Bring in the New Year with Lunch Box Resolutions

Thank you Del Monte® for Sponsoring this post. 

My husband and I have been well into our weight loss journey since August 31. A big part of us wanting to get healthy is to be better role models for our daughter. It makes it easier for us to succeed in our weight loss efforts because she is a great motivator. Since we are making healthier choices for ourselves we started making healthier choices for her too.

We still have a very picky three year old so it's hard to find healthy choices that she will actually eat. I have tried my best to disguise lots of food and sometimes it has actually worked and sometimes it has been epic fails. For now we just keep trying with different recipes and keep track of the nutrients she is consuming with the foods that she does like.

I went to Walmart to pick up her favorite lunch snacks, Del Monte® Fruit Cup® Snacks and Frigo® Cheeseheads® Cheese Snacks. I can't wait to see the new Del Monte® Fruit & Veggie Fusions coming out next month. I think it's cool that they added vegetable juice to the cup. During the month of January and February of 2016 there will be a “Better for You Lunchbox” booklet with $6.25 in instant coupon savings included with the Del Monte® Fruit Cup® Snacks. This booklet will help us make Lunch Box Resolutions and save money at the same time.

Now that the New Year is a couple of days away I wanted to make a goal of giving her healthier lunches. I thought this would also be helpful to all of you mommies who have kids going back to school after the holiday break. The holidays are full of eating parties and celebrations so what better way than to start the new year with healthier foods.

What New Year's Resolutions do you have with your kids? 

Weight Loss Journey: Week 17

I lost 2.4 pounds for a total weight loss of 44.2 pounds. I also lost 6.25 inches for the month of December.

This week my husband and I were obsessed with low carb cream cheese pancakes. I have been craving pancakes so this definitely got rid of that craving. They are so easy to make that we kept eating them all week. I was really prepared for Christmas and made some low carb sides and a dessert for my husband and I. We went to my mom's house for dinner and she made pernil (pork shoulder) and baked chicken. The pernil was delicious and I didn't even miss my mom's rice because I brought over my cauliflower mash and ate some salad. Then for dessert I made the most delicious low carb cheese cake. I was so full and satisfied on Christmas that I didn't miss any of the high-carb foods that my mom dished out. 

I was so busy with shopping and cleaning the house that I only got a couple of days in of exercise and one short walk. My sister and I took our usual after holiday feast walk but since it was raining we didn't get to walk as far as we wanted to. I will be starting the Fé Fit Four Times a Week Exercise Challenge on Monday so I did the essentials DVD to get me ready for the challenge. It was fun to do but I couldn't do all that was on the DVD. I am happy to have a structured exercise plan and hope I can complete the 90-day challenge.

  • Take vitamins and probiotics.
  • Get in 8000 daily steps. 
  • Follow  4 x week Fé Fit Exercise Challenge
  • Update weight loss command center and plan meals. 
What are your healthy goals for the new year? 

How I Am Getting Fit in 2016

*I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

I am almost four months into my weight loss journey and am now ready to fit in a really structured exercise program. I tried one before this one but it was pretty advanced and I probably just wasn't ready. Four months in I can walk long distances without back problems and have the stamina to do so much more. It is amazing what over 40 pounds lost will do for your body. Now that I have the nutrition and daily activity down I want to focus on getting cardio and toning in.

The Fé Fit Women's Workout Program is the perfect way for me to start a planned daily workout routine. Following a keto diet and doing some strength training workouts is the the perfect way for my weight loss to continue. Now that my body is used to the way I eat I don't want my weight loss to slow down so this is the perfect time to incorporate some exercise.

I was so excited to get my Fé Fit program in the mail. It came in a really pretty hot pink box with everything I needed to start the program. I got the instructional booklets, a 21-day calendar exercise plan, stickers to mark down my completed workouts and the awesome DVDs. I love that the program includes 7 different genres of exercises so I won't get bored doing the same thing. I was also happy to see that I had all the equipment I needed to get started. You are going to need some light weights, a yoga mat, resistance band and pilates ring.

There are different programs to choose from and I decided to start the 4 times a week program. I like that you get two rest days and that you can choose to walk or jog on another one of the days. The best part of the workouts are that they are only 30 minutes long! I did the start-up DVD that prepares you for the workouts and I have to say that I am excited to start this 90-Day Challenge.

How are you planning to stay active this year? 

New Year's Confetti Push-Up Popper

I wanted something fun and exciting that we could do once the New Year comes so I decided to make these New Year's Eve push-up poppers. Before I decided to make these, everything I found in stores to celebrate was too loud or too dangerous for a preschooler so these really fit the bill. I got these push up pop containers a couple of years ago and have been meaning to make some push up cakes with them but never got to it. What a perfect way to use them to pop out some confetti instead of cakes!

  • Push-up containers
  • confetti
  • black glittery paper
  • gold glittery paper
  • white card stock
  • gold ribbon
  • black ribbon
  • double sided tape
  • paper punchers (I used: 1 1/4" circle, 1" scalloped square, 3/4" square)
  • clear marbles (optional)
  • vase (optional)

Step One: Fill eat push-up container full to the top with confetti. I wanted to use a mixture of different sizes, shapes and colors but my craft store only had the silver crinkle. Carefully close each push-up container.

Step Two: Take the black and gold ribbon and tie a bow around the top of the popper. 

