Scentsy Giveaway - Father's Day Edition!

 My co-workers were so sad while I was away. No one else has an awesome Scentsy warmer in their office :) I help to fragrance the entire HR department!

I've been struggling with SOMETHING to get Oliver for Father's Day and now that he mostly works from home I think I will get him a MANLY one for his office. He wouldn't admit it, but he always comments when the house smells nice so I know he's love it :)

They have lots of options for men too!

Even some masculine scents, I think the Vanilla Suede would be nice!

Today Ashley is giving away a $50 Gift Certificate - you must be a follower of this blog to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Meet Meg of Veggie Staples.

Hi, My name is Meg, blog owner of Veggie Staples, wife, art teacher, soon to be mommy, yogi, artist, runner, and health nut. And I used to be fat. There is really no other way to say it. It’s just a fact. And it’s pretty much always been this way. I’ve never written a blog post about this before, so I’m going to try my best to explain my journey to you. 

Growing up I was always overweight. If you could possibly think of a name that some child could have called me regarding this, someone probably said it to me, including a few of my family members (it still hurts to this day when I see them, because that is just something you don’t forget). This was by no fault of my parents. We were active, we ate healthy, and we had our occasional snacks and junk, but by no means did we live off of processed, boxed foods. Unfortunately for me, I did not get the skinny gene that everyone else in my family had, including my extended family. I’m not really sure, to this day, where I get it. I guess some people are not meant to have it; I’m not sure (I have not taken nutrition courses, but that is on the horizon).

As long as I could remember I was a size 14. I never shopped in the plus size, but was aware I was close. My first year of college (2001) I actually lost some weight by moving to art school in Boston and the all the walking I was doing to get around. In January of that year, I made it a goal to lose weight. By March of that year, I had lost 30 pounds, and was feeling great in my size 10 pants I was fitting in, as well as all of the compliments I was getting. Not to mention I could exercise longer, get around easier and was sleeping better. And then I met someone. It got serious and I thought we would get married. I also studied abroad in Florence and probably ate a little too much gelato. Needless to say, when I got back, things fell apart and we broke up, my Dad was deployed to Iraq for 18 months and I stopped exercising. I was depressed and the weight came back on.

It wouldn’t be until 2009 that finally decided to lose the weight for good. I had moved to Florida to take a job and go to Graduate School (where I would eventually meet my husband) and found a poster for Team in Training. I knew this was what I was looking for. I would help raise money for cancer and jump-start a personal weight loss journey in the process. I did not know the profound impact this would have on my life. To say that I met incredible and inspiring people is an understatement. Not to mention the lifelong friends I have made, who continue to help me stay on track and support me.

As I continued to lose weight through training for my first marathon (and I have since run 13 more), I changed my eating habits. I gave up ice cream for sorbet or frozen yogurt, ate snacks like homemade hummus or raw nuts, and ate more greens than I ever had. I also cut out meat and chicken, eating local fish only occasionally. I know this eating style doesn’t work for every one (I know plenty of people who swear by paleo), and I think it is incredibly important to listen to your body. I have also cut gluten and dairy out of my diet, which was surprisingly much easier than I had anticipated. It’s like anything else, you cut the junk out, and even though it’s difficult at first, you really don’t miss it once the craving leaves your system. I also make sure I have a filling breakfast (a large green smoothie or eggs and veggies) 15 to 20 minutes after I drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water (good to get that metabolism going first thing in the morning). That’s not to say I don’t have my treats. I am a sucker for ice cream (I make my own coconut milk ice cream now) and dark chocolate. I am an advocate for eating everything in moderation so no binging occurs. This goes the same for things like pizza. I always make cauliflower crust for my pizza and usually go without the cheese. This still always feels incredibly satisfying and I don’t miss the high calorie version at all (or the way it used to make me feel afterwards). 

I’ve continued to keep up with my weight loss through watching my eating habits. It’s less about calories now (like it was when I first began) and more about eating until I feel 80% full, and filling myself with real, whole foods. I also work out 5-6 days a week, even if it’s just a 60-minute walk with the dog. I include lots of yoga in my workout routine, including bikram yoga, which helps so much with my running. I actually don’t sleep nearly as well and get antsy when I don’t work out now.

