May 18, 2016

The Truth About Weight Loss

When you read people's extreme weight loss stories, what they don't usually share is the dark side of it all. When I started losing weight 16 months ago, I had 170 pounds to lose. Now, I've lost 120 pounds of that large number. Only 50 to go.

Except it's not "only" 50. Fifty pounds is a lot of extra weight to be carrying around. It places me squarely in the obese category. Every pound of the 120 I have lost has been a struggle, a constant battle between my body and myself. It's a battle that's being going on for decades -- I've dealt with being over weight as a child, through high school, in college and beyond.

There’s a little voice that is often the reason so many people quit or gain weight back. That little voice is a bitch that makes weight loss incredibly hard, harder than most people -- and me-- are usually willing to admit. Who wants to talk about how horrible they feel at times, how often they questioned themselves when they read all these stories about people who flew through weight loss like it’s nothing? I don't. Like everyone, I want people to think things are easy for me. So, along with everyone else, I never admit that little voice is there. I never admit how hard, even soul-crushing, weight loss is at times.

May 16, 2016

Create Gorgeous, Personalized Invites, Cards and Announcements

When it comes to memorable, special events like weddings, baby showers, graduations, first birthdays and birth announcements, a beautiful, personalized invite, announcement and thank you card adds a touch of class. Being able to personalize the cards and envelopes to make them extra polished is the icing on the cake. With Basic Invite, creating the perfect card is easy and fun.

May 11, 2016

Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

It's no secret around here that I am a sucker for a good, homemade comfort food recipe. When you've also got one kid who is picky and one who has food issues due to autism, finding foods everyone loves can be a challenge. With my ultimate macaroni and cheese recipe, everyone ends up happy. I'll warn you up front, this isn't one of my healthy recipes. It fits squarely in the typical comfort food category, boasting cheese, butter and pasta noodles along with plenty of calories.

If you're like me and watch what you eat, a small portion is in order. It is super filling though, so you won't be left hungry even if you don't serve up a giant bowl (though you'll be tempted to, it's so good). Even with the extra calories, this mac and cheese is still healthier than the processed, box kinds you'll find in the store.

As tasty as this dish is, it's also incredibly easy to make. Really, it doesn't take too much more effort than making the box kind. All you need is a few bricks of cheese, shredded (or you can buy pre-shredded cheese if you're ok with spending a bit more), a dab of butter, milk and noodles.

May 6, 2016

A Specially Tailored Math Tutor for Kids -- Right from Your Sofa

I admit it. I hate math. I've never been good at it, ever since I was a child. (Yes, I still count on my fingers at times. If it's beyond basic math and I can't use my fingers or a simple calculator, chances are I won't figure out the math problem.) Flashbacks of sweaty palms, a quick heart beat and a feeling of dread that came before every math test still race through my head. If I'd had a math tutor and a fun way to learn right in my home as a kid, maybe I'd have done better. Having a tutor available right from the couch along with being tailored for me would have helped even more. Lucky for kids now, sofatutor is available to do just that.

May 5, 2016

Amazing Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Lemonade: the perfect blend of sweet, sour and lemon in a cold drink perfect for warmer weather. When that tall glass of lemonade gets turned into a cake, it's heaven on a plate. One of my signature cakes is amazing lemon cake that does just that. An amazing, light, fluffy lemon buttercream frosting tops it off, taking the cake to absolute bliss.

The recipe takes all the wonderful aspects of lemonade and cake, balancing them just so, leaving with you with a dessert that is simply amazing. Seriously, imagine the absolute BEST lemonade you're ever had as cake and this is it.

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Fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and a dash of vanilla are the secrets to this lemon cake. While you could use concentrated juice, or skip the zest, it wouldn't have the same "zing" or fresh, lemony taste that make it great. The vanilla -- an unexpected ingredient when it comes to lemon -- kicks the cake and frosting up a notch to amazing.

May 3, 2016

10 Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me

In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to share with you some of the important life lessons my own mother has taught me over the years. Some are more on the serious side. Some are amusing. Some are from years ago, some she's taught me only recently, as learning never stops in life. All have been meaningful in my life for one reason or another.

The many lessons I've learned from people in my life are what I always end up remembering about them, even after they've passed on or simply aren't in my life anymore. People leave marks on our hearts, making us who we are. The ones who have taught me something are the ones who have had the most influence on me and who are the most precious. The lessons from my mom are extra special since she's my mother. What she has taught me has shaped who I am since day one. She's taught me much more than these 10 things, of course.

All of the 10 lessons I'm sharing with you are lessons I'll never forget. Each one has a memory that goes with it that I cherish.

Has your own mother taught you something that has stuck with you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! Happy Mother's Day!