Getting Healthy the Right Way (Taking Baby Steps)


Being overweight has always been an issue for me.  When I was kid and preteen, I was really fit and trim but too dumb to realize it.  I hid my body behind a poor self esteem and really big clothes. When I hit high school my weight exploded, the trend continuing into college and way into my twenties.  At first I was in denial about how big I was, despite the fact I was teetering around 240.  I mean I always saw myself as a big girl even as a kid so I just accepted it, not changing my unhealthy lifestyle.  Once out of college and into my first post-grad job I realized I wasn’t happy with weight, especially when I started dating my now husband.  So I did a major crash diet (i.e South Beach), getting down to 185.  I looked great and I felt great, getting rid of long-term unhealthy habits like eating out almost every day of the week and drinking tons of soda.  It worked for awhile but didn’t last and my weight crept back up.  I joined the gym, going hard and strong for awhile but it didn’t last.  I tried South Beach again .  It didn’t stick.  Long story short, all the way up until my pregnancy almost two years ago I was still very much overweight.

What did it take for me to truly get serious about getting healthy again?  A major health scare.

About three days after I came home from the hospital with my baby girl I was rushed to the hospital. I retained so much water between the pregnancy and the emergency C-section, it was backing up into my lungs and I couldn’t breathe.  My blood pressure was also through the roof so I ended up staying in the hospital three more days before going home again.  That scary experience taught me not to take my health for granted.  It can go downhill in the blink of the eye.  But how in the world can I do that?  I just started working at home and I have a new baby. Fast forward to this past August and I realized what I had to do to make these healthy changes I wanted to make stick.

I had to change my way of thinking.

In the past, I thought I had to go all in, going from not exercising at all to exercising every single day for hours.  I felt like I had to cut out all of my favorite unhealthy foods cold turkey, eating nothing but salad and lean meat forever. Sure that works for a little while but then there’s going to be a day you can’t make it to the gym or you cave in and have pizza.  Then you feel like a total failure and you give up.  This time around I couldn’t afford to give up.  Not only did I have a little girl I have to be here for (and keep up with!) but to this day I’m still taking blood pressure meds that I want to get off of safely.

Now I’m extremely happy to say that I’m down almost 10 pounds and feel stronger than ever.  That’s because I took a different approach to health.  Like I do with blogging, I gave myself smaller, more achievable goals each week.  I found an awesome group of moms to work out with and when I started, my goal was just to show up at least once a week. When I did, I patted myself on the back. After that, I upped those worke out dates to twice a week.  Then my goal was to keep up with my work out crew (these ladies go hard! LOL) and once I had that down, I promised to work out at home at least once a week. That meant anything from the normal, hard core workouts to power walking my neighborhood for at least 30 minutes.  As for diet, I’m a big advocate of moderation.  If I want pizza one day, I make sure the rest of my meals are light and healthy. I also don’t eat out two days in a row or keep my favorite junk food in the house.

The key is to take baby steps. If you haven’t worked out in awhile, do little 10 or 15 minute exercises to start once or twice a week (my Fitness Board has a lot of great ideas!).  Get your sneakers on and take a 20 minute walk before or after work.  Focus on adding one or two healthy foods at a time instead of taking away all the bad ones.

After trying to get healthy unsuccessfully for so long, last week was the first week since August that I haven’t worked out at all, taking a break to get over a cold.  And you know what?  I’m ready to get back on it!

How are you getting healthy?



Beauty Storage Ideas

If you’re a beauty junkie like me you know that there comes a point where your stash becomes an unsightly mess!  When your beauty product collection is crazy you can’t fully appreciate all the wonderful stuff you have.  I know I came across some old gems of mine lately and it was only because I got tired of using the same old products and had the time to go through the many plastic drawers and makeup bags I had in my bathroom.  I attempted to organize my stuff awhile back but I still can’t see all that I have at a glance.  While my makeup only requires me to rifle around in my drawers for a few minutes, my hair stuff is another story!  I can’t see everything I have under my sink and those products I do use just create unnecessary clutter on my bathroom counter (and clutter drives me in-sane!)  So I’m on a mission to find a creative, and practical way to store my beauty collection and you won’t believe some of the cool ideas I found!

Beauty Storage

Courtesy of:

This makeup vanity is AWESOME!!  Totally need this in my life!


suiterevival blogspot ca

Spice racks from Ikea = Genius!

Beauty Storage

Courtesy of

The little compartments are perfect for all those little beauty tools and brushes I have scattered all over the place.

Beauty Storage

Courtesy of

Another option for the bathroom counter.  It’s like having your own personal beauty display.

beauty storage

Easy solution for the inside of your medicine cabinet.  I even like the toothbrushes there too.


How do you store your beauty products?

Beauty Blast: Jergens Dry Skin Moisturizer

Jergens Lotion

Winter weather can wreck havoc on your skin.  Even down here, we’ve been having more cold snaps than usual and since having a baby, my skin has become even drier.  So I’m always looking for a lotion that gives me the moisture my skin needs. My days can be frantic and downright crazy sometimes so I want my skin to be smooth and soft all day.  When the folks over at Jergens asked me to give their Daily Moisture Dry Skin Moisturizer for a test drive, I was excited!  I’m a big fan of Jergens, a skincare brand that has graced my bathroom countertop a time or too.  With silk proteins and a Citrus Extract blend of lemon, grapefruit, and pineapple juices it promises to hydrate skin and keep it looking smooth and silky all day.

After using it for about two weeks, making sure I target my trouble spots like my legs and feet, I really like it!  The lotion goes on easy and absorbs into my skin rather quickly.  That’s important because who wants their skin to feel greasy after putting on lotion!  My skin looks great, feels smooth and it really does last all day.  The fragrance is gender neutral – meaning that it doesn’t smell fruity or girly so your guy will have no qualms using it!  I would like to see Jergens come out with a sweet smelling lotion though ( I don’t like sharing my skincare stash sometimes!)

Have you used Jergens?  Which one of their lotions do you like?


FTC Disclosure:  Product mentioned in this review was received as a free sample.

Photo courtesy of Jergens


Beauty Blast: Deep Clean Gentle Scrub Cleanser from Neutrogena

face cleanser


I’ve always been a fan of Neutrogena. My favorite products from them are their makeup wipes (so much so I won’t use anything else!) and their Night Calming Cleanser which I can’t find anymore (insert sad face). When I ran out of my normal cleanser, I sent the hubby out and he came back with this – The Deep Clean Gentle Scrub Cleanser.  At the time, my pregnancy was winding down and my skin was going bizerk so I needed something that was going to help clear things up without being too harsh.  This oil free cleanser has Beta Hydroxy that gets deep into y pores to get out all the excess oil and dirt.  The little microbeads are there to exfoliate the dead skin away for soft and smooth skin.

The cleanser itself is light and creamy loaded with orange microbeads.  As a cleanser it’s excellent, keeping my face clear of any blemishes or major breakouts.  It’s also a great exfoliator, leaving my skin soft , rid of any dead skin as well as taking care of any pimple that does decide to rear its ugly head. A dime-size amount gets the job done, while putting too much will have you rinsing it off a lot harder.  I wish it didn’t have so many microbeads though because if I don’t rinse thoroughly, some are left behind.  Other than that, it’s a good product and does what it says!


What are your favorite Neutrogena products?

Photo courtesy of: Neutrogena

FTC Disclosure:  Product mentioned in this review was personally bought.


Beauty Blast: Murad Men Skin Care Products

Yes, you read right!  Today I’m doing a review of Murad’s men skin care products that specifically cater their unique skin issues such as cleansing and conditioning for a superior shave while reducing skin irritation and redness.  I chose to review these products because I sometimes suffer from a problem that I’m sure many of your married girls or those who live with their men may be familiar with:

My hubby can be notorious for jacking my skin care products.

Over the years we’ve been living together I found that a number of my products I use work well for him as well as some others that actually work better for him than for me.  So I was curious to see if the same went for men’s products and Murad gave me the perfect opportunity to see!  After taking the products they sent over for a test run these past few weeks, these two really stood out for me.


Face Defense® SPF 15

Seriously, my husband has not had a chance to use this one because this product is my absolute favorite!  On the days when I want to skip my tinted moisturizer to go makeup free, I normally have to use my moisturizer and then follow up with a sunscreen.  This normally results in greasy, sticky skin (so not cute!).  With this one, all I need is this light weight cream that keeps my skin hydrated and protected from the sun with UVA/UVB protection.  My skin soaks it up right away and my skin feels clean and soft all day.


Razor Burn Rescue®

Our men aren’t the only ones who are shaving and we need just as much relief from ingrown hairs, bumps, and irritation (especially in those sensitive areas, you know what I mean?).  This is where this comes in, applying this cream in those places where you just shaved and it works!  I normally have skin irritation whenever I do my regular shaving and this product stops it dead in its tracks!  This girl couldn’t be happier!

I was also sent along some products just perfect for the summer that men and women could use.  What was cool about these next two is it was sans the frilly girl packaging (so your man feels more comfortable taking it from your medicine cabinet 🙂 ).


Oil-Free Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

The sun out here doesn’t play any games and with this pregnancy, my skin is even more sensitive to the sun.  So whenever my days calls for being out, even if it’s  going from my car into the store, I put this sunscreen on before I step out the door.  Unlike the sunscreens I’ve used in the past, it’s not greasy, heavy, or has that strong sun block smell that can get annoying.  It goes on smooth and blends in easily, giving my skin a clean and shine free finish while protecting my skin at the same time.

 Murad Skincare

Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum®

No matter how much we know we shouldn’t go without sun protection, even the best of us can slip and this girl here is no exception!  On Memorial Day, I spent the day at the beach and totally forgot the sunscreen. Before I knew it, not only do I have tan lines that are still around as we speak, but my skin started behaving all kinds of awful especially on my shoulders and arms.  They were sunburned and I needed something to relieve the irritation and peeling that came along with it.  This serum helped a ton, giving my skin the hydration it needed while decreasing the irritation. Once the sunburn situation was under control, I decided to use it on my elbows which kept getting dry despite the lotion I was using.  Instantly they were moisturized and smooth to touch. I use it religiously because of that!

Have you ladies used anything products from Murad?  How do you like them?



FTC Disclosure:  Products mentioned in this review were received as free samples.

Photos courtesy of:  Murad

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    The advice and reviews of this blog are solely the opinions and experiences of the writer, MJ, unless otherwise specified. Products being reviewed have been obtained via free samples from featured companies unless otherwise stated.
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