Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Holidays: Zutano $75 Shopping Spree Giveaway

Happy Holidays Folks!

I am so happy that I am able to extend this wonderful giveaway to my fabulous readers!  I discovered Zutano after entering a few giveaways myself on a couple of blogs.  I was immediately fascinated and drawn to the vibrant colors, modern kid friendly patterns and the originality of Zutano  stripes and print combinations .  I was secretly hoping that I would win one of those giveaways for my baby girl but unfortunately I did not win.  Therefore, I was ecstatic when Zutana offered to partner with me to provide you with  a review of this swanky little outfit and elf onsie my little princess is wearing and also offer you a $75 shopping spree!

Zutanno sent Brianna a few pieces from their Owl collection.  This collection consist of bright fuchsia, pool (aqua) and yellow with the cutest little owl or a multi stripe print.

How cute is this Fuchsia Cozie Baby Elf Onesie! It is a 80/20 cotton/poly blend sherpa fleece and it is so warm and cozy which is very appropriate for our weather here in Chicago! It features foldover hand and feet cuffs  providing the option to be footless or to cover both her hands and feet all the while eliminating the need for mittens! 



They also sent us Super Stripe Baby Skinny Legging, Super Stripe Baby Hat and the Owls Baby Henley Dress. The hat and the dress are no longer available online, however they have another Henley dress from that collection that would look great with the stripe leggings that Brianna is wearing!



Do you have a new baby on the way? What about a brother, sister, niece, nephew, cousin or God child whom you still haven't checked off on your holiday list? Stop by and check out www.zutano.com for a a gift that everyone will love.  They have everything from dresses, pants, tops, skirts, and tights to hats, bibs, shoes, blankets and even nursery decor... oh and this cute Shaggy Baby Vest which is such a show piece!


Please keep in mind: 
LAST DAY TO SHIP GROUND AND GET YOUR PACKAGE ON TIME is December 14th!  They are also offering free shipping all day long on December 14th for everyone. 

Thanks to Zutano one of Sassy Wife's readers will win a $75 Gift Card! Please enter on the rafflecopter below.  You do not need to have a blogger account to enter.  This giveaway will end on December 8th at midnight. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Your experience with the product may differ from mine. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment and will be shipping the winner(s) their prize(s).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8 Weeks to Clean Eating (Weeks 4 & 5)

Hi Folks,

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
I missed week 4 due to my family traveling for the holidays so I am combining week 4 & 5 today!  In regards to my weight loss I don't have much to update as I completely failed with this clean eating challenge last week.  Traveling and not being able to cook in the comfort of my own home really through a monkey wrench in my week 4. The scale did not move in either direction which is great news since I pretty much ate fast food all week and some good ole soul food on Thanksgiving.  I also enjoyed desserts galore...shame on me, I know... I know but I am back now an ready to focus on last week as well as this weeks challenge.
  
Okay so where are we... no junk food, drink plenty of water, eat colorful low density foods and protein at every meal, eat small and eat often and find good carbs!

Week 4 Challenge:

Cook at home. One of the best ways to control your eating is to prepare all your meals yourself. Eliminate all fast food (which should have been gone in Week 1) and most other restaurant food. You may still eat food from certain restaurants where you can be sure of the ingredients (most will be savvy enough to make a point of how healthy their food is). But avoid all fast food chains, even ones that claim to be "healthy." Restaurants need their food to taste good, so they'll often use compromised ingredients, even when they list low numbers on fats and/or calories. Fast food can contain many hidden evils in addition to calories. For example, next time you see one of those nutrition charts, check the sodium levels; most fast foods use ridiculously high amounts of salt. Avoiding fast food alone will often bring your body closer to homeostasis (its desired state of balance). This can be hard for many of us because we now have to plan our meals and prepare ahead of time, but try and treat it like vocational school—you don't learn a new "job" without a little retraining.

Free Days: 1

Weekly focus: Fat is essential. Remember that fat is a vital part of your diet, not just something that makes you fat. What is not vital is a lot of saturated or trans fats. Trans fats are mainly those that are artificial, and hopefully they've been eliminated from your diet by this point, since they're generally only found in junk. Saturated fats are found in dairy products and meats, and you don't need too much. For cooking, try to use olive oil when possible. Also, the addition of either flaxseed or hempseed can have a pronounced effect on your health. These seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6). Be careful about that amount of fat. It is dense and has 9 calories per gram, as opposed to 4 for both carbs and protein. A tablespoon goes a long way!

Week 5 Challenge:
Reduce starchy carbohydrates. Starches include rice, bread, potatoes, corn, beans, and other legumes. While many of these are in no way bad foods, most people tend to consume far too many of them. So what you want to do this week is cut WAY DOWN on them, if not cutting them outcompletely. Then add them back in when your body feels like it needs energy, which it will at some point if you're exercising (and why wouldn't you be?). But don't add a huge plate or bowl of pasta; instead, add a small single serving. Starches are great energy food, but if you eat too many, they turn the tables and make you sluggish!

