Pro Naps & Pig Pens

I have a case of the Mondays and I don’t think you’re really allowed to have that case if you have Monday’s off. Don’t hate me.

This weekend I worked my first 12 hour midnight shift in over two years and LET ME TELL YOU–home girl can’t hang anymore.

To the nurses who do this shift night after night-year after year-I salute you-because 24 hours later and I’m still a walking zombie–but hey–I’m showered–and I even made home made waffles this morning!

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I started on the Advocare train this past winter and it has really changed my life–but this summer my clean eating life style has kind of flown the coop and I’m feeling all sorts of sluggish again–bring me all the dairy queen blizzards–yea that’s me.

Plus — Lake County Fair’s in town and you might as well just get your stretch pants out the day after you visit that place.

Corn dogs–lemonade <aka sugarade> Ice cream–you name it we ate it–then we went and smelled the pigs.

I kind of felt like one too after all of the above. Like I could have laid right down in the pen with them. Seriously.

But this picture of my lovies–ALL THE FEELS isn’t it?!

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So today I’m sitting on my little front porch steps sippin my Spark instead of brewing a pot of coffee–I can’t promise I won’t get an iced one from the drive thru later but for now–I’m still clean.

Clean and enjoying the peace right now. My three year old is anti-naps these days. But this mom is PRO NAP. So we still do this whole “rest time” thing for a couple hours.

She sings–tells stories–all up there in her bed. She’ll give me a whole set of songs belting it out loud and proud–until she’s done–then the “MOOOOOOOOM” “MOOOOOMMMMAAAA” “MOMMMMMY LET ME OUT” starts and well–my rest time is  over for the day.

I’m pretty sure she’s on her last song of the set for the day so until next time-

xo,

Kate

Weekend Fun + Swag Light Love

Friday while my sweet girl napped I shopped for some more goods for our booth at the store. I’m so excited to place this next order and it just keeps getting more fun stocking this space!

I got a call that one of our tables sold at the store so I knew I needed to do a quick restock and some rearranging after Emelia woke up from her nap.

Of course we were running on limited time and it was asking WAY too much for a little girl to get out of those jimmies post nap time. So off we went-fleece jimmies and all-in 80+ degree weather I might add.

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I’m OBSESSING over these cotton stems lately ! They soften up any room and are honestly to die for! It’s been a little torture having to keep them at the booth and none for home.

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That little table got a great makeover and I think it fills the middle of the booth perfectly right now.

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Saturday morning we made our way up to the farmer’s market.  Apple fritters, fresh flowers, and fruit cups made it the perfect morning trip.

Emelia headed back to my mom’s while I ran to Costco to get a few main items I needed to restock my fridge with.

After one too many Dairy Queen blizzards this week I was back to clean eating again this Saturday. One of my favorite lunches right now is this home made salad topped with chicken, craisins, and cucumbers + my favorite dressing by Bolthouse! Can you say DELISH?

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We’ve recently added a swag light above our kitchen sink and I’m in love. It really added something to that empty space.

Swag Light | Lowes

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Those flowers from the market add the perfect accent for this weekend. There’s just nothing like fresh flowers! IMG_3922

Hope you had a great weekend!

xo,
Kate

Kitchen Remodel + New Shop Add

 I didn’t want to post the kitchen until it was 100% done but hardware and window treatments may be a year down the road.

I blogged this week about the small business shops that are helping us launch our new Simply Emelia space and Linen & Lace shop have arrived!

So what better time to show you our kitchen remodel than with the brand new “kitchen” sign we’ve added to our counter space and also to our booth for you!!

The kitchen has been the biggest transformation [in my opinion]. There were about 5 layers of floor in the kitchen alone. Don’t ask me why??

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The ceiling was moldy.

The cabinets were crusty.

It smelled.

We gutted it. Completely.

I knew exactly what I wanted for this space. It started with the ceiling. My husband and family took down the existing ceiling for me as I painted to achieve an old barn, wood, distressed, look onto 150 boards.

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We added off white cabinets and black granite counter tops as well as all new stainless steel appliances + all new windows and dark trim to match the original trim in the front of our house.

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We originally were going to do white subway tile but because our house was built in the 1930’s pretty much nothing is even so we opted for a white mosaic tile with off white grout to blend with the cabinets.

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The kitchen had potential with the original lay out for an eat in area. By opening the floor plan up we’ve been able to utilize the space even more.

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The most recent addition to the room my mom purchased for us at the Hunt and Gather Market.

