Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Celerate Everything - A New Link Up

Domesticated Working Woman

There is always something to celebrate. 
Big or Small. Today and Everyday. 
...life is full of reasons to party celebrate... 

For today
I choose to celebrate.....
our safe travels and the joy of making a house a home.

Now it's your turn! Link up your reasons to celebrate :)

Give thanks to Lindsay at Domesticated Working Woman
this is her link up, her idea! And, I'm happy to be a part of it each month!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

{Life Lately} Cross Country

traveling with dogs, mans best friend
Hey, remember me? Hope you all had FAB weekends!!! We sure did!
8 states and 4 days, we're finally in our new home-state. But Zina may have had it better than any of us. It's heaven on earth when she gets to look out the window. What is it that dogs love so much about this?

We left Virginia last week on Thursday. We've crossed the Appalachians, we've waved at every.single. stadium between VCU and UCCS, had lunch at the Gateway Arch, stayed an extra day in Kansas City, MO taking a much needed break from driving and now we're kissing the Rockies. The Holiday Inn is taking care of us for just two more days. Tip to any mil folks with pets.... this hotel chain offers the mil discount and accepts pets over 50 pounds for the least amount per day that we were able to find. We highly recommend them or the Marriott if you're pet free, we've had a ball there and used them many times too!

I have HUNDREDS of pictures to play with... I thought for sure I'd be good at uploading them to at least Instagram during our adventures, but not so much. A few went up but nearly enough. I'd love to share more with you and my family//friends back home that read my blog too. And, I really want to find a way to showcase the trip for the boys because really... how neat is it to road trip across the country?!!

One picture ready for the blog is from our goodbye party last weekend. Paaaa-lenty of shenigans that weekend! Along with goodbyes we also celebrated my 32nd birthday. Good times, sweet times.
32 feels good  :)

And what may be the best sang birthday song ever....

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Struggles and Triumphs of a Weightloss Journey: Guest Post

Remember those first few days, weeks, months of blogging? Reading your first comment, making your first bloggy friend? Your first time guest posting???

Chancy is getting used to all of those feelings and I'm most excited for you to meet her! So enjoy Get to know her through her humble and inspiring fitness journey. Then, be sure to stop by her super cute blog and say HI !!!

Hi Heart Shape Sweat friends
Today I am guest posting for Kristine
while she is spending time with those precious boys of hers, all 3 of them :)

I'm Chancy & I blog at NewlyWed Fun

Since Kristine is so athletic I choose to write about my fitness journey. 

All through high school I wasn't really skinny but not fit either. I played sports until my junior year and then decided that it wasn't that important anymore. I had played outside of high school as well and think I was most likely burnt out. I graduated and went to Lubbock to attend college. My college lifestyle was definitely not the healthiest so of course I gained about 15 pounds. During college I signed up for yoga :) which btw if you haven't tried it, you should, people joke that it is not a workout but I disagree.  Other than yoga I chose to work full time, so no other activities. At this point I was super unhealthy, fast food, wine, college life=not good. I moved back to my hometown in 2008 nothing changed besides my weight went up a little more. In 2009 (my magical year) I started working out with a friend of mine who I worked with. 

We had a Biggest Loser Challenge at my work and that officially started my workout journey. 
I won :) I lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks, an awesome start! 

Brittni (friend from the bank) was not athletic at the time, so we started from scratch. Literally, girls scratch like walking almost 80% of the time and that was not our original goal. We got addicted to running and ran everyday after work, some days I would run twice a day because it felt so good

I felt so good about myself, inside and out. It was such a stress reliever to know that during those 40-60 minutes no one would interrupt me and I could have the music as loud as I wanted and have my OWN thoughts. It was amazing. 

This was one of the first couple of races. 

Brittni and I did our first race in September 2009 and I got 1st in my age group, if that isn't the boast any of us runners needed. It was a small race but still first is first. After that we started signing up for races around the adjoining counties, we lived to run. I will add that we were not changing up our routine for the most part we changed our course occasionally but not the workout. Our pace improved by about 15 seconds max. After about 8 months straight of running 5-6 times a week I started making excuses to not go and run. I look back now and know that I was so burnt out on running

I am way too outgoing to only run and not try anything else. 

Fast forward to the end of 2010... I met my now hubby D, of course I made every excuse possible to not work out and to spend time with him. I once again put all that weight BACK on. If any of you have been in my shoes it's like that weight appears over night. 

