Tuesday, December 22, 2015

November Favorites | 2015

Here are my November Favorites!!!!
What were some of your favorite things last month?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Masquerade Makeup Tutorial

I went to a Christmas Masquerade Ball and filmed the makeup look for you guys!

The makeup look would be great for any holiday party - just don't do the mask part if you aren't going to a masquerade ball!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Morphe Me Brush Subscription Service | #1 - December

Check out the brushes I got from the first delivery of my Morphe Me Subscription service!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Whisper Challenge With My Sister!



My sister and I FINALLY| filmed a Whisper Challenge Video!
We hope you enjoy it! It was SUPER fun to film. Let us know if you want us to do any other TAG videos!

Friday, November 27, 2015

September and October Favorites + Favorites Giveaway Winner Announced!


FINALLY filmed my September and October Favorites! I also announce the winner for the Favorites Giveaway (its about time, right?)!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

GRWM | Gray and Glitter Featuring Lit Cosmetics Champagne Wishes






Hi friends! Here is a Get Ready With Me tutorial using cool toned makeup and GLITTER! I am in love with Lit Cosmetics glitter! 

Dont forget to watch my previous video to lean how you can win a Mini Lit Kit with Champagne Wishes!

Enjoy!
xoxo
B

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

LIT Glitter Haul and Swatches + GIVEAWAY!


Check out the new glitters I ordered from Lit Cosmetics! They even sent me a mini kit to GIVEAWAY!!!!! See the description box for details on the giveaway! Good luck, my beauties!!!
xoxo
~B

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NYX Brow Marker First Impression and Review


Hi friends! Remember when I did a review and first impression on the Kat Von D Brow Pen? Well I thought I would do a review and first impression on the NYX Eyebrow Marker! Its a more affordable version of the KVD pen. Hope this review helps you decide if you want to give the NYX marker a try!
Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

50 Things About Me | TAG


Hi friends! I thought I would do the 50 Things About Me vid so you guys could get to know me more!
Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Happy Planner & Michaels Sticker Haul


Check our The Happy Planner I picked up!!!
Its similar to the Erin Condren planner but a fraction of the cost!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Harley Quinn | Suicide Squad Makeup Tutorial


My very first Halloween makeup tutorial is now live on YouTube! See how I transform into Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad version).

Hope you enjoy!
xoxo
B


Monday, October 5, 2015

A Look Using Colour Pop and Champagne Pop


Hi friends!
You KNOW I had to do a look with all the new makeup I got! (See previous post/vid). Here is the look I created using Colour Pop eyeshadows, blush and lipstick. I also used Becca's Champagne Pop highlighter.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Unboxing | Sephora & Colour Pop!


Hello again! I have an unboxing video of items I ordered from Sephora and Colour Pop! The video is a little long, but I wanted to make sure you got my true reactions to these products as well as some swatches. I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time...
~Brianne

Monday, September 14, 2015

Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' Music Video Inspired Look


Hi'ya, friends! I have a Taylor Swift music video inspired look for you today! Have you seen her 'Wildest Dreams' music video yet? Its a beautiful video, and T.Swift looks absolutely stunning, as usual. As soon as I saw the vid, I knew I wanted to do a tutorial on a look similar to hers in the video. I hope you enjoy this classic look!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

August Favorites + Giveaway!


Its that time again - time for my monthly favorites! And because I love my viewers/subscribers so much, I decided to do my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY! watch the vid to get the deets on how the giveaway will go down. Good luck to all who enter (sorry, but the giveaway this time around will be for U.S. residents only).

Let me know what your favorite product was for August!

See you in the next one...
xoxo
Brianne

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Target Haul


I went to Target the other evening and got some really cute Fall clothes and thought I would share with you guys what I got. Take a peek at the video to see what clothing treasures I found!
Enjoy!
xoxo
~B

Monday, August 31, 2015

GRWM | Simple Makeup for a Summer Gathering


Hi all! I decided to film myself getting ready for a mid-summer gathering a few weeks ago! I had already applied my foundation and filled in my brows before I decided to film, so I am sorry it doesn't show that part of my beauty routine.  

Because it was such a hot, humid day, I didn't want to have too much makeup on - didn't want it melting down my face... so I went with a simple, natural makeup look.

