July 2018 | Olive and Tate

7 Tips to Survive Your First Month of Weight Watchers

7 Tips to Survive Your First Month of Weight Watchers


I've been on Weight Watchers on and off for years, which means, as most diets go, I've had a lot of "Day Ones". I start the plan, rock the plan, drop the plan, need the plan again. Wash, rinse, repeat! It's no biggie, that's life, but because I've had my share of fresh starts, I happen to know a handful of great tips to make your first few days and weeks on Weight Watchers successful. And let's face it, if you hit the ground running, you'll be inspired to keep it up for the long run! 

As a head's up, I'm not a medical professional and have no training in nutrition. This is my personal experience and should not be considered medical advice in any way. 

7 Tips to Survive Your First Month of Weight Watchers

1. Get the tools
Go ahead and snag a cheap food scale, a measuring cup with numbers inside the cup and a full set of measuring spoons. You'll want to measure everything in the beginning to ensure that you're eating as much as you can for as few points as possible. Before I had a food scale, I was just guessing that something weighed closed to an ounce. When I started to actually measure on a scale, I realized I hadn't been over eating, but in fact had been majorly shorting myself on portions. Hello! I could have been eating more! Total rookie move. Food scales an be majorly inexpensive (my digital scale is less than $10) and are going to be worth every penny as you learn the in's and out's of the Points System.

2. Be prepared to use your points
The current Weight Watchers plan, Freestyle, is different from plans in the past as it focuses on using a large list of 0 point foods as much as possible. With that in mind, the daily points budget has been lowered so if you've done plans in the past, you may be surprised with how few daily points you get. You will use all of your daily points and are encouraged to use many of your weekly points. This was a hard change for me as I was used to avoiding my Weeklies but this program will take some getting used to. Plan to use those points and hit your daily goals without stressing about taking in a large percentage of your Weeklies. 

3. Ditch the big containers
Instead of snacking out of large containers and then hoping/guessing/praying that you stayed within a recommended serving size, scoop out what you're noshing on before you get started. Everything from a tub of hummus to a bag of chips is really a points explosion waiting to happen. I personally struggle with portion control so making sure that I don't mindlessly dip or snack out of a large container is a must for me. By portioning out what you're eating you can see what your points value is getting you and if you choose to go back for more, you'll know exactly what to track. 

4. Scan/Track before you eat
I recently, after doing this program for years, mind you, blew my daily points budget on meatballs. Meatballs. I didn't realize how high in points they would be and so I didn't search for point values on my app before I ate. Whoops. I can honestly say that if I had searched prior to eating, I would have chosen a completely different meal because meatballs just wouldn't have been worth the points to me. By searching/tracking/planning ahead of time, you'll know exactly what to choose when eating out and you won't be disappointed that you "wasted" your points on mediocre meatballs. 

As a tip, some people find success in planning and tracking their entire day in the morning so that they know what their day will look like. 

5. Stock up on zero point foods
Spend some time going over that 0 point food list, it will be your best resource to staying within your daily/weekly point totals. The new Weight Watchers plan (Freestyle) has the largest list of 0 point foods ever and the plan relies on your eating as much off of that list as possible. Be sure to stock up on zero point foods, snacks and ingredients that you love so that you have them on hand when you're hungry, need a snack or don't feel like making an entire meal. I also make sure to prep or cook zero point foods to have them on hand at all times - I cook chicken breasts with herbs and spices, dice them up and keep them in my fridge at all times. I toss them on salads, in wraps, even cooked with eggs for a zero point protein meal. When it comes to snacking, it is so easy to grab high point items without realizing it (hello, granola bars) and having zero point snacks ready and waiting is huge for success. 

6. The Scale
You can choose the day your week ends and your points roll over - choose the day with your real life in mind! I choose to have my points roll over on Thursdays, which means I also weigh in on Thursday mornings, allowing me for the maximum amount of time to recover from the past weekend before I hit the scale and setting me up to have the most Weeklies for the coming weekend. 

7. Be prepared for slow losses
Slow and steady losses are the goal and sometimes the losses are measured in ounces and not pounds. In the last two weeks, both of my losses have been measured in ounces but the ounces add up to pounds and I'm still seeing a number on the scale that I haven't seen in a long, long time. Some weeks you may see pounds lost, some weeks may be smaller wins, but as long as the number is going down, it's a success. 

7 Tips to Survive Your First Month of Weight Watchers

Let's Talk About It: Weight Watchers


First, let me start this post by saying that all bodies are good bodies. 

My own rig brought two humans into the world in less than three years and has done right by all three of us, so I don't want to share anything that disrespects what I'm working with. Size 12 or size 2, my goal is to live my life saying yes to the things that make me happy, never missing out because I'm on a "diet". I have a daughter (and a son) who will learn to treat their bodies by watching how I treat mine, so I am very careful to never say "oh, I can't eat that" or "ugh, too many calories". Instead, we choose to talk about Growing Foods and eating in a way that helps our muscles grow so that we can get the ring in swim lessons, play soccer, jump super high and dance when the mood strikes. 

With that said, for the past few months I've been using the Weight Watchers plan to handle the last little bit I gained when stress eating and drinking my way through the worst of our colic months. I wasn't sure that I was going to talk about it here on the blog but I realize so many of you purchase clothing based on how it fits my body and choose sizing based on my body recs, so it's probably time to chat about it - plus there's been a ton of interest on my Weight Watchers tips and tricks! I'm going to write a few WW posts based on some questions that have been hitting my Instagram Direct Messages, but first, a few basics, in the form of FAQs:

Ok, so why Weight Watchers?
I've been doing WW on and off for years, it works for me. I don't like to be told that I can't eat entire food groups etc, it makes me rebel and that's not a good look. I eat on the run, I eat in my car, I eat what my kids eat - I need a plan that works for all of that. I'm also not giving up wine, so that eliminates like 98% of all weight loss plans. I choose to do the online only plan although I have gone to meetings in years past but quite honestly, as an introvert, it makes me nervous. The app is always on hand and just works for me. 

With Weight Watchers, you truly can eat whatever you want, it just has to be "worth it" to you. It's worth it to me to eat more 0 point foods in a day that I want to drink wine (which is, of course, points heavy). I eat Chick Fil A way more than I care to admit, I just make different choices than I would have prior to being on WW, but being able to choose to eat in a drive through is still open to me and I like that. 

How much have you lost:
Well, from my highest weight (not pregnant or postpartum) tracked in the app since 2016, I am down 20lbs. This last round, I've been working the app since mid March and I'm down 10-ish lbs (9 and some ounces if we're being truthful). I'm down one jean size and am probably sometimes a Medium and still sometimes a Large, which is just fine with me. Also, I have lost some weight in the 'ol rack, which is a huge relief to me as they hurt my back/make me extra sweaty in the Summer. 

Do you still drink wine?
Um, yes. I measure it in a measuring cup (which always makes me roll my eyes) and have a few tricks to break up the points but yes, I still drink wine. We still go out to dinner, I still eat cake occasionally, I still eat donuts every Saturday morning, I'm still living over here! 

Do you work out?
Not really. I am home with my one year old and four year old full time so I am way more active than I was when I was working at a desk 9-5. I regularly lift 60 lbs of kids and wrestle them each into car seats, am on my feet always and have been known to race my kid and win, just to remind him of who's boss. But no actual work out routine is in the mix currently. 

I think that covers the basics!  I'll share my Weight Watchers beginner tips soon! 

2018 Nordstrom Sale Round Up: Women, Men and Baby


Hey friends! Welcome to my round up of all things Her, Him and Baby for the 2018 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I'll admit that I find this year's women's selection to be a bit lackluster and a lot predictable but I think the Baby section and the Home Decor line up is out of this world.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Here's the short list:

Snag the Dock A Tot (I know of second hand Docks that have sold for more than the sale price in online resale groups), Maxi Cosi car seats and Halo sleep sacks for baby/toddler because I think they'll be gone on day one of Public Access. 

Now let's chat Fall pretties for Mama. 

