Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last 24 Hours for ALL IN Challenge

Don’t worry, lots of fun updates coming soon about Jase & pregnancy & Christmas…

But for now I wanted to remind everybody that this is the last chance to get in on the ALL IN Challenge kicking off January 7th. Pre-ordering ends Wednesday (tomorrow) at noon. If you have some health goals for 2015, this is the PERFECT jump start.

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We have an awesome group on FB with several of our challengers and yesterday I asked for everyone’s before & afters. I was BLOWN away! Cannot WAIT for our next group of transformation pictures.

Here’s the link with all of the details: Nationwide 24 Day Challenge

Here’s to a healthier 2015!! Excited to watch people across America take control of their health.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Goal Setting for 2015

My inner nerd is so excited right now! Seriously, I feel like a giddy little kid.

I have always loved the idea of setting goals . I am the kind of person who thrives off of having a specific target in mind & going hard after it. (Honestly, I think everyone thrives off of that.) I have always been pretty solid in identifying what I want, why it’s important, and then making it happen because that’s how my personality works. And I’m just nerdy enough that I have always written my goals down…way before I was mature enough to realize how important it is. But confession time…for some reason I have struggled with focusing and accomplishing what I want to/need to over the last few months. I haven’t really been working towards anything specific like I usually am and it has led to me being complacent in every area. That lack of discipline is not good & I know it does not honor God, so it is time to get back on track. I know some people think it’s cliché to set New Year’s Resolutions or goals….but I can’t think of a better time for a fresh start. There were a lot of blessings in 2014, but there is a lot of room for growth and improvement. We want things to be different and better in 2015, and “for things to change, we have to change.” Why NOT start now?

One of my favorite people gave me the gift of Power Sheets this year, and I finally whipped those bad boys out last night. Jonathan and I blocked off 2 1/2 hours after Jase went to bed to go through some of the PowerSheets, reflect on 2014, set some (seriously BIG) goals for 2015, & plan for the upcoming year. We also worked on creating our 2015 monthly budget. (I recently started reading Dave Ramsey’s book The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity & it inspired me to start revisiting our budget more often.) Not going to lie…I know it was a little uncomfortable for Jonathan (because he told me it was), but he was a total champ & felt really good about it afterwards.

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Obviously we totally trust the Lord and know that ultimately He is in control. He could change our entire path tomorrow. But for now, while He has us on this path,  we want to be great stewards of everything in which God has entrusted to us. That means working hard with intentional, focused effort and making the BEST use of our time, talent, & resources.  The only way to do that effectively is to have a vision for our family and future and set specific goals to help us work towards that vision.

 

We have been taught that goals must be SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, TIME BASED, & WRITTEN DOWN.

We took some time to go through our family & individual goals and write them down into categories.

Sometimes I write all of my goals out on the blog, but this year I really feel led to keep most of them private. I will include a few examples though.

We started with our bigger picture goals and and the WHY behind them, but we also got pretty specific and wrote down what it would take on a daily & monthly basis to accomplish those goals. Here are the categories:

  • Spiritual (as a family & individual) : Read Jesus Calling together at the breakfast table and look up the verses. I typically read this by myself and don’t always look up the Scriptures.  We eat breakfast together every single morning, so this is a perfect time to do a family devo, right? We typically listen to Herman Cain on talk radio, but we can do that after our devotion. Also, I want to memorize a new verse each week and work on teaching it to Jase.
  • Marriage : Attend 2 marriage conferences and go on a “baby moon.” 2 date nights/month. (We wanted to be reasonable since we’ll have a new baby in June.)
  • Parenting : Transition Jase to a big boy bed & potty train him. Get the new baby on a solid schedule.
  • Physical- Oh gosh y’all, this was hilarious. (It may be one of those things where “ya just had to be there” but I’ll share anyway.) I asked Jon about his physical goals and his first answer was “floss.” I busted out laughing and he said “What? Wait…don’t write that down. What were yours?” I just assumed he would say something about working out (he ended up making a rowing goal) which is why I got so tickled. Flossing more is a great goal though! (If you have other health goals for the upcoming year, there are FOUR days left to get in on the All-In Nationwide Challenge with us!)
  • Home : Get a new mattress for our bedroom & purchase a generator. Do some grading in the backyard. Deep clean 1x per month. Build a mud room at entry way. Have couches professionally cleaned.
  • AdvoCare (personal goals): Earn both corporate incentive trips for the year. Earn NLT. 9* by Aug Success School.
  • AdvoCare (team goals): Help over 100 families on our team earning $1000+/month by Dec 2015. Help 10 team members achieve the Ruby leadership level.
  • Debt : Pay $x extra towards principal on our mortgage each month.
  • Financial : Make max contributions to IRAs.
  • Investing (not sharing this one)
  • Giving: Serve at least once a month in a ministry outside of our church.
  • Personal Growth : Each read at least 1 personal growth/leadership book per month.
  • Other : Update our will &  print blog books.

We also talked about where we would like to be by the end of 2015 and our 5 year and 10 year vision.

Once we wrote out those goals, I wrote down a list of some of my specific goals for January and went through my EC Life Planner so I could put specific tasks on specific dates. I worked on my daily schedule and blocked out certain times (like when Jase is napping or after he goes to bed) to get some things done.

We also wrote out our monthly budget and our top 4 financial/saving/investing goals (on the same piece of paper) so we can post it in our house. It’s important to keep it in front of us and remind us what we’re working towards. This is where that T chart of “I want…” and “Get rid of” lists can come in very helpful. I wrote more about that in this post: Some Thoughts on Finances.

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Jonathan and I both really appreciate organization and thrive off of having a target in mind. We both feel super confident and excited about our upcoming year, and from a marriage standpoint it helps to be on the same page, to know exactly what you’re working towards, and most importantly, WHY that is important. Non-specific goals get non-specific results…and unfortunately, lots of people wander aimlessly without ANY goals at all. That day-to-day grind with no big picture purpose or vision is depressing- almost hopeless. I know lots of people aren’t taught HOW to create goals, so I hope this helps some. I know I am definitely not an expert, but I can tell you this works for us and it’s absolutely worth carving out 2-3 hours to work through this. Of course it doesn’t end there. You have to take time frequently (at least once a month) to revisit and evaluate how you’re doing. Measuring progress is important & encouraging, so don’t forget about that part too.

Here’s to hoping your 2015 is the BEST yet!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from Butler, Party of 3

Pretend this is hanging with all of your other Christmas cards, k?

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We just wanted to wish you a wonderfully MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours!! Christmas is such a special time. We are praying this Christmas brings you and your family  good health, lots of sweet memories with friends & fam, plenty of rest, maybe a few too many Christmas cookies (don’t forget the Carb-Ease), and most importantly, time to worship our Savior as we remember the true reason for the season. Be sure to read Luke 2:1-20 with your fam sometime today.

We are so thankful you stuck it out with us for another year. I know lots of you have been with me since this blog was Goin’ to the Chapel…then Happily Ever After…Butler, Party of 2…and now we are in our last year as Butler, Party of 3 before we become Butler, Party of 4 in 2015. I am so thankful for the encouragement and the friendships that have resulted from this little ole blog.  Just wanted to thank you guys & let you know you mean a lot to me. So with that…

MERRY CHRISTMAS from (for the last time) Butler, Party of 3!

Monday, December 22, 2014

All In: Nationwide 24 Day Challenge with some Sweeeeeet Freebies

This is SUPER exciting!! We have had tremendous success with our group challenges in the past, but there has never been anything THIS BIG. We are joining thousands and thousands (no really, like 80,000+ prob) of others across the country for a nationwide group challenge beginning on Jan 7th! If you’ve ever considered the challenge, this just might be the PERFECT time for you to join us.

Not only will you have accountability & encouragement from others (so you are more likely to stick with it & finish strong), but there are tons of exciting extras. Check out all of the freebies AdvoCare is throwing in for members:

  • Free expedited SHIPPING. (so it arrives prior to Jan 7th)
  • Free blender bottle.
  • Free wristband.
  • One-time free shipping on your next order of $250+ (retail, not out of pocket with your discount) in January.
  • Daily virtual coaching and a new, updated 24 Day Challenge app with daily reminders for taking supplements. (Plus me & Jon as your ‘real-life’ challenge coaches.)
  • Meal & snack ideas, recipes, & tips.
  • Kick-off call with instructions.
  • Webinars from our sci/med board.
  • Pre-orders that won’t process/charge on your card until after Christmas.

Here is the link to the official All In Facebook page. If you decide to give it a shot, definitely be sure to “like” this so you can stay up-to-date.

