Holiday Shopping - 5 Great Deals

The winner of the WIN Detergent Giveaway is... Ann W  -- she has been emailed :) Thanks for entering!

It is not even Thanksgiving and I have to say that I am pretty much done with my Christmas shopping and my gift making. This is an amazing feeling! Amanda and I are taking a trip to go shopping in December for last minute things, but that is more for the fun of it as well.

I have found some great deals online. One thing about me that you might not know is that I never buy anything for full price. If I want something and it is not on sale I will wait for a sale. This method usually gives me time to think about it as well and not make impulse purchases.

First you want to go to Ebates and sign up. I heard about Ebates about a year ago and I love it. You can usually find good deals at your favorite places and get money back on top of those deals. I have gotten a few paychecks from them and they have been a nice little gift to myself.

I just ordered my Christmas cards from Vistaprint (through Ebates of course) and saved 50% off the cards and I will get 8% back from Ebates.

Kohl's is having daily door busters it seems. I signed up for their Yes 2 You Rewards program and now I get points and coupons without having to have a credit card!


Children's Place is having a Pre-Thanksgiving sale! Most of Mason's clothes are from CP. They actually have amazing sales and I can buy his clothes for next year cheap.

Old Navy -- They have been having random daily deals the last couple weeks. Yesterday they had 40% off a bunch of clothes for everyone! Who knows what they will have for sales in the coming weeks.

I have found that next week is the best time to buy appliances. I bought a washer/dryer set a few years ago on Black Friday. It was buy one piece get another free, plus it was on sale. This is a great time to look for home appliances or home improvement items. I bought flooring one year at an amazing discount on black Friday. Check Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears for deals. You can also get cash back with Ebates.

*I was not asked to do this post, I was not compensated for it in anyway, I just like a good deal and I like being able to share them. The Ebates links are affiliate links to sign up through me.*

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Don't Get Derailed This Holiday Season

It is that time of year again. The six weeks at the end of every year that usually tries to derail us from our goals (fitness & health). Everyone gets sucked in at one time or another. The amount of delicious foods and treats that we have all been brought up to love this time of year can cause weight gain.

I do not plan on letting this happen to me this year. I have already gained 10 lbs over the summer and I am working hard trying to get those pounds off. It is a lot easier to put it on, believe me. I am not going to dwell on the weight I gained, I am going to focus on keeping what I have lost off and losing more.
I couldn't help it, this seemed to fit. 

A great way to stay on track and to actually lose weight during this period is to get into a Dietbet. Jess and I hosted one this year around this time so we decided to host another one! I find that Dietbets keep me on track because I do not want to lose my money, I want to get it back and then some.  
Come join us! We look cute with Santa hats on :) Go here for more information and to earn some extra money for Christmas! Along with the Dietbet comes access to a private Facebook group for support and accountability :)

Jess gave some of her holiday tips yesterday so I decided to give you some of mine as well.

How to Survive the Holidays!

1. Don't deprive yourself - You do not want to go crazy eating ALL of the desserts, but if you are like me you only see these items once a year. If you want a slice of the pumpkin pie, then cut your own slice and make it smaller than the normal slices.

2. Wear something you feel great in - I try to do this because if I feel great I tend to want to keep feeling great. I usually feel great in clothes that I have recently fit into, usually a size that I have not been before. This helps me remember that I want to be good and eat properly.

3. Drink Water - I usually have a bottle or two of water where ever I go. I want to be prepared, I do not have to worry about what the options at the gathering will be. Plus water is filling, try to drink at least 64 oz a day.

4. Exercise - Get at least 30 minutes of exercise the day of the gathering. This is usually enough time to work up a good sweat. Days I workout I tend to eat better because I worked hard to burn calories. I also allow myself to have that small slice of pie because I have those extra calories.
A week from today you could get that workout in with a 5k! A virtual 5k that is. There are prizes up for grabs and you will get moving the morning before a big dinner.

This holiday season does not have to ruin your hard work this year and you don't have to wait until January 1st to make changes. Start Now!

What are you tips for staying healthy during the holidays?

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Weigh in Wednesday {11/19}

Day 18 of the 24 Day Challenge. I have slipped up a few times with my food, but I have been having a meal replacement shake daily for one of my meals and I have been taking all of my pills daily.
I noticed that tangerines are out and on sale now in my local grocery store - I love these little orange like fruits! I need to go get a crate.

