It’s the last official weekend of Summer and I’m hardcore celebrating. And by hardcore celebrating, I mean lighting my @raedunn fall scented candles, binge watching Netflix and going to bed before 10pm. 🙌🏻 Remember when our nights didn’t even start until 10pm? I would dance all night, get back home with just enough time to shower and change before heading out to work. AND I could work a full 8 hours without ever feeling the fact that I hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours... Now I’m unable to function if someone wakes me up 15 minutes early. Getting old is awesome. .
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#letterboardquotes #letterboard #letterboards #letterboardlove #letterboardfun #farmhouselove #farmhousestyle #letterboardquote #magnoliastyle #howyouhome #makehomeyours #pocketofmyhome #modernfarmhousestyle #modernfarmhousedecor #ighome #modernfarmhouse #howwedwell #homegoodsfinds #raedunnfinds #raedunn #homegoods #tjmaxxfinds #raedunnfinds #targetdoesitagain #targetdollarspot #raedunnfall #pumpkinseason #pumpkinspice #homegoodshappy

It’s the last official weekend...

I read something the other day on Facebook that said that the song that was number 1 on your 14th birthday, defines your life. I googled it, excited to find a message, a sign (I’m a sucker for that sort of thing). Instead, I found it was “Cream” by Prince. 😐 Cream? What does that mean? Ice cream? Coffee creamer? 
So I looked it up... and read the lyrics. "Cream" was meant to mean “cream of the crop”. There are lyrics like “everything you do is success” and my favorite part... “Do your dance
Why should you wait any longer?
Take a chance
It could only make you stronger”  Message received, Prince. Message received. 
What song was number one on your 14th birthday?
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#coffeetime☕ #frenchvanilla #pumpkinspice #pumpkineverything #pumpkinspicelatte #pumpkinpie #raedunnlove #raedunnfinds #raedunn #raedunnmugs #raedunnclay #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #homegoodshappy #homegoodsfinds #amazonfinds #marshallsfinds #marshalls #homegoods #coffeeholic #coffeebar #coffee_time #coffeetable #coffeecoffeecoffee #fall🍁 #prince #songlyrics

I read something the other...

This girl lost another tooth last week. I’ve been waiting for this toothless smile since she knocked her other one out last year. Unfortunately, it’s not going to last long because her adult tooth is already growing in 😭. (Zoom in to see) Yesterday I noticed both of her front-bottom teeth are peeking out behind her baby teeth too. Does anyone know how to slow down time. A button? A phone call? Maybe a time machine? My baby isn’t a baby anymore. Cue the tears. Have you celebrated any milestones with your kids recently?
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#losttooth #targetfinds #targetclearance #targetdoesitagain #targetdeals #targetstyle #slowdown #growing  #growinguphispanic #growingup #smile😊 #smiles 
#momblog #mommyblog #momblogger #mombloggers #bloggermom #mommybloggers #momswhoblog #mommyblogger #mamablogger #momsofinstagram

This girl lost another tooth...

I don’t get bouquets of flowers for no reason…. But I do appreciate the flowers that grow by our mailbox, like this one. And it made me realize something this morning.  I’m over it. 
I’m over comparing my life to other people’s lives on social media.
My house might not be as fancy. 
My wardrobe is not as expensive. 
I don't apply makeup as well or even at all most days.
I don’t have beautiful, long flowing hair.
I don’t drive a car that’s worth bragging about. 
We don’t go on lavish trips around the world. 
I don’t carry loads of money in designer handbags. 
Does that make me less of a person? 
Does that make me less of an influencer? 
No. It makes me a regular 40-something Mom who has chosen to open up and share our lives on social media.  It makes me someone who has built this hobby of photography and writing into a business that has solely supported my family for a year and a half. 
I’m proud of that. 
I’m proud that I’m not a follower.
I’m proud that I have worked hard for what I’ve achieved.
I’m proud of influencers like me who are unapologetically themselves.  What are you proud of? .
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#inspiringquotes #inspirations #inspiredaily #motivationquotes #motivational #motivating #inspirationalquotes #womenempowerment #womenempoweringwomen #empoweringwomen #empowerment #influencers #bloggersofinstagram #bloggermom #momtruth #truthhurts

I don’t get bouquets of...