I never notice how much weight is back... until it's too late and BAM it's going to take a while to get it all off. It is so discouraging.

D and I got engaged in 2011 and married in 2012 throughout our engagement I worked anywhere from 3-4 at a time just trying to put my self through college, so no workouts again. I briefly hired a trainer during the engagement but just could not keep up with the demanding work schedules and the exhausting workouts. 

Here we are 2013, I have made goals for this year (I will share on my blog soon) . I want to be the girl who loved to run and have my own time, but I also want to help other people feel the way I do about running. 

Y'all if you have never run/walk/biked/swam laps I challenge you to get out of your house for 40-60 minutes twice a week. I would love to see pictures of you working out and your opinions. I am in no way a trained fitness anything but I am a small town girl who has always struggled with my weight and I promise I will help you stay motivated. We need motivation and honestly the best motivation is to see someone else doing it and not making excuses. 

(After the Color Run in Austin, TX)

Exercise can clear your head like nothing else.
I hope all you ladies come and visit me at my blog :) 

I couldn't agree with her more! Exercise does as much for the mind as it does the body!
You can def count on Chancy being a part of your fit life journey!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DIY Sunscreen: SPF the Safe Way...

Have you ever considered the hidden ingredients in sunscreen or considered a Do It Yourself Sunscreen? I hadn't until I was approached by Michelle. She points out the benefits of DIY Sunscreen and the harmful ingredients of the store bought kind. Michelle works at Skana, an upscale spa within the Turning Stone Spa & Casino and today shares an easy recipe for an all natural sunscreen.

DIY sunscreen, safe and natural sunscreen

Go Natural with Sunscreen This Summer

The next time you head to the store to pick up your sunscreen, think twice. Skin cancer is a serious concern to have and wrinkling isn't any fun either. However, commercially produced sunscreens are chock full of chemicals. Some chemicals you should watch out for are: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Whether you find three of them on the label or all six, chemical filters do not sound appealing. A good rule of thumb for your body should be to only use products with a natural base. Otherwise, you could regret it.

According to the Environmental Grantmakers Association, oxybenzone should be avoided, and that's only highlighting one of the common chemical filters that are used. At least 80% of the products on the market contain this chemical, yet studies have shown it could have serious ramifications. From affecting the development of a fetus in the womb, to causing damage to a woman's reproductive system or affecting hormone levels.

However there is hope! The experts from Skana spa of the New York resort Turning Stone have shared with us a recipe for a homemade sunscreen that is chemical free and will leave your skin with that summer glow.

What You Need
1/4 Cup Diaper Rash Lotion
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Butter
1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera
1 Teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
1 Teaspoon Beeswax

Once you have your ingredients, get a glass bowl and mix them together with a spoon. You then boil a pot of water and rest the bowl on top. The pot should be smaller than the bowl. The ingredients will gradually melt together. Stir thoroughly and allow to cool. Place the mixture in a dry place, such as a cabinet, or in the fridge.

Going with a natural blend is ideal. Diaper rash lotion's zinc oxide keeps skin from being chapped and irritated. Cocoa butter is a wonderful moisturizer, while coconut oil contains powerful anti-oxidants that fight damaging free radicals. Beeswax is a protectant and sesame seed oil has even been known to slow the growth of skin cancer. Aloe vera can reduce inflammation. Put it all together and keep your skin safe the natural way.

When we aim for healthy eating we often times read over the ingredient list. We're told the less ingredients the better and if we can't pronounce the ingredients then it's not as healthy. Michelle draws the same conclusion with our sunscreen choices. I'd love to hear from you if you give this DIY Sunscreen a try! 

Also if you're interested in reaching Michelle you can email her at MichellePino@turningstone.com 

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Friday, July 19, 2013

My favorite Photo Editing Apps: with a pic of our new home!

Hello FRIDAY!!! Today, I'm showing my top photo editing apps! I love taking pictures, I love editing pictures, and I love having pictures fill the walls and shelves of my home. A lot of  the pictures you see on the blog are taken with my iPhone. It's become really, really easy to have quality pics from your phone and with these apps, you can tweak and perfect just about any picture and add some flare and personality too!

My favorite photo editing apps

If you don't have this app, stop right now and download it. I mean it! I love, love this app. I depend on it for editing almost every picture. Camera+ can brighten dark pictures, darken over exposed pictures and has over 36 filters to continue the tweaking. This is the basic photo editing app everyone should have and be using. You can take photo's with this app or upload from your iPhone library.