Review of the Shakes:

Vanilla: The vanilla is good. It get thick and seems to expand to more than the 8 oz. I put a tablespoon of peanut butter in it to give it a little flavor. I used to love peanut butter in my vanilla milkshakes. 
Pumpkin: This was surprisingly delicious! Not as thick as the vanilla, but I liked the flavors. It is perfect for this time of year.

One more week until WIW Turkey Day 5k! We have seen a great amount of interest in this event and we are excited. There are some great prizes up for grabs!

Don't forget to link up, :)

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Christmas / Family Photos

On Veteran's Day we had a friend take some family photos for us. I was on the hunt for a perfect spot as the backdrop. I looked around Tim's parents' house because they live in the country. I really wanted to find a Christmas looking tree. Tim took me for a four wheeler ride into the woods and I couldn't find much.

I ended up finding the perfect tree and it just so happened to be in Jaime's yard. She was the one taking our photos and she lives next to Judy. It worked out perfectly.

Mason woke up was woken up from his nap about a half an hour before we had to meet Jaime to get our photos taken. I brought my new bow of red ornaments. I thought they would make a nice addition for the Christmas Card aspect.

Mason was actually in a good mood so it was not too much of a hassle to get the photos done. She took over 100 pictures and we actually had a good number of good ones. I had to edit them because it was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine, but I think they came out great.
Something about this photo makes me smile - I just like the fact that we are both looking in the same direction. 
This is my favorite photo - We are all smiling and it just looks fun. 
This one was a favorite of Tim's aunt and mom. 

We had some fun with Jaime's dog, Sadie. She kept trying to get into our photos, which would have been great if she was our dog. She has been sick lately so it was nice to see her so spunky and having fun.

We had some fun with with Mason too. He was such a happy boy that afternoon. He also looks so cute in his plaid shirt and boots.
Something about this photo makes me smile. It could be Mason's smile, my smile, or the fact that I do not see my flaws here. I love the way I look in the photo and I am not looking down on my body.

I think that these photos came out great and I am so happy we did not way anything for them. I will probably go get some goodies for Jaime as a thank you, but we did not spend $100's of dollars for Christmas card photos and that feels good. Plus the best part was Mason's mood no meltdowns and he was great for photos.

Do you get family photos done yearly? 

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Weekend Recap

What a long weekend or at least it felt long. Tim only has a few of these three day weekends left before he goes to 5 day weeks, but he will work less per day so it equals out.

Friday we got stuff ready for hunting and made sure he had what he needed. WE pretty much had a nothing type of day, I cannot even remember exactly what we did.

I busted my butt on the treadmill Friday morning and then decided to do a wall sit. My legs were shaking at the 2 minute mark. Phew! What a challenge those are.

Mason spent the night at Tim's parents' house Friday night so we did not have to wake him up the next morning when Tim went up there to hunt. He has this new fascination with their dog's cage. The first thing he does when we get there is make sure she is out of it. Then he is in it throughout the night. He crawls into the cage and then he will shut the door behind him. He watches cartoons from there, he brings toys in to play with, we have been known to toss him a treat in there like we do the dog ;)

Saturday was cold! I ran some errands in the morning with Amanda. I got a phone call around 10:30 from Tim telling me he finally got a deer. I have been with this guy for almost 10 years and this is the first deer he has gotten. He and his brother go up into the woods just for the scenery and the peace I think. Well this was their lucky year - they got a 4 pointer that will give us some meat for the freezer.

Saturday night I went to a Pampered Chef party to shadow one of the consultants I know. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. The party happened to be hosted by a co-worker's wife. I got a lot of good ideas for shows and a lot of information. I am excited to start this new venture because they really are products that I love and use all of the time.

I am actually hosting a Grand Opening Show! For those of you that do not want to host a party or go to one this is perfect! It is also a great way to get some of your holiday shopping done. Please feel free to browse and check out the specials for December and the holidays.

