Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Beginning of My Weight Loss Journey

Six weeks ago, I decided enough was enough and I got real with myself. For almost thirteen years {since having our first son} I have blamed being overweight on having babies. I gained 65 pounds while pregnant with Jake Austin. After having him I held on to a good 40 of those pounds...for thirteen years. Until now.

In six weeks I have lost 16.5 pounds and 8+ inches. {I lost my piece of paper that I wrote my measurements on so I have re-start and just subtract from my new measurements. Hopefully I'll stumble upon that paper soon. I really want to know exactly how far I've come! I do know at last check it was just over 8 inches.}

What have I done differently? How am I losing weight and inches? It's not a diet. It's not a magic pill. I am eating healthier foods. I completely eliminated sugar and carbs with the help of Four Fit Sisters' Sugar Detox. I stopped drinking soda {biggie for me!}. I drink LOTS of water. I exercise a couple of times a week. And, I started using Plexus.

Plexus has been a game changer in my weight loss journey. Drinking Plexus Slim every morning curbs and sugar cravings that I may have during the day.

Every now and again I have the opportunity to go get myself a new "something". And for years I've just known what size I wear. {No, I'm not going to tell you. LOL} This past week I went shopping for a couple new things to wear to the Type A Parent Conference, that I'm currently at, and just grabbed that same size I always go to. I was SO excited when I got to the fitting room and the pants were TOO BIG!!! Y'all, it didn't occur to me to pick up a smaller size. And, wanna know what? I had to go down TWO pants sizes!!! {Again, not telling you! LOL}

my weight loss journey

I am feeling so good about my new weight loss journey! I've lost weight and inches and have gained so much confidence!

I don't want this to be all sales pitchy but, if you'd like more info on Plexus send me an email at jonahbonahinjax at gmail dot com. I would LOVE to tell you more!

Are YOU on a weight loss journey? Have just a few pesky pounds that you'd like to lose? Tell me what I can do to help you. I'd love to answer questions and even do the research for you! Let's connect. Email me. DM me on Twitter. Convo me on Instagram. However you're comfy, let's connect! *I'm jonahbonah on Twitter and Insta

Friday, September 5, 2014

What's on the Menu? {Paleo Favorites}

In the last few weeks some serious changes have been made in my house. Well, not so much in my house as in myself. {it's going to be a tough one to get my husband on board with my new eating habits. I dare not call them a diet...they are a lifestyle change!} On August 6th I drank my last soda. {if you know me in real life, you know that that's like taking my right arm. For real.} I gave up soda and traded it in for water. Good ol' quality H2O. I have truly drank more water in the last four weeks than I've drank in the last five years. That's just awful to think of.

To put it in to perspective, I was probably drinking 5-7 12 oz. soda cans a day. A DAY! Who does that?

What's more, I also switched out preservative-filled foods for all-natural yummy goodness. Nitrate-free/sugar-free bacon, hormone-free eggs, almond milk, pecans, fresh berries, coconut sugar {instead of white sugar}, coconut oil {instead of vegetable oil or canola oil}, coconut creamer for my coffee {instead of milk and sugar}.

Know what else? Sugar. Sugar is the devil, y'all. Check your labels. Do YOU know what you're putting into your body? I'm guessing you truly have no idea. 90% of Americans have NO IDEA!! {That's a percentage I came up with on my own but, I'm sure it's about right.} If you were to read the labels of the food you consume you'd probably not eat most of what you're presently consuming. Really. And, it's surprising what the FDA approves. Who are they, anyway?

These last four weeks have opened my eyes to the junk Americans consume. We should be more educated. I seriously am on a mission to more educate myself. I hope to help YOU in the process! With that being said, come back often to see what's new with #jonahbonahgetsfit.

Did I mention I'm on a mission to eliminate the junk in my family's life? It may take some time but, eventually I'd like to have all of my family off of soda, sugars and preservatives. At least 95% of the time!

In an effort, I've been looking for some recipes that are both yummy and health conscious. I think we can all agree to like the following recipes....or, at least, try them. Wish me luck!

This week, I'm going to give these recipes a try. Each of them are Paleo. If you've had one of them, let me know your thoughts. I'm excited to try each of them.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Strips
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Strips - Chicken. Bacon. What more is there to love?

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas - I'm a busy gal with five kids, a husband and two different schools and a part-time gig at both home and away...therefore, I am a firm believer in the slow cooker. She can be your best friend. Let her.

paleo shrimp stuffed mushrooms
Paleo Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms - Okay, so truth be told, my family will not eat these. Myself, on the other hand, I'll eat these

Paleo Pinapple Stir Fry - Lately, Hubs has been getting home a little later than usual or he's been at football practice with Jonah. This has left me to learn how to grill {with charcoal} on my own. I've gotten pretty good {if I do say so , myself!}. Really. I'm thinking the next grilling recipe of mine should be this one. Pineapple, shrimp and other yumminess. Yes, please!

I seriously struggle 6 nights out of 7 on what to feed my family. Especially since I've started eating healthy. With the recipes above, I feel like they are eating healthy, preservative-free and enough to fill their bellies, that I can rest easy at night.

