Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weight Loss Journey: What Stress Did

It's been a while since I've posted a weight loss journey update, so I thought I would let you all know how it's going!

Well, suffice to say that I easily lost 2 pounds in one week. (Though I'm pretty sure more has been lost in the weeks to follow.)

After my hair color allergic reaction emergency, we had another emergency that required hospitalization. Who knew that I would bring home the flu during my trips the ER? Well, I did. So me, Twin, and Mom ended up really sick for a few days, and at that time, we didn't know Mom had an infection. After she was feeling better, we noticed that Mom's leg was looking really red, and you could tell something was wrong. So we took Mom to the hospital, where she was admitted for a severe infection AND a small blood clot in her right lung.

At that point, I was beyond stressed, and when I'm stressed, I don't eat. I just physically can't. When I am feeling stressed out, I feel sick to my stomach, and food just doesn't sound appetizing. So when Mom was in the hospital, I would do errands, housework, and anything else I could do to keep my mind off the fact that my mother was in the hospital. I would run every chance I got because running allowed me to run away from the stress at least for a little while. It was a lot better than sitting at home, praying she would be okay. Luckily, she was only in there for 4 days.

Now that Mom is home and doing okay, I feel like I can finally get back to my normal eating and exercising regime.

For some, stress causes them to eat. For me, I'd rather throw a brick than eat when I'm stressed. Is that weird?
read more "Weight Loss Journey: What Stress Did"

Thursday, May 21, 2015

#MentalHealthMonth: How You Can Help #B4Stage

Having a mental illness still has a major stigma attached to it, and often overlooked as being overworked or stressed. While it make be true for a few small situations, that is not often the case. As a society, we need to change the way we see mental health but one person cannot do it alone. 

How does changing the views of mental illnesses help those who could have a mental condition?

It brings awareness to their symptoms enough to get it checked out and diagnosed. These early symptoms might not ever become serious. Like a cough, they often go away on their own, and are nothing to fear. But when they do not go away, it typically takes ten years from the time they first appear until someone gets a correct diagnosis and proper treatment.

Stages of Mental Conditions

By that time, their symptoms could be worse, and that is what the B4Stage4 initiative is trying to prevent. They want people to know that even if you think you have a mental illness, go get it checked out. 

So how can we give those who suffer the courage to get checked out? By being advocates. It can be as small as reaching out on social media (click here for sample tweets and Facebook posts) or as large as organizing a community run or walk to raise money. One person cannot change the way we see mental illness, but it's a start!

You can also help us by just being informed of the risk factors, taking a preliminary screening, and talking with your family and friends about the B4Stage4 initiative and how they can help as well.

Together, we can make a difference. 

read more "#MentalHealthMonth: How You Can Help #B4Stage"

Monday, May 18, 2015

Crayon Crunch - A Personalized Adventure Book for Every Child

Crayon Crunch - A Personalized Adventure Book for Every Child

Doesn't every child deserve to go on an adventure? I am excited to announce that Crayon Crunch is launching a Kickstarter campaign to be the first personalized children’s book that is inclusive to every ethnicity and special need. While most personalized books allow the reader only to customize the lead character’s name, Crayon Crunch is taking personalization to a new level.

The printed picture book is filled with beautiful illustrations and allows readers to fully customize the lead character’s appearance. Including the name, facial features, eye color, hair color & style, skin tone and clothing. They even allow readers to add special needs such as glasses, wheelchair, prosthetics, and more.

Crayon Crunch - A Personalized Adventure Book for Every Child

The story is about your child who finds a magical box in the attic with a keyhole in the shape of the first letter of his/her name. Because the key is nowhere in sight, your child goes on an adventure where he or she meets many interesting characters that help him/her find the key. When your child finally unlocks the box there is a surprise for your child. Inside the box is a personal letter from a parent, family member, or friend who purchased the book.

About Crayon Crunch: 

The idea for Crayon Crunch was born when co-founder Friederike Geiken visited her nephew for Christmas. She brought him a personalized book, where the lead character’s name was personalized to match her nephew’s. While everyone in Friederike’s family loved the book, her nephew could not associate himself with the character. There had to be a better way!

Friederike joined forces with Tim Osterbuhr and Kai Schmittat to launch Crayon Crunch. What started out, as a project to create a better book for her nephew quickly became a mission to represent every child in a printed book.

Check out Crayon Crunch on their Kickstarter page at the link below:

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

#Findlandia Butter giveaway!

It doesn't happen often to us bloggers, but once in a while, we come across a coupon we can't use. I received a Finlandia Butter coupon, and at the time, it was being sold in only one of my local stores, but I couldn't get the store at the time because I was having my allergic reaction and then a week later, my mother was in the hospital. When I was finally able to get to the store to get it, it was no longer being sold, and after searching store to store, I couldn't find it.

While it saddens me that I couldn't share a review (or even a comparison to other butters my family uses), I hate to see a good coupon go to waste. So instead, I thought I would give it away to someone who can use it!

So if you like butter or Finlandia butter is available in your area, feel free to enter to win a FREE product coupon for Finlandia butter! (See if it's available in your area.)

One(1) winner will receive a FREE product coupon for Finlandia Butter! Enter below. Good luck!

read more "#Findlandia Butter giveaway!"

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Enter the Jarlsberg® Cheese Extraordinary Grill Contest!

What better way to enjoy the summer grill season than to win a free, professional grill, in the Jarlsberg® Cheese Extraordinary Grill Contest? Every week, Jarlsberg® Cheese will give away a professional grill to one winner. Entering is easy. Starting May 23rd, simply enter to win by filling out the Jarlsberg® Cheese Extraordinary Grilling Contest form on their Facebook page or Jarlsberg website. You may enter one time every week, through August 31, 2015. Each week one winner will be randomly selected, and be notified by email.

And to entice you to try Jarlsberg® Cheese, I have some delicious recipes for you!

The Jarlsberger

The Jarlsberger

Yield: 4 hamburgers
  • 4 slices Jarlsberg sliced Lite or Hickory Smoked Cheese
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 8 slices of pickle (or to liking)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Mayonnaise, ketchup, or mustard to liking
  • Large lettuce leaves, torn to fit bun
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Gently mix meat with egg whites, salt and pepper, and form 4 patties.
  2. Grill the burgers for about 4 – 5 minutes on each side.
  3. During the final minutes of  cooking, place a slice of Jarlsberg® Cheese on the burgers, until melted.
  4. Heat the buns on the grill, slightly, then spread mayonnaise, mustard, and/or ketchup on the buns. Add lettuce leaves, tomato slices, red onions and pickles.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Jarlsberg Grilled Fig Pizza

Jarlsberg Grilled Fig Pizza

  • 2 cups Shredded Jarlsberg Cheese
  • 1 pound of dough pound of dough (buy at your local pizzeria)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • Olive oil spray
  • Toppings as desired
  • Figs – fresh and as many as you desire
  • Salt, pepper and basil to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Before you light the grill, spray olive oil over grill, being sure to cover well. Once grill is hot, gently lay the dough, stretched out already, on the grill.
  2. Cook for 3 minutes or until crust starts to brown slightly, then flip.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix crushed tomatoes, adding in salt, pepper, and fresh basil to taste.
  4. Lay tomato mixture and Jarlsberg Cheese on top of crush, and scatter some fresh, sliced figs.
  5. Cover for 4-5 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  6. Use a large spatula to remove pizza from grill.

The Jarlsberger looks amazing! I may have to try that this summer!
read more "Enter the Jarlsberg® Cheese Extraordinary Grill Contest!"