I hope you enjoy this vid!
xoxo
~Brianne


Monday, August 17, 2015

Rant or Rave | Loreal Infallible ProMatte Foundation


I decided to start a new series on my YouTube channel called Rant or Rave! In each video I will let you know if I HATED it, or LOVED it, and why! I hope you enjoy this series! I think it'll be a lot of fun to do, and will be quick but informative for you guys!

Don't forget to Like the video if you enjoyed it! And Subscribe to be informed of when I post new videos!
Until next time....
Take care...
xoxo
~Brianne

Monday, August 10, 2015

July Favorites - 2015

Hi friends!!!! 
Its that time again!!!
***F A V O R I T E S***

Here are some of my favorite products that I used during the month of July! (PS: I was a little under the weather when I filmed this, so I am sorry if my energy level was a bit low. You can actually see in my eyes int he pic above that Im not feeling all that great! ha! OH WELL!!!! I wanted to get this video filmed and on YouTube ASAP for you guys).

Please comment below what some of your favorite products were last month. Or, if you have tried any of these products, please let me know what YOU thought of them!




Take care my friends! I will see you in the next one...
xoxo
Brianne

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Smoky Eye Look Using the Naked Smoky Palette

Hi Friends! Here is my smoky eye tutorial using the Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette! I loved how this look turned out and cant wait to create more looks for you using this palette. Take a look and please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE! It helps me grow my channel. See you next time, loves! xoxo ~B

Saturday, July 18, 2015

How To | Fishtail Braid

Ever wanted to know how to do a fishtail braid?

 I can show you how to do it!!!! Watch the video below to see how its done.
Enjoy!
(Let me know if there are other hair tutorials you would like to see by commenting on the video)

Until next time...
xoxo
B

Saturday, July 11, 2015

June 2015 Favorites

Wanna know what my favorite things were for the month of June? Watch my video below to see!
What were some of your favorite products? Comment on the video and let me know! I may want to give them a try too! Also, don't forget to Like the video if you enjoyed it, and you can Subscribe to my channel to be notified when I have posted new vids! They will also pop up on your home screen on your YouTube acct so you can find them easily!
Until next time...
xoxo
B

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Get Ready With Me | Pop of Color and Quick Curls

Hi there my friends! I just posted my first Get Ready With Me video!
 
Here is the look I did - bright pops of color and quick outer barrel curls.
 
 
For those that aren't familiar with Get Ready With Me (GRWM) videos - they are vids that just show you getting ready. Sometimes its just doing a makeup look. Sometimes its makeup and hair. And sometimes its makeup and hair and picking out your outfit. There are many combos of GRWM videos and they are super interesting to watch! They aren't meant so much to teach you (although you can definitely learn some things from them), but they can help you give ideas on what you can do with your hair/makeup/wardrobe.
 
Let me know what you think! I have another GRWM vid to share with you in a few weeks!
 
I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day! Can't wait to see you in the next video!
 
Take care!
xoxo
~Brianne


Monday, June 29, 2015

Kat Von D Tattoo Brow Pen | First Impression and Review

 
Hey guys and dolls,
So I checked out the Kat Von D Tattoo Brow pen to see if it was something I would like to use. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, its like a liquid liner for your brows! I loved the concept! Watch the vid to see my first impression and to see this product in action.
Enjoy!
(And comment on the vid to let me know what your thoughts are on this product if you've tried it!)
xoxo
~B



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer Sunset Soft Smokey Eye

Hi friends! Here is the tutorial of a Summer Sunset Soft Smokey Eye look. This was my first time filming/editing a tutorial with a voiceover, and I completely forgot to add in the photos of the products I used! I did mention the products for you guys, but was SO tired when editing that I just completely forgot to include the pics. I will be adding the photos below for you though!!!!!!





