name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : January 2018


The Busy Mom's Health And Fitness Must-Haves (+ The Best Smoothie Recipe)

Checking in on those resolutions - how are we doing?! Finding healthier outlets for all my anxiety has been a top priority for me. I LOVE my workouts, but in the past year, it's the nutrition that was bringing me on down - queso become my love language. Well, really anything Tex-Mex was at the top of my stress-bustin' list, and it was time to quit the queso. 

Have I fallen off the resolution train? Of course, I am human. But, I can definitely say I'm learning better ways to ease the anxiety. From those beloved sweat sessions to our weekly meal plans, things have improved from my daily indulgences in the past. Thanks to  Redefined Wellness and these must-haves that honestly appear on the daily. And, if I have essentials that make my resolutions happen, I want to share them with you. Take a look and see for yourself - from what I wear to where I go - it's all here.

And if you read to the end, you can find THE BEST SMOOTHIE RECIPE that I have every single day. All the nutrients are there to help the busy mama get her groove back. 


If you follow me on  Instagram, I talk often about  Orangetheory Fitness. My husband calls it my "Orange Therapy" because that's exactly what it is for me. When I was lucky enough to try a free class for  this post, I was HOOKED. The challenge. The people. The strength. Go find  a studio near you, and report back. I am doing a transition challenge with them starting January 29th, and I am ready. Come join me!

After each class, you get a detailed report emailed to you - it contains your final calorie count and  splat point total. These results are exactly why I do OT. I love seeing how far I can push myself each class. You aim for 12 splat points per class - 12 or more means you will get an awesome after burn for up to 24-48 hours. Yes, please!


From my running shoes to my favorite sports bra, I watch the budget and do not spend a ton. This sports bra has tremendous support for the long runs at OT. I also love a good, loose tank top - I own two of these!

I have stocked up on some Zella leggings that are my absolute FAVORITE. Can I just say high-waisted? They smooth the mom pooch and do not roll down when working out. They are perfect for rest day lounging, too. 

The no-slip socks and Sweaty Band headband are genius as well. I've had to stop mid-row at OT to pull up socks or get hair out of my face, and these helped stop the madness.


Since I started my health goals, I've found supplements that help my overall health. I add the collagen peptides to my smoothies and toss a Nuun tablet into my water after a sweat session. I love how they flavor the water because is it just me or does drinking water get boring? These little gems spice up your H2O. 

Nike Women's No-Show Socks / Nuun Electrolyte Tabs / Zella High-Waisted Leggings

Mix all ingredient above in a blender and enjoy! Add ice cubes if you like that texture.

From my favorite smoothie recipe above to all the goodies that keep my health goals going, I hope you find something that boosts those healthy resolutions. Get to shopping for any of these essentials, and let me know what you think! 

Feel free to comment or reach out with your health tips or any questions, too! What are your must-haves for a healthy 2018?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no cost to you). Thanks for supporting Always A New Day! You can read my full disclosure on the sidebar. 


7 Disney World Tips For First-Timers

I'm taking advantage of our Texas snow days to catch up on a post I've wanted to write for a while! ALL THINGS DISNEY! We traveled to the happiest place on Earth right before Christmas. So much planning goes into a Disney World trip, and while there are great travel agents to help make the plans, you can absolutely plan it all yourself. Thanks to my mom and sister for the planning - and it's because of them that I can share these tips.

If you've got Disney World on the brain, then this post is for you. And don't forget to pin this if you ever want to take those kiddos to see Mickey and friends. 


This little app was our tour guide, reservation maker, and so much more. When you purchase a theme park ticket, you can use the app to make Fast Pass selections for rides, shows, and character meet-n-greets up to 30 days in advance. Big bonus if you stay at a Disney resort - then you can book up to 60 days in advance. 

We also all had access to our one My Disney Experience account so we could keep up with our Fast Pass schedules and make any changes if needed. We would make changes based on the waiting times which are also shown on the app. If we had a Fast Pass for a ride with a short line, we just open the app and make the change to something else that had a longer wait. Those Fast Passes are game changers. 

The map option on the app is super helpful, too. But, it doesn't hurt to grab a good ol' park map when you're there!


We usually stay at a value resort (they base resorts on your budget plans - from deluxe to moderate to value) because you honestly aren't in the hotel long enough during your stay. But, no matter your budget, we highly recommend staying on property. Not only do you get to book things far in advance, but you also have the bus transportation to each park. Winning!


Before we leave home, we order our groceries online and have them delivered to our hotel. From quick lunch items to the kids' favorite snacks, you can get it all. Ask the hotel if there is a refrigerator in your room (request one if not) to store your groceries. Each day, we made sandwiches for lunch that we took into the parks. Saves money and time! Another BIG recommendation is to add case(s) of water to your list. Water isn't cheap at the parks! And you'll need hydration for all the walking you will be doing. #TrustMe

You can use Garden Grocer or this year, we ordered from Safeway. And don't forget breakfast items, too - yogurt + granola + fruit was our favorite combo so we could get out the door and hit the fun!


The first year we went with kids, they were 6 years old and 15 months. I almost got a single stroller, but we decided on a double for that trip. BEST DECISION EVER. The days at Disney be long (longer if you have a tired, cranky kid) so it was nice to have a double for both kids to rest and/or nap. This year with them being 9 and 4, we only got a single, and it worked out well. They also make great storage for all the souvenirs/snacks/survival items you need for Disney.

Check out Orlando Stroller Rentals - they are great and have amazing customer service. We've used them twice and highly recommend their strollers. 


All over the parks, they have photographers in the best locations. You can get your photo taken and then they scan your magic band (you'll get these before you leave, and they are your lifeline). The pictures show up right away on your My Disney Experience app. You can save them to your phone to share on social media and also download them all once you get home. 

See all the pictures in this post? All courtesy of our Magic Maker!


The weather in Florida can be weird so pack accordingly. Definitely bring a light jacket because if you go in the fall/winter, there may be a chill especially at night. Pack for comfort - we walked 10 miles one day. Thank goodness for my tennis shoes and workout leggings. If you go in the summer, bring your bathing suit (even pack some in your everyday bag). Heck, we packed ours for December just in case we got in some pool time at the hotel. 

Finally, if you want fun Disney shirts for your trip - get them before you go! Wal-Mart had great ones as does Target and the Disney Store. You can also have some made - luckily, my friend, Laura, has some mad skills so we had a few shirts made.

And don't forget umbrellas and rain ponchos, too. Rain is a high possibility, and you don't want it to stop the fun!


Depending on how long you stay, you may want a day to take it easy. Swim in the pool or visit Disney Springs for shopping and fun (the bus will take you there, too).

We also used a free morning to see other hotels. During Christmas, there are so many beautiful decorations that we love to see. The Grand Floridian has a giant gingerbread house plus don't even get me started on all the amazing Christmas trees. Beautiful!

If you have little ones, this rest day may help you all have a magical time. It is vacation after all so get the rest/free time in when you can. 


Planning for Disney itself may require a vacation after all is done, but planning ahead does save you so much. Once you arrive, it's time for fun and to watch your kids go bananas over all the magic (and I won't lie - the adults get giddy, too). Though there are only 7 tips here, I know more will come up so don't be surprised if a part 2 (or 3 or 4) happens in the future.

If you have any Disney tips, share in the comments. Disney has SO much to offer and can be the trip of a lifetime.

See you real soon!


A Year In Review + A Reader Survey

My last post, you guys. So much love. I seriously cried with each comment, message, and email I received. These sweet words reminded me I am not alone but mostly, they were SO encouraging. The time you took to send support did not go unnoticed. And, most of all, they gave me that HOPE I am looking for this year. Thank you.


I can't say exactly what started off the funky year in 2017. We did have my brother's anniversary in January, and February always stinks because it's when we lost my dad. If you are familiar with my dad's accident, you know there are many dates associated with this big loss - the day he went fishing, the day he was found, and the day we said good-bye. Just writing that makes me want to scream, "did that really happen?" Oh, grief, you tricky little jerk.

There were hardships, changes, trying to make it all right again and again - 2017 just kept slipping away into a fog. A gross year where loss was so heavy and anxiety came roaring back with such force. I am beyond ready for a new year.  This past year, I saw ups and downs as I tried ways to lessen my anxiety and improve my depression. In 2018, I want more.

This blog has been a fun, cathartic outlet for me. It's not necessarily a business, but an avenue to share and hope others find comfort. It's given ME so much comfort in the years it's existed. This year, I have had some posts do well, and that is super exciting. Here's what shined in my little corner in 2017. From easy desserts all the way to bettering yourself (while eating that trifle, obvs) - I loved what you loved this year!


Easy Chocolate Twinkie Trifle

40 Self-Care Ideas For the Anxious Mom

5 Things To Give Up Forever

6 Bible Verses For The Grieving Heart

4 Tips For Making Moving Easier - For The Busy Mom

I did take a step back towards the end of the year to find my groove again. I miss writing to heal or to connect. If cool opportunities come my way, I want them to reflect who I am and where I am headed. This new year is going to be one for rebuilding. HOPE, y'all. There it is.


