Tag: lifestyle blog


Family / Fitness / Life

It’s been a couple of months since my last blog post! That’s because I’m focusing a lot of my attention on my YouTube channel. The growth of my channel has been incredible and I am so thankful to everyone who has watched, thumbs up’d, and subscribed! I started the month of June with around 200 subscribers. Now, at the end of July, I have nearly 7,000! It’s been amazing and I am having so much fun with it!

A little life update and summer recap for you guys:

We took a trip to Miami to see family which was a ton of fun. While we were there, my husband and I got to leave Maddie with my in-laws and Mike and I had a couple of date nights. We were given tickets to see Justin Bieber and it was a blast! I’m not a huge Bieber fan  but I also don’t dislike him so it was exciting to be able to go. We had amazing seats! The production was fantastic and it was just a fun night out.

We also decided to start Crossfit! It’s been so much fun so far and we’re really enjoying it. It’s perfect for me because it’s quick, it’s a great mix of cardio and strength training, and there isn’t a lot of thinking involved. I also like that I have a goal I’m working towards each WOD.

Maddie is almost 10 months old and I can’t believe how fast time is flying. She is growing so fast and learning new things every day. She is such a joy!

Other than that, I’ve really just been working on my YouTube channel and creating new things for you guys to watch and see on there. I’ll check in here once in awhile, but if you want to stay up to date with what I’m doing, definitely check it out! You can find it by clicking here.

I’m going to do a huge giveaway when I hit 10k subscribers, so keep an eye out for that! Love you all!

 

Carrie Signature


Meant to Live Life

When you look back at the past few weeks, what kinds of things do you remember? If you could categorize your thoughts, where would they go? Would you put them in the “Memories with the Kids” category? “Date Night with my Spouse”? “Vacation with my Family?”

Or would the majority of your thoughts fall into categories more like these:

  • Budget is a Little Tight
  • I Hate My Job
  • I Ate Terribly/Didn’t Exercise
  • I Gained Weight
  • My Significant Other is Annoying Me
  • My House is a Mess
  • I’m Stressed

If you’re thoughts fall primarily into the latter category, welcome to the club. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten all the good things going on in my life because I am wrapped up in how much laundry there is and how I need to change my eating habits to see some weight loss. Shoot, we set ourselves up to thing this way when we make resolutions every year to lose the weight or eat clean. I can look back at 2014 and 2015 and remember thinking “I will be the fittest ever this year!” Neither year produced that for me. I remember that, but I have to think a little harder about the good things (aside from my daughter being born, of course).

It’s so sad how so many of us are focused on all the wrong things. All the time you spend stressing out about things could be spent doing things to alleviate that stress!

Think about it. Stressing about a tight budget isn’t going to help anything. Stressing never gave anyone some extra money in a bank account. Stressing never folded laundry or put away dishes. Stress is toxic.

Research has shown that stress can actually do physical damage to your body. Your body needs stress in certain amounts. It’s what helps pump your blood through your body so you can react appropriately in fight or flight situations. Stress is a good thing. The problem is that we are in a constant state of stress. Constant stress can cause respiratory problems, heart disease, kidney and liver issues, stomach ulcers, and it could even eliminate your ability to react to an emergency all together. Stress can literally kill you. (source).

Aside from the physical harm stress does, stress can kill your relationships. If you look at polls and surveys, stress about money nearly ALWAYS listed as a top reason for divorce. Stressing about how you look can push away friends and significant others for a multitude of reasons as well (I could literally write an entire post on how food and aesthetics can ruin a relationship).

With all of this stress, when are you finding time to actually LIVE? I have an answer for you – You’re NOT. You’re not living. You’re going through the motions and waiting for things to change. Guess what? Things don’t change if you don’t change them.

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I was listening to Switchfoot this morning – The Beautiful Letdown album (yeah, yeah, throwback, I know)- and I think I actually listened to the words for the first time. We were meant to live for so much more than bills/food/weight/annoyances/insertotherstresseshere. We are not here to spend our days stressing about things that we can’t change. If you can change it, then change it. If you can’t, stressing is a waste of your time. It is literally a waste of your LIFE. We were meant to LIVE.

