Dress Well at Any Size

I have been a “big girl” for a few decades and finding nice clothes that are flattering, comfortable, and that don’t “age” me is a primary challenge.  Whether I want to stay casual at home, look appropriate for work, or dress up for dates with my hubby – I want to dress well at any size!

I hate shopping for these reasons.  Fortunately, I have been blessed with several hand-me-downs or pass-along clothes from people who love me and have not had to shop too often.  I find that shopping for clothes can be uncomfortable, disappointing and very frustrating.  And I get hot & sweaty.  (anybody else?)  It’s not worth my time to try on 5 things and not have any fit well or flatter me.

Enter Chicwe

I am a BIG fan of online shopping – have been for many years.  It is both convenient and time-saving, but when it comes to clothes, it can be risky.  NOT trying on clothes can be almost as bad as trying on those 5 things that don’t work, right?  What looks good on the screen can be completely different at home – in color, in fit, in so many ways.

At Chicwe, ( www.Chicwe.com) you will find a wide variety of sophisticated plus styles (Size 14+) –  tops, bottoms, jackets – as well as dresses and accessories.  I am always looking for more tops that are both classy and fun – I don’t mind wearing bright colors – and really like the selection I found.  This is a site I have bookmarked for future shopping!

I got a top that is colorful, comfortable and flattering. I wore it to work and really loved the way it fit and felt throughout the day.  It is made of a soft knit material, with a chiffony-hem of bright blue!  I love wearing blues and the colors in this top are just gorgeous!  What do you think???

Right out of the package

Even though it was a SCORCHING 93 degrees yesterday (where did Fall go!?!) I was very comfortable in this top and glad I had it to wear.  I happen to own some bright blue cropped pants that I matched to it and was perfect for work!

Right now, I am able to offer my readers a 20% discount at Chicwe!  Just use code MOMMIESCOFFEE3 for your 20% discount!

Just click this link to visit Chicwe online (don’t forget the discount code: MOMMIESCOFFEE3) and check out their great tops and dresses (or pants or scarves!) – so many are on sale and at a great value!  After wearing this top yesterday, I know I will be shopping at Chicwe again!  It’s nice to find a store that offers plus size clothes that are affordable and stylish!

Disclaimer:  Check out theChicwe site and click the link above to take advantage of your 20% discount! I have an affiliate relationship with Dealspotr and received this top (value $34) in exchange for this review and I am being compensated for writing this post.  You should know that I am sharing my honest opinion and would never recommend something that I wouldn’t use myself or wouldn’t want a friend to use! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at mommiescoffee at gmail dot com.

Shifting Gears Used to Be Easier

So I guess one sign of old age is slowing down, right?  Or maybe that’s just me.  I have kinda always been “fast-paced” in general, but am noticing that more time is required of late to shift with the inevitable changes in life.  Shifting gears used to be easier for sure.  I feel like things have been shifting faster than I could handle for the past 6 weeks or so.  Here’s the latest…

Health Update:  I was on my Vitamin D regimen for several weeks, and honestly I really noticed a difference.  I definitely had more energy, my hair grew like crazy (?), and I slept so much better.  Having run out of the prescription and having followup blood work  done- I am waiting to hear what the results show.  I will definitely be working to improve my Vitamin D intake with or without another prescription!

THM Update:  I have been on-again off-again with Trim Healthy Mama. Visiting family in Louisiana, I was NOT going to miss out on the barbecue or fried catfish & hushpuppies, y’all!  I will tell you that I stayed on plan for some meals, and completely avoided it with others.  Returning home I have stayed on 50-75% of the time.  I am definitely noticing how much sugar affects me (headaches, crankiness, aches & pains, etc.), and am getting back to more meals & snacks on plan every day.  I got out of the habit of making my drinks every day, but am getting back to where my body is actually craving them again.

I have been able to fit into some smaller size clothing that had been on a shelf in my closet, so even with NOT being 100% gung ho, I am seeing success – and it has inspired me to really commit to going less off plan than I have been.  Truly, I love the flexibility that this particular plan offers, and am anxious to get back to my doctor’s office to see how much weight I have actually lost.  Smaller clothing is a huge success!  Trying some new recipes has been fun, too.