2018 Nordstrom Sale Round Up: Women, Men and Baby

Tops:


I chose tops to add to this lineup that are classic, season-less and fit into my regular lifestyle. Gone are the days where a silk blouse does me any good so I went for pieces that a flattering on the mid section and have length appropriate for my 5'9" self. 

Shoes:

I won't lie, I'm a sucker for Tory Buch flats. They are classic, comfortable and can go anywhere. I tend to wear them all Fall and Winter here in the South where we don't truly battle the elements and have yet to regret purchasing a pair. I love the matte finish of the blush pair being offered in the Sale this year, take a peek if you're a Tory fan (also available in black). 

I do want to jump on the mule trend because who am I to fight a shoe trend thats comfortable and doesn't require me to bend down for buckling or tying. I'm loving the cognac brown of this pair, and the price point is friendly, too. 

Pajamas: 

Oh hey, we all know I love pajamas! I honestly want to order every. single. pair. in this roundup but I'll restrain myself and choose two. Or three. 

Mom Life:

Perfect pieces to throw on and run errands in, I have and love the Zella High Waist Leggings (see them here) and am adding this wrap to my athliesure line up for Fall. 

Beauty: 
I always take advantage of the Nordstrom sale to stock up on products that I know and love so this year I'll be restocking my fave high end dry shampoo, my newest eye cream obsession, these sweet neutral lip colors (Lindsey Regan Thorne, my personal Beauty Guru loves them, too!) and SuperGoop! sunscreen spray

Baby Gear 

2018 Nordstrom Sale Round Up: Women, Men and Baby

Click on the individual picture for direct links to each item:

Ok, the baby gear of this sale is probably the category worth getting the most excited over. Everything on this list is something that we own and love (with the exception of the stroller caddy, that's the item on my list!) and I recommend each and every one. Both carseats are currently installed in one of our vehicles, the Dock A Tot was a game changer when Georgia was a newborn and the Mini Melissa's smell like grapes. Grapes. Enough said. Order it all. 

For my husband, I have my eye on a pair or two of joggers (so that he doesn't blow my cover when I wear "work out clothes" to Saturday donuts and he wears shorts and a polo), always snag him a pair of work loafers and try to talk him into new tennis shoes. The kid wears a pair of shoes until the soles fall off, so he's always in need of an upgrade.

Click on the individual picture for direct links to each item:


And for my sweet Boy, I find the best deals to be on outerwear and shoes. I always snag a fleece jacket, heavier coat and a pair of shoes for my growing boy. This year, I'll probably grab the Vineyard Vines pullover and polo because the quality is wonderful but the regular list price is not.

Click on the individual picture for direct links to each item:

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Home Decor and Rugs!

Guys.

I am here to tell you that the prices in the Home section of the Anniversary Sale are the best of the best. And no one is shopping it - it's all in stock and ready for you! I am breaking this post into two sections; home decor and rugs because the rug selection truly overwhelmed me with it's beauty and price point.You'll notice a lot of the items in the home decor section look like pieces in my home, and many are transitional so they could "live" in any space in your house.

Let's start with my fave decor pieces: 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Home Decor and Rugs!
Click on the individual image for a direct link:


1. Wooden Bowl || Use it as display on shelves or a kitchen counter, as a serving piece or for a great, inexpensive hostess or wedding gift. 

2. Ottoman/Stool || Also available in cream. I can perfectly envision this as the ottoman at the foot of a rocker in a nursery! It's a great piece to bring in natural texture! 

3. Pink Glass Vase || Honestly, I wish I had snagged this before we photographed our family room - I picked up a similar Home Goods find for more money....

4. Striped Ottoman || also available in navy stripe. This little striped ottoman reminds me of the Serena & Lily ottoman but with a price tag that I can stomach. 

5. Stripe Throw Pillow || also available in grey stripe . Bedroom, sofa, guest room, wherever, this little guy will tie it all together. 

6. Leather Ottoman || This may be my fave find of all - these leather ottomans are on the higher end (as all leather goods are) but the color is perfection and I haven't seen a price this low. 

