I’m on Week 7 of Noom, Here’s My Thoughts

Have you been curious about Noom like I was? I’ve seen quite a few people asking if they new anyone that has used Noom or what it was about so I figured I’d write up a post to help out. This is not something I got for free. I’m personally paying for the program so I’m a regular customer.

What I’ve Tried In The Past

I tried just dieting and exercising on my own but it didn’t work. I tried MyFitnessPal, it helped some but not much and I fell off with using it. I bought into Beachbody’s 21 Day fix. While it did work, doing the same exercise program every single day for months got monotonous. I was bored of it. I could get into a different program but I had to pay for it again. Plus, I felt like if I gave in and at a couple cookies one day I was a failure. Autumn would always say “Don’t undo what you just did in the kitchen” during workouts so I felt like if I had a scoop of ice cream then I just undid everything and I had no will power. I did Personal Trainer Food. Again it worked, I lost the most weight with this program but I couldn’t afford to keep the prepackaged/measured food coming and never really learned recipes and how to really eat. When the holidays came around I fell off hard and gained everything back.

Finding My Motivation To Try Yet Again

I was looking for my motivation to get back on track and it came in an unexpected place for me. I ordered my bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding around the end of June. It fit perfect in the store. When it actually came in in August the girl helping me with my dress barely got it zippered. I was mad at myself and embarrassed. If I gained any more weight I wouldn’t be able to fit in the dress.

I had been tempted to try Noom before. I was afraid of spending money on yet another program that I would fail at. There was a 2 week free trial. I thought, well I’ll do the 2 week free trial and see if it’s for me. If it’s not for me I’ll cancel it before I get charged. The same day I signed up for Noom I went as a guest with my friend to Planet Fitness. I signed up for a Planet Fitness membership the next day. I new I needed to work on both my nutrition and my activity level.

When I Realized It Was Different

Noom uses psychology and technology to help people make a lifestyle change. They offer psych tricks to help you get past the hurdles. No food is necessarily a “bad food” it’s just not a good choice all the time. Eating a piece of cake on your birthday does not make you hopeless. They give helpful information on how to pick out good studies and research in regard to diet and exercise. They offer exercise suggestions. Lots of good info. You use the app each day with a daily “checklist” for lack of a better word. The app use might take about 10 minutes a day but you can break it up throughout the day. It’s easy to do while sitting at your kids practice, waiting for your water to boil, or sitting in the bathroom (hey I’m just saying).

You’re assigned a coach after 2 weeks to help keep you on track and motivated. The coaches are not over-bearing cheerleaders but instead offering encouragement, tips, and lending an ear. Not long after that you’ll meet the group, fellow Noomers in about the same stage of the program as you that you can swap recipes with, encourage and receive encouragement, problems solve with and more.

Do the Trial to See if It’s Right For You

I highly encourage the use of the 2 week free trial to see if it’s something that works for you. If you feel it’s just not for you make sure you cancel before your two week trial is up. I personally love the program but everyone is different. If you go through my Noom referral link you’ll get a 2 week free trial and 20% off if you decide to stick with it!

I personally have lost 7 lbs so far, I’ve lost an inch around my butt and abdomen, my clothes fit better, and I can totally see a difference. I’m able to fit into that bridesmaid dress I need to wear this weekend!

If you’ve been thinking about joining Planet Fitness too, you can get a free day pass to try it for yourself.


FREE Piece of Godiva Chocolate on National Chocolate Day

A lot of people love chocolate. It makes sense there would be a national chocolate day. It also makes sense that chocolate companies would want to help you celebrate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, with or without nuts, artisan chocolate, or right off the rack at the grocery store, it’s hard to beat chocolate.

Monday October 28 is National Chocolate Day. I couldn’t love it anymore that it happens on a Monday. I know I could use a piece of chocolate on a Monday. Godiva has a treat for you that day!

In Celebration of National Chocolate Day, Godiva is offering a free chocolate case piece with ANY purchase (while supplies last) at Godiva Boutique, Cafe, and Outlet locations. Only valid on October 28, 2019.

Need help finding a Godiva location? Check the Godiva website and click on the “Boutiques & Cafes” link in the upper left corner of the homepage. Also Godiva is offering a free trick or treat backpack with $50 order with code: HALLOWEEN until 10/20/19

Godiva’s Fall collection is out now. It includes flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Maple Walnut. I love anything Maple so that would be amazing for me. I haven’t treated myself to some Godiva chocolate in a long time. The Boscov’s near my house has a Godiva case. I just might have to get myself a little treat.