As it claims... it is collage made awesome. I used it above to show the different filters of Camera+. I flip over this app. It offers 60+ collage options and you can even cut your own. How cool! If you like collages, you should absolutely download this app.  Really, the app does more than collages, it also has photo editing and text or labels too! You can take photo's within this app or upload them!

beautiful mess app image and description
Beautiful Mess
You crazy if you didn't think I would list this app! It's super fun and it gets the creative juices flowing. This app has tons of free and paid fonts, doodles, and sayings it's hard to just use one! You can be as outrageous as you want with your overlays and designs or stay on the plain side like me! And, it's recent update now lets you undo your work, something I desperately needed.

Rhonna Designs
My all time favorite app. This gem is like a black hole for my existence. I can literally burn hours playing with all the bells and whistles this app offers. If you love Beautiful Mess, you will die for all that Rhonna Designs can do. I don't even have time to list all that's available within this app. Just download it. And have fun!!! OH, and "masking" you can do that with this app! I used it for yesterdays post and love playing with that effect!

All of these pictures are from our time at the beach this past week... one other picture we got this week came from Lucas's sponsor. She was willing to do a drive by of our new home in Colorado and sent us this picture!! Now the daydreaming is really getting more real!!!

ETA ----> 7.29.13

What are your favorite photo editing apps??
I want to know!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Number on the Scale is JUST A NUMBER.

weight in pounds is just a number, number on the scale

Yesterday I had my annual you know what visit, but of course before any matters can be handled they direct you to the scale. Wellllll, life's been a vacation these past 4 weeks and I haven't exactly been in the front row of any group fitness classes so I basically cut the scale an evil eye and almost questioned the need of scribbling my weight into the chart.

I mean, it's just a number...

I've wondered while sipping on a delicious, cold, refreshing Strawberrita if I was gaining any weight. I thought for sure, that certainly, I had gained a pound or two when I caught an unflattering picture of myself at the beach this past weekend. And I was positive that my bikini bottoms were on backwards one of these past pool days. Then I just laugh at myself. It is what it is. This bum is not quite the toned tush I had last summer.

It's evident that not consistently working out, not logging 30+ miles of running each month will effect your appearance and even your mood. But sometimes the trade off seems worth it. I've definitely chosen to spend my time a bit differently over the last four weeks due to the bittersweetness of our move. Relocating to a new duty station brings a whirl of emotions for any soldier, military spouse, and of course children. So to say that I'd rather be at a summer evening cookout than a 5:30 step and body pump class is an understatement.

Back at the doctors office, I stepped on the scale and literally exhaled every last ounce of air. Some time ago, I once laughed at an article stating, "exhaling will lower the number on the scale" yet I was doing it the moment my foot landed on the scale.

In my mind I pictured the digits I've maintained over the last year but in front of me, the flashing LED screen was threatening a new number. Memories of BBQ in heaping amounts, second helpings of donuts for breakfast (breakfast ?? really, Kristine?) and the Dorito salad for dinner (<---- that is devilishly good!)
... I almost laughed to myself for holding any hope of maintaining my weight.

The mirror and our clothes should really be the markers for our image. The number on the scale resembles something but not much. We all know muscle weighs more than fat, we all know that each of our bodies distribute the same amount of weight differently, you might even know the golden rule of 100 pounds for 5 foot women plus 5 pounds for each inch after 5 foot... but really, there is so much more than that number between our feet.

So much more.

The screen settled into a 3 digit number. No higher than it's been over the last year. According to the scale nothing had change. The lady scribbled the digits into my chart and mentioned that it was the same as last year's visits and pointed me to the chair for a blood pressure reading.


All that worry over nothing. Well, nothing according to the scale.

If we put too much value on the scale's story we may be fooling ourselves. The scale does lie.
The scale wasn't showing my everyday a Saturday style as of lately. And it definitely wasn't reflecting my lack of hard work in the gym. So this being the case.... why should we weigh that number so heavily during other times when we ARE working hard on our fitness and physical improvements???

Get where I'm going with this?
a little screw the scale attitude

We should always be honest with ourselves regarding our own activities and commitments. Know our weakest links. Set goals custom to our own needs and desires. And, just be all the way strong creating our own little paths within healthy and fit living. Never doubting what is beautiful and beyond measures of a scale.
Because really, a number is just a number. Nothing more and nothing less.


