name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : September 2015


The Fall Bucket List

Remember when we were gearing up for summer and our summer bucket list? How is it already October?? As much as I love the lazy days of summer, I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall. Football, birthdays (my oldest), cooler weather (Hi, I'm from Texas), pumpkins, pumpkin patches - you name it, I love it.

Of course with all the fun fall brings, we need another bucket list. So, let's catch up on the fun there is to be had as the leaves begin to fall...

1. Decorate for fall - I really never decorated much for the fall months; I saved it all for Christmas! But, since I've had kids, they love all things pumpkin and leaves. 

Look at me getting crafty!
2. Pumpkin patches - A local church goes big with their annual pumpkin patch. And, it starts October 9. You can see all their fun decorations, grab a treat, and take home a pumpkin of your choosing. Look for one in your area - check the local churches.

3. Pumpkin carving - Each year, we do a pumpkin carving contest with good friends. The adults get serious with their pumpkins. And since the kids shouldn't have knives, we let them go to town and paint their pumpkins.

4. Dewberry Farms - This farm is my favorite - mainly because the kids go nuts for the trampolines, trail rides, corn maze, and good eats. We like to go on a Sunday and let them go crazy. 

5. Comfort food - I think of warm soups and cornbread when the weather gets cooler. Here is one of my favorites - how could you go wrong with Ree Drummond??

Recipe HERE
6. Starbucks - Okay, so I am not a fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Gasp, I know. Really, I prefer a simple cup of coffee at home, but there's something festive about those cups! This year, they had me at pretty leaves. 

7. Running - As I mentioned here, I am getting back into running. Fall weather is perfect for a cool morning run. There's something nice about the cool wind blowing instead of sweat dripping into your eyeballs. 

8. Tricks and Treats - This time of year is great for getting crafty with the kids. But, by far, our favorite is to BOO our neighbors! My son loves to leave treats for his buddies and hope they return the favor to someone else. The dollar bin at Target is a hit for this activity. You could even BOO a mama friend and leave some BOOze on her doorstep #bestneighborever

Check out my Pinterest page for great BOO ideas!

9. Birthday parties - There is a certain almost 7 year old in my house, and now that he's older, the party planning is SERIOUS. And, thanks to American Ninja Warrior, we are going to have the BEST party this year. Check out Iron Sports and you will see why. I think mom may participate in this party!

10. Football - I really only like to watch my Aggies play, but I do like having Game Day on as well as the sounds of a football game coming from the living room on a Saturday. Tailgating food and friends make it even better. I am also so excited to take my boy to his first game at Kyle Field. I might cry with excitement. 


I just can’t stop making thesrs #KeepCalm pictures! #Aggies #tamu #Instagram #GigEm #Kyle #AnM #Logo #Whoop #Students #InstaLike #Maroon #White #CollegeStation #CStat #Traditions (at Kyle Field)
And there you have it, friends! What would you add to your fall bucket list? 

With Love,


3 Day Refresh - A Review (and a Challenge)

As I have posted on IG, I just finished the 3 Day Refresh from Beachbody. Since I love all of their products, I wanted to try this one as well. I also wanted to scale things down a bit and get my body back from some poor eating habits.

My love for all things Beachbody comes from the fact that I have tried many programs and Shakeology. I felt as though I needed to try this refresh to be able to fairly suggest it to others. To be able to understand how it works, here's how each day breaks down -

  1. Breakfast - Shakeology + fruit option (you can put the fruit in your shake or have separately)
  2. Mid-morning - Fiber Sweep Shake (mix included in kit that you mix with water and drink)
  3. Lunch - Vanilla Fresh shake (also comes with kit that you mix with water) + fruit + veggie + a healthy fat (avocados, hummus, coconut oil, or almond butter)
  4. Snack - veggie + healthy fat
  5. Dinner - Vanilla Fresh + Dinner Recipe (provided in kit's program guide)
Overall, it was a tough 3 days for me. As I told a friend, I wanted to dive into a bowl of queso on day 2. But, it was tough because my body was definitely detoxing all the junk I had consumed lately. In the end, I lost 5.2 pounds and definitely feel lighter. Doing this refresh has reminded me to make better choices and to make them more often. The meal ideas were great; I love me some hummus, and the recipes provided did not disappoint. However, there were rough moments too. I wasn't skipping around feeling healthy and free; I struggled. And, I want to be honest with the pros/cons of the refresh.