You can shoot me an e-mail if you have any specific questions, but it is pretty simple. Here is the link for the membership. The membership is really a no-brainer anyway, but now it’s an even better reason to join the team. No monthly minimums, quotas, or autoships. It’s really pretty similar to a Sam’s or Costco, except you get a box of Spark & box of Slam ($59 retail value) for becoming a member, PLUS your own free microsite where you can log in anytime you want to order with your own discount. I’m a sales rack kinda gal anyway so that just made sense for us.

Once you become a member, you will see the link for the “All-In” bundle where you can choose your shake flavor, Spark flavors (you get to pick 2), MNS type, & add-ons. You’ll get a confirmation e-mail & I will also reach out once you’re enrolled to set up a time to call ya so we can “meet” and go over all the fun details!

 

 

Photo: Are you ready to go All-In with us in 2015? Use #AdvoCareAllIn to stay connected during the nationwide 24-Day Challenge™! Check out these reminders to help get you started before the Challenge begins on January 7,2015.

Make sure you use the hashtag #advocareallin to track your progress & follow others on social media who are also participating. What a fun way to connect with others who are ready to get in the best shape of their life in 2015!

 

Photo: Are you All-In? #AdvoCareAllIn

https://www.facebook.com/advocareallin

Cannot WAIT to see everyone’s results!! Coaching people & helping them get incredible results on challenges is one of my favorite things…super, super rewarding. I know Jonathan & several of our friends, family members, & teammates are ready to rock theirs out while me & #babybutlernumerodos cheer them on and follow the healthy eating plan right alongside them. We are SO ready!

And P.S. Here are my pics from the first time I did a challenge…

& the last time I did a challenge after being pregnant and nursing Jase for 14 months. Products work.

I definitely saw my body composition change, but what you can’t see in the pictures (and hands down my FAVORITE part) was the incredible energy & overall feeling of wellness. Oh, and saying goodbye to the cravings. You know if something can help with MY sweet tooth, it’s the real deal.

I cannot think of a single better way to kick start your 2015, and it would be an honor to have a part in helping you achieve your goals. We would love to coach you, so let us know if you have questions or if we can help.

Jan 7th, HERE we come!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tips for Creating a Budget

Did you know…

  • 77 % of Americans say they have financial worries, but only 40% report having any kind of spending plan.
  • One in three baby boomers has less than $1,000 saved for retirement.
  • The #1 fear of baby boomers is outliving the money they have saved. (Death, by the way, checked in at second place.
  • According to an Ernst & Young study, 75% of Americans can expect to see their assets disappear before they die.

(Taken from Tony Robbins’ article “ Taking Steps Toward Financial Freedom”)

Basically…financial education is extremely important, but most of us (if you’re like we were anyway) have no clue where to start.

I don’t know that this will work for everybody, but when we originally created our budget, this is exactly how we did it. Things have changed for us financially because of AdvoCare, so we aren’t as strict as we used to be. However, a lot of this is already engrained in our brain & helped us tremendously early on in our marriage. We are still very conscientious and work hard to be good stewards of what we’ve been given. We always want to live beneath our means and work towards complete debt freedom so we are able to give more. Our goal is to ultimately live on 30% of our income (including saving & investing) and give 70%.

budgetingpiggy

Jonathan & I both know how to use Excel & I recommend that if you do too, but I am a pen and paper kind of gal so I hand write all of this out. Mint.com is another great {free}tool that I highly recommend if you’re just getting started!

1. We began by setting goals. “Without a vision the people will perish.” You have to know where you’re going, WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, why that’s important to you, & when you want to accomplish that. That all has to come BEFORE the “how to” or you’ll eventually fall off the wagon. We prayed about it individually and as a couple, discussed it, and determined exactly what we felt the Lord wants regarding the direction for our finances. We wrote down (for accountability- there is power in WRITING it out) SPECIFIC amounts and a timeline. We have a set $$ amount we want to earn each month, give each month, save each month, invest each month, etc. We wrote a monthly, yearly, 5 year, and 10 year set of goals. It’s so important to create those small, tangible goals with a big picture ‘long view of time’ in mind as well.

2. The next step was to track our income and expenses for 1 whole month. Every.single.dime. If you want to know where you’re going & how to get there, you have to know where you’re starting by taking an honest inventory of your finances. Most people are like we were and spend more than you think you do. I will never forget when we realized Jonathan was spending $100 + a month at the gas station! Be real with yourself about your total income & total expenses. I know some people who really struggle financially but buy tons of soft drinks & lottery tickets, or maybe have on a new outfit every time I see them. The reality is, most people spend everything they earn & don’t even know where their money went. They have no idea how much they’re really spending. Little things like buying your kids candy every time you check out at the grocery store or being late returning a Redbox (SO GUILTY) can add up to surprising amounts over time.