As of August 1st, 2013, right before my honeymoon, I had lost a total of 60 pounds, my heaviest at 208, in a size 14, my lowest, at 148 and in a size 4. Since then I’ve become pregnant. I’m expecting my first baby with my husband, Jake, on August 3rd. I still keep up a pretty good workout routine (I even go to bikram yoga!) and walking at least 60 minutes every day (running just isn’t comfortable for me anymore). I know this will help me lose the baby weight afterwards, and also help with my delivery.

The message here is to not give up! Sometimes you fall off the wagon, and you have a bad day, or a bad week, and it’s okay. It’s not easy. It’s hard and you have days where you want to give up and just sit on the couch and sulk. And for some of us (including me) it will be a never ending journey. I will always have to be careful with what I eat to stay in shape. And that’s okay. I know how I feel when I over indulge or eat something with unhealthy ingredients (believe me, not good), so in the end, it’s just not worth it. 

Surround yourself with supportive people (I have a few facebook groups I’m a part of that I stay accountable with) and friends you can go to the gym with (it’s so much easier that way). Follow people on instagram or twitter, or maybe some colleagues at work. If you work out in the morning, make sure you find someone that won’t just text you in the morning saying they want to stay in bed. Make sure they are going to wake up with you for that morning run or kickboxing class at the gym. Just remember: you are not alone and you do not have to do it alone. There is someone else out these who at some point, has been in your position and wants to help cheer you on!

All of my new healthy lifestyle endeavors sparked a new creative love for cooking – and after a few years of health-ifying foods, I decided to start a blog. All of my recipes are gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and plant based. Some of my favorites include my Cauliflower Chili Tacos for dinner or my One Ingredient Fruit Roll Ups for  snack! 

Please vist me over at my blog at http://www.veggiestaples.com or connect with me via social media at anytime! I answer all of my emails myself and love talking to readers!



My Message.

I came across this video on Roni's page {love her BTW}.

I cried at all the women who thought their body was disgusting. It really got me thinking about my message, if someone came up to me on the street and asked me to describe my body what word would I pick?


That's how I see myself. 

I shared this photo on my facebook page over the weekend, my message one of accepting my body after baby and I DO. It's not all rainbows and unicorns though, do I wish I was thinner?
Especially when I'm trying on a super cute dress that won't go over my hips, I mean it was a great deal and everything. Just didn't work.
I get that not everyone is going to love their body all the time, that's probably a big reason I love to workout, I DO love my body when I feel strong.

This may not look like much, but I felt so amazing after doing a move I haven't been able to do since before baby! It means progress. I have an easier time loving the way I look now because I AM making strides in getting to where I want to be. 

she refuses to lip kiss me! 
Growing up I hated the way I looked, I never felt like enough. I want nothing more than to set a good example for my kids so I keep trying every single day. I think it's VERY important to have realistic goals, I will never have 6 pack abs, mainly because I don't care to, and I don't care about 15% body fat either. A friend sent this the other day and it's so so true!

You need to find your balance, if you keep striving for something that doesn't fit your life you will never attain your goals. Food is the hardest part for me, so much of my social life revolves around it. I've made GREAT strides in making it easier on myself to stay on track even while out. I snack before I go and look up calories before I order. Little things so I don't feel like crap afterwards. Do I want to take tupperware everywhere I go with chicken and veggies, no. That's just not me. I want a little mexican food every once in a while, so I have to be OK with the body I get from that. 

The reason I've been so open with how my body looks - after a baby, at 40 weeks pregnant, after a 100 pound weight loss, is because I would love to help just one person feel better with their own body. 

Blogging about health and fitness has two sides; on one hand I love the accountability and the camaraderie, but on the other there can be pressure. Pressure to have all the muscles, pressure to lose all the weight, and pressure to eat the right foods.

I'd rather mine be about my message, be the best you. 

I DO want some nice sexy arms though.



Mama's Going Back to Work!

Well those 12 weeks sure went by quick, it's even harder to believe that my baby is almost 3 months old! 

I spent the weekend just mentally preparing myself, trying to make the adjustment as smooth as possible for everyone. I need to be sure everyone knows who needs to be where and when. Madison is starting a new summer preschool, dance is ending, gymnastics needs to be moved to another day, indoor soccer will be starting, etc. Oh - plus the baby!