Step Three: I printed some text with "2016" onto white card stock and used the 3/4" square paper puncher to cut them out.  Cut a 1 1/4" inch circle out of the black glittery paper. Cut a 1" inch scalloped square from the gold glittery paper. Use the double sided tape to stick the gold square on top of the black circle and the white label on top of the black square . Use the tape again to stick the completed label onto the front of the popper. Repeat for each popper. (If you don't have circle punchers you can trace a circle from a bottle and cut them out with scissors.)

Step Four (Optional): Place the marbles into the vase and stick the Confetti Push-Up poppers inside. (Instead of using the vase and marbles I decided to use the push-up poppers stand the poppers came with.)

Step Five: Push up the stick on the poppers all the way up to shoot the confetti out and ring the new year in!

What fun traditions do you do to ring in the new year? 

Merry Christmas!

The Top Five Keto and Low Carb Desserts

I have been on a Keto Diet for 16 weeks now and I have followed it easily and without cheats. When I first researched the Keto Diet I was really doubting myself on if I could do it or not. I am a huge sweets person so I thought I would miss my desserts too much. In preparing myself for this way of eating I researched and tried keto recipes and these are my favorites.

Low Carb No-Bake Cheesecake: This is the first dessert I created and enjoyed when I started the Keto Diet. It is so easy to make and so fast. There were a lot of times that my husband and I wanted something sweet to end the day and these were so easy to whip up. It tastes like cheesecake and the nut crumble at the bottom makes the perfect crust.

Low Carb Vanilla Coconut Milk "Shake": This shake is so thick and creamy and satisfying. The thick coconut milk in a can is the key to this milk shake and you won't even miss the ice cream. It's so quick and easy to whip up in the blender and it's so fun to drink with a cute straw.

Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Bombs: We always have a batch of these in the freezer. These are also easy and quick to make. Fat bombs are perfect when you need to eat some more fat at the end of the day and don't have room from extra protein or carbs. I use sunbutter instead of peanut or almond butter to help cut the carbs a little more. These freeze really well and melt in your mouth when you eat them. They are so decadent that you only need one to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Low Carb Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake: I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit even with my non-keto family. The pecan crust was so much better than a regular graham cracker crust. The layers of pumpkin pie and cream cheese were so decadent and filling. I cut the cheesecake into 16 pieces and even though the slice looked small the flavor and richness really satisfied me the way a big piece of carb loaded pie would.

Keto Puppy Chow: This may sound a little weird when you find out that the main ingredient is pork rinds but it really does work. The pork rinds are coated with peanut butter and chocolate so you really forget you are eating pork rinds. It is so easy and fast to make and it's a yummy snack that is fun to eat.

Weight Loss Journey: Week 16

I lost 1.2 pounds for a total weight loss of 42.2 pounds.

I continued with my intermittent fasting where I fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8 hour window. Because of all the healthy fats I consume I am never hungry so going 16 hours or even longer is easy for me to do. I am eating two meals a day and sometimes I have a snack or something a little sweet at the end of the day. I have been super prepared by making desserts, having snacks on hand and making cloud bread buns. I ate a lot of salads and vegetables this week so almost of all of carbs came from keto friendly vegetables. I also enjoyed some Lily's Sugar Free Dark Chocolate at night and some keto friendly hot cocoa.

I did so well with exercise this week! I continued using the Fitnet app and did lots of strength training. My legs were like jello after the workout on Monday. I am so out of shape that my legs were so sore for 3 days in a row. Even though my legs hurt I continued to exercise everyday. On Wednesday I went over my moms and we did a Zumba exercise DVD. Then on Thursday I found a really cool youtuber and had fun doing some of his strength training videos. I also found some Just Dance youtube videos that I had fun doing with my daughter. I took a break from exercise on Friday and then was back at it on Saturday and Sunday with cardio and strength training.

  • Take vitamins and probiotics.
  • Get in 8000 daily steps. 
  • Strength training workouts at least 4 times this week. 
  • Go to gym or exercise video at least 3 days this week.
  • Plan and make some keto sides for Christmas Brunch at moms. 

DIY Photo Booth, Fast and Cheap!

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.

Before having my daughter I never really took too many pictures. After having a baby, things in the photo department change and you want to capture every moment. Now that she is three and interested in taking pictures and modeling for me I thought it would be fun to create a photo booth for our Christmas Family gathering.

To make the background I just got some festive wrapping paper from my discount store and some over the door hooks. I threaded a long piece of ribbon through the roll of the wrapping paper and tied the ends together. Then I put the over the door hooks on the door at each edge of the door. I hung the wrapping paper from the over the door hooks and rolled down the paper to the floor.

I wanted to make it as easy as possible so I went to my local discount store to search for Christmas photo props. I found some cute Christmas ones for two bucks at one of my favorite stores, Five Below. If you can't find photo props you can download and print some out like these or these. Then you can glue some wood sticks or straws to hold them while taking the pictures.

HP came out with the coolest paper that allows you to print your pictures out as photo strips! All you have to do is take some pictures with your smartphone and use the pocketbooth app. To make it easier I use my HP wireless printer and print them out right away. The HP Photo strip paper comes in 50 -5" x 7" sheets that allows you to create 100 photo strips! The photo strips dry instantly, are water-resistant and smudge-resistant.

What kind of photo props would you use for your next holiday party?