You Are So Worthy

First and foremost, Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year with your loved ones.

I’ve taken some time away from the blog but it feels good to sit down today to write.

About a month ago I attended a Women’s Worship Night that is hosted monthly in my town. I was so ready to rest in Jesus that night. The craziness of the Christmas season had started and I needed an hour of worship, my soul felt uneasy.

What  I was surprised to find was how quiet I felt that night. I worshipped but it was quiet. I spoke to the Lord but I was also distracted in those moments. I kept asking him to pull me back in. To let my mind, heart, and soul be here, only here.

My soul was restless and I didn’t know why.

The night ended and I had stayed to clean up. I found myself as the last one there, standing with Pam. We began to talk about life and then the tangent ran off about my daughter.

That tangent would lead to the anxiety I was seeing in my little girl. I have watched my daughter over the past six months battle situational and social anxiety. So much so that there have been times I haven’t attended things because I could see how difficult it was for her which in turn was difficult for me.

Anxiety, OCD, and worry were found in a little girl who was just three years old. With a pretty long family history of anxiety  my heart was often heavy for my daughter.

As a parent you want to be able to fix everything for your kids. You don’t want them to hurt. You don’t want them to feel different. More than anything you don’t want them to feel alone.

Shortly after we talked we prayed. That night Pam had me say out loud “Today this ends.” We prayed that the Lord would take and deliver Emelia of any anxiety that Satan was holding over her. That the generational trail of this would stop here.

I was encouraged to pray over Emelia when I saw signs of anxiousness. So that I did in the following weeks and we continued on with life.

Shortly before Christmas Emelia had made a comment to me about being “scared”, without even thinking I said back to her, “You have nothing to fear, remember we’ve prayed how you never have to be afraid.”

To my utter shock my three year old followed my sentence with “Because Jesus is always with me.”

Christmas came and we had many social and family gatherings to attend. I can’t tell you how many of my family members made comments to me about how great Emelia had done.

Just a month prior,  this little girl didn’t want to walk into a house full with her very own aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I’ve thanked the Lord many times since then, because unknown to everyone else I knew it wasn’t her who had just woke up one day and changed. It was the Holy Spirit’s work in her. It was His deliverance, His peace.

And while some days are still hard, my hope is for her to know with Jesus she no longer will live this way. That Satan doesn’t get to have his say over her life. That in the moments where she feels like all she wants to do is isolate in the distance she is comforted in knowing that if she calls on her Heavenly Father He will deliver her what she needs.

I can’t help but think about how our Lord must feel as He looks down on His children. How so many of us carry burdens every day. How so many may feel alone. How so many may feel like there just isn’t much hope some days.

How as a parent my heart breaks for my child when she hurts, but how His must break so much more than I can ever imagine for His children.

What you need to know is there’s no burden that you have to carry. Stop thinking it’s just the “cards you were dealt”. Stop thinking you have to live this way. Stop thinking there’s no way out.

There is a way.

There’s life, deliverance, peace, hope, and healing in Jesus Christ.

Surrender your fears, your pains, your hurts today. Ask the Lord to deliver you of whatever it is.

You fill in that blank.

“Lord deliver me from ______.  Today this ends for me.  I give you full control to take this and give me healing. In you I will find strength. In you I will find rest. Lord if I awake tomorrow and still feel the heaviness of this life give me obedience to call on you again. Allow me to trust in your unfailing love, your goodness, that in you I have a road to freedom, but most importantly that I am yours..”

You are so worthy. You are worthy of deliverance. You are worthy of healing. You are a child of the King who doesn’t need to fear for you walk with the Lord.

xo,

Kate

Only Love Can Do That

I looked at my husband back at the beginning of this month  and softly sighed on the couch whispering,

“I cannot wait until this election is over.”

For the first time I watched debates.
I tried to learn, understand, and follow the points of each party.
I’ve read more about this current election and politics than I ever have or cared to.
And my heart…my heart is oh so heavy.
I’ve shaken my head too many times to count as the debates have occurred right here in my family.
 I live between a family of division when it comes to politics—the oh so passionate democrat verses the oh so passionate republican. I’ve heard it all.
And if that isn’t enough, you can’t even log on the internet without seeing the argument continue.
My feed is full of dispute between strangers.
And while I admire the passion and stance from many Americans at this time what I cannot admire nor understand is the amount of H A T E that is spewing from all vessels.
It is the H A T E that has heavied my heart.
Just a week ago I read a long post following the the final debate which included pro -life vs pro- choice.
What followed on that thread made me want to hit my knees in my kitchen crying out to God.
It was there where I watched other believers attack a young woman regarding her opinions on pro -choice.
 It was there where we probably lost our chance to witness, where we were ANYTHING but kind, where we were anything like Jesus.
My heart broke as their sister in Christ as they may have allowed this election or a challenge in our beliefs to lose sight of what we as a people need more than ever..
and that’s the love of Jesus Christ in our hearts.
“This nation is divided. Hate, violence, greed and disregard for the sanctity of life are flirting with normality. A president alone can’t fix this. Laws alone can’t fix this. Money can’t fix this. The issue is the condition of the human heart. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can fix this nation. We must focus more of our energy on Him.”
This may come as a surprise to many when I expose that it’s not Donald Trump who’s going to make America great again, and it’s not Hilary Clinton who’s going to answer all of your life’s problems.
If you are putting all your eggs in the basket that the next president of the United States is going to change your life…be prepared to be very disappointed with an empty basket.
And so I don’t really care whether or not you love Hillary Clinton so much you have a bumper sticker on your car to prove it or that you think Donald Trump is so great you’ve plastered Trump signs all over your yard…
What I care about is your heart.
“We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.”
Only the love of Jesus Christ is going to make this nation great again.
As we ALL crave a mass change this year as we approach this upcoming election, my hope is that you will pray for BOTH presidential candidates.
My daughter is three years old. For some reason, she is afraid of one of her great uncles <she is very standoffish to many men at her age>
but almost EVERY time I pray with her for our family she prays for him.
My three year little girl has enough love and compassion in her heart to pray for someone she fears .
How have we lost sight of this as adults?
If that thought doesn’t give you some conviction I don’t know what will.