 
Here are all the products I used to create this eye look:


Transition color: Warmest Shade in the NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette
 
First color in the crease: Slowburn from the Urban Decay Electric Palette
 
First color on my lid (on the inner half): Urban Decay's Half Baked
 
Second color on my lid (on the outter half): Milani's Sun Godess


Crease color: Savage from the Urban Decay Electric Palette


Crease/Outter V/Lower lash color: Urban from the Urban Decay Electric Palette


Bottom last color: Blackberry from the Too Faced Sugar Pop Palette

 
Brow bone highlight: Rock Candy from the Too Faced Sugar Pop Palette


Inner Corner highlight on the eye: NYX Glam Liner in Glam Pink


 
Liquid eye liner: Jordanna Fabuliner in Black


Mascara: L'Oreal Butterfly Lashes


*Because this look was focused on the eye, I didn't take pics of the blush colors I used to brighten up my blush, but I will list them here for you just in case you wanted to know: MAC's Margin, and Swiss Dot by The Balm
 
And these were the products that I used to create the lip look:
(Jordanna Rockin Rose lipliner, NYX Matte lipstick in Shocking Pink, Rimmel London lipstick in Lasting Finish by Kate, and Covergirl Colorlicious Lip Lava in Lychee Lava)
 
I hope you enjoyed this video! Next time I do a voiceover I will try to remember to add the pics of the products into the video! Haha.
 
Also, let me know if you guys like the voiceover videos or if you like talk throughs.
 
Don't forget to comment on my videos and give them a like - it really helps me out when you do.
And subscribe to see more makeup (and hair) tutorials!
 
Have a fabulous day, my friends!
xoxo
~B

 



 
 
 




Sunday, June 14, 2015

May Favorites 2015

Here are my favorite products/things from the month of May! (It also includes my April favorites too since I wasn't able to do a video for April). Enjoy! After you've watch the video, please comment and tell me what your favorite products/things were. And let me know what kind of videos you would like to see!




Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Top 10 Self Tanning Tips!

I wanted to share a few quick tips for self tanning. Self tanning is a much safer way to get that summertime glow (as opposed to tanning beds or laying out in the sun), but many people are scared to do it because they don't want to deal with the streaks and the weird (chemical) smells.
 
Hopefully my tips will help you on your self tanning journey so you can successfully achieve a bronzed bod just in time for summer!
 
SELF TANNING TIPS
 
1) EXFOLIATE: The most important thing you can do is to exfoliate before you use a self tanner. When you are in the shower, shave and then use a loofa or an exfoliating body scrub of some kind to make sure that you get all the dry skin off your body.
 
2) MOISTURIZE: Moisturizing before you use a self tanner will help you achieve an even application, and to keep the dryer areas (elbows, wrists, knees, ankles...) from going too dark. At the very least, moisturize the elbows, wrists, knees and ankles if you've had issues with them going too dark.
 
3) APPLY FROM THE BOTTOM UP: Applying your self tanner from the bottom (feet/legs) and moving upward will keep you from getting streaks across your tummy.
 
4) APPLY WITH A MITT, GLOVES, OR A SPONGE BRUSH: Applying the self tanner with a mitt, gloves, or a sponge brush (like you get from the craft stores) will keep you from using your hands... so your hands won't turn brown. Gloves can be a little streakier (since they aren't an absorbent material, and product can get caught in the little wrinkles/folds of the gloves) so make sure you really rub in the self tanner well.
 
5) DON'T FORGET YOUR FACE: You want your face to match your body, right? Use a tanning lotion especially made for the face, or use the same stuff you are using on your body - just make sure that you moisturize your face first if you are going to do that (use a tiny amount of product so it doesn't get too dark). And don't forget your ears!!!!
 
6) USE MOISTURIZER OR A EXFOLIATING SCRUB TO CORRECT SPOTS THAT WENT TOO DARK: If you happen to notice a little spot here or there that's a little darker than the rest of your body, sometimes you can massage on a little moisturizer over that area to help spread out the product. If you have an area that went WAY too dark, like the palms of your hands, then use an exfoliating scrub of some kind.
 
7) USE A SELF TANNER WITH A COLOR GUARD: Many self tanners out there will have a color guard - a color guard means that the product is tinted so you can see where you are applying it (or where you might have missed a spot). The color of the product will not necessarily mean that is the color your tan will be... its just there to make sure you apply evenly.
 
8) APPLY BEFORE BED: Almost ALL self tanners do not smell good. They may start out smelling nice, but once the chemical reaction starts (to develop the "tan"), it can have a chemical smell. If you aren't a fan of that, then shower/exfoliate/moisturize and apply the tanning lotion before bed. That way your tan will develop while you sleep, and you can get up the next morning and take a quick shower to wash off that icky smell.
 
