Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We're Covered

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of summer.  Our third annual Pudding Fest.  The kids look forward to it every year, and to be honest, it's one of the easiest forms of entertainment ever.  It's a mess.  It's a snack.  It's a form of art.  It's a messy artsy snack.  Who doesn't love that?

{The Bigs}

{Chubby Cheekers and His Little Lady Friend}

Facts about pudding...
It is not easy to rinse off.  It is slippery on concrete.  You will find it in their ears and crevices (yes, I said crevices). It is a blast.  It keeps them busy.  Rinsing off is half the fun.  Sliding is kinda fun.  The dried pudding later on can be used as an after snack ;)

Now, I'm sure most of you are probably wondering, "Hmmm, I wonder what type of sunscreen those kids are wearing?"  

What can I say?  I am a mind reader.  Since you asked, I'll tell.  All the Babes and Bigs were covered head to toe in Arbonne's Baby Sunscreen.  I am in love.  It is pretty thick, but the coverage is amazing.  Plus, the ingredients are continually tested to make sure they reflect the pure, safe, and beneficial stance Arbonne takes on all of its products.

As for me, I jumped off the deep end and spent money on myself.  I purchased the self-tanner sunscreen.  Have you seen my super tan husband and chidlren???  I need a TAN!  It is a spray.  It is lightweight.  It smells good.  It covers me at 15 SPF.  It is also pure, safe, and beneficial.

As for my tan man, he wears the adult sunscreen and loves it.  Great coverage.  Lasts forever.  Pure, safe, and beneficial.  If you are searching for a good sunscreen to keep you and your family covered, I'll get you stocked up.  Although tans look nice, skin damage looks unappealing years later. 

On a little side note, a friend and I are putting together a little event for those of you who have been on the fence about detoxing.  It is a real informal hour to answer your questions, go over what a day looks like, and how to fit it in your budget.  If this is something you would like to attend, let me know and I'll send you the info. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Menu Monday

It was a love life kind of weekend.  Projects completed.  Fun summer bucket list items marked off.  Sun tans. Barefeet.  Friends.  Late nights. Time with family.  I can't help but love every part of our weekend. 

Last night we spent some time at my mom's house.  As the kids were watering her plants and I was walking with them, we found a large fuzzy caterpillar.  We gathered that fat guy up and took him to show Chubby Cheekers.  I wasn't quite sure how he'd react, but I was slightly afraid he would eat it.  He didn't.  Instead he wanted to pet it.  Each time he'd stick his little finger out to pet it, Little Man would make a loud noise.  Chubby Cheekers would jump back about a foot and crack up.  Little Man and Little Miss were now completely entertained with the reaction of their baby brother.  Highlight of my weekend.

Photo: Chubby Cheekers meets the fuzzy caterpillar.

Here's the menu for the week.

Monday: Lentil Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza Bread, Salad
Wednesday: BBQ Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese, Sweet Potato
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salad and Fresh Berries
Friday: Hamburgers, Zucchini Bites, and Cantaloupe
Saturday: Sandwiches and Carrots, Bell Peppes, and Hummus
Sunday:  Key Lime Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Brown Rice

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Boys

Let's not reflect on the hideous hair, and lack of maintenance on myself.  Let's do reflect on my precious boys.  I still can't believe they continue to grow up.  If only I could keep them Mama's Boys forever!

{Little Man 15 months}

{Chubby Cheekers 15 months}

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cost of Health

One of my initial thoughts for introducing Arbonne protein shakes into our daily regiment was the cost.  One bag $65.  Ouch.  That was going to hit my grocery budget pretty hard. 

After some contemplation, I realized this is what we needed to do.  We needed to give our digestion system a break from solid foods for at least one meal.  The thought of adding fresh fruit, spinach, and kale to my breakfast shake was a big selling point.  The thought of receiving vegan protein, the most absorbable form of protein, made even more sense.  We were going to do this, but how.

Since I made up my mind on what we were going to do, I had to figure out how we were going to do it.  I began crunching the numbers. 

Let's start with what we needed.  One bag of protein is 30 servings.  Basically, we would need two bags to replace breakfast; one for Steven and one for me.  At retail that would be $130 ($65x2), but we weren't going to pay retail.  We opted to be consultants receiving a 35% discount.  That brought our total for the month down to $84.50 for both of us.

Then I thought about the cost we were recouping from replacing a meal.  Our usual breakfasts were instant oatmeal, scrambled eggs, or peanut butter toast.  Nothing very expensive, but it was going to get cut out.  I gave myself a $30 credit for the month from our grocery budget.  $30 that would normally pay for the breakfast for Steven and I now going towards the protein.  Cost of protein now for us...$54.50.  Then I divided that cost by 30 to see how much per day it was going to cost us.  It came out to $1.82 a day to replace one meal a day with a shake.  Add the veggies, fruit, and almond milk we add to the shakes and we're looking at spending roughly $2/day on better health.  To me that was a bargain.

