Create the Perfect Game Day Outfits at Fanatics.com

Opening Day is a big deal for me and my friends. We LOVE baseball and always celebrate the beginning of the season because finally, our favorite sport is back in action!

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Here’s a throwback photo from when my husband and I first started dating. The ballpark was a big part of the beginning of our love story.

I love spending time at the ballpark. It’s one of my favorite Houston things to do – especially, Friday night games where you can always count on an awesome fireworks show. Baseball season means quality time well spent with friends and family rooting on the hometown boys. Go Astros!

The Houston Astros’ Opening Day is Monday, April 6th.

 

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The festivities begin outside of Minute Maid Park with the Opening Day Street Fest from 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Astros will take on the Cincinnati Indians for their first game of the season. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m.

Ask any sports fan and you know we love reppin’ our teams. I have a drawer full of my favorite team’s shirts and caps. This year, I used Fanatics to add to my game day wardrobe choices.

Fanatics.com has the best selection of sports gear to show off your team pride!

With everything from MLB, NFL, College Athletics, Soccer, NASCAR, and many more. Fanatics is the largest online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise and provides the ultimate shopping experience to sports fans.

I also love that they usually have a great deal code going on for all customers in the top right hand corner. When I placed my order, I was able to take advantage of free shipping and 15% off my order.

Fanatics also has a wide selection of accessories and items spanning much further than just clothes. If you’re ever in need of clever gifts for a sports fan, Fanatics.com is exactly the place to turn to.

I had so much fun styling my perfect Opening Day outfit:

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astros cap  
New Era Houston Astros 2Tone Diamond Era Flex Hat – Navy Blue/Orange
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Houston Astros Majestic Women’s Baseball Dream Sequins Tank Top – Navy Blue
astros shorts

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Check out Fanatics.com and share your perfect game day outfit picks in the comments section! I’d love to see what you come up with. Who are your favorite sports teams to root for?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

My Jenny Craig Weight Loss Journey: Week 7 Results! #WeightLossWednesday

Disclosure: I was provided a free trial program and a discount on the Jenny Craig meals. However, the opinions and writing are entirely my own. Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs per week.

As of my weigh in this morning, I am down -21 pounds with Jenny Craig!

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*Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs per week.

I am loving the program and the progress I am seeing! Over all, I have lost a total of -53 pounds from starting my weight loss journey. It feels so great to be on track again with the scale moving in the right direction. I still have a long road ahead of me but we’re getting there!

I’ve had a few of you ask me about what exactly the Jenny Craig process is like. So let’s go through a typical consultation meeting.  

I meet with my Jenny consultant, Renee, and pick up my foods every Sunday at my local Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center location. [Shout out to the amazing ladies at the Highland Village – Houston location!!]

We talk, we weigh, we plan.

Renee and I go through my food diary of the last week and talk about any challenges I faced, my successes for the week – scale and non-scale victories, and strategize about what’s working and not working for me. The goal is to always make improvements for better weeks ahead!

I weigh in every week and we check my progress. Once a month, we also take my measurements which is so rewarding to see them go down!

Then we go over my goals and meal plan for the week ahead, as well as, anything in my schedule that may need some extra preparation for (eating off plan, special events, etc.). If there are any changes I want to make to the foods I’m eating, we do that. The Jenny Craig plan is completely customizable to fit your preferences and goals while still achieving weight loss and your designated calorie count.

I always leave my meetings feeling empowered, motivated, and proud of myself for the progress I’ve made. Even if I don’t have the best week, my consultant is always there to remind me I’ve got this. There are bumps in the road – but we get over them!

My Goals

With my diet plan going well, here are the things I’m focusing on next:

  • Incorporating more activity into my everyday schedule
  • Tracking steps with my fitness tracker (my daily goal is 10,000)
  • Getting outside and enjoying the weather – I work full-time in a stuffy office building so it’s really important for me to get out there and breathe some fresh air and get some sun now that Spring is finally here!

