Weekly Menu Planning

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I’ve been working on a menu and decided to share it with you all. ¬†If things like this interest you…if not, oh well, haha ūüôā ¬†I have been following Trim Healthy Mama since January and loving it! ¬†The freedom from food bondage is incredible. ¬†Never realized how much of an issue I had, and how this is really helping to heal some of that. ¬†Of course, I’m still a work in progress, and I know those tendencies I have creep back in every once in a while, but I just have more joy about food in general now, and that’s a good thing for sure!

On my weight loss progress, I started this journey at 181 pounds and have been plateauing at around the 168-171 range for a few months now. ¬†I’m crazy happy about the pounds I’ve lost, but I’m nowhere near my goal yet. ¬†So this past week I did what’s called a Fuel Cycle (technically it’s 2 weeks long, but I just did 1 week). ¬†It is supposed to rev things back up if you find yourself stalling after a few months on the plan. ¬†So basically, the first 3 days, you eat lots of Deep S meals (focus on the pure fats – coconut oil, butter, olive oil, salmon, eggs, non-starchy veggies, and keep your carbs to under 10 g each meal). ¬†I thought this would be hard, but it was surprisingly not – I ate meals like baked salmon with lemon juice and coconut oil, mushrooms sauteed in butter, and asparagus; I had desserts like lemon curd and skinny chocolate. ¬†Then the next 2 days, I ate FP (Fuel Pull) days, which basically means keeping the fat count to 5 or less and the carb count to 10 or less at each meal. ¬†This is probably the hardest days of the week just because I had to eat a lot more little meals throughout the day to keep my energy up. But the actual food was still tasty! ¬†Then the last 2 days, you eat only E meals (Energizing) and keep the fat count to 5 or less per meal. ¬†So these meals looked like sweet potato black bean chili; overnight oatmeal with berries; Apple Cinnamon (a cut up apple mixed with a little stevia, cinnamon, and Greek yogurt);¬†chicken, sweet potato, and sugar snaps; and¬†37 calorie brownies. ¬† I lost about 4 pounds the first 3 days, then stayed the same the next 2 days, and then gained 1 pound the remaining 2 days. ¬†So I’ve been holding at 164.4 the last 2 days. ¬†Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep losing. ¬†But I’m trying to focus more on just enjoying the food and getting plenty of water and exercise also. ¬†I think the weight will just gradually come off.

So, anyway, here is my meal plan I just wrote up…I’m sure it’ll be tweaked along the way. ¬† Oh, and I *can’t wait* to share a new skinny chocolate recipe I came up with/tinkered with last night! ¬†It’s got HUGE promise/potential!! ūüôā ¬†(hope it’s readable – click to see larger… oh, and yes, I do eat at strange times, haha, if you caught that..6am/9am/12noon/3pm/6or7pm)


I love that the weather is starting to get a bit chillier and that I can wear cardigans, sweatshirts, and boots again! ¬†One of my favorite clothing lines is the Lauren Conrad line from Kohls. ¬†I had seen this dress online, but it was more than I wanted to spend, plus some of the reviews weren’t very favorable in the way it fit. ¬†Then, it just so happened that an online friend of mine had this dress and was selling it! ¬†So I bought it from her and crossed my fingers the size she had would fit. ¬†Well, it’s now one of my favorite dresses, and I think the colors work great as a dress to bridge the summer/fall season.

First worn with an off-white cardigan, which I think is okay, but when I later found a dusty orange cardigan, I liked that much better (the off-white cardigan is from Old Navy)  I find it so fun to see what works and how just changing the color of the cardigan pulled the outfit together more.




DSC06268Details: Dress – Lauren Conrad; Peaches ‘n Cream Soft-T from DYT; Cardigan thrifted (Ann Taylor); earrings DYT; necklaces Zulily; floral hair clips Forever21.


Hope you’re all having a great week! ¬†Come back tomorrow because I’ll be having a giveaway (For what? ¬†You’ll have to come back to see! ūüėČ )

Fashion Friday: Trends to Skip


Obviously, everyone has their own tastes and what works for them. ¬†I love shopping at Zulily, and besides seeing when they have great deals on things I like, I’ve been able to really see what styles and trends that I am totally fine with just letting roll on by. ¬†Maybe you like or can pull off these trends. ¬†I cringe and raise an eyebrow when I see these trends, so I know they are definitely not for me! ¬† But… thinking I should try to expand my fashion horizons, I’ve decided to also post a version of the trend that I would be more willing to embrace or try. ¬†So, without further discussion, here are 5 Trends to Skip when shopping this Fall:

1. ¬†The harem pant. ¬†I’m honestly not sure who likes these pants… or who looks good in them for that matter… all I can think of when I see these are 1) dressing up like a baby with a sagging diaper, or 2) you actually want to make your hip/butt/gut appear larger. ¬†Neither of those options are very appealing to me, so I’ll stay far far away from this trend!


