Christmas Link Up!

Crafty Healthy Mommy
Greetings! Time for another link up with Amber and Jennifer!
  1. Favorite Christmas song

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” – by Mariah Carey. It’s an oldie but a goodie. Hmmm….or any rendition of “O Holy Night.”

  1. Christmas song you can’t stand.

“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” – stupid song gets stuck in my head ALL.THE.DANG.TIME.

  1. Favorite holiday movie.

I love Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. It never ceases to make me laugh.

  1. Real or artificial tree?

Artificial. Ain’t no body got time for vacuuming up needles everyday!

  1. White or colored lights?

Hmm this is a toughie. Colored lights remind me of my childhood, but I love the clean look of the white lights.

  1. All matching ornaments or more random personal ornaments?

Random personal ornaments for the win! Growing up, my mom gave my brother and I a new Christmas ornament every year on Thanksgiving. Typically it was a souvenir from a family vacation that year, or something that meant something to us that year. For example, one year I got a ballet slippers ornament since I was accepted into the New Orleans Ballet.

  1. Favorite ornament.

I don’t really have a favorite – but I do love all the ornaments my mom kept that we made as kids, with our pictures or handwriting on them.

  1. Angel or star tree-topper?

Angel. Duh.

  1. Does Santa wrap presents or leave them unwrapped?

Santa does not wrap presents. He doesn’t have time for that either!

  1. Favorite childhood memory.

My favorite Christmas memory is going to my Grandmothers’ houses for Christmas ever year. I loved being with my aunts, uncles, and cousins that we didn’t get to see a lot – going out to the farm to play with the cows/goats, and eating a TON of great home cooking!

  1. Coffee, hot chocolate, or eggnog?

Hot chocolate!

  1. Christmas morning at home or do you travel?

We used to travel a lot as kids, so I’m interested to see what will happen with me and Donovan as our family grows. Right now, he can’t travel because of work, so we may be staying home!

  1. Traditional holiday meal or something unconventional?

Traditional. I can’t get over the turkey, sweet potatoes, and yule log cake!

  1. Personalized photo Christmas cards, store bought cards, e-cards, or “ain’t nobody got time for that”?

I love the personalized photo Christmas cards and seeing how cousins and family change and grow up over the years. My grandmother used to keep all of the Christmas cards she received over the years, and it was fun going back to look through them all each year.


What about you? Link up and share your Christmas fun!


Work Out Wednesday — Running and more Progress



Linking up again with Skinny Meg for another episode of Workout Wednesday. I did a post about running a few weeks ago. You can read that here. I’ve never been a good runner. I ran cross country in high school and was a fairly decent runner. My best 2 mile time was like 16 minutes. Not the best, but obviously not the worst. Since I’ve stopped running a few years back, and it’s been really hard to get back in the groove of running/jogging every day.

Since I’m doing the Kris Gethin 12 week trainer – it is suggested to do 40 minutes of cardio a day. That is a lot of cardio.  I typically just do 20 minutes before strength training. Depending on how tired i am, I might do another 20 minutes. But most likely I just go home after that. For the first 20 minutes, I switch it up between biking, elliptical, or jogging.  Whenever I decide to jog, I warm up by walking 1 lap at a slower pace – about 3.3 on the treadmill. Then, I jog until I can’t jog anymore. For the last few times I’ve jogged this has been about 3 laps – which is incredibly exciting for me. Then, I cool down with another lap at 3.3 pace. This typically takes me the full 20 minutes to do.

The two things I’m having trouble with right now is shin splints and breathing while running. Everytime I run, my shin splints go nuts. They literally hate me. I’ve been icing them down at night, stretching better, etc, but I don’t know how else to make it better. I feel like if I continue to take time off of jogging to heal my shin splints, it will just keep getting harder and harder to start running again.

The other thing I struggle with is breathing while running. I’ve read a few articles on line about “Belly breathing” versus “chest breathing” — but when I’m jogging at 4.7 speed (that is fast for me) it’s hard for me to determine which type of breathing I’m actually doing. I even try breathing out of my nose and mouth, but I can’t really tell if any of that is working.

