Five YouTube Vlogs I Watch Regularly

I have to admit, the idea of starting my own vlog has crossed my mind a few times. I could never pick a theme or make any design decisions, though, so here we are (lol). Meanwhile, I do watch a lot of vlogs. I am a woman with a multitude of hobbies–writing, sewing, baking, cooking, low-carbing, crafting, decorating, organizing–I need inspiration for a lot of my things. And, honestly, YouTube makes me happy. Did you see my list of guilty pleasures in here?

Before you click elsewhere, know this–inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes all a person needs is to know they can do things. Examples: Finishing projects around the house, making a corner in your bedroom more organized and functional, writing a short story you’ve been meaning to get to, decorating a cake perfectly for whatever function, or just cleaning your living room. There are YouTube channels for just about everything out there.

None of these videos are in any particular order. I love them all equally.


1. The first channel I really love is Love Meg.

This woman is a mom, does DIY’s, clean with me videos, a makeup tutorial/health and beauty vlog here and there, and she has a really bright personality. I usually watch her videos when I need something cheerful to get me moving.

2. I also love Keshia J.

Oh, what this woman can do with dollar store stuff! I never miss one of her videos because she’s very down to earth, but also way more together than I am, so she motivates me. She does DIY’s, fitness and health, home decor and home makeover type videos, and loads of other cool stuff.

3. Professor Pincushion!

These videos are about sewing, as you can imagine. A lot of them are quite long and are instructional videos for completing sewing projects that range from quilt tops to baby shoes to full outfits, following a pattern.

4. California Gardening

This channel is another instructional vlog. Gardening videos are what brings me peace when I need it. Calming, soothing, and educational. Also, I like to grow things sometimes, so I learn a lot.

5. T3N31-Film Studio

This is my brother from another mother’s channel. I keep up. And, if you’re horrorly inclined (I’m allowed to make up words, FYI), you might just learn a thing or two in here. Caid is my go-to for FX. He knows EVERYTHING.

I’m subscribed to a lot of YouTube channels. This list certainly isn’t all of them, but it’s certainly the ones I watch the most. If you’re wondering why I’m not subscribed to more writing channels, well…Maybe I should be. I’m subscribed to a few, but I keep it at a minimum because writing isn’t the only thing I like to do and usually if there is a part of the writing or publishing process I don’t understand, I can easily Google or ask a friend.

That being said, I’d love to know if some of you have any channels you love.

 

Low Carb Eating– A Beginner’s Shopping Guide

I promise you folks eating low or lower carb is a lot easier than you might think, but I understand why people shy away from the idea. Learning a new way to eat is overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Most of us just overthink things. To simplify your life a smidge, here is a good starting off list of things you might like to pick up at the grocery store to give you the push you might need and help you get an idea of what you can have. And, you can have more than you might think.

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Zuchini noodles, marinara, shredded cheese, pepperoni. YUM. 

PRODUCE:
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Brocolli
Zuchini/Squashes (Our local store now has pre-packaged zuchini noodles, which are worth their weight in gold.)

DAIRY:
Almond milk, unsweetened
Heavy whipping cream
Block, shredded, or sliced cheeses of your choice
Cream Cheese
Eggs (Lots and lots of eggs)
Sour Cream (or light sour cream, if you wish)
butter (or light butter, which is what I prefer)

MEATS/FROZEN FOODS:
Chicken (breasts are versatile, but you can buy any bone-in cut you like, too)
Bacon or turkey bacon (I eat turkey bacon more than regular, but I’m probably the only one lol)
Sausage or turkey sausage
Steaks, ground beef, and any other chops or cuts of anything you like.
Frozen berries
Frozen brocolli or other low carb veggies (Spinach is awesome to have on hand)
Frozen riced cauliflower

**Watch out for special sausages (like polish sausages and hot dog weenies) because they tend to be high in calories and sodium, so if you’re watching those things, too, be mindful when meal planning and shopping.**

