FINAL Strong Healthy Mom Holiday Challenge Update!

Welcome to the Strong Healthy Mom Challenge update! Wondering what this is? Check out this post to join us. Be sure to leave a comment on this last post if you’ve been following along and getting healthier with us!

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge

Do you have those weeks where you are just in survival mode?  Yeah…me, too!  My youngest sister went into labor five weeks early on Monday.  After trying to stop the labor, they realized it wasn’t going to stop–so I had a new niece born Monday night.  Unfortunately, her lungs aren’t quite as developed as the need to be, so we’ve been spending most of our days at the hospital or taking care of my four-year-old niece.  It’s been a whirlwind, but it looks like Miss Ellie is making progress.  We’re hoping her hospital stay is in the days…and not the weeks.

Anyway, the whole situation has been slightly stressful and concerning for us all, so my to-do list got shifted around, and this update was pushed down on the priority list.  Hope you understand!

Here’s a look at my goals from last week:

1)  I finished the FitnessBlender program, so I decided to start P90x3 again.  I really love it because it is just 30 minutes and works well for me over the next few months!  I also like having a schedule to keep me on track. – Completed the full week of P90X3!

2)  Begin Revelation Wellness Instructor training!  I can’t even believe I’m doing this, but I am!  I’ve been feeling a pull towards this for about a month or two and with my recent “finding food freedom”, it is my heart’s hope and desire to see more moms find healing and freedom. – Started this training.  I’ve had two meetings so far and lots of reading and bookwork.  It’s awesome, and I’m still a bit overwhelmed that I’m even doing this, but I am convinced there is a reason I felt called to do it–even though I’m not sure what that is!

3)  Sleep 8 hours each night.  I have a ton going on this week–7 extra posts to be written, CC tutoring starts again on Thursday, a new Bible study, basement repair, working on video for my Home Management…for the Rest of Us eCourse on top of homeschooling and regular life, so I need to make sure I focus on getting enough sleep–or I will skip out on it.  When I do that, it is so detrimental. - Met this goal four nights out of seven–so not perfect, but pretty good for the week we’ve had here!

 

Now, here is a look at my overall goals and what happened with them:

1)  Increase my overall strength and fitness (I’ll be taking a fitness test and will compare results at the beginning and end).  – I accomplished this.  I feel a ton stronger, and I think it is all the weight lifting!

2)  Lose 5 pounds. – I accomplished this, but decided I didn’t really care about it!  I’m learning to love the body I’m in and not worry about the weight.  As I follow God and learn to listen to and honor my hunger, I am confident whatever weight I may need to lose will be “released” (I got that idea of “releasing” the weight from the book Hunger Within).  That is huge progress for me, so I am grateful for it.

 

 

So, I need you all to update me on your week…and how your overall goals went, too!  Remember that you needed to comment on at least four out of the last eight weeks to be eligible to win the $100 Amazon or THM gift card.  I will post the top winner next Monday, January 26, 2015.

P.S. Last week’s winner of the $10 Amazon gift card was comment #2 by Jonsherbies@.

Sea Sponge Tampons?!! Yes, They Exist & This is My Review of Them!

Before we get very far, let me just warn you that if talking about these rather personal things isn’t comfortable to you, please stop reading now!!  This is bound to be TMI.  I did receive a package of sea sponge tampons for free in order to facilitate this review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Sea Sponge Tampons Review

When April from The Sea Sponge Company contacted me about trying sea sponge tampons, I was a little taken aback.  Now, I have used a menstrual cup for several years now, so I am no stranger to alternative forms of period products:  however, I had not even heard of sea sponge tampons before!

I contemplated turning her down, because it just seemed so weird.  In fact, this is exactly the email I sent back to her:

April,

I admit I’m kinda freaked out by these!  I do use a Diva cup (well, it’s actually called a “moon cup”), so I’m not a stranger to alternative kinds of things.  I’m willing to take a look and try it out though!

She was so sweet and responded back with this:

Hey, Stacie!

I totally know how you feel, because I felt the same way before I tried them.  It took me a couple days to get used to the idea of a reusable product.  (This was before my husband and I founded The Sea Sponge Company and actually ended up being the reason we founded The Sea Sponge Company…to spread the word about sea sponge tampons!)  But once I did get adjusted to the idea, they proved to be sooo wonderful!  My cramps got lighter.  Periods got lighter.   I didn’t have to use pads anymore, because the sponges never leaked on me, which I love….Anyway, I’ve yet to meet someone who gave them a good shot and didn’t fall in love, so I’m confident you will too!

She was exactly right.  I have been using them for months and love, love, love them, and I want to share a little more about sea sponge tampons with you!

