Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hot Topic Tuesday: The Family

Today for Hot Topic Tuesday I wanted to introduce you to my family, and I mean all of them (there are a lot). Currently Milton, the girls and I all live in my parents house. We basically have a 3 room "apartment" upstairs with our own bathroom and we share the kitchen downstairs. The house is about 2500 square feet and 15 people live here, I know let's hear the OMG (s).

At all my kids doctors appointments they ask all the standard questions, are there any problems? Can they do ________? (fill in the blank). The last time we were there for baby's 9 month appointment there was a new MA checking us in and she asked, "now who lives in the household?" Here is my answer

"Well there is my husband and I, our 3 girls, grandma, grandpa, 6 aunts, 1 uncle, 1 dog, a hamster, and a rabbit."

Her jaw almost dropped to the floor. She fumbled some response uncomfortably  and I just chuckled to myself, people can never believe it. Multi-generational living is becoming more commonplace these days, especially with our current economic state, but onto the introductions.

I am the oldest of all 8 children and I am 26, I think you know me pretty well by now...

Candace and Manny 




Classic Facebook Photo LOL


Rockye is the only boy and the youngest, he is 20 minutes younger then his twin sister- He will know how to treat ladies, or at least how to deal with them hehehe.

That is my family (that lives with me) and they are all wonderful and awesome. I get upset and frustrated living with them, but overall I am just so grateful we are not homeless, I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Question of the Day: Have you ever lived with your family after marriage/kids?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Update

This weekend was a really awesome one! On Friday night we went out to dinner at McMenamins Kennedy School in NE Portland, if you have not been and you live here you need to try it, or even if you just come for a visit. 
Let me give you a little background on my week before I continue with my story, last week was a really BAD week, everything seemed to not go in my favor. Wednesday I sat in traffic for 45 minutes (with the ladies) to get to school, which should have taken 15 minutes, only to arrive at class and have the professor let us out 45 minutes later. Normally this would have been awesome because we got out early, yay! However, I then had to get back in the car and sit in traffic for an hour to get home, no bueno.

All last week the ladies were seriously on one, they would not listen at all and every morning they woke up acting like they had not slept at all the night before. Oh and did I mention for some reason little miss Charlie would not nap... so needless to say when Friday came along and Milton got home from work I just felt shot! So we went to dinner at Kennedy school.

The girls were behaving well throughout dinner (a rarity) and we had a fun time together as a family, which was a perfect end to last week. As we were finishing our desert (bad week remember?) Milton asked if I had the check and I realized she had not brought it to us yet...strange but then she walked up. The waitress said this "Um...this is really weird and it has actually never happened to me before." Okay...what is she talking about? Then she continued "Someone has actually covered your entire bill tonight, they said you guys have a really beautiful family." We could not believe it at all! "Tell them thank you so very, very much!" I said, that is all I could say we were literally speechless. We just sat at the table for like 5 minutes, just to make sure it was not a joke, and no one came over... "What do we do now?" Milton asked me, "I guess we just leave" I said "Well do you have any cash for a tip?" I left some cash on the table and we left. The whole way out of the restaurant I was looking at people to see if I recognized anyone, or if they were smiling extra big at us, but no such luck...

Nothing like this has ever happened to either of us our entire lives, nothing even similar. For me it was a good reminder that my life is not as bad as it may seem. Life really is good, and there really are good people out there. I know that I really needed this and I thank God for blessing us that night, I am still in shock! I fully intend on paying it forward as well. 
They aren't too shabby looking ;)

That kicked our weekend off to an amazing start. Saturday Milton and I were leaving all 3 girls to go out on a day date for our anniversary. We dropped the girls off and headed to the mall, we both kept looking for them girls or feeling like we forgot them. It has been over 6 months since we went on a date all alone, with no babies, so it took some getting used to. I had to go to the mall and spend my Gymbucks from Gymboree because they were about to expire, then we saw the eyebrow threading kiosk and I got that done (more to come tomorrow) which was so cool, we then wandered about the mall just holding hands and talking to one another which was really nice. We finally decided to have an early dinner at Olive Garden, where we ate in the Cafe (aka the bar). We would have had to wait for 15 minutes, but since it was just us, we took a small table in there and it was lovely. 

On Saturday night we had to go to a church activity, since I serve in the Young Women's program we were helping with a fundraiser for camp this summer. It was a spaghetti dinner and an auction of donated items, it turned out very well. We actually ended up fundraising over $1400!! A HUGE success!

