Feel like new. Feel like you. // Part Two

February 17, 2017

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. — Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

Feel like new. // livelovesimple.com

This is my final post in my series with Jenny Craig. I am a little bit sad about that, but I am so excited about moving forward with the positive momentum that this experience has given me.

The thing that has stood out to me the most in this journey has been how effectively Jenny has changed my relationship with food. Over the course of my life, my relationship with food has been so up and down. There have been times when I was so healthy, constantly making smart decisions. But there have been other times, including recently, where my relationship with food was out of control. Essentially, I used food as a drug, and I abused it like a drug, too.

With Jenny Craig, members develop a healthy relationship with food, build an active lifestyle and create a more balanced approach to living. They understand and overcome the internal/external challenges to healthy eating, identify enjoyable ways to move more, learn positive coping strategies and reframe their beliefs and attitudes to better support their weight management goals.

Feel like new. // livelovesimple.com

All of these things were true for me. As soon as I began to see positive results, my energy and dedication to my health snowballed for the better. I grew more focused with each day that passed. I have been amazed by the results that I experienced inside of the program, and by the positive changes that I continue to experience as a result of what I have learned.

Feel like new. // livelovesimple.com

When it comes to health, wellness, and nutrition there are so many ways to approach it. For some, it comes naturally. For others, it takes a lot of work. As with everything in life, we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses. Jenny is a flexible program that can serve as a complete reset or simply as a gentle reminder. The beauty of the program is that, with your personal consultant, you always have someone there to cheer you on, motivate you and keep you on track. That support system means everything when it comes to accomplishing your goals.

Feel like new. // livelovesimple.com

If you have any questions about the program, feel free to hit me up. I am more than happy to answer your questions and speak about my experience.

Wishing you love and wellness always– xo

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Dreaming of Spring Style

February 15, 2017

Spring Toddler Style // livelovesimple.com

1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6.

We are in the dead of winter here in the northeast. Although it’s been a mild winter (so grateful!) we got hit with a couple of big snowstorms last week. Snow is so pretty in December, but come February and I am completely over it.

That doesn’t keep me from dreaming about spring though. I know it’s right around the corner. It’s got me thinking about the sweet days ahead when it will no longer take us ten minutes of bundling up just to get out the door.

Spring & summer style is so much fun and I am already eyeing up a few adorable outfits for my little ones. These pieces from Ladida have got me all heart-eyed. If you’re looking for gorgeous designer children’s clothing, Ladida has got you covered.

Whereever you are I hope that you are warm and happy and dreaming of the sweetness of spring. xo

This post is in partnership with Ladida. Thank you for supporting the companies that support my work.


Financial Wellness: Make Smart Choices

February 13, 2017

Recently I’ve been talking a lot about wellness, especially personal wellness. However, something that I haven’t mentioned recently–even though I’ve been thinking about it a lot–is money and financial wellness.

Without financial wellness, and especially financial stability, it is impossible to achieve overall balance and wellness in our lives. I have always been a person who thinks carefully about money–and as a mother to two little ones, I especially do so now. Sure, I’ve made a few rash spending decisions in my lifetime; but overall, I am responsible and thoughtful when it comes to money.

If you are interested in some ideas for saving, check out one of my oldest and most popular posts–How I Saved $10,000 in Six Months. Whenever I start to stress about money or “get off track” I return to that post and I’m reminded of some great ways to save.

I also want to introduce CreditCards.com which offers a financial tool that empowers people to use credit cards the right way. I am a strong believer in using credit cards–the right way. Credit cards should not be abused. They are not “free cash.” Getting into the habit of using cards to spend money that you don’t have is dangerous, and a quick road to financial disaster. However, using cards intelligently and finding cards that make your life easier–and even offer benefits and rewards–is a fantastic idea.

For me, as a busy mom, I need a credit card that I can trust and rely on. I almost always forget to carry cash and depending on the time of month, there are certainly days when my checking account will not cover necessary purchases. At those times, it’s critical that I have a credit card that I can depend on.