Do you have any Paleo or extra-healthy recipes to share? Leave a link in the comments. I'd love to gather a bunch of new recipes to have at least a month's worth for my family!

I have another bit of new information to share in the next day or so, too. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Swaddle Your Baby with Summer Infant

When I was pregnant with Mabry I hadn't been pregnant for nearly five years. It was almost like being pregnant for the first time all over again. So much changes in five years. SO MUCH!

Want to know what else I forgot about? How much sleep you lose when you have a newborn.
As I am sure you can believe, parents with newborns ages 0-5 months often sleep on average two hours less than usual per night. From age 6 months through age two, parents are getting one less hour of sleep per night. That means that moms of babies are losing upward of 875 hours of sleep by the time their child’s second birthday rolls around!    

Summer Infant, the maker of the #1 swaddle wrap, the SwaddleMe, is expanding its swaddle collection to help soothe babies as they transition out of swaddles.  This in turn, puts parents' minds at ease and helps mom get some well-deserved ZZZs. You may already be familiar with the SwaddlePod and SwaddleMe wraps, used to help soothe crying babies, while also keeping babies on their backs (and hence helping to reduce the risk of SIDS) - all while ensuring they're warm and comfy.  

Now Summer Infant has added two new swaddling products to the line – the SwaddleMe WrapSack and the ComfortMe wearable blanket – which extends the progression of stages of swaddling beyond the SwaddleMe.  The SwaddleMe WrapSack provides growing babies with additional legroom and can be worn with babies’ arms in or out, while the ComfortMe blanket provides large arm openings allowing for breathability and airflow, and a bottom zipper for easier nighttime changing. 
The new additions complete an easy-to-understand swaddling system designed to replace loose bedding in the crib and aiding in a calmer sleep for all.  Plus, the cute colors and patterns bring out the personality in any little one.

Thirteen years ago, there were only square blankets to wrap babies up like burritos. Five years ago, I had the baby burrito wrapping DOWN. When Mabry came along I literally had a moment in the hospital because I could not swaddle her. I felt like a complete failure. You better believe I ran to the nearest baby store for a SwaddlePod. For real.

Look at how cute and cuddly {and snuggly} she is. She slept like a dream in that thing. It was a life saver for the first few weeks. Once she grew out of it, we got the next step, the SwaddleMe. Life saver. Or, should I say sleep saver? The Summer Infant Swaddling System is a must for new moms and babies.Sweet dreams.
Once Mabry got a little older and didn't much like to have her arms tucked inside we discovered the SwaddleMe WrapSack. Not only does it keep Mabry comfy throughout the night but, it also zips completely open on the bottom for easy diaper changes. No more undressing baby in the middle of the night to change a diaper. She gets cold when that happens! 

mabry summer infant

Next time you need a baby gift I absolutely recommend Summer Infant Swaddle pieces. The new momma you're buying for will thank you for the quality sleep she'll be getting through the first year! Or, maybe YOU'RE having a new baby. These pieces are going to save your sanity! At the very least, you'll get a few extra hours of sleep!

***There are affiliate links within this post. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, you'll be helping this momma of five support her family. :o)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that Jonah started playing football at a local park. What began as a way for him to get out and exercise a couple of times a week with friends turned into a passion for him. When he started in the Spring it was a training camp type thing. Once he decided he loved it, we signed him up for the full-fledged game practicing. Jonah eats, breaths and sleeps FOOTBALL!

A while back, I read on Twitter that the Jacksonville Jaguars opened up 13 practices to the public. All I needed to do was go online and sign up for the dates we wanted. We went to two.

A couple of weeks ago Jonah and I went to EverBank Field to experience the Jacksonville Jaguars first Training Camp of the 2014 NFL football season.

Before heading towards the stadium we stopped at WalMart for a football. Jonah was so excited to be able to get autographs from a bunch of the players. And boy, did he get a LOT of autographs!! {as a momma, I was super bummed for him when the ONE player he waited for wouldn't stop to sign a football card because his family was with him. Chad Henne, Jonah was super upset but, he looks forward to getting your autograph really soon!}

On the days that we went to the practices, the temperatures were in the 90's and the heat index was near or over 100 degrees. It was HOT! I have no idea how those football players practice in that heat. It was sure fun to see it all happen, though. Living in Jacksonville, in a city with an NFL football is so cool. Never before were we really football fans. We certainly weren't Jaguars fans. But, now having a football player, our family has a new appreciation for what's right in our backyard. We LOVE our Jaguars!!

{Here's a BUNCH of pictures from the first practice and of Jonah getting autographs. Enjoy!}

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

As Seen on Blissfully Domestic {June/July}

Blissfully Domestic is ALWAYS on fire but, MY favorite time to write is End-of-Summer/Back-to-School season! With four kids in school full-time this year, I feel like these topics speak volumes for me. The last few weeks have been especially fun for me! I've gathered a bunch of ideas and recipes for Blissfully Domestic readers AND myself!

Here are a few of my most recent posts.

