5 Reasons to try Hello Fresh

This week I decided to give Hello Fresh a shot! One of my coworkers has been using the meal service for several weeks now and highly recommended it. For those that don’t know Hello Fresh is a meal subscription service. Each week a box of fresh ingredients and recipe cards show up on your door step. All you need to do is follow the super simple instructions and in usually 30 minutes or less you have a very tasty meal. I can’t tell you how nice it was not going to the grocery store this week!!!

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Here are my top 5 reasons why you need to give Hello Fresh a try right now!

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All the ingredients are pre measured. I always hate when I’m trying new recipes and I need a teaspoon for like 5 different things. I end up spending so much money on all the ingredients that I only need a small pinch of and then leaving them go to waste. The nutrition info is also spelled out completely! For those that are counting calories it is super easy to track!

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The recipe cards are SO simple to follow. There are pictures and detailed instructions for every single step! I also loved that there is a handy ruler on the side of each card. So when a recipe says to cut 1/4 inch rounds, you can easily cut 1/4 inch rounds.

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Who wants to go to the grocery store? Not me. I loved taking the week off from a big grocery store trip.

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The Hello Fresh meals may be simple to make, but they will definitely help you step up your creativity game. I’m guilty of making the same thing over and over…. Not with Hello Fresh!  The meals that were sent to us were all things I had never made before.

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Penne Arrabbiate with Pancetta? Something I would never think to make — especially on a weeknight!

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{ Crispy Chicken Milanese }

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You can save $40! Use my promo code and your first box is $40 off. If you choose the classic box with 3 meals for 2 people it will be $29 out the door. That is a STEAL for fresh ingredients for 3 meals sent right to your doorstep! You can’t even buy Big Mac meals for 2 for that price!

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Give it a try and let me know what you think!!

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Not to toot my own horn, but how awesome do these look?

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Just Between Friends Shopping Take 2

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In the Fall I had the pleasure of shopping at the Just Between Friends Detroit/Madison Heights sale and had such a great time! You can read all about my trip here. When they contacted me to shop again at their Spring sale I jumped at the chance!

** I was provided compensation to shop and share my experiences. All opinions are my own!

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For those that don’t know Just Between Friends is a consignment style mom to mom sale. Items are organized by size and priced 50-90% below retail. I love that there are no crazy lines and no sorting to find the size you are looking for. Best part? I was able to be in and out in just about 30 minutes! I can’t say that for a normal mom to mom sale! Usually I spend so much time hunting for the tables that have my size I really waste a lot of time!

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Not only are there racks of name brand clothes, but there are also toys, gently used books, strollers, maternity clothes, and other baby items!

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The rock & play sleeper was a must have when the babes were small and there were 3 there tonight at a STEAL of a price!

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I also found some great deals on strollers!

 

Oh, and there was a HUGE selection of shoes! I couldn’t believe how great of shape they were all in!

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I mean how cute are these flannel Toms?!

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The sale starts tomorrow 4/7/16 and here are the details:

Thursday, April 7th

9:00am-7:00pm $3.00 Admission benefits HAVEN in Oakland County

Friday,April 8th

9:00am-3:00pm FREE ADMISSION

Saturday,April 9th

830am-1pm Volunteer Pre-sale on 50% off sale, please have volunteer pass to enter, must have worked a 4 hour shift to receive this pass.

9:00am to 1:00pm – 50% OFF SALE on items without a star.(Some items left at full price at the request of the consignor) Consignors choice to discount their items
FREE admission

**They accept Ca$h,Amx,Discover,MC,Visa

Now, onto my FINDS! I tried to get stuff for both the babes and ended up with a pretty even split! I spent a grand total of $53!
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First let me start by saying that as the babes get older I find it harder and harder to buy second hand clothes. Bigger kids are harder on their clothes and they just aren’t as nice as the little sizes. Tonight I found some LIKE NEW stuff!
For Ari:
{Tucker & Tate plaid shirt, Carters Camo shirt, Cherokee lightweight hoodie, 2 pairs of Carters pants in amazing condition, a Gap Star Wars tee, and Keen sandals}

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For Giada:

{4 Cherokee brand dresses, a Gymboree dress, a pair of Keen sandals, an Old Navy denim flutter top, and two pairs of fun summer shorts}

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I think this one is my favorite with the tulle peeking out the bottom. It’s going to look adorable on her in the summer!

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I bought this one in a size 4 and I think it will be perfect for Fall. It has little foxes on it!

