Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The great computer crash of 2011

I know. Ive been gone quite some time. I can explain, really.

It started a couple weeks ago. I woke up, started perking coffee, got the kids their sippy cups, and went to turn on our desk top...same routine every morning. And the screen turned blue, and kept telling me Dive A wasnt accessible. What the...? Panic set in. We are small business owners. Our entire life is on the computer. Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks, years of information we need. Our livelihood. O.M.G.
So I hauled my tushy to the nearby Computer Fixer's, who opened up our computer and declared my hard drive dead. With promises to salvage whatever possible, I was sent on my way.
Bottom line: had to buy a new hard drive, and back track everything business related for the 2 week lapse between backing up our info and the great crash.
The next day (and no, I am not kidding, nor exaggerating) I woke up, and went to turn on the lap top. I got the normal looking screen popping up that Windows had an update, and would I like to update now? I thought "sure, whatever", and pressed OK. POOF! Black screen of death appears. Computer mumbo jumbo. We still havent addressed this problem. Torn between bringing it in to service, buying a new lap top, or just springing for a tablet. Any thoughts on this one?
 Then, my phone died. The the display shot. Sent that in for a free replacement. Got the replacement 2 days later, and the ear and mouth piece stopped working within a week. I refuse to get another Droid, so I am without a phone that actually can handle phone calls until the 17th. I plan to go Iphone.
All this has led to me being behind on blogging. I like to blog curled up on the couch with my laptop, not strapped to my desk on the P.C. But, such is life.
There has been a lot of stress in my life, aside from our obvious Tech troubles, but the stress has led to me being careless with my diet and exercise. After a week or so of slacking off, I felt terrible, and decided to do the 3 Day Shakeology Cleanse. I did the cleanse as follows:
Day 1:
Woke up, had a cup of green tea.
Made shake #1: ice, 1 scoop of Shakeology, 8 ounces of water and a banana. Blend.
3 hours later: 1 piece of fruit (I had a peach)
Lunch time: Shake #2 (made the exact same way as first shake)
3 hours later: 2nd piece of fruit (again, a peach)
Dinner: Salad with protein; I FILLED a big bowl with dark, leafy lettuce and baby spinach. Topped with 4 ounces if kidney beans, red onions and diced tomatoes. For dressing I did 2 TBSP organic Ranch.
After dinner snack: 3rd shake, made the same way.

* you can only drink green tea and water for the three days*
*I repeated the same exact methods for the three days*

I weighed myself the morning after the cleanse was over, and was down 5 lbs! I ate in a normal, healthy manner the following day, and weighed myself the next morning, curious how my weight would adjust...and I was down an additional 3 pounds! So, its true that the cleanse reboots your metabolism.
Im very happy with the results. And the hardest part for me was not having coffee, and missing the act of eating. I didnt feel like I wanted to pass out, or overly fatigued. Good experience!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Dream Sample Box Giveaway!

Not too long ago, I came into contact with the creative mind behind My Dream Sample Box. Her name is Cindy, and she is an Event/Party Planner (check out My Dream Party). Her idea was genius:

So many other Party/Event Planners and moms ask me for samples of what I have to offer. Sometimes I could not find what they were looking for. This made me come up with an idea…How can I get samples out to them? This is how My Dream Sample Box was born.

It takes me out of being the middle man and offers people a chance to grow their business!! I spend a lot of my time looking for the perfect products to add to my sample box. Making sure they are getting into the hands of people that will buy them. A lot of the samples are from home businesses’ just like me. These businesses’ make all their items and work real hard on their product. I love the fact that because of this box they can get their products noticed and reach people that they might not have ever had the chance to reach!

 And there was the birth of My Dream Sample Box!
I am fortunate to be hosting a grab bag give away of some of the products artists and small business's have handed in to Cindy. 

The grab bag contains some candle samples, some oil samples, and it looks like there may be some chocolate in there too! This is a fun giveaway, and a fantastic way to support and advertise small business and artists!

After this giveaway ends, I will be hosting one for Cindy's Event/Part Planning business!

So here is the deal, to enter the giveaway, check out her blog:


I would appreciate it very much if you could give a "like" and a "follow" to support Cindy! Please follow at least 1 of her pages, and each additional page will be an additional entry!
This giveaway will end 2 weeks from today (7/29/11)! Please enter, and share on your wall, who doesn't like candles, and oils and lotions and potions :-) 

Results will be chosen by www.random.org

Please leave a comment to let me know you entered the giveaway

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wondering what all this talk of Shakeology is about? Check out my 5 Day supply giveaway!