As seen on Blissfully Domestic

as seen on blissfully domestic

Which of these posts are your favorite? What would you like to see me write about next? Tell me in the comments.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eleven Months.

mabry mae hutchins

Our Mabry Mae Hutchins is eleven months old. There's a sting in my heart to know that she's growing up and becoming less of a baby, my last baby, everyday. Yet, I love to watch her grow and learn and become a little person.

Mabry has such a bright personality and she's sweet, yet fierce. When one of her siblings takes her toy from her hands she screams out at them. Since she isn't talking yet this is her way of saying, "give that back to me NOW!" When she's sleepy she will lay her head on your shoulder. She's a lover.

She's walking now. There's no holding her back. She sees where she wants to go and her little legs take her. My favorite is when she grips the carpet with her tiny toes. I pray I never forget these details.

At eleven months old, she already has 6 teeth. I don't remember my other kids having so many teeth at this age. Maybe they did? Having Mabry nearly 5 years after McKinley is like being a first-time parent all over again. I'm having to re-learn all of the things that babies do. Like, teething. Oh, the drool. And the endless crying because it hurts her so badly. And the fevers and late nights. Teething is for the birds!

We don't watch much TV in our house. We haven't had cable in 3 or 4 years. I thought, at first, that I'd miss it. I don't. We do have Netflix. But, even with that the TV doesn't get turned on too often. Here's why I'm even telling you this...I've noticed when we do turn the TV on and it's an animated show, Mabry LOVES it! She gets really excited and dances with the songs. She "talks" to whichever character is on at the moment. It's so fun to watch her!

Mabry Mae Hutchins, you are so much fun! I love being your mommy. I'm excited to watch you grow and see who you will become. What will you accomplish? Who do you want to be? Will your sister be your best friend? I pray I see all of these questions answered. I love you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 Back-to-School Shopping Tips

5 Back to School Shopping Tips

Last week a postcard showed up in my mailbox informing me that Middle School Orientation is in 3 weeks. THREE weeks, people! Didn't Summer just begin??

While I'm sad for the Summer to be coming to a close, I'm equally excited {if not more so} for the kids to go back to school. When I was a kid growing up, back-to-school season was my most favorite! Freshly sharpened pencils, crisp notebook paper, and a Trapper Keeper {!!}. Kids these days have NO idea what a Trapper Keeper is...only the greatest notebook of all time! Children of the 80's, am I right??

I'll have four kids in school full-time this year. While I'm no expert in what's right and wrong in back-to-school shopping, I have learned a few things along the way. After all, Jake will be starting 7th grade this school year. Including preschool and VPK, that's like 8 years of solid experience.

Today I'm sharing 5 Back-to-School Shopping Tips that I've learned along the way.

/1/ Start Shopping NOW! - Back-to-School supplies sales begin to pop up the weekend after the 4th of July. For real. It seems early but, it's great for a multitude of reasons. Keep reading. Each week, pick up a Sunday paper and scour the ads for the best deals.

/2/ Shop Often - Every week each store will have different school supplies on sale. This week you can buy pencils for next to nothing and next week might be 1-inch binders. The more often you go, the less money you'll spend and the less crowds you'll have to fight when it gets closer to the first day of school.

/3/ Shop Tax Free - Check and see if your state offers a tax-free weekend for back-to-school shopping. If it isn't offered in your state, drive to a neighboring state {if gas cost is significantly lower than the tax savings} or contact your local state representative to see if he/she can get the wheels in motion on bringing that savings to you for following years!

On top of the store's sale prices, saving your state's tax percentage is an added bonus! Since I like to shop for supplies each week as the sale ads come out, I usually take advantage of tax-free weekend for the kid's clothes. After all, the clothing is the most expensive part of the shopping list. Also, tax-free weekend is a great time to buy the supplies that are "wants". You know the ones, the FROZEN folders or the more expensive mechanical pencils that they insist are far better than the ones you bought for $0.48 or the fancy-schmancy pens. Basically, anything not on the "official" supply list is generally bought during this time for an added savings.

/4/ Know Before You Go - I noticed this past school year that my kids' school puts a supply list in their end-of-year report card. Genius! This way I'm armed with a supply list weeks before the sales begin and I can make a plan. I can buy more than I need, if the price is right. If I didn't have my list I might wind up buying 3 folders at that amazing sale price when the kids actually need 4...and then I might end up paying full price for the 4th. It's nice to have a list!

/5/ Price Match - This is my most recent back-to-school shopping, "ah-ha moment" tip. In years past I would check out Sunday's paper, make a plan to go to each store that had what I needed at the best price, and go to each store. {let's not even think about the amount of gas was used in this school shopping adventure...} This year is different. I check my Sunday paper each week, gather the sale ads with the items circled that I plan to purchase, and then head to my local WalMart and utilize their Price Match Policy. It's a one-stop shop. Best of all, if the item is Buy One, Get One Free then it's 9 times out of 10 going to be cheaper on the Buy One. For instance, XYZ store had Crayola markers on sale BOGO for $2.98. WalMart's price was $1.27. This means, I was able to get the BOGO offer at $1.27 instead of $2.98. Make sense? {I was able to get each item for 64 cents, instead of $1.49.} It's truly easy and saves SO MUCH MONEY!

Are you ready for Back-to-School? What shopping tip would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments.