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A Look Back at 2016!

One thing I look forward to each year is writing this post! I like to look back and reflect and share the good things that happened throughout the year. I guess you could call this my “Christmas Letter”. Each year (and this year is no different), I hope that others will either leave a comment with a few (or all…it’s up to you) of your own answers! I love reading them. Without further ado…let’s take a look back at how 2016 was!

1. What did you do in 2015 that you had never done before?

This one’s easy! I completely cut sugar out of my diet. I went from eating an insane amount of sugar a day to none. I probably ate a weeks worth of sugar each day. The good news is, I don’t miss it at all!! Not one bit!

 2. Did you keep your New Years resolutions and will you make more for the new year?

YES! Two goals I had for myself for 2016 was to get healthy and do something I enjoy each day (read more). Not only did I lose over 80 lbs this year, but I also read over 77 books!

 3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No and I’m super sad about that. I don’t know that I held a baby at all this entire year.

 4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, but a whole bunch of celebrities did. It’s crazy how many passed this year.

 5. What would you like more of in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Exactly what I want more of every single year…more time with my husband. It makes me very sad that he has to travel so much for work. If I had a magic lamp with three wishes, I’d only make one wish and having Dan home more would be it.

 6. What countries did you visit?

Just the USA! Never left.

 7. What date will forever be etched in your memory and why?

January 23, 2016…this is the day both my husband and I decided to get our health under control and start the Keto diet.

 8. What was your biggest achievement this year?

Losing 80+ lbs. I never, in a million years, thought I had the will power to do the Keto diet and give up sugar, but I am so glad I did.

 9. What was your biggest failure?

Probably yelling to much. I get stressed and then I yell.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope! I was pretty darn healthy all year long!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My iPhone 7 Plus. The camera is amazing!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mine. I have a 10 year old daughter (going on 15) and a 12 year old son in middle school. They are alive and I am not an alcoholic. Need I say more?!?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I have a middle school aged child. I think everyone would agree that, at that age, from time to time, things get pretty hairy in the behavior department!

14. Where did most of your money go?

To the kids sports. Both kids play travel sports and between hotels, sports, fees and travel expenses, it’s pretty darn expensive.

15. What did you get really, really excited for?

One of Dan’s cousins got married this year in Pennsylvania in a barn. If I could do my wedding over again, it would be identical to theirs!

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?

That Justin Timberlake song…Can’t Stop that Feeling.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or Sadder? Happier
  • Thinner or fatter? Thinner
  • Richer or Poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you had done more of?

I think I say this every single year, but family dinners. I love sitting at our kitchen table as a family and having dinner together. I wish we could do that more often.

19. What do you wish you had done less of?

I really wish I didn’t yell as much as I did.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas is a week long adventure in our family. On the 18th, we had Christmas dinner with my mom, brother and his family. On Christmas Eve, the kids, my husband and I stayed home, ate and played games while watching Ernest Saves Christmas. Christmas morning my mom came over, we opened presents from Santa and ate breakfast. After that, we went to my inlaws house for Christmas. The day after Christmas we celebrated some more with my inlaws! It was fun!

21. I copied this from a few years ago..she had no 21 then…apparently there is still no question 21!

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?

Well considering I am still in love with the one I married, that would be a yes!

23. How many one-night stands?

um…none…what a weird question.

24. What was your favorite television show?

This is Us. If you haven’t watched it…start. You will love it.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?

Hate? No. Dislike strongly…yes.

26. What was the best book you read?

I am currently reading The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I absolutely love that couple and the book is great!

27. What did you want and get?

I never really want much…however, my husband surprised me with an awesome 27 inch monitor for my desk and I have to say, it’s pretty sweet!

28. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I don’t know that I really have an answer for this!

29. Hmmm…another question STILL missing. Maybe next year I will make up one!

30. What was your favorite film this year?

I really liked the new Independence Day movie! I thought it was good. Would have been better if Will Smith was in it…but Liam Hemsworth was nice to look at!

31. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

I turned 35. I really don’t remember doing much of anything on my birthday.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurable more satisfying?

This is easy. My year would have been better if my husband was home more. I’ve almost forgotten what it was like to have a second adult in the house on a daily basis.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Yoga pants and a hoodie. Most comfortable clothes ever!

34. What kept you sane?

My Kindle and having Kindle Unlimited (if you don’t have that…get it!). I found my love for reading again in 2016.

35. Which celebrity or public figure did you fancy the most?

I really don’t have one.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Pretty much everything having to do with the election irritated me this year.

37. Who did you miss?

My dad. It’s still very weird that he’s not hear anymore.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t know if I really met anyone new. How sad is that?

39. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2016.

Live for you. Don’t try to please other people and it’s OK to take a step back to get back to what is best for you.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Let it go, let it go

Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care

What they’re going to say

Let the storm rage on.

The cold never bother me anyway.

Happy New Years! Now it’s your turn. Leave me a comment with some of your answers to the questions above OR if you decide to fill this out on your site, let me know….I’d love to come check it out!

Goal Setting Free Printable

We are nearing the end of the year (can you believe it?!?) and people are already talking about what their New Years Resolutions will be. To be honest with you, I am not one to set New Years Resolutions. I feel like, when I do, I fail each and every year before January is even up. I think it’s because the word resolution makes it sound all or nothing. Like you either succeed at it or fail. Instead, I prefer to make a couple goals. Goals are things you strive for. You may succeed, you may not, but regardless, it has that “I’m working towards this” kind of feel. Goal setting really worked well for me this year and I want to help you with your 2017 goals!

Why Goal Setting?

Well…like I said above, goal setting, for me, just sounds nicer. It sounds like something you are setting out to do and if you fail, it’s OK…just try again. With resolutions it sounds like an all or none type of thing and, I don’t know about you, but if I am trying to change certain things for the better, I don’t want that kind of pressure (even if it is pressure I put on myself).

How Goal Setting Helped Me

Just before the clock struck midnight and it became 2016, I decided that I was going to set two goals for myself the new year. The first goal, to help me mentally, I wanted to do something for myself that I truly enjoy. Read. I wanted to take time each and every day to read more. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, I wanted that time set aside. So I joined Goodreads and I set a reading goal of 50 books read for the year. I just finished my 67th book! My Kindle Paperwhitegoal setting really helped me that goal because of how light and portable it is. It went everywhere with me!

The second goal was set to help me physically. I had gained a tremendous amount of weight and I was tired of carrying it around. Not to mention, I wasn’t getting any younger. I did not want to be 100 lbs overweight when I hit 40. All you hear is how hard it is to lose weight after 40 and I didn’t want to be this heavy for the rest of my life. So both my husband and I started following the Keto diet and I have currently lost 79.2 lbs!

Free Goal Setting Printable

Since I firmly believe that it is important to write out, tell someone and see our goals daily, I made you all this free Goal Setting printable that you can print out as many times as you like. Give one to your children, your friends…anyone you like. However, and most importantly, pick three goals that you would like to focus on for 2017 and write them on the printable. Think of things that will benefit you mentally, physically and emotionally. Next, post that printable on your fridge, your bulletin board, where ever you will see it daily and work towards those two things.

goal setting

Print your FREE printable HERE

Your goals don’t have to be elaborate. If you don’t have weight that you want to lose or even want to focus on losing weight, an example for a goal physically could be something like “I want to park further from a stores entrance to get a little exercise each day“. These are your goals and they can be anything you like! Another good idea would be to print this out for your kids and help them make goals for their year. I am a firm believe that everyone should have something they are trying to work towards!

What is one goal you might set for 2017?

