Ting's Mom

Friday, June 26, 2015

5 Tips For Healthy Eating

As part of our #TingsMom5K project, we are making an effort to eat healthier at our house. I've mentioned that my college bestie, who I recently reconnected with, has been a huge inspiration for our lifestyle change. So today, I asked her to give her tips on transitioning to a healthier eating lifestyle. I hope you enjoy!




Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. All of the information in my posts are based on general knowledge and my own experiences.

Hey, I'm Melanie!  Self-proclaimed fitness fanatic and healthy eater. I would describe my daily food choices (I don't like the word "diet", it sounds too restrictive) as "basically vegetarian" and "vegan-ish." Which means that I generally don't eat meat and I limit dairy. I also limit wheat and gluten, so I basically I eat a lot of beans and vegetables. I haven't always been this way, so I thought I might offer a few tips on how to get started on a healthier way of eating.


healthy eating tips


A little background about me.... I grew up in a normal household where we ate "normal" food. My family was always generally in good health so we honestly didn't think too much about what we ate. I was blessed with good genetics and have always been thin, so as a teenager, I really just enjoyed being able to eat whatever I wanted and not worry about gaining weight. But as I got into my 20's (okay, maybe late 20's) I really started to focus on how I felt instead of just how I looked. I was getting into exercising more and realized that you really can't sustain an adequate fitness program if you're not feeding your body the nutrients that you need. So, I decided to start cutting out certain types of food to see if I felt any different.

The first food that I eliminated was meat. Most animals today are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to make them grow bigger faster, and when we consume meat from these animals, we are also ingesting these toxins. For me, I felt better not eating meat so I eliminated it from my diet. The next food category that I tested was dairy. Since dairy products come from the same animals, the toxin theory is true for them as well, so I felt even better after limiting general dairy products (I do eat Greek yogurt every morning so I haven't eliminated dairy completely). The last food group that I tested (because let's face it, there's not a lot of foods left to pick from after eliminating meat and dairy) was wheat and gluten. I personally didn't notice much of a difference in how I felt when not eating wheat/gluten, so I didn't cut it out of my diet completely, but I did decide to only eat it in moderation.

So, now you're thinking, this girl is nuts! I could never be that extreme! And, honestly, you probably shouldn't be. I tend to be a little on the compulsive side, so eliminating that many food groups may not be right for you. But here's how you get started on the road to healthier eating:

1. Try eliminating certain food groups from your diet for a week or two and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. Everyone's body is different. Listen to your body. You may notice better digestion, more energy, clearer skin, etc.....

2. Once you've established your basic food choices (what you are going to eat and what you are going to limit or eliminate), see if you need to add anything. I have never been much of a fruit eater, so I really had to make an effort to add more fruit to my diet. Start by eating what you already like and then begin trying new things. I started adding blueberries to my Greek yogurt in the mornings, and dipping green apples in peanut butter.


3. Realize that this is a lifestyle change, not a diet! Diets make you feel restricted and you often gain back any weight that you lost when you go back to your normal eating habits. Establish new eating habits and you will not be constantly thinking or worrying about what you eat.

4. This is a marathon, not a sprint (sorry, that's the runner in me). You will not change your habits overnight. Start slow and you won't become overwhelmed by trying to do too much at once. Don't beat yourself up if you "cheat" and eat something not on your plan. Cheating actually helped me because I would usually feel bad (physically, not so much emotionally) when I would eat meat or cheese and it would remind me why I was choosing to eliminate those foods. It's a choice, not a restriction that you're placing on yourself.

5. And finally, get moving! Even if it's just walking a few minutes a day, regular exercise can make a huge difference in how you feel. When you put in the effort, you really don't want to ruin it by eating unhealthy foods.

I hope some of this advice has been helpful and good luck on your journey to better food choices! Food is both the greatest medicine and the greatest poison that we put into our bodies. Here's to better medicine and less poison ��

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Questions About Mom: Ting

Last week I posted a group of questions about myself that I had asked Bug. I saw the questions on Facebook and thought it would be fun. Today, I'm bringing you Ting's answers to the same questions. Enjoy!

mommy and ting


What is something mom always says to you? Get to the table

What makes mom happy? When we are good

How does mom make you laugh? When she is silly

What was your mom like as a child? Probably like me

How old is your mom? 36

How tall is your mom? 8 feet

What is your mom’s favorite thing to do? Spend time with our family

What does mom do when you are not around? Just have some mommy time

If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Because she loves me

What is mom really good at? Cooking supper

What is mom not good at? Fishing

What does your mom do for a job? Tells people that the hospital is always there for them

What is mom’s favorite food? Chicken strips and mac & cheese

What makes you proud of mom? That she loves me

If mom was a character, who would she be? Elsa

What do you and mom do together? Spend time and shop

How are you and mom the same? We have the same hair and eyes

How are you and mom different? Our voice and mind is not the same

How do you know mom loves you? She does a lot of things for me that she doesn’t want to do

What does mom like the most about daddy? He helps her know things

Where is mom’s favorite place to go? The mall


How old was mom when you were born? 30

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How To Select Running Shoes

When Ting and I began our journey to our first 5K the first thing I realized was that we both needed some good running shoes. I started shopping and was immediately overwhelmed by the unending types of shoes available. Today I've got Bob's Adventure Blog here to give us some tips on picking a good pair of running shoes. Spoiler alert: it's not all about the color, haha!


