2.26.2015

Grumpy Girls


 This year, more than any year before, I've struggled with parenting. She's at an age now that she actually listens to what I say, repeats it, and I'm sure is storing it tight in her memory to pull and and use against me when she's 15 and pissed because I won't let her wear short shorts. Questions, so many questions, every single day and not just about important things, but just anything. I think she may just love listening to herself talk, it's hard to tell. 


I have to be very mindful of my verbiage around her, words like 'diet' I try to steer clear of.  We talk about things that are healthy and things that are ok, but only in moderation. I don't want her to obsess about food, but I also want her to have knowledge of how to pick healthy items. She hasn't really asked me questions about weighing my food, but I don't make a big deal about it when I'm cooking. I've already thought about what to say when she does ask, it's just a way to measure food - like a measuring cup or tablespoon. 


 The pink tutu. Bless this sweet child's heart she has literally become obsessed with this skirt. It's become a security blanket for her and I don't really know why or if I should do anything about it. She's fine wearing a uniform to school, but literally asks to go straight home and put it on every single day. Yesterday I washed it and she checked the dryer about 45 times waiting for it to be done.


 Then we have Kinder drama, mean girls, and hurt feelings. I'm pretty shocked that this is already a situation, but almost every week it gets brought up at home and I've struggled with how to explain it to her in a way she'll understand. I told her not every one is going to be her friend, there are many different types of people in the world, some you will get along with and some you won't. Also, if a girl is mean to you it's probably not something you did, maybe they are just having a grumpy day, you know how sometimes you get put in time out for being sassy and have to change your mind? Everyone has grumpy days. I know she's young, but the girl drama is already breaking my heart. 

A video posted by Megan (@skinnymeg31) on

Raising a girl has proven to be exhausting so far, I want her to grow up with a pretty heart. I want her to be open minded. I want her to be confident in her abilities. I want her to stay 5 forever and ever.



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2.25.2015

Sitting at Work is a Health Risk

Recent studies have shown that people with jobs in which they sit most of the day are more likely to get overweight and die. Even if you exercise on a regular basis you still run the risk of health issues due to sitting too much, It has been all over the news. So what is a desk jockey to do.
Obviously you most likely need your job, so quitting probably isn't an option. If you quit you'd probably just start sitting at home in front of the television all day, which wouldn't correct the issue at all. 
One suggestion to help keep your body from getting stagnant is to get up and walk around often. Whenever you have a lull at the computer or phone, get up and take a quick walk around the office. This allows your blood to get pumping and flowing again. It also helps burn a few calories. 
If you have time after lunch take a walk. Eat lunch standing up, if you can. Eating a light lunch at work keeps you from feeling weighed down too. It also helps you with weight loss, the walking and the eating light. Light lunch means a salad or a salad or maybe a sandwich with mostly fresh vegetables. A little protein can help too, so add some tuna or chicken.
An interesting innovation for desk workers are the new height adjustable desks. These desks are adjustable so they can be used by the tallest and the shortest workers.They are ergonomically designed, so they help in a well rounded way, making them comfortable to stand at.
Simply standing, instead of sitting, can help you burn an added 20 to 50 calories. Your starting weight determines how much you stand to burn (no pun intended). Yes, you burn calories while sitting, just like your body continues to burn calories while you sleep. However, standing gives your muscles some work to do which helps burn those extra calories. You just might burn off dinner if you spend your eight hour shift standing.
Not only will standing at work reduce your waistline, promote weight loss and help keep your body functioning properly (and happily), it can also help with your posture. Many people tend to slouch when they sit. Standing at a desk promotes good posture, which can also help your body run more properly.
These interesting and amazing height adjustable desks are definitely a holistic health care item. They aid in helping create a healthier mind, body and soul. Your blood flows better, allowing you to think better. Your body gets healthier and your soul feels freer!
If you cannot convince your employer to get you a standing desk, invest in one for when you work at home and just take every chance you can at the office to get up and walk around, even if it's just for a quick lap around your desk. The less time you spend sitting the better your health will be and the more your body will thank you.



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Back Work




It's hard to see what's going on behind you, so I was really pleased when a friend snapped this shot and my muscles showed up to the gym party! I'm going to share my tried and true go to moves to shape that upper back, I usually do my lower back combined with legs in dead lifts and such so I'll share those another day. 


You can work this a few different ways depending on your fitness level. My favorite way is to start my first set out light {always warm up, every time I skip this I get injured and it's annoying} and go heavier each set after - I aim for 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cable machines for my back, you can do so much and go really heavy! Most of the time I rest about 15-20 seconds between sets, not very long at all.


When I do cardio or run I love my Spark, nothing compares, I've tried a preworkout and it actually made me feel dizzy when I ran! On days that I don't do cardio I get less carbs, so I don't like to waste 11 of them on a drink so I use this pre-workout Cellucor C4 Extreme Workout Supplement combined with my Catalyst.

