even when it seems fruitless, remember that you are simply AMAZING for your efforts. Always keep trying! Even when it feels like you’re not making any progress whatsoever, keep going!

Try something new if you need to or try things that worked for you in the past. Trust your process because it is yours alone. Remember you haven’t failed until you quit trying.

Repeat this mantra when all else fails, “I CAN AND I WILL!” You will get through this.



Discover New Blogs: Liebster Award

liebster award

I was nominated for this award by Ashley from Mommy Lanes Adventures. She has an awesome blog where she posts about her family and life. I love blogs like hers because even though I don’t have any children of my own, I really relate to the posts as a full-time aunt! Check it out!

Thank you for nominating me Ashley!

Here are the rules for the new nominees which I will post at the end of this post.


1.Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Display the Liebster Award on your blog.

3. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

4. Answer the 11 questions you were asked.

5. Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers for the Award and have them answer 11 questions.

6. Let the other bloggers know you’ve nominated them.

7. Copy the rules into your post.

11 random facts about me:

  1. This one may not be so random since I mentioned it above, but I am a full-time aunt to my two youngest nephews who are four-and three-years-old. Even when I’m not babysitting them, I am here to love on and encourage them. They are growing up so fast!
  2. Although I LOVE writing, I find it hard to write pages worth of content on paper: journals, notebooks, etc. unless I’m taking notes from something so I can remember it better or reference it later. I guess I must think faster than I can write so typing works best!
  3. I do not wear makeup and I don’t regularly wear jewelry. I have desired to do the latter more often lately but I still don’t. I can’t stand having something on me that might interfere with my movement or tasks, if that makes any sense to you!
  4. My “homestate” is California. Yes, I said homestate. I consider the whole state my home even though I was not born there.
  5. I love reading but rarely have the time or patience to sit and read anymore. However, I’m coming to realize maybe I am just a lot more picky about my book choices than I ever was before and am investigating new avenues to reawaken my bookworm side.
  6. I once had three pet rats when I was 20 years old and I loved them, they were so much fun but had to give them away when I got sick and had to move across country.
  7. It is extremely hard for me to get into a strength training routine to complement my cardio routine, even when I see results. I sometimes find a strength training routine that works for me and then I inevitably get sick or something else and then it’s incredibly difficult to get back to it.
  8. My favorite breakfast is whole grain white toast with peanut butter and sliced banana on top, of course paired with my delicious coffee!
  9. I recently realize that I was finally living life more lately, finding beauty in nearly everything and just living life more fully.
  10. I am an introvert and also have anxiety, social included. While I have fun with close family and friends, it is extremely hard for me to be around people for extended periods of time and it is hard for me to be around strangers period. Some outings or get togethers I do better than others.
  11. I love my Fitbit. It helps me be more active even in this cold weather where I’m stuck inside for long periods of time. It motivates me to get a certain amount of steps and/or exercise minutes each day, which means I take extra steps to do normal things like get myself more water or do housework!

11 questions to answer:

1. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? For vacation, I would say Hawaii. I’ve always wanted to go there.
2. What is your favorite book? I don’t necessarily have a favorite book but I was totally in love with the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead while it was still going.  I might even consider reading it through again at another time, which is saying something for me.
3. If you could buy anything no matter the cost, what would you buy? An iPad mini or the newest iPhone model.
4. What is your favorite thing to do? Write, color, read, and have fun times with family and friends.
5. Outside or inside person? Mainly inside but there is also something about nature that restores something in me! So that said, I love being indoors but I enjoy my walks and other exercise outdoors as well.
6. What is something you would love to learn to do? Speak another language, maybe finally learn Spanish or possibly French or Italian.
7. If you could change one thing about your life what would it be? Mainly my living situation. I would love to be living on my own even if it was a small studio apartment, and I would also love to be living in California instead of Indiana.
8. Who is your hero? My mom and sister tie for this slot!
9. What is your favorite television show? Grimm.
10. Coffee or tea? Coffee.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve? People being inconsiderate or completely self-centered.


My nominees (some blogs don’t have follower counters on them):

HoneyBear & Albertina
When I Thought I Was Fat
In Pursuit of Contentment (Nikkispeaks)
The Life and Writings of Ally Cat
The Hidden Hoarder
Endless Possibilities
Four Stone to Lose

11 Questions for my Nominees:

  1. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
  2. What is your dream car… you know if money weren’t a concern?
  3. What is your favorite fruit?
  4. How many brothers or sisters do you have?
  5. Kitchen appliances: white, black, or stainless steel?
  6. Do you prefer to live where it is snowy and super cold, or somewhere where it is warmer in the winter?
  7. Long hair or short?
  8. Would you rather go hiking in the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls?
  9. Do you have a favorite shoe brand? If so, what is it?
  10. What is your favorite physical feature of yours?
  11. Are you a night owl or a morning person?







