Friday, January 23, 2015


As a busy working mom, I'm always looking for ways to relax and indulge after a tough day or a long workweek.  While some mom's love to go out for happy hour, take a long solo run, or read a book, I've found some of my own little happy spots in recent weeks.

Wine & Sweet Treats

I love a refreshing glass of white wine (in my unbreakable plastic wine glasses, of course) with a sweet treat.  I recently discovered these #DiscoverBrookside Crunchy Clusters, and I'm obsessed with them.  The best part is that one serving is generous at 22 pieces, and the calories and fat aren't that different than a cup of my favorite yogurt.   Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Spa Treatments

One day I realized that the only time I'm ever really alone anymore is when I'm driving to and from work.  While I love my family and my work, I have to find some time to recharge my own batteries.  Massages have been a good opportunity for this.  They're helpful for loosening my stiff and sore mom muscles.  I also love a good facial, which is necessary now that Winter is here and my skin has become incredibly dry.  I can't wait to have my massage and facial after work next week!


Walking is wonderful, so I've been taking some time during lunch at work to take a walk around campus with a coworker.  We both agree that our walks help to clear our minds and get out our anxious energy.  We've walked a couple of times a week for the past two months, and our goal is to increase our frequency and length of walks this year.  I just need some new sneakers, then we'll really be in business!

Beauty Products

A soothing mask, a long shower using new or favorite products, and trying super luxe new products can make me feel like a million bucks.  Finding time may be tricky, but taking advantage of those quiet moments means the world.  Also, trying new products also makes me feel giddy and excited.  I received some great new products from Allure and Glossybox recently, so it's been play time for mommy when the baby's asleep and the husband is working in the yard.  I've even found some fun and surprising new HG products, so the indulgence has been worth it.

How do you indulge these days?  
Do you find that enjoying your indulgences makes you happy, or do you feel guilty for not doing other things?

I received the Brookside Crunchy Clusters for free to sample from Brookside and Crowdtap.  
As always, my opinions are my own and were not swayed by having received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.  The Crunchy Clusters happen to be delicious, but they didn't require or expect me to write that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Being Healthy & Being Overweight - They're Not Mutually Exclusive

It's absolutely no secret that I'm a larger woman.  Plus-sized, overweight, plump, fluffy, "more to love", chubby... fat.  It's that last one that seems to sting the most.

Isn't it funny how some words or phrases in our language hurt more than others?  It's usually because the ones that hurt most are the words that are hurled at us as insults or intentional slurs with the greatest regularity.  Somehow, being called "fat" is enough to send some people into an abyss of hysterics and eating disorders.  Being called "overweight" isn't exactly a glowing compliment, but it just feels less offensive.  Am I right?

When I tried online dating many years ago, I was called all kinds of awful words to describe an overweight woman once these guys found out I weighed more than 150 lbs.  It was awful and I'm still surprised that I tried again (which is how I met Hubs!).  I can understand why so many women vow to never use online dating sites again.  Women have also said things like this too, usually to be catty.  All of that shit's got to stop.

As one who has owned a mirror throughout her entire life, I know what I look like.  I can state factually that I am a larger woman, overweight, or whatever else, since I'm a realist.  I'm not being mean to myself by calling out that I'm heavier than my 125 lb friend who insists on telling me how fat she is all the time.  (Which I find insulting in it's own right.)  I'll call a spade a spade, and there's no use in my pretending that I don't know that I'm plus-sized.

I've fought being overweight since I was 6 years old, and have had varying degrees of success in this fight.  In 2007, I set out on a journey to lose weight and lost nearly 100 lbs using Weight Watchers.  By 2012, I had gained half of it back.  By 2014, I had gained all of it back.  Then, I had a baby and added some weight to that number that still hasn't come off 5 months after giving birth.

So, I'm heavier than I've ever been at this very moment.  And you know what?  I don't really care.

I don't hate myself for being overweight.

I don't look in the mirror and think that I look grotesque, disgusting, or ugly.

I truly believe that I'm beautiful on the inside and out.

Anyone who doesn't see that is a fucktard.  (Pardon my French.)

I care about my desire to improve my overall health, and losing weight is a part of my plan for Balance this year.  But losing weight isn't the end-all, be-all.  Good health is what's important to me.  Right now, I'm healthy, but I need to get healthier.  Improved stamina, strength, flexibility, and agility are things I know will be important in helping my little girl grow up.

It's also important to me that my daughter has a mom who is loving, confident, happy, comfortable in her own skin, and promotes health over a fear of being "fat".  A parent's words about the importance of weight and health will shape a child's perceptions of themselves and others for many years, so setting a good example from the start is critical.

A person can be over a doctor's recommended weight but still healthy.  My physician has agreed with this and affirmed my commitment to health rather than a number on the scale, which felt great.  Having a doctor who gets it is worth its weight in gold!

You don't have to be skinny to be healthy.  Skinny people are not necessarily healthy.  While your odds of good health may increase when you weigh less, being overweight and being healthy are not mutually exclusive.  You can be both!

Most of us would concur that losing weight is incredibly difficult.  It's frustrating to work hard all week and not see a change on the scale, or for your clothes to not fit any differently.  You have to make the commitment every day and be accountable, which is the hardest part of all.  I'm certain that I'll continue to work on losing weight throughout my life, but striking a good balance now will be the most important step I can take.

In the meantime, I'm loving every square inch of myself, inside and out, and getting to work on improving my lifestyle.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Welcoming 2015 - The Balancing Act

Happy New Year, friends!  We're now comfortably in 2015, with a whole new year with a fresh outlook. 

As I've said before, I'm not big on resolutions, but my friend Becca inspired me to find a word to focus on and strive for each and every day.  I have decided that my word is Balance.  I want to balance everything in my life so I can be the most successful I can be, whether that be as a mom, a wife, an employee, a leader, a friend, and a family member.  I want to balance a healthy lifestyle with those enjoyable indulgences that I just can't quit.  I want to balance work and home responsibilities, balance time with family and time with friends, and balance my needs with those of my husband and daughter. 

I think we all love the idea of balance, but I don't think we're all so great at actually doing it.  We often find ourselves living in the moment, doing what is fun or exciting rather than what is necessary or responsible, and spending time, energy, money, etc. doing things for short-term gain.  And what does that often get us?  A lifestyle that is out of whack with what we really want both now and in the future. 

My primary areas of focus are going to be on health, relationships and finances.  I go in spurts of great balance, and then I revert back to my old ways too quickly and easily for my liking.  It's going to take work, but breaking a cycle (or pattern or habit) always involves that.  And it's not as easy as a once-a-year resolution.  These are decisions and choices you make each day, even minute-by-minute at times, to choose wisely and ensure that balance is achieved.

Balance is the name of the game, I'm damn it, I'm going to win this year!  Happy 2015!

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Tampa, Florida, United States
I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

La Bella Vita

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