by Melanie

MoTab Christmas Concert, Fun Stuff on the Internet and Daily Healthy Goals

December 15, 2014 in Adventures, Cute Clothes, Deep Thoughts, Goals, Motivation by Melanie

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

On Thursday night, Kev and I were able to take two of our boys to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert.  It was fabulous!

The fam at the MoTab Christmas Concert

The MoTab Christmas concert is always so well done.  First off, it’s held in the Conference Center, which is an absolutely amazing building!

Conference Center

Conference Center 2

It seats about 21,000 people and my boys were in absolute awe.  My older son’s face pretty much says it all!

Cute kids at the MoTab Christmas Concert

Each year, the Tabernacle Choir invites special guests to perform with them.  This year they invited Broadway star Santino Fontana (he also played Prince Hans in the movie, Frozen) and they invited the Sesame Street Muppets!

sesame street

It was fabulous and we all loved every single second!  Here’s a fun highlight video that shows some of my favorite things from the concert…

It was such a fun way to enjoy the holiday season and it was a night none of us will soon forget. ;-)

Over the weekend, I also had some fun on the internet with the kiddos.

I LOVE the Portable North Pole website and had so much fun creating FREE personalized videos from Santa to my kids.

Portable North Pole

Hopefully this goes without saying, but I only tell you guys about companies/products/websites that I really think are cool.  Sometimes companies pay me to promote their products, but even if I get paid, I still only agree to promote their product ONLY if I really like it and think it’s cool!

In the case of the Portable North Pole, I’m just telling you guys about it because we enjoyed it (i.e. they did not pay me!)  My kids truly had so much fun watching their videos from Santa.

We also had fun playing around on Jib Jab.

Jib Jab Pic

If you want to watch our video, you can click here.

I think Jib Jab is hilarious and we all laughed until it hurt!  HOWEVER, I was so bugged to see that they charge for it now.  I made a Jib Jab video several years ago and it was free.  I’m annoyed that it’s not free anymore and they make you pay for an entire year!  Seriously, who needs a subscription to Jib Jab!??!?!

Weird.  But since the kids and I were having so much fun with it, I decided to fork over the yearly fee ($18!) and call it “Holiday Entertainment.”

Oh, I was also bugged that it said it would “automatically renew” at the end of the year too.  That is so lame.  Soooo, I made sure to log into my “account” and turn off the “automatic renewal” (i.e. we just want to rip you off and hope you forget that you subscribed to Jib Jab) feature.  Seriously so lame.


Well, I’ve been struggling a bit with my healthy living this month!  ‘Tis the season!  I’ve just been lacking in the motivation department a bit.

But, I was doing some deep thinking last night and I reminded myself that healthy living takes COMMITMENT, DEDICATION and PLANNING!

Yes, I would love to lose 15 pounds, get in serious kick-butt shape, have loads of energy, fill my body full of good, clean, real food and exercise every day, but if I don’t PLAN and COMMIT to it, it won’t happen!

It actually takes work.

Dang it.

I’m a big fan of to-do lists and checking things off, so I decided to make myself a “daily to-do” list of the things I would love to get done every day!

I love setting/accomplishing goals and there’s something so therapeutic about physically checking something off of a list!

Now, I realize there will be days I don’t get all these things done and that’s okay!  I just like to identify what I really want to do with my life so I can focus on those things and get rid of all the extra “meaningless fluff” that seems to fill up my days!

With all that being said, here’s my list….

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep!
  • Stay away from sugar and treats
  • Eat veggies with each meal
  • Exercise 6 days a week
  • Drink a gallon of water
  • Floss my teeth
  • Read my scriptures
  • Say Family Prayer
  • Read to my kids
  • Spend meaningful time with Kev

That pretty much sums it up!

I put sleep as the #1 on my list because when I become sleep deprived, I turn into a zombie and get NOTHING done!  It is vital to my healthy lifestyle.  I’m also going to strive to exercise every single day except for Sunday.  It may not be a MEGA killer workout every single day, but I just want to sweat and get the heart pumpin’.  FYI, things like “cleaning the house” and “playing with the kids” don’t count as exercise in my book.  Yes, those things do burn calories and are good things to do, but when I exercise, I like to get dressed in “exercise clothes” and purposefully exercise!

