Married Life, Parent Life

Day Trip – Monterey, CA

Hubby surprised us with a day trip to Monterey! It was a complete mystery until we were about 1/3 of the way there. Then I found out while navigating. Even though I was getting over a bad virus and hubby felt awful, we had a great time. Here’s what the view looked like 🙂

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That’s a cold sore not a booger! 

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PS – I might continue to update with pictures because I don’t have all of them

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Health/ Fitness, Life Changes, Postpartum, Self Care, Weight

Motivation & Habits

Do you remember her from my Motivation & Habits post? If not feel free to check it out!

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NOTE: I asked the woman above for permission to post this screenshot.

Well I did exactly what I intended to do but with a twist. After checking out http://www.ryschyragz.com I decided to purchase motivation items. These are items I intentionally bought in a smaller size to inspire and remind myself to stick to my healthy lifestyle. This is also a form of financial motivation for me as I do not like to waste money.

I bought 2 shirts and pants.

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I’m an XL or XXL depending on the shirt and pants size 16/18. The shirts are both medium which I didn’t plan but they were too cute to pass up. I originally bought a different pair of pants but they were out of stock. She explained what happened, apologized for it and sent me the pants below in 2 different sizes (L & XL). Not only was I pleasantly surprised by the customer service but she included a nice note saying thank you and acknowledging what happened. Now I don’t know about you but good customer service is getting harder and harder to find so when I get it I become a regular customer.

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The surprises kept coming as I tried the clothes on. I tried it on to see how much I needed to lose before any of it fit. I mean they don’t fit correctly but at least I got them on! I’m wearing the XL pants in both pictures as I was under no delusion that the Large was going to go up far enough for me to take an appropriate picture.

The shirts are both soft to the touch and feel good on. The pants have great stretch so even if they don’t look like the correct size* trust me and try them on. I’ll have an update as I lose weight and can fit them correctly. But for now I will definitely be a returning customer so I can get something that fits now 🙂

*For my exact measurements please see my April 2018 Weigh In post.

Food, Health/ Fitness, Life Changes, Postpartum, Weight

April 2018 Weigh In

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No Your eyes do not deceive you. I am using the same picture again but this time I am using it as a comparison. Full disclaimer the pictures below were actually taken in April however it was 3lbs ago so I feel it’s still a fair representation.

Actual Date: 5/4/2018

Weight: 227.1lbs

Measurements in inches

Chest: 46

R/L Arm: 16

Waist: 45

Hips: 51

R/L Thigh: 29.5

Goal(s):

  • Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan (IP!!!)
  • Read something other than children’s books (Check)
    • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
  • Exercise 3x/ wk (IP)
    • I did this 3wks in a row then not so much so mostly a win
  • Post monthly updates on/after the 8th for accountability (Fail)

Is this were I wanted to be for my first weight post in a long time? NO but I am no longer beating myself up about what I know I did or didn’t do. I know what I ate, how much I worked out and what I let distract me from my goals. This time is different because I don’t feel like a failure. I feel like a work in progress. I feel stronger and more powerful because I’m not quitting. I feel grateful my body hasn’t failed me though I have put it through way too much stress and strain. The best feeling is seeing the progress even though I didn’t think there was any. My current versus my original shows a slightly smaller body but most noticeable to me is my waist. Again I can’t tell when I look at myself because breasts are in the way but this picture shows I have made physical changes.

To my body:

Thank you for not giving up on me. Please accept my apology for the abuse and know that I will never give up on you again.

With all my heart,

JTM

In the beginning, Life Changes, Reviews, Self Care

Putting It Out There – Career/ Business

I’ve often wondered how reviewer/ product testers get in contact with their favorite brands in order to get sponsored. I’ve looked into a few things on my own but not many end up being real. I am here to ask for advice from people capable of pointing me in the right direction. I know all information comes with BUTs because no one can guarantee a company will have any use for what I can provide; detailed reviews and suggestions for improvements but any useful advice would be very much appreciated.

Drum Roll please:

Target Corporation – This has been a favorite of mine for years and I frequently refer to it as my happy place. 2 of the 3 other companies mentioned were discovered at Target. The Starbucks inside are an added bonus.

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Just started using big pack of wipes; I normally use the paper masks

Yes To, Inc. – Specifically Tomatoes. I love their sheet masks but I can’t use them as often as I like so I am not positive they work so much as I enjoy using them during my Spa Day.

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Out of wipes so this is just an empty package 🙂

SheaMoisture – Favorite products African Black Soap: Clarifying Mud Mask, Body Wash & Clarifying Facial Wipes; Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe and last but not least Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner. They also have makeup I would love to try.

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Need to restock my oils because this is all I have left

NOW Foods – ALL THE OILS!!! I’m kidding I haven’t tried them all (though I’m working on it) but I am obsessed with a lot of them. I’ll name my top 3 there are a lot: Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Grapeseed/ Avocado (these I use interchangeably).

