Welcome to the World, Jackson James Haguewood!!!

Its official, Baby Haguewood #2 has arrived and we are delighted to welcome a perfectly healthy little BOY into our growing family!!!

Welcome to the world Jackson James Haguewood!!!!

Jackson Birth post

Jackson James was born on May 26th at 7:21pm!!! He entered the world with a LOUD scream weighing in at 7lbs. 5oz. and is 20in. long.  Friday was his official due date, June 9th, and he is already two weeks old.  As with Reagan I delivered at exactly 38 weeks and i’ve taken some time to just soak up every second of cuddles and love from both my babies and my husband.  Sometimes blogging needs to take a backseat.  We are so grateful that he is here and we are slowly settling into a new routine and a new normal with our two wonderful children. We feel so fortunate to have one of each gender and are looking forward to learning who our new little man is.

Jackson Birth post

I had another incredibly easy and quick delivery and am so grateful for this perfect baby boy. He has simply worked his way into our hearts and having him as part of the family seems the most natural thing in the world.  He was always meant to be with us.  I wasn’t sure how the transition to two children would go, but everything has been completely seamless.  Reagan joined us at the hospital shortly after he arrived and was beyond delighted with her new baby brother.  We of course loved seeing her and missed her like crazy.

She, however, was more interested in the hospital room and playing with her Grandparents. I can’t wait till he is old enough to interact and play with her in return.  Seeing my two babies side-by-side is the most magical feeling in the world. I simply don’t know what I ever did to deserve this life and the love of this family…but I am eternally grateful.

Jackson Birth post

Jackson Birth post

Jackson Birth post

At two weeks old Mr. Jackson is the calmest and most content baby i’ve personally ever met.  We got off to a wonderful start with nursing and he barely lost any weight while we waited for my milk to come in.  These first two weeks have been drastically different from our early days with Reagan.  I remember feeling major mommy blues and nursing was a huge challenge with her.  Everything about this little dude is calm and easy.  He does have the occasional fussy moment but that usually means he is a little gassy and it quickly passes.  Our first night home with the little man was crazy easy.  He only woke once to nurse and slept in five hour chunks.  I was shocked and a little worried about how sleepy and content he was. We didn’t know if something was wrong.  Turns out he is just super chill and loves to sleep and eat.  He loves cuddles and being patted on the bottom to fall asleep.  He is quite the grunter and makes the funniest newborn sounds.  I am obsessed with his long fingers and toes and we are convinced he will be tall and lean like my husband’s grandfather!  Basically he is PERFECT and we are so in love with him.

Jackson Birth post

Jackson Birth post

I will share his birth story soon and am so excited to continue blogging about my journey through motherhood and the adjustment to two children.  It has definitely been different but our home is so full of joy and love.  Seeing the HAPPINESS in my husband’s eyes at finally having a son is an indescribable feeling.  We would have loved another little girl, but having a baby boy has filled a gap in our hearts that we didn’t know existed.  He is here now and our family feels whole.  Reagan is just enamored with her baby brother and runs around the house yelling “Ba-by.”  Every time she wakes up from a nap she is calling for the baby and wants to go check on him.  She is constantly peeking into his bassinet and smiling down on him. She lights up every time she sees him and claps her hands and giggles.  I have yet to witness a single moment where she isn’t smiling around him or excited to see him.  We weren’t sure if she would even notice him, being that she is only 15 months old, but she just LOVES him.  I wasn’t expecting that and every time they are together my heart just explodes with happiness.  I can tell they are going to be extremely close siblings.  She is always gentle around him, helps me hunt for his pacifiers, and if we bottle feed him pumped milk she loves to bring us the bottle and help feed him.  She loves her “ba-ba,” code for bottle, and helps him with his.  It is so cute!!!!


I always here stories from second time moms who say, “I didn’t know if there would be room in my heart for another child.” Or “I wasn’t sure I could love a second child the way I love my first.” I was absolutely positive that our baby would be loved beyond measure and there is no first child or second child, just children to be loved endlessly.  My heart expanded immediately when they first brought him to me and I know that love will continue to grow as we bring more children into the world.

He is so tiny and so sweet. I completely forgot how itty bitty newborns are. It was an amazing feeling to bring another sweet human into this world and my heart is so full of LOVE and GRATITUDE.  The journey is just beginning.  Raising babies into emotionally intelligent and resilient adults requires some serious Mommy kahunas.  I’ve always said that making and birthing babies is the easy part.  Molding these small humans and helping them to grow in love and strength is my true calling in motherhood, and that literally scares the crap out of me.  To do right by these beautiful little souls and be entrusted with their love is the greatest and most weighty journey I will ever undergo.  I pray for their health, wellbeing, and eternal happiness almost every second of every day.  My heart was simply made to love these children.

I will update shortly with more baby news, but my number one priority at the moment is simply getting to know our sweet baby Jackson and continuing to watch our Reagan Marie grow up!!! Thank you to everyone who has sent their love and well wishes. I promise I will get better at responding to phone calls and messages. Right now we are just loving being hunkered in as a family of four PLUS two golden retrievers and three kitty babies! We have one full house and it is just wonderful!

xo xo,

michelle signature

Categories Uncategorized

Operation Organization – Phase 1 “Home Office”

So…my first attempt, aka last year, at getting my s**t in gear and cleaning/organizing my house was an EPIC FAIL of major proportions.  I actually succeeded in getting my office organized and it was beautiful until around the middle of December of this last year. To read the full blog post check it out HERE.

