posted by on fitness, Mommy Blogger

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Yeah, that.  It sounds like a snide thing to say, but let me explain.

I had a friend text me and ask when was the next time I was going to the gym.  I told her that I’m there almost everyday, but if she told me when she wanted to come, I would meet her there.  She texted some really nice things and how much she wanted to lose weight  like I did.

Sunday came, since I work at the gym on Sunday’s, I am there all morning and just stay to work out.  She was going to come about 1. I text her, told her I was off and would be at the gym when she got there.

Her reply: “I’m having a lazy Sunday and just want to stay in and watch football.  I hope that doesn’t put me on your shit list”

My response:”Sounds like a great Sunday to me, enjoy the game.”

Then, I thought to myself the was such an odd thing to say.  She didn’t ruin my plans, I was working out regardless.  It dawned on me that maybe I was making her feel bad somehow.

Here’s the thing:

When I post my workouts, it’s really for my own accountability and if by extension I have inspired someone to get healthy – awesome! I don’t ever want to make someone feel bad about not working out or going to the gym or having pasta when I’m eating a salad.  Those are all my choices. YOU not working out doesn’t really change my plans.  You not meeting me at the gym and eating whatever you want, is just fine by me, so please don’t feel bad.  I mean, it’s nice to have a workout buddy every once in while because I get bored, but I’m still getting it in.   I’m doing this for me.  You have to. You just can’t do for the wedding, event, vacation or for your husband, YOU have to do it for YOU or it just won’t last (I am speaking from experience).  I know “lifestyle change” is the catch phrase that everyone is using, but that’s what I’m doing.  I am changing my life – my whole life. My kids and I don’t swing through drive throughs to get fast food and as busy as I am that takes some planning.  I don’t skip more that 2 days at the gym, that takes some planning.  I don’t drink alcohol (and working at an elementary school really makes me want to drink), I don’t get the whip cream filled drinks at Starbucks, I meal prep, I don’t eat pasta, I drink a gallon of water everyday, I have replaced my sweet tea with regular tea, I don’t buy soda, I don’t keep desserts in the house (because I will make and eat an entire box of brownies) I have changed my life.

Back to the meme above and for me, it really applies to all areas of my life and not just the weight loss. I want to get in shape, lose weight, go back to school, advance my career, buy a house, get a new car or whatever my goals are.  I want to do all of these things, until it’s time to ‘do what beasts do’.

As much as this is an update on my #FlatBy40 progress, it’s also a kick in the pants.  There is no other way to accomplish my goals other than doing the work.

So,  I can’t really share any more tips, I can’t really tell you anything that you don’t already know about losing weight, have heard a million time before or could google with ease.

It’s simple – Be a Beast.

Oh – here’s the latest progress pic!



posted by on Atkins

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The following is a sponsored post, brought to you by The Role Mommy Writer’s Network.  I was compensated, but all words and opinions are 100% mine.

I have just finished my Atkins frozen food meal kit (originally wrote about it here:  and I am officially a fan.  In fact, I just ordered the  Easy Peasy Meal Kit ($97.99). Having breakfast, lunch and dinner already prepped and ready has really helped me stay on track with my eating. Since being busy is the excuse I would normally use to not eat well, I eliminate that with my Atkins Meal Kit.  It is much easier to pop a meal in the microwave and stick to my low carb goals, than it is to go to a drive through and get way off track.

The Easy Peasy Meal Kit is the most comprehensive kit with all meals included, and consumers make their snacks and side dishes. The kit includes a variety of Atkins Frozen Meals, Meal Bars and Shakes to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I am excited to have the snacks and shakes from this one to add to the variety for the next 2 weeks.

