Smashed My Week 3 Goal, Just What I Needed for Week 4 #NSNation

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I LOVE the results that I am getting from NutriSystem and I will admit that I am not even following it 100%. I love eating out and have done so a few times while I have been on the diet. The thing is that I feel like I am relearning how to eat. I am working hard to be able to smash my workout goals and I feel like I am accomplishing them far quicker than I would be on my own. I am officially down 6.6 lbs since my beginning weight. I am weighing in at 238.6. My week 3 goal was to be below 240. I tend to plateau and struggle with each 10 lb point so getting into the 230′s was the goal that I had in mind. I feel like I smashed this goal and am off to set new goals for week 4.
I am trying this small goal thing instead of looking at the big picture all of the time. I used to be so frustrated when I would have a goal to meet and I would not be able to meet it. This would stress me out and leave me feeling worthless and like I could not accomplish the things that I set out to accomplish.

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So instead of doing this I had promised myself to be different with NutriSystem. I had an overall goal of one day being able to fit into a few pairs of jeans that are way too small now. My thoughts were that I would have to weigh around 135 to accomplish this. So I was looking at a 122 lb weight loss to reach that goal from my official highest starting weight. This is a huge number and just seemed so depressing to me because I always felt like I had so far to go. This is why so many diets have failed me in the past, because I was looking at them in the wrong. So I changed my thinking. Prior to starting NutriSystem I had some goals myself that I was trying to accomplish.

 
My first goal was to give up soda. Now in the past three months I have only had a handful of sodas and I feel better and more energetic. Things are finally coming to order in all areas of my life because I no longer have the crutch that was keeping me where I was at.

 
My next goal was to get out of the 250′s. So I had approximately 8 lbs to lose. I was able to do this a few months back with hard work on my own. After that I wanted to get out of the 240′s which is where I was stuck when I started with NutriSystem. Now that I have met that goal it is on to the 220′s for me. While it is frustrating to see myself losing weight so slowly I know that I am doing it the right way and that I am going to be able to keep it off.

 
I love that NutriSystem is encouraging me to eat right. I am able to go out to eat and make the right choices. If I make a bad choice I choose something small and do not go overboard like I once did. For instance we got Chinese take out the other night. I allowed myself one plate and had a little bit of rice, 1 crab rangoon, and a few pieces of sweet and sour chicken. Was this the healthiest option? No, but life has taught me that when I want something that I should really go for it. The reason being that if I do not and am still craving it I end up eating it on top of what I have already eaten which just means feeling bloated and overly full while eating more calories than I would have to begin with. This time I only ate what I needed to for me to feel full.

 
I am snacking the right way too. If I feel like I need a snack I am choosing the things that I know are good for me. I eat a lot of raw veggies and pistachios. I was used to eating raw veggies with dip but after not eating dip for a while I no longer even want it. In fact I am shocked by the way that the veggies taste on their own as they are so much more flavorful than I realized or remembered them being.

 
So what’s to come. Well I am hoping for week 4 to be the week that I get serious about working out. I have been sitting here thinking about how much more weight I could have lost had I been doing some easy workouts at home. So now I am off to Pinterest to find my workouts for the week as well as promising myself to do yoga each and every day. I need something that is going to improve my shape and while I am being more active actually exercising is going to be a huge help.

 

I know that week 4 is going to be great.  I am going to be working extra hard because my hubby and I are taking a weekend trip to the city together.  We are headed to Chicago tomorrow morning and won’t be home until Monday afternoon.  So we will be working extra hard during this time to get ourselves into the best shape of our life.

Gearing Up for a Weekend with My Love with Phish in Chicago

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

This weekend my husband and I are going to be celebrating some glorious alone time with several thousands of our closest friends as we go to see Phish. Today I learned about a lot of great things that are going to be happening in the area over the weekend from The Barn (Chicago area based music blog that is focused on bringing some amazing musical events and acts to the city). I thought that I would share our plans for the weekend, my hopes of what I would like to check out, and even a little look at the band that I am so excited to see.

