Happiness is a New Logo


Can you tell?!

It may seem a bit odd to get excited over, but I have recently talked a friend into helping me with an actual logo for my site and brand, and I finally got one!

–insert moment of crazy happy dancing here–

I’ve even spent some time trying to update my pages and social medias with the logo, so please bear with me as I make this slow transition into new things coming ahead!

Oh, and now that my kids are out of school and I keep having these amazing ideas of things to do, I might finally get around to posting more often, again, too.

Wish me luck!


Walking in Place Can Take You Far

Earlier this week I posted about challenging myself to do a few things. Mostly this included taking new supplements on their promise of weight loss, as well as adding coconut oil to my daily diet, and moving more. My issue with moving more, this time of year, has always been that it tends to be rather windy and cold outside. Also, there can be a possibility of snow or ice, so the idea of walking outside really puts me off the idea.

I can also say that my house isn’t really made for working out.

Jumping jacks make everything shake and wobble, the floors creak just walking up and down the stairs, and where I tend to jump at the chance to do Zumba when the house is empty (more space when no one is around), there really is just not that much room to make it all happen easily.

Now, in that previous post I mentioned I would likely pull out the Wii and get some steps in with the Wii Fit Balance Board, but would also do some videos on YouTube from the Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home channel.

So as the weather is constantly going from high to low and continues to tease me with promises of spring and sunshine, I will continue to go through these videos.

In the past I have done more than just this first one I am mentioning here, but my current go-to is the 1 Mile Happy Walk, which is roughly 15 minutes long. It’s quick, gets your heart rate going, and my kids love it, too.

The best part about doing these videos is that where I do not have that much space in my living room, I have just enough space to continue to keep moving along with the videos and make adjustments where need be.

I’ve already completed my walk for today, and hope that next week I will be feeling up to adding a mile by doing one of her 2 mile videos instead of just the 1 mile. I also noticed that she has a 5 minute walk added recently, so I am looking forward to trying that one out soon, too!

Are you ready to walk with me?

Check these videos out and make them work for you, too!

A Colorful Moment

It is pretty typical that around and on Easter, one can expect to color eggs, have an egg hunt, and make up baskets for the kids full of candy and treats, but does it really have to be so typical? I have spent a few years wondering what I could do differently to make the normal, non-religious Easter traditions a bit more in the style of my family.

I have looked through lists of things you can put in plastic eggs for egg hunts that are not candy.

I have looked at photos and sites full of ideas for what to put in baskets that means less trash a week later when the chintzy Easter toys all break or get forgotten about because focuses have moved on to other things.

I have even looked up new ideas for egg hunts, inside or outside the house.

Basically, I wanted to come up with ideas that did not require being ‘typical’.

This year I decided to finally act on things. I have already shopped to pick up some not-so-typical items (along with a few typical things) for my kids’ baskets, and decided to test a new-to-me way of dying eggs. My mother-in-law usually does egg dying at their house with all of their grandchildren in one afternoon. It can be a mess with all the tubs of egg dye, not to mention the underlying smell of vinegar from the dye kits.

The method I decided to try is based on a method of making sort of prints with paint and shaving cream, but instead of paint, I used food coloring.

But, shaving cream? On my eggs?!

Yes, shaving cream on the eggs, people. Seriously, it’s only on the shell, and not on there for that long, but if it bugs you that much, pick up a tub or two of Cool Whip and use that instead.

I am adding the photos from how I did this here for you to see and go on. I used regular shaving cream, not gel (this is important – do not use gel shaving cream, if you are going to use shaving cream vs Cool Whip), and picked up disposable cookie sheets, figuring if it was overly messy, I could just toss out the whole lot after things were done. The food coloring I used is just your typical liquid food colors. I was searching around stores for the neon colors, but of course, the one time I actually want neon food dye, I cannot find it anywhere, so just used the basic colors.

Basic instructions are to fill the sheet pan with the shaving cream or Cool Whip and then drip your food coloring around randomly on that. Using some sort of utensil (I used a straw, since we seem to have an overabundance of them in the house), swirl the drops of dye around the surface of the shaving cream to make your tie-dye look.