If any of you out there in the blog/internet world have any suggestions about breathing or shin splints, definitely send them my way!

On another note, I can definitely see a bit of progress happening with my body. If you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen the picture I’ve posted below.

On April 14, 2012, Donovan proposed to me in West Dallas at one of our favorite venues. He veiled the surprise as a birthday dinner — so I went out and bought a new dress had a really long spa day. It was glorious. I knew something was probably coming, so I wanted to make myself look good. I ended up wearing top AND bottom spanx to help smooth out the dress. I was so uncomfortable, but all I wanted to do was look pretty for Donovan.





Just looking back on these pictures, I’m sort of embarrassed. This is probably the heaviest I’ve been in a long time. No telling what I weighed, but I was very unhappy with my job, and driving back and forth to see Donovan was quite draining.

This morning as I was getting dressed for work, I decided to wear this dress again. I hadn’t worn it in awhile, and I was looking for something easy to put on since it is hot outside. I was about to grab my spanx, but I turned to look in the mirror first, and was heavily surprised! The dress is actually a bit loose on me now! I decided not to opt for Spanx and I feel SO much more comfortable in this dress.



Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done, but it’s definitely a start. I’m still lumpy in places and not thin at all (i have muscular legs), but I’m proud of how far I’ve come just in the last 3 weeks. I’ve been pushing my self hard and really trying to watch what I’m feeding myself and Donovan. I’m slowly learning that a lot of weight loss revolves more around what you eat than strength training. Yes, it helps to work out and burn those calories, but what’s the point of eating a hamburger and then busting it for 3 hours at the gym to burn it off!?

This is definitely a huge lifestyle change for me. Thank you to everyone who leaves supportive comments, emails, and “likes” on Instagram. I still have a long way to go!

Workout Wednesday – Progress Edition



Happy Wednesday, y’all! Linking up again for another workout Wednesday. I was debating whether or not I should post pictures….but I don’t think I’m quite brave enough yet. I’m still a bit embarrassed where I am as far as weight/measurements, so posting pictures is way out of the question right now. May be I’ll get brave enough one day….

Although I’m not posting pictures, I do want to share a bit of progress with you. I haven’t weighed myself since I started this fitness routine/lifestyle change, so I can’t really tell you where I started. I  did weigh myself this morning, and it appeared that the weight was about the same as I think it was when I started. Sucky. HOWEVER, Donovan assures me that I’m gaining muscle and losing fat, and once I “cross over the muscle line” I’ll start burning fat like crazy. That would be awesome.

So far I’ve only noticed some weight changes have been in my chest area. Of course, the girls are the first to go! Not fair! My tops are fitting a bit looser, but not by much. Also, my athletic shorts are practically falling off my hips, but my regular pants/jeans are not. Weird. May be the elastic in the athletic shorts is burning out? Who knows.

I think the overall progress here is that I feel MUCH better. Not really as far as confidence-wise, but just healthy. I feel like the food I’m eating is cleaner and healthier than before, and that I know I’m doing a good thing for my body by exercising regularly. I told Donovan yesterday — it is SO easy to put on the pounds. A piece of cake here, a hamburger there. But it takes FOREVER and it is so HARD to get it off. UGH! BUT BUT BUT — I am determined and motivated this time. I’m not only doing this for me, but I’m doing it for Donovan and our future family. He/They are both worth it to me.

So to continue with progress, I’ve now added a tab at the top of the page to keep up with measurements. As embarrassing as it is, I guess I’ve got to start somewhere.

How do you track your progress?


Late Workout Wednesday Post


So I forgot to post my Workout Wednesday post yesterday. Yikes. Sorry. It was a really busy day and I was just exhausted when I got home. Today’s/yesterday’s post is about my love/hate relationship with spin cycling.

