Thursday, May 30, 2013

Eat the Frog and Drink the ACV

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Have you ever heard the term, "Eat the Frog First"? I heard this several months ago and I'm not sure why when put this particular way it stuck, but it did. Basically, it's a way of systematically prioritizing your tasks each day, hour, etc. This is something I really struggled with when I first started working at home (and still sometimes do). Yes, working. This 'staying-at-home' stuff is no joke, but I digress.

The idea here is to prioritize based on your need and desire to do tasks. Lifehack outlines it best:

  1. The things you need to do, but don't want to do. Aka, the "Frog(s)"
  2. The things you need to do and want to do.
  3. The things you want to do, but don't need to do.
  4. The things you don't need or want to do.
Ideally, you want to reprogram your brain and create a habit of eating the frog first. The reward there is  you've done the 'worst' thing first, thereby making everything else seem easier or better. For me, it's usually bathrooms, putting away laundry and some days, working out. I'm really trying to get better at this. I have developed a habit of putting these things off until I have to do them. Then I'm not happy about it because inevitably, I'd rather be doing something else, but it's all about recognizing things you don't like and working on them, right? Easier said than done sometimes...

So now that we've eaten the frog, it's time to drink the ACV.

I've gone through half a bottle and I am serious when I say it's a love/hate relationship. Love the effects, hate the taste. It has cleared my skin up and has really helped curb my appetite. I eat more than my husband so, this is huge for me. I can't sing it's praises enough. I will tell you that when it comes to 'healthy' stuff, I am no wimp. I used to eat field greens plain with no problem. This concoction however, has revealed my weak link. Head on over and see what it's all about. If you've never tried this, I HIGHLY recommend it. For the effects...not the taste.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

So What Wednesday

Linking up with Shannon for some weekly So What Wednesday. 

Here we go!

  • So what if my ONLY motivation to workout right now is so I can drink this.
  • So what if I just want to pack up the children, skip town and take the husband's debit card for a therapeutic trip to IKEA with tammyfantasyland?
  • So what if I think that who(m?)ever invented BB Cream should be awarded with a Nobel Prize. That and the discovery of the side part - both life changing moments for me.
  • So what if my beautiful, new barn wood table was infested with these bastards. Not so much as a so what but as a "are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!"
  • So what if my husband keeps conveniently missing the laundry basket and trash can (and toilet, for that matter) with his clothes and Q-tips and I'm currently plotting my revenge.
  • So what if my husband's favorite Housewife is Alexis. No, seriously you guys. I asked him and that's what he told me. I've failed as a wife...
Who's your favorite and why? Indulge me :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

{Recipe} Savory Stuffed Sweet Potato

Hey everyone! Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as we did. We are so blessed to live in this great country.

I had a weekend full of my mother-in-law's AMAZING cooking so, it's time to get back to reality. I eat this probably 3-4 times a week. I know, I need to have a little variety, but they're just so easy, filling, nutritious and delicious.

How To:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Take 4-5 sweet potatoes and wash them really well
  • Wrap in foil and bake for around an hour. I usually do these whenever I have time and then stick them all in the fridge so I can grab them later.
Then when you're ready to eat:
  • Grab out of the fridge and cut each end off and slice down the middle
  • Open it up and throw in whatever you like. My favs are:
    • 1/3 cup black beans or shredded chicken, whatever protein I have on hand
    • 1/4 cup finely shredded mozz
    • 1/2 diced avocado (best part)
    • A few drizzles of Sriracha 

This is such an easy, nutritious go-to.

Love to hear your versions, if you have any!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

I love my dark hardwoods. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Here's the absolute best way I've found to keep them looking clean and gorgeous. Dirty floors are my pet peeve. They completely wig me out. #sahmproblems

I first came across this method right after we finished remodeling our kitchen. I was 9 months pregnant, working at a paid job at the time and had no time or desire to clean up all the dust, etc. I hired the most amazing cleaning lady to ever grace the earth. I came home from work that day and it seriously looked like a brand new house.  I don't know how she did it in 6 hours, but it was nothing short of a miracle.

When I asked her how she got the floors so clean she said, "oh, I just hand-washed them". Um, excuse me, you did what. Are you out of your damn mind? You hand-washed them?! Well, little did I know, I'd soon be eating my words when I found how much easier it actually is.

