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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hey guys! I know it's been a while but we have a new adventure! My 2 daughters and I have started a new business called Brooklyn & Natalie, which is an affordable boutique on a budget! We keep prices low because we know how it feels to see all of those cute boutique outfits and accessories and not be able to afford them because they are so ridiculously expensive!

We are currently working on a website and it will be up and running soon, but for now you can find us on our Facebook page! We have 2 giveaways going on right now and one ends tomorrow on Valentine's Day!

This is our Facebook page ------> Brooklyn & Natalie

We have a weekly special going on currently as well, that you can see in the attached photo! Super adorable spring chevron dress for just $15 shipped to the USA! If you are outside the US, please message us on our Facebook page or to get your shipping quote!

 I hope you come by and check us out! If you have a Facebook fan or business page, we will return the like! Thanks for stopping by!
Laken, Brooklyn, & Natalie

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Weight Loss Journey! PART 2.. Foods I am eating!

Here are the foods I am eating to lose weight! I used this website for the nutrition photos.

 I am a very picky eater, always have been! With that said, it has its advantages and disadvantages! I like plain stuff, nothing fancy! That is good. I don't like sweets that much, which is also good! I do like bacon though and that is the hardest thing to cut out of my "diet". I eat it during my "off" day though which is one reason I haven't lost all motivation. I could eat a pack of bacon a day and eat it for all 3 meals and be completely content for the rest of my life! That is bad! It is so greasy and I was eating that a lot the week of my down slide so it may contributed to my breakouts! So bacon and I decided to take a break and only have weekend visitations. ;) My answer to my bacon problem? Turkey bacon! It doesn't taste as good but close enough! I make it in the microwave so it gets extra crispy. I hate it when its rubbery. The best brand I've found is Butterball thin & crispy. Yum! I eat that with instant oatmeal every morning. If you don't like the same thing everyday then switch it up! But I love it so I eat it every morning. The kind of oatmeal I eat is the Great Value (Wal-Mart brand) Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal packs. Not the best for you, but I like it and its a lot healthier than what I would have normally eat! You have to find a balance you are comfortable with in order to stay motivated and keep your self discipline. I eat 4 slices of turkey bacon (60 calories) and a half a packet of the maple & brown sugar instant oatmeal (80 calories). Most mornings I just drink water but sometimes I drink 1 cup of skim milk. So when i drink water then I eat a 140 calorie breakfast which is amazing. It keeps me full until lunch. Im sure the ACE helps but oatmeal is one of the top foods to eat when you are trying to lose weight because it keeps you full!
I found the nutrition info for this bacon but my packs say 30 calories instead of 25 but everything else is the same!

Did I mention I got like 20 packs of this turkey bacon for like .45 cents a pack?!! How? Coupons people! Save a Lot had these on sale for 1.00 a pack and I had coupons for .65 cents off! I put them in my freezer and they have lasted me for months! Who says eating healthy has to be expensive? If I find deals like this I will be sure to share so make sure you subscribe if you want to lose weight cheap!

Here is the oatmeal I eat. It is under $2 a box for 10 packets. I like the taste of this Wal-Mart store brand better than the name brands!

We also get fat free skim milk (you guessed it Great Value brand because we're cheap). I used to drink milk all day everyday and we would have to buy a gallon atleast every other day. Now I hardly drink it and we buy it once every week and a half or something! See, eating healthy does save you money! There are 80 calories in 1 cup of this milk. I couldn't find a photo. 

My breakfast is around 140 calories.

That covers breakfast, now on to lunch! I usually eat lunch around 12 or 1 sometimes later like right now because I've been writing this blog post lol! For lunch it usually something different each day or I may eat the same thing two days in a row depending on what Im in the mood for. Most days it is a tuna sandwich and low fat Ruffles brand chips (about 2 hand fulls). I have small hands so don't go overboard. A serving size is about 15 chips and I probably eat about that or a little more. I dont try to focus on servings as much now because Ive got it down pretty good on how much I should eat. When I first started out, I was measuring everything like crazy! But anyway, it just depends on what store Im at when I buy the tuna. I dont have a preference because tuna isn't something I get excited for. How about you? It is pretty healthy though. I use low fat mayonnaise to mix in it. Not too much, maybe 1 tablespoon light mayo to 1 can of tuna. I try to make it so it isn't too dry but not too thin. I eat about half of what I mixed up on 2 pieces of 100% whole wheat bread. I know some people say good things about it and some don't like it for weight loss but it works for me so I'm eating it! I get 2 different brands that I tend to lean towards just because they taste good and the nutritional facts seem better than the rest I have seen. I know labels tend to tell fibs or little white lies. You know the ones that have some truth but leave out the bad stuff! You are really supposed to pay more attention to the ingredients rather than the nutritional facts but I'm not very good at those big words. Maybe I should? But like I said I'm doing something right so I'm going to keep it up until I learn better.