F O U R T E E N. 
What do you give your oldest daughter when she turns 14? Well, when you’re me, you write her a poem and post it on the blog for the world to see. Head over to read it and let me know what you think. Then, help me wish Lucia the best 14th birthday ever 👇🏻👇🏻
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#birthdaygirl #birthdays #birthday🎂 #birthdayqueen #birthdaylove #birthdaygifts #birthdayfun #birthdaygirl👑 #birthdaygift #birthdaygirls #fourteen #teenage #teengirl #poemsofinstagram #poetryofinstagram

F O U R T...

It was just after Iyla's third birthday. She seemed to be on track, at least according to the pediatrician's checklist. She could follow instructions, name most familiar things, knew her first name, spoke in sentences and could carry a conversation, though she was hard to understand most of the time. We enrolled her in preschool that year and she was a little social butterfly. But as that school year went on, her teachers started to notice that she was struggling to get her words out. Most people that know Iyla today, have no idea that she was in speech therapy classes for two years. They have no idea that I fought it for almost 6 months and that I felt a tremendous guilt about it, because I thought it was my fault that she was stuttering as badly as she was. Today on the blog, I’m sharing the mistakes I made, in hopes that if you are ever in this situation, you take advantage of early intervention. .
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#speechtherapy #stuttering #speechies #speechpathology #earlyintervention #earlyinterventionspeech #earlyinterventionprogram #publicschool #oldnavy #oldnavystyle #minted #amazon #amazonfinds #pridesocks #letthembelittle #kidsplay #rollerskating #rollerskates #mommoments

It was just after Iyla's...

There are two types of kids. 1) The kid who wants to eat the same thing every single day of the week, sometimes more than one time per day and 2) The kid who loves something one day and then hates it the next. #ad Which type of kid do you have? Or, are your kids like mine and bounce back and forth between the two? Either way, there is a way to make lunches more fun for kids. I'll let you in on a little secret... creating fun lunches is more fun for us too! This week, we created our first character, Inspector Caper Eyes. Head to the blog for more details! Plus, learn why we choose @JuicyJuiceUSA new better-for-you options, which are packed with functional benefits with juicy flavor that parents can feel great about serving to their kids.
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#foodvideo #recipevideo #juicyjuice #videostar #videoviral #videooftheday #funvideo #targetfinds #targetdeals #targetdoesitagain #walmart #walmartfinds #tjmaxxfinds #tjmaxx #marshallsfinds #marshalls #homegoodsfinds #homegoodshappy #homegoods #yummyyummy #yummyfood #familyfriendly #familyfriendlymeals #familylife #funfood #kidslunchbox

There are two types of...

Remember I told you guys about our day dates now that the girls are #backtoschool? Well, we’ve really been enjoying them. #sponsored We walk, talk and laugh (a lot). Have you seen our IGTV yet? It’s a cheesy, beautiful video of what our relationship is like. I love that we’re able to connect and that we can make the time in our day to focus on our relationship and our health. Since we have three daughters, it’s even more important to go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of ourselves. These awesome @amazfit watches help us with that. I have the Amazfit Verge and Super Dad has the Amazfit Bip. They are lightweight, have app notifications and track your daily activity, your heart rate and so much more. The Amazfit Bip comes with a 30-day battery life and the Verge comes with Alexa built-in and you can make and receive phone calls through the watch. We can track our activity, sleep and heart rate and hold each other accountable for better decisions, when it comes to fitness and health. Visit rcl.ink/UyB to check them out and make sure to take advantage of the sale they’re currently having. No discount code necessary! What are you doing to get back to you? .
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#dates #dateyourspouse #dateyourhusband #laughs #lovethislife #qualitytime #healthier #healthcare #fitnesslife #fitnessfun #fitstagram #exercisemotivation #smartwatch #smartwatches #techy #backtoyou #selfcarethreads #selfcarematters #parkrun #couplesgoals #coupleshoot

Remember I told you guys...