Easy Peasy Meal Kit

Easy Peasy Meal Kit

Another reason to love the Atkins program is being able to take advantage of the  free 
support from nutritionists, access educational materials and share insights from their 
personal weight-loss journey with members of the Atkins community.  Some of the weightless stories are so inspiring, it really makes you want to stick with your eating low carb goals. 
When you purchase a kit, they all come with the Atkins Meal Kit Guide, The New Atkins Made Easy book, the Atkins Carb Counter and the Recipe Booklet. You can purchase 1 kit to try or do a monthly subscription.  If you are ready to try it and order by September 30, you will get free shipping and 5% off on orders, just by using the promotional code NEWKIT5.

A Better Bed Time


posted by on activities, Children's Mercy Hospital, Mommy Blogger

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As the lazy days of summer are gone, I am trying to get my kids back on track and making sure they are getting enough sleep.  There are lots of reasons that sleep is important, but here are the top 5 reasons I want to make sure my kids are sleeping well:

1. Sleep promotes growth.
2. Sleep helps keep weight steady.
3. Sleep helps beat germs.
4. Sleep increases kids’ attention span.
5. Sleep boosts learning.

A guide that I am finding helpful is this chart below.  Seeing the sleep and wake times by age is so helpful and boy did I quickly realize how little sleep my 6 year old has been getting.


To help him get on track with sleeping well, I re-vamped our bedtime routine.

First up was screen time.  I am pretty sure all the docs say 2 hours before bed, but let’s just be real, that doesn’t work in our live on any level.  Especially since my children’s school work comes home on an iPad or mac book, screens are on.  So my compromise is no screens 1 hour before bed.

Next up, I check our house temp.  Experts say, the ideal temp to sleep in is 65-72 degrees, which is a little hard to do during those Kansas winters.

Nightlight change.  It is shown light can prevent a deep sleep, weather it’s from the windows, Tv’s or a nightlight. The nightlight by my daughter’s bed was too close, so a move across the room, really helped her sleep better.

1 more book. We usually get in 2 short stories, but reading is the most relaxing bedtime activity, so 1 more book won’t hurt.


Lastly, taking a sleep audit every once in a while.  If you notice some disruptions or changes, start keeping a sleep journal or put your fitbit on your child and track their sleep. If you have some concerns, Children’s Mercy has a Sleep Lab and several resources to help your child get a better nigh sleep.  As part of my partnership with them, I will continue to highlight all of the programs they offer to keep our kids healthy.  If you are looking to see how other Moms are utilizing Children’s Mercy, connect with our Mom Blog Page:  You can also find great topics on their Twitter page: or Facebook Page:


CMH Logo *This post was sponsored by Children’s Mercy Hospital.  All words are my own.*

posted by on Atkins, fitness, Mommy Blogger, review

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If you follow me on any social channel, you know that I work full time at an elementary school and opening a building to prepare for 650 students has been kicking my butt!

I am so busy, that I don’t have time to do anything, little less prepare meals for on the go.  I go to work around 7, off around 4 and if I get a lunch it’s at my desk.  Enter this fabulous opportunity from Role Mommy Writer’s Network to review Atkins new meal kits! Atkins just introduced them and they are step-by-step meal kits for those of us who like living the low-carb lifestyle or are trying to lose weight.

If you are busy, this is the perfect way to get everything needed to get started quickly, including Atkins frozen meals, snacks and easy-to-follow menus with shopping lists, all delivered to my door.  The kits can be purchased monthly or as a reoccurring subscription.

The meal kits cover a week’s worth of food and tools, with three different options to choose from:

  1. Frozen Foodie Meal Kit ($69.99) is ideal for people who are too busy to cook full meals, requiring minimal time in the kitchen. This kit features a variety of Atkins Frozen Meals to simplify options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.2.
  2.  Evening Chef Meal Kit ($89.99) is designed for the consumer seeking convenience during the day, but wants to prepare their own meals in the evening. The kit includes Atkins Frozen Meals, Snack Bars and Shakes to cover breakfast, lunch and snacks, with recipes and recommended shopping lists for low-carb dinners.
  3. Easy Peasy Meal Kit ($97.99) is the most comprehensive kit with all meals included, and consumers make their snacks and side dishes. The kit includes a variety of Atkins Frozen Meals, Meal Bars and Shakes to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I am reviewing the Frozen Foodie kit with everything I need for breakfast & lunch at work.  It was so easy to not even think about it, just pick my breakfast and lunch and throw it in my lunch box.  So far, my favorite breakfast is the sausage, eggs and peppers.  It tasted just like I got up at 5am and made myself an egg bowl, but with none of the work!

FrozenFoodie_V1When you order the Atkins Meal Kits  on Atkins site you can get free support from nutritionists, access educational materials or read insights of personal weight-loss journeys with members of the Atkins community. In addition, all plans come with the Atkins Meal Kit Guide, The New Atkins Made Easy book, the Atkins Carb Counter and the Recipe Booklet.

I am excited to keep trying the different choices and I will let you know how I liked being a “frozen foodie” in a couple of weeks.  If you are ready to try it, you can use the promotional code below for FREE shipping and 5% off your order.


*Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.*

The Final Countdown


posted by on Uncategorized

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Here I am, 90 days away from my #FlatBy40 goal. Want to know how I’m doing? (you have to keep scrolling). Well, let’s just say the summer was a stalemate. I maintained, which is really good for a girl who has been up and down with her weight most of her life. Maintaining means that, I landed square in the middle of a plateau. No scale movement at all – so frustrating!

I didn’t blog when I did it, but I created a new Instagram Page to post all my health and fitness stuff and to document my journey. On that page a follow a ton of health professionals.  For me, I have e-met some of the most helpful people in the Instagram community.  So many people are willing to give advice,encouragement and share their stories.  I took the advice of a few strangers who willingly gave me some tips to get off my plateau.

  1. Drink all the water.  For real, as much as you can without living in the bathroom.
  2. Do less lifting.  If you know me in real life, I LOVE weight lifting, so doing less of an exercise you love seems counter intuitive, but it was effective.
  3. Do more cardio.  Specifically Fasted Cardio (google it)
  4. No bread or pasta.  Here’s why: the order that your body uses your food. It burns sugar, carbs THEN fat.  So, if you are eating sugar and carbs all the time, you never get to the stored fat. Simple, but hard to do.

That advice helped kick me off my plateau.

*Warning Naked Stomach Pics Below*




2015-08-04 20.05.33

This, my friends is where I started about a year ago, when I decided that Flat By 40 was the goal! This is post 50 ponds lost, but still yikes!

2015-08-04 20.06.47

Um, yeah. It doesn’t need a caption…

Here is where I am now.



(Judge me if you want. Yes, my counters are covered with junk.  I didn’t really plan on posting these publicly.  They were just for my documentation, but I wanted to share my honest journey).

The “after” is better, right?! But not there yet.  My stomach is not flat and I am honestly not sure that it will be in the next 90 days, but I am going to work my ass off to get there.  I don’t know that it can be flat again with out some type of surgery. If stretching it out 3 times with babies, gaining 50 plus pounds each time I was pregnant wasn’t enough, getting to almost 300 pounds probably did me in.   I know I still have weight to lose and maybe when the weight goes down, the stomach will flatten and tighten more.  Maybe I will need skin removal surgery or maybe I will just live with it.

I have a specific plan for the next month of this journey, so look for another blog with an update on 9/26 and if you are on Instagram, you can search the hashtag #FlatBy40 to keep up with me!

Balanced Cravings


posted by on activities, Give a Way, Mommy Blogger, review


The following is a compensated post.  All thoughts, words and opinions are 100% mine.

You guys know I’ve been making a lifestyle change with my weight and fitness, but I find it hard to stay on track sometimes because of my hectic schedule.  I either do not eat all day and then get to the point where I am starving, so I grab the first thing for a quick snack, which is usually a candy bar.  I usually try to go from work to the gym, but don’t want to eat a meal before my workouts, so…

I was really excited when I was given the Balance Bars to try.  The original flavors come in full-size and for the first time, the new flavors come in mini bars. The 4 new flavors are Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat, Chocolate Peppermint Patty, Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle and Dulce De Leche & Caramel.  If you know me in real life, you know I love dark chocolate, so the Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle is my absolute favorite!  

