Monday, June 16, 2014

Waking Up From the Nightmare

I feel like some backstory is required before I get into why my post is titled waking up from the nightmare. 
I started playing volleyball in the sixth grade. As soon as I stepped foot on the court my heart lit up. Something inside of me awakened and I knew that on the court was where I belonged.
After my sophomore year of high school and playing on JV, my parents made the sacrifices necessary for me to play club ball. They made it clear to me that I would eat, drink and sleep volleyball. That was an easy bargain for me since I loved it so much. 
I have to be honest, club volleyball is what truly has my heart. Politics came into play WAY too much in high school ball, and while they were still somewhat present in club, because let's be honest, politics are everywhere... It was a minimal presence compared to high school. I loved how much club coaches would work with you, either by building up your mental toughness or pushing you so hard that you felt like you were gonna puke. I honestly miss that. 
I made some amazing friends playing club. 
Carly...two words. Sumo. Wrestling.
Carly was the bestest friend a girl could ask for. We went to the same high school and were blessed to be on the same club team. It was tough that she was a year older than me and she graduated before I did. But I was blessed to form that friendship. With playing club, we knew the amazing players that we were and it was just frustrating that we couldn't bring that back to the high school court. I'm not saying we were the best by any means. But I am saying we were seldom given opportunities to show it. 
The picture lowest to the left cracks me up. I'm not sure my dad realized when he was taking the picture, he was capturing the moment that my coach Michelle was telling me "JJ! Move your a$$!" Michelle lit a huge fire in me. I knew she believed in me, and not only that, that I was worth believing in. She was the one who taught me mental toughness. She taught me that no matter what was happening in my life I can leave that outside of the gym and as soon as I walked through those doors it was just me, the ball, the court and my team. Before each practice and game I would wipe my shoes off on the matts outside the door. I bet to others it would just look like I was wiping the dirt off my shoes, but I wasn't. I was leaving everything outside and focusing in on my passion. The game. 
Outside of the gym, I'd be "Jumbo Jessica", too fat, too slow, whatever. (Which might I add ticks me off because looking at my pictures I wasn't fat! Stupid d-bags for telling me I was, and stupid me for believing them...sorry, I'm STILL frustrated about that). 
In the gym I was at my best. On the court was my safe zone. I once had a coach tell me, "If you don't serve me aces, you don't play." I'm grateful to Michelle for teaching me mental toughness so that I could do what I did best, which actually was to serve aces. You could tell me where to serve the ball and I could get it there easily. I also LOVE digging. But not weenie digs. We're talking the digs that were a result of a serious hit from an amazing hitter from the opposite team, or the kinds of digs where you actually had to dive for the ball. But all in all serving was my specialty.
So this is where my post title comes in. 
It has been at least 7 years since I played volleyball. The last time I played, my big time volleyball crush Mac Wilson showed up. I was dying. He was sooooo hot. Seriously. I had served an ace and said sorry to him, I have no idea why I said sorry. It's what I do when I'm uncomfortable and his response was, "What are you sorry for? Serving aces?" Swoon. 
Anyways, so It's been 7 years. I've gained a lot of weight in those years due to having kids, depression, emotional eating and turning to food to make me feel better. Every so often, about twice a month. I'd have a dream that I'm back on the court, playing the game that I so deeply love, except I'm at the weight I am now. I can't move fast enough to get the ball. And worse than that, I try to serve and either can't get it over the net, swing with all my might and it doesn't go anywhere, or my toss is bad. I literally wake up with my heart racing in a cold sweat like I would if I was having a nightmare. Which to me, I was.
On Saturday one of my girls at work found a volleyball under her bed and brought it outside. Once I got my hands on it, I kid you not, my heart started to beat faster, either with excitement or nerves. 
I started to toss it in the air like I would for a serve. The first couple tosses were ugly. But then, it clicked and my tosses were back to normal. I tried to serve. It was awesome! It would've totally cleared the net if there was one up. And it was powerful. It wasn't near as powerful as they used to be. But that's why we practice. 
My heart skipped a beat. I'm sure I was smiling ear to ear. I proved the nightmare wrong. I could still do it. I'm waaaaayyyyyy slower than I was before. But when I lose the weight that's making me that out! 
Now I just gotta find me a team. :) 
This experience helped me to realize that yes I am a lot bigger than I used to be. But I still have the heart of an athlete. I still have the same abilities and I'm much more capable than I realize. It's time to wake up. JJ is still in there. She always has been. And she's back. And I LOVE it. 
I loved these quotes. The one on the left just speaks to me. I am competing against the me I am now to get to where I want to be. And I like a healthy competition. 
My work will be doing a 5K soon so I'm starting the C25K program. I'll have to walk a lot. I know it WILL hurt. But I also know that it will be worth it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On Weightloss and Self Acceptance

