Random things about me.
My Big Fat African Family
Confessions of a Chiro-Wife
Strange things people say to pregnant women
Join me on a 90 Day Weight Loss Journey!
January 30, 2013
January 26, 2013
10:28 PM Ari 1 comment
How much time do you spend preparing for and making meals? You don't want to know how long it takes me on some days!
When you think about the amount of time it takes to go through your recipes, decide what you are eating that week, make a grocery list from that, go to the grocery store, prepare the meals, forget an ingredient or two and go back to the store to retrieve them, you can be looking at SEVERAL hours wasted. If this all sounds familiar to you, perhaps it's not such a bad idea to start meal planning.
Whether you use a program like eMeals to do it all for you from the meal plan to the shopping list to what recipes you are having or whether you dedicate a few hours at the beginning of the week to do it yourself, it will ultimately give you more time with your family, free up some extra money, and help you have less on your mind to think about each day. One way to help get organized is to keep a simple checklist somewhere in your kitchen can help you save time and money by getting everything you need from the grocery store in one trip. This list along with your detailed meal plan for the week, can save you multiple trips to the grocery store each week.
You can download the entire list here to print out for your own use. If you are interested in finding out more about how eMeals can help with your menu planning, check out their website. You can use promo code NEWYEAR to get 15% off any subscription.
10:19 PM Ari No comments
Unfortunately, my 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge hasn't been going so well...at all! So, I'm going to have to start doing a little more leg work on my own to get this weight off. With all the information floating around about weight loss and diets it can be hard to decide what is fact and what is fiction. But do you know the basics when it comes to calorie intake? How much do you need to maintain the weight you are at and how much should you cut to lose weight? The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is balancing calories in and calories out. If you consume the same number of calories as you burn each day, then you will maintain your current weight. Below is some great information to get you headed in the right weight loss direction.
January 23, 2013
January 21, 2013
3:48 PM Ari No comments
Anyway, so day 1 of orientation was last Saturday. It was just so great and motivating. We got to do all of those fun personality tests and my study group marveled in how much we had in common and what a great year this would be. I was beaming with that "Can Do" spirit. Day 2 was the complete opposite. Speech after speech about how hard it's gonna be and how many sacrifices we'll have to make: no social life...studying all of the time...no sleep...and so on. We learned that we can only pass with a 3.0 - talk about pressure! Then I met one of my Professors and I swear he looked at me like I was the biggest idiot every time I answered a question. Just great!
I came home that day totally spent! I picked a completely unwarranted fight with the hubby - classic case of misdirected aggression - and 30 minutes later, cried on him like a baby. Yes, it really was that dramatic! I was feeling like I'd made the worst decision of my life...and classes hadn't even started yet! Fortunately, after letting it all out, I was refreshed again, ready to take on this challenge and determined that I was not the first or the last to do this. Sometimes, a good tantrum is all you need.
So classes have started and while that one professor is still not a fan, my other one reminds me of why I love marketing and business. It's tough, but I will say it's a damn good thing I made the decision to stick with it already because in comes a call from my mother today. I tell her I'm spending my day off studying and she says, "I heard from so and so that that program is really tough to do, especially when you're working too. What would happen if you just decided to quit and finish next year?" REALLY, Mom? Only my family!
January 18, 2013
3:40 PM Ari No comments
So, as you know, I'm back in grad school now and since starving your family is frowned upon, I figured I could use a little help. eMeals is the simple dinner solution for busy people like me who want to spend their money wisely and their time with people they love. eMeals is the easy way to be organized, have a well-managed grocery budget and enjoy healthy dinners at home. In their "New Year, New You!" plan find out how to eat healthy, save money, lose weight and get organized! Those are probably the top New Year's resolutions every year!
Here is how it works:
- First you will choose a meal plan based on your eating style, your family size and even your favorite grocery store.
- Every week, your meal plan arrives in your inbox —complete with seven simple, creative, family–friendly dinner recipes. Each includes an entrée and side dishes.
- Shop and Save - Along with the meal plan, you'll receive a detailed grocery list organized by section and coordinated with the weekly sales at selected stores.
- Relax and Enjoy - They take care of the meal planning, the grocery list and the budgeting — while you take credit for making healthy, home–cooked meals that your whole family will love.
Rosemary Chicken & Veggies with Steamed Broccoli. From this recipe, it even tells me what I can save for meals later in the week! Easy, convenient, affordable - My kind of plan.