My goal in getting my office all cleaned up is to SIMPLIFY and PRIORITIZE this space because I spend a considerable amount of time in it. I’m also hoping to get a jump start on my Spring Cleaning and tackle one area of my home per month.  Given the crazy schedule I have and working full time, blogging, and managing my EtsyShop I need to have a space that reflects the calm and productive energy I want to create in this space.  I need to keep my brain focused so I can accomplish all the tasks I need to get done in addition to enjoying all my fun and creative projects.

Operation Organization - Home Office

Here are some “Before & After”  photos from my Home Office clean up project!

Home Office 2014 4

Office Organization #2

Home Office 2014 5

Office Organization #4

Home Office - 2014 2

Office Organization #8

Office Organization #6

Since I tackled this room at the start of 2013, I really just needed to give it a good cleaning and touch up.  In terms of chucking all the junk and keeping my “stuff” organized i’ve been doing a pretty good job.  Our house overall stays pretty clean but i’m definitely much more “messy” compared to my husband. It cracks me up how we are so opposite in this area and how much it represents the differences in our personalities.  I’m the uber-creative one and he is the uber-black&white one. HAHA.

I’m sure no one really cares how organized my home is and this feature is really more for me.  This is great motivation for me to get my “ish” together and finally organize my house. Plus I would love to work on some decoration changes come next year and step one is to get rid of all the junk.  With the addition of Roxie to our family I feel like i’m always playing catch up on cleaning.  1 Big House x 5 Long Haired Animals = ME LOSING MY FREAKING MIND.  If I can simplify and organize all our belongings, sweeping through the house will be easy and quick. I’m loving “quick” and “easy” right now!

This year I am determined to not give up on this and Operation Organization is totally happening!!! I’ll be back in March with another room tackled and organized!!!!!!!

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away. WOO HOO!!!

Categories Uncategorized

Embracing 2014

January 2014

Now that we are well into January I thought it might be time to start thinking about some goals that I have for this new year! I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days now and I keep hitting a wall.  I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that we are already well into 2014 and halfway through the month of January. WHAT?!?!?!

When I think about the changes I want to make this year the only thing that comes to mind is being happy and embracing every minute of this beautiful life.  Sure I could be more efficient and organized, and I could probably work out more and eat a little better.  But those aren’t the things that get me amped up and ready to sparkle every day. Don’t get me wrong, i’m super pumped to get my house in order and possibly dust off my running shoes for a workout, but I really want this year to be focused on having fun, spending time with my family, and doing more of the things I love!!!

I was so excited to whip out my new 2014 planner and start writing down a few new rules to live by.

2014 Planner

Goals and New Years Resolutions for me are totally different tools.  I’m sure that New Years Resolutions have their place in the world and they really help individuals get amped up to start a new workout plan or be a whole new person at the start of the new year.  I, on the other hand, am learning to love who I am and i’m finally beginning to see my value and the endless gifts that I bring to the world.  As I get older, all of my 26 years of expertise (LOL yeah right), I am starting to figure out that i’m exactly where i’m supposed to be. I will be the first to admit that I am a TOTAL work in progress and will never achieve perfection, as much as I want to.

I have always believed that setting goals and trying to be the best version of oneself is a healthy and smart outlook to have. So here is to embracing a GOAL and not setting an empty resolution!!!

photo 2

New Motto to Live by in 2014:

“Recognize my light and remind myself that I’m greater than whatever it is that stops me from conquering all that I wish to become.”

#1 – Eat Paleo

This goal is simple, the hubby and I decided that we really wanted to start eating healthier. I’ve always loved cooking but have a hard time coming up with new ideas, and with Jeffrey starting Crossfit I knew we were in for the Paleo diet. There are a ton of recipes and guides on Pinterest.  This is also something that we can do together and enjoy some time planning our menus and cooking together. WooHoo Go Paleo!!! You can check out all my ideas and recipes on my Pinterest Page, Perfectly Paleo!  If I come across any super yummy recipes i’ll be sure to share them on the blog.

#2 – Stay Organized

Last year I attempted to get organized and failed miserably at it.  This year i’m giving it another go!! If you get knocked down, try try again!!! After last years epic fail, I have decided to reinstate my 12-Months to a Clean Home Project.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I have a tendency to just jump into projects with little planning or thought.  This year I have a plan of attack and am ready to SIMPLIFY & GET ORGANIZED! My goal with this project is to get rid of the clutter, allow myself places to breathe throughout my house, and stay organized so it is easier for me to prioritize my To Do List.  I’m the queen of forgetting everything, and I often have hundreds of post it notes with lists and projects to tackle floating throughout my purse, car, and office!!! Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!!!!!!