Day one was ROUGH. I started off great because I normally have a shake for breakfast so this part was not new for me. But, if you love coffee and all its goodness like I do, you have to change it up a bit and drink it black on these days. NO THANKS. This disruption in my normal day was not fun - hi, mom of two here.

By lunchtime, I was READY TO EAT. I didn't like the break between breakfast and lunch (Fiber Sweep only then), but the lunch was perfectly filling. Snack was good as was dinner. I was hungry before bed and had a bit of a headache, so I had half a banana (not on the plan, but at least it wasn't ice cream) and went to bed early.

You also shouldn't do a heavy workout on those days so I had to tame the exercise down. I like how I feel after a strong workout so I missed that feeling as well.

Another con was the bloating I felt on day two. My tummy felt puffy and full, and I hoped this would pass.


I had some friends frown at me doing what they called a "cleanse." This refresh is not that at all; you get to eat! You just eat healthy, whole, clean, good food. You are not eating your kids leftover snacks or sneaking in some late night chocolate. I think that was my favorite part - relearning great eating habits. To be honest, they are so simple, but for me, I needed that reminder. Now, instead of a shake + a veggie for lunch, I may add a quick protein (lettuce wrap or turkey wrap on Flat Out bread) and the same veggie. Way better than a bag of chips!

You also need to drink a lot of water to keep things going. For me, drinking water is not my strong point. I feel like I remembered the water more on the refresh, and again, this reminder was important as it encourages me to focus on my water intake.

I had read some reviews on the Fiber Sweep and its taste. It wasn't delish like the shakes, but it wasn't horrible. The Vanilla Fresh also tasted just like vanilla Shakeology to me so that was easy peasy!

The dinner recipes were so good! I love all the fresh veggie ones that I know will be used in our dinner rotation. That's what I think I will take away the most -  how the food I had on this plan can easily be incorporated into our everyday eating.

Of course, I am pleased with the weight loss, but I just FEEL better. Yes, it took a day or two to feel it all kick in, but when it did, it is so worth it. I feel like I was reset to keep going. I had hit a wall for a while, and I like that this refresh pushed me through that wall.

If you have questions about the refresh, reach out! I'm happy to help!

Now what's next? One habit the refresh encourages is your daily Shakeology. For these 3 days, I had it for breakfast. This breakfast idea was no different than any other day for me. My shakes are filling and delicious, and I want to share these treats with you.

From October 5-10, I'm holding a tasty challenge that I'd love you to join. You'll get 6 flavors of shakeology for you to try with 

My purpose is for you to try what so many rave about while on their health journey. Contact me or go HERE to get your sampler. During this week, I'll share my favorite recipes and encourage you to be the best you can be - no matter where you are on your journey.

Hope to talk soon! Have a great week, friends!

With Love,


Friday Finds {Vol. 16} - 20 Questions

Oh TGIF has never sounded so sweet - especially with the hubs off work and a fun weekend ahead of us. We are a few weeks into school and new routines, and I am looking forward to some fun family time. AND FOR FOOTBALL! Whoop! Gig 'em!

When I first thought of starting a blog, I found a blogging mentor who became a "real life" friend. Kristy over at Seven Graces Blog knows what's up. Plus, she's a busy mom of a precious toddler too. I love this post she did recently, and I thought how I hadn't done a good "getting to know you" post so let's make this Friday about finding out about each other. 

Here we go...

1. Favorite food?

That's easy. Mexican. Give me queso, fajitas, and margaritas all of the days. Comfort food, I tell ya.

2. Flip flops or high heels?

Definitely quick and easy flip flops for chasing about the little crazy train toddler of mine.

3. Favorite place to shop for yourself?

Target. Preferably, by myself with the coffee order I talk about in the next question.

4. Standard coffee order?

A light roast with half n half and some sort of sweetener. I like to keep it simple. 

