A Thanksgiving Tree

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First of all, I know what you’re thinking.

This is just some lame excuse to put your Christmas tree up early isn’t it?

Why yes, yes it is. But let’s be honest, who needs an excuse anymore? My neighbors fully decked out the outside of their house for Christmas on November 1st. Like lights, wreaths, an enormous nutcracker on the front porch, the whole shebang.

I’ve been wondering where I would put my Christmas tree since before our living room even had carpet. Or walls for that matter. (If you’re new here, head on over to the home remodel to see what I’m talking about.) When the living room was more or less put together, I realized that it’s super tiny and there isn’t a whole lot of room for a big ol tree.

But the ceilings are high so I decided to get a tall and skinny one. And when I set my mind to wanting to buy something, I can’t really change focus until that something is in my living room, put together and plugged in. So here we are.

And that’s where Daniel Tiger comes in. All my fellow moms of toddlers raise your hands if Daniel’s in the house!! Daniel is in our house all the time. If you don’t watch the show, it’s a cartoon based on the characters in Mister Roger’s neighborhood and it’s full of catchy tunes that teach kids things like, “Grown-ups come back” and “Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true” and my personal favorite, “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.”

But I digress.

On a particular episode of Daniel Tiger it was Thankful Day and the whole town (neighborhood?) gets together and hangs thank you cards on the tree to those they are thankful to. All the cute little characters draw pictures and whatnot to their parents, teachers, and mailman and that’s when the light bulb went off in my head.

Yes this is a children’s show, but that’s a good idea.

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have and apart from eating a crap ton of food (which I guess means we’re thankful for how much we have..or something) and going around the dinner table to say what we’re thankful for, our family traditions don’t focus a whole lot on gratitude. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great holiday for gathering and spending time with friends and family but when are we acknowledging our gratitude?

So here I am with this undecorated Christmas tree in my living room and this Daniel Tiger thank you tree idea in my head and BAM! The Thanksgiving tree is born.

The basic idea is to take time either throughout the month of November or just on Thanksgiving day itself and write a thank you note to someone. It’s a way to show your gratitude and help someone else feel appreciated. If you do it all November long, you could just set your cards on the tree as you write them, for decoration, and then mail them out later.

I love the idea of everyone sitting down and reading our cards to each other before we indulge in a lovely meal. And hey, maybe we’ll save the cards with the Thanksgiving decorations and each year the tree will get more and more full of cards and we can always look back and remember what, or who, we were thankful for in years past.

So here’s to a new Thanksgiving tradition! What do you like to do to show you’re grateful during Thanksgiving?

Bossy’s Losing it Week 16: Bye bye sugar!

  
This Bossy’s Losing It post is long over due. It seems like I only ever feel the need to update my weight loss progress when I’ve been doing horribly and then resolve to do better again. If there’s one main thing I’m learning from this whole process, it’s that a weight loss journey is not one straight path there is a lot of up and down and if you get discouraged at every uphill battle, you’ll never succeed.

Since my last update I have been on a big uphill battle. I found a workout buddy and started some epic challenging classes at the gym that I LOVE! Working out is definitely my thang! But my eating habits have plummeted into..well almost worse than when I was pregnant. Appalling, I know.

My aunt and mom came into town and I flipped a switch and was binge eating while binge watching Nashville which resulted in gaining 2 lbs in one week! Gah!! What is that?! It has been so long since I’ve lost 2 lbs in one week and now I’ve set myself way back.

But instead of missing my meeting and having a pity party, I decided to go into Weight Watchers and get re-motivated to kick this in the butt.

I’ve been thinking for a while now that I eat WAY too much sugar. Sure it fits into the number of points I’m allotted for the day but I can’t sustain this type of eating pattern for the rest of my life. I’m realizing that as I get older it will be harder for me to keep weight off, so I might as well develop some good eating habits now to carry me through those later years.

For a while, Chris and I were going through two cartons of ice cream a week. A WEEK! That’s utter nonsense. Between his high metabolism and me nursing, it hasn’t effected us too badly in the weight gain department. But like I mentioned before, we cannot sustain this lifestyle.

Then I watched this fabulous documentary that I highly recommend. It’s called Hungry for Change and it’s on Amazon Prime right now. Among other things it talks about how sugar is an addictive drug and it’s about time the world starts recognizing the havoc it wreaks on our bodies.

That gave me the extra push I needed to enact a sugar fast. We started yesterday and we carry through until the day before Thanksgiving. My hope is that this fast will kind of reset my body to not crave sugar as much. I need to realize that I don’t need a “dessert” after every meal and periodically throughout the day. We’re even saying goodbye to diet soda for the time being (and probably forever) because it’s essentially like drinking a glass of yummy crap. It might taste good and send happy vibes to your brain but it makes you crave more sugar and actually kills brain cells. Boo.

So far I’m doing pretty well, and so is Chris which is amazing considering he basically lives off free candy at the office.

Instead of saying “I can’t have it” I’ve been saying, “I can have it, I just don’t want it.” Reminding myself that I’m choosing to do this and I don’t need to feel deprived.

Last night instead of watching a show we had a gym date and worked up such an appetite that I had four eggs when we got home. All about that lean protein when trying to build muscle. I wasn’t even sad about not getting my bowl of ice cream.

Today I’m feeling the same way and I’m even loving all these extra points I have to eat that aren’t wasted on treats that leave me feeling hungrier than when I started. My meals have become more substantial and keep me satiated longer than normal.

Now here’s to hoping that I can keep this up for the next 7 days.

 

If I want to keep my lifetime status at Weight Watchers I have to lose roughly 12 pounds in 6 weeks! Eek! It’s time to buckle down and get to work. I always was did procrastinate.

And while I’m working on that, you go watch Hungry for Change. Seriously. It’s eye opening. ::

Week 16 Weight loss: + 2.2lbs

Total Weight loss: 18 lbs

Bossy’s Losing it Week 12: Getting back on the wagon

Confession time: I know you may think, since I posted about it a few weeks ago, that I have overcome emotional eating. Ha. If only writing about it on my blog made me an instant expert, that would be nice. But no. So the past two weeks or so I fell off the weight loss wagon a little bit.

**Fun historical side note** The phrase “on the wagon” originated during the height of prohibition in the 1890s. It was originally “on the water cart” or “on the water wagon”. A water cart was used to wet dusty roads in the summer. People would say, “Yes I’m thirsty, but I’d rather climb aboard the water cart for a drink than break my pledge to stop drinking.” So if they started drinking again they had fallen off the wagon. Interesting or nah?

Every couple days I would remember and try to eat well but I had no desire to go grocery shopping so we were eating out a lot and I worked out maybe twice in two weeks. I started reaching this point where I forgot why I wanted to lose weight. I was looking in the mirror and thinking, “I think I look good enough…there are plenty of attractive people who are the same size as me. Who’s to say I need to keep working at this?”

What I learned this week:

choose your hard

I didn’t go to weight watchers for those two weeks because I didn’t want to know how much weight I had gained. THIS WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA! If I had gone and gained weight it would have motivated me to do better. If I had gone and lost weight it would have motivated me to keep going.

In my daily facebook scrolling a few days ago, something popped up on my timeline that was a major “Aha!” moment.

“Losing weight is hard. Being over weight is hard. Choose your hard.” I’ve started applying that to every aspect of my life.

Getting up early to work out is hard, but trying to find time to work out during the day is hard. Choose your hard.

Eating right is hard. Having a body running on junk food is hard. Choose your hard.

It helped me remember that I’m not only losing weight to look better but to feel better too. To get back my confidence. To be able to run that half marathon. To comfortably fit into the clothes that I love.

Going back to Weight Watchers this week was the first step. I had lost 3.6 lbs. It was the motivation I needed to jump back on that wagon and get my eating and workouts in check.

So here I am friends. I am flawed but I am trying. It doesn’t matter how slowly I go, as long as I don’t stop.

Stay with me. I know that it’s hard to keep motivation all the time and it’s okay when you fall off the wagon. Just make sure you don’t stay off.

When you get a flat tire do you get out of the car and slash the other three? No. You fix the one and get back on the road.

::

Week 12 weight loss: 3.6 lbs

Total weight loss: 18 lbs

[Subtle] Winnie the Pooh Nursery

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Since I was pregnant with Evelyn I knew I wanted to do a Winnie the Pooh nursery for her. Well now she’s two and she has a little brother sharing her room but I finally made the nursery that I had originally planned.

I love the imagination and stories of Winnie the Pooh and thankfully Evelyn does too. But I didn’t want it to be like WOAH! WINNIE THE POOH IS ALL OVER THESE WALLS! EEK!! So I did a more subtle version as opposed to just buying all the Pooh paraphernalia ever created.

Instead of covering the walls with images of that silly ol’ bear, I tried to capture the essence and silly fun of the hundred acre wood.

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The pinwheels were my way to bring in a little extra color and whimsy. It makes it feel like you’re playing out underneath the blue sky in the hundred acre wood.pooh nursery 004

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“Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders. What does “under the name” mean? asked Christopher Robin.’It means he had the name over the door in gold letters and lived under it.'”

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There is no hundred acre wood without at least one beehive.

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The bookshelf is the main focus of the room and it contains that only “toys” not put away in the closet. I want my kids to have the same love of stories that I do and I figured it’s best to start them young.

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The banner over the mirrored closet doors is my ode to Winnie the Pooh’s hero party for saving Piglet. If you don’t know the story, I highly suggest you read the book.

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My gallery wall is a mix of family pictures plus some Pooh Bear fun. I have maternity photos from both pregnancies, plus each of my sweet newborns next to their initials.

The quote is by A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh, “Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?”

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A page photocopied straight from the original Winnie the Pooh book.

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The shelves make it easy for this little button to see all her books so she can decide what to read next.

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I painted the dresser this bright coral color. I was a little nervous that all the bright colors in the room would be overwhelming but I think it turned out very happy. And my crudely recovered rocking chair ties all the colors together.

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pooh nursery collage

Free Printables for Weight loss motivation

So my Bossy’s Losing it posts have been a bit scattered. I had a little lapse in motivation but don’t worry, you’ll get a new one on Saturday and it will be loaded with what to do when you just don’t feel like staying on top of it.

Until then, I’ve made some free printables for you! Yay! In the last Bossy’s Losing it post, I listed several suggestions to use as your own weight loss mantra but I only posted my mantra as a printable. My lovely mother requested that I turn the rest of those mantra suggestions into printables as well. So I did.

And here they are for you! Just click on the photo and you can print it right from your browser or download it to your computer and then print it from there. Happy weight loss motivation!

I printed a couple of these out to hang on my fridge which is where I go when I want food. When I see them there they give me a chance to rethink my food choices and make healthier ones to stay on the right track.

better than where i was

ask yourself

do not stop

 

eat to live copy

 

hard things

 

kinda v really

 

success

suck it up

 

will you

 

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Meal planning made easy

Meal Planning made easy

Getting married was totes awesome and exciting as a young nineteen year old. It was full of new adventures but with that came a whole crap ton of new adult like responsibilities. By far the worst of these that I was burdened with as a wife was meal planning and grocery shopping.

I have spent countless hours over the past 5 years trying to make this process as easy and painless as possible. I tried talking my grocery list into my phone so I didn’t have to write it down. I tried copying and pasting recipes into a word doc to print out ingredients. I’ve tried complication spreadsheets of recipes and food groups and ingredients. In the end everything I tried was miserable and torturous and left us eating random cans of food in the pantry in an effort to avoid the process altogether.