Assuming you have prepped your eggs by hard

boiling them ahead of time, take your boiled eggs and set them on the dye covered shaving cream. You will need to make sure to turn your eggs over and make sure that you cover the full egg with dye to get a good coat of color. You don’t have to remove the eggs from the shaving cream mess, but depending on how many eggs you are working with, you may want to move them to another pan or tray for rinsing off later, anyway. I removed mine from the shaving cream and set them in my steam colander from the pot I used to boil my eggs so it would be easier to rinse them after they sat.

Let the eggs sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing them off and ta-da! Easy tie-dyed eggs!



Oh… I would suggest, if you’re having children do these, or you just don’t like the idea of getting food coloring all over your fingers, to grab some disposable gloves for all participants.

I even managed to have one of these eggs for breakfast the next morning and unlike the usual dye methods that tend to seep into the shell and can color the egg white itself, this did not seem to do that. I think this will be a method for egg dying that I do more often. I will have to suggest to my mother-in-law to try it with the kids this year, and maybe use Cool Whip instead of shaving cream, just to be on the safe side.

Time to Do Something Again


It has been quite some time (again) since I have posted anything, and where I don’t consider this blog to be only a ‘Here, let me try this and tell you about it!’ sort of blog, I do continue to search for things to try or to attempt to debunk, as it gives me a purpose for writing another post.

This only works, however, when I am not busy with other things in my crazy life, and well, honestly, when my household is actually healthy. Three sick family members in a single house hold, at the same time, can really be a hindrance on your normal daily routine. But now that we’re all healthy, and I’m not feeling near as lazy after two weeks of pretty much sleeping all day, I think I’m finally ready to make good on some of the things I have been looking at trying.

From here on out, I will discuss four new challenges that I have decided to set for myself, and, more importantly, the three main things I have found while web surfing and perusing Pinterest that are supposed to help with weight loss. (Note: Nothing in my research of these three main items is claiming that they cannot all be taken/done at the same time. However, I will be making sure to keep an eye on any major health changes with my personal being, in order to decide whether to continue with all three at once, or cut them out completely.)

Item #1: L-Carnitine

Sometime in 2016, I came across a pinned blog article about how L-Carnitine can be used as a weight loss supplement. Now, of course I pinned this to my personal board of things to try, test, and blog about, because I apparently rather enjoy putting my body through a plethora of weight loss techniques and ideas that usually do nothing more than make me have to add something new to my day-to-day actions. Seeing as I can rarely remember to take my vitamins every day, adding more supplements is not usually something I jump at the chance to try. And that includes ones that tout weight loss help.

But this one seems to be fairly legit. The article I read here was rather informative about the number of uses and benefits of taking carnitine. I highly suggest reading the full article yourself to find out more, if you are indeed interested, as my main focus here is on the supplement dosing specifically for weight loss.

According to this article, for weight loss you should be ingesting 2 to 4 grams of L-Carnitine per day. The bottle I picked up is of 500mg capsules and I will be doing this with the lowest dose of 2g, so will be taking a total of 4 capsules every day. You should be able to pick up a bottle of L-Carnitine wherever you can purchase vitamins and other daily supplements, however, I did notice not every brand at the store I shop, carried this particular item. That said, you can always shop online!

Item #2: Turmeric

Turmeric is another one of those items I was seeing being pinned but never really bothered to look much into. I was seeing it as something being added to other items to make a drink that you should have at night before bed, usually stating it was some sort of miracle item that would melt belly fat overnight. I rolled my eyes at a few of these, pinned one, and moved on.

Lately, however, I was wondering more about turmeric as a whole, and tonight decided to look online a bit more deeply into this item. What I found here is pretty well informative and actually rather interesting information. I would highly suggest reading up on turmeric and its uses and benefits whenever you get a chance, because it could very well indeed be something you want to consider for other things than just weight loss.

The mentioned site that I found when searching, suggested 500mg of a turmeric with curcumin supplement, taken three times a day for weight loss. I will mention, the article did state that turmeric is best if taken in powder form, preferable organic, to get the most out of this product. For me, however, it was easier to find the capsules with the curcumin, and also in this form, something you should be able to purchase wherever you pick up your vitamins and other supplements.

Item #3: Coconut Oil & Honey

Okay this one doesn’t sound new, does it? I think I have mentioned coconut oil a few times before, especially when it comes to putting it in your coffee. And the benefits of honey, especially local raw honey, are something I will stand by as being 100% why I hardly suffered at all from seasonal allergies this past year.