The change ahead for this country is inevitable as a new president prepares to take the stand…

but the change they bring is not what we as a people are truly craving.

The change we are all longing for is love. Only love can provide what we need.

Let’s love each other more. Let’s be intentional with how we bear the name of Jesus Christ. As we all are so quickly to react and debate during this time, lets slow our responses enough to think twice as to if we are reacting with the words of this world or if we are reacting with words Jesus would be proud of.

“Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

xo,

Kate

Repurposed Door Decor

We’ve been at a standstill when it came to any sort of decorating with our rehab house for some time now. Honestly it was due a few reasons.

One, I think we needed a break.

We have been dealing with a contractor for well over a year now. Needing to follow certain guidelines due to this process, it’s been anything but rainbows and butterflies.

We are finally at the E N D. One year later.

The end result of this journey has given us the blessing of this home. A home truthfully, we would never have been able to afford if it hadn’t  been due to it’s foreclosure status. As I look back now it was really all worth it–but let me tell you–there have been plenty of days through this I have been ANYTHING but grateful or optimistic. And really, shame on me for that.

But it’s the truth.

Two, it takes money to decorate and do these PINTEREST projects. Money that we have not really had to put back into the house.

Training yourself to pay for cash for things when you’ve got a track history of swiping the plastic is HARD.

Ugh, I’m approaching thirty. It’s time to figure this thing of finances out. It’s time to be a grown up.

Well we finally had a little cash we were able to use for a project. My heart skipped a beat. Seriously.

This door was given to me for free out of the kindness of my friends heart.

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After two little coats of some Rethunk Junk “cotton” paint it was perfect for that empty wall in kitchen. I placed my beloved cotton wreath on there and WALLAH! Seriously, what a beauty.

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Truth be told, I really want to put a coffee station on that wall. But I have to save for that. It continues to be a “someday” project. BOO!

Next up is that dreaded back hallway and nook!

Here’s the before.

Boring.

 I convinced my hubby to shiplap this ENTIRE space for me. It’s currently a mess but soon it will be a breath of fresh air. Stay tuned!

xo,

Kate

Great Things

I meant to blog this last week!

So going back to Insight Design Conference

I am always amazed by the God given talents people have that we may not even be aware of.

Insight was truly such an eye opening, inspiring, night full of creatives sharing their dreams.

As I sat down to prepare for the presentation I came across a song from Elevation Worship “Great Things (Worth It All)”. I played that song on repeat for weeks moving forward. I’m currently listening to it now as I write this.

I was reminded through this experience of all the ways the Lord has blessed and transformed my life.

He did all the work in me, I just held his hand.

“Through the fire and the flood you have never let me go and my soul will sing you have done great things. I am weak you are strong you will always be my hope, and my soul will sing you have done great things.”

I don’t know about you, but I can barely get through those lines without the tears wanting to fall down my face.

These past three years in life have been anything but an easy stroll. My little family has had many changes, many highs, many lows, many days of doubt. But the Lord has also given many blessings and has shown His love and goodness over and over again.

We’ve had moments where even looking back I’m not always sure how we made it through, but I’m quickly reminded that it was not us who made it through-

it was Christ who carried us.

Insight truly made me look back and reflect the road of life all together. The road of life to this very moment. The road where the love of Christ has prevailed. That no matter how dark the road may have been–God’s love was always be the shining light at the end of that tunnel that was reaching for us.

There are underlying blessings in everything and everywhere.

My goal for that conference was to share the love of Jesus through Simply Emleia, but that conference actually reminded M E  to hit M Y  knees more often for the great things God has done and continues to do in this life.

Maybe your road is dark right now. Maybe you’re right in the middle of a mess in this life. Maybe you are doubting that Christ can use your circumstance for something greater.

I’m here to remind you that He can. He will. That only His love can cover, deliver, and prevail. Keep holding his hand, keep trusting His path. One day you will look back in astonishment of where He has lead you.

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xo,

Kate

Insight Design Conference-Thank You

This weekend I was humbled to take part in Insight Design Conference!