Family Updates:  School is in full swing.  Homework is NOT my favorite thing.  ’nuff said!  Just after school started, I visited my son & his wife (Mikhael & Kendra), and my still-new grandson at the beginning of September.  It was heavenly!  It was the first time in 30 years that I had my son to myself in a sense (LOTS of “feels” here), and I reveled in visiting with him, talking, playing, laughing, and enjoying time with his beautiful family.  I am so blessed and honored that they pursue a relationship with my and my family and we look forward to all of us getting together again in the spring!

Greg & his mom held down the fort while I was gone and I am so thankful they did.  The night before I came home, a tornado ripped through our county – within half a mile of our home – causing significant damage to several homes & properties (even shifting a home off it’s foundation – within walking distance of our house!!!)   For the most part, my family slept in an upstairs bedroom while it happened. We had significant tree damage, but really nothing compared to several others in the county. Power was restored just before we got home from the airport.   I am grateful for their safety and protection!

My mom came for a short visit and it was so nice to catch up with her.  We got to enjoy some yummy coffee and she (like my mother-in-law) does dishes which is like one of the BIGGEST blessings to me ever…  We visited the Harvest Festival and played cards with the kids and enjoyed a nice time.

Financial Updates:  Following several financial bloggers, my attitude about money has been changing for some time.  Through some really great employee benefits with my husband’s job, I have been able to participate in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace program, and that just really kinda helped me get some things settled.  We worked on setting some financial priorities and getting some plans made.

And then his car engine died on the way to work one day.  We didn’t have any money set aside yet for an emergency fund, but thankfully were able to get financing for a replacement vehicle.  We are now driving a 2005 Honda Odyssey EX and LOVING it!  I will share more about this in another post – but I am grateful for in-laws who are willing to drive me to work and help cart kids around til we got the van!

Needless to say, we are having to reset some financial stuff, but it is coming together again.  Talk about shifting gears!  Making a plan to prepare for this kind of situation is totally different from having the means to deal with it, am I right?  One day at a time, and we will get there!

Do you find as you get older you are better or worse at shifting gears with life’s changes???

THM A Refreshing Drink Recipe *Edited*

I shared in previous posts about starting the Trim Healthy Mama plan of eating. It is not just another low carb diet, but rather a balance between protein + fat and protein + carbohydrates. I wanted to share a quick update and Two drink recipes that are keeping me happy!

You can read my most recent update here.

THM GGMS & The Shrinker

So one of the ways I am really fighting cravings and staving off hunger is by making a couple of the popular drink recipes shared in the Trim Healthy Book and community.

Today I am sharing MY version of Good Girl MoonShine.  

I find the GGMS to be so refreshing in the afternoon with lots of ice. There are all kinds of varieties floating around (look them up on Pinterest) but I have found my “sweet spot” with this version:

My Good Girl Moonshine

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I started with smaller quantities for this drink and have found that the hibiscus tea really rounds out the flavor and takes off the edge that the vinegar can add.  I have grown to like it tangier though – kinda like a berry lemonade in a way.

Obviously you can tweak this recipe using your favorite herbal tea base or blends.  I have used Red Zinger, Raspberry Zinger, Hibiscus tea bags, and some green tea as well.  I find that using 2 tea bags is enough, but some people might prefer 3 or 4.  It’s fun to play with either way, and I love the way I feel when I drink this.  The original drink recipe can be found HERE.

Although this tends to be a caffeine-free drink, I will say that I feel energized after drinking it, so I try not to have any after 7 pm, or I will be up past my bedtime.

 

IF YOU TRY THIS, BE SURE TO LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS (if you purchase via these links, I will earn a small commission without any extra cost to you!):

Raspberry Zinger Tea

Apple Cider Vinegar (3 pack – Great price!)

Hibiscus tea bags 

 

Update on my THM Journey

School has started, schedules are shifting, and seasons are changing.  There are days that I only want to sit on my couch and play my phone games or watch reruns of Doctor Who, while sipping my iced Shrinker or Good Girl Moonshine.  Okay, I’ll admit it, there may have been one or two afternoons where this is all I actually did.

I have been getting deeper into the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle of eating and food planning.  The more I do it, the easier it gets.  The more I do it, the better I feel.  The more I do it, the more I realize how much carbohydrates have affected me in drastic ways for too many years.  The more I do it, the more my family is eating healthier and making better choices about food.

