Love, Juliebug: August 2014
Have you ever heard someone say "I can't eat that"? That was me. Up until a few weeks ago I said it all the time. In fact, I still catch myself saying it occasionally. Do you know what I realized? That simple phrase completely took the control away from me and put it somewhere else. Now, I've learned to say "I CHOOSE not to eat that." It's a small change but makes all the difference in the world to me. I have the choice whether or not to honor God with my body. Up until a few months ago I believed I had no choice. I was trapped. Trapped and unable to change. I believed in God but didn't believe He could or would change me. How wrong I was. 

Now, I'm not saying it isn't hard to resist food. It is. I fail at times. Oh yes, sometimes the ice cream or oreos call me and I answer. I am human after all. There is one big difference now. I know that one choice will not undo my new lifestyle. It's not about one choice, after all, it's about the sum of your choices. This new belief and the fact that God is making me into a new person has been the basis of my success thus far. Did I just say thus? Wow, I must be tired. Anyhoo. I have lost, so far, a total of 36 lbs. Thirty-six. This is the most I have lost. Ever. Yes, I have a long way to go. About 108 lbs actually - just keeping it real people. I try not to remind myself daily. It's hard. Ultimately, it's not about the weight. It's about health and treating my body the way I should. 

So, how am I losing this weight on a real level? Exercise and eating right. Mostly. I typically work out five days a week for about an hour total each day. Elliptical always, sometimes treadmill, sometimes stationary bike and every other day I do strength training. It's not too much because I am starting to build endurance. I'm starting to know my body. As far as food goes, I'm trying to eat more veggies and fruits. Cut out sugar and flour. I feel better than I have ever felt. I cannot imagine how awesome I will feel when I reach my goal cause, for once, I truly believe I will.
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Organized by: Social Swayy ♥ with special guest: Mom to Bed by 8. Giveaway ends September 10th at 11:59pm, open to US, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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For years I've been hearing about these wine & paint classes that so many people love but I've never found my way to one until last night. Our MOPS (Mother's of Pre-Schoolers) leadership group went as a bonding experience. We paid well under normal cost I assume. $5 seems too inexpensive to keep a business afloat. 
First you have to know this about me: I'm a crafty person. No really, I am. I love making things and getting messy. I have to be in the right frame of mind to do so, however. If I am feeling remotely anxious or stressed I tend to be a bit of a freaked out perfectionist. I will sit there afraid to mess it up. The reality is you can not have art with perfection or no mess. Art is a process not a destination. I sat there last night on the verge of being that perfectionist.

I sat there awaiting instructions while staring at this plain white canvas. What would it look like when it was done? What if I ruined it's pure whiteness with muddy colors and odd shapes? Still I chose my paints and began. About 3/4 of the way through it still looked horrible to me. The teacher told us to step back from it and look around the room at other's art in progress. I chose to stop looking at my canvas but not to look around the room. Why? I know myself enough to know I would compare my piece to theirs. I would be hard on myself. 

At the end, we were told we could use puff paint on the dry canvas to make words. Be You Bravely it said. Don't think this year's MOPS theme and the amazing timing of God is beyond me. It's not. But, back to my story, I kept staring at the puff paint. Watching other people write their words. I actually went so far as to hold a few bottles in my hand but I always put them down. All of a sudden I knew what I wanted to do and it was this...

The border, dots, and words are all thanks to a Sharpie. Not traditional tools for a painting, I'm sure. I know it came from watching YouTube. There is an artist I have watched and adored. Her name is Christy Tomlinson and she does mixed media collage art. I've been saying I want to try it for a while now and I guess I got a taste of it tonight. Can I just say how much fun I had? SO much!

Have you ever been to one of those wine and paint places? What were your thoughts?

My daughter loves music. She gets that from me. In the last year or so I've introduced her to the magic that is The Wizard of Oz. Love that movie. Nothing will ever quite compare to it, in my opinion. However, we have a nice little addition to the Oz family. As you probably know, I work with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders and they have provided me with a copy of Legends of Oz, as well as the giveaway copy!

On August 26, 2014 the animated Legends of Oz will be released on Blu-ray and DVD. It has the voices of Lea Michele from TV’s “Glee,” Dan Akroyd, Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammar and more. A devious new villain, the Jester, rules over Oz and Dorothy must return from Kansas to rescue her old friends: the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. Set to irresistible new songs from Academy Award®-nominated singer/songwriter Bryan Adams and featuring a host of delightful new characters, this animated return to Oz is sure to be a family-favorite filled with fun and laughs for generations to come!
Doesn't that sound cute?! We have some fun activity sheets to share with you based on this great new movie, just click on the image to be taken to the download page. We also have a giveaway! Stay tuned for details on how to enter.

Now, for our enter to win your very own copy of Legends of Oz on Blu-ray Combo Pack all you have to do is leave a (relevant and more than one word) comment on this post making sure to leave your email as well! It ends as of 8/31/14 at 11:59 pm Eastern time. Easy peasy right? 