I also bought some dang cute hoodies from Gap recently that I love!  I told Kev that all I wanted for Christmas was some cozy hoodies and some new jeans!

I bought two hoodies from Gap that retail for $60 and I got them for $25 (mega sales and Gap Cash!)  Woo hoo!

Me in cute Gap hoodie

I bought one in this col0r and another one in charcoal gray.  I LOVE them so much and they are so well made!  BUT, they are very fitted on me right now.  Yes, they are supposed to be fitted, but I want them to fit a little bit looser.

Soooo, I’m using them as motivation to get my bum in gear!  I’m going to use them to track my weight loss progress and I won’t wear them until I like how they look on me!  Sounds cheesy, but it’s keeping me motivated!

Well, I need to go feed my family now so I gotta end this.  Have a great night!

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by Melanie

Cute Kids, Healthy Eats and Deep Thoughts about the Gym

December 9, 2014 in Family Life, Meal Ideas, Motivation, Nutrition by Melanie

Hey guys!  I haven’t been able to blog for a while, so I have a bunch of random things to share!

First off, this cute little duffer got glasses last week…

J with glasses

He’s the first person in our family to wear glasses, including Kev and I, so I feel like a complete “glasses newb.”

FYI, he had a bit of a lazy eye so I took him to an ophthalmologist to get it checked.  The doctor discovered that my son was a little bit farsighted and he thinks his eye was wandering in an effort to focus better.  The glasses are supposed to help his eyesight so his eye won’t try to wander anymore.

So far, I think the glasses are helping!  Yay!


This little cutie pie is getting so giant

C busting out of his Superman shirt

I am LOVING his chubbiness and all of his rolls!  However, he’s totally busting out of that shirt and it makes me sad.  It’s size 0-3 months and I refuse to believe that he doesn’t fit in that size anymore.  Sigh.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have already seen this gem…

C with cups on his hands and feet

My 6 year old was playing with the baby the other day and he put all of these cups on his hands and feet.  I laughed and laughed!  #bigfamilyproblems


Well, I’ve still been trying hard to keep it healthy this month!  I’ve been loading up on good, wholesome, clean eats, but I’ve still been snitchin’ a few things here and there.

This time of year is tough!  It’s such a “feel good, cozy, happy, lovey, kumbaya” time of year and it makes me want to eat lots of “feel good, cozy, happy, lovey, kumbaya” kind of food!


Here are some of the healthy things I’ve been enjoying lately…

Oats in a Jar….always a fave.

My Oats in a Jar this Morning

Various omelets and egg creations

My Omelet with Mushrooms

You guys would be proud of me for that omelet because it had mushrooms in it and I really, really do not love mushrooms!  Blah.  They are squishy, fungusy and they have little fins on them….’nuf said.  BUT, I ate them anyway because they are good for me.  Yay.

Here’s another egg creation

Eggs and veggies for breakfast

Lately, I’ve been roasting a bunch of veggies on Sunday and then I enjoy the leftovers for days afterward.  It’s great and really simplifies the whole “eat your veggies” thing.

One of my favorite simple dinners; grilled chicken, sweet potatoes (drizzled with honey and cinnamon) and veggies (in this case, peas!)

Chicken, Sweet Potato, peas

I’ve also been taking healthy snacks on the go with me…

Healthy Food on the go

When I know I’m going to be gone from home for a while, I love to snag one of the kid’s insulated lunchboxes and fill it with healthy things!  This time, I filled it with veggies, leftover chicken, string cheese and almonds.  Yum.

We had Burrito Bowls for dinner last night and I love them so much!

Burrito Bowl

I made them with Pulled Pork and Cilantro Lime Brown Rice.  SOOOOO good!  This meal is fairly quick and easy to make (thanks to the Crock Pot and Rice Cooker) and all of my kids enjoy it too!  Although, my kids usually make this into pulled pork sandwiches and then have rice and salad on the side.

I’m also happy to have all of the leftovers in my fridge now.  Score.

