Thursday, September 15, 2022

Books Books and More Books!

 Happy September! No I am not excited for Fall but I don’t have a say in it so here we are. Fall means colder weather, shorter days and no more garden and flowers. Why would I like any of that? Anyway, my obsession with books has gotten even worse. Or better, however you want to look at it. Discovering BookTube, Bookstagram and BookTok has been so fun! Although I mostly just look to BookTube. I have been getting recommendations left and right! Some recommendations have taken me out of my comfort zone which I appreciate. I read another middle grade/YA book at the end of August called Parts and Labor:The Adventures of Max Dugan. This book was incredibly sweet. It’s about Max who’s dad has died in the war in Afghanistan and how he’s dealing with that along with being bullied and oh yeah an alien moves in next door. Max befriends this alien, Norbert, who I absolutely loved! I would’ve wanted to be his friend too. The problem is Norbert and his father are there to decide whether or not they are going to take over Earth and enslave earthlings. Of course it sounds a bit silly and childish but it was a great feel good read. It would be a great book to read with your middle grade kid. 

I have read 6 books in September so far and I am planning on doing some reviews for a few of them. I’ve read some great ones and some not so great one. I am currently reading a classic so I’ll let you know if I enjoy that as well. Basically reading has become my life and I am loving it. Oh! I also started a book journal which I will also do a a post about. It has been really fun coming up with different themes for each month and being a little creative. I’m also hoping it helps me remember what I’m reading. Something I definitely need to work on. Stay tuned for more book reviews and also more garden content! 

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Long time no blog

 Hello! Wow it has been a minute since I’ve been here. That was not on purpose but life gets busy and Summer gets even busier. I hope everyone is enjoying the last days of Summer. My Summer has been pretty good minus getting shingles and Lymes. Yeah, good times. I wanted to pop on and see how everyone’s reading challenges are going for the year? I have read 15 books so far. My goal is 25. I honestly wish I was a little further along but I didn’t read anything in May and possibly April. I am back in a reading mood thanks to BookTube (YouTube videos about books) and trying to broaden my book genres a bit. I just finished a middle grade book called The Brave and really enjoyed it! Do not discount middle grade and YA because you think they are just for kids or the stories will be too juvenile or silly. Not the case! This book was so beautiful and heartbreaking/heartwarming. I really loved it and am glad I was introduced to it by BookTube. If you’re in a book slump I highly recommend watching a few videos and get some recommendations and just get yourself into the reading mood. My recommendations so far this year would be The Brave for a heartwarming story, Crying in H Mart for a a great memoir, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue for a really great fantasy book and The Last Mrs.Parrish for a psychological thriller/suspense. I’ve read some other great ones (and some not so great ones) you can follow along on GoodReads to find the full list! What are you reading at the moment? What new releases are you excited for? For me it’s Ruth Ware and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest books! Can not wait to read them! I’m about to start two thrillers and will report back when I’m finished. Happy reading! 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Did I lose weight?

 Ok so my “weight loss challenge” ended last week. Those 4 weeks just flew by! Just to recap I went through the company Habitual Fitness, the owner who also started the Milky Fitness Facebook group for nursing moms who are looking for support/advice when nursing and wanting to maintain a healthy supply. So you tell them your goals whether it’s weight loss, maintaining, weight gain, bulking etc. You also let them know if you are nursing and how often. I am no longer nursing and said I wanted to lose weight/inches. You then tell them what your activity level will be during the challenge. I told them I was going to be working out 4 times a week but then did let them know that I was working out more like 6 times a week and I did get my calories adjusted. Make sure you are eating enough calories!! They give you a meal plan according to your calorie intake along with some recipes and a lot of substitutions and ideas. You also get workouts for the gym, at home and great YouTube videos suggestions. Then there is the Facebook group you get to join along with the other women doing the challenge and that itself is worth joining! The support and motivation is so wonderful and makes a huge difference. Ok so did I lose weight? Yes! In 4 weeks I lost about 6.5 lbs! I also lost 2 inches off my waist, 1 1/2 inches off my hips, 1/2 inch off my bust, 1/4 off my arms 1 inch off my left thigh and I gained 1/2 inch on my booty!

🙌🏻 I am so happy with my results but I am nowhere near finished! This is a marathon not a sprint. I’m currently doing Caroline Girvans Iron Series on YouTube and I am loving that! I will include my before and after pictures here too. Any questions let me know and I will continue to keep you updated and share my progress. You can follow along at life_in_crumbs_blog on Instagram. life_in_crumbs_blog

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Weight Loss Update!

Happy Saturday! I thought I would do a little weight loss update since I am now almost half way through my weight loss challenge thru Habitual Fitness. A week or two before my challenge started I did start to work out more frequently and track my eating a little better. I’m now working out about 5 days a week because honestly I’ve been enjoying it! Never thought I would say that! I usually have a day designated to a certain body part or area of the body. So legs/booty one day, arms shoulders, core etc. I also really enjoy low impact cardio and tabata. I love going on YouTube and finding a new video to try out or going back to do my favorites. I won’t share my meal plan because that would not be fair to the great people who made it but I am sticking around 1500-1600 calories a day and I’ve been eating really yummy food! Not low carb or anything but I am tracking my macros and trying to stay within range. I haven’t felt deprived of anything and it feels like something that is sustainable. Obviously life happens and I’m not always going to be perfect but I’m so happy with my progress. Did I mention I’ve lost 5 lbs! 🙌🏻 I don’t try to focus so much on the scale but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tracking my weight and that number. Overall I’m feeling really good and I’m excited to keep going and get even stronger! I will check back in another week or so 😃you can also follow along on Instagram where I share meals and workouts! life_in_crumbs_blog

Friday, March 11, 2022

Losing Weight....Again

  Losing weight. Ugh why is it so hard to be motivated and commit to working out and eating better? WHY?! My weight has fluctuated so much through the years. It has gotten higher as I've gotten older and of course when I got pregnant, which is incidentally the time I felt the most beautiful and the most comfortable in my own skin. Imagine that. Anyway, it is so hard to be confident and not constantly compare ourselves to people we see on social media. I feel it especially as a mother that by 3 years post partum I should look exactly like I did before I got pregnant. My body is supposed to "bounce back" and show no sign of gaining 60lbs and growing an entire human being! What a bunch of crap! There is so much pressure put on women to be a certain size and look a certain way. I think the greatest thing you can do for your mental health is to get off social media or if you're like me and just can't possibly do that, at least go through and purge! Get rid of those accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, don't align with your values or honestly can just be triggering because you are doing too much comparing. I recently did that and it felt so good! Following body positive accounts like, Thebirdspapaya, thegarciadiaries, megsquats, chinaealexander, alexlight_ldn, aliciamccarvell, flawsofcouture, meg.boggs, just to name a few, has really helped shift my thinking and just leaves me in a better headspace. I find myself going on Instagram now and enjoying it and getting something from it rather than just scrolling and comparing and getting depressed. I also am dealing with some health issues which is contributing to my weight. Nothing serious, mostly just hormonal stuff which I will talk about in another post but it's just another road block to deal with and it's something that I know a lot of women are dealing with that isn't talked about enough.

I think one of the best things I've learned which sounds so silly now is to do workouts you enjoy! If you despise running then don't run! I hate HIIT workouts. My body hates them and they are never enjoyable but everyone seems to rave about them and makes it seem so easy and effective. I tried doing them for so long until I'm like "why am I doing something I hate?" I have found that me and my body prefer low impact cardio, standing workouts and yoga. I want to do a whole separate post on yoga because it was something I could never do! Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube is amazing! Highly recommend! The Body Project on Youtube is a wonderful channel for low impact cardio for all levels. I get an amazing workout and the instructors are really great. I love that they have bodies of all sizes doing the workouts. Another recent favorite has been Zumba Class. I am the least coordinated person in the word but even I can follow along and holy moly does it make me sweat! Keoni is another great Youtuber. He does walking and cardio workouts if you're looking for low impact and getting those steps in. 