For a limited time you can go over to Totsy.com and score 50% off a 12-month subscription to eMeals - so just $29 for an entire year! Plus, Love, Peace, and Tiny Feet Readers can use the code newyear to save 15% off your subscription anytime!
Especially for bloggers:
The eMeals Blogger Network is the best way to connect to special deals from eMeals and our partners, blogger only content, and on-going giveaways.Sign up HERE and your blog will be evaluated by our blogger outreach team. Please be sure to tell them Ari at Love, Peace, and Tiny Feet sent you!
January 16, 2013
January 15, 2013
11:49 PM Ari No comments
I came across this article the other day and had to share. Everyone talks about being a "better person," but what does that really mean? Is it donating time or money to charities? Is it rediscovering your spiritual side? Or is it just cutting back on some of your road rage? Really, it's just a combination of all of these things and more.You can find the entire article HERE, but here are 8 suggested steps toward becoming a better person.
Step 1 – Consider Your Impact on Others
Step 2 – Think Before You Speak
Step 3 – Be a Humanitarian
Step 4 – Use Your Strengths
Step 5 – Recognize Your Weaknesses
Step 6 – Take Better Care of Yourself
Step 7 – Show Your Appreciation
Step 8 – Explore Your Spirituality
Do you agree/disagree with any of these? Have you taken steps in the past few years, year, or even week towards becoming a better person?What steps did you take?
11:28 PM Ari 1 comment
I was recently asked to review Kidgets - Family Dollar’s line of Kidgets diapers and wipes, their newest addition to the Kidgets family. I have to start by sharing a very important story to this equation:
Over the Christmas holiday, I realized my 11 month old, Samara, has extremely sensitive skin after using another pair of inexpensive diapers. She broke out in a horrible rash that took forever to recover! Each and every one who saw it chimed in on what could be the cause and after doing a lot of research, I learned that many of the generic diapers on the market are manufactured in China and, not only is quality compromised, but contain some harsh irritants. Ugh! So, when I was asked to review these Kidgets diapers, I had to put my daughter's well-being first and foremost and so before even trying the diapers out on her, I checked with the company to make sure they were A) manufactured in the USA, and B) comprised of ingredients similar and comparable to those of other brands on the market. They passed this test and I felt comfortable trying them out.
What's there to love?
I will admit, although I love a good bargain, I have never thought to buy diapers at Family Dollar. I will say though that these have proven to be a a pretty good and affordable option for me. The diapers were tough and durable, with stretchable tabs and seal-tight fasteners. I think Samara would say they were comfortable and soft and didn't cramp her crawling style one bit. I have left them on her overnight and best of all, I have not yet experienced a problem with leaks or skin irritation. (Hallelujah!).
I've said this before; I'm not a huge wipes snob in the least. I use them to wipe butts, hands and faces and my only requirement is that they do the job without any further irritation to the skin. For that reason, I'm not a huge fan of scented wipes and voila - Kidgets offers a fragrance-free option!
What's there not to love?
If I had to pick one less than ideal situation here, it was the fact that availability of these diapers were really scarce at my Family Dollar Store. I get it. They are popular. But my local store only had one size left in stock. They were in size 5 and I needed a size 4, so I had to check out another store. This was just my experience though and I have spoken to others who had no trouble finding these. My luck!
My Final Word
Good product. Great price. Give them a try and see what you think. They retail for about $6.75 and even if you're fairly brand loyal to your Pampers and Huggies,you probably won't be disappointed if you had to grab a pack of Kidgets in a pinch.
Introducing the newest addition to the family of Kidgets products: Kidgets Baby Wipes!
Available exclusively at Family Dollar, Kidgets baby wipes are made with a special three-layer fabric that is Thick, Strong, and Soft!! Available in Unscented and Fresh Scent, they are the perfect addition to your changing table, car, or diaper bag. Convenient press-open lids make on-the-go changes a breeze!
Family Dollar’s line of Kidgets diapers is also second to none. Family Dollar realizes that you want the best for your baby. That’s why they developed Kidgets – a soft, absorbent diaper that’s also a great value. With an ultra absorbent core, stretchable grip tabs, and a cloth-like outer core, they are are so sure that you’ll love the Kidgets diaper that they offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!
January 9, 2013
January 4, 2013
1:12 AM Ari 1 comment
Now for 2013. I don't generally make resolutions, but I challenge myself. The life lesson I will most be following this year is, pardon my French, but to "Shit or get off the pot!" I actually decided this last year when I found myself getting into a bit of a complain mode. Thank goodness it was short lived! I want to lose weight. Enter 90-day weight loss challenge (Still in progress. Updates coming soon). I want to become a better blogger. Tickets to BlogHer 2013 bought! I want to get better at saving money. 2013 Financial Challenge accepted.