Sunday it was the normal church activities, and some family time on the slip n' slide, followed by hot chocolate and watching the Olympics. 

This week should be different because almost my whole family is out of town, I will focus next weeks Hot Topic Tuesday on our living situation, it sure is interesting ;) I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and I look forward to an awesome week!

Question of the Day: Has anyone ever paid for your dinner? Have you ever paid for someone else's? 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hot Topic Tuesday

I have decided to start a series called Hot Topic Tuesday. Every Tuesday I will post about some hot topic from the previous week, this should be pretty fun! The "hot" topic could really be anything, so we shall see where this takes us.

 I think this will be a fun way for you guys to get to know me better and hopefully in the future I can get hot topics from my Pretty Living readers!

Question of the Day: What HOT topic would you like to read about on Pretty Living?

*comment or e-mail: mrsbarnes85 at gmail dot com

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Can anyone tell me, why is it so hard to eat well? This week has been an awful one thus far, I have not been working out and I have been eating CRAP not so well. 

Yesterday I took my girls to the movie theater and I ate popcorn (tasted like high calorie cardboard) and starbursts...WTH is going on?

Starting today, it will be better, I will be better, because I have to be. 

Question: How have you been doing so far this week?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary!!

Today, I just wanted to share a post with you guys about my husband. Today is my anniversary and we have been married for 7 years! So this is my post highlighting my amazing best-ever husband.

This is my handsome hubby! Go ahead be jealous ;)

I cannot believe we were married 7 years ago today. I was thinking back to this morning about what we were doing in the morning 7 years ago. I remember I woke up at 7 AM to go pick up all the ice for the reception, if I recall correctly you had just gone to bed at the same time because you had spent all night cleaning and setting up our apartment. Mostly I remember being very excited that I was going to call you my husband and that I was going to be someones wife, YOUR wife more specifically ;)

Milton you are amazing, everyday you continue to amaze me with your love and commitment to me and the girls. You are so kind and loving, you will always go without if we need something and I love you for this. 

I love you more then I did 7 years ago, so much more, and I am so happy to be your wife and the mother of the 3 beautiful girls that we created. 


*Please try to ignore my crazy face in the top 2 pictures I was really excited...

Friday, July 20, 2012


Recently (in the last 4 months, give or take) I have decided to make an active effort to read the labels of foods that I bring into my house. More specifically I have been focusing on high fructose corn syrup and keeping it out of our home. 

This is some nasty stuff, and it is really in EVERY.THING. I have found a few little tidbits about it for your reading pleasure

~HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body.
  Despite what the corn industry claims, they are NOT the same at all. 
~HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA.
Um, mercury...yuck!

~HCFS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor disease creating industrial food products or "food-like substances.
These foods are most likely not the healthiest options, if HFCS is present they are lacking in nutritional value.

~ HFCS comprises up to 15 to 20 percent of the average American's daily calorie intake
No wonder obesity is rampant in the US. 

These are just a snippet of information about HFCS, but enough with the nasty facts about it and back to my story. ..

I decided to purge this from my cupboards and from that point on, not buy anymore products with HFCS in them. Easy as pie right? WRONG! HFCS is in so many things it is unbeleiveable. When I actually started looking I found it on the ingredient list of
~"low calorie" ice cream sandwiches
~Salad Dressing
~Condiments (BBQ Sauce, Ketchup)
~Soda (obviously...)

The list could continue on for a good long while, but you catch my drift, it is in A LOT of things. But there is hope because it is not in everything, and there are many options out there without HFCS. 

I made this decision for my family because I felt it was the healthiest for us, that does not make it the healthiest for you and there is no judgement here. I just wanted to be more aware of what we were eating, and what was going into my ladies little bodies. Because it is in everything it is very hard to avoid, so remember a little at a time and we will be all right. 

One more thing that i always try to remember is whole foods, if I make sure my girls eat more whole foods, it makes it easier to avoid HFCS.

You can find a list here with foods that do NOT contain HFCS

Question of the Day: Did you realize there was HFCS in these foods?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Little At a Time

Today I thought I would post about moderation.I believe it is a good idea to have moderation in all things, mainly food. Personally if I cut certain snacks or treats out of my diet completely, later on I will gorge myself on said snack. Think Sinbad in House Guest...the Big Mac scene. It is not pretty.