Free Days: 1

Weekly focus: Sugar is only beneficial after a hard workout. Your body doesn't need processed sugar. But if you really enjoy it and can't avoid letting some sneak into your daily diet, the 1-hour period after you exercise is the best time to indulge. During this window, your blood sugar is low, because you've used it up to finish your workout (assuming you pushed yourself), and sugar during this time will help you recover faster because it speeds into your system and initiates the recovery process. Adding a little protein, but not too much, will enhance your recovery even further. The best ratio is 1 part protein to 4 parts carbs, as in Results and Recovery Formula®. You should avoid fats during this immediate post-workout period, because they slow absorption—a good thing most of the time, just not during and immediately after working out.

Week 1: -2.5 lbs
Week 2: -3 lbs
Week 3: -1
Week 4:  0
Month 1 Sub-total: -6.5
Week 5:
Week 6:
Week 7:
Week 8:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

8 Weeks to Clean Eating (Week 3)

I know that I am late with posting this weeks challenge update and new weekly challenge; however, Brianna had her four month shots yesterday so I was nurturing my fussy, slightly feverish baby all day... my apologies!

I now understand why we had 2 free days for last weeks challenge!!  It was so difficult for me to figure out what to eat for 5 or 6 mini meals per day.  So I truly struggled with this week and I gladly took advantage of my two free days.  Although I struggled with the 5-6 mini meals, I was still able to keep away from junk food, choose healthier foods, drink tons of water, work out and I did adhere to the no eating 3 hours before bed rule.  With that said I am down another 3 pounds!  Yay me.  I'm moving right along and it just goes to show you that by making small changes to your diet can have a positive affect on your weight. 

For this weeks challenge:

Eat some colorful, low-density food at every meal. These are foods that take up a lot of space without a lot of calories. Veggies are the most obvious example. You can eat a salad bowl overflowing with lettuce and veggies and you most likely won't exceed 100 calories. By eating low-density foods like veggies and fruits, you'll keep your portions under control naturally, because they have very few calories for their size. Conversely, high-density foods, like chocolate and butter, are loaded with calories in even the smallest amounts. So beware of salad dressings and other things you add to salads and veggies. Only add enough for flavor; don't fill up on them. When it comes to live foods, the richer the colors, the fresher the products tend to be. Try to eat a variety of colors in your diet. This simple and somewhat random act will help ensure that you're covering your bases, nutrient-wise.

Free Days: Only 1 this week...Boo

Weekly focus: Protein at every meal. This becomes even more important as you eat more low-density food, because protein tends to be high-density. Many veggies have a lot of protein, but the quantity you must consume starts to become prohibitive. Try to get some protein—meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, or legumes—each time you eat, especially when you're working out hard, because you need to repair broken-down muscle tissue. Frequency of protein consumption is even more vital for women, who aren't able to digest as much protein at one time as men are. It's almost impossible to get all your necessary protein at one or two meals, so try to get 10 to 20 grams of protein each time you eat.

Week 1: -2.5 lbs
Week 2: -3 lbs
Week 3:
Week 4:
Month 1 Sub-total:
Week 5:
Week 6:
Week 7:
Week 8:


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Yep, I'm that Mommy

It happened......

I went out for a ladies night this past Friday.  We went to a popular Mexican restaurant who is known for their huge and delicious margaritas! The ladies and I were having a great time catching up with one another and also planning the re-launch of Sassy Mahogany Wives Foundation.  There was great conversation, juicy gossip, tons of laughter and also business was being taken care of all in one sit down.  Then out of nowhere I started talking about my little princess.  I swear it was an out of body experience as I was fully aware of me rambling on about my daughter but I couldn't stop it.  I had to talk about her sitting up now and her sleep pattern oh and don't forget the new screams that she has discovered she can make and enjoys hearing and seeing my reaction to.  Yep, I've become one of those mommies who go out and all they do is talk about their babies.  This little outing was supposed to be my escape to go out and regroup.  Have some adult conversation, no Peek-A-Boo or baby talk for a couple of hours. This was especially needed since the night before she woke up about every 2 hours and was so fussy.. oh by the way did I tell you that she is cutting teeth and she goes for her Four month shots on Monday? See I'm doing it again.  Oh well I've come to the realization that my girlfriends will just have to deal with this phase of mine and get used to me sharing the highs and lows of being Brianna's mommy.... I'm sure they don't mind.  Is it really a phase or is this something that mommies do for the rest of their lives...talk about their kids? Does it just shift from developmental milestones to scholastic, athletic, or extra curricular achievements? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kmart® Decorate It Forward Holiday House Party