Favorite Meals of the Week

Here’s my favorite Jenny Craig meal of the week:

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As you can see, I was really excited to try their red velvet cupcake for the first time. It was delicious! Also the barbecue meatloaf, potatoes, and veggies is one of my favorite dinner entrees. I always add a squirt of reduced sugar ketchup to the potatoes. Lastly, one of my favorites, a simple cucumber salad with pepper and lemon juice. YUM!

Eating Out While On Jenny

My husband and I went to brunch over the weekend with friends. I’ve been a little bit nervous about eating off plan since starting the Jenny program. I do my best to limit eating out because really, there’s no need when I’m paying for prepared meals that are delicious and ready-to-go but sometimes you really just want to go out and socialize over some good food.

On the Jenny plan, it’s OK to do this. Obviously, it’s not realistic to think you will never ever eat out again. Jenny Craig is about living your life and making healthy choices in whatever environment you’re in.

We brunched at The Egg and I and I was really impressed by their selection of healthy “Smarter Choices” items. I ordered the Egg Byte omelette made with egg whites, veggies, and salsa on the side. It comes with an english muffin and a cup of assorted fruit. All this for 300 calories. Perfect!

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The meal was SO delicious. I also have to give this restaurant huge kudos for having a fantastic nutritional calculator on their website that allows you to get all the macros for anything you eat while dining with them! Can every restaurant do this, please?

Staying Hydrated with Sparkling Ice

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Another favorite of mine is the Sparkling Ice drinks that come in a variety of tasty flavors. I am SUCH a fan. Me and my husband buy these in bulk from Sam’s Club – you get a great deal on them. They had the Sparkling Water and Sparkling Lemonade flavors in stock last week and we got one of each. SO GOOD.

These drinks are super refreshing – no calorie, sugar free, and provide you with vitamins, too! I’ve also learned they have tea flavors now, which I’m dying to try!

Have you tried these drinks yet? Let me know what you think!

What are your favorite healthy items?

Jenny Craig Giveaway WINNER Announcement

For the last month, I’ve been running a very special giveaway for my readers. You’ve had the chance to WIN a one month trial of the Jenny Craig weight loss program (including foods, products, consulting, and support). You guys have been following along with me on my weight loss journey and I couldn’t be more thrilled to host this amazing giveaway to help you reach your goals, too.

THANK YOU to everyone who entered the giveaway. Without any further a dew, let’s go ahead and see who’s won:

And the lucky WINNER is…

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congratulations
Winner has been notified via e-mail and has 48 hours to claim her prize or another winner will be selected by default.

** This giveaway is sponsored by Jenny Craig. Thank you to the Jenny team for providing such an incredible prize!

The Jenny Craig program has been truly life changing for me and I am so happy to partner with them. Check back soon for more of my weight loss updates from my Jenny journey coming soon.

The Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Home Buying

Today, I’m so excited to have lovely Leigh Ann Houston from Your Teacher’s Lounge guest blogging as a part of my Journey to Home Owning blog series. Making the decision to rent or buy is the very first step in moving forward when it comes to working toward a new home. Without further a do, let’s learn about Leigh Ann’s home journey and what she has learned along the way…

Leigh Ann Houston Your Teachers LoungeTypically, I find myself writing about preschool crafts, strategies for igniting the literacy light in our children’s minds, or teacher hacks; however, I currently find myself in quasi-unchartered waters (writing about military housing decisions) and I’m overwhelmingly hopeful that I don’t drown (wish me luck).

I’m thrilled Christine gave me the opportunity to share what I’m learning with you!

