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How I Motivated Myself to Lose Weight

I have shared with you guys before that I have gone through some major weight loss in the last few years. A little over a year ago, I made another change that resulted in me losing a lot of weight and greatly reduced my asthma.

how I motivated myself to lose weight. I didn't use new year's resolutions...rather, I did this.

So, how did I do it? I challenged myself to make the changes a week at a time. I didn’t go all in. I didn’t commit to big things. I just challenged myself to eat a certain way for 6 days at a time. On Saturdays, I would let myself splurge. I did this every week for several months, until I finally made my diet changes permanent.

Having an end date was way more effective of a strategy for me then to just say I was going to make a change for the rest of my life. That’s not doable in the slightest. But, starting every week with a challenge and having a day I knew I could splurge, really helped me with the perseverance to push past the hangry days.

That’s why we are doing a healthy eating challenge in our private group. Actually, we are just wrapping up the workout challenge that we have been doing the last week. And, I’m going to run 2 other challenges after we get done with the 7 day healthy eating challenge.

If you want to get in on the challenge, then be sure to sign up for the community here. You get 7 days free in the group and then you are charged $7 a month to stay in. You can cancel at any time. I hope you will join us! I’ve got 5 healthy crockpot meals I’m going to share with everyone during the challenge. All of these meals stick within my diet. It’s the one I’ve been on for a year that’s helped me lose 20 pounds.

Other things on my mind:

I really loved this post from Jay Dee over at Uncovering Intimacy about the best way to discuss sexual fantasies. He has some great ideas.

Have a great week! I will chat with you soon.

* I use affiliate links

Does a Good Relationship Equal Good Dental Health?

If you didn’t know, my best friend is a dentist…prosthodontist, really. He handles cosmetic dentistry and completely revolutionizes people’s lives. He gives people the ability to eat and to feel confident when smiling. I’ve simply been amazed at how he helps people every day.

What I find really interesting is what Rhonda Trainer has to say about the correlation of dental health and healthy relationships. She says that research shows those that are in better relationships tend to have better oral health. It makes a lot of sense to me. I have done a lot of things on account of my health, because Austin encouraged me and helped me.

Here’s what she has to say about the correlation-

When you’re talking about intimacy and happiness in your relationship, you probably aren’t thinking about the impact that you and your partner’s teeth are having – or vice-versa. Right? You might be surprised to find out that people in strong relationships can have better teeth.

Research conducted by the University of Queensland in Australia found that those questioning their relationship were more likely to have poor oral hygiene.

There’s many reasons for poor oral hygiene. From relationship based stress to self esteem issues, there are reasons to look after your teeth.

Poor Self Perceptions

The research outlines how those scared of emotional intimacy, or in poor quality relationships, will be less likely to look after their teeth. This is probably true of other health issues as well. Because they don’t put attention on their oral health, they feel more self conscious about them. Having regular clinical and cosmetic dental appointments is important to overall health.

Those in an unstable relationships are likely to miss or rearrange appointments indefinitely. When you are in a committed relationship, you tend to stay on top of things like this. While emotional self reliance is important, it’s ok to seek help from others. Research shows that having confidence in your relationship will impact positively elsewhere.

Future Health

Most good relationships encompass a dedication between two people and transcend purely physical signs. Some aspects of your outward appearance can’t be controlled, and that’s fine. Even when it comes to dentistry, some will have genetically poor teeth. This isn’t a problem, just so long as proper dental hygiene is followed.

Couples that are in good relationships tend to be willing to put more money in their looks. Those with bad genetics are more likely going to have the cosmetic dentistry done that is needed. Being attractive for your spouse is really important to people that are close.

Physical Attraction

Physical attraction isn’t everything in a relationship. The strongest couples have unconditional love and the willpower to help. Whether that’s getting fit and active together, or improving a diet touched by the stress of work.

Psychologists have outlined that while it is secondary, physical attraction is important to a marriage. Many couples find counseling beneficial when large scale changes take place. Teeth are a large part of this, and an important element for singles, continuing into marriage.

I’d like to point out that not only is your dental health affected by your relationship, but so is your overall health. When you are in a solid relationship with a good attitude, it can have positive impacts on your health.

Top 10 Positions You Should Try This Year

I received the best resource from the owner of Christian Friendly Sex Positions. He put together a round-up of the top viewed positions on his website. I know that it can be overwhelming coming up with new things to try, which is why I work so hard to give you new ideas.

You can head over to my post on I Am The Sex Talk Lady to check out the roundup below-

Or you can download the free pdf here-

Top 10 Positions PDF

5 Ways to Be More Intimate During Sex

I know that it seems like having sex is intimate enough, but there are plenty of couples that have sex that are disconnected. If you make it all about your own physical pleasure, then you’re missing out. God designed this activity between a husband and wife to bond them together and create deeper intimacy in the relationship all the way around.

Here are things you can do to be more intimate during sex:

1. Lights On, Eyes Open

Really look at your spouse during this time. That means you’re going to have to turn on the lights and open your eyes. I’m not saying there can’t be times when you close your eyes and focus on the feelings, but don’t spend the entire time with your eyes closed.

If you are used to always having time together with the lights way down low, I encourage you to make it brighter. Using mirrors is helpful, too. Watching you and your love be physical is a very intimate thing to do.

2. Tell Them Something Encouraging

There are times to focus on your spouse’s body and other times to focus on their mind. Spend a few minutes telling them something you love about them. Encouraging them while you are in a tangled mess makes the moments even more intimate.

Know when to stop talking and focus on pleasing their body. This is a good conversation to have ahead of time. Ask your spouse if they like for you to talk and how much.

3. Visualize Them

If you are in a position where you can’t see them or you’re nearing the point of bliss where you need to close your eyes, visualize your spouse. This is when using mirrors really comes in handy. When you have seen what it looks like for you and your spouse to be physically involved, these visions can be brought to mind during times like this.

Another thing you can do is visualize them doing or something something that makes you feel loved. You can think back to something nice they have done for you earlier that day, or just something in general that you love.

4. Stop and Hug

Don’t rush through your times of intimacy. I loved what J at Hot Holy Humorous said about that in her article on how to be more intimate during lovemaking. She said, don’t rush things. It’s not all about the big finish. Find ways to draw things out and really enjoy your time.

I suggest that you stop moving, and simply hug one another. This is as close as your two bodies can get physically, and you can stop to relish in the moment.

5. Carve Out More Time

Not every time you have sex needs to be a marathon, but give yourself more time to be together. Instead of leaving yourselves 20 minutes before you fall into the bed at night, carve out more time. That might mean you need to cut out some of your evening activities.

Spending more time during lovemaking brings intimacy. You can focus on one another’s bodies for longer, get into multiple positions, and try new things. When you leave yourself very little time, routines tend to take over.

These are simple ways to be more intimate during sex. What are some ideas that you have? Let me know in the comments section.

How To Create A Kitchen That You Can’t Wait To Wake Up To

We made the decision a few months ago that we would not go let any dishes pile up beside the sink. It’s been tough, let me tell you. But, it’s been so good, also. Instead of getting up every morning with piles of dishes, we are able to function for breakfast.

I asked Jennifer Dawson to share with us a few of her tips on how to wake up to a kitchen you love. Here’s what she has to say-

 

The kitchen is often the first port of call in the morning, as the search for caffeine to kick-start the day begins. It’s a place that is purposely designed to help you refuel and restore in comfort as you get ready for the day ahead. Love them or loathe them, mornings are tough. But, if your kitchen has just the right mix of space and functionality then your morning routine is already one step ahead of the rest.

Start Your Day The Right Way

Starting your day with a hot cup of coffee is actually more beneficial to your health than you might think. A study by the BMJ British Medical Journal found that coffee consumption lowers the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and depression, among others. Having a coffee machine in your kitchen will give your morning a much needed boost while improving your health at the same time.

It’s easy to convert your kitchen to a coffee house when there are so many different coffee machines available on the market today.  Life gets so hectic from time to time and so it’s important to make your kitchen as calm and stress-free as possible so that you don’t start the day on the wrong foot.

The Vital Ingredients For Kitchen Success

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It’s the one room in the house that everybody gravitates towards. It’s somewhere to get together with friends and family for dinner and drinks after the end of a busy day.

There are so many things to think about if you want to create the perfect kitchen in your home. Think storage, space and surface in order to really get the most out of your kitchen. You want to create an air of order and openness to make you feel on top of the world as soon as you enter the room.

The Proof Is In The Placement

There’s a perfect layout for all shapes of kitchen from L and U shaped kitchens to galley kitchens or kitchens with a central island unit. Regardless of what your kitchen is like, the most important thing to take on board is that your surfaces need to be as clear as possible.

It might seem like an additional chore to have to return everything to its rightful place each time you’re finished with it but once you have created the habit it will feel so worth it. Clearing clutter and simplifying your space is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to kitchen bliss that there is.

What To Get The Spouse Who Has Everything

Is your spouse that person that has everything and you just don’t know what to get them? I was having this same conversation with my friend the other day. It can be really difficult to come up with what to get someone that is able to buy everything they need themselves. 

I asked Crystal Shepherd to come and share a few ideas she has. Here’s what she has to say-

Is your spouse that person that has everything and you just don't know what to get them? I was having this same conversation with my friend the other day. It can be really difficult to come up with what to get someone that is able to buy everything they need themselves. 