My favorite card, and the one that I’ve been using the longest, is my Discover card. The Discover customer service team is top notch. Additionally, I love the benefits and rewards programs that my card offers–like cash back bonuses, 0% balance transfers (so clutch when you’re paying down debt!), discounted event tickets, and more.

If you’re in the market for a new card for yourself, I definitely recommend checking out the CreditCards.com CardMatch tool. CardMatch securely matches you with offers in less than 60 seconds without impacting your credit score in any way.

CreditCards.com // livelovesimple.com

The tool is quick, easy to use, and secure.

CreditCards.com // livelovesimple.com

Whether you’re a busy parent, a recent college grad, or a senior ready to retire–it doesn’t matter–financial stability is a necessity in order to be your best self. Making smart choices when it comes to spending, saving, and credit cards is always a good idea.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Put on your oxygen mask before helping others.

February 11, 2017

Put on your oxygen mask before helping others. // livelovesimple.com

I’ve been wanting to write this post forever. I’ve started it in my head countless times. I kept stopping though, I could never get it out. I want to say so much and I want to say it well.

It’s just that the message is so much more important than simply, “You have to take care of yourself.” And yet, that is the message. I hope that saying something will be better than saying nothing at all. I hope that you will read this and that it will touch you to make a change in your life, a change that you very much deserve.

It’s been a month and a half since I found my way out of the darkness, again. The past few years have been a roller coaster in every way. The only constant has been my lack of self care. Sure, there were a few times when I stepped up my game and did something positive or healthy for myself; but all of those attempts fizzled quickly.

The thing about self care is that it’s a massive undertaking. It’s not about one thing, or even a series of short term efforts. It’s about a lot of things: a permanent, holistic picture of healthiness, happiness, fullness, and balance. When I “woke up” at the beginning of this year, it wasn’t so much a matter of wanting to, as it was a matter of necessity. I was literally slowly dying.

Over the past six weeks, everything has changed. It had been so hard to take care of myself for so long, because I fell into the trap that a lot of women (and men) fall into–I believed that I mattered the least. It’s a natural belief, easy to fall into, especially when you are a mother or a caretaker. It’s instinctual to a degree, to want to put your babies or loved ones in front of yourself in every way.

The unfortunate thing is that ultimately, and almost always, it ends in disaster. When we do not take care of ourselves, we fall apart. Our health suffers and our mind suffers. We run ourselves ragged trying to do everything, and be everything, for every one; and even if that works for a little while, eventually, it always falls apart.

Sometimes we think that by neglecting ourselves, we are serving others; but that is not the truth. When we are broken, the love and the care that we give to others is inadequate at best. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

I have found that there are five key areas of nourishment when it comes to self care. If we can meet these five areas, truly and completely, then we are, indeed taking care of ourselves. When we are our best selves, we can also care wholly for the people that we love. In order to effectively, love and care for the people and things in our lives, we must first love and care for ourselves.

There are five areas of nourishment for self care:

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Nutritional
  • Spiritual
  • Interpersonal

Emotional: First, we must be nourished emotionally. Self-love and emotional wellness are the very basis of self care. If we do not love ourselves, everything else in our lives will be out of balance. The challenge of emotional nourishment often comes down to our beliefs about what we, ourselves, deserve.

When I started my journey of self care, I struggled intensely. For a long time I would start only to stop again quickly thereafter. I finally found lasting success when I began using my self-love mantra, “I deserve to be happy and healthy.” When I feel like I can not (or should not) reach personal success, I repeat my mantra to myself. It empowers me to keep going.

Physical & Nutritional: These two go hand-in-hand. Physical and nutritional wellness are the bedrock foundation on which wellness is built. For some people, these things come naturally. Regular physical activity and a healthy balanced diet are staples in some peoples lives. For others, however, it’s just the opposite. Sedentary lifestyles equate to constant aches and pains. The diet consists of almost entirely unhealthy, processed garbage food.