This is the picture that started it all:
Red to Brown Ombre
I wish I could find the original source but everywhere I searched didn't bring it up! 
I had this picture logged away for a while and I had been wanting to do it. I love the ombre/melt look but I was too afraid to do it. 
I kept telling myself "When I lose 50 pounds then I can do it". 
I had a bunch of those When/Then statements. 
I get that it's good to reward yourself when losing weight, but here's my thing. 
I kept on holding back those things because I wasn't ok with where I was it. 
And then I realized, I need to love or at least accept myself now and where I am at NOW, or I will NEVER be happy with myself. 
Now it's my weight, but what happens when my weight is gone and I don't have that to blame. Then it'll be my lose skin. 
Then it'll be my scars to get the skin removed. 
See where I'm going with this? 
I feel that often times when we get stuck in the mentality of the "THEN's" we don't realize that we are missing out on the "NOW's". 
So I decided that NOW is the time that I'm going to get my ombre, not then. And I'm so glad that I did.
Here's the before/after taken by my AMAZING Stylist Courtney Smith at Seasons Salon & Day Spa in Orem, UT.
Red to Brown Ombre
 She is seriously talented and as cute as can be! Go see her...RUN! 
And tell her I sent you, we will both get $15 off ;). 

This is my first selfie in a looong time. 
Red to Brown Ombre
And you know what? I feel amazing. I feel happy and confident and wonderful and I love it. I haven't felt this good about myself in a long time and I have found that feeling good about myself makes me want to take better care of myself.
It's funny how that works out. 
I've realized that they go hand in hand together.
I am so glad that I took the step and embraced the now.
I feel like if more of us embraced the NOW and accepted ourselves for where we are currently at, we would be so much happier. 
It is so much easier to take care of something you love than something you despise. 
Think about it? If you despise something do you want to take care of it? If you do start to take care of it, is it easy to stick with it? 
Heck no Joe! So for now, while I honestly don't love my body now. I do accept it and appreciate all that it has done for me. 
And I'm gonna start focusing on the NOW's in life. 
What about you?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Little Girl's Room Part I-with Wallternatives

We've been in our new home over a year and I've been wanting to "break it in" some more by redoing the kids rooms. 
My husband can't understand why I want to paint etc. since the house is so new.
Silly guy! That's the perfect time to paint and make the house a home. 
I decided to start on my baby girls room. 
When I saw this Vinyl Wall Decal
Wallternatives: Wildflowers Floral Frame Vinyl Wall Decal
 I felt so inspired. I knew I HAD to have it in my little girls room. And thus, I based the entire room from the inspiration I got from that Decal. 
I ordered a large one because I wanted it to make a BIG statement, and I also ordered a large letter K from their tall and thin monogram vinyl decals
Here's an example from their site: 
Wallternatives: Tall and Thin Vinyl Monogram Vinyl Wall Decal
I knew I wanted both the frame and the letter to be white. So I thought a lot about what color I wanted her walls to be or if I wanted an accent wall. 
I knew I wanted it to make an impact as well without taking away from the gorgeous frame, so I decided to go with a gold wall. But it HAD to be gold, as in metallic. The only one I found was from the Martha Stewart line at The Home Depot. 
I wanted to share with you how I got my decal in the perfect place without messing with measuring tape etc.
I found the height of where I wanted my decal and went from there.
I started by putting a line of Scotch Blue tape across the wall.
 From there I marked the height of where I wanted the top of the decal.And folded back the tape onto itself until I reached the wall I started taping from.
Then I found the middle of my decal and put the line of tape there so I wouldn't lose it. 
I secured the decal on the wall with more tape and slowly started to peel back the blue part of it, leaving only the transfer tape. I HIGHLY recommend that you do this is a circular motion and not try to peel it off all at once. It did not go well when I tried that method at first. If you're looking for more helpful tips about application. You can also go here:
 I loved how smooth the vinyl went onto the wall. It almost looks like it was painted on.

