First Time Mom and Losing It: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

2 weeks Into My Weight Loss Journey with the Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Plan on My Mind

I am happy to say that I have been on this weight loss journey for 2 weeks now. I'm pretty proud that I didn't let my birthday derail me. I have lost another pound for a total of  11.2. Though I am no longer following the Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Plan, I still watch my carbs and eat lots protein. I used to love sweets and bread so much, but being on the plan showed me I could do without it. I don't even crave them anymore. Whenever I eat carbs I make sure it is the good kind like veggies and whole grains. I never feel hungry because I eat a lot of filling things like nuts and veggies. This is some of what I ate this week:

Low Calorie Creamy Oatmeal and a GoGo Squeez

Confetti Tuna

Salmon, Roasted Potatoes and Hoisin Sesame Broccoli

My goals for next week are:
  1. Drink more water.
  2. Plan some exercise during the week. 
  3. Get more sleep.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY Abby Cadabby Birthday Party: Customized Party Souvenirs #Tutorial


This is a continuation of the DIY Abby Cadabby Birthday Party: Boutique Style Birthday Hat #Tutorial . There you can see pictures of the party and a tutorial on the Boutique Style Birthday Hat. You can also read my post on how to create the customized party favors here: DIY Abby Cadabby Birthday Party: Customized Party Favors #Tutorial

When my daughter started on solids I would make her fresh baby food but did buy some jars here and there for convenience when I didn't have time to make fresh baby food. I thought the glass jars were so cute that I didn't want to throw them away. I thought about using them to hold spices but then came up with the idea of using them for party favors.

This is how I did it:
  • Glass baby food jars (I used the stage 2 size)
  • Sixlets in shimmer pink, blue and purple (I bought them by the pound in Amazon. You need about 3 pounds for 15 jars)
  • Craft Paint in light blue
  • Pink card stock paper (I found mine at Michael's in the scrap booking section and it had an embossed dot texture)
  • 1/4" ribbon in light blue
  • printer
  • paper
  • 1 1/2" circle punch
  • 1" circle punch
  • Double Stick tape
  1. Really clean your jars and lids with hot soap and water and let completely air dry.
  2. Paint tops and sides with the paint. Let dry completely and paint again. Let dry and paint again for the 3rd coat. Make sure lids are completely dry before moving on to step three.
  3. Measure around the lid and cut ribbon about 1/2 inch longer. Wrap ribbon around lid and hot glue ends together.
  4. Using an image editor open a new file that is 1" x 1". Using the fill tool color it light blue. Paste on an image of Abby's face right in the middle. I just did a image google search to find her face. Print out as many as you need for the number of jars you are making.
  5. Using the 1" circle punch cut around the face of each Abby. Make sure you center it properly. Using the 1 1/2" circle punch cut circles of the pink card stock for each jar you are making.
  6. Using double stick tape, tape on the pink circle on the center of the top of the jar. Using the tape again center the Abby face on top of that.
  7. With an image editor open an image the size of "  x  ". Using the fill tool color the image light blue. Add a few stars to the background with the object tool. Add some text with the text tool. I added  "----------'s 1st birthday party!" on one side and "Thanks for coming!" on the other side. I also added another picture of Abby's face and a picture of my daughters face. You just want to fill up the label so it looks nice and doesn't have to many open spaces. You can rearrange the objects to your liking. 
  8. Print out as many as you need and use double stick tape to tape around jar. 
  9. I emptied each pound bag of the sixlets into a big bowl and mixed it with a big spoon. Make a funnel out of a sheet of paper and fill each glass.
  10. Carefully screw on lids and you are done!
** If you are not comfortable with an image editor you can always buy colored paper, cut it out the same size as the measurements above and use stickers to decorate.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bluum Box January 2014 Toddler - 20 Months #Review


  1. Dreambaby Bath Tub Thermometer - Just dip the fish into the tub and it gives you the temperature of the water.
  2. Deep Steep Brown Sugar Vanilla Moisture Stick - Smells really good and it's thick so it moisturizes well.
  3. Happy Baby Greek Yogurt Zucchini, Pear and Kale - My daughter refused to try it. 
  4. Dr Seuss Plate - Really cute and sturdy.
  5. Lunch Skinz Resuable Snack Bag - It is the size of the the snack ziplock bag so it's cute and small. 
  6. Happy Tot Mixed Berry Crunch Toddler Bar - Review to follow in a future post.
  7. Happy Tot Apple & Kale Crisp - Review to follow in a future post.
  8. Touch and Feel Colors Book - Really cute book with lots of bright colors and textures.


My daughter loved the book and quickly pointed out a lot of things like carrots, oranges, cars. I was a little annoyed that it didn't have a little toy to play with this month. Other than that is was an ok box for the month. I look forward to getting my boxes every month. You usually get something from a company that is not too well known, so it's fun to discover new companies. If you are interested in subscribing you can click on my link below to get 50% off your first box. I would also get points to get a free Bluum box.