Now if you are a person who eats out for lunch everyday, consider replacing your out to eat meal with a vegan shake.  Even at retail, you're spending $2.16/day.  Add in the cost of your almond milk, fruits, and veggies and you're looking at about $2.25/day at most.  I'm betting you can't beat that on the dollar menus around town ;)

To take it one step further, what will you save on doctor bills?  What would that look like for you?  Would you be able to go off medications?  Improve your blood test scores?  Become sick less?  That all adds up to more money in your pocket.  Less copays, less perscriptions, less over the counter meds.  Of course you would never do anything without consulting your doctor first, but I can name you countless incidents where people I know have done just that...gone off meds and improved their overall health.  Credit that back to your account and now those shakes don't seem so expensive.

Just a little glimpse into my thought process and why we chose Arbonne.  My ultra beefy, work out feind, protein taking husband is a firm believer.  He loves the taste and how he has zero digestion issues that come along with it.  Plus, it's sweetened naturally with stevia.  Check your protein. What's it being sweetened with?  Fructose, Sucralose (artificial sweetener)?  Google those and see if you are okay with those ingredients.  So men, it's not some frilly protein girls take.  It's legit.  Too legit too quit.  Hey, Hey!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chubby Cheekers~16 Month Edition

Helllllooooo!!!  It's my time to share.  Although I never thought it possible, I have achieved a new level of cuteness coupled with a stronger hit of orneriness.  Ladies, I'm the total package.

Let's start with my increased vocabulary.  I'm starting to toy with the idea of putting words together. I hear Bubby, Sissy, Mommy, and Daddy blah, blah, blah all day long.  All I say is ba-bee (baby), Da-dee (Daddy), Mama, Doe-gee (doggie), Mimi (Grammy), woo-woo (barking noise), num-num (I wanna eat), dink (drink), dow-nnn (down), baf (bath), bae-ball (baseball), and foo-ball (football), and bat-tat-ball (basketball).  I have a lot of words, but it was time to start piecing them together.

Now I can say wan dow-nnn (I want down), hoe you (hold you), pay bat-tat-ball (play basketball), and bouncy, bouncy, weee (means I'm jumping on something I'm not supposed to).

I also learned a new animal noise.  I can quack like a duck.  So now not everything barks. Somethings quack.  Just trying to keep it fresh and change things up a bit.

My latest feats of orneriness include, but not limited to, mastering the barstools until I get on the counter, locating everyone's toothbrushes in the drawers and brushing my teeth with them, playing Bubby's drumset as loud as possible, sneaking food off Mr. Fluffypants tray, and getting on the trampoline outside.  I really am an adverturous baby and I'm trying to convince Mommy to embrace my edginess, not squash it.  She has these mini gasp moments where she sees me trying something new and then she gasps, Ahhhhhh!  She's so crazy.  Somebody get her a valum.

Come to think of it, maybe I'm the reason why she runs.  She has to stay in shape to keep up with me.  Yep, I'm a handful...a cute, wonderful, handful.

Chubby Cheekers

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Father's Day

We were full speed ahead on our 2 week clean eating when Father's Day hit and Steven wanted a break.  Who am I to argue?  When the man asks for Chicago style pizza, then the man gets Chicago style pizza...and Sonic...and donuts.  Aye, aye, aye.  I feel heavy and yucky.  It tasted amazing, but it sure doesn't feel amazing.  Since we totally cheated through our whole weekend, we have all the ingredients for cleaner eating.  That's what we'll be doing to finish out the week.   Just head on over to our two week menu for eating ideas.

And now I bring you our Father's Day Weekend!!!

This year Steven is working towards crossing off a major life goal.  Running his first marathon (I say first because I can't honestly imagine this being his last).   I wanted his Father's Day to be themed around his goal.  There were a few things he needed to make his training a little easier; a gps watch and new running shoes.  Neither item very inexpensive, but I was bound and determined to make this happen for him.

For months I saved and saved and saved to put money towards his gift.  I figured both items together would be about $400, plus I wanted to take him out to dinner...add another $40.  I was looking at a total of $440.  We don't necessarily have an extra $440 laying around so saving was my only option.  A few little bumps hit my planned out road and I only had $200 saved.  At the very least I knew I would be able to get him one of the items, but not both.  I was a little sad.  Steven works hard for our family and asks for very little.  He is the first to purchase something for me or the kids before himself.  He's always been selfless like that.

