Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tons Of Healthy Living Resources For You!


Healthy Eating: Grocery Lists & Tips:

Clean Eating Resources:
Gluten Free Resources:

Great Sites/Blogs For Healthy Living:
Battle Sugar Cravings/Lose Weight:
Linking With:

Share |
UPDATES FOR FREE: Subscribe in a reader

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Writing Is A Craft

I love to write.  I grew up fearing it.  My left-handed-drag-through-the-pen marks left me despising the beauty of hand-written anything.  My hand writing is sloppy at best, and my black and blue hand gets old fast.  But not the written word, in theory.  Oh know, it has haunted me for life and its knocking has become relentless.

Just like the echoed tapping of fingers on curved vintage keys, it has tap tap tapped at my heart for years.

I'm thankful that this craft (because writing with words is a craft with wings) can never be mastered.  Us apprentices understand one another, yes?  We write, and learn, and grow... and use words to heal, change, and inspire.  

We write... and write... and write... because the written word upon our hearts beg us to take flight.  We release them, tied to balloons on a windy day.

Are you a writer?  Has the words within you been begging to be released?  Let those fingers flow... it just might bring your life some healing and joy!  Oh, and you don't need to blog to be a writer.  You were born one.  Scratch out those heart-string words on a good old fashion notebook; even if you are the only reader those words ever see!

Share |
UPDATES FOR FREE: Subscribe in a reader

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Valentines Day Necklace Giveaway For 2 Readers

(COMMENT 38) Cynthia from Prayer Notes By Cynthia wins the molded heart necklace, and
(COMMENT 4) Tricia from The Keierleber Family wins the love never fails necklace.

***Ladies, please email me your mailing address TODAY so bonbon charms can get you your necklaces by Valentines Day!  Congrats, I'm so happy for you both!***

giveaway @ Ordinary Inspirations

You have the chance to win one of the follow 2 adorable pewter necklaces (molded heart and love never fails)!  Bonbon Charms believes everyone needs something sweet to wear.  Isn't that the truth!  Erica is just so creative!

These charms are molded by hand, cast in fine pewter, and then stamped with love just for you!

To have the chance to win, do any of the following and leave a separate comment telling me what you did (don't forget to leave a way to contact you).  The more times you enter, the greater the chance you will be wearing one of these next week!

1) Like Bonbon Charms on: FACEBOOK
2) Follow on: PINTEREST
3) Pin this giveaway.
4) Leave A Comment At The Bonbon Charms BLOG
   (Tell her you are visiting from Ordinary Inspirations)
5) Sign Up For The Mailing List
6) Tell me one thing you love from visiting Bonbon Charms.
7) Visit Bonbon Charms Prints and tell me what you liked.

6) If you are a subscriber.
7) If you follow me on facebook.
8) If you follow me on twitter.
9) If you follow me on pinterest.
10) Anywhere you share this giveaway will earn you a comment. will pick 2 readers from the comment list this FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1st!  Will it be YOU?  What a fun gift to yourself or someone else for Valentines Day!

Share |
UPDATES FOR FREE: Subscribe in a reader

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Spice Up Your Marriage! "30 Date Your Husband From Home Questions"

You want to date your husband, but you are out of money, you can't find a sitter, or you are just plain sick of the same old thing?

TRY THIS FUN GAME!  No matter how long you have been marriage, this is one fun way to get you talking, thinking, and spending quality time together.  My husband and I tried this last night and it was so much fun!  Some questions I made up and the rest I found online and tweaked a bit!


1.Put the kids to bed.
2.Print out the following questions using the printer friendly button at the bottom of this post.
3.Cut up the questions and fold them two times. 
4.Put them in a bowl.
5. Take turns picking a question and reading it aloud to your spouse.  The spouse listening must answer the question being asked.

SO FUN!  Here are 30 suggested questions to try out with your spouse:

1. Tell me one thing that I did this past week that impressed you.

2. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

3. What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?

4. Name one person in your life that inspires you to become a better person.

5. What makes you most fulfilled or happiest as a husband/wife?

6. What makes you most fulfilled or happiest as a father/mother?

7. What are you looking forward to the most in the next year?

8. In what area of your spiritual walk would you like to improve on?

9. What do I do that pleases you the most physically?  

10. What was your very first impression of me?

11. If you weren't in the profession you are now, what would be your dream profession and why?

12.  Name 3 qualities that attracted you to me when we first met?

13. What is you dream destination and why?

14. If your house were on fire and you had a chance to grab only 3 material items, what would they be?

15. If you could have witnessed any biblical event, which one would you choose?

16. What is the best way for me to encourage you when you are feeling down?

17. What are 3 essential values we want our children to embrace above all others?

18. What can we do as a couple to change the world we live in?

19. What goals would you like us to accomplish in our marriage in the next 1, 5, and 10 years?

20. Whose marriage do you most consider to be a model marriage and why?

21. With so many marriages failing, what steps can you and I take to ensure that we stay close as a couple physically, emotionally and spiritually?