This is the key to the method: use several microfiber cloths and to keep your water clean, you use a cloth until it's completely soiled then use a new one. Don't put the dirty cloth back in your water. 

Here's how it's done.

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 gallon hot water
10 drops (or so) essential oil of your choice. I like lemon. Don't use too much essential oil or it will leave a grime on your floors. Just use enough to cover the vinegar smell.

1. Vacuum and/or Swiffer your floors. I use the Swiffer vacuum unless I'm doing the rugs too, then I'll use my Dyson.

2. Mix up your cleaner

3. Make sure you wring out your cloth really well. You don't want it dripping water.

4. Get down and dirty and start washin'! I wash in sections so I don't miss any spots and wash with the grain.

To get the most out of each cloth, I fold mine in half, then half again, then half again. Then just keep  finding clean spots on it until it's completely dirty, then grab a new one.

I usually try and do this every couple weeks during naptime. I make it a point to do it after we have people over. We don't wear shoes in the house, but I certainly don't ask guests to take their shoes off. Not to say that there hasn't been a time in my life where I didn't. I once threw a girl out of our NYE party about 5 years ago for refusing to take her shoes off - Tamara style. Not one of my finer moments, but hey, you live you learn.

If I don't have time to do the whole thing (usually take me 30-45 min from start to finish) I use this Bona wet mop. I  just refill it with my vinegar/water/EO mixture after I run out of Bona cleaner.

Also, when you wash your cloths, do a separate load with hot water. And DO NOT use fabric softner - it will render them useless. I use vinegar instead of softner. That helps get all the grime out and disinfect them too.

How do you clean your floors? Love to hear any other methods!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How To Reprogram Your Brain

I'm definitely not one of those 'keeping up with the Jones'' types, but I don't want to let myself go, either. When I gained 20# after baby, I knew I had to do something. I found myself slipping into 'Mom Jean Mode'. I define MJM as pretty much giving up. You're married, have a couple kids, eh, what the hell, let's just quit caring that you're gaining weight, haven't had your hair done in months, don't even ask when the last time you shaved your legs was. Just throw on some mom jeans and call it a day. 

Well, not me (although, my husband would disagree. I haven't had my hair highlighted in oh, idk, 12 weeks. I'm going for the ombre look - he doesn't get it.)

When I became uncomfortable in my own skin, it started to affect my other relationships. I took a long, hard look at myself and was brutally honest. I was being complacent and lazy and had all kinds of excuses. I do NOT want my children to have a complacent or lazy mother. I woke up one day, and decided that was it. I was done. I wasn't going to be average. I was going to be awesome (my own version of awesome). My kids deserved it, my husband deserved it...I deserved it. I refused to settle.

Our brains are truly amazing little things. They really are. Assembling images, sensing emotions, orchestrating every move we make (and don't make), processing everything we see, hear, feel, touch, taste. It's pretty insane. But, as much as our brain controls us, we really can control it - and reprogram it when necessary.

It's been suggested that over 90% of all of our daily actions (brushing teeth, driving, the way we eat, etc.) are habitual.  NINETY PERCENT! If you think about it, that's probably about right. I mean, I check my facebook so habitually that as soon as I open my machine and put my fingers on the keys they automatically start typing 'f-a' no matter when or why I am on there. Swear. I catch it every day. So what else do I do that is purely habitual? The thought intrigued me. So, I started looking into habit formation and change.

The reason habit formation initially interested me is because I wanted to know why some people just seem to "have it all together" and others don't. What do they do differently? How can I be more like the people that I admire? How can I get done all of the many things I want to accomplish? There are people that do, so I know it can be done, I just had to figure out how. I want to be healthy, I want to be organized, I want to surround myself with beautiful things and be happy with my space, I want to be a present, engaged mom, I want to be a superstar wife, the list goes on an on, but how?

Then I read the aaaamazing The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Not gonna lie, this book changed my life. I learned that if there is something you want to change, study your habits and you can reprogram your brain and make new habits, one's that you like.

So, I had the 'want to', I just didn't have the 'how to'. I started finding people who did and kinda just faked it 'til I made (maked?) it.