Choosing the correct running shoe can mean life or death, happiness or hate, good day or bad day (ok, maybe not all of those things, but definitely good vs. bad day).

To get a good feel for the right pair of running shoes, you have to do more than simply try them on in a store and stand up. They may feel great while there, but a few miles in, your toenail may fall off because of an improper fit (and we know no one wants to lose a toenail). 

More often than not, your shoe choice will (and should) be based off of your style of running, and less about the brand of shoe your wearing (sorry, those Nike Free's may not work).

A good pair of running shoes should probably last around 4 or 5 months of regular use. If you notice that the outsole is compressed or worn, consider grabbing up a new pair! This will ensure proper fit, and support.

select running shoes


When considering a new pair of running shoes, there are 3 categories you need to consider and decide what type of running you'll be doing:
·         Road running: Fairly self-explanatory; you run on the road (we'd recommend the sidewalk for obvious safety reasons),
·         Trail running: Also self-explaining; you run on trails (usually through the woods or something real "naturey").
·         Cross-training: These are designed for crossfit or something inside where ground contact is important.

All in all, there is a lot to take into consideration when getting a new pair of running shoes, and the above are just things to get your brain going in the right direction. We would recommend running over (see what I did there) to your local running store and have one of their knowledgeable staff members fit your specific foot and let you try on some different brands and styles of shoes.

Here are just a few more tips to keep in mind when getting some nice, new running shoes:
1.     Try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen (yes, your feet swell, and after being on them for the entire day, they will be at their most swollen state).
2.     Aim for at least a thumb's width at the end of your shoes (unless your going to wear barefoot shoes, which you don't want much room at all in the toes).
3.     Consider putting aftermarket insoles in your running shoes. Typically, the factory insoles are just flimsy foam pieces and nice insoles can make all the difference! We would recommend FORM Custom Insoles or Superfeet.

Most of all, remember that running can be one of the most enjoyable things you can do, so have fun, find some shoes that fit and get outside!

*Note: When trying to find shoes for children, you should still try to stick to these tips, but we would recommend that you just listen to your kiddos! They do know their own feet, and will let you know if they feel comfortable or not. Always stick to the thumbs width rule when checking sizing and make sure they like what they are wearing so they can learn to enjoy running!

Bob's Adventure Blog is all about gear and being outdoors!  Check out more ways we'd love to see you get active outside at http://bobsadventureblog.blogspot.com/




 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Musings: Podcast Edition

So I've known about podcasts for a while, but I never gave them much thought. I'm not an Apple girl, and I thought they were only available on iTunes, so that was that. But then last fall the world went crazy over the Serial podcasts. I decided to check it out, and I've been hooked ever since!

I have discovered that podcasts are a great way to spend my morning and afternoon drives, and I also enjoy listening to them in the office while I'm working. Over the months I've discovered a few that I really enjoy, so today I'm sharing them with you.



My favorite, by far, is The BigBoo Cast. I read both Sophie and Melanie's blogs, own all their books, and still think Sophie is the best keynote speaker we've heard at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference. These two ladies just chat about whatever comes up. I find myself laughing out loud (I get strange looks in the office), and sometimes I even find myself talking back to them (I may have a problem, ha!). It makes me very happy when I look at my phone and see a notification for a new episode of this show.

I discovered The Home Hour shortly after I really started listening to podcasts on a regular basis. Meagan Francis is the host and she has a number of regulars that co-host with her. They talk about everything from parenting, to home life, to cooking, and more. Each episode is laid back and inspiring and I haven't really heard an episode here that I didn't enjoy.

Hope*ologie is a dad and his two adult daughters. They also chat about a number of topics, but their primary focus is to encourage a happier lifestyle. They often share memories of growing up, and it is just fun to listen to a dad just chatting away with his daughters.

The Mom Hour is a new show that is also from Meagan Francis. She and Sarah Powers started this show and it talks about all things mom. These women seem so friendly and welcoming and I love everything about this show. Each episode features a product that they are loving, and then a topic that centers around being a mom. They recently did one on social media habits, and it made me really evaluate my online habits. I have made some major changes in my social media life because of that one episode.

