Budget Friendly Meals | Kai Ping Bowls

Once upon a time, I used to nanny the most awesome girls. They had two stepsisters. The youngest of those stepsisters was an itty bitty Chinese thing name Kai Ping. She is one of the most darling children ever, and also one of the pickiest eaters I have ever come across. When she and her sister would come to visit the girls I nannied, there was only one thing I could ever get Kai Ping to eat: rice bowls with ground turkey, spinach, and egg. It might sound weird to you, but it’s actually an incredibly delicious combo that I grew to love a lot. And so, Kai Ping Bowls were born.

Kai Ping Bowls are budget friendly, healthy, and delicious rice bowls named after a girl she used to babysit.

Because Kai Ping Bowls are budget friendly, good for you, and a great way to use up leftover rice, we eat them pretty frequently. At least once a month, if not twice. It’s a meal that lends itself really well to variation as well. Sometimes we use ground beef instead of turkey, sometimes we add broccoli or other veggies that need to be used up.

Kai Ping Bowls

serves 4

2 TBSP olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked rice
3 large handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped (we like to use a spinach/kale blend)
1/4 cup soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Brown the ground turkey. Move the ground turkey to the edges of the pan to create a well. Add the beaten eggs and scramble. Add the rice, spinach, and soy sauce. Cook until rice is heated through and the spinach is wilted.

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That’s it! This meal seriously couldn’t be any simpler. Enjoy! :)

What’s the story behind your favorite meal?

The Blog Tools I Can’t Live Without + Win a Canon Rebel T3i

Posts like these are so fun for me to read (and incidentally to write) because I absolutely love talking about all things blog. I love to hear what helps other people and I love getting a behind the scenes look at other blogger’s processes. These 4 things have been absolutely indispensable when it comes to the way I run my blog. I literally cannot work without them anymore because using them has made my process better-faster-stronger. You know? ;)

My essential blog  tools for organizing, managing, and creating a successful blog

1. A Cute Calendar/Planner

Before I started using a planner for my blog posts, my posting schedule was….not a schedule at all. It was totally erratic and it was extremely stressful. Not too long ago I bought a cute, $7 planner at Target and I’ve started using a sticky note system to plan my blog posts. It has worked wonders for my efficiency.

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2. Passionfruit ads

Once I started my sponsorship program up again and people started having more interest in it, there was no question in my mind about whether or not I should use Passionfruit  to keep my ad spaces organized. It makes my life so easy–I don’t have to worry about rotating ads or starting them on time, or taking them down when they’re done. For me, it’s one of the key elements for how I run  kick butt blog sponsorships.

3. A social media manager

Writing blog posts is only part of successful blogging. Social media promotion of your own posts as well as promotion of your sponsors is paramount. Using a social media scheduler like Hootsuite makes social media management super easy. I can schedule Twitter and Facebook posts right after I finish writing a post so I don’t have to worry about doing it the day the post goes live. I also use Hootsuite to schedule all of my tweets for the day using my Twitter schedule.

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For Instagram, I use an app called Latergramme to schedule posts. It doesn’t actually post them to your feed because Instagram doesn’t let 3rd party apps post for you, but it sends you a push notification at the time you scheduled the photo to go live. All you have to do is swipe and click to post. Super simple. :)

4. My DSLR

I don’t even really want to talk about the quality of my photos when I first started blogging. It was bad. Not only because I lacked a good camera, but I had zero knowledge of photo composition. It’s true you can still take great photos with your smartphone, but I really couldn’t live without my trusty Canon Rebel XTi. I bought it used on eBay about 2 years ago and it’s still going strong.

If you don’t have a DSLR, don’t worry about it. These 22 bloggers and I want to give you a chance to win one! How would you like to get your hands on a brand spankin’ new Canon Rebel T3i? Yeah, we thought you might. Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

Win a brand new Canon Rebel T3i!

Life Could Be a Dream // Dearest Love // Simply Clarke // Rachel Rewritten
Casual Claire // My New Lines // Happily Ever After // The Wetherills Say I Do
Wearable. // Two Places at Once // Believe in the Sparks // Just a Trace
He and I // Chez•Nemmar // Oh Simple Thoughts // Elizabeth Loves
Rad Maverix // A Faithful Passion // Health, Love & Fire // The Ashley Maria Blog
Lot48 // Homegrown State of Mind // So Fill Your Heart

The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on July 24th until 11:59 pm EST on July 30th. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only–sorry international friends! Please be honest with your entries because no one likes a cheater. Good luck, and be sure to visit the other bloggers who helped bring you this opportunity and give them a big “THANKS!” :)

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3 Years | What We’ve Done and What I’ve Learned

It’s so crazy to me that Dustin and I have been married for 3 years! I’ll spare you the mushy stuff about how I’m so glad I met him and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him, although all of that is true.

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I love thinking back on all we’ve accomplished together in these 3 years–the adventures we’ve been on, the lessons we’ve learned, and the ways we have grown together.

In 3 years

What I’ve learned

1) Love languages are a real thing, and it’s super important to know your husband’s and communicate love to him that way.  My girl Amberly has some awesome posts on the subject of love languages–check ‘em out sometime.

2) It’s totally okay to go to bed angry. In fact, it’s better for our relationship if I do go to bed angry rather than trying to hash out a problem when I’m tired. In 3 years of marriage, I have yet to wake up feeling the same anger I felt the night before–most of the time I wake up and apologize for being a dramatic baby and we move on with our lives.

3) My husband needs me to speak positively about myself. It hurts him when I belittle myself and it hurts the feeling in our home.

4) Date night is even more important after having a baby.

5) The strength of our marriage is so dependent on our personal relationships with God. I have seen time and time again that as we attempt to strengthen our relationship with God both individually and as a couple, we grow closer together and there is so much more harmony in our home.

Tonight, we were originally going to go on our first overnight adventure since Joshua was born, but our babysitting arrangements ended up falling through. Bummer. We’ll have to go backpacking another time. We still get to have a date (thank goodness for neighbors who will watch your kid for a few hours at the last minute!) at our favorite food truck. Delicious waffles, here we come! :)

The Creative Closet | Pattern Mixing

The Creative Closet | Pattern Mixing

I have a confession to make. I have never in my life worn a pattern mixed outfit before. Well, intentional pattern mixing at least. I’m sure at sometime in my childhood I probably mixed dots or stripes when I was learning to dress myself. I’ll be honest, I specifically put pattern mixing as a prompt because I’ve always wanted to try it, but I kept talking myself out of it because I was afraid I wouldn’t do it well. Once I put the prompt list out into the universe though, I had to do it.

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The key is finding a common color between your pieces and making sure you have differing pattern sizes–one large pattern, and one smaller pattern. So says the information I gleaned from Pinterest anyway. I did some research before putting this outfit together. Kind of silly, I know. :)

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Top: Thrifted (similar, similar)  |  Skirt: Ampersand Avenue  |  Bag: Versace from high school (similar)  |  Shoes: Aldo (similar) Bracelet: From a trip I took to Venice years ago  |  Earrings: Gift 

Now, for a bit of housekeeping:

1) If you’re new to The Creative Closet, you can learn more about the linkup here.

2) If you are interested in being a co-host (yay!) click here to claim your spot.

3) We would love for you to share your prompt ideas with us! If you have a prompt you would like to suggest, click here. You’ll have the option to co-host any prompt you submit.

4) Be sure to check out the other half of the brains behind this operation, Maegen, and our lovely co-host Laura’s outfits for today’s prompt.

5) Share your look on social media using #thecreativecloset

6) Don’t forget to link up with us next week for My Go-To Piece! We all have something in our closets that makes us feel awesome or that we wear over and over again. We want to see what that is for you!

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The Creative Closet

Let’s see what awesome pattern mixing outfits you put together!

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DIY Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin

DIY Laundry detergent is not a new thing. The idea has been around for a long time and there are a ton of different takes on the same few recipes. It may come as a surprise to some of you that despite the fact that I homemake many of my beauty products and cleaning products, I’ve never made homemade laundry detergent. I’ve wanted to, because making your own detergent is cheaper, and it eliminates a lot of icky chemicals from your home. But see, Joshua has extremely sensitive skin and I was worried that homemade detergent would cause his eczema to flare up. So I never tried it, until now. And I couldn’t be happier with the results!

DIY laundry detergent for sensitive skin. Borax free. Works amazingly on stains and doesn't irritate eczema.

This recipe doesn’t call for borax like most homemade laundry detergents do. I’ve heard conflicting information about how borax affects sensitive skin, so I left it out. It cleans just as well without it.  It also doesn’t call for anything like Purex crystals, as those would definitely cause Joshua’s skin to flare up due to the added fragrances and yucky chemicals. This laundry detergent has exactly 3 ingredients: baking soda, washing soda, and grated Castille soap.