Monday I start another weight loss challenge. I hate calling it that because not everyone is doing it for weight loss but it's the easiest way to explain it. It's through a fitness/breastfeeding group on Facebook and I did it once before the year that George was born and had great success. I am no longer nursing but they help everyone not just nursing moms. The business is Habitual Fitness if you want to check them out! I lost 12lbs in a month last time I did their program but I was also nursing around the clock so we'll see how it goes this time around. I would honestly love to lose 30-40lbs. It seems like a lot and it is but I'm also trying not to focus on the number too much. I took my measurements and I am ready for a change. I have already started adjusting my eating and have been working out 3-5 times a week. I've lost 3lbs already and I feel really motivated! Let's just hope that motivations sticks around! I will keep the blog updated on my progress and maybe even post my before and after pics. EEEKK! We'll see. Wish me luck and follow me along on Instagram too at life_in_crumbs_blog. 

 Throwback to me living my best pregnant life :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

My Favorite App To Get Free Stuff

 Who doesn't love free stuff? If you have any kind of presence on social media and don't mind posting about products then you need the Influenster app! Influenster sends you products (for free) in return for honest reviews. The more social media presence you have the higher your "impact store" is. The impact score is a reflection of the amount of followers and friends you have connected to your accounts. You can choose which social media accounts you want to connect and you do not have to be an influencer with thousands of followers to be chosen. You can even choose to not have to review on your accounts. To get started you download the Influenster app, connect your social media accounts, and fill out your profile. There are also little questionnaires called "snaps" that you fill out. It's basically their way of getting to know you and what your interests are and the products you already use. To help your chances of getting products you can also write reviews on products and things that you already use. This can be makeup, skincare, vitamins, food, you name it! You can also like other peoples reviews and interact with them on the app. I think this all helps your chances of getting what they call Voxboxes. There are also virtual voxboxes which usually means they give you money back for buying a product and writing a review. I usually choose not to do those. So, what kinds of things have I gotten for free from Influenster? Makeup, foundation, eye liner, mascara, lipstick, eye brow pencil, eyeshadow, setting spray, setting powder and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Other things I've received are eye creams, moisturizer, serums, vitamins, hair tools, lawn fertilizer and bug repellent, diapers for my son, pacifiers, muffin mix, chicken stock, medicine, products for breastfeeding, self tanner, shaving cream and razor, dishwasher detergent, and more! Can you even believe that?! And we aren't talking about no name products and sample sizes. Yes, some things are sample size but they will tell you that before receiving it. This is name brand stuff like Maybelline, Revlon, Smashbox, ELF, Tatcha, Pampers etc. Once you sign up and make your profile and do your snaps you can be eligible for receiving products. They will send you an email saying something like "Are you a good fit for our next campaign?" and you'll take the survey and go from there. Check frequently for emails and keep a presence on the app and hopefully you'll be picked! Reviews are usually put on Influenster, Instagram, Facebook and usually the company website. Again, you can choose if you want to link those accounts and do reviews. They want honest reviews too! Don't just tell them what you think they want to hear. This was a long winded way to say that I absolutely love this app and the things I have received from them! Have you tried Influenster before? If so what have you got to review? 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Hard Boiled Eggs In The Air Fryer

 Hard boiled eggs are one of my favorite snacks. You can use them in so many different ways and in so many different recipes. Making hard boiled eggs isn't hard but can be a pain in the butt. I have a few different ways I make them but lately my go to way is the air fryer. I love our air fryer! We have a Gourmia air fryer that I got at a rummage sale. We probably use it once a week or so for different things. Also great for heating up leftovers like pizza! Back to the eggs. I have never done more than probably 6 at a time but if you have a bigger capacity air fryer I'm sure it would be fine. Set it to 250 degrees and you can cook them anywhere from 15-19 minutes. This will depend on your air fryer too I suppose. If you like more of a soft boiled egg stick closer to the 15 minutes. I prefer mine DONE DONE so I do 18 or 19 minutes. After they are done cooking put them in a bowl of ice water or very cold water. I usually let them sit for about 5-10 minutes and then peel them. These are the easiest peeling eggs I've ever made! I just hit them gently on the counter and then peel the shell. They come out perfect every time and you have minimal clean up. Give this a try and let me know how it goes! 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

