Fitness Friday + Steamer Action

I'm a couple of days late, but better late than never. I am amazed at the weight loss I've seen in the last week. I had gone up a bit during my birthday weekend and traveling the next week...but, I added some supplements, deleted carbs, and upped the protein in my diet this week.

This week's weight is...
I love this little graph of my weight loss over the past two months...from 177.6 to 161.0!
Woot! Woot! If you remember my post about the motivation to lose weight and my 2013 Resolutions, you'll recall that I set a goal of losing 5 pounds a month for 5 months! I am well on my way to reaching that goal! I'm super excited and so motivated by the progress I see to keep going!

I've been walking around the house all day grabbing the seat of my pants because I'm so amazed that there is some fabric back there to grab. Those same pants were cutting off my circulation two months ago...and yes, I still wore them! I started to post a pic of my butt, but when I saw how they were sagging, I decided not to...not attractive, but I'm still happy! It means I need to go down a size! Woot! Woot!

My diet has been transformed this week by my latest purchase...a food steamer!
In my T-Pain voice...I'm in love with a steamer! Ha! The first day I got it, I cooked broccoli better than any that had ever been cooked in my home and salmon, which has never been cooked in my house!
The next day was tilapia and asparagus! And both were ready in about 20 minutes and required nothing from me after seasoning the food to my liking.
It was quite a chore to find the right steamer for me! My friend Misty almost had me sold on a rice cooker that had a steamer tray. It seemed like a great combo, but when I evaluated why I wanted a steamer, I decided to to go with this one instead. The steam starts immediately when you plug it in and I love how it has two levels! You place the longest cooking item on the bottom. When your top basket is done, you remove it and place the lid on the bottom basket and let it continue to cook.

I'd say that the steamer has beat out the crockpot as my new favorite kitchen gadget! This week I plan to get back in the gym hard and keep up the veggie and protein full diet!

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Learning from the Best!

Saturday, we got the unique opportunity to learn from Dallas wedding photographer, Celina Gomez. Celina opened up her home to 14 local photographers to share her knowledge and experience.
We discussed the business side of photography with topics like sales taxes, income taxes, insurance, branding, websites, money management, and contracts. We discussed the logistics of photography with topics like shooting RAW,backing up files, editing software, printing, and second shooter laws. Second shooter laws were shared by Celins's second shooter, Melinda Leal. We also got some hands-on practice with shooting, discussing metering, focusing and recomposing, ISO, shutter speed, f-stop, rule of thirds, depth of field, boca, and flash.
After having the discussion, we practiced on each other in the yard, and then Celina brought in models as well. We headed to downtown Carrollton to practice our new skills!
While I can say that these are my photos, I can't take complete credit for them. Celina's second shooter, Melinda, was a beast when it came to posing the models. She talked our models through posing while we just shot photos. I definitely need to up my game in that area. She did a great job of directing the models for great shots. She constantly filled that awkward silence with great posing directions and reassurance.

We had a great time! The hubby and I got to spend the entire day together doing what he loves and what I am quickly learning to really enjoy. I would say that the most beneficial thing I learned was how to focus and recompose my images. I'd say my immediate action items are improving our money management, working on posing, and finding a focus for our photography. I'd say that what I need more help on is post-production, finding a consistent editing style, and working with flash.
I am so thankful to Celina and Melinda for being willing to share their expertise with us. I truly enjoyed the experience and hope that we have built a relationship that will continue to grow as we follow their work!

Have you entered the Michael Kors Watch Giveaway? If not, what are you waiting for?!

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MK Watch {Valentine's Giveaway}

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Michael Kors' watches!! When reading blogs, browsing Instagram, or pinning outfits, so much of the "arm candy" I see features some Michael Kors. I've been drooling over a tortoise and rose gold MK Watch for about 6 months now. 
Well, in honor of Valentine's Day, 
I'm giving away the Michael Kors Watch of your choice from above!

I've teamed up with Kaitlyn & all the other ladies below to bring you this amazing giveaway.
We all voted, and these were ourr top 6 choices.
1// Kaitlyn 2// Shanna 3// Emily 4// Stephanie 5// Robin 6// Kalyn
7// Samantha 8// Lisette 9// Kristyn 10// Jami 11// Courtney 12// Ashley
13// Erin 14// Hallie 15// Jessica 16// Kim 17// Michele 18// Rebekah

Happy Valentine's Day to you my dear, sweet friends!!!