**I was not compensated nor received a sample or product in any away from the company. I chose to review this product on my own because I felt that it would be useful to my readers.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Healthier Homemade Chicken and Bacon Pizza #Recipe


Living in NYC pizza is one of my favorite things to eat. I didn't want to deprive myself of pizza so I created one that I could eat anytime I had a craving without jeopardizing my weight loss journey. In the recipe below I made my own pizza sauce but you can buy it store bought. I also make my own crust because I want to know exactly what is put into it. I found a really easy recipe here.

Healthier Homemade Chicken and Bacon Pizza

  • Pizza Crust from the recipe above, separate into 4 balls for individual pizzas or make one large pie
Sauce (You will have sauce left over that you can freeze for more pizza later on)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste 
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tblsp garlic power
  • 1/2 tblsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tblsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tblsp dried basil 
  • 1/2 tblsp parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tblsp sugar
Toppings
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tblsp garlic power
  • 1/2 tblsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tblsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tblsp dried basil 
  • 1/2 tblsp parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Real Bacon Bits
  1. Make the dough from the link above using 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour two hours before, so that it has time to rise. I tend to always make double batches so that I can freeze some of the dough for later use.
  2. Season the chicken with the spices mentioned above. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Spray the tops with a little olive oil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked. 
  3. In a medium sauce pan heat the olive oil. Add the garlic powder and let it sizzle for a couple of seconds and quickly add the crushed tomatoes (make sure not to burn the garlic powder or it will become bitter. My best friend who is Italian taught me how to do this years ago and I have been doing it ever since.) Add in the tomatoes paste, spices and sugar and stir. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes constantly stirring. You can buy store bought sauce but this tastes so much richer. 
  4. When dough has finished rising separate into 4 pieces. Add more flour to board if sticky and roll out as thin as you can. (I love thin crust pizza, but you can make them thicker if you like). Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. 
  5. While crusts are pre-baking thinly slice the chicken breasts. 
  6. Take out crusts and add a couple tablespoons of sauce. Sprinkle on some cheese. Arrange the chicken slices on top. Sprinkle on a little more cheese and some bacon bits.
  7. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is crispy.
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Monday, January 27, 2014

It's My Birthday and I'll Cheat If I Want To...

So now I got the Lesley Gore - "It's My Party" song in my head. Yesterday was my Birthday so I decided I wanted to celebrate and eat what I wanted. I thought about it for a little bit but then came to my senses. I didn't want the hard work I put in to be all for nothing even if it was my birthday.

For Breakfast I had a delicious Dr. Oz Breakfast Smoothie.


For Lunch I had some leftover Homemade Healthy Chicken Bacon Pizza (recipe to follow in a future post).


For Dinner I had some delicious Sushi from my favorite Japanese Restaurant.


For Dessert I was gonna splurge on some chocolate or cake but then had a craving for some yummy frozen yogurt at my favorite yogurt shop.


Although everything wasn't super nutritious I am proud that I made some healthy choices and didn't overindulge just because it was my Birthday!

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

DIY Abby Cadabby Birthday Party: Customized Party Favors #Tutorial


If you haven't already, please read my previous post on DIY Abby Cadabby Birthday Party: Boutique Style Birthday Hat #Tutorial . There you can see pictures of the party and a tutorial on the Boutique Style Birthday Hat.

I found these cute little Abby Cadabby Party Favor boxes for the kids that I needed to fill. I added some snacks, stickers, and a Sesame Street mini activity book. I needed to fill them a little more so I decided to hit the dollar store and see what I found there. I couldn't find anything that quite matched my theme so I took some mini clay and bubble containers and personalized them. The best thing was that they were each 5 for a dollar or 20 cents a piece!

This is how I did it:



  • Dollar items you can personalize
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Double sided tape
  1. I measured the existing label of each item. Using an image editor (I used Paint Shop Pro 9) open a new file the same size you just measured. 
  2. Using the fill tool, color the image the color you want it. 
  3. Use the shape tool to put some stars around the background.
  4. Add a an image of Abby Cadabby (or any character you chose, I just did an image search on Google)
  5. Use the text tool to add some text. (I added "Thanks for coming to my party!")
  6. Print out as many as you need to cover all of your favors. 
  7. Cut out carefully and using double side tape, tape onto party favor.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

FitBit Flex Activity Tracker #Review


I have been using the FitBit Flex for about a week now and have to say that it is a fun and motivating thing to have when you are on a weight-loss journey.

It is a little device that you put inside a rubber bracelet and wear 24/7. It tracks your steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes. It also tracks your sleep and gives you details on hours slept, times woken up, sleep quality and even has a vibrating alarm.