We personally use our one and only credit card for pretty much everything we can and then pay it off in full at the end of the month (for the credit card points- helps out a little bit with travel expenses). But I ONLY recommend that if you can be extremely disciplined & won’t be tempted to overspend. Jonathan & I are both more on the frugal side so that’s not really an issue for us. We wrote down every penny we spent- whether cash, EFT (several of our bills come out automatically), or on the credit card.

3. We set our budget up into categories based on our spending.

These are the non-negotiables we spend money on every month. You may have to add or take our a category (ex: cable, prescriptions, medical bill, Netflix, pet food/meds, etc.)

  • tithes (this is the very FIRST thing that comes out when we get paid)
  • mortgage (includes escrow, taxes, & insurance)
  • health insurance premium
  • car insurance
  • life insurance
  • water
  • electric
  • gas bill
  • gasoline
  • groceries
  • eating out
  • internet
  • gym membership
  • phones (we are both still on our parents’ plan because it’s cheaper, so we just pay them once a year for the total)
  • AdvoCare products
  • diapers/wipes (we buy at Costco to save money/unit)
  • savings/investments
  • lawn service
  • pest service
  • travel
  • IRA contributions
  • date night
  • other

We also have a category that differs depending on each month, but we do have a place for it in our budget.

  • books
  • entertainment
  • clothes
  • toiletries (all from Costco)
  • hair cuts/highlights for me (I get my hair done every 3 months & budget $60)

If there is something we know comes up each year, we go ahead and write it out in that month’s budget. Here are a few examples.

  • Christmas
  • birthdays
  • gifts (wedding, showers, birthdays, etc.)
  • anniversary
  • tag renewal
  • taxes (we have an AWESOME accountant and will never skimp on that service)
  • oil change
  • new tires
  • car repairs/home improvement
  • dental cleanings

4. We went back in the the previous 6 months to determine averages in each of those categories. For example, obviously some months the gas bill is higher than other months. Discover has an awesome spend analyzer that breaks it down really well for you too.

5. We made sure we were spending less than we were bringing in and looked for places in the budget we could cut. For example, cutting cable saved us nearly $1200 a year. We also stopped going out to the movies & started watching Redbox at home. That saved over $600/year. We started buying Zaycon chicken and that saved big time on our grocery bill. We no longer stop at the gas station (except for gas, obviously, and even then we use our Kroger Fuel points to save) or eat fast food. We buy in bulk at Costco to save money on things like diapers, toilet paper, soap, detergent, & paper towels. Say it with me now… “Live beneath your means.” I remember growing up hearing my mom use the phrase “They have steak taste & hamburger money.” So true for so many Americans, thus the debt issue crippling most families today. We live by a pretty simple strategy….If you can’t pay cash for it, you don’t need it. 

6.  Savings are crucial, but so is investing. So we came up with a plan for both by reading several books & studying what financial experts have to say on the issue. By savings, I specifically mean a 6 month emergency fund. On top of that & contributing to a retirement plan (we have both a traditional and ROTH IRA), you want to invest. Make your money work for you!

7. If you can’t afford to do these things, you want to increase your income. Based on everything we have read from financial experts, the BEST way to increase your income is to start an in-home business. I am personally a huge advocate for moms having the opportunity to be home with their babies, so this is where the entrepreneurship kicks in. Pray about what you can do on a part-time basis from home to bring in additional income.  Proverbs 31 even discusses a woman contributing to her household in this way, but not at the cost of managing the home taking a back seat. That is always priority. Both Jonathan and I believe it is ultimately part of the husband’s role to be the provider, so this has just been a way for us to work together toward a common goal for our family. That has strengthened our marriage even more.

Because time was an issue for us, we preferred a ready-to- go biz with no monthly minimums, quotas, autoships, etc., minimal initial investment, and zero overhead.

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8. Continue to monitor your results, track your progress, & make adjustments based on your family’s needs & changes income/expenses.  This is not a one-time and done type deal. We look at it every month to make sure we know ahead of time where our money is going, & every few months we sit down more at length to really discuss where we are and our progress towards our goals. Sometimes we are missing the mark. Sometimes we make more money and determine where we want to give or invest.