9) USE A GRADUAL TANNING MOISTURIZER TO PROLONG YOUR TAN: To keep your beautiful bronzed glow, use a gradual tanning moisturizer (like Jergens Natural Glow). It'll maintain that sun kissed look without having to go through your self tanning product as fast. Keep in mind that this product also has that chemical smell, so applying in the evening (and showering the next morning) is a good idea if you don't want to smell like self tanner while at work.
 
10) USE A FOUNDATION COLOR THAT MATCHES YOUR NEW BRONZED BOD: You don't want to continue to use the same foundation you normally would use because more than likely, it'll be too light... and then your face will not match your body. Its helpful in the summer to have your favorite foundation in a shade or two (or three - no judgment here if you want to be uber bronzed/dark) darker so it'll match your body. If your foundation is still a little too light, use bronzer on your face to warm it up a little more. (You don't have to use bronzer on your WHOLE face, but at least on the cheeks/cheekbones, temples, the perimeter of your forehead, and under your jawline. You could put a pop of it on your nose and chin if you'd like, too. OK... so maybe that is the whole face... whatevs).  
 
**And a bonus tip for my tattooed friends out there - if you have a colored tattoo (especially if its a large one) you may want to skip putting self tanner on that. It can make the colors look brown or dingy. Its a bit of a pain, but going around the tattoo will keep it looking nice and bright!
 
I hope these tips help!!!! Let me know if you try a new self tanner that you LOVE! Or if there is one that you have heard great things about, but would like a review on it, let me know!
 
Good luck with your self tanning, friends!
I hope you have a beautifully bronzed summer.
 
xoxo
~B
 
 
 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette Review

Hi friends!

Have you been hearing all the rave about all those fancy contour palettes out there? I've heard great things about the Anastasia of Beverly Hills Contour Palette and the Kat Von D Contour Palette, but I hadn't heard much about the NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette. 

This palette has been sold out at my local Ulta for a few months now (which is a good sign!), and I finally spotted some in stock the last time I was there. 

I couldn't wait to try it out, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Watch my review below for my thoughts and more details about the palette. 


Hope you enjoy(ed) watching it!

Have a great day guys!
xoxo
~B

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Soft Simple Smokey Eye (Using Drugstore Makeup)

Hi there, friends!

I just posted my first makeup tutorial on YouTube!!!!

I did a soft, simple smokey eye look using drugstore makeup. I used brown shadows for this look, but you can totally switch them up and use grey, purple, burgundy or whatever colors your little heart desires. 

Thanks for watching!!!
Have a wonderful day!!!
~B


Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Ulta Haul

Hi all!
 
So I had been saving up my tip money (I'm a hair stylist), and went to Ulta to get some new makeup products to review and play with. I needed a new Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz eyebrow pencil in Taupe (since I just recently went blonde with my hair and the brow wiz I currently had was Auburn ), and I saw that if you spend $35 on Too Faced products that you would get a FREE sample of their Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (a $12 value)!
 
Take a peek at what I got and if you would like a review on any of the products shown!





Monday, May 18, 2015

How to get FREE makeup from MAC

Many people are unaware that MAC has a recycle program which allows you to earn a free lipstick! Free makeup is always great! (And so is recycling!). Watch the video to learn more! And please subscribe if you would like to see more of my beauty videos!

MAC, Sephora and Ulta Haul

Check out what I got at MAC, Sephora and Ulta

Covergirl Colorlicious Lip Lava Lip Gloss Swatches and First Impression

I tried the fairly new CovergGirl Colorlicious Lip Lava Lip Glosses! Watch the video to see my first impression of them! Please subscribe to see more beauty videos!





Have a wonderful day, all!
Brianne

March Favorites 2015




Here are my favorite products/things from the month of March

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Brow Tips for Beginners



My first beauty-related YouTube video is about EYEBROWS! I LOVE eyebrows. It is said that the eyebrows are "the frame of your face" - so why not give them just a little extra definition, a little extra oomph to really make an impact (even if just a small one) on your look. Watch the video below for some helpful tips to help you achieve a nice, natural looking filled in brow. Please let me know if you would like an actual tutorial on how I fill in my brows. 