The best part of the FitBit Flex is that you can set a goal. You tell it how many pounds you want to lose and by what date and it will make a plan for you and tell you how many calories you can eat and how many calories you have to burn. It keeps track of the goal on the dash board on the website and on the app on your device. It also tracks a daily goal like calories burned or steps taken. I set it to track a certain amount of calories burned. During the day whenever I want to see how I am doing I just tap on the bracelet and it shows me a certain amount of lights. When all five lights, light up I know I have met my goal. If I see that I don't have enough lights by the middle of the day I make sure to move around more or add an exercise activity.

My attempt at showing the lights. If you look closely you
can see three dots of lights. 

It is super easy to wirelessly sync your FitBit Flex to your Smartphone, Tablet or computer. If I want to see a numerical value of where I am at I just go on to my iPhone and sync it. With the app you can also log your food and water intake. It will tell you how many calories you have left to eat too.


 Fitbit also has a great website where you can see a dashboard of your activities, calories in vs calories out, water intake, etc. They also have their own FitBit community where you can join different groups.


Overall I really enjoy wearing it. It makes me really proud when I see the five little lights that tell me I met my daily goal. It also kicks my tail into high gear when I don't see my lights, lighting up fast enough.

**I was not compensated nor received a sample or product in any away from the company. I chose to review this product on my own because I felt that it would be useful to my readers.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Healthy Chicken Lettuce Tacos Recipe - Dr. Oz Rapid Weight-Loss Friendly



This is one of the yummy recipes I created when I was on the Dr. Oz Rapid Weight-Loss Plan and lost 10 pounds. If you want to know more about the plan you can read my previous posts:

Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Day 1
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Day 3
Cashew Vegetable Stir-Fry - Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Plan Friendly #Recipe
Dr Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Week 1 Review

Healthy Chicken Lettuce Taco
  • chicken breast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Goya Adobo (if you can't find it you can just use salt)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • lettuce
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1/4 of a avocado (I use the big lighter green one called a slimcado but you can use a Hass one)
  • 1/4 of a small red onion
  • 1/4 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
  1. Marinate the chicken breast with the onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, Adobo, ground pepper and olive oil. Marinate for at least an hour but longer is better.
  2. Bake chicken breast at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Make sure you don't over cook. 
  3. While the chicken is cooking dice the avocado, onion, and tomato and mix together. Take your lettuce head and unwrap the large lettuce leaves. You want it to be big enough to use as a taco shell. 
  4. Slice chicken and place on top of "taco" lettuce shells. Top with avocado mixture and then a big dollop of Greek yogurt. 
  5. Serve with brown rice.
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dr Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Week 1 Review

If you are interested in the plan please read my previous posts on the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Plan
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Day 1
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Day 3
Cashew Vegetable Stir-Fry - Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Plan Friendly #Recipe

I know everyone is different and you may not lose as much as me, but if you follow the plan to a T you will definitely lose some weight.

My honest opinion after one week:

Seven whole days down in the Rapid Weight-Loss Plan. I am definitely pretty much done with the plan for now. If I have to eat another 1/2 cup of brown rice I think I will go crazy. The hardest part was all the restrictions. No sugar, no wheat, no gluten, no artificial sweeteners, no eggs and very limited fruit and dairy. I was scrambling everyday finding something to eat. While I found and created some recipes that were very tasty, I just couldn't see myself eating them for another 7 days.

I am not saying that there is anything bad about the plan. It's just very hard to be that restrictive for 2 weeks. I do have to thank the plan for motivating me. I wanted so bad to find out what the maximum weight I could lose so I followed the plan to a T. There were times that I wanted to take a berry or grape that I was preparing for my daughter for a snack. When I cut her pancakes for breakfast I just wanted one little square. When I was making my husband a sandwich I just wanted one little bite. But I didn't, I stuck to the plan and for that I lost 10.2 pounds!

I am happy with the weight loss and thought about doing it for another week but just decided against it when I thought of the brown rice or that lemon water. I will always keep what I learned in mind. I am going to cut the carbs I eat, be mindful of any sugar I am eating and try to cut out artificial sweeteners. I will be doing this plan again for a week at a time. Maybe I will do it once a month or once every two months.

I am definitely motivated with the pounds loss and will continue on this healthy weight-loss journey. I still got a lot to go but I know I can do it!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DIY Abby Cadabby Birthday Party: Boutique Style Birthday Hat #Tutorial

My daughter turned one way back in May of last year. She had an Abby Cadabby theme because at the time she was obsessed with Sesame Street.  I wanted to make her birthday as cute as possible without spending tons of money. I couldn't find much in party stores so I did most of my purchases on Amazon. I did a lot of searching on Pinterest and found a lot of cute things and ideas. I am very crafty so if I see something, I can usually make it cheaper.