When you are changing your lifestyle, a lot of times, you feel like you need to deny yourself anything sweet.  Instead of getting that candy bar that has been so easy to grab, I can now eat my chocolate in a balanced way.  On the way to the gym, if I grab the Almond Brownie, it has Fiber and Vitamins, so my brain gets the food it craves and I can snack smarter. 

Balance Before Yoga

Balance Before Yoga

Each bar is nutritionally balanced, 190 calories or less, contains 5-7 grams of protein and 5-6 grams of fiber. For me, between work and the gym, when I want to grab something quick before I workout, the Balance Bar is my new go to. Since I can get them on Amazon, I just add them to my cart when I order my coffee – so convient (read anything I can do to make my life easy)! 

Balance on the Go

Balance on the Go

GIVE AWAY!!! I’ve partnered with Balance to give you a change to #CraveFreely

To enter the giveaway:  Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post.

Prize: 1 6-pack box of Balance in  Chocolate Caramel Peanut NougatChocolate Peppermint PattyDark Chocolate Turtle orDulce De Leche & Caramel varieties. ** I cannot guarantee flavor preference**

The low down on Balance Bars: Founded in 1992, Balance Bar®, one of America’s original nutrition/energy bars, offers the right ratio of ingredients and nutrients that are formulated to help keep you in balance, delivering the nutritional benefits to help you enjoy today while looking out for tomorrow.

For more information on Balance Bar products, visit

Follow Balance Bar® for tips and nutritional information on Facebook® (, Twitter® ( and Pinterest (

posted by on activities, Back to School, event, Mommy Blogger, review, summer

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My summer break has come to an end, as I headed back to my full time school gig this week. Fortunately, we had a chance to get in a weekend staycation at the Sheraton in Kansas City!

We checked in and headed straight to the roof top pool. The kids splashed and played for hours. If we weren’t planning to eat at the food trucks later, I would’ve taken advantage of the food and beverage delivery service that you can get at the pool.

Poolside Chill

Poolside Chill

Every summer Friday night, Crown Center features food trucks and movies on the big screen. This week’s movie was The Avengers, perfect flick for my 6 year old who loves super heros. Before the movie starts at 9pm,you can shop with vendors, but some glow in the dark fun items, eat and drink via the food trucks. Bring your chairs or a blanket and find a spot in the courtyard to catch the movie.Waiting for #Avengers to start

Sheraton is doing a cool thing for kids staying at the hotel, called “The Great Indoors”. They bring ‘s tent, sleeping bag and directors chair for the kids. Tent Life You can take full advantage of the camping experience with S’mores cupcakes and milk. The chef delivers them to your door, so you can enjoy the camp experience (without the bugs)! Note: be sure to order your S’mores an hour before you want to enjoy them, to give the chef time to create this fabulous spread.



My kids ate their S’mores and tucked in their tent for the night.

Morning brought gorgeous views of the city and breakfast buffet at The Brassiere.



Fueled and ready for the day, we headed to the Westin Kids Club for some crafts and games. Such a cool room for kids of all ages to enjoy. Children 8 and over can stay with the Kid’s Club attendant. Younger children need to be supervised by an adult.

Westin Kids Club

Westin Kids Club

A quick visit to Crown Center, a re-visit to the Mr. Potato Head exhibit and a little shopping to finish off our weekend staycation.

The Sheraton & Westin KC will definitely be our go to spot for a staycation and to recommend to out of town guest. Once you check in, you really don’t have to go anywhere else. Shopping, kids activities like Sealife Aquarium, Lego Land, Kalidescope and lots of food choices all in one place. IMG_20160723_111752

First Time Soccer


posted by on activities, fitness, Mommy Blogger, review, summer

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My youngest (who is 6) has been asking to play a sport. This is his first time showing any interest in sports at all, other than watching his big brother. I wasn’t really sure where to start, since he isn’t really much for doing things without me. I mean, he stayed at home with me until kindergarten and there were days that I wasn’t sure we would survive his first school year with the puddles of tears he cried. 