Enjoy!



Also, please keep in mind that your eyebrows are sisters, not twins. They do not have to be 100% symmetrical. Don't drive yourself crazy making them absolutely perfect - its not necessary. The average person will not notice if your brows are off a little. And if this is your first time filling in your brows, please don't stress if you don't get it quite right the first time (or the first few times, for that matter). It takes practice to get the hang of!

~B

I'm on YouTube!!!

Guys! I have officially started a YouTube channel!!! Go check it out - you can search for me: Brianne Michelle! I will mostly focus on hair and makeup tutorials. Please subscribe! I am still getting the hang of it (still getting used to filming and editing... and I need to work on my lighting), but its coming along and I hope to get videos out to you regularly (about one video a week, for now). I have already posted several videos on YouTube, so I will do separate blog posts for each of those. 

Just wanted to share the news! I am very excited to finally be doing this - I have been wanting to do makeup tutorials on YouTube for quite some time now!!!

Please let me know what kind of makeup or hair tutorials you would like! Do you want to know how to apply liquid eyeliner? Do you want to know how to do a simple smokey eye look? Want reviews and/or first impressions of specific products? Let me know what you want to see and I will try to do my best to make videos covering those topics.

Thank you so much for your support! I really appreciate it!
Take care!
~B

Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 Erin Condren Life Planner Unboxing

Hi guys! As promised, here is my Erin Condren Life Planner Unboxing video!
(It also happens to be my very first YouTube video!
 
 

 
I will do an updated video to show you how I have utilized and decorated my planner if that's something you would like - please comment below and let me know if that is something you'd be interested in.
 
Again, here is the website where I got this planner:
 
Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you ended up purchasing one of these awesome planners! I can't wait to hear what you guys think of these!
 
I hope you have a wonderful, happy day today!
 
Take care!
Brianne

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Erin Condren 2015 Life Planner

Hi guys! I am SOOOOOOOO excited - I just ordered an Erin Condren Life Planner! For those of you who don't know (and don't worry, I just heard about her a few weeks ago), she has FANTASTIC life planners (calendars), address books, wedding planners, teacher planners, desk pads and weekly schedule pads. And most, if not all, are customizable! All her products are super high quality and are very functional. The planner I ordered comes with extra stickers to help label activities you have going on, and extra note pages in the back of the planner.

For those of you who are office supply junkies, or LOVE organization, you will LOVE these! I cant wait to get mine!

When I receive my planner in the mail I will do an unboxing blog/video for you guys!


See you all later!
B

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weight Watchers: Week 3 Weigh In

Hello!!!!!
  This week I lost a total of 2.8 lbs!!! YAY! That's a great number to see after the .4 lb weight loss last week. That brings my total to 7.8 lbs lost! NOT TOO SHABBY!

  As I mentioned in my last post, I focused on eating more salads for lunches and/or dinners, and I tried to drink more water, and it seems to have helped. I was even able to make a gluten free pizza (using Udi's pizza crust) last week and stayed within my points for the day/week.

  I was only able to get in a little exercise - I went on a mile walk around our neighborhood with my 16 lb baby strapped to me in a front carrier! I hope to do that walk at LEAST once a week. And as I mentioned before - I also need to find a workout that I'd like... like maybe a Zumba DVD.

  How was your week? Let me know how you did!

 I'll leave you with a great quote from my mom this week:
     "Remember, nothing tastes as good as being thin/fit feels!!!"

Have a wonderful week!
~Brianne


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Weight Watchers: Week 2 Weigh In

Hi all! Sorry to post this several days past my weigh in day, but life has been very busy.

As promised, I am here to tell you how my week 2 weigh in went. I lost .4 lbs during week 2. I'll admit, I was a little bummed that I only lost half a pound, but then I quickly realized "Hey, at least I still LOST weight!". I also realized that maybe the food choices I made last week weren't quite the best. My goal this week is to tweak my meal choices and see if it makes a difference.

