Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fun with #ProgressOh!

I appreciate how Progresso supports a positive feeling and satisfaction in wise food choices, and those "Oh!" moments of just being so proud! While I've not given 100% to my exercise goals, I've been good with my food choices and haven't put on the weight I lose in January! And Progresso wants to help me celebrate that!

You might have seen some television commercials about the chance of winning the ultimate ProgressOh! make-Oh-ver experience in Hollywood, with 3 winners getting roundtrip airfare to LA, with 4 days hotel accommodations, a head-to-toe makeover, 2 tickets to the season's live finale of The Biggest Loser, and $2000 spending money!

Here's how to enter:
  • Visit
  • Complete an official entry form
  • Share a photo
  • Tell us why you love Progresso soup
  • Tell us why you deserve a ProgressOh! makeover
Leave a comment and telling me you've entered and be in the running to win a ProgressOh! Gift pack of:
2 cans of Progresso® soup
Light Creamy Potato with Bacon & Cheese
Light Chicken Pot Pie Style
 Cosmetic Bag
Compact Mirror and Brush
progressoh giveaway

***All opinions are 100% my own. The information, products and ProgressOh! gift packs were provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.***

Friday, January 18, 2013

We're over half-way through January, and I'm not doing so well on my New Year's goals! Good thing I always have the present to get going!

But one thing that I have been able to do is to cut back on the sugary snacks -- because we've cut out the sugar! The first few days of January, I would tell myself, only one sugary treat each day; so I could have a piece of chocolate at lunch or dinner...not both and then some! While that did help, I noticed the best way for me was just to cut sugar out. It also helps that my husband and I do a Daniel Fast each January. A perk of this Daniel Fast is losing some weight due to cutting out sugar and processed carbs. And now that we're in the middle of a short-term food change, this will jump-start me in doing something about cutting back on my sugary snacks. I can remember the success with cutting it all out!

A Daniel Fast is based on the Bible's book of Daniel, where Daniel ate vegetables and drank water. So we've adopted a strict vegan-like diet for the past 2 weeks. We have mostly spiritual reasons for doing so, but there are huge benefits we enjoy. My body did have to adjust to not having protein from meat, but it's also a way of naturally detoxing -- no extra products, just natural produce. This is my detox for the soul & body!

How are you doing with your health commitments?

Image courtesy of Carlos Porto /

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fun and Easy Fashion!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Fashion. Before I had kids, I was more in-tune to the fashion world. And because I often traveled to another fashion-forward city, I would often be ahead of the fashion trends in the MidWest.  But now, I'm lucky to have on a matching accessory -- my fashion sense is not a strong suite, and now with all on this mommy's plate, my desire and ability to stay current has dwindled. I'm all about simple, classic, comfortable, and (honestly) no-fuss!

I created a look on that is me -- I do like the sweater dress pairing with leggings, in my two favorite colors, white and black, and the blending of those colors, gray. If that dress is neutral enough, I can change the color of tights for another fun look -- my no-fuss fashion sense! No nonsense tights and leggings are about helping create those easy pops of colors with their colorful selection, without creating a huge hole in the budget.



In addition, Jill Martin, style expert, Emmy Award-winning TV personality, and co-author of the New York Times bestselling style guide I Have Nothing To Wear! is teaming up with No nonsense! She said, "The new tights and leggings are on-trend and very high quality without breaking the bank. They're just my type of product!" No nonsense tights can easily be found in food and drug stores, as well as mass retail store.This sounds like this mommy's type of product too -- affordable, fun, and durable. 


Be sure to follow No nonsense on Facebook and on Twitter at @benononsense to keep up with Jill Martin's helpful fashion tips!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Health Commitment This Year

My health commitment this year is to make the most of opportunities to improve my life and that of my family.

Personally, I want to exercise regularly, cut out sugary snacks, and drink more water. Regular exercise is great across the board -- it'll keep muscles (and bones later) strong for this year and years to come, and hopefully it'll keep the metabolism revving! The sugary snacks is a response to my emotional eating; I need to be self-disciplined to stop those empty calories! I need to drink more water as I tend to only drink water when I'm thirsty, which is a sign that it's really too late to keep hydrated.