 
Our Plans
We decided to take it easy this year and to truly have an adventure. So we will take off from our house just after feeding the kiddos breakfast on Friday morning. My mother in law is coming into town to stay with them and watch them for the four days that we will be gone. We then are going to get back on the train and head to Chicago. We will get there at lunch time and will be able to head to the place that we are staying. We plan on walking to where we are staying. It is a about 2 ½ miles from Union Station.

 
We got adventurous for this weekend and booked our stay in a flat through Air BNB. We have been in contact with our host and it appears that this should be a great experience. I chose a host who had a lot of ratings and was known for being a great host. I did check out a few places that were close to the venue that did not have a lot of reviews and for our first Air BNB experience I wanted to go with someone I felt like I could trust.

 
Then we are going to check out Phish for the three nights and we might do some other crazy things like check out a few after parties. I have a list of the ones that I would like to attend that I will share with you. I will also share some links so that you can get more information about them.

 
Then on Monday morning we will head back home and I am sure that I will be ready. While I am always excited to be able to spend some time with my hot husband I know that I am going to miss my little ones so much. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that I actually have a hard time leaving them, but I know that this time is good for my husband and I. It will help us maintain a stronger relationship.

 
A Look at Phish and Why I am So Excited
I will admit that I was not always a huge Phish fan. I was older when I started to fall in love with the band. I went to an amazing Mike Gordon and Leo Kottke show at the Music Mill in Indianapolis and I fell in love with Mike Gordon. From here my love of his music grew into a love for the band Phish. During this time Phish was on a hiatus and it appeared that they would not be together again. I regretted all of the missed opportunities that I had when I could have been seeing Phish shows.

 
In 2008 when we heard that Phish was getting back together. I was shocked and wanted to go see some shows so bad. I didn’t realize how much going to a show would change my life, my outlook, and the core of who I was. I have been accused of so many things because my opinions have changed so drastically on life but I know that the music touched me in a new way and that through the music of Phish I was able to discover some new and amazing things about myself. I am so thankful for being able to go to my first show and for all of the amazing friendships that I have made over the years with a bond and shared love for such an amazing band.

 
To say that it was life changing would almost be an understatement. I would more refer to it as soul changing.

 
So as you can imagine I am very excited to be able to see them play and I have my own list of songs that I would like to see. I am also pumped that I have floor tickets for all three nights of the shows at Northerly Island. I am hoping that I will be able to get up close to the rail and be as close as possible to Mike Gordon. I love watching him play and love the unique and beautiful man that he is.

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(I was so lucky earlier this year when I got to see him play in Madison WI because I was soooo close! This was definitely a dream come true for me. Although one of my biggest career goals would be to be able to interview Mike and to pick his brain for a bit.)

 
A Look at the Events Happening in Chicago for Phish Weekend
There are a lot of fun and unique after parties that are going on in the Windy City. In my opinion the best one of the bunch is the amazing yacht party that takes place after Saturday night’s show. This particular party does not start until 1 am so technically it is not going on until Sunday. I have not been able to see Particle play for several years. I have always loved them so the idea of a Particle and Friends party in itself is super cool. What is so great about this one is that you get to board a yacht, have a couple of drinks on them, eat a delicious buffet meal, and then party all night with Particle, DJ Logic, and many others. This event is a steal at $100 but sadly as a mom to four it is out of my budget. If you can afford it I would highly recommend it and I will just sit back and envy you. I am secretly crossing my fingers that I will win their amazing contest that you can read more about on their Facebook page.

 
Another one of the after parties that has caught my eye is the one after Friday night’s show with Cornmeal and Old Shoe. I have only recently become a fan of Old Shoe but I was a street team member for Cornmeal back in the day. I did some promoting for them in 2004, 2005, and 2006 so I have been a fan for a long time. I can say that I do miss some of the members who have left to go on their own musical journeys but no matter what I have never seen a Cornmeal show that disappointed. This great show takes place at the Hard Rock Cafe. You can read more about it here on Old Shoe’s Facebook page.

 
Another local favorite that is playing the area is Mr Blotto. This is one of the more popular Chicago local bands. The after show for them is at Reggie’s which just so happens to be located a few blocks from the flat that we are staying at.

