Thursday, July 31, 2014

Nick's Rock Climbing Wall

Alex and I created this rock-climbing all for Nick. In other words, I asked for it, and Alex built it. Nick actually digs the new wall, and I think we have created a climbing monster! This wall is expected to be great for Nick's hand-eye coordination, as well as, strength. Woohoo!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paleo Chili

I am a huge fan of chili, but the beans make me gag! I am not sure why but I am just not a huge fan of beans and their texture. So when we make chili I just completely cut the beans out and add more grassfed beef and veggies. My boys have a tiny obsession with Chili Dogs because that is what Sonic the Hedgehog eats, so they ask for them a lot which means I have to have Chili on hand as often as possible, so when I make chili, I MAKE CHILI, meaning I make like 10-15lbs at a time. I figure if I am chopping that many veggies it has to be worth my while. I cook it all up and then store the rest in freezer bags and , so then I am ready to go when the boys requests come up! For the boys chili dogs, I just do chicken hot dogs, a few scoops of chili and cheese on top. Or I just put it all in a bowl with the hot dogs sliced up. Happy boys. 

Here is the chili recipe! 
First I cook the beef and then drain off the fat. Use as much beef or as little to whatever size batch you are making. Then I just add it all in and let it simmer until the veggies are tender. You can use any additional veggies you like also. I have also added bacon before which made it extra yummy. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BMI- Friend or Foe?

Alex and I have discussed the topic of Body Mass Index several times. We keep concluded that how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror really are the only legit ways to judge your body. I came across this video last week. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how a school told a 9 year old female student that she was overweight due to her personal BMI chart.

9 year old, 6l;bs = Overweight?!
Feel good about yourself and get down to this jam:


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Overfed and Undernourished?

Simple foods to add to your diet-- In other words...

Get away from being overfed and undernourished!

A few options to you to choose from. Below are my current favorites...
Broccoli: Some may like their broccoli cooked or raw, and broccoli is yum yum yummy (especially with coconut oil)! Plus, FIBER! This will not only make you feel full, but clean you out too. On top of that, the mineral, chromium, stabilizes blood sugar levels. WINNING! I have broccoli every morning--don't resist, just try it. I did, and I have totally changed my opinion on this tiny green tree.

Dark Chocolate: I love dark chocolate; the more cocoa included the better. I have currently been eating Ghiradeli's 86% cocoa dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains healthy fats, lowers blood pressure, prevents cardiovascular disease, boosts insulin resistance, and prevents UV damage. I don't think I need to continue to convince you to try or continue to eat healthy dark chocolate "treats".

Eggs: I add eggs to my broccoli and coconut oil each morning. This provides me with protein that helps me feel full. The high selenium in eggs is also believed to prevent certain cancers. In addition, the choline in eggs is great for your brain.

Spring Mix: Think iron and energy. Some studies indicate the iron can actually bring happiness into your life. I believe this holds true for me. I eat salad all day long, and I never get tired of it. So good!

Salsa: Low in calories and high in vitamins. Great addition to any meal or snack.

Kidney & Black Beans: Fiber and protein-- need I say more? I think that beans are just plain yummy.

Tuna & Turkey: Omega 3's may help with controlling mood swings, and turkey is an excellent lean protein option.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Workout Alternatives for Sliders

Have you guys seen the paper plates on carpet video for working out?? Well we have all hard surfaced floors in the house so I needed something that would work on those. I was giving Sam a bath the other day when I noticed the padding from my swim suit on the floor that I had taken out. I thought, wow those would work as sliders because they are small and would glide nice. Then I saw a diaper and thought the same thing and voila, they worked like a charm!!!



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Battle Hymn of a Semi-Wannabe Tiger Mother

Lately, I have gotten into audio books. I have NEVER been a reader. I'll flip through a magazine, but I rarely grab a book. Books are one of the rare categories in my life that I don't care if I finish them or not. This includes food, movies, songs, and shows. Alex is the opposite; he has to finish everything. I don't understand it, but I do appreciate his drive for commitment with life.

The first audio book, that I picked up was "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua. I will admit that I LOVED IT! It was a six hour audio book that took me less than a week to complete. I could not turn this off! It was amazing, and it taught me a lot about balancing the different stages of motherhood.