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There you have it. 15 pieces of clothing + 2 pairs of shoes for $53. …. and it only took my 30 minutes to find it all! I call that a mom win!

If you are in the area you should go check it out!

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center

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Being outside is probably Ari’s favorite thing in the world. He is a typical boy and just loves getting his hands dirty. It’s always hard to keep him from going stir crazy during the cold winter months. We thought Spring was finally here in MI, but the weather seemed to have other plans.  Last week I took a few days off work to spend time with my sister in law and we planned some activities with the kids.

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{ Ari’s zip up is from Old Navy, jeans are Target, and shoes are Children’s Place | Giada’s pants are Matilda Jane, top is Old Navy, jean jacket is Target, and Bow is from Bow Kay | My ripped jeans are American Eagle High Rise jeggings and I will never wear another brand of jeans after getting these! }

The weather was dreary and instead of staying inside we visited the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center in downtown Detroit. I’m always looking for an excuse to head downtown so this was the perfect opportunity!

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As you can see it was extra dreary out so we were anxious to get in and burn off some energy!

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The DNR Outdoor Adventure Center is located at 1801 Atwater and it’s right along the riverfront. If we were to return when the weather was a little nicer I would definitely pack a picnic lunch to enjoy outside!

When we first got inside the babes ran straight to the giant tree house. It is a tree fort with a slide and a ladder to climb to the second floor. I liked that there was an employee standing near the second floor exit of the treehouse in case a parent didn’t follow right away.

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The activity center is in an old warehouse and features 3 floors of activities and hands on exhibits for kids of all ages. At 2.5 and 4.5 the babes were engaged the entire time! It was definitely age appropriate for them!

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All of the activities were related to the outdoors. From a fishing simulator to kayaking to snow mobile driving to crossing a stream of water. There was so much for them to touch and do. IMG_9133IMG_9144IMG_9170

I think they liked the helicopter the best! They took turns being the pilot and they loved touching all the buttons!

 

I’ve taken the kids to several activity centers and nothing really kept their attention as much as the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center did. We were there for almost 2 hours and I had to bribe the babes to leave!

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If you are looking for an excuse to get out of the house and down to Detroit, I definitely recommend checking it out! Prices are super reasonable as well!

OAC Prices

Adults (age 13-61) $5
Seniors (age 62 and older) $3
Children (ages 2-12) $3
Children under age 2 Free
Annual family membership $50

 

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21 Day Fix Must Haves

Thinking about getting started with the 21 day fix?

IMG_8623I have had great results with the program so far! You can read about my very first review here. I’ve completed 3 rounds of the 21 day fix and one 3 day refresh. In just 11 weeks I’ve lost 30 lbs! That’s the equivalent of losing Giada! She weighs exactly 30 lbs! The number one reason why I’ve been successful is because I have been in a challenge group with my coach and other people with similar goals. That accountability has helped keep me motivated.

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Along with that support, here are my top 10 items that helped me be successful with the 21 day fix. Some of the stuff you probably already have at home!

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1.Personal blender

I started off drinking my Shakeology from this Hamilton Beach blender… it did the trick, and at 17.99 it certainly did not break the bank! I loved how small it was and the fact that I could take it with me to go. But when I added any greens to my shake they were left chunky. I could never get the smooth consistency I was looking for. I recently upgraded to a Nutri Ninja Professional and it has been life changing for me! I love that I can just blend in the morning and walk out the door with same cup I blended in. I blend in spinach, kale, and bananas and would never even know there were there! I make Shakeology every single day, so the price tag of 79.99 for this model was totally justifiable for me!

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2. Lunch and dinner containers

Meal prep is a huge component to the 21 day fix. The more you do ahead of time, the easier your week will be. Just think, if you have a fridge full of healthy meals waiting for you, you are more likely to eat those healthy meals.  Since I usually prep for my husband and I there are typically 10 lunches and 10 dinner, so 20 total meals. I wanted containers that were universal and stacked nicely in the fridge. I found these at Meijer and they were super inexpensive! If you have any meal prep questions feel free to reach out to me personally! bestdressedbabes at gmail dot com

Here are a few of my meal preps:

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3. Scale

Duh. Weighing in at the beginning and end of each challenge is key to keep motivation up. If you aren’t seeing a huge change, make sure to check your measurements! Don’t forget to always weigh in on the same day and at the same time. I use Monday morning as my official weigh in each week.

4. Flexible Measuring tape

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Sometimes your results are easily measured on the scale, but sometimes the scale doesn’t move, but your body is changing. Make sure to have a flexible measuring tape to measure your body before and after each challenge. You can find these at any craft store or on amazon.

