by Melanie

Enjoying Spring Break + My New Healthy Plan

April 18, 2014 in Exercise, Goals, Weight Loss Plan by Melanie

We’ve been loving spring break the past couple days!  It’s been so nice to slow down a bit and enjoy a less hectic schedule.

I went to the gym this morning and got a great strength training workout in.  I worked my upper and lower body and pretty much hit all the major muscle groups.  I also snapped a quick pick after my workout…

Me after my workout at the gym

For some reason whenever I take a pic of myself at the gym, I’m always wearing this outfit!  Yes, I do wear other things, lol.  However, I really only have 3-4 outfits I can fit in right now. ;-)

I was also able to go on a great run yesterday!

Going on a run with D and J

My 10 year old came with me on his bike and I pushed my 4 year old in this new jogger I recently received from Thule.  It’s a wonderful jogger and I plan on posting a full review about it next week. ;-)

We ran 4.25 miles and it was so fun!  We kept it pretty slow (10:00-11:00 pace) and I had to stop and walk a couple times (which I hate to do, but it was necessary.)  The weather felt perfect for most of the run, but near the end it started to feel hot!  It was right around 70 degrees.  Thankfully, there was a slight breeze.

Me and D end of our run

After our run, I was STARVING!  I made myself a yummy concoction of Chobani yogurt, cottage cheese, sliced almonds, Craisins and chocolate chips.

My Yogurt Cottage Cheese mixture

Those chocolate chips were DIVINE in there….I also thought I needed the extra carbs after a hard run, hee hee.

I enjoyed eating my concoction while sitting on the deck watching my cute kids….who apparently thought it was summer.

Eating on the deck with cute kids

They filled those totes with warm water and enjoyed playing and splashing around.  They’re so darling.

We also took the kiddos on a quick trip to Maverick (local convenience store) last night.  The kids love going there to buy a drink/slushie or pick out a treat.

At Maverick with the kids

Kev and I also see it as pretty cheap and easy entertainment. ;-)


Well, I want to tell you guys about the new “healthy plan” I have in the works.  I’ve been living a fairly decent healthy lifestyle lately, but I’ve become a little bit lax.  I’ve definitely been eating too much sugar and I’m starting to feel a little addicted!

Anyway, I decided I needed to kick it up a notch.  I’ve found that it is MUCH easier for me to eat well when I cut the sugar from my diet.  Sugar seriously sabotages my healthy efforts.  I know a lot of healthy people who are able to have a little bit of sugar here and there and still keep it under control.

I AM NOT one of those people.

Once I start eating sugar, I just want more and more and more!  Also, when I eat sugar regularly, healthy food doesn’t taste nearly as good to me.  When I cut the sugar out, I start to crave healthy food and it makes me happy!

So here’s my new plan!

I’m going to start on Monday (the day after Easter) because I still want to enjoy some Easter candy. :-) I’m going to eat a VERY healthy diet for one month.  I’m not going to eat any sugary treats (chocolate, candy, brownies, cake, cookies, etc.) and I’m not going to eat any fried foods.  I’m also going to abstain from diet beverages.

I AM going to eat lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice, Ezekiel bread, etc.), nuts, some Dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, a little bit of regular cheese) and whatever other healthy things I come up with.  Before I eat anything, I’m just going to ask myself, “Does this food choice offer nutritional value and will it fuel my body?”  If the answer is YES, then I will eat it.  Otherwise, I won’t.  Pretty simple.

I am going to allow myself 100 free calories every day.  100 calories is not very much, but it will allow me to sprinkle a few chocolate chips on my oatmeal, yogurt, etc. and not feel too deprived.  I also think 100 calories is a small enough amount that it won’t start the craving cycle in me!

After following this “diet” for 30-ish days, I will allow myself one free weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and then I hope to start all over again.

I just looked at the calendar, and decided I will have my “free weekend” on May 23-24, which is in just over a month.

I would love to keep this up and make it a lifestyle.  We’ll see how it goes.  It seems pretty reasonable to me, but I know I’ll need to plan ahead and keep my kitchen stocked with healthy food choices.

I also plan to do food prep once or twice a week.  I’ll cook up a bunch of chicken, hard boiled eggs, make a pot of quinoa and cut up lots of veggies!  YUM!

Well, that’s all for now.  We’re getting ready to head out on a hike with the kiddos in a bit so I gotta run.  YAY!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!

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by Melanie

I am Sick of Being Sick + Yummy Burrito Bowls

April 16, 2014 in Recipe, Restaurant Food by Melanie

Well can you believe that I have another cold?!  Yes, I’ve now had three colds/flus in the past month!  CrAzY!

