Strong Healthy Mom Challenge: Holiday Edition (Join Me to Get Fit, Be Accountable, and Win Prizes!!)

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to make myself accountable for taking care of my health and stress levels this season–and invite you to participate, too!  When I first started blogging here, I often did 30-day fitness challenges to keep myself accountable.  We haven’t done any of those in a LONG while, but I have been really focusing on repairing and rebuilding my health over the past few years.

Last week, I finished up P90X3 and loved the short 30 minute workouts.  I increased my strength tremendously, and while I still have some weight I would like to lose, I finished feeling so strong and energetic.  In addition, I’ve also been loosely following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and have enjoyed trying some new recipes.  It’s been a great three months–I’ve learned a ton about food and exercise, and I really want to inspire others to make wise choices this holiday season.

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge:  Holiday Edition

For the next eight weeks (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)  Leave a comment on this post with your long-term goals for the next eight weeks and your short-term goal(s) for this week. (This post will be open for comments throughout the challenge.)

2)  Come back next Monday morning and leave a comment on my Week 2 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!

Finally, I will be posting each day 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!


My two #StrongHealthyMomChallenge overall goals:

1)  Increase my overall strength and fitness (I’ll be taking a fitness test and will compare results at the beginning and end).

2)  Lose 5 pounds.

My three goals specifically for this week:

1)  Menu Planning – I’ve been falling short on this lately, and I know it is the key to success for me.  When I take time to write down what I’m going to eat and have a plan for our meals, it makes it much easier to stay on track with my eating plan.  Be sure you are an email subscriber, because I have a packet of menu planning pages I will be making available later this week!

2)  Start the Eight-Week Fat Loss Plan for Busy People from Fitness Blender.  I am super-excited about this find!  I had no idea existed and offered so many free workouts.  I did decide to go ahead and buy the $9.99 plan that is already put together, but there is a free 5 day option and you can also just mix and match your own workouts for free!

3)  Go to bed by 10:30 PM each night.  I am a night-owl, so this is a hard one for me, but I know that it is so restorative to get enough sleep.


Because I really want to inspire others to join us, I’ll be giving away your choice of a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a Trim Healthy Mama book this week.  You may leave up to two comments this week.  The first comment should share your goal(s).  You can also leave one other comment if you share this challenge with friends–either through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.  Just tell me how you shared it!

So, what are your goals?  Hit me with ‘em!  Let’s do this!!!

Disclosure:  These giveaways are sponsored by me.  I just want to inspire others to get strong and healthy this holiday season!




Ham, Kale, & Navy Bean Stew (Served Over Homey Cheese Grits)

eMeals offers many kinds of menu plans to make things easier (you can see my review here).  The slow cooker eMeals plan is a favorite that utilizes ingredients available at your local grocery store and appeals to a broad range of tastes and preferences.  You can currently test out eMeals free for two weeks, too!

Here is a recipe that was recently featured on one of the weekly plans.  It would also freeze well if you want to make it a freezer cooking recipe!

Ham, Kale, Navy Bean Stew

Ham, Kale and Navy Bean Stew (served over Homey Cheese Grits)


  • 6 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 (15-oz) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16-oz) package chopped kale (or collard greens)
  • 1 (28-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16-oz) package fully cooked cubed ham
  • 1 (32-oz) carton chicken broth


  • 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1 (8-oz) package shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For Stew: Combine carrots, onion and potato in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with beans, kale, tomatoes and ham; pour in broth.

Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

For Grits: Cook grits according to package directions; stir in cheese and butter until blended and smooth. Serve stew over the grits.

Need Some Winter Reading Ideas? Grab Thanksgiving Heart + 75 More eBooks and Bonuses for 96% Off Through November 10!!

thanksgiving heart cover

I’m so excited to share with you that my eBook, Thanksgiving Heart, is included in this year’s Christian Living Ultimate Bundle!  This bundle looks amazing…and contains all kinds of new and classic books on faith, family, parenting, novels, business, and more.  I was really astonished by the wide variety of books included in this bundle.

The combined value of this bundle is over $1,140, but you can get it for just $34.95 for PDF or $39.97 for the eReader version while supplies last (there is a limit of 18,500 bundles to be sold). Plus, there is a wide variety of bonuses available, too.

Read on to find out more about what’s included:

For the family…

The bundle contains 10 wonderful books focused on incredibly inventive ways you can craft the marriage you signed on for. To complement that subject, they’ve added 8 more books focused on parenting and passing on your faith to your kids. That wouldn’t be complete without books just for kids so they also included 8 children’s books that parents can read with their children. To close out the content for family life, the highly praised Singing Bible MP3 version was added (a $25 value all by itself). It actually teaches children the story of the Bible not just random stories.