Fox Home Entertainment Insiders alone is responsible for prize fulfillment.
Can you believe it's back to school time already? There are moments where I'm sad and others when I'm chomping at the bit. Summer passes by slowly and quickly all at once. I never feel prepared for back to school though. Is it just me? I feel like I've been given a new start due to her starting Kindergarten twice now. Check out that story if you're interested. One thing that tends to drive parents batty is school supply shopping. Or, is that just me? I am constantly seeking out great deals on these supplies I have to buy for her. 
Cue the choirs, I now have a great place to shop for school supplies FOR LESS than anywhere else I have found. That's right, less than the big W store in town. Don't make me say it. Staples Less List is amazing. Take a peek at what I got and I will tell you how much it cost after.

Staples Two Pocket Folder - $0.15
Staples 1 Subject Notebook, 8" x 10-1/2" - $0.17
Westcott 12" Wood Ruler, Beveled Edge - $0.25
Staples School Glue, 4 oz - $0.39
Staples Ruled 3" x 5" White Index Cards, 100/Pack - $0.48
Staples Composition Book, Wide Rule, Assorted Colors, 9-3/4 x 7-1/2" - $0.50
Crayola Crayons, 24/Box - $0.50
Staples #2 Yellow Pencils, Dozen - $0.68
Staples Slider Pencil Cases, Assorted - $0.75
Staples Pink Wedge Erasers, 3/Pack - $0.96
Crayola Colored Pencils, 12/Box - $0.97
Crayola Classic Markers, Fine Line, 10/Box - $0.97
Crayola Classic Markers, Broad Line, 10/Box - $0.97
Bic Crystal Ballpoint Pens, Medium Point 1.0mm, Black Ink, 10/Pack - $1.00

Grand Total for 14 Items = $8.74

I love the Staples Composition Book. My daughter does not need this yet so, guess what, it is MINE! I journal and write a lot so it will get used often. At $0.50 it's value is unbeatable!

I also adore the Bic Crystal Ballpoint Pens. They write so smooth and perfect. Since I write so much I am always looking for a new pen.

Oh, and in case you happen to find school products for less elsewhere, they also have a Back-to-School 110% Price Match Guarantee which means customers will receive an additional 10% off the difference between the Staples price and competitors price at time of purchase. What a deal! So, check out the Staples Less List today!

Also, between 8/20 - 9/3, 2014 you can enter to WIN one of five $25 Staples Gift Cards! US Residents only.

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Can I cry now? I might anyway because our little baby is six today. At 9:22 am it will be official. I'm not sure how time can fly by so fast. It's bittersweet. I love the girl she is today and simultaneously miss the newborn/infant/toddler she was. I know I'm not alone in this but man. Time slow down a little?

Last night I had the opportunity to see New Politics, Paramore, and Fall Out Boy at Red Rocks in CO thanks to a sweet friend with an extra ticket. I'll start by saying I've never seen any of them in concert before AND I've never been to Red Rocks. I had no clue what I was in for.
This was my view in the middle of the stairs. Yes, stairs. I believe I read there are about 350 of them. And we went to the top...very, very slowly. If you were behind me, I apologize. But, you know what? I MADE IT! I firmly believe that three months ago I wouldn't have been able to do it. Plus, we were parked at the very lowest parking lot so we had that hike as well. Let me say one thing. I should have worn sneakers and not flip flops. Ouch. Another thing? Dang, look at this view!

First up was New Politics. I wish I could say I've heard of them but nope. They are Danish and I've not heard any of their songs before. Well, at least none I remembered. It was like there was a dance party on the stage. He danced his little feet off. Next, came a band I really enjoy. Not nearly as much as my good friend Jess (See, I mentioned you in this post!!) but I knew a good number of their songs. Pics? Of course!

There was lots of confetti going on with Paramore and big bouncy beach balls. And, notice the guy next to me? Aside from offering me pot (which I didn't take!) he also almost burnt his finger trying to be old school for a slow song. That is why they switched to cell phones, I think. Back to the music though. I think they did a fairly good blend of new stuff and older stuff. After all, they've been around about 10 years. They had a lot of songs to pick from. Some of my faves were That's What You Get, The Only Exception, and Ain't It Fun.
Finally, Fall Out Boy was up to bat. Love, love, love their music. Though I will admit they are on my guilty pleasures playlist. I typically skip over verses that say god but it was really difficult not to hear it being sung by 10,000 people. I had a moment where I felt really sad. That may seem ridiculous to some people but I'm keeping it real here. They sang practically every song I love including, My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark, Dance Dance, I Don't Care, and Sugar We're Going Down.

They were on fire. Okay, not literally but I had a blast! All in all, the shows were worth every single step I took. That's saying a lot as I am in pain today. Yeah, my legs hurt from the stairs and I have a residual headache from lack of sleep and the smell of pot everywhere maybe? Can I just admit to you that I had no idea what pot smelled like? Does that make me naive? Probably but oh well.
What was the last concert you saw? Was it worth it?