Take me back to the time when all I had to do was color in the lines, learn my abc’s and take a long nap everyday. Why didn’t we appreciate what we had back then? .
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#Letterboardquotes #letterboard #letterboards #letterboardlove #letterboardfun #farmhouselove #farmhousestyle #letterboardquote #magnoliastyle #howyouhome #makehomeyours #pocketofmyhome #modernfarmhousestyle #modernfarmhousedecor #ighome #modernfarmhouse #howwedwell #homegoodsfinds #raedunnfinds #raedunn #homegoods #homegoodshappy #targetdoesitagain #targetdeals #raedunnclay #raedunnlove #adultingishard #adulting

Take me back to the...

#AD Our girls love nature, so this weekend, we headed to a local nature preserve for a little animal watching, walking and family time. We always pack the essentials when we're heading out in this Florida heat, including snacks, sunblock and @smartwater, because we know how important it is to stay hydrated. We love smartwater® because it's purified water made using vapor distillation, similar to the way water is purified in nature. It's available in 700mL and 1L bottles. Now through 9/15, you can save $2.75 off at Sam's Club, so stock up! (limit 10 per member) https://lnk2.io/abYC5gD #kidsfitness #fitnessfun #daddyslittlegirl #natureseekers #naturephotos #exercisemotivation #familyfitness #fitnessforlife #qualitytime #bestdad #bestdayever #bestfriendgoals #fatherdaughter #dadofgirls #smartwater #hydrate #hydration #drinkwater #marshalls #marshallsfinds

#AD Our girls love nature,...

My Healthier Lifestyle – Month 1

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Do you have a specific weight in mind that absolutely terrifies you?  I did and in early December, I stepped on the scale and I had surpassed that frightening number.  I remember staring at the scale, with tears in my eyes, realizing that I had officially lost control of my body, but most of all, of my health.  I was spiraling out of control and I needed help.  I couldn’t allow myself to go one more day without changing my entire lifestyle.  I was unhappy, unhealthy and so tired.  I needed a change and more than anything, a healthier lifestyle.

Later that day, I was on Facebook, scrolling my newsfeed, when I saw a friend’s live video about her family’s vegetarian lifestyle.  I became a vegetarian years ago and just couldn’t commit.  I tried, but I failed miserably.  This time was different.  Watching Jessica’s video, I felt motivated.  I know how busy and hectic her days are and I knew if she could do it, I had no excuse not to try.  It might have just been that number on the scale but I knew I was ready to make a change.  That week, I started the path to a new me and haven’t looked back.

Anxiety and My Diet

It’s no secret that I suffer from anxiety.  This anxiety keeps me from going places, doing things and experiencing life. I’d been on medication for a couple of years and wasn’t seeing any improvement. I had spoken to multiple people who suggested that a change in my diet could be what I needed to eliminate my anxiety.  The more I researched, the more I found that your mood is affected by the foods you put into your body.  And suddenly a healthier lifestyle made even more sense. If I could feel better, look better AND be able to enjoy life to the fullest, why wouldn’t I do everything in my power to commit to this?

What the Health

I had heard about the documentary, “What the Health”, a film that uncovers the secret to preventing and reversing chronic diseases.  I was honestly terrified to watch it.  Everyone who had, was instantly turned off from so many of the foods we all love.

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Since I had already stopped eating meat, I decided it was time to watch. Like a lot of people these days, diabetes, cancer and heart disease have affected both sides of my family.  I’ve always been told to watch what I eat but never really listened. Like my friends, this documentary totally changed me.  I was not only ready to change my eating habits and make healthier choices, but I was absolutely going full vegan (eventually). Like Jessica said in her video, baby steps.