Anabelle harem pants

A better option: ¬†Oh, this is hard for me to even imagine, lol…. but at least this option is less saggy diaper looking


Carla Venturi wool-blend harem pants

2. ¬†Tribal print. ¬†It’s just not my thing. I’ve seen many fashion bloggers who look great in tribal print.


Brandon & Ashley tribal chevron top

A better option:  A bit more blended


Young Threads tribal blouson dress


Fuchsia and Mint tribal dress

3. ¬†Leopard print. ¬†Again, many people can pull off the leopard print trend with flying colors. ¬†I look like I’m trying to get into character for The Jungle Book or something.


Quiz leopard pearl yoke dress

A better option:  Think accessories or small details


Matisse beige leopard royce leather ballet flats




Style 101 by Ganz charcoal leopard lace scoop neck top

4. ¬†Skinny jean. ¬†I know this is a huge trend, and it is a fine trend…on the right body shapes. ¬†I’ve heard it said that “everyone can wear skinny jeans”. ¬†No, I beg to differ. ¬†Yes, everyone *can*, but not everyone will look good in them. ¬†And I’m not saying you have to be skinny to wear skinny jeans (hate that idea), but someone’s basic body shape does come into play. ¬†For instance, I am on the short side with a pear-shaped bottom-heavy body type. ¬†Maybe as I continue to lose more weight and shape up my body, I perhaps will find out I’ve changed my mind, but I’m not seeing it changing anytime soon. Skinny jeans taper in at the ankle, therefore, they will draw attention to your thighs/hips. ¬†I think if you are taller and still pear shaped, *maybe* you’ll find you can make this work with the right top and shoes/boots.


Henry & Belle side stripe skinny jeans

A better option:


Henry & Belle micro flare jeans

5. ¬†Oversized. ¬†It seems this is a big trend too – super loose, slouchy, dropped sleeves. ¬†Again, on some body frames, this may work. ¬†On my narrower upper body and shorter height, oversized can very quickly go from super comfy to super unflattering. ¬† Many people think going bigger will best mask their extra weight, but in doing so, they actually often add pounds. ¬†Obviously, I’m not saying buy skin-tight clothing, but there should be a balance of fitted vs. too loose.


Covet line-blend cardigan

A better option:  Something that drapes and has just a bit of structure without being overwhelming



Magic Fit draped cardigan

5a. ¬†(Perhaps this could be its own point, but I didn’t want to mess up the “5 Trends” theme and couldn’t think of 5 more to make it 10, so just go with it) Palazzo Pant. ¬†Okay, these look extremely extremely comfortable! ¬†I am allllll about comfy clothing! ¬†The softer something feels, the better! ¬†So, I would wear these around the house or for pajamas. ¬†But I just feel these would completely overwhelm, add 20 pounds, and just be so unflattering. ¬†Like every other trend up here, many people I’m sure will look amazing in them. ¬†I just feel if you already have larger thighs, these may make your thighs look like they take up the whole of the pants even though they don’t.


Bellino plum palazzo pant

A better option: Look for one that is slightly less full through the thigh


Summer Skin light denim palazzo pant


Of course, all of this is just in fun and even a little bit silly. ¬†You find what works for you, what you like, and go for it! ¬†ūüôā

Joe Browns New Range

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Oh, hey, it’s me! ¬†I have not fallen off the face of the earth, just took a little break from blogging over the last couple of weeks. ¬†Blogging is awesome and lots of fun, but it really does take good time management and scheduling to not get behind, and then when you do get behind what you had planned to blog about, it can feel overwhelming to jump back in. ¬†But here I am! ¬†ūüôā

It’s no longer summer (well, technically it is), and the anticipation of Fall is very strong. ¬†I love the changing of the seasons! ¬†No matter what season, that anticipation of something new, of a difference in scenery, always entices me.

And speaking of changing of seasons, when you go out shopping, you’ll now see long-sleeved tops, cardigans, and more warm-weathered offerings. ¬†Joe Browns just recently launched their new range, with a focus on two different “personalities” if you will… or two different themes: ¬†Shangri-La and Sovereignty.

