Tuesday, May 20, 2014

HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training--It's scary to hear I know, but this 20 minute work out will leave you feeling...let's be honest, EXHAUSTED! But afterwards, you'll feel so good about yourself and you'll want to continue making positive changes for yourself.  

HIIT is THE best cardio work out to burn fat.  Why is this?  Because relatively, fat is used by the body to fuel lower intensity workouts than higher intensity workouts. 

20 Minute HIIT 
1:00 Jumping Jacks
 :30 Side Lunges
 :30 Squats
1:00 Jogging in place
 :30 Burpes
 :30 Lunges
1:00 Jumping Rope
 :30 Mountain Climbers
 :30 Speed Skaters
1:00 Butt kicks
 :30 Lunge kicks
 :30 Squats
1:00 Marching in place
 :30 Side lunges
 :30 Push up

Do the entire workout twice for the complete 20 minute work out.  

Cool down with a slow jug.  

Remember to hydrate and go at your own pace.  

You may be slow, but you're still lapping everyone that's on the couch. 

For a healty snack that's only 430 calories to give your body some fuel take 
1  100% Thomas' Whole Wheat thin sliced bagel
2 Tablespoons Natural Peanut Butter
4 strawberries sliced
1 banana sliced 

Spread the peanut butter onto the bagel and top with fresh bananas and strawberries.  

*Strawberries contain a phytochemical that may increase the production of leptin, a hunger-suppressing hormone, and adiponectin, a hormone that accelerates fat burning and may fight diabetes.





Thursday, May 8, 2014

Harper: My Angel

A month ago today my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our second child.  Then a week later our world was flipped upside down.  This is my story of my miscarriage.

April 8, 2014
A day that I will never forget.  I learned I was pregnant with my second child.  Kingston was going to be a big brother.  I’ll tell you, I was overjoyed that a second baby was going to be joining us in a matter of a few short months and scared as hell at the same time.  Memories of the pain from labor came flooding back since I had just done it 8 months ago.  More fear rose in me because we had just closed on our house the month before and we are in debt up to our ears with the purchase and trying to establish a new budget on our incomes.  Over all the fear and worrying about how we were going to make this work financially I was jumping up and down on the inside and out with excitement.  I took two more pregnancy tests to make sure.  I had taken a few a few days prior with negative responses.  We accepted it; we were happy; our plan of expanding our family was right on schedule. 

Over the next week we discussed ways of telling our family that we were pregnant.  We talked about giving our family Easter cards with a picture of Kingston telling them he was going to be a big brother. Or before Easter dinner, I would say a prayer and add at the end, “…and please Lord, bless this baby in my tummy?! Aaaammenn!” But in turn we decided to have Easter eggs on everyone’s plate with goodies and inside I would put a ribbon that says ‘It’s a Girl’ and ‘It’s a Boy’ inside each egg and let everyone be surprised when they opened them.

April 16, 2014

I was working on the surprise Easter announcement in Kingston’s play room as he played happily on the floor.  I was stuffing the eggs and getting them ready for our Easter dinner.  I got up and went to the restroom and notice I had some light pink spotting when I wiped. Being through pregnancy once before, I didn’t think too much of it.  Light spotting like this is normal.  So I informed my husband and he too didn’t seem too alarmed by it.  I remembered what my doctor said to me the first time this happened, so I went and got a giant glass of water and went a put my feet up and relaxed. 

As the night went on, I started to feel some cramping.  Again, I thought to myself, I’m about 6 or 7 weeks in and this is when my cramping started when I was pregnant with Kingston.  But as the night progressed, the cramping intensified.  I got up and went to the restroom again.  My fear was growing as I saw that I no longer had light pink spotting, but bright red blood and clotting pass into the toilet and onto the paper. 

Immediately, my worst fear had overcome me.  I remember telling Grant and walking to our bed in a stoupper.  I just laid there and prayed to God that this wasn’t the end.  I asked him to make the bleeding stop and to let me carry this baby to term.  Grant consoled me as tears ran down my face. 

A short amount of time later, the pain was in full swing.  I knew for sure that this was it for our sweet baby.  I was contracting and bleeding more heavily as the pain only intensified. At this point, I had given up.  I was angry with myself, my body, and God.  I wanted this baby; I wanted Kingston to be a big brother.  The pain had only gotten worse, so I took a Percocet to help with the pain and lull me to sleep. 