There you have it. It is now in the universe and even though I will not give up in pursuing these brands I’m hoping someone with the knowledge I need finds my space and points me in the right direction. Also this is not me saying I wouldn’t be open to other brands especially ones with natural ingredients, fair trade practices or local businesses. I’m simply saying this is a list of companies I currently use/ go to.

PS – I’m counting this as a digital Vision Board because lets face it it would be a dream come true to have my favorite brands find my corner of the internet.

House, Reviews

Review: NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Grommet Blackout Curtains for Bedroom (2 Panels, W42 x L63 -Inch,Grey)

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Pros:

  • Color
  • Great if you have low ceilings
  • Looks expensive when ironed (which I didn’t do because I hate ironing)

Cons:

  • Must use two panels otherwise it is not a total blackout curtain
    • single panel stretched out allows light in as it doesn’t have an additional backing like expensive blackout curtains

Overall: I would and HAVE purchased again. Once I realized I needed two panels for each window I purchased more in grey for my bedroom and also purchased in navy blue for my living room. The link below shows fabric and grommets.

While this post isn’t sponsored by anyone, I was able to buy it with gift cards I accumulated through taking surveys. I still worked for the gift cards but it wasn’t part of  regular income.
House, Reviews

Review: Decopolitan 7/8-Inch Square Window Treatment Rod Set, 36 to 72-Inch, Nickel

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Sorry about the lighting. Left side of the full rod picture is closest to actual color

Pros: 

  • Affordable less than $15 as of 1/8/18 (price varies)
  • Bright nickel finish
  • Sturdy
  • Fast shipping with Amazon Prime

Cons:

  • Price varies which is important if you want to buy more
  • Scratches easily (could be result of how I was moving it)

Overall: I would purchase and recommend as long as the price didn’t go over $20. Looks very nice for the price 🙂 The link below shows the rod up close

While this post isn’t sponsored by anyone, I was able to buy it with gift cards I accumulated through taking surveys. I still worked for the gift cards but it wasn’t part of  regular income.
Food, Health/ Fitness, Life Changes

What I’m Eating – March

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Mustard Deviled Eggs with bacon & paprika
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Green & Black beans w/ sliced almonds
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Turkey Soup w/ kale & Celery w/ hummus
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Bean Soup (red beans, lentils, kale, celery and shrimp). Cook with vegetable broth and no shrimp to make it vegetarian or vegan
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Chicken Wings & Sauteed Kale
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Tuna & Cucumbers (still don’t like cucumbers)
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Tuna w/ Spinach
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Pork Roast w/ Sauteed Kale & Bell Peppers
Reviews

Review: Delimira Full Figure Bra

Delimira Women’s Smooth Full Figure Underwire Seamless Minimizer Bra (40F)

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I purchased* this bra on Amazon not expecting much because it’s literally the cheapest bra of this size I’ve ever found. I received it in the packaging above which seemed sufficient.

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I immediately looked at the seams and was shocked because it was stitched well. There weren’t any loose threads and nothing was frayed. The design was cute enough for a bra of this size and the material felt soft. I say cute enough because unless you spend $60+ you only get a plain almost hospital looking bra.

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Next I had to look at the clasp… I was nervous because it was on $17.99 plus tax (as of 2/7/18). But the above picture is what was looking back at me. An industrial strength reinforced closure that would hold back the twins! Okay maybe that was an exaggeration but needless to say it wasn’t the cheap piece of material I expected to see at that price. The straps and rings seemed standard.

Final Notes:

  • Affordable
  • Free shipping if you have Amazon Prime
  • Minimizer portion is more of a flattening which caused a little spillage
    • this could be pilot error as this is my first minimizer
  • Not sure how many washes the cups will go through while still minimizing
    • again could be pilot error as I think most bras recommend hand washing but I’m not doing that…
    • so far one wash on regular cycle (& dry) and we’re doing good
  • Will buy again in same color
    • other options in my size (40F) were Ivory & Pink
*using gift cards from taking surveys
Parent Life, Reviews

Review: FUNERICA Pretend Play Food Set

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Pros:

  • All pieces fit into the container easily
  • Cuttable pieces have sturdy velcro
  • Durable
  • Container can be opened by toddler
    • my son actually found this very amusing so it is kind of like an additional toy!
  • Food is realistic with  seeds/ core
  • My husband and I enjoy playing with this because of the cuttable food

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Cons:

  • Image on Amazon shows stainless steel pots, pans and additional utensils but what I received was plastic pink & red and no additional utensils (not including knife as that wasn’t shown to be steel)
    • Note – I was charged a lower than what I originally saw so the lower price might have reflected the adjustment in product
  • Must use back & forth motion to cut food because chopping (one movement) doesn’t work easily
    • Husband pointed out this is usually how you cut which makes it more realistic however I like to chop because it’s fun 😉
  • Easy for toddler to lose pieces so parent has to make sure all food items are put back together
    • already lost 2 pieces so we only have 1/2 of an apple and steak not a big deal but worth mentioning

Overall: I would buy this again because my son loves it and he can cook mommy lunch. I would prefer to be notified if the items will be different than what was shown as the set pictured looked more like my cookware which is what I was going for but again my son doesn’t care and still really enjoys the set. The link shows all the items I received in the set and you can see my son’s little hand as he’s too excited to wait for me to finish recording.