#3 – Be a Better Blogger

Yikes, i’m pretty sure nobody ever even reads this thing but I enjoy it nonetheless.  I wish I was more dedicated and consistent. Looking back on 2013 I had so much fun reading through all my old blog posts.  The daily and weekly play by play or our life was so much fun and literally brought tears to my eyes.  I know one day when we are old we can look back on this blog and see how much FUN we had constantly.  Also if one of us gets Dementia we can read it to each other and remember how we fell in love…Notebook moment much!!!!

P.S. If your interested in following my blog and want to get email updates whenever I post, sign up in the top right corner of the page!!! Thanks for reading!!!

#4 – Expand & Grow my EtsyShop LovetheSparkle

My chalkboard shop is something that gets my heart pumping and keeps me up at night all gitty thinking of new ideas.  I can’t remember my grocery list but I could outline my whole years worth of chalkboard ideas for ya.  I’m simply weird creative like that.  I’m 26 years old and can’t figure out what the HELL I want to do with my life, but one thing I know for sure is that I was meant to create beautiful Art no matter the form. I have been drawing, painting, and crafting in general since I was little kid and I absolutely love it.  As a teenager and in my college years I ignored my calling because I never found any tangible or monetary value in it.  I always loved Art and History but naively thought the only way to make a living was to teach.  Nope, thats not for me.  I can barely put two words together in front of a crowd. HAHA.  My shop is the perfect platform for me to be creative and enjoy my passion.  Watch for lots of new designs and updates coming soon.

In the meantime i’m super excited to spread the joy and share my passion with all who follow and read my blog!! Use coupon code FINDYOURPASSION at checkout and receive 40% off all prints and/or custom orders in my shop!! Offer good throughout the month of February 2014!

Checkout all the designs I currently have available here!

#5 – Spend more time with my Husband & Animals

This one is simple.  I love my family more than anything else in the world and when i’m a busy, stressed out, and anxious mess they get me at my worst.  We live busy lives and between both our businesses and me having a full time job on the side, our wires get crossed like its nobodies business.  And not in a good way.  This January has been full of transition and tears for me.  One underlining message finally broke through and that was that we need to spend more time together as a family and as a couple.  Kids are definitely on the horizon for us, holy shit, and we want to squeeze the crap out of every second we have together as a young married couple.  Enough said.

#6 – Be More FESTIVE!!!

I absolutely LOVE holidays and totally look forward to each one with a passion.  They are awesome and totally break up the mundane routine of life with color, good food, and family time!! I’m already pretty festive but crafting and decorating are total stress reducers for me.  So if I can kill 2 birds with one stone i’m ALL IN FOR BEING MORE FESTIVE and stress free! Hell YEAH!!!!

#7 – Hone my personal style & Radiate Beauty (on the inside)

I always joke that I didn’t get the girly gene one bit.  I love hair and makeup, but when it comes to style and putting outfits together…I FREAKIN’ SUCK!!! I have no “style” whatever the hell that is and can’t put an outfit together for the life of me.  One HUGE goal I have this year is to work on looking a little more “grown up” and put together!!! Turing 26, gulp, and embracing the fact that i’m getting older have shaken me up a bit.  This has contributed to the transitional period and tears that are my life lately.  Getting old freaks me out for some reason.  Yikes.  Back to my lack of style.  I love comfy clothes and ever sense top knots and leggings came into style i’m totally in my element.  I can’t even use “kids” or “i’m tired” as an excuse.  I get a glorious 9 hours of sleep a night and I have lots of personal time to do whatever the hell I want.  Not sure how i’m going to tackle this one yet but it’s definitely on my mind. Fully open to and currently accepting any fashion advice…any takers??????

#8 – Change my Outlook and Attitude towards Life

“I’m going to make everything around me BEAUTIFUL – that will be my life!” – Elsie de Wolfe

I’m such a firm believer that a positive attitude and outlook on all facets of life can literally transform ones happiness.  We are in control of our own fate and no person, place, or thing can change that.  Emotions may fluctuate and influence that outlook but when it comes down to the nitty gritty we are responsible for our own happiness.  Don’t give up your power and remain in control of your own destiny.  Healthy and positive thinking can go a long way.  I’ll get off my soap box now…but its all true.  🙂

Here is to a Healthy, Organized, Festive, Happy, and Beautiful 2014!!!!

Xo Xo Friends,

Categories Uncategorized

Farewell 2013 & Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

For Auld Lang Syne

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.”

Celebrating the ending of a year for me has special meaning as it is also my BIRTHDAY!!!!  The notion of a fresh start and a new year is amplified, as is a period of reflection and appreciation for all the trials and growth I have experienced over the previous year.  I am a huge planner and working towards being the best version of ME is always at the forefront of my mind.

This year I celebrated the big 26 and rang in the New Year with my hubby and parents!  I’ve always been a huge fan of the holiday and not because of my Birthday.  I love the blank slate that the new year brings with it.  As a compulsive planner and list maker,  I usually love New Years resolution time.  This year however, i’m intentionally trying to not focus too much on resolutions.  I feel like they are only a means to failure, and instead I want to work towards transforming my life as a whole and again, being the best version of ME!!! While everyone else is busy getting their lists together and preparing to exercise more and eat healthy, i’m simply going to soak up all the lessons i’ve learned in 2013 and focus on being HAPPY!!!!