Nature's Own 100% whole wheat bread has 50 calories, 1g fat, 10g carbs, 2g dietary fiber, and 4g protein. But it also has a long list of ingredients with words I can't pronounce which leads me to believe I can probably find some healthier bread.The serving size is for 1 slice so make sure you double that if you eat 2 slices with your sandwich!

Sara Lee Classic 100% Whole Wheat bread has 70 calories, 1g fat, 13 carbs, 2g dietary fiber, 2g sugars, and 3g protein. Same goes with this one, this is for 1 slice so make sure you double when counting calories if you eat 2 slices per sandwich!

You should typically try to avoid sugar because that is the #1 weight loss sabotage! Yes, you should try to avoid sugar, rather than fat when it comes to reading nutritional labels. This one also has a long list of crazy ingredients. I don't have a whole foods store around here and organic and healthy foods are hard to find so I make due with what I've got!

The tuna I have on hand right now is IGA store brand and it has 60 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 13g protein. There are 2 servings per container and since I eat half of the can this is pretty much how many calories, etc I take in.

The mayonnaise I eat is from Save A Lot  and I didnt choose this brand for any particular reason other than the fact it said light mayonnaise while I was already in the store. :P Here is what it says on the label:

Portmann's Light Mayonnaise serving size 1 tablespoon:

50 calories 
5g fat
1g carbs

So for lunch my tuna sandwich is around 260 calories and my water is 0 calories. That is a pretty good lunch. 

I'm at 400 calories total and have 800 more to go for the rest of my day since I try to aim for 1200 calories! No more than that but you should atleast try to reach the 1200 or really close. If you don't eat enough then your body goes into survival mode and stores all of your fat and food instead of digesting it which keeps you from losing weight! So if you have been dieting and hardly eating but can't figure out why you are not losing weight this may be the reason! 

For dinner we usually eat when my husband gets home from work around 5 pm. We have something different each night but we eat chicken more than anything else because its good, healthy, and you can make so many different kinds! My switch it up between baked potatoes and mashed potatoes and either green beans, peas, corn, or another veggie. We usually only eat 2 sides with our meat. I only eat 1 boneless chicken breast or 2 boneless chicken tenders depending what we have. I buy those bags of frozen boneless chicken breasts or tenders. You can get them anywhere but I find they are cheaper at Save A Lot. They are now around $6-$7 a bag. The bag lasts our family at least 3 dinners. Our family is 4 people during the week and 5 during the weekends when my stepson is here. :)

I don't really count the calories for my dinner. That is where I use proportions and serving size. I try to eat only 1 piece of large meat or 2 pieces if they are small. I pick out a medium size potato if we are eating baked potatoes. For example I reach into the bag and there 3 different sizes, I usually pck the large for my husband, the small ones for my daughters, and the medium one for me! I usually don't eat it all though. I do put sour cream, shredded cheese, butter, and bacon bits on it but I don't go overboard with it! Use your head! You probably know how much is TOO much! But don't overthink it either because it will make you crazy! Trust me, I've been there!

For the veggies, I just eat as much as I want. Meaning, I don't really like them but I know I need to eat them. I probably don't eat as much of them as I should! But I probably eat atleast 1 serving with my dinner not counting the baked potato. (Corn, Beans, Peas, etc)

My snack is usually fruit like a banana or an apple. I usually lean towards a banana because it usually satisfies my craving for a snack and it gives me energy because of the potassium! If during the day I'm feeling weak or drowsy I eat a banana to help me to feel better! This isn't everyday because most of the days I just eat 1 snack before bedtime but sometimes I need a little pick me up during the day! If Im craving something sweet, I will eat a very small bowl of Wheaties cereal or a hand full of almonds covered in dark chocolate! They are super yummy and good for you too! I get  mine from Wal-Mart in the section where the beef jerkey and nuts are. Its a huge bag and it costs around $10. I know it sounds a little steep but it lasts you for a month if your kiddos and hubby doesn't find it. They keep you full and they really do taste good and are good to eat if you are craving chocolate or a candy bar!

I will post PART 3 which will be my exercise/work out routine tomorrow, as well as more food options and etc! So please subscribe and share me on Pinterest so you can keep following me. I hope I can give you pointers and share my mistakes and what I've learned along the way! 

My Weight Loss Journey! How I lost 30 lbs in 3 months PART 1

Ok so I know this isn't a DIY post but I wanted to share my weight loss journey with all of you! I was just thinking maybe if I share how I did it (and am still doing it), it could possibly help someone else.