Since there isn’t really a Mother/Son team, I started looking for something for first timers.

I found Challengers Sports. This program was perfect for a nervous kid(and Mom). It is a beginner camp, not a team and pretty ideal for what we needed. When we arrived, I quickly realized that it included all ages angel and both boys and girls. They were also new to soccer.

Each participant received a size appropriate ball and a Tshirt upon arrival(included in the camp fee) . You could also purchase a jersey for an additional cost at sign up.


The coach was friendly and welcoming, checking kids in and learning names. After checking in, the kids headed down to the field to get warmed up. All of the parents stayed and watched.IMG_20160627_190252

They did some drills, learned skills, played games and even did a little match at the end and this was just day 1!

I was very impressed not only with the coach’s knowledge, but how great he was with the kids. My son got a little hot and tired and started to cry. The couch was very patient and helped him calm down. He still wasn’t quite ready to rejoin the group, so I sat at the edge of the field until he was. The coach returned to run the camp and my son rejoined and jumped right into the game they were playing.

I think for a first time sports experience, this is a great option. It is just a week, everyone in the camp is new and the instructors are great for that. If you’re looking for a starter camp or intro to sports, check out  Challenger Sports for more information.
*Disclosure:my camp fee was waived as compensation for this blog post. All writing and thoughts are 100% mine.



Focus on Love


posted by on beauty, Dating, Love, Relationships

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If you know me in real life or follow me on social media, you’ve gathered that I’ve found love again. 

What you may not know, is that I’ve been writing a book.  It started as a divorce survival journal, but it’s morphed into a journal about love, self love, hope and healing.

In fact, the opening reads,

 You broke me. I was broken into so many you pieces, I didn’t know how to make myself whole again. I thought it was truly the end.  What I didn’t realize is that the light could shine through my broken pieces. All of my pieces, now show light.  Thank you for helping me find my light.”

I decided to change the course of the book because I didn’t want my story to be about divorce or survival, I wanted it to focus on love.  Maybe because I’m more aware and open, but I see several of my friends finding love again, getting engaged for a second time and discovering that loving themselves is the fastest way to bring healing into their life.

There is this confidence that comes when someone truly loves as you are. It makes you want to be the best version of yourself. Not for them, but for yourself. Because you can see yourself through their eyes and maybe,  for the first time see how amazing you are. 

Love yourself, just as you are, even if you’re broken.  Let someone love you, just as you are, even if you are broken. I have realized that I didn’t need to be without pieces to let love in.  That love, just like light could come through the brokenpieces. b8d7cd42-9f1e-4d17-b0d1-11a8fdbeaa8b

posted by on activities, event, Mommy Blogger, summer

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It’s summer, you’ve heard I’m bored about a million times. There’s 7 weeks, 2 days and 12 hours until school starts… Not that I’m counting. Here’s a list a free stuff to do in KC to pass the time.

Marble making demo and Moon Marble Company. The kids can even learn how to shoot marbles and take a few home. Demos are usually given Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10 or 10:30.

Cabela’s Fly Fishing Class
Saturdays from 2-3pm
Cabell also has Family Outdoor Adventure day, July 9th from 10-2

Saturday Evening Concerts at The Legends
Every Saturday at 5:00 until the end of July.

It goes without saying that the Nelson-Atkins Museum is a KC treasure and it’s free! It is closed Monday/Tuesday. Wednesday 10-5. Thursday/Friday 10-9 and Saturday/Sunday 10-5.

Scheels mega sports store in Overland Park. 16,000 gallon aquarium, Ferris wheel and more.

Kidscape at the Johnson County Museum. 6305 Lackman Road. Kids can play dress up, be mayor for the day and see the suburban streetscape design.

