Gender Reveal Party

Gender Reveal Party Time…
Are you EXCITED?!

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This past week we had the MOST amazing experience of having our gender reveal party!
The suspense has been exhausting. For the past couple of weeks David and I keep talking to
our little one “baby haley” But couldn’t wait to finally call him or her by name!

So a little background, David’s prediction was boy .. ALONG with almost all of our family & friends :)
I however after the first ultrasound, I thought it was a girl.

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After looking online for a “theme” for the party I wasn’t crazy about what was out there.

So I thought the “time” theme was perfect! Classic yet clearly a gender reveal party!
My AMAZING sister, mom & cousin put the party together! We knew wanted a BBQ dinner
to share this special moment with family and friends.

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 9.46.38 AMWe had our guess cast their vote, and pick Boy or Girl.
The BOY votes TOTALLY beat the girl votes!

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Every detail was so perfect! Marshmellow pops for the kiddos and lots of room for them to run around outside!
The weather couldn’t not have been better, Sunny Florida did not disappoint.

Some of my random cravings. It’s funny I always thought I would want something totally crazy, like pickles and icecream.
BUT so far nothing! Just an overabundance of orange juice. Something pops in my head and I WANT IT RIGHT THAT SECOND!
Ha Ive never had anything like that.. But thankfully Im craving mainly fruit and juice and the occasional chocolate :)

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 I absolutely LOVE the picture props my sister made! She is as I like to call her the “Cricut Queen
She thought about every single detail and I was SOOO impressed with how everything turned out!

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We set up the party to a “Pot Luck” style, everyone brought a dish and we had MORE than enough for everyone to have one or two plates.
The food was perfect and a nice variety for everyone to choose from.

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 We even had our own Instagram Hashtag.. #OMG for real?! This is why I love my sister!

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We had all the guests cast their votes and pick if they thought it was boy or girl!
Also we requested the guests
“DRESS THEIR GUESS” so the party was filled with lots of pink & blue!

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I can’t tell you how much it meant to David and I both to have the people we love surround us when we found out boy or girl!
It was such an unforgettable moment! Almost like our wedding day.. To stand in front and look and see all the people who are there for us and support us.. means the world!

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Um can we just talk about how cute my family’s kiddos are?! Little Baby Haley has ALOT to live up to haha!

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Time for the REVEAL.. So heres how it worked:
We had our ultrasound the week before, told the nurse we did NOT want to know the sex of the baby.
She took the pictures and sealed the results in an envelope. We then got to see the profile of the baby and see them moving around!
THEN we gave the envelope to my Doula/Friend and she was the ONLY one who knew! She bought the matching balloons and stuffed them in the box.

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Okay let me just say I totally started crying before we opened the box! I dont know what came over me, prego hormones or
just the realization that we were about to be even CLOSER to our little one!

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And the verdict is…. IT’S A GIRL!!!
OMG BEST MOMENT OVER

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I think David was a little in shock and I couldn’t stop crying HAHA BUT we were both completely OVERWHELMED  with joy for our little girl!

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We couldn’t be happier & it was just amazing FINALLY knowing!
The pink balloons filled the sky and all I could think about was our precious little girl
growing on the inside :)

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This man has completed my life for the past 11 years and I have come to LOVE him
even more than I ever thought possible. We have grown so much through the years
and after almost 6 years of marriage we are just beyond excited to start our parenthood journey together!
I can’t wait to see David as a Dad! He is an amazing husband and I know our little one will be so blessed
to have an amazing loving father.

After three years of trying to get pregnant and the emotional roller coaster it has been,
we both are just in awe of God’s amazing timing! To read more about out pregnancy journey CLICK HERE.

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Are you wondering if we picked out a name yet?!
Annabelle Marie Haley

I’m in LOVE already! We picked the name years ago and when we found out we were pregnant
we still loved it! Something southern and sweet about Annabelle… hoping
her southern charm lets momma & dad sleep through the night HAHA

And it also seems fitting that Annabelle means Joy. It’s like God is just showing us that through the journey he always
has our JOY and has not forgotten us! We just have to trust him and not lose faith in ourselves either.

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 HUGE shoutout to my amazing BIG sister!! She is the epitome of an incredible mom!
She threw the best party! We didn’t want the day to end. It was seriously unforgettable and um she HANDPAINTED the pink/blue door!
FOR REAL.. she’s AMAZEBALLS! She wen’t above and beyond and it made us feel so loved!

Photography: Ropero Photography
Styling: Danielle Campbell
Party Decor: Made with Love Designs

Pregnancy Workouts

Okay so let’s talk Pregnancy Workouts!
I’ve had alot of people ask me what workouts I have been doing since finding out I am pregnant.
I’ll be honest the first trimester was exhausting! I barely made it to the gym BUT now the nausea is totally gone, and I am able to get back in my routine!