That was until I found this app that TOTALLY changed my life. My. Whole. Life. Go to the app store right this instant and get MealBoard and your life will be changed too.

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So here’s why it’s so fabulous

Upload Recipes

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The app has a handful of recipe sites that it partners with and you can go to those sites and choose any recipe you want and hit the import button and BOOM it appears in your little recipe section of your app. Why is this necessary? Because from your list of recipes you can drag them into the calendar so you know what days you want to eat what. It even gives you the option to say what’s for breakfast lunch or dinner (if you’re one of those crazy people who plans ALL THE MEALS).

 

But Jocelyn, I don’t like recipes from any of the websites that partner with this app. I want my own recipes on there..this will never work..wahhh.

Stop your whining! The app gives you a little code to let you login online and sync it to your computer. Then it’s as simple as copying and pasting recipes from other websites or manually inputting some from your favorite cookbook. Yes this part may be a bit time consuming but you only have to do it once and then you’re done for like ever.

Speaking of time consuming but only doing it once, this app has another feature that seems really cool but I have yet to use. You can take an afternoon (or month depending on how much you have in your pantry) and use the pantry tab to input all the food already in your house. That way when you’re shopping you don’t keep buying more of the same thing. 16 boxes of lasagna noodles anyone? No? Ok.

Grocery Shopping List

But wait, it gets even better! Then you click on the little ‘shopping’ tab and you can sync your calendar of recipes to your shopping list. If you planned for the whole month, you can choose which days should sync to your list so you don’t have to shop for the whole month if you don’t want to. But that’s not even the best part.

The only thing I hate more than meal planning is grocery shopping. I’m always carrying around this massive list and end up leaving an aisle before I got everything I needed and having to go back and forth across the store like 50 times and it takes forever and then you add two babies into that and it’s a nightmare.

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Then this app syncs the ingredients to your recipes in the grocery list, it also organizes the food by category!!! WHAHHH?!?!? I’m totally forreal right now. So there you are in the produce section of the store and you just scroll down to the produce part of your list and get everything there and walk over to the deli knowing that you didn’t forget ANYTHING!

Then you can check it off bing bang boom. The grocery shopping feature is nicer than other lists I’ve used because it doesn’t delete a checked item right after you check it off. I’ve had problems of accidentally bumping into the check mark and losing an item before I realize that I still need to get it. On this app you click the trashcan button at the bottom and have the option of deleting all items or just deleting checked items. Or if you like to see a job well done you can just leave them there and be happy with all that’s in your cart.

 

If there are certain things you like to buy at different stores you can have shopping lists for each store you like to go to.

If you have items that you need to add to your list that aren’t in one of your recipes, no sweat man. You can add the item, input what aisle it’s in, the quantity you need, etc. But to make things go faster a lot of normal items are already inputed. Say you wanted to add bananas to your list. The app knows that bananas are in the produce section and it even predicts that you were typing bananas after only the b-a-n and just like that it’s added to your list.

No more fumbling with a piece of paper and pen. No more forgetting to get something in a certain aisle. It’s a beautiful thing my friend.

The only thing I’ve found that can be a little tricky is that sometimes the app gets confused and will put something in the wrong section of your list. Like one time 28 oz of tomatoes ended up in the produce section of my list instead of the canned section and I got a tad confused. Like how do you buy 28 oz of fresh tomatoes? But I digress.

Meal Plan On-the-go

 

The reason Meal Board works so perfectly for my situation is because it has eliminated the 3o minutes to an hour that I would have to sit down and plan our meals for the week or month and make a grocery list. In fact, I hardly plan at all anymore.

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Often times I’ll update my grocery list as we run out of something because my phone is pretty much always on my person. Then when I’m out doing things with the chillins and think to myself, “Hey self, you should run to the store and grab something for dinner tonight. But what will you cook?” I don’t have to resort to something boring like spaghetti. I just choose a recipe, sync it to my grocery list and before I know it I’m loading my bags into the trunk of my car while my son sleeps in his carseat and my daughter noshes on some M&Ms because the trip was short that she stayed happy the whole time and earned herself a treat.