Check out this little video to see some of the pieces in Joe Browns new line:

In the next week or so, I will be doing a review on one of their new fall items, so keep an eye out for that!

What else is in store?  You can be on the look out for some exercise reviews, beauty reviews/tutorials, food reviews, and book reviews!

Swimsuit Season…Simply Modest Review and Giveaway


Swimsuit season… sadly, these are dreaded words for many and for various reasons. ¬†Some people because they’re worried they won’t fit in their bikini this year, some purely because they’re self-conscious of their body in more skimpy attire like a swimsuit, and some purely because of modesty or lack thereof. ¬†For myself, I fall in the latter two. ¬†I am working on loving my body and appreciating all the amazing things it does, but if I’m being honest, I am self-conscious. ¬†But I also don’t think a skimpy suit or bikini glorifies or elevates women (that’s just my own beliefs), no matter how toned or fit or not self-conscious I might be. ¬†Enter Simply Modest. ¬†Not too long ago, I came across this site when looking up more modest bathing suit choices.

Simply Modest

Something I really appreciate is they can be custom made to fit your own specifications/size/modesty level. ¬†Some people might want the leggings to be capri length, some may want them as shorties and some in between. ¬†Some may want a sleeveless top with a lower neckline, while others may want a high neckline and sleeves. ¬†I love that custom element. ¬†Check out their fabric pattern choices HERE. ¬†You can also purchase the instructions to make your own suit if that’s your thing!

Simply Modest

The fabric is very high quality and great for the water.  It is comfortable, plus I think relatively flattering.

Simply Modest

By the way, who wears jewelry when they’re wearing a swimsuit? ¬†Haha, but this set matched the suit so perfectly!

Simply Modest

I haven’t been able to use the suit at a pool/outdoors yet, but I’m actually looking forward to wearing this now instead of dreading being seen in my swim suit!

How would you like a $50 gift certificate to go towards your own suit???  Crystal is generously giving that to one reader!  Simply enter below!  Use coupon code ZS1B513K18BT6  to get 10% off your order good through the end of the month.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was provided this product in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. ¬†Don’t forget to enter the Joe Browns Giveaway while you’re in giveaway-entering mode ūüėČ

Happyba An Etsy shop review


Sometimes you just stumble across a shop, a store, an image, and something about it draws you in and sometimes it takes your breathe away by its beauty.  That is exactly what happened when I received this custom-made skirt by Happyba.  OOTD062914

The skirt is super romantic and just my style! ¬†I feel so pretty when I wear it (isn’t that the best – when you actually feel really good in your clothing?!) ¬†Di has a few other skirts up right now, including this one¬†(without the sheer under layer) or this one that are¬†very similar to mine. ¬† Oh, it is very soft, lightweight, and comfy also. ¬†A win-win! ¬†This, I’ve decided, is my version of the high-low hem skirts that are so trendy… but this is the classic/romantic version. ¬†I have tried a few high-low skirts, and they just don’t flatter my figure the way they fall on me. ¬†But this, with the sheer under layer and the ruching, *is* flattering.happyba1

Skirt: c/o Happyba // Shirt: Lauren Scott // Earrings: Target // Pearl necklace: a gift shop // floral hair clips: Forever21 // Nail wraps: Jamberry






What Happyba is most known for, however, is her slip extenders and her jewelry pouches. ¬†She surprised me with a jewelry pouch in tan/navy brocade/velvet (with some jewelry she also makesin it!), and it’s well made and functions great! ¬†The concept of this little pouch isn’t new to me – – I have seen little pouches/bags like this at Renaissance Faires and other places, but it’s the inside that is unique – a spot in the middle to store bracelets/necklaces, and little small pouches that line the edges all around for earrings/rings. ¬†And then it all cinches up. ¬†I will definitely be using this on my next trip!




Another popular item in her shop, as I mentioned, is her slip extenders. ¬†I haven’t tried a slip extender yet, but the idea is so genius, but looks infinitely more classy – they don’t look like actual slips that have fallen down! haha. ¬†But they’re a layering piece that you can wear underneath tunics or short dresses/skirts to make them the length you want them to be for you. ¬†This is great for anyone, but especially for those who want to be modest.

Happyba is a pleasure to work with, was fast to communicate/answer any questions I had, and is very gifted at what she does. ¬†Most of her items are one of a kind, so if there’s something you see that you love, there’s no guarantee there will ever be another one like it. ¬†Shipping from Israel to USA was fast, and shipping charges were extremely reasonable. ¬†I highly recommend!

Linking up with Monday Mingle, Friday’s Fab Favorites, Style Sessions.