I could write a novel on this bullet point alone, but for now, I’ll simply say two things.

Exercise–You must do something that stretches your muscles and elevates your heartbeat every day. A brisk walk, a dance party in the living room, a ten minute yoga video on YouTube. Any of these things will suffice. Further, you must exercise hard–until you sweat–between one and three times a week. If you think this sounds impossible, start with a mere fraction of what I am recommending and go from there. It is not impossible. Wherever you are today, just start. Even if you have long forgotten its magic, your body is still a wonderful, powerful temple. It is waiting for you to reclaim it.

Diet–Imagine that your body is a garden. If you want it to grow and flourish, it needs certain things. It’s very simple. We all know that gardens need water, sunlight, and rich soil to grow. Our bodies are similar. We need water, vitamins and minerals, protein, and fiber. There are many ways to achieve this, thousands of diet plans in the world. But most basically, what we need is real, organic food. Fruit, vegetables, lean meat (in moderation or not at all). It’s that simple. Everything else, other than the things that I’ve described here, is garbage. With very few exceptions, all processed food is garbage, loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Cigarettes, alcohol, and drug abuse–would you pour battery acid all over your garden?

Spiritual: Once we are emotionally, physically, and nutritionally nourished, we can turn attention to our spiritual lives. Spiritual nourishment comes from a whole host of areas, and for each person, it means something different. For many, religion plays a part in soothing the spirit. For others, time spent alone in nature is critical to spiritual health. Almost everyone can benefit from art–reading nourishing books, listening to touching music, visiting a museum, watching a moving play, and so on.

When it comes to spiritual nourishment, it’s really simple. Do whatever it is that makes your spirit come alive.

Interpersonal: Relationships are the final piece of this puzzle. Ten years ago, I was in an amazing place in my life. I had just overcome anxiety and depression. I had lost seventy pounds. I was living a life that I had always dreamed of living. At that time, I absolutely loved helping people. I was building my career on my ability and desire to help people. What happened next, however, I never could have anticipated. My desire to help people almost killed me.

I was so blinded by my desire to help that I dove into it headfirst without caution. Both in my professional life and in my personal life. I was so committed to helping and healing others, that I completely forgot about me. I fell so hard and so quickly into a trap and I never, for a moment, realized that in trying to help, I–myself–would be destroyed.

By the time I finally realized what had happened, I was so far gone that I was unrecognizable. My life had fallen apart into a million broken pieces. One day I looked in the mirror and I had no idea who I was. It’s taken me a year and a half to slowly crawl out of that hole. I can finally see the light again.

My point regarding interpersonal relationships is that you have to be extremely careful about who you allow into your life and how. Not every person can be helped. Not every person wants to be helped. It is critical that you choose relationships that nourish you, build you up, and empower you to be your best self. Do not settle for anything less–whether in friendships, romantic relationships, colleagues, or acquaintances. Never, never settle. You do not have to tolerate toxicity in your life, ever.

When I first started therapy, again, I received some of the best advice I’ve ever heard. She said, when you are talking to yourself, speak as though you are talking to your children or to your best friend–to someone who you love very, very much. It took me awhile to fully come around to it, to truly embrace it. I still stumble occasionally, but mostly I am here now. I treat my self with the love and care that I deserve. And thereby, I can love and care for the people around me with a full, strong, nourished heart–which is the greatest love that can be given.

Every morning when you wake up, think of the best compliment that you could ever receive–and then give it to yourself. Say it in your mind. Say it out loud. Say it again, and again, and again. Then say it again at lunchtime. And again when you’re getting ready for bed. Not just today or tomorrow, but every day. Then watch the magic in your life unfold. ♥

Put on your oxygen mask before helping others. // livelovesimple.com

Put on your oxygen mask before helping others.
You can’t help anybody when you’re dead.