I don't want to say that I won't be a "helicopter mom". I really have no idea what type of mother I am yet. I do want to learn as much as possible, and I have started educating myself on how to push Nick to do his personal best. Did I cheer on Chua as she read through her book- oh ya, but I also reflected on how I can learn from her "mistakes".

After listening to the book, I contemplated my competitive positions for myself and Nicholas. Like most mothers, I want the ultimate best for Nick, and I will do anything to make sure he gets there. I want to spend every second with Nicholas as he grows and learns, while also preparing him to jump the nest when the time arrives.

One of the most important things I can do for Nick is make the "best" decisions for him. The nutrients that I provide for Nick are crucial for his life. I want his brain and body to be top notch, and Alex and I are responsible for getting him there.

I have a feeling that I may struggle with pushing Nicholas, as well as, myself. I don't want to break Nick down; I do want him to trust that I believe in him and know he is capable of amazing things. I am nervous and excited to see how I can get him there...time will tell.

It is also important to be an example for Nicholas. Nick already follows by Alex's and my examples. I have to pretend to eat certain foods, so Nick will be fooled to eat whatever I am offering him. Personally, I have made a huge effort to show Nick that I am willing to give 100%- cooking (food choices), cleaning, fitness, and in life in general. This has actually surprised me in regards to what I can do! I had no idea that I could some of the activities that I have done lately-- For example, I walked the entire zoo with Nick in the backpack. My goal was to walk half of the zoo with Nick on my back (around 30ish pounds-- Nick + backpack supplies = 25% my body weight!), but I got to the halfway mark and wanted to keep going! At over 3.5 miles, I felt accomplished and ready to take on more!

Anyway, has anyone else read/listened to this book?? What are your thoughts on "Tiger Moms"?

I tried Jenny McCartney's "Stirring the Pot" audio book- fail. Currently, I am reading Cameron Diaz's "The Body Book". I am hoping to learn more about my nutritional and physical choices. Happy reading and/or listening, fitness friends!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Tot Puree Pouches

These supply great organic options for your baby. You might even enjoy some of the pouches too! :)


Friday, July 11, 2014

Baby Mum Mum Avocado Recipe

 This recipe is the bomb! Nick loves organic Happy Puffs and Mum-Mums. I opened up the Mum Mum package the other day and was surprised to see the recipe enclosed. This recipe has plenty of "good/healthy" fats. So, Alex gave me the green light to give this a try! Nick was one happy avocado king! The only substitute I made was coconut oil for the olive oil.
I tried some myself and was quite pleased. This is a big deal for a picky eater like myself. I am already starting to see Nick start to mimic my crunchy foods/cereal habits. That's my boy! ;)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Prayer Time. Be Specific.

So the other night I was reading my Kindle before bed which is my favorite ritual of the day. I look forward to the complete silence and being cuddled up in my bed just reading and thinking also about the day. A few weeks ago Jordan and I had decided that we would start leaving our cell phones out of the bedroom so create a less distracted area, it's not like we are super glued to them but it just gives us a complete break from any outside noise inside our bedroom. I mean we get interupted by the kids before bed but honestly we just tune out the rest of our lives and it's just us and our family and that is how I like it to be at night time. Just think about 30 years ago that is EXACTLY how it was. No internet, no cell phones, less distractions.

I have a plethora of books on my dear ole Kindle, it's kind of like I am bipolar in my reading choices, you can find a book on Natural Family Planning, a book for Catholic Mothers and then countless books by my girls The Real Housewives, Brandi Glanville's is BY FAR my favorite one! I read that bad boy in 3 days that is how much I loved it! I also started reading Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure. I find her and I to be a lot alike, minus the whole being famous thing. She is someone who has her crap together and doesn't seem to get caught up in the madness. She puts her family and her husband first, well obviously behind God and that is how it should be. I love her outlook on everything.

Never in a million years did I expect DJ Tanner to be the one who opened my eyes on the proper way to pray. I am not even sure how the book was on the last chapter that was specifically about how to pray but it was when I turned it on two nights ago. I started reading and it instantly struck a chord with me. "I've learned to pray very specific and detailed prayers so I can see the hand of God working and know it's Him answering and not just coincidence or fate". I don't know why but I am honestly the queen of vague prayers. Honestly at Mass weekly I ask for our families and friends health, and for bad people to find God. I mean that is honestly the gist of it. I am the most unspecific person ever when it comes to prayers. I honestly just sum it up to thinking that God knows what I mean and can figure it out. haha But I am being so naive and silly. I need to talk more with Him and not just throw in a few hints here and there of what I am praying for. 