 

Sea Sponge Tampons

“Sea sponges have long been enjoyed as a premium natural solution for a wide variety of household and personal hygiene needs.  Their popularity as a bathing luxury was recorded as far back as the Ancient Greeks.  And though less well known, silk sea sponges also found great success and popularity in history as one of the first “tampons” to ever be used.

Through the ages, these marvels of the sea have stood the test of time.  Sea Clouds™ Mediterranean Silk Sea Sponge Tampons offer women today a natural feminine hygiene solution that is healthy and safe, comfortable and convenient, affordable, and earth friendly!”

Benefits of Sea Sponge Tampons:

Shorter Period

This summer, we were traveling and I ended up getting some conventional pads at the store.  I was using them instead of the menstrual cup, and I realized my period was anywhere from 6-7 days.  When I switched over to the Sea Sponge tampons, my period days decreased dramatically.  Right now, they are down to about 3 or 4.  This is a HUGE benefit to me!  Now, maybe it was just a coincidence, and I’m not sure it will happen for everyone, but I’ll take it!  With all the chemicals and synthetic fibers in mainline pads, it has me wondering…

Earth Friendly & Economical

I had no idea the average woman uses 17,000 pads and tampons throughout her lifetimeYikes.  That’s a lot!  The great thing about Sea Sponge tampons is they are reusable (for three to six months or more depending on how you take care of them) and biodegradable.  The Sea Sponge Company line of products is also sustainably harvested.

As for price, I know you can combine a coupon with a sale and get a pretty good deal on various period protection, but when you break it down over six months the price really isn’t too high for these Sea Sponge Tampons!  I’m also a fan of supporting small family-owned businesses and purchasing natural & organic products when possible.

Super Comfortable

If you’ve inserted the sea sponge correctly, you won’t feel a thing.  It’s awesome!

Can be Used During Lovemaki _g

Sorry for the underscore…just don’t want crazy stuff to show up in my ads.  This is a benefit that you might want to know about, so head over to the Sea Clouds Sea Sponge Tampons 101 page to find out more!

No More Cramps

Again, this could totally be just my experience, but I haven’t had cramps for months now.  I haven’t done any research, but I’m wondering if somehow the sea minerals could be part of that.

 

Sea Sponges from The Sea Sponge Company

Never in a million years would I have thought I would use sea sponge tampons (mainly because I had never heard of them), but I am so happy to have found them.  I definitely recommend them, and I’d love to answer any questions you have about them in the comments below!  Be sure to check out the tampons at The Sea Sponge Company as well as the other sea sponge products they have for cleaning, cosmetics, and more!

Have you ever used sea sponge tampons?

 

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge: Week 8 Update (Where I Have Mommy Brain…& Forget to Update the Post)

Welcome to the Strong Healthy Mom Challenge update! Wondering what this is? Check out this post to join us. Then read on to find out how to enter to win this week’s giveaway and join us for a little accountability!

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge
Oh, wow!  I am sooooo embarrassed.  I remember thinking last Monday that I needed to update this post for the final week….and then, well, I’m not sure what happens.  I’d like to blame it on mommy brain, but it may be more age-related…

Anyway.  Because I am updating this late, I’m extending the challenge one more week, so that more of you can get in your four weeks worth of comments to be eligible for the $100 giveaway!  Here are my goals from two weeks ago:

1) Drink at least 10 cups of water each day to help detox from holiday eating. - Did this!

2) Continue with the Eight-Week Fat Loss Plan for Busy People from FitnessBlender.com.  – Did this!

3)  2 Liquid (soups, smoothies, etc) meals each day to help with detox. – Did this!

 

My goals this week:

1)  I finished the FitnessBlender program, so I decided to start P90x3 again.  I really love it because it is just 30 minutes and works well for me over the next few months!  I also like having a schedule to keep me on track.

2)  Begin Revelation Wellness Instructor training!  I can’t even believe I’m doing this, but I am!  I’ve been feeling a pull towards this for about a month or two and with my recent “finding food freedom”, it is my heart’s hope and desire to see more moms find healing and freedom.

3)  Sleep 8 hours each night.  I have a ton going on this week–7 extra posts to be written, CC tutoring starts again on Thursday, a new Bible study, basement repair, working on video for my Home Management…for the Rest of Us eCourse on top of homeschooling and regular life, so I need to make sure I focus on getting enough sleep–or I will skip out on it.  When I do that, it is so detrimental. 

