Sunday, March 27, 2011


Thanks to P-Dub, I have a new obsession: 

It takes run-of-the-mill iPhone photos, and makes them FUN!

A photo of Charlotte from last summer, using the "Nashville" filter.

A photo of the Dandelion weed growing in our rain gutter after days and days of rain, using the Lomo-Fi filter.

A photo of the candy aisle at World Market, using the X-Pro II filter.

Really, I should be spending more time with this app:


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why Cinch is a Better Meal-Replacement Choice

This morning's post generated a lot of interest in Cinch, which I'm thrilled about. However, I wanted to share some information that helped me get over my initial "sticker shock" when it comes to Cinch. 

Since starting my little adventure with Shaklee, I've always felt 100% confident in the value that the GET CLEAN products offer. In fact, I could show you chart upon chart, outlining just how much you save using these products.  However, I've always had a bit of nervousness about promoting Cinch, as I was SO used to being able to pay $12.00 for a jar of Slim-Fast powder or a jar of Jillian Michaels' Protein Powder.  I had a heart-to-heart with my good friend Sabrina about this just the other day.  I'm new to this whole direct sales thing, but the one promise that I made to myself was that I wouldn't promote something that I didn't feel was worth it.  There's a recession on. People (including myself) need to spend their hard-earned dollars smarter than ever before.  How could I, in good conscience, recommend such a PRICEY (so I thought at the time) product?  My conscience just wouldn't let me.

My personal experience with Cinch has been a very good one. I've used it to replace certain meals and have lost around 6 lbs in a couple of weeks.  I usually blend myself a shake in the morning, which satiates me for a good 4 hours.  Then I have a Cinch Snack Bar (10 grams of protein) at morning recess and I'm always pleasantly surprised when lunchtime rolls around (in the past, I was usually STARVING a good 45 minutes BEFORE my lunch hour).  My husband and I have both been trying to treat our bodies better and shape up, so he went out and bought himself a big jar of protein powder to drink post-workout. Naturally we did a side-by-side comparison--"How many grams of protein does YOURS have?"  "Does YOURS have amino acids?"  "Vitamins?"  Happily, the Cinch held up against his uber-protein powder, and then some!

My oh-so-smart husband pointed out a very IMPORTANT distinction.  He told me, "Your shakes are MEAL REPLACEMENTS, not just a protein/muscle building drink."  He was essentially helping me to realize that I was getting two products in one.  And mind you, when I say protein/muscle-building, I don't mean BULK.  Protein and amino acids are essential building blocks to KEEP the muscle that you have.  Whenever you endeavor to lose weight and cut calories, you run the risk of losing muscle along with the fat. NOT GOOD!  Plus, protein keeps you satiated much longer. Ever notice how you pretty much want to eat your desk when you have a doughnut or pastry for breakfast?

So after doing some "back of the can" research on the products in my cupboard, here's a little breakdown for you:

Nutrition information obtained from the back of each container.

*Phenylalanine is an amino acid best consumed in combination with at least 6 other amino acids in order to be metabolized properly.  Some individuals are unable to properly metabolize Phenylalanine at all.  (Source: WebMD

So, Cinch really can be considered a bit more bang for your buck, when you're looking for a healthy, quick meal replacement that doesn't contain a lot of artificial ingredients. 

As for cost-effectiveness, I began to think of what one might spend on a morning/lunch meal.  Here's a cost-comparison for you:

Not bad, right?  It's also worth mentioning that your average cost-effective meal (ie, a bowl of cereal or a PB/J sandwich is simply NOT going to provide you with as many nutrients and protein as a Cinch shake).

So, if I haven't convinced you to give Cinch a try, I'm more than okay with that.  What you put into your body on a daily basis is a very personal choice, and I will admit here and now that I don't follow the "program."  Rather, I replace a meal when I find it convenient, and rely on the snack bars for an additional hunger-busting protein PUNCH.  If you're looking for a fast, natural, and easy way to feed your body and help maintain a healthy weight, give Cinch a try! 

Click on the picture to enter my site:

If you've been on the fence about GET CLEAN products, here's a fantastic way to get some FREE CINCH to try (it's how I got mine):

Sign up as a new Member or Distributor with a minimum $70 MN order, or as a new GOLD Ambassador with the purchase of a GOLD or Super GOLD Mission PAK, and get a Cinch Sampler Pack, a $101 retail value, for FREE!*

The Cinch Sampler Pack Includes:

•1 canister of Cinch Vanilla Shake Mix

•1 box of Cinch Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Bars

•1 box of Cinch Pomegranate Energy Tea Mix

•Program Guide

The GET CLEAN Starter Kit is a great way to qualify for this offer!.

Happiness and Health!

"Plan 2, B...whatever!"

Name that movie!   Well, since I didn't win the "kitchen vacation" giveaway and didn't demand a recount--I must initiate Plan B: start cooking my own darned dinner!  If you're a Facebook friend, you may have been able to piece together my thought-provoking (read: whiny) status updates regarding my weight.  About 4 weeks ago, I was a good 23 lbs. over my fighting weight--much to the chagrin of my endocrinologist.  Actually, she shrieked , "23lbs in ONE YEAR!?!?!?" and I went ahead and took that as "chagrin."

