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GRAMMA IN A BOX - JANUARY REVIEW

GRAMMA IN A BOX - JANUARY REVIEW


One of my favorite things to do is get creative at home. Whether that's by using stickers in my weekly planner, decorating our mantle for holidays, or hanging out in the kitchen, I am always looking for something to do. One of my favorite things each month is Gramma In A Box.

Gramma in a Box is a subscription service started by a woman whose grandchildren moved away from her. She would send them boxes of cookies and treats, then they would make them together on Skype. After sharing this with friends and family, she created Gramma in a Box for others to have a monthly activity to do with their loved ones.




Each box includes baked cookies with frosting and sprinkles, plus two easy candy crafts. There are step by step instructions, with illustrations, included in each box. Some months will have a theme, such as for holidays like Valentine's and St. Patrick's Day. This month's theme was New Year and Football Treats. We were able to decorate 2020 and football cookies, make some fun popcorn, and my favorite...these NYE sparklers!






Gramma in a Box is a steal at only $20 per box! But right now she is offering a special discount, no code needed, where your first box is $10, when you sign up for the auto-debit option! TALK ABOUT A STEAL! When I think about how much I spend on baking and decorating cookies, plus all the extra random stuff that ends up in the cart that I didn't need, this is actually saving me money! Be sure to place your order for the February box ASAP!



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HAPPY NEW YEAR! LIFE UPDATES


6 months later! I'M BAAAACCCKKK!

Where have I been?

Well when I stopped posting in mid-July, I was in the thick of all of the last minute wedding planning for my July 28th wedding. Our wedding was absolutely beautiful and so much fun. It was full of love, family, friends, and so much dancing. I can't wait to do a full post about all the details of our day and how I stayed organized through the planning process.

Two days after the wedding we headed on our honeymoon. We spent a few days in Kennebunkport, Maine and then headed to Boston for a couple more days. That's another post I am looking forward to. Kennebunkport is my new favorite place to travel and I am hoping to get up there again soon. We spent time relaxing, eating all the lobster, drinking all the beer, and just enjoying our first week as a married couple.

Instead of flying back to Los Angeles after Boston, we flew into New York where we now live! Yes, we are that insane to move across the country a week after our wedding! My husband had always dreamed of living there and I told him let's go now before we have kids and never leave home.

Well SURPRISE! We're now pregnant! So good thing we moved when we did! We found out in November that we are expecting our first baby in July. It has been a wild, scary pregnancy so far. We are so grateful to be growing our family and again that's another post coming soon.

Sorry for all the vagueness in this update. It's been a jam packed six months and it's only going to keep getting crazier. I look forward to posting more frequently and sharing all the new changes in my life in more detail. I have a goal for myself to post once a week, but with teaching more than full time and the lack of energy and nausea that has plagued me since mid-November, I will just update as I can!

Hope you all had a blessed, relaxing holiday and wishing you the best in 2020!
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KETO AT TRADER JOES

KETO AT TRADER JOES


Back in March I hopped on board the keto diet train. I have tried every diet under the sun and while I have seen results with many, I am not able to sustain them. With keto I have never felt better. As someone with certain food sensitivities, I have found that keto is the best way for my body to eat. I am less inflamed, skin has cleared, I have more energy, and to top it all off, I have lost twenty pounds and four dress sizes!

Maneuvering keto at first was difficult. I had to find the right foods to eat that fit my daily carb and fat intake. I relied a lot on the internet the first couple weeks, as well as asking a couple friends who were successful on keto, for suggestions.

Over the last few months I have found that Trader Joe's is the holy grail for keto snacks. I am able to go there and pick up enough snacks to make sure I am happy, well fed, and still in ketosis. Here are some of my favorites:



Chomps Beef Sticks: These beef jerky sticks are filling, easy on the go, and come in six different flavors. My favorite is jalapeƱo.

Seaweed: This snack is another good one on the go and keeps your sodium and electrolyte levels up, which is really important with keto. It also adds a nice crunch to your lunch when you want to grab chips.

Mozzarella Rolloni: Cheese wrapped in salami. Do I need to say anymore?