Lifestyle Changes – A Mom’s Journey

About a month before my 35th birthday, something happened. I was sitting here writing, like I do most days, and it hit me. I was turning 35 soon. Not too many years later, I will be hitting 40. While getting older has never ever bothered me (the white hairs I randomly get on my head and in my eyebrows–what’s up with that–are definitely something I could do without), the idea of getting older and not making the necessary changes I need to make to lose all this excess weight, is something that has bothered me. Lifestyle changes were definitely needed in my life.

lifestyle changes

Here I am, five years ago, at my heaviest weight I’ve ever been…250 lbs. I hate even typing that number, but it’s true. I started my weight loss journey at 250 lbs. I knew I had to make some changes and make them quick. Not only was a severely overweight, but I had tested Type 2 Diabetic. I made some changes, lost some weight, and managed to no longer test in the diabetic range. However, my weight started creeping back up and I knew it was only a matter of time before I became Diabetic again. I was not about to let that happen.

Serious Lifestyle Changes Needed!

Fast forward to just about my 35th birthday…a friend of mine had been talking a lot about the Keto diet. I saw her transformation, but was really scared to take the plunge. You see, with the Keto diet, you eat high fat, moderate protein and very low carb. While I know that a very low carb diet works well for me, I was terrified to eat fat! I mean, it’s drilled into our heads over and over again, “low-fat, low-fat, low-fat”. However, I decided to jump in and give it a try. What I didn’t understand at the beginning was that with the Keto diet, you are essentially training your body to use fat as an energy source, instead of carbs. This is huge to understand. You see, since you are not constantly eating fat all day long, your body needs to have energy somehow, so it begins burning your fat stores. It truly is as great as it sounds!

I’ve been doing this diet since January 23rd of this year and I am currently 0.4 lbs away from losing 70 lbs. I look and feel amazing! A little bit of that weight loss is from before starting Keto. See the transformation for yourself…

lifestyle changes

Yes…I did just use a Snapchat selfie…no judging! It was just my most recent picture of myself and, well, what can I say…I just love the gold butterflies in my hair! Despite the fact that it is a Snapchat selfie, you can see how my face has transformed. I still have some weight to lose, but I’ll get there!

While making lifestyle changes has been the key to my success, there are a few areas of my body that, no matter how much I lose, they don’t change. Those areas would be my saddlebags. I absolutely hate that word, but it’s true. I have them and I hate them. I made a comment to my husband that the only way I would be able to get rid of them is with liposuction. As I was looking around online, I came across an ad for Light Rx Face & Body for Laser Liposuction. I was instantly intrigued! One of the biggest things I noticed was that it required absolutely zero recovery time! That was huge for me. With a husband that travels for work, having something that required recovery time was kind of out of the question.

About Laser Liposuction

This painless procedure utilizes low level lasers that target the fat in a particular area and breaks down the stored triglycerides in the fat cells into free fatty acids and glycerol. The fat content is then transported to various tissues, ready to be burned off during post-treatment exercise. Basically, the laser liposuction is a process that mimics the body’s natural process of releasing stored fat to be used as energy.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?!? I totally thought so! Currently I am partnering with LightRx Face & Body and I am in the process of completing ten complimentary Laser Liposuction treatments and eight Venus Legacy treatments. The Venus Legacy treatments help to get the fat content moving out of my lymphatic system faster, as well as, it helps to tighten the skin area being treated!

I am extremely excited about this phase in my life. Not only are my lifestyle changes working for me, but, with the help of LightRx Face & Body, I am able to work on those stubborn areas of my body, as well! I am only just starting my treatments with LightRx Face & Body, but I will be sure to update in a couple months about my treatments and how they went!

Citrus Essential Oils – Why You Need It

Making the decision to use Young Living Essential Oils daily was the best decision I ever made for myself and my family. If someone were to ask me what my favorite oil was, I’d have a hard time answering! I mean…I use so many of them for different things. The one only I always have with me is Stress Away. I have two tweens…need I say more?!? Besides stress away, I am also big on using the different citrus essential oils that Young Living has to offer. My favorites being Lemon Vitality, Jade Lemon Vitality, Grapefruit Vitality and Tangerine Vitality.