Now yes, the app does cost a little bit of money, $4.00 to be exact, but if you’re wondering if that’s worth it than you obviously didn’t read the above post thoroughly enough. Go back and don’t skim this time…I’ll wait.

So what are you waiting for. Go get it and plan how you’re going to spend your extra 30min to an hour that you save every week. I think I’ll use that free time locked in a dark closet with headphones in listening to anything other than crying children. I can’t wait!

**I was not paid to write this, or asked to write this, heck, I paid to get the app myself. That’s how amaze balls it is.**

A little bit of fear and adrenaline

It’s important to do things in life that scare you. I don’t like to get too comfortable in the day to day. I want to mix it up and feel challenged. When you get scared, you get adrenaline and that’s something that makes life more exciting to live.

As summer came to a close I went on two little mini vacays which was nice since I didn’t get to much else this summer, what with having a newborn and all. Both of these trips allowed me the opportunity to push out of my comfort zone and get my heart racing. I’ll present them to you in two separate stories below:

**Note: I most likely did not probably make up or exaggerate most and or all of the following details in the two stories below. More or less…ya feel me?**

Story Number 1:

That one time I nearly got eaten and mauled to death by a carnivorous mountain bear of doom

 

 

For Labor Day weekend we decided to pack up and head into the mountains with some friends for a few fun days of cabin camping. Our group consisted of two burly mountain-ish men, two girly toddling toddlers, two mamas-one of whom was great with child, and a babbling, bubbling 2 month old tot. Hence the plan to camp in a cabin with actual beds and not in a tent with non actual bed-like aparatusi.

The night grew pitch black as we drove a ten passenger van up the windy mountain roads. At times it was hard to navigate and without cell reception, we were only guessing that we were going in the right direction.

My heart was beating fast as we took one hairpin turn after another in a vehicle that did not seem conducive to the road conditions. The road took a steep incline and we went up, up, up past a teeny outhouse looking building right off the side of the road.

“What is that,” I pondered.

“That’s where Jason Voorhees keeps the bodies.”

Just then a tree branch grabbed hold of the van’s windows with a loud screech. The loud gasp that escaped my mouth was apparently hilarious to my companions.

We unloaded the van using only the light of the full moon. On one of my trips back to the van I found myself outside alone. I grabbed a big bag of food and struggled to carry it toward the cabin when a rustling in the bushes not five feet away got my attention. I whipped my head to the right but nothing was there. When I brought up the strange sound, the rest of my friends agreed that they had heard it too. With that realization we locked the cabin doors and each hunkered down in one of the four side by side beds in the loft.

That night, our friend’s cute toddling tot woke up shrieking in what appeared to be a night terror. No amount of hugging, comforting, or assuring would calm her down. Magically she didn’t wake up the other kids. Not long after she finally relaxed back to sleep, us four adults were awakened by the the abrupt sound of hail pounding on the tin roof. The noise was so loud that Chris and I had to yell at the top of our voices to be heard and we were only a few inches apart. Once again, by some magical force, none of the kids woke up. Little did I know that this restless night of commotion was only a small foreshadowing to the terror that awaited me early the next morning.

On Saturday, being the fitness goddess that I am, I set my alarm early and woke up to workout. After a 30 minute Jillian Michaels workout DVD I was feeling pumped and energized and ready to start my day. I sat out on a wooden swing on the large wraparound porch, breathed in the cool mountain air and enjoyed the quiet stillness of the morning. As a mama of two littles it was a feeling I didn’t get to experience often.