9. Educate yourself. If you’re looking for a starting place, my top four favorites are:

**Also, here are a few things we choose not to take the “cheap” route on:

  • food – real food, quality & organic is important to us. You can’t put a price tag on great nutrition & the PROVEN benefits.
  • supplements (although we do get a 40% discount on world’s finest nutritional products, so that’s only a half truth I guess)
  • hair products (uhhhh, not to sound gross, but I only wash my hair a few times a week so they last me forever)
  • shoes (I’ve said it forever, but taking care of your feet helps your entire body. we avoid cheap-o flats, flip flops, & tennis shoes)
  • our accountant. SO worth every penny!

Hope that helps! Anything else you do that I’m missing??

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#babybutlernumerodos is 15 Weeks!!

Oops…I missed a week.

Baby Growth:

#babybulternumerodos should be weighing around a half of a pound by now…around the size of a navel orange.  And yes, I have been eating 1-2 oranges every day again this pregnancy.

My Symptoms: My hair is so big, full, & out of control. I cannot WAIT to get some highlights & get some serious inches chopped off. Hopefully she can squeeze me in next week.

I feel decent. Nausea is easing up (hallelujah!) but energy isn’t back to normal yet. I just don’t feel quite like myself. Super thankful & blessed though, so really can’t complain.

Moodiness seems to be easing up jusssst a little bit. And only a little bit. I have had to bite my tongue a few times this week with strangers. Seriously, some people are so stinkin RUDE. (Yes, lady at Kroger, and other lady who pulled out in front of me when I had the right away and then threw your hands up at ME…I’m talking about y’all.)

I have also experienced some round ligament pain & stretching – especially if I roll over a certain way or stand up too fast. It only lasts for a second but is pretty sharp. I also get dizzy when I stand up too fast and have to lean forward to stop the dizziness.

Bathroom habits are resuming back to normal, but still need to be drinking more water.

Sweet tooth is back in full force with no MNS. Such a love/hate. I HATE how much I LOVE sweets. I really like when I’m on MNS & the cravings go completely away.

I get full super quickly so I can only eat really small portions, and I have to eat OFTEN or I get nauseas. If I accidentally wait too long, I’ll throw up. Fun times!

Jase also has a pretty bad cold & I’m picking up the cough. Germs are EVERYWHERE right now & it makes me want to just stay locked up at home.

Weight: It fluctuates. As of this morning I hadn’t gained anything, but sometimes I’m up around 4 lbs from my normal weight. It looks like WAY more though because of this belly though. Y’all, the bump.is.huge! I mean whoa. It looks like my 20+ week bump with Jase. I’m still in regular clothes (even jeans, although I have no idea how) but they are starting to get a little tight & uncomfortable. (Please ignore my grumpy face.)

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Gender: We are having our anatomy scan later in January, so IF we can wait we’ll find out the gender then. If we can’t stand it anymore we might make an appointment for a gender only ultrasound in the next few weeks. I’m trying to do as few ultrasounds as possible though, so hopefully we can have some patience. My gut says boy, Jon thinks boy, and our parents think boy (although I think they secretly want a girl). And I know, I’m so wishy washy. Early on I was thinking girl too, but this pregnancy just seems so identical to the last one.

I cannot WAIT to find out though! I’m ready to start calling this sweet baby by name!! I am pretty certain we have some names picked out either way.

Maternity Clothes: Still wearing all regular clothes right now but that probably won’t last much longer. Got some sweet maternity leggings from StitchFix this week. Cannot wait to rock those bad boys. (FYI: I LOVED Stitch Fix! I was so surprised that she pretty much nailed the clothes. I sent everything back but the leggings though because they were more expensive than I would ever pay for clothes. Turns out they don’t shop at Marshall’s I guess.)

Movement: Oh yea!! Started a week or two ago. I didn’t know if it was too early, but it was definitely that sweet baby moving. I can’t wait for more of this. My favorite!!

Sleep: I nap when Jase naps. I’m sleeping decent,  just feeling a little worn out. I miss MNS & 2 Sparks a day.

Jase has been sick this week so that broken sleep has been a little tough. He has been waking up because he’s coughing and is so stuffy…poor guy! I can tell if he will go back to sleep or is he really needs his Mama, and if he’s sick I typically go in and hold him for a little while to soothe him. Worth every sweet minute of being awake though, and that is some of the sweetest prayer time I’ve had.

Is that not the most pitiful little guy??

