Thursday, February 27, 2014


I saw this on Pinterest and fell in love with it.
I may come back later to elaborate on it... then again, I may not because it speaks volumes in itself.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's What's for Lunch

Another day, another Quinoa dish

Today, I added cooked black beans with sautéed Serrano peppers, Half of an Avocado, and some Feta Cheese to my Quinoa. 

It was a very hearty lunch, filled with protein! It has kept me full the entire afternoon which typically doesn't happen. I usually require an afternoon snack, but haven't thus far today. 

I'm instead enjoying a cup of coffee while I finish up with my work day. 

Blondes Have More Fun

Just want to take a moment to shout "I'M BLONDE AGAIN!!" Hooray!!!
This was seven weeks ago when I decided to go a LOT darker. It was pretty and looked very natural, but I'm so glad to be back to myself! :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Baby

Oh how I love this child.
Nearly four years agoI never would have imagined my life with a third child. But, God had other plans for me. She was destined to be my baby. I'm absolutely positive of that fact.

This little girl has brought so much happiness to my world. She is the epitome of the "baby" sister. Her big sisters adore her and they loved her from the instant they saw her, as did I. She brings out the best in everyone! Of course she is full of sass and can give you some pretty diva-esque looks, but for the most part she is calm, lovable, and eager to learn and just be happy and make sure everyone around her is happy. If she happens to walk out of the room after sitting with you, she will look at you with eyes wide open, full of concern and say
"I'll be right back, ok? No be sad." then flash a huge smile that you can tell is so sincere and full of love!
My life couldn't have been in a more unstable place when I found out I was pregnant with her, but the distance I have come amazes even me. I'm more settled, grounded, and happy than I ever thought I could be.
God has perfect timing and sent me the most perfect Angel!

...not to mention, I finally have a mini-me! ;)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Real Talk - Body Image Struggles

From the time I was only five years old, I remember being insecure about my weight. I was always "the fat kid" and by "fat kid" I mean, extremely obese child.

You see, my parents got divorced when I was only four years old and no I'm not asking for a pity party because I too got divorced when my kids were young, but the difference is that I chose to live with my dad because my mom just wasn't in the right place in her life to raise me. So, at four years old, my dad who really didn't have a domestic bone in his body had to learn how to care for a prechooler. I will say he tried, but I was doing my own hair and picking out my own clothes when by the second week because he just couldn't.

Nutrition was not an important topic in my house. I think the staples of all of our meals were Mac N Cheese and Fried Okra. Literally, I probably ate it 3x/week. IF we were not eating those things, we were at my grandparents eating "Fried Taters" and Fried Catfish with homemade cornbread smothered in butter OR at Waffle House eating Patty Melts with Scattered, Smothered, and Chunked HashBrowns. Oh and let us not forget the daily trips to Taco Bell for a Nachos Bell Grande and the late afternoon visits to The Tasty Freeze for Ice Cream Sundaes.

Yes, I'm totally serious. I'm surprised I did not have a heart attack by the time I was ten years old. Now that I look back, I cringe thinking about all of the horribly disgusting things I ate. I didn't know any better and apparently neither did my dad. It wasn't important to him, therefore it wasn't to me.

I grew up in a fairly large school. I played softball and excelled at it. It was my thing and it got me in the "cool crowd," but I was still slightly outside the cool crowd circle. Some of them whispered about me and made jokes about my weight. They'd do mean things in class just to embarrass me. I remember the feeling of my face burning crimson red from the embarrassment. It was terrible. I couldn't take it anymore and my dad agreed to move us to a smaller school when i was 14.

That summer, I made a decision to no longer be the "fat kid." I learned of the Tae Bo DVD and started doing it over summer break and I also paid more attention to the foods I was putting into my body. It worked. By my 10th grade year of school, I had lost a ton of weight and I looked great! People didn't know who I was. I was so proud of myself. But with my new self came stress that I didn't used to have. I became aware of every single thing I ate. Overly aware, to the point of an eating disorder, in fact. I became so consumed with what I looked like and how I fit into my clothes and whether I was "skinny" or not, I had lost sight of myself and went from a healthy diet and lifestyle to a deadly one.

I went on for over a year before anyone knew my secret, until one day I got dizzy and my heart started hurting and I got scared. I had to tell someone. My mom found out through that person and she was furious with me. She told my dad and he was even more furious with me. He didn't know how to communicate with me any more and we basically had a falling out. I understood though. Even though, my mom was highly aware of my sickness and watched me all the time, I found ways to continue.