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So for the past couple of weeks I have continued doing Jamie Eason’s Phase 2 workouts.
They basically consist of 30 minutes of weights PLUS 30 minutes of cardio. I am aiming to workout 3-4 days a week. It’s a change from my previous 6 days a week,
but I am enjoying rest days and making sure my priorities are not all about the gym :)

What I am doing differently with my workouts:
I am NOT lifting as heavy.
That has been the biggest change, my last round of Jamie Eason I was really focused on losing weight but this time I am just focused on maintaining. AND I have noticed I get tired more easily, I’ve already talked with my doctor and gone over my workout routine and okay’d it with them. I definitely want to make sure I am not putting any unneccessary strain on my body. I still get a great workout using dumbells and the machines even though Im lifting a lower amount.

I am NOT using the treadmill.
This is a personal preference, but I have noticed that running  is hard on my joints & mainly my hips since being pregnant. I have had always had a love hate relationship with running so honestly taking a break from it has been really nice! HA But I still get my cardio in by doing the bike or elliptical. I mainly do interval training setting on the elliptical and LOVE the good sweat I can get from just 30 minutes! It still is a great workout but more enjoyable for me.

I am taking MORE rest breaks.
It’s funny how half of the time I feel TOTALLY out of control with my body! O hello growing belly and discovering weekly changes leaves me in amazement and proves that my body is no longer my own ;) BUT I can also say sometimes I have never felt more in tune with it! I can tell immediately when I need to rest and take it easy. I know when I am hungry and can tell when I need the gym time and when I don’t. My workouts take me a little longer but I am resting more in between sets and really being aware of when I need to take it easy.


securedownload-2Here’s an example of Leg day.
I do everything on the list below BUT I take it easy in between each set, with plenty of waterbreaks. This workout used to take me 30 minutes, NOW it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour. At first that was hard to get used to BUT I can tell when I need to push myself and when I need to take a water break. It’s honestly been good for me, teaching me patience which I will probably need alot of with the sleepless nights to come! HAHA

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Okay so can I be real with yall for a minute? As if I haven’t already over divulged my personal thoughts ha! Being pregnant is AMAZING!! Like literally blows my mind and is such a blessing!! Especially the long journey that it has taken us to get here, I just appreciate this little one sooo much! BUT it is definately a BIG change emotionally & physically.

With all that said let’s talk body image.As you know I lost 30 pounds last year, and really changed my mindset about my body and healthy living. So honestly as the weeks go by and all of a sudden my clothes are a little tighter and my belly keeps growing, I have to REMIND myself this is for a baby! Sometimes I immediatly default back to that insecure girl and all those emotions come flooding back in, feeling uncomfortable in my skin. I Remember having to wear just the right shirt to hide my stomach, or a cardigan in the summer to hide my arms. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with my body and just when I was feeling more confident then EVER, its changing again. BUT the huge difference is NOW I know my changing body is for this amazing little person, and I need to embrace the changes.

It is not easy emotionally and physically. And seriously I always thought my belly would be this hard ball when I got pregnant.. UM maybe if your a size 0.. but mine is just pudgy! HA Totally not what I thought. AND okay ladies I’ve already had to go UP quite a bit in bra sizes! O the joy of my “bigger” by the day body! That is one place that I gain weight first! HA But I am really teaching myself to enjoy it, and remembering that all of these changes are normal and are to help house this baby. So even though I feel a bit in the awkward “is she pregnant or just chubby” stage, ;) I am going to embrace my new body and embrace this pregnancy journey!

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I have only gained about 3 pounds so far (I lost about 8 the first trimester from being so sick, then slowly gained it back plus 3 more), which is good BUT I can definitely notice the changes in my body.
I feel like EVERYWHERE is getting bigger HAHA and it is a big change. But I am trying really hard to stay healthy & continue my clean eating (most of the time) and getting in the gym regularly.

For all you other moms out there did you struggle with BODY IMAGE while being pregnant? Would LOVE some advice!

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We find out this weekend if we are having a boy or a girl?! EEEEEKKK I can’t wait! I am totally thinking GIRL and David is thinking BOY so one of us will be very suprised! Either way we couldn’t be happier and are so thrilled!

And then there were three…

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Well hello there Blog World, its been a while! In case you haven’t noticed I haven’t been blowing up your facebook or instagram feed lately it’s because things have been just a wee bit busy over here :) I am soooo excitied to announce that I am PREGNANT!! Due date is August 11th 2014.

