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Do you even splurge?

When it comes to splurging I have to admit I’m bad at it. I’m bad in a way I never treat myself. I’m a mom of three so I’d rather splurge on them. While that’s a moms job to spoil and love them, sometimes a mom needs something for herself. Am I right?!

The thing is, when you’re working hard to save money, get out of debt, or even just pay the bills, it’s easy to start to believe that splurging is “bad”! That it’s something we should feel guilty about.

But the whole point of working hard and having money is to sometimes be able to enjoy it. My dad always said you can’t enjoy it after you die! I’d say he was correct in that! So while too much splurging can definitely get us into trouble, it’s ok to do it responsibly!

It’s really in the last few years, since I’ve entered my 30s, that I’ve begun to feel comfortable with the idea of spending more money on a few really important things. Things that I want, plain and simple. And things that will last forever, those are really worth the extra bucks!

Yes, it’s important to live within your means. I totally get that. Taking on more debt for a frilly vacation (even though mama needs a Caribbean escape!) or a new outfit probably isn’t wise, nor is it advisable, especially when trying to tackle debt. There I said it.

With all that being said, I totally recommend getting a planner to manage finances and set that splurge day up! I love my planners, I have about five. Maybe that’s my splurge!

Something I REALLY wanted was my Cannon camera. But it’s so hard for me to bite the bullet and get something, even if I’ll use it and need it! My husband actually had to hit the order button for me, I’m such a chicken sometimes. If you’re going to buy a camera, splurge girlfriend. Do it. It’s worth it and you’ll use it for years.

Something else I really wanted and saved for was a professional heat press to help me produce shirts at a faster pace. I also didn’t want to hit order but it’s something I’ll use for a long time in my business. Creating crafts is something that soothes me. Every piece I make just makes me happy!

Another thing that’s so silly and most will laugh at is my tier tray decor & Rae Dunn. Sorry not sorry, it’s my guilty pleasure that technically I don’t need, but WANT. I was so happy to buy our new house and have a two corner cabinets to display my Rae Dunn! Although now I need more, and man finding Rae Dunn during a pandemic is rough. I also found myself buying decor for my tier tray, and losing it between holidays. So I started making my own in my Etsy shop! It’s still a splurge buying the stuff to crest pieces but I get exactly what I want, and I can make them for friends!

Visit my Etsy shop to splurge for yourself!

So my point really in this entire blog is, treat yourself. Please don’t ever think I’m telling you not to. DO IT GIRL. Just do it responsibly and make sure your splurge is something that brings you joy.

I’ve connected with some amazing Bloggers to share some splurge day themed blogs with you. Head to each of their blogs to check out what they are sharing.

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Always Eat After 7 Week 4

This post is Brough to you by our sponsor ” Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

So this is my fourth and final blog update on Always Eat After 7 PM, and I have loved sharing this journey with you all.  All together I have lost 15 pounds, gained so much energy, and learned how to keep my nutrition on track.  I’ve learned that myths are just that, myths.  I won’t ever be afraid to try something out of the norm, or just because someone told me it wouldn’t work.  I will stick with the truth from now on.  

Fact is, most diets are extremely narrow with regard to food choices and variety, and many even limit entire macronutrients altogether over the course of the entire program (think low-carb and low-fat diets). Three months with no carbs? No thanks. Such practices not only are entirely unnecessary, but make for a miserable, unsustainable experience.

I plan to continue following Joels plan and document all of my results.  Following a plan with amazing recipes and an easy no fail plan, is my kind of lifestyle.  There is no way I will go back to where I was a month ago.  

As a reminder:  The Always Eat After 7 PM plan consists of: The 14-day Acceleration Phase to kick-start the program and see rapid results, The Main Phase where you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat when in order to achieve your weight-loss goals, The Lifestyle Phase to keep the weight off for good.

If you are just now tuning into these blogs, make sure to check out the first three to see what this is all about. 

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase.

Make sure to catch weeks 1-3 here!

This post is brought to you by our sponsor “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own.

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Always Eat After 7 PM Week 3

This post is Brough to you by our sponsor ” Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

It is week three and I am loving this. My energy just keeps increasing and my diet has been so easy to follow! Joel makes this all so easy for on the go moms! He shares so many recipes that actually taste good, not like the normal bland diet foods that only rabbits eat.

Specific higher-carbohydrate foods (including berries and cherries) support your fat-burning metabolism while you sleep, providing your body with a steady stream of fuel throughout the night. The trick is knowing how to combine them with other evening and pre-bedtime fat-burning foods to fuel your metabolism as you sleep.