7. Tassel Pillow || The perfect neutral toss pillow

8. Art Duo || This pair of paintings reminds me of the piece we have in our nursery - this is the perfect way to start an art collection or to bring a pop of color into a home. 

9. Octagon Mirror || I love a simple gold mirror and the octagon shape elevates this one above the rest. The price is currently lower than a similar version at Target! 

10. Jute Ottoman || I really struggle to find neutral, classic ottomans of sturdy construction (because, kids) at a reasonable price point but this jute and cotton ottoman fits the bill! 

11. Woven Tray || Another neutral piece that will bring texture to any home style, spice this up on your nightstand with your jelwelery and perfume or stash it on your coffee table to hold the remotes! 

12. Marble and Wood Cutting Board || We keep our pretty cutting boards out on display and I love that this one has a blend of marble and gold tones.

13. Towel Set || Make sure you check out the product photos for these little babies, they look so, so crisp hanging on an exposed hook in a bathroom! We have similar in our kid's bath. 

14. Tassel Storage Bins || Look familiar?? Yep, we use our tassel bins in our playroom and love them! 

15. Gold Wine Rack  || My current wine storage situation is just to stash the bottles on the top of the fridge so I'm going to need this guy to up my game. Another great hostess gift or holiday gift for co-workers! 

Don't Miss: These blackout curtains! || Currently in stock in 4 soft shades, this is a crazy good deal for blackout curtains!

And now for the RUGS! I am so surprised that I haven't heard even a hint of the rug sale goodness that is happening here but I'm thrilled to round it all up and show you how pretty it all is.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Home Decor and Rugs!

Click on the individual picture below for a direct link:


Creams and Greys:

Naturals:

Blues:


Many of the rugs listed are available in multiple colors and in many sizes so be sure to click pop over and check out a full listing if you see one that you like. I'll be the first to admit that one of the rugs comes in a fun shade of hot pink but I linked the blue because I'm boring, so don't forget to investigate!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Home Decor and Rugs!


FOUR


Four.

My baby is officially four entire years old. I literally cannot wrap my brain around that - four seems so old, not a baby in any way, a grown up big boy. I am head over heels for that kid and I want to squish him up and make him stay this age forever (as long as he learns that Mommy really doesn't like to function before 7am). He makes us so proud every single day and his little personality is something else. This year he had his first party with just his school friends (no family friends, etc) and his level of excitement over seeing his little buddies was contagious. 

This was also my first time throwing a birthday party anywhere but our house and I can confidently say that I will no longer be throwing parties at our house. Seriously, no cleaning to do, no ice to run out of, no last minute house projects - I'll be hard pressed to ever throw another party at home again. Gray loves the Nature Museum here in Charlotte and I thought it would be an awesome spot for his friends to rock out so I booked everything through them (this isn't sponsored in any way, but it was a really great gig, so I thought I'd share). 


Legit, all we needed to bring was the birthday boy and his cake. The Nature Museum set up the room, provided drinks, cups, plates etc and a party guide for the kids. I went ahead and booked a "theme" party and chose Forts and Fairies so Miranda, our party guide, welcomed all of the kiddos, told them all about all of the animals that live in the party room (Lightening, the Bearded Dragon was the fave), lead them on a tour of the turtle pools, let Gray feed the turtles and then lead them on an adventure outside where she read them a story and then went on a hunt for fairies, trolls and their secret dwellings. 


It was freaking adorable. The kids loved it - they wore wings and ran around outside, building and playing, burning all kinds of energy. The parents loved it - we hung back and let Miranda do the heavy lifting - and Justin and I loved how easy it was for us. 


We wrapped up by blowing out 4 candles on a dino cake, complete with erupting volcano, naturally, and hugs for all of our friends. It was the sweetest afternoon watching our boy so excited to play with his friends and I am reminded yet again how lucky we are to have moved into such an amazing school here in Charlotte. 


Sweet Gray, Mommy and Daddy love you infinity and back to one, you are our best blessing. Now please stop growing! 