On the Thursday before Father's Day I received my check in the mail from Arbonne.  When I say I work for a generous network marketing business, I'm not lying.  I opened my check and saw $750 looking at me.  Holy smokes!!!  God is so faithful. He brings such good things.  Not only was I going to get to spoil my husband, I was going to drop a good chunk into our savings as well. 

So this is how our Father's Day went.  It was all themed around his Chicago Marathon.

I gave 3 clues to Steven all in envelopes.  Each envelope contained enough cash and coupons for the task (you didn't think I'd pay retail did you?).  His clues were as such...

Clue #1:  (a little carb loading) 

The weekend is here.
You've been good all year.
It's time to celebrate
with a family date.

Take us to Marley's Chicago Style Pizza.

Clue #2:  (his Nike gps watch)

It's marathon time
and we're always on a dime.
You're going to run a race,
but how will you know the pace?

Take us to Dick's Sporting Goods

Clue #3: (getting fitted for proper shoes)

Your belly's all full.
You have a new tool.
It will help you be set,
but there's something to fret. 

What about your feet?

Take us to Fleet Feet.

That was all his clues.  In true Steven Torres fashion, he gave me the hardest time about spending money on him.  I had to be really stubborn (not hard for me).  Eventually, he saw a wasn't going to budge and the cash was sitting there.  He had no choice.  Muah-ha-ha-ha...that's my evil laugh!

The best part of all was the watch.  It was on sale.  Couple that with my gnarley coupon and he spent $60 less than what I was expecting.  Boo-yah!  More money to savings.  I love a good deal.

So, my love.  I hope you had an amazing Father's Day because you are an amazing father.  It was fun to spoil you and the kids had a blast watching you open your clues.  Here's to celebrating you!

I keep seeing, 'Happy Father's Day to the best dad ever,' but then I don't see Steven in the pics. Thought I'd better fix that. Happy Father's Day to the best dad ever (everyone else is lying, Honey)! We love you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Bucket List

Undoubtably Pinterest began the summer bucket list.  I do love to hate it.  I love making the list. I love doing the list.  I love crossing items off the list.  I just hate crossing off the last item on the list, bringing the summer to close.  It makes me get a little anxious about my babies going off to school.  But, it's June and we have a fresh new list.

  • Ride bikes
  • Sleep In
  • Have days where the car stays parked from no place to be.  No schedule.
  • Baseball game
  • Snow Cones
  • Kiddie Park
  • Woolaroc
  • Berry picking
  • Texas trip
  • Swimming
  • Pudding fight
  • Sprinkler jumping
  • Picnic
  • Splash Pads
  • Water Park
  •  Playing at lots of parks
  • Nature hike
  • Swim lessons
  • Special treats at QT
I'm sure there are many items I'm leaving off and things we'll just load up and do, but this is our start.  The start of a great summer.  What's on your list?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Here It Comes...

Alright guys, I'm letting a nasty cat out of the bag.  If you are wondering why I have been so hit or miss on keeping up with this blog.  There is a reason.  I am a...oh man, I don't know if I can say it.  I am a...a...a...NETWORK MARKETER.  Whew!  Feels good to get that off my chest.  Network marketing sounds (or sounded) like such a dirty word to me.

I'm sure most of you have heard me talk about Arbonne and how eating cleaner and their detox program was a game changer for our family.  Steven and I felt great and we wanted to share it with others.  So we did.  Then I ended up with a business sitting my lap. I shared.  Steven shared. People asked.  I told.  More people asked.  I told more people, and that's just how it happened.

Upons sitting around with a new little business, a person on my team shared with me a book called The Flip-Flop CEO.  It was in reading this book did it hit me.  I am on to something that fits me perfectly.  That says me all over it.  I am not above network marketing.  I am network marketing.  I have been a network marketer my whole life, but I let one thing hold me back from getting paid from it.  It was this belief...


Yep, that's what I thought.  100% that was me.  Then I read this passage in Flip Flop CEO:

Most of you do network marketing already, you just don't know it.  The restaurant, boutique or spa recommendation-that's network marketing.  The dentist referral-network marketing.  The movie your friends should watch, book they should read, sond they should download-network marketing.  Every day you spread the word for brands you love.  That's network marketing.