OK, so here's the thing. I know I have been plugging my new Beachbody venture and Shakeology on Facebook and Twitter, but Its because I BELIEVE in the message. Which is to help people achieve their goals, and lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Sounds good to me!

One of their various products is Shakeology. To put it simply, this is the most delicious shake Ive ever had. It comes in two flavors: chocolate and greenberry. To be honest, I havent thought about trying greenberry, because why leave the best (chocolate, obviously) for the rest?
But Shakeology is so much more than desert in a cup. Its a miracle of nature. Well, I suppose not literally, because as most of you know, I truly believe that the body can, and should, thrive off what the Earth provides naturally. But, moving on.
Shakeology is made of 70 natural ingredients found all over the world. All natural, baby! There are:

Protein and Essential Amino Acids

  • Help build and repair muscles
  • Reduce hunger and food cravings
  • Help keep blood sugar steady
  • Support brain function to help promote alert thinking and reduce anxiety
  • Promote healthy skin, hair, and nails
Shakeology includes whey protein isolate, an easily absorbable source of high-quality protein that's ideal for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. It also helps keep your blood sugar steady, reducing hunger and junk food cravings. Essential amino acids, found in protein, help the body repair muscle tissue and heal wounds; support the brain to promote calmness and alertness; and reduce hunger pangs. The whey protein in Shakeology provides a highly bioavailable source of essential amino acids. 

Prebiotics and Digestive Enzymes*

  • Aid digestion
  • Help boost the immune system
  • Increase absorption of nutrients
  • Help keep you "regular"
Shakeology contains many ingredients that are beneficial to the digestive system. Prebiotics, natural components of certain plants, help support the "friendly" bacteria in your digestive tract. They may also help with the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Digestive enzymes, from plant sources such as pineapples and papayas, help your body break down food into its individual components, making the nutrients easier to absorb. Cooking can destroy food's natural digestive enzymes, so there's a good chance that you don't get enough of them in your diet. 

Antioxidants and Phytonutrients*

  • Get rid of harmful free radicals
  • Help decrease inflammation
  • Help boost your immune system
  • Potentially decrease the risk of degenerative diseases
  • May even increase longevity

Many of Shakeology's fruit and vegetable sources have been chosen for their high concentration of healthy natural substances known as phytonutrients, including flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins, and catechins. These substances have antioxidant properties, meaning they help get rid of molecules known as free radicals, which damage cells and may be a key component of the aging process. In laboratory tests, phytonutrients have shown promise in helping prevent a wide variety of degenerative conditions. What's more, studies suggest that the natural mix of phytochemicals you get from whole-plant sources is more effective than taking them individually as nutritional supplements. 

23 Vitamins and Minerals*

  • Get a wide range of essential nutrients
  • Get your necessary vitamins every day
  • Make up for dietary deficiencies
Most of us don't get the complete range of essential vitamins and minerals in our daily diets. Some important vitamins, such as vitamin C and the B vitamins, are water-soluble, meaning they're flushed out of your body after a short time and need to be replenished regularly. Others, like vitamin E, can be difficult to get enough of in food. Shakeology provides all these nutrients in an easy-to-take, easily absorbable form, so you never have to worry. 

OK, so there you have the information directly from the Shakeology  website.  My experience so far has been fantastic. Ive been drinking it for 4 days. My nails are already stronger. Ive lost about  1.3 pounds. My coffee cravings have nearly disappeared (SHOCKING! I typically drink coffee all day long. like, 3 pots a day. Im not kidding). My energy is much higher. And Im full after drinking one, for about 3 hours. My kids LOVE it. And now I dont have to buy vitamins for everyone. Shakeology can actually replace PRENATAL'S! I am really curious what a 30 day result will be!
Now, for the financial part. There are two options. If someone would like to buy Shakeology monthly retail, the cost would be $4 a day. This isnt bad if you're going to replace it with your morning Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks/fast food breakfast stops. In fact, this is a fantastic opportunity to jump start your health! The other option would be to join the Beachbody team (message me for details and assistance!) and pay $3 a day, or make a profit from selling it yourself and helping others get their fitness on the right track.