I was feeling so jazzed about life that I decided to go for a quick little jog before everyone else woke up. The morning was so breezy and quiet and the view so pretty I figured it was the perfect atmosphere. I started my descent down the steep gravel driveway at a quick walk. The road was so steep that I was afraid I would slip if I sped up my pace at all. I went past the ‘Jason Voorhees’ shack, which didn’t look nearly as frightening in the light of day, and down the rest of the driveway where I found myself in a cul de sac. I stopped for a minute to look up at the beautiful trees that framed a gorgeous morning sky.

I pulled out my phone and began to take pictures of the mountains and trees and that’s when I heard it. A sound I can only describe as a loud exhaling of breath from the nostrils of a large beast. I gave myself whip lash as I turned to see where the sound came from. Just up from where I was standing, a few feet over from the subject of my photos, was a mass of black fur. I stood frozen in fear for what seemed like minutes. Then it’s head shot up and we locked eyes. It had seen me, the largest most ferocious looking bear I had ever seen outside of a natural history museum. It took me seconds to realize what I needed to do and I took off running back up the steep incline of the gravel driveway.

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^^The bear was just out of the right side of the frame of this photo

It seemed like the bear was quite a ways away from me but I had no idea how fast they could run or if my sudden movement would catch his attention. My thighs burned from my workout as I ran faster than I thought possible up the steepest incline. I had barely gotten halfway up the driveway when I heard the gravel crunch behind me. His steps were quick, something I’d compare to a gallop, and I knew he wasn’t far behind. I pushed on harder and faster, the cool air that I was just enjoying had begun to burn my lungs as I heaved in breath after breath.

I started to fear that my legs might give out at any moment but I knew that I couldn’t slow my pace let alone stop. I neared the top of the driveway and turned the corner to see the cabin in view. I was so close. As I turned I caught a glimpse of black fur in my peripheral vision. I tried to speed up but it was no use, my legs were weakening and I was losing momentum. I couldn’t help but slow down the tiniest bit and it was just enough to give him the advantage. He got close enough to me that I could hear his breath and nearly feel it on my back.

That gave me a shot of adrenaline that propelled me up the front porch and into the front door. I slammed it hard just in time to hear his massive body crash into it. My fingers fumbled in an attempt to lock the door as if that could somehow keep him. It was still for a moment and I thought he left but my peace was fleeting as only seconds later his body once again smashed into the door, harder this time.

The door came crashing into me and knocked me to the floor into the kitchen. I briefly used the door as a shield until his claws managed to pierce the wood and come within inches of my face. I managed to roll out from underneath it and grab the only weapon I could find: a broom.

The beast came charging at me, jaw wide, saliva spewing as he roared. I used the broom to brace open his gaping mouth and keep it from closing on me. We struggled for some time around the kitchen, him attempting to claw and bite at any part of me he could reach and me using every bit of strength I had left to push him back with that surprisingly useful broom. At last I was knocked against the fridge where a thought popped into my head.

Holding the bear off with the broom in one hand, I yanked the door open and ripped open a package of raw beef meant for our dinner that night. The bear took one whiff of the dripping package and tried to leap for it. I managed to throw the thing with some force out the front door and deep into the forest.

My hungry foe had lost all interest in me and ran straight for the meat, forgetting his original target. I stood there in the suddenly still kitchen panting, staring at the destruction and wondering what we were going to eat for dinner that night.

 

Cabin

Story #2

That one time I almost fell to my death from the top of a steep, slippery desert mountain side

 

Chris and I spent a lovely weekend in Colorado visiting his family and getting to see his brother who had just returned from a two year LDS mission in Virginia. We decided to take our time on the 6 hour drive back home and take in some sights to make the drive more enjoyable. Plus it would give the kids more time out of the car.

[Read more…]

Welcome Fall

welcome fall

It seemed like a normal summer morning, just like any other. My beautiful summer had been filled with mornings kissing the sweet cheeks of my new son and days tickling the chubby feet of my little princess. My summer newborn limited the season’s activities. Instead of sunbathing I was relaxing and recovering and nursing and cleaning and figuring out what it meant to suddenly be a mom of two. Many a Saturday morning was spent roaming garage sales and furnishing my newly finished house. I missed going on vacation or spending days at the pool, soaking up the rays. I wanted this summer to roll on indefinitely.