22. I like it best when you refer to me as ________.

23. The song that always makes me think of you is ______.

24. My favorite memory of our wedding day is _________.

25. I laugh every time I think of you doing ___________.

26. If you had a chance to jump out of a plane or bungee jump, which one would you choose?

27. What is your idea of a truly romantic evening?

28. What is one thing you want to do before you die?

29. What is one thing that might spice up our love life?

30. In our marriage, which do you think we need more of?  Kindness, quality time, or intimacy?

*If you don't have children yet, just change the ones that apply to kids.

UPDATES FOR FREE: Subscribe in a reader

Friday, January 25, 2013

Again: Five Minute Friday

Again.  Another year.  Another birthday come and gone.  Like seeds blown and scattered, you puff, and new life has begun.  New seasons.  Again.  You change and grow and again, you amaze me.

You told me the other day you were ready to go to school and it broke my heart.  You are my little boy and there is something so tender about it; a mama and son bond.  They all told me with words and smiles full of, you'll know what I mean when you have a boy!  Now I know!

May you flourish and grow and do great things for God and others.  Like little white wisps that fly through the air... may your love spread wide and long and touch many.

May our love be limitless.  May we all, love like our Savior.  Psalm 86:15 "But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."


Share |
UPDATES FOR FREE: Subscribe in a reader

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How I Lost 45 Pounds In 4 Months

Before & After Picture:

       Start Date/Goal Date:                
September 23rd, 2012    /   January 24th, 2013
(4 months)

Start Weight/Goal Weight:       
197.2   /   152.0
(45.2 Pounds Lost)

Start Pant/Dress Size/Goal Pant/Dress Size: 
16    /   (8-10)

Start Shirt Size/ Goal Shirt Size: 
XXL   /   M

My Story (because everyone has a story):

Some days I thought it would never come.  Not necessarily the weight loss, but the freedom from food.  It honestly is a daily struggle.  Some days are great, and others, not so great.  But I've persevered.  I've worked hard at it.  I've sought to keep first things first >>>> (GOD).  

Many people have asked me what is different about this program, The Grace & Strength Lifestyle.  Honestly, so many things!  The accountability.  Having a rock star of a personal coach that has walked this journey and succeeded.  Having women that I can call, text, private facebook message me and say, "you got this, I believe in you!"

I've tried to think back on my life and evaluate at what point I turned to food for comfort.  That was the first step, using food as a drug.  Then it became an addiction, one that only comes with shoving more food into my face to get the same high.  I can't pinpoint one specific day or year this downward spiral took place, I just know it did.  Isn't that like most of us who are overweight? It is a slow progression over time until one day we hit our own rock bottom and don't quite know how to crawl out of such a pit!  We don't like who we see in the mirror; I didn't like the me in the mirror.  Not so much because of the pounds or love handles, because there are many many big and beautiful women out there!  I didn't like the me that couldn't control my food addiction.  I felt trapped and in bondage.  I've tried Weight Watchers.  I've tried the South Beach/Atkins diet.  I've tried counting calories.  I've tried Slim Fast.  I've tried so many other things!  The day I started this program I had hope, but there were still those nagging lies in the back of my head saying, you are just going to fail again, Traci!

The Grace & Strength Lifestyle taught me how to discipline myself when it comes to food.  I realize now that I do have a choice as to what I put in my mouth.  I may not have control over any other thing in my life, but I do have control over making healthy choices!  I can have freedom over food addiction.  I do (man that feels great to say)! I've come to see that healthy food is a beautiful gift from the Lord, not a burden or a cruel joke or a substitute for that chocolate cake and cheesy chips! 

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to eat healthy for life!  Will I still have my occasional sweets?  Sure I will!  But with the Lord's help, it won't send me spiraling off into the sugary abis!  I spent a good majority the other day creating a HEALTHY BOARD on pinterest.  You can check it out.  I am passionate about whole and healthy foods now.  You know, the stuff you can actually read on the label and not all that processed garbage!