Im offering a 5 day supply giveaway through my blog. Please enter and share with your friends!
Here are the rules:

1.) You have to "follow" my blog for a bonus entry!
2.) You have to go to My Beachbody Page and join the "free membership" (or, if you join as a Coach, Ill throw in 2 more packets!)
3.) You have to leave a comment on this blog post telling me you entered the contest
4.) You have to "share" the contest on your wall for a bonus entry!

Contest ends July 19th, 2011!
Results will be chosen by random.org
And there ya go! Good luck to everyone!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's that foolishness they say....what doesnt kill you makes you stronger?

Ive heard that more than enough times, and even annoyed myself with repeating it to Chris this past week an a half.
After our fantastic 4th of July, The Universe decided to have a chuckle at our expense, and placed a cloud of doom over our family.
We JUST bought a secondary work van a few weeks back, so OF COURSE the brakes went out completely on the 1st work van last Monday. Then, every single day this past week, one or all of Chris's scheduled jobs fell through. It was really remarkable how something went wrong each day. Customers needed to reschedule, materials were shipped wrong, laminate flooring was delivered broken, etc etc. Then Thursday came. A terrible, horrible day. First of all, as I was doing my Insanity work out, Emma started freaking out, telling me something was dripping in the kitchen. I went in there, an there was a big old crack in the ceiling with water dripping out. Fantastic! So, I turned off the AC and prepared to roast in my house for the day. Later on, it was stripe night at Karate, and as I was sitting there, watching Emma, I started to feel sick, like the clammy, nauseous sick. I was in agony waiting for Emma to finish up. As I rushed her out in the parking lot, and into the car, I turned on the Ac and tried to breathe an calm my stomach. But, my tummy laughed in my face, and I grabbed the nearest bag i had in the car and got sick.
As Im driving home to change, and pick up Eli, I get a call from Chris, who broke down with his "new" work van. Are you kidding me???? So im holding back vomit, trying to pick him up, get money for a tow truck, etc...all while the house is 16543 degrees because the AC is off from the waterfall in our kitchen.
He is up until 1030 that night, fixing the van. He takes it for a test drive, and all seems well.
Friday comes, and im almost at the point of being able to keep things down in my tummy. Trying to stay positive. I get a call after I pick up Emma from school. That the van caught on fire. I almost laugh, because, what else can you do at this point? No one was hurt, thank God. So I drive out to where Chris pulled off the road, and am greeted by police and fire men. Another tow fee. No work vans running.
So Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Chris worked on his brake-less van. Obviously, it didnt go easy. Around 3 yesterday, he goes to take it for a test drive and cant find the key. I have nothing to say at this point. After searching for hours, we blame it on the kids. And call a locksmith. Locksmith was here until after 10 last night.
Have to try and laugh, right? Though, I must admit, stress helps me with losing weight!
However, I am very positive about my Beachbody venture. Im hoping to build up a team of people who want to get fit, stay fit, or help others. You dont have to be a fitness expert. Just have the drive to help yourself or others. And make money. Ill be mailing out samples of Shakeology  
soon, so if you are interested, please message me on Facebook, and I can answer any and all questions.
I also am going to have a fun giveaway of oils and candles. Who doesnt love that!? Stay tuned for details!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Fun, and some upcoming giveaways!

Yesterday our family celebrated Fourth of July. And among the chaos, I managed to squeeze in the Insanity workout! I nearly broke my arm patting my back for staying focused ;-)

For those of you who dont know, our family is Vegan-ish. I say -ish because I dont force my kids to stay strict when they are at other people's houses, and Chris eats what he can when he is out and about working. And, Ive been known to eat candy (milk products), and an Iced Coffee or two...or three....

Anyway, so for yesterdays grilling adventure, I decided to marinate portobella mushrooms, zucchini, and onions and throw them on the grill

Tasty, and filling! I was feeling pretty guilt-free, and confident that I could enjoy a healthy holiday...until I pulled out the trifle Emma and I made

Needless to say, I indulged. Emma and I had made a festive American Flag on the top with blueberries and strawberries, but the cream and fruit slid all over the place, and down the side of the trifle dish while It was chilling in the fridge. I reassure you, it did not affect the taste ;-)

Hub's took full advantage of the fun the south has to offer: legally buying fireworks and having backyard fun. He put on quite the neighborhood show last night. We got to meet nearly all the neighbors!
We had a great day with family and neighbors yesterday. I love summer time.

