Monday, July 29, 2019

What I Ate In A Day | 1 Month on WW (formerly Weight Watchers)


How I Got Here
It's only been a couple of weeks, but I've been following the WW (formerly Weight Watchers) plan and lost a few pounds! I have never been on a diet in my life. In the past, when I wanted to lose weight, I worked out. I worked out every day and tried to burn at least 500 calories during each session. That let me eat whatever I wanted, which was pretty great. 

As hard as I tried in the last year or two though, I could not get exercise to be a habitual part of my day. (I did pretty good in December though!) Mornings are my preferred time to exercise, but I have so many other things I need/want to accomplish in the mornings that trump working out. I would seriously have to wake up at 4:30 am to get it all done. 

So, I realized that if I'm going to get to the weight I prefer, I was going to have to make a food change. My relationship with food is an interesting one. As I said, I have purposefully never done a diet. Because I have quite the obsessive personality, I have been very wary of creating a problem. Prior to this past month I hadn't weighed myself in years. I don't like restrictions, because I am afraid that I will become restrictive. (I hope that makes sense.) 

All that to say, I've been very hesitant to do any diet or follow any food rules. There are so many opinions out there, and I've seen a lot of people close to me jump on the Keto train, or Whole30 or Paleo...and have success! But, I just did not like the idea of having so many rules. Do you know how hard it is to invite people over for dinner when you know they won't eat what you like to cook? I did not want to be one of those people. 

My mom did Weight Watchers after my little brother was born 20+ years ago, so I remember her doing it and counting all her points. She started it again last year and looks better than ever. She would talk about it, but at that point I wasn't really interested in doing a diet. 

Something clicked this summer though, and I realized if I am not going to be able to exercise like I had in the past, I needed to change up the way I was eating. I'm not sure what it was, but I decided to sign up for WW one evening. I just did it. 

I can't even tell you how much I'm enjoying the program! There are no 'bad' foods. I can drink wine, go out with friends, eat my favorite things and still lose weight. I seriously see myself doing this for the long haul. 

How it Works
In short: I get 23 daily points to use. There are TONS of foods that are 0 points. (Chicken breast,  eggs, greek yogurt, most fruits, most vegetables...etc) Other foods have point values based on overall nutrition. Then you get additional weekly points that you can spend however you want. I find that it's nice to save these for the weekend. You can also earn extra points for physical activity. 

There are meetings, but I am just doing the mobile membership. The app is very easy to use and helps you track your day. I really love using the barcode scanner. You can even earn wellness points that you can spend on merch, just for logging your meals and weight. 

I have to admit, in the last month, I haven't gotten more than 5000 steps a day, and haven't worked out once. But, because I'm eating this way, I've lost at least one pound per week anyway. 

If you want to give it a go, use my link to sign up for WW and get your first month free.

Here's What I Eat In a Day
Breakfast - Scrambled Egg Tacos
4 SmartPoints Ingredients: La Tortilla Factory Tortillas, Free Range Eggs, Cilantro, Crystal Hot Sauce

This breakfast couldn't be easier! I eat it every. single. day. I'm one of those people who could eat the same things every day and never get sick of it. 

Of course, I always have a cup of earl grey in the mornings too! I'm really loving my current morning routine of eating breakfast, drinking my tea, and doing my daily Bible reading at the table. 



Lunch - Watermelon and Feta Salad with Homemade dressing
4 Smartpoints Ingredients: For the salad: Romaine and butter leaf lettuce, tomato, red onion, watermelon, cucumber and 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta. For the dressing: 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and minced garlic. 

Don't let this picture fool you, this bowl is deep! I could barely finish this salad. The perfect bite is a piece of watermelon, feta and red onion! So delicious. I really love adding fruit to salads, especially watermelon. 

I have found some zero point salad dressings, but I really love making my own. This dressing is 2 points, and is the perfect amount for a personal salad. Measuring is the key here! Olive oil is 4 points per 1 tablespoon, so I went with 1/2 a tablespoon and loaded up on the other 0 point ingredients. 


Snack - Peanut Butter Banana Roll Up
3 Smartpoints Ingredients: Tumaros Low Carb Wrap, Banana, 1 Tablespoon whipped peanut butter

Not the most beautiful snack, but gosh is it delicious! And filling. This is so great for keeping me full until dinner. 