I remained very unhealthy until I was 19 years old and found out I was pregnant with CDC. I knew at that time, I had to be healthy for another life and I immediately stopped. I gained 42lbs when I was pregnant with her and I was miserable. I knew that I had done the right thing for my baby, but at the same time I completely let myself go. If I would have stopped with the eating disorder, but still maintained a healthy diet and exercise, it would have been a different story, but I didn't.

Fast forward past all of my child bearing years to today. I am 27 years old. It has been 12 years since I first started dealing with an eating disorder and sadly, I am still struggling today. No one knew. No one knows. I still battle myself every single day. Throughout my pregnancies and for short whiles after, I was fine and my brain was healthy, but slowly but surely after each baby and especailly now since not being pregnant for four years, I struggle. It's like a constant fear of being that "fat kid" again. Even though, I KNOW I need to be healthy and do things the healthy way, it's like my brain won't connect to that rationalization. So many times, I think I have it under control, but then I lapse again. It's so frustrating and I can't tell anyone because they don't get it and they blame me and become angry with me and I don't want to put anyone else through that. It's not their fault. It's my fault for not dealing with whatever emotion and/or memories I have from my childhood. I know I am not that child anymore. I've grown up. I've accomplished a lot and I have kids who need me to be healthy and they need a good self image to look up to.

I will say that eating "Clean" and working out 4x/week has drastically improved the way I think about food and my body. I've never felt healthier in my life. I do not feel guilty and bloated after eating a meal. I'm proud of my meal preps that I do on Sunday evenings and I want to prove that I can be in control and I can be healthy and happy regardless of my weight/size. I want to prove it to myself more than anything! And, I will. That's my giant goal this year. Be healthy and happy, no matter my weight or size.

Zoo Days

Over the past few months, our winter weather has kept us from doing the things we love, most of which are outdoors. It is NO fun being cooped up inside the house with three energetic little girls. We've done all of the baking and crafts we can stand for a while. This past weekend, though, we caught a small break and had 65-70 degree days! 

CDC's activities occupied most of our Saturday and I was fine with that. We had a great day and even the littles got to play outside for a long stretch of time. I was satisfied with out weekend on Saturday night. I didn't need to do anything else to feel satisfied.

JClaire was the most excited, I think. She has grown a lot in just a year. She's almost three now, so she really understands a lot more. We also did not take the stroller this time, so she got to run free like a big girl. I can't imagine how big of a deal that must be to a baby girl :) 

We took our time and visited ALL of the exhibits. The penguins are still a favorite among my girls. They are the newest animal exhibit to our zoo and they are precious! You can actually see them swimming under water. We also saw the new Elephants, one of which who was from a circus and had a star branded on his bottom. That made me sad, but at least I know he's being better cared for at our zoo now. Another favorite is the Tiger because he/she? just paces back and forth in his cage looking at everyone. He looks like he is about to pounce at any minute. This time, he kept moaning and making crazy growl noises. We weren't sure if he was hungry or just "talking" to be talking.. Haha!
I still love the monkeys best! They're so entertaining to me. But this time, their exhibit was being worked on so it was hard to see them. The big giant Ape is always fun to watch though. He stands on a Yoga Ball and watches out the window. Every single time I go, he is in that exact same spot!

There is even a play area that my girls took advantage of. I don't understand how they aren't entertained enough with just being at the Zoo, but nope, they insisted they needed to play too!

CDC and I ventured off by ourself while the littles were still emjoying the slides and we went through the Petting Zoo and took our pictures in the cut outs. :)

Overall, we had an awesome day! I think we were there for about 3 hours and we all had such a great time. My girls each got a snowcone and devoured them. They never fought or argued. They were perfect the entire day!
So blessed.
CRC shows her excitement in this picture. *Love*

Friday, February 21, 2014

Basketball Superstar...or Not

My girl played beginner basketball this year and her team ended up winning second place! Woo hoo! They did not have enough girls sign up, so she had to play on a boy/girl team. That was very unfortunate because the boys were all a lot more athletic and agressive than the girls, so she and the other girls took turns each quarter sitting the bench.
But, she was more interested in gossiping and watching than playing anyway, so it ended up working in her favor. Haha.

Later that day, we got to play outside in the SUNSHINE! Our weather decided to grace us with a warm, sunny day for a change.

CRC always has to have her stuffed friends with her. :) She's so imaginative.

And little miss diva always needs her "unglasses" haha! Such a sassy pants!

