Sweet Shoppe Mom

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lifestyle Changes for Healthy and Happy Living

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias

August is Health Awareness Month and today I'm sharing my own personal healthy living journey. Over the past 3 years, I have made a lot of lifestyle changes for my family and its been amazing how much healthier we are.

The most dramatic change has been my weight loss - I've lost about 60 pounds and down about 5 clothing sizes. Shopping for clothes is fun.

This is a quick photo I took last year with my phone and posted to instagram after cleaning out my closet one day and found an old pair of jeans (and they weren't that old). These jeans were a size 14 - now I'm down to single digit clothing sizes!

But more than just losing weight it is how I feel. My energy level has increased. I need less sleep. I'm much more active and I love it. Less aches and pains in my body even though I'm getting older (I'm 44). I feel younger than I did in my 30s! I have a very active 9 year old son and its awesome to be able to keep up with him. We both love nature and hike or bike often on the trails near our home.

Less colds and sinus infections for our family. About 5 years ago, I was at urgent care so often for sinus infections they wrote on my chart 'chronic sinus infections'. Now I can't even remember the last time I had one. For the last school year my son got the Perfect Attendance Award - and he even has asthma.

How did we do this?

Exercise Being active is important to good health and happiness. As I started to lose weight and make other health changes I felt better and exercise became easier for me. Once I added it into my daily routine, my health continued to improve even faster. I take barre fitness classes, run and hike with my son.

Vitamins and Supplements I started seeing a naturopathic doctor a few years ago and she is the one who helped me make a lot of changes that resulted in such an improvement to my health. She routinely takes my blood work about twice a year and adjusts the vitamin and supplements that I take. I take a few supplements including fish oil and probiotic daily. Right now my vitamin D and B levesl are low - its always amazing how much my energy level increases once these are back in the normal level. My son takes fish oil and a multivitamin daily.

Whole Food I have been gradually transitioning our family's diet to more whole foods, organic when available.  Because I was also diagnosed with food allergies I was forced to cook a lot of foods from scratch which required a transition to whole foods.  Coconut oil is just an amazing product - so many uses. I use it as a replacement for butter when sauteing food (and my family can't believe I'm not cooking with butter) and in a lot of Paleo dessert recipes.

Natural Products  I've been transitioning to more natural products for home care and my beauty routine. Vinegar is a great additive to laundry and as a cleaning products around the home.  I keep a small bottle of coconut oil in my medicine cabinet to use as an eye makeup remover. And a larger bottle in my shower as a deep conditioning treatment for my hair.

Me time I'm busy. I'm a single mom to an active 9 year old, own my own small business in addition to blogging. I've made a conscious effort the past few years to take time for myself. This may mean a few minutes in evening sipping tea and reading a magazine. Enjoying a glass of red wine on the patio in the evening after my son has gone to bed. Lunch with girlfriends. Happiness is so important to good health and as moms sometimes we forget to take time for ourselves.

Sam's Club is the destination for everything you need to stay healthy.  While there I picked up their Healthy Living magazine from their pharmacy.

I love these huge containers of coconut oil.

Because we eat mostly whole foods, Sams Club is the perfect place to stock up on fruits and vegetables - I spotted some delicious looking organic grapes and carrots that are perfect for snacking or school lunches.

Sam's Club is a great place to stock up on vitamins and supplements. I also stocked up medicine for fall allergies plus first aid supplies for the upcoming baseball season.

Interested in making healthy living changes into your lifestyle? Visit Sams Club September 12th for FREE health screenings.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Staying Connected with your Children When They're With Dad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CloudPetsForever #CollectiveBias

One of the hardest part of being divorced from your child's father, is the time away from your child. Its very important for kids to spend time with both parents but its also important to find ways to keep connected with them when they are with their other parent.

Cell Phone

My son has his own cell phone - he's only 9 and first got it when he was 8, earlier than many of his friends. But we felt it was important for him to be able to call or text either myself or his dad when he wants. Having his own phone he can call without asking to borrow one of our cell phones. We do have rules limiting the use of the gaming apps for car rides or weekends and he's not allowed to take the phone to school.


When I heard about CloudPetsTM I thought this would be another great way to stay connected when he is when his dad. We went to Walmart so my son could select his new friend.

He quickly chose the puppy and named him Brownie.

Brownie's heart blinks when there's a new message and my son just needs to press his paw to hear it. He can even send a message back to me. The app is free and parental controls allow the parent to select who is able to send message to your child's new friend. He can also receive messages from dad and grandparents with this new, one-of-a-kind toy.

Check out this video to see how it works.

You can find your own CloudPetTM at select neighborhood Walmarts and it will be available nationwide soon. Look for the pallet display near the checkouts at the front of the store. Don't forget to pick up batteries - three AA batteries are needed.

Family Photos

Photos are important part of great memories. I always make sure my son has lots of pictures from time he has spent with mom and with dad in his album and a few on his night stand. He loves looking through his album and most recently has started to love taking his own photos which he keeps in his iPhone or we print for his albums. And as a mom, I have photos all over the house. Its also important to remember to take photos of yourself with your kids - moms are so often the ones behind the camera.

How do you stay connected with your child when they're away?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday

Participating in Pleated Poppy's What I Wore - holding myself accountable for getting out of PJs or yoga pants. Doing a bit of catch up too.

Top { Banana Republic, older} jeans {Banana Republic Outlet}, sandals {Michael Kors}, Bracelets {Wrist Soireee), sun glasses { Guess, Marshalls}

dress { Q , older }, shoes {Nordstrom}, bracelets {wrist soiree}, necklace {Charming Charlie}

shirt {Banana Republic outlet}, skirt { Q }, shoes {Michael Kors}, necklace {Nordstrom, Brassplum}

shoes - love these. DSW clearance rack for Ann Klein snakeskin print heels

Top {Nordstrom Rack}, jeans {Old Navy}, shoes {Guess, DSWC}, purse {Stell and Dot}, bracelets {Wrist Soiree}, necklace {Nordstrom}

hat {Target }

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Zebra Print Cakes #sweetsunday

I get a lot of questions asking me what is my most popular cake design? Its my zebra print cakes - children's birthdays, adult birthdays, baby showers and bridal showers. A lot have been pink and black but I love the other color combinations too - purple/black, aqua/black, green/silver/black. 

My cakes are iced with buttercream and the zebra pattern is done with fondant. Each piece is cut by hand and attached to the cake. Interested in a tutorial??