5. Road trip must-have snack?

A large bottle of water. And, if I am being bad, beaver nuggets from Bucc-ee's. Really, I will take any snack from Bucc-ee's. If you don't know about this travel necessity, you must go to one. 

6. DIY or hire it out?

DIY in our house. My husband is quite the handyman. He does take his time with projects, but it's amazing what he can create. 

7. Top 5 shows?

Scandal, Nashville, Blacklist, How to Get Away with Murder, and Dancing with the Stars. I like drama, scandal, and dancing :)

8. Favorite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. My favorite book to teach and talk about forever and ever. 

9. Favorite form of exercising?

If you've been reading since I started, you know I love my weekly boot camp and working out with Beachbody at home. It's the perfect workout routine.

10. How tall are you?

5 foot 2 inches. #shortandproud

11. Do you try something new at restaurants or stick to your favorites?

It depends on the restaurant. I love trying new places and seeing what they offer. If it's a place we often go, I stick to what I know. 

12. One make-up item you can't live without?

I am fairly simple when it comes to make-up. The one thing I can't live without on a daily basis is my Rosebud Salve. Get some and you're welcome.

13. What's on your nightstand?

A book my dad gave me and pictures of my kiddos.

14. What's one thing motherhood has taught you?

How to love in a crazy, beautiful way. And to be patient with myself. :)

15. Music that reminds me of high school?

A whole lot of hip-hop and NKOTB.

16. If you could live anywhere in the world besides your current city, where would you live?

Boulder, Colorado. And we would be outside all the time.

17. Tell us something we might not know.

I have always wanted to work for People magazine or E! See more about my weird celebrity obsessions below.

18. Websites you read or browse (besides blogs).

Facebook,, and US Weekly.

19. Morning person or night owl?

Night owl. There's something to be said about sitting on the couch when the kids are asleep, and it's just quiet. My time. 

20. Favorite breakfast meal?

One that includes biscuits and gravy, waffles, eggs, bacon - the whole shibang. Throw in good coffee and perhaps a mimosa, I am all in.

That's it! Thanks for letting me share! I would love to hear more about you!


Friday Finds {Vol. 15} - Taco Soup

So, it's September which means fall weather, right? Well, just because I live in Texas doesn't mean this continued heat is going to stop me from hitting the fall soups. Today, my find is this recipe for taco soup. And score because it is also 21 Day Fix Approved!

Here are the cast of characters...

2 cans of diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of corn (drained)
1 carton of chicken broth
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of dry Ranch dressing

The protein is missing! Why? You can simply include cooked ground turkey, ground beef, or shredded chicken in this meal. We are going with the turkey. Also, I am missing the dry Ranch packet only because we used it for potatoes this week. No problem though - I found this handy homemade Ranch recipe, and we are good to go!

What you do...

Cook your meat, drain, return to pot (or get rotisserie chicken and chop for an even easier recipe). Add in your chicken broth, Rotel, corn, and black beans. Stir. 

Next, add in your taco and Ranch seasonings. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Top with your favorites. We like cheese and sliced avocado. 

NOTE: my son is not a fan of soups, so I take the ingredients such as the meat, cheese, and avocado, and make him a quesadilla. Winner for everyone!

This recipe makes quite a bit, so you can easily half it and freeze for later. 

TGIF! I can feel the fall coming :)

With Love,


Book of Hope

I met with a former student today who graciously shared all the exciting things God is doing in her life. I can't help but think this time with her was a God thing as I feel a funk coming on...I can't explain it. So, I had to seek out words to lift me up and remind me of my blessings. I came back to this post I wrote in April - before I officially shared my blog.  

I have a little pocket prayer book called The Book of Hope.
It’s almost like a “quick reference” prayer book that you can pull out as needed. 
There are Bible verses that are valuable to most anxieties that come your way. 
And, I treasure this little book. 

I have always been quite the worrier, and 
I always prayed over these worries. 
The book came into my possession one day when my dad 
noticed me having a tough time. He gave me this book and told me 
it helped him when he lost his mom. He wasn’t one to talk openly 
about his faith, but it spoke volumes when he confided in me this day. 

