Saturday, April 9, 2016

Izaak's Journey....3 Years Ago Today!!!

Wow!!! How times flies!!!

Three years ago today, our son was placed in the hospital because he hadn't grown in a 3 month time span. I remember how scary that was...being alone with him there...not knowing what was wrong. He was tested for a brain tumour, celiac's disease, and a thousand more test I don't even remember. Through it all, he was a happy baby. I remember walking up and down our hallway, peeping in at other children, feeling blessed that my son looked healthy....yet praying nothing serious was going on inside.

After a week or so, and after a team of doctors couldn't find anything to pinpoint his failure to thrive....we were allowed to go home. We continued with follow up appointments for roughly 2 months....then decided to have him seen on a more regular basis by his (local) Pediatrician. We removed him from whole milk, and limited his daily intake to only 8 ounces. We also added a handful of cranberries to his diet daily. He drank Ensure whenever he  wouldn't eat what we had fixed.

Today, I'm thankful that my son is a healthy, active, smart, and energetic little man...who loves a good PB&J, bananas, cars and Curious George. I thank God for the team of doctors and nurses at Arkansas Children's
Hospital that watched over him daily. To everyone who prayed for him. For family & friends that stopped by, called, text, and brought us goodies at the hospital....

Everyday...I am thankful that he gets another year of life!! 💙💙💙

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Motivation From My 3 Year Old

I have seen some inspiring messages today, but it wasn't until my 3 year old said, "It's possible" that motivation hit me dead in the face!!

I had a good paying job with a large telecommunications company...but missed out on my kids school activities and gymnastic events. I wasn't home to cook dinner, for bath time, or to tuck my kids into bed. I almost missed saying good-bye to my daughter when she moved 1200 miles away to live with her dad. Prior to that, I struggled with bad health & self image. My anxiety levels kept me from truly enjoying life.

That all changed 18 months ago when I said "yes" to products and a company that are making a difference. $35 dollars has changed my life! Now to a lot of people that may sound ludicrous. I'm here to tell isn't! I may not be at the top of my game or where I want to be (yet), but I have gained something much more valuable. I feel better than I have in years! I get to stay at home with my kids & be here when my husband walks through the door at 5pm! I have new found confidence & a support system that backs up my goals & dreams! I took a leap of faith by leaving my job and pursuing a life I believe is a life worth living!

My point can, too! Don't ever believe that there isn't something out there for you or your family. Find your passion and live it! I certainly have found mine and will fight my way to the top... regardless of who believes in me or obstacles that may arise.

If you have a dream or desire to better yourself, your life, or that of your family's....remember & believe that "It's possible"!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tips for Healthy Eating

There are a TON of diets and gimmicks out there to help you lose weight. Some work and some don't. Trust me....I've done a few. Since being an Ambassador for Plexus Worldwide (a health & wellness company), I have participated in a handful of challenges to help me along my journey to better health . I get asked a lot how I've lost 30 pounds over the past year, so here ya go...

First and foremost, you have to be in tune with your body. Find something that works for YOU and stick with it. Not every program, regimen, or diet is made for everyone. While I strongly believe everyone could benefit from at least 2 of our products, Plexus has certainly worked for me. It has helped me gain will power over food and has helped me kick (most of) my unhealthy habits to the curb! 😜

So....onto the meat!
1. Cut the sugar out of your life! Sugar can literally be found in just about anything. Condiments, salad dressings, bread, yogurts, and juice. Read your labels. Avoid foods with added sugar and artificial sweeteners....which are more harmful to you than natural sugar. If you must have sweetener (I'm from the south and sweet tea is a staple), try using Stevia. It's a natural, plant based sweetener versus being chemically altered.
2. Ease up on the starches. I admit this has been a struggle for me and  substituting as proven to be less complicated. I have found long grain or wild brown rice, sweet potatoes, and spinach pasta to be tastier and healthier options....but of course...everything in moderation.
3. Now your good fats from your bad fats. It literally would take me all day to explain them all (and since I don't want to bore you), so here is an article to explain this.
4. Educate yourself on the importance of gut health & leveling out your blood glucose. Once these are in check, weight loss becomes a lot easier.
5. Go organic! It's no secret that healthier is more expensive, but much healthier for your body. Period. If a budget is an issue...finding good sales and coupon clipping can be a life saver!

In the end, you want to slowly change your eating habits and incorporate new ones. Don't trying doing this over night because chances are it won't stick. Also, finding an accountability partner is great! Keep one another in check and share your success and struggles alike.