 
I also plan on trying to check out Rock Bottom Brewery’s Sample in a Jar beer that happens to benefit the Mockingbird Foundation. My reason for this is simple. I love supporting charity and I love drinking beer. So how much better can it get than drinking beer to support charity.

 
Finally there are two really cool PhanArt events happening in the area over the weekend. On Saturday at Screens and Suds event which benefits the Mockingbird Foundation and National MS Society. It is free to get in but a suggested $5. Then on Sunday there is the PhanArt Poster and Pin Exhibition at the Congress Plaza Hotel from noon until 5 pm. It is sure to be an amazing visual adventure if you can hit up either one of these.

 
My Dream Song List
Now I want to share with you some of the songs that I hope that I will get to hear over the weekend. I am going to list 18 songs which is just 6 each night that I would love a chance to listen to. I had attempted to pick out 15 and just could not limit myself to that! I know that it is unlikely that I will see them all but I will definitely keep you posted as to what I hear and if I get to see them play the songs that I love so much.
1. Bathtub Gin
2. Boogie on Reggae Woman (and yes I do realize that this is a cover but I would like to see it all the same!)
3. Bouncing Around the Room (I know a long shot but I just LOVE this one so much!)
4. Dog Faced Boy
5. Gotta Jibboo
6. Harpua (for the hubby since this is his favorite song and he has never been able to see it live)
7. Heavy Things
8. If I Could
9. Kill Devil Falls (bonus for me if I win Old Shoe/Cornmeal tickets and they open with this on Friday night, I am going to get a free beer…lol!)
10. Mike’s Song
11. My Sweet One
12. NICU
13. Ocelot
14. Party Time
15. Prince Caspian
16. Sample in a Jar
17. Wading in the Velvet See
18. Wolfman’s Brother

And yes I do realize that these are in alphabetical order.  There is no reason for this except that I am a weirdo like that and I love order and having lists organized.  So alphabetically just came naturally to me.

 
My Final Thoughts
Maybe one day I will get to meet the band for a prolific interview where I can ask them some unique questions that I have never seen asked before. Hopefully one day I will be able to finish the book that I am working on about the sociology of Phish and the impact that their music has on the fans (my own life included as the basis for this book). However regardless of what the future holds all that I can be sure of is that I am going to have an amazing time with my husband this weekend celebrating my 32nd birthday (which happens to be next Friday). I am so eager to check out all of the amazing sites and sounds that Chicago has to offer and am crossing my fingers that we will be able to score at least a pair of tickets to one amazing after party (but I am secretly dying inside to get the chance to win the tickets to the yacht party!!).

My Yoga Goals and How Gaiam is Helping Me Get There

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

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You will learn as you follow me here that I am in the fight of my life to lose weight and get in the best shape possible. One of the things that you do not likely know yet is what my personal fitness goals are. I honestly do not have fitness goals per say. Yes, I would like to run a 5K, maybe a 10K and maybe a ½ marathon one day but I don’t have many fitness goals beyond looking better in a swimsuit.

 
However since I love yoga so much there are some yoga poses that I would love to be able to master. So I guess you could say that my biggest health and fitness goals are really my yoga goals.

 
I hope to be able to do the following five poses with ease one day:
The Crane Pose

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Image found on Google Images.

The Firefly Pose

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Image taken from Google Images

Forearm Stand Scorpion Pose

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Image taken from Google Images

Lotus Headstand with Bound Legs

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Image found on Google Images

Eight Angle Pose

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Image found on Google Images

Now I know that these goals might sound easy to you and if they do I challenge you to Google them. Check these poses out and see if they are something that you can do. If you can then you are one of my yogi inspirations that I aim to be more like.
How I Plan to Get There

I plan to reach my yoga goals by working out and doing yoga on a regular basis. One amazing yoga company that I have been able to work with is Gaiam. The company has a number of great goodies for those who are trying to practice and learn yoga.

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I was lucky enough to be sent the Thin Grip Mat ($35.99) and I love it! I have practiced yoga for many years and have never had a yoga mat. I did not realize what I was missing until I did yoga for the first time with this mat. I no longer struggled to keep standing in certain positions and I did not slip or slide when I was trying to move in between positions. In fact this mat has been one of the favorite things that I have ever gotten for my health and fitness goals.

