Month: July 2016

How I lost 10 pounds in 30 days

I gained 30 pounds while I was pregnant with Lulu. After she was born, I tried not to overthink loosing the weight. I was blissfully happy in my new mommy life with my new mommy body. I didn’t want to stress about my weight when I had so many other things to focus on. I lost the first 20 pounds rather easily. However, the last 10 pounds stuck around for far too long. I started to realize the ‘don’t stress about it’ motto wasn’t working. Summer was quickly approaching and I knew I was going to be in a bathing suit frequently.  I wanted to be able to run around the beach and jump in the pool with Lulu . I didn’t want  feeling self conscious about my weight to prevent me from enjoying the Summer with my family. I just wanted to enjoy the moment with my baby.  I decided to take action. I am horrible at working out and I am even worse at eating healthy. I have a serious weakness for french fries and everything buffalo chicken.  I wanted to lose weight but I didn’t want to lose it at the expense of the things I enjoy. These are the steps that worked for me.belly-2473_1280


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Sign up for Lose It!

I can’t go on a typical ‘diet’. If I try to cut certain foods out of my diet I will obsess about those foods until I can’t take it any longer. I will stuff my face full of every piece of chocolate cake I can find. Think of the scene in Matilda with Bruce and the chocolate cake. It just does not work for me. Instead, I count calories. This way I can eat all of my favorite foods, I just can’t eat them in excessive amounts. I am cutting down on eating but I don’t feel deprived.  Downloading a calorie counting app makes it incredibly easy to track what you are eating. This was the most important step in my weight loss.

Skip Lunch

This approach definitely won’t work for everyone. But I noticed for me, every time I ate a large lunch I would go over my calories. Even though I wasn’t hungry, I still wanted to sit down and eat dinner with my family. This inevitably led to overeating. Instead, I ate a healthy snack (almonds, carrots, apples, etc.) around lunch time. This satisfied the midday hunger without forcing me over my daily calorie count.

Take Daily Family Walks

I have never had much motivation to work out and it has only gotten worse since I had Lulu. It is important for me to find enjoyable ways to exercise. My favorite is by taking family walks. It gives me a chance to get outside, enjoy time with my family and as a bonus I get in a great work out. On top of just walking, it is also great cardio to push a 20 pound baby in a 15 pound stroller!

Find an Enjoyable Workout

I enjoy using the Wii. My very favorite game is Just Dance! I love getting into the dance moves. I channel Britney Spears circa 2001 and I go all out. Why not? I am in the privacy of my own home and no one can see me! It is the perfect place for me to let loose. And I really let loose.  By the end of my 10 song set,  my body feels like I just ran a marathon. I work out on the Wii at least four times a week. This isn’t the best workout for everyone but it is what I find enjoyable. If you don’t have a workout that you enjoy you are going to avoid exercising like it’s the plague. You can find Just Dance! on Amazon by clicking HERE. They of course, have other video games that you can also use as an enjoyable exercise routine.

Drink Water

I know this is said over and over again but it was vital in my weight loss. It is very easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Not drinking enough liquid throughout the day is a slippery slope into overeating. I fill up a large water bottle and commit to drinking it by 12pm. I then refill the bottle to drink throughout the afternoon.  Miraculously, I stopped feeling starved by dinner time and instead started being satisfied with much smaller food portions. Not only did this help with my workout plan but it made me feel better. I have more energy, I started getting less headaches and I noticed improvement in my digestion.

Weigh In Daily

Weighing in everyday makes me accountable. When I notice a lower number on the scale I am proud of my progress and it motivates me to continue working hard. On the days that the scale goes up I know exactly why. I went over my allotted calories the day before and I skipped my work out. Knowing what a difference those 500 extra calories makes is all the incentive I need to do better the next day.


In the past, I have gone on crash diets to loose weight quickly but as soon as the weight was lost I went back into old habits. Following these steps not only allowed me to lose 10 pounds but I lost the weight quickly. I was proud of my weight loss and most importantly the plan was something I could continue to sustain.  Keeping up these steps has allowed me to maintain my ideal weight and I actually weigh less than I did before I got pregnant!



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Pink and Gold 1st Birthday

Lulu is one! I have had so much fun planning her first birthday party. This is probably the only birthday I will get to pick a theme that I want because she is too young to voice her opinion! I knew as soon as I had a baby girl that I wanted her first birthday to have a pink and gold theme. I am by no means a fancy party planner and I am NOT a crafty person but I am slowly learning. Most of the décor I had for her birthday was purchased off of Etsy. I did a few projects and trust me, if I could do these crafts, anyone can! I also reused a lot of the decor for her first birthday photo shoot.