Christmas is one of the best times of year to buy people gifts and feel confident in what you’ve got them. But we do all have that one person that we just can’t seem to buy for. If you’re stumped and don’t know what to do, here’s a few ideas of what to get the person who has everything.

Game System or Other Games

Getting a game system or video game for the person that loves to play games may be a great idea. There’s always new games being released on a regular basis.

A popular game this year is Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire and it can also be downloaded it app form for them to play on the go if they wish to. If you’re looking for something a bit more futuristic, virtual reality is the way to go. Plus, they’re bound to love it. It will immerse them into a side of gaming they’ve never been to before.

If they aren’t a video game fanatic, maybe you can pick up another game they may enjoy. One of my favorites is called Watch Ya Mouth. This is a fun group game that you can play together.

Take a Trip Away

romantic weekend away is definitely a great experience based gift. Plus, if you think about it, it’s a little present for you as well as them. There’s so many different routes you could go down with this as well.

Book an overnight stay in a hotel that’s nearby and get a sitter for the kids. Or, you can take your kids to someone’s house and then spend your romantic weekend at your own house. You’d just have to make a rule that you aren’t going to do work around the house. 

Experience Based Gifts

There are so many experience days to choose from, you’ll literally be spoil for choice. Think about what you know this person likes. Are they quiet the artist, do they like motor racing. Whatever it is, there’s something out there for them in terms of an experience day.

If it’s motor racing they like, there’s plenty of supercar track days that will see them racing round a circuit at high speeds having the best time. There’s so many websites on the internet that’ll also offer a discount for a day. If you go straight to the provider you might fight it’s a little more expensive than you’re willing to pay.

If they’re more of an adventure type of person, there’s tones out there that’ll offer high rope agility courses, skydiving, things like that that’ll really get the heart racing. 

Handmade Gifts

This is something a little more personalized and meaningful. Rather than going to the shops and picking up anything you see, you can put time and effort you’ve put into making this present for them

Maybe you can knit a scarf, handmake jewelry, or some other type of useful craft. If your aren’t much of a crafter, put together a simple trail mix made out of some of their favorite candies and dried fruits or cereal. Maybe you can do a picture collage of the past year. There’s plenty of services that will put a book together for you.

Hopefully this article has gave you a few ideas to make this festive buying season a little easier for you.

How We Used Facebook Marketplace For Our Moving Sale

If you didn’t know, Austin and I made a huge move across the country this past year. We had to downsize…significantly. Normally, we don’t sell our things, but we needed the extra money to put towards the move. I’ve never done a yard sale before, so I didn’t really know how to sell our stuff.

Facebook Marketplace was just starting to gain popularity, so we decided to list some of our things. It didn’t take long at all for us to start selling things. In fact, it was the easiest platform we’ve ever sold on.

You can read more about how to sell your stuff on Facebook in my post on Money Saving Mom. Check it out below.

How to sell on Facebook Marketplace 

Totally Free Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is almost here, which means it’s time to think about gifts. If you are like us, then gifts can be difficult to afford. Over the years, we have done many free things for our kids and for one another. Here are some of the ideas that I suggest you try this year if you need a free Christmas gift ideas.

Free Kindle Books

Authors put their ebooks on sale to gain more exposure. In fact, I put my ebooks on sale about every 3 month for free. But, if you are looking for books that are always free, you can get many classics from Amazon for free.

You don’t have to have a Kindle in order to read these books. I have the Kindle app on my Android phone and they have it for iPhone as well. You can even read it on your computer.

If you give these books, then you can print off the cover of the book and put it in their stocking or a box. Don’t have a printer? Then just write down the list of books you downloaded.

Free Printables

There are any number of free printables you can download from bloggers around the web. Depending on what you are looking for, you should be able to find it.

For kids you can get:

For adults try:

It’s amazing what you can find with a simple Google search. Just put the words free printable in front of whatever you are looking for.

Make a Special Space

I’ve been known to create special spaces in our houses for the kids. One year, I turned a closet into a reading nook (it was a big closet). Set aside a space in your house for something special. You might set up an art station, craft area, gaming place, or anything they are interested in. Just use items in your house that you already own.

Right now, we have turned our garage into a living room area for the kids. It has been a work in progress, but everything in there came off the side of the road during bulk pick up weekends.

If it is for your spouse, maybe you can re-organize an area to fit something they need. Maybe they want a place to workout, sew, woodwork, or do other projects. Simply cleaning up the space and making if available is gift enough.

Give Things That Belongs To You

You don’t have to wait until you pass away to gift things to your children. Maybe you have something of value that you will want them to have one day, like a coin collection, gun, or piece of jewelry.

