Monday, July 29, 2013

Healthy Monday | From Heather

Happy healthy month level and lace readers!

It is Heather from Honee Bee with Healthy Monday!

Today I am going to be talking about walking and how to incorporate it into your lifestyle. Though I am really enjoying working out, and do it fairly frequently ,the more I read about health and the lifestyle of other countries, the more I realize that I (and the majority of Americans) do not move half as much as the rest of the world. We get into our cars, drive to work, park in ramps that are steps away, and sit at a desk all day. (and then we wonder why our country struggles with obesity). Then we go to the gym, slave away for an hour, and then go home and sit on the couch.  Our mobility is so low that though we have worked out, we still aren't moving as much as we were designed to do. hence, weight gain. 

However- this could all be solved by simply increasing how much we walk. Just walking!

The average american walks 2,000 steps a day, while researchers show that europeans walk 10,000 steps a day. That is five times more then us americans, and they their obesity rate is SIGNIFICANTLY lower then ours. and they don't even go to the gym! Amazing I tell ya. 

So with that. I have decided to do a walking challenge. I have found a few fun pedometer apps (the one I use is called "moves"- warning it totally sucks your battery life!) on my phone so I can keep track of how much I am going to be moving and am going to be trying to reach the 10,000 step mark every day. I started this a few weeks ago and have been playing with the apps and found that they don't always record very accurately/turn off sometimes.  But it is still the right intention and is one way I remind myself to get out and walk some more! Everyday I make my husband go on a short walk after dinner. He works at an office all day and I know that by doing this I am forcing both of us to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

The last few weeks I have been doing trial runs seeing how many steps I am taking on a daily basis and I have found that I average 4,000-5,000. so I am only halfway to the what health professionals recommend. Yikes! With this... come the 10,000/day challenge! Because I am BIG into setting reasonable goals I am going to try walk 10,000 steps a day at least three times a week.  By forcing myself to move more, I reap the benefits and really do not have to "work" that much more to achieve a healthier lifestyle! So who is with me? Let's all walk it out!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baby times 2

I have about 6 billion picture from the baby shower on Sunday. Ok, maybe just 900. These are just a few of the ones I liked the best. Taking pictures at parties is definitely a learning curve for me. So many of them came out just a tiny bit blurry. Eek. Practice makes perfect I suppose.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Babies in bow ties

On Sunday I went to a baby shower for two of Alex's cousins. They are sisters and one is having a boy and the other a girl. How adorable, right?

If you know me at all you know that I love making handmade gifts. If it isn't hand made I just don't feel like I've actually given anything at all. I'm a gift giver. It's my love language. So when it came to making something for the little babes I had the perfect idea.

The first set of clothes I've ever made go to baby Scarlett and baby Judah. (How cute are those names??) Hopefully they can't tell that I am an amateur sewer.

They also asked me to take some pictures at the shower so I'll be back tomorrow to share those!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Healthy Monday | Acceptance

The most important part of eating good and exercising is being healthy, right? Then why is our focus always on how much weight we have lost? Or how many inches? Or how skinny we want to be? Is it just me who feels this way?

In this world it is so easy to see someone with a skinnier body, whether it is in magazines or in person, and feel those pangs of jealousy. Why can't my body look like their body? I am no exception to this. You would cringe if you knew how many times I have told my husband I looked fat, I feel fat, I need to lose weight, or just flat out changed my outfit because I didn't like the way my arms looked.

I can look back on periods of time when my body was at its prime. I was fit, I was lean, I was healthy. But every time I look back all I can remember was thinking, "I need to be skinner." If only I lost 5 more pounds, 10 more pounds, I would look the way I wanted to. I never got to a place where I felt like I just needed to maintain. And that is probably why I have never met any of my exercise goals. I would get to a place where I felt better, healthier, happier, and I would fall off the wagon. I would lose site of what I truly wanted to accomplish.

For the past 5 years I have been saying I want to run a marathon or, at the very least, a half marathon. That is a goal I have yet to accomplish. 

Over time I have learned that the healthiest thing I can do for my body is accept it the way it is. Love my body. Appreciate how intricate and amazing God has made it. And for goodness sakes, stop focusing on making it skinnier and start focusing and making it healthier!

My personal challenge this summer is to appreciate the body I have and stop focusing on the body I want! I think it will make my life a lot more enjoyable.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New in the shop

I have been super busy this week filling orders for customers. Which has been great! I am super excited about how successful they have been so far and I just hope things keep up! Recently I added these monthly tabs as an add-on item, and so far they have been a hit! Although they are a pain to assemble, I'm glad I went the extra mile and added these.

Soon I hope to be expanding my product line to more in-depth planners with extra room to write everything someone might need to remember (like those busy soccer moms!). But I am most excited about my wearable items! Of course I'll let you know as soon as those hit the shelves! (or screens?)