Dinner - Greek Chicken Wraps
3 Smartpoints Ingredients: Shredded baked chicken breast, Tumaro low carb wraps, tomato, chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, lettuce, 1 tablespoon feta, and Tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki sauce: 0% Fage Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and pepper. (Mix the cucumber, red onion, chickpeas, and tomato with italian seasoning, red wine vinegar, and 2 tsps olive oil) 

Such a delicious and easy going summer meal. And so filling! I definitely overstuffed my wrap, and could barely finish the second half. 


Total points for the day: 14! I still have 9 left over, which can be used for something like wine or some can roll over into my weekly points. (They want you to eat all of your points!) This is what's cool to me about this plan, I can eat three full meals and a snack and still have plenty of points for dessert. It does take some forethought and planning, but it's really doable. 

Talk to me! Leave a comment below and tell me how you feel about diets! I would love to hear what you've been successful with, and how long you stuck to it. 
This post does contain affiliate links!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

What We Bought On Prime Day

King Mattress and New Bedding
We've been needing to replace our mattress for some time now. That started the conversation of whether or not we wanted to go from Queen to King. After a lot of back and forth we did decide to go with a a King. But, we did compromise on keeping the rest of our bedroom furniture. Blake suggested we wait until prime day to see if any of the things we had picked were on sale. 

The actual bed frame came from Wayfair, and it was on sale on Prime Day-likely to compete with Amazon's prices. 

The mattress we picked out was originally about $530, but Prime Day had it at $350. Definitely worth the wait! 

The bedding we chose was not on sale, but still a great everyday price. A quilt set is perfect for Florida. As much as I love the look of down comforters and tons of pillows, it's just not practical. 

We are definately getting used to a king size bed! We opted out of using a boxspring, so this bed is much lower than our previous bed as well. There are still a few things I'd like to change in our bedroom to tie the whole look together, but I'm really loving it so far! 


  
Revlon All In One Hair Tool
This is something that I didn't know I needed, until I got it! It is such a game changer. Basically it's a hair brush and hair dryer combo. It will give you a flawless blow-out really quickly. I have a terrible habit of going places with wet hair. It just takes forever to dry and I get so hot blow drying it! This has totally changed my routine and I got compliments the first day I used it. It was about $15 cheaper on Prime Day. 


My sister snapped this picture of me and my nephew. But look at that hair! haha.


We actually purchased this as a gift! But, we really should have bought one for ourselves too! It got great reviews and the price is fantastic. At the time I am writing this it is still on sale for less than $100. 
I am obsessed with my new phone case! It was about $10 cheaper for Prime Day. (There is a $5 coupon right now though!) Additionally, I got a new PopSocket and slapped a monogram on it. It's adorable and very summery. 

I used my tablet to take this picture and it's so bad I can't stop laughing at it. 


Your Turn! Leave a comment below and tell me what you picked up on Prime Day! 

Monday, July 22, 2019

What We've Been Up To This Summer

Cleaning Supply Organization
Hi! Super nerd here. I get so excited about lame stuff like organization. We used to keep all of our cleaning supplies under the sink, but I really didn't love that system. Things would get pushed to the back, aka lost in the abyss. One day I got the idea to add a organizer to the inside of our armoire in the dining room.

Blake actually custom built this armoire for us years ago! Our house has zero storage for things like the ironing board, vacuum, broom, etc. He built this gorgeous piece of furniture for all of our ugly things. (You can see it here in my Dining Room Home Tour Post

This improvement not only made my supplies look much neater, but it also freed up under the sink. Now, I store our dish drying rack off the counter and under the sink. It made our tiny kitchen look so much more roomy! 




I also purchased these command hook organizers for the doors of the under sink cabinet. They are perfect for holding sponges and brushes!

My Brother's Wedding
Last month we celebrated my little brother's wedding! Lily made a beautiful bride and my brother was so happy! I had to show off the sign I made for the ceremony:






Nephew Photoshoot
My sister needed a little time to get some things done, so I came over to entertain the boys for a bit. I brought my camera over with me, and got a couple of really cute shots. (Ok, I took a lot of pictures, but here are my favorites!)






Recent Cricut Projects

This probably needed it's own post, but I know there will be plenty of projects to share in the future-so I need to space out sharing them, haha.

First up is a work out shirt that was commissioned from my mom to give to someone else. We both thought it turned out hysterical! 


My first stencil project! You can cut a stencil with your machine, which means the possibilities are endless! I've tried adhering vinyl directly to wood and it is not my favorite look. Using a stencil makes it look so much better! I definitely messed up the first attempt, and I still have some perfecting to do. But, I'm really excited about this! 



By far my favorite thing about my Cricut is that I can whip up gifts in no time! I was able to make 15 mugs full of candy for less than 30 bucks! I'm always searching the dollar store, or walmart for really inexpensive blank items that I can customize.


Speaking of gifts, I also whipped up a little gift tag to attach to my handmade items. Packaging is everything right? Some of the items require a little special care because of the materials-so I thought this would be an easy way to let the person know without having to explain it everytime. 


Super in love with the garden flag I made for our front yard:


HONU vitamins 
Grove Collaborative sent me these vitamins to review, and I'm so glad they did-because I am definitely going to purchase them myself. I took this picture as a joke because I have this terrible fear of cotton balls. Blake wasn't home when I opened these so I had to use tongs to get it out. (It makes me sick to my stomach to even think about this!) 

Anyway, I'm SUPER happy with their probiotic and biotin. My hair has been growing like crazy! I also really like the Vitamin D, which is supposed to have the same benefits of being in the sun. I would really like to take this during the winter to see if the effects are more pronounced. 

I am excited to try the multivitamin next! 

Our North Carolina Trip
I realized I never shared any pictures from our trip to North Carolina! We went for a long weekend to visit Blake's parents with his sister and her kids. It was so relaxing and fun! Their neighborhood pool opened for the summer the weekend we were there, so that is where I spent most of my time. 



This was the first time I tried Zinc sunscreen. I used this one from Babo - it's 100% non toxic and reef safe. However it does make you white as a sheet, so I'm still hunting for a different one. I will come back to this brand if I can't find something I like better. 



We looked through tons of pictures, which is one of my favorite things to do! This is newborn Blake...I don't get baby fever very often, but it was kinda crazy to look at this picture and picture my own future baby.  


Gia is amazing at UNO! We have so much fun playing with her, but you gotta watch her because she will cheat! (Girl after my own heart, because I was the exact same way. Who wants to lose?!) 


My father in law designed the most spectacular courtyard! It's so lush and and inviting. He designed a whole watering system that you can't even see. Super impressive. Many glasses of white wine were enjoyed out there. 



Admittedly we were a bit nervous about taking a road trip with the kids. I get antsy in the car, so I can't blame them for it either. I hit up Target dollar spot and the dollar store and made them both little activity bags. My sister in law said they start to get cranky around hour 5, so we waited until then to give it to them. Worked perfectly! 


Getting Ready for the Netherlands!
This the current state of our guest room. Our trip is fast approaching! Last week there was a strange internet and phone outage in our area, so it forced me to do some things around the house. I started getting my outfits picked out and bought our mini toiletries. Still quite a bit to do, I'm glad I finally got started. 


Happy Monday! Leave a comment below and tell me what's going on in your life!

This post does contain affiliate links!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Playlist No.10 | Summer 2019

Summer 2019 Playlist | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Does anyone else remember a time in your life where music was everything? When I was a teenager I loved discovering new bands, wearing band t shirts from Hot Topic (the looks I got when I went in that store! I was a preppy girl who loved music, what can I say.), making CDs for friends, belting out my favorite songs in my first car with all the windows down...Maybe I'm waxing poetic here, but I just remember music being the only thing that 'got me' at the time. 

I think that faded away in my twenties as I figured out who I am and knew how to express myself without a song lyric. I was reflecting on that time recently when my husband and I were driving home from a weekend trip and I realized we never turned the radio on once. (In fact my radio doesn't even work properly.) 

I had a sudden urge to listen to music though, when we had an unexpected day off. (Rarer and rarer these days!) We headed over to use a friend's pool, and all I wanted to do was roll down the windows and sing along! I guess I still love music, I just need to be in the mood for it. Otherwise, you'll find me listening to an audiobook or podcast. 

Summer 2019 Playlist | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Here's my playlist! 