Birthday Table. There was also a sign and balloons not captured in the picture.
Customized cupcake stand.
Souvenir Party Favors for the adults. 
Customized party favors for the kid"s goodie bags.
 Clay and bubbles.


How I did the party hat:

  • Printer
  • White 110lb card stock printer paper
  • Marabou feather boa in color of your choice
  • Thread elastic
  • Hot glue
  • Clip art of the character of your choice (just do a google image search)
  1. Go to http://ohhappyday.com/2011/02/party-hats-diy-template/ and download the birthday hat template. You can right click on the yellow circle that says "download party hat template" and click on save target as. Save it where you can easily remember where it is like the desktop.
  2. Open the .PDF file you just downloaded using an image editor. I used Paint Shop Pro 9.
  3. Using the paint tool, paint the entire hat the color you want. I also added pink and purple stars all around using the object tool.
  4. Then I added the Abby Cadabby Face to the middle bottom of the hat. Right below the Abby face I used the text tool to add my daughter's name.
  5. Print out finished hat onto the card stock.
  6. Cut out around and on slit of hat. Shape into a cone and slip tab into the slit you just cut. I used some hot glue to reinforce the tab.
  7. Put the hat on your child and measure around the chin where the strap would go. Add about 1 inch to that length.
  8. Carefully using hot glue, glue the elastic to both sides of the hat making a strap.
  9. Using hot glue, glue marabou feather boa to the bottom of the hat.
  10. Take about a 4 inch piece of the marabou feather boa and fold in half. Hot glue to the top of the hat to make a pom pom.
EASIER VERSION:
  • Printer
  • Card stock in color of your choice
  • Stickers of character of your choice and shapes like stars.
  • Marabou feather boa in color of your choice
  • Thread elastic
  • Hot glue
  1. Using number one from above download and print the template.
  2. Put template on top of card stock and trace around. Adhere stickers where you want on the hat.
  3. Follow steps 6-10 from above.
Stay tuned for more tutorials. I will be posting tutorials on the cupcake stand, adult souvenirs, and customized party favors.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SparkPeople Healthy Living Website #Review

I first discovered SparkPeople in 2010.  It is a great website that helps support you to lose weight. As soon as you sign up you get to set your goals. How much weight do you want to lose and by what date. After you plug in this information it gives you a plan on how many calories you can eat and how many calories you need to burn.

It has a great start up page that gives you everything at once. You can quickly track your food, exercise and weight. You can see how much water, veggies, fruits you need to eat. It has tons of articles and videos for the day and lots, lots more.



At first tracking your food can feel like a chore. Once you stick to it, it get easier and easier. You can favorite the foods you eat all the time and even add your own recipes.


Tracking your exercise is also easy. You just pick the activity and add the duration you completed. They also let you link up to activity trackers like FitBits.


By far the biggest asset of this site is the community. There are hundred and hundreds of teams you can become a part of. You can easily find a team with like weight loss goals, lifestyle, hobbies and location. You can become spark friends and help each other stay on track. You can even SparkMail each other and keep connected on your Start page. There is also a place to create a SparkPage similar to Facebook where you can also blog.

The best thing about this site is that it is completely free! You have access to tons of articles, videos and recipes. It lets you easily track your food and exercise and build a community of great supporters.

**I was not compensated nor received a sample or product in any away from the company. I chose to review this product on my own because I felt that it would be useful to my readers.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Cashew Vegetable Stir-Fry - Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Plan Friendly #Recipe


It has been 4 days since I have been on the Dr. Oz Rapid Weight Loss Plan. There are lots of limitations so I couldn't use any of my old healthy recipes. I had to think quick to make things I would enjoy so I would stick to the plan. I decided I wanted a veggie stir fry that tasted good. This is how I did it.

Cashew Vegetable Stir-Fry
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen vegetables (I used the broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend)
  • 1/2 of a small onion
  • 4 button mushrooms
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • a couple of drops of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (or a sprinkle of ground)
  • 2 tblsp of chopped cashews
  1. Place frozen vegetables in microwave and cook using package directions (You can also use fresh. I used frozen for convenience during lunch time).
  2. Chop onion and mushrooms into about 1/4 inch pieces
  3. In sauté pan add olive oil, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Keep mixing around until garlic sizzles a little. Add mushrooms and onion and sauté stirring often while frozen veggies are cooking.
  4. Drain frozen veggies and add to sauté pan with onion and mushrooms.
  5. Cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat until all veggies are coated with the oils.
  6. Serve with 1/2 cup of brown rice (optional) and sprinkle the cashews on top of the stir-fry.
If you want more information about the Plan you can read my previous posts here:
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Day 1
Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight-Loss Plan - Day 3

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