I also made Cauliflower Pizza for dinner last week and it was fabulous!

Cauliflower Pizza

Cauliflower pizza slices

I made my regular homemade pizza for the kids (they didn’t share my enthusiasm for Cauliflower pizza crust, ha ha) and I made cauliflower pizza for Kev and I.

It was DANG, freaking good folks!  I’ve experimented with cauliflower pizza crust a few times over the years, but I dare say this version was perfection.

I promise I will share the recipe ASAP.  I know y’all will love it!


I also made these “feel good, cozy, happy, lovey, kumbaya” Sugar Cookie bars last week and they were heavenly!

Yummy Sugar Cookie Bars

I’m really trying so hard to stay away from sugary goodness this month, but my cute 4 year old was invited to a Cookie Exchange party, so we decided to make these!  Auuughhh.

I probably should have just made something I didn’t like, but I couldn’t think of anything!  Besides, these “cookies” were quick, easy, not messy and super yummy…just what we needed.

FYI, here’s a link to the recipe I used, but I omitted the almond extract.  They turned out SO GOOD, but I imagine you could use any recipe for sugar cookies and just bake them as bars.


I’m very happy to say I made it to the gym TWO times last week (I worked out from home a couple days too!)  Woo hoo!  I didn’t go to any classes; I just went to the weight room.  I got some killer workouts in both times though.  Loved it!

I even managed to take a selfie

My gym selfie

I must say that taking a selfie at the gym is a very scary thing to do!  Ha ha.  At any given moment, someone could walk in and I would feel like a complete and utter dweeb.

But, that’s the risk I take as a blogger.  Y’all should feel so loved. ;-)

Actually one of the things I love/hate about going to the gym is that there are mirrors everywhere!  Whether you like it or not, the truth is staring right back atcha’ in the mirror!

Although at times it can be depressing, it really helps me to stay accountable and motivated.

I try not to let it get me discouraged though!  If I’m feeling poofy, out of shape and extra fluffy (which I am!), I remind myself that that is WHY I’m at the gym….to de-poof, de-fluff and get in shape!

Then I pat myself on the back and get to work!

Also, it is so rewarding when you go to the gym, look in the mirror and notice, “Hey, I look ever so slightly thinner today!” or “I think I see some tiny little muscles showing up!”  or  “Oh, I think this tank/tee/capris are fitting a little bit better today!”

I’m looking forward to those days.  Sigh.

Well, that’s all I have to say today.  I now need to pick up the kiddos from school, run to Costco, fix dinner, and go to the gym!!

Woo hoo.  I’m going to that same muscle class tonight that I went to a few weeks ago and I’m so excited.  I hope y’all have a wonderful Tuesday night!

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by Melanie

A Wonderful Thanksgiving, a Challenging 5K and a Fun Family Adventure

December 2, 2014 in Adventures, Family Life, Holidays by Melanie

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We had a great Thanksgiving and I really enjoyed the long weekend.  I loved getting a little more sleep and spending time as a family.

We’ve all had a hard time getting back to a “normal schedule” this week though!  I’ve been singing this song to my kids every morning…


But instead of singing, “Breaking up is hard to do,” I’ve  been singing “Waking up is hard to do!”  Ha ha.  Very, very true.  I’ve been singing it to myself too. ;-)


I started my Thanksgiving off running the Human Race 5K Turkey Trot with Kev and my son.  I love starting Thanksgiving off with a race!  There were 5,600+ runners and it was so much fun!

Here we are on the way to the race…

Kev, D and me driving to Human Race Turkey Trot

Just before the race….

D and I before the Human Race Turkey Trot

And after the race…

After the Human Race

I love the energy at races and it was so much fun to run an actual “real” race again!  It’s the best!  The weather was absolutely perfect; in the 40s.  I LOVED IT.

We weren’t super fast, we finished right around 29-30 minutes.  We didn’t have an official timing chip, but Kev timed it with an app on his phone. ;-)  I must say that I was the “wussiest” of the bunch.  I know Kev could have gone a lot faster and my 11 year old son was a ROCK STAR!  I was so proud of him.  I let Kev and my son run ahead of me at the end.  They finished about a minute ahead of me.