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In addition to the mat I received the Gaiam Sol Natural Cork Yoga Block ($16.99) which is a resourceful tool to help you with certain positions until you are strong enough to get there on your own. At first I will admit that I did not know if I would really use this or not. I also was not sure how often I would use it but I use this all of the time with my regular yoga workouts and can feel my body strengthening and needing to use it less and less each day.

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Finally I received two great yoga DVDs, Colleen Saidman’s Yoga for Weight Loss ($14.98) and Calorie Killer Yoga ($14.98). I have owned a ton of workout and exercise DVDs in my life and even a few other yoga DVDs but I have never liked exercise videos like I like these two.

 
I am able to see results, in the past few months I have lost and maintained an 11 lb weight loss. This is huge considering that I went on vacation during that time and ate out for basically a week straight. I know that I still am not eating as healthy as I should be but little by little as I feel better about myself I can see myself losing weight, eating less, and really doing the things that I should to better care for my body.

Make Your Own Lipgloss with ALEX Toys

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Do you struggle with finding things to do with your child? I know that a lot of the times I resort to playing the same old board games or to making the same crafts. I do research Pinterest a lot and I choose things that are fun for the kids to make. However it can be so hard to find something new to do with them.

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We were recently supposed to take our 6 year old on a special birthday trip on her birthday. Sadly we had to postpone almost two weeks because my husband had his vacation day canceled for work. From the moment that I heard this I tried to think of unique ways in which we could make it up to her because she had a countdown chart to her trip.

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So we chose to give her the ALEX Toys Mix & Makeup Lip Shimmer Kit ($21.95). This kit was something that was perfect for her age. She was able to create her own lipglosses with minimal assistance and it was a ton of fun for us to do together.

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The process to create your own lipgloss is really quite simple too. You mix the base with the chosen colors that you would like to make your gloss.

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Then you can choose to mix in glitter.

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Finally you put the lipgloss into the adorable containers that come with it.

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On Althea’s 6th birthday we had six exciting adventures and adventure number four was making her own lipgloss with this adorable kit.

I thought that I would share a video with you of the process to make her own lipgloss.


Here is a little video of the process of putting the lipgloss into the containers.

A Great Kids Album That Cool Moms and Dads will Appreciate with Keller Williams Kids

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I will admit that I have a weakness for anything Keller Williams. I LOVE his music and think that he is so much fun. I mean, come on, what could be more fun than being able to watch a performer play on stage with no shoes on. Since I am a fan of always being barefoot this has always stood out to me about Keller Williams.
So when my husband first told me that he had seen a Keller Williams CD that was made just for the kiddos I was stoked. To me it meant no more crappy kids CDs that I was going to dread listening to. It also meant that my kids might pick up singing some great songs instead of just singing ones that were going to be driving me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I always encourage music even if it is something that I do not like but I really wish that I was able to hear some great music that the kids would really enjoy.

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The Keller Williams Kids album did just that. It impressed the kids and is still impressing them. I think that it might be the most played album in my car because they are always with me. They each have their favorites and I even have mine.
The album is filled with creative and ingenious tunes that are perfect for little ones. They are funny and most of them even teach you a little lesson. I have to admit that every time that I hear “Please Keep It On the Paper” that I smile and sing along. I have a few little ones of mine that think that coloring on walls, doors, or anything that is not paper is fun. This song puts it out there that they should just stick to using paper for creating their masterpieces.
I told you that each one of my kiddos had their favorite song on the album. I will share those with you now.
Andrew, who is going to be 11 in a few weeks, loves the song “Mama Tooted.” Of course since he is a boy you can instantly understand that this is why he enjoys this one. He also likes to sing it to me as if I have just passed gas. He laughs and sings along and when you have a child who is often difficult it can sure be nice to hear him laughing and singing along to a great song (even if he is only laughing because he is thinking about you passing gas).
Althea is about to turn 6 (in less than a week) and she loves the song “My Neighbor is Happy Again.” This song is all about getting a goat and having a neighbor who is not happy with you because of the things that the goat would do. I love it because it makes her giggle and she knows all of the words and sings along.
Huxley is my funny little guy and his favorite song on the album is “Soakie Von Soakerman.” This is also my husband’s favorite song on the album. I will admit that I think it is pretty great too. Huxley loves to sing along and he loves it when he is encouraged to “make a silly sound” which is something that I love to watch as well. He sure knows how to get down and sing and go crazy when he is singing along with this.