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 We are getting a crazy cold round of winter weather here in Dallas this week, I've had to rethink my clothing choice almost every day :) This cardi is perfect for that transition from Winter to Spring, y'all know I love me some color! From Always Be Envied and you can get 20% off using code SKINNYMEG20 through 2/27 {this Friday!} Sorry, cute baby not included!

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2.24.2015

One Month Progress and Vegas


 I feel like I haven't blogged in forever and I have so much to say, so grab your coffee and settle in for some rambling updates.
First and foremost  - I'm so proud of myself!!! I went to Vegas for 3 days last week {to shop at Market with PinkSlate} and I did not gain one single ounce! 


It's my first time going to market and I had a blast, shopping for clothing is my forte for sure ;) I just love how clothing can make you feel! It was also my first time meeting the PinkSlate girls and they are just as wonderful as I'd thought they'd be, so fun and down to earth. My kind of people for sure!   Second best part of the trip was going to see Britney, she was awesome, all the seats are good and she puts on a terrific show!


I kept a picture diary of everything I ate, I tracked all of it to the best of my ability and hit my protein plus some every single day. When you eat out so much it's hard to really be dead on with your macros, you are guesstimating most of your foods and just guessing high. I decided to focus more on eating as much protein as I could and staying within my calorie range. Worked out really well for me! I also worked out both full days I was there, I mean how can you go and NOT run the strip at least once!


I had a half marathon on Saturday and had a special shirt made for one of the ladies who was running her first. This shirt is a bit of an inside joke with her, but I had it custom made from Abundant Heart. 
{You can get 15% off non custom orders with code SkinnyMeg} 


When I left the house for the race is was 66 out, by the time the race started the wind had it feeling like 40's. Thankfully I'm always prepared and I had a long sleeved shirt to wear! 


I started off the race keeping pace with everyone, but around halfway another girl and I took off, we finished in 2:07 which I think is really good. I'm excited for Rock and Roll Dallas March 22nd, maybe I can PR depending on how crowded it will be. Poppy Locks rocked our faces off with a medal cookie she made to match our shirts - I was almost sad to eat it.

Best aviators ever from FarOut Sunglasses - use code skinnymeg and they are like 16 bucks!
Later in the day it warmed up enough to take the kids out for a little fun, baby Aiden is seriously trying to make me cry with his grown up behaviors. Growing hair, trying to talk, trying to walk. I just can't even.


Sunday we cleaned and meal prepped as usual, Madison loved my Turkey Meatballs so I made extra for her and Oliver.


Monday we woke up to this, which may not look like anything if you live up North, but this shut down DFW for the entire day. Ice ice baby. 


By 8:45am my living room looked like this and the only person to put on real clothes the entire day was Aiden. We played, we ate, we binged on Netflix, we napped, and baby Aiden took his first steps! Madison was driving the remote control car around the living room and he got scared and forgot that he couldn't walk and stumbled over to me.


To finish it all off - I HIT PREPREGNANCY WEIGHT! I really wanted to get there before his first birthday next week and I'm happy to say I did it. In the last 3 weeks I have lost 5 pounds, .5 inch on my hips, .25 inch on my thighs, and 1 inch from my bust. Weight training and IIFYM are really working for me and I feel fantastic! I'm eating things I want {in moderation} and I'm finding a good balance between my running and lifting.


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2.16.2015

Sparkle on Ansley


Y'all know that I'm a big softy for little cute girl in little pink cowgirl boots. Melt. My. Heart. Ansley here is not only a girl with great fashion sense, but has the biggest smile, and the heart of a lion.  

Let me tell you a little of her story...


This is Katie. Katie and her husband Ben tried for 6 years to get pregnant. 6 years. The first 4 were filled with fertility treatments, which I know is an ever going roller-coaster of hope, disappointment, and all the feelings in between. After finally being led to adopt, they were matched with a birth mother who ended up changing her mind in the hospital. They went home devastated and heartbroken, and packed up the nursery they had put together for their little girl.


Four months later they received a call that the birth mother decided she could not care for Ansley and signed the papers for Katie and Ben to adopt her! Shortly after Ansley came home they took her to the pediatrician and were immediately told something was “wrong” with her head since it appeared to be too small. They were referred to several specialists and it was soon discovered that sweet Ansley had Lissencephaly (a rare brain formation disorder which means smooth brain), Microcephaly (a rare neurological condition in which an infant’s head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children around the same age and sex), and PolyMicroGyria (a condition characterized by abnormal development of the brain before birth).   Shortly after the diagnoses, Ansley ended up in the ER after she had infantile spasms. It was then found out that Ansley was visually impaired and had cortical vision impairment and optic nerve hypoplasia. She was recently placed with a gtube to receive her nutrition due to having some feeding issues.