But it isn’t always easy.  We have had numerous birthday parties and celebrations and I have not kept myself strictly to the THM way of eating.  I have had cake & ice cream, chips and dip, sugar and fat. Frankly,  I think my favorite part of this plan is the mindset that comes with it.

You can “fall off the wagon” and it isn’t the end of the world as you know it.

In fact, one primary aspect of this plan is the idea of eating or snacking every 3-4 hours.  So if you “blow it” with one meal, just get back on track the next time you eat.  Which is probably the idea behind most food plans, except there is always such guilt tied with the “failure” or “slip-up” that the tendency is to just go ahead and go all the way off plan forever and ever amen with a minor slip.

Anybody else know what I mean?

The fact that my family is eating more fruits & veggies in a regular way is probably my biggest success with following this particular plan.  We rarely feel deprived (albeit the regular requests for something sweet to eat, to which I answer “we have fruit” – not always a good response), and I don’t even think about food as often as I used to think about food.

Which is saying something!

I haven’t weighed myself, but my telltale favorite pair of work slacks are fitting much looser – and noticeably so in the areas I tend to struggle to lose:  belly, hips, and thighs.  (TMI warning:  even mid-cycle!!!)

I have learned that Fat is my friend.  Not the extra weight on my body, but healthy food sources of fat.  I seem to THRIVE when eating protein + fat as opposed to eating protein + carbohydrates.  I still eat carbs here and there, but notice that when I do, the cravings pick up and I don’t feel as good.  I am finding that fat sources are quite satisfying for me (which is why the Protein + Fat = “S” on this plan), and I am rarely hungry for hours when eating mostly “S” type snacks and meals.

For example, one of the best things I’ve made so far is a veggie scramble of sorts.  I just melted 2-3 Tbsp of butter in a pan, sauteed some diced onions, diced sweet peppers, diced yellow summer squash, chopped artichoke hearts, and chopped fresh spinach.  I added about 8 large eggs scrambled with half & half, seasoned with pink salt & pepper – and it was SO very yummy.  My family ate it and didn’t even know about the squash!  (I didn’t even add cheese and it was so filling.)

Finding a balance is key here, and that is really an important part of any journey to better health.  I am tasting the “sweet” in so many (what used to be) every day foods and not enjoying them the way I used to.  I can eat sprouted grain toast with cottage cheese and crushed berries and it feels as satisfying as my favorite cheese danish.

I have more to share – more recipes to share – and want to do that soon.  I just wanted to give a little update before my visit to meet my new grandson this week.  I am over the moon excited about going and visiting my son and daughter in law and their son. He is two months old already I can’t wait to do some snuggling and getting all wrapped up in that new baby smell!

Healthy Can Taste So Good!

I had a doctor appointment last week.  It’s been far too long, as I shared over at Finding Grace and Glory.  But it has inspired some new thinking, some new attitude, and a greater desire to improve my health.  Of course, one of my longstanding health goals is Weight Loss.  Not everybody who reads this blog will have the same struggle, but in an effort to greater health, we all know the Struggle is Real!  That’s why I have to share a couple of things because I am learning that Healthy Can Taste So Good!

I had already been reviewing some diet plans.  During my summer Bible Study, my friend Shelly has been sharing information about the Whole 30 Program.  In fact, some members of the Bible study stay afterwards to talk about that program and learn how to improve our health.  Her personal story of improved health, weight loss, and increased energy and clarity of thinking – spurred me into some action!

While we have dairy-issues in our house (Little Man can’t do dairy!), I know that the rest of us would feel incredibly deprived if we had to lose cheese, butter, half & half, and other dairy items which is part and parcel of the Whole 30 plan.  We can increase our protein and decrease our carbs, but come on!  I gotta have some cheese!!!

I started googling “low carb” stuff and kept seeing “THM” pop up.  “THM” refers to Trim Healthy Mama.  I had read and reviewed the book several years ago, but at the time it was not something I could wrap my brain around!  It isn’t eliminating carbs, but rather SUGAR and the effects that sugar has on the body.  Trim Healthy Mama is a lifestyle that chooses to balance carbohydrates vs. fats, as both are fuel sources for our bodies.  The idea is that when we consume too much of both at the same time, our body shifts a lot of it into stored energy (a pretty word for “fat”) and that contributes to weight gain.