CANNED/PANTRY ITEMS:
Taco sauce/salsa
Canned chicken
Adkins Protein Shakes (if you don’t get enough protein in your diet…like me…these are great as an end of the day treat).
Peanut butter or other nut butters
Nuts (just watch for special flavors, plain or salted is best)
Stevia or other sugar substitutes (Stevia is my favorite)
Sugar free jello and pudding mixes
Powerade Zero, any flavors you like. Red is my go to.
Almond and/or coconut flours (these are expensive, so I don’t use them often, but I added them because a lot of Keto/low-carb eaters do)
Sugar Free candies, jams, and jellies (READ the labels.Not all of them are low-carb friendly, but most are)
Bottled waters

EASY MEAL IDEAS:
1. Taco salad, minus the chips! You can have just about anything you might put in a taco salad and it’s one of my favorite things.
2. Baked egg cups — Cut up a few bell peppers (any color, but a minimum amount because they’re carby lol), some mushrooms, some spinach (fresh or frozen) and even, if you like, cooked ground sausage or chopped bacon. Toss it into a bowl with about 8 large, whisked eggs. Stir together and pour into greased cupcake tins. It’ll make about a dozen. Bake on 350 until done. If you like, you can add a little bit of shredded cheddar to the top. These are about 80-90 calories and carbs depend on what you put in them, but usually no more than 1 or 2 net carbs (usually less).
3. Zuchini noodles with basically anything. Toss some olive oil in a frying pan and heat on medium. Toss in a handful of (optional) onions if you don’t mind a few extra carbs and honestly a few tiny bits of onion won’t hurt, but add a lot of flavor. Cook the onions until they’re translucent. Add zuchini noodles and whirl them around a bit while they cook. From here, you can add in your favorite homemade or store bought spaghetti sauce or alfredo sauce.
4. OR, you can make a stir fry instead (in which you would use a wok or high sided pan and cook the noodles with the other veggies in the stir fry, using the zoodles in place of noodles. For a stir fry, you could also make fried rice with riced cauliflower. It’s seriously good.

EASY SNACKS:
1. Strawberries and whipped cream (I make my own and use stevia instead of sugar).
2. 1/4 cup of nuts
3. An ounce of cheese
4. Brocolli/Cauliflower and 2 tbsp. ranch dressing for dipping.
5. Lunch meat roll ups — Any sandwhich meat you like, spread a thin layer of cream cheese on top, place a sliver of a pickel in the middle. Roll up, eat. Delicious.

 

Five Guilty Pleasures

When compared to other people, I’m not a horribly busy person, save for school days and weekends (ha!), but like anyone else, there are things that just make my silly heart happy. Some trendy, some not. Mostly not.

I absolutely love keeping up with Youtube channels I’m subscribed to.

My subscriptions have a wide range, too. I follow a few beauty vloggers, a few mom-based DIY channels, some home decor inspiration channels, and a few channels that made it big with “clean with me” videos. Yes, that’s totally a thing. And, though it sounds downright ridiculous, sometimes you learn things and sometimes it makes great background noise when the house is quiet and I have a job to do. I’ve always been one to stay busier if I know someone else is busy, too and those videos give the great illusion that you’re not alone in the tasks of a tired homemaker.I also follow a lot of crafting/sewing and gardening channels. Those are the ones I typically watch while I have my morning coffee. Or my third morning coffee. Whatever.

When I am alone, I like to browse Amazon for no reason at all and look at all the things I may or may not buy one day. I don’t think I’m the only person who does this. I try to check out the Daily Deals and look at different lists of collections. It may be weird, but nothing makes me smile more than looking at funny coffee mugs on Amazon.