Tonight as I sat in class, I was zoning in on this girl in the row in front of me eating a chocolate bar I felt like this e-card, but it should read "Once you are trying to eat better everything someone eats is offensive".

My point being that instead of hating everyone around you eating..


If I am craving something sweet I will have a green smoothie or a "milkshake" as my girls call it. I put a small amount of agave nectar in mine just to make it a little sweeter. The recipes that I use are the pear and kale smoothie and the 'green smoothie' 

One more sweet treat I make myself is a chocolate 'milkshake', I put some ice cubes, some milk and some nesquik chocolate powder in my Vita-Mix and it creates a milkshake without the ice cream, therfore without all the other calories. 

If I am craving a salty snack then I will make some kale chips, or have some Food Should Taste Good chips. These chips have around the same calorie amount as other tortilla chips, but they are loaded with more healthy stuff and the salt craving is satisfied. 

If you are craving chocolate, there is no reason to eat an entire pan of brownies, just have one...or find your substitute.

Side note- I use the Vita-Mix which is more then your average
blender, so it makes ice super smooth and not chunky

Question: What is your snack substitute? or What snack would you like to find a substitute for?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weight Loss Update

So I have been actively recording my food blunders diary on MyFitnessPal for a solid week now (give or take, I don't have my iPod in front of me and I am too lazy tired to go get it). After doing this and trying to do some kind of workout each day I have lost...

1.4 pounds!

Shut the front door, I cannot believe it! I actually did it! I am so happy that I have stuck with it for this long. I cannot even begin to tell you how much junk food I have dodged this week! We took the ladies on walks, I did Zumba, and plenty of P90X, so I worked for it!

*I know you are thinking, "this long? It's only been a week", but I am notoriously known for starting things and not finishing them, so 1 week is a major accomplishment!

Question of the hour: Have you been sticking with your plan to get healthier?

I can't really have 2 questions of the day in 1 day, so this is the question of the hour...

Pinterest Obsession

So I will admit that I came a little late to the Pinterest party, in fact I joined just about a month ago. Can I just say, I LOVE IT! This is the absolute best place to find awesome and cool things!

 I decided (today) to actually try and make a few things I have re-pinned. Below are the few that I will duplicate in the next few weeks, pictures to showcase my failure results will follow...

So these projects all seem very doable, but we shall see ;)

Question of the Day: Have you ever done a Pinterest project? Would you like to showcase it here?

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Sponsor Time: Meet Abby

Today I am spotlighting a fellow blogger who is awesome, her name is Abby. I went to middle school with Abby and we recently reconnected via Facebook and through our blogs.
Abby blogs over at Everyday with Hazel Mae, you should check her blog out because she rocks.

Meet Abby:

Hi, I'm Abby and run a little blog called Every Day with Hazel Mae where you can read about my sweet life as a working mama to my girl, {you guessed it} Hazel Mae. 

 I started blogging in January of 2012 as a way to share all of my daily thoughts and inspirations with the world. I have a ton of creative energy and I am always looking for ways to express myself – whether it be through trying a new recipe, finger painting, playing dress up or decorating my house. I always have my hands busy with something. 

 I really love sharing little details of my life and things that I find fun and interesting. You'll read about my challenges as a working mama to an almost 3 year old, my interests in fashion and trends and you may notice that I love anything that's the color coral and drinking wine. I try to keep it real. 

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it. And thanks a bunch to Myranda for hosting a spot for me on Pretty Living PDX, I am such a huge fan of her blog!

Abby's blog is so fun to read, you should for sure head on over and check it out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Lady Loves

I thought I would just post some pictures of my ladies, to display their cuteness. They really are very good girls and I am one lucky momma because of them!

Miss S

You have always known what you want, and you know how to get it. From the time you were 1 you were letting me know what outfits you liked and the ones you didn't. I love how you are with your little sisters and I love you so much!

Miss Lulu

You always have a big toothy grin on your face, that lights up anyone's day. It is hard to be sad when you are around. I love that you know all the songs on the radio better then I do, I love your bright personality and I love you!

Miss Charlie

You are the best baby in this whole world, seriously though, you do not cry unless you need something and you are always happy. ALWAYS. People often ask me, "is she always like this?" and truth be told yes you are. I love your smile and I love how much you love your older sisters even though they are constantly trying to pick you up and treating you like a doll and not a baby. I love you Charlie!


