Friday, March 29, 2013

Do you know Him?

I haven't been blogging that much this week, I've been doing a lot of reflecting and prayer in my personal time and although I usually I post a link up on Fridays, I'm not going to this week.

However, because this Friday is "Good Friday", which should really be "Great-super-amazing-fantastic Friday". I wanted to keep my own words to a minimum. I feel that sometimes the best kind of worship is in the still, in the quiet, and sometimes just listening to the quiet voice of the Lord.

So, instead I am posting two videos that I believe are worth watching today.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

8 months old already!



My Little one just turned 8 months this last weekend! I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone by and now she's already crawling like a pro! Pretty soon she'll be walking and talking!
And because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want ;) I'm photo-bombing it with pictures of LO from birth until now! Enjoy! 


At the Hospital
1 month old
2 months


3 months old - smiling!

4 months 
5 months

6 months!



7months- on the go!!


8 months! On the Go and I can't keep up!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Poshmark - have you tried it? And shopping credit!

Have you tried shopping/selling your fashions on Poshmark?

I just joined!!

I'm giving it a go- because I never have any luck on Ebay. I think it's over saturated. But that's just my two-cents! I like how PoshMark is geared towards fellow fashionista's!

I've just listed my first few items - get them before they are gone! ;)

*Here's a sneak peak*






They'll be much more to come!

Need a little cash to start shopping?

Come check out my closet (@mcarter1015) and see what I'm selling next and sign up with the iphone app with the code (HSQAF) to get started with a free $5 shopping credit. Free money to shop?
Yes, Please!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lots of Love Link Up #7



This week our Co - Host is Bekah from Resolve

Be sure to check out her blog and let her know your visiting from "Lots of Love"!


Resolve



Link up below and be sure to grab a button located on the side bar!


Revolt week 3 - Results Post. The scale doesn't tell the WHOLE truth!

Well, it's times like this I'm glad Revolt doesn't just go by the numbers on the scale, because this morning I weighed exactly the same as last week!

HOWEVER!

When I did my caliper and tape measurements I was super happy!

This week I lost 2 more inches over all for a total of 9 inches so far! Who-hoo!
and I lost another 1% of my total body fat for a loss of 1.7 pounds of fat this week!

So, why didn't it show that on the scale? Because I've been packing on the lean muscle too! What I lost on the scale in fat, I also gained in lean muscle mass.

I replaced the yucky yellow "fat" with the lean mass. Notice the size difference too? That's why it's important to take your measurements! Fat takes up so much more space than lean muscle. That's why I weighed in the same this week but still lost another 2 inches!

google images



Some of you may think, "well I don't want to gain more lean mass, just lose the fat!" But as Nichole will tell you, you don't want to be "skinny fat" adding lean mass sculpts your body, and each pound of muscle gained also helps you burn more calories. So the more lean mass you have, the more fat you are burning!

Talk about win-win! :)

Keep coming back each week as I log in my up's and down's of my Revolt Fitness Challenge!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Sweet Mission - Cookie Fundraiser


My favorite food blog, My Sweet Mission, is having a Cookie Fundraiser
Can you say, "Yummy!?"



Heather and her Husband are planning on going to Thailand this summer. While they are there, their team will help educate and tutor children and university students, help with construction projects and most importantly bringing the Gospel to those who need it!

You can help them raise money by buying a box of Heather's amazing cookies!

Have you had them yet?
Do yourself a favor and order a box or two.. or 5! They are SO GOOD! We ordered ourselves the biggest box!

Check out her blog to place your order and for more info about Touching Thailand 

http://www.my-sweet-mission.com/2013/03/cookie-fundraiser-thailand-mission-trip.html


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Revolt Fitness (with Larry King) Twitter Party and Giveaways!

Revolt Fitness and Larry King Twitter Party!  




Use Twitter Hashtag:  #revoltnowfit 
March 19th at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern.

Who is ready for a fantastic online Twitter Party!  Join us Today at 6pm Pacific for a really fun time.  We have THE media legend Larry King as our guest and in addition to Revolt we will also be promoting Larry's Ora.Tv.  This is a Revolt sponsored event, WITH Larry King as our guest and Ora.tv.  
Fabulous Prizes!  Joovy Zoom Jogging Stroller, $100 Amazon gift card from Linky Tools, $100 Visa gift card from Revolt, $100 to spend at Albion Fit, kettle bells, stability ball, and more!