Besides the logistics of it all I need to be organized with our meals, I will have even less time after work to cook so I REALLY need to prep as much as I can. 

Took my man to the store where he lost his binky while I was wearing him and I had to pray the entire ride home he would sleep :) I also HATE grocery shopping, it's so expensive it's depressing, it's all the produce that adds up!

Thankfully due to Memorial Day I have a short week so I only prepped enough for the next 3 days. I cut up 2 melons and washed and pulled 2 bags of grapes. Cooked 3 chicken breasts in the crockpot and shredded them, cooked a spaghetti squash, and my pasta/broccoli mix {cook pasta for 7 minutes then add in cut up broccoli for the last 2} I will season and add cheese when we eat it. I also bought frozen tilapia to make with it or turkey meat I can cook quickly. I can probably count on Oliver to cook Turkey Chili one day a week.

Little man helped with the laundry too, you know it's almost a relief to go back to work, I get very little satisfaction from doing EVERYTHING around the house. Oliver's been slacking on helping out with the a lot of things because I was 'on vacation' as he put it.  I feel better when it's a team effort although we all know women still do more. Just another reason I didn't enjoy staying home, I felt like I did a heck of lot more work than he did. Just sayin'. I'm sure he would disagree :) 

I'm also excited to wear some work outfits again! The last year has been maternity wear on repeat most days - I was so over it. I've been stocking up slowly on new stuff for my post baby bod - excited to share it with y'all! 

Maybe I can get away with my 'Mom' outfits on casual Fridays because I REALLY love this hot pink Piko from Pink Slate. Pink has always been my color!



Minky Puppy Giveaway!

Last month when I was in Canton I found the CUTEST shop, Covered in Blessings. They carry the most adorable minky items that they personalize for you, I ended up buying Twilight Sparkle a wrap towel which is perfect for swim lessons and a Tooth Fairy Puppy as a gift for her friend Olivia who had just lost her first tooth. I'm kicking myself for not getting a towel of my own, they are super soft! 

They carry all kinds of fun gift items though, I super heart love their crib sets, how fun is this print for a baby boy!

The girls that run this shop are too sweet and offered up a Tooth Puppy to giveaway, they will even personalize it for the winner before shipping it out.

You must follow this blog to enter - Good Luck!



Look Skinnier without an App.

I've heard many times that people wished they could feel pretty and confidant at any size. For some unknown reason I've always been blessed with a good amount of confidence no matter what my weight was, I think it's more my outgoing personality than anything. I'm generally a happy person :)

2007 - could of used some tips then! 
Over the many years my weight has been up and down I've learned how to make myself look 'skinnier' or at the very least FEEL skinner! I'm always happier when I feel comfortable, so here are a few tricks I use.

1. Tan. I'm a firm believer than my fat looks better with a tan, every time I come home with a fresh spray tan I look in the mirror and feel 10 pounds lighter. {Uh, not as dark as above I was a little tan-orexic plus the skin damage is not fun}. Spray yourself thinner! I use a booth, but I touch up at home with DS Faux Natural Sunless Spray

2. Wear a bra that fits! God Bless America if you are blessed with the boobs then do 'em up right. Hike them up and get a bra that doesn't give all kinds of back fat. Spend the money, it's worth it! When you buy one make sure it fits you in the loosest hook. That way you can tighten the bra to the second and third hook as the bra ages and retain the firmness and the lift.

  • If your cups runneth over, it's time to go up a cup size.
  • If your cups dimple, it's time to go down a cup size.
  • If you have the dreaded back fat, you probably think your bra is too tight, but you're wrong—your bra is too big. Wearing the bra lower on your back with a smaller band size will completely eliminate the back fat.
  • If your strap falls down, that means your bra band is riding up and you probably need to go down a band size.

Here are my favs:
Elomi Seamless Underwire Nursing Bra
Elomi Smoothing Seamless Underwire Bra

3. Shapewear. This can be tricky, you have to get pieces that are comfortable, easy to get one and off, and that work. I'm not a fan of Spanx {the brand}, they are SO tight I could really hurt myself pulling them on. I have found the mother of all leggings.