I hope you all have an amazing weekend and enjoy summer while it is still here!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

From the heart

This outfit isn't anything special, but here are the deets
top: hand me down from the husband || jeans: AE || belt and wedges: Target

It's been a long time since I've truly felt the stir of God in my heart. I don't mean a feeling of knowing He exists or feeling His presence, although I'm sure the same can be said about those. I mean feeling lead in one direction or another. A calling in my heart to do the right thing or follow a certain path. And to be honest, I'm not sure I've really stopped long enough to feel any of that.

Last year when I heard about the Influence Conference  I had a little tickle in my heart. One that said, "maybe...?" and then I thought long enough to realize that there was probably no way I was ever going to be able to afford to go. And just like that I gave up on the thought.

If you haven't heard about the Influence Network or the annual conference you should read about it. It is a network of women dedicated to using the platforms they have been given (online, community, home, work, etc) to learn ways for God to use them as a positive influence. I really can't give a good enough description of this, but hopefully you will check it out for yourself.

Well here I am a year later and conference number two starting in September. Again, when I read about this conference and what they were going to be teaching I got that stir in my heart. But this time instead of pushing it aside I thought, "maybe I could actually go?" And then I read this post  about how we can afford anything. Reading it reminded me that if I feel that nudge, maybe I should be more trusting of Him and the resources he can provide.

With me not working we are in no financial situation to send me to a conference. But maybe there is still a way?

I am trusting that if God wants me there, He will provide. And if He doesn't, I can rest and be at peace knowing that I trusted His strength instead of my own.

Currently all sales in my shop are going to paying off the debt from some of the supplies I had to buy, funding exposure for my blog and shop, and the rest is going towards funding my way to this conference. We'll see what happens from here!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Healthy Monday | Gardening

Summer is a great time to load up on fruits and vegetables! Lots of things are in season right now and can usually be found for a lower price than during the winter when they have to be shipped from other countries. But the best way to save money over the summer is growing your own garden!

If you have a backyard or even a back porch you can usually grow some veggies the help out your pocket book. This summer is actually my first time growing my own garden and I've already been shocked by the amount my tiny (3'x6') raised garden is producing. We are quickly realizing that our plants are outgrowing their little plot of land and are going to have to build another raised bed to give them more space. Before I started my own garden, it seemed like it was going to be so much work to put in. However, we ended up getting everything dug up, built, and planted in one morning. It really only took about an hour of actual work. Then I just water them every other day. Easy as that. (Obviously the bigger the garden the more work it will be.)

Even if you can't put in your own raised garden you still have an opportunity to grow some of your own herbs! Our spare room window sill is growing parsley, basil, and cilantro right now. All started from seed and cost me about 3 dollars total.

If you are like me and you think you definitely do not have a green thumb, here is the secret. Before you plant anything do a little bit of research. Here are the things you need to figure out:

1. What type of sunlight to do get in your space? Morning, afternoon, none, minimal?

2. Figure out what types of plants grow best in the type of light you get.

3. If you don't have a lot of time to spend watering, invest in a soaker hose. They really aren't that expensive! All you have to do is turn them on for awhile (I would look up a recommended amount of time to keep them on for) every other day or so and thats all.

4. Don't water the leaves of your plants, water down at the bottom of the stem. This might seem like petty information, but it was something my husband had no idea about until I told him.

5. Watch for signs of pests. Currently our broccoli leaves are being eaten by slugs. Gross! If you don't like pesticides (like me) there are natural or organic methods you can try.

6. When in doubt, google it. Seriously, I didn't know the first thing about gardening and when I have a question I just look it up. There are lots of great resources out there. Or if I want a more reliable source I just ask my parents :).

If you have never given gardening a try I highly suggest it! Not only does it help save money, but it is also therapeutic and is much more rewarding than grocery shopping!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Exciting news!

Today is supposed to be my healthy monday post, but I had something else that I felt was more important for me to share. I finally got my Etsy shop (Level & Lace Designs) up and running!

Over the past year I have been trying hard to get an Etsy shop open but was never able to really get anything off the ground. So when summer hit I knew it was time to finally start working toward that goal. I was hoping to have my shop ready to open last week, but it was more work than I had anticipated.

I'm very excited to be selling my very first line of planners! Last year I made a planner for myself that I really enjoyed using. After a year of use and a few edits to my original design I think I've come with something even better!

These are the 5.5x8.5 design. I will soon be making my 8.5x11 design, which is what I used. I just had a feeling other people might like a smaller design better. This size can fit into my small purse with no trouble!

Front and back covers are extra sturdy after being laminated.

 I tried to make the insides fairly simple With lots of room to write important things down. Personally, when I go shopping for planners, I hate when I find millions of pages wasted on things that I will never use. Like an address book.
Instead I included extra space for monthly goals, notes, and a to do list.