April 17, 2014

I woke the next morning and called my mom at work.  I said, “Mom I started bleeding last night and I shouldn't be.”  She said, “Well, when did your period end?” “Mom, that’s thing, my period shouldn’t even be here right now.” She immediately began apologizing and asking me how far along I was in the pregnancy and that this is just awful that I had to go through this. I told her I was going to call the doctor’s office and talk to them and see what they wanted me to do. 

After they opened, I called and they ordered me to have blood work done to determine if I was having/or had a miscarriage.  I already knew the answer to it.  I held myself together and went and had my blood drawn.  2 hours later the nurse called me and told me that my hormone levels were only 4 and I had miscarried the night before.  She was sweet and talked with a sincere voice.  I sounded strong and felt strong physically and mentally.  I had told myself I accepted it.  That the baby was only about 6 or 7 weeks in and it would be easy for me to move on.  The rest of the day I went about as usual.  I took care of Kingston, watched Grey’s Anatomy, and continued on with my life. 

April 18, 2014


The next I returned to work and just felt numb all the morning.  When I got home shortly after noon, I just wanted to lie on the couch and not do anything.  I remember starting to look at Pinterest and searched miscarriage. I read sweet poems that made me cry a little and I missed my baby more. Two of which made me break down completely.   



The tears had started flowing and I couldn't stop. I was sobbing uncontrollably and asking and pleading with God to let me have my baby back.  I just wanted to hold him or her, if not for forever just once in my arms and then He could have the baby back.  By this time I was texting Grant begging him to come home and telling him that I wasn't fine.  I needed him.  I held up great the day before, but I couldn't bear it any longer.  All my bottled up emotions burst out of me.  Grant kept telling me that he couldn't leave work.  I had to deal with my grief alone.  I had Kingston home with me, but how could an 8 month old baby understand what I was going through?  I was in for a big surprise.  

I stripped him down and my self down and sat in the warm shower and cried holding my baby that I had with me here on Earth.  We sat in the warm water and I told him that he is still a big brother, but his sibling was up in Heaven with Jesus and the angels.  After telling him this, it's like Kingston understood my pain and why Mommy was crying.  He let me hold him like a baby again, like I would when I cradled him near my chest when he was first born or when I was feeding him.  And then his big, bright eyes lit up, gave me a sweet, sincere smile and put his hand on my face.  At that moment I felt a weight lifted off me and the tears started to slow.  We sat cuddled in the warm water for a few minutes more and then we got out, got dressed and went and played and watched Monster's University.  

I was still sad when Grant finally got home shortly after 5. He was apologetic for not being able to leave work.  He understood that I needed him and that I was having my break down.  But looking back on it now, in a way, I'm okay with the fact that he didn't come home when I was begging him to.  That moment of holding Kingston in the shower came to me as I believe to be an answered prayer from God.  I wanted to hold my baby that was taken too soon and he let me.  

I haven't told any one yet of what I experienced. I told Grant that Kingston laid still for a bit to let me hold him like I did when he was a tiny baby, but that's it.  

That evening Grant and I were talking about why I might have miscarried.  Something was wrong with the egg or the sperm.  Maybe the egg didn't implant how it should have.  I learned that 1 in every 4 women loses a baby to miscarriage.  I'm now part of the statistic.  

I told him that I wanted to name our little angel.  I didn't want to refer to the baby as "it" or "the baby".  So we choose a gender neutral name and decided on Harper.  I think about Harper every day and how big my baby bump would be today if he/she was still in my tummy.  December 9th was my expected due date.  That day will be hard, but we'll get through it. 

With Mother's Day on Sunday, I'm excited to celebrate it really for the first time.  Grant gave me a card last year, but I was still only pregnant with Kingston, this year it will be different. My family will thank me for being a wife to Grant and mother to a sweet little boy, but I wonder if any one will remember, and take into consideration, that I'm not just a mother to a Sunshine baby, but I'm a mother to an Angel baby as well? 

I have faith that one day, God will allow me to carry a baby or two again to term and Grant and I will have our Rainbow Baby and Kingston will be a big brother that can tell his siblings here on Earth about Harper. 