I have had SUPER intense morning sickness, and we just moved houses and working full time I have basically been in bed by 8:30 every night ha! But I am finally past the first trimester and starting to feel more human again. I promise more blog posts will be coming soon!  This post is very personal but I hope that our struggles and journey can help give hope to others! It is possible to get pregnant even admist many  challenges!  I am literally crying as I type this, all the emotions of the past couple years really hit me. So grab some popcorn and maybe some tissues and I’ll share our story :)

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I thought I would open up a bit about our journey to get pregnant, it’s amazing how God’s timing is always perfect and looking back I can see how he has had his hand on our lives and this babies’ timing the whole time!  Let’s see where do I even begin. Well David and I decided to start “trying” for a baby a little over 3 years ago. At first we thought let’s just see what happens, and then about 6 months into (with my very irregular cycles) I knew something wasn’t right. So after literally a year of bloodwork, xrays, scans, you name it, my doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). There are different stages of PCOS mine is basically a hormonal imbalance, I don’t make enough progesterone therefore I have irregular periods (could go three months with nothing) which in return means I do not ovulate on my own. I will say for anyone struggling with infertility it is SUCH an emotional journey! It was bittersweet to hear a “diagnosis”. Part of me was glad it wasn’t more severe and we were on the right track to fix it and part of me was so angry that we even had to struggle with this. I would see friends and family get pregnant what felt like instantly and here we were a happy married couple who had our ducks in a row and yet we struggled with having a baby.

So after about another year of trying progesterone lotions & pills to try and regulate my cycles, still nothing. The next step we decided was fertility treatment. We saw an amazing dr at the FIRM. We proceeded to go through fertility hormone shots for about 6 months. This was also another roller coaster of emotions. Although we were purseuing pregnancy full force and had a great team of dr’s it still felt so overwhelming. And having to go to the dr’s every two weeks and then having a strict time schedule it made the whole process very stressful. And after 6 months of no luck we decided it was best to take a break. I remember feeling so disappointed. I was just so confused as to why we couldn’t get pregnant?! I was finally ovulating with the fertility treatment and yet nothing. There were nights when I would just cry myself to sleep and question God’s plan. This was a very stressful time for me personally. And looking back now I realize what a big stressball I was, and had we gotten pregnant then YES it would have been amazing but I also believe that I was not in a mental state to balance more than one thing. Even though I couldn’t see it at the time God was preparing David and I both to become parents, every struggle and every appointment was all part of his plan and has made this reward so much more amazing!

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So fast forward to about 2.5 years of struggling to get pregnant we took a break from the fertility treatment and started looking into adoption. We were not actively pursueing it, but casually looking. I realized that I was beyond stressed out and I needed to take a mental break from trying to get pregnant. For anyone who has struggled with fertility issues, you know how taxing it can be. It is mentally draining, the constant questions and doubt really overwhelmed me. I kept alot of this to myself and didn’t talk about it, which I now realize probably led to the stress. I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me but I know now that talking about our journey can help so many! PCOS does not have to be a stopping point for getting pregnant, it makes it more challenging but not impossible!

In August of 2013 after years of realizing I had let myself go and really put all my energy on getting pregnant that I was unhappy, overweight and NEEDED to make a change! Now let me just say this was not the first time I had tried to lose weight, as I have talked about before, in the past I had tried weightwatchers, “the salads only” diet, a juice fast. And I would do great for about three weeks then I would just get overwhelmed and hungry and never stuck to anything. I considered myself a pretty healthy person, I was running half marathons BUT what I didn’t realize was all the junk that was in the processed food I was eating. And for those of you who have done research on PCOS, what you EAT is VERY important! A minor detail I chose to look over ha! So a friend of mine told me about Jamie Eason’s 12 week Live Fit Program! All about clean eating and lifting weights! You can read more about my 30 pound weight loss and weekly journey HERE.

Jamie Eason Live Fit

Not only did I lose 30 pounds in just a couple months, but I regained a whole new confidence! I realized I was stronger than I gave myself credit and when I put my mind to something I could accomplish anything! I made myself a priority again and it felt great! I can honestly say in those months I thought about having a baby but it was not every day. At the beginning of Jamie’s program I “gave” not only my health & fitness to God but also the fertility issues. What does it mean to give it to God? Well honestly I thought I knew and I thought I had done it in the past, with other things. But I realized I would say Okay God I am giving you this problem and believing you are going to fix it in your timing and yet I would still hold onto it, stress about it and let it consume me! After the fertility treatments I “thought” I gave it to God but really I just continued to let it overwhelm me and I couldn’t let it go. I tried to figure it out on my own.