If you have small kids, you can put together a box of dress up clothes from things you no longer wear. Look through your closet and find old scarves, hats, ties, wallets, purses, shoes, and anything else they may be able to use.

Create an Experience

We try to do clutter free gifts as much as possible. Experience based gifts are a lot of fun, and don’t require you to spend money. You would need to make up coupons of some kind to share what the experience will be. If you have items that you will use for that night, you can go ahead and gather them together.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Movie night- round up blankets, snacks, and anything else you have that would be great for a movie night. You can use a movie you already have or checkout one from the library. Just write down the title if you will have to check it out or wait for a free Redbox code.
  • Free museums- plan a day to visit some of the free museums in your area. If you are in a small town, then plan a trip to the closest city to you. On that day, be ready to pack food for your family so you don’t have to spend money.

 

  • Cooking lessons- you can let your children pick a recipe and then help you cook it. Give them a coupon for the number of lessons you are going to do with them. You can do this with any skill you have that you want to teach your kids in greater detail.

  • Library events- check out the free events that are going on at your local library. This past summer, we took our kids to a Harry Potter day at the library. They made all kinds of crafts and played games. It didn’t costs us at all. Most libraries are given a budget to do free things.

Find YouTube Tutorials

My kids have been really into origami in the past. I’ve located YouTube tutorials that my kids could watch and learn how to fold their paper. You can do this same concept with anything you think they would be interested in.

If your child likes magic, then find magic trick videos. Maybe they want to learn to play an instrument you already own. Or you can create a playlist of kid friendly dance moves.

For your spouse, you might consider finding tutorials to help them with a hobby they love. If they really enjoy sewing or crafts, look for tutorials of things they might want to try. If they are into photography, you can search out tips for that. Put it all in a playlist and share it with them on Christmas day.

Check Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist

People are always selling things on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. However, you can find free things on these platforms as well. We’ve picked up a coach off of Craigslist before. I regularly see things posts on Facebook Marketplace that are free as well.

You might be able to find something that you can gift someone in your family. Just be ready to clean it up or re-purpose it.

Put Together a Picture Slideshow

Sometimes you can get photo books for free. But, if there aren’t current deals, you can always put together a slideshow and show it to your family. You can even put it in a folder to share with them. I realized the other day that we take tons of pictures of our kids, but rarely show them to them. Bargain Hunters Blog would also help you with some cool ideas on creating your photo books.

Utilise the Library

The library is a great resource for your family. Sometimes, they are giving away free things you can take advantage of. It could be classes, storytimes, events, or free lunch programs. The library can be a good resource if you are building an experience based gift.

You can get books like these to help you put together those experiences:

  • Movies
  • Crafting book
  • Cook book
  • Science experiment book

Homemade Toys

There was a time that my kids thought I could make anything. In fact, they were super confused when I told them I could not, in fact, make a motorized toy. However, there are tons of easy toys you can make like:

  • Puppets– I’ve made the kids puppets before and made them a puppet theater out of a box. Also, I made them hobby horses one year by attaching a stuffed sock on the end of a PVC pipe we happened to have.
  • Washcloth animals
  • Store- instead of trashing your cereal boxes, pasta mix boxes, or anything cardboard, save it. You can take the food out of the boxes and tape up the ends. These types of items make for great grocery store toys.

Night of Romance

Austin and I are advocates of planning a night of romance on a regular basis. To help us remember to do that during Christmas, we hang a sexy stocking in our room. You can fill your stocking, or put together a box of things you already own to create your romantic night.

Here’s a few free sexy things you can add to the mix:

  • The Dating Divas – there are any number of free printables on their site.
  • Ultimate Intimacy app– there’s a free part to this app that will definitely get you excited.
  • Uncovering Intimacy- get Jay Dee’s Free Truth or Dare game.
  • Conversation Starters and Truth or Dare- sign up for my newsletters and I’ll send you a copy of my conversation starters for couples and truth or dare bedroom game.
  • Sex Adventure Generator– go over to Married Christian Sex and you can refresh the page to get new prompts every time.

Other Free Gift Ideas

Here’s a few more free gift ideas you might consider for your family or people that you know:

  • Chore coupons- make coupons to do the chores your family member hates
  • T-shirt scarf– just use an old t-shirt to make this. It needs to be seamless.
  • Sugar scrub- a basic sugar scrub is made with either white or raw sugar and oil. You can get fancy and add essential oils if you have them. Just add enough oil to wet down the sugar and put it in a container.
  • Bath bombs– these bath bombs are made from thing you might already have in your pantry.
  • Make snacks and treats from what you have.

These are some of my totally free Christmas gift ideas. What are ones that you have? Leave me a comment below.