I have some exciting things to announce as well!
I have been selected as 1 of 200 blogs to host a great giveaway!

The event will be held from September 12th, 12:00 A.M through September 22, 11:59 P.M E.S.T.
This is being held by the Blogorama Bonanza of 2011.

Here is the deal:

Starting September 12th, all 200 of the chosen bloggers will be posting their blogs, advertising the giveaway, with links to the other 200 bloggers. This means that those of you who wish to participate in the giveaways can "Blog Hop" and enter in as many of the 200 giveaways as you want!
Each blog is going to have its own "theme" for the giveaway, and the prize value must be a MINIMUM of $75.00. This could be several prizes adding up to that value, or one big prize.
I will be updating everyone as the time comes closer. If any of my readers are bloggers, you should check out the Blogorama Bonanza button on my sidebar and see if there are any spots open to participate in the giveaway!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Insanity Week 2 DONE!

Today was a great day!

Hubs was technically home, but he is really never NOT working (he is a contractor for Lowe's). He had an estimate to do out in Wise, VA. Turns out this was an hour an a half away, and assuming that we would see some cool rural, mountain sites, we all went along for the ride.

The scenic drive did not disappoint! Pictures really dont do the beauty justice. We have lived in the Smokey Mountains for 3 years, and It still takes my breath away.

Later on, I threw together some Quick As Lightening Chili (Thanks to Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet), and told the family to eat while I did my Insanity work out. Today was the two week Fit Test.

My results were mixed.
(let me preface by stating I had my kids awake and trying to "work out" with me, and I definitely used correct form this time, where as the first Fit Test, I was just trying to figure out WTH I was doing)

1.) Switch Kick- 109/126
2.) Power Jacks- 38/36
3.) Power Knees- 65/65
4.) Power Jumps- 36/29
5.) Globe Jumps- 8/3 (this was due to the kids under my feet, and chris annoying me about form)
6.) Suicide Jumps- 11/9 (I was not bringing my feet between my hands the first time. This time I did)
7.) Push Up Jacks- 2/5 (my form is still not good)
8.) Low Plank Oblique- 35/38 (i love this one....hurts so bad, yet feels so good)

As it stands, my weight loss is approximately 4 pounds still. My weight can fluctuate up and down 5 pounds in a day, so Its far from accurate.
On June 29th, I had Chris take my measurements, and he re did them today. I lost 1 inch from my hips since the 29th.

My arms and thighs are getting nice definition, and I feel much stronger. Im happy with the progress so far!

I hope you all have a great holiday weekend! Tomorrow will be a day of grilling, pooling, and fireworking :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Here is a crash course...

In Beachbody!

You may be wondering, What is it??

Beachbody is a A+ rated BBB fitness and wellness company. They promote and support healthy lifestyles, and dominates the at home fitness market. You may know of, or watched a late night informercial or two, on one of these products:

These are a few of the products Beachbody produces.

So, why in the world would I get involved with this company?

Ill gladly explain!

Before I had my kids, I didnt think much about fitness, or health. I worked, I partied, I didnt care what I ate. Then, after we had our kids, and I stayed at home to raise them, I became very unhappy. I became restless, and my body was a mess. I needed goals. I needed a purpose. Confidence.
I started to run a year ago. I fell in love. It provided me mental clarity. Self esteem. Joy. The happier I was (am), the happier my house hold and family is.Then, I evaluated the health of our family. I rehauled how we ate at home.
As the past year wore on, I realized I have a passion for health and fitness. At first, I thought "well, im not a professional in this field, and I dont have a degree. Too bad I cant take it further".
And then, Heather started talking to me about her new adventure in the Beachbody Coaching experience. Requirements? 1.) A goal of living a healthy and fit lifestyle 2.) A passion to help others do the same.
They help you with the rest. Its that simple.
Really, why WOULDN'T I take this opportunity? I blab on and on on my Facebook and blog about my work outs, my food experiences, and im thrilled when others do the same. And to have the chance to make some money, just doing what I do anyway?
And, Im doing Insanity right now, living the proven results. I am stronger, I feel great, and am losing weight. 
Im really really excited for my new chapter. And Im REALLY thankful to have a fantastic coach guide me through it, and a fantastic company like Beachbody backing it.
As I am learning, I will be sharing. And please dont be afraid to contact me if you have any questions, or are curious!

“It takes struggle, a goal and enthusiasm to make a champion.” Norman Vincent Peale