So...yesterday SUCKED!!! I woke up yesterday with another super bad headache, the pain was blinding. My husband came home around 12 and took me to the doctor, they gave me the official diagnosis, migraines. I bet you are thinking "that sucks, but you can get medication and that will help." Wrong, I cannot take anything stronger then ibuprofen while nursing my little Charlotte lady. 


I am glad to know what it is, but sad to know there is not a dang thing I can do about it.

Question of the day: Do you know of any natural methods for taming blinding migraines? Since my husband can't really be coming home from work everyday, although I would love that!

This face is just too cute and worth the pain. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Big Box Store Temptation!

NEVER, I repeat NEVER go shopping when you are hungry...and trying to lose weight, it doesn't end well for anyone. Today I was coming off a 4 day migraine spree, oh yes the joy, and we needed groceries desperately. I packed up the girls and off to Costco we went, next thing I know I am walking out of 7-11 with these bad boys..

It was like I blacked out, I am not sure what happened. This didn't make me feel too bad though because it was around 400 calories for both. I figured this would be my "lunch". We continued on to Costco.

There were no samples while we were shopping, which was very helpful to my waist, but not so much my ladies. As we approached the check out line my girls saw the food court menu, have you seen this thing? The churro was calling their names...and the hot dog was calling mine.
Fast-forward 5 minutes later and I found myself putting the condiments on my all beef hot dog. This Costco trip helped me remember 2 very important things

1- Don't go shopping hungry (especially at Costco)
2- Whole foods are really so much better and so much more filling

If I would have eaten fruits and veggies and a small sandwich instead of popcorn and Slurpee I would have felt full and (most likely) not have felt the need to eat a hot dog at Costco.

Despite these two major blunders for today, I brought it back to my goals by eating healthy grilled salmon for dinner with fruit salad and broccoli slaw, and doing over 1 hour of P90X.

Just remember you CAN do this! Follow along with me, comment and interact so we can help each other! Even if you aren't trying to lose weight, maybe you want to eat healthier, hopefully reading this can help you!

Question of the Day?- Is there anywhere you avoid because of potential healthy eating blunders?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekend Update!

The weekend is finally over! The weekend is T.H.E. Hardest time for me, food wise. This weekend I did pretty good up until Sunday. It was my father-in-laws birthday party and let me tell you my MIL can COOK! I got home and entered in all my calories into MyFitnessPal, every single one (it was painful). I was over by 142 calories, this was just not going to work for me, so I put in a P90X  DVD and went to work.

I really just wanted to plop down and watch Drop Dead Diva, but I didn't and that is what matters!

I ended the weekend with 70 calories remaining for Sunday, thank goodness!

On a funny note:
My hubby was walking around with his shirt off after giving the ladies a bath and S (my oldest daughter) said
"Daddy where is your shirt?"

"I am really hot so I took it off, I'm letting my fat fall off"

after my husband left the room she got quiet for a minute then she said
"Mommy, I don't need clothes on, I am letting my skinny fall off!"

She is so adorable and we just love her!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Food Diary 7/6/2012

Every once in awhile I will do posts about what I ate during the day. I figure this will help me because let's be honest I do not want to post pictures of my Jack in the Box run, so I will (hopefully) eat healthier.

One tool that has been very helpful to me is using My Fitness Pal. I have the app on my iPod touch, and I know they have an Android app as well. It has the calories for just about everything, it also has the calories lost by doing different exercises. I downloaded the app, put in my stats and weight loss goal and then I started tracking... Be my friend on MyFitnessPal my name is, mizzb8505, be my friend and please help me be accountable, let's encourage each other!

Back to today's meals

Breakfast - 276 calories

*2 Fried Eggs- 140 calories
*2 TBSP tomatillo salsa - 10 calories- Salsa is awesome!!!
* Green grapes- 77 calories
* Strawberries- 49 calories
*Water - 0 calories

I highlighted my breakfast with a photo because I think it looked fabulous!

I decided to just do small meals throughout the day, instead of just 3 big meals.

Small meal #1- 349 calories
 Pita chips- 195 calories- it is hard to just eat 1 serving of chips!
Hummus- 105 calories
Cherries- 49 calories- 1 of the many reasons I LOVE fresh foods
Water- 0 calories

Small meal #2- 426 calories
White albacore tuna w/spicy mustard- 185 calories
Tillamook cheese slice- 90 calories
Avocado w/balsamic vinegar- 105 calories
Kiwi- 46 calories

Snack- 150 calories
Tortilla chips - 140 calories
Roasted tomatillo salsa- 10calories
Salsa is the best condiment ever!

