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8 Things To Do with Your Children Before They Turn 8

Now that my kids are older, I find myself reflecting on the time spent raising little ones. Sometimes I look back and wonder how we survived but other times I look back and think about what a sweet special time that was. As I get older and experience parenthood more fully, it's hard not to think about the things we did right and sometimes reminisce on the things that we wish we had done more of or done differently. If you are in the trenches and you are parenting children that haven't reached double digits yet, then this post is for you. If you have older kids, take some time to read this and add your expertise in the comments. My personal reflection just may spark an idea or two that you would like to share with other young parents.

parenting, parenthood, young family, kids

Pushing Reset With Jenny Craig

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

I stepped on the scale at a doctors appointment and audibly gasped. I'm sure it wasn't the first time that the nurse heard a patient question the accuracy of the scale. Weight has never really been an issue for me. If anything, I hovered around the lower end of normal. Last February I was involved in a fairly serious car accident. Accident related injuries turned into chronic pain that the doctors couldn't put their finger on. For months I bounced between specialists trying to find the cause of my pain while trying to find my new normal with physical limitations. Before the accident, I was very active. I ran often, did strength training and made it a point to hit the gym five days a week. For months after the accident I was struggling to find a new routine. The medication I was on made me exhausted and one of the side effects was weight gain. It should have been no surprise when that scale showed a weight I had never seen before outside of pregnancy. 

I ignored the number as it crept up. I had frequent doctors appointments and I figured it was the heavy clothes I was wearing as the weather started to turn. Plus, the scale was probably just not calibrated correctly. I mean, it gets used all the time right? Wrong. The third appointment at the third doctor's office in one week confirmed that I had indeed packed on some pounds. I'm not quite sure why I didn't notice. My jeans were tight and rarely could I have them buttoned. Ten pounds, that's how much weight I had gained in just a few months.

Ten pounds really isn't that much, but I'm getting older and my metabolism is slowing down and well, if it was ten pounds in just a few months, what if it was twenty pounds in a year, or fifty pounds in five years. I needed a reset. I needed to re-examine my activity level, figure out my portions and take off those pounds that were slowing me down. I didn't want to mess with any fad diet programs. I needed to get real results that were going to last. If you need a reset too, come see how the first two weeks have been on the Jenny Craig program.

diet, weight loss, meal ideas, healthy eating

Strawberry Yogurt Salad Recipe

I'm guilty. I am one of those people that has made a new year's resolution to be more conscious of the food that I am eating. I am usually a pretty good eater. I pick up fruits and veggies quite often as a snack, but I also pick up handfuls of chocolate and chips too! The older I get, the more I realize that I need to pay more attention to what I'm putting into my mouth. This strawberry yogurt salad is the perfect meal for lunch time. Or serve it as a fresh side. Eating more fruits and veggies never hurt anyone!

greek yogurt, whole foods, eat clean

Cheese and Spinach Tortellini Soup

Soup is something my family can expect on having at least once a week in our house. I'm constantly cold and the long dreary rainy days of winter in the Pacific Northwest create this bone chilling cold that only coffee and warm soup can take the edge off of. One of our family favorites is this cheese and spinach tortellini soup. It's packed full of wholesome vegetables and freshly made Buitoni pasta. Some soups take a long time to make, but not this one. This one can be made in about half an hour so your busy family can move on to their next activity. 

Crate Bookcase with New and Vintage Crates + How to Use Vinyl as a Stencil

I don't know what it is, but I have a soft spot for old stuff. Rusty and worn with the edges peeling up, those are my favorite things. Sometimes though, in the hunt for old stuff, you don't always find what you are looking for. A collection can take years to build up and sometimes you just don't have the patience for it. For the past few years I haven't consciously been collecting vintage crates, it just sort of happened. But before I knew it, I had a half a dozen crates hanging out. I started to stack them and use them and sort of formed a mini bookshelf from crates. But there was something missing. It needed more crates. Just the other day, I was driving past a local food bank and I noticed a pile of crates in their free pile. These kinds of crates are flimsier than the solid vintage crates but I immediately thought of the stack of crates I had at home and knew that the thing that it was missing was more crates. I'm going to show you how I used those "new" crates and made them look vintage with a coat of stain and a stencil made from my Silhouette Cameo. You can't even tell the vintage ones from the new crates, which is my kind of knock off.

Don't forget to enter my blog anniversary giveaway! One winner could win an Expressions Vinyl Silhouette Cameo 3 bundle, a Silhouette Mint bundle, my two favorite appliances from HomeRight {a steamer and a paint sprayer} AND a $100 gift certificate to Dayspring. That's a prize pack that's valued at around $1500! Enter to win here

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