Feel like new. Feel like you.

January 26, 2017

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. — Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

Jenny Craig // livelovesimple.com

Thanks to this blog, I’ve been able to work with so many great companies over the years. I am so grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I’ve been really excited about a lot of them, but working with Jenny Craig has been my most rewarding partnership yet.

As I wrote about in my last post, just a couple of months ago I was in a really difficult place. I was facing an uphill battle. Especially when it came to my health, I was close to giving up. It was right around that time that I was contacted and asked to partner with Jenny. The timing was so perfect that it felt like an answered prayer.

I realize that this is a sponsored post, but everything that I’m going to share in this post (and every post!) is 100% true to my real-life experience. Over the past few weeks, since I started the program, my life has changed.

Health, wellness, and nutrition have always been a topic on this blog of mine. When I first started writing here, eight years ago, I had just gone through a personal health revolution. I had overcome depression and anxiety, and lost seventy pounds. I was at the top of my health game for sure. After I lost that weight, I had no trouble keeping it off for many years. It wasn’t until after I had my second baby, that everything changed. Becoming a mother changes things for a lot of women. Add to that all of the challenges that life throws on a daily, and sometimes it feels impossible.

Again, as I mentioned in my last post, there was a perfect storm of poor health in my life. No matter what I seemed to do, I just couldn’t get healthy. Everything was out of control for me, especially my diet.

The Jenny Craig program has taken my nutrition from night to day. I am relearning what appropriate portions are. I am remembering how it feels to eat the right amount of calories for my body. My energy and my mood have not been this high in years. The momentum that I’ve gained through the program has even encouraged me to get back to the gym, which I thought I would never be able to do again. I’ve been consistently going three days a week and it feels incredible.

The program features more than 100 premium menu items to love in delicious flavors, created by 40 professional chefs. Every meal that I’ve eaten on the program has been restaurant-quality. It’s like having a personal chef in the kitchen seven days a week; and as a busy mom it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever!

The program will leave you feeling satisfied because the food is so good and you get to eat so much in the course of a day. Here is a picture to show you what food for one day on the program looks like:

Jenny Craig // livelovesimple.com

I’ve been on the program for a little over three weeks now and I’ve lost eleven pounds. I am required to tell you that my results are not typical. Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. And I received promotional consideration. But with that said, I personally feel so confident that anyone who engages with this program will see results. It’s so simple and it’s so good!

When I looked at my meal plan for the week and the daily menus, I wondered if I would even be able to eat all of that food in a day. But don’t worry, I did. 😉 There are not only typical “healthy” meal options, but there are delicious snacks worked into each day’s menu, as well. Whether you love salty & crunch or gooey & sweet, there is something for you.

Jenny Craig // livelovesimple.com

For me, the cornerstone of the plan has been my weekly meetings with my Consultant. On the plan, your Consultant will work with you on your menu, discuss any challenges from the previous week and determine a plan for the week ahead. Plus, your consultant will keep track of your success with weekly weigh-ins and teach you how to self-monitor. The weigh-ins have been such a motivation for me to stay on track and continually make progress.

Jenny Craig // livelovesimple.com

I love my Consultant, Allie. She is such a wealth of information and source of encouragement. For members who don’t live near a center, Jenny Craig Anywhere offers one-on-one support through consultations over the phone or via video chat. They’ve got you covered.

Jenny Craig // livelovesimple.com

For me, the program has truly been life-changing. It’s set me off on a path of positivity and health, that I was afraid I would never find again. If you’ve been thinking about trying it out for yourself, I would definitely recommend it. It is an investment in yourself. When I started the program, I had a lot of fear and doubt. I adopted a mantra to help myself get through the days. Every time I started to feel myself slip in any way, I said, “You deserve to be happy and healthy.” It feels so good to have been saying that these last few weeks. It’s such a far cry from where I was just a couple of months ago. I am so excited to keep going down this path.

Jenny Craig // livelovesimple.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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