That honestly opened my eyes to how to pray. I need to lay it all out there. All of it on the table and to be specific. This same exact practice spills over into any relationship. You can't just assume people know what you mean. Like when I tell the boys "Stop being mean", what does that even mean? Yes as an adult I know that it means stop doing that thing you are doing because it is MEAN. But to them they need it broken down and specific. Sure it takes more time to explain but then they understand. "Please stop taking that block from your brother. That is his favorite block and you know that he was playing with it first. You are hurting his feelings by taking the block. Please think about how he feels before you take the toy from him." I mean hello, my "stop being mean" just turned into a whole explanation but I think that is what I need to change. I need to talk specific in my life and also with God. He knows what I need but I need to also tell Him, I need to open my relationship with Him enough to have more conversation and not just the "Hey stop bad people from doing bad things". I mean come on, I am so vague. 
At first I thought being specific meant that I was being needy. That I was asking God in this way to test him and see if he fulfills my prayers. But I in no way think that is true. I feel like you are laying it all out there and allowing him to choose the path. Maybe you are praying for something specific to happen and it doesn't, that may be the case and another door may be opening and in a few months you will see why that specific prayer wasn't met but an even better one was. I think that being specific helps you put more time into your prayers instead of just focusing on the easy 10 second run down of vague prayers. It opens your mind and your heart to the power that prayer can be. It also opens your mind and heart to more things going on around you and how you are actually feeling on a certain issue in your life. I started this new approach and I do not know what will come of it but I do feel closer to God and better about my prayers, I feel like there is an actual conversation and not just a quick "Hi, make everyone nice" but an actual outpouring of why everyone should be nice. It gives me a break down of honestly how I want my children to be. How I want them to love others and treat strangers with respect and love. And honestly I feel like that is my calling as a mother, to mold my children into little faith spreading teens and adults. 

It really just opened my eyes not only on how to pray but also in motherhood, and all relationships in my life. I am ready to cut the being vague and just cut to the chase. Time to be specific.- Allie


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nick's Swim Practices

Alex and I have been taking Nick swimming since he was around one month old. It was tough at first because we could only let the little guy in the water for a short period of time (mostly due to temperature acclamation issues with babies).

Anyway, we are seeing so many benefits of our efforts. It was NOT easy packing everything up, driving to the pool, getting everyone undressed, changed into bathing suits, in the pool, out of the pool, back into street clothes, drive home, then unpack-- WHEW! Keeping in mind that Nick was literally in the pool for only 10-15 minutes.

In the pool, Nick practices kicking holding onto the poolside, and becoming fearless of the water (kind of scary, but we hope this will be useful if a negative water situation ever does occur). We will dunk Nick to make sure he knows that it is like to be under water. So far, he has done very well- quite the trooper! We are so proud!

I think Nick's favorite part of swim practices are the warm after-showers with dad. Nick smiles, laughs, and relaxes as the boys clean up. :)

Do any of you love the water as much as our family? Did you ever take your baby to the pool?


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Allie and Fitness Coaching

When Jamie and I started this we started with Body Rock's 30 day challenge and the only issue for me was the program did not have a normal length, one day it would be 45 minutes and the next an hour and 15 minutes. It was so annoying and frusterating and honestly made me want to throw in the towel and just not work out at all. It was so horrible to try to fit in those workouts with 4 kids at home.

A few friends of mine were doing some of the Beachbody workouts and the 21 Day Fix had just came out, it was 21 days and 30 minutes a day. I was instantly intrigued by this. I had never done home workouts before trying Body Rock so I was a tad weary still. I thought the only way to get fit was hitting the gym. That awesome YMCA membership we had that was $80 a month. Yeah the one we hadn't used in 7 months, that one! Great investment Allie! :)

Well I decided to give the 21 Day Fix a shot. My friend told me that I could coach for free if I bought the challenge pack. I didnt really know if coaching would be for me since I was at home all day with kids and not really interacting with too many adults on a normal basis. I figured I would try it out and since coaching was free I would just see what happened for the first month. I started slowly posting my honest results on the program and also Shakeology, which I swore would not be for me. But now it is part of my daily life, it gives me an extra boost because I am always the last to get fed around here. I am always feeding everyone else and by the time I am done they have devoured every last bite! haha So the shakes work amazing for me. I just mix and drink! Done and done!! 