The most challenging goal for me this year will be to finally complete my graduate degree in December. I want to expand my knowledge in my field and advance my career. If I'm being honest, yes, I want to increase my earning potential and make more money. Maybe a little crazy - 2 kids, full time job and evening classes. But this is important to me and it's only 1 year out of my whole life! When I talk to my friends about going back to school and they say something like, "That's gonna be a whole 3 years," my response is, "That only matters if you're only planning on living for another 3 and a half."
So this will require a whole lot of sacrifice on my part. I'm a wife and mom, shouldn't I be pretty well versed in the art of sacrifice? My true friends will miss me. My not so true friends will dismiss me. I'll need support and motivation, lots of vitamins, and a HOUSEKEEPER! Wish me luck convincing hubby on the last one.
So, over all, I'm really excited about what 2013 has in store for me and I look forward to sharing my progress with you all!
Happy New Year!
12:41 AM Ari No comments
This year, Christmas started off at my mother in law's newly operating Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, VA. I've mentioned before how calm and peaceful moments are with my in laws, especially compared to my Big Fat African Family. The morning started off pretty normal - Kids wake up and rush downstairs to find gifts from Santa. After opening all of her gifts, Leila exclaimed, "I'm so proud of Santa!" So, I guess that means he did a good job this year.
Next stop-my parent's house...Here we go! I call the house to let them know we're on the way and my dear grandmother (who let me add should never answer the phone) answers the phone. She proceeds to tell me that everyone is at the hospital. "What happened?" I asked. Mind you, my grandmother speaks in a strong Liberian accent, so sometimes it can be tough to follow. Here's the basic translation:
"Dey at the hospital. Chadia's legs. She was fixing the rug and it hurt her legs. The people (assuming the EMTs) came and they had to cut her legs. Dey at the hospital!"
WHAT THE...? Did she just say that my sister-the 17 year old pre-college athlete-lost her legs today? On Christmas morning? Omg! Panic sets in. I can barely finish the conversation. I just want to speak to my mom and have her tell me the story isn't true.
And she does. Whew! Actual story: Chadia dislocated her knee doing some work around the house. They call the ambulance and get this...they tore her PANTS! I told my mom the story I had gotten and she concurred...my grandmother should never answer the phone!
They were out of the hospital by the time we got up there and managed to have a great holiday. The kids got absolutely spoiled as usual. In fact, on top of the new presents, my mom saw it fit to wrap up almost every toy she had around the house. After opening one of her presents, Leila exclaimed, " I have this book at home too! Chick-Fil-A gave it to me." Can't get anything by her!
12:30 AM Ari No comments
I had been chatting with my best friend who lives in Australia (the land of expensive, but hormone free foods) and she started me thinking along the lines of what I could be putting into my body that could possibly be altering my state. Her natural inclination was to blame the foods I'd been eating. Truth be told, I have not been as consistent with the organics as I'd like to be, but I started to dig a little deeper into this.
Then it dawned on me. It had been exactly 4 months since my doctor had put me on the latest "flavor of the month" birth control pill. At the risk if sharing a little TMI, I hadn't taken the pill since before having my oldest. Even then, I had been consistent with one particular formula for many years because I've always had an aversion to the hormones. Yet, without any further testing or check of my history, my doctor was insistent on prescribing me this new pill. Sure, I could've said no, but the package was attractive - lighter, shorter periods, "lower dose" (although what they don't tell you is that it is actually just a different "mix" of hormones). Anyway, I got off of this promptly and within DAYS, I started to feel much better! Yes, my kid still talks too much and I'm sleep deprived and all of the same stressors are in place, but that nagging feeling of anxiety and hopelessness is gone and I actually feel back to myself again. It has been a full month since.
I know I'm not a Doctor and I may tend to self diagnose a little too much. But I am able to read for myself and most importantly, I know my body! My intentions of sharing this is not to start a war against any pharmaceutical companies because I'm not just 100% against them (another myth of Chiro wives). but just to encourage to any women out there who may have experienced something similar to explore this further. (notice, I have not listed any brand names though you can email me for more detail)
I came across this one site that shared various sources of hormonal imbalances and an informal hormonal test you can take yourself. I plan on doing a little more research on the topic...or I may recruit the hubby to incorporate it in his chiropractic practice. Meanwhile, I would love some feedback from any readers who may have experienced something similar. What did you discover and what resources did you use?