5 Reasons I (Still) Wear Those Leggings, Even In The Summer

Thank you BJ’s Wholesale Club for sponsoring this post.

5 Reasons I (Still) Wear Those Leggings, Even In The Summer

Let's face it: my love for leggings runs strong. I've never hidden my love for black yoga pants, wearing them loud and proud as the basic leggings wearing, Starbucks drinking mom that I am, so I was a little surprised the other day when my husband caught a peek at me slapping on a pair and asked, "babe, do you really wear black leggings in the Summer? It's so hot!". Oh husband, heat is no match for my love of leggings (and yes, we live in the South, it is more than hot around here). But his question got me thinking - I guess it is sort of illogical to wear black, form fitting, long pants in the Summer but my devotion runs deep and my list of reasons to wear leggings even in the depths of July is long.

5 Reasons I (Still) Wear Those Leggings, Even In The Summer

Behold, 5 Reasons I (Still) Wear Those Leggings, Even In the Summer

1. I slept in them
Summer is insanely physically demanding on a mama with young kids. Ever seen a mom at the splash pad carry her baby and drag her pre-schooler by his swimmies to the edge after Lifeguard Break is called? Yeah, that mama is me, and I am bone tired by the end of the day. I love the feelings of slipping on a pair of my softest leggings and crashing hard, mouth open, drool pouring, for the night. Even better, I love knowing that when I wake in the morning, I can load everyone up with the sleep in my eyes and the pants on my rear and head to coffee without taking a detour to my closet.

2. My skin needs a break from all that exposure
And by exposure, I don't mean sun, I mean all of that exposure to, like, public viewing. Sometimes my skin misses it's less viewed Winter days, especially when I skip shaving for a day or four. What can I say? I rarely get a shower that lasts long enough to condition my hair, let alone to whip out a razor.

5 Reasons I (Still) Wear Those Leggings, Even In The Summer

3. I can't stop collecting them
Literally, I can (and do!) buy leggings on my grocery run! The pair I'm wearing is the perfect fit, hitting just above my belly button, thick enough to conceal lumps and bumps but thin enough to be soft and has the cutest perforated detail pattern from the knees to the ankles. And they cost me an entire $5. Yep, five whole dollars for a pair of pants that go anywhere and are waiting for me on my diaper stock up trip to BJ's Wholesale Club.

I know when you think "wholesale" you think of a week’s worth of paper towels and ten thousand juice boxes (wait, just me?), but you really should swing through the BJ's clothing department ASAP. I recently snagged the leggings and top I'm wearing in the photo (total cost for both pieces: $11) and a super cute Reebok outfit for Gray to wear to Super Hero Gymnastics Camp this week. Please look at how excited he is for his "super fast hero outfit":

5 Reasons I (Still) Wear Those Leggings, Even In The Summer

See? You need to hit those clothing racks at BJ's and see what's happening - the workout gear, newly expanded kids clothes, baby pajamas and women's lounge sections are my fave and I also have a ton of luck with socks and undies for my hubby there, too.

If you don't happen to have a BJ's in your area, you can always shop their products on their website to ensure that you're maximizing your budget (BJ's is the only wholesale retailer to take manufacturer's coupons!) and saving on the things you need. If you're not yet a BJ's member, click here to get on that!

4. I'm dropping my kids at the gym daycare
But let me be clear here: not to work out. I'm just there for that glorious two hour break gifted to me by joining a family gym and, to be honest, I'm not quite sure that I even know where the cardio equipment is. Despite my lack of athleticism, I still want to look the part so gym clothes it is, starring my favorite leggings and a sports bra that doesn't poke me with underwire. In case you're wondering, I'll probably sit in a chair in the lobby and tackle my emails but I can promise that you won't find me on a treadmill.

5 Reasons I (Still) Wear Those Leggings, Even In The Summer

5. I'm already sweating
While I do appreciate my Husband's concern over impending heat stroke, long pants or not, I'm sweating in a North Carolina summer. Might as well embrace it and look active and sporty while I do it. Maybe people will think I did actually work out for those two hours that I hid at the gym.
Maybe...


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.