Speaking of sleep, I’m actually getting some. You know, when the baby lets me! No really, I used to have an awful time falling asleep. Now it’s easy and I feel rested when I wake up.

Joel Marion’s Always Eat After 7PM program makes dieting easy and eliminates 90% of reasons for resistance. There go all my excuses for not following through!

If you haven’t checked out my first two blog posts about this journey go ahead and click here. I promise they won’t disappoint!

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase. 

This post is brought to you by our sponsor “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own.


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Always Eat After 7 PM

This post is Brough to you by our sponsor ” Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

I am so excited to write this blog this week. I am about to share some results I am already seeing and share why I chose this book! Guys, I have to be real for a moment, I am an energy drink junkie. I am talking 2 a day, every day. I couldn’t function with out them. I am down 5 pounds in ONE week. To put that in perspective I lost only 12 in a month following another plan. I have more energy to keep up with three kids, one being only 3 months old! That means more time playing with them and less time being a cranky mom. I want to share some questions I had for Joel so you can understand better why I chose this book and trusted him with my health.

Bestselling author, Joel Marion, is a fitness expert and nutritionist debunking the myths underlying traditional dieting and offers a simple, highly effective weight loss program.

The most challenging times to curb hunger are just before bed (hello binge eating) and in the morning. By following the Always Eat After 7PM program, you have the most willpower to stay on the diet because you are eating during the hours when you are most hungry. This also puts you into both intermittent fasting increasing testosterone and your metabolism, while putting you into ketosis.  

What prompted you to write this book and share your secrets?

“After authoring 6 best selling books it was glaringly obvious there were 2 huge misconceptions about dieting that needed to be exposed. The first is that you can’t eat late at night or before bed, which science now shows is NOT true. And second, you can’t eat large portions that satisfy your natural instinct. This book solves both these problems by providing an evidence-based, enjoyable approach to dieting that can be used by any person to quickly achieve their weight loss goal”

What surprised you the most when you were researching scientific data for the diet?

That almost everything my college education and certifications taught me was NOT grounded in published scientific research.

 Give me three words to describe yourself?

Born To Impact

That last question really got me, Joel knew he wanted to impact peoples health and set out to do so!

If you haven’t checked out my first blog check it out here. Learn more about the book and how to purchase it here.

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase. 

As usual I will check in with you next week as you follow along!

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Always Eat After 7

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This post is brought to you by our sponsor ” Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

Since having our third and final baby five months ago, I knew I had to find my way back to my healthy lifestyle. That can be harder than it sounds with a postpartum mindset and a newborn baby that takes all your time. When I was asked to take a look at “Always Eat After 7 PM” I was ecstaitc to say the least! I knew I needed a guide line to get me back into my nutrition, and this was my chance. I want to share the good and bad with you over the next month with my journey.

In Always Eat After 7 PM you will learn about three phases. It is comprised of The Acceleration Phase, The Main Phase, and the Lifestyle Phase. In the Acceleration Phase you will learn how to kick off the program to see maximum results quickly, and who doesn’t want to see those results? Then there is the Main Phase where your nutrition comes into play. You’ll learn what foods to eat and not to eat so that you can reach those goals faster. Lastly you’ll learn about the Lifestyle Phase which is where you’ll learn how to make this a lifestyle. No one wants to follow a plan, see results, and then fall off the wagon!

I had always heard that eating after 7 PM was a huge NO when it came to nutrition. Any diet I have tried and failed at would have me not eating after 7 which resulted in huge cravings!

“Late-night eating also curbs calorie intake the next day. in a four-week study, dieters added a snack to their daily regimen 90 minutes after dinner every night, and check this out: late-night eaters ate an average of 397 calories per day”

I love that Joel had a thought about this, and went after answers to help himself. In his first two weeks of using his theory he lost 12 pounds! What?! Count me in! In just 16 weeks he was down 46 pounds!

I packed on almost 60 pounds with this pregnancy so I am over the moon excited to see my results and share them with all of you. Stay tuned next week for my update!

While you wait for the update check out a video from Joel with some tips and tricks to get you started! If you want to purchase the book and follow along you can do so here.

Always Eat After 7 PM: The revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks – While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase.

This post is brought to you by our sponsor “Always Eat After 7 PM“. The opinions expressed are my own.

I’ll see you guys next week so stay tuned!