While this post isn’t sponsored by anyone, I was able to buy it with gift cards I accumulated through taking surveys. I still worked for the gift cards but it wasn’t part of  regular income.
Health/ Fitness, Life Changes, Postpartum, Self Care, Weight

Motivation & Habits

If you’ve been reading my blogs you know I’ve struggled with motivation. I get inspired, do okay, get distracted, fall off, repeat. My wake up call came in the form of family pictures; see below.

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Yup, all the hard work I was doing went completely sideways when I got sick. Instead of preparing something healthy and easy, I turned to junk food. Not only did we spend a lot of money but I’m pretty sure we shaved at least 2 weeks off of our lives. The final guilt was seeing how the family pictures turned out. I looked and felt bloated, my face was still healing from the infection and the antibiotics made my normally oily skin very dry to the point of peeling so I piled on makeup that didn’t turn out right. I spent the next morning sad and depressed. Then my support system kicked in.

My husband gave me an amazing pep talk and because he’s awesome and super supportive we went to Target at 10pm so I could buy containers to help me meal prep. We ate one more garbage meal then I got to work. I meal prep’d that night. Monday I turned to the internet to keep me motivated since hubby would be at work and I had an appointment near one of my favorite restaurants.

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After an emotional appointment (nothing bad just needed to plan better). I didn’t eat perfectly but I didn’t go to the restaurant either. Tuesday was tricky because I was running errands which meant I had to have breakfast, lunch and snacks with me. Thankfully my mom was able to come and helped with my son. Afterwards we were both very hungry but instead of going to fast food we went to the grocery store. I surprised myself by buying lots of veggies and some veggie based dips (guacamole and hummus) in order to make sure all of our dinners included veggies.

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Tuesday night I still felt bloated and knew I needed to start incorporating exercise to encourage movement if you know what I mean 😉 Plus I wanted those endorphins! So again I turned to the internet. It was another late night but boy am I happy I started surfing. I found the post below and it fired me up.

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ryschyragzfitness In honor of today’s workout I had to wear this shirt 😆. I had to do what I Needed to do and not what I Wanted to do. I had to keep going when I wanted to 🛑 more than a few times. Whew 💨💨💨. I could have made excuses for why it was ok for me to stop. But I didn’t, I found my Beast Mode and #sheaintcute and kept going. So Today let’s do what we need to do and not what we want to do. Plain and simple. Your needs are the most important, not your wants. Cater to your Needs… 1. You need to eat healthy, but you want to have a donut 🍩 2. You need to move and be active, but you want to lie down instead. 3. You need to be positive, but you want to feed yourself negative talk. Get where I’m going? Master taking care of Your Needs and everything else will fit into place. I guarantee it. #aintnoexcuse #selflove #marathon #thankmelater #thankyourselfnow #fitnesslifestyle #Fitmom#needsversuswants #doit #dontquit#beautyandabeast
NOTE: I asked the woman above for permission to post this screenshot and whenever possible I contact people BEFORE posting. If I do not get permission for a post or don’t receive a reply I will only reference what I saw or post the person’s handle so it can be looked up. The exception would be quotes from Pinterest but I NEVER remove any logo/ trademarks/ watermarks because I believe the originator deserves the credit for their creative work.

I found her post so motivating that I checked out her website (www.ryschyragz.com) and planned a workout for the morning. Wednesday I not only smashed a pilates workout but I cooked dinner for the rest of the week! I wanted to keep the momentum going so I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I was hit with something to the effect of you didn’t fail if you only did 7 days of a 10 day cleanse; You succeeded for 7 days!! This hit me hard because negative talk is how I would fall off. I now look at each day as a day I succeeded. On days I’m not perfect I look at each accomplishment individually: meals, workouts, personal time, etc.

I was going to include all the individuals that inspired me but this post is long enough. Rather than give up on shining a light on those who’ve motivated me I am going to blog about them and I will include specifics if I can get permission to do so.

If you’ve gotten this far because you need motivation, I hope this helps and I hope you come back in the future when I post more of what motivates me. If you made it this far simply to read what I had to say then THANK YOU 🙂