Not in your own strength for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you, energizing and creating in you the power and desire, both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and  delight. – Phillipians 2:13

I remember going to a wednesday night church service in September, I had already lost about 10 pounds and was  feeling really great. One of our Pastors spoke on the book of Revelations,when Heaven is Silent. And I remember feeling like Heaven was silent in reference to us getting pregnant. That we had prayed and prayed, did God not hear us? And then our pastor talked about Genesis when God was forming Adam, and even in the clay that he was preparing him and molding him. That even when Heaven is Silent God is still forming us to his perfect plan! It hit me even admist the struggle I could finally see that God was preparing my mind and body to get ready for a baby! I didn’t know when but for this first time in YEARS I knew that I needed to continue to put myself and my body first & trust him! So I continued to eat clean and lift weights and fell in love with Jamie’s program!

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Little did I know that just two weeks after completing Jamie’s program, I got pregnant!! The first two months I actually had regular cycles, and I thought wow maybe this clean eating is regulating my hormones naturally, and maybe I could get pregnant on my own?! But I did not stress and then when I missed my period in November I was a little bummed and thought O man, I guess it didn’t help my cycles, BUT I still had faith that it might take a while and if I couldn’t get pregnant than Gosh Dangit I would have toned arms and a flat stomach! HAHA Fast forward to December and I started feeling extremely nauseas! David kept asking me if I was pregnant (I had missed another period) but this was so normal for me I assured him it was impossible and that was not the case! I refused to take a test. And finally the day after Christmas, after feeling nauseas for three weeks straight (not to mention just the smell of coffee made me want to throw up!) Which should have been a red flag, but nope I just kept thinking I had the flu or something. I took a pregnancy test, now let me just say I have taken A TON of tests, biting my nails at those NEVERENDING two minutes and test after test I was devestated, so this time I just put it on the counter and went in the other room, not thinking twice. I came back a couple minutes later and was SHOCKED!!! A bright plus sign!

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I had dreamed of that moment for YEARS! I always thought I would tell David in a grand romantic gesture and yet feeling like complete poo, in my glasses and hotmess pajamas I walked in the living room “David, I think I’m Pregnant?!” In all its unplanned nongrand gesture it was AMAZING! We held eachother for what felt like an hour. Both overwhelmed with emotion! I was still very hesitant and wanted to get another test just to make sure, so 4 tests later and getting bloodwork from the Doctors office, Yep sure enough I was pregnant! I was about 8 weeks! We couldn’t believe it! And just two weeks later we had our first appointment and got to see our little babe and hear the heartbeat! I will never forget that moment, suddenly all the struggles and disappoitments were worth it to finally get to see this amazing little person that God has blessed us with! We already love Baby Haley soooo much, I can’t wait till we can finally meet!

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Here I am 15 weeks prego! I’ll be 16 weeks on Monday February 24th. Finally in the second trimester I am able to keep food down and the nausea has subsided. Not going to lie, the first couple of months were miserable! I lost 8 pounds and was throwing up 4-5 times a day! I got a prescription from my Doctor and it helped a little but it was still super exhausting. Needless to say I had to take a break from my workout schedule and was only able to keep down Peanut Butter & jellies ha! I still have a very hard time keeping down veggies, So I am going to try and add them back slowly, hoping they stay. It was has been so hard going from being so disciplined with my food and gym time, to just feeling absolutely exhausted and nothing sounds appetizing. But I really think this second trimester I will be able to get back in my routine & have a healthy & fit pregnancy!

I am so grateful now that I found Jamie’s program when I did. Looking back I know that without a doubt it was what I needed for me, to get my mind and body ready! I have established healthy habits and this pregnancy will be so much healthier & I will set a good example to our little one! It’s so crazy to think I am 15 weeks pregnant and weigh 30 pounds less than what I weighed just 6 months ago! Although this journey has not been easy I hope that my story can help others to not lose faith and to put yourself first even when it feels impossible!

 

Chocolate & Apple Protein Bars

What looks like a brownie, has fruit mixed in and is chock-full of protein?!

Well Jamie Eason’s Protein Bars of course!

Okay WARNING: these do NOT taste like a brownie! HA so please lower your expectations. ;) BUT they are very tasty and a great chocolate fix!

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I have adapted this recipe from Jamie Eason’s Chocolate Protein Bars. The first time I made them, they were a little dry so I added greek yogurt and apples! And I LOVE how they turned out! Most “store bought” protein bars are full of sugar and artificial ingredients, so these are great because they are homemade and you know EXACTLY what your putting in your body.