Holiday Season

You may or may not have wondered where I had ventured off to since I have been MIA for a few weeks. Life just got to me and I had to take a step back from the blog and my business. Too much has been going on lately in my life, add to that the holidays and everything else, I’m still not back to normal but I am slowly getting there.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed their time with family and/or friends! Personally I had the best Christmas I had had in a long, long time. It wasn’t anything spectacular by any means but it was special to me and I really lived it up and enjoyed it as much as I could.

This post is short, and hopefully sweet, because I just wanted to get back out there and post something. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. I promise you that I will be making more of an effort to get awesome posts published these coming weeks, particularly with the New Year coming up. We will make 2016 our best year yet. Here are some posts to help you make it until my next ones, a three part series about how to survive winter while focusing on your health (just click on the links in the captions of the images to view the blog posts):

winter fitness tips
Winter Fitness Tips
Winter healthy comfort tips
Winter Healthy Comfort Tips
Winter Motivation Tips
Winter Motivation Tips


How was your Christmas? Did you get any gifts that you’re particularly happy for? Or did you realize that all the gifts you really need are in your life already such as your family, friends, pets, etc.?


Be More Than a Dreamer in 2016!

I wholeheartedly believe we should be doers. Dreaming is all fine and dandy but what are we achieving if we’re not getting out there to do and live! That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out everyday or take every opportunity that passes your way, but live your life the way you want and explore so that you can have experiences. Both good and bad will shape you because how else will you learn but by doing? Chase those dreams, make them a reality!

Dream Big, Dream Often

I think back to just a few years ago, when my life seemed to be empty professionally and personally, and think about how far I have come.  I am no longer working my retail job which, at the time, seemed like a prison. I have married Evelina and we have moved into a new townhouse.  Although my symptoms are tough to deal with right now, my neurologist believes the medical community is on the brink of terminating MS altogether!  Life for me is as good as it has ever been.

And I don’t believe it is by happenstance.

image credit: image credit:

I understand the frustration of all you dreamers out there.  Feeling you could do so much more and wondering why things just don’t seem to work out or why you don’t have a better job making more money.  Or why you can’t seem to meet the right partner.  Or why others have it better…

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Why Anticipating Failure Might Be the Key to Your Resolution Success!

Failure, or slip-ups, are a part of all aspects of life but especially a weight loss journey. They will happen. The important thing is acknowledging that it happened but not beating yourself up as you move forward. This post has a lot of good words of wisdom!

Dream Big, Dream Often

Next up on our list of 31 Ways to Achieve Amazing New Year’s Resolution Success are #6 & #7: Don’t get discouraged with short-term defeats and keep the big picture in mind.

I understand that many of you have commented and emailed me expressing your frustration with having tried to change in the past and the failures associated.  It is important to understand that everyone in every arena will fail at some point.


One way to deal with failure is to anticipate failing before it occurs and develop a plan for how you will deal with it.  You can even write down your strategy and read it to yourself when you experience a short-term setback.

If I have learned anything on my personal journey it is to anticipate all possibilities and have a plan mapped out ahead of time on how to deal with road bumps.  If you have your…

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You are So Worth It

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde

This simple little quote really says it all, doesn’t it? We need to choose to be ourselves because we are unique, valuable beings. It is important to be you and be proud to be who you are.

You are beautiful and you are worth it, remember that. There are no qualifications or conditions that make you so. You just are because you are a one-of-a-kind person with qualities and traits that make you uniquely you.

Take a moment now, if you can, and think about your beauty. Let it fill you with promise and love for yourself. You have something to offer the world. So remember that the next time you’re getting down on yourself. Think of all the things you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. Quiet that negative voice in your mind.

Now is the best time to start becoming the person we want to be.
-Alan Watts

It is never too late to build yourself up. If you or other people in your life have been continuously putting you down, then it might take longer to achieve results. However, it will never be too late to turn your self-image around… to learn how to love yourself.

Take it day by day. Think positive thoughts. Encourage yourself and become your own very best cheerleader. Tell yourself when you’re doing a good job, give yourself a pat on the back for it. Reward yourself from time to time for all of your hard work. You are worth all of this!

It is never too late to be who you might have been.
-George Elliot

Like I mentioned above, it truly is never too late to work on you. Why…? Because we will all be continuously working on ourselves throughout our lifetime. We are never done, and that is not a bad thing!

This gives us infinite possibilities to do what we want, to achieve the things we really want to achieve, and to spend time doing what we truly want to. It won’t be all puppies and rainbows, but it will definitely be rewarding and fulfilling.