 


I Think We Should Take a Break Fitness

This post is honestly mostly for me to sort out my thoughts, but I know I’m not the only one who’s going through what I’m going through so I thought I’d make it a blog post.

If you’ve been following me on my other social media accounts, you know that my weight loss isn’t exactly going well. Not from my lack of trying, either. I ate at a calorie goal and did well, then it stalled. Then I switched it up and started eating a more plant based diet. GAINED weight. Gave the plant based thing some more time since it can be a big adjustment for your body. Nope. Still a gain. The other day, I mentioned eating based on the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) method and I started logging yesterday and today. Epic failure.

I know what you’re thinking. I couldn’t have possibly seen results from 2 days of IIFYM. You’re right! The reason it was an epic failure was because of how time consuming figuring all that out was. On top of being time consuming, I was started to get irritated at the lack of flexibility there was. Sure, you can eat to fit your macros, but if you don’t have a ton of calories to work with, there is very little flexibility.

That’s when I realized: why the fluff am I trying to go through all of this trouble? What is the point? What is my end-game and what is the long term plan?

To answer those fairly quickly:

  • I want to look good.
  • The point is to look good after having a baby.
  • The end game is to look good.
  • The long term plan is to look good.

 

See the problem?

I am so focused on wanting to look good that I am completely ignoring all of the OTHER things (and frankly, more important things) my body can do.

Before I get a bunch of  “I told you so’s” hear me out.

It is ingrained in us to like what we see. We want people to like what they see when they look at us. And that’s not a bad thing some times. What IS a bad thing is when the focus and the priority of your day is looking good. I will be the first to admit that, over the past few weeks, that has been my focus. I still go through my daily routine and I completed the tasks I need to complete. I’m a good wife and a good mom. Outside of those priorities, though, my brain was 100% focused on what I could do to look better. I hated my body.

In church today, I was thinking about the past couple weeks and how I’ve just been bummed out and depressed because of my lack of progress. That’s when I got hit like a ton of bricks.

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Me hating my body is telling God that I hate the body he gave me. It’s me saying the work he did to create me before I was even a thought is worthless and garbage. I am made in His image and hating my own body is like hating Him. Let that kick you in the gut for a minute.

It would be like someone painting a piece of art specifically for you just for you to focus all day on the fact that you hate it. In reality, it’s a piece of art that was wonderfully made. It’s made up of all the same things as other paintings- paint, canvas, brush strokes- but it has a different look that is totally it’s own and it is beautiful.

Truth be told, the body I have is NOT garbage. My body can do amazing things. I can run, jump, squat, press, and climb. It carried, grew, and kept a baby alive before it brought that baby into the world. It can run on no sleep efficiently and it can recharge when it needs to. Does it look the way I would like it to? No. And I don’t think it ever will. But I am learning that that’s ok. I am NOT an elite athlete or a physique or bikini competitor. I don’t model. I don’t have a job that requires me to look a certain way so I don’t need to look the way the way people who have those jobs do.

All of this being said, being happy with my body is not an excuse to not take care of it. I was given this body for a reason, so I need to take care of it the best I can. In my case, that does mean I need to lose a few pounds. Those pounds don’t have to be gone overnight, however. I don’t need to do anything crazy to lose that weight. I don’t need to spend hours at the gym or count my calories or be strict on my macros. Those things will make me look good, but how long can I actually keep that up? 1 month? 6 months? 1 year? Certainly not forever. All I need to do is find balance. Make healthy choices. Stay active. Go back to basics. Those things can be made into lifelong habits.

 

I have been counting calories/macros for 5 years. 5 YEARS. I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. I know healthy habits. I just need to put them into practice. That’s why, macros and calorie counting, I think we need a break.


Life

Be Yourself.

How many times have you heard those two words? “Just be yourself!” “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

It seems like such an easy sentiment, but how many of us struggle with being ourselves? You don’t have to raise your hand, but I’ll go ahead and admit that it’s hard!