Adeline is the baby in our family and she is not one to really be particular with music. Usually she just sits in her car seat and tries to dance (as much as the seat will let her) or she jumps and spins around the room when we are inside. So when she says “again, again” after a song I know that it is one she loves. She loves “Hey Little Baby.” One of the reasons that I think that she loves this song is because she is able to hear Keller’s child singing along with him. She loves to hear other little ones sing so this is something that is quite fun for her.

 
All in all I believe that every cool parent needs to have the Keller Williams Kids album downloaded or on a CD so that they can hear it whenever they are trying to listen and hear music with their kids. I love this one and am so happy that I have been able to hear it with my children.

6 Adventures on My Princess’ 6th Birthday

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Today Althea turned 6.  It is INSANE to think of her as being 6 already.  I can remember the day that I found out that I was pregnant and I can not imagine life without her the same.  I am so blessed to have such a beautiful, smart, and sweet little girl that I get to call my own and I am happy to watch her grow.  That being said I do wish that time would slow down a bit so that I could enjoy more of these sweet younger years with my children.

I know that I stay home with the kids and I should never feel like I don’t get enough time to love them and enjoy them.  However there are times when I feel like I still am missing out on things.  I guess that I just want to spend each and every moment with them and be able to enjoy and savor every memory that I can.

So today I set out with the goal to have six adventures for Althea’s 6th birthday!

Here are the adventures that we had!

Adventure # 1 — Lake Argyle State Park

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We played on the playground at Lake Argyle State Park for a while.  It was a great time.  I even rediscovered how much fun it was to swing when I got here.

Adventure # 2 — Natasha’s Cupcakes in Macomb IL

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Today was Chocoholic day and Althea chose the Hot Fudge Sundae cupcake.

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Huxley chose the S’mores Cupcake.

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Adeline chose the Kit Kat Cupcake.  We also grabbed a PB Cup for daddy, a S’mores for Andrew, and a Turtle for Andrew’s dad since today is his birthday too.  I think that the kids thought that the best part of this adventure was that it was done before lunch.

Adventure # 3 — Patton Park, Macomb IL

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We are a park type of family and this one had a lot of fun things to explore.

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Sadly it also had mean kids whose moms sat in the car texting.  That’s right she got pushed down from some little girl who was about 8 or 9 and was pushed into the step so hard that her tooth got knocked out.  (Good thing it was a little loose already or I would have probably had a mommy melt down.)  I had planned on saying something to the mother but while my child was bleeding uncontrollably her children ran to her car and she took off.  She never did get out of the car, never checked to see if my child was okay…NOTHING.  I am only happy that my daughter is still saying that it was the “best day of my life.”

Adventure # 4 — Making Her Own Lipgloss

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We got this great little kit from ALEX Toys and she loves it.  Here she is mixing up some of her lipgloss.

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So focused on what she was doing.  How cute is this?

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She learned how to change the color of her lipgloss and was having fun choosing the colors for each one.  She chose to match the cases that they were in.

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She was so proud that she had made something that was so much fun.

Adventure # 5 — Photo Scavenger Hunt for 6 Things

Since mommy had taken her out throughout the day daddy got to take her on her own Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Of course mommy had texted him a list of the 6 things that he needed to find with her.

1.  Find Small Sticks and Twigs and Spell Your Name

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2.  Find a Flower (Yes, she chose to make her flower out of stones that she found.  I love that she is really this creative all of the time.) 

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3.  Find Stones and Make a Number 6

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4.  Take a Picture with Something Funny

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*Yes, this child does have her father’s sense of humor.  A rotten tomato was the funniest thing that she could find.

5.  Take a Picture with Something High

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6.  Take a Picture with Something Low

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Adventure # 6 — Making Her Own Perfume

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A while ago I received a Perfume Science kit from Thames & Kosmos.  Althea did a great job making a delicious smelling perfume and she loved learning about the things as we talked about them.

