Saturday, October 3, 2015

Deck of Cards - Pregnancy Workout

Have you ever played the push-up game? My husband and his family introduced me to the push-up game back in 2010. However, before then I had never played this game. In case you've never heard of the push-up game, here is how it goes...

You shuffle a deck of cards and draw from the top. Next, you do push-ups based on the number on the card you drew from the pile. You continue to do push-ups until you can't do anymore or you finish the deck.

My husband's family takes the push-up game to the next level by including sit-ups and jumping jacks as well. So each time you draw a card, you get to choose one of the three activities (push-ups, sit-ups, or jumping jacks) to perform.

Over the years, being pregnant has helped me to put my own spin on this game. It all started one evening, when I was 40 weeks pregnant with Olivia, I decided to do pelvic rocks each time I drew a card. This was much better for me, because I was so big pregnant that I couldn't do the normal exercises.

Even as my due date with Matilda quickly approaches, I have exercises that I am trying to do each day. Transforming these exercises into my own "Deck of Cards - Pregnancy Workout", has made exercising more fun! It also means that other people, like my girls, can workout with me too!!

Whether you are pregnant or not, this game is a great way to turn your down time into up time. So grab a deck of cards and get going!!


Deck of Cards - Pregnancy Workout

Hearts - Bounce on exercise ball
Clubs - Pelvic Rocks
Spades - Kegels
Diamonds - Butterflies

What you need:
1 yoga mat
1 exercise ball
1 deck of cards

1. Shuffle the cards and put them face down

2. Draw a card from the top of the deck

3. Perform the type of exercise, based on the suit. Perform the number of exercises based on the number on the card. If it's a face card or an ace, repeat the number of exercises from the previous card. If you draw a Joker, perform as many exercises as you can.

4. Once you finish your exercises, your partner takes his or her turn by drawing a card and performing the prescribed number of exercises (or push-ups), while you use your partner's action time to rest.

5. If you are playing by yourself, give yourself a strict 10-second rest between cards.

6. Keep flipping cards and performing exercises until you complete the deck.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Recipe Review: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Happy Fall!! That's right, yesterday was the first official day of Fall. This is my favorite time of year. I love everything about fall, like chilly weather, crisp fall air, hot cocoa, the colors, sweaters, foggy mornings, apples, and more.

In honor of the first day of Autumn, I wanted to bake something delicious. While browsing through My Recipe Collection, I rediscovered my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of pumpkin flavored things and so I have only made these cupcakes once. However, I decided that I was going to make them anyway. To my surprise, I really enjoyed these cupcakes!! The pumpkin flavor was not too overwhelming and pairs well with the spice cake mix.

I hope you all will try this recipe, because it is so easy and delicious!! Even my girls enjoyed these cupcakes.

The ingredients

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, and water together in a mixing bowl.

Stir until combined.

Scoop batter into 24 cupcake liners. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Remove cupcakes from oven and place on a cooling rack.

These are called cupcakes, but they almost have the texture of a muffin. Either way they are delicious.

. . . . . . . . . .
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Source: Living a Changed Life 
Servings: 24
Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Calories: 84.2
Fat: 0.8 g
Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 0.6 g
Old Points: 2 pts
Points+: 2 pts+
1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup water

Mix everything together and put in muffin tins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

Additional Ideas:
Use a butter pecan cake mix instead of spice cake.
1 Box yellow cake mix, 1 can pumpkin, Spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves), Baked it in a 9 x 13 pan.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blog Anniversary

Six years ago, I created my weight loss blog, Living a Changed Life. In the beginning, I created this website, for anyone who wanted to know about my weight loss story. It started out being about my weight loss journey and slowly grew. You do not have to spend much time on my blog before you find recipes, helpful tips, encouragement, honesty, low pointsplus food finds, and more!!

Berry Cobbler Ingredients

Thanks to Pinterest, my most popular recipe and blog post has been Recipe Review: Berry Cobbler. It is such a quick and easy recipe, which is what makes it one of my very favorites! If you haven't tried this Weight Watchers friendly recipe, you should.

My blog has seen a lot of changes over the years, but so have I! In the past six years, reached my weight loss goal, earned Lifetime status with Weight Watchers, become a Weight Watchers leader, run a half marathon, carried and gave birth to 2 almost 3 babies, and the list could go on and on. There have been both ups and downs, but I am here to say that the Lord has been more faithful to me than I could have ever imagined!

One of the hardest things for me, since becoming a Mommy, I have not felt like I have much to say about anything. Hence my lack of regular blogging. However, God is showing me that Living a Changed Life, is not just about my weight loss, but about all the changes that I might go through in different seasons of my life.