Our beautiful kitchen island is an old industrial cart that Back Wood Designs transformed by placing a beautiful, hand cut, refinished piece of wood for the top. I can’t take credit for this find–this one absolutely goes to my husband and I love what it does to the space!

Thanks Mom & Hubby!

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So there it is. Our kitchen transformation and our new sign from Linen & Lace shop displayed on our counter top. Get yours now at Antiques on Main in the Simply Emelia booth or at Linen & Lace shop online!

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xo,

Kate

Starting The Next Chapter

We officially started a new chapter and launched the new space last week and I’m just so over the moon about it. It’s been a true blessing to be able to create this!

What brings me more joy though is who we are creating it with and what the space represents.

Over a month or so ago when the booth was offered to me I questioned for a moment whether or not the timing was right. Could I do this by myself? Did I have the time?

In that next moment though–something was telling me–

“Why do you have to do this by yourself?”

That’s where it all started and that’s when I gave Antiques On Main a quick “YES!”.

I know Jesus continues to lay things on my heart. I know the introvert I am. It was so common for me to go into this wondering how I was going to do this solo, but he quickly calls on my heart to do otherwise.

That’s when I felt called to reach out to other small businesses  that I’ve grown to love and from there it just all came together.

Parris Chic Boutique

Their products go deeper than pretty things to decorate your home with. This line of home & wedding décor is meant to speak truth and help you celebrate and cherish the love in your life.  All Parris Chic Boutique items are handmade from start to finish here at our shop in Allentown, New Jersey. They test each and every item to deliver you the highest quality products on the market.

And now I get to offer them to you in the Simply Emelia booth! I couldn’t be more thrilled!!

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Antique Candle Works

They’re a small candle making team dedicated to creating the best smelling candles hand poured in Chesterton, Indiana.They use wax from domestically grown soy beans and fine fragrance oils. These candles are clean burning and long-lasting. AND AMAZING

Brittany and I met through the local Hunt & Gather event and clicked immediately. This girl is one of the nicest people I have ever met and her candles are the BEST!

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Linen & Lace Shop 

I found Brittani through one of my favorite bloggers and she did a custom piece for our new house. Linen & Lace is a husband and wife team! Every piece of their art is cut, sanded, painted and treated by their own two hands.
Their mission is to inspire your heart and soul with words, using hand lettering calligraphy for your everyday life.

Linen & Lace will be added to our booth later this week! I’m so excited to have her special touch in our space! And to bring her love to you all the way from TEXAS!

My Father-in-law

I dont have a special link to offer you for this man but I have so much pride and so much happiness fills my heart knowing we get to display his beauty for others to appreciate. We’ll be adding custom, handmade wood worked pieces here and there to fill our space with natural woods over time. He handmade my headboard in our current new home <view here> and has created a smaller, BEAUTY,  twin size bed version for our booth space! He’s one of the most humble people I know and is extremely talented!

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We’ll be adding more small shops here and there and are so excited about this journey ahead!

xo,

Kate

24 Day Challenge Experience/Recipes

This is a log I kept for my first 24 Day Challenge with Advocare. It’s pretty lengthly as it contains every meal / snack I ate as well as recipes I used during my challenge. I am in no way a nutritional expert or an expert with Advocare. This is simply a log of my journey I kept.  I have continued to eat this way post challenge with success!