RSVP below with your Twitter handle to be

entered to win one of the great prizes.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Do you rent your text books?

*This Post is Sponsored by CampusBookRentals.com*

Do you rent your text books?
All I can say is, I wish there was an amazing program like this when I was in college!

Every semester I would cringe at the thought of how much money I would be shelling out for books. Some I didn't mind buying if it had to do with my major, but by the time I left the campus bookstore my wallet was easily $500 dollars lighter every semester!

That's the nice thing about CampusBookRentals.com. You can rent your books instead of buying them, putting more money in your pocket! Yes, please!

You can save 40-90% off the bookstore prices. Plus, they donate to Operation Smile with each textbook that is rented. Save some money, do some good. Win-win!

The website makes it super easy to find the books you need and they offer free shipping to get the books to you. More savings!

Once you get your books you're even allowed to highlight in the books just as if it were your own, and if you need them longer CampusBookRentals.com allows a 15 day grace period or you can extend your rental period even longer online, if needed.

When you are done using the books just send them back in the pre-paid shipping that is provided with the books. So easy and that's free shipping both ways!

Already own your books and tired of being robbed blind at the sell back at the end of the semester?
CampusBookRentals has an amazing program for that too, Rentback!
A great way to make money with your books!



Want to find out more?

Check out http://www.rentback.com and http://www.campusbookrentals.com

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lots of Love Link Up #6




Lots of Love Link Up
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.littlehomesandbighearts.com" title="Lots of Love Link Up "><img src="http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o547/michellecarter1015/Lotsoflove_final200_zpsa8f34735.jpg" alt="Lots of Love Link Up " style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Revolt Fitness Week 2 - Results post and food prep

Rounding out my second week on revolt I am super excited about the results! I've been super good about following the meal plan and getting in my workouts- even with a sick/teething baby!

I am down:

-2 lbs this week! For total loss of 2.13% of body fat! who-hoo!
And since I started 2 weeks ago I've lost -7" overall (-1.5" this week)

One thing I love about Revolt is the way the meal plan is structured. For each week you eat the same meals everyday for one week. At first, you're kinda like, "wait, what the what?" But after doing it for 2 weeks now. I can honestly say, I'm a fan!

Because my husband and I are doing this together, there is a little extra math up front to figure out exactly how many ounces of chicken, steak, etc. I need to buy. It's not too bad to calc out, but it's so worth it because we are sticking to a budget in our family, so I like to know exactly how much I need to buy. This plan makes it foul-proof.

Next food prep!

Our fridge looks crazy stocked with protein at the beginning of the week!
(Can you say, EGGS! EGGS!! EGGS!!!?)


One of the suggestions is to precook all of the food, measure out in separate storage containers, freeze and reheat for each meal. We did do this for lunch and breakfast. However, when my husband heard I was going to precook his steak he was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa...slow down there!!" He insists his steak be cooked fresh each night for dinner. So HE came up with a brilliant idea!

We cut up and measure out our steak for the week. I get 4 oz, he gets 6 oz. and using small sandwich bags we portion out each daily amount into separate bags and add a little marinade in each bag. So, the night before we take it out of the freezer and move to the fridge to de-thaw for supper. Then throw it on the George Foreman Grill and we are good to go! It's so easy! And I have to admit, so much better eating it cooked fresh each night too :)

What a smarty-pants!

This is also a great idea for those who buy meat in bulk to save money. Cut up and portion out your meat when you first buy it and then add it to the freezer.


Baggies of red meat labeled with their weight on the bag. 

Be sure to check in every week to see what is happening with Revolt Fitness and hopefully my ever-so shrinking body! 


*As a revolt fitness blogger I am allowed free access to the program 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Easter Desserts Ideas



I must be a glutton for punishment to post all these delicious desserts while I'm doing the Revolt Fitness Program, but these Easter Ideas are just too cute and look Oh-so-delicious!!!

*click the photo for the links*



    
         






  


What Desserts are you making this Easter??