While I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or a health instructor of any kind....these have worked for me. I will say the essential to all of these is learning about gut health & leveling blood glucose levels. If you happen to struggle with tummy issues, a sweet tooth, or sensitivities, there are products I can recommend to help you along the way.

And by all means...I know you're only's ok to cheat every now and then. Don't stress over it or fell guilty. Enjoy it and move on!

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Own Private Hell

The past year has been a challenging one...I've had to adjust (and you never truly do) to my daughter being away from home, dealing with and correcting health issues, and just fighting some personal demons. Some days are harder than others....and some are easy! My good days are the easy ones and I live for those moments....playing with my kids, movie night, and being with good friends.

Lately I've been living in my own personal hell...dealing with issues I wouldn't wish on my greatest enemy (not that I have one)! It's taken time away from my family and my business.....but hit me! Nothing is going to get me down! Really...everything is a mindset. It's like a game. One I don't like playing, but if I let things or people get go me, I lose. If I brush them off, I win! Sometimes, that's easier said that done (and some days I'd just like to give the world the middle finger), but in the end it's necessary. Who wants to carry around unwanted baggage and burdens? No one wants that and it certainly can make life harder than it needs to be.

As Elsa sings... "let it go"! Find a good book to unwind to, get in the kitchen and cook, yank out those pesky weeds in your yard (and in your life)...go out and enjoy life. We only get one. 💜

Monday, July 20, 2015

This Isn't Recess Anymore

Most of the time when we hear the word "bully", we associate it with kids on the playground, the mean kid who steals your milk money, or the group of girls who continuously pick on someone about their clothes, hair, or teeth. Too often; however, we forget that adults can be bullies, too.

By pure definition, a bully is someone who uses superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.  This could literally be anyone....your boss, a spouse, a classmate, a neighbor, or even a mentor. There are no rules as to who fits the definition of a bully.

The question is how to deal with someone who makes you uncomfortable, someone who uses power to get what they want, and someone who pushes the limits of right and wrong. First off, set your moral compass. Anything that seems unethical or dishonest, usually is. Know your boundaries and don't compromise them in any way. This plays into my second point....never back down. Standing your ground let's your "bully" know you are a force to be reckoned with and you aren't to be pushed around. Most bullies won't expect you to defend yourself and it naturally weakens their defense. Third, seek guidance or help. Talk to someone you trust. Tell a friend, your parents, a co-worker, a union representative (if bullying occurs in the workplace), a member of your church (preacher, pastor, or minister of any kind), or find someone who can represent you legally. Your options for help are limitless. Don't ever feel that help isn't out there, because it is.

My last bit of advice is to pray for those trying to hurt you and to pray for strength. Eventually the dust will settle, but by all means....if the storm worsens, seek help. You are more valuable than you think and there is sunshine behind the clouds.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Love, Equality, and Peace

I usually try to stay away from posting about political issues, because honestly, that's not what I want my blog to be about. However, on today of all days, I'd like to voice my opinion.

Everyone is going to have an opinion on matters of our nation and our world. No one has to agree, but I think all opinions matter. All voices should be heard. You don't have to like what you hear or even agree with it, but I think we should respect the feelings and ideas of others. Having said that.....

It is sad that we can not live in a world where there is no hate. It shouldn't matter what race, gender, or religion you are. Everyone should be treated equally...everyone should be given the same opportunity as others. It is not my place to judge others, rather it is my duty to love all mankind and to accept them as they are. I won't lie and say I am perfect. No one is. There are moments I fail to accept things I can not understand or love all those around me. There are moments I am called to forgive, yet hold onto things I should let go.

When will we, as human beings, come together to stop hate, violence, racism.....? When we will finally learn to love, to accept, and to forgive?

When I was a child, it seemed so simple. I had friends of different ethnicity, religion, and so on. I accepted them for who they were, what they looked like, and what they believed in. Why can we all not see the world as a child does....?


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Broccoli Salad Recipe

Here is one of my favourite "go to" meals or side dishes! Salad!
With so many varieties, you sure to please any crowd. Featured is our broccoli salad. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it to my taste. Here is our ingredient list!
•2-3 heads fresh broccoli
•1/2 red onion
•1/2 pound bacon or 1/2 cup of bacon pieces
•1 cup Craisins
•1 cup cashew mix (we used one that contained sesame sticks)
• 1 cup lite Miracle Whip
•1/4 cup Stevia/Slenda
•2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1.Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble. You can substitute for packaged bacon pieces if you wish.
2.Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite size slices. Combine with the bacon, Craisins, cashew mix and combine ingredients well.
3.For the dressing, mix the Miracle Whip, Stevia/Slenda, and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad, let chill and serve.