Whether you’re in school and being influenced by what is popular or you’re at work trying to be what your job needs you to be or you’re on social media trying to be what’s most viewed, it can be really hard to be yourself. So much so that those words have almost lost their meaning. What does it mean to be yourself?

For me, being myself is allowing myself to do what I like to do without thinking about what people think. Obviously, there are some limitations (I’m not going to do crack and not care what others think because crack is whack and it’s illegal), but I need to care more about the things that matter to me and less about how other people will think about the things I do.

In the social media sense, you may have noticed that I really don’t blog as much as I used to. I’m not the best writer and I feel like I can’t express myself well in writing. I’ve switched over to YouTube as my main platform and I LOVE it, but it is a TOTALLY different world from blogging. I notice that a lot of my favorite channels have a very common set up: bright lighting, white backgrounds, glitter backdrops- the works. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely NOT. I love the content of these channels. I did notice, however, that, when I started making videos, I would pull so much inspiration from these channels that I was accidentally trying to imitate them. I thought that if I acted like those people that the rest of my channel would follow suit. That didn’t happen. Glittery backdrops didn’t appear and my subscriber count didn’t shoot to a million. When I look back at those videos, it’s actually kind of cringeworthy. I look stiff and uncomfortable. It wasn’t until I said, “wait, this isn’t me” and rebranded everything that I really got comfortable. When I changed Keeping Carrie Fit to Carrie Crista, I was much more comfortable and confident in my content. Even further, I cut out the DIY stuff and decided to focus more on just health and beauty and I feel even BETTER about my content.

If you don’t like doing something, don’t do it. If you have a blog and you don’t want to make a million images for pinterest or headers or footers or whatever, don’t do it. If you want to focus on JUST old school Nintendo, do it. Don’t feel like you have to do what other people do to reach a larger audience because you’ll look back and realize that the content you hate doesn’t really do well anyways.

The point is, things got easier and things are going better now that I’m able to really be myself.

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I’ve had to put this into practice in my real life as well. There have been some changes in my life and I’m really learning that I can’t be happy until I am who I want to be. Not who someone at church or work or a friend wants me to be. I heard the other day, ” You can’t be all things to all people,” and that really resonated with me. My life is for ME to live. I need to decide what is important to me and be THOSE things. What’s important to me?

  • Being the best wife I can be to my husband- which, admittedly, I need to work on in some aspects.
  • Being the best mother I can be to my daughter.
  • Being a hard worker
  • Enjoying art and music
  • Strengthening my faith in God and really practicing what I believe on days that aren’t Sunday
  • Being healthy and fit so I can be energized and healthy enough to be the first two things on this list.

There are other things that are important to me, of course, but those are just a few.

Bottom line, when it comes to my life, I’m working on putting stock into the things that matter to me. I’m working on being myself.


Upcycled/DIY Makeup Brush Holder – No priming, sanding, or buffing! Life

Makeup is something that I’ve always loved to do, but I never really used the proper tools. I just kind of did what worked for me at the moment and went on with my day. My husband is very much aware of my makeup obsession, but he noticed that I owned maybe 2 makeup brushes so, for Christmas, he got me a 22 brush set. I was SO excited to learn how to use them and, now that I’m more comfortable with using them, I use them in my regular makeup routine. The only downside is that 22 brushes is a LOT of brushes, especially when there are no duplicates and I use every brush at least once a week, and I have NO counter space in my bathroom.

I had been using a mason jar to hold the top 10-12 brushes that I used daily, but I found that I was digging into the remaining brushes often enough that I needed to find something to hold them all while still fitting on my sink. I went to Target and couldn’t find ANYTHING worth the money (shocking, I know!). There were so many things that I loved, but they either weren’t big enough to hold all my brushes or they were way too much money.