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Revolt Now Weekly Link Up

Revoltlinkup


This is a link up of all of our wonderful REVOLT bloggers to share their stories! I encourage you to follow me, Jill at Favor the Brave, your co-hosts, and as many other bloggers as you can as we share our journeys.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blog Pals Snail Mail Program



Introducing: Blog Pals Snail Mail Program!
Hosted By: 

 



Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail other than junk mail or bills? I love getting emails and utilizing all the great technology we have, but sometimes getting a sweet, handwritten note in my mailbox just makes my day! And it makes me feel just a tad less embarrassed about “stalking” my mail lady everyday just waiting to see if she puts anything in my mailbox. Through our Blog Pals Snail Mail Program, you can look forward to receiving a sweet, encouraging note in your mailbox from a “secret” blog pal!

* You don’t have to be a blogger – anyone can sign up for this!


*Once you sign up, you’ll be assigned to a group of three pals and each month you will send and receive one letter to/from your assigned person that month. Think of it like a triangle:






*You’ll be in that same group for 4 months…that way you’ll have a chance to write back to each other so it’s actually a “blog pal” shebang and not just a one-time note.  Don’t worry about the logistics – that’s what we’re here for! We’ll send you an email telling you who to write to/give you their address for each month. Super simple. 
      
      *At the end of the four months, we’ll host another sign up so you can be assigned to a new group to make more friends! Of course, you’re free to continue writing to your original group – it’s about making friends not just getting mail.
      
      *You can send a letter, card, post card, or whatever you want to the person…as long as it’s mail!
Note: this is not a “send a gift” program, but you are more than happy to send an additional little something sweet to your friend – it would be a great surprise, but it’s not required.
         
      *This is open to international bloggers as well! 
            
      *To make sure that everyone receives their mail in a timely manner, we ask that the mail be sent by the 20th of each month
       
      *We ask that if you are a blogger, you dedicate a short post each month to telling about the mail you sent/received. Pictures encouraged! If you are not a blogger, you can send us an email telling us about it and we’ll post it on your behalf! We’ll have a link-up each month so you can see others mail stories! We’ll send out an email each month (or you can follow us so you can see for yourself!) when the link-up is live!

      That’s it, folks! I hope all of this made sense – if not, don’t hesitate to ask a question! It’s our first time organizing a shebang like this so be patient with us!

      If you’re totally stoked about this (like we are!), just click here to fill out the sign-up form! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email us at: blogsnailmail@gmail.com
  
      And that’s it! The deadline for signing up for this first round of blog pal assignments is March 14th, 2013.  Click the image below to fill out the sign-up form.


While you’re eagerly awaiting your blog pal assignments, please consider grabbing our Blog Pals button to put on your sidebar (and even do a blog post) to tell others about this fun project and have them hopefully join in!

The more the merrier!!!

Lot's of Love Link Up #5

This week our Co-Host is Heather from "My Sweet Mission


Inline image 1

Meet "My Sweet Mission": 

"Hello my name is Heather and I have a blog called "My Sweet Mission". Two of my passions are baking and missions and that's how I came up with 'My Sweet Mission'. Here you'll find delicious recipes, beautiful decorating & gift ideas, ways to help people in need & much more. 

My husband & I have an awesome opportunity to go to Bangkok, Thailand  this June to serve the children in the slums of Bangkok. Please check out our trip, pray for our team and any donation you can give will be greatly appreciated! I believe each of us can make a difference! 
Thank you, Heather"

Be sure to check out her Blog, it's full of amazing delicious recipes, and send her "Lots of Love!"

Be sure to grab a button so you remember to link up every Friday!


Lots of Love Link Up
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.littlehomesandbighearts.com" title="Lots of Love Link Up "><img src="http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o547/michellecarter1015/Lotsoflove_final200_zpsa8f34735.jpg" alt="Lots of Love Link Up " style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Revolt Fitness Week 1

A month and a half ago or so, I posted my abs that had gone missing and the beginning of my fitness journey post baby. Since them I have had some ups and downs, but have slowly but surely making progress, feeling stronger eating healthier. But I still felt I needed more...

Then a few weeks ago, I was approached to join the "Revolt Now Fitness" 12 week challenge with other bloggers right after I heard about my dad being diagnosed with cancer.