I’ve only been going to spin class for about a month now — once a week, sometimes twice depending on how tired I am — but I’m really starting to get the hang of it. One thing I’ve learned about spinning is that MUSIC is key. Last night I went to spin with my friend Shannon (Hi, friend!) and the instructor played a few country songs and a lot of slower songs. What. I cannot work out to country songs. That is my beer drinking music. It must not get confused with biking/exercise music. Although the songs were slow, that meant that we had to “ride heavy” – aka: add as much resistance as you can. I can barely stand on the pedals and jump and make them go around in a circle when the resistance is that high. I much more prefer speed training workouts than resistance. I know it’s all strength training, but that is just my preference. All in all – the more inappropriate the music, the more I will want to bike. I’m taking David Banner, Reggatone, Lil John, etc.

Another important key to spin cycling is the instructor. I love an instructor who will push me and the others in the class – but not FORCE us to do the workout. I like having the flexibility to sit and pedal for a few seconds to catch my breath and not get made fun of. I don’t want to injure myself and I definitely don’t want to throw up. I’m not strong enough to go a full class at balls-to-the-wall speed/resistance quite yet, but it is helpful to have a good motivator.

Another thing I find awesome about spin class is the range of people who attend. I mean, there’s the guy in the front of the class going nuts on the bike. He obviously rides in real life- outdoors. He also knows all the answers to the Tour-De-France trivia questions the instructor asks. Then there is the one girl who looks like a Kardashian and doesn’t even put her hair in a ponytail. She doesn’t even look sweaty when she leaves. I still don’t get that because I look like I’ve been hit by a very sweaty bus. Then there’s the back row — larger folks who are just trying to make it through the workouts like me (except my friend Shannon – she is a baller…and not large!!) . Yesterday I biked next to a larger black woman who was HYSTERICAL. She’s really proactive about losing weight and was very inspiring. Not to mention I laughed at every cuss word that came out of her mouth.

I also love how many calories I burn a session — anywhere from 700 – 1,000. It’s insane. And then I’m starving afterwards. Awesome.

Have y’all done spin cycling yet? Any tips for me?

5 Things on a Friday

Does anybody else wake up singing Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song on Fridays? No? Just me? Ok….

5 on Friday - logo option1


Anywho…5 on a Friday. This is going to be a random 5 things!

1. I tried Spark this morning. 


I have never had Advocare Spark before, but I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately — Mama Laughlin and Skinny Meg — among others who really advocate for Advocare! I don’t exercise in the morning – I can barely get myself out of bed in the morning. Ask my husband. I like my sleep. Once I’m up though, I’m up – especially on work days. I HATE being late to work. I could always use a little extra pep in the morning – and who knows, if this gives me the energy boost I need, may be I WILL start working out in the morning! HA!

Anyways, I tried Spark for the first time this morning. It is an energy/vitamin drink that supposedly keeps you focused and energized. I purchased the mandarin orange flavor and mixed it with a cup of water to drink with my breakfast this morning. (I’ve been eating a fiber + English Muffin with PB for breakfasts lately). Surprisingly, the taste wasn’t awful. It’s not sweet, so that was disappointing, but I could at least choke it down without vomiting or gagging. It really just tasted like unsweetened orange juice. I drank the juice around 8:30am this morning, and it’s now almost 2pm and I haven’t really felt the effects of the caffeine. Perhaps I’m immune to caffeine now? It’s possible I guess. I’m going to keep trying it just in case my body just needs to acclimate. We’ll see I guess.

2. I’m obsessed with eating brown rice + meat dishes lately 

photo 1

I really don’t know what it is, but lately all I want to do is eat brown rice and “flavored” meat. Lemon Ground Turkey, Chicken Stir Fry, Sesame Chicken + brown rice. You name it! WHY IS IT SO ADDICTING?? I guess it’s better than eating white rice, though…or McDonald’s.

3. I’m in love with our wedding photos. 

Especially this gem:



Our photographer, Caitlin, from The Story Photography, did an AMAZING job! I can’t stop looking at all of our photos! It’s so much fun to relive all of the fun parts of the wedding (not the stressful planning!) You can see the great job she did on my bridals here and our engagements here.

4. What is up with Facebook and Google Mail updates? 

Seriously! I logged onto facebook this morning, and there was an update. Same with Google mail. No- I do not like sorting my mail into folders like that. Ugh. Why ya gotta go and mess up a good thing, huh?