This particular pin I found, linked to an article that gave a recipe for a sort of coffee creamer, if you will, that is basically made from coconut oil and honey, with a little bit of cinnamon added in for taste.

You are supposed to add 1 to 2 teaspoons to your morning cup of coffee, and it is supposed to jump start your metabolism. With all that I have been reading on coconut oil over the past couple of years and what a great benefit it is to your daily health, and how adding it to your diet can indeed help reduce your weight, I think this is something I can surely do on a daily basis.

Item #4: Exercise!

I have been reading more and more that excessive exercise can actually be more harmful than helpful to your body. The harder, more jarring the workout, the more strain and possible injury you could be putting your body through. That viewpoint makes a lot of sense, at least to me, and where I will stand by the fact that movement is beneficial to a person’s health, overdoing it is not something anyone should make it a point of doing, even if they do not know they could be doing just that. I know, I know! That does not really make sense. Yet maybe it does?

As I have done challenges in the past that are wrapped around acts of exercise that target certain parts of the body, this one I am giving myself is supposed to just benefit the body as a whole. And, it’s something simple and something I tend to do on a regular basis, anyway.

What is this challenge?


My goal, while working on the first 3 items during this month, I am going to add walking or stepping to my daily routine.

Stepping for 30 minutes via the Wii allows me to read at the same time, so I am usually jumping at the chance to finish another book while getting to workout at the same time.

My other option for walking is this YouTube channel I was told about while doing Weight Watchers a few years ago, Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home. These videos are some of the most energetic and un-annoyingly perky and quick ways to fit in a good mile or three worth of walking, into your day. There is a line of DVDs of hers as well, and I do have a couple that I picked up for a couple of bucks at a yard sale last year, but I do prefer the number of options you can choose from on her YouTube channel.

With any luck, maybe by the end of the month I will be able to complete her three mile video(s) without wanting to quit before I have made it two miles in!

Final Thoughts:

I have managed to give myself a mega list of challenges to get through over the next couple of weeks, at least. I would like to say that I will do all four of these from now until the end of March, however, I cannot be sure that I will be able to make that happen. Doing the math, I know I will need to buy more of the supplements after two weeks, if I do choose to continue this throughout the month. I may even need to pick up more honey for more of the coffee creamer, and I know after a few days I will need to go buy more coffee.

I will continue to weigh myself on Sunday mornings, as I have been trying to do this year, and I will be sure to update via Facebook and/or Instagram. I’d say I would update via Twitter, but I’m lucky to remember to do much more than share my Instagram posts to Twitter on a regular basis. Either way, I will update as the month goes on and of course share results after I have finished with everything.

If anyone cares to try these items for themselves, I wish you luck in your venture with it!

Let’s Keep it Up!

Maybe I should have used ‘off’ instead of ‘up, in my post title. Hmmm…

Simple and quick post here. Basically I wanted to inform you readers on the whole results from the last post, and wanted to do so before I forgot to.

Here goes nothing…

Wednesday, January 18th, I did that wannabe juice/water fast thing. It was only for one day, and I figured that since I had done 30 hours at a time for a good cause, I could handle a full day of liquids only, with my health being the main reason for trying. I say it’s a ‘wannabe’ sort of fast because it really was not what a full on juice fast is, but it had a good base of the same components to one. (Maybe one day I’ll get that brand new juicer that I cannot sell, out of my basement and do a week of actual juicing and do a real juice fast…)

So I started the day off wanting to weigh myself and measure around my tummy. That sounds odd to some, but remember how I stated that that ‘diet plan’ promised a flat stomach in 24 hours? Makes sense, now, doesn’t it…

I won’t give full details on my weight and inches here, as I will leave that to another post another day, and will just carry on. I followed the recipe list, which was seriously lacking in instruction. I chose to mix each item at 1:1 ratio so that I was drinking the full glass of water as well as drinking a full glass of juice, which would better provide my body with some of the nutrients I was missing out on by fasting, in the first place. If I choose to do this again, I will seriously rethink how I go about ingesting a full glass of water mixed with lemon juice, because a full glass of lemon juice, even diluted with an equal amount of water, was so tart, it took me over an hour to drink it. And I had to drink two of that mix by the time the day was over!