5. Veggie spiralizer

This tool is a great way to get in some of your veggies! I love to use this to make zoodles (zucchini noodles). For 8.99 at target, this item is a great kitchen gadget to have!

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6. Large water bottle

 Water is SO key to weight loss. It is recommended to drink double your body weight in water. So if you weigh 150lbs, then you should be drinking 75 oz of water at minimum each day. Having a large water bottle makes it easier to keep the water flowing. I like to use my Shakeology cup as a water bottle since it’s 25 ounces. Makes it easy to measure as I go!

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7. 21 Day Fix App

This FREE APP is incredible! I cannot tell you how much I use it! Not only does it allow you to track all your meals for the day, but it gives you a visualization of how much food you have left. Stumped on what to eat? Click on any of the categories and it lists out foods for that color! It also provides a visual for your body measurements and you can track day 1 and then day 21.

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8. Measuring cups

Sometimes your containers are in the dishwasher so it’s good to know the equivalents in actual measurements so you can use your own measuring cups instead.

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9. Seasonings & Extracts

It is recommended to reduce as much extra sodium as possible. I like to use Mrs. Dash for extra flavor to my recipes. It’s salt free! I also use vanilla, almond, and peppermint extracts for “free” on the plan. They are a great way to flavor your coffee without adding sugar or cream to it!

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10. Shakeology

Last, but certainly not least, Shakeology is crucial to my success. Yes you can certainly follow the meal plan and workouts without Shakeology, but I don’t think you will see as great of a success. Personally I think it helps me to avoid sugars and processed foods during the day because I have started my day with such a yummy meal. I don’t find myself missing sugary foods because every day I know I’m getting my sweet Shakeology. If you search pinterest there are a million different recipes to modify your shake each day if you get bored of drinking the same thing day in and day out. I like to drink mine with cashew milk and add a frozen banana and some kale. I drink it in the car on my way to work!

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Any questions, let me know! I’m glad to help!

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Best Dressed Easter {A Spool Full of Sugar}

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Let’s just take a minute and cue all the heart eyes….

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…because this dress is that good!

I had my heart set on finding Giada a handmade Easter dress this year and A Spool Full of Sugar knocked it out of the park. A few weeks ago I found her handmade shop on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her style. When we got ahold of her “Ella” dress it was love at first sight and I knew I needed more of where that came from.

 

When I first contacted A Spool Full of Sugar about an Easter dress she already had the 3 fabrics she planned on using. We kind of went back and forth about the style that she was going to create and we both agreed that a flutter dress would be perfect for Easter!

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We also both agreed that big pockets (to put eggs in of course) were an absolute must! After that I let A Spool Full of Sugar do the rest. When this dress (and matching bow tie) arrived in my mailbox I was speechless! The dress was absolute perfection.

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Every last detail was perfectly crafted even down to the 3 colorful buttons on the back. Everything about it screamed Easter!

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Of course a handmade dress isn’t complete without a coordinating headband and  Darling Delilah never ceases to amaze me! This headband is the perfect compliment and Giada loves it!

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…and in case any of you were wondering, Giada’s shoes are Mini Melissa and I recently found them for a great price at Saks Off Fifth! Not only do they smell amazing, but Giada just loves that they are bunnies! Looks like they no longer have them in pink, but you can grab the purple here.

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There you have it, the perfect little Easter ensemble! Hopefully our Michigan weather will cooperate!

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4 Must Have iPhone Photo Apps

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I’m about to share a pretty big secret that I’m a little embarrassed to admit. I’ve been blogging for just over 2 years now and have absolutely no clue how to use photoshop, or lightroom, or any other photo editing software on my computer. I’ve gotten by on using my trusty old iPhone to create any image I use. In this day in age I find myself using my iPhone for everything so why not utilize it to create images for my blog too? I’d love to share my go to apps with all of you. No need to download a million photo apps (because yes there a quite a few out there)… here are my top 4 Must Have iPhone photo apps.  Everything I need to get done happens on these 4 apps.

1. PhotoGrid

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This app is a simple app to add up to 15 photos and make them into a grid. There is also an option to make them into a collage of sorts with various background choices. I use this app a ton!

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2. A Beautiful Mess

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This app has tons of borders, fun doodles to add, and cute phrases! Here are some pics that I made with this one.

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3. Rhonna Designs

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Can we say gold foil font? I love Rhonna because there is an option to use gold foil for the font. I also love the different font options that look hand drawn.