Cheers Friends!!!!!

Please pardon the bathroom “selfie!” I usually hate these things, but I wanted to show off my new Nike top in Mint Green that I rocked while shopping with my mommy on my birthday! Love It!!!!!

Birthday 2013 #2

I spent the morning relaxing on my birthday, sipping yummy iced coffee and soaking up what was left of the year.  Reflection has been on my mind quite a bit this holiday season and “living” ones life and “loving” ones life were definitely front and center for me.  With the sudden passing of my father this year I was immediately jerked into the reality that life is incredibly fleeting and I don’t ever want to waste one second.

My mommy and I went shopping, as is our birthday tradition, on New Years Eve!!! We had a blast and definitely enjoyed the post-Christmas & end of year sales that were everywhere.  Having my birthday right after Christmas has always been bittersweet.  I always feel so spoiled and i’m definitely not in “need” of anything by the time my special day rolls around.

My AMAZING hubby Jeffrey took me to my favorite restaurant in town, Spencer’s!!!!  The only words I have for this place is AMAZING.  I love a good steak, correction an AMAZING steak, and theirs is definitely the best in town.  At $50 bucks a pop it is well worth the wait to enjoy their filet. YUMMY!!!!

*PLEASE forgive the dark photos. The restaurant had rather dim lighting and this was the best we could do!

Birthday 2013 #3

Birthday 2013 #4

After dinner we met up with my parents for drinks and enjoyed a good birthday chat & people watching downtown. Always interesting, but especially interesting on New Years Eve.  Enough said!

NYE 2013 #1

Thank You to my good friend Amy for the fashion advice!!! 😉

Given that we are now an old married couple, we decided to beat the crazy drivers home before New Years and watched the ball drop in NYC with our puppies & kitties! They’re our life and our furry children, and it seemed appropriate that we be with them when we kicked off 2014!!!!

NYE 2013 #2

NYE 2013 #3

 NYE 2013 #4 NYE 2013 #5 NYE 2013 #9

Here is a late toast to 2014!!!

May it be the best year yet!!!!


Categories Uncategorized

Sweat, Sparkle, and Repeat – Week Two

Sweat, Sparkle, Repeat Header

Well…week 1 is finito and if last week was any indication i’ve got some serious work to do! Here we go with week number 2!!!

Sweat Sparkle Repeat - Week 2

I decided that I needed a bit of a “do-over” of last week’s goals. The only change is when I workout.  I’m shooting for AM workouts this week.  Last week I really struggled with working out. My energy just wasn’t there and neither was my motivation.  I would bail on my morning workout plan and tell myself that I would just go after work. Then by the time I got home I was pooped and would bail a second time. Yikes…not a great way to start a new workout plan.  I only snuck in 2 out of my 6 workouts AND I had some wine on Saturday night. That is strike 2 for me. Time to get it together Michelle!!!!!!

Weekly Workout Questions:

How long have you been committed to working out? 10 days

Current weight? 112lbs. (down 3lbs. from last week)

Any noticeable loss in measurements? nothing yet…only a weight difference which is mostly water probably!

How is your energy? About the same as last week…

How many days did you workout this week? a measle 2 days but i’ve already managed 3 workouts this week…so improvement is happeneing YAY!!!

How are you sleeping? a little better…more restful sleep compared to last week!

Best moment this week? LOVING the high and energy rush I get when I workout!!! I’m starting to understand why people call it “the runners high!!!!”

Miss anything? Relaxing with a glass of wine in the evening.

Favorite workout this week? Loving my outdoor runs.  I just can’t do running on a treadmill. I love the constant changes in the view as I run through our local parks & neighborhoods!!!!

Motivation Level (scale 1-10)? I’m doing good…I would say still a solid 8.  The more I workout, the better I feel, so I build more and more motivation each day!!!!

One thing you felt impeded your progress this week? Last week…I was pretty shaken by my epic fail last week.  I needed a serious attitude adjustment!!!

One thing you will do differently next week? Continue with the AM workouts! I love the feeling of accomplishment I have when I power through my workout and get everything down by the time I walk into the office every morning.

Here are my workouts from last week…not very impressive I know!!!

Week 1 Review

Here I go…heading to the gym in the AM!!!! Still gonna stick to my NO ALCOHOL plan and i’m going to power through my morning workouts. No excuses this week.  The drinking water goal was no problem last week so all I have to do is continue the good work!!! To check out pervious weeks click below!

Sweat, Sparkle, and Repeat – Week One

7:00AM Workout

week 2 am workout

week 2 am workout 2


“Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead focus on one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes will add up to big transformation.”

Categories Uncategorized

Sweat, Sparkle, and Repeat – Week One

Sweat, Sparkle, Repeat Header

Introducing Sweat, Sparkle, and Repeat from

My husband is rolling his eyes at me as I write this post.  This is officially my billionth attempt at getting in shape. Ugh!!! I’m sincerely trying to change my attitude about this. I’m wondering if any other young women in their 20’s struggle with staying in shape, but even more so, struggle with staying MOTIVATED to stay in shape.  I’ve always been a naturally thin person but I really don’t feel confident and in shape! I want a “feminine” and athletic physique, and as I my hubby would put it “JUST DO IT.” No excuses, total willpower.

