Cleaning Up After Christmas and A New Giveaway!

I woke up early this morning to see my family load up and head back to Texas. After watching them take off down the street I turned around and walked back into my house where the holiday decorations no longer looked festive. It looked like a prom queen the morning after prom. What was once appropriately decorated now looked hung over and tacky.


My house was definitely suffering from a holiday hangover. As my head pounded from the remnants of a sugar overload I felt it was only appropriate to take down all of the decorations and clean the house. A new season is upon us… the season for starting fresh.

It’s funny how different the ritual of taking down the decorations is compared to the ritual of putting them up. Everyone had mysteriously disappeared and I found myself alone to ponder upon the ornaments as I prepared them for their journey to the shed.

As I put away my tacky ornaments I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother and her tiny artificial tree. She never bothered to take the lights off of the tree from year to year. Not even when they stopped flickering and died. She simply wrapped more lights around it. As the years wore on the tree no longer resembled a tree but had become a massive ball of lights. I thought it was amazing.


Everything about Christmas at my grandmother’s house was glittery and bright and downright gaudy. To this day when I buy decorations I opt for the most hideous, sparkly objects I can find because it makes me feel like that little kid pulling into the driveway of her grandparents house to see the majesty of lights lined with foil flowers piled in the bushes.

tackydecorationsI had never seen anything like it until I found this tacky tree topper at Target.

When I was a kid the thought of having to take all of the Christmas stuff down made me sad but now as an adult I look forward to taking the lights down. It symbolizes the changing of seasons… a fresh start.

There’s just something about my psyche that needs a clean slate every now and then. I don’t simply settle for one fresh start a year because I have a tendency to screw up… a lot. Instead of beating myself up about it I select certain times of the year that I can sort of have a “do over”. Even if things are going great and I don’t need it it’s always a good reminder that any day you wake up can be the beginning to something great.

My designated “do over” days are the first day of school, daylight Savings time (both of them), the first day of summer, and of course New Year’s Day. This year, the new year is a big deal because my life is going to change pretty drastically starting on January 6th. My time as a stay-at-home mom will be over as I complete my master’s degree in education. I will be working full time without the benefit of a pay check as I do student teaching. Penelope will be going to day care and I’m going to have to stretch my self discipline muscles in order to fit in budgeting, working out, cooking healthy meals, spending quality time with my family and writing this blog.

It’ll be a challenge but I’m looking  forward to it. I’m one of those people who thrives off of pressure (even though I kind of hate it).

This means the layout of my blog is going to change a bit. I’ll no longer do weigh-in’s on Friday but will instead weigh in on Sunday. During those posts I’ll share with you what meals I plan on making, how I plan on prepping ahead of time and the workouts that I will be doing during the week. In other words I will be a lot more organized.

I’m not waiting for the official New Year in order to get started, I’m starting today. Our diets have been horrible the past few weeks as we celebrated the holidays so we definitely need to clean up what we’re eating. While I go through this sugar detox I’ll probably have a few false starts. (I’ve learned to accept that screwing up is a part of this weight loss process.) I just kind of want to get the whole screwing up part out of the way before things get crazy. Let’s just consider this week a dress rehearsal.

That being said, I have another giveaway from ZHENA’S Extra Strength Slim Me Tea.



I just want to lay it out there that I get offers all of the time to push products and 9 times out of 10 I decline because frankly I hate marketing. (This makes me a very ineffective blogger.) I write this blog to connect with people not to sell them stuff. However, when I stumble upon a product that I think will benefit you guys that’s when I agree to do product reviews and giveaways.

This tea isn’t a magic potion that will automatically make you skinny but it will give you a boost in the weight loss department to help aid your efforts. I like it because you don’t even have to brew it. You just pop the little tea pouch in your water bottle and it makes your water taste yummy. My favorite flavor is the peach vanilla.


(I was going to take a fancy picture of my tea along with the tea pouch but then I started drinking it while I wrote this blog post.)

The Plan


How It Works


***To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this blog post that includes a first name with a last name initial. For an additional chance to win post a comment on the wall of my Facebook page. I will announce the winner on the next blog post and on my Facebook page. At that time I will ask you to email me at with your address so that I can arrange to have it shipped to you***

16 thoughts on “Cleaning Up After Christmas and A New Giveaway!

  1. I agree with what you said : (I’ve learned to accept that screwing up is a part of this weight loss process.) Two years ago my BFF and I started a diet. Two of us screwed up .

    • The biggest mistake I used to make with this whole healthy lifestyle thing was that I always thought I either needed to go big or go him… they always ended with me going home with my head hanging low in defeat simply because I ate a cracker while I was supposed to be on a low carb diet. If you accept that you are going to screw up it’s easier to carry on with your ambitions for bettering yourself. P.S. I love it when you chime in 😉

  2. I’m a little wary of diet “helpers” because it’s seems so easy to just rely on them, alone. Plus they almost always taste like poop. But if you say these teas are yummy, I could use the boost post-holiday… ok, here goes. Ashley R.

  3. I love fresh starts! And having a yummy flavored tea that also has an added benefit is a nice bonus when trying to eat healthy.
    Kari T.

  4. I love tea but slim down teas usually taste so gross. I’m glad to hear there’s one out there that tastes good! Amber R.

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