So this Mother's Day, thank your moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters or cousins for being such a great mother to their child.  Say a prayer for those babies up in heaven who have gone home too soon and remember what the day is about. 

To all those moms out there that are celebrating Mother's Day to either a Sunshine Baby, an Angel Baby, a Rainbow Baby, or even a mother to a pet...Happy Mother's Day.


--Cindel

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Top Style Trends for Spring 2014

Spring is in the air which means new fashion trends are just around the corner. I love when a new season comes back into play again.  I’m always excited to read about and see the latest trends for that season.  Plus, many are excited when they can pack away their bulky winter wear for fun flirty colors. 

This spring’s colors and patterns are going to be all the rage and people won’t be able to get enough of them.  Unleash your inner fashionista with some of these picks for the spring season. 

Colors of Spring.

Every year Pantone releases the top colors of the season.  This spring the colors are mixed with pretty pastels and electric, vivid brights that will inspire many great color combos for any occasion. 

Here are the Top 10 Women’s Pantone’s Colors for Spring 2014.   


This season the color to wear for women is Pantone’s Dazzling Blue.  Who doesn’t love a pretty navy shade?  It’s a great motivator for sales as well since many already have the shade in their wardrobe. 
  1. Dazzling Blue
  2. Violet Tulip
  3. Radiant Orchid
  4. Celosia Orange
  5. Freesia
  6. Cayenne
  7. Placid Blue
  8. Paloma
  9. Sand
  10. Hemlock 

The Top 10 Men’s Pantone’s Colors of Spring 2014















The color to wear this season for men is Placid Blue.  Guys really can work this handsome sky blue from the professional button down to simple golf polo, this color is the color for men this spring. 

Pretty in Pastels
Of course you can’t forget the springy colors of pastel.  The spring season is all about pastels.  It’s a fad that will never die because pastels compliment most skin tones beautifully.   Pastels are perfect with the fresh, light, airy vibe for the renewal of the season.  Hemlock greens and placid blues are pegged to be the pastel colors of the season, but of course we can’t forget about a pretty mint shade or peach tone to invite spring into your wardrobe. 


Boho top paired with peach skinny jeans, gold sandals, purple bubble necklace and Butter London Nail Lacquer in Molly Coddled for the perfect mani-pedi!


Colors from left to right white, cream, cayenne, freesia, lime and hemlock!

A neutral color that works for every season is camel, a light shade of beige.  This color is popular during every season because it can be paired with many different colors and patterns.  Go ahead, peek in your closet and see what you have in this color. 

Flirty in Florals

Florals are in full bloom this spring.  This trend is synonymous with Spring and allows you to experiment with more patterns and colors that aren't as loud as some like cheetah print for example. 

Loud in Logos

Talk about a blast from the past, the 90s have are back and so are the fashion world’s love for logos and labels. This is one of the edgier trends for this season.  Pair these logos and labels with a pair of skinny’s and awesome heels for a fashionable street style look. 

Another street style that has come out of retirement in the fashion world are overalls.  Pair some overalls with a crop top with your favorite logo for a street style straight from the 90s. 



Lovely in Lace

This timeless fabric just isn't for bridal attire.  It adds the perfect touch to any spring outfit for a lovely, elegant look. Pair a lace top with a pretty in pink pastel and a touch of floral like a scarf or a fun blazer to compose the perfect spring outfit.

Partying in Pleats

Now, many people argue that pleats just don’t work well for their body type.  Most of the time you just need to find the right pleat style that compliments your body.  For example, if you don’t want a lot of emphasis on your behind try a stitched down pleats instead of voluminous ones.  Pleats are going to be a high demand this spring from preppy princess to punk chick.  The right accessories can pull together a great outfit. 

Socks and Heels

Remember the movie Clueless?  As if you could forget it. Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher and her best friend Dionne are a prime example of what I’m getting out.  Their outfits were completed perfectly by their knee high socks and heels.  Umm, hello.  The perfect shoes can pull together any outfit that may need just a little oomph.