Then, on Thursday CDC's team got together again for a trophy ceremony. It was pure chaos with kids from 1st -6th grade getting trophies, but she had fun and their trophies were really cool!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's What's for Lunch

Quick foodie post
Quinoa with Cucumber, Edamame, Tomatoes and Ceasar Viniagrette

...and store bought Mediterranean Hummus with broccoli !
This wasn't my lunch today, but it was last week :) I forgot to post the picture and since I was sick, I've been eating like crap! All kinds of junk food.. BLAH! But I got back to working out hardcore last night and my eating today hasn't been too terribly bad. I hope that I can get fully back on track tomorrow.
Here's to hoping!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Multitude of Valentine's

Okay, I lied in a previous post about Valentine's Day. I said I didn't like it. It wasn't a big deal in our house. Etc.. I must have been having a Debbie Downer Day because that is not the case. I LOVE Valentine's Day! Especially for the girls sake. I was looking back at past Valentine's and I always go all out for them. It's so fun to look back and compare not only their gifts, but also themselves growing! This year, they all received a stuffed animal, a heart shaped box of chocolates, a VDay heart necklace, an oversized pencil, and a heart tube of M&M's {Skittles for CRC, who prefers them to M&M's}

My tiny baby girl was the only one home this morning because the big girls spent the night with their dad. But she LOVED her Valentine's. She was all smiles and snuggled her Puppy Dog the entire car ride to the babysitter. She could have been overly happy because I let her eat her M&M's for breakfast. Hey, VDay only comes once a year! *wink*

{Look at that pony tail!! Her hair is getting so long! *sniffle*}

{and then there is this face... haha! Silly head}

This beauty is my Valentine's Box for WORK! Yes, i am a grown woman with a big girl corporate job working at our Headquarters, but guess what... We are having a VDay Box contest and a Chili Cook off! Woo Woo! I'm all about some competition. When I heard it was a contest, I was in it to win it! Now, my box isn't that snazzy pizazzy, but it did take some time and craft skills and I'm pretty proud of it. It's precious!

My sweet sweet daddy who is under the weather at the moment with Shingles :( left me a Valentine in my mailbox! I came home from work on Thursday to see this. Love him! He always does special things for me for Vday.

Both of my big girls had their Valentine's party at school yesterday {Thursday} the 13th. This is one of the only things I do not like about working. I hate missing my kids' parties. I always loved when my parents came to mine as a child and I hate being that parent that works non stop and can never make it. But, I'm thankful that my ex mother in law can go and take pictures for me. I truly appreciate it. My girls had a blast and they got tons of Valentine's and goodies.

And here is me sporting my red on this awesome Valentine's day 2014! I'm ready for my date night with my boo. He did not tell me where we are going, just gave me instructions on what to and what not to wear...
Hope you have/had a GREAT day!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Boxes

The girls Valentines boxes were due yesterday the 12th and as bummed as I was that we didnt get to put a lot more work into them, they were thrilled with the final product. They put so much effort into them and did so much of the work on their own, it made them that much more proud of their boxes! Way to go girls! I love them too :)


Many more Valentine's Day posts to come. 
Parties, Dates, and crafting galore! It's almost the weekend AND VDay! <3

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Potato Chips, Tator Tots, Baked Potatoes, and Cheese

No these are not a few of my favorite things... They are in fact, the only things I have been able to consume over the past two days. You see, I was fortunate enough to be cursed by the stomach bug on Monday afternoon.

Let me just tell you, when I get sick, I get SICKKKK!! Around 3:45pm on Monday, I knew something was not right. I began to feel nauseous, dizzy, disoriented, and my tummy was all kinds of uneasy. By 4:15pm, I had to run to the bathroom to keep from vomitting all over my computer screen. I was so embarassed and wondered what the hell was happening. I knew I wasn't pregnant! I didn't think I was sick because no one I knew was sick, but something was not right... I told the HR lady and she said
"Oh yep, I had it on Satruday. It's no fun. Get out of here."

..... She had "it".. What exactly was it? I didn't ask. Didn't care. Just had to go.

I had to drive 30 minutes to pick up all three girls. It wasn't easy and I had to be really strong to make it. Once I had them all in the car they were hungry. Of course.. I knew I was not going to be up for cooking, so we decided to go through McDonalds drive thru. I made it to the order screen, got nauseous and had to drive off! The girls were so upset saying
"Where's my nuggets? We don't get to eat... We're gonna be so hungry..."
:( I felt terrible!!! But I couldn't even make it home before getting sick again. It was awesome....