Ingredients Needed:

-1 Cup of Oat Flour
-4 egg whites
- 2 scoops of  [Chocolate Muscle Milk Protein Powder]
-1 TB of honey (optional)
**Jamie recommends a half cup of stevia, but I prefer just a touch of honey, You can add as much or as little as you like.
-1/2  a TS of baking soda
-1 CUP of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
-1/2 CUP of Water
-3 TB of Baking Coco
-1 to 2 TB of Greek Yogurt (Plain) (dependent on preferred consistency.)
-1 apple cubed into small chunks
- 1 TB of cinnamon

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients (oat flower, chocolate protein, baking soda, baking cocoa, cinnamon) together in a large bowl.
Mix wet ingredients in a seperate bowl (egg whites, honey, water, apple sauce, greek yogurt, apple).
Mix all of the ingredients together. Then Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non stick cooking spray (I use Coconut Oil Spray). Add the batter to the dish and sprinkle with a little dash of cinnamon.
Bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven till the  top is golden brown. Let cool and then slice into little squares. 2 squares is the recommended serving size.
Once they are all cooled and sliced, store in a tupperware container and store in the FRIDGE. (There are no preservatives so you have to store in the fridge or they will go bad quickly.)
I go through a whole container in about a week, if I am eating 2 per day as my midmorning snack :)

2 Bars are ONLY 96 Calories!!

Fat: 1.4 g
Carbs: 12 g
Protein: 10 g

 

Enjoy!

Then Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non stick cooking spray (I use Coconut Oil Spray). Add the batter to the dish and sprinkle with a little dash of cinnamon.
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Bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven till the  top is golden brown.
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Let cool and then slice into little squares. 2 squares is the recommended serving size.
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Once they are all cooled and sliced, place in a tupperware container and store in the FRIDGE. (There are no preservatives so you have to store in the fridge or they will go bad quickly.) I go through a whole container in about a week, if I am eating 2 per day as my midmorning snack :)
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To see more of Jamie Eason’s Recipes Click Here. BodyBuilding.com is a GREAT resource for Healthy Recipes!

2 Bars are ONLY 96 Calories!!

Fat: 1.4 g
Carbs: 12 g
Protein: 10 g

 

Jamie Eason Round 2 – Let’s do this!

So here it is a new year, and I want to make this my best year yet!

I have finally decided to do [Jamie Eason Live Fit]  a second time. With the Holidays being so busy and going on vacation in December, it just wasn’t the right time. I knew  I needed to really get my mental focus before diving back in. It takes discipline and planning and I want to be dedicated 100%.

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SOOO here goes! I am so excited to announce that this time I have created an online Facebook group!
This is a private group, members will have to be approved BUT this is a great way to stay motivated throughout the 12 weeks.

I know the first time I started Jamie’s program, I had a TON and I mean a TON of questions, and it was a bit overwhelming.
So having an online group was perfect! We could all help eachother and keep us on track.

Here’s a little reminder of the progress I made last time:
To read my [Jamie Eason Live Fit]  12 week FINAL review CLICK HERE.

Jamie Eason Live Fit Review #Fitness #jamieeason
Jamie Eason Review #fitness #eatclean #weightloss

Whether you are interested in starting Monday Jan. 6th OR maybe in the future, or just need the accountability, we would LOVE to have you in the group!

[Jamie Eason Live Fit] ‘s program through Bodybuilding.com is a FREE workout and clean eating program! I lost 30 pounds my first round and can’t wait to see more changes after round 2!

Here is the link to Facebook Group:
Team Alesha – Jamie Eason Live Fit Challenge Facebook Group ; CLICK HERE.

2013 Year in Review

Wow What a year 2013 has been!!

I ran my 5th Half marathon in February, The Donna Hicken Half Marathon. I absolutely LOVE running with my dad! he is my constant motivator and hero!
He has overcome AMAZING adversity and he still puts God first and will do anything for our family.

Dave and I went to Europe for the First Time!! We absolutelty fell in LOVE with France!
From the food, wine and french language, everything about it was mesmerizing.

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Paris was my favorite part! I LOVED all the landmarks but also the little cafe’s, french pastries and museums were incredible!
We also just happen to be there at the same time as the Tour De France. What an amazing experience! It was the 100th anniversary, and they did not disappoint.

I can’t wait to go back! France was just a dream come true!

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One of my favorite parts of Paris was the Notre Dame. I literally cried walking into it, the service took my breath away! The architecture was AMAZING!!
Then we had a little picnic with wine and cheese right across the street and listened to the live jazz music. One of my most favorite memories I will always cherish!

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The Louvre in Paris was yet again AMAZING! Okay I am going to admit I’m not a history buff, David makes fun of my lack of geography skills. So the idea of spending all day at a museum was less than appealing to me BUT I am sooo glad we did! I was blown away by the paintings, sculptors and artifacts from around the world!