I felt that it couldn't have come at a better time in my life. Realizing that although I was eating much healthier than before, I still needed to kick things up another level and shed the baby weight. I've been carrying around all this extra "maternal fat stores" as they so kindly call it when you get pregnant. But now my little one is out and no longer in! So buh bye to that!

I was especially intrigued by "Revolt Now Fitness" because it was created by Nicole Huntsman, a fellow mother of four, who had been through the struggles with the ups and downs of gaining baby weight. If she can, then I can!

I know that this is going to be a journey, but "Revolt Now Fitness" is developed to bring you all the tools you need to get healthy, realistic results and not just shed the numbers, but increase your lean, fat burning mass!

Yes, please!

I'm excited to be joining with other bloggers along in this journey. I've even recruited my husband to eat right with me (though he's fit as a fiddle already). He's so supportive!

We kicked off this monday and so far, so good! We are taking it one day at a time! I'll be sharing more about Revolt and my journey along the way!

So, join me in the next 12 weeks as rise up against the dreaded "before" picture!







Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Muse Concert Recap and Flashback!






Last night the hubs and I got to go see Muse perform in Chicago. It was his first time going and my 4th time going to see them. (Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Chicago again!) I was super excited, he had bought me tickets months ago for my birthday and we really haven't gone out much as of late. Actually, it's been far too long since we've been out without the baby, but with everything that has been happening we haven't really thought about it. So we kissed the little one goodnight and left her in good hands and headed out to the concert.

Muse Chicago 2013



Muse Chicago 2010


I should probably tell you I'm a huge Muse fan. To the point of where there was a time me and my youngest brother would hang out for hours and play their music, over and over. And by play I mean, him playing the bass parts perfectly and me "learning the guitar parts not so perfectly". Sadly I haven't been playing the guitar as much as I used to or would like. It got hard with a large pregnant belly and now I don't think a loud amp around my 7 month old is a good idea. So we listen to the songs on m iPod. Besides that, someone still owes me some guitar strings. *ahem-ahem*

Anyways, while were rocking out at the concert and I got to thinking about how much has changed since the first time I got to see Muse perform back in March 2010.

View at Muse Chicago 2010

For starters my seats were no longer the front row pressed up against the guard rails! (Like my brother and his friends last night)

View at Muse Chicago 2013
I've moved to tamer more assigned seats. Primarily because I couldn't wait outside in line for 8 hours like I could when I was single. Secondly my husband hates people mashing around him. Drives him crazy!


Then I realized how much my life would change in just a few short months after that first concert. I met my husband! Over a year later we were married and then a year after that we had a baby and now here we are!

It made me realize how much of an amazing whirlwind these last few years really have been.

They have been amazing and life changing and I wouldn't trade a second of it for the world.

I guess it's just cool to look back at a point in your life and realize where you were and how far you have come.

Who knew you could get so introspective at a rock concert!?!?




Q: if you're a Muse fan, share your favorite song in the comments! And if your ever seen them live!

Muse Chicago 2010

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The "C" Word...

Cancer.

A word no one wants to hear.

About a month ago my dad got a call from his physician regarding his last physical, there were a few red flags that concerned him and wanted my dad to go get a colonoscopy. We were all hoping that it wouldn't be anything serious and none of us wanted to even utter the possibility of the "C" word.

On February 15th, my parents went to the doctor to get my dad checked out. I was sending my mom lots of baby pictures to cheer her up while she waited. We were all nervously awaiting to hear good news. Unfortunately, thats not what we heard that day.

"The doctor's found something" my mom texted me and my brothers.

They found a large mass in my dad's colon that would need to be removed surgically and part of his colon, they didn't know if it had spread yet. We were all shocked and in disbelief, I could hardly imagine what my mom was thinking. All I could do was breakdown in tears and pray. My little one was in my arms, looking at me curiously as to why I was sobbing.

In a situation like this, immediately your mind begins to race with negative thoughts; you assume the worst, you question God, you try to understand why. I pleaded with God not to take my father from me, it's too soon I cried.

I texted my husband at work and he called me immediately. I have to take pause and say how much I love that man. He was truly God's design for me. I say that because in moments like this, he knows exactly what to say and his word's are always biblically sound.