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Trendy Whipped Coffee

If you’ve been mindlessly scrolling Facebook while you’re stuck inside, you have probably seen this whipped coffee trend go crazy. I mean if you see it on Facebook, it has to be legit. Right?!

I don’t know about that so I obviously had to try it for myself. You’re talking to the caffeine addicted mom who drinks triple espressos and still nods off. I can’t go a day without coffee or some form of caffeine. It’s a proven fact. Maybe an unhealthy one, but fact!

First let me start out by saying most of the posts I saw…lie. Don’t try doing this by hand. Unless of course you are getting your upper body workout in for the day HA! Get yourself a tiny hand blender. I have a small one and medium size, go small! It’s going to form the best peaks in your foam that it will take a lot of whisking otherwise. Thanks but no thanks. That’s a hard pass for me.

Ingredients are super simple. Two tablespoons Instant coffee (must be instant!), two tablespoons sugar, two tablespoons hot water. Get creative and add some cinnamon because it tastes delicious and has health benefits. Thank me later.

Ready for easy? Just add that to a deep bowl (so it doesn’t splash everywhere. Trust me) , blend until peaks form, top it on your favorite milk of choice. I use a lactose free milk but any will do.

Now if you are sensitive to caffeine I would cut that recipe in half. This recipe is equivalent to six cups of coffee. You read that right mama, six. Thank god it’s easy to make or I would need an iv of it to get me through.

I’m going to need y’all to go try this and report back how you think it tastes. I personally love it, but like I said I can tolerate straight espresso. Oops! Stay tuned for my cold foam recipe this week too. I may as well keep y’all caffeinated and strong 🙂

XO

Taylor

Uncategorized, World Events

Covid-19 Depression

I’m sure someone can relate to the thoughts going through my head as we near the one month mark of being in quarantine. I’ll be the first to admit that I made fun of this all before it hit us. I never thought I’d honestly see the day. Or maybe the humor was a way of me coping with what was to come. Now that we are living a real life horror story I find myself not knowing how to cope. My depression is at the highest peak, like I’m standing on top of Mount Everest looking down at my fate. I’m drowning in thoughts that just never stop racing. I’m sad for my kiddos that don’t understand what’s happening and why they can’t go to Walmart to check out the toys. They’re running out of things to keep them entertained in a small house, but who can blame them considering they’re only 4. Things could be worse and I’m well aware, that doesn’t make my feelings invalid. I know I could be suffering from the virus or have to watch someone I care about get sick, but it is still hard to feel so trapped.

Why am I telling you all this? So you know it’s ok and normal to have all these thoughts. Most of us have never been through something so huge, and i hope we never have to again. I want you to know you aren’t alone and your feelings matter.

It’s ok to be sad your kids are missing school.

It’s ok to be angry your income was taken away.

It’s ok to feel so anxious you can’t sleep.

It’s ok to be upset you’re missing your baby shower, wedding, birthday, etc.

It’s ok to miss going shopping just because.

It’s ok to be overwhelmed being with your family 24/7.

It’s ok to feel like your kids are driving you crazy. Trust me the feelings mutual on their side I’m sure!

What isn’t ok is telling someone else how they should feel. You aren’t that person. You don’t know how their mind works. You don’t know what they’re going through. Stop criticizing others for how they are coping. We are all in this together (thanks Zac Efron) and we have to keep on going. For each other and for our families.

Someday soon (I hope) we can all look back on this and see how strong we all were.

XO

Taylor

crafts, diy, toddler

Cloud Dough DIY

I’ve lost track of what day it is that we have been stuck inside due to Covid-19. It’s dragging on, especially for the two toddlers that have so much energy and just don’t understand why we can’t go places. We were starting to run out of crafts that I bought for them before this all went down. The construction paper is down to the last few sheets, and the crayons are almost all broken. The struggle is real here, and I’m feeling bad for the girls. While mindlessly browsing facebook I saw a recipe for cloud dough and thought it would be a great activity because they love playdough (even though momma hates the mess it makes!). Luckily I happened to have all the ingredients on hand so I gave it a try.

Things you’ll need:

  1. Cornstarch – 2ish cups (I’ll explain)
  2. 1 cup baby lotion
  3. Food coloring
  4. Essential oil if you prefer

I’m going to start out by saying this is a messy project, I don’t care what anyone tells you, it is messy. Put something on the floor to protect it or the mess will be a pain to clean up! It’s also messy during play time, so keep that old sheet down or whatever you use!