I am so thankful for the Lord's blessing over my blog. I cannot wait to see what this blog will look like in another six years.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Preparing for Matilda Kate

Today, I am 33 weeks 4 days pregnant with our newest bundle of joy, Matilda Kate. With less than 7 weeks until my due date, I have entered the nesting phase of my pregnancy and I cannot turn it off!! I am on a mission to get things ready for our newest arrival.
Birth Plan
One of our top priorities has been to make a final decision about our birth plan.
Please pray for us as we prepare for labor and delivery and that the Lord would continue to provide everything that we need to be ready for Matilda's arrival.
Another priority of mine is nursing. Nursing with my other girls was extremely challenging and I didn't stick with it for very long. However, I am more determined than ever to nurse Matilda.
Please pray for me and that I would not give up on nursing, even though it will be hard. Pray that Matilda will be a good eater and gain weight at a healthy rate.
Freezer Meals
I want to stock my freezer full of frozen meals that I can use in the days and weeks after I give birth to Matilda. This past week I made 8 different freezer meals: meat sauce, peachy chicken picante, taco junk, chicken pot pie, and cabbage soup. My plan is to continue to make more meals over the next few weeks leading up to my due date.
Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide for us financially as we try to stock up on essentials before Matilda arrives.
Out of pure laziness, I have not been walking on a regular basis. However, I am excited to say that I have started walking again! I didn't realize just how much I miss walking. I know that one of the best ways to prepare my body for a healthy labor and delivery is to get up off of my couch and go for a walk.
The girls love walking too!
Big Sisters
There are a lot of changes that will take place in the next few months as our little family grows!! Olivia and Sophie are so excited about Baby Matilda. However, I know that it will still be hard on them as Matilda is born and things change. It's going to take all of us time to learn what it looks like to be a family of FIVE.
Please pray for Olivia and Sophie during this time of transition. Pray that they will continue to pour out their love onto their baby sister, as they have over the past 7 months.
"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." - Psalm 127:3 [NLT}

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Saying NO to Emotional Eating


It's been a long day and all I want to do is eat right now. I want a big bowl of ice cream with caramel and chocolate sauce on top. This isn't a pregnancy craving. It's emotional eating!! 

In the moment, I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm feeling stressed. I'm feeling embarrassed. All of these feelings have led to my overwhelming desire to eat a giant bowl ice cream.

I know that eating ice cream will taste good and make me feel so much better. However, that is a lie! As soon as I'm done eating the pleasure is gone and I will be left feeling sick.

Tonight, I'm say, "No!" to ice cream.

Instead of eating, I'm trying to write down my feelings in my journal and on this blog post. So far, it's helping a lot. It's helped to calm me down and let the overwhelming desire for ice cream fade away.

Today, I rejoice in my victory over emotional eating!! Knowing that I will face these same challenges tomorrow.

What victories did you experience throughout your day? 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Determined to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

I have so exciting news to share with all of you. I'm currently 19 weeks pregnant with our third baby girl!! We are so thankful for the blessings that the Lord continues to pour out on our family. Matilda Kate will be here sometime around the end of October and we can't wait for her to make her to make her big debut into this world.

It's a girl!! Matilda Kate.

I've been trying to not overdo it and simply let my pregnancy cravings control me. I did a good job my first trimester, because there were a lot of things that I couldn't eat like sweets, peanut butter, chicken, and more. However, as I've entered my 2nd trimester, I have been craving salty food like Sour Cream & Onion chips and sweet food like CHOCOLATE.

At first, as I have started to gain weight, I simply gave up on trying to be healthy. I got discouraged and just let myself eat whatever sounded good. On top of that, it's been raining, so I haven't exercised in weeks!!

Gaining weight is a part of being pregnant, however this past week the Lord has really given me a new determination to be healthy throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I have realized that it is possible for me to have a healthy pregnancy if I make a few small changes.  I started walking, which has been amazing!! I'm working on drinking a lot of water and being mindful of what kinds of food I choose to eat. I'm not being strict about what I eat, but just trying to make as many good choices as I can throughout the day.

Daddy and his girls

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lessons from Naomi


Last night at church, our "Women of the Word" group, began a new Bible study on the Book of Ruth. For this first week, we focused our study on Ruth 1. I could not believe how much was jammed packed into this amazing narrative. It was exciting, because as a group, we had so many different things to discuss.

The Book of Ruth opens with Naomi losing her husband and then her two sons. These losses left Naomi alone with her two daughters-in-law. At the end of chapter 1, Naomi's depression and grief overwhelm her to the point where she even wants to change her name to Mara, which means bitter.

"She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”"- Ruth 1:20-21 [ESV]
Here a just a few things I learned from Naomi in her moment of despair. 
1. Naomi cries out to the Lord in her distress. She isn't running to people to try to help her make sense of what is going on in her life. She's not calling her BFF to complain. She knows that help comes from the Lord and so even in her frustration, Naomi goes to God first.
2. Naomi is honest before the Lord. This woman of God has lost so much. However, as she talks to God, she doesn't act like she has it all together. She is honest about her feelings and pours them out before the Lord, hoping that He can make some sense of them. 
3. Naomi's faith remains strong in the face of uncertainty. In the short passage above, Naomi refers to the Lord as "the Almighty" two different times. Once, as she begins to talk to the Lord, and again as she closes her prayer. Naomi's faith in the Lord stays strong, because she knows that the Lord is the on who allowed these horrible things to take place in her life. Even as Naomi's circumstances overwhelmed her, she continued to have faith in the Lord Almighty!! She kept her eyes focused on Him!! 
Little does Naomi know, the Lord is about to pour out His gracious mercy and plan of redemption for her life.
In our own lives, we need to remember these lessons from Ruth 1. God does not allow hard times to come so that we fail. God allows our circumstances to overwhelm us, so that we will sit back and watch Him be God!! God will never receive glory, if we are constantly trying to fix our own problems.
"“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”" 
- Psalm 46:10 [ESV]


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