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I'm Loving and Learning about Stitchfix

tips for using Stitch Fix

I'm happy I stuck with this thing called Stitchfix. It's a great way to get unique pieces for yourself that you may not have noticed in the stores or even have available to you. This is my 4th shipment, and I'm loving the styles more and more each month. It's now influenced recent purchases and I've learned a few things about Stitchfix to make my experience all the better.

A look at my latest shipment and a few Stitchfix tips!

stitchfix, creating outfits
Hello four perfect little outfits!! The floral top and necklace are both flirty and romantic, just right for date night. The graphic maxi skirt was a perfect fit as was the black cowl neck top. The orange paisley tunic isn't really my style but it screams cooler temps and fall fashion! Which are your favorites?

A few tips for using Stitchfix...

Pay attention to who creates your package. I wish I had known when I was feeling discouraged with my first two shipments. Each time I open the box I'm greeted with a personal hello from a Stitchfix designer. Let's say Sally creates a package for me that is just perfect, I want to remember this so when I fill out the online questionnaire I can request Sally to do all my future packages. Now I can be almost positive that I'll love each shipment. Brilliant.

Be brutally honest with opinions on the clothing and jewelry. How much do you hold back from yourself when staring in the mirror of a dressing room? Not much, ehhh? Yea, me either. So why waste your time and theirs by being nice and agreeing that every piece sent to you was OK? I'm now sincerely honest with my personal style survey given to me with each shipment. I don't hesitate to admit I'd never wear certain pieces or if I think they're ugly. By doing this I fell in love with each piece of my third shipment.

Pick your shipments wisely. Stitchfix does not require you to continuously accept shipments, you choose the frequency. So when returning this shipment from June, I chose to not receive a shipment for the month of July. It would make no sense for me to accept a shipment during this month while in between homes, plus I couldn't guarantee a decison and return of style pieces within 3 days, like required. I plan to resume in August once settled into our new home.

Do the math.
See, I loved two of this fixes pieces dearly. They fit perfect, hit my almost there curves in all the right places and were pieces that I could build on and style throughout the seasons. The only thing that made the decision of what to keep hard were the prices. I think Stitchfix knows this to be a problem with some of it's subscribers. So in an effort to keep quality high they offer a 25% discount off the total price if you decide to keep all 5 items. Keeping the 5th item can sometimes make the entire purchase cheaper. And remember your 20dollar fee goes towards any purchases too!

tips for using Stitch Fix
Each of you are making a big difference in my Stitchfix experience too! In case you didn't know my Stitchfix account collects a few pretty pennies each time any of you sign up from a link posted on my blog. How kind of Stitchfix and how awesome of you!! And, since I'm a stickler, that money is just accruing, just awaiting the perfect piece that I can't live without. So people, click away! And then when you fall in love with your shipment, post it for the world to see and take this final tip from me.... make sure you "link" throughout your post in case your readers decide to join too!

Happy stitches people :))

Have you tried Stitchfix? Have any tips to share??
Did you guess the maxi skirt was my ALL TIME favorite item?

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Everyday a Saturday

Lately, everyday has been like a Saturday. The kind of day where there's no real plan, just a go with the flow vibe. Everyone has been so kind opening their homes to us and for the most part we're happy to bounce around. The kids are loving every minute of it, Lucas and I too but then there are moments we remind ourselves to be patient... As much as we love a Saturday... we do miss our routine and our home.

It's been a very low key week! Something about rainy mornings...

As for the weekend?

I'm lacing up! It has been FAR TO LONG since I ran a good run.

I'll be doing an insane number of burpees/mountain climbers to work off the one too many Strawberrita's.

I'm booking a hotel at the beach for one last dip in the Atlantic.

I'm accepting 5 guest posts for the last two weeks of July.

And I'll be making my wish list for my 32nd birthday this month!!!

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Running for Maggie - Virtual 5K

Everytime I hit 288, it downpours. I mean the kind of downpour that fills the streets with water, overflows drains, and clutters the windsheild so badly you can hardly see unless driving at a creep. 288 is an interstate, I live in a state where many joke that we can not drive in the rain much less snow. I guess I am one of those people. Not the one joking, the one who can't drive in inclement weather. I fear the worst. I am a good driver but I'm also a good "imaginer" (if that's even a word). I worry more than any one person ever should about wrecking or causing a wreck while driving in downpours. It blows my mind to see SUV's speeding by while I'm practically eating the steering wheel as if that closeness to the window will part the rain and let me see better. I think I need some rainX. That stuff is like a miracle in a can. 

Life's so precious. 