I used 1 bar of peppermint Castille soap and 1 bar of lavender. The smell of this detergent is AMAZING! I love that I can actually use a scented laundry detergent now, and because the scent comes from all natural essential oils and not icky chemicals, Joshua’s skin doesn’t break out. It’s a wonderful and exciting thing for me. Next time I have to make detergent I’m going to try Eucalyptus Citrus. :)

DIY Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin

8 cups of baking soda
6 cups of Super Washing Soda (in the laundry aisle)
2 bars Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap, grated

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. If you want, you can pulse the grate soap in a blender or food processor along with some of the baking soda to make the soap finer. It blends better that way–up to you!

To use

Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of detergent (depending on the load size) to the detergent compartment of your washing machine. If you want to eliminate fabric softener from your list of things you buy that has yucky chemicals in it, add 1/2 a cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment. Your clothes come out just as soft and there is no vinegar smell. :)

DIY Laundry detergent for sensitive skin

Now, let me answer some questions I know will come up:

Does this work for HE washing machines?

Yes! Yes it does. I have an HE machine and it works just great.

Does this detergent work on the cold setting?

Yep! The soap dissolves just fine in cold water.

Does this work for cloth diapers?

Yes! In fact it works better on Joshua’s diapers than any other detergent I’ve ever used. That includes Tide Original Powder, Rockin Green, and Charlie’s Soap.

Does it work well on stains?

Yes! I still pretreat really icky stains before I wash, and this detergent works just as well (if not better!) on stains as my previous store bought detergent. Joshua gave my laundry detergent the ultimate test the other day when he had diarrhea. I had to wash all of his sheets, clothes, and stuffed animals and there was zero stainage or poop smell after I washed. Huzzah!

How much detergent does this make?

I usually wash 1 load of laundry per day, and this is about a 3 month supply.

DIY Laundry detergent for sensitive skin

Have you ever made homemade laundry detergent?

New & Improved

So, I hate to point out the obvious, but did you see that this little blog of mine got a facelift? :)

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I have been planning this redesign for a while now. For the first time in my entire blogging career, I sat down and thought long about what my design needed to be like to help me accomplish my goals and visions for this blog. It also occurred to me that I didn’t want to do this redesign myself. What I wanted for this design was a little outside of my expertise (since you know, I only design for Blogger blogs and this bloggy is on WordPress), and between work for actual clients I don’t ever have the time I want to dedicate to my own design. I knew I needed to hire someone else to do my design.

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As for who I wanted to do my design, it was a no-brainer for me really. Bethany from Love Grows Design is one of the most talented chicas I have ever come across. Not only is she a crazy talented designer (would you just look at her beautiful site?!), but she is also an incredible blogger and a savvy businesswoman. I have major love for her creativity. I am 100% thrilled with what we accomplished together. Bethany was so organized in her process–her talent and her professionalism were worth every penny and I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. If you’re looking for a designer, I highly recommend her.

Part of what I really wanted for this design was a really simple, comfortable, and  friendly feel as well as increased ease in finding new content. My new sidebar has a lovely categories feature that lets you get super specific with what you’re looking to read more of. Go ahead. Mouse over it and see what happens. :)

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I hope you love the new design as much as I do! Happy navigating. :)

How Creating a Twitter Schedule Changed My Life

Creating a twitter schedule to help increase engagement and gain more followers

Well, maybe not my life, but certainly my blog. I joined the Twitter bandwagon pretty late. I ignored it for the first several years after it launched because I just didn’t see the point. Even after I started blogging 3 years ago, I dragged my feet about getting an account. 1 1/2 years ago I got an account and did nothing, or at least very little with it. About 9 months ago I started realizing what a valuable tool Twitter was for connecting with other bloggers as well as sharing things that had inspired me, or things I had written.

However, even after realizing how valuable a tool Twitter was, I still couldn’t figure out the best way to use it to my advantage. I already had so many social media outlets to juggle. I know that consistency is key when it comes to Twitter, but I didn’t want one more thing constantly taking my attention away from my family. What’s a girl to do?

A few weeks ago, I created a Twitter schedule for myself and HOLY COW. I have seen a total, amazing increase in engagement with my followers. Not only that, but my number of followers grew by 15 people  in 2 days. And it’s continuing to grow at a steady pace. Yes, please. The best part? I’m not constantly on my phone updating my tweets. I schedule everything out the night before or even in the morning before my kiddo wakes up.