But we've also decided as a family to eat as naturally as we can, and we are avoiding those packages that trumpet "natural" because often natural is not the same as organic. So that means we look for local products at our farmers' markets, and while some are not truly organic, it has been minimally processed and handled by fewer people that those products at the grocery store. For some items, the difference in price is hardly noticeable, so it does take a bit more time and priorities to stick to a budget. We want our food closest to the way it was naturally created. While the health benefits are better, in my opinion, the taste is often more full; produce or livestock that has not been genetically modified to grow faster and stronger might not be as big, but have a fuller flavor to them -- give it a try on heirloom tomatoes and the "regular" tomatoes or splurge (as it often is) on organic chicken. While I do admire the scientist and engineers who can reformulate a plant's dna, I'm also skeptical on the effects in my body (and that of my child) from those alterations.

What are your health commitments this year?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Once again, it's here! We survived the end of the Mayan Calendar year, and we're looking ahead, hopefully now down a fiscal cliff. Wow, I digress.

Looking back, my goals were generally reached. Many had to do with attitude and initiative and were not too measurable. I know I got distracted several times during the year, but as I evaluate where I am now with a year ago, I'm still satisfied.

Discovering the Me in Mommy's Goals
1. Write more frequently
2. Get more faithful readers as I'm faithful to read others' blogs
These goals were tough for me as I struggled to balance my time -- was my face in front of the computer or in front of my family and friends? But with some encouragement, I did realize that it's not all or nothing. 
Personal Spiritual Goals
1. Be more excited to regularly read my Bible 
This has proven true as I've had opportunity to regularly share with teens what I've been reading.

Personal Goals
1. Exercise 2-3 times a week
Yes, and then some! Under advice of a friend, I try to do 3-4 times a week, for 45 minutes each -- and I sweat more than I thought I was able to (Sorry, TMI)
2. Drink 6-8 cups of water each day
Um, no.
3. Come up with creative learning projects for my toddler
Just fair here.
4. Renew my teaching license
2/3 of the way there
5.Support and encourage my husband
Hopefully he'd say that was successful! I do feel that we're more connected now than last year.

So where do I go from here?
A friend shared how new year's resolutions tend to revolve around me (lost weight, spend less, quit smoking), and while those are good things, how am I wanting to better my life as it relates to helping others and bettering their lives?
So this year, I'm also considering an "others" category, so that I can be more intentional about meeting needs of the people around me.

Discovering the Me in Mommy's Goals
1. Consistently write 2-3 times a week.
2. Get more faithful readers as I'm faithful to read others' blogs
Personal Spiritual Goals
1. Develop a more varied and deeper prayer life.

Personal Goals
1. Exercise 3-4 times a week and cut out sugary sweets as snacks! (yikes, did I actually write that?!?)
2. Drink 6-8 cups of water each day
3. Play better with my child
4. Finish renewing my teaching license
5.Support and encourage my husband - either write down or tell him how I do appreciate him

"Others" Goals
1. Have more people over to the house for dinner (and not worry what they think about my decor or organization skills)
2. Make more phone calls to keep in touch with people or just call those who might not have many friends

Photo Credit: Image: digitalart /

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What I've Learned this Past Month

This has been a fun time for me! While I did forget a few things (none of which were life-changing, major), I was able to truly enjoy the festive and thankful time with my family.

1. Being real and genuine doesn't have to be totally organized, and I'm ok with that.
I've been wanting to get better connected with our neighbors since we've moved in, and finally after about 3 years, we've made huge progress. It helps that our bachelor-neighbor has gotten married and received a little boy who also likes playing with my little one! Two of our neighbors dropped by unexpectedly, and I invited them into our toy-littered living room, with couch overflowing with coats and other items that failed to make it to their proper place. But even though it wasn't as "perfect" as I'd have wanted, it represented that we're a far-from-perfect family, but we live in the here-and-now.

2. Gift-giving doesn't have to be complicated.
I was a little worried that I hadn't found the "perfect" gifts for our friends and family. I had shopped some during the year and purchased things that I thought the receiver would like. I also managed to score some holiday deals for things I knew would be liked, and this year, I had to spend less. Yet, most every (as we still have a "Christmas" to do still!) present was received much better than I had anticipated. Truly the heart is enough.