Day 1

I was a total skeptic of this program, I gave the Spark a try the first morning in the back of my mind telling myself I still was going to drink my coffee if I didn’t like it. I was surprised to find that I actually liked Spark !
My challenge came with the Mango Strawberry packs so every morning I would have that with breakfast and it was very similar to drinking an orange juice. It has continued to be my favorite so far 4 months later and I continue to drink this every morning.
I have totally given up coffee [AT HOME] post challenge. I do drink typically 1 iced coffee a day or every other day when I’m not doing a challenge.
Breakfast 7:00-8:00 AM
-Fiber drink (disgusting, but suck it up and just drink it)
-One egg with hot sauce and a banana.
( I laugh at myself for this one egg now. But I had no clue what I was doing. Thank goodness for an amazing coach who was there for me to communicate with my entire challenge who told me to eat 2-3 eggs in the morning if that is what I was choosing for breakfast. )
Snack 9:30-10:30 AM
pretty much 90% of the time my morning snack was my meal replacement shake. This was a common time for me to be in the car. Whether I was out seeing patients or running errands with my toddler, it was the quickest, easiest way to get a nutritious snack in for the morning. 
Lunch 12:30-1:30
-1 cup Brown Rice with Quinoa
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(These are from Costco and come in the heat and serve bags, I can get two meals out of them usually and they are so flavorful and great for a few days at a time. )
-1 cup steamed broccoli
-1 cup roasted sweet potatoes
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Slice sweet potatoes to your liking. Sprinkle with your favorite spices ( I use onion powder and pepper or cinnamon typically). Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are slightly soft. Again, these are great to reheat for the week. 
Snack 2:30-3:30
I didn’t snack this first day. I tried to snack twice a day throughout the challenge, but I did have days where I let the business of life take over. I truly believe eating 5 times a day retrained my  metabolism and helped me to lose weight so I make a conscious effort to try do this–but again–I’m human and forget sometimes.  
Dinner 5:30-6:30
                                         On occasion I eat dinner after 7, but I really try not to.
Baked chicken fajitas with onion and peppers
(no tortilla this meal)
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Recipe:
3-4 raw chicken breasts cut into small pieces
1 red pepper sliced into strips
1 yellow pepper sliced into strips
1 onion chopped
Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken, onions, and peppers
Stir well
Bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 25-30 minutes
The chicken fajitas are great and are picky husband approved! They also make great leftovers for lunch the following day!
Snack: 
Cravings for chocolate sucked that first night! During your challenge you should limit dairy products. For me to stay on track with this program though I found that if I ate greek yogurt at my worst sweet craving of the day I was able to overcome it. Here are a few of my favorites. Again, this should be limited but you have to do what works for you to succeed. 
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Day 2:
Majorly missing my coffee this morning.
Breakfast:
-Fiber Drink
-Spark
-three eggs with hot sauce and 1/2 avocado
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Snack:
Meal Replacement shake
Lunch:
-Leftover chicken fajitas on whole wheat tortilla
– 1 cup of strawberries
These are my favorite whole wheat tortillas. I get them at Target or Stracks.
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Snack:
-Spark
– 1 serving of almonds
-Banana
Dinner:
-Turkey Chili
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Recipe:
1 pound ground turkey cooked and drained
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1-28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1-16 oz can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-16 ox can of chili beans 
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tsp dried oregano
1 Tsp cumin
Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours. 
Turkey chili was again, picky husband approved and is another great lunch option for the following day! 
Snack:
-1 serving of almonds
-Yogurt
Day three
Breakfast:
-Fiber Drink
-Spark
-3 eggs with hot sauce and avocado
This is one of my go to breakfasts if you cannot tell
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-leftover turkey chili
-sweet potatoes
Dinner:
Turkey burger lettuce wrap with mustard
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I season my burgers with black pepper and onion powder
Snack:
-1 serving of almonds
-Yogurt
Day 4: 
Breakfast:
-Fiber drink
-Spark
-Three eggs with hot sauce
Snack:
Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-Turkey burger on a lettuce wrap with mustard
-Banana
Snack:
-Strawberries
-Spark
Dinner:
-Brown Rice California Sushi roll
purchased pre-made at the sushi bar from a local grocery store 
-Grapes
Snack:
-1 serving of almonds
-yogurt
Day 5:
Breakfast:
-Fiber Drink
-Spark
-3 Ingredient [NO CARB] banana waffles
[with berries and pure maple syrup]
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Recipe:
Blend 1 whole banana, 2 eggs, and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in your food processor until you have formed a batter consistency. Place batter in your waffle maker. Serve with fresh berries and pure maple syrup!
These are the same “banana pancakes” all over pinterest which I could NEVER get to flip or cook correctly. The waffles were so quick and easy to make compare to the pancake option! Try them! You won’t be disappointed! 
THESE ARE AMAZING AND HELPED ME MAKE IT THROUGH THIS CHALLENGE!!!! Plus TODDLER APPROVED!
Snack:
-Two hard boiled eggs
-1/2 cup berries
Lunch:
-Shrimp taco lettuce wrap
-1/2 cup sweet potatoes
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Recipe:
Sauté  shrimp in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with your favorite cajun or spicy seasoning. Serve over lettuce wraps or a whole wheat wrap. 
This is one of my favorite chipotle seasonings to use! I know there are probably other options out there that may be better for the challenge, but I found this to be a great option for me!
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Snack:
Meal Replacement Shake
Dinner:
Dinner this day was HARD! It was my first night out to eat since starting the challenge.
-grilled salmon
-side salad
-mixed veggies
I stuck to water while everyone else indulged in cocktails, bread, appetizers, and dessert. It was a hard dinner to get through but I was so glad I didn’t cheat.
Day 6:
Saturday
Even HARDER than Friday
Saturdays were hard for me the entire challenge.
To start, I don’t drink nearly enough water on Saturdays. It’s a busy day at home for me and I honestly just forget to drink it like I do during the week.
Next, my meal times and snack times are always off due to the weekend. 
Breakfast:
Forgot my fiber drink this day
-Spark
-Banana waffles with berries and pure maple syrup
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Snack:
2 hard boiled eggs
grapes
Lunch:
Avocado egg salad on wheat sammich bread<–[from Aldi] with tomato
My husband ate a Digorno pizza for lunch that day, while I ate my avocado egg salad, I would have given anything for a piece of that pizza.
Snack:
Meal Replacement Shake
Dinner: 
Avocado egg salad on lettuce wrap with tomato and a fruit salad
I DONT recommend the avacado egg salad on anything but a good wheat bread. This was so bland with little flavor served this way. 
Snack:
-Celery with 1 tbsp peanut butter
-Yogurt
Day 7:
Sunday
Breakfast:
-Fiber Drink
-Spark
-Banana waffles with berries and pure maple syrup
Snack:
-no snack
Lunch:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Snack:
-banana
-yogurt
Dinner:
-Grilled Steak
-Side Salad
Day 8:
Breakfast:
-Fiber Drink
-Spark
-Banana waffles with berries
Snack :
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-2 eggs
-one avocado
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Snack:
-Fruit Smoothie
Dinner:
-Turkey burger
-Orange
Snack:
-Baked apple with cinnamon
Day 9: 
Breakfast:
-Fiber Drink
-Spark
-3 eggs and avocado
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-Turkey burger
-Orange
Snack:
-1 serving of almonds
-yogurt
Dinner:
-Banana waffles and berries
Day 10:
Breakfast:
-Fiber drink
-Spark
-Banana waffles and berries
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shakes
Lunch:
-Buffalo chicken lettuce wrap with avocado and tomato
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Snack:
-Yogurt
Dinner:
-Salmon
-Steamed Broccoli
-Sweet potatoes
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Recipe:
Salmon-
Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over salmon filet. Top with your favorite seasonings
[ in this case  I used my chipotle seasoning]
Bake  salmon wrapped in tinfoil at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until salmon. 
Woohoo the first 10 days is OVER!!!
Day 11:
Breakfast: 
-Spark
-3 eggs with hot sauce
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-Buffalo chicken wrap on whole wheat tortilla
Snack:
-Spark
-Yogurt
Dinner:
Banana waffles with berries and pure maple syrup
Snack:
-Celery with peanut butter
-Two deli ham roll ups
Day 12:
Breakfast:
-Spark
-3 eggs with hot sauce
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-Buffalo chicken wrap with avocado and tomato,
-Yogurt
Snack:
1/2 cup Pinnapple
1/2 cup berries
Dinner:
-Banana waffles with berries and pure maple syrup
Day 13 :
Saturday
Breakfast :
-3 eggs with hot sauce
Snack:
Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch: 
-Buffalo chicken wrap with avocado and tomato on a whole wheat tortilla wrap
Snack:
-3 deli ham roll ups
Dinner :
-BBQ chicken and pickles on a whole wheat tortilla wrap
Snack:
-Yogurt
Day 14 :
Sunday
Breakfast:
-3 eggs with hot sauce
Snack:
-No snack
Lunch:
for the life of me —I cannot remember lunch this day! SO SORRY!!
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Dinner:
-Buffalo chicken on lettuce wraps with avocado an tomato
– 1 cup strawberries
Snack:
-Celery with peanut butter
Day 15:
Breakfast:
-Spark
-Three eggs with hot sauce
Snack: 
-No snack
Lunch:
-Baked salmon
-1 sweet potato
Snack: 
Spark
Dinner: 
Meal Replacement Shake
Day 16
Breakfast:
-3 eggs
-1/2 avacado
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch: 
-Buffalo chicken on lettuce wrap with avocado and tomato
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Snack: 
-Yogurt
Dinner:
-Salad
-Sweet potatoes
This was my first dinner out with a group of people at a friend’s house. You always have that feeling in the back of your mind that you don’t ever want to upset anyone by not eating, but I really didn’t want to cheat either! I was so relieved when I showed up and saw there were some healthy alternatives for me to eat ! 
Day 17
Breakfast:
-Spark
-3 eggs
-1/2 av0cado
Snack:
-No snack
Lunch:
-Banana waffles with berries and maple syrup
Snack:
Meal Replacement Shake
Dinner:
-Turkey Burger with Mustard [ no bun ]
-Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe:
Sweet Potato Fries
Peel and slice sweet potato. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle potatoes with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Bake 25 minutes or until fries appear to be done. 
Day 18
Breakfast: 
-3 eggs
-Spark
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
BBQ chicken wrap with avocado and tomato
Snack:
-Yogurt
-Spark
Dinner:
– Bake Salmon
-1 cup steamed broccoli
Day 19: 
Breakfast:
-Spark
-Banana waffles with berries and pure maple syrup
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 Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-BBQ chicken and sweet potatoes
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Snack:
-Spark
-1 cup of berries
Dinner:
-Grilled chicken wrap with tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado
Day 20:
Breakfast: 
-Spark
-Three eggs with hot sauce
Lunch 
-Honey mustard chicken lettuce wraps
– 1 Sweet Potatoes
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Snack:
-Celery with peanut butter
-Spark
Dinner:
-Shrimp taco lettuce wraps
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Snack:
-Yogurt
-Almonds
Day 21:
Breakfast:
-Spark
-2 hard boiled eggs
-Banana
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
BBQ chicken wrap on whole wheat tortilla
Snack:
-Almonds
-Yogurt
-Spark
Dinner:
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Day 22:
Breakfast:
-Spark
-3 eggs and avocado
Lunch:
-Salmon and Sweet Potatoes
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Snack:
-Spark
1 cup berries
Dinner:
Grilled Chicken Salad with cilantro avocado dressing (Purchased at Target as well).
Boathouse Farms dressings are my favorite!
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Day 23:
Breakfast:
-Spark
-Banana waffles with berries and pure maple syrup
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-Ground turkey tacos on whole wheat shell
Snack:
-Spark
-Celery with peanut butter
Dinner:
-Grilled chicken Salad with Boathouse Cilantro Avocado Dressing
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Day 24:
Breakfast:
-Spark
-3 eggs with hot sauce
Snack: 
1 cup fruit
Lunch:
-Turkey Tacos left over ^ on whole wheat tortilla
Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Dinner:
-Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken
-Steamed Broccoli
That’s it ! The 24 Day Challenge is complete! I lost 11 pounds during the challenge and have gone on to lose 11 more now post challenge totaling 22 pounds since January.

 

But what I gained after those 24 days was so much more.

I gained control. Self esteem. I gained my health. I finally figured out how to lose weight and I lost weight but actually EATING. For the first time I am healthy. I have more work to do and my body is far from perfect but I’m so proud of the results the program has given me and what it has taught me.

 

Post Challenge I still use Spark and Meal Replacement Shakes every day and have been able to maintain my weight as well as continue on with weight loss!
For more information about Advocare please email me at simplyemelia@aol.com ! I’d love to talk to you about this journey!
EXTRA IMPORTANT INFO:
I drank about 10 glasses of water a day during the challenge.
The above information did not include any supplements or vitamins that are included in the challenge due to the fact that you should contact a distributor and get connected with a coach who will help you pick the products that are best for YOU to succeed!
xo,
Kate

Bedroom Makeover

I went through a phase when I first got married where I spray painted everything black. Chad and I married at 21 and 22 years old. Pretty much everything that filled our home were hammy downs [which I proceeded to try to make new]

 Fast forward almost 5 years later — our lives have changed. We are in our second home which we purchased as a foreclosure and have spent the last 6 months making our own. We doubled the size of our last space and being truly honest there was no possible way we could just buy everything new to fill this house so some of those hammies came with us — but many of them have gotten a new makeover since our move.

I’ve blogged before about Rethunk Junk and it’s Rethunk again for the win when it comes to furniture makeovers.

I’ve redone multiple pieces in our new house to freshen them up and I’m proud to show you my finished bedroom space.

But first–a before.IMG_2652

The ball wallpaper just wasn’t going to do it–just sayin.

This dresser was one of the pieces I had sprayed black. Bye bye black-its been fun.

You actually do not have to sand with Rethunk Junk paint but I wanted the natural wood to come through with no black showing so I opted to this time.

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The dresser is completely transformed and I love how fresh it feels now!

One thing we did splurge on for this house was a new, king size bed

[in my opinion it was one of our best buys]].

Over 3 years ago I saved a photo of this headboard from a magazine and my father-in-law brought the photo to life when he re-created it for me. It is hands down one of my favorite pieces in my house.

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It’s truly my oasis and I LOVE my room. A little bit of old-a little bit of new! Just how I like it!

xo,
Kate

Dresser: Redone with Rethunk Junk Paint

Dresser / Nightstand Knobs: Hobby Lobby

Night Stand: Redone with Rethunk Junk Paint

Custom Handmade Sign: Linen & Lace Shop

Lamp: Target

Headboard: Handmade by my father-in-law

Bedding: Wayfair

Sheets: Target

Throw Pillows: Homegoods

Throw Blanket: Homegoods

Hanging Light: Antique Store Find

Warrior

Lately I have struggled between fully emerging myself in the waters of Christ and in the next moment being ankle deep listening to the rest of this world. From deep prayer to anger. From worshiping with a thankful heart to worshiping with tears that won’t stop.

Have you been there?

Have you been in those moments in time, where to the rest of this “worldly” world your life is falling a part? Have you lived that? Felt that?
Where you stand on the Rock of Christ who’s foundation you know is true but the world is saying your going to crumble.
Have you been there just trying to hang on?
I know you have. Because we all have haven’t we?
We have in different ways, in different times, in different circumstances, in different extremes.
We’ve been there.
What I have come to find is that in these moments, at these crossroads, you can choose to listen to the gentle voice of Jesus or you can listen to the loud calls of this world. What I’m also here to tell you today is I feel like in many ways I’ve listened to the loudness.
Where in hindsight it makes perfect sense. In hindsight I want to shake myself and say how could you not hear Jesus in that moment? How could you doubt in that moment?
But I did. I’m a sinner. I’m a sinner of a worldly world. For that I need a Savior. I need a Savior so desperately.
In many ways at our lowest, Jesus teaches us the most valuable lessons in life. The lesson is part of the journey.
“The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for. Pray for wisdom and discernment.”
“God has promised to supply all of our needs, what we don’t have now we don’t need now.”
Those are so profound aren’t they? And also so hard for us to comprehend at times!
God, always, always provides. It just may come in ways we don’t understand. He delivers blessings to us every day we just need to open our eyes and hearts. He speaks to us, we just need to open our ears and quiet this life so we can hear his voice. Whatever you feel God is speaking to your heart today, please, listen to Him. Pray to him. TRUST HIM.
 There is a Savior who loves you. No matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, what you think of yourself, what this world says you are, to Him you are His child. To him, no matter how far you’ve strayed, you can come back home. Repent to Him and run to His arms today.
Don’t follow your heart follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Be a warrior for Jesus Christ in the midst of this life. Through the good and the bad. Through the most beautiful times and most ugly times remember Christ is there with you.
In the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus, His grace covers us. He sees the depths of our hearts and he loves us the same. That alone should make us fall to our knees and praise him shouldn’t it?
To the women who get up despite the enemy trying to destroy them, who declare victory before seeing it, who believe they will receive their miracles because they know the Lord they serve is alive and by their side—you are warriors.
When my hallelujahs becomes tired, He gives me a new song. For that I will keep being His Warrior. I will spread His word. I will speak his word. I will write His word. I will do all this to glorify a heavenly father who deserves so much more. And in those times where I fail, I will get back up and pray for forgiveness and try again.
Be Jesus Warriors, on fire for God. Can we teach our daughters this? Can we teach our daughters that no matter what this world tells them they are—they are beautiful—and so much more IN CHRIST!!!
To the little girl who needed to hear that now reading this as an adult— you are a warrior—a beautiful one at that—and so, so much more.
To every single little girl, young girl, woman, out there—you can make a difference in this earthly life. You can make an impact. Christ is waiting to work in you. Will you let Him? Will you be His warrior?
To my own daughter, may you know how deeply God loves you. May you know how beautiful you are in His eyes and long to see the beauty in His eyes rather in this worlds. May you praise Him forever and never be ashamed to do so or to stand up for what you believe in. As you sing Jesus Loves Me as a little girl may you grow to know the value of those words truly in your heart. May you be so proud to be a follower of Jesus Christ that you continue to sing of His love as long as you live. And in those moments you fail, may you know there is a Father who so desperately loves you, desperately seeks you, who YOU desperately need. May you always travel back home to him, may you always be His warrior.
xo,
Kate

Perhaps

I’m always in awe of how God leads us to these moments in time where HE wants us to be. How he plans for us to be places, to hear things, to see things in the exact moments we need to.