And car accidents do happen. 

Sami, a friend I've made through blogging, knows about this all too well. Her life holds a story of how a split second can change everything forever. She lost her sister in a tragic car accident. 16 years of joy ended too quickly that day. Life is never the same after a loss. We all grieve in our ways, in our own time. A little more than a year after their loss, Sami still dedicates her every run to Maggie's life. She is filled with so much motivation and cheer that it oozes in her every.single.post. There's no doubt you'll leave her blog a happier person and I have no doubt you'll consider helping Sami honor her sisters life.

One year after Maggie's passing, a foundation was started in her memory. Maggie had a lot of flair and a ton of talent. She danced, she was a muscisian, she was an artist. This foundation helps fund the fine arts of schools for grades K-12. Any and all fundraising goes directly to the hands of students in art rooms across the board.

What can you do to help?

virtual 5K, run for maggie, support foundations

Consider joining the Run for Maggie virtual 5K with during the week of August 5th-11th. It is completely free, anyone can join. Sami has created this event as a way to bring more awareness, keep her sisters life going, and open opportunities for fundraising with the foundation for fine arts. No crowds, no times to beat, just a walk/run to remember a beautiful life.

You know I'm doing it! We all loved doing the Summer Kickoff 5K, so let's challenge ourselves to another one in August and relish in life during each step of the 3.1 miles.

Visit Sami's blog today for more information on this event and winnings that you'll be eligible for. Visit the Run for Maggie facebook page. Find out more about ways you can help support life and donate if you wish. Every step in the race, every penny in the jar helps to keep Maggie's memory alive, art supplies to the creators and awareness to safe driving.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

4 days of the 4th - Sweet Weekends

Just one more night. Let's stay another night. We've been good little house sitters this week, we had our bags packed and loaded in the car when our friends pulled up from their vacation. We decided to help them unload, show them the mail collected and next thing you know we're pulling out our bags to stay another night. Why let the feeling of vacation end?

And here I am writing a blog post on the floor of a little boys room while my youngest naps. Letmetellyou writing blog posts while staying in other peoples home is a hard thing to do. For one, its like a constant party when you have guest over and since we're the guest we're making sure to "party". Two, the kids are off the wall happy playing with each other, no matter which house/which family we're staying with. And three, us adults are soaking up the extra time together. Basically, there's not a quite spot in the house and I kind of need quiet to blog! As for today, I seem to also need a bowl of pretzels and a strawberita :)

Shall we start with all 4 days of the July 4th weekend?

outfits first, duh!
I aired on the side of easy and comfortable. Clothes that mustard or red drinks could stain and I have no worry. The red chevron tank is totally a Walmart steal. Front tuck it with boyfriend style AE jean shorts, a jazz of gold and you've got a perfect-o Americana look.  The next day dawned Target steals. The FEED tank is one of my favorite pieces of the line and the dollar spot redwhiteandblue necklaces were an obvious accessory. A bikini and Jessica Simpson pool bag completed that look! Back to the FEED tank top. Shop this line, you will LOVE the selection and you'll love knowing that each sale puts food on the table for families across America.

COOOOLlage time.
Girl time at the beach!! A roll of the dice took us Yorktown, VA where little beaches dot the bay and inlets. Seriously, the day doesn't get much better than trash magazines, girl talk and drinks on the beach.

Another day of the 4th was spent poolside at a friends house. Landon hasn't mastered smiling at the camera yet. I heard another mom telling her little ones "show your teeth" and like that, they were smiling for the camera. hmmm, note to self.

4th on the Fort (as they call here at Fort Lee) did not disappoint. The firework show was nearly 30 minutes long and seriously a beaut. We rolled in with our chairs and mini cooler ready to take a seat in the lawn, yet we found ourselves front and center of the stage so Landon could dance for a solid hour to the Army band. Kid is such a show stopper! Little man was so excited for the fireworks, yet he literally fell asleep on his dads shoulder two minutes into the show. Asleep. Slept through 30 minutes of firecrackers yet I can't walk into his room at night without waking him?!

And finally, my oldest is back home with an earful of stories from the last 3 weeks of adventures. It's awesome having us all back together. We're like little nomads, each with our suitcase in hand. Sure it's a bit annoying and at times frustrating but when we're all together it feels like nothing is missing. Even if that missing thing is our entire house.

Happy Monday loves! 
Here's too another beautiful week of summer!!

How was your 4th?
Have you escaped to the beach yet?

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