 

If you’ve missed the past few weeks, here is a recap of what the challenge is all about:

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge: Holiday Edition

From now through January 11, I will be posting weekly goals and sharing updates on how it is going. Even better, I want to invite you to share your goals and progress…and be eligible to win. Here’s how it works: 1) If you haven’t yet, leave a comment on the first week’s post with your long-term goals for the next eight weeks. (This post will be open for comments throughout the challenge.) 2) Leave a comment on this post about how your week went. Then, share your goals for the next week. That’s it! Each week, we’ll just share and be accountable to each other. To keep it fun and mix things up, I’ll be throwing in a giveaway each week. There will be things like Amazon Gift Cards, Jillian Michael’s DVDs, Fitness Blender programs, Trim Healthy Mama books, and Starbucks gift cards. These winners will be randomly chosen from the comment section on each week’s post, and I will share those winners each week. Each weekly post will be open for comments until the following Sunday at 8 PM CT. Our “big” giveaway will be at the end of the eight weeks. Those who have commented and joined in with us for at least four of the eight weeks will be eligible for that giveaway. The winner will be able to choose what they want from these three options: $100 Gift Card to Amazon, $100 Gift Card to Trim Healthy Mama store, or a $100 gift card to Target. The final winner will be chosen on January 12, 2015! I will be posting on Instagram (you can find me here) under the hashtag #stronghealthymomchallenge. If you are on Instagram or Twitter, there will be a special giveaway at the end for those who use the hashtag, so use it so we can find you! :) You can also join our Facebook group – Strong Healthy Mom Challenge!

 

Leave your progress below to be entered to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card giveaway.  Just one week to go, so be sure you comment on at least four posts to be eligible for the $100 gift card!

Have a great week!

My Challenge to You in 2015: Pick One Word

One Word 2015 Challenge

Usually at this point in time, I’ve put up my list of goals on the blog for the new year.

But not this year.

In 2014, I tried a new-to-me experiment.  I picked ONE WORD…but I still set quite a few goals for myself.  In 2015, I’m just picking ONE WORD.  What I’ve learned about myself over the past 12 months is that I need to listen and be in God’s presence more than I need to make tons of goals for myself.  I have this tendency to rush ahead and attempt to fix things myself–always thinking if I just have enough will-power and self-control or if I just accomplish everything on my list, I will somehow have arrived.

Mike Ashcraft

Now…I’m not saying goals are bad or you shouldn’t have goals!  I’m just realizing my tendency to seek achievement over being, and I desperately need to follow the Spirit instead of my goals and to-do lists. If I’m prompted to write down a goal, then I will, but I’m just not making goal-setting my focus this new year.  Instead, I’m seeking to listen and follow wherever God leads.

This year, I want to challenge you to choose ONE WORD for 2015.  How many resolutions have you made over the past years?  How many of them can you remember?  How many did you stick with?  I truly believe if you choose one word for the year, think about it, and filter your experiences through it, you will be changed and remember the word for years to come.  Words are powerful and focus is powerful.  Choosing to focus on just one word is just plain powerful!

If you haven’t ever tried the One Word experiment, here are a few steps to get you going (I highly recommend checking out My One Word to walk you through the process more completely):

1)  Choose Your Word

Grab a journal or some paper and begin to write down some words that are meaningful to you or that God is speaking to your heart.  Sit with those words.    Define the words.  Use a concordance and find Scriptures related to those words.  Pray over those words.  Begin to narrow down your list.

You may know right away what your word is–but it may take a few days or even a few weeks to choose it.

2)  Remember Your Word

Once you’ve chosen your word, you need to find a way to remember it!  Write it on notecards and post them around your house.  Be artistic and design a canvas with your word.  Add it to your social media profiles.  Put it on your computer screen.  Set a reminder for it to pop-up daily on your phone.  There are tons of ways to keep the word in front of you, so pick a few and get started!

3)  Listen…and Obey

When you first choose your word, you may have a pretty good plan for how you think the word is going to apply in your life this year.  Be aware!  The words we choose can often morph meaning.  For example, I chose the word AWAKE in 2014.  I had a pretty good idea what I thought that meant for me, but by the end of the year, I realized that God was using the word to make me aware of my tendency to “zone out” on media and not be fully AWAKE and present with my family.  Your word may make you uncomfortable or it may show you some areas that God wants to transform.  Don’t run or give up on your word–let it set with you for a whole year.

4)  Journal Your Journey

Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, I highly recommend choosing a journal and documenting your journey.  Write down your experiences…write down your thoughts…write down your hopes…just write!  I have found writing to help me process and learn things about myself, my family, and God that I would have missed.  It doesn’t have to be extensive or take a ton of time.

5)  Invite Others on Your Journey

Share your ONE WORD with others this year and invite them to try it, too.  Imagine if everyone in your family or circle of friends or church did this! It would be a great way to find out how someone else is doing and what’s going on with them.

How about it?  Could you do it?  Are you in?  Have you ever tried this before?

I’ll share my word in the next few days over at FaithfullyNourished.com.