Let's Chat! Drop your favorite summer song in the comments below! I used to share playlists all the time. The last one was in 2016! Is this something you are interested in seeing more of? Let me know!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Favorite Waste Reducing Products

While I don't ever think I will be a zero waste guru, I am always very happy to find alternatives to single use plastics! Wastefulness bothers me, and additionally I find it so much simpler if I can eliminate something that always needs replacing. In this little quest, I've found a few things that have quickly become my favorite ways to reduce waste.

Favorite Products That Help Reduce Waste | www.kristenwoolsey.com

9 Products that help me reduce waste:

Bee's Wrap Reusable Cling Wrap | www.kristenwoolsey.com

The first item on my list is not cheap, but I feel like it's 100% worth it. To replace cling wrap, I picked up this reusable beeswax wrap. It's washable and sustainable! It works best when you warm up the wax in your hands. I don't use this very often but it's perfect for when your bowl doesn't have a lid or you need to transport some food to a party. The one downside is this wrap won't last forever, but when it's time to replace it you won't have to worry about this wrap sitting in a landfill. 


These cute little bags are so versatile! Not only do I use them to store leftover food, they are great for packing lunches and for travel! I use the large size to pack my toiletries. These are dishwasher safe as well, which makes them very reusable. We don't have a dishwasher, but hand washing them is just as easy. 

(Link above is for Amazon, but I got variety pack from Grove Collaborative. If you aren't a Grove member you can use my link to sign up and get a free 5 piece gift set when you make your first order.) 

Make Up Remover Towel | Waste Reducing Products | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Instead of using makeup removing towelettes, I started using this makeup removing towel. It works with water and definitely takes off most of your makeup. Sometimes I still need to use a little coconut oil to remove my waterproof mascara. Recently, I started using the Burt's Bees mascara and it comes right off! I've had this towel for years now, and as you can see it's been well used. 


This was such a great find! I use cotton rounds every day to apply toner, and I always felt guilty about how often I was buying them. Cotton is probably not the worst thing to throw away, but I am all about eliminating something from the grocery budget! These reusable cotton pads are made of a terry cloth material and are completely washable. Super happy with them! 

Cloth Napkins and Other Waste Reducing Products | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Reducing the amount of paper towels we use was a huge victory for me! I feel very proud about that. The main reason we've been successful with that is because we have a clean kitchen towel right by the sink every day. Sometimes you still need a paper towel, but the amount we use is very minimal. Another time we are tempted to use paper towels is at dinner time. I purchased these cloth napkins and have had no problems switching from paper! We leave a small hamper by the back door to collect used napkins and dish towels. Once it's full I'll do a load of washing. It was an incredibly easy swap!

Wool Dryer Balls and Other Waste Reducing Products | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Another painless swap is to use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets! Just throw 2 or 3 balls into your dryer and run like normal. The balls help reduce static and separate your clothes for better drying. If you miss the dryer sheet smell, just add a few drops of essential oil to the balls and that really makes your laundry smell lovely!

Photo from SheThinx.com
I just mentioned these in a Currently Loving post, but they are definitely worth mentioning again. These period underwear are a perfect way to reduce waste. I use them mainly as a back up, but some styles can hold a whole tampon worth of blood. I highly recommend doing the cycle sets, because you get a discount the more pairs you buy. (plus you'll get $10 off when you use my link) The return process could not be easier if you need to exchange for a different size. 

Silicone Straws and Other Waste Reducing Product Ideas | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Almost didn't include reusable straws because isn't everyone using these now? But, I wanted to share our favorite ones. These straws come in such cute colors and couldn't be easier to clean. (Remember that's important to those of us without a dishwasher!) Our niece and nephews love picking out their favorite color when they come over, which I think is so fun. 

Reusable Produce Bags and other earth friendly swaps | www.kristenwoolsey.com

Another really easy swap are these reusable produce bags for the grocery store! A much better alternative to those plastic baggies that are provided. I love these because they are washable and transparent enough the cashier can see what you are buying. The weight of the bag is listed on the tag so they can easily weigh your produce. 

Your Turn to Weigh In! Leave a comment below and tell me the simple strategies you have to reduce waste! Are you a big recycler, or even a composter? What swaps did you make that were easy? How about swaps that were hard?
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