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4. Word Swag

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 This is my newest obsession! Its so simple to use. Basically you type in the words you want to use and there are a MILLION different fonts/layouts to use. It’s so simple yet makes some great graphics.

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There you have it. The 4 must have iPhone photo apps. Anything else that I am missing out on? Let me know!

21 Day Fix Costco Staples

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I recently finished my second round of the 21 day fix and could not be more impressed with my results!!! You can read about my first round here. I’m losing weight, inches, but the best part is that I’m not feeling like I’m depriving myself. The meal plan has been simple to follow and I love preparing my meals on Sunday for the whole week.

Whenever someone switches to a healthier, cleaner meal plan I know money is always a concern. It’s true, eating fresh produce, organic products, and lean meats can be pricey, but if you are smart about it, it actually doesn’t cost that much money. One of my favorite ways to save money is by shopping at Costco! Prices are lower because you are shopping in bulk, but that just means you can shop less!

I go to Costco probably every week or every other and here is what I get:

Produce

I love their broccoli because it is already cut up and ready to go! Nothing makes more of a mess than cutting your own broccoli. Sorry, I don’t have time for that! Their deep green blends are perfect for salads, smoothies, and even a great addition to eggs. I also grab their tomato bites, English cucumbers, Brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes.

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Meat

This is probably where the bulk of your grocery bill goes to. I love getting the 4 pack of ground turkey because we use it every single day. I use it for greek meat balls, taco bowls, and mini meatloaves. I also get their chicken that comes packaged with 6 sets of 2 chicken breasts. I don’t know about you, but I HATE cleaning chicken. I feel like having to clean 2 or 4 breasts at a time is so much easier than some of the other “bulk” packs of chicken. I use chicken to make buffalo chicken bowls, chicken fajitas, and taco chicken salads!

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Almond Butter

This jar of heaven has one ingredient in it; almonds. I use a teaspoon (or 2) with an apple as a 21 day fix snack. This jar is HUGE too and lasts a long time!

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Tzatziki Yogurt Dip

I’m not a 21 day nutrition expert but I could this greek yogurt dip as a red container when I am measuring my food. Since a serving of red is 3/4 of a cup I allow myself 1/2 a cup of meat and then 1/4 cup of this “dip”. Cutting back on dips was hard for me so this was a great solution!

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Quinoa Tabouli

Are you noticing a Greek theme? This past week I’ve been really into Greek flavors so I grabbed this up and used it as a yellow!

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Kalamata Olives

Can’t forget your 10 olives you can have a day!  This jar is HUGE. I mean it. I couldn’t believe it was only $7.99. The small jar I bought at Kroger the week before was probably less than a quarter of this and cost me $5.79! This will last us forever!

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Eggs

Hubs and I each eat at least 2 eggs a day on the meal plan so you can imagine how much we go through! Plus the babes love eggs too! These are $3.79 a dozen and I just love their packaging!

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There you have it! My 21 Day Fix Costco staples. What else am I missing?

Celebrating Valentine’s with kids

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather celebrate with this weekend than these 3! Hubs and I kept things low-key and had a relaxing weekend at home with the babes. Mamma got in some meal prep and we all watched a movie together!

First let’s talk about their getups!

A Spool Full of Sugar made this gorgeous dress for Giada. It was absolute perfection and Darling Delilah outdid herself by creating a matching headband to complete the look. I am anxiously awaiting another ensemble made by them for Easter!!

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Ari wore a simple “heart breaker” tee from Old Navy on top of a button down with his favorite skinny jeans chosen for him by Sprouting Threads!

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On Saturday we did some shopping at Partridge Creek. It was so cold out so the babes didn’t last very long walking.

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We decided to grab a quick drink at Black Finn and let the kids get soft pretzels while they warmed up. Dad life at it’s finest. Sipping a cocktail while facilitating restaurant coloring.

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When the babes woke up Sunday morning I surprised them with new aprons. I didn’t want to get them more candy  so I tried to think outside the box. They always like to help me cook (and I like keeping their clothes clean)! Seemed like the perfect gift for them!

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Ari’s apron is Star Wars from Kohl’s and I got my hubs a matching one too! Giada’s apron is Matilda Jane.

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They loved them! Then while I was making breakfast I let them go to town decorating cinnamon rolls!

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They turned out perfect!

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Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories

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I can’t tell you how much I love connecting with other moms who share my love for clothing and accessories. I was so excited when Megan & I connected through Rodan and Fields and I found out she was selling little girl accessories!  Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories is your go to boutique for classic and stylish accessories for your little one and you!