HERE WE GO…time to get your Sweat & Sparkle ON…then REPEAT!!!!

SSR - week 1 #3


How long have you been committed to working out? It’s DAY 1 baby!!!!

Current weight? 115lbs

Any noticeable loss in measurements? Took them for the 1st time today!!!

How is your energy? Crappy.  I’m all over the place and dependent on caffeine to make it through the day.

How many days did you workout this week? Again, Day 1 here I come!!!

How are you sleeping? Getting my full 8 hours but very very restless.

Best moment this week? Finding the WILLPOWER to actual DO THIS!!!

Miss anything? Not yet…

Favorite workout this week? Went on a gorgeous walk saturday night…so pretty

Motivation Level (scale 1-10)? I would give it a solid 8 right now…ask me next week haha

One thing you felt impeded your progress this week? I’m my own worst critic…I need to be kinder to myself

One thing you WILL DO differently Next Week? Follow the plan…

Reality check number #1 …NO MORE BOOZE

SSR - week 1 #2


Gallon a Day

Reality check #3…TIME TO GET MY SWEAT ON

I sparkle

Sparkle Tank

SSR - week 1 #1

Next up i’ve finally gotten around to spicing up my workout playlist with some fresh music.  I get bored easily while working out so i’ve got to keep my energy pumping with awesome fast paced  music.  Boom!

Here is my August Sweat it Out Playlist from Every Day Should!!!!

August 2013 - Sweat it out Playlist

August 2013 playlist

OK…here I go!!!  Next week i’ll check in again and update ya’ll on how my progress is going.  Off to the gym…Day Number 1!

Categories Uncategorized

Whoops…off the Clean Eating Train

And my clean eating adventure was an epic failure. Turns out I like Margaritas and my wine a little too much!!!

Hard Work

Turns out I have not been putting everything into it, and I have definitely been getting exactly what I put in…NADA!!!

the difference

My husband and I have been chatting and we both agreed that I need to SWITCH THINGS UP a bit. Whatever i’m doing, or not doing in this case, just ain’t working for me anymore. I can plan and plan as much as I want but when it really comes down to it I let my cravings and emotions control my weight and dedication to my plan.

I really needed to take a step back and JUST DO IT. Stop planning and trying to control everything so much and just go running, go to the gym, don’t eat the junk. Stay focused and make the right choices. Vacation countdown is getting closer and closer and if I don’t JUST DO IT I simply won’t succeed and meet my goal!


So far I have been SIMPLY working out and killing my workouts…literally giving it everything I have.  I need to get my mind and habits wrapped around the LIFESTYLE, not just working out to lose weight etc.  The feeling of pride and commitment that I have when I’ve completed my workout is beyond anything I can put into words. Thats what i’m working for. The feeling of happiness I have when I look in the mirror and FINALLY like what I see is beyond words!!!! I’m officially on day 4 of semi-clean eating & consistently working out!

Sunday – Ran 2 miles (not a ton, but this is a lot for me)

Monday – Ran 2 miles

Tuesday – 2 mile walk with my hubby and the Jovie dog

Wednesday – 30 min Turbo Fire Workout followed by stretching

Workout Pic

Keeping working out strong my friends, and remember that there are so many important things in life and sometimes you simply need to take a step back and reassess your situation. Make the choices that will bring you HAPPINESS & HEALTH and don’t waste your time or energy stressing about the things that are out of your control. Focus on the things within your control that relate to you and your happiness! I’ve always been a firm believer that you can’t help or bring light into anyone else’s life when you are not grounded in your own light.  Focus on the good to spread your light!!!!!

All the BEST!!!!

Categories Uncategorized

Getting Started with Clean Eating (part 2)

 30% gym There is a lot of truth to this photo. You can do crunches all day long but if you don’t have the discipline to eat clean you will never cut down on the layer of fat that sits over your belly preventing all your hard work from showing through.

Workouts and Clean Eating go hand in hand. For 30-Days I am on the clean eating train. Check out my first post I did on this topic HERE to get caught up.

My detailed game plan is as follows:

  • Before Photos and Measurements to track my progress
  • Workouts 6 days a weeks
  • 6-7 Small Meals a day
  • A gallon of water every day
  • Recording and Tracking all my meals/workouts in my Food Journal
  • 1 Cheat Meal per week
  • After Photos and Measurements to reveal my progress

I took some time last night to plan out all of my workouts for the next 30 days! Here is the rest of April and May!!!

April Workouts

May Workouts

I also did a 30 day countdown with colorful tabs in my office to monitor my progression through the next 4 weeks.

30 Day CountdownWorkouts and Clean Eating here I come. I will post my progress everyday along with my thoughts & feelings as I give this a go. I am hoping to try some new recipes along with my basic clean eating staples…chicken, fish, fresh veggies, oatmeal etc. Oh and lots and lots of WATER!!!!