So we took 6 adventures to celebrate her 6th birthday.  In addition to all of these fun things she got to plan our meals for the day.  She wanted pancakes for breakfast so she got some that were covered in princess sprinkles and real maple syrup.  She wanted McDonald’s for lunch and roasted pulled pork and edamame for dinner.  It was her day and I feel like we were able to make it completely perfect.

 

Kohls is the Place for Back to School

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

So once again I was on the lucky list with Kohls. This time I received an awesome Back to School box and was so excited about everything that it contained inside. I will admit that I was most excited to be able to check out the box and to be able to really pick out back to school goodies for my three that will be going to school soon.
The blogger VIP box came with three great items in it that are perfect for any teenager who is headed back to high school or even for someone who is headed off to college.

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A Place to Store Everything You Need

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The Candies Fox Cargo Backpack ($60) is a great purchase for anyone who is hoping to find something different to take back to school with them. I love this bag and think that it is super cute. I would have definitely carried it when I was in college or high school and both of my girls thought that they should have it.
The Perfect Comfortable Leggings

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Let’s face it we all like to be comfortable and stylish at the same time. Thankfully SO offers a great line of Graphic Print Leggings ($26) that are perfect for anyone who is looking to have great style and comfort at the same time.
The Perfect Kicks

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Candies is a great brand for all of those checking out back to school for a teenager. They offer such fun, funky, functional, and trendy things that you get what you need while getting something that is completely unique at the same time. The Candies Slip On Sneakers ($54.99) that came in the box were the same way. They were adorable and looked great on with many different outfits.
Along with each of these awesome items I was given a $100 gift card to shop back to school items for my children. I loved being able to shop for them and got such great deals at Kohls that all three of them got what they needed and wanted for their first day of school.  Plus they sent me a $50 gift card for a giveaway which will be coming up as soon as the $25 giveaway ends.
So here is what my kiddos picked out for their 1st day of school.
Huxley—A Look at His First Day of Preschool

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Huxley is headed back for his second year of preschool this year. He was in need of a new backpack since his old one was toddler sized and too small for many of the things that he was supposed to bring home from school. So he chose the Batman Cape Backpack – Kids ($29.99).

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He also needed a new pair of shoes to head back to school and he fell in love with the Clawz Clogs – Kids in blue ($29.99). I will admit that these would not have been my first choice but he is very much in love with them. So much so that I had to hide the back to school stuff so that they would indeed be new for the first day of school.

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Finally Huxley needed a new shirt to wear back to school. Since he has so many pairs of shorts I did not purchase another pair of shorts. He chose the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sublimination Tee – Boys 4-7 ($20). This shirt is quite spiffy in my opinion and the graphics are pretty awesome and even quite hilarious.

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Althea—Headed to 1st Grade

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I can’t believe that this gorgeous little girl is going to be going to first grade. She was really excited to check out Kohls for a new dress for the first day of school. She is a dress type of girl so she is always wanting to wear dresses. She chose the Youngland Crocheted Tiered Dress ($30). She loves it and again it has been hidden with the rest of the back to school stuff so that she is not wearing it before she is supposed to.

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She also got the adorable Carters Leslie Flats ($34.99). She loves that these are covered in glitter and that they are fun and cute. She told me that she can not wait for the first day of school so that she can wear these everyday.

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Andrew—Going into the 6th Grade

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Andrew is going to be going through a lot of big changes as he enters the 6th grade. He has a retainer in and is getting used to that and now he is also going to be in band. With all of that responsibility I like to reward him. I was excited to be able to allow him to pick out a new t-shirt. He chose the Majestic St Louis Cardinals Cooperstown Rooted in Nostalgia Tee – Boys 8-20 ($22). He loved this one and I was glad that he chose it because this is my favorite color combination for Cardinals shirts.

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Of course Andrew also got a new pair of shoes. He is a huge fan of Adidas which makes me smile since it was my favorite in junior high and high school too. He chose the Adidas Breeze Athletic Shoes – Boys ($54.99) as he loved the color combination. I think its a bit bright but I am sure that my mom thought that about a lot of the things that I wore.