Having started reading the book again, it is fitting together better.  I am understanding how the eating works.  It isn’t just about combining foods, either – it is about striking a good balance between carbohydrates and fats, so your body can burn the fuel you eat, AND dig into that stored energy as well!

Now one of my barriers to jumping in a few years back, is that there are specific ingredients and products suggested by the authors of Trim Healthy Mama (known as Serene and Pearl – 2 sisters who are witty and entertaining).  They were ingredients I had never heard of, and some weren’t readily available.  But given that so many of them are better for people who seek to eat gluten-free meals, a lot of these ingredients can now even be purchased at Walmart or on Amazon.  So getting the ingredients is simpler, and faster.  (Oh and now there is a membership website, too, which you can join and get even more recipes & member resources.  I am not a member, just thought I’d share the info!)

Add to that a number of bloggers who have found tremendous success with the THM lifestyle, and now there are multiple stores of recipes and Facebook groups to participate in for advice and direction!  I have done Atkins before.  I have done Weight Watchers before.  Both were somewhat successful, but not easy to maintain for one reason or another.

Since I am the primary cook for our household, it is important for me to find recipes that my whole family will enjoy – and that are simple to prepare! But the truth is, if I don’t like it, I am not gonna fix it for my family, so I have been trying some things out on my own! Some of my favorites so far have been Big Mac Salad (this was surprisingly satisfying!), Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie, Good Girl Moonshine, and The Shrinker!

Purchasing sprouted grain breads, eating LESS bread, and moving towards more whole fruits & veggies is different – but even Greg likes the grainy bread texture better, and we are going to reduce the artificial ingredients along the way!   So far, the kids have tried a couple of the things I’ve played around with – and every grocery trip will improve our chances of eating better and teaching our kids to eat better, too!

My initial goal for the plan is to lose 30 lbs.

This will put me back to my weight the day Greg & I got married.  And then I will set new goals.  I can already feel that some waistbands are less tight and I am feeling better, so I have lots of motivation to stick to it.  I have turned down ice cream, cookies, and crackers more than once and I don’t even miss them!

I will keep writing here and share recipes, plan info, great websites that share recipes & menus, and my weight loss progress, too!

Is Weight about Food?

This is a question I’m asking myself lately.

The end result of eating too much (combined with moving too little) contributes to obesity. But does this mean that FOOD is the reason people are overweight?

What do YOU think? Do you think weight is simply a physiological issue? Do you think emotional issues drive eating in our culture today?

RePost: It’s Just a Turtle Pecan Sundae!

I wanted to repost this again as I am getting ready to launch a new section for my Queen Size Mommy posts – which will center on my food addiction, struggles with eating and weight – and striving for GOOD HEALTH.

credit: sociotard

credit: sociotard

One of my favorite summer treats really is ice cream. I’m a “texture” eater and I love the disparity between the cold ice cream on those hot days that weigh me down with heat and humidity.
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The Days of My Life

In the past couple of weeks, between the Life Action Ministries Summit Conference at church and well, just LIFE, I have really had to stop and take stock of a lot of things.

1. CLUTTER. Yep – I’m a messie, born and raised. Despite my U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor father’s and Queen Martha mother’s best efforts, I have always had more CLUTTER than a good flea market. Really. I love collections. And I married a collector. We now have two households of collections – gathered for 34 years, and 2 little girls who love collecting. So – my life is CLUTTERED! But it isn’t just the stuff of our house that’s got my cluttered up – it’s my thought life and my attitude…
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Meet The Glycemic Index

Hello there! Are you new here? Are you an “old” friend? Welcome and thanks for visiting! If you haven’t had a chance to take my ANONYMOUS survey, I’d really appreciate your feedback. Click HERE to go to the survey – It should only take a couple of minutes. You can also subscribe by email or RSS feed, or follow via Google Friend Connect or Networked Blogs (check my sidebars). Grab a cup of your favorite drink, and settle in. Thanks again for stopping by…

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I’ve got a Hole in My Heart…

holeheart

Earlier this week, I talked about my real struggle with caffeine addiction. We dove into addiction in general over the past couple of days. Today, I’m giong to get personal. I’m going to share with you my food addiction.

There are three basic types of eating disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia, and Compulsive Overeating. Although I have experienced a brush with anorexia in the distant past, for most of my life I have had a struggle with my compulsion to eat.
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