I've never been an organized person, but I wanted to be. So I started following organizing blogs and picking up and implementing their habits.

I've never been able to stick to something for longer than 30 seconds so I read a book on how to be more disciplined (and started Advocare. I knew that I'd stick to that if I had someone supporting me.)

You'll like this one. I didn't know how to clean and be domestic. Well, not efficiently, anyways. So I started following Clean Mama and a few others.

I've never been a good communicator, so I started blogging to help me learn how to think through things in a way that people truly get what you're saying (see what I mean...this is my toughest area. Writing well is a lot harder than it looks.)

You get the idea. Find mentors, people that have qualities/skills that you admire and learn from them.

You can learn to do anything if you really want to and have the discipline to practice and stick with it. 

This doesn't mean that I'm this magazine-worthy organizer or fitness model. Those are not in any way my goals (well, the fitness model would be nice, but let's be honest - with these flapjacks up top, ain't happnin'.) It just means I was better than I was when I started and I strive to get better everyday and that makes me happy. Truly, deeply happy. Proud of myself. I'm so proud of myself for sticking with things like Advocare, being grateful EVERY day and finishing books (which I read A LOT of). I definitely have set-backs, but I get right back up the next day and start over. It's a new day and I try and make the most of it.

So after all this rambling, here's the good part. Through May 30th, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on 24-Day Challenges. If you've been on the fence, I hope that this helps you decide if you're ready for a change or just take your health and fitness to the next level. This is really where it all started for me. It's changed not just my body, but my life. For reals.

Email with any questions or if you're ready to get started. I'd be so grateful to be your coach. I truly love helping people get their swagger back - yes, I just said that.

So What Wednesday

Linking up with Shannon for some weekly So What Wednesday. 

Here we go!

  • So what if "Don't be tardy for the party" and "Hypnotize" (my version) are my 1 year old's favorite lullabies.
  • So what if I DVR the Katy Perry Documentary and watch it on repeat.
  • So what if my almost 3 year old has only eaten mac n cheese the past year of his life...not so much as a so what but a cry for help. Seriously, please help.
  • So what if I'm more excited than I was on my Wedding Day for my oldest to start preschool next month.
  • So what if I want to have another child just so I can recreate this room.
  • So what if, according to The Hubs, I 'smell like a pothead'. I think I smell like an Aveda (I'm recently smitten with essential oils).

Get ready for bikini season! 

Look out for a 24-Day Challenge Special tomorrow!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Everyone!

It's the most incredibly difficult, rewarding, terrifying, exciting, amazing job. I feel like I should be celebrating my children today. They've made me grow and appreciate life and everything in it. I love them more than words can express. Here's the little poem my angels crafted for me:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

{Before & After} Kitchen

I really wish I had taken before pictures, but imagine with me if you will, a house built in the 90's with 'updates' that included Pergo flooring, particle board oak cabinets with the fronts falling in and duct tape holding them in on the back sides, River Rock paint on EVERY wall, 5 dogs, and this gem hanging over the stove in the kitchen. Yes, over the stove...

{source, if you're feeling woodsy...}

Oh, and faux beams in the 9ft kitchen. Because that's what you want. To make a room feel and look smaller. 

It kind of looked like this. Only worse. But for the sake of this post, use this as a benchmark. Oh, and did I mention that this was the house Tom Hanks lived in when he filmed A League of Their Own? Man had no taste.

Oh, and brick wallpaper backsplash. yeah.

And after a few weeks without a sink, microwave or stove*...

And my favorite part

We went with traditional shaker style cabinets and white subway tile backsplash. We wanted something that was classic and easily update-able in the future. The countertops are Delicatus White granite and we got them on a killer deal :) The pulls came from I wish I could tell you who built our cabinets but they're Amish and we literally had to draw out plans and mail them. Like USPS mail. I should've gotten a better shot of my sink but it's the best. I can fit so many dishes in it, it's unbelievable.

Oh, and the rugs are my absolute favorite. So much so that I don't even put them down because I'm afraid to ruin them - is that weird? Probably. 

Anyways, that's my kitchen! :)

*mind you, I was 8 months pregnant durning this time. Washing all our dishes in the bathroom sink and cooking with nothing other than a Crock Pot.