“You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet.” -Cher



Sweet in Sweaters
Don’t go packing up all your winter clothes just yet.  Remember Spring can have its cooler days and you’re going to want something to keep you from getting too chilly. Our love for adorable knitwear haven’t let us down yet.  Keep warm by throwing a cute sweater over your fave spring dress or pair it with your favorite pleated skirt to compose the perfect cool, spring day outfit.  Pair it with some beige tights or socks to help tie the outfit together.  Just make sure that the colors still relate to the spring season and that the sweater fits well on your shoulders and isn't too baggy and bulky to avoid the illusion of frumpiness.   


Some of the hottest styles for spring 2014 are probably already in your closet now.  Revamp your wardrobe and have fun creating new outfits and experimenting with different prints and patterns that could accent the popular floral pattern that will be all the rage this season.  This season’s styles are going to be ones to talk about.  Remember fashion fades, but style is forever.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Kids



Home Management

                                                                     Monthly Bill Organizer

                                                             Monthly Expenses Tracker


Monthly Bill Organizer


Starting a home management binder or needing help budgeting expenses.  Try my simple Monthly Bill Organizer.  An easy way to keep track of your monthly expenses and to help make your life a little more organized.


Monthly Expenses Tracker


I'm starting to re-figure our budget since we've purchased a house.  In a previous post, I've given you all the option to download my free Monthly Bill Organizer. So now, here's my free Monthly Expenses Tracker. This is to help you keep track of where you spent your money for the month. You can add your bills to it, along with where else you spent your money.  For example, you purchased gas, lunch, and had to buy a new pair of boots.  You would record the date of purchase, where you purchased, the amount, and how you paid.  Then at the end of the month, total up your bills and the other expenses and see how much you spent that month.  I'm looking into starting Dave Ramsey's Envelope System next.



















Download my free Monthly Expenses Tracker Here

Username and Password Log

Keep track of your usernames and passwords easily.  Place this in your Home Management binder for a quick reference.





















Get my free Username and Password Log HERE

Monday, February 17, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

I just wanted to share with you all a some laughter, smiles, roses, and the kisses.

It's Kingston's first Valentine's Day, so to commemorate this day, I took some special Valentine's pictures of him that I can keep forever.  He'll always be Mommy's Valentine.











-Cindel

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How My New Year's Resolution is Making Our Move Organized

We all make them...New Year's Resolutions.  We vow that this new year we are going to work out more and eat healthier, or read more books, or take up a new hobby.  Like most, after about a week you break that resolution.  This year my resolution was to be more clean and organized and I can happily say that I'm still keeping my end of the bargain a month into the new year.  

I've always been a list-y person and after having my son I wouldn't be able to keep my head on straight if I didn't take up organizing and planning.  Now, I don't live a strictly planned day-to-day life.  I schedule things out and go with the flow.  I have a plethora of time to play with my sweet boy every day.  I work on projects when he's content in his play gym or napping. 

Each day I try to complete at least one project.  With a new house in our near future my projects have been consisting of organizing for our big move. Did I mention that my husband and I have purchased our first home? Among the mountains of stuff that we have accumulated and stuffed into every nick and cranny of our two bedroom apartment I've started on projects that will help make moving easier.

Tips and Projects 

Make a Moving Key. 
By color coordinating your boxes will help make moving much easier.  After you get into your new house map out what room the boxes will go in.  Once that is complete add a colored dot or tape to the door frame so the movers or your helpers, if you're moving DIY style, know where to put the boxes.

Home Inventory List 
Make a Home Inventory checklist of the items you can't pack and where you would like them to be when your moving in. This again will help keep your moving process efficient and organized. 

Pack One Room at a Time
Packing one room at a time will provide space for you to store more boxes while you're packing. 

Pack Early
When you find out that you're going to move, start packing.  Eliminates stress.  Moving can bring out the worst in people, so the less stress, the better.

Making a Moving Kit
Supply it with your color coding supplies, markers, tapes, scissors, etc.

Label It!!
Label the box of the contents inside or fragile if necessary. When you label the box put it on the two most broadest sides of the box.  This way when they are stacked you will still be able to see which room that they go in. 

A-B-C
Unpack the boxes in priority of how they need to be opened. Use red duct tape on the boxes that need to be opened first.

Don't Over Pack
Don't over pack your boxes.  Lift them as you go to ensure that they don't become to heavy to carry. 

Heavy Items
When moving, pack heavy items, like books, in rolling suitcases for easier transportation. 