At times we can be resistant to this can’t we? But as we look back at events that have happened in our lives we realized God placed us places, placed people in our lives, given us opportunities, taken things away which  led us onto this very path.

About two months ago I was lead to a women’s worship night hosted locally once a month.

I was nervous. I was late –I’m always late–I need to work on this –to change this. But I got there. After a couple of awkward first moments for me I sat in my seat and the evening began. Music began. I sang.

Do you ever sing but not worship? Singing words that you know so you just sing along?

But then the Holy Spirit starts to work in you– you feel the pull to not just sing with your lips but worship with your heart.

Next you get that lump in your throat —the cry lump —and then the walls start rising so no one gets too close, so no one sees you cry-

(you’re new here, you can’t cry !).

This is how we think am right?

We try to quickly build this wall to not feel those feelings He wants us to feel, so we don’t have to face the things we don’t really want to talk about, and before we know it–we’re building a wall so tall that we’ve tried to place Jesus right behind that wall too!

Before we know it He comes crashing through our very high, very safe wall. Making us feel every feeling. Making us cry crocodile tears. And in those moments shortly after–we try to quickly pick up the pieces realizing all to well no matter how high the wall Christ will always be greater.

And then the all the feelings really start to be felt don’t they?

He pushes us to do things we don’t want to do–like we literally sit there and argue with Him in our head while He is pushing us to be bold in this moment. To allow Him to take over in this moment.

Have you been there too? Have you tried to push that feeling away even though you know Jesus is calling you to do something else?

Eventually you can’t take it anymore, because the Holy Spirit is so much more greater than your stubborn self will EVER, EVER be. So finally, you give in and then

 [in retrospect] 

the most amazing things started to happen.

Joy happens, healing happens, you feel the love of God happen, you feel–and that’s what He’s wanted for you this whole time. The reason why He led you to this place, on this night, in this moment.

What I encourage you to do if you’ve never done so is allow a body of people to pray over you. To pray God’s word over you. To talk to strangers. To tell them parts of your story. To feel every feeling he’s calling you to feel at that specific time. You may be uncomfortable. You may be confused. You may want to turn around and run the other way and never come back, but if you stay, if you allow God to continue to work within you, you begin to see the very reasons He’s   brought you to this place.

And if you haven’t given in–if you quickly find yourself picking up your pieces each time He knocks over your wall–I’m here today to tell you that He’s  going to keep knocking it down until you surrender the pieces to Him no matter how young or old you are, He will keep coming back seeking you. You are His child.

So don’t just go through this life singing. Because I promise you worshiping is so much more greater. Listening to a God who is calling you to be in a moment where He has led you and allowing him to actually lead you will change your life. Allowing Him to take over before you build that nice tall wall is far greater than staying in the safe zone. Go where the road is uncertain,  those roads of uncertainty are where your faith will flourish.

The Lord is giving you these moments in time. TAKE THEM!  Step out in boldness and let the Spirit lead you even when you don’t know where the road leads.

Some days I still don’t know where He’s taking me, but I know no matter where we go together, He’ll never leave my side, and that is more comforting than that great big wall of comfort I thought I had before.

Someone told me that very night to “Go be an Esther”.

“Perhaps this is the moment for which I have been created.”

“Perhaps I was born for such a time as this.”

Perhaps He’s been knocking down your walls trying to make you realize He has so many amazing moments for you on the other side too. Trust him, even when you feel like you can’t.

Let him pick up your pieces. Let Him be the director of your story.

You may look back and realize that moment you thought was just a moment was actually when God changed you to prepare you for the moments ahead of this earthly life.

“Perhaps this was the moment for which you have been created. Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.”

Esther 4:14

xo,

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pajama Judgement

Aldi. One of my favorite places. So I see no reason why my 2 1/2 year old wouldn’t want to go there with me –WRONG. Grocery shopping isn’t fun for kids–my little girl wants to stay home with mama in pajamas, play legos, talk about her babies, puppies, and color. She doesn’t want to get bundled up in her winter coat and go outside in the cold just to hit the grocery store. So as the mom guilt set in that on my ONLY day off this week I was making her run errands with me the fight to change out of jammies wasn’t one I was going to have with her.

I know what some of you may be thinking. She’s 2 1/2. You’re the mom. You make the rules. You get to say if she wears the pajamas or not. Yes you are right. But today, today I couldn’t fight about pajamas.

So off we went. I got the essentials. I got her favorites. I got her the red grapes. The strawberries.The bananas. I got her those little teddy grams she loves. Then I got what we needed, the milk, eggs, bread, potatoes, and veggies.