From the time I was little I was always super skinny, too skinny really! In high school I think I weighed 105 and I'm 5'7"! I ate whatever I wanted to so it wasn't like I wanted to be skinny! I ate junk food, fried food, you name it! But I think I just had a really high metabolism because I also wasn't into sports or anything like that so I rarely got any exercise. I never had to worry about being overweight. I always had to worry about being UNDER weight! I know most of you are thinking "lucky you" right? Wrong!

Being so skinny meant other girls found me as an easy target. Whether that meant mean comments or trying to start a fight. They knew if they started a fight, chances were that they would win! They were probably right! I guess some people feel like they need to make someone else feel bad to make themselves feel better. Yes people, being told you are too skinny, you look like a bean pole, you need to gain weight, you look DEAD, you look like you are on crack DOES HURT people's feelings!!!!! So for anyone out there who is overweight and thinks "being skinny" will solve all of your problems it's just not true! You need to lose weight to be healthy, not because you think your life will be easier. I'll save that sob story for another day, because this is about my journey now.

I got married at 18 years old to the love of my life and best friend. We got pregnant really quick and we had our baby when I was 19. My body changed. Drastically! It didn't help that when our little one was only 10 months old we got pregnant again! Needless to say it wasn't good on my body!

Pre babies I was probably around 115-120 lbs. A pretty healthy weight but could have stood to gain a few pounds. After coming home from the hospital with our 1st bundle of joy I weighed around 150 lbs. After coming home from the hospital with our 2nd, I weighed 161 lbs. So I gained a total of around 55 lbs.

How in the world could I gain so much weight just by having babies? I was pregnant so I was under the impression I could eat whatever I wanted and how much I wanted! After all, I was eating for two!  WRONG! If you are pregnant let me tell you right here, right now that you still have to eat healthy most of the time! We lived right outside city limits so Taco Bell, McDonald's, you name it was only a couple minutes away. City Limits + Pregnant girl = gaining 55 lbs! lol

I did go to the gym with my hubby for most of my first pregnancy. But I stopped going because I was tired, moody, irritated, sick....pregnant! Who wants to workout when you're pregnant? I only went because my husband was into fitness and body building when I first met him. I think I was a bad influence because when I quit so did he. He didn't want to take more time away from "our time" just to go work out.

So girls, please keep eating healthy and working out while pregnant. Even if that means walking a few days a week! It's better than nothing! You can have Taco Bell but limit it to a couple days a week instead of twice a day like me. Sometimes I would even get 2 combos instead of 1 as embarrassing as it is to admit that.

Anyway, I can't blame it ALL on pregnancy! It has been 6 years since he having my last bundle of joy and instead of trying to lose the weight, I kept gaining! I gradually gained 20 more pounds throughout the years. I didn't exercise. I didn't eat healthy. I didn't drink water because it made me sink. The thought of it made me sick! We would eat fast food at least 3 days a week, sometimes more. On weekends we would even eat fast food 2-3 times a day if we were out all day. Bad, bad, bad!!! Processed foods and sugar are the worst things you can put into your body! Just because it's easy and quick doesn't make it okay.

I had wanted to lose weight ever since after having my last child 6 years ago, but always kept putting it off. "Oh I'll wait to start on a Monday", "I'll do it next week", "I'll start tomorrow", "I'll wait till I get a treadmill", etc! Throw out an excuse and I've used it! It was depressing being overweight because I wanted to look good for my husband and myself. I wanted to feel good about myself and wanted him to have a wife he was proud to be with, even though he says he has always thought I was beautiful (insert awww best husband award here). I'm a stay at home/work at home mom with my own small business so that meant sitting around all day on the internet, watching tv, and eating junk food!

It is HARD to lose weight! It is HARD to get the motivation to lose weight! It is hard to keep that motivation as well. I used to think it would be so easy to lose weight. I would think why in the world don't they just exercise and eat less? I thought if someone actually wanted to lose weight then they would. In a way it is true, but it is also very hard to do.

I tried weight watchers a couple years ago and lost 10 lbs in a month but I didn't stay motivated so I gained it all back and more. Diets don't work. Plain and simple. You have to want to be healthy to be able to lose weight. You have to have motivation and self discipline. Diets are a right now kind of thing so once you lose the weight you pretty much stop dieting. That also means you gain the weight back and a lot of times plus more!

I got my motivation almost 4 months ago when I stumbled upon a Facebook page promoting and selling a diet supplement called A.C.E which stands for Appetite Control & Energy. Now I know what you are thinking, she took diet pills!! No they are not diet pills that make you lose the weight! You have to have a prescription to be able to get diet pills because you have to be a so much overweight before you can get those. These are like the kind they sell at Wall-Mart or other drug stores. They give you energy and take away your cravings. They help you to feel full so you aren't hungry all the time.