I added the cornstarch to a large mixing bowl first, and then added the baby lotion. You’ll then just start folding the two together slowly because it will fly everywhere, I learned the hard way. You don’t have to add the food coloring but it makes it pretty, and who doesn’t love color? I added that in about halfway through mixing and continued to fold it all together. At this point you can add a few drops of essential oil but if you have scented lotion it is not needed at all. This is where I changed the recipe because with only two cups cornstarch it was still REALLY sticky. I’m talking stick on your hands and slimy. So at this point you will just need to slowly add more while folding it in. I probably added about a half cup or more to be honest. I found that the consistency was way better (but it was still sticky once they played with it so make sure you protect the surface you allow them to play on).

They had a ton of fun smashing it, rolling it, and uh making a mess…but it kept them happy for a little while! So I call that a win in the mom book. I also want to disclose that it did dry out pretty quickly, within a few hours. So when they are done playing make sure to put it in a container quickly to see if you can make it last!

If you all decide to try this out use the hashtag #clouddoughaikens so I can see your creations and share them! I’m excited to see what you all think!

XO,

Taylor

Uncategorized

Toddler St. Patty’s Day Craft

I don’t know about you but I love finding easy DIY crafts my toddlers can do, especially for each holiday. It keeps them away from screen time, (I’m not knocking it, trust me they get their share!) and gives them a break from pulling each other’s hair! My girls are 3 and 4 so they still make a mess when crafting, so the easier the better! With St Patty’s day coming up we decided to make a pot of gold to trap a leprechaun! A mom can dream that there will real gold, right?! I guess we will see if I wake up to some!

So as you know, the dollar store is my favorite. If I can’t buy it there, I don’t need it! So we took a quick trip to pick up some supplies. We picked up a few extra supplies we thought we might use but didn’t, so we will save them for a rainy day! We printed out a gold pot to use as a stencil to trace and cut. We ended up not having black construction paper (mom fail!) so I let them pick their favorite color to use. Momma took care of the cutting, and the girls did the gluing. Now it’s time for the messy part, so prepare yourself and your kids (and your home!). I had them use the paint to do fingerprints and shape the rainbow. As you can see, one child decided to do her rainbow a little abstract!

They had so much fun making theirs unique to their personalities and they got along for more than five minutes! I highly recommend activities where they can get their hands dirty, even if it can be a pain to clean up! It keeps them busy and lets them get creative! Stay tuned for our next super easy holiday craft!

Xoxo,

Taylor

Uncategorized

Hello Anxiety

You never know just how awful a mental illness can be until you find yourself smack dab in the middle. The chest tightening, walls collapsing, sweaty palms, dizziness, babbling speech, weak knees, you name it. It all can come at any time. Being told you have bipolar, severe anxiety, ptsd, and depression is a little unnerving and a lot to take in. How will I handle it? How will others perceive me? Will my loved ones understand and support me? What’s wrong with me? What did I do to deserve this?

Looking back now I know I had anxiety at an early age, but I never had the words to explain what I was feeling. There were certain times in my life that elevated it, and times I thought I had it controlled. After losing my dad I was at an all time low. I thought I’d never make it through and I couldn’t get a grip on my feelings. I had to quit my job and get the help I needed to understand my anxiety. I was an emotional mess at any given moment at work and couldn’t give it my all. That’s when I found out it wasn’t just anxiety. It was deeper. Although hearing it was scary, it was somewhat a relief to know there was help out there. What I was feeling wasn’t crazy, it was legitimate thoughts running through my head. I could go on about all of those feelings, but that’s for another day.

Which brings me to what is out there to help if you are suffering and need help? Do you just let it go and hope it gets better? Try to self medicate with all the wrong things? Or do you push it until you can’t handle it anymore like I did? I went through three doctors before finding the one. THREE! Do not be afraid to advocate for yourself and your mental health. Some doctors will just prescribe you something and not really listen. I had doctors turn their cheek when I would go back saying it didn’t work, or I was feeling sick. There are many doctors out there that you are just another face and number to them. You will encounter them. If you are lucky you’ll find the best one, the first time. Do not be afraid to speak up because only you know how you’re feeling. It took me over a year to find the right medicines and right doctor. I didn’t want to be “that girl” who was on medicine, but you know what…it saved me. It saves me every single day. I really don’t care that there are people out there that think taking a pill to save your life is wrong, it isn’t their life to live. Find the things that work for YOU. What works for me, might not work for you! Some can cope without medicine, and some need it. We are all warriors. Get up everyday and do the damn thing girl. We can all get through this together.

xoxo

Taylor