I decided to go through my house to see if there was anything I could use and, lo and behold, I found a pot our realtor gave us when we moved in to our house! It was the perfect size- big enough to hold all my brushes, but tapered at the bottom so it fit on my sink. The only downside- it was BRIGHT yellow. I love yellow, but that thing would have been hideous in my bathroom. My bathroom is small, but it doesn’t have to be ugly. I turned to my good friend Martha to help me fix the color and voila! A bright yellow pot turned into a chic gold makeup brush holder!

brushholder

You’ll need 3 things to recreate this easy DIY

  1. A flower pot
  2. Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Craft Paint (I have the pearl and metallic set and I am OBSESSED with it! This is the “Gold” color from that set).
  3. Paint brush or foam brush

 

Step 1: Wash your pot and dry it completely. You definitely don’t want little dirt specs to ruin the finish of your paint!

Step 2: Paint the inside of the pot.

Step 3: Paint the outside of the pot.

Step 4: Let dry and pain a second coat if you want to. I had to do two coats of gold because it was BRIGHT yellow.

diy makeup brush holder

That’s it! Super easy!

You’ll see that my pot is white on the inside- I just used a cheap white acrylic paint. If the inside gets chipped, I’m not worried about it since my brushes will be inside the pot. It is important to make sure the outside is painted with a multi-surface paint, though, since there’s no priming or buffing.

This whole project cost me a grand total of $0. If I hadn’t had the paint already, it would have cost me about $2 for the paint. You can’t beat that!

Carrie Signature


New Year’s Resolutions //  2016 Life

2016 is almost here, resolutions are about to be made, and shortly after they’ll be broken. Maybe that’s cynical, but it’s true. Last year, my resolution was to hand letter something every day. That didn’t happen (though, I did hand letter some throughout the year). I wanted to stress less and I don’t think that happened either, though I did learn how to relinquish control in some situations thanks to a completely unpredictable pregnancy.

This year, I have a one resolution: be happy.

There are a few ways to make this happen, but the main one I want to focus on is loving myself.

I can’t tell you how I’m going to do that yet, to be honest, but that’s part of my resolution. I have been so hard on myself about a lot of things and I think I’m finally ready to learn what it means to be happy with myself as I am today. That’s not an easy thing to do, but I plan on using this year as time to really learn how to love myself and make myself happy.

This isn’t to say that I’m not happy with my life now. I am! I have a wonderful family, a home, a job…I have everything I want and need but I am sometimes unable to enjoy that and cherish it because I stress out over a lot of things. I am always anxious about something and that is such a burden on me. By the end of the year, I want to learn how to not be anxious about everything.

As you make your New Year’s resolutions this year, I challenge you to come up with things that are attainable and worth while. Make resolutions that will impact your life past 2016. If you want to travel, make sure you’re making lifelong memories. Let those trips change you. If you want to lose weight, make that journey one of learning. Make sure your resolutions are impactful. Make the time you put into them worth it. Make 2016 the year your life changes for the better.

Carrie Signature


Back to the Basics Fitness

After being cleared to exercise last Monday, I was so excited to get back to a consistent workout routine! I told my husband that he needed to be ready to watch M when he got home because I was going to the gym. He came home, I got ready to go, hopped onto the treadmill and… walked. I seriously underestimated how hard exercise would be. I ran a little bit but most of my workout was a walk. I did 2 miles in 35 minutes- by far my slowest time ever.

On Thanksgiving, I went to the park to meet up with my running buddy! We hadn’t run together since March. We ran (mostly walked) a 5k and finished in 50 minutes- my slowest 5k to date.

On Sunday, I went back to the gym and ran another 2 miles. I finished in 31 minutes. An improvement from my first run, but still slow.

At first, I was incredibly let down by my times. I ran half marathons! I have a 25 minute 5k PR. The only reason I walk during runs is if I’m cramped. Being slow is uncharacteristic of me. On top of all that, I felt self conscious because of the way I look. I was exercising in a big baggy shirt because all my shirts are either too tight or they don’t conceal the acne that has taken over my shoulders and back (thanks, Post Partum hormones!). I won’t lie, it reminded me of when I first started to get healthy and that made me feel horrible. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m out of shape. It’s frustrating! After throwing myself a pity party, I snapped back to reality. I just had a baby. I had a hard pregnancy. For months, I wasn’t able to be on my feet for more than 10 minutes, much less workout. Of course my body won’t be able to perform the way it did when I was in my best shape! What I needed to do was get back to the basics. I need to rebuild my endurance the same way I did before: one baby step at a time.