Last week I made one of my favorite new recipes - Chicken Tortilla Soup (a la the Pioneer Woman). Since the recipe didn't have the nutrition facts included on the website, I had to search the Weight Watchers website for a generic Chicken Tortilla Soup with Cheddar Cheese and Tortilla Strips category, which I found... and that's what I used to count my points each time I ate the soup. Well, I am realizing now that I think the soup that I made was higher in points than what was given to the soup on the WW website. (I also think that I may have used WAY more tortilla strips than what the WW soup used).

So now I need to adjust my meals and snacks and try to eat even healthier.  My answer to that is to eat more salads for my lunches while at work. Most fruits and veggies are zero points, so if I eat a lot of salads with mostly veggies (and even some fruit), then I will be using less points. This week for lunch I have made taco salads (with a little bit of ground turkey with taco seasoning) and a spinach salad with slivered almonds, some goat cheese, and a little chicken for protein. Both salads did a really good job of keeping me full during the rest of my work day.

I am also going to try not to use up all my allowed extra weekly points. Hopefully, changing up some of my meals and trying hard not to use ALL the points allotted to me will help me lose a little more weight. I also need to focus on drinking MORE WATER. I do a pretty good job of it while I am at work, but once I am home, I forget about my water bottle.

Again, I didn't exercise at all last week, and I am realizing that now is the time for me to start doing SOMETHING to exercise. Last night my husband and I took a walk around our neighborhood with Riker (walked about a mile. It was late and cold out... but I'd like to start walking a little farther each time we walk). I also want to find a good workout video or Xbox One game. I tend to like dance based workouts, so I need to look into what they have out there for that. (Although, I would also like to focus on toning up my arms, butt, lets and tummy. Well, EVERYTHING really, ha). Let me know if you have any suggestions for workouts for me!

How did your week go? Did you make healthy choices? Don't forget that you CAN eat a little treat now and then, just limit yourself to how much of it you eat, and how often you eat those kinds of treats. I just ate a few M&M's to satisfy my sweet tooth. But I will make sure to count them toward my points for the day/week.

Keep at it, friends! Keep eating healthy and exercising. Its SO good for you. And you are setting a great example to your friends/children/family. And aren't you PROUD of yourself for wanting to take care of our body, and for actually trying to be healthier!? Doesn't it feel GREAT to see the weight come off, or to feel like your clothes are fitting looser!? I'm proud of you!

Good luck with this week! Please share with me how you are doing... if you are having any struggles. We're in this together!

Have a great rest of your week!!!!
  ~B

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weight Watchers: Week 1 Weigh In

Hello friends!
  So, as promised, I am here to tell you how my first week on Weight Watchers went, and give you my results and tips.

  My weigh in day is Saturday mornings (you only weigh yourself once a week), and after my first weigh in I discovered that I lost 4.8lbs the first week! YAY!!!!! I wasn't sure what to expect - would it be a big number? A SMALL number? But I had to remind myself - any amount lost is still a loss (of fat/weight)... so if it had only been a single pound, or even a few ounces, that's still SOMETHING - And you (us as a whole) should be proud of that!

  I am very happy with that number! And I thought I would give you some insight as to what I ate last week (in case you want some meal ideas). (Please keep in mind that I eat very simple meals. I don't really cook fancy meals. I want quick and easy... and yummy, of course).

  In the mornings, I am always busy taking care of my 4 month old son while trying to get ready for work... so I found that snacking on apple slices and drinking water usually tided me over until I ate a late lunch right before I went to work (I don't start work until about 3pm). I started toasting an english muffin, putting mayo and a little mustard on both halves, and then putting an over-easy egg on each half of the muffin (and eating each side as an open-faced sandwich). If I had an avocado, then I would slice that puppy up and put that on top. I also made Ore Idea Crispy Crown tater tots with it (I know - interesting sounding lunch... but hey! It keeps me full, and it tastes good!). For my meal at work, I would either eat left overs (this week it was salmon and rice with broccoli one day, and pizza another day) or I would make a peanut butter sandwich, as well as bring carrot sticks and an apple (which are both zero points!). I kept a low fat Yoplait yogurt in my lunch in case I got really hungry and needed it (only 2 points) but I never did. Sometimes I'd start by only eating half of the sandwich, then switch to the fruit and veggies and see if that would tide me over until I got home (because peanut butter sandwiches are kinda high in points). Sometimes all I'd need is that half of a sandwich (and if that was the case, then I would eat the other half when I got home as my dinner (I get home late at night so we don't have a lot of family dinners in the evenings during the week) so the half of a sandwich is handy to have). But sometimes I needed to eat the other half while at work... and that was totally fine.... it just limited what I could eat when I got home from work - because I will have eaten more points). Those were my usual meals that week. I also ate sushi one night (YUM!) and found that Jimmy John's lettuce wrapped sandwiches (called an "Unwich") was low in points!
  PS: Remember how I said that I felt hungry ALL THE TIME when I first started? Well, don't worry, that went away once I found which foods kept me fuller longer.