Lysse Capri Shaping Leggings - have y'all heard of these?? Apparently Kathy Lee is a fan or something, but I found them in a random boutique and THEY. ARE. AMAZING.  I've never spent 50 bucks on leggings, but after trying them on I had to buy them. They have a wide back with 2 types of compression around the belly, so they suck it in yet are TOTALLY comfy. I even ordered some of the pants off Amazon for work, I'll let you know if they are just as badass. They are also thick enough on the legs to smooth any cellulite. 
ASSETS High-waist Mid-Thigh Shaper - these are my go to for under my maxi dresses, super comfy and no thigh bulge, you pear shape girls know what I'm talking about.

4. Wear the right size. I've been guilty of this, trying to squeeze my butt into a size 6 when I'm more comfortable in a 10.  Don't get caught up in a number! No one CARES if you are wearing a 6, but they probably do care if your muffin top in hanging over.

  • Highlight you best assets.
  • Try on a lot of clothing - you never know what's going to look amazing on!
  • Don't force trends - I just can't with light colors on my bottom half and I've tried a ton. Not gonna happen. 
  • Spend money for quality pieces, a lot of times they are just made better and you look better in them!

If none of these are your jam and you just wanna look skinny in pics then download this app, but I can't guarantee you are gonna feel any better about yourself. 



Losing It Tuesdays

For weeks I've been searching for my pink tape measure, last I saw it Twilight Sparkle was using it as a leash for herself. I walk into her room to put her clothes away {I know, shocking that princess Megan does her own laundry!} and there it is just laying on the floor. Finally got some measurements!

Chest: 39
Legs: R: 25 for both
Arms: R: 12.5 for both
Hips: 47 {yikes}
Waist: 37

I'm going to try to remeasure once a month and see how it's progressing. I'm still doing Jamie Eason's 12 Week program and liking it. I am doing more than just that though, I enjoy my Body Pump, Turbo, and Cycle classes. If you are new to a gym or to using weights I highly recommend it though! 

It's not too shabby for 10 weeks post baby though {seems longer though!}. Things are slowly tightening up and the biggest thing is that my endurance is coming back. I feel stronger everyday, I'm getting in lots of weights and feeling better. 

Abs are harder, it really takes concentrated effort to build them. I'm trying to get in some ab work everyday. Here's a quick workout I put together during Workout Wednesdays a while ago, fast and easy-ish!

Link to post with video

I honestly can't remember if I told y'all about my new love?
Panache Women's Underwired Sports Bra

You know I love my Juno too, but someone recommended this one for me and I thought I'd give it a go, what I really like about it is the way it goes on.

It goes on just like a regular bra and has adjustable straps. The juno is more like one piece so you have to pull it over your head and getting it off while sweaty can be dangerous, I've almost dislocated a shoulder before.

But the Panache has a hook to bring the straps together for minimal booby bounce. I would say they run pretty true to size although I sized down because I want to be able to wear it for a while when I'm done BFing. 

Food wise, I haven't been tracking because honestly it was just a crap ton of work and I don't have any problems staying in my calorie range given I get so many extra for breastfeeding. I've just been focusing on what TYPE of food I put in my mouth, adding in more protein and cutting out some fats. I'm also trying to eat every 3 hours and stop eating when I'm full. I go back to work next week so it will be easier for me to stay on a schedule! I need to get back into prepping for the week, no extra time at night once I go back I want to spend as much time as I can with the kids. Oliver's going to have to start helping with dinner again, I swear cooking dinner at night is such a pain. I think I dread that more than anything! 



Just Sayin'

Poor Aiden, I highly doubt this will be the last time his sister tries to dress him up!  For those of you who are not yet Mom's let me give you a bit of advice - when you go out be VERY VERY sure you take a diaper bag. The ONE time you forget he WILL poop and scream and you will be forced to wrap his naked behind in a pair of Madison's leggings that you found in the back of the car. Just sayin'

We decided to buy a new mattress, memory foam,  and didn't want to spend a ton because we are redoing our kitchen next month. I heard good things about DynastyMattress New Cool Breeze 12-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress so I gave it a shot. It's a lot firmer than our last pillow top mattress, but dang I love it so much! We do have to keep the fan on, it's a tad warm when your sleeping, but I've read there are some covers to put on them to cool them off so I may try that if it bugs me. It also came with 2 memory foam pillows which are fantastic! Over all it was a great deal for 600 bucks, I will update y'all in a few months with how it's holding up :) Daddy had to work an overnight shift last week so Madison insisted on keeping me company, she's a crazy sleeper, wow. I had to throw her off my back about 7 times.