I want to inspire my children to love the art of healthy food choices and exercise.  I want them to grow up, not turning to food for comfort because they see their mommy making healthy choices!  

The bonus of this journey?  It has not only brought me freedom in the area of food, but in ALL AREAS OF LIFE y'all!  Yes, I break out in my wanna be southern drawl when I get excited about something!  I've found freedom from perfectionism.  I've found freedom from my crazy control issues.  I've found freedom from my people pleasing tendencies.  I've found freedom to just be the woman God created ME to be in Him.  Now that's something to celebrate!

I started this journey weighing in at 197 lbs!  I'm now a healthy 152 lbs!  Why post my weight?  Isn't it embarrassing?  Yes.  But I am posting it so you all know that sometimes the scale doesn't always say what you see.  I have so many people tell me that they would have never guessed I weighed that much!  I'm 5 feet 6 1/2 inches and everyone carries their weight differently.  It's really not about number, but about feeling comfortable in your own skin!

Why does weight loss inspire people so much?  What is it that makes people say, WOW!?  It's because we all struggle with discipline issues don't we?  No matter if it is striving to lose weight, or paying off debt, or getting our life and home organized, we are all looking for people who have walked the journey and said, "this is how I did it."  WE ALL LIKE HAVING HOPE!  I hope I give YOU HOPE!

How'd I do it?  Lots and lots of water.  Healthy, lean protein.  Fruits and veggies!  Accountability and support!  Writing down everything that goes in my mouth!

Some quotes that inspire me:

You can't live a positive life with a negative mind.
Be positive, patient, and persistent.
The prettiest thing you can wear is a smile.
What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.
Act like the person you want to become.
Wake up with determination.  Go to bed with satisfaction.
Punch fear in the face.
You are NOT hungry you are bored.  Drink some water, and learn the difference. 
A year from not you'd wish you'd started today!
I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.
Don't let comparison steal your joy.
Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it!
The 3 C's of life: Choices, chances, changes.  You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change!

Verses that encourage me:

Hebrews 12:11 "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

1 Corinthians 6:12 "All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful."

Matthew 4:4 "But He answered and said, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever."

Psalm 34:8 "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!"

To find out more about The Grace & Strength Lifestyle Program, click here and fill out the contact form and someone will call you and discuss the details.  Thanks for following my journey!  Please share this post if it inspires you!

I also HIGHLY recommend Lysa Terkeurst's book MADE TO CRAVE!  Totally a LIFE CHANGING book!

Previous Posts (Grace & Strength):
1) An Honest Update On My Weight Loss Journey
2) I Lost 30 Pounds In 8 Weeks!
3) Week 3/4
4) Day 20 Weight Loss Reveal
5) My Second Week On G&S
6) I Lost 10 Pounds This Week
7) 22 Pairs Of Pants Waiting For Me To Wear (*update: they are all TOO BIG now!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monday Morning Meditation Psalm 91:1,4

There is safety in the cleft of THE ROCK.
You are my shelter.  I take refuge in you.  
Under your wings I long to abide.  
Your ways are perfect.  You desire the best for me.  
You are a shield from the cold winds and bitter nights.  
You hide me under your rock.  
I find safety and protection when I call you, my Lord.  
You have proven your ways are tried and true. 
I have tasted and seen and proclaim that you are a good and awesome God. 
 Lord, give me an undivided heart that I may praise your name and seek you alone.  
You ask me to be still before you.  
In Christ alone, my hope is found.  
I have seen that it is better to trust in you, than put my confidence in man.  
This earth is full of temporal and earthly promises that leave me wanting.  
In you alone, do I find my satisfaction.  

*Psalm 5:11
*Psalm 18:2
*Psalm 18:30
*Psalm 31:4
*Psalm 34:8
*Psalm 46:11
*Psalm 61:3,4
*Psalm 86:11
*Psalm 118:8

Share |

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cherish: Five Minute Friday

Cherished.  That's the way you make me feel.  With your words.  Your actions.  The way you cup my face in your hands, or pull me in close.

I was always told to marry someone who adored me.  I honestly don't think anyone could possibly adore me more.  Cherish and adore go hand it hand.

Even the way you play and tease and pick on me shows me that you cherish me.

When you told me those words last night in the dark, I never knew I could love someone so much, I smiled quietly and my heart soared; because I knew you meant it from the very depth of you.

Cherishing requires cultivation over time.  To cherish means to hold dear, to nurture, protect, treat tenderly.

These eight years of marriage, you've sheltered me with your love... and for that, I cherish you!

Linking with Five Minute Friday.