Thank goodness it’s almost the weekend! I was hoping for a relaxing 2 days off, but it looks like we might be busier than expected! We’re planning to hold a garage sale tomorrow morning to get rid of all of our duplicate stuff we don’t need since we now live together. I’m also supposed to go get my hair highlighted tomorrow. It’s about time. Then, celebrating my mom’s birthday, church, and may be a bit of laundry and meal planning. Sheesh. I’m ready for another vacation!




Workout Wednesday- Setback Addition


Linking up with Skinny Meg today for another addition of Workout Wednesday.

I’m not going to lie – I was really discouraged Monday night. Donovan and I went to ride bikes after work, and halfway through the ride (about 4 miles) I suddenly felt nauseous and lightheaded. It’s been a REALLY long time since I got lightheaded riding a bike. Even in spin cycling class I don’t get light headed! Then, at the end of the ride (about 7 miles) I felt nauseous again. When we got back into the house, it seriously took me about 30 minutes to recover. I was so mad at myself.

For the last 3 weeks I’ve suffered from a horrible sinus infection — including antibiotics and cough medicine and the whole 9 yards. Then, this past weekend, when I started feeling better again, we were in Missouri where I ate like crap and didn’t exercise. Monday, when I got off work, I knew I wanted to get back started again on the fit train, but it just really took it out of me.

Last night I decided to go for a walk/jog or a wog as Jennifer says. It was blistering hot outside – probably 100+ degrees – even at 6pm. It typically takes me about 30 minutes to wog 2 miles which isn’t bad considering what my 2 mile run time was in high school …..but we”ll just leave that out of this.

I will say, I was pleasantly surprised when I ended my wog and found out I had burned almost 500 calories just from a 2 mile wog!!! WHAT!

photo (3)

Seeing those calories burn was definitely a boost of confidence – even for just 37 minutes! Tonight I plan to go back to spin cycling and jump back on the bike.

Through all of this I’ve learned that it is okay to heat poorly and not exercise every once in a while. It should never happen often, but you just have to jump back on the fitness train and get back to it. Yes, it is discouraging. Yes, it is frustrating. But you just have to get out there and do it.

What are your best motivational tips for when you step off the fitness train for a few days?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

5 Things on a Friday

5 on Friday Logo - Final


Linking up again with these wonderful ladies for 5 things I’m thinking about on Friday!

1. I hate being sick. 

photo (2)

Last week I was really under the weather with a bad sinus infection. I ended up working from home last Wednesday, and it’s been a really slow recovery this week. Then, last night, Dono came home from work not feeling well, either. Certainly in the first year of marriage we knew we’d be sharing a lot – but now we’re sharing sicknesses!

2. I really want to have a garage sale! 



Since we got married, we’ve been stockpiling our guest bedroom with the things we want to get rid of. I mean, we really don’t need 3 blenders. Granted, the junk in our spare room is not hurting anything, it is driving me crazy! Does anyone else go through crazy spells where you just want to throw everything away? I must be watching too many episodes of Hoarders because I’m ready for that stuff to go!!

3. I’m craving some junk food. like WHOAH.


As Holly says…..Greta is just around the corner, so I’m craving everything that I should not be eating. I’d love to have a Gloria’s chicken burrito. TCBY. Chik Fil A. Movie Popcorn. You name it, and I want to eat it!

4. Fourth of July plans


It’s no surprise to anyone in our circle that 4th of July is my husband’s favorite holiday. There’s something about drinking beer, lighting fireworks, and sweating that just makes him jump up and down with excitement. He loves going up to his parents’ house in Missouri since they typically have a party and there is a lot of drinking involved. We went last year (me for the first time) and it was really fun. We really want to go again this year, but I’m afraid I may not be able to get off work. Because of the wedding, I’ve already spent all my vacation days for the year already, and my boss has been generous to give me more days than normal, so I fear asking for more days off. How would  y’all handle this???

5. I need a vacation. 



Now that the weather is super hot, I got exhausted just walking to my car. The heat is just draining. It makes me wish I was back on the beach, reading a good book, and swimming in the ocean.