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below!
This contest is open to US Residents only.
The giveaway will run from February 7 - February 13, 11:59pm EST.
Winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.

***All entries WILL be verified to make sure the winner has completed what she said she did (:

It's a Birthday Flash Mob!!!

My day started with work...I know you're thinking, "Did they know it was your birthday?" Ha! I'm the one who scheduled the Saturday School. Now you're like "What were you thinking?" Long story...but, my time at work was good. We had 149 middle schoolers show up for math (and pizza) on a Saturday! My morning was made better when I got an awesome facebook birthday shout out from my line sister, Frashia! She gets an award for the best facebook birthday shout out EVER!!! Those of you who know what all this means will definitely agree!
After work, my birthday really began! My hubby really outdid himself! We started with a very educational wine tasting at the Wine Cellar at Starwood!
Although I don't know much about wine, I really want to. I want to be a wine drinker. (That sounds kind of silly!) Anyway, we tasted an amazing Italian Moscato D'Asti, which I had to snag a bottle. It is definitely better than any Moscato I've ever bought. We tried various red wines, from a Pinot Noir to a Merlot to Red Blend and a Cabernet. I can't say I was wild about any of them, but I am more open to trying more red wines since I now know a little more about what may appeal to my palette.
We then hopped into the car and headed to our next undisclosed location, Watters Creek. There's lots of places to shop and eat there, so I figured we were going to do one of those two activites...until I started spotting various friends and family from my church. Then, the music started blaring, and I whipped out my phone to record...
Please excuse all my giggling, but I was so tickled that all these friends had gotten together over the past few weeks to practice and learn this dance. I was tickled by some of the amazing dance moves put together by AshLeigh, some of the friends who I never would have pictured dancing like Angie & Donna, and the intensity and focus of some of the dancers like my hubby, Tony, and David! It was amazing seeing people come out of the apartments and watch from their balconies and coming out of the stores and restaurants. I even saw one of my students from last year who had to come and say something after he witnessed the flash mob! I guess my hubby took notes from my previous blog post about me wanting to be in a flash mob...which I still want! Who's ready for the next one so I can actually be in it?!
We finished up with dinner at Kelly's at the Village. Many of us weren't happy with our food, but we had great fellowship and that's really what matters. What really floored me here was that I had some of my closest friends there, but also almost had my entire life group represented! Love that I have a life group that decided to make my birthday our social as opposed to me missing life group for my birthday! You guys are awesome! I forgot to snap pictures, but I did get one shot of the awesome cake. 
Those big 'ole candles reminded me that I'm no longer JUST 30, but IN my 30s....and I'm okay with that!
Thanks so much to my hubby for an awesome birthday experience and to all the friends who took the time to make it unforgettable! My life is so rich because of the amazing people in my life. I am truly thankful to call you my friends!
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Fitness Friday | Week 6 - Hot Sweaty Mess!

This week, I concentrated on cardio. I've referred to it before, but I love the Secret Admirer Cardio routine from I regularly burn around 700 calories in 45 minutes. I've done this workout four days this week and it doesn't get old. I can push myself harder by upping my speed or intensity. It's great! But with that comes me as a hot, sweaty mess...I guess that's not so bad...I go home dry spots. Feels good!

My weight loss in just a month has amazed me. I cannot believe that I've gone down every week. This week is no different. This week's weight is...
I'm down another 2.6 pounds this week and a total of...

MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

MyFitnessPal has been a great help when it comes to my eating. I'm a little worried about next week though. I will no longer be fasting with my church, my birthday is this weekend, and I will be traveling at the end of the week. That's quite a few challenges to overcome this next week, but I know I can do it! I'll be all over Pinterest to find some new ideas for my weekly food prep.

Now, back to first DietBet ended this week.
Woot! Woot! I'm looking forward to seeing how much money I win off my $10 investment! My start weight was 177.6 pounds. My goal was to lose 4% of that weight or 7 pounds. My final weigh-in was 165.4 pounds, so I exceeded the DietBet goal by 5 pounds. There were a total of 193 people in this game for a total pot of $1,930. Everyone who meets their 4% goal gets to split the pot!

I think this added accountability was so good for me. I enjoyed the motivation! My second DietBet ends in another 4 days. I may need to start looking for another game to join because I'm sure the weight won't come off the same next month...or maybe it will...who knows?!

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