 I've fallen into the very bad habit of using junky sweets and McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese meals to cope with stress and/or boredom. Changes need to be made!  I'm a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers, having lost nearly 30lbs with them once upon a time. My mom and I returned a couple of months ago and started attending meetings, but the only time I could attend was Saturday mornings, and I began to REALLY resent the fact that I had to give up my sleep in day to go and weigh-in in front of people. Nice, friendly, GOOD people, but still.  Missing that accountability factor, I haven't done so well when left to my own devices. 

Enter, my dad:

While not an actual drill sergeant, my dad HAS made me kick of my shoes and exercise when I come pick up the girls after school.  I know.

My dad has issued a weight loss challenge--we will each hit our weight-loss goal before our pool opens (the end of May)  So far, he's down over 12lbs.  Me, about 6. 

I managed to lose the first 6 by replacing some meals with Cinch, which I really do like, and really suppresses appetite.

However, I'm the type of girl who just REALLY likes FOOD.  Meal-replacements serve me well when I'm in a pinch--but I just don't think I'm the kind of gal who can hang her hat on meal replacements alone.  I've decided to continue to follow the WW Points Plus plan, as I already have all of the literature.  And hey, fruit is FREE (until sated) on the new program!

I've begun a love affair with clementines and bananas.

So, I've been cookbook shopping/browsing, and here are some recent faves:

I picked this one up at Target quite a while ago, and actually plan on OPENING it! 

Yes, she's EVERYWHERE. Yes, her mouth annoys me when she talks. But this cookbook has some really great recipies. It focuses more on whole and organic (when possible) foods.  That's a good thing, right?

I browsed this book, along with The Food You Crave, at Barnes and Noble last night.  It all looked so scrumptious.  I plan on checking these out of the library. And really, how cute is she???

Another library checkout. Looking forward to it.

I recently snagged a free subscription to Cooking Light through and I'm anxiously awaiting my first issue!

I've also found that stalking weight loss/food blogs has helped motivate me.  They're also a great resource for recipes and ideas. Some of my favorites:

This week, my goal is to cook something healthy and wholesome every night!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Need a Kitchen Vacation?

One of my favorite food blogs, Danica's Daily, is hosting a great Schwan's giveaway.  You know Schwan's--the fellas in the yella trucks? 

If you find yourself in need of a kitchen vacation...head on over to Danica's Daily and ENTER NOW!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I run... that I can fit back into my pants. I can dance at my grandchildren's weddings. give my heart what-for (and my love-handles). fight disease. clear the fog that accumulates in my brain daily. I can return to my family a saner, happier person. feel "the high." feel strong. I can have uninterrupted ME time: MY music, MY thoughts, NO questions.

What do you do?  And why do you do it?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It all comes down to...


My good friend Sabrina shared this with me last night, and I had one of those Oprah-esque "ah-ha!" moments. (Check it--I've referenced Oprah two days in a row. Pervasive, that gal.)  I have a big change ahead of me, in terms of my job. I'm going from a multi-grade assignment back into a self-contained classroom, which I'm THRILLED about, but I'm having a difficult time coping with the fact that I will likely have to move school sites.  I'll be moving away from a staff and student body that I hold dear in my heart, and I'll be moving away from my GIRLS, as they'll most-likely have to stay at the current site.  What I need to realize is that I am extremely fortunate to have a job in this economy and very few parents have the luxury of working where their children go to school.  I'm going to do some re-framing this week and take my attitude out for a spin!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shaklee Saturday--A Safer Clean for Your Family

I first became intrigued with Shaklee cleaners after watching Oprah's show on greening your life.  We've been blessed with two healthy girls who are really only prone to seasonal allergies, but I rest easier knowing that we clean our home with non-toxic cleaners that won't aggravate asthma or breathing issues, OR endanger their overall health!  We live in the Central Valley of California, which has some of the POOREST AIR QUALITY IN THE NATION.  Adding additional chemicals and toxins on top of that is NOT something we're looking to do. 

Did you know...

Asthma rates in children under the age of five have increased more than 160% from 1980-1994?
It is estimated that the number of people with asthma will grow by more than 100 million by 2025?
An average of one out of every 10 school-aged child has asthma?
(source: The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)

Using non-toxic Shaklee GET CLEAN products is a step in the right direction when it comes to providing a less-toxic, more breathable environment for your family.   

The Get Clean Starter Kit is a fantastic way to get ALL of the products you need to keep your home sparkling clean and toxin-free!

This kit is a HUGE value! 
You'd have to spend more than $3,400 to get the same amount of clean found in the Get Clean Starter Kit!


If you become a member, this order qualifies you for a FREE Cinch Sampler Pack, a $101 value!


For even MORE savings, email me at and ask about my new member specials!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

FREE Spring Printable

And the winner is...

The lucky 16th commenter is:
Amy@ServingPinkLemonade said...

I would love to win. I LOVE Shaklee. My favorite thing about spring is just being outside and taking walks with the kids.

Congratulations, Amy!  Email me at for details!