Do you have a favorite chocolate? How will you celebrate National Chocolate Day?

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links


33 Million American Can’t Afford Winter Travel According to Wallethub

I dream about escaping the below freezing temperature of Pennsylvania in the winter. More so around February time frame. I get sick of the snow, ice, bad roads, layering, shoveling, short days, etc. There are a lot of factors that play into us not being able to do that though.

For us all 4 of our kids are in school so they would have to miss school. Then there is requesting time off from both our places of work and hoping both of use get approved. Add in the fact that we provide Christmas for 4 kids and the financial aspect is there too.

Travel is something my husband and I want to do closer to retirement. For now we just do a family vacation every other year, usually to a beach on the east coast.

Wallethub collected some states on winter travel. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 4% more people are planning to travel this winter than last winter, and 79% of them are planning to spend at least as much as last year.
     
  • 1 in 3 people don’t plan to travel this winter, and 38% of them – a total of 33 million people – say they can’t afford it.
     
  • Millennials are 6X more likely than baby boomers to apply for a new credit card to save on winter travel.
     
  • Weather and cost are the leading concerns for more than 8 in 10 winter holiday travelers.
     
  • Capital One Venture is the best credit card for winter travel because it has an initial bonus worth $500 in travel for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and gives at least double miles on all purchases.

Q&A with WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou

What do WalletHub’s survey results indicate about how confident consumers feel economically?

“The results of WalletHub’s Winter Travel Survey show reason for economic optimism in the sense that slightly more people are planning to travel this year than last year, and 79% of winter travelers say they’re going to spend at least as much as they did last year,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “When people are feeling strain financially, you generally don’t see travel increase.”

Why do you think so many people say they can’t afford to travel this winter?

“It should be no surprise that 33 million Americans say they can’t afford to travel this winter. Even though unemployment is near record lows and the stock market is near record highs, there are a lot of things weighing on consumers financially right now. For one thing, we’re racking up credit card debt at a pace reminiscent of the run-up to the Great Recession. Student debt clearly is a problem. And there’s a lot of political uncertainty,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “It’s also important to point out that people who recognize they can’t afford a big trip are doing the smart thing by staying home and saving up. Far too many people think a vacation is a necessity worth going into debt for.”

Is it worth paying an annual fee for a credit card in order to get better perks?

“It is worth paying an annual fee on a credit card if the card in question will save you more money at the end of the day, after factoring in the fee, than the best no-annual-fee alternative. Unfortunately, the results of WalletHub’s new survey show that only one-third of consumers seem to recognize that,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “You don’t want to pay for a card if you’re not going to get your money’s worth. But you don’t want to automatically rule out cards with annual fees, either. They can be worth the investment and then some. For example, the average person could earn more than $1,000 in net rewards value – after subtracting annual fees – with the best travel credit cards over just two years of use.”

Why are millennials so much more likely to apply for a credit card to get winter-travel savings than baby boomers?

“Most millennials have grown up in the age of free credit scores and reports, and online credit card comparison. So they may be a bit more comfortable applying for new credit cards, seeing their credit scores dip then recover, switching billing information for services they pay for with their cards, etc. Younger people also tend to be more cash-strapped than older folks, which makes them more inclined to look for savings opportunities,” said WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou.

So do you do any winter travel? Do you have any winter travel plans this year?


Eco-Friendly Back to School Supplies Guide

Good for you for being interested i learning how to do better for the earth while supplying your kids what they need for their education. We have lot of options now for reusable and/or sustainable school supplies than ever before.

Book Covers

We use stretchy cloth book covers. They have smaller and larger ones available. They stretch easily over my kids textbooks and don’t fall off. They’re washable, reusable, and come in lots of colors and designs. We have several book covers that have been around for several years. I think we’ve had one get a hole in it but they can be easily repurposed into hair ties, hacky-sacks, barbie doll clothes, or whatever you can think of. You can find them in-store at Walmart too really cheap.

Snacks

Our school allows our children to bring in snacks. We can send them in daily, weekly or for the entire month. Reusable snack bags are not only eco-friendly, but also saves money in the long run. I have 4 kids, I can go through a box of sandwich bags or freezer bags in a blink. Even buying the generic brand it adds up.

There are clear reusable snack bags that look more like the normal sandwich bags and freezer bags. Then there are cloth reusable food storage bags that come in fun designs.

Pencils

There are lots of options for more earth friendly pencils. There are plantable pencils, pencils made from recycled newspaper, and if you just have to have a mechanical pencils there are even mechanical pencils made from bamboo.