Our back to school shopping has begun and it is really all happening with Kohls. We love the amazing products that Kohls has to offer us and I love the value. If you noticed the regular prices for the items that my children got was over $220 + tax and shipping. I got all of this with a coupon for just $104.16 shipped to my house. WOW!! One more reason for you to love Kohls for back to school. You are sure to get an amazing deal.

Keep Baby Protected in All Kinds of Weather with Cozy Cover

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Cozy Cover has finally introduced a solution that we can all live with. The Cozy Cover Combo pack includes two the line’s innovative car seat covers that are perfect for the crazy weather that we have when it is still warm out.

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A Look at the Lightweight Cozy Cover
If you have ever been caught in a downpour and wondered how you were going to be able to keep your little one protected while getting him or her to the care then the Lightweight Cozy Cover is what you have always been looking for. This is something that I honestly had not seen before but it is a nice cool cover that is very lightweight. This means that it will not be too hot for your little one on a warm summer day when it is raining. You can still get your baby to the car without them getting wet.
It has all of the features that you look for with a cover. It features a zipper that makes getting baby in and out of the carrier simple even with the cover on. There is no back to the design so it does not interfere with the car seat. Many people do not realize this but if you use a cover that actually comes in contact with the seat where your baby is sitting then it can actually void the car seat’s guarantee to protect your little one.
Since the cover has elastic edges it easily slips onto the carrier. It is very compact which means that you can store it in your diaper bag so that you always
have it when a sudden shower might pop up. And it is water repellant while also having a shade that can protect baby’s eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. It is also machine washable.

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A Look at the Sun & Bug Cover
One of the things that I have always worried about more than my baby getting a little wet is the fact that they can contract a dangerous disease from a bug bite or sting and that the sun can cause such damage to their sensitive skin and eyes. The Cozy Cover Sun & Bug Cover is a great solution for both of these fears of mine. It will keep unwanted bugs and insects away from your baby. It will also offer them sun protection that is going to protect from the harmful UV rays that can cause so much damage. The area inside the cover is very spacious and well ventilated so you do not have to worry about whether or not your little one can breathe well.
Of course this one is recommended that you hand wash but it has all of the other safety issues that were featured in the other shade. There is no interference with the straps of the car seat and it has the elastic that makes putting it on so easy.
So when you want protection for your little one or if you want to protect a loved one’s little one the Cozy Cover Combo Pack makes a great gift that really is perfect for those who live in any area.

My Keys to Success with Weight Loss…Starting Week 3 #NSNation

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I feel so fortunate that I was chosen to blog for Nutri System and I am so excited to share with you a few things that have been happening on my journey.

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So week 1 was not the best for me. I credit that I did not gain weight to the fact that I stuck to the diet quite a bit. My problems though are normal problems that I feel like everyone struggles with. I struggled through the holidays (4th of July), a family reunion, and traveling out of town to stay with my mother in law. Since nothing was normal or part of our routine I slipped up a few times and this made losing weight impossible even though I was on the Fast Five. What I can tell you though is that I did pretty good and did not gain any weight over this week so I was very happy with the results.

 
Week 2 went a lot better and I had a 3 lb weight loss. So I am starting week 3 with 3 lbs off and I feel great about this. Do I wish that I had a bigger result? Of course but am I proud of the results that I do have? Yes, I am so happy with myself for doing something to be healthier and to reach my weight loss and healthy living goals.
Week 3 was going to be a harder one for me as well. I will admit that I am going at it head on but I did have a cupcake at my older two kiddo’s birthday party. I only ate one and I did really good the rest of the time although I did slip up and enjoy one Coke while I was there as well. I have been snacking on fresh fruit and veggies and trying to do everything in the way that I should for weight loss. So I have some tips that I am learning as I go and that I thought that I would share with you.

