Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {5.23}

It’s Saturday and it’s time to join me and other bloggers for week two of Slim Down Saturday! This week I saw some results from snacking on more fruits and veggies and even noticed that I’m feeling fuller faster! I’m trying to average about losing two pounds a week in order to make my goal weight within the three month time frame and I’m happy to have almost done that!
Let’s get rolling on week two…

The Results Week Two

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
– 1.6 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
– 4.4 lbs

Positives From the Week
My first cheat day was a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a and I have no shame whatsoever. Like I said before, it’s important to have cheat meals during your week because it reminds you that food is satisfying and should be something you love. And boy do I love me some chicken sandwiches. And that sauce…I could drink it. #realtalk
Another positive is when I do dine out I am drinking more water and limiting my wine consumption to one glass (I know, what’s the fun in that?!). I find myself making more health conscious choices which dining out, which is a major improvement.

Things to Work On
I did skip one of my workout days due to being tired from work and commuting. This is something I need to be sure I stick to throughout the week no matter how tired I feel. Being active has definitely helped me burn some extra calories and allows me to enjoy my cheat meals.
One Goal For Next Week
Not to eat out as much. Although we meal planned for the week, we ended up eating some of the meals for lunch over the weekend. This left holes in our menu and was left open for dining out (we did eat sushi one night which was a low-point meal). Week 3 I want to limit our dining out nights to once a week or not at all if possible.

Motivator
One motivation from this week has been being able to notice my clothes beginning to fit a little looser. There’s no greater feeling than your jeans feeling a little less snug and being able to feel confidant in your clothes.

Tip or Trick
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Grapefruit juice has been proven to aide in burning fat around your midsection and is great for your overall health. I’ve been drinking one 8 oz. glass a day and have seen a difference in my waist even after a week! Just be careful of fruit juices and their sugar content. I love Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice because it’s 100% grapefruit.

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Five Things Friday + Linkup

Today I am very excited for more than one reason. It’s officially one week away from our last day of preschool, tonight we are meeting up with friends in L.A. who are visiting in town for Memorial Day weekend, umm…it’s a three-day weekend, and it’s an early release day at school. All is well this Friday and I can’t wait to read up on what you’ve been up to this week!
Here are my five favorite things and be sure to catch the linkup at the bottom of this post.
New to the linkup? Have no idea what Five Things Friday is? Here’s how to join…

One of the biggest things to happen this week is the newest addition to the Daniel household and that is our little Lexus hybrid! See my original post here to read all about my grateful heart and the decision to let go of my dream car.

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I have discovered the Skinny Vanilla Latte at Starbucks and it’s been the greatest revelation I’ve made all week. I love my coffee, especially my Iced Caramel Macchiatos but with trying to stick to my points I’ve needed to find a new approach to my love of flavored coffees. I order a tall SVL and it comes out to only 2 points! I get my coffee fix and it doesn’t taste half-bad either. Win, win!

A photo posted by Kelly Daniel (@kjdaniel1) on

One of my favorite things every week is enjoying my Sundays going to church with my husband. This photo was taken after church and I was enjoying a nice mocha latte while discussing our thoughts on that day’s message. I love that church has continued to bring us closer together as I love getting inside my husband’s head and heart. I always pray over my husband and I am thankful that we share this important time together. 
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One of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes from this week was the Slow Cooker Red Bean, Sausage, and Rice Soup. We skipped the slow cooker and swapped the rice for rice noodles (less in points than regular rice) and it was a hit! I love the flavor of the andouille chicken sausage, which gives the soup a savory, spicy, almost cajun taste. Only 5 points for a 1 1/2 cup serving!

I HAVE to get some photos up soon of my recent outlet purchases from Banana Republic and J.Crew! Let’s just say it was a lot of jumpsuits, rompers, a floppy hat and fedora, and a cute spring scarf! With 50% off everything sales going on I couldn’t resist! Plus, I’m all set for our trip to Hawaii 😉
For the longest time I figured jumpsuits are for the slender bodied gals only but these cute numbers are so comfy and flattering I had to pick up more than one! Plus the striped cotton dress is only $12 after the sale price!

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Misconceptions About Marriage As Told By a Newlywed

Entering marriage with my husband was an easy, and might I add, well thought out, choice. When we met, neither of us were looking for relationships. In fact, we had just been a few months shy of just ending our previous relationships before fate stepped in and knocked us off our feet unexpectedly. After dating for almost a year and a half, Philip popped the question and six months later we said ‘I do’ in front of our closest friends and family in Las Vegas.

June 28th marks our very first wedding anniversary and I can’t help but sit here in reflection of where this year has taken us and how we’ve evolved and grown into the spouses we are today. Nothing could have prepared me for marriage and being a wife, but yet here I sit waiting in anticipation for the years to follow. Here are my top three misconceptions about marriage, especially within the first year.

When it comes to advice on marriage there are so many opinions and suggestions out there, some more valuable than others, that sometimes it’s difficult for a newlywed to navigate these uncharted waters. Some believe that marriage will simply fix whatever problems may be in the relationship or that time is running out so there’s a sense of urgency to find ‘the one.’

nothing changes about your relationship after you say “I do”

One major misconception about marriage is that people believe that somehow their relationship will change because they’ve taken this ’next step.’ This isn’t true so take off those rose colored glasses. You as an individual will be the same exact person the next day and so will your spouse…the only difference is that you’ve just paid for your family and group of friends to eat an expensive meal and drink all of your booze. If you have issues in your relationship leading up to your wedding those issues will still be there afterwards. So, enter your marriage with realistic expectations and consider working through the emotional stuff beforehand.

happily ever after is attainable

Irregardless of how long you’ve been married, ‘happily ever after’ isn’t just for fairy tales. Finding happiness in your marriage should be the goal to which both partners strive to experience with one another. It takes work, however, it should never feel like work. It begins with compromise, learning to combine your passions with your spouse’s, and I will always say that communication is the key to a happy and healthy relationship. Happy should be the first word to describe your marriage and if it isn’t, take a look at what you can do to attack those happiness-killers that might be lurking around.