Young Living Citrus Essential Oils

Young Living, the ONLY brand of essential oils I will use (see their Seed to Seal policy to find out why), has a wide variety of citrus essential oils available. Besides the four I mentioned above, they also offer the following:

  • Lime Vitality
  • Orange Vitality
  • Citrus Fresh Vitality

citrus essential oils

Citrus Essential Oil Benefits

So what do I do with my citrus essential oils and why do you need them? I put a few drops in my glass water bottlecitrus essential oils and drink that all day long. I either use Jade Lemon or Lemon by itself, or I like to combine grapefruit essential oils with tangerine (that combo is so good…you must try it)!

**Please note that I will ONLY use Young Living Essential Oils in my water. Their oils are pure, therapeutic essential oils and the oils part of the vitality line are safe to consume. Consuming essential oils from any other brand may not be safe.

 The citrus essential oils are extracted from the peels of the citrus fruits. This is very important to understand. You see, because they are made in this way, they are very high in limonene (D-Limonene) and that is VERY good for our bodies. With me following the Ketogenic diet, it is even MORE important that I drink water with citrus essential oils in it because it helps to balance my body’s pH level. I know that seems crazy, but despite the fact that citrus is acidic, when you consume the citrus oils, it is alkaline forming in the body. The benefits of d-limonene that I like are the fact that it aids in digestion, helps to detoxify the liver and d-limonene also helps to boost your mood. No one wants mama in a bad mood!

citrus essential oils

Using a glass water bottle with your pure essential oils is needed. Putting the citrus essential oils in plastic will cause the plastic to break down. You don’t want that in your water! Plus, I don’t know about you, but ice cold water tastes WAY better in a glass bottle than in plastic! It doesn’t matter which citrus essential oils you choose, the benefits are all the same and one that you will want to take advantage of! Just an FYI, Citrus Fresh Essential Oil also contains spearmint. I just wanted to point that out so you are as surprised as I was the first time I tried it. I was NOT expecting a minty flavor!

If you would like to learn more about essential oils, please use the Contact Me form at the top of this page. I would be more than happy to speak with you and go over additional benefits and how you can sign up and take advantage of an amazing 24% discount on your oils!!

Here’s the only water bottle I use (at a good price too!!):

Fuzzy Navel Homemade Gummy Bears

Making homemade gummy bears has become quite the thing in our house! Everyone has their favorite flavors. My husband loves the lime gummy bears and my kids love the raspberry gummy bears…me, on the other hand, I think the Fuzzy Navel gummy bears I made yesterday are the best! These non-alcoholic version of fuzzy navel cocktails are delicious! Just the right amount of peach and orange flavors to really compliment one another. Using my gummy bear moldfuzzy navel I found on Amazon, making these gummy bears are super easy! Especially since the mold I bought comes with a dropper…trust me…you want the mold with the dropper!

fuzzy navel

Fuzzy Navel Gummy Bears Recipe


  • 1 small box (3 oz) of Peach Sugar Free Jello
  • 1 small box (3 oz) of Orange Sugar Free Jello
  • 3 packets Unflavored Gelatin (I like Knox Gelatinfuzzy navel)
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Put the 1/2 cup water into a small sauce pan on low heat.
  2. Add both sugar free Jello packets and all three unflavored gelatin packets.
  3. Mix until it has all dissolved.
  4. Using your dropper that came with your gummy bear moldfuzzy navel, fill each of the little gummy bear compartments with your gelatin.
  5. Place the molds in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Don’t you love how easy it is to make fuzzy navel gummy bears? Next time I make these, I plan on sprinkling a little citric acidfuzzy navel on the fuzzy navel gummy bears to make them like the sour gummy candies that I used to love! I used to eat that candy until my mouth was raw! If you are following the Keto diet plan like I am, these fuzzy navel gummy bears are a nice little treat for you to have! 4 or 5 gummy bears is about 1 g protein! And trust me, when you have given up sugar for as long as I have, those 4 or 5 gummy bears are plenty!

Have you made your own gummy bears yet? What flavor combinations do you like?