I just have the typical head cold; sneezy, nose issues, head pressure, funny talking, etc.  I feel just like one of the people on the NyQuil commercials.

Nyquil ad


I don’t think I’ve ever been sick this often in my life!  Holy moly.  I’m sure it’s a combination of my lame pregnancy immune system, lack of sleep, less than stellar food choices and the fact that my kids keep getting sick too!

Anyway, after I took the kids to school this morning, I was feeling very tired, blah and unmotivated.  Consequently, I had this for breakfast…

My Easter candy breakfast

Isn’t that awesome?  It did make me feel better for about 2.5 seconds though. ;-)

On a brighter note, I did go out to lunch with some good friends yesterday.  We went to Red Robin and had such a nice time chatting.  I love my friendsies so much!

Red Robin with friends

I ordered the Red, White & Bleu salad and it was wonderful!

Fruit, nut and chicken salad from Red Robin

Oh, and my sweet friend told me that I hardly look pregnant and am not really even “showing,” which is a very nice thing to say to a pregnant lady, btw.   HOWEVER, I informed her that I am most definitely “showing,” but she’s just not looking in the right places, lol!

My face has become very, very round and definitely looks to be about 6 months pregnant. ;-)  It’s pretty crazy.

Oh, and Kev bought me flowers yesterday too.  Isn’t that nice?

Flowers from Kev

I have enjoyed them so much and I absolutely LOVE calla lilies!  I just wish fresh flowers didn’t die so fast. :-(

Anyway, I have a very yummy recipe to share with y’all tonight.  It’s for Burrito Bowls and my whole family loves them so much!  They are fairly easy to make, very healthy and extremely tasty.  I also love to eat the leftovers for lunch!

Easy and Healthy Burrito Bowls
Burrito bowls are made by stacking the following ingredients in this order (or any order you wish!)…

  • Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
  • Black beans
  • Lettuce
  • Pulled pork (you can also used grilled chicken or steak)
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, cheese, whatever other yummy things you want to add!

Yum!  I like to place all of the ingredients out and let everybody make their own Burrito bowl however they like it!

Ingredients for Burrito Bowls

You can make your own guacamole and pico de gallo if you wish, but I kept it simple and bought them.  I also used this recipe for my pulled pork

Easy and Healthy Pulled Pork

And this recipe for the Cilantro Lime Brown Rice.

Easy Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

Even though Burrito Bowls might sound a little “involved,” they’re actually quite simple.  I just put the pork in the Crock Pot in the morning and the brown rice in the rice cooker on a timer later in the day.

Easy peasy.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

My kids are out on spring break the next few days and I’m so happy!  I plan to sleep in a bit and just relax and play with the kiddos.  We have a couple fun things planned for the long weekend as well.

I hope y’all have a great night!

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by Melanie

A Fun, Food Filled Weekend + MercoBox by MercoLocal

April 14, 2014 in Family Life, Product Review, Restaurant Food by Melanie

Happy Monday everyone!

Actually, I’m very glad this Monday is coming to a close because it has been a VERY looooooong day. ;-)

I am happy to say I started my day off with some Oats in a Jar though!  I always get so excited when we empty a jar of peanut butter ’round here.

Yummy Oats in a Jar

I just made my typical Chocolate PB Oats (minus the peanut butter) and then put the hot oatmeal into the (almost) empty jar of peanut butter and topped it with some bananas and hemp seeds.  It is so so good and SO SO filling!

I also had a pretty decent lunch too.  Woo hoo!

Chicken, rice and a salad

I pulled out some leftover chicken from the freezer and served it with leftover brown rice and a yummy salad.  This was fantastic.

Sadly, I ate A LOT of food over the weekend!  It was healthy some of the time, but we did go out to eat several times.  I also indulged in a couple treats. :-(

A bunch of Kev’s family was in town for a wedding over the weekend.  On Friday night, I enjoyed some (excellent) pizza with the fam and also had a slice a wedding cake.

On Saturday, we took Kev’s parent’s to visit City Creek Center in Salt Lake City.  City Creek is a beautiful outdoor mall full of amazing stores and picturesque scenery.  It’s such a fun place to walk around.

The fam with mom and dad at City Creek

Me and the kiddos at City Creek

We also stopped and got some lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  I got the same Veggie Burger (off of the Skinnylicious menu) that I got a couple weeks ago when I went out with my friends.