First Books Read In The New Year

 We are well into 2022 and I have a big goal (big for me) of reading 25 books this year. I have 2 read so far. Both were in the mystery/thriller category which is what I tend to gravitate towards. The first book is The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. If you love dark twisted books with incredibly frustrating endings then you will love this lol. It was one of those books for me where I kind of disliked all the characters and didn't care what happened to them. By the end I was a little more invested and curious to figure out happened. This is a really dark look at female friendships and the lengths people go to try and get others to like them. I can not say enough about that ending though! I don't want to give anything away but my god it was infuriating! I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. It was a bit boring in the beginning and quite dark and depressing. 

The book I just finished was Such A Quiet Place by Megan Miranda. One reviewer on Goodreads said "First half- boring. Second half- Riveting!" That is exactly what I would say as well. Also, there were a lot of plot holes in the story and really random things that kept getting brought up but then ended up having no significance at all. It is very slow going in the beginning but if you stick with it it does eventually go somewhere and get interesting. It all revolves around a neighborhood called Hollow's Edge. A private and peaceful neighborhood where everyone looked out for one another, celebrated birthdays and graduations. But then the neighborhood is shocked by the murders of two of their own and everything changes. The book picks up a year and a half later. I gave this one 3 out of 5 stars too. I think it is worth the read and I know this author has a few other books that I really want to check out! 

I have started my next book. Its called The Last Mrs. Parrish. Another mystery psychological thriller. I just really enjoy that genre! After this I will be reading Sutton Foster's memoir " Hooked" and I can't wait for that! I am not a huge memoir lover or nonfiction for that matter but this book has been getting great reviews so I am really excited to check it out! I'm looking forward to many more book reviews in the future. What are you all reading?

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

My Favorite FREE App For Borrowing Books

 If you are a book lover I'm sure you are probably familiar with the Libby app. It is the easiest way to get access to free books and audiobooks. You do need a library card in order to " check out" books but that's the only requirement. You can even add multiple libraries to Libby and multiple cards for each library. Essentially you put in your card info and it links it to your library and from there you can borrow your ebooks, digital audiobooks and magazines. Now I do also enjoy going to the library with my son to check out books for him but lately I have been preferring to read ebooks. We also live 30 minutes from our library so it isn't super convenient to get to all the time. The Libby app is very user friendly and easy to use. You can search specific books or authors and see if your library has them and if they do not you can request a copy to your library. If you find a book you like you can choose to "borrow" or if it is unavailable you can choose to put it on "hold" and it will tell you approximately how long it will be before you get to borrow it. You can also "tag" books. I do this for books that sound interesting but I'm not ready to read quite yet or when I have maybe hit my limit of holds. I tag them as "want to read." You can also borrow the audio book version if it's available and it should come up right along with the ebook when you're searching. You can read the book right on the app once checked out but I prefer to read it through my Kindle app on my phone or you can get it on your Kindle device. This app has ignited my love for books (along with the Goodreads app) and made me want to read more. I get so excited checking it to see what book is going to be available next! Once a book is checked out you can hold it for up to 21 days which is also another thing I love because some books just take a little longer to get through and people have busy lives. This is such a great resource for people and a great way to read more books. My goal this year is 25 books. So far I have read one and a half 😂 A slow start but I'll get there! I do encourage you to visit your local library still if you're able to and utilize the many resources and programs they offer there. Libraries are so important for communities! Let's all read more books in 2022!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Our Dog Peanut