Recently, I have discovered Grove Collaborative, a website which specializes in cleaning products. I’m a lazy person–I’d rather order than go to the store and buy. The cool thing is, there is typically some kind of a discount or a big list of freebies they send you when you make your first order. I got a ton of free stuff for spending only $20. I’ve received my first shipment and am surprisingly delighted at the array of products. Prices–mostly–are comparable to big name brands you can get at Wal-Mart or dollar stores. There is usually a sale or discount being offered on their website, too. I already have a few favorites that I plan on reordering. One, Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap in lavender. It’s really nice. Two, Method all-purpose cleaner in honeycrisp apple. It’s probably my absolute favorite thing ever. And, three, Method Glass + Surface cleaner in mint. It seriously smells like mint. *Disclaimer* I am not affiliated with Grove Collaborative, nor do they compensate me for this post. A lot of bloggers out there DO receive products from them for review, but I review books, not cleaning supplies. Though, one day I just might…

Weigh-in days have become my favorite days… For those who follow my blog or Facebook account, you will know I’ve been on a weight loss journey since June. I have lost over fifty pounds already, though I did take a diet break from Halloween through Christmas. I’m at it again and I’m loving my results. I have become half-mom, half-scientist because I now read a lot of health and fitness articles whereas I used to just not (ha ha). Weigh-in days have become much needed confidence booster days. I am enjoying my success to the fullest and I think I probably really deserve it. I’ve worked hard to come this far and failure is simply not an option.

Ibotta and Retail Me Not. Those are apps I keep on my phone. I just got Retail Me Not, so I’m not sure if I’ll continue to enjoy the coupons and discounts it finds for me, but as of right now I love it. And, as for Ibotta, who doesn’t like a rebate on things they’ve already purchased? Both of these apps save me money on just about everything. Both are easy to install, easy to navigate, and I like money–I’d like to keep as much of mine in the bank as I possibly can. After all, I have kids to raise and a family to feed. And cats. Those little buggers are expensive, too.

Obviously, reading is another guilty pleasure, but I didn’t list it because I feel like you probably already know that about me. I’m reading something awesome right now, as we speak. Review to come tomorrow! Until then, tell me what your own guilty pleasures are? I could have seriously listed ten more, but I probably would have lost you all after six or seven.

Riverdale, Batman, and Other Things I’m Into Right Now

Right now, I’m into a lot of things that I wasn’t into before–times, they are a changin’ and me with them. But, I promise all of the recent changes I’ve made in my life are positive, or at least aren’t hurting anyone (myself included). As a matter of fact, I’m sure you’ve already seen the post about my diet, right? Well, there are other changes, too. Some big, some small, but all of them relevant to the speed at which life whirls by.

BatmanThe first change I’ll mention is that I’ve expanded my repertoire. Review repertoire, anyway. Now, I am reading a bigger balance in material. I did, after all, start out as a reader with comics. Coming sooner than you think (the 17th of this month) will be my review for Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition. It’s available for pre-order right now, but Amazon is giving a teensy weensy sneak peak inside (as they do all books) if you’re antsy. I’ve already been diving in there and I can tell you this–it doesn’t disappoint and my review is going to post on the release date. But, not only have I been reading and reviewing more comics, returning to a first love, I’ve been reviewing more romances, too. I have missed the genre. I never left it, but sometimes I drift and, this time, I drifted into realism in every sort. That’s a story for another day, but stay tuned for those reviews, eh? I promise I’ll try my best to give you all the skinny on the newest releases in books other than hard case and sci-fi (although, I’ll have those, too).

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Don’t taunt me. I’ll cut you.

And, speaking of reviews–have you people been checking out Riverdale on CW (Netflix and Hulu also)? Because, geez, it’s like crack. I can’t stop watching! I was a bit under the weather one day and watched every stinkin’ episode of the first season and now I need the second season to just hurry up. I understand that I have to wait for the 11th for the season premier, but I’ve already got the DVR set to record it in case we have a natural disaster or some other satellite connection destroying catastrophe. It’s not exactly like the comics, though some elements are there, but it’s great TV, y’all. The CW finally got a hit, as far as I’m concerned because I don’t usually like teenager aimed television shows. I’m serious, people–don’t go messing around with my new favorite show. I’ll cut somebody.