Katie had to quit her full time job to care for sweet baby Ansley, she requires lots of extra love :) We all know that living on one income is stressful, add to that a special needs baby, and adoption fees. I can not even imagine, which is why I am SO THANKFUL for @GoShoutLove 

Their February shirt designs for Ansley were made specifically in honor of her and each design is available in adult and child size. Each purchase of these shirts will benefit this family. Our Ansley shirts are only available during the month of February so please remember to grab them while you can before they’re gone! 




You can click here to order a Sparkle t shirt to help out Fancy Ansley! Please do me a favor and order the cute little top knot to go with it if you have a girl, I so miss dressing a baby girl!!

Also - @GoShoutLove  is having an auction on February 20th over at @goshoutloveauction on Instagram! Our last auction was mind-blowing and we hope this one will be even more successful! We are always looking for more vendors so please visit the“Give” tab to submit your donation.

You can keep up with Katie and Ansley on their Facebook page or on IG under @GetFitKatie 

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Valentines's Weekend


 I loved Valentines Day being on a Saturday, every where I went there was pink and red, hearts and glitter, just a few of my favorite things!


Saturday we went for a sunrise run, 8 miles at a 9:06 pace, I was sucking air big time. I'm more comfortable around a 9:30, but no one ever gets faster sticking to their comfort spot. 


 Came home to Madison's surprise Heart Attack from my parents, a local church was raising money for a mission trip and they came to the house and planted paper hearts around the yard. It was so cute and such a great idea!


 Made breakfast for everyone, mine was the post run carb lovin' protein pancakes. I look forward to this meal every single weekend! Blueberries and Cinnamon Toast Crunch are surprisingly delicious together.


Took the kids out for a few errands and Madison's last indoor soccer game, Oliver had to work the morning shift. Then everyone home for naps while my Mom and I went to get a pedicure. I realized I hadn't had one since around Christmas, yikes. 


We didn't make reservations anywhere so we just met up with my brother and sister for pizza at a local restaurant. I had a salad with dressing on the side and a skinny veggie pizza.


Baby Aiden was being so loveable and just laid on my Dad's arm, everyone love Papa. 


Poor Madison just can not catch a break, Thursday she was running a 103 fever and then Sunday she had some kind of stomach bug and was in and out of the bathroom all day. I don't know why she keeps getting sick :( I'm glad school's out today, she's already missed like a week and a half this semester! 



This pretty much sums up my life right now, Aiden chasing me around the house to grab on to my legs and stand so I can't move without picking him up. He's pretty fast for a guy who crawls with one leg. I'm leaving for Vegas tomorrow and while I'm excited because I've never been it's really really hard to leave the kids. Hopefully I'll be so busy while I'm there I won't have time to dwell on it.


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2.13.2015

4 Ways To Stay Motivated For A Healthy Lifestyle


The new year brings a lot of people looking for a change in their lives, but you don't necessarily need a resolution to improve your life. If you want to make a change and experience a better life for yourself, then you need to be ready. When you're ready to embrace the change, you'll find it much easier to stay motivated. If you need some help, here are four tips to keep you motivated.
Keep A Schedule
One of the first problems people encounter during a lifestyle change is remembering that you are making a change. Plan ahead of time so that you don't make excuses for yourself. Prepping some healthy freezer meals ahead of time will prevent you from resorting to fast food after a long day. Keep a routine so you can keep track. Don't be afraid to start slow either. Healthe Trim recommends 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes if you're starting at a low fitness level. You can always adjust your schedule to accommodate more activity later.
Do It For Your Family
Think of everyone who is affected by your unhealthy choices from the past. That candy bar seemed pretty innocent when it was just your snack, but it's also the reason you don't have the energy to chase your children around the yard or spend a family outing hiking in a national park. Not only do unhealthy choices prohibit you from fully enjoying your family but you are also setting a poor example for your children. It's important to lead by example so that your kids can make healthy choices as well. Slice up veggies and fruit ahead of time and you and the kids will be more likely to reach for that instead of potato chips.
Social Media Has Perks
Fill your life with things that inspire you, and that includes your social media boards. Follow individuals and businesses that encourage you through positive messages, their own experiences, and healthy recipes or activities you can participate in. For example, on Twitter Healthe Trim shares everything from fitness products, healthy food options, and even just the occasional video to make you laugh. Find what works for you - whether it's Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or blogs.
Keep It Friendly
Don't let real life be any different than social media. Find like-minded friends who can join you at the gym or a healthy cooking class to keep you on your game. Check in with them throughout the week with words of encouragement or even a friendly competition. It doesn't have to be about who shed more pounds. Little victories like, "I went the whole day without any added sugar! What about you?", could help you all stay on track during your endeavor. 
Change isn't easy but it can be for the best. If you can stick to your new lifestyle you're bound to see a vast improvement in your overall life. Create a support net that inspires you to stay on track and you'll find that you may one day be the person who inspires others.