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Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories was created to bring parents and their little ones the most fashionable creations out there. Megan is a mom to two little fashionistas and living in a small town she found it was very difficult to find headbands and accessories that fit her style. She decided to give it a go and make them herself! What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a business! This is how Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories came to be.

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Giada was so excited to try on her new bands from Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories! They were the perfect compliment to some of her current outfits! What I loved most about the process was the fact that I could send her a picture of Giada’s clothes and Megan made something to match! It was completely customizable and the headbands turned out perfect!

 

 

Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories has some fabulous Valentine options! Make sure to contact her with your needs!

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To make it even better she is giving away one custom flower in pink or red on a skinny elastic!

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Head over to Facebook to enter!

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New Year, New Mom: 21 Day Fix Review

I can’t believe the month of January has come and gone! Like so many other people I started the new year with a resolution to become a better me. I’m usually so wrapped up in being “mom” that I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was in terrible shape and absolutely needed to make a change for the better.

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I started the 21 Day Fix on January 4 and haven’t looked back! What I love most about it is how simple it is to follow. The meal plan is flexible and easy to prepare and the workouts are a mere 30 minutes a day.

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I’m a very all-or-nothing kind of girl so I researched as much as I could and followed the meal plan to a tee. This included starting every day with Shakeology and drinking ALL my recommended water.

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The hardest part was finding time to workout when my hubs was working late and I had two babes to corral. Instead of waiting for them to go to bed most nights I would set them up with their dinner & the ipad at the picnic table and get my workout in! Pressing play is the hardest part!

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The meal plan promotes eating every 2-3 hours. Instead of a carb filled snack or a calorie loaded specialty coffee my NEW go to is an apple with almond butter!

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Along with the support from my challenge group I think I was so successful because I made a plan each week and stuck with it! My meals were made ahead of time and my workouts were set in stone!

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions on my meal prep so I thought I’d share how I have been preparing for each week! This is a sample of a weeks’ worth of meals. To keep things simple I make the same lunches and dinners for a whole week. I do my meal prep on Sundays and never have to cook the rest of the week. It really is worth it to not have to mess my kitchen daily!

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Pictured above are turkey bowls, buffalo chicken bowls, and my Shakeology supplies.

Turkey Bowls: Lean ground turkey with low sodium taco seasoning, one yellow container of a rice/quinoa blend, and a yellow container of beans and corn. I usually add 2 tablespoons of salsa the morning I am going to eat it. I either eat the bowl plain or add to a cup of spinach to get another serving of veggies in. Recently I started leaving out the corn and only using one yellow container total between the beans and the rice.

Buffalo Chicken Bowls: I boil boneless skinless chicken breasts in plain water for about 30 minutes. Then I shred and add Mrs. Dash chicken blend,Frank’s wing sauce, and a diced red onion. I like to eat cold on top of pre made broccoli slaw. For dressing I combine plain greek yogurt and dry ranch. If I haven’t had a blue container for the day I add goat cheese too!

Shakeology Staples: I usually freeze a cup of spinach to add to my Shakeology in the am. Sometimes I add frozen banana or frozen berries too!

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I try to do a lot of my shopping at Costco and Aldi. At Costco I buy my chicken, ground turkey, microwave packs of the rice/quinoa, spinach, eggs (SO cheap!), almond butter, and broccoli. I can get away with shopping every other week for a lot of those items mentioned. Read my Costco Must haves here.

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I also utilize Aldi as much as I can because their prices are pretty amazing for some staples to my meal plan! This taco seasoning was 39 cents a pack!

Also on the meal plan are eggs! My hubs and I have been addicted to hard boiled eggs and I have to share a few egg tips with all of you! We each take 2 eggs with us to work each day so it’s safe to say I’ve kind of become an egg-pert! On my meal prep day I also boil my eggs. I place them in cold water and bring the pot to a boil. Once the water is boiling I remove from heat, cover, and set a timer for 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark I transfer them immediately to ICE cold water. They turn out perfect every time! To peel them easily, use the back of a teaspoon. A co-worker told me this tip and it has been life-changing!

 

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So that’s where I’ve been the past month! Following my meal plan, doing my work outs, and making ME a priority. I’m down 15 pounds and UP a whole bunch of energy!

I’m starting my next 21 days TODAY and cannot wait to see my results.

What are your favorite 21 Day Fix meals?

**Edited: Since writing this post it has seen a lot of traction on pinterest. If you are getting started make sure to read my 21 Day Fix Must Haves and my 21 Day Fix Costco Staples

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