Well here I am 3 months after taking the leap of fitness coaching with Beachbody and I am so in love with this little job and also the HUGE benefit of my body being the most in shape it has been in 6 years. I weigh less than I did in college which is shocking to me because I was constantly working out and doing gymnastics because I cheered co-ed at a D-1 school. So to hit a lower weight than I was then is huge for me!! It just goes to show that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to!!

The biggest thing for me has been staying true to myself, I love to eat. I love food and I love starbucks so those were my non negotiables. I wanted to find a perfect mix that involved eating mostly clean, a quick workout and my favorite sweets and treats here and there. I can honestly say I have found my happy mix. I still have my calorie high Starbucks Carmel Ribbon crunch frappe weekly (or twice a week) and I still eat my favorite foods. Its just more spread out than it used to be. I save my sweets for the weekend and try to keep my weekdays as clean as possible, which isnt always possible. But I keep trudging forward and making the healthiest choices I can!
I was 138 when we started this journey after baby #4. My weight was at a complete stand still and I felt so uncomfortable in my body. I wear always wearing loose clothing and tights because my regular pants did not fit. I am now 117. And like I said I am not perfect by any means. I do try my best and do my unhealthy eating on the weekends, mainly Saturday haha! But I just try to keep my big meals as clean as possible and also like I said earlier I do drink my shakeo almost daily! 

Other than my body changing my entire outlook on life has changed. I have taken this whole coaching thing to the next level by building my own team of coaches and am helping them all reach their goals personally and in the business. I reached Diamond coach last month and I am still blown away by all of this.

 I never imagined I could make money while staying at home and just getting myself healthy and sharing my tips. When we first started this blog we had decided I would keep my beachbody talk to my original blog but Beachbody and their programs have been the REASON I am where I am today so me not talking about them would be completely wrong. They are the reason I now weigh what I did in high school. They are the reason I am able to workout at home with 4 kids. They are the reason I am comfortable in my skin FINALLY. My weight has been a struggle through pregnancy. My weigh gains were between 30-70lbs. Yes 70! That was baby #1. I weighed as much as my husband did. Awesome right? So you can do it, you can get your body back ladies. I swear it!!!! I have been in your shoes. I have been uncomfortable but I finally FOUND something that works for me and my life!!!

I am also helping other women on their journeys. I cannot tell you how great it is to see messages like this almost weekly from the women I have helped. It is so REWARDING!!
So there is my Fitness Coaching story and why I love Beachbody!!! If you ever have questions on the programs or anything beachbody related you know where to find me!!! Just message me and I will help you pin point the exact program!! I just started PiYo and am in LOVE!!! I will update my results when I finish a full cycle!!! xoxo- Allie

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Squooshi & Ephiphany

"The truth is, we inevitably give up a portion of 'real-time life' when we venture to the technological plane of existence however many dozen times per day. Add to that the cognitive 'transition' time when we bring ourselves back into the physical present after getting absorbed in our tech tools."

Read more:


Friday, July 4, 2014

Challenge: Mind, Body, & Soul

Happy Fourth of July!!

Alex and I turned a year older last month. We have only been together for two years. It really feels like a lifetime at this point. After getting engaged after a month and a half of dating, we got married that fall, and Nicholas came a year later. Life is so weird!

Anyway, I wanted to take on a challenge with my new age. I asked Alex if he wanted to join me, and he was all for it.

Let the fireworks, fly! ;)....

My challenge is to exhibit self control and excel more in the areas pertaining to my mind, body, and soul. 


I take my diet and fitness very seriously. It is very rare for me to "slip up" in this category. I have this mentality that food is actually fuel. Therefore, I just cannot scarf down meals or snacks that I have not found to benefit my body. Plus, since Nicholas still needs important nutrition from me, I take my food intake even more seriously. This category will be easy!

For my mind, I want to work on simplifying, as well as, creating a more positive environment for myself and others. Instead of focusing on the negative, I will consider the alternative. Like many of you, I just want my family to be happy.