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Cravings:  Nothing that I can think of this week. I still have ZERO desire to cook so we’ve been eating out way more than I’d like. I eat decently healthy when we eat out, but we all know it’s still wayyyy more healthy to just eat at home. I have been more intentional about juicing & I always always eat a super healthy breakfast. That counts for something, right?

**New Favorite Juice Recipe: (thanks for sharing Candice! The lime totally did the trick!)

  • 2-3 handfuls of spinach
  • cucumber
  • 2 anjou pears
  • 1 green apple
  • celery
  • 1 lime

photo 1 (7)photo 2 (8)

Work Outs:   I’ve done body pump a couple of times, but nothing impressive on my part & not working out as much as I’d like. I ALWAYS feel better after I work out but I’m so wiped out it’s tough to find the motivation. When I was pregnant with Jase, Jon & I always went together and he would encourage me to go even if I didn’t feel like it. It’s way too easy to skip now.

Questions/Concerns: I had another doctor’s appointment this week & everything went great. We are really, really happy with our doctor & praying the Lord works it out so he can deliver #babybutlernumerodos. Heart beat was strong at 152. I had a few more questions about VBAC and was excited to hear the answers to those questions. So far I feel pretty confident. The only answer I wasn’t thrilled about was the fact that I have to have an epidural this time. If for some reason I have to have an emergency c-section, I’ll need the anesthesia to be ready to go because the only other option is to go all the way under. He also said I need to get to the hospital much sooner this time & laboring at home isn’t a great idea. I’m a little nervous about that because I have a super high pain tolerance and had no CLUE I was at a 7 when I went to get checked when I was in labor with Jase. That was almost an issue because I was GBS + so had to get to the hospital with him to have the antibiotics in my system for 4 hours before delivery. Our doc said we will just monitor closely & he’ll help me to know.

Also, we are on track to earn an all-expenses paid trip with AdvoCare this May and the doc said I’ll be too far along to go. Again. This happened with Hawaii too. Boo. I was a little bummed, but this baby is such a blessing that it’s not that big of a deal. Jase owes us a trip to Hawaii, so #babybutlernumerodos will owe us a family trip to Destin. Smile Even though I can’t go, we may still send Jon. AdvoCare trips are WAYYYY too good to miss out on!

I have also been a little stressed out over some family stuff going on. Praying more than stressing, but also want to incorporate some yoga into my routine because that helps me tremendously.

Goals for next week: More water! More veggies. Maybe start Christmas shopping?? Ha! (No really. I don’t have ONE single gift.) We aren’t going big this year though because we finally traded my car in (it was having some big time issues) and got something new to us/used, so that’s our “gift” to each other.

Thoughts: I don’t know if it’s because we are so busy with Jase or if it’s just different the second time around, but we sometimes ‘forget’ I’m pregnant. Jon says all the time “I keep forgetting your pregnant.” Of course we don’t really forget, but it’s just not at the forethought of my mind constantly the way it was last go round. I know it’ll feel more real to me when I hit that 20 week mark & know the gender. That is so special to me! I am super, super thankful to be home and not working this pregnancy too.

Comparison: Here is my 15 week post with Jase. Funny, I was talking about my big hair being out of control, my pants getting tight, & trying to stay away from all the germs. Here is the 15 week bump from first pregnancy.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

2 Clean Chili Recipes

Georgia can’t seem to make up its mind with the weather, but we have had some pretttttty chili days (pun intended). Seriously, I don’t know how I ever played ball or ran outside in the freezing cold. I have turned into a total wimp & can barely survive walking to the car from the grocery store if it’s less than 60 degrees. So….cold weather means warm comfort food. What better than two tested & approved clean chili recipes??

I can’t take credit for either, but they are DELISH. And they are both pretty quick & easy too. Here ya go…enjoy on a day when it’s not 75 degrees outside (11 days before Christmas- weird).