If you’re up for increased engagement with your Twitter followers and you want put yourself into the blogging community more, keep reading.

The tools

You’ll need a Twitter account, obviously. You’ll also need to use a social media scheduling tool, like Hootsuite. You’ll also want a handy dandy form (that’s a freebie, you’re welcome!) to keep track of your tweets.

Twitter schedule

I have my schedule broken down by weekday, by hour, and by category. I schedule a tweet for every hour from 7 am-9pm Monday through Friday. Here are the four types of tweets I schedule, and why:

Quotes

Not only are quotes inspiring (and we all love to be inspired), but quotes get retweeted frequently. And retweets mean that your name and your tweet are showing up on more people’s feeds, which gives more people the chance to engage with you. It’s an exponential growth type thing. I share quotes at 7am, 11am, 3pm, and 7pm.

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Other people’s content

An excellent way to connect with other bloggers is to share their content! If you come across a post that you really love, tweet it out! Mention to that blogger that you really loved their post. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to other bloggers–I’ll be honest, tons of blogs that I now follow and love are written by bloggers I discovered only because they shared one of my posts once upon a time.

Sharing great content that isn’t yours also gives you credibility. It helps people recognize your account as a good source of inspiring, fresh content. It also let’s people know that if they follow you they aren’t just going to get blasted with your self-promotion all day. Because gosh, that gets old real quick.

Questions

These are conversation starters! I love to pick the brains of my Twitter followers. Not only does it show that you are interested in engaging with others, but it helps get other people (and you!) thinking. You might just learn something new and useful and discover awesome things. I tweet out 3 questions a day. I feel like this one has helped me connect with my followers the most.

My posts

You have to put your own content out there too! I share my own posts 4 times a day. Sometimes if I’ve written a post I’m really excited about that day, I’ll tweet about that one post all 4 times (using different wordage and calls to action of course!). Usually though, I tweet about that day’s post once or twice (one AM and one PM) and share other posts of mine the other two times.

Of course, throughout the day you should still take the time to scroll through your Twitter feed and engage with the tweets other people are putting out there. Take time to retweet other people’s quotes, answer other people’s questions, and read the content other people share. I’ll be totally honest, I do this while I’m in the bathroom. That way, it doesn’t take up any of my time I could be spending doing other important things. #sorrynotsorry

Also, you should know that these aren’t the only things I ever tweet. If something funny happens to me, or I think of something interesting, I’ll throw that out there too.

I hope this gives you some good ideas about how you can change up your Twitter strategy to help you engage with your followers a little more!

What’s your Twitter strategy like?


I’m excited to introduce you to Jeanette from Pretty Interior! She’s a mom living in Sweden who uses her blog to share her love of home decor, shopping, and inspiration from beautiful things in everyday life. Be sure to check out her post with awesome watermelon recipes (so perfect for summer!), her gorgeous pink and grey room inspiration, and her adorable ideas for organizing stuffed animals. :)

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Twitter // Bloglovin‘ // Google+

What got you started with blogging?

I have always loved to write, before and during my teenage years I had a diary. But I started to blog late, it was in 2009 if I remember it right:) Since then i have had a few blogs, but I started to write in both Swedish and English last year.

What are your favorite kinds of posts to write? 

Wow…I like to write different posts:) Right now I love to write about home interior cause we have just bought us a house and all I can think of is home interior.

What is your favorite place you have traveled? 

I want to say Greece, but I was only 10 years old when I was there. So my answer must be Denmark so far. Been there on New Years with my family two times and we have had a lot of fun while we been there. Mostly because the whole family have had quality time together.

What is your favorite way to relax?

 Lying in a sunbed in the garden in a sunny summer day:)

What quote do you live by?

Family, where life begins and love never ends.

 

Bear Lake Vacation–Highlights, Setbacks, and Lots of Photos

For me, there is something incredibly magical about spending time at our family’s cabin at Bear Lake. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place, and even though we don’t usually go there at the same time, being at the cabin makes me feel closer to my extended family as well–something about being in the same place where so many memories and so much history is made by our family and my cousin’s, aunts, and uncles just brings me a lot of joy.

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Our trip to the lake was an amazing one. It was nice to take a break from ordinary life and from this blog for a week. I hope you enjoyed the awesome guest posts–I know I loved reading them.

Before I get into total photo overload, I’m going to take a second to give you the highlights and the setbacks of our little trip.