She's is always wherever Aiden is, I'm having to get onto her for trying to pick him up. I know she just wants to help, but he's heavy and she's not quite strong enough. She's perfect at 'SHHHHHHHSSSSHHIING' him loudly {like the noise he heard in my belly she says} and getting that binky back in his mouth. We are trying like crazy to keep his fingers out of his mouth and she's great at keeping an eye out for that.

With my parents moving in down the street and less than a mile from the lake these two just want to fish every weekend. Madison's got a good cast down, well, until she let it go behind her and hit herself in the back with the weight. Don't think we are quite ready for a hook just yet :)

The best part of my weekends are family dinner, it's just nice to have your Mom cook for you no matter how old you are. Plus no kitchen for me to clean up!



Sorry I'm Not Sorry.

It's Sorry I'm Not Sorry link up day with Crystal Michelles Mess and I guess I WAS confused, I blame  the baby, I tend to scan emails while nursing, haha.

Sorry I'm Not Sorry I make some adorable babies with this guy!

Sorry I'm Not Sorry.... I rarely dress the kid unless I want to take his picture or we are leaving the house. 

Sorry I'm Not Sorry ... that my kid loves to flex break. Other favorite phases include "THAT'S what I'm talking about" "Right Meow" "Are you SERIOUS" and "Hashtag"

Sorry I'm Not Sorry ... that Madison slept with us until she was 4.5 and we didn't mind a bit. 

Sorry I'm Not Sorry ... that my kid has mostly listened to music I like, no kid songs in my car, we prefer something with a better beat. She can recognize almost all the album covers in my iTunes, that's how she knows what she wants to listen to because she can't read yet. She loves rap.

Sorry I'm Not Sorry ... that I take a million pictures and videos of my kids everyday. When I'm at work and missing them I scroll through my IG videos #skinnymegvideos and laugh my ass off at Madison. She's a riot.

and this one.

Can't wait to read y'alls!



Random Day of Fun and a Link Up.

I go back to work in a week, ughhhh! I'm gonna miss coming home from my 5am workouts to all these lazy bums still sleeping :) Even the cat's up in the corner, must be nice to sleep in! I am ready to get back to my regular routine, staying home is throwing me all off track, plus I'm doing WAY to much housework. Usually Oliver does it because he works from home, but he's gone all lazy on me these last 12 weeks. Aiden is sleeping pretty good at night, he wakes for the binky, but he's not eating until around 4:30 am after going to bed around 9:30. 

Oliver had a free day off work yesterday so we made it a family fun day. We toured a new preschool for Madison just for the summer. She's going to go there 2x a week, all day, I still think I'm going to do gymnastics camp 1 day a week too. The other days she'll be with Aiden and my Mother In Law. 

We decided to spend the gorgeous day outdoors so we went to Klyde Warren Park downtown. It was my first time going and it was a lot of {free} fun! It's right by 3 museums and is built over a major highway.

Some famous dogs were there, Titus here will be in the upcoming Ant Man movie, we also met Hollywood, the dog from Terminator. 

We played golf, ping pong, and frisbee before heading over the the imagination playground for children.

She spent a good long while playing in the freezing cold water, do kids have no sense of hot or cold?  It's crazy how they seem to never be bothered by it!

One of the best parks about this park is the food trucks! So many fun and different things to try, the tater tots were covered with a lime concoction and SO GOOD.  

Baby Aiden was a doll as usual, kid loves to be on the go! He's just so full of smiles lately, gah, I'm gonna miss him!

This random child begged to visit her 'fake family' aka Old Navy, so who am I to deny her a shopping trip. Plus their shorts were on sale and I needed a pair of basic black pants to go back to work. 

Tomorrow I'm co-hosting a link up with Crystal Michelles Mess - topic is parenting. All you need to do is blog about 5 *Sorry I'm not Sorry* moments and come link them up! I can't wait to see what y'all got :) Don't forget to grab a button!



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