Seriously,  how many times have I given one of your my list of favorites?  I love telling people about good deals, great businesses, tips, etc.  If it's something I benefitted from, I want others to benefit from it.  This time around, I'm getting paid to tell people about what I love.  It's totally up to the people I talk to if they want to partake in what I'm doing.  BUT, guess what?  If you choose something different, I totally respect that.  You have your right to be wrong (I'm kidding...sorta...no, I'm kidding...like 99.9% kidding).  I have friends who do other things besides Arbonne that are health related and that is great!  I have friends who live lifestyles healthier than I do without Arbonne.  I just find Arbonne products make my healthier lifestyle easier. 

All this to say, you don't have to hide from me.  I won't go crazy on you.  Heck, I was crazy before I started network marketing.  I may ask you about Arbonne.  You may look at me and say, "No thanks,"  and I'll move the conversation on to something else I want to know about you.  It kinds of boils down to this next passage from Flip Flop CEO:

Network marketing is-plain and simple-about sharing things you love with people you suspect will love them, too.  It's about asking people to consider redirecting the dollars already headed out the door to something they might like better; something that will benefit them and you.

This is no different from how it works in any other business or community.  If your friend owned a restaurant, would you eat there?  Would you be offended if they asked you to try a dish?  Of course not.  If your friend was performing in a concert, would you buy a ticket?  We think you would.

That's all folks.  I have been busy talking with peeps, putting in orders, answering questions, and playing with my kids.  It's a fun new life.  I promise to keep a better job with my blog, because I love writing.  I love the documentary it keeps for my kids and this time in my life. In fact, right now I'm sitting here feeding my precious nephew lunch while working.  To take it one mental picture step forward, I just got a bunch of applesauce sprayed on me while working.  Tell me that's happening in your office right now?  Yep, I love this life. 

After reading this, if you have thoughts of Well, maybe I could do that too, then it's probably for you.  I work with a team of people who had that one thought and turned it in to a business that allowed them to quit their 6 figure full time job.  They now work at home.  It's a pretty nice gig.  To go a step further, my team leader makes on average $12,000/month.  Yeah, you read that right...A MONTH!  She wasn't in this to get rich. She still isn't in it to get rich.  She did it to make $2500/month so she could stay home with her children.  Now all the extra goes to blessing people.  Traveling to Haiti, fostering children, giving to others in need.  All of that from Arbonne and telling people about what she loves.  That's all.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Menu Monday

Last week I posted my two week menu which would include this week.  There won't be anything new this week.  Just click the link above for the details.

Other than that I will leave you with these little snapshots of our weekend...

Photo: Boy work.
{Boys doing boy stuff}

Photo: Women's F.I.T. B.C. Crew way to be ladies!!
{Boot Camp Girls doing race stuff}

{Little Miss munching on junk stuff}

{Little Man doing cheese ball stuff}

{Chubby Cheekers doing ornery stuff}

Yep, we had a full weekend of stuff.  I loved it!
I hope your week is blessed.  See you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Another One Bites the Dust

Chunky Monkey and Little Miss take on the high dive...

I have no idea who that crazy person is screaming.  Someone should tell her to put a sock in it!  However, I'm guessing she was having a Proud Mama Moment.  Yep, I'll cut her some slack.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Be Brave

Fear is not something we put much stock in.  I don't like our fears to get the best of us, and I definitely don't like it to show up in our kids.

When Little Man was tiny up until about 3 years old, he liked to keep his feet on the ground.  He wasn't daring.  He wasn't brave.  He wasn't bold.  He was unsure and afraid.

A lot of prayer and reminders what God says he is, Little Man is now bold, confident, and daring.

Last year we enrolled Little Man and Little Miss in swim lessons.  The first thing I noticed was the high dive. Oh man, what I would have given to get up on that thing.  I was excited.

Little Man saw it too.  He didn't say anything about it the first few days until his teacher said they would have the chance to go off of it later on in the week.  Stress.  Little Man began to stress.  Our advice to him as parents was a lesson of regret.  We talked to him about wanting to do something, but holding back because you are afraid.  Sometimes you can let fear grab a hold of you so strongly, you miss out on a big opportunity.  

He thought about that and the very next day he had the opportunity to jump.  I was nervous for him, but it would be up to him.  I watched him walk up to the ladder, climb up, wait for the signal from the teacher and jump.  No fear.  Just boldness.  I almost cried.  It was a big moment for him.

This year, he couldn't wait to jump.  He got his opportunity on the second day.  He would jump, swim to the side, and get back in line.  My heart swelled.  My once fearful child stood in front of his fears and conquered them. He makes me proud.

This is my brave, bold boy doing his thing off the high dive last night.  Be on the lookout for a second and third high dive video because Little Miss and Chunky Monkey have their eye on that thing.

Right Thing, Wrong Time

A long time ago (like before I was married long ago) our pastor shared the most eye opening piece of information.  It wasn't anything profound.  It was simple, but it stuck with me.  After really thinking about where life has taken our little family of five, I am a firm believer in this statement. 