Clean Turkey Chili:

Here is the link to Niki's recipe for clean turkey chili. Only thing I do differently is add 2 more cans of whatever kind of beans I have in my pantry…light red kidney beans, reg kidney beans, whatever. I also top with Greek yogurt cuz it tastes just like sour cream to me. Here are the ingredients you’ll need and her pic, which is way prettier than mine. (FYI: She has lots of great stuff on her blogs. Check em out!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 - 2.5 lbs. extra lean ground turkey (grass-fed beef or bison)
  • ½ cup chopped onions (or 1 tbsp. onion powder)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 -- 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 – 15 oz. can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 - 3 – 14.5 oz. cans Organic Diced Tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 -- 14.5 oz. can yellow corn (drained)
  • 1 -- 28 oz. can Rotel (do not drain)
  • 1 -- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Splenda Brown Sugar blend
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. regular yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 - 2 tsp. salt

 

5 Ingredient (maybe 6) White Chicken Chili:

And HERE is the link to the white chicken chili. My mom found the recipe on Pinterest a while back and it was a total hit. We like to boil plain potatoes, cut them up & add them too, but that’s just a personal preference.. This is a little spicy, so take it easy on the salsa verde if you can’t handle some heat. Directions are on the link, but here is what you’ll need.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken (*or see slow cooker method below, which uses uncooked chicken breasts)
  • 2 (15-oz) cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 cups salsa verde (storebought or [homemade|http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/tomatillo-salsa-verde/])
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • potatoes (optional)
  • optional toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips

 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Destination Diamond: Why We Love AdvoCare

Jonathan and I have the honor and privilege of being invited to an elite training offered by AdvoCare called Destination Diamond on November 11-13. We were truly humbled by the opportunity, especially when we saw the list of other attendees. If you were at Success School this August, several of the Rising Stars you saw recognized on stage were a part of our group, along with several other new diamonds and some sweet friends of ours. Earning an invitation to Destination Diamond has been a goal of ours for a while, so saying that we were beyond excited to get invited is quite an understatement.

I know some of you may not know exactly what we do or what our company stands for and might think we are just “vitamin salespeople.” (That couldn’t be further from the truth.)  Or maybe you just drink Spark & love the products but have no idea that we are a part of something so much BIGGER! I hope to give you a little glimpse into what AdvoCare is REALLY about by sharing some of our trip with you. These are a few of the reasons we know 100% we are in the RIGHT company. Destination Diamond was further confirmation & conviction for us to continue helping others through this vehicle God has used to bless us and so many others.

Our company was founded by a man named Charlie Ragus back in 1993, and he developed 10 principles that guide our direction and are the basis of our success.

  • Honor God through our faith, family and friends.
  • Respect and strengthen the family.
  • Believe in the dignity and the importance of the individual.
  • Create a standard of excellence recognized as superior by the direct sales industry.
  • Believe that honor, integrity and principles are the foundation of a great life and company.
  • Commit to mutual loyalty and trust between AdvoCare and its Distributors.
  • Establish and continually improve the vehicle of opportunity and the pursuit of financial freedom for all AdvoCare Distributors.
  • Commit to ongoing personal growth and development through professional training and educational programs.
  • Build self-esteem by promoting a sense of personal worth among all people.
  • Continually expand our market by providing the most effective and highest quality products and service available.

AdvoCare’s commitment to training us up and supporting us has always blown me away. For this event, they flew us out, provided our room, all of our meals & transportation, gave us all the free Spark & Rehydrate we wanted (I have been pregnant BOTH times we have visited corporate so I never get to take full advantage of the Spark fountains- ha!), and trained our socks off. Some of our leaders also spoiled us with some goodies. We are truly part of an INCREDIBLE team & are so thankful for all of the leaders we get to work with who have invested into our business and our lives.

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We all know that debt freedom leads to all other types of freedoms, especially in the realm of giving back. Because AdvoCare is a debt free company (and will soon be a billion dollar company at that), our corporate office gives back in our communities & to important causes. Richard Wright is our current president & CEO. He is an incredible family man that we greatly respect and admire, but has also been recognized in the part couple years from some pretty awesome achievements. Two that stick out to me the most are the 2013 Ernst & Young CEO of the Year, and the 2014 Seal Legacy Award Honoree. I am thankful he and Sherry lead by example and encourage a generous spirit amongst distributors.

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We just so happened to arrive in Dallas on Veteran’s Day, and that evening Richard was being recognized at the 4th Annual Seal Legacy Foundation Benefit & Gala. They were kind enough to invite us to attend with them & it was absolutely a highlight of our trip.

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It was held at AT&T Stadium, which is an absolutely incredible facility. Troy Aikman (one of Jonathan’s childhood faves) was there along with Roger Stallbach and Trevor Bayne. There were also several Navy Seals in the crowd. Really, really fun time.

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Right around 10 weeks pregnant! Whoop whoop! And check out my studdddd of a husband. Hottttie.