He told me not to worry and to not let satan be the victor here with my negative thoughts. My husband knows me all too well. He reminded me that we need to take every thought captive and to trust God. He doesn't give us a spirit of fear, but he is peace. (2 Timothy 1:7 and 2 Corinthians 10:5) I was immediately reminded of God's truth and God's promises for our lives and pulled out of my negative downward spiral. I quickly passed along my encouragement to my family and prayed that day. I knew that God would have to perform a miracle here. I knew that if we all had faith God could and would show up. I was reminded that all who came to Jesus to be healed and had faith, were indeed healed. By the blood of Jesus we are healed, healthy and whole. We no longer have to be bound by the curses of our flesh, through his blood we are redeemed.

The following week my dad was scheduled to have his surgery and have the cancer removed along with 18" of his large intestine. They were going to check all his lymph nodes and make sure that the cancer had not begun to spread.

My husband was able to take off work that day and we all got up early and drove to the hospital to be with my dad and wait with my mom during the surgery.

We had many prayer warriors praying for my father that day. We all prayed that the doctor's would remove the cancer and that he would be healed that day and that there would be no more. That the cancer would not have spread to any other part of his body and that he would be completely restored and healed.

As we prayed I kept having visions of angels watching over my father in the operating room, I knew that he was in the hands of the ultimate Physician of all. I could see an angel holding a gold platter, with a brand new colon, one that was cancer-free. One that was perfect. "Lord, we believe and we receive your healing." I was filled with peace. A peace that I know was not of this world, because I am a natural worrier!

We waited several hours with my mom until we got the call from the nurse to come back and wait for the doctor. I went back with my mom to the "consultation room" to wait for the news of the surgery. You know the room, small private room, with a couch and a few chairs and probably a box of tissue in the corner.

"I don't like this room," she told me nervously "It's the bad news room."

"No, it's not," I replied "It's just the information room."

We held hands and a waited for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only 5 minutes. The doctor came in quickly and announced that everything had gone perfectly, but the only thing was that the cancer was much larger than they thought. *cue gasp* However, that it didn't necessarily mean anything. They were going to test the lymph nodes and let us know the results in a few days.

We were so relieved to hear the good news of the surgery! We hurried back to send out the updates to everyone and then waited a little longer to go see my dad. He was very out of it, so our visit was brief so he could rest and sleep.

The following day my little one got sick, so I was no longer able to go up to the hospital for fear of getting my dad sick and her sicker. So that was hard, but I kept in touch with my family daily via Face Time and lots of phone calls. We all were impatiently waiting on the doctor for good test results.

"We believe and we receive your healing, Lord" I continued to pray.

Finally, Friday rolled around. It had been officially two weeks since we found out my dad had cancer. Two very long weeks of wrestling with sadness, the unknown and struggling to have faith in God's healing power.

The doctor's came back with a positive report; all the lymph nodes were clear of cancer! As large as the tumor was, it had miraculously not spread! Praise God! My dad was cancer-free! He not only was healed but continued to have a speedy recovery and was discharged from the hospital the next day!

Now he is at home, continuing to rest and feel better everyday. I can not express enough how truly thankful I am to the Lord for healing my father, for giving wisdom and knowledge to his doctors. I know that God performed a miracle that day.
His word is truth, his word is love and by his blood we are redeemed.

Thank you Father, for healing my father.


My dad and I on my wedding day - walking me down the aisle




Friday, March 1, 2013

Lots of Love Link up #4


This week our Co-Host is "Simply Similing...Everyday"



Meet LA From Simply Smiling: 


"My name is LA and my blog is Simply Smiling...Everyday!  I have a lot
to smile about! I have been blessed with all of the necessities of

life...and then some! While I am appreciative for all that I have, I

feel that it is necessary for me to make a conscious effort to share
those blessings. I have a lot of work to be done...as I strive to
declutter my mind, body, and home to not only enrich my life, but that
of others as well"


Be sure to check out her blog and Let her know you visited from Lots of Love! 





Lots of Love Link Up
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.littlehomesandbighearts.com" title="Lots of Love Link Up "><img src="http://i1147.photobucket.com/albums/o547/michellecarter1015/Lotsoflove_final200_zpsa8f34735.jpg" alt="Lots of Love Link Up " style="border:none;" /></a></div>