Then fast-forward to the darkest day of my life. The day when I learned 
my dad was gone. All my prayers for all my worries seem to be for nothing. 
In fact,I worried that my dad would suffer another heart attack after
having two previously so I would pray for his health every single day. 
But, the reality was far worse. One day, he goes fishing, and then
he just never comes back. He was missing for nine days. Nine days of losing hope, preparing for the worst, and still praying. On that ninth day, we find that there was some accident and he was gone. 
Gone, just like that.

The Book of Hope, prayers...all of it seemed silly to me now. I had 
prayed and prayed for my parents to always be with me. To see me get married, 
see my kids...and now all that was gone. With that went my faith. I was so angry.
I couldn’t imagine functioning in my everyday life 
like I had before we lost Dad. I was done. 

Life for the next few months wasn’t good. I struggled greatly to find meaning. 
During this time, my other grandmother fell ill and passed away - 
9 months to the day we lost my dad. She was a saintly woman; 
she believed in the power of prayer through all situations, 
and she had been through so much in her life. I suddenly thought, 
she wouldn’t want me to live this way - in this dark, angry place. 
It wasn’t an overnight realization, but I did begin to pray again 
and returned to my Book of Hope. 

And here I am, thirteen years after losing my dad. I have an amazing life - 
a supportive husband, two beautiful miracle babies, 
and finally my dream job of staying home with them. How do I know God exists? 
How did I know God has worked in my life? I am still here. I fought hard - 
and never alone. God was with me the entire time - even when I wasn’t with Him. 
He helped me fight and helps me fight every single day. 

That Book of Hope is never far away. When a dark day comes again, 
I pull it out, thank Him - for His gifts, His undying love, 
and His everyday forgiveness.

It’s what my Dad would do too. 

My point for re-posting is this - I try everyday to be active; I try to keep life in perspective and take it all one day at a time. But, it's not easy, and those with anxiety can attest to the troubles it can cause.  

I hope you take these words to heart and know that someone out there gets it. I encourage you to find the words to help you when your days don't exactly go as planned. Find your book of hope, pray, and know this too shall pass. 

Be blessed, friends!

With Love,


Weekly Meal Plan - 3-Day Refresh

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of this special delivery - the 3-Day Refresh. I have been wanting to try this product for a while now, and I decided that this month is the time to try it. I am a newbie to this refresh, but I have heard fantastic things about it.

Here's what I am looking for:

1. To literally refresh my body - I want to clean out of all the junk I still can't seem to shake. I have the workouts down, and I have gotten down to my best weight, but I still see things that need to change. That's not going to happen unless I sharpen my eating. I want to start fresh here but shaping my eating habits once I feel the refresh do its job.

2. To help me feel lighter - There is still a bloat I feel sometimes when I get off track. I want that light, fresh feeling that I know comes with refreshing your system. Sometimes I feel like I am carrying something "extra" when I go about my day - it's not a pleasant feeling and one I hope I can eliminate with the refresh.

3. To give me a boost of energy - I definitely have felt more energized since I have started my fitness journey, and that's not a easy feat for a busy mom. With school getting back in session and with the family restructuring our time, we have gotten a bit lost and tired

And what do you get with your refresh?

Luckily, I have some Shakeology on hand, so I purchased the refresh that comes without it. You will need some Shakeology goodness because some of your meals will come from these delicious shakes. Score for me because these are my daily breakfast treats. 

You will also get vanilla fresh shakes that curb your hunger throughout and satisfy your appetite as you go through your 3 days. In addition, there is a fiber sweep drink to eliminate waste from your system. Though it sounds daunting, after much research, I have heard this part is not as bad as one might envision. It honestly acts a support for your body as it goes through the 3 days of renewal. 

And my favorite part? The program guide that takes out the guesswork for your meals. Easy, nutritious meals that help sustain you through your refresh. For the busy mom, I like when I don't have to think about much so this is right up my alley. 

Of course, you will find support from your coach. I am excited for a few friends who are doing this refresh with me and to see our results. Once we are done, we will share our before and after results and our plans to keep up with the clean eating and renewal we will feel once we are done.

Want to join us? Check out more here! Contact me - I would love to be your support on your 3-Day Refresh journey. Our start date is September 14 - are you in?

Check out my BB page for more info! And check out where I am linking up HERE :)

With Love,

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