Sunday I got on the treadmill again. I have the incline at 8% for most of my walks and yesterday I boosted the speed up to 3.8 mph. I mentioned yesterday on Instagram that I did not think that walking was given enough credit at times. As a person who runs and speed walks I have to say that they both give you a good workout. I hate running on the treadmill so I get my walking speed up to a challenging pace. I am usually walking at a pace that I could also jog at. I am usually drenched by the time I am done. It may take me a little longer to get my mileage in, but that just means I am active for a longer period of time.

After I showered and got Mason dressed we headed up to Tim's parents' house because Tim was there hunting. Mason decided he wanted to "cook." I wish there was a way to type out the accent he has when he says it. He tore the whole cabinet apart and then he climbed in and shut the door.  He was having so much fun I just let him play in the cupboard for a while. I did have the mess cleaned up by the time Judy got home from church.

How was your weekend? 

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5 on Friday

Nice two day break starting today :)
Tomorrow is the first day of hunting season so Tim will be in the woods most of the day. I have a 5k tomorrow at 11 am. My last 5k of this year. It is supposed to be chilly so I am not really looking forward to it, but I will push myself and do my best.

We only have a few more weeks left of swimming lessons and I am actually kind of sad. Mason is doing so well with it. He has been swimming with the bubbles or the noodle on his own without me. Overall this has been a great program and he has learned a lot. He enjoys getting in the water and swimming around to get the toys.

I am currently working on Christmas cards. We managed to get a few good photos on Tuesday when Jaime took some family shots of us. I looked all over for a Christmas looking tree and ended up finding one in the middle of Jaime's lawn so it worked out.

Day 13 over here in Advocare 24 Day Challenge World. I am doing pretty well. Had a snacky-day the other day and I let myself have a couple things I shouldn't have had, but I cannot deprive myself. 
The shakes are not bad. I like the pumpkin shave - it actually has a nice flavor to it and it smells like pumpkin pie. The vanilla is kind of bland so I add a tablespoon of peanut butter to it for some flavor. 

Have you entered the WIN Detergent Giveaway yet? If not check it out here. I will pick a winner at the beginning of next week :) 

Any big plans this weekend? Have you thought about Christmas cards yet?

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Taking the Plunge

Morning Folks'! I have been up since about 3 o'clock this morning. I had to be to work at 4 for a twelve hour day.
I was actually feeling pretty good this morning. I laid out my clothes last night so I was ready to go when my alarm went off at 3... then 3:10... oops. When I work day shift I like to dress nicely. At night or overnight there are no other people in the building so we usually dress casually (i.e jeans and a sweatshirt). When I work normal business hours I like to dress like I work in an office and look nice.
Sorry for the dark photo, but my mirror is in my bedroom where Tim was still fast asleep and I was in the basement trying to take a selfie. 

I got home yesterday from work and got on the treadmill. I ended up pushing myself and walking at a 3.7 mph (8% incline) for 2.5 miles. My treadmill is not working properly and hasn't for a while now - you can only go up to the speed you want and if you want to go down in speed you have to restart it. That makes it hard to do the treadmill routines so I just try to push myself with speed walking. Plus I hate running on the treadmill.

Tim started dinner while I was finishing up my treadmill time. We made chicken fajitas last night. I wish I had realized years ago how easy these were. I thought I need a package of seasoning made for fajitas and a whole bunch of other ingredients, but I was wrong!
I used this recipe from SkinnyTaste - delicious!

See that Bamboo spoon make an appearance in the photo above? It is one of my favorite tools to use while cooking. It is a Bamboo Spoon from Pampered Chef - similar to these. I love to cook and I love to bake - these are probably the reasons I like have good tools and gadgets in my kitchen to use. Most of the tools in my drawers and cupboards are from Pampered Chef.

I took the plunge this week and decided to be an independent consultant for Pampered Chef this week. Why not sell stuff that I love? Why not introduce products that I enjoy to others? I think that their products are quality made and helpful. I plan on doing cooking shows, informational shows, and catalog shows. I used to host a show at least once a year because of all the great benefits and freebies you get as a host. It is so worth it!

If you have ever thought about having a party and life is too busy you could do a catalog party :) Check out my website and Facebook page for updates on specials and deals! {Shameless plug ;)}

What are some cooking/baking products you could not live without?  I think mine are my Kitchen Aid mixer for baking and my micro cooker for delicious veggies in the microwave

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