Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My fav healthy snacks

As I said yesterday I was going to write about some of my favorite healthy snacks that Ive really relied on to help me loose weight. I must shamelessly admit that when I sat down to start writing this I had my hand elbow deep in the potato chip bag. So I guess I need to listen to some of my own advice tonight. 

The biggest thing I usually look for in a snack is something that will provide me protein to satisfy my feelings of hunger. Not all of these have that but most of them do. Sometimes I am just simply looking for something to satisfy my munchies or my sweet tooth and the items on this list are also great for that as well.

Handful of Dry Roasted Almonds

Dry roasted almonds are packed with protein as well as healthy fats. I usually eat these as my breakfast mixed with some dried fruits to satisfy my sweet tooth. You would be amazed how a handful of almonds will hold back your feelings of hunger.

No Sugar Added Applesauce

My coworker makes fun of me for eating my applesauce cups because I guess that's what old people eat in the hospital to take their medicine with. I personally eat it because it satisfies my sweet tooth but the sugars from the apples can help give you a natural energy boost toward the end of your work day. Anything that prepackages the serving size as well is a great help to tracking points on Weight Watchers.

Apples and Peanut Butter

I love me some apples. Especially when you spread some yummy peanut butter on them! Just make sure to keep it around a Tablespoon cause that stuff adds up real fast. 

Fruit Cups in 100% Fruit Juice

Can you tell I have a sweet tooth yet? My body literally craves sugar more than anything else. Id say even more than water. So these fruit cups really help me to not only get my fruit intake, get a natural energy boost and stay low calorie with 100% fruit juice. Sometimes it can be really hard to avoid the ice cream and candy but these help a lot.

1 Cup of Low Fat Cottage Cheese

I dont think the low fat part is that important but the lower the calories the more I can have. :) Again its packed with a great amount of protein and you can even eat it with fruit or vegetables. I personally just like it with some salt and pepper. 

1/2 Cup of Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is great because its packed with a little more protein than regular yogurt. I don't know about you guys but if you've ever looked at the nutrition information on regular yogurt its almost as bad as eating a candy bar! So the "Greek" part of this is very important. Make sure you are only using the "original" or lightly sweetened flavors because they have less sugar added. Incorporating some fresh fruit into the yogurt will give you the natural sugars to sweeten it up. 

Handful of Jerky

This is one of my favorite snacks I think out of all of these. A handful is all you need! The jerky has great flavor, lots of protein and you can chew on one bite for a long time. I usually eat my jerky on my way home from the gym to fill my body with muscle building protein.

1 Cup of Popcorn

Now, don't get it mixed up when I say popcorn and translate that to "Movie theater popcorn with extra butter" because that's definitely not what I mean. I like to buy the Smart Pop snack size bags because they are the perfect snack size and I think are around 100 calories. There isn't honestly much nutritional value, but it satisfies the munchies. My favorite flavor is the Kettle Corn. Yum!

Hard Boiled Egg

I sometimes have a weird dislike for eggs, but I've found hard boiled eggs are great for breakfast. I usually cook up about 5-6 eggs to last me my work week and on my way to work Ill eat it in the car. If you want to make it a little healthier, just eat the egg white and not the yolk. 

3 WhoNu? Cookies

I know its Girl Scout cookie season, but READ YOUR LABELS!! Those Samoas are a whopping 150 calories for 2 cookies and there is less than 1g of protein and fiber. WhoNu? has 160 calories for 3 cookies, 2g of protein and 3g of fiber. Its absolutely a processed food, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. Nutritious and delicious! They have about 6 different kinds of cookies so look for them at the grocery store.

1/2 an Its-It (or any of your favorite treat)

Less is more! My point being, you can learn to feel satisfied with just a few bites. I know I've mentioned these on here before, but they are my absolute favorite sweet thing to eat, EVER! They have been a real diet killer, but I've discovered if I only eat a half at a time its honestly not that bad. You can do this with any of your favorite treats. You can find them at Safeway and New Seasons, and I'm sure Whole Foods has them as well if you want to give them a try. Watch out though, they are dangerous!

If anyone out there is trying to loose weight I hope these have been helpful. I usually rotate through these so I dont get bored with the selection of healthy options. What have you guys found to be a great healthy snack to keep you on track?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My personal weight loss story

There is no secret about the fact that I've lost going on 45 pounds since last January. Looking back it was so easy putting on all that weight and it was absolutely more of a challenge getting it to come off. I have no idea why its so much harder to loose weight than it is to gain, but I never really realized how much I had gained until I tried to get it off. I get a lot of questions from customers at my work who have seen me loose my weight. There seems to be a reoccurring question that I get more often than not, "How did you loose your weight?", as if its some secret that I'm keeping from the rest of the world. Like I discovered this weird diet like eating nothing but kale and skittles. Who knew? 

Honestly, I ate so badly for so long that I didn't know what a proper portion was. I remember eating to the point of immense discomfort because I was so full and then 20 minutes later I was still wanting to eat. I never really felt satisfied and I think it was because I was eating to numb pains inside of me and food was my medicine. I had gotten myself to 196 pounds and I was really struggling with that number. I think I wanted to be ok with it, but I knew deep down that I really didn't like myself, and Id never like myself if I was at this weight. Im jealous of girls who are proud of their plus size figures because Id love to be right there with them. I love food so much and I really liked having some womanly curves, but my problem with my weight was all mental. Why I gained and why I was using food to comfort myself. 

I finally hit my breaking point and Ill never forget it. I had made dinner for Nathan and I had gone all out with a big meal. I think it was some sort of baked chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables. I piled my plate so full and I ate every single bite. I remember looking down at the plate and feeling so insanely full and completely angry with myself for eating all that food. I felt these feelings of being out of control. I couldnt choose to not eat. I needed to eat and to feel that feeling of full and to taste every delicious bite for as long as possible. I hated myself, my body, my inability to stop. 

The next morning I decided I was done. I was done feeling bad about myself and depressed and I needed to change. I got up and signed up at the gym and worked out. I went to the grocery store and bought all new food for the house. I signed up for Weight Watchers to try a new eating plan and I decided to take it day by day. Weight Watchers got it all started for me. They taught me how to eat again and showed me what a real portion looked like. I felt self control and allowed myself to feel hungry. Coming home from the gym feeling sore and sweaty was like a new high for me instead of feeling so full from eating.

I started at 196 pounds and I set my goal to 150. Currently I am weighing in around 153 which blows my mind. I remember setting my goal and thinking, "yeah right Carly, that's impossible", but it wasn't  Ten pounds seemed possible. 20 pounds seemed like a lot of work and 30 pounds seemed like I was never going to eat again. It was scary to face the fact that I could completely fail at loosing the weight and I think that is what kept me from starting for so long. I didn't want to work so hard and put so much effort into loosing weight and not see it come off. I think what my secret ingredient to my success was determination. I was determined to change, to feel better about myself, to be different. That cookie or candy or beer just wasn't worth the few seconds of pleasure like seeing the pounds coming off had. 

I started with Weight Watchers and I had great success with it, but I was honestly only using the program consistently for a few months until I got my routine down. If you follow the program like its meant to be followed you don't really track points after a while. I used it more as accountability. Knowing every Monday I was going to get on the scale to weigh myself and track my weight for the week online. About 6 months in a cancelled my subscription with them and just lived my new life.

I still have a huge fear of gaining my weight back. I'm scared that Ill slowly have less and less control and pound after pound will come back on. I feel like when you loose a significant amount of weight people are always waiting to see when you start putting it back on. Like its expected the weight you lost will be gained again eventually. I cant let that fear trap me into justifying using food as a dependency for my insecurity. I don't think my weight loss experience will ever come to an end because I'm sure it will be a battle I fight forever.

I really wish I had a full body picture of myself at my heaviest but I hated being in front of the camera at that point. I know there were some pictures taken of the at Christmas right before I lost weight but I think they got lost on my parents computer that crashed. I considered taking a "before" picture of myself the morning I had decided enough was enough, but the fear of failure inside of me won. I couldn't stand having a picture of myself wondering if it was just going to end up taunting me about the fact that I couldn't do it. 

I dont know where else to document these other than here. I wish I had done a better job of keeping track each week taking a picture of how my body was changing but like I said the fear of failure always held me back a little until I really started seeing real results. 

If anyone has any other pictures of me from October 2011 to January 2012 Ill gladly taken them as a great reminder of how far Ive come! Please send them to my email. 

Here we go!

 I think this was around October 2011, still had not hit my heaviest.

 My birthday January 2012, at my heaviest.

 February 2012. I had already lost about 10 pounds.

 April of 2012. I think I was around 20 pounds down here. 

May of 2012. Not sure how much I lost at this point.

August of 2012. 

August 2012. 35 pounds down.

September 2012

December 2012

December 2012

I haven't really lost much more since December, maybe just a few pounds. Id love to be down to 145, I think that would be my ideal weight, but right now I'm more focused on staying on track and getting more fit at the gym.

Share your success stories with me or let me know if you have any additional questions on what worked for me. I encourage anyone out there who desires to loose weight to really sit down and set a whole day aside to getting everything prepared to start your weight loss journey. It put my mind in the right place to close the door to weight gain and open the door to weight loss and not look back.

This week I'm going to share some of my favorite snacks that have helped me reign in my hunger between meals. Keep an eye out!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The American Dream

I dont think there are many things more American than a great piece of pizza and an old fashioned Grape Soda. 

Nathan is on a mission to find his favorite pizza in Portland. One of my favorites is Escape From New York on 23rd. If you have eaten there, GO.

Friday, February 22, 2013

So hungry

It isnt a good idea to go through the pictures on your phone when you are hungry...because it makes you even more hungry. Oh man! Thankfully Nathan gets home in like 10 minutes and Im gonna eat it up!

What a stud. :)

This last picture makes my stomach growl. SO GOOD!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birchbox: February Follow Up

Today has been a crazy day. My work had a big event tonight that we have been planning for the last month and a half and we were setting up all day. It went well but once I got home I was exhausted. Even though I was so tired, I knew I wanted to do another video to tell you all what I thought about the products I got in my Birchbox last night after using them this morning. If you missed that, read it here.

This weekend I will write about some of my favorite beauty products I use. Keep an eye out for it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birchbox: February

Birchbox is here!! Yay!

I thought it would be best to make a video of whats inside because its fun. I tried using my iPhone to record the video and I was amazed at how easy it was. I also downloaded this super cool App called Splice that helped me edit any silly/ugly faces I made. :) If any of you have a better App suggestion for video editing please tell me!

Frankie decided she needed to jump off and on the chair the whole time with her ball. You can also hear her chase the cat at one point and  the sound her ball makes when she throws it off the bed. 

Tomorrow Ill probably be trying some of the products I received  I already ate my chocolate and it was de-licious! I'm most looking forward to trying the TIGI Catwalk hair product because I love products that help my hair. 

If you have any questions or your own reviews on any of these products leave a comment. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Im doing this blog thing

I've been thinking about what it is that I want from this blog, and the answer is that I really don't know. I've thought about writing a blog many times and I enjoy reading other blogs. I think it just made sense to start one at this point in my life. The last few years have been a long road and I've felt very lost on it. Id say there have been more hard challenging times than good and its taken its toll on me and who I thought I was. I've asked myself many times, "who am I, who are my friends, what are my passions?" and those seem like questions that everyone should know the answer to for the most part, but I didn't. More like, still don't. 

 Lately I've been thinking a lot about when I was in college and I was so sure of what I was doing. I had a plan and I thought the path to that plan was so clear. There was definite fear mixed in with my plan but I don't think I was fully aware that life doesn't always happen the way we think we have it planned out. I had such high expectations for what I thought was going to happen once I was done with college and when it didn't turn out the way I expected and I experienced a huge loss. My hopes and dreams soon turned into a reality of working part time at Macys so I could simply live. I couldn't pay my student loans and I was floundering in the debt I had gained by going to school. It felt so defeating to realize I couldn't prevent what was about to happen; default and failure. 

The job finding experience has been interesting I must say. I even have a folder on my computer that simply says, "job finding folder" with resumes and cover letters up-the-wazoo (hah, never had to write that out before). Thankfully I've had my current job for almost two and a half years and I'm thankful for the opportunity and security it provides, but that doesn't mean I'm not clouded by the years it took me to find it. Mixed in with those few years of struggling to find work I also experienced a very huge trauma which I know has also played a major role in all of this. I might talk about that at some point, but the residual effects of feeling all the failure with my career I think lead me to question myself and what I thought I wanted out of life. I'm hesitant to put myself out there because I'm afraid of the failure or feeling like I'm not good enough. Insert blog creation. 

I'm using the blog for me.
for my husband
 to be creative
to discover my passions
to try new things
to push myself
to experience failure again
to experience triumph
to gain self confidence
to be silly and weird
to have an outlet
to feel sure of myself

It seems strange sometimes to write about life and post it on the internet, but I think I kind of like that. I like the idea of discovering a community of people that possibly share the same interests as me. I hope people can laugh with me, cry with me, explore with me and enjoy the fact that I desire to share my life with them so we can all grow and know who we are. 

Right now the only people who really read this are my friends and family and I appreciate the support. I think everyone can relate to feeling a little lost after experiencing some personal tragedy's but I hope everyone who reads this will get enjoyment out of it. 

Love you all - Carly

Monday, February 18, 2013

Good Morning

This morning I wake up to Leela laying right on my chest as she usually does. Right about 7:30 every morning its either her climbing on top of me to snuggle or attacking my feet because she thinks it the best time of day to be crazy cat. 

I all of a sudden realize Stig (our Fiat) is parked on the street at the meter and I've got to go put change into the machine. Nathan and I both don't work on Mondays and we happen to live downtown where the meter police love to give us tickets when we sleep in on Mondays. Thank you Leela for waking me up so I don't add to our plethora of tickets already. 

While I'm going outside I may as well take the Franken Pooper out (our dog who has many names referencing her poop), because if I'm getting up and going all the way outside just to put change in the machine I may as well let her out at the same time. 

As I'm walking Frankie I notice the fact that I'm wearing all grey and I happened to write a post about grey yesterday. Is it just a coincidence or do I like grey? A guy walks past me making weird eye contact and I don't know if its because I'm the weirdo standing on the side of the sidewalk taking pictures of my dog pooping, because I'm the weirdo wearing all grey, or because he is a weirdo and happens to find a girl wearing all grey taking pictures of her dog pooping attractive. So I just awkwardly smiled and said good morning.

I take my all grey weirdo butt back up to the house, crawl back in bed and it dawns on me that its Presidents Day and there was no need to put change into the meter at all. Awesome... Frankie falls back asleep cuddling next to me and now I'm wide awake.

Ill admit, if this is the worst my case of the Mondays gets than Ill take it. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Neutral Grey

In the next few weeks I'm planning on redecorating our bathroom. I've bought a new shower curtain already and I've been playing around with some paint colors. Ironically my shower curtain looks almost exactly like my blog background...can you tell I'm a little obsessed with the chevron right now? Cause its awesome.

1: Sherwin Williams Restful  2: Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray  3: Cost Plus World Market Shower Curtain  4: Cost Plus Gray Towels  4: Cost Plus Glass Jars

I'm planning on using the Sherwin Williams paint color called Restful (1) on the wall behind the toilet that is currently painted a yellow. I've picked out a color called Mindful Gray (2) to be used as a neutral color through the house in our bedroom, entry and back living room. I think I may paint the other walls in the bathroom this color so the green really pops. 

Anyone else have a hard time selecting paint colors? Even though I have my Interior Design degree I feel like I always second guess myself when it comes to picking out paint colors for my own home. I like the idea of using the light grey as a neutral instead of a beige tone, especially because we just bought these fantastic wing chairs from Ikea that are grey.

Ill probably second guess myself like 10 times before I actually buy any paint but I think I have a little more of a direction for my house than I've ever had. Since we bought some new furniture for our house recently, redecorating our house has become a little bit of a personal mission. I feel like I'm transitioning from a newly married person who had hand me down everything, to an adult who is ready to have my house represent me and my style. I've appreciated my hand me down furniture but its SO exciting to be able to pick out my own shit and like it.

We also had a pretty fun time in Cost Plus World Market. I love this store because there is such a variety of things to look at and play around with. They also have some of my favorite snacks so I had to hold back my desire to eat everything. 

Nathan had a fun time with some of the toys too. 

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine Hearts

I cant let Valentines Day pass me by without taking advantage of the opportunity to do some seriously fun nails! Insert my slightly creepy heart nail idea. I only say creepy because I had to file my nails into points to make the heart shape which I would never normally do, but I'm kind of in love with this. What do you guys think?

Tomorrow I have some fun plans up my sleeve for Nathan. We gave each other a $26 dollar budget each. It was originally $20 but I ended up spending six dollars more and it was only fair I give him six extra dollars too. ;)

Growing up, Valentines Day in my family was always fun. My Mom and Dad would leave baskets of things for each of us on the kitchen counter and when we got up to get ready for school we had it waiting for us to open. Even as an adult, sometimes on holidays like this what I like the most are the little things like a small treat or love card verses something big and expensive. Its not the money that you spend, its the effort that counts. 

Happy Valentines Day! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cream & Sugar

Vintage things have a way with my heart and the second I saw this adorable cream and sugar set on my sisters Etsy store MN Creative Designs, I knew they had to be mine. 

My kitchens colors are black, red and cream. I already have some Fiestaware that is red and the red pin stripe on the cream and sugar set is the exact same color. I honestly wont use the creamer dish very often but it will stay sitting on the counter looking cute and Ill put some creamer in it when guests are over. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Neti Pot

Its been a few days since I've posted anything, mainly due to the fact that I have the plague. Im currently sitting in a sea of used tissues and cough drop wrappers. This weekend Nathan and I went and picked up all our new furniture from Ikea and I barely got through all the set up. I wanted to take a nap so badly when we got home but our bed was leaning up against the wall because we purchased a new frame. So before I could get under the covers and sleep I was on my knees assembling the bed with Nathan. 

I thought I was feeling good enough to go eat some dinner so I got dressed and we headed down to this sports bar we like called Main Event. Of course I forgot to bring tissues with me so I asked for some extra napkins and the bar tender came out with a box of Kleenex and a cup for me to put the used ones into. I was slightly embarrassed because I had the box sitting in front of me for everyone to see but at the same time I didn't care because I was so thankful for something soft to wipe my nose on. 

We had plans on watching The Walking Dead at a local theater after dinner. I quickly realized after almost dying on a piece of a toffee peanut that I should be at home in bed. Nathan stayed and watched the show and I walked home and was so happy to be in my new bed filling myself full of medicine to try and feel better. 

One of the things that I haven't been able to survive without every time I get sick is a Neti Pot. This thing works miracles in the nasal department. It was really weird to use at first and it took me a few times to not choke on the water but now I try to use it on a fairly regular basis and at least twice a day when I get sick. Back in October I got a terrible sinus infection while I was on a business trip. I didn't have my Neti Pot with me and was miserable the whole time on my trip. When I got home I used the Neti Pot and my sinus infection was gone in a matter of a few days. 

Here is a cheesy video of how to use it. Next time you go to the store pick one up and keep it in your medicine cabinet or start using it on a regular basis. I highly recommend it!

There is some controversy out there about the Neti Pot. I suggest you use filtered water or bottled water with the Neti Pot because tap water could potentially have bacteria or pathogens which you would then be putting directly into your nasal passage. Other than that, its a life saver!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Butt Cream, Aspirin and Eye Drops

That's right, butt cream, Aspirin and eye drops are all supposed to help with the relief of our best of friend, acne. 

At 27 I thought Id be way past acne break outs but it looks like that aint so. I still get those nasty little suckers poking their way through my skin and I'm still trying to find the best ways to fight them off. I was on Pintrest and saw these interesting Pins about unusual remedies for acne. I thought this would be the perfect time to try them out because I've been breaking out a lot more than usual recently.

TMI Carly,

I used the eye drops tonight on a couple pimples and I did notice them decreasing in size a little. I didnt see the redness decrease as much as I thought but I could notice more in the morning. Ill keep you guys updated over the next week on my findings!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tuna Salad Deliciousness

I cant even believe I am saying this, but, Im starting to like fish. 

I have always hated fish and anything that came out of the ocean. When I started loosing weight I really challenged myself to try new things and fish became one of them because I started trying sushi. Sometimes I couldn't handle sushi and other times Id crave it. Now, I crave it no matter what. I'm not really sure what changed but now I'm even eating fish that isn't on or in sushi. I'm sure my Mom is completely shocked, right Mom?

Nathan has always love tuna salad sandwiches because they were a staple in his house when he was growing up. One day he was making one and I was hungry so I said if he made it Id try it. And you know what? I loved it. I decided to search for a recipe and put my own spin on it because Nathans was a little too bland.

I found this recipe on All and I tweaked it just a bit. 

2 five ounce cans of white albacore tuna
7 Tbsp real mayonnaise
1-1/2 Tbsp powered Parmesan
4 Tbsp sweet relish or 3 Tbsp of dill relish (I personally prefer the dill because it has a little more flavor)
1/8 tsp dry minced onion
1/8 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dill weed
1 pinch of garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice
A few twists of Trader Joes Everyday Seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Romaine or Ice Berg lettuce
Cheese of choice
Bread of choice

Love that Daves Killer Bread came out with a "Light" version!

Yum yum!

You basically put everything into a bowl, mix it all together, lightly toast your bread, put a little more mayonnaise on the bread with your cheese, lettuce and mustard. It seems like a lot of seasoning, but I've noticed if you don't season it well the bread takes over all the flavor. I think some may like a tomato on it but I personally don't like tomatoes.

Try it and put your own personal spin on it!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It: Cat Nails

This week for Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It I did a Pin that I've had on my Fashion & Beauty board for probably about a year. I'm always trying new things with my nails and I love looking at nail ideas on Pintrest and this was one I saw, thought was cute but never got around to trying. 

How mine turned out

I made a little video to talk about what I did and how. Its my first one and my camera is not that great so Ill try to make improvements to this eventually. 

The tools I used for this Pin are:
OPI Alpine Snow

The next time I try something like this I will use a tool like a nail dotter and a thin small brush to create the mouth and whiskers of the cat. I found after trying this Pin you can create your own nail dotter by taking a pencil with an eraser and you then stick a needle in the end. I'm sure you could also use a tooth pick or the point of the needle as well to create the mouth and whiskers of the cat. 

Leave a comment with a suggestions of what you would like to see me try or leave me a link to a Pin.


I tried this again using a pin as a dotter and to create the lines with the sharp side. My sister has a cat that is white with grey ears so I tried it out like the original pin. I think it turned out so much better than the first time!