Lastly, my soul. I did not grow up in a very religious household. I was taught to be a "good" person. Alex brought religion into my life, and he knows I struggle with much of the content because I am still learning a lot. Since Nick was born, we have been reading pieces of the Bible to him. After the school year ended, I read short stories from the children's version of the Bible to Nick every day. I have committed myself to at least 15 minutes a day. I actually enjoy the stories, and I am educating myself with our son.

I don't think that this is enough though. After much thought, I have decided that I am going to get rid of my Facebook app and replace it with some type of app pertaining to the Bible. I will admit that I check Facebook a few times a day when I'm bored. Besides a few good articles and pictures, I am wasting my precious time.

So, during my "I'm bored" or free time, I will be working on myself...making me a better wife, mother, friend, family member, citizen and person overall this year. I want to take out the wasted time and replace it with moments and thoughts that provoke higher levels of thought and action.

Is anyone with me? Or were you able to make a New Year's resolution that you actually stuck with? Maybe you failed one year, but you keep putting it back on your challenge list??

Have fun with your family and friends this weekend, and be safe! xo


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Homemade Sugar Scrub

The other day Jude dropped by container of sugar scrub in the shower. Maybe I should have put the lid on tighter, clearly. But it was after I had already placed a new order for my facewash so I didnt want to have to reorder again and pay another shipping fee. Amazon Prime has fully spoiled me and I despise shipping, but for my amazing face wash I suck it up! Anyways I figured I could make my own sugar scrub from stuff we had at home and save a few bucks! Boy was I right!!!

I had some some essential oils left over from when I made my own wallflower plug-ins  so I grabbed those, some oil and some sugar (yum yum). I introduce you to....
This is literally the easiest thing ever. I dont think I will buy it again honestly!  
That is just a small batch and honestly I just eye-balled it!! I added Amber and Vanilla to mine. You only need a few drops of each. Test a few batches on your hand to figure out your desired smell level haha. Next I will do orange oil and vanilla. I love the smell of those two together. When you smell like a creamsicle life is so much better!! haha! So there you have it. Mix in a bowl and then put into whatever container you have with a lid. Mason jars, tupperware, whatever you have that you can close. Keep in your shower and lather on every few days to exfoliate your skin!!! 

What's your favorite scent?? Share your favorite mixtures of oil with me!! 
PS this is seriously such an easy gift or favor for parties. Girls night?? 


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Daily Walk & Talks

Daily walk and talks can be excellent for you and your children. We walk 30 minutes every day, and Nick actually gets excited when I bust out the baby carrier. Twenty extra pounds during cardio exercises can make a difference! Give it a try if you have a little one. For those moms with older children, even just walking and talking with them can be a healthy experience for everyone.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bacon Sweet Potato Spears

Jordan and I have decided a few nights a week to cook up something extra for dinner and make it special and have an appetizer and dessert every now and then to take a break from the usual meat and veggies meal we have. Last week the side we made was so simple yet so incredibly tasty. I do not know why I never thought of this recipe but obviously all I needed was a quick visit to pinterest and bam this popped up! 

Anything with bacon has my name on it, then if you throw in sweet potatoes it is just double the pleasure for my taste buds. My friends, meet the bacon sweet potato spears. 
You may ask yourself, those potatoes sure as heck are not sweet potatoes, is Allie dumb?

Well my friends, I asked the lady that 20 times at Giant Eagle a few weeks ago.
I asked why are these not orange, like normal sweet potatoes, she informed me that sweet potatoes are indeed white and that I must be getting confused with yams? 
I of course had to let her know this was not my first time in the produce department nor my first time cooking with them, those bad boys are usually orange at any other store. Anyways I took home their white sweet potatoes and cooked them up, she was right they are sweet, and weirdly I actually prefer the white sweet potatoes, the orange kind of creeps me out! But I have found Giant Eagle is the only store in our area that carries them. 

Anyways, you will need the following:
                                                          A few sweet potatoes
Package of bacon
Brown Sugar(your choice)

Cut your potatoes into thick spears, really just like a steak fry.
Take your bacon and cut it in half while its still all together, take each half piece of bacon and wrap it around each spear. 
 Makes about 20 or so spears, then you can choose to add a pinch of brown sugar, which I recommend  it is amazing all cooked up! 
 Bake at 350 til the bacon is at the right crispness for you! 
I guarentee these will not last on the plate more than 15 minutes, if that!
This will totally be our go-to appetizer for parties! 
Enjoy! xoxo- Allie