Gallon a Day

Here is a sample of what I will be eating everyday…

6:00am – Wake up & Coffee/PreWorkout Supplement (meal #1)

 – Americano with 1 tbs Almond Milk

6:30am – Workout

– Weight Training followed by 40 min. Cardio

8:30am – Breakfast (meal #2)

– 3 Egg Whites with 2tbs Salsa

11:30 am – Mid-Morning Snack (meal #3)

– Isagenix Protein Shake

2:00pm – Lunch (meal #4)

– Tilapia with Sweet Potatos & Veggies

4:30 pm – Late Afternoon Snack (meal #5)

– Apple with 1tbs Peanut Butter

7:30 pm – Dinner (meal #6)

– Chicken and Veggies

9:00 pm – Before Bed Snack (meal #7)

– 1/4 cup Cottage Cheese

Well there you have it. Portion control and watching what I eat. I know it seems like I will be eating all the time but that really is the BEST part. I won’t ever feel hungry and I have a plan that I can follow to help keep me focused and on track. I will be prepping all my meals tonight for the rest of the week and that will help with convenient and easily accessed meals. No excuses for not staying on track if I always have something ready to go.

Here I go…not looking back!!!!

Categories Uncategorized

Getting Started with Clean Eating (part 1)

Whoa…just starting this post is a crazy task for me. I’ve struggled with where to start for such a long time. I am not a registered dietician or a personal trainer, and everything I have put together is my plan. I wish I had the expertise that others posses, but unfortunately it simply isn’t so. A good place to begin is to read this POST that I did a few weeks back on Nutrition. Now my take on Healthy Nutrition might be totally different then yours, again this is just my perspective on clean eating.

Getting Started with Clean Eating

Introducing…drum roll please…my 30 – Day Clean Eating Challenge!!! Whoop Whoop!!!!

I’ve been trying to put this plan together for awhile now but something wasn’t quite clicking for me. One thing I know about myself is that when I try to force something and  I am not getting the result I want, I throw a huge fit and flip out ,  I accept that I need to take a step back and say it “just ain’t gonna work for me right now.” Truly the best thing I can do is walk away temporarily and come back with a fresh perspective at another time.  I’ve been attempting to write this post for a few weeks now…and whatta ya know, it just wasn’t the right time.  And I know it is because I tried to force it into becoming my new “healthy plan.”

I have a really tough time drastically changing my nutrition and exercise routine overnight. There are so many people out there who can simply flip the switch, and suddenly they are committed and motivated to a clean diet.  I can do this…for about 3 days, but eventually my old habits and temptations resurface.  I try to do way too much…way too fast. This is exactly what I have experienced the past two weeks.  Once again, I tried to force it and I needed to take a step back and reevaluate #1 My approach to Clean Eating and #2 why I am struggling so much with staying on track?

I know, along with the rest of the world, that there is no such thing as a perfect diet OR perfect physique. What I want to focus on is putting the right tools in place so that I can be successful and healthy and balanced AND FINALLY ACHIEVE THIS GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!

The 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge will help me to create boundaries and assess my specific goals.  I will also have a tool to stay accountable to my goals but even better, to myself! I am the only one who can make this happen and I am SO OVER the yo yo number on the scale. I am going to try this for 30 DAYS…and then reassess my successes and failures and where I can tweak and improve my plan. Again, this plan and my take is not for everyone and I would encourage anyone to consult a medical professional before adjusting and attempting this plan.

What is Clean Eating?

Eating clean is not complicated, it is common sense and dedication to a plan. Where I struggle is staying motivated and not giving in to all the temptations. Everyone will have their own struggles and road blocks.  It takes control and a plan to stay on track.  Through all my years of dieting etc. I have never really put a concrete no nonsense plan in place and simply stuck to it. That changes TODAY. Clean Eating is choosing to include healthful and nutritious foods & liquids into your diet. It really is simple; kick out the crap foods, you know EXACTLY what they are, you are only cheating yourself and draining your own life.  Include wholesome and nutritious foods with NATURAL lean protein sources, NATURAL complex carbohydrates, and HEALTHY natural fats in moderation. Cut out the junk, bring in the GOOD, and DRINK TONS OF WATER!!!!! This is a lifestyle change…not a fad diet!

Food and Workout Journal

Over the past two weeks I have been keeping a food journal to track what my habits look like. I highly suggest doing this…it really helped me to see everything I was consuming and at the end of the day I was surprised.  I have to be honest with myself to grow and change and move forward towards a better “self.” Here is my assessment:

#1 – I am really good in the AM.  I don’t have much of an appetite in the morning and zero cravings for anything, so it is super easy for me to stay on track.  If I struggle with anything it is actually eating in the morning period.  I am so proud of myself for actually doing this.  There were only 3 days that I legitimately forgot to eat anything in the morning…and yes that is a common problem for me…forgetting to EAT in general. Definitely not the case later in the day. I seem to have more of an appetite when I work out in the morning and adjusting my schedule so I actually GO to the gym has helped a lot.

#2 – I am really good at eating a snack in the mid-morning before lunch. I have a work schedule that begins later in the morning so I pretty much eat again as soon as I get to work.