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Disclosure of material connection: Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize shipment. The winner will be announced on the Giveaway Tools app and by e-mail. Must be 18 years and older. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google are in no way affiliated with this giveaway. No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited by law. US Only. For any questions contact The Fully Caffeinated Mama. The Fully Caffeinated Mama did receive compensation or product in exchange for the promotion of this event. Participating bloggers did not receive compensation for the promotion of this event.

$100 Sephora Gift Card Giveaway~Enter Today~Ends 8/23

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I've been keeping busy over here. A week ago we joined a gym. Not just any gym either, the Y. Best decision. I know everyone has varying opinions on gyms. The reasons we picked the Y are simple...there's a pool, discounted swimming lessons, and no contract. That last one is important. I *hate* contracts. For anything. I hate feeling trapped into something that may not be your cuppa tea after a few months. 
So, I've been going everyday (except for Sunday) and having a blast working out. My favorite piece of equipment? The elliptical. The kind that glides on the metal track. I tried the other kind and it was not for me. I workout about 45 minutes a day and also do arm machines every other day. By the way, can I just point out that I just talked about my favorite piece of workout equipment? I have a favorite because I'm actually exercising regularly now. Wow.
The other day I signed Abby up for swim lessons because she is almost six and has never had them. They start at the beginning of September and she is super excited! She asks me every day if we are going swimming. 

As far as my weight loss goes, I am at just about 36 lbs lost now. It's an awesome feeling!


Welcome to the Silhouette Portrait - Let's Get Crafty Giveaway!

Hosted by: Momma Lew
What is the Silhouette Portrait? And why do you want it? The Silhouette Portrait is an electronic cutting tool that works with your PC or Mac. With a small blade, it cuts paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, and more! You can use the included design software to cut any font on your computer, download shapes and designs from the Silhouette Online Store, or even create your very own designs up to 8 inches wide and 10 feet long! Momma Lew recently had the chance to review the Silhouette Cameo. You can read her review here to find out more about this great crafting tool! Now, how about you win one? That's right! We're giving away a Silhouette Portrait to one lucky reader!

  Silhouette Portrait Package 
This giveaway is open to US Residents, 18+, one entry per household. To enter, follow the steps in the entry form below. Remember: be sure to come back to complete the daily tasks for more entries! Giveaway closes at 11:59pm EST on 8/22. Good luck!
Only Momma Lew was compensated for this giveaway. Momma Lew & participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

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Are you interested in sponsoring a giveaway such as this for your company? Please email for more information.

I want it fully noted that I am speaking to myself here. If you happen to find truth in these as well then I am glad. It's so easy for me to forget these five things. So stinkin easy. Well, here is my reminder.

1. No child is perfect. This may seem obvious but I find myself acting like my five year old shouldn't be making certain mistakes. Some of them over and over. She is human as am I. Why shouldn't I expect her to be imperfect?

2. No mom is perfect. Honestly, despite our best intentions, you will make mistakes in raising your child. You will. Stop stressing over it. You cannot control that. Someday your child may end up in therapy. It's okay. Keep on going and doing your best...and let God do the rest. 

3. Your kids need you. Yes, they need you to make them lunch and give them baths. But - they also need you to be there for them emotionally. They need you to love them. They need your time. Everyday.

4. They are only little once. Don't overload them with activities. This is a sore point and I get that but bear with me. I'm not saying don't do classes and lessons. I'm saying don't overschedule them. Let them have downtime and playtime. 

5. Playing is important. Kids learn through play. Help them to learn to play by themselves as well as with others. Try not to let them watch too much television. From my own experience it seems to drain creativity if done often enough.

Blogger Opportunity for a $100 Sephora Gift Card!

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Giveaway Will Run from 8/11 @ 12AM EST until 8/23 @12AM EST

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1. Our little girl will be six in exactly two weeks from today! I'm not sure how this is possible and I'm a bit in denial. She tells me she will be six and then seven. I told her I'm not ready. She doesn't seem to care about that fact. She's counting down the days until her birthday party as well. 
2. We are now members of a gym. It feels good to workout again other than simply walking. Today was my first workout there and I am exhausted in a good way. Also, I got told several times tonight, by people I don't see in person often, that I look awesome. That was a nice perk to the evening.
3. On a related note, I found an amazing playlist on Spotify for my workouts. It's "Christian Exercise Tunes" in case you want to check it out. The songs are so full of energy and life. They have good beats and are not necessarily songs that I am sick of hearing on the radio. WIN!
4. We had a Bunco Night tonight that was SUPER fun. Have you ever played Bunco? It's a dice game that is easy to learn on the spot. I did not fair well in the winning department but that was overshadowed by all the laughs.
5. I can also officially say I am going to MomCon this year! Tickets of every kind have been bought. There are seven of us going from my MOPS group. I think we will have a blast! It's in Louisville, Kentucky and I've never been there before.
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