The more you build yourself up, the more things you will be able to achieve… and the more you achieve, the higher your dreams will soar. I know this from personal experience. You will learn that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Life is full of chances and choices you might not have even considered before.

Your whole world shifts the more you believe in yourself and your abilities, your beauty and your worth. So let me tell you that the world is beautiful with this clarified view!

Join me in believing in you and your ability to make your dreams come true! I have faith in you!


Would you like quotes like this with encouraging words every day of the year? Check out my 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, which is on pre-order by clicking that link.


Winter Motivation Tips

This is Part 3 in a series about Winter Health and Fitness. You can find Part 1 here: Winter Fitness Tips and Part 2 here: Winter Healthy Comfort Tips.

Today I am discussing ways to keep your motivation strong throughout winter. Here are some tips that have helped me presently as well as last year:

  1. Keep your eyes on the goal: keep focused on your WHY:
    Why you want to lose weight, but also why doing your best throughout the winter to lose weight and improve your health is so important to you personally. What are you most looking forward to this coming spring or summer? Would you like to be healthier and be able to enjoy it even more?
  2. Think about each event coming up and focus on each one at a time:
    Holidays, seasons themselves, events, vacations, etc. Any kind of special occasion you’re looking forward to or have a party for. Use it to your advantage to keep you focused and on track.
  3. Stay focused on your goals:
    Think about your short-term goals. Make weekly and/or monthly goals that will help you stay focused on the here and now. If you have a long-term goal, breaking it into smaller and more manageable goals that you can focus on weekly will help immensely. That way you have something to look forward to but aren’t overwhelming yourself.
  4. Find supportive support:
    Having support is pretty important, but having the right support is even more important. Make sure you are choosing people that will support you and have your back no matter what. If you don’t have those kinds of people in your life already, try online support such as SparkPeople. You can find all kinds of support there: chat forum (even on the mobile app), friends, blogging feedback. Of course take everything with a grain of salt because where there are people, there are going to be negative nellies or just downright troublemakers.
  5. Create a motivation board just for winter:
    Have you ever heard of a “vision board?” Well, I prefer to call mine a motivation board because that’s how I see it. I fully plan on making a winter motivation board for short-term visualization purposes and have even started collecting pictures for it. So I encourage you to include all the things that motivate you: pictures, certain words/phrases, or other items that symbolize your WHY.
  6. Create and/or work on your Weight Loss Journal:
    There are so many ways to go about this and you can include anything at all that you want to. You should include the things that motivate and inspire you, as well as including some of your accomplishments. You can also include your progress pictures here, letters to yourself, descriptions of your healthy living goals and dreams or experiences themselves, pictures of things you like that represent healthy living. Starting my own weight loss journal saved me last winter. It helped keep me motivated and was very therapeutic to work on.


Some general life tips for getting through winter as well:

  • Do things you enjoy doing: read a good book, go to an indoor game place such as an arcade or bowling alley, go ice skating… just do anything fun that makes you excited and happy!
  • Keep warm: If you have a fireplace, sit in front of it or roast some marshmallows. Pretend you’re camping in your own living room. Remember what it was like to be a kid! Drink hot beverages (caloric ones in moderation), snuggle up with the pets/loved ones, get moving to get the blood flowing, etc.
  • Get out once in a while. If you’re like me, you might spend too much time indoors. So if you need to get out, get out. If the weather is bad, go somewhere indoors: the library, a mall, bowling alley/pool hall/arcade or something else, or simply make an enjoyable outing of your trip to the grocery store.
  • Sit and breathe. Focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and let your thoughts take you wherever they want… but guide them with positive vibes/thoughts. I guess you could call this meditating in a sense. I’m not sure about “meditating” myself but definitely enjoy a quiet moment just being.
  • Keep your hands and mind busy: Board games, puzzles, word searches/crossword puzzles/Sudoku, online games especially ones you need to play with actual people, active video games, and much much more!


What is your favorite way to combat the winter blues? Would you like to share any tips on keeping motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the colder and darker months?


Slow Cooked Gingerbread Oatmeal

This sounds pretty good, and maybe a bit healthier than some holiday foods!

Running On Healthy

I love sweets.  It is a serious issue for me.  After I stuffed my face on Thanksgiving and woke up craving gingerbread cookies, I knew I was in trouble.  It was as if my body sensed the holiday season had begun and it was time to start eating cookies.

wedding4 A little cookie love from last year.

I wanted to give in but since it was breakfast I set out to find a version I could eat anytime.  However, let me be the first to say that cookies are an anytime food.  I love cookies with coffee for breakfast!

I did a few searches to see if I could make oatmeal that tasted like gingerbread and the results were simply awesome.  I gave it my own twist to make it a little healthier, and also added a little “icing” to my recipe to give it a touch of sweetness.  Put this…

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