ACE has changed my life. It gave me the motivation that I needed. It keeps me full so I only eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I occasionally have a snack before bedtime. I don't over eat either which used to be a huge factor in my weight gain. I would think if I ordered food I needed to eat it all even if I was full because I would be wasting money.

 Also just so you know, I DO NOT sell ACE. I do NOT work for ACE in any way. I do NOT get any money or any compensation from it. This is 100% honesty. I want to share because it may help you. If you don't want to take a supplement then that is totally fine. You can still read about what foods I eat and what exercise I do. You can't lose weight just by taking ACE. You have to exercise and you have to eat healthy most of the time.

Losing weight is a a lifestyle change and that is why diets don't work! You have to keep yourself motivated and find your willpower to stick with it. I eat healthy during the week and then one day on the weekend I eat whatever I want to. I don't go overboard but I treat myself to Mexican food or whatever it is that I didn't allow myself to eat for the other 6 days of the week. I think this helps me stay on track.

If you want  to learn more about ACE you can visit the ACE website here or comment below with any questions you may have. I'm not a professional or anything so I just have my opinions and experience to go on. Before taking it or anything else, I recommend asking your doctor about it to make sure it is safe for you to take. I have heart problems and I take it but that doesn't mean you can or should. It has all natural ingredients which was what got my attention in the first place! I take one a day and skip a day a week to help boost my metabolism. It costs $1/each pill and you can get as many as you want in multiples of 2 for anyone wondering. But taking ACE isn't the only thing I do to lose weight!

I have to eat healthy and get some exercise in to be able to lose weight! You also have to drink LOTs of water! I mean like all day. I used to HATE water!!! With ACE you have to drink a full glass of water when taking it. So the first thing I do when I wake up at 5:30 am  every morning is take my ACE and drink a full 16.9 oz bottle of water. I love water now! I even choose to drink it over anything else and that includes when we eat out! I try to drink atleast 4-5 bottles of water a day. I know those plastic bottles aren't good for our planet but I have well water and anyone who has it knows it does not taste good! Getting city water is on our to do list!

How much have I lost since I started trying to lose weight and taking ACE? 30 lbs! I lost 30 lbs in 3 months! I am so proud of myself! I didn't think it was possible. I still want to lose atleast 20-25 more lbs but it depends if I am pleased with my body. I might not even want to lose that much I dont know. So my goal for right now is 10 more pounds. I recommend setting smaller goals for yourself that are within your ultimate goal.

I joined the 90 day ACE weight loss challenge which started my main motivation at the time. That is when I lost my 30 lbs. I recommend joining a similar group because you keep each other motivated even though you are competing against one another. You make new friends who are going through the same thing as you are!

Make sure you drink your recommended daily amount of water! It helps you to stay full and flushes out all of the bad toxins from your body! It has cleared my skin tremendously too! After having children, my body was really bad, and that meant my skin as well. I had an occasional breakout during my teens but nothing major. Then I started getting acne as an adult in my 20's! That also made me feel even worse about myself. Now my skin is so much better! Except for right now....a couple weeks ago I lost my motivation and started eating out everyday for over a week and guess what? I gained 5 lbs and my face broke out super bad! I hadn't had a breakout before that in 2 months! So now I know what is causing it. Putting bad food into my body and not drinking enough water was causing the acne all along. So now, thanks to my week of greasy bad food I am paying for it! I lost those 5 lbs that I had gained thank goodness!

That downslide was definitely a wake up and the motivation I needed to keep going! I got to remember how much better I felt while exercising and eating healthy! That week was miserable, even though I was eating the foods that I wanted. I remember a quote I saw on pinterest.

I hope these motivators help you like they have me! I have a whole pinterest board filled with them! I like to look at them daily to keep myself motivated! Some are funny and some are just simple truth or brutal honesty!

Read my next post for the foods I have been eating to lose weight!


Get a chance to win this super cute trick or treat bag handmade by me!!! It has an adjustable drawstring closure so your child won't lose his/her candy!!! Good quality and so much better than those cheapos that rip that you buy at the store!

All you have to do is click here to be taken to my facebook post, share the photo, be a fan of Laken's Creations (which is my business page). You will then be entered to win! There will be only 1 winner and will be chosen by Make sure when you click share that it is set as public so I will be able to see that you shared! Easy peasy!

FREE HALLOWEEN GRAPHICS! Little Witches Bottle Cap and Ribbon Graphics

Make sure you subscribe to my blog and follow me on Pinterest to keep receiving FREE graphics and tutorials! I make and share my own custom ribbon graphics, bottle cap images, party supplies, and more! So please subscribe to my blog and I will keep sharing my work with you for FREE!

Here is today's FREEBIES! I also have her in brunette if you are interested just send me a message via facebook!