From there I added the "K" and I kid you not, my heart skipped a beat! I loved it so very much! 
I then set up her bed and bedding where it was going to be with her favorite bunny. It makes my heart swell because it used to be my favorite bunny when I was a baby. 
I plan on doing this to another wall that has a window in her room: 
I also have some more plans in her room that involve a curved curtain rod, ruffles, a chandelier, and ribbon! 
So check back soon for that. 
I did receive the vinyl decals from in exchange for my post. 
Let me tell you, I am so grateful I did. My daughters room is my favorite room in the house now! I absolutely love them, and that is my opinion, not something I was asked to say! 
Here are the links to the specific vinyl decals I used: 
Wallternatives has some very fun products that were just released or coming soon. 
Their products include:
·         WallPrints™ Fabric Decals
·         ChalkTalk™ Chalkboard Art
·         Designer Vinyl Decals (these are what I used)
·         WallAppeal™ Removable Wallpaper (COMING SOON)
·         EtchLook™ Decals to look like etched glass(COMING SOON)
You should really check them out. I am IN LOVE!
Here are some awesome things that I learned about them,  and don't zone out on me and think this is a commercial, I'm serious. This is interesting stuff: 

Designer Vinyl Decals
·         Their vinyl designs are cut to look like stenciling or hand painted designs, but are applied to your wall in minutes.
·         They offer 18 fashionable matte vinyl colors, plus metallic gold and silver.
·         Their Designer Vinyl Decals can be easily removed for up to 3 years by simply peeling it off the surface.
·         The vinyl is easily removable, but not repositionable unless your pattern is a large single shape. If you are looking for a repositionable pattern, you'll want to check out their WallPrints™ Fabric Decals.
·         You can use Designer Vinyl Decals in a bathroom,
as the applied vinyl will not be affected by heat or humidity. 
 I seriously love that! 


Monday, June 2, 2014

A years worth of food storage in 4 months!

 #foodstorage #whatdoesthecoxsay
I've got the food storage/emergency preparedness bug again. Apparently I'm catching all sorts of "bugs". Summer just does something to me. It lights a fire in me and I like to keep busy!

I love all things emergency preparedness. I have a pretty thorough car kit where I went through as many as different car kits online that I could find, and really molded it into what I think is the perfect, most realistic kit.

I have 72 hour kits for my little family that I also went through countless kits and put together kits that fit my family.

And food storage hasn't been an exception. I dunno about you guys, but a years worth of food storage seems SO daunting. But after doing a LOT of research I'm here to tell you, it doesn't have to be!

I'm a BIG fan of what is called a rotating food storage. It's key to the way that my food storage works! If you don't keep it rotating, things will go bad...and well that's not good! :)

Here's what I did: I went into my food storage closet and inventoried what I had as a starting point. From there I wrote down 31 different dinners. Yep, only dinners.

From there, I wrote down the ingredients of what I needed to make those dinners. Then on the same sheet, I wrote down what fruit/veggie and/or side we would have with each dinner. It will make grocery shopping and meal planning substantially easier!

Then I took some cute scrapbook paper and cut it into 3x3 squares. On each of those squares I wrote the meal on the front, and ingredients on the back.

This makes meal planning for the month super easy! For the first month (since I only shop for groceries every 2 weeks) you will choose 15 meals to grocery shop for for the first 2 weeks, and then the additional 16 meals for the second two weeks.

BUT you don't only buy what you need for that ONE dinner. You MULTIPLY the ingredients by THREE. Since you already have 31 different meals and it is all food storage friendly (I have a chest freezer to freeze what I need) you will have three months worth of that dinner. So by the end of four months of grocery shopping and buying 3 times the ingredients for the meal you will have enough for a years worth of food storage dinners! Remember to rotate, so the new stuff goes in the back, so the older stuff gets eaten first.

As far as breakfasts we keep it super simple with oatmeal and occasional pancakes, muffins, etc. And lunches...just eat leftovers (so you may want to take that into account when gauging how much of an ingredient you need for a meal). That's it. You can also have extra soups etc on hand for lunches in case you get sick of leftovers.

Not only does this help you build up your food storage fast, but it also makes meal planning SUPER easy. After the first month, in order to mix things up, shake up the jar and draw out a meal. That's what you'll have for dinner that night. Just make sure you don't repeat a meal until you've drawn out the rest of the months worth. And if you ever want to add another meal or try out a new recipe, go for it! Variety is fun! BUT with 31 different dinners, you'll still have variety and you won't be eating the same thing every single week if you're in a rut!

I hope this post made sense! I just wanted to share with you my fun new system! If you have any questions, please let me know!