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We also visited Southern France and went the Marseille. The Calanques were like a postcard!! The hike down to them was super intense! Ha I was def in need of getting my butt into shape.

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Even though this year was full of alot of happiness, there was also some sadness.
I lost an AMAZING woman this year, My Grandma Ruth. Even typing this, it doesn’t seem real. I don’t know that it ever will.

After months of struggling with cancer she passed away in May at 83 years old. This woman raised 5 kids on her own, was the most amazing prayer warrior I have ever know AND was the best cheerleader!
You could pick up the phone and hear her high pitch voice just screaming with excitement wanting to know every detail in all of her kids, 6 grandkids and 9 great grand kids lives!
She brought my family closer than ever and through her stay at Hospice we created new memories of leaning on eachother.
She truly left a legacy.
Through tragedy you can come together and realize you are stronger than you ever believed!

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One thing I learned this year was how truly important family is. I have always known this, but with my Grandma’s passing it makes me cherish every moment we have even more!
Speaking of Family, I also went to HAWAII for the first time this year! My husband and brother in law SUPRISED me and my sister with tickets to hawaii to see my cousin who lives there!
AHHH Talk about major Brownie Points! The hubby’s did good ;)

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Hawaii was everything I imagined and more!

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As great as Hawaii was, spending time with my sister and cousin was priceless!! They mean the world to me and it was so nice to have some girl time and relax at the beach!
On a side note OMG I cant believe Im putting a picture of me in a bikini on the World Wide Web!! EEKK!! Not going to lie, it’s extremely uncomfortable. HA that leads me to my next adventure of 2013!
I discovered Clean Eating, weightlifting and lost 30 pounds! Hence why I even wore a bikini in Hawaii! When we went to France earlier this year I hid in my “tankini” and wouldnt have dared get my big ole butt in a bikini!
But who knew that just a couple months of hardwork & I would be in Hawaii wearing a bikini for the first time in years!
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So not only did I do some amazing traveling this year, I ALSO lost 30 pounds! I discovered [Jamie Eason Live Fit]

A 12 week workout program and clean eating. I have always been a runner, BUT I can honestly tell you that lifting weights changed my body shape! I thought losing any weight would be next to impossible BUT I stuck to Jamie’s program and was shocked when I lost a total of 30 pounds by the end of the 3 months!

Jamie Eason Live Fit Challenge #jamieeason #fitness

I also had some fun in the kitchen and learned some new recipes :) Protein powder is now a staple in my desserts!
These Chocolate Protein Pancakes are my favorite Saturday treat!

Chocolate Protein Pancakes
MMM and Pumpkin Protein bars are one of my fave midday snacks! I found that eating healthy didnt have to mean eating borind.

Jamie Eason Pumpkin Bars #protein #eatclean

You can read about my 12 week [Jamie Eason Live Fit]  recap HERE.
Not only did I lose weight, but I learned to make myself a priority again. I learned how to balance all of life’s craziness and still put my health first. I learned I am stronger than I ever thought possible, and when I made the decision to give my health & fitness to God, and seek him for help, I was able to do ALOT more than I ever have on my own.
Jamie Eason Live Fit Results #fitness #jamieeason

Wow does time go by fast! I love taking progress photos, even on my bad days I can look and see how far I have come!

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Thanks for all the awesome memories 2013, it’s been real. But I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!!

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Gluten Free, Grain Free Brownies

FREE Christmas Printables – NEW

I don’t know about you, but its beginning to look alot like Christmas at the Haley House.

There is just something about Christmas lights and hot coco and cinammon candles that just makes my heart happy!
This is my favorite time of the year, and I can’t believe Christmas is less than two weeks away!

christmas_printables

In honor of my fave Holiday I’ve put together some Free Printables, just for you!
Hope these babies will add some Christmas cheer to your home.

Click the links below to download each PDF.

5×7 Deer Printable CLICK HERE ——> christmas_printables_deer_5x7

8×10 Christmas Printable CLICK HERE —> christmas_printables_merry

8×10 Snowflake Printable CLICK HERE ——–>christmas_snowflake_1

8×10 Snowflake #2 Printable CLICK HERE—–>christmas_snowflake_2

 

 

I’ve also been a busy little elf making our home a winter wonderland, I created this DIY Pallet Sign and absolutely LOVE the way it turned out!

pallet_sign

 

I have to say this project was a little more difficult than I was expecting, but 6 cups of coffee later, I finally finished it!

Stay tuned, A DIY blog post is coming soon!