That was really the only thing I didn’t like about the whole ordeal, by the way.


The results? I lost 2.4 pounds and lost 1 inch off my tummy.

Would I recommend this plan to others? Certainly!

In all honesty, it isn’t going to make you have a flat stomach instantly (especially if you have an almost 8 year post baby belly like me! lol), but it can help you jump start a diet plan. If you do decide to try this the way that I did, let me know! I’m curious what your results would be. I have already decided that I will do this again, but maybe once a month. I would shoot for once every other week, but after seeing how much a bottle of actual lemon juice costs (not the concentrated stuff), it’s kind of off-putting to want to do this more than once a month. (It was $5.00 for the lemon juice I bought, and the only straight carrot juice I found was $6.00 so this isn’t something you can do on the cheap unless you are juicing with a machine vs buying juice at the store.) You will also want to makes sure that what juices you are using are not from concentrate. I did not think to check the grapefruit juice that I already had at home before picking up the other things I needed to pull this off, or I would have seen it was not what I was wanting for this. You are getting a more natural product by using not from concentrate products. They might not be as shelf stable as others, but I guess that’s incentive to drink more juice!

So that’s the gist of it, I guess.

I had results, I feel good today, not even as hungry as I thought I might feel. I have not reached for a snack since I had breakfast and my coffee, and I am not even considering what to make for lunch yet. All in all, I would call this one a success for a good way to kick start your healthier lifestyle, or to at least fit into that dress or outfit that you’re dying to get into in two days for some event.

Next on the list: Do not gain back all the weight I just lost!


I Need a Kickstart!

wp-1484679538711.jpgOkay, I admit it…

I am a huge fan of these Mtn Dew Kickstart drinks. You might even call me an addict.

They are not quite the same as a full on energy drink, but they certainly do give one heck of a kick in the caffeine department, which is a bonus.

They also don’t tear up my stomach like some of those energy drinks out there can do.

And yes, I am writing this based on the fact that I am chugging down this baby right now.

This is not, however, the main reason I was going to sit down and post, today. I found a couple of things on Pinterest to try, and both of them are sort of kick starts into getting healthy or generally feeling better.

First one I found is going to be my diet debunk, I think, as it is ‘promising’ a flat belly in 24 hours. The only way this could be possible is if all you are is bloated. Well, I am much more than bloated, people! I’m the first to admit I am not just a bigger gal, but will flat out state that I am fat. I’m okay with it. I deal with it. I’ve even blogged about my weight and where it came from and why I struggle to lose it now. (Darned pharmaceuticals and their side effects…) It is that reason, alone, that I choose to try some of these things that I find, because I am not the only person in the world out there who struggles and wishes there was an easier way to lose some added pounds that doesn’t make you feel like you are starving yourself, or leave you gorging on raw veggies every time you feel hungry. (I may love my vegetables, but I can only take so much before I am running away from them. Not to mention, they are expensive and I cannot just grow my own where I live!)

Anyway, this particular post is obviously geared toward people who are already skinny and just need a little less belly bloat to get into their best dress or favorite jeans. Where that is not my goal, I am hoping to find out if it really is helping flush out toxins, as it states it will, which would help someone who is looking to jump/kick start a weight loss program.

The basis of this looks like a juice fast, just with a lot more water. I will be doing more research later to see if I can find some more exacts on ratios of water to juice, but this is a start for now. This ‘diet’ has you drinking a lot of water, mixed with juice, and some green tea and straight juice throughout the day. Easy enough. Juice fasts are not bad to do once in a great while. Heck, I used to participate in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine for years, and that is going 30 hours with zero food and a lot of juice and water. So one day shouldn’t be too hard to get through. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I have been trying to research a bit more on this, and where juice fasting is completely healthy and you can truly benefit from doing one, this particular ‘diet’ is a bit different.