If you’re looking for a start on how to achieve happiness, consider checking out this podcast series from my local church called The Pursuit of Happiness. It’s been a fantastic series and I have been able to gather many take-aways from each message. It’s so easy to apply to your life and does a great job at putting things into perspective.

my husband doesn’t have to love me

He chooses to. Every. Single. Day. And I, him.

Just because you’re married doesn’t mean that you get to stand along the sidelines and become a spectator to your relationship.

I suppose this is when people tell you it’s work. Look, it’s easy to get comfortable, maybe gain a little weight here and there, have sex less often, or become more involved with your cell phone, kids, or career. It happens. However, the important thing to keep in mind is that you chose to be in your relationship, so, make it work.

This comes in different forms. Here’s a few: 

  1. Give quality attention to one another. Put away the phones and other distractions.
  2. Sex is important and intimacy is vital to a lasting marriage. It shouldn’t be a chore, but something you and your spouse both enjoy.
  3. Stay in shape. You’re a reflection of your spouse and vice versa. Keep him wanting you the way you did when you first met. Plus, self-confidence is one of the most attractive qualities men like in women!
  4. Remember to put your relationship first before your kids. If your relationship is happy your children will notice. The same can be said for unhappy marriages, too. Children see everything so set a good example for them.
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Saying Goodbye: A Grateful Heart

Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do. Even if it’s to a car. For me, it was saying goodbye to a car that had extraordinary meaning and was a reminder that anything is possible through hard work and discipline.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

To begin…
I am lucky enough to say that I was able to gain a quality education and even graduate with a master’s degree at 23 years old. Not to mention I was the first in my family to do that. So, it was kind of a big deal for me. During that time, as a part of my studies, I had to complete a year of intense student teaching and an internship of which I couldn’t work and therefore earn an income. 
Introducing my first experience with credit. I had to get my first credit card to pay for my bills during that time I was out of work. I considered myself financially conscious and was aware of the pitfalls of having credit, which could get me into trouble. I did what I could, but before I knew it I had reached my balance and ended up getting a second card to help with my additional expenses. By graduation, I had two maxed-out credit cards and was swimming in debt, only adding to what I would owe for student loans.
Although it was embarrassing to confront, or even discuss at the time, Philip helped me get on a simple financial plan in order to work through these credit cards and eventually pay them off. I remember being on vacation with him, in Turks & Caicos of all places, and paying my final balance. I can’t even describe to you the weight that was lifted once I read that $0.00 balance…on BOTH cards.
Funny enough, my car at the time, a 2000-something Hyundai Santa Fe, was beginning to show signs of death and I knew that it was only a matter of time before it crapped out on me. I knew that I needed a new car and soon. Funny the way the universe works. Oh you just paid off your credit card debt? That’s nice. Now the undercarriage of your car is going to rust and fall out.

Finding Mini…
I had always loved Mini Coopers and it was once only a dream to own one. They were cute, compact, and had just enough sportiness that made them fun to drive. After discussing it, Philip took me to a dealership and spent the afternoon test driving some of their models. After driving a few, and over the next few weeks contemplating on which I liked most, the day finally arrived where I was in a position to buy my first brand new car. Finally I was about to embark on purchasing my dream car; making that dream a reality.

May 18, 2013

This was me almost two years ago to the day when my Mini Coupe arrived all the way from Oxford, England. Instead of purchasing something off the lot, I went with designing and creating my own coupe from scratch. I opted for the two-seater coupe because at the time I didn’t need the extra room since it was just me and Philip. Also, it was perfect for living in DC because you could park it anywhere. The coupe was a brand new model and I loved the fact that I didn’t see many of these driving around (I mean, EVERYONE has the two-door hardtop).

However, within that two year period of owning my dream car, my priorities had shifted. I had gotten married, we adopted our fur-baby Murphy, moved to CA and now we are in the phase of trying for a family. This all equates to needing to upgrade and find a more practical car for our growing family and accommodate my lengthy commute to work each day.

May 17, 2015

After many months, dealerships, test drives, and changed minds later we finally found THE ONE. I am so happy with our new Lexus Hybrid CT 200h because it’s a smooth drive, enough room for company (and an eventual car seat), saves on gas, and is oh so pretty 😉

So, what am I grateful for? 

I am grateful…
+ to my husband for providing me with a family I can’t do without
+ that we are in a financial position to buy a new car
+ for hybrid technology, which makes my commute so much easier
+ that my Mini will soon be someone else’s dream car

Most of all, God has been so good to our family and I am more than grateful for His love and blessings. Without His good work in our lives we wouldn’t have been in the position to make this purchase.

Do you have something you’ve worked hard to earn? What helped you reach your goal? What kinds of sacrifices did you have to make? Let’s talk!

Thank you to Ember Grey for hosting this wonderful Grateful Heart linkup! You can also find me linking up with Oak & Oats this week!

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