Veggie Burger and Salad from Cheesecake Factory

It was fabulous and SO flavorful, but I think I enjoyed it a little bit more the first time.  For some reason, the burger seriously fell apart this time and was very crumbly.  It also had some kind of garlic spread on it that I don’t remember before.  It was good, but I think I enjoyed it more without it.

With the fam at Cheesecake Factory

We had a fun time at City Creek Center and I’ve decided Cheesecake Factory is one of my favorite restaurants in the world!

On Saturday night, we went out to eat AGAIN for dinner with Kev’s parent’s and some other family members.  We went to Texas Roadhouse.  Yum.

Kev and I at Texas Roadhouse

I wanted to keep it pretty lite, so I ordered the 6 oz. Sirloin Steak with a side salad (no pic, sorry!) and a plain sweet potato.

Steak and Sweet Potato from Texas Roadhouse

It was so good and seemed like a “real” and healthy choice.  At least I could see all of the ingredients and knew exactly what I was eating.

Kev’s dad recently had his 81st birthday, so last night I made him a belated birthday cake!  He really loves German Chocolate cake, so I decided to make him one.

Dad with his German Chocolate birthday cake

I’d never made German Chocolate cake before, so I looked up a frosting recipe on and it turned out awesome!  I just used a German Chocolate cake mix, but the frosting was heavenly!  It wasn’t healthy at all, of course, but if you need a good German Chocolate cake frosting recipe, I highly recommend this one!

Anyway, we had a wonderful, food filled weekend!  I’m still feeling very, very poofy and bloated (shocker), but I’m hoping to deflate a little this week as I eat food with less salt, fat, sugar and who knows what else.

I’m happy to say I had a pretty decent exercise week last week though!  I got two really great cardio days and two great muscle days in.  On Friday morning, I decided to run on my treadmill and I’m happy to say I felt pretty good!  I ended up running an even 5k (3.1 miles) and kept my pace right around 10:00ish.

Woo hoo!  That is just about Olympian speed for me right now!  I was so happy to feel sorta, kinda normal.  SO HAPPY!

I also went to the gym with Kev and one of my friends on Saturday morning.  We just worked the upper body for about an hour and it was great.  Exercise really makes me feel so good.


I also want to tell you guys about a fun box I received in the mail last week.

Merco Box

It’s called a MercoBox and it’s made by MercoLocal, a Utah based monthly subscription company that includes a whole bunch of products from local Utah businesses.  The cost is $19.99 per month, plus shipping ($5.32 within Utah.)  You can subscribe to receive a box every month and you can cancel at any time.

I was more than happy to receive and review a MercoBox because I love receiving fun, surprise packages in the mail and I love supporting local small businesses!  Here’s what was inside the April box that I received…

Merco Box Contents

Merco Box Contents closer

The box included:

Eco Treasures soap nuts ($9.99 value)
Fit Me Tea 3 tea samples and filter ($6 value)
Meals that Transform power bar & protein mix ($5 value)
Les Madelines 3 madelines ($3.75 value)
Mason Jar Coffee Roasters Colombia Guatica ($3.50 value)
Rodizo Grill Gift Card ($10)
Our Children’s Earth Gift Card ($5)
Downtime Yoga Gift Card (free class)
Ballet West Gift Card (buy 1 get 1 half off)

So fun!  Here’s a closer look at some of the fun products…

Some of the Merco Box contents

Sadly, I’m not a coffee or tea drinker, so I can’t tell you first hand what I thought of those products.  I can say that they looked to be top quality though.

The madelines (little cakes) were so good and we a light lemony flavor.

I absolutely loved the power bar and protein mix!  The power bar tasted just like a fabulous homemade protein bar and all of the ingredients were “real.”  Bonus!

I loved that the protein mix came in it’s own bottle.  It would be so easy to take it to the gym, fill it with water after a workout and enjoy a quick protein shake.

I haven’t tried the soap nuts yet, but they sound so interesting.  They are an organic berry that come from a tree.  The berries are an all-natural producer of soap and a great and healthy way to wash your clothes.  They are also reusuable and can be used 4-5 times before being discarded.  Pretty cool!  I can’t wait to try them.

I loved receiving my MercoBox.  If you are interested in receiving a MercoBox of your own, you can visit their website or Facebook page for more details.  You can also use the coupon code, BLOGBOX to receive your first subscription box FREE; you only pay the shipping.  FYI, if you live in Utah, the shipping cost is $5.32.


Well that’s all folks. I hope you all have a fantastic night!

I received the complimentary MercoBox, but the opinions and text are all my own, as always! ;-)

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