The Welcome Table: I purchased the banner and string from a local craft store. The banner was already cut out. I just had to string and hang it! Easy enough and it added the extra pink and gold touches I was looking for. The stats printable was ordered off of Etsy from ChalkType. I then just glued the printable on a canvas. I  framed two pictures from her first birthday photoshoot. One of the frames had a signable border. I put out a gold sharpie so our guests could sign in. We actually won this frame from the 1st Birthday Party that Toys R Us throws. I’m really excited about this keepsake. {Sidenote: the Toys R US 1st birthday was a nice FREE event-I would definitely recommend it. I think they do it a few times a year}.


Month by Month Display: This banner was made in the same way as mentioned above. Every month I took a picture of Lulu next to a chalkboard which listed her stats and things she liked that month. To display these pictures at the birthday party, I bought unfinished wooden picture frames at the craft store. They were only $1 each. I then spray painted them hot pink, gold and light pink.


Weekly Photo Display: Every Wednesday for the first year of Lulu’s life I took a picture of her. I know this sounds a little crazy but she’s my first child. I wanted to document her growth every week and I just really love pictures. Even if you aren’t a crazy picture lover who tortures her child with a weekly photoshoot, you can still do a picture board like this by just organizing your photos in chronological order to go with the ‘time flies’ theme. We actually used this frame at our wedding and I found it just sitting in our basement. It was black before so I spray painted it light pink to go with the theme. I printed the ‘Time Flies’ letters offline. I then just glued the letters to pink cardstock paper. I printed the pictures as 4×4 so I didn’t have to cut them down too much. I used a corner cutter so the edges would be nice and round. I labeled each of the pictures with the week it was taken and just glued them directly onto a large card board piece of paper. The white bin and ‘ONE’ letters were reused from her one year old photo shoot. I bought the bin and letters from the local craft store and just spray painted them to go with the color scheme.


The Cake: I am actually better at crafts than I am at baking so I most definitely did not make the cake. I just searched pinterest for cakes I liked, printed a picture and gave it to our bakery. The ‘One’ cake topper was purchased off of Etsy from WithlovebyAnri.

img_7934The Highchair: Of course the highchair has to be perfectly decorated for the cake smash! I just tied balloons to the back of the chair and tied the ‘ONE’ sign to the front. The one sign was purchased off of Etsy from SugaryDreamShoppe.img_8069

Family Photo Wall: I thought it would be a really nice idea to do a photo wall that celebrated everyone who has been involved in Lulu’s first year. Of course my Mama brain forgot to take a picture of it but I wanted to mention it here because I got A LOT of compliments on the wall and people loved looking for their pictures with Lulu. I cut out letters that spelled out ‘Thank You for Making My First Year So Special’. These were glued onto light pink cardstock. I then printed pictures of Lulu with all of the people in her life {I made sure to have at least one picture with everyone at the party}. I glued these pictures onto gold and light pink cardstock. I then just taped them to a large empty wall.


The Outfit: This princess needed a tutu and crown for her first birthday!   The outfit was purchased off of Etsy from avannabelbaby. The crown was purchased off of Etsy from DaintyCouture.img_7920

I would say the birthday party was a success! Lulu had a great time {as you can tell from the picture}.

1st Birthday Photoshoot

I have been planning Lulu’s 1st year photo shoot for months. I created a pinterest board, walked the aisles of the craft stores and endlessly searched Etsy. I was still regretting our failed newborn photo shoot. We were so excited to get pictures that we foolishly went with the hospital photo service. HUGE mistake! We paid an outrageous amount and got two poses. Lulu cried the entire photo shoot. It was a disaster. This one year photo shoot was my chance to make up for it.206

I found an unfinished wooden crate at a local craft store. I spray painted it white. This crate took several coats of spray paint. I initially only sprayed the outside and you could see in pictures that it was unfinished so I had to spray the inside of the crate as well. 320

I also found these letters that spelled out ‘ONE’ at the craft store. I searched for unfinished letters but I could not find what I wanted. I ended up buying letters that were already painted white. I had to lightly sand them and then spray painted them. The ‘O’ and the ‘E’ are a light pink. The ‘N’ is sprayed a glitter gold. The gold required several heavy coats of spray paint. Her outfit was purchased on Etsy from
329I used a basket that we already had around the house. You can find baskets like this at pretty much any store in the home goods sections. I believe this basket is from Target. I tied balloons to the handles. I purchased the ONE banner off of Etsy from I had to put a blanket in the bottom of the basket because she was bare foot and wouldn’t stand in the basket without this cushion. But the blanket gave her a little extra height which made the pose turn out even better.


I purchased the cake topper from Etsy at The stats printable was also purchased from Etsy at I glued the sign onto a canvas so it could stand. The outfit was of course also purchased from Etsy at


I probably spent more than I should have for these photo shoot props but I loved how they turned out so it was worth it. I was also able to reuse everything for her 1st birthday party which helped justify the price. You can click here to see pictures from her first birthday party!

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