For your professional life…

You will find John Muratori and Michael Pink’s six -hour Christian Wealth Building course ($77 value) which was complemented with Bob Lotich’s 31-day devotional Managing Money God’s Way. There are a total of 14 business related books and courses including Zig Ziglar’s powerful Born To Win course (that Seth Godin and Dave Ramsey rave about), Dr. James B. Richards, Wired For Success – Programmed For Failure and Untold Secrets for Creating Wealth by Brig Hart and John Beehner. You’ll even find one of the best selling Christian business books of all time, The Bible Incorporated – In Your Life, Job & Business.

To ignite your faith…

Rounding out the package, Bridge Logos and Moody Press made a series of classic Christian literature available from generals of the faith like Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, A.W. Pink, E.M. Bounds, Calvin, Wesley, Edwards and more who wrote about grace, prayer, faith and an overcoming life.

In addition to these wonderful classics, the Ultimate Bundles team snagged 12 heart-stirring devotionals from authors like A.W. Tozer and Nancy Leigh DeMoss that speak to matters of faith that are sure to inspire. Let’s not forget Gary Chapman’s Extraordinary Grace or Ray Comfort’s Way of the Master for sharing your faith with others. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, don’t miss Philip Cameron’s, They Call Me Dad, the story of one man’s fight to save orphans from human trafficking.

So as you can see, the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle is an extraordinary value.

But it still gets better…

The Ultimate Bundles team asked several sponsors to step up to the plate and with no strings attached, provide meaningful BONUS GIFTS. One of the first to step up was Dayspring Greeting Cards who offered a choice of heart-warming gift card packages to choose from. Another, is a downloadable DVD workout series for getting in shape and maintaining health. With a retail value of $62.99 it includes a Biblical study guide for stewarding your health. Bonus gifts alone have a total retail value of over $160

So now you know…

For as little as $34.95 you can receive over $1,140 worth of valuable eBooks and eCourses that address the issues of life most of us face at one time or another, from a profoundly Biblical worldview. The BONUS GIFTS alone are worth more than four times the price of the bundle! So, if you want to ignite your faith, strengthen your family and help your professional life, there’s no better place to start! All the hard work has been done for you…

The Ultimate Christian Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th until 11:59pm (EST) on Monday, November 10th.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 18,500 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day guarantee: you have a full month to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s life, you’ll get your money back in full!

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 8 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, November 5th until 11:59 p.m. (EST) Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

What? 75 eBooks plus eCourses and more, PLUS over $160 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth over $1,140, and it’s yours for as little as $34.95. Sweet deal, right?

When you’re ready, you can either buy here directly, or right through the website. It’s fast and easy, and you’ll have your bundle sent to you via email within minutes.

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

Want to know exactly what’s included in the bundle?

Take a look through the categories, as well as the full list of included resources.

Business & Personal Finance

Christian Classics Series

Christian Living

Devotional Life

For Children

Inspirational Novels

Married Life


Reaching the Lost

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

Please be sure to read the fine print about this bundle and find the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.


Stocking Stuffers for Under $3


Cheap Stocking Stuffers

Here are a few stocking stuffer ideas for around $1 – $2. Most include free shipping, but please remember that prices may change.   I hope to continue updating the list through November and December, so feel free to share any stocking stuffer ideas you have, too!

Dover Mini Sticker Books – $1.35 – $1.79 with free Super Saver shipping

Solar-Powered LED Flashlight w/ Keychain – $2.16 shipped

Silver Crystal Stud Earrings - $1.59 shipped

Retro Classic Bronze Butterfly Pendant Necklace – $1.54 shipped

Fashion 2 1/5″ Silver Plated Women’s Hoop Earrings – $2.94 shipped

600 Glow in the Dark LOOM Rubber Bands – $2.59 shipped

3 Colorful Magic Flexible Bendy Soft Pencil for Kids – $1.85 shipped

Dover Little Coloring Books – $1.35 with free Super Saver shipping

Silver Infinity Anchor Love Charms Leather Rope Knit Wrap Bracelet White Black – $1.87 shipped

Egg White Separator – $1.89 shipped

USB2.0 Memory Card Reader Writer for MicroSD Card – $1.50 shipped

kilofly Purse Insert Organizer, Expandable, Grey, with Handles – $3.63 shipped (Oops! A little more than $3!)

101 Inexpensive Christmas Gifts Under $20

Don’t forget to check out my huge list of 101 inexpensive gift ideas for under $20!