A Stress Free Christmas

Christmas Stress‘Twas a week till Christmas, and all the presents are finally wrapped! Yep, you heard right, I’m done. After a long month, Josh and I finished buying our last few presents this afternoon and got them all wrapped tonight! Okay I lied a little bit… We still haven’t wrapped my little brothers present, but that’s because he’s been with us all night.

We went to good ole Walmart and got presents for his aunt, my grandpa and grandma, and his sister. Then we bought some wrapping paper and name tags. And we decided we are going to go get all the cards for everyone later this week, since we’re about out of money!

I don’t know how much I’ll be posting for this next week since I have so much going on, unfortunately. Tomorrow morning, I have an interview at a local office supply store (which I’m REALLY excited about). I’ve never had an actual steady job before now!

Christmas is going to drive me crazy! Until then, I have to help my Grandma finish painting her garden gnomes she’s giving as gifts. And when the time rolls around, Christmas Eve will be spent with my moms side of the family. After that, Christmas morning, we leave for his grandmothers house (over an hour away) for the day. And finally, after we finish gifts and whatnot, we will head over to my grandmas on my dads side to spend the evening.

On top of everything, this three day span will probably ruin my diet. No, it won’t. I won’t let it. I do not want to start over. Phew. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.

Alright, back to the main reason you’re reading this–another one of my lists! πŸ™‚ I know you all love them. These are some ways to deal with the stress of the holidays, whether you’re traveling ten hours, or staying at home. I know what you’re thinking, this is a weight loss blog, why am I talking about Christmas? Well, for one, I love Christmas. Two, being stressed out can cause weight gain by itself; it can also cause you to eat more (and we know what happens then).

  1. BREATHE. This might seem like common sense, but a lot of people don’t give themselves time to sit down, relax, and have a cup of hot coco. Co-workers and friends won’t be upset if you can’t make it to every event they have over the holidays. It’s okay to say no and have some “you” time.Β And that also goes for the people you invite to gatherings–don’t get upset if they can’t join you.
  2. It might be a little late for some, but I know people who still have gifts to buy! So, if that’s you, check out my December Saving Tips I posted awhile ago. There are useful tips on buying presents, energy bills, and other helpful ways to save.
  3. Avoid arguements. I’m sure most people have someone in their family that they don’t always get along with. Don’t stress about seeing this person. Dodge touchy subjects with them. And if they start getting riled up, try calming them down with the “it’s no big deal” strategy. If you don’t say anything back, they’ll let it go.
  4. Take off work. Some people only have two days off during the holidays. Ask for a couple more days or maybe even a week! If you don’t ask, it won’t happen. So, what’s the harm in trying?
  5. Last, but not least, be realistic. We all think (well, want) this Christmas to be the best yet! We think it will be that way every year when the holiday season rolls around. Plan everything out. Get all your presents early. Send cards early. This is all included here. Don’t expect so much that you know you’ll be let down.

If you have any tips, please share below! πŸ™‚

Only Way to Lose Weight: Part 2

I was going to wait at leWeight Loss Workoutast another week before I posted again about my weight loss journey, but I’m too excited to wait any longer! If you didn’t read my first weight loss post, I started my diet and exercise on 12/10/12, which was four days ago. And also, if you haven’t read, I’m using an app called Lose It to track what I eat, when I exercise, and how much weight I’m losing. I’ve been wanting to lose weight for a couple years now and I’m finally doing it!

The reason I’m posting this a few days early is due to the fact that I set my weight loss goal at 2 lbs. per week so I could reach 130 lbs. by April 4, 2013. By eating only the amount of calories Lose It has recommend, and starting on this 20 day beginner workout (click the picture to the left), I’ve already lost 5 lbs! That might seem like a small amount to some of you, but I’m happier than ever!

By eating less and eating healthier, I have gained so much energy! I have been able to get up early in the mornings with no extra help (I used to sleep until noon if no one woke me). I get hungry less often. And since my calorie limit is 1,192 calories a day, I use them sparingly. By that, I mean I separate those calories into: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If I’m lucky, I’ll have 100-200 calories left by the end of the day (which I normally don’t use), so there’s practically no room for sweets. Which also means, I’m craving them less!

Here are some quick, easy foods I’ve been eating:

Breakfast: Since I try to eat healthy, small breakfasts, my main go-to food is Honey Cluster Fiber One cereal. It’s delicious and super healthy! I eat about 1.5 cups of the cereal with 1 cup of Silk Soy Milk, which together, is Fiber One Honey Clustersonly about 350 calories! Although I haven’t strayed much from that, on a couple of days that I was out of milk I microwaved a packet of Instant Quaker Oatmeal (apples and cinnamon, mmm!). That’s only 200 calories when you make it with water!

Lunch: Now this is where I cheat a little. Most of the week I’ve stayed pretty healthy on this, but today and Tuesday I had ONE piece of pizza with a glass of water for lunch. Now, if you only eat ONE piece and nothing else, it doesn’t really mess up your calories for the day. But you have to keep in control. If there’s somewhere you can just buy one slice at a time, that’s what I would recommend. Also for lunch I’ve had: two plain scrambled eggs, a bowl of tomato soup, and a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Dinner: For dinner Monday I had cooked broccoli, carrots, and potatoes. Since then, I’ve been eating: cooked chicken, green beans, and raw carrots. Thursday night, my boyfriend and I were in town running errands around dinner time so we stopped by Wendy’s. Like I mentioned before, I used an app for that! I used Fast Food Nutrition to see what was something I could eat that had low calories. I went with a five piece chicken nugget with lemonade. πŸ™‚

At this point, I haven’t got to try many recipes and whatnot since it was finals week. BUT here to save the day–my Pinterest page! I’ve started a “Health Kick” board with recipes, workout tips, and routines. Let me know what you think!

If you have any healthy recipes feel free to share them below!

How to Study for Finals

StudyingIt’s finals week! I know everyone loves to hear that. Yeah, not really, I know. But hey! At least that means the semester is coming to a painfully slow end, right?!

Fortunately, for me, finals started Monday. I aced my Ecology final and got a B on my Comp 1 final. Now, the only one I have left is my Pre-Human history final, which is going to kill me.

We all have that one (or maybe two) final(s) that we know are going to be rough. That’s why I’m here to tell you about the magic of studying. And I’m not talking about re-reading your extensive notes over and over again. I’m talking about studying that actually works! Too many people try to cram the night before a test by reading chapters in their books multiple times until their brain is fried. If you do that, all you’ll do the next day is fall asleep halfway through your test because you can’t concentrate.

TOP 3 STUDY TECHNIQUES:

Flash cards: We always used them in elementary through high school, but are you still using them? And if you are, are you using them for every subject? You shouldn’t be! Flash cards are fantastic tFlash Cardsools for english, science and other courses with a lot of comprehension questions. English has tons of vocabulary words which work great with flash cards. This site has awesome flash card study games and even tests you can take with the words and definitions you enter.

Timeline:A timeline is probably the easiest way to study for a history final, which is the final I’m worried about. I have just constructed a timeline showing when Homo sapiens and their ancestors lived and what their characteristics were. I did my timeline on paper so I could make it pretty. πŸ™‚ But here is a site that will generate your timeline for you!

Sample Quizzes: This works best for math and science. Although I mentioned science in the flash card section, it can also be used here. This is because most science classes are half vocab – half equations. This quiz creator site has tons of ready-made math quizzes on multiple topics and it also allows you to create your own worksheets/sample tests.

These techniques aren’t just for college students or just for the courses I mentioned. They can be a applied to any subject or grade level! Let me know if these tips helped you — or if you have more studying tips you’d like to share! πŸ™‚

Only Way to Lose Weight

Lose Weight

So, I’m overweight. Anyone with me? I’m only overweight by about three points, according to this BMI calculator, but all the weight is in the wrong places (belly, muffin top, back, etc)! As much as I’d like to blame my weight on my massive amounts of muscle….I don’t have any.

Everyone (mostly my mom) has always told me: “Jessica, if you want to lose weight you’ve got to eat right and exercise!” Not to mention, every single diet plan or weight loss program I’ve researched says the same thing. No matter what it is, it’s the same thing. Even fad diets and the really expensive eating plans say “with proper exercise” at the end of everything. It’s just great.