In the past, each time I tried to change our eating habits, I would take away everything at once and it always came back to bite me.  I would feel like I was depriving myself and would slowly add things back into our diet until I was back to eating the same garbage all over again.  I would binge eat to make up for the lack of sweets or carbs or whatever the latest fad diet had me cutting out.  I had such an unhealthy relationship with food.  I ate when I was sad. I ate when I was happy.  I rewarded myself for a healthy meal by eating a big dessert.  They cancel each other out, right? WRONG.  I would even watch these weight loss shows while eating an entire container of ice cream. I was a hot mess.

This Time it’s Different.

This time, I’m doing things differently.  I’m removing one thing per month instead of everything all at once.  By gradually making a change, I know that it will be less of a shock to my body and the more successful I will be.

5 Accomplishments in January:

  1. No More Sweets: Our home always had cookies, ice cream, chocolate and some sort of sugary something in the house.  As of January 1st, it’s all stopped.  Now, instead of ice cream for dessert, we eat fruit! We take the kids to have ice cream once a month, as a treat, but my husband and I just enjoy watching them instead of gaining the extra calories.
  2. Walking 2-3 Miles a Day: I went from sitting at my computer or laying in bed all day, to dedicating an hour to walking around our neighborhood every single day.  Game changer.
  3. Dairy Free: While we are still working on cutting it out completely, I’d say we’re about 75% dairy free already.  We stopped eating eggs, substituted regular milk for almond or coconut milk and have almost completely cut out cheese.  We even swapped regular mayonnaise and yogurt for vegan mayonnaise and yogurt and we love them!
  4. No More Naps: I have so much more energy now and don’t feel like I have to nap in the afternoon which means I sleep better at night.
  5. 7 lbs Down: While losing weight wasn’t something I expected so soon, it was such a pleasant surprise to step on the scale and see that I had lost weight. I’m hoping that by the end of the year, I’ll be at my “healthy weight.”

And if all of that wasn’t great enough, I have found that my anxiety level has diminished.  I’ve gotten out of the house more and pushed myself to go places I would have been afraid to go last year.

I can’t wait to see what February brings. I appreciate you following my journey to a healthier lifestyle.   If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to comment, follow, and share!

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10 Comments
  • Aduke Schulist
    February 7, 2018

    I’m at that point in my health journey where I have no energy and working out is hard, but I know that working out makes me feel better. It’s tough!

  • Cyn Gagen
    February 4, 2018

    It sounds like you are making progress. Good for you for figuring out the right approach for you and your family.

  • Lynndee
    February 4, 2018

    Congrats on your accomplishments! I’ve been wanting to walk outside for at least a mile a day, but it has been so cold here. Can’t wait for the warmer temps.

  • lauren
    February 4, 2018

    I LOVE That documentary, I have watched it a few times and it really is an eye opener! Good luck on the new changes, new changes can be hard but they can be done 🙂

  • Kate | Life of a Ginger
    February 3, 2018

    Oh wow! I too suffer from anxiety (and depression) and I’ve never thought about changing my diet to help. Very cool idea!

  • Up Run for Life Healthy Lifestyle Blog
    February 3, 2018

    Good job and keep up the work. I wanted to do this in January as well. Here it is in Feb, and I haven’t started. I gotta get my butt in gear.

  • Mimi Green
    February 3, 2018

    Congrats on reclaiming your life back. That is major, sometimes the timing just has to be right. It sounds like it was this time around. I look forward to reading about your progress in this lifestyle change.

  • Stephanie Pass
    February 3, 2018

    I need to check out this documentary. We have chronic diseases in our family. It sounds like you are doing awesome!

  • Marysa
    February 2, 2018

    I like that you are taking lots of steps in the right direction. I think that’s the best way to make a lifestyle change instead of anything too drastic. It sounds like you are doing a great job with your goals!

  • Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    February 2, 2018

    I totally agree that diet can have a big impact on mood and anxiety levels. I am trying to follow a clean eating plan that focuses on fresh produce and it helps me have energy.

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