I think the best part is that these planners can be customized to a persons needs. If there is something you don't want or something you want added, just let me know! Looking for a certain pattern? Certain date you want to start on?

This is just the first of my design ideas, I'm hoping to come up with a blog planner. And hey, maybe even something printable for those of you on a budget!

If you are interested in more details visit my shop or contact me at!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Healthy Monday

As you guys may or may not know, I'm a full time student majoring in Nutrition. Learning what it means to be healthy is a passion of mine. I love learning about how different foods affect your body. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to go into the nutrition field is because I think it is a topic that many people are confused about, including myself. What is actually good for you? Is there any truth to fad diets? Which ones are good and which are bad? 

We are always one google search away from finding the answers to every question we could ever have. But how much of that information is based on science and how much based on someone's opinion? I don't claim to have all the answers, but there is a lot of stuff I have learned already from studying the human body and I thought that information was important to share. 

This is where Healthy Mondays comes in. I asked one of the most inspirational fellow health nerds I know to work on this with me. Each week one of us will be coming to you to share some of the things we've learned. Anything health related, we will be sharing.

But before we start all that I'd like to introduce you to Heather. She is one of my absolute favorite bloggers and she is probably the most adorable person I have ever seen.

Heather at Honee bee

What is your blog about?

My blog Honee Bee is a lifestyle blog that encompasses fashion, food, health and my newlywed life. I blog about the things that I am passionate about, which is relationships and food. and if you had to ask me the two go hand in hand. People love food, and people who love to eat hang out with one another. I hope to show my life as a healthy twenty something year old that loves having a good time.  

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I don't really know why I started a blog. To be honest it was because I was drawn to so many lifestyle blogs that I thought I should try and create my own! So I did. and the first year the blog was really slow. I didn't know how to write (and this is something that I am still working on), I had no idea of what type of direction I wanted to take my blog, but through the past few years I have gained a better understanding of why I blog, and that is to preserve memories. I don't share everything on the blog. To be honest I mostly share the stories of Chad, my husband, and I because I feel like those are the one that I should be documenting the most. My blog has become my outlet, my accountability partner, and my journal. 

What are you going to school for?

I am currently a second year grad student studying public health with a focus on epidemiology which basically means I am studying health research. I love doing population based research and think that the health system is beautifully complex. 

What are your career plans after grad school?

Oh life post grad school. What will it be like?! I am hoping to work for a university and be a research professor. If that does no work out I would love to work for a health care organization doing community awareness, specifically focused with obesity or heart disease. I have several dreams that I would love to achieve in the health care field. The most beautiful thing is that it is so broad so I feel like my options are endless. 

Tell us about your "fit report"

My fit repor the way I keep myself active. Basically it is a weekly post that I do to share how I did or did not achieve my health goals for the week. This includes how many times I exercises, which foods curses or blessed me, or anything else interesting that I have found related to health. I did these consistently for a year. Then once I got married I kinda stopped working out, but now after six months of marriage I have regained my focus. The main reason why I do these is to share to individuals that living a fit lifestyle is challenging but if you make time to do it, you are capable of doing so much more then you would imagine. To be honest, one of the reasons why I even work out is because I know I am going to be telling all of my blogging friends about it, so I do it. 

What are some things you are passionate about?

I love too many things. I find joy from the simplest of pleasures, such as a crisp apple. but if I had to choose I would have to say that it would be my faith in Jesus, my family/relationships, gardening,cooking, and running. All of these things I value above everything else and spend hours weekly pursuing and building them. I think it is so important to find things you are passionate about because it gives you a direction of where to go and how to cultivate and develop yourself. 

What is your biggest struggle?

There are several areas that I struggle in but the biggest I would say is over eating sweets. I am so addicted but I have to say one of the main reasons why I love to run is because I know I can reward myself with a big bowl of ice cream afterwards. Its awful. I would give all foods and eat ice cream every day for the rest of my life. I am pathetic. I am also  a big chocolate lover. The darker the better. 

What are some of your goals for the next year?

I was really hoping on running a marathon this year however I hurt my knee early on in the season. So had to change that goal. I am hoping to maintain my fitness goal of exercising 3+ times a week, spend more time with my husband without technology, and to complete my graduate school program with a GPA above 3.85. I know all of these things do not come easily but through goal setting you are able to obtain them.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

My motivation comes as a result of talking with others. I find that by talking about my health priorities and fitness goals, I am able to encourage myself. It is almost like you have to put on a show in order to make yourself believe that you are actually able to do it. I find that by following other health bloggers I am motivated to get on a run on those days you really don't feel like it. Otherwise sometimes I play a mental game where I trick myself into the healthy behavior. It is a weird thing but if you convince yourself that you "do" want to do something, you somehow end up doing it.