I’ve never exercised. I had always hated gym class in middle school and high school. Now I’m in college, I have someone I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, and I still can’t wear a bikini? No, I was not havin’ it. It was time for me to buckle down!

I just started my diet and exercise and I’m using the Lose It app to track how and when I eat or exercise. It’s really a fantastic app and it’s FREE. I started by entering my weight, height and age. Then, I entered my weight goal and how much I wanted to lose per week. I started at 163 pounds and my weight loss goal is 130 pounds. According to the app, by losing two pounds per week, I will have reached my goal by April 4, 2013. That’s less than four months away!

UPDATE 2/14/13: I’ve now switched to the My Fitness Pal app. I has more variety on foods and exercise.

Here are some other awesome apps that will help you achieve the same goals: Noom, Fooducate, CSPI

I’ll be tracking my weight loss on here: posting healthy meals and exercise plans I try out. If I’m feeling really brave, I might end up posting before and after pictures in a couple months, but we’ll see how it goes! Until then, here’s a very condensed list of healthy eating and workout tips!

  1. Only eat when you are hungry. This is what I struggle with the most. There were just so many times I would look in the fridge and see something so deliciously fattening, I had to eat it. If you ONLY eat when you’re hungry, it’s almost impossible to over eat!Stretch!
  2. If you do decide to work out, stretch, especially if you’re new to working out. Many times I tried and failed at losing weight, it was because I’d do a super hard workout without stretching or warming up at all. When I did that, my muscles were painfully sore — so much that I could barely sit down the next couple days, let alone work out.
  3. Instead of dessert, eat fruit! It is natures candy. Pears are my favorite because of how sweet they are. If you can, buy the freshest fruit possible, or maybe even grow your own! It tastes better off the tree and it’s loads healthier.
  4. Find out what is the easiest for YOU. We all know sit-ups, push-ups, and lunges are a good workout, and maybe it is for you. But for me, I find jumping jacks, planks, and walking to be much easier! Once I get used to doing those, I’ll probably level up to some more challenging routines.
  5. Last, but only last on this list — use apps! I know I say it a lot, but if you have access to these amazing tools, why not use them? I’m talking about apps that can find healthy items on the menu almost wherever you are! Check out this website for some examples, but don’t be afraid to research a couple on your own!

I hope you all gained something from reading this article, whether it be the tips, or just motivation to start getting in shape with me! Feel free to post some of your eating and exercise tips below! πŸ™‚

About My Blog

Josh and I

I know I’m not the only one who searches for hours on the internet just to find out that no one has written anything on the subject I’m searching for. Well, that stops here! I started this blog to post tips on things such as beauty, crafts, school, saving money, and so much more! And if at anytime there is something you want to know how to do, or something you simply can’t find online, shoot me a comment or message and I will get it on here ASAP! I’m only here to help. πŸ™‚

For the most part, I’m an average girl. I wear average clothes. I live in an average home in a small town. I graduated high school in May this year and, since then, I haven’t had much “me time.” So, this is my new start in the real world. Throughout this blog, I will expand my known knowledge as well as my viewers with my ‘how-to’ tutorials and experiments.

So, if you have any ideas to get this blog rollin’, let me know!

For this first post, I’m going to start with one of the simplest go-to, easy hair do’s for when I’m rushing. I’m sure many of you have heard of the fishtail braid, but if not, you’re in for a treat. It only takes about five minutes once you get the hang of it and there’s a lot of different ways to do it!

In a nutshell, the easiest way to do this braid is to separate your hair into two chunks. Then, take small pieces from each chunk and tightly braid them together, one piece after the other — just like you would do a normal three strand braid. For first-timers, here’s the step-by-step!

  1. Separate hair evenly down the middle.
  2. Take a small piece from underneath left side and pull it over the top of that section. Then, place it with the right section.
  3. Take a small piece from the right side and join it with the left.
  4. Continue this process until all of your hair is in the braid.
  5. Tie it off with a rubber band (only use rubber bands made for hair, or else it will cause damage).

If you need a visual you can check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smJvLUl89ko. That’s where I learned how to do a fishtail braid!