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Training started bright and early the next morning, and it was more than we could have imagined. We both filled up our journals with pages and pages of notes to bring home to our AMAZING team.

No seriously, have I ever told y’all how much I LOVE these people? Several of our team members have become really great friends of ours. They challenge us, support us, & raise our lid. We are super thankful for the friendships and relationships that have come into our life from being a part of this company. (People we NEVER would have otherwise met!)

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We loved getting a tour of the MASSIVE new distribution ’center that is equipped to handle the exponential growth AdvoCare is experiencing and going to continue to experience in coming years. Yep, still debt free, and guess what? Providing MORE jobs. That’s what’s up. (And can I just tell you that we KNOW it is a great place to work….smiling faces everywhere, incredible culture, and happy employees. That is rare. If you’re in the Plano, TX area, you should check them out if you’re looking for a job you will love.)

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We so enjoyed spending time with some of the corporate team & making new friends, but our favorite part was the reminder of exactly WHY we are doing AdvoCare.

I know I have said it before, but Jonathan and I both truly feel that being a part of this company is the best use of our time, resources, and God-given talents. The products are phenomenal- backed by science and they do what they say they’re going to do. They work when taken correctly, no doubt. And they are helping America, a country in a health crisis, become a healthier place. That makes my heart happy!!

But what makes my heart even happier is the intangibles. The things I am ever MORE passionate about than health, which y’all know is super, super important to me. AdvoCare is about creating a culture of strong leaders- specifically strong men- and couples who are leaders in their families, communities, and churches. AdvoCare encourages personal growth and for people to become disciplined and work hard. AdvoCare encourages debt freedom because it leads to all other types of freedoms, but more specifically allows us to give back at a higher level with our time and resources. AdvoCare encourages STRENGTHING of the family unit. America is in desperate, desperate need of all of those things. And it brings me such JOY to know that we have the opportunity to play a small part in adding value to the lives of others & helping them improve their circumstances.

In fact, my girl Niki just wrote a JAM UP blog post about this very topic. About how AdvoCare helped her become the best version of herself. This is so worth the read. And THAT is what it’s all about folks. (By the way, Niki is also a stay-at-home mom of 3 boys and earning a six figure income as one of the fastest growing leaders in all of AdvoCare…could not be MORE thankful to have her and Justin as part of our team.)

SOOOOOOOO…..These few days were completely refreshing & exactly what we needed.

I know we are blessed beyond measure to do something from home and LOTS of family time….something we both LOVE and look forward to every day…something that pays us substantially more than we could have ever made in our previous careers, which in turn allows us to give like we’ve always wanted to….something that is rewarding because we don’t make a dime unless we are helping others…something that has caused us both to grow substantially as individuals….something has strengthened our marriage because we get to work TOGETHER towards a common goal for our family every day…something that has allowed us to DREAM again. So here’s where it gets fun.

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We love the opportunity to help others who are looking for something similar. We know this is not for everyone, but it might be for you. I know that not everyone wants to be a work-from-home family. Actually, Jonathan & I both really enjoyed our jobs before we were introduced to AdvoCare. We did plan on bringing me home to be a stay-at-home-mom, but had no intentions of bringing Jon home. God had different plans for us! We also have people on our team who are earning a full-time income on a part time basis as a plan B income. Some are working to pay off debt with the extra income…some are saving for retirement…some are paying for private school or college education…some are able to cut back to part time or at least stop working so many jobs…some are looking to make enough to fund their 4-G network (groceries, gas, gifts, and games) in cash…some people do dislike their job/commute/boss & aren’t paid what they’re worth, so they want to replace their income so they can walk away. There are some people like us too, looking for a way to be able to bring mom home with the babes. That is one of my greatest passions.

We have found that it doesn’t take any specific background…anyone CAN be successful here…but there are a few qualities many of the top leaders possess that will absolutely help you in your journey. Some already have these naturally, and some have had to be worked on, but here they are.

  • hard worker
  • extremely coachable
  • WILL NOT QUIT (only way to fail in AdvoCare is to quit)
  • person of integrity/strong character
  • desire to help others

If you feel like this applies to you and you’re looking for more time, more money, more options, or all of the above, please feel free to reach out & let’s talk. We would love to help you see if this might be a good fit for you. If we can do it, I can assure you…so can you. And if it’s not for you, maybe someone popped into your mind who would be all over something like this? We would love for you to send them our way too.

And if nothing else, you seriously need to at least try Spark. It will ROCK your world & you will thank me.