God Centered Mom is a show that I just recently discovered, but I can already tell I am going to enjoy it. Heather is the mom to four boys, and she is all about finding a way to keep God first in your life. Her topics range from parenting to marriage to life in general. I can't wait to hear more from this show.

And of course, Serial. The one that got me started. It is supposed to be coming back on, so I'm eagerly waiting to see a new episode download. In the first season, it focused on a guy who was found guilty of murder in high school and is currently serving a life sentence in prison. There were so many wholes and questions in the case against him, and this podcast went to great lengths to investigate. It left with so many unanswered questions, but it was still awesome. If you didn't listen to this one, you should go download the entire series and listen.

So there you have it, my favorite podcasts. I use PocketCasts to listen on my Android phone, and highly recommend it as well.

Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites?


 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Questions About Mommy: Bug

A lot of people on my Facebook have been posting these questions about Mommy on their feeds. The idea is you are supposed to ask your kid these questions, and then write down exactly how they answer. I thought they would make a fun blog post, so here you go. Today I'm bringing you Bug's answers. Next Wednesday I'll have Ting's answers on here for you.

mommy and me


So without further delay....


What is something mommy always says to you? I’m a tiger

What makes mommy happy? A hug

How does mommy make you laugh? A hug

What was your mommy like as a child? A monkey

How old is your mom? 6

How tall is your mom? That big (he did his arms like you show the size of a fish)

What is your mommy’s favorite thing to do? Hug me

What does mommy do when you are not around? Cry

If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for? Puppies

What is mommy really good at? Fishing

What is mommy not good at? Not fishing

What does your mommy do for a job? Fish

What is mommy’s favorite food? Fish

What makes you proud of mommy? A kiss

If mommy was a character, who would she be? A puppy

What do you and mommy do together? Hug

How are you and mommy the same? We’re not the same, look!

How are you and mommy different? Jake and the Neverland Pirates

How do you know mommy loves you? A kiss

What does mommy like the most about daddy? A kiss

Where is mommy’s favorite place to go? Pizza

How old was mommy when you were born? 4



Haha! Clearly Bug had a few things on his mind the day we did these. 


 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Musings: The One Without a Catchy Title

Ever since Bug was born I've been wearing comfy shoes to work instead of my heels that I wore for so many years. But recently Payless has had some really cute shoes so I picked up two pair of wedges. They are actually comfy, and I really like them. I also grabbed these not-so-cute-but-really-comfy sandals. They will be perfect for this summer and for our upcoming vacation.

vacation sandals


Hubby made Fish Stew for supper over the weekend. That doesn't even begin to sound like something I would like, but it was really good. I'm trying really hard to develop some better eating habits. I'm going to branch out and give some fruits and veggies a try, and to eat {at lot} less pasta We'll see how that goes.

Last week I chaperoned a high school trip to UAMS in Little Rock for the day. The day itself was pretty boring, but we got to make bath products in the lab. I came home with a bar of soap, a sea salt soak, and a sugar scrub. I can't wait to use them.

The kids went to VBS last week, so they stayed with my in-laws all weekend. We picked them up Friday night and they were exhausted. They slept until 9:30 Saturday morning. I'm pretty sure that is some kind of record around here.

I have the worst time with finding an eye line that will stay on my eyes. Most pencils rub off by mid-morning, so I've been using a liquid waterproof liner for years. But I found this silicone liner at Sally's last week. It seems to stay on very well and I like the way it goes on.

palladino herbal liner


I think I've become addicted to pod casts. Next Monday I'm going to tell you about the ones I listen to the most.

 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Birthday Camping Weekend

Ting's birthday party isn't for a few more weeks, so we asked her if she wanted to do something on her birthday weekend. She requested that we go camping and cook steaks. So her wish was our command!

kids in camper

We loaded up the trailer last week and headed out as soon as we got home on Friday. We made it to the lake and got everything set up and ready to go. Hubby grilled some yummy steaks and sausage, while I made mac & cheese in the electric skillet - and made a mental note to buy some pots and pans for the camper, ha!

boy fishing

On Saturday, we packed in ALL the activities. The kids rode bicycles, Ting and I walked around the campgrounds, we swam in the lake, the kids played with water guns, we relaxed in the lawn chairs, we watched a movie, Hubby did some fishing, and we took naps.

kids on bikes

On Saturday night Ting had a little confrontation with some girls in the bathhouse. Thirty minutes later she had made new friends with them and they played for a while as well. I remember growing up my brother and I always made friends with the other kids when we would go camping. Seeing Ting run around with girls she didn't know brought back so many fun memories.

ting in her hat

Camping is so much work when you are adult (gone are the days my brother and I jumped out of the truck and onto bikes and everything magically happened), but it is all worth it. I love spending time in our camper and I can't wait until our next camping trip.


 photo KarenSigCute_zps5a51e351.jpg

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