DIY Pallet Sign #christmas #pallet #DIY

I use any & all items around the house to add some color! A fun & {cheap} tablescape is to use some wineglasses, fill with ornaments & turn upside down, then top with a candle! I added some leftover branches from the tree & an ornament filled bowl to top off our Christmas Tablescape! EASY & FREE! My kind of project :)

wine glass christmas decor #christmas #decor #DIY

Happy Holidays Lovelies!

 

Fitness Update + a Giveaway

 

This weeks post is a bit longwinded – so grab o’ cup of joe and stay a while!

I have some very EXCITING news to share with you all!!
I have partnered with Quest Nutrition to do a giveaway!!

Earlier this week I recieved an AMAZING sampler pack of my own from Quest Nutrition! I had reached out to them, wondering if they would be willing to do a giveaway on my blog. To my suprise they agreed AND wanted to send me my own box of goodies! It felt like Christmas Morning when I opened my box. Seriously had to control myself from trying all the flavors HAHA, Double Chocolate Chunk is my fave!

 

So not only do I get to try these yummy bars BUT you have the chance to win them too!!

 

quest_giveaway

 

We will be giving away TWO sampler packs (thats 15 bars per pack!!), The Contest Ends TUESDAY December 3rd 10:00 P.M.

 

Head on over to Made with Love’s Facebook Page to enter the GIVEAWAY!

 

In Other news I thought I would give a little update on how my fitness has been going. Well guys, I am proud to say I have finally hit the 30 POUNDS down mark!!!! I started Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Challenge on August 17th, and after completing it about a month ago, I have continued to do Phase 2 workouts & eat clean.

You can read more about my Jamie Eason Recap HERE.
Jamie Eason Weightloss

I have worked SOOOOOO hard and have been shocked week after week when the scale continues to go down. I’m guna be really honest, when I started my “health journey” it was the scariest thing EVER to think about blogging about my experience. I was sooooo nervous I wouldn’t be able to lose weight (I had tried so many times before and never stuck with it) OR that people might judge me or look down on me. But being open and honest has helped inspire others AND I am blown away by all the support I have recieved through my blog! I have met some of the most AMAZING women and created longlasting friendships!
Made with Love: Jamie Eason weightloss

I have gone from 175 lbs to 145lbs in just under 4 months! No tricks or special drinks, just eating clean and working my butt off in the gym. I never would have thought I could actually lose weight AND continue to live a healthy lifestyle. I was SOOOO overwhelmed at first and didn’t even know where to start BUT Jamie Easons’s program has helped to light a FIRE inside of me and I now LOVE this new lifestyle I have adapted. I actually enjoy working out and love having that “me time” in the gym. I really learned to put myself first again! And I realize now that I need to treat myself as a priority because I deserve it! I thought that by working hard at my job and doing my Etsy, that it would be enough. But I ended up burnt out and unhappy in my own skin. I am soooo proud of how far I have come and cant wait to do Jamie Eason’s program a second time!

Made with Love: Alesha Running

It has been a very busy couple of weeks since finishing Jamie’s program BUT I have stayed active! My sister and I completed a 6 mile run this past week and I am soooo proud of how amazing she has done.

Let me take a moment to Brag about my AMAZING sister... yall don’t mind do ya?!
This woman is a Mother of 3 amazing munchkins, a devoted wife and also manages my Dad’s Construction Company full time! That’s right she is a career woman, has children and just 8 weeks ago she started EATING CLEAN and working out consistently! With her busy schedule she decided to give Yoga a try! She now goes regularly to Yoga classes 4-5 days a week and she has lost 15 POUNDS yall!!! I never thought she needed to lose weight in the first place, she has always been in amazing shape (such a stinker! HAHA) BUT I am blown away by her dedication and hardwork! I never thought that my workouting out would inspire anyone let alone my own family! It has been great keeping eachother motivated and I LOVE having this girl as my accountability partner!! I seriously look up to her so much!

Made with Love: Yoga Bar

So the other week my sis says to me, Hey you should come to a yoga class with me! I immediatly tried to think of an excuse to get out of it haha I have always been sooooo scared of YOGA!! I have only ever been to two classes in my life and each one I about died! So the thought of going with my sister, who at this point is a total pro, sounded a bit unappealing HAHA. BUT I gave in and thought okay well I have been working out, I’ll give it a try.