I’ll post what the site says by time:

– 7:30 am: Have a glass of warm water mixed with lemon juice.
– 9:30 am: Have a glass of water mixed with orange or apple juice.
– 12:30 pm: Drink a cup of green tea.
– 2:00 pm: Mix a glass of cold water with carrot juice and drink it.
– 3:30 pm: Drink a cup of tea of your choice.
– 5:30 pm: Have a natural juice of your choice and drink one glass of it.
– 7:30 pm: Have another cup of green tea.
– 9:00 pm: Have a glass of water mixed with grapefruit juice.
– 10:30 pm: Now you need to finish the day with the same drink you had to start it. Drink a glass of warm water mixed with lemon juice.

This is not much instruction. I am going to assume that the glasses of water are a standard 8 ounce serving, and that the cups of green tea and single glass of juice, are the same. But how much juice is supposed to be added to the glasses of water? What is the ratio? I have been searching for a more exact recipe to follow, and will continue to do so before I start this little ‘diet’ for a day, but if I do not, I will likely choose either a 1:1 ratio or 1:2 ratio, making the water two parts, and the juice, one.

My initial goal is to do this tomorrow, but I have a plan for my upcoming evening, as well…

The second item I found to look into more was a list of detox baths. I have done one in the past that used baking soda and Epsom salts, that was similar to one of them posted on this list, but I have not done any others since. There are at least two on here that I am thinking I will try as soon as possible, one of which will be tonight, I just am unsure of which one I want to tackle first.

The Green Tea Bath or the Apple Cider Vinegar.

Which would you do?

Honestly, both are a bit odd and that is why I want to try them out. But do I really want to go to bed tonight smelling like apple cider vinegar? Blech! Might not be too bad, though.

I will post about these later on and see what happens, but for now, tonight and tomorrow are my ‘kick start’ into seeing what might make me feel all around…….better.

Good Things Come in Small(ish) Packages

I’ve been spending a few days this week to continue going through the Degustabox that I was talking about earlier this week, here. I thought I would take a moment to bring up a few more here to share before I wind up finishing everything off and not mentioning them.

Especially since I said that I would fill you in about the other items in the box…

So here’s what we have:


Kala Beautiful Beans: Oh my goodness! If you like crunchy snacks, you’ll like these! Think wasabi peas, but instead of chickpeas, these are fava beans, and they obviously aren’t coated in powdered wasabi.

I’m not a huge fan of black pepper on my crunchy snack items, but these are still rather tasty. I investigated their website and found that they have a total of four flavors, and instantly wanted to try the other three that were listed.

Then I was hit was a massive blow.

They are not available in Michigan!

Top it all off with my inability to find them anywhere to purchase them online, so I cannot go off in search of new snacks this weekend. This saddened me, but I will not let it get me down! Why? Because, I will see these on a shelf one day and remember them and buy all that I can get my little hands on! I enjoyed them that much, yes!

20161129_192404.jpgNext up, Good Thins has this sweet oat & flax snack cracker, and I will just state here, for the record, that these things are incredibly addicting!

That’s not a bad thing, though!

They are certainly a tasty treat when you want just a bit of something that isn’t quite what you expect from a cracker, if that makes any sense. Personally, I expect crackers to kind of have this dry taste and create a ton of crumbs when biting into them (probably why I prefer the bite sized kind you can just pop in your mouth, whole). These, however, are slightly sweet and they’re a good kind of crunchy that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re covered in crumbs after eating a few. You will certainly need a napkin with these, however, as your fingers will wind up coated with the sweetness that is on the cracker, but it’s worth it! Lick those fingers clean, if you have to, but keep a napkin handy so you aren’t wiping them off on your pants.

img_20161213_211809.jpgThe next thing on my list are two versions of these treats from Loacker. Specifically, their Gran Pasticceria in hazelnut and coconut. Talk about addicting. The hazelnut, surprisingly, was more addicting than the coconut. I think the coconut lasted a good week after being opened. The hazelnut, which is not a favorite flavor in my house, lasted all of maybe an hour.

Okay, okay…

I might have been hungry when I had opened the hazelnut ones. But, they were indeed that tasty that I couldn’t stop eating them!

20161209_193411.jpg Now, these little guys, here…

These are my daughter’s most favorite thing in the world, I swear! She loves to buy honey straws at the local farmers market in the summer, and she begged me from the moment she saw these, to have them for herself. To be honest, I was more than grateful for her reaction. There were all sorts of flavors of these things from Honey Acres, and I personally can only take so much added flavor to honey before it just tastes like candy and nothing at all like the product it should be. However, I did use a couple of them as sweetener for my green tea one day, and they were not overpowered by the flavors.