Then, I pull up to my house and remember my mom has my house key. Friggin great...
I called her only to realize she was at the gym taking advantage of her new membership and personal trainer. More awesomeness... I called her about 10 times hoping she would have her phone close by and think "Hmm maybe she needs me..." But no, nope, nada. So, I was left to fend for myself.

I ended up remembering the back window was unlocked, so me being the female McGuyver, I decided to pull the screen off and climb the wall through the window.. in high heel boots, mind you. Yes, I broke into my own house.! I didn't think I would survive the jump through the window, but I did and I pulled myself up off the floor and made my way to the front door, unlocked it, and went to get the girls out of the car. At this point, I knew my face must be green. I felt like falling over and never getting back up. I managed to get them into the house and settled, then I collapsed on the couch and finally got ahold of my mom. I asked her to please get the girls some food and she agreed.

Back to my horrible night. I am such a bad sick person. I am 27 years old and still {literally} whine out loud for my parents to come "help me." I am not proud of this fact, but I cannot seem to stop myself when I am in those moments of pain. My parents, of course, did not come help me because they said "You're a grown woman ....and I don't want to get sick."

Haha. I don't blame them, but I was very angry at the time. I just wanted someone to sit beside me and tell me that if I died, they'd hold my hand the entire time. Seriously, I could not see past the pain. My back, stomach, legs, arms, and feet were shaking and the muscles were spazaming from all of the vomitting. I truly thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room at any given moment. But I did not. I finally drifted off to sleep for more than the 20 minutes I had been sleeping before waking in a sweat wrenched gag fest. And I did not wake up again until 3am. And... I was still sick. :(

But finally, at some point, I slept.

My stomach was on empty for more than 24 hours, so I figured to gain some energy I needed to eat something. But the ONLY things I could even remotely consider swallowing were Potato Chips, Tator Tots, Baked Potatoes, and Cheese... I know that is very strange, especially for someone like me who hasn't eaten that much junk food in one sitting in who knows how long, but my body was screaming for carbs and grease! I did eat all of those things and surprisingly enough, I began to feel better.

Today though, I am very weak and my stomach is still not back to it's normal self. I ate some salted almonds for breakfast and a Wendy's baked potato for lunch. Blah. I'll get there, slowly but surely. For now, I'm taking small bites and moving slowly...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Time Flies...

Time FLIES when you're having fun. 

I'm having an emotional week for some reason. I've been reminiscing over my babies' baby pictures and tiny clothes and baby books. I'm not sure what's in the air, but I miss them being tiny. They're their own little people now and I love that about them! I love watching them learn new things and become more intelligent and be able to communicate what they are feeling to me. But sometimes, I just want to cuddle the baby they once were. 

They were each so unique and different..and amazing! Each of them taught me so much about life and I feel like I grew up and my heart grew bigger with each child. I know they were each specially created just for me and they've made me be 100x better than I ever could've been without them. My life is so blessed and fulfilled because of these little girls. Praise God! I'll never be able to thank Him enough for these precious angels! They are my heart, my world, my everything. ❤️❤️❤️

9months old and 7.5years old

6months old and 5years old

9months old and 2.5years old 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's {CHILI} outside

I'm frozen solid. Every minute of every day the past few weeks, I've dreaded getting out of my bed in the mornings. Like I previously stated, we are having record setting low temps, an I for one cannot stand them. My body is not made for the extreme cold! I would live in shorts and sandals if I could. But Arkansas weather is just not the place to be for that. 

Tuesday morning, I woke up sick. I never get sick! I have not been to the doctors office in about four years and I am totally fine with that. I get a cold once in a while, but never "sick." This time though, I thought I may have to go to the Dr. Yesterday was the worst! I was so exhausted I got home from work and went to sleep at 6pm and slept the entire night! Thank 
However, one of the ONLY good things about these cold temps is cooking and eating CHILI! I am obsessed with making different kinds and trying new recipes. It's not always "Clean" according to my lifestyle change diary, but .... I just have to have it sometimes.
The one pictured here is Cabernet infused Chili. Yum!
It was 1lb browned Ground BEEF {Not turkey..oh no!!}
1/2 C Onions, sauteed
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Serrano Pepper
1 Can Kidney Beans
1 8oz can Tomato Paste
1 8oz can Diced Tomatoes with peppers
1 Cup Water
Cooked all of the ingredients together for about 35 minutes, then stirred in 1/2 C Cabernet.
Bring all ingredients to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.
Top with Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Fritos or Crackers, if you'd like.
So simple, yet so delicious!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Not The Coolest Mom

When I rolled out of bed at 5:30am this morning after hitting my snooze button 3x, I saw that I had a voicemail on my phone from the school district. I was clueless as to why they would be calling so early. I checked the voicemail and heard that the 
"school would be closed due to inclement weather." And "to stay safe." 