Crown Center Events:
The adventures of Mr. Potato Head exhibit is free 11-6 and goes every day until Labor Day.IMG_20160621_203030

Kalidoscope is free as well, visit for times.

Weekender on Friday nights from July 8-August 5 starting at 6. Local bands, food trucks and Free Flicks under the stars.

After a visit to Crown Center is the perfect time to stay parked a day ride the new Street Car. You can catch it across the street and ride it to visit the City Market.

Cool Off at a Spray Park: Here is a list of spray parks, be sure to check the recommended safety rules for each park before you go.

Kansas City Missouri Spray Parks:

Harmony Park: E. 10th St & Agnes Ave.

Jacob L. Loose Park: W. 52nd Terrace & Summit Ave.(Closed Wednesdays.)

Sunnyside Park: W. 83rd St. & Summit Ave.

Longview Tract: 7107 Longview Rd.

Golden Oaks Park: N.E. 46th Street & N. Antioch Rd.

Garrison Square: E. 4th St. & Forest Ave.

Central Park: Linwood Blvd & Bales Ave.

Nelson C. Crews Park: E. 27th St & Michigan Ave.

Douglass Playground at Grace Williams Nicholl Park: 2632 Jarboe St.

Independence Missouri Spraygrounds:

McCoy Park: 24 Highway & N. Delaware

Rotary Park: 24th & Hardy

Grandview Missouri Spraygrounds:

John Anderson Park: 4701 E. 135th Street

Liberty Missouri Spraygrounds:

City Park: 970 S. Highway 291

Ruth Moore Park: 401 N. Morse

Kansas City Kansas Spraygrounds:

Eisenhower Park: 2901 N. 72nd St.

Heathwood Park: 10th & Parallel Pkwy

Pierson Park: 1800 S. 55th St.

The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank is an experience that even your teen will like. It is also free and open to the public. Here you’ll watch millions of dollars in currency being processed at KC’s Federal Reserve Bank and see an impressive collection of coins. Walk-in and guided tours are available and all guests undergo a security screening. If you are over 18, you’ll need to bring your ID. Call 816-881-2683 for more information.

The Cave Spring Historic Site and Nature Center has over 36 acres of wildlife and native plants with walking trails, wildlife habitat, pond and a small cave for kids to explore. Amazingly enough, it’s in the middle of the city. Location: 8701 E. Gregory Blvd. Hours: 9 am to dark every day. The Nature Center is open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday. The Center is free, but small donations are excepted.

Attend a free family fun night at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop (Thursdays, 6:00-8:00). Enjoy a different theme of 1860s living history each week. FREE admission, stagecoach rides are $3/person ages 3 & up, some activities require an extra fee. 2016 Themes:
June 23 – 1860s Construction, June 30 – 1860s Mad Science, July 7 – 19th Century Fireworks, July 14 – Civil War, July 21 – Hit the Trail, July 28 – Kansas Wheat Harvest.

Head to the KC Power & Light District for Sprint Family Fun Days event the second Saturday of each month.

Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park (For its 24th season, the Festival will present Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, Shakespeare’s hilarious romantic comedy set in romantic Illyria. The play explores love, loss and reunion along with ambition, madness and gender reversal — all with lots of humor. The production dates are June 14 – July 3, 2016, Tuesday – Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Signed performances for the hard of hearing will be Wednesday, June 22 and Sunday, June 26.  Festival admission is donation only).

Take a tour of  The Roasterie and learn about coffee. (this one may be just for me)!

Hike at Ernie Miller Nature Center.


Visit the free National Archives of Kansas City and explore their free exhibits.

Build a free project at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Both offer free workshops on select Saturdays.

Explore the Central Branch of the Kansas City Library, because any library with a parking garage painted with classic books has been named one of the coolest libraries to visit in the country!

Take a free class at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center.

Imagine you’re in the Wild West at Antioch Park in Shawnee, Kansas with an old town set up.

Enjoy summer break, they will be back to school in no time!