3. Laughter is always good.
We had a "blizzard warning" a few days ago. While it's really not blizzard-like, it's a bit more than normal for us. My husband went out to shovel the driveway, and my daughter and I went out to play! We ended up with a snowball fight, and our laughter carried down the street! That was such a sweet sound to my ears, to see, hear, and feel the fun it was to live life together as a family. I'm truly blessed!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops Review

I'm seem to be quite susceptible to sore throats, and as all sorts of viruses and illnesses are making their grand appearance, I'm on the look out for natural remedies. I had the opportunity to try Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops. When I opened the container, I was a bit surprised to find

"softish" throat drops -- somewhere between your hard lozenges and chewy gummies. I really like the Wild Cherry Flavored ones, as it provides a sweet cherry flavor, without being too overwhelming. 

The Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops have a very interesting story, as I found on the web site. Originally created in 1870, Herman Pine used the "soothing natural qualities of glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia" to relieve sore throatts. The company ended up being sold several times, but recently has been acquired by the creator and former owner of Airborne, Victoria Knight-McDowells. They are proud to announce their re-launch after 15 years, with the original Pine Brothers recipes. Note that it is gluten-free, naturally flavored, and only 5 calories.

I really like the "puck" design; it's easy to carry around the lozenges and not worry about making too much noise unraveling a wrapper during church or a meeting! Fighting the urge to chew it quickly, the throat drops do provide soothing relief. They are also safe to give to children over three.

You'll want to try these for cold & flu season. And share them with your family -- they might remember these from times before!

***I was provided with Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops for a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.***

Monday, November 26, 2012

Need More Energy? Need to Lose Weight? Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract Review

Kleissinger Labs Green Coffee Bean Extract 400mg 60 Caps w/ Svetol (As Seen on The View & Dr. Oz)

With the official "holiday season" in full swing, many of us need energy! I thought of that as I went out to a store late on Thanksgiving night, and just the idea of people storming the stores to get good deals, as I stood waiting to check out, made me even more tired -- I was glad to get back home and to bed!

I was sent Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract (as seen on The View and Dr. Oz) to try. Some coffee companies are also selling new brewed coffee from green, unroasted beans. Knowing that I cannot handle a lot of caffeine, I asked my husband to try the Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract. He said that he did feel more energized -- it lasted about 16 hours. Unfortunately, he took it in the middle of the day and had trouble sleeping! So this is perfect for those seeking a natural way to have more energy for those long days.

However, Svetol®   is most popular for its fat burning abilities (as Dr. Oz promoted it for weight loss). The properties of Svetol®  help you lose weight and trim down your body. You can read more about Svetol Research here. While we have not tried this product for weight loss, I do know of other companies who target weight loss with caffeine.

If you're interested in weight loss or more energy, you can purchase Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract from Best Price Nutrition for $13.99, which is 44% off the MSRP. Let me know how you're feeling!

***I was given a bottle of Svetol Green Coffee Bean Extract for a review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.***

Monday, November 19, 2012

Trains, and Automobiles!

I haven't been on a train for long distances with my child, but I've heard that trains tend to lull children to sleep!

As for travel by car, here are a few tips we've tried or have had recommended to us!

1. Plan several activities, whether it's "I Spy" or "Road Trip Bingo" games, books, or busy bags. Visit the dollar store for several unexpected, new, and fun items!

2. Get some fun music for the car -- sing-a-longs aren't bad once in a while!

3. Don't forget the snacks! Pack a cooler with some drinks (and we even pack yogurt for protein-packed power).

4. Bring a spare change of clothes for everyone!

5. Pack medicines or emergency medicines.

6. Don't a bag for trash, or a little trash can.

7. For the "Are we there yet" folks, Once A Month Mom suggested showing the miles traveled graphically on the sun visor
DIY Vacation Trip Tracker - keep the kids from asking "Are we there yet?"

8. Start early in the morning or late at night. For some driving at night helps children sleep -- that is not the case with us!

9. Use electronics, if and when possible. And headphones!
See how the library can also help!

10. Be safe and enjoy!

Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon /