Sweat It to Shred It: The Eight Week Active Lifestyle Challenge – Week 1


After deciding to make a lifestyle change, I found and started following Sarah’s Day on YouTube.  She is a fitness YouTuber in Australia.

In May she released her first ever e-book, Sweat It to Shred It, an eight week active lifestyle challenge built to burn fat, detoxify your body, promote digestion, and sculpt. The best part is this plan is structured in a way that you do not need a gym membership.  It is broken into four types of workouts: sweaty shredders, toning power, challenges, and activity days.  The eight weeks are laid out with days for each type of workout, adding days when you get to the fourth week until the end.


I just finished the first week of this plan yesterday and love it so far!  I am able to get in a great workout before going to work in the morning.  The longest workout took me about 40 minutes to complete counting the warm up.  I like working out in the mornings so I don’t have to worry about how to fit it in later in the day.  And let me tell you too, these workouts are no joke!  I am still doing Zumba several times a week and had already increased my workouts before starting this challenge, so I considered myself to be somewhat in shape.

What I really like too, is even after the eight week challenge is over I still have these workouts to refer back to.  Even if I don’t want to do another eight week challenge, I can use these to arrange my own workouts.

I can’t wait to start week two tomorrow!


My Healthy Lifestyle Change

Hey guys!  I thought I would drop in and let you know what I have been up to this summer.  Other than enjoying the beautiful weather and flowers, I have decided to make a lifestyle change.  I had been complaining to my friends for months that I always felt so bloated and huge all the time.  I finally decided the only why to change the way I felt was to make changes to my lifestyle.

I had gotten into a real bad habit of eating sugary sweets everyday and sometimes multiple times a day.  Anything chocolate or sour gummy worms were my big weaknesses.  Although I was still mostly only drinking water, I was eating horrible.  I was eating a lot of frozen pizzas, frozen dinners, cheese fries, and canned foods.  These foods have a lot of sodium, which will increase water retention and bloating.  I finally got to the point that I wanted to make a change to feel healthy and just better about myself.

The first thing was to change my eating habits.  I decided to cut out my sugary weaknesses and became more mindful of nutrition labels.  Before I never even looked at the nutrition labels, I just simply ate it.

In doing research on how to change my diet and the foods I eat, I read multiple times to always stick to the perimeter of the grocery store.  Buying mostly fresh produce, meats, and dairy products.  I only get a few items from isles these days that include granola, whole grains, and nuts.  The reason you want to focus more on the outside of the store is because the isles are where most of the processed foods live with higher sodium contents and other less nutritious ingredients.

I am sure everyone has heard that eating healthy is more expensive.  After changing my eating habits for about a month now, I would agree with that statement.  However, there are ways to help the budget and lower your grocery bill.  One thing I have been doing is getting up on Saturday mornings and going to local farmer’s markets.  It is a great way to get your produce at a cheaper price.  Plus a lot of times they will throw in extras if you buy several items.  This is my produce haul from a last week and I spent only $15 in total!


I got so much last week that I didn’t need to buy as much yesterday so I only spent $5 total.  I didn’t take a picture but I got 2 green peppers, 5 cucumbers, a lot of sweet banana peppers, a few hot peppers, and a tomato.  Someone I know also grew some zucchini and had way more than they could eat so she gave me some.  Score!

As far as meats go, I buy more when items are on sale.  For example, my husband and I eat a lot of chicken.  So when it is on sale I buy more than usual and freeze it.  Then we will work the rest of our meal plans around other meats on sale for that week.

Another lifestyle change I have made is adding more to my exercise routine.  I am still doing Zumba at least two to three times a week, but I have started working out everyday in some capacity.  Whether it be walking the dogs in the afternoon or going to the gym before work to get in a 30 minute workout in, I have been making more of an effort to get active everyday.  I never thought I would be someone who could workout before going into the office at 8, but I have surprised myself!  I have been doing this about two days a week and it really does get your day going.  I feel better for the rest of the day and don’t have to worry when I am going to fit in my exercise.  Plus it doesn’t take time away from being at home in the evenings with my family.

I made this picture comparison yesterday, a month after making my healthy lifestyle change.  I can tell a difference in how my clothes feel and how much better I feel, but after seeing this picture I am even more motivated.


For me it is not about being skinny, but feeling healthy.  I am still figuring some things out when it comes to food and how to eat.  I started out counting calories with the MyFitnessPal app, and while that helped tremendously, it became cumbersome to log in all my foods.  I found it hard to log foods we make at home because I would have to enter each ingredient, and we cook at home a lot.  But what this app did do for me was make me more aware of serving sizes.  I also need to do more research on macros.  I know that a balanced meal and snack should include a lean protein, healthy fat, and a carbohydrate.  But sometimes I find this to be hard and confusing.

I will say this change is and has been fun and challenging.  I love the results I can see and feel and that only motivates me more to continue.  I really enjoy going to the farmer’s markets on Saturday mornings shopping for great fresh produce and meeting new people.  Getting a good sweat on everyday for only a few minutes has given me more energy and makes me feel so much better.

If you are looking to make a change to feel better now is the time.  I promise you won’t regret it.  There will be times you may stray a little, but if you eat something a little naughty or skip your workout today there is always tomorrow.  As long as you feel better mentally and physically, that is all that matters.

If you have any suggestions or tips to help me along my way please let me know.  I know there are many articles and apps out there to help with managing a healthy diet and workout routine, so many it can get overwhelming.




Where Have I Been?

Hi Everyone!  Hope you are having a great summer!  I know it has been awhile since I posted and I wanted to do a quick little update.

I have decided to take a little break from blogging this summer.  The main reason is because after starting this blog I found myself spending more money on makeup than before.  I felt like I needed to buy items so that I could review them for you guys. Although I do love giving you my thoughts on products, I could tell things were getting a little out of control.  I felt like it was becoming the opposite of “Beauty on a Budget”.  I was buying things I didn’t necessarily need so I could make sure I felt like I had content.

In no way am I going to stop blogging!  However, I have decided to take a step back this summer.  I don’t want this to feel like a second job.  I want it to stay fun and not hold myself to making 3 posts a week.  I am such a structured person it is easy for me to put additional stress on myself to be consistent.  One piece of advice I would have for anyone starting a blog for fun, don’t do research on how to blog.  Just go for it!  For me those articles only made me feel like I needed to keep up with a certain standard.  If you are starting a blog to bring in income, then that is a different story.  But if you are like me and are just wanting to share something you love or are passionate about, just follow your heart.  You will know when you are creatively ready to write a post.

I do have some new products I have been using (that I needed) that I can’t wait to share my thoughts on.  I am not sure when those posts will be coming, but stay tuned.

One thing I do have to share with you is chop my hair off this summer!!  I am still deciding on whether to keep it short or let it grow again.  I have mixed feelings since I like it both ways!!



Enjoy your summer and take care!

If I Organized a Beauty Blogger Panel…Who Would it Be


Eventbrite is the largest self-service ticketing platform in the world that helps people find and plan events.  I was recently inspired by them to talk about my ideal of the perfect panel of bloggers.

Since I am primarily a beauty blogger, below is a list of just a few of the beauty bloggers that I would love to set down with and talk all things beauty.

  • Styled by McKenz – I love to read McKenzie’s fashion posts.  When it comes to fashion she has an eye for style and good bargains.  Whether it is casual or dressy, she has you covered!
  • Her Quarters – Amy does amazing reviews of many different products.  I enjoy reading her reviews and learning about new products on the market.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Designer – I started reading this blog when she was writing about her recent wedding, which was beautiful.  I love reading her posts to see what things she is into at the moment.
  • Beauty by a Dutch Girl – I love reading Anne’s beauty product reviews, especially since she uses a lot of drugstore products!
  • Healthy Glow – This blog does a great job of reviewing a good mix of high end and drugstore products.

If I were to moderate this panel of lovely ladies, here are a few questions I would be sure to ask:

  1. What made you want to start a blog?
  2. When did you first become interested in beauty/fashion?
  3. What is your favorite brand of makeup/clothing?
  4. How do you describe your style?
  5. Who/What is your fashion inspiration?
  6. If you had to live with only one beauty product, what would it be?
  7. I have a post on my blog called, My Makeup Story, and it talks about my journey with using makeup.  What would be your Makeup Story?
  8. What is your ideal of the perfect day?

I think once we all got talking we could go on for hours.  This is one reason that I started my blog, to communicate with a community of people that share the same interests.

I have seen several beauty bloggers I follow on YouTube participate in conference panels like this.  They always seem to have a great time and it is interesting to see how they answer certain questions. Doing this post has made me think about how great it would be to actually get to meet some of the bloggers I follow in person. The beauty bloggers I mentioned above live in all different places.  It would be difficult to get even a few of us in the same place, but if ever possible it would be a blast!

If you are thinking about planning a conference or event in your area, check out Eventbrite’s online registration page!





Why I Drink Only Water…..Mostly


Years ago I only drank soda, or pop as I would call it.  I hated water and could not bring myself to drink it at all.  Boy have things changed!

Several years ago I was diagnosed with acid reflux.  After doing some research I found that one of the triggers for acid reflux is caffeine, so I decided to cut caffeine out of my diet.  I first started by drinking clear drinks like Sprite and 7 Up.  But eventually I started working in water with lemon to cut down on my sugar intake too.  Now water is basically all that I drink, with or without lemon.  I will have the occasional Sprite or 7 Up, but I try to limit those to once a week or less.

If I am weak and do drink more than one pop in a week, I can tell a big difference. Although it tastes so good at the time, it makes me feel bad.  My stomach will become bloated and I feel sluggish, but the more sugar I drink the more I want.  As a result, I have learned that when there are times I have to eat fast food, I can replace the fountain soft drink with a bottled water.

Water is so much better for me and I am glad that for the most part that is all that I drink. Drinking water helps my body stay hydrated and help flush out toxins in my body.  I also know that drinking water is great for my skin.

Some of my friends can’t understand how I only drink water all the time, especially for breakfast.  But it is like anything else, it is all in what you get used to.

How much water do you drink?

Fitness Tracker or is it just another bracelet?


Fitness trackers are very popular.  Many people wear them and they are a great way to keep up with your daily activity.  My employer offers health programs often that you can participate in for an incentive.  My fitness tracker is a great way for me to log my activity to meet the requirements for some extra cash in my pocket.

I love bracelets and apparently it shows because I received four for Christmas this year, all from different people.  There was something about wearing my beautiful bracelets and then putting on my fitness tracker with the thick rubber arm band.  It just didn’t look right.  I started not wanting to wear my tracker, which makes it hard to log my activity for some extra cash.

I had a meeting with a girl about a month or so ago and noticed a bracelet she was wearing.  It was silver, but it looked like it had a small screen.  I asked her about it and turns out it was a fitness tracker in disguise!  It was the Fitbit Alta and she had purchased a fashion band to use instead of the standard rubber arm band.

I did some research and decided to purchase one as a small present to myself.  I received it this week and have been very happy with it.  It does everything my previous tracker did and more.  It tracks inactivity, steps, calories burned, active minutes, distance traveled, and sleep.  But it also links to my phone so that, when my phone is near, I can receive text messages and see who is calling.  I find this feature helpful if I am in meetings and can’t look at my phone.

The best part is, it doesn’t look like the typical fitness band!


Props to anyone that noticed the paw sticking out underneath my hand 🙂 

I purchased my Fitbit Alta from Best Buy for $129.95.  This was the average price about anywhere I looked online (and believe me I looked a lot of places), plus Best Buy was offering free two day shipping.  The gold bangle band I got from Amazon for $32.90.

I can also say it seems to be very accurate.  Last night I went to a thirty minute step class before going to Zumba class that lasts an hour.  My active minutes yesterday was tracked at 92 minutes.  You can’t get much more accurate than that!


The Meaning Behind My Wrist Tattoo


I have been wanting to get a tattoo to honor my furbabies for awhile.  My husband and I got our first dog after we had been married a little over a year.  He was my first dog ever and it didn’t take long for him to turn me into a dog person.  So at the end of January, I decided three small paws on my left wrist would be perfect.



Our first dog was Cartman, a Weimaraner and Black Lab mix.  And yep, you guessed it, his name did come from the show South Park.  My husband is a big fan.  He was such a smart and caring dog.  He and his siblings had been dropped off at a local convenience center.  A high school friend had found them and was finding homes for each one.  Cartman was the only boy of the litter.  The day we brought him home I was holding him in my lap and one of my favorite songs came on the radio.  As I started to sing, he started to howl.  I knew at that moment having a dog was going to be great.  Sadly, Cartman lost his battle with bone cancer two years ago this March.  It was one of the hardest days of my life.  But I cherish all the great memories we have with him.



Only a few weeks after we got Cartman, my husband surprised me with Chloe.  Chloe is a German Shepard mix.  We are not sure exactly what she is mixed with, but we think it may be a type of husky given the way she sheds.  My husband felt like Cartman needed a companion and I think he knew that I would be iffy about adopting another dog so soon.  He knew I wouldn’t be able to say no once he put her in my lap.  My husband saved Chloe from the local animal shelter.  I named Chloe after the character from Smallville, one of the best shows on the CW channel in my opinion.  I really miss that show.  As you can tell we were really into television shows at the time we got these babies…haha.  She turned 12 in December and has grown into a beautiful dog.  She still misses her boy, Cartman, but she has a little sister to keep her company.



Three years ago this June, we adopting a Pit Bull and Golden Retriever mix we call Cadence.  My husband is a drummer and was in the marching band when we met in high school.  My favorite part was when they would “cadence” on and off the field.  We knew we wanted to stick with our “c” theme, so it was perfect.  We adopted her from a local rescue organization.  I knew when I saw her picture online we needed to adopt her.  She is the smartest dog!  She already knew how to sit, lay down, and shake before we got her.  I tell my husband all the time that she can understand English.  From the stories we have been told, we think she came from an abusive home. Although you would not know it by her demeanor.  She is so sweet and loves people.

I love my new tattoo!  I have three other tattoos on my back and they are all of things I love and have a lot meaning to me.  I knew I wanted my first every day visible tattoo to be something small but with just as much meaning.  I don’t think I could have picked anything better!