  Tips:
  ~ Drink a lot of water. Its super good for you! And most other drinks are surprisingly high in points. Plus, sometimes when you are dehydrated you feel hungry. Drinking water will help keep you from feeling hungry when you aren't really needing to eat again.
  ~ Limit your carb, sugar and starch intake - those foods are high in points.
  ~ Weigh yourself from the same scale each time. Only weigh yourself ONCE a week (or you could become too obsessed with the number on the scale - especially if you see it rise at any point). And make sure its around the same time of day. I weigh myself in the morning before I've eaten, right before I get in the shower (meaning strip down, people!!!! Different kinds of clothing weigh different amounts. You don't want that altering your weigh in amount each week because one time you were naked, but another time you had your pjs on, or another time you were layered in a ton of clothes).
  ~ You can totally eat that brownie, or piece of cake or slice of pizza... you just have to have a smaller amount than you probably want. But after a while, that's all you'll need to satisfy that craving.
  ~  Track EVERYTHING that you eat. And if you aren't quite sure of the point value, record it at a higher point value, just to be safe.
  ~If you know there will be a day or time during your week where you will want to splurge with your food choices, just save up your extra weekly points that you are given and use those! Just try REALLY hard not to go over them.
  ~ Just keep going! Don't give up! Sometimes you will hit a plateau, where you will not lose any weight... or you may gain a little. DON'T LET THAT DISCOURAGE YOU! Its totally normal for your body to hit a plateau. But if you keep at it, I promise that you will eventually start losing again. (This happened to me the first time I did WW... but I didn't give up, no matter how frustrated I was. It took a few weeks, but the weight started dropping off again.)
 
  This program isn't a diet for me. Its more of a lifestyle change. It helps me to learn the correct portion sizes, and shows me I can eat that cookie... just maybe not have four of them at one time. It keeps me from over-doing it on carbs (which are my favorite kinds of foods... and I would LOVE to pig out on those foods all day long). And because you are eating healthier, you body starts to crave the bad foods less and less, which is nice.

  Also, I wanted to mention that I did not work out at all this last week. I do move a lot at work, but I did not exercise (Although I plan to start exercising again soon).

  I hope that this information helps or inspires you. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have - I will try my best to help you or give you more insight.

  Please keep at it friends! You can do this! We can do this together! Be proud of yourself for wanting to be healthier and for actually DOING something to help yourself! It may be hard and slow at first, but it will get easier if you keep at it.

  I'M PROUD OF YOU!!!!! You are doing a GREAT job! Keep it up!

 Much love,
    Brianne
 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I started Weight Watchers!

  Hi friends! As the new year approached, I was noticing how uncomfortable I felt with my own body. I had only lost half of the baby weight I gained (which is totally normal, I know), and was also starting to gain weight slowly because I was in the habit of eating a little more than I should (due to having been pregnant, then breastfeeding, and also because while pregnant I was able to eat some of the foods I used to have allergies/sensitivities to. One of those things is gluten. So now I am eating cereal and bread and pasta (all the things I love), when I haven't eaten any of those carbs in three years.).

  About 3.5 years ago, I went on Weight Watchers after I had gained about 40lbs after I got married. I remember it working very well (I lost 35lbs with WW,  and then lost an additional 15-20lbs after I cut out gluten and most dairy). So I made the decision to start on WW again to help me lose the rest of the baby weight, and to help me with eating correct portions and more balanced meals.