#3 – My job complicates my ability to actual EAT while at work.  I will often go hours or all day without eating and I am so busy with appointments and consultations that I don’t even notice. This is definitely an area where I will be focusing a lot of my energy because I spend a good portion of my day at work. On the flip side, I have days where I can’t control my appetite whatsoever and eat everything in sight. I think the key for me is going to be creating a schedule for eating and sticking to it. I need my meals to be easy and accessible and consistency will be key. I know there is truth in firing up your metabolism and I need to get mine going.

#4 – Even though I struggle with eating at work, about %50 of the time I don’t do too bad. I stick to what I bring and have really adjusted my habits with ordering lunches etc. Not only does it save money but it keeps me focused on what is truly healthy.  I’m hoping to get on a schedule where I eat every few hours without any exceptions.

#5 – I have a tendency to BINGE at night. I do such a good job during the day and then all the stress and hunger catches up with me and I lose it. I also have a tendency to indulge in too much wine in the evening which isn’t a healthy habit either and definitely something I am looking to change! I am a snacker in the evening and even after i’ve had my dinner I am still hungry. I have yet to determine if it is true hunger or simply a habit of eating in the evening.

#6 – I have a weakness for sugar that I will be getting into CHECK ASAP!!!! No excuses with this one. NO SUGAR doesn’t mean I can’t have a little cheat or indulgence every once in awhile, it just means that it won’t be an everyday occurrence!

I’m sure I could go on and on but I really want to focus on putting a plan into place and then tweaking it as I go. I need to focus on consistency and success.

Here is my Game Plan for the next 30 days:

Nutrition / Clean Eating Schedule:

6:00am – Wake up & Coffee/PreWorkout Supplement (meal #1)

6:30am – Workout

8:30am – Breakfast (meal #2)

11:30 am – Mid-Morning Snack (meal #3)

2:00pm – Lunch (meal #4)

4:30 pm – Late Afternoon Snack (meal #5)

7:30 pm – Dinner (meal #6)

9:00 pm – Before Bed Snack (meal #7)

I am going to give it a GO for the next 30 days and then reevaluate and see how things are going. I know for me it comes down to discipline and pushing through the difficulty. It is mostly a mental game and once you break through the barrier it becomes 2nd nature. I don’t expect PERFECTION and I know I will have days where I will slip up, but again it is about staying focused and seeing the prize at the end of the road.

the secret

I will track my progress everyday and record my WORKOUTS & DIET. I know I can do this for 30-days. Focus on your goals and take it one week, one day, one meal at a time…MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!

Categories Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day Favorites

All You Need is Love

All You Need is Love!!! So we are officially 6 days into the month of February and I don’t have my Valentines decorations up yet. I’m so mortified! Maybe this weekend! I have been busy busy planning and creating some fun decor for this festive holiday! I made a fun v-day chalkboard and the message says it all. “All You Need is Love!!!” I am working on setting up an Etsy Shop where you can purchase a copy of my fun and creative holiday prints. Everything I do is done by hand, usually with me crunched up in a ball on the floor, and is created and designed by me! My shop name is LovetheSparkle and can be found on I don’t have anything listed yet but as soon as I do i’ll make an announcement for sure!

I have put together a few items that made my favorites list for the month of February.  Clearly I have been living and dreaming in PINK this month! Oh…and Tiffany Blue! My Favorite COLOR!!! Tiffany Blue was original my main wedding color until the more intelligent side of my brain kicked in and started screaming NOOOOO! I ended up going with Ivory, Gold and Red! Keeping it Classy & Elegant around here! So here it is…Valentine’s Day Must-Havs in the world of!!!!!

Valentine's Day Favorites 2013

VS Incredible Perfume     PINK Joules Rain Boots     CamelBak Water Bottle
Tiffany Box IPhone Case     Tazo Passion Tea     OPI Nail Polish      Essie Nail Polish

#1 – Victoria’s Secret Incredible Perfume

So seriously, this is the most wonderful smelling perfume I have ever purchased. I usually wear Juicy Couture but when we were home for Christmas this past year, I fell in love with this scent. Thank You Shout Out to my amazing Sister-in-Law for this great find.  Plus the bottle is PINK, it doesn’t get much better than that!!! So Cute!!!!

#2 – PINK Joules Rain Boots

These are absolutely adorable! In our neck of the woods it has been wet and slippery.  All the snow has melted away and we are left with a messy yard EVERYTHING. I literally can’t wait for it to warm up so I can get in my yard and CLEAN  IT UP!!!! These are great because I won’t get my cozy UGG boots wet, found here. But the idea of putting my snow boots on and lacing them up every time I have to run outside or take the trash to the curb is CRAZY! Slip on, Slip off! LOVE THEM!!! And in honor of Valentine’s Day, they had to be PINK. 🙂

#3 – Pink CamelBak Water bottle

I’m always looking for an excuse to buy a new water bottle, mostly because I am always losing them 🙁 This however was a gift, and a fantastic one at that! I have heard great things about this brand of water bottles but could never justify spending $20 plus on one.  Once I had my hands on one however, suddenly I GOT IT! Functional and handy, Pink and Cute, insulted so it stays cold, did I mention PINK already. Yep that about sums it up!