My overall health and my faith are top of my list. I love a great workout and the strength (more mentally than anything) that I build each time I move. But, the nutrition. Oh my word. I definitely believe in everything in moderation, but moderation has not happened much in 2017. It's more like - "I feel sad, I deserve this bag of chips." Or, "today was stressful, let me eat all that pizza." My mindset has not been right one bit.

Enter Redefining Wellness and my friend, Jody. I love picking her brain about nutrition and the connection to our mental health. It's time to take better care of that if I plan to grab HOPE and roll with it this year. We are currently doing a 21-day challenge, and I can't wait to share, but I mostly can't wait to LEARN.

As for my faith, I want more of the WORD. And, I want more time with HIM. I don't have the Bible memorized, but I do know I am still here because of something bigger than me. Thankfully, a former English teacher friend has written a daily devotional. Her words. Her heart. Her message. I cannot wait to let this lead me into learning about myself and my faith. To learn more about Brandi's devotional, click HERE.

And there you have it, reflecting, moving on, and finding HOPE. Sounds simple, but I know the road isn't always golden, but I am just SO READY.

If you have ideas or input on what 2018 holds for Always A New Day, I love the feedback. You can take this little survey here to help a girl out. See you soon, friends!

Click HERE to take the survey.


The Only New Year's Resolution I Have

I feel like I’ve been lying to you, friends. I’ve written post after post after post about how I am going to get my sh** together and be better.

I was going to be intentional. I was going to quit the pity parties. I was going to turn a corner into hope, joy, and resolution. Around that corner, there was going to be this badass who had it all figured out – the grief, the anxiety, and…the depression.

I had the outlets. My blog. My fitness. My tribe. My counselor. I had (and still have) these tools, but I just couldn’t get myself around that pesky corner. And on the dark days – and there have been many in 2017 – I beat myself up that I couldn’t make my move to the other side.

I’m always coming up with a new plan. This time, we’ve figured out the right medication. This time, I would quit the obsessing. This time, I will trust God. Nope, not like those other times. This time was going to be it.

But, it wasn’t. Then, it wasn’t again. And then the next day, it STILL wasn’t. You would think at some point I would get tired and just BE HAPPY. Choose joy. Choose it all the time. But, I couldn’t, and if I am being really honest, I’m still struggling.

I could write resolutions and those cute how-to’s on how to make resolutions, but for 2018, I want HOPE. I won’t find it in the latest diet craze or beautiful planner that promises to get my crap together. I won’t find it with things that bring me so very down. I won’t find it today or tomorrow or maybe next week, but I want HOPE that it’s coming.

I want HOPE that it’s coming, and it’s going to be good.

So, right before Christmas, I saw my beloved doctor who hugged me as soon as he walked in. He saw it on my face and immediately said Plan B wasn’t working. He took his time and listened. We had a real discussion. I cried when it was done. I had my first glimpse of HOPE, and I haven’t seen that in such a long time.

And, it felt REAL, and it felt damn good.

You can bet this blog will chronicle where I am headed, and if Plan B becomes Plan C or D. You can bet I’ll share the good, the bad, and the crappy because anxiety and depression are no walks in the park, and they sure aren’t rainbows right away after you’ve found your new course of action. I know it will take time.

A sweet friend who knows these feelings all too well said to me recently that she was in the “pits of hell” last Christmas, and I lost it because holy moly, do I get it. And she has found such HOPE in her plan that I am encouraged in mine.  I see HOPE. And I am gunning for it.

If you’re looking for a good resolution post or quick tips for the best year yet, I don’t have any for you. I want to so badly, and I don’t want this to be a space of doom and gloom. But, I want to be real in my writing so for now, I’m keeping it real no matter how murky it gets.

My husband asked what I wanted for 2018, and I said that I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY. I’m still a sister grieving a brother. I’m still lost in what’s next for me in the working world. I’m still a worry wart. But, my HOPE is that in this new year, I’m just a tiny bit – or praise it all, a big ol’ bit better – than 2017.

I see that corner, y’all. And while it may be too many blocks ahead, I see it. And when I reach it, I’ll let you know. I’m going to round that corner with all the fight I have.

Bring it, 2018. I HOPE by the year’s end, I have the best bunch of happy and hopeful posts on this side of the blogging galaxy.

As always, thanks for reading. 
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