What I thought was a 45 minute class was “O by the way this is a 90 minute class taught by our friend Candice!” Who just happens to be the co-owner and an AMAZING instructor!! O God I immediatly started sweating and breaking out in hives HAHA Could I really survive an hour and a half yoga class?? AH I am NOT flexible and I still need a beginners class first! O geez.. WELL I have to say it was an emotional roller coaster the whole class!! LOL

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At first I thought wow the peaceful music and the dark class was soo relaxing “This isn’t so bad?!” Then about 30 minutes later I was pouring SWEAT and wanted to Kill my lovely sister! HAHA What had she talked me into? But then to my suprise I was actually able to keep up with the class. I was shocked at how lifting weights has actually helped me with my core strength and I was actually getting a really great workout. It was challenging yall, I’m not guna lie it was super intense BUT Candice is an AMAZING instructor and it was soooo doable to follow along! I was nervous I wouldn’t know the moves (which I in fact didn’t know any of them except downward dog HAHA) BUT she showed us every pose and kept everyone engaged! By the end of the class I was already thinking about when I want to come back to do another one.

If you’re in Jacksonville, Florida you should Check out YogaBar Jax! Seriously AMAZING classes and they have childcare too! They are always doing amazing workshops like Date Night or AcroYoga!!
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Head on over & LIKE YogaBar’s Facebook: YogaBarJax
Check out their website: www.YogaBar.co

Thanksgiving CLEAN eating – Round Up

I almost thought about titling this weeks post:
Turkey and Pretty Flowers. Seems fitting right?!


thanksgiving_roundup

 

A little hodge podge of yummy foods + a pretty flower arrangement + Being surrounded by family= The Perfect Thanksgiving!

Where does the time go?! Am I the only one still scrambling to figure out what to make for Thanksgiving?
I thought I would share some Clean Recipes to keep everyone on track during the holidays!

In the past I have always just made my thanksgiving meals with plenty of butter, cheese, cream, and tons of sugar! Maybe not all in the same dish, but ya know let’s just say I was not “aware” of what I was eating. And Lord knows I didn’t want to count calories on thanksgiving.

But alas after our “Feast” I’m always left feeling soooo full and the inevitable food coma, in which I say “O my gosh I ate too much” but then three hours later “Who wants turkey sandwiches?!” Ha! Well this year I am turning a new leaf.

Yes I am going to have Mac N cheese, turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing on Thanksgiving. But what I am NOT going to do is stuff my plate and mouth FULL of food and be oblivious to how much I am actually eating. Since completing Jamie Eason’s week workout program I have gotten used to smaller portions, and it has actually been really great! I get full very fast and I am in tune with my body so I know when to stop before I get the dreaded “food baby.”

Here’s some of the recipes I am going to be trying out this thanksgiving :)

Let’s start with Dessert, shall we?! Let’s be honest, that’s all we really care about!

DESSERTS
Clean Pumpkin Pie
{iFoodReal}
Vertical-clean-pumpkin-pie

Clean Apple Pie
{The Gracious Pantry}
apple-pie-v-1
SIDES
Garlic & Herb Smashed Potatoes
{Linda Wagner}
MG_8139-2
Paleo Green Bean Casserole
{Fed and Fit}
d0201d06d3c9cb90b3158b0a997bc543

Greek Yogurt Mac N’ Cheese
{Chobani}
W3A9969
Clean Cornbread
{The Gracious Pantry}
Clean Corn Bread

MEAT
Clean Eating Turkey Stuffing
{Dayna Deters Fitness}
Clean Eating Turkey Stuffing #eatclean #cleaneating

Quinoa Stuffed Turkey Breast
{Skinny Supper}
Quinoa Stuffed Turkey

Pomegranate-Glazed Stuffed Turkey
{Clean Eating Mag}

Pomegranate-Galzed Stuffed Turkey

In addition to Eating Healthy it’s also nice to have a pretty table!
I LOVE adding fruit slices to my flower arrangements for that extra pop of color!

DIY Orange Slices Arrangment


DIY Orange Slices Arrangment
I have done this same trick in a previous Post: SUMMER PARTY. I LOVE the color that it brings to the table and it is soooo easy!

DIY Lemon Slices Flower Arrangment

Citrus Flower Arrangement
*I aplogize in advance, for not having images of the process. I forgot to take pictures.

Supplies Needed:
-Clear Vase
-Smaller cup or glass to fit INSIDE the large vase
-6-8 oranges / lemons
-knife (to slice fruit)
-burlap or ribbon (to tie around vase)
Step One: Slice your oranges / lemons. I like the mixture of both, but you could stick with just one fruit.
Step Two: Take your small cup & place INSIDE your large vase. There needs to be enough room in between the two pieces of glass to slide your slices in.
Step Three: One by one stack your fruit slices in between the two glasses, creating a wall of oranges.
Step Four: Fill the small cup with water and place your flowers inside. This allows the flowers to remain in fresh (orange free) water.
Step Five: Tie a ribbon or burlap trim to the outside of the vase to finish it off!

Have a great Thanksgiving Everyone!!