20161130_214808.jpgThese are a bit different from the cough drops I have received from boxes past. The idea of a lozenge that you can take daily as a supplement that helps boost your immunity is great, in my opinion, and I would much rather ingest something like a hard candy than mix a powder with a glass of water and attempt to drink it without a cringing to achieve the same effect.

Ricola is not a new brand to me, and they were always the first choice I went to when I had a sore throat back in high school and college. Okay, so they were the first choice anytime I was doing anything musical or dramatic with my voice. The flavor of these isn’t so bad. I’m not a huge fan, but they could be much worse. There are certainly some seriously questionable throat lozenges on the market, and as a immunity booster, these do taste better than most of the chalky drink mixes you can find on the market.

20161210_165607.jpgThese next two are a package deal. Why? Well, look at ’em! They are cake and frosting mixes! Of course they go together!

Actually, these items are what the featured recipe that was included in the box, was for. There were two options you could have gotten in the December Degustabox, of these Pillsbury Purely Simple mixes – White or Chocolate.

20161224_184908.jpgWe decided to wait until closer to the end of the month to use the mixes and the kids and I came up with the idea to make a peppermint candy cane cake to take along to the in-laws’ place for Christmas dinner.

All in all, the taste was pretty good, considering I over-baked the cakes a bit. (To be fair, my oven is a tad wonky, and I’m usually quite lucky when something turns out perfectly.) The frosting, I probably could have mixed a bit better, as well, if I am honest, and I did add some peppermint extract to the frosting to add a bit more flavor. Also, that pinkish piped frosting around the edges? Yeah, I set some aside and tinted it with red food dye. Looking back at this photo, I’m still kicking myself for not using enough dye and for setting aside too much of the frosting to pipe with. I had a lot leftover and not near enough white covering the whole cake.

Everyone seemed to enjoy it, though!

20161224_093330.jpgThe last thing in the box here, I will admit that I have still not tried.

One & Done Seasoning seems to be a good replacement for your every day uses for salt and pepper. I toyed around with the idea of using this instead of seasoning salt for making Chex Mix this winter, but managed to talk myself out of it.

I do intend on using this item soon, however.  I recently picked up some pork chops that will make a tasty dinner that my kids will eat with zero complaints, and this I think will do nicely to season them.

To sum things up…

The December Degustabox was one of the best I have received, and I have been getting them every month since they started back in July of 2016. Every item in this box was used or well received by my family, and even my mom (who I had just gotten to sign up) said that the items went over well from November’s and December’s boxes that she got while up here visiting at my grandparents’ place.

Since I started this post, I have received my January box, and this is where I will admit that every once in a while, you might get items in your box that you are not thrilled with, or that you have zero use for in your home. My mom had no use for the two boxes of fruit snacks, for example, but my kids are able to use them for their snacks to take to school these first two weeks back after break. There were items that only my daughter would eat, and a couple of things my son was happy to see, but otherwise no one in my house was jumping for joy over anything in particular, and that can happen.

Oh, I take that back…

We all got pretty excited to see a box of pancake mix that was pumpkin flavored. We all really like pumpkin a lot in this house!

But anyway, as I mentioned in the previous post about Degustabox, you can sign up for your first box with my code (which is linked a couple of paragraphs up and in my previous post), and get $10.00 off. Trying it out for $9.99 might just be worth it, and my bias is that if you do sign up, I get extra points toward a free box.

Yes, get people to sign up and try it via your own code, and you earn points toward free boxes. Two people signed up will get you a free box.

And they have surveys they send out for each month’s box. That’s another away you can earn points toward free boxes.

Seriously, out of all the different food boxes out there, this one is the one I have tried and stuck with. We’ve gotten new-to-us brands and items that we may not have otherwise heard of before. I’m still dying to get a hold of more of those Kala Beautiful Beans as soon as I can find a place buy them! So take a shot if you want, order a box, and be either pleasantly surprised, or at the least, have just spent ten bucks on a box of groceries that would have likely cost you twice as much at the store!

Oh, and if you don’t use it yet, go sign up for Ebates and search Degustabox from their site. You can get $3.00 cash back from there on your box. 🙂