You can do the RIGHT thing at the WRONG time, or you can do the WRONG thing at the RIGHT time, but it will never work until you do the RIGHT thing at the RIGHT time.

I'm sure you are probably thinking, "Say whaaaat?"

I know it sounds confusing, but it is so true.  Life has moments where you need a change.  You must make a change.  I have found that often times I push my way through those changes and do the right thing but at the wrong time.  As a result of forging ahead, we suffer.  Had I utilized patience and discipline I would have been blessed instead of stressed.

On the other hand, I have had moments where I was at the right time to make a decision and a change, but I made the wrong choice.  Ouch!  We all know what that feels like. Regret is an awful,awful feeling.  It's important to not dwell on regrets, but to move forward and learn from passed mistakes.

That leads me to today.  I have the most precious friend that for years has been struggling with whether or not to homeschool her children.  Last night she shared with me that she finally purchased the curriculum and unenrolled her child from the upcoming school year.  I was so proud of her.  Not because homeschool is what's best for my family (we aren't homeschooling), but because she was patient and waited to do the right thing for her family at the right time. 

It is hard to look at what other families are doing that surround you, and not measure ourselves up with their successes or failures.  Often times we start to focus so much on what other's are doing and forget that we are called to do our own thing.  God's plan for each family is different.  Follow His plan. Not your neighbor's plan. Not your best friend's plan.  Not Joe Schmoe's plan. God's plan.  

So Friend (you know I'm talking to you), I am so proud of the decision you made for you and your kids.  For everyone, what is it that you need to take care of?  Do you have a decision that you need to make?  A choice?  I can honestly say that if you do, it is so important to do the RIGHT thing at the RIGHT time. If you utilize patience, you can be blessed.  If it is the right time for you, look for the right thing.  Ask for wisdom and clarity.  You will find it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Two Week Menu

After finishing up our April detox so many of us miss the amazing feeling that comes with eating right and replacing solid meals for liquid.  Thus, the mini detox was born.  Almost every person who participated in the April detox is doing the mini detox beginning June 7th and ending June 20th (just in time for summer!).

Since this is just two weeks, I went ahead and did my menu for a full two weeks beginning on the 7th.  I hope this helps you too.

June 7th: Turkey Tacos (homemade taco seasoning) in Lettuce Wraps, Rice Chips, Homemade Salsa
June 8th: Grilled Chicken, Roasted Butternut Squash, Steamed Broccoli
June 9th: Black Bean, Sweet Potato, Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (omit cheese) and Salad
June 10th:  Veggie Spaghetti with Brown Rice Pasta Noodles (homemade marinara recipe) and Seasoned Green Beans
June 11th:  Salmon with Avocado Salsa, Grilled Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms with Brown Rice
June 12th:  Oven Roasted Whole Chicken, Mashed Cauliflower (omit buttermilk), Fresh Strawberries
June 13th:  Chipotle Sweet Potato Skins with Roasted Asparagus
June 14th:  Stir Fry with Shrimp, Fried Brown Rice, and Salad
June 15th:  French Lentil Soup with Crusty Udi's Bread
June 16th:  Turkey Chili and Salad
June 17th:  Hummus Crusted Chicken and Squash with Steamed Seasoned Broccoli
June 18th:  Shredded Chicken Fajitas in Lettuce Wraps and MexiRice
June 19th:  Taco Salad served over Roasted Chickpeas and Raw Bell Peppers
June 20th:  Cold Pasta Salad, and Strawberry Spinach Salad

Monday, June 3, 2013

Detox Friendly Pasta Salad

1 package Brown Rice Pasta Noodles
1/4 cup EVOO
1 package Italian Seasoning (check ingredients, not all seasonings are created the same)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded chicken (I use the leftover chicken from a whole roasted chicken)

  • Cook noodles according to package directions
  • Meanwhile, chop veggies
  • Mix extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and Italian Seasoning packet
  • Toss all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes


20 plus hours in a car over three days is exhausting. If you have stopped by waiting for new reads, I am so sorry. The start to summer has been fun and full of activities. I promise to give you some updates this week.  Including a menu for two weeks. A menu full of detox friendly foods for two weeks. Soooo, if you are joining the 14 Day Challenge you can see my menu and see if it will help you.

For now, I'll leave you with one of my favorite pics from my weekend.

It's not everyday I get to spend 3 days with my princess.  Although I missed my boys, it was nice to spend focused time on her. She is precious.  Just precious.  God put a lot of work into her.  A beautiful, hilarious, spunky little girl.