I was adding as I was placing the groceries on the belt as the cashier moved it along. Making sure I wasn’t going to go over what I had to spend. Debating on what I could put back if I added wrong. There was a man behind us. He smiled at Emelia. I made sure while adding that she said hello to him. To be polite. To be kind.

It was our turn. Relief set in as I was just under the dollar amount I needed to be at. I said thank you. Asked Emelia to say thank you to our cashier. We began packing up our groceries at the counter all the while I noticed a middle age woman staring as that same cashier was ringing her up. She paid for her few items. Walked right by us. On her way out she stopped to say to Emelia, ” I see mommy didn’t get you out of your jammies today” and just kept walking.

I stood there for a moment. I didn’t know whether to cry, to throw my bag of brussel sprouts at her, and for a split second I even wanted to explain myself, to defend myself. Instead I just stood there, smiled and walked out with my little girl

[still in those same pajamas that she’s had on for two days]

back to our car to go home.

You see I wanted to tell that woman that I had barely $40.00 to spend today for groceries. That our life right now is hectic. That I didn’t see her for days over the weekend so I could work to provide for our family right now, getting up before she awoke and getting home after she was already asleep. That each night when I came home I wanted to go up to her room while she was sleeping and hold her. But I knew that it was selfish to wake her up. That today was my one day off with my baby. That I didn’t want to be in Aldi. And that if she wanted to stay in her jammies with mommy today–that yes–mommy wasn’t going to change her out of them.

Tears filled my eyes as I loaded her in the car. Because I’m sure I’ve been that woman. Judging other moms. And I’m asking for forgiveness today. And I’m asking that  anyone who reads this, please, before you judge another mom, another person, another woman, think before you speak.

What I’m reminded exactly in this moment as I write this is something remarkable. That God chose me to be Emelia’s mother. That he knew she needed me and I needed her. He formed her and created her for His purpose and made Chad and I her parents.

Before you make an assumption that another mom is wrong for not doing it your way. Don’t.

I want my daughter to remember me as someone who taught her to be kind. Not just by my words, by my actions. To build other woman up. To be supportive of women in general.

Speak life into people. Pray for people.

What a change we could make if we stopped a random mom in a store and told them what  a great job they were doing, rather than telling them what they were doing wrong.

To the mom who’s hair is a day [or two ] past needing a wash, bribing their kid with a pink sucker to make it through one more aisle just to go home with guilt that you don’t feed her enough fruits and vegetables so you blend up a smoothie just to get your kid to take in something nutritious, I understand.

I understand that you love your child more than life itself and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.

xo,
Kate

One Corner at a time

In the beginning of this home renovation my mind  jumped from corner to corner of this house every time I stepped foot inside. As the projects began, floors were laid, walls were painted, my mind raced. I literally had an empty canvas to do whatever my heart pleased. My heart was SO pleased. But my mind, my mind just kept racing.

You know how everyone tells you “Just start with one room. Just finish one room at a time.”

Do you know how freaking hard that is to do? It is almost impossible to stick to that advice! And I really have not, but I can say I have been able to focus more on a room at a time and it is becoming easier as we are here longer. I add a piece here and there throughout this house and it all is starting to fall together slowly but surely!

One of my favorite rooms in our home is our bedroom, for many reasons, but I refuse to show you the before and afters yet of the entire space because the perfectionist in me wants the full effect of knowing that room is totally COMPLETE (we’re almost there, and I’m dying to be there!).

So in the mean time, I’ll give you a sneak peak of a small little corner where I’ve added a very personal touch of feelings.

A while back I found a small business shop { Linen & Lace Shop} through one of my favorite bloggers.

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I knew for a long time the style of piece I wanted to hang in this space but didn’t quite know what I wanted written there.

Then, I found them. Some of the most beautiful lyrics ever written. To wake up every morning and truly mean these words with every space in your heart, can you imagine? But as I do read them every day I pray to get to that place with Jesus.

“If I grow, let me grow in You
whilt the seeds of wanting more
ripped and pried out by the roots
and if I’m still, let me hear You speak
Not the tone of my transgressions,
but the song of the Redeemed.”

Britanni read my mind, perfected my vision, and delivered the perfect piece for my special place.

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I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

I love this space.

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xo,

Kate

Visit Linen & Lace Shop for the perfect piece for your home too!

End table: Repurposed with Rethunk Junk paint

Lamp from Target