You can get a taste of our military life in my post “Military kids are resilient but they weren’t born that way.” In short, our little Navy family has lived in seven homes (4 in the last 3 years) prior to our recent move to Hawaii. We own a home in Jacksonville, FL and have rented at every other location. Our bungalow in Jacksonville (in the incredible neighborhood of Riverside) is treated as an investment and we are fortunate to currently rent it to a wonderful Coast Guard family. Like alluded to earlier, we recently moved to Hawaii (I guess someone has to do it…ha ha). Furthermore, since base housing in Hawaii is some of the best in the entire military, we automatically assumed we would move on base. Of course our “plan” didn’t prove as easy as we were led to believe – upon arrival we discovered that there was significant wait to receive base housing. This “wait” has given John and me a moment to reflect and ponder our decision. And now that we are here and we’ve taken some time to research our options (by the way, I’m a tad pyscho when it comes to “researching” options, just ask John about my sleepless nights regarding our stroller purchase – the FBI would have offered me a job if they knew the about my “research” skills), we understand that the decision to live on base, rent out in town, or purchase a house is much more difficult and complicated than previously thought. The aim of this post is to simply offer, in my opinion, some of the pros and cons of renting out in town versus purchasing a house out in town.

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Upside of Renting

  • Little responsibility on the house – This is very appealing since my husband will be going on a deployment in about a year! Call it Murphy’s law or bad luck, but things tend to break as soon as the hubby leaves the country! When you’re renting, the dishwasher breaking is not your problem!
  • Little upfront money – Instead of paying a down payment, renters traditionally have to pay for a security deposit which you should get back.
  • Flexibility – You are only tied to the home as long as your lease dictates, and possibly even less. Military families can get out of their lease due to a deployment or a change in orders.

Downside of Renting

  • No pain, no gain – Sure, you don’t have the risk of home buying but you also don’t have the big payout (you are, in fact, paying toward some other person’s big payout). You could eliminate or at least decrease this downside if you take the money you’re saving from renting and invest it.
  • Little personalization – If you’re not a fan of the wallpaper, you’re stuck with it. Renters usually have little control over the ambiance of the home. You can combat this con buy personalizing what you can! Invest in furniture you love and hang your own pictures.
  • No stability – The homeowner can raise the rent as soon as your lease is up or worse, decide to sell at any point which would leave you looking for a new place to live.

Upside of Home-Owning

  • Building a nest egg – Every mortgage payment is getting you closer and closer to a huge payout! You may be paying your mortgage yourself or you may even be renting it out and having a renter pay your mortgage for you.
  • Fixed payments – Assuming you have a fixed mortgage, the mortgage payment will not go up until it is paid off. Unlike rent that can change yearly, your mortgage payment is what it is. This could be very beneficial if you are comfortable with your payment today…it should be under budget within just a few years if your salary increases!
  • Ownership -I didn’t know how important this was until it was taken away from me. I thought I loved our Jacksonville bungalow because it was in a fantastic neighborhood, walking distance to coffee shops, antique stores, and the school I taught at but there was more to it; I loved living in a place that was OURS. I liked that I could change something if I didn’t like it. I took a lot of pride in my home and knowing it was ours.

Downside of Home-Owning

  • Risky – We all hope our homes will appreciate, and over a long period of time, it most surely will. The first decade is hopeful but not certain and anyone who bought around when we did (2006) would understand that! Our home, like almost every other one in the country took a very big hit. Over the next few decades, it will, most likely, prove to be a financial gain but it’s quite frustrating to owe more on our house than it is currently worth!
  • The home you want may not be the home you can afford – Notice I didn’t say what you can qualify for. You obviously cannot simply buy any house that you qualify for. You need to make sure you can afford the mortgage payment (in addition to the taxes and repair fees) today and for years to come. Is your job and income stable? If not, buying may not be for you.
  • Upfront and available money – You usually have to have a down payment at the closing. This is typically 20% but there are mortgages out there that require less. You also need money available for repairs…it’s not a question of if that refrigerator will go out, it’s a question of when!
  • Stability – This is both an upside but possible a downside also. It’s nice having a stable home but this does allow for a lot less flexibility. Your boss (or the Navy) offers you an amazing position in another location? You may not be in the position to sell your house quickly. If anyone reading this moves like we do, you run the risk of not finding renters, or at least not finding good ones. A house ties you down!

Rent vs. Buy

Which is best for you?