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2.12.2015

Tax Season with TurboTax


“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TurboTax, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TurboTaxACA http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


This weekend is very important and not just because it's the day we celebrate love with our friends and family, it's also the deadline to enroll in health insurance. It's your last chance to avoid penalty on your taxes next year, health insurance open enrollment ends on Sunday, February 15.

Did you know there’s a new requirement on your taxes this year? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all Americans have health insurance coverage in 2014 or pay a penalty in their taxes, which means this year you have to report your insurance stats on your tax return. Luckily, it’s really easy with TurboTax. If you get insurance from work, all you have to do is check a box! 

Plus, through February 16th you can file for free – Federal AND State – if you have a simple return (1040A/EZ). 


 I have used TurboTax from the very beginning, from my first job at 16, through college, marriage, and kids. It's absolutely hassle free, fast, and couldn't be easier. I always have felt  that I got the maximum return because they don't miss a thing!

 
The Affordable Care Act is something we ALL need to be educated on and how it is going to affect our filings. No matter if you are an insured filer, a marketplace insured filer, or an uninsured filer these video will help clear up questions you may have. You can also check out the TurboTax Health page for more info!


I'm not gonna lie, watching my little box in the corner add up my return can be pretty fun, even more fun with an extra kid this year :) I'm sure Oliver will request we do something fun, like save it. The ying to my yang, that man.

I've always taken care of the finances and taxes for our family, it's just what works best for us. I'm curious to hear how you guys handle tax season at your house? Did you know about the new Affordable Care Act requirements for 2014?


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2.11.2015

How to Grow out your Hair.




We are going to shift gears a little today and talk hair instead of fitness. It's been a long road to not only grow out my hair, but to get it healthy again so I thought I would share a few of my tips.



1. Get rid of the blonde. 
I really really hate to say this, I'm a die hard blondie. I was a blonde baby, a blonde kid, then it just kinda went dirty dishwater on me and I had to work for those shiny blonde locks. Well, after years and years of trying to maintain it my hair just couldn't anymore, it was dry and breaking. Even keeping it short wasn't working for me so I slowly added in darker chunks. I was scared, once upon a time I tried to go dark and hated it, but for some reason the dark suited me better now.



 I kept some blonde around my face at first, but slowly phased that out, darkening up gradually helped me adjust to my new coloring better.


2. Give your hair a rest!
I believe your hair is your crowning glory, that's why I take the time to fix it so much. I work full time during the week and because I workout 4 out of 5 of those days my hair needs almost constant heat of some sort to make it look decent. I usually do my hair up in a braid at least once a week.


 Braiding my hair is something new I've been doing and freaking hair bloggers make it look real dang easy, it's not! It takes trial and error along with lots of practice! Here are a few of my favorite go to's for inspiration:

On the weekends I try to do as little as possible to my hair, I wash it Saturday after my workout, use some Balanced Guru No Frizz Balancing Oil on it, put it up in a loose bun and call it a day until Monday, doing this consistently has exponentially improved my hair!

3. Use good products.
Here are some of my favorites, keep in mind that I have thinish straight hair that damages easily.
1. Pureology 21 - after I wet my hair I spray this on the ends mostly before blow drying.
2. Redken Hot Sets - before I curl only - give protection and a light hold.
3. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo/ Conditioner is my absolute love, but at 20 bucks each it's heartbreaking to buy, here's a cheaper alternative I've been using with good results - Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion the thing I notice most about cheaper shampoo is I have to switch brands often to keep my hair looking decent.

4. Stop what you're doing.
1. Do not wash your hair every day! It's very drying and I tend to have oily roots and workout a lot, but you need to find a way to keep that shampoo off it. I like dry shampoos and braids for 'off' days.
2. Stop stop stop 'trimming' your hair! Cutting off you 'dead ends' will not make your hair grow - treat your hair with a mask or coconut oil if it's really bad and keep the heat away for a while.


3. Never ever ever (in the words of Taylor) curl with out protection. 


5. Embrace your locks.
Finally, whatever type of hair you have learn to love it. Don't force it to be something it's not  - your stylist is not a magician. You can't be pulling out a picture of a short sassy do when you just don't have the time or energy to fix it daily. 

not me - off my Pinterest Hair Board.
This is a super cute {omg I want to cut my hair off} cut, but it takes some good foam {Aquage Uplifting Foam } and arm muscles to round brush the shit out of it. At least 12 minutes of your morning.

Do you guys have any good tips for healthy hair? Let's hear 'em!

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