But then this morning came and I walked out onto the back deck, unassuming and it hit me. Fall is here.

My senses were overwhelmed. I could smell it in the crisp scent of decaying leaves. I could feel it as I closed my eyes and the breeze brushed across my face with a slight hint of chill. I could see it in the leaves that were slowly turning my yard red and yellow. And just like that I was done with summer.

All it took was a few minutes in the fresh fall air to remember why autumn is and will always be my favorite season. It’s getting to spend time outside without turning into a puddle of sweat. It’s the new colors that appear in nature right when you seem to have forgotten that the world could be anything but green. It’s the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon and baked goods that make your home feel the coziest. It’s that desire to cuddle and read all day. It’s coming inside smelling like smoke after spending an evening basking in the glow of a campfire. It’s the satisfying crunch of stepping on leaves. It’s the chance to redecorate your home in celebration of the new season and pull out the boxes of fall clothes that you forgot you had.

all my senses for fall

Amazingly, this feeling makes me nostalgic for the start of school. I always loved back to school shopping for a new fall wardrobe to show off to my friends and a plethora of office supplies. I know school has been in session for a month or so but it’s only now that I almost wish I could go back. Maybe it’s time to take a trip to the store and stock up on some notebooks and pens, for old times sake.

This year I’m ready for new traditions with my young family. I’m ready to introduce my toddler to hay rides and corn mazes and pumpkin patches. I can’t wait to see her eyes light up as she learns about all the magic that fall brings. I’m excited to share with her my love of Halloween and get to relive my childhood through her tiny self.

its the new colors

It’s okay for autumn to be a time of nostalgia and remembering all the beautiful childhood memories that shaped me into the person I am today. But that nostalgia is the fire beneath me, motivating me create similar moments for my kids that will beautiful memories for them when they’re building families of their own.

Welcome Fall. Won’t you stay a while?

A Thankful Heart by David A. Christensen + Giveaway

Note: I did receive a complimentary copy of this book but all opinions are my own.

A Thankful Heart blog tour

Summary:

This LDS Non-Fiction book is written by a former mission president and retired religion professor at BYU-Idaho. Each of the 31 chapters focuses on different aspect of how to incorporate thankfulness into your life. The chapters begin with a quote from a leader in the church, continue with a personal anecdote with suggestions on how that aspect of thankfulness is important, and close with questions and scripture references to further your study. The short chapters are broken down into 31 easy-to comprehend principles so you can read it over the course of a month, a chapter a day, and get your daily dose of gratitude.

Verdict:

This book gave me answers to questions that I didn’t know I had. My life as a busy mother of two is hectic and stressful and I often end my days feeling like I haven’t done anything worth while. I have gotten into the very bad habit of complaining a lot. This book showed me why it’s important to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and how just slowing down and opening my mind will allow me to notice the Lord’s hand in everything in my life.

My prayers have become more meaningful. My day to day struggles have become a little less difficult. My attitude of complaining is slowly shifting into a more optimistic view of the Lord’s plan for me. I would have never thought that the key to being happier is being more grateful but I am living proof that it is.

My hectic busy schedule taking care of a toddler and an infant doesn’t leave a lot of time for reading. I found that these chapters are short enough that I could easily read one a day. The questions at the end of each chapter are so thought-provoking and have given me great material for my daily journal writing. On days where I didn’t have a lot of time, I would read the chapter and read through the questions but maybe not write my answers in my journal or look up the individual scriptures. On other days where the kids had a longer nap time, I could take my time really pondering how I could improve my life and way of thinking by the principle taught in that chapter. It really is so perfect to be able to incorporate one principle a day; they really build off each other.