This is our sweet "puppy" Peanut. I say puppy but he is actually 6 years old. His name describes him perfectly! He is a 5 pound little Peanut. The way he ended up in our lives is pretty crazy! Before that though I need to talk about our sweet dog Yoshi who passed away November 2020. I had him for almost 15 years. He had a rough start in life that unfortunately stayed with him forever. He hated most men and little boys (he was abused by a man and his son) and was terrified of everything. We had a lot of issues with Yoshi but he was my bff and I loved him so much. I miss him everyday. Maybe I'll talk about his death another day as that story is while heartbreaking and awful, really strange and almost like he planned it. That sounds awful I know but it was all just too coincidental. Anyway, back to our Peanut. About 7 months after Yoshi died we were kind of throwing around the idea of another pet. Our son loved Yoshi and loves animals in general. I really didn't want to adopt and end up with another dog with severe issues. Don't get me wrong, adopting is wonderful and if you can you should but it can come with challenges. Challenges I wasn't sure I could deal with again. Even though I was hesitant I started stalking the animal shelters in my area. Our shelter was getting in so many sweet dogs. As fast as they got them in they were adopted. You had to be quick! One day I was on there looking and I saw the cutest dog named Peanut. I instantly fell in love and felt like he would be a perfect fit for our home. So many small dogs from shelters come with warnings about being around small children and Peanut had no issues with that! He was perfect. As soon as I fell in love he was adopted. It happened so fast. I could not stop thinking about him and would check the shelters Facebook page multiple times a day hoping for some reason he would become available again. It had been a day or two after he was adopted and my son and I were in the living room playing. I said to him "I am going to look at that Facebook page one more time to see if that dog is up for adoption and if he is we are getting him!" I kid you not I went to their page and after a minute or two of scrolling I saw Peanut's sweet little face pop up again! The family who adopted him were not able to make the trip to pick him up and he was up for adoption again! Talk about meant to be! I immediately went to their website and filled out the form and before they even opened called them and told them we wanted Peanut. Lucky enough I was the first one to call. I still had to call my husband and ask him if we could adopt this sweet boy. Poor guy was totally caught off guard when I called and said "that dog is up for adoption again and I just feel like he's meant to be ours" Luckily he was pretty on board with the idea and called the shelter to pay for the adoption. The next day we picked him up and I swear it was like he had lived with us his whole life. He fit right in. He loves snuggles and crawling under the blankets in bed to sleep next to you. His favorite thing is his ice cream toy that if he had it his way would be thrown for him 24 hours a day. He is so wonderful and has made me realize that sometimes you need to ignore your fears and reservations and just go for it. I hope everyone will consider adopting when looking for a pet. There are so many amazing animals out there to complete your family.

Our sweet Yoshi. We love you sweet JuJu 💓

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thrifting's BFF The Garage Sale

 I know thrifting is all the rage these days and I don't get me wrong I love it! I love how environmentally friendly it is, inexpensive and its a great way to try out different trends. Everything comes back in style! Something I love even more than thrifting believe it or not are garage sales! Do you have garage sales where you live? I'm from Minnesota, now living in Wisconsin, and they are huge here! There are 3 big ones that I try not to miss every year. Even my son loves going because he can always find trucks and other fun toys. I love it because they don't cost much and we are giving old things a new life. My obsession last Summer were bowls. If I saw a cool bowl I was buying it. I love them for decor and for practicality. I use many to hold my fruit and veggies. If I end up falling out of love with them I just go ahead and donate them and then the cycle continues. I have found so any amazing treasures at garage sales. Last year I was on the hunt for an electric cheese grater and wouldn't you know I found one that wasn't even used! I feel like you need to set your intentions before thrifting or garage saleing because you can easily get swept up in all the things! I like making a list if things that I might actually need, kitchen appliances, clothes for my son (look for clothes you're kid will need for the upcoming year or two) or even Christmas or birthday gifts. You also want to keep an eye on prices. Just because it is at a garage sale or thrift store doesn't mean you're getting a good deal. Know your prices and what you are willing to spend on items. If it's something you have been searching for a long time then maybe you're willing to pay a little more. Bargaining is another thing that most people like to do at a garage sale. Personally, I never feel comfortable doing this but if you do you go right ahead! Who else is so excited for garage sales and well just Summer in general? I can not wait! I'll share more about what I am on the look out for this year in another post when we get closer to Summer. Below are a few of my favorite finds last year. Happy shopping! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

I love a good book!


