{Hearts on 22} I’ve Got Weight to Lose and a World to GainĀ 

What can I say, I am a Minnesota girl through and through. I have a deep deep love for all things tasty. Chocolate isn’t my cup of tea, it helps that I am allergic to it, but girl I can get down with a slice of lemon cake or an apple pie. Preferably pie, I’m not a big cake fan, but if cake is in the room chances are it will find its way into my belly. 

Bacon it doesn’t stand a chance! I am in LOVE with bacon. It was a big deal when I said to Jay “I love you more than bacon!” When I am not with bacon, I am with cheese. Wisconsin’s greatest gift to the human race was CHEESE!!! Fresh cheese is the best cheese, it’s even better when battered and fried, cheese curds are literally a girls best friend. Who needs dimonds when you have cheese curds! 

We need to get real! I mean like really real here folks, thou my love for bacon and cheese is strong, it is starting to show on my ass, my thighs, and every where else it can accumulate. I am starting to feel it in my knees and I have to squeeze myself into my pants. I like wearing pants that don’t squeeze my innards and allow me to eat food while they are buttoned and or snapped up. I also like shirts that leave a little wiggle room. My dresses are more forgiving thou they to are getting a little tight around the ass region. 

Guys and Gals, shopping isn’t AJ’s thing! Yes I am female and yes I just admitted that shopping isn’t my thing. Sorry boys I know I am a catch for that very reason, but I am already happily taken. Anyhoo back to the wardrobe, something has to give I love my current clothes and I want them to love me back. So this only means one thing, “AJ needs to make a life change.” As in clean up her eating and get her ass moving like a boss. 

I should know a thing or two about weight loss and healthy living. My first job out of college was with Jenny Craig as a Program Director, I sold the program and counseled clients along their journey. It was fun, but if you know me and you know me well I HATE prepackaged microwave meals! Like hate them, they never look like the picture on the box, they are loaded with salt, and not to mention the chemicals in the plastic tray that leak into your food during the heating processes. Yes, I know I’ve put way to much thought into that. Anyways I did not want a plan that requires me to live out of my microwave or drink shakes. I wanted something that would fit into my life and not fit my life into a diet.

Enter advice from the world’s greatest best friend Sherri, she said why not try “weight watchers!” Hmmm I instantly pictured little old ladies in swim caps doing water  aerobics while counting points. Then there is Oprah, she’s always yelling “I LOVE BREAD” and urging us to give weight watchers a try. I did some research and took Sherri’s advice, I signed myself right on up for the program. $20.00 a month isn’t so bad plus there is a handy dandy ap that synchs with my Fitbit. Bonus Jay is also going to be working the WW plan too. It’s nice to have your BFF and life partner on board, otherwise this journey would be boring.

The Weight Watchers app is pretty simple to use and was easy to setup. My goal is to lose 34 pounds by my 34th birthday. Which is 10/27/2016, I figure slow and steady will win this race. Best part is I do not have to deprive myself of anything. I still get to have my beloved bacon and cheese. Everything has a point value, foods higher in sugar/saturated fat and sodium have higher point values. Which helps steer you towards healthier choices that will eventually result in drops on the scale.

The Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale program also focuses on activity and non-scale victories. I love that my Fitbit synchs with the weight watchers app. I earn extra points to use during the week based on my activity level. AJ don’t run unless she is being chased but these shoes were made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do. Non-scale victories can be as small as turning down Deseret or as big as finally fitting in an airplane seat. You choose your own victories and celebrate all of your success that happens off the scale.

I have been working the program since April 2 and I can honestly say I don’t feel deprived or hungry. I am less bloated and have more energy. Thou I still need naps, naps are my jam man. Cullen is tired, tired because his legs are short and we have been going for longer walks. He really likes naps too! Below is my before photo and hopefully my after will look drastically different. I don’t want to be a skinny mini, I want to be a size healthy and feel comfortable in my own skin. Because Beauty knows no number. 


You can follow along on my journey as I will be sharing the tips and the tricks that I learn along the way. Besides we both know I am going to also be sharing my success and the down right funny moments of this process too! It will be fun so put on your walking shoes and come along with me! 

{Love Thy…..} Put a Lime in the Coconut Body Scrub

Over the past year I have changed my diet, gone are the days of processed food and eating out almost every day. Instead I only shop the outer isles of the grocery store, buy organic, and buy local whenever possible. My diet is 85% clean and my health has immensely improved. I have more energy and weigh less. The number on he scale no longer matters to me, its how I feel about the person in the mirror that matters. Since I have cleaned up my diet I started to wonder what else I could do to improve my health and decrease my impact on the planet.

Enter the bathroom, I like every other woman on this planet have a cabinet full of lotions, potions, and serums that I use to improve the look of my skin. I like you can barely pronounce the ingredient list on the back of the bottles. Lush is one of my favorite stores and their natural bath products smell amazing. Now I can pronounce every ingredient that’s in a Lush product and know that it is free of chemicals. So I thought to myself……..”could I make my own body scrub?”

Google told me that it was possible, the recipes for homemade body scrubs were endless. I wanted it to be simple, something that I could throw together in under ten minutes. I don’t do complicated and I wanted a scrub that was budget friendly. After doing a little research, trial and error I came up with my own scrub.

I call it: Put a Lime in the Coconut Body Scrub

ingredients You will need four simple ingredients: Sugar, Salt, Coconut Oil, and the zest of 1 Lime.

coconut oil Melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil in the microwave for about 1 minute.

salt and oil Add 1/2 cup sugar to the melted coconut oil.

salt sugar oil Add 1/2 cup salt to the sugar and coconut oil.

lime zest Add the zest of 1 lime to the salt, sugar, and coconut oil.

Stir Stir the lime zest, salt, sugar, and coconut oil together.

body scrub Spoon the mixture into a jar, seal with an airtight lid, then store it in a cool dry place.

The sugar and salt smooth your rough spots, while the coconut oil hydrates your skin. I use the scrub about twice a week and it keeps my skin super soft. Plus the hit of lime will chase away the winter blues.

{Food For Thought} Blackberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Blackberry oatmealIf you are like me your mornings are pretty hectic. I have to get myself ready for work, walk the dog, and some how find time for breakfast. Most mornings my breakfast consist of a cup of coffee and that’s about it. My Keurig is a blessing, if I could I would marry that thing. But since its not legal for a woman to marry a coffee maker, I’ll settle for our best friends for life relationship.

Strolling through the breakfast isle I noticed that there are over 100 different types of breakfast bars. I rarely buy processed food items, except for breakfast bars. They come in handy when you need to quell the beast in your stomach. Since my diet consist of mostly heart healthy foods I always look for the heart check label. Reading the ingredients is important to me, well except for when I have no idea what half the shit is. Intimidated by hydrogenated oils and other things I couldn’t pronounce I put the box down. I thought to myself “I can probably make breakfast bars from scratch.” So I set off on a web search to find a good breakfast bar recipe. There are a lot of different versions out there from easy to complicated. I don’t like complicated breakfast bars. After trial and error I came up with a recipe that worked for me and my time commitment. Time is precious around here.

Blackberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Servings: 8 – 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes (that’s fast folks!)
Bake Time: 25 minutes

1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups black berry jam, or any type of jam you prefer 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. In a large bowl mix everything together, but the jam.
3. Take 2 cups of the mixture and press it into the bottom of an 8 inch square pan, coated with cooking spray.
4. Spread the jam evenly over the top of the firmly pressed mixture.
5. Take remaining mixture and spread it over the jam, press down lightly.
6. Bake for 25 minutes
7. let the bars cool for 15 minutes and cut into squares.