Wrap It Up
Use saran wrap to secure drawers.  Eliminate the need for tape that leaves behind sticky residue, or tying rope and having to fight knots. 

Utilize everything
Book bags, baskets, crock pots, washer and dryer use them all.  For example, store your cooking spices in your crock pot or other items that you can place in your washer or dryer for the move. 

Double Up Bedding
To help keep your mattress clean and protected during your move put a fitted sheet on each side of the mattress.  

Vacuum Sealed Bags
Enough said.

Hanging Clothes
Keep them on the hangers and put a trash bag around them. Protects them from dirt and dust and easy to pop back up in your new closet. 

PURGE 
Before you start packing, purge your items.  Go through and organize and re-organize your stuff.  If you don't use it, or you don't wear it get rid of it.  Set it aside for a moving sale or donation.

X Marks the Spot
Map out a diagram of your new home.  That way you will have an idea of how you want to arrange your belongs and where you want to display or store them.

Pack the items you wont need until you're in your new house. Such as holiday decor. Every year after Christmas you pack up your decor and store it away for the next year. There's one area you won't really need to worry about packing.  

Defrost your fridge and freezers at least a day or two in advance. 

Use styrofoam plates between glass plates to help protect them during the move.

Have trash stations in a few rooms of the house.  As you'll be packing things up, you'll find stuff that you just don't need anymore or it's broken etc...Set paper sacks in a few rooms to help you de-clutter and clean out that space.

Pack up your children's toys that they aren't using or they wont miss.  It will be a pleasant surprise for them when you're unpacking. 

Pack a suitcase. 
Pack a suitcase like you're going on a 3-day vacation.  Keep this separated from boxes so you don't have to go digging and searching for your tooth brush and underwear. 

Take Pictures
Take pictures of how cables are hooked up. This will make for an easier assembly when you're in your new place.

Double boxing.
Double boxing especially those fragile items. It will protect them better.

To-Do
Make to-do lists!! Eliminates stress and you won't feel scattered brained trying to remember if you did this or that yet.  Keep this list with your Moving Kit.

Clean your home in advance. 
Before you move out (especially if you're currently renting the place you're in now) clean in advance.  Little things will help the process move along smoothly.  You can clean the fridge, cupboards, drawers, etc weeks before moving day.  

Fill holes
Fill nail holes in the wall with the appropriate compound. 

Moving doesn't have to be stressful, my friends.  Start early and do moving projects along the way and you'll be in a for a stress free move.  



--Cindel

Monday, January 13, 2014

13 Life Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Happy Monday everyone!!!

Okay, so Monday's aren't that great, so here are 13 Life Hacks that are meant to make your life easier. 

1. Add a dry towel to a load of wet towels when you put them in the dryer. It will cut back on the drying time.  This works amazing!!! It cuts drying time in half.

2. Add a little Sprite or 7-Up to the water vase your flowers are sitting in.  This will make them last longer. 

3.  Okay, so I don't know if this is legitimate or not, but it's worth a shot.  When ordering pizza (I'm assuming online) from Pizza Hut, use the code "9ANY".  This should make any pizza that you order $9.  Like I said, I'm not 100% sure on this, but who knows?

4.  Sunday mornings and you want make an omelet, hit up the salad bar at your local market or grocery store.  That way you only buy what you need instead of having left over that could go to waste.

5.  Use code "dvdonme" at Redbox to get a free movie.  Again, I'm not 100% sure on this, but it's worth a shot.

6.  If you're at a hotel and run out of chargers or outlets, the TV usually has a USB plugin. 

7.  Stack shirts vertically in a file like fashion to see all of your shirts.

8. Low on counter space?  Pull out a drawer and place a cutting board on it.

9.  Place a wooden spoon on the top of a pot to keep the water from boiling over.  It really works.  My husband freaked out the first time he saw this and was just amazed by it.

10.  Put a key ring on your pants zipper and loop it around the button of your jeans to keep your zipper up. 

11.  Use a straw to remove the stem from a strawberry. 

12.  Truck drivers are always communicating with each other.  If you see them slow down for no reason, there's probably a cop up ahead. 

13.  Use Glad Press and Seal on your fridge shelves to keep shelves clean.  It makes for easy clean up when it's time to change out the wrap. 

There you have it.  13 life hacks to help make your life easier. 


--Cindel