The answer has been different for us during different chapters of our life together and on how the economy currently is. My brother owns a home in a suburb of Chicago and has been very happy renting it out in the past. He is currently having a hard time finding renters since the economy is getting better…more people are buying and less are renting! We are currently exploring rental properties, going to open houses, meeting with our realtor all in hopes of finding the perfect home! Wish us luck and I will definitely be visiting xtine danielle for some more guidance!

My Jenny Craig Weight Loss Journey: Week 4 Results! #WeightLossWednesday

Disclosure: I was provided a free trial program and a discount on the Jenny Craig meals and Curves workout. However, the opinions and writing are entirely my own. Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs per week. Curves Fitness members on average lose 5 lbs. over a 20-week period.

My last 4 weeks on the Jenny Craig program have been incredible.

As of my weigh in this morning, I have lost a total of 17 pounds and 7 inches!*

*Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs per week.

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I couldn’t be happier with my first month’s results but I’m also really grateful for what I’ve learned a long the way. It’s been great having the Jenny foods and literature to help teach me proper portion sizes, visual cues, and the caloric break down of what I need to be eating for each meal and snack.

My Jenny Craig Food Favorites:

Another thing I loved about the Jenny foods is the wide variety. I have had no problem with any cravings coming up that weren’t fulfilled with my weekly meal plan. They have Latin, Chinese, Italian, and All American inspired meal options for whatever you’re in the mood for.

Breakfast

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Cinnamon Rolls (190 calories)

These cinnamon rolls are so delicious and perfectly portioned. It was such a shock to see the types of foods that I was able to eat on Jenny Craig and still lose weight!

 

 

Other Jenny Breakfast favorites of mine: the Barscotti with Cranberries and Almonds (160 calories), Florentine Breakfast Pizzas (220 calories), and the new Turkey Bacon & Egg White sandwich (210 calories).

Lunch & Dinner

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Pasta Ole (240 calories)

One of my favorite meals, this is a unique mix of orzo pasta, zesty tomato sauce, bell peppers, corn, back beans, and reduced fat mozzarella. It’s delicious. If you’re feeling extra spicy, adding some hot sauce or fresh salsa can really kick it up a notch.

 

Some more of my favorite Jenny meals: the Baja-Style Chicken Quesadilla (230 calories), Cheesy Potatoes & Chicken (280 calories), and their Margherita Pizza (220 calories).

Snacks & Desserts

Honestly, there wasn’t one thing from these categories that I didn’t enjoy.. haha! It’s all really good. I’m a popcorn lover so the White Cheddar Popcorn (150 calories) & Kettle Corn (130 calories) came in handy during snack time. The S’Mores Bar (140 calories) is also crazy good to get your sweet fix.

Click here to check out all of the Jenny Craig food offerings.

“The Secret to Success is Support” -SITS Girls

My favorite blogger network, SITS Girls, gets their name from this mantra. I love using it for every aspect of my life and it couldn’t be more true for weight loss. The more support we get, the more successful we’ll be!

I’ve received incredible support from my Jenny Craig consultant, Renee. It’s been nice to know that she’s only a phone call away if anything pops up that I need some extra help with.

I’m also a big fan of the Jenny Craig online support forums. There are some really great Facebook groups out there, too.

Jenny Craig also has a TON of super helpful weight loss articles that will help you along your weight loss journey. You can check out the entire Jenny Craig article library here.

One of the best tools for weight loss is My Fitness Pal.

In the last four weeks, I’ve gotten into the habit of logging every single thing I eat and drink. Calorie counting and food tracking is essential to weight loss. It’s all about sticking to proper portion sizes and not over doing it. If you’re using My Fitness Pal, please feel free to add me as a friend!

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Remember for the entire month of March, you can enter my Jenny Craig giveaway!

My winner will receive a one month trial of the Jenny Craig weight loss program including foods, products, and consulting services and support from your local Jenny Craig center. So what are you waiting for?

Click here to go enter the giveaway!

Good luck!

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