It was a hard race for me!  I loved it so much and it felt SO GOOD to run, but I was discouraged that a ~30 minute 5K felt so difficult to me!

BUT, being the eternal optimist that I am, I reminded myself that a 5K should always feel hard!  You should always give it your ALL and push yourself, whether that be running a 20 minute 5K or a 40 minute 5k!  Right now a ~30 minute 5K is my best!  As my fitness level improves and my weight decreases, I expect my running to improve as well!

I’m just happy I finished and that I can run races again.  Woo hoo!

On a brighter note, I was very happy to see that I was listed as the “Team Captain” on all of our race bibs.  Ha ha….

Kev's race bib with me as the Captain!

Well, look at that!!  I feel so special.  I made everyone call me “Cap” all day long.  Ya gotta live it up, right?

After the race, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner up at my sister’s house with my parents, siblings and a bunch of my aunts, uncles and cousins.  I didn’t take too many pictures though.  Boo.

I love my family…

Kev, C and I on Thanksgiving

We also decided to have a second Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday night with my brother and his family!   We weren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Turkey Dinner for another year, so we decided to relive it.  It was great!

After Thanksgiving dinner at D & S house

Mel and Kev with after Thanksgiving dinner

My cute nieces made a “special table” for “Girls Only!”

The girls table at our after Thanksgiving Day dinner

I’m so grateful my daughter has cute girl cousins since she doesn’t have any sisters. :-(  These cute girls are just like little sisters to her.

And yes, I ate entirely too much food this weekend!  It was awesome.

We also made a quick trip to downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday night with the fam.  The weather here has been SO MILD and I’ve been loving it, so I decided we needed to head downtown to see the lights while the weather was so nice.  BTW, it’s been in the 50s the past several days and it’s supposed to remain in the 50s the rest of this week!


Anyway, we decided to take the train into the city to make the adventure a little more fun.  I, of course, embarrassed everyone by taking pictures all night long…

The fam on the train to SLC

Check out this photo bomber.  I told him I was going to share it on all of my social media, so here ya go….

The boys on the train to downtown

I couldn’t get enough of this little cutie pie, his chubby cheeks and snow hat!

Kev and C on the train to SLC

We walked around Temple Square for a bit, but it was so busy (apparently everyone else had the same “good idea” to enjoy the nice weather as well!)

The fam at Temple Square

We decided to walk across the street to City Creek Center, the fancy mall that I love so much!

The fam downtown SLC

The kids at City Creek playing by the fountain

Me and the kids downtown

Check out my zombie family.  Eeeee….freaky.

The family downtown with zombie eyes

We had such a fun evening and I’m so glad we took advantage of the nice weather!

After the Thanksgiving weekend ended, I told myself that the “madness had to end,” meaning that I needed to stop EATING so much flippin’ food.

I realized my October was pretty dang good.  I ate SO well, felt lean, thin, energized and just….good.

My November……hmmmm…….

…..not so good.  I was pretty much a glutenous pig.  It was fun, sort of.

I really find so much more joy, satisfaction and happiness from eating well and living a healthy lifestyle!  Eating my favorite crappy food is fun, but the “fun” is so short lived and it leaves me feeling blah, chubby, sluggish and unmotivated.

It is NOT worth it.

Soooo, I’ve decided that I’m going to “kill it” the month of December!  I’ve decided that sugar, especially homemade baked goods, is my Kryptonite, so I’m going to steer clear of it!  I’m going to try to load up on the veggies and eat as clean as possible.

Lots of veggies and clean eating are always my goal, but I’m going to make a better effort to stay committed!  I am going to take Christmas Day and New Years Eve off though.

Oh, and just to recap, I lost ~8 pounds in October and ZERO pounds in November.  In fact, there were days I was up a pound or two.  Yay me.

Soooo, I intend to lose a few more pounds in December and then I’m going to HIT IT HARD for the New Year!  Woo hoo!

Well, that pretty much sums up our weekend in a nutshell.  I hope y’all had a fabulous Thanksgiving as well!

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