Oven-Baked Cheese Bites: Another good chip alternative, these cheese bites are high in protein and have almost no carbs.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes: Although it takes some prep time, it's a favorite snack or side for me. I make the cauliflower mashed potatoes, which honestly don't taste that different from regular mashed potatoes, and top with butter and parmesan cheese.

I hope you enjoy these favorites of mine and if you have any favorite keto snacks, leave them below!
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VITER ENERGY REVIEW

VITER ENERGY REVIEW


I love coffee. Plain and simple. I enjoy it for the taste, the warm and fuzzy feeling it gives me, and the  way it gives me confidence and energy to accomplish the tasks of my day. However, I often get tired around 2 or 3pm and having a cup of coffee around that time means I will have difficulty falling asleep that night.

Viter Energy Caffeinated Mints are helpful in giving me my afternoon boost while not making me jittery or have a crash. These mints leave your breath feeling fresh, while also giving you full control over your energy level. Two mints has the same amount of caffeine as a small cup of coffee and also includes Vitamin B and Folate.



These mints come in five different flavors: spearmint, wintergreen, cinnamon, chocolate mint, and peppermint. My favorite is cinnamon, with wintergreen in a close second. The spearmint was strong for me, but certainly left my breath feeling cleaner than it's felt since going to the dentist last month!

If you are looking for a way to give yourself an energy boost that is under your full control, doesn't give you a crash, and doesn't keep you up at night, I highly recommend checking out Viter Energy.

Warning: Do not exceed 5 servings of Viter Energy per hour or 10 servings of Viter Energy per day. A serving is one mint. Do not take if you are pregnant, nursing, under 18 years of age, or sensitive to caffeine. Be sure to check with a doctor before using if you have any concerns about consumption.

FTC Disclosure: Viter Energy sent me these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are true and my own.

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4 TIPS FOR THE SUMMER BLUES


Summer is historically everyone’s favorite time of year...no school, warm days at the pool, staying out late with friends. However, based on studies from Psychology Today, 1% of Americans dread the summer, just like me. Summer has always been a rough time for me and it helps knowing I am not alone!

Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder is a disorder that occurs for affected individuals during the summer due to modulation in melatonin production. It can be triggered by the increase in sunlight exposure or the shift in schedule and sleep patterns. This modulation in melatonin production can lead to a risk of depression and anxiety.

As someone who thrives with structure and routine, summer can be difficult! I feel uneasy knowing my days aren’t scheduled out with places to be and work to do. However, with the help of my amazing coach from Blush Online, last summer I was able to finally knock my disdain for summer, at least just slightly!

Here are some tips I learned that made last summer run smoothly and actually have me excited for this summer!

  1. Anticipate it’s arrival and come up with an action plan before it is too late. People who struggle in the summer typically have this problem each year. Being self aware and trying to get to the root of why you have a hard time in summer will help you to turn it around. For example, summer is hard for me because I thrive on schedules and routine. However, during the summer as a student and now as a teacher, my summer is very open. I try to fill my summer with a part time job, a class, or a lot of activities to handle this.
  2. Stick to a schedule and routine. I create a schedule each week and further each day. I have things I need to complete and set goals, even if basic things. For example, even for days I have nothing going on, I will schedule things outside of the house, even if it is a thirty minute walk around the block or going to the grocery store. By having a routine for each day, I am able to keep the consistency and comfort I have during the rest of the year, allowing me to rewire my dislike for summer.
  3. Don’t be afraid to say no, but still spend time with others. If going to the beach or a pool party isn’t your thing, say no! Don’t feel like you have to join in just because it is a common expectation to attend those things during summer. If going to an air conditioned movie is more your jam, try to set that up with a friend instead. Even though the typical summer social events may not be best for you, it is still vital to surround yourself with supportive friends so that you don’t fall further into a depression.
  4. Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins. Haven’t you watched Legally Blonde? I truly believe exercise is what kept me going last summer. I would schedule a workout almost everyday during the week. On  hot days when I did not want to be outside, I would go to an indoor spin class or walk on the treadmill at the gym. This is another good opportunity to stick to a routine and schedule. Exercise increases your energy, creative flow, helps you sleep better, and typically makes people happier.

I hope these tips help you this summer in the event that you have a case of the summertime blues! If you are doing anything exciting this summer, please leave a comment below!
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