Kmart
I was chosen to host the Kmart Decorate it Forward Holiday Party and I am soooo excited!!!  As a party host I will receive a party pack which includes:

  • Kmart® gift card for host and shopping list 
  • Kmart® coupons 
  • Colbie Caillat Christmas In The Sand  CD
  • Shop Your Way Rewards insert

I stumbled across houseparty.com by way of twitter.  Someone that I follow tweeted that they applied for the Kmart Decorate It Forward Holiday House Party and I clicked on the link.  After perusing the site I learned that I could host parties (which I love doing) for free and get free stuff from some of the worlds leading brand sponsors!  This was the first time hearing about this site (Am I Late??) so I dove right in and completed my profile adding pictures, videos and links to my social media sites. I checked back every day to see if I was a winner and to increase my odds of winning by tweeting and sharing the site with my friends on Facebook.  

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and I actually purchase most of my ornaments from Kmart on Thanksgiving when they are typically 50 percent off, so applying to host this event was a no brainer.  However, I was totally shocked when I discovered that out of thousands of applicants I was one of the 750 host that was selected.  Everyone who was chosen must host their party on December 1st, so be on the lookout for DIY projects, fancy ornaments and yummy recipes that will help create a wonderful experience for my guest.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Princess Chronicles (15 Weeks)

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Dear Brianna June,

I wrote to you a few times before you were conceived (letter) and while I was patiently waiting for the little one that God was going to send to your father and I.  So mommy wanted to continue a series of journals or letters for you to read when you get older. 

You see you were our miracle baby, the one God saw fit to bless your father and I with and let me tell you baby girl, you were so worth the wait!  When everyone said to enjoy you because it will go by fast I understood what they were saying; however, I did not believe you would grow and develop at this rate.  You are growing like champ, at your 2 month visit you were 13 pounds and 24 inches which put you in the 97th percentile on the growth charts! I love it, I love watching you grow and hitting all of your developmental milestones slightly earlier than expected. 

To date you despise tummy time and started rolling over from tummy to back as soon as mommy places you on your tummy! You are trying to sit up which at times I wish you would just lay back on mommy and chill out, but nope you prefer to sit fully erect with correct posture and observe the scenery. 

You hold your head steady and firmly so mommy has switched you from facing me to facing forward in your carrier.  Oh how you love facing forward and seeing all that the world has to offer you.  Your little head moves a mile a minute trying to keep up with all of the sites and sounds of the city. 

Lately, you have discovered your feet and you just love putting those little toes in your mouth. You’ve gone from cooing to trying to have a full out conversation with me.  I would give a million bucks (provided we had that) to know what you were saying.  But it's so cute and I love it!! 

Everything goes into your mouth, your feet, mommy's neck or my hair if I can’t get to you fast enough to remove the hold that you have on it once placed on my shoulder! OUCH

We just celebrated your very first Halloween and you had a few costumes but like a true rock star you had several events to attend. 

You have certain cries for certain needs and I pride myself on the fact that I was able to break the code.  Although, there are times when you just cry for no reason (or one that mommy can decipher yet, so I chalk them up to growth spurts) during those moments I simply want to lie in your crib right beside you and kick and scream right along with you.  You have a very loud piercing cry which I’m sure our neighbors love and appreciate.

You enjoy watching Baby First TV and more specifically you like Bonnie Bear, The Notekins and Harry The Bunny! No matter what we are doing, you could be in the middle of a feeding, or engaging with mommy (Peek A Boo, Patti Cake) but when you hear “It’s Harry the Bunny” (jingle) you completely stop whatever it is that you are doing and your little head spins toward the ttelevision. 

You are not quite sleeping through the night yet and I have yet to allow you to sleep in your room at night.  Well... I let you sleep there once and when you woke up for your 1am feeding I placed you back in your bassinet beside our bed.  You wake up 2-3 times a night which leaves mommy a little exhausted at times due to lack of sleep but it’s okay. 

You are genuinely a sweet baby and silly too.  You smile and sometimes laugh out loud (LOL) when mommy makes funny/crazy noises. 

You’ve had acid reflux since birth and it seems to gradually get better.  You did give mommy a scare when you were only 2 weeks old which resulted in a two day hospital stay.  Boy was mommy a bunch of nerves prior to the diagnoses.  The doctors had  suspicions of epileptic seizures so you had to have an EEG done, turns out you were fine and just had a bad case of acid reflux but your much better now.  I hardly even give you the medicine that was prescribed. 

You are a daddy’s girl.  Seriously, I've noticed a difference in how you respond to him and you can be quite the "Ham" with him.  I think it's cute.  I’m thrilled that’s the first man you will fall in love with. He shares the same if not more Love for you.  I could write so much more but I’m going to leave you with that for now.

Until next month…

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Love,
Mommy