The Highlights

1) Joshua’s first experience with fireworks. For the most part he was loving it, but any of the fireworks that made loud whistling he was kind of unsure about. I couldn’t stop laughing at his concerned expressions. :)

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2) Getting up on my waterskis on my first run of the day. That has never happened to me before. Since we only go to the lake once a year, it usually takes me a few tries to remember what I’m doing, but this time I nailed it.

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I think you can see the shock on my face.

3) Taking Joshua to the beach. The water at Bear Lake is notoriously cold, but the brilliant people at Ideal Beach took a backhoe and dug out a little wading area with channels that connected to the lake. It was only a few inches deep and warmed up quickly. Perfect for tiny humans! Joshua was in heaven, and I couldn’t get enough of him in his tiny hat and sunglasses.

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5) Joshua learned how to blow bubbles and it was stinkin’ adorable. He asks for bubbles on a daily basis now. Good thing they’re cheap.

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6) Having my niece Kiya at the cabin with us. Joshua had the absolute best time with her. She was so good with him and played with him constantly. He also asks for “Ya-ya” on a daily basis now. I think we’re just going to have to borrow her from my brother for a few days sometime soon.

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I’m going to be a proud Aunt and brag for a minute, but that teeny little bean you see there qualified for the Junior Olympics. She’s pretty much a track star. She can run half a mile in 3 minutes. She’s 8.

The Setbacks

We actually had a lot of silly little things go wrong. Amazingly though, none of them really bothered me. For once in my life, I took everything in stride and went with the flow.

1) The Castle Family boat’s registration wasn’t current. The family member in charge of that forgot about it since he doesn’t use the family boat hardly ever, so we couldn’t take the boat out until we got the updated registration.

2) Once we got the boat registered again, we took it out on the water….only to have it not start. At all.

theboat.jpg3) Dustin and I got to Bear Lake only to realize we had left Joshua’s entire duffel bag with all of his clothing, swimsuits, jammies, etc. at home. We had to drive an hour into Logan the next day to buy Joshua a new wardrobe for the week. Luckily we had his diapers, wipes, and all of his sleep stuff (books, blankies, sleep sounds, binkies, stuffed animals) in separate boxes and those came up with us.

4) Joshua got a tick! What the heck? He got into the tall grass when he was playing with Kiya. When I was undressing him for his bath, I took off his shoe and saw a tick starting to burrow into his foot! Luckily it wasn’t in far–all it took was a a drop of peppermint oil to kill the thing and it slid right out. I was way more freaked out than Joshua was. He just pointed at it and said, “Oh.”

That was pretty much our trip! Now for the rest of the pictures.

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I’ve always wanted to take sparkler drawing pictures! Check! :)

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I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of Joshua napping in his stroller on the beach. After we got him out of his wet clothes, I took him for a walk and he was seriously totally out in 10 seconds. He was so tired and he didn’t even know it. But I knew it. :)

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Dustin’s sister Trinsica stayed with us for a few days, and my sister and my nephew Alex visited for a day as well. Alex refused to look at the camera. Typical 10 year old boy. Stinker.

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What’s a trip to the beach without a toes in the sand picture?

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I don’t know what it is about my sleeping kiddo, but I just have to take pictures. He so sweet when he sleeps. And he’s still. For once in his life.

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My husband is stellar at everything he tries. Sometimes it’s infuriating, but moments like these make me feel really proud. He looks kind of awesome. I’m pretty biased though.

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While we were on the boat, a dragonfly  randomly landed right on Dustin’s finger and wouldn’t go away.

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No big deal, but that’s my 72 year old father waterskiing like it’s nothing.

How was your week? How did you spend the 4th of July?

The Creative Closet | Classy Neutrals

Well, I made it back from my vacation in one piece! I have a post chock full of photos for you tomorrow, as well as some pretty interesting stories, don’t you worry. :)

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I have been looking forward to this prompt ever since Maegen and I first introduced The Creative Closet. I love neutral outfits–they are so unbelievably chic and well, classy. It’s funny though, that even though I have really been looking forward to this prompt, I was feeling  a little bit of “closet block” as I like to call it when it came to what to wear for this prompt. I looked at my closet probably 5 or 6 times and saw nothing to wear. “I’m going to have to go shopping”, I told myself. And yet, I held off, and just like every week before, a Creative Closet miracle happened:

I checked my closet one more time, and low and behold, I had a perfect outfit staring me in the face.

That’s the beauty of this little link-up/pet project of ours, my friends.