#4 – Tiffany Box and Bow IPhone 4s Case

So keeping with the Pink & Tiffany Blue theme I had to include this. I actually purchased this cute iphone case back in January but had already posted my favorites.  So…I just had to include it this time! When I got my new iphone back in August I bought a cheap case for it and it completely worked. But for the new year, I was ready for a new look. I could write an entire post on the ridiculousness of being attached to one’s cell phone but will save that for another day as I am guilty of just that!

#5 – Tazo Passion Tea

One of my favorite guilty pleasures during the summer months is a Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks.  When I was at the grocery store the other day I found these home brew Passion tea bags and stopped dead in my tracks and just about dumped groceries all over the floor. Yep, I am one of those uber-naive women who thought they only sold this brand at StarbuckS. I was absolutely wrong. My hubby and I are big tea people during the winter. Any excuse to have something warm while getting cozy is an A+ in my book. I am so excited that they sell this in the grocery stores, and it was on sale nontheless. BIG HAPPY SIGH!!!!

#6 – OPI Nail Polish “The Spy who loved me”

In honor of the new James Bond movie, SkyFall, OPI has released a 007 line of colors inspired by all the Bond movies. I thought this was the perfect color for Valentine’s Day… and maybe even Christmas. Am I the only one already thinking and planning for next Christmas?!?!?! I like to stick with the red and pink tones when it comes to nail polish.  I once tried a funky and trendy color from Pinterest and it just didn’t feel like me.  This is such a fun color and OPI is my favorite brand.  It goes on so well and stays on without chipping or smudging through workouts, running, tanning, yoga, and work peep toe heels! YAY!!!!! And YES, it does have a little sparkle and glitter in it. I am officially speechless. Again, HAPPY SIGH!!!!!!

#7 – ESSIE Nail Polish in “Pink-a-Boo”

This was a new one for me. I actually saw this color on Pinterest and about died at how adorable it was. If you didn’t gather above, I am a devoted OPI Consumer and felt a little nervous branching out. Seriously, OPI is the only brand I have ever had consistent success with when it comes to nail polish. But this color was just so cute that I had to give it a try. I have been looking for a long time for a color that wasn’t too “baby doll” pink and this one is the perfect shade of pale pink. It has a little bit of subtle glitter to give it a bit of sparkle against the pink and is just a lovely and sophisticated color. It did take almost 4 coats to get it to the shade I like, but overall I was very pleased and will definitely be doing this color again. 🙂

Stay Happy my Friends,

Categories HOLIDAYS

A New Year…A New Blog…Welcome to my World!!!!

happy new year

Happy New Year 2013…and this is it…no looking back for me now! I am truly on the path to positive and impactful change in my life and the best part about the whole thing is that I AM THE ONE making the difference.

Not to sound too cliche but I recently discovered blogging and have been so moved by the amazing things people are able to accomplish simply by utilizing a tool to keep themselves accountable.  My husband would laugh because one of his biggest pet-peeves are people who don’t take responsibility for themselves and aren’t accountable.  Myself included hehe!

I decided that my New Years Resolution was going to be to start a blog! I have been using journaling as a way to empty my brain for years and love the idea of sharing some of my insights and goals, and yep i’m gonna say it, as a way to keep myself accountable! 🙂 Life is a funny thing and I’m excited for the ride.

I took the plunge by signing up for Chalene Johnson’s 30-day Push Challenge!

“It takes 21 days to build a habit. In a month, you will not only have the skills to achieve your dreams, but will have cultivated the habits that make it almost impossible to fail.”

– Chalene Johnson

It looks really awesome and the goal is to get yourself organized in such a way that you can reach your life-long goals and all the little steps in between! Like the people described on the home page, I have spent much of my life trying and failing, or simply losing track and being lazy and forgetting about the many goals I hope to achieve.  I am the QUEEN of starting something with little to no follow through after about…um 3-days.  My goal with this blog is to work on changing that and taking on the world and my oh-so-fabulous life one step and one goal at a time.

So here it is…GOAL #1 – Complete the 30-day Push Challenge!

The first step is to figure out…what are my goals?!?!?!  To be honest, I have no clue! There are so many things that I want to accomplish and do in this life but they are so scattered and crazy in my brain and in random journals that I have assembled through the years! I’m hoping that by trying Chalene’s program I can get ahold of my goals and make them concrete and attainable! I was introduced to Turbo Jams and Turbo Fire, Chalene Johnson’s workout & HIIT training system, by my sister-in-law and used it to get in shape for my wedding.  I would absolutely recommend this workout system to anyone. It is so amazing and was one of the only things that has worked for me! 🙂 So Chalene and I go way back…I trust that her Push Challenge will be awesome!

Turbo Jam – 5 Rockin’ Workout DVD     Turbo Jam Program

I signed up through my email and the link brought me to the home page for the Push website.  The Challenge starts on the first of the month…so today is the day!  I’ll update as I go about half-way through and at the end with a review of the program! I am so looking forward to this crazy adventure and can’t wait to determine what goals i’d like to achieve by the end of the year!

So from my family to yours…we wish you a very happy New Year and CHEERS to 2013!

Have a sparkling new year

xo xo Friends,