If you’re a pencil snob and just have to have the Ticonderoga brand #2 pencils well Ticonderoga envirostik is your answer. It’s a natural wood pencil from “responsibly managed” forests. And still the #2 designation.

Erasers

This one seems to be harder to find but not impossible. A company called Onyx and Green make erasers made from recycled rubber.

Glue

It seems Elmer’s used to make a natural glue but I can’t seem to find it available anywhere which makes me wonder if they stopped making it. But that doesn’t mean you have to. I found this great recipe for easy homemade glue. You can reuse an old glue bottle or use another similar reusable squeeze bottle. I’m even wondering if a clean, empty mustard bottle would work? What do you think?

Crayons and Colored Pencils

The elementary kids tend to use the crayons more while the teens seem to use the colored pencils more.

There are several choices for environmentally friendly crayons. There are crayons with reduced packaging as well as crayons made from beeswax.

You can even repurpose broken crayons you have by melting crayon stubs down and creating new chunky crayons. For mine I used a mini muffin tin for the shapes.

Onyx and Green comes through again with earth friendly colored pencils made from recycled newspaper.

Just FYI, for markers, Crayola has a program called Colorcycle for schools where schools can collect unusable markers and send them back to crayola for marker recycling.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Easy and Affordable Eco-Friendly Swaps

I’ve been wanting to do better in regard to making better choices for the earth. I realize there is a lot of changes I need to make. It’s a little overwhelming. One thing I started doing was to keep a stash of reusable shopping bags in my car so I wouldn’t forget them when I’d go shopping. Here are a few more changes I’m making

Choosing Eco-friendly Stores

I’ve been shopping at Aldi more. Even though it’s a bit out of the way they’ve been more eco-friendly for a while and continue to make changes to do better, themselves. Aldi fairly recently announced they would be moving to fully sustainable packaging by the year 2025. There are tons of options for reusable shopping bags out there. I’ve actually got quite a few from local events, swag bags, etc for free.

Making Eco-friendly Swaps

So one issue I kept having was disposable utensils. We have a lot of get-togethers with a lot of people multiple times a year. The idea of washing that many dishes and utensils was daunting but the reality is, I don’t own enough for the amount of people that come to our parties. Initially when looking into biodegradable or sustainable disposable products they were pretty pricey for a minimal amount.

A fate, facebook post helped me to find Avoplast. Avoplast is 100% eco-friendly disposable utensils and straws made from avocado pits! As if there was any more reason to love avocados. How affordable are these? Well as a an example the Avoplast forks come in a 24 pack with free Prime delivery.

It doesn’t appear that Avoplast makes disposable plates or napkins though but there are lots of options for biodegradable plates and biodegradable napkins.

I also found this 114 pc set from Earth’s Naturals that has service for 16 people at a reasonable price.

Everyday Eco-friendly choices

My nieces have some kind of crazy obsession with straws. I keep stainless steel straws handy when they visit. What i like about stainless still straws is, they’re sturdy, they hold up well, and they come in different sizes. They have everything thing from regular size straws to Boba straws. I tried glass straws but they just didn’t hold up in our house. The stainless steel straws definitely do better.

Check out this set of 10 stainless steel straws with silicone tips (a little safer for the kids). It also comes with cleaning brushes. They actually gave me a coupon code to share with you too that is valid until Sept 9, 2019. Use code: METST5FF to get this set for only $5.99 with free shipping! (expires 9/9/19)

Some local convenience stores allow you to buy a branded reusable travel mug and refill coffee for a lower price or even offer so many free refills. Save money and the environment but using reusable water bottles too. There are plenty of different sizes and options from glass, stainless steel, BPA free plastic, and more.

Earth Friendly and Family Friendly Cleaning

There’s lots of reasons to swap out your cleaning products. Not just environmental but for your families health. Fumes and chemicals in some cleaning products can actually cause more harm than good.

There are more eco-friendly options in your grocery store with reduced packaging and free of chemicals but you can also make your own. A simple vinegar and water solution can be great for cleaning windows, counters, and more.

There are also essential oil companies that offer safer cleaning options and essential oil recipes. Simply Earth actually has a subscription service that send you several essential oils each month with natural product recipes. Everything from cleaning products, hygiene products, cosmetics, and more.

You can also choose products that are reusable and let you clean without chemicals using water. E-cloth is an affordable alternative with chemical free options to clean windows, scrub dishes, even remove make up with just water. I’ve used these products myself and they work better than I ever thought. Who knew you can get a good clean with just water?

Are you trying to make earth-friendly changes? I’d love to know what you are doing.