  I started WW on Saturday, January 3rd. Aaaaannnnnd I forgot how challenging it can be in the first few weeks. Ive felt hungry pretty much constantly since I started (its only been 4 days). But once my stomach shrinks, and I find the right combo of foods to eat to keep me full, while staying within my allotted points for the day, I think I'll be just fine.

  My weigh in days are Saturday mornings. I'll keep you posted on how everything goes!

  I know a lot of people start their weight loss journeys at the beginning of the new year, so I decided to share mine with you to hopefully help support and encourage you. Lets do this together! Please share your plans and goals!

With love,
  Brianne

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Holiday Traditions

Hi friends!
As I was writing a post the other day about the day after Thanksgiving, I mentioned something about a Christmas traditions of ours and thought I would write a short post about our holiday traditions!

My husband is big on us having family traditions, especially during the holidays, so that we can build special memories for our family. We started most of these traditions before we had Riker, and I am sure that we will start some new ones as he gets a little older.

HOT CHOCOLATE
We LOVE hot chocolate, and definitely drink more of it during the holidays. We even make a special item to go with the hot chocolate that will lead me to our next tradition....
(But first, here is a little fun fact - did you know that there is a difference between hot chocolate and cocoa?! Hot chocolate is made with milk and hot cocoa is made with water!)


HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS
Every Christmas I make homemade marshmallows to go in my hot chocolate. Its just something extra special to have during the holidays. Its very easy to make homemade marshmallows, and they are SO good. I use Martha Stewart's recipe. She has several different recipes, but this is the one I follow: Homemade Marshmallow Recipe. Sometimes I use cookie cutters to cut out the marshmallows and sometimes I just cut them into different sized squares. Helpful hint: if you want to use cookie cutters, don't use ones that are too small or intricate - it will be too hard to get them out of the cookie cutter. 


COCA COLA IN GLASS BOTTLES
The weekend after Thanksgiving we will go to Costco and get a case of Coca Cola in glass bottles. It always tastes so much better than canned Coke! I don't know if its because they have festive Christmas Coca Cola commercials, or what, but it has become tradition that we have Coke from a bottle at the holidays. This is the only time we buy them, and we try not to keep soda around the house that much the rest of the year.


PUTTING UP OUR CHRISTMAS TREE THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
My husband and I LOVE Christmas time. We love all the decorations, the music and the feel of the holiday spirit. So, because of these things, we want to have our Christmas tree up for as long as possible. We cut down our tree the morning after Thanksgiving and place it in the tree stand when we get home. We wait until that evening to decorate the tree (because we are always gone in the early afternoon-evening). We will put on Christmas music, sip some hot chocolate or coca cola and decorate away!


 CHILI AT MY AUNT JANN AND UNCLE DENNIS' HOUSE THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING
After we cut down our tree and get it into the tree stand at home, we run off to my aunt and uncles house for some of her homemade chili and cornbread. Its the best!!! We love visiting with them and oftentimes will put up her Christmas decorations for her too!


YUMMY CHRISTMAS TREATS
Ok, so this is the first time I have made ONE of these treats, but it will definitely not be the last! We plan on making both these treats every year on Christmas Eve Eve. Treat number one is something I have made before, and my husband calls it Chex Mess. Its a recipe I found on Pinterest and each time I have made it, its been a BIG HIT! Its made with Chocolate Chex cereal, chocolate, caramel, mini Reece's candies and a few other scrumptious things. I have a blog post with the recipe HERE.

The other treat is a delicious and simple cookie. Its so simple there are only three ingredients: Ritz crackers, Chocolate Almond Bark (Or Chocolate Melties) and peppermint candies (or candy canes). It sounds weird but they are SOOOOO good! They are actually quite addicting. My husband was raving about these cookies his coworker makes and we had a cookie baking party at her house and I was able to see how she made them AND taste them. It was love at first taste! Haha. They are so good. She also does a version of these with salted carmel between two Ritz crackers that are covered in chocolate (no peppermint pieces on top). And another friend of mine makes these with peanut butter in the middle (without the peppermint pieces on top). Trust me, they are SO good and SO simple. GIVE 'EM A TRY!


Those are our main traditions so far. I am sure that as our son gets older, we will start new traditions with him.

What are some of your traditions?

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!
~Brianne