 
Tip # 1 – Be Prepared
I knew that I was going to slip up at their party but I did do remarkably well considering what I thought that I would do. I tried to avoid being around food and walked away while everyone was eating. I was also prepared with lots of fresh veggies and fruit to enjoy if I got hungry. This was not nearly as much of a challenge as I thought that it would be and personally I think that it got easier because I was prepared.
Tip # 2 – Stop Making Excuses
My life has been filled with excuses for the past two and a half years. I had three babies in three years. Yes this was hard on my body and no I am not a great pregnant person. I eat when I am pregnant and I eat a lot. I also get sick a lot and do not feel like doing much activity. While this is not something that I am proud of I do not need to keep making excuses for the condition that my body is in. Instead I am going to push on and avoid excuses at all costs.
Tip # 3 – Stop Comparing Yourself
One of the biggest struggles in my life is that I am always comparing myself to someone else. I want to get the results like my friends do but I don’t want to have to do all of the work that they do. I need to focus on me and not on anyone else and be proud of what I can do to make myself more healthy.
Tip # 4 – Get Moving
My biggest challenge now is to get moving. I am eating Nutri System and I am managing well with that now. I am enjoying some of the foods and know exactly what foods I would like to have included next month because there are definitely some that I have enjoyed more than others. Likewise I know which ones were not my favorites and were not ones that I want to try for next month. I am however not moving as much as I should be. I started out this morning promising myself to use the iHealth monitor that I had and to make sure that I have at least 10,000 steps by the end of the day (even if that means taking a walk once the kids are in bed since it has been raining and is wet out). I am also committed to doing a short 12 minute workout and at least 30 minutes of yoga. This is all less than 2 hours of my time in a whole day and something that I can do to improve my health. When I do not want to work out I am going to remind myself that these are the things that are going to save my life.

Tips to be Successful

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Do you want success? Are you trying to break through in your career? Do you still have dreams and aspirations even though you are an “adult?” Well recently I was having a conversation with someone and it was pointed out that I am never “completely happy” and always wanting more out of life. This got me to thinking about why I want more and what things this will get me. The answer that I came up with is that if I want to be successful I can never allow myself to stop dreaming or to stop desiring more success.
I also realized that I am not unhappy in my current life. I am very happy. We have mostly good days. I wake up with a smile on my face and smile 90% of the day. However the things that I do not have are the specific level of success that I wanted out of life. I wanted to be able to do all of the things that I have dreamed of. I want to be able to provide certain things for my children (like college!!) and with four children this means that I have to be able to attain some level of success.
Here are 8 Tips for Being Successful

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Tip # 1 – Learn How to Be Organized with Your Work
As a blogger and freelance writer staying organized can be hard. I have to remember when I received items and organize how I am going to post so that things are never too similar in a short period of time. Thanks to Bubble Planner I get the help that I need. (I am not normally good about keeping organized or using a planner but I love how fun this one is to fill out. It is also cute which helps because I do love cute things!!)

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Tip # 2 – Never Have a Back Up Plan
Do not look at things with the attitude that you will fail. I do not have a back up plan. I have a goal to write a novel and a book on the sociological impact of Phish. While it might take longer than I like, eventually I will be able to have all of these things.
Tip # 3 – Work Hard All of the Time
The biggest lesson that I have learned is that successful people never really stop working. You check emails when you are out and are constantly looking for the next big thing that is going to improve what you do. You just never stop.
Tip # 4 – Avoid What Everyone Else is Doing
I have never been one to do the thing that everyone else has done. The biggest problem that I have with this is that I am often bored. I do have a great time though.
Tip # 5 – Start at the End
Learning how to start at the end instead of the beginning is one way of truly being able to make it. It is a fake it to make it type of thing and it really does work.
Tip # 6 – Never Stop
If you give up or stop you will not be successful. So you can never really stop. For my goals this has been a long time. I have stopped in the middle of writing novels before and they have not been finished. Now I remember that this is something that I have to do each and every day.
Tip # 7 – Sell, Sell, and Sell Some More
Being willing to sell everything to have success is what it takes for a lot of people. Never be afraid of what you might lose and go after those dreams with your own whole heart.
Tip # 8 – Be Proud, but Not Too Proud
Being proud is a great. The problem is when you are too proud. Never be too proud of your accomplishment and always realize that there is someone out there who is better than you. This will keep your ego in check which will make you stay on top of things.

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Of course getting organized to find your own success is simple when you have Bubble Planner. The pages are designed where you can have bubble charts of the things that you need to get done in a day. There is also a full calendar in the back so you are really able to focus and stay on top of everything.

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