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And, Cole Sprouse? The Cole Sprouse who is now 25 (LEGAL) years old and stars as Jughead Jones? **Whispers** Call me. 

I’m serious, folks. Riverdale is where it’s at. Also featured on the show are Josie and the Pussycats. Remember those ladies? They are fantastic. Each character is given more depth than any of the cartoons could have imagined and season 1 of Riverdale had me really pulling for Val and Archie to be more of a thing, but that didn’t happen, so…bummer, right? Right. 
PerryulrichFun fact: Both Luke Perry (90210) and Skeet Ulrich (Scream) were Teeny Bopper magazine cover frequenters in my day. All the girls loved them. And, both of them have roles in Riverdale. . . As parents! Because, if you didn’t feel old enough, you might need to know this. You’re welcome!

Moving right along.

I’ve recently dived into a task I have only, until now, kept in my head. I’m creating my own planner. I’m designing the pages on my laptop, printing them off, and collecting them in a three ring binder so that I can keep track of myself. Sounds a little too housewifey, but I really do need to keep a planner because I’m always forgetting things and losing information, like appointments. The planner I have now wasn’t anything fancy. I bought it at a dollar store. But, it has a monthly calendar and also pages that are week by week and allow you to go in depth with planning ahead or note keeping. I was thinking if I created my own planner, I could tailor it to my needs. I want to keep the function of a monthly calendar, but I would also like weekly pages that have a space already there to keep track of weight changes, the weather, a separate page for monthly book reviews, and maybe a place to write out my menu plans. Plus, I’m crafty and I have some cool images to put to good use. I’ll let you all know how this goes and maybe I’ll even share the pages I create with my blog readers.

If that’s something my readers would be interested in, just let me know in the comments. I’d be happy to share my planner pages with you (for FREE because people seriously charge for that crap….*eye roll*).

So, with fall activities my kids are doing at school and at home, crazy good fall TV, and some really great book reviews coming up, it looks as though I’m set for a cozy start to the cold weather season. If there are shows coming up or books you want to request I review, let me know. I’m open to a lot of different genres now and, frankly, I’m bored.

Until my next update post!
XOXO, Rhiannon M.

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Review and release coming October 10, 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

About my diet, plus some tips!

You-can-do-it1Since July 1 of this year, I’ve been on a pretty strict low-carb diet. People have been asking me about it since my weight loss has exceeded my usual six pounds, so I decided to just write a blog post. My whole life I’ve gone through cycles of losses and gains–each diet I go on (usually calorie counting) ends in a six pound loss, followed by a wild calorie binge. This time things have gone differently. That isn’t to say there haven’t been problems, but I’ve actually lost twenty-five pounds. I don’t know how good at math you folks are, but that’s a few more than my typical six.

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It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had some issues with the diet and I’ve fought through them. Some days I’ve wanted to give up. No. Most days I’ve wanted to give up. But, every single day, I wake up and keep going because the fruits of my labor will one day pay off and I won’t be the only one affected. My choices will also have a baring on my children’s lives and choices they make. I want them to see their mom succeed because I want them to know that they can do things, too. I want them to see that if you want a healthier lifestyle, you have to put in the work, but that it’s totally worth it. If I’m honest, they are the reason I keep going and try so hard. I don’t want them to think Mom is a quitter (ha!).

I am not a doctor and if you have some health or dietary issues, you should certainly see a real physician, perhaps even a dietitian, before you begin the low-carb lifestyle change (because it IS a lifestyle change). A lot of low carb options are also pretty high in cholesterol, so, depending on your health and your family history, you may want to keep that in mind when you shop or meal plan.