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Top: Forever 21 | White Skinnies: Jean9  (similar)| Shoes: Top Moda (similar) | Necklace: Cool Water Gems (10% off with code DREAM)

I’ve been loving mixing ivory and white into the same outfit lately. I used to be so against that. I always thought it was a huge no-no to mix the two, but I decided to just go for it one day and I’ll never go back. Heck, the best part of fashion is doing whatever the heck you want and owning it, right?

I’m so excited to see the classy neutrals you pulled out of your closets! Remember, if you would like to co-host a future week of The Creative Closet, click here, and if you have prompt ideas, click here. Don’t forget to link up next week as well for Pattern Mixing! :)

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The Creative Closet
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5 Ways to Beat Sugar Cravings and Lose Weight

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Slimfast, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #14daystoslim  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

5 ways to beat sugar cravings and lose weight #14daystoslim #PMedia #ad

Before I had a baby, I never struggled with my weight. As a kid I was very into sports and exercising–still am. For me, any weight issues I have have nothing to do with a lack of motivation to exercise. I enjoy going to the gym a lot! It makes me feel good and it’s the best way for me to get time to myself thanks to our rec center’s phenomenal day care.

My issue has always been food. I like to eat, but you probably already know that. On top of loving food in general, I have a pretty big sweet tooth. Just take a look at my Pinterest Dessert board and you’ll see what I mean. My weight loss struggles pretty much stem from the fact that some days, I feel like I just need a cookie. I’m a stress-sweet-eater. It’s a bad habit.

Luckily, there are a lot of things I’ve been doing to improve on that, and they’ve been working! I’ve been losing weight and just feeling a lot better in general because I’ve been eating better and kicking my craving’s booties. That’s a satisfying feeling. Here’s what’s been helping me:

1) Make healthier treat choices

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This one was kind of tough going at first. The first few times I made myself eat a piece of fruit when what I really wanted was a brownie, it was not all that fun. But my body has gotten used to not having as much sugar, and nowadays, an apple sounds pretty darn good when I want something sweet.

One thing I’ve really been loving for when I want something a little sweeter than an apple, but don’t want to totally give into my cravings is Slimfast Greek Yogurt & Honey Snack Bars. They’re sweet, a little crunchy, a little bit creamy, only 110 calories, satisfy my sugar craving, and pack some protein in as well (they’re also part of Slimfast 14 Day Slimdown, which features delicious shakes or meal replacement bars for 2 meals, 3 healthy 100 calorie snacks a day, and a focus on daily exercise–check out their Facebook Page for more info on that).

A great place to look for healthier treat ideas is Slimfast’s Pinterest page–I love the treat ideas on their 100 Calorie Treat board and their Not Guilty: Desserts board.

2) Drink More Water

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When I’m dehydrated, I feel crappy. Feeling crappy leads to wanting some sort of pick me up–most people end up reaching for soda or some sort of snack, sugary or otherwise. Making sure I’ve been drinking a lot of water throughout the day helps keep my sugar cravings down.

3) Get some extra motivation

My husband has been my accountability person while I’ve been trying to eat less sugar. Tell a friend what you’re trying to accomplish and ask her to hold you accountable for your sugary habits! Start a Facebook page or join a community on Instagram through hashtags. Sign up for Slimfast 14 Day Slimdown Slim Coaching for motivational texts, craving-kicking ideas, and encouragement. Buy yourself a new pair of skinny jeans. Pin images that remind you of what your goal is. Do something that works for you.

4) Find  other ways to treat yourself

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Like I mentioned, I’m a stress-eater. I chow down on sugary calories when I’m not feeling burnt out, frustrated, and wound up. I’ve learned to take a beat before I reach for the Oreos and try to think of another way to unwind. Going for a leisurely walk by myself, taking a bubble bath, giving myself a pedicure, or asking my husband for a massage usually helps me let go of my stress without eating my weight in brownie batter.

5) Make it easier on yourself

Beating your sugar cravings, eating healthier, and losing weight in general doesn’t have to be difficult and stressful. Take measures to make it as easy on yourself as possible. If you’re too tempted by the sugary treats in your home, toss them–that’s what I had to do. If you have a hard time sticking to or coming up with a healthy meal plan, find a program that does the work  for you, like the Slimfast 14 Day Slimdown–it’s an easy way to lose 6 pounds in the first 2 weeks

What are your best tips for beating sugar cravings, or eating healthier in general?