I never would have guessed that there were so many different aspects to gratitude but it just goes to show how you can really incorporate it into every little part of your life. I’ve started keeping an ongoing list of my blessings in my phone, it’s a great place to keep it since I can update it anytime. On hard days I’ve been able to take a step back and see all of the Lord’s tender mercies. It’s been humbling to recognize that everything I have and everything I do, I have not done alone. It’s been important for me to realize Heavenly Father’s guiding hand in my life and see that he is setting me on my path and giving me all the tools, I just need to recognize it and follow his plan. And then thank Him for never leaving me comfortless.

I really cannot recommend this book highly enough. I want to buy a copy for everyone I know. It’s so easy to read a little bit everyday and Christensen is a great writer. His personal anecdotes are on point and enjoyable to read. This is not a book to read once and set on a shelf to collect dust. It’s a book full of helpful ideas, questions and quotes to refer to on a regular basis.

So are you ready to change your life by developing an attitude of gratitude? You can win an electronic copy of David A. Christensen’s, A Thankful Heart right here on this very blog (lucky you). The instructions to enter are listed below:

  1. Share this post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest
  2. Comment below what you are most thankful for

You have to do both things to enter (I’ll be checking!) Good luck! You have until this Saturday (9/26) at 11pm MST.

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For more info on how to purchase the book or where to get updates from the author on upcoming books and giveaways:
Check out the authors website :: Follow him on Facebook :: Or Instagram @david.a.christensen

Bossy’s Losing it Week 7: Weight loss Mantra

So remember how I gained weight last week? Turns out it was exactly the motivation I needed to break my bad habits and kick my butt in gear to do better. I definitely made up for it this past week! I lost 3 pounds!!

What I learned this week:

As much as you want to accomplish something like weight loss sometimes it’s easy to forget that’s it’s what you really want and why you really want it. As evidenced by my weight gain last week.

The biggest thing that helped me this week, besides my determination to make up for my gain, was this little diddy that I repeated to myself roughly 50 times a day.
eat to live
Usually after the kids are down for a nap and the house is quiet I like to reward myself with something delicious. I make eating more of an event and less of a source of nourishment.

Repeating this to myself reminded me that there are more ways to enjoy myself and other things I can do besides eating.

When I go out to eat, my initial thought is that if I’m going to go out and spend money I’m going to make the most of it and really treat myself to something delicious.

But this mantra has helped me realize that eating out is not a reason to indulge. It’s not like I’ll never eat out again in my life. My purpose for eating is first to sustain life and second to enjoy what I’m eating.

This isn’t to say that I can’t ever eat purely for the sake of treating myself to some mouth watering morsel of goodness; I still have a root beer float nearly every night. It’s just to remind myself that eating for enjoyment is the exception, not the rule.

Non-scale Successes:

When I started this 7 weeks ago I took a “before” picture and it was not pretty. Maybe when I get to where my after should be I’ll let you see it. But in the before photo I have zero visible muscle definition. I have been periodically taking photo updates and I can see a slight difference.

I can actually see some muscles starting to show up in my arms and legs. And I can see that my body is slowly starting to shrink. It’s a pretty good feeling.

So darling readers, if any of you are going through this weight loss journey like me, it’s time for you to come up with your own weight loss mantra. Think about what motivates you or what will encourage you to kick a bad habit or keep going when you really want to quit. If you’re having a hard time, here are some suggestions:

  • A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips
  • I can do hard things
  • It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, only that you don’t stop
  • I may not be where I want to be but I’m better than where I was
  • If you kinda do it, it kinda works. If you really do it, it really works
  • Success requires a backbone not a wishbone
  • What you eat in private shows up in public
  • If you’re driving and you get a flat tire, do you get out of the car and slash the other three? No, you fix it and get back on the road.
  • The question isn’t can you, it’s will you?
  • Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.
  • Suck it up and someday you won’t have to suck it in

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Week 7 loss: 3 lbs

Total loss: 12.2 lbs