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Am I super excited about basically starting over? No. But I know so much more now that I can apply my knowledge to this weight loss “season” and come back in even better shape! There are still times that I feel terrible about how I look and how I feel, but I’m doing my best to make sure to keep that negative self-talk to a minimum. The fact that I’m working on getting back into shape is a win!


For the Home // Nursery Progress Life

I recently posted on my Facebook page that I wanted to start adding more than just fitness and food posts to the blog. I asked you guys what you wanted to see and got some great feedback! Some of the things you can look forward to are more posts about DIY things (home projects, crafts, and organization), fashion (things I love, deals I’ve found, etc.), and more overall lifestyle posts.

I do a lot more than work and go to the gym and I thought it would be great to blog about those things! What better way to kick off this new addition to the blog than writing about our nursery!

We’ve been working on Baby MAC’s nursery for a few weeks now. I’ve had a vision in my head for awhile, but we waited to really start on anything for a couple of reasons.

  1. I needed a crib.
  2. We needed to know whether the baby was a boy or a girl.

My mom brought us the crib I used as a baby so we were able to use the color of the crib to dictate how the rest of the room would flow. We decided to keep the crib in the oak color and use white as a color for other furniture/main accessories. We built the shelves you see a few years ago. When we built them, we painted them black, so we just used the white we bought for the walls and painted the shelves as well. My goal is to get a dresser that matches the crib and find a mirror that we can paint white like the shelves to tie everything together.

 

We initially wanted to do a light gray but, since our carpet is brown and our crib is oak, we decided on white. Yes, I know the walls will get dirty. Before we knew Baby MAC was a girl, we had a couple of color palates picked out. More blues and greens for a boy and pinks, greens, and yellows for a girl. When we found out Baby MAC was a girl, we bought the pink paint and painted the accent wall!

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The next step was starting the artwork. My main inspiration was Dr. Seuss. You can’t tell, right? Good! This is just my opinion, but I find that over-themed rooms are more of a hassle then they’re worth. They take a ton of work and kids grow out of them quickly. Dr. Seuss is an easy theme to overdo, so I scratched any sort of patterned or muraled wall all together and decided I just wanted to add some Dr. Seuss inspired artwork.

I found this canvas at Hobby Lobby and fell in love!
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The pink in it matches the accent wall we have and it was 40% off so we bought it. I’ve been using the colors in it to help me paint other canvases. If there’s one thing you should know about the decorations in my house it’s that I have created 90% of them. I have a really hard time buying artwork when I can do it myself! It has to be a really special piece for me to spend money on a mass produced piece of art from an art supply store. I’d rather spend $10 on a canvas, paint, and brushes and create my own.

The first piece I did was this:

FullSizeRender

The dandelion is a nod to Horton Hears a Who (as is the elephant canvas we bought) and the quote is from that book as well. I’m not sure which wall it’s going on yet, though.

I’m also working on another double canvas piece with another quote on it. I’ll include a photo of that in the next update!

I also used the elephant to find curtains! We went to Home Depot and matched the colors in the canvas to paint swatches. I kept those swatches in my purse and found some cute curtains from Target! I loved the color! There were two patterns in this color, but I ended up choosing this one because the pattern matches the vibe of the elephant more than the other one did (it was a Moroccan pattern- very geometric and, while adorable, didn’t fit my vision). I chose white curtain rods to match the wall and picked the rods with the clear crystal ends. I thought it added a girly touch (and they were cheap! Win-win!).

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Here’s what the room looks like now! Pardon the dog kennels- they still occupy this room 😉

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Once I have all the artwork finished, we’ll map it out and hang it where it looks best!

Here’s an idea of what I’m hoping to add in the future!

nursery

 

 

 

I can’t wait to make more progress!

Carrie Signature

 



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