Do you guys have the Goodreads app? If you are a reader you need to have it! You can share what you're reading, see what friends are reading, see new releases from your favorite authors, and make lists of what you want to read. They also have a reading challenge that you can do every year. You choose how many books you want to read that year and see if you can make your goal. It really helps me read more! In 2021 I read my goal of 20 books. I read some really fantastic books! I shared below the books that i finished and you can go to the Goodreads app to see my ratings. According to Good Reads my favorite book was Under The Magnolias by T.I. Lowe. I would agree. I absolutely loved this book! It had a great story, great characters and I didn't want it to end. The Midnight Library was the most popular book I read. Really wonderful book with a story of a woman trying to decide what truly fulfills her life and what makes it worth living. Definitely a trigger warning there it does deal with depression/suicide. I think I will do separate posts on some of the other books that I think are a must read and I will also be sharing what I'm reading in the new year. Have you read any of these books? What was your favorite book last year and what are you excited to read this year?

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Protein Yogurt Bowls


I wanted to share a snack/breakfast that I have been loving lately. I'm not usually a plain yogurt fan but turn out it just needs a little love and extra flavors! I've been buying the Stonyfield Organic Plain Whole Milk yogurt. I add between 1/2 cup to 1 cup of yogurt and then add a tablespoon or so of protein powder. This was definitely a game changer. You can add more but it might get too thick and goopy. I also mix in ground flax seed. Flax seed has so many benefits but I am mostly using it to see if it helps alleviate some stomach issues I have. To top off my yogurt bowl I add in granola, dried cranberries and any fresh fruit I may have. I really need to start making my own granola but store bought is good too. Just make sure it doesn't have too much sugar and unnecessary ingredients. This is really filling if you need a mid day pick me up or a filling breakfast.

George's Monster Truck Birthday Party! 1/16/22

Today we celebrated our sons 3rd birthday! We decided to do a monster truck party since he is very much into those (and really any vehicle in general.) Pinterest is my bff so a few months ago I went on there and started looking for ideas. We kept it pretty low key but I always make a cake for his birthday so I needed some inspiration! I found the cutest cakes and picked out the one that was the easiest to recreate. No shame in that! I also tried Pioneer Woman's recipe for funfetti cake. I hate to say that it was not our favorite cake, although I did overbake it. I don't know what went wrong but I don't think I would make it again. We still enjoyed it and I made a homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting and then bought a can of vanilla frosting that I could color orange. Orange is the color of my sons favorite monster truck, El Toro Loco. I used rushed up Oreos for the "dirt" and then some Whoppers for...rock...dirt piles. I'm not sure but they were in the inspo picture so I used them. This was a 3 tier cake so it required quite a bit of frosting. I also made little brownie 'traffic lights." I used my favorite brownie recipe which i can try to link and then added red, yellow and green M&Ms  Those were a huge hit! they were gone within minutes. The rest of the menu consisted of pulled pork sandwiches, homemade mac and cheese, chips and fruit salad aka fruit cut up and put in a bowl. For decor I just picked out two of my sons favorite monster trucks and bought those color balloons, tablecloth etc. Paper plates and cups were from Amazon. I grew up having birthdays at home and having homemade cake and playing the clothespin game and the cottonball game. Nothing fancy but I loved it and have great memories.

I love having family over and feeding people. Cooking and baking is my happy place! I still can't believe we have a 3 year old! 

Links to the pork recipe, brownies, Mac and cheese and the inspo cake are above! 

 Welcome to Life in Crumbs! I'm so happy you found yourself here. Let's talk all about life, parenting, fertility, cooking, thrifting and more.