Dinner- 620- I may have gone overboard here, but it was date night,Friday, and I did P90X.
Shrimp Burrito- 413 Calories
Tortilla Chips- 160 calories
Pico de gallo- 23 calories
Guacamole- 24 calories

After my P90 X workout I had a root beer float which was a little over 400 calories, yikes!

Totals- 2221 calories intake (food)
 Exercise-1122 calories burned
Net =  1099 calories

I think that overall I did well yesterday and I tried to eat only whole foods, with the exception of the chips I did good. I am proud of myself because I got up yesterday at 6 am (thank you ladies *sarcasm*) and after the ladies went to bed around 9 I was spent! Even though I could have gone to sleep right then, I worked out for the next 2 hours! GO ME!

Question: Are you on MyFitnessPal? How do you feel about it?
Lets be friend :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

The history

I thought it would be a good idea to give a little history on my weight so everyone can see how I got where I am today and why it has taken me so long to make the decision in my mind, body and spirit to lose this weight and change my habits FOR.EV.ER!
Growing up I was a slim kid, not ever really chubby, and I mostly stayed indoors because I grew up in Portland Oregon (rain central). I am the oldest of 8 kids and I remember my mom drinking shakes, and watching her calories after she had a baby, but we were not really active all the time. Please DO NOT mistake this for me saying “my parents never were active, so I am fat!” This is not their fault, I am the way I am because of choices I have made in my adult life. Moral of the story we were not super active or health conscious in my house when I was growing up.
All through high school I danced for 4 + hours each day, so I could eat a lot of things and not really have it ‘go to my hips’. This was awesome, but it did not help me develop healthy habits, I ate what I wanted because I would burn all those calories (and more) by dancing every day.
Fast forward to high school graduation, all of the sudden I was not dancing every day, yet I was still eating everything without boundaries. Don’t get me wrong I was not downing a large pizza by myself, but truth be told I could have… I got married when I was 19 and 1 year later I was at the doctor, the medical assistant came in and asked me “are you sure you are not pregnant?” I was not positive so she ran a test. I was not pregnant but I had gained 20 pounds in one year, yikes! From that point on I steadily gained weight and did not drop it. My hubby and I were in the newlywed bubble for the first 1.5 years of our marriage and we loved to come home, eat dinner and watch a movie or sitcoms. I did not work out, I did not run or walk for exercise, I spent all day at work sitting at a desk.

Fast forward to now, three kids later, and around 60 pounds heavier (blah)  this is where we are today. I have had three ladies, suffered from mild PPD and had some turbulent times emotionally, mentally and financially. Finally things are looking up and I need to be held accountable in order to lose this weight.
The point is not to paint a sob story but to be real about it. I find people really struggle from being real when it comes to their journey and this is never helpful, so I am writing this blog to be real and really make a change in my life.

Question of the day: When do you find time to work out? Especially if you have little ones...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This is a blog about my weight loss journey (and a little bit of other stuff). There are no guarantees you will like what I say and I make no promises about correct grammar however I hope reading it will inspire you, welcome to pretty living.

I often look at pictures of myself and wonder WTH!!!! what happened??!!! I want this to be different. I want to look in the mirror and say “where did that sexy beast come from?!” There are a few problems with this equation

-I LOVE food!

-I have a big slight issue with portion control

-It’s hard for me to find time to work out

I have finally decided that I can overcome these issues and hopefully create a healthier life for myself and a healthier future for my ladies.

Side note my ‘ladies’ as I call them are my 3 little girls my oldest S is 4, L is 2 and C is 9 months. They are gorgeous little creatures that I want to grow up living a healthy lifestyle. I want to embark on this weight loss journey so that I can have confidence in myself and therefore instill this in them. They need to know how important they are and how much they are worth. This is impossible to do if their mommy (me) does not believe this about herself.

I have closed down my other blog and I am starting this one, it will have a lot about my weight loss, some food posts, some savings posts and some other fun stuff. Read and laugh with me, if you feel inspired share the posts or ‘pin’ them so others can join too. I also plan to have some fun giveaways in the future, I can get better giveaways if I have more followers, so if you would please follow this blog too!

*Pictures will follow I promise!

Thank you

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