It’s a  local creative community networking event, featuring speakers that lift up the mission to educate, inspire & transform.

It’s a room full of creatives, with so many different passions, yet were all connected through our passions.

It was incredibly inspiring.

Truth be told, a few months back when I was approached about this my answer was a quick no. After being approached the second time I really felt like the Lord was pushing me to do something out of my comfort zone.

What I’ve realized most about these past few years is every time the Lord has called me out of my safe bubble there is always opportunity for tremendous growth.

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Don’t get me wrong–I prefer to stay in the bubble every chance I get, but that’s not where He wants me.

Over the past few weeks I’d been preparing for this presentation, just 5 slides, just 5 minutes.

Just thinking about it gave me cold sweats (seriously). I’ve prayed a lot to speak with ease and to deliver the message the Lord has sent. But 5 minutes. How was I going to speak for 5 minutes?

After sitting down to write I was surprised how quickly that 5 minutes came and went -I actually had to pull parts of the message to make sure I was in the time frame that was expected.

They blow this big air horn if your over your time–who wants to be air horned off the stage? Not me.

<PS I was within my time–Thank you Jesus for that as well.>

Here’s the bulk of that story and those 5 minutes that I am so grateful for.

“It was important for me to elaborate more so on the blessings that have come from this business rather than just focusing on the actual business itself. It also was important for me to touch on something I know many of us may struggle with at some point and that is what I’ve called Failure vs Fruit.

So to some, or from some of a worldly view, Simply Emelia is not a successful business when we look at success from a financial standpoint.

Up until this point in time, creating these shirts has provided no financial gain for my family.

Everything earned has gone back into recreating and or is donated month after month.

So I’m often asked from many, when will you see fruit? Financial fruit that is?

I believe grace is a love that has nothing to do with us but everything to do with the one from whom it derived. God’s grace is more than a second chance, it’s a third, forth, and fifth. It’s a love that keeps on giving regardless of our past.

My past is far from perfect. In fact when I was led on this journey three years ago depression had left me dark and isolated. I was crying out to God for answers, direction, and clarity.

I believe He delivered me Simply Emelia and I ran with Him on this new path, a path which changed everything for me.

But Simply Emelia hasn’t just been fruitful to my life, I get the proud honor of hearing stories like this one, of a five year old little girl at the time who’s mom bought a t-shirt which sparked a conversation about grace.

The definition of grace, what grace meant for her, and how she received grace from Jesus.

That same little girl went to school the next week and share with her classmates the definition of grace, what grace meant for them, and how they too have received grace from Jesus.

That is the true “Fruit” I feel God has given through Simply Emelia. The fruit that allowed a five year old little girl to grasp the power of God’s love and to go on and share the gospel with other people.

What God has delivered has been far greater than any financial gain could have given. He continues to show me what we view or are often led to believe is successful often times is not, because His vision and His view will always be for something greater.

So I want to encourage you in the near future to find time to quiet the loudness of your life. Quiet yourself enough to maybe hear a gentle voice calling you into a direction, to places you’ve never imagined.

I am an introverted, registered nurse, who knew nothing about this business. This road made ZERO sense three years ago, but God has placed incredible people in my life to carry on with this journey.

People have directed, educated, loved, prayed, and supported this dream, this idea, this passion that Christ has truly fueled.

Those passions, those dreams, those ideas that don’t make sense to anyone else but are continually laid on your heart are not coincidences.

They are the very things that not only have the power to change your life, but the power to change and bless others.

Hold God’s vision closely, trust the journey He’s leading you on. It may not always be easy, it may not make any sense, but it just may be the very thing that changes your world.

And I promise you, it’s worth it.”

Thank you to Kevin, Dan, and Joe for creating and hosting this amazing event and allowing me to be a part of such a loving, creative atmosphere. A special thank you as well to every speaker and listener. Thank you for not only sharing with me but allowing me to share my story with you. What an unforgettable night!

I look so forward to posting this week what I have learned through this conference and most importantly the lessons the Lord has delivered.

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xo,
Kate

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
FullSizeRender-106
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]
IMG_1758
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
IMG_1762-2
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!
IMG_1760
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
IMG_1764
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
IMG_1763.JPG
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
FullSizeRender-107
Snack:
-Yogurt
Dinner:
-Salmon
-Steamed Broccoli
-Sweet potatoes
FullSizeRender-105
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
IMG_1774
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
IMG_1764
 Snack:
-Meal Replacement Shake
Lunch:
-BBQ chicken and sweet potatoes
FullSizeRender-124
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
IMG_2794
 
Snack:
-Celery with peanut butter
-Spark
Dinner:
-Shrimp taco lettuce wraps
IMG_1762-2
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:
IMG_1790
Day 22:
Breakfast:
-Spark
-3 eggs and avocado
Lunch:
-Salmon and Sweet Potatoes
FullSizeRender-123
Snack:
-Spark
1 cup berries
Dinner:
Grilled Chicken Salad with cilantro avocado dressing (Purchased at Target as well).
Boathouse Farms dressings are my favorite!
IMG_2858
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
FullSizeRender-125
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