I scratched my head and thought for a moment. Hmm..Inclement weather? I mean, it's been cold {like really cold..record setting temps,cold} but I knew nothing of any inclement weather to come. 

I turned on the news and sure enough, all of the school closings across the state were scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen. The meteorologist just so happened to be talking as well, informing us of the freezing rain that was to be expected all day today with a low temp of 28. Blehhh... How did I not know anything about this?! 
Oh well, I had arrangements to be made and people to contact. I think I sent 10 different people a text message this morning , stating that I would not be able to make it to work due to the girls schools being closed. TEN people! First, I text my employer and coworkers, letting them know that I would not be able to make it due to the circumstances and offered my sincere apologies... and begged them not to fire me. {They obviously did not and thanked me for letting them know and also informed me to "stay safe.} 
Then I text the girls Nana and the Babysitter to let them know that I would not be there with the girls for our normal 7am drop off. Then, I text my MOM and DAD, simply because I knew they would be texting me within minutes to check on me and make sure that I was not driving. Basically, I beat them to it so they wouldn't ding my phone while I was trying to crawl back into bed with my cup of coffee. 

I felt like I had tackled the world's problems by 6am. I contemplated going back to bed, but then instead decided to finish my pot of coffee that was already brewed and watch the news in peace before the monsters woke. It was a great decision because not only did I get to enjoy my coffee alone, but also started pancakes, a load of laundry, and the dishwasher. The girls, in fact, did not wake up until 8am. That.never.happens! 
Happy "day of inclement weather" to me {because you know, we don't get snow in Arkansas, only freezing, disgusting rain!}

Anyway, once they were awake, they were thrilled to see their Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes. They couldn't have cared less that they were Gluten Free and jam packed with Greek Yogurt, mashed bananas, and chocolate chips! It was just a yummy no-school-day treat!

{This is pre-syrup, butter and powdered sugar yumminess!!}

After breakfast, the girls were HYPED AND WIRED! We had a morning full of babydolls, dancing party, cleaning out closets, cleaning bathrooms, and a picnic on the floor with goldfish, potato chips, and juice while watching Tinkerbell.

I finally sat down and went through their backpacks again to find the papers about their Valentine's Day Boxes they have to create. I remember doing those as a child and it was such a delightful experience. My grandma would always help me and I was always so proud of my decorated shoebox! 
But, times have changed, and apparently Pinterest is to blame. CDC has had to make a VDay Box the past two years and each year, I feel more inclined to do something bigger and better because all of her friends have this elaborately decorated BOX. It's craziness. I can't compete. I have three little kids and work full time. It's a BOX for Pete's sake. But, of course, CDC is emotional and gets her feelings hurt if her BOX is not comparable, so I try to be the "Cool mom" {that I promise, I am not} and help her make a stand out BOX that she will remember for years. 

Her Kindergarten year, I knew nothing of this fad, and we made... well, a BOX, like I did when I was a kid.{and she loved it, mind you. We still have it in her closet!}

 {The Kindergarten BOX - 2012}

But when her first grade year required a decorated BOX, I got word of all of the unique things people were doing and Pinterest was in full swing by then, so all of the pictures of the outrageous BOXES were circling the internet. I tried... I really did, but at the end of it all, I was kind of bummed because she couldn't really help me with ANY of it because I tried so hard to make it awesome! That's not the point of the project. The point is for the kids to make a BOX that their friends can put their VDay cards in. It is not a competition of who has the most over the top extravagant creation, it's about them being creative and making something they are proud of. 

 {The 1st grade BOX - 2013}

So, this year CDC and CRC are making their own BOXES. I will help and be there for guidance, but they will do it and they will be that much prouder of it because THEY did it THEMSELVES! So, I'm raising the white flag.  
I am not the coolest mom and I will never be the coolest mom, but by gosh, I will do it my way and my kids will be just fine. #babam!

{The start to their BOXES this year. CDC is making an iPad and CRC is making a Princess Castle, of course... Their personalities to a "T"}