I follow guidelines to eat by. When I started out in July, I only allowed myself to have between 20-35 carbs/day so that my body would get used to not having them. I wanted to make sure I trained myself well since there is a lot to learn in the beginning. But, since I have quite a few pounds to lose, I also set myself a limit of 1200-1500 calories/day. I feel like that’s a reasonable amount. Usually I hit somewhere around 1300, but sometimes it’s less. It’s rarely more than that. I try to get my protein in, too. High protein is important for me because I never get enough protein. I am not a big meat eater. Also, I bought a bag of stevia and went sugar free. No pasta, no breads, no rice. I took into account that my family has an insane history for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart issues, so I try to stick with lean meats, light butters (if any), and instead of eating lots of bacon (as I’ve noticed a lot of low-carb eaters do), I eat turkey bacon. Also, I bought a book of heart healthy recipes and I’ve learned to change just a few ingredients in some really great recipes so that I can enjoy them too. th.jpeg

So, with my new lifestyle laid out for you, I’ll hurry up and get to my big tips.

  1. Eat breakfast. There is definitely something to the old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  2. Sit down and write out a plan. Sometimes just seeing something literally spelled out in front of you is a really great way to assure that it’s a permanent plan, that it will stick. Remember to include a reminder to drink plenty of water. Eight glasses (eight ounces each) of water a day is recommended, but honestly I hardly ever drink that much. If I hit four, I’m doing well. I strive for more, though. You can tailor your plan to fit your needs. Low-carb eating ranges from only limiting carbs to a full on Keto lifestyle (which I decided wasn’t for me). Some low-carb eaters set a limit, such as fifty, but will eat toast or bread so long as it fits under fifty carbs for that day. I have chosen to forgo the breads, pastas, and rices altogether.
  3. Do not weigh yourself every single day, but if you do not own a scale, I would recommend you buy one. Mine is digital and also measures bone mass and BMI. It’s more technologically advanced than I was prepared for, but I love it. I record my weight in my planner, but there are apps where you can track your weight, too.
  4. Track what you eat. Write it down, along with the carbs and calories. Or, you can get an app for that, too. I use Spark People, but a lot of people prefer My Fitness Pal. I didn’t like the latter, but most people do. Use whatever makes you comfortable.
  5. Create an exercise plan. If you have medical needs and see a doctor regularly, ask them for suggestions. If not, walking isn’t crowded and is a very heart healthy way to exercise if you don’t live anywhere near a gym or don’t want to pay for a membership. Also, on rainy days, you can check out Leslie Sansone’s Walk-A-Mile DVD’s.  I bought a pair of small weights to carry while I walk, too.
  6. Remember that you are human and humans sometimes make mistakes. You might cheat. And, if you do, you can always make up for it by starting over the very next day. If I have one too many carbs, I try to, at the very least, keep my calories where they need to be. I have only gone over with both once. And, I keep losing. I figured I’m losing about 2.5 lbs. / week. Slow and steady. Last week I lost less than that, but it’s okay because sometimes it goes that way. Even if you gain, it’s okay. Just keep going.
  7. Look for a support system. Spark People has a great online community. I’m in a low-carb group on Facebook, too, and those people are fantastic for sharing their own ups and downs, sharing recipes, and it’s nice to know that I have help if I need it.
  8. If you’re a milk drinker, try some unsweetened almond milk. I love that stuff. Buy some peanut butter (whichever kind you like) and keep it handy. Stock up on sugar free jello, Powerade zero, bottled waters, lean meats, cheeses you like, and veggies. Google and Pinterest will be your best friends for recipes. I may even share some of mine here, too.
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  9. Do not plan cheat meals. In fact, plan your meals ahead in order to avoid the cheat meals. A cheat may happen, but don’t plan them. If you eat out, usually you can find some kind of lean chicken and veggie meal. If you eat fast food out (which sometimes happens), you can always get a salad or a burger (and ditch the bun).
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If you’re interested in a low-carb lifestyle, just remember that if I can do it, you can too. I still have a long way to go, but every journey begins somewhere. Feel free to share your tips and tricks in comments. I’m always learning something new.