Harder, Better, Faster….

I was super motivated this morning, even though I slept in almost 20 minutes past alarm :-/ …My boyfriend was sweet and vacated the living room ASAP (ASAP included the time it took to move the coffee table…aww so sweet, I know). I jumped into action for Alpha Day 3 Total Body Circuit workout, which brings us into my song of the day….classic, but true to my day in every way.

Very impressed, only felt slightly out of sync at one move

Very impressed, only felt slightly out of sync at one move

Now Nutrition, the only hiccup is the coke and rum (would of been happier with a glass of Merlot, but I was all out) I enjoyed my drink as I slaved over another One Green Planet Recipe. Vegan Braised Seitan Short Ribs in Spicy Chile Sauce for those who were curious, I plated it over Quinoa and Wilted Garlic Kale toss…NOM

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/braised-seitan-short-ribs-in-spicy-chile-sauce/

Lunch today will be chopped short rib over a bed of romaine in a organic corn soft tortilla with the sauce I made by reducing the strained, braising liquid. I think if I made cashew cream it would compliment this, but not going to do it.

I also received notice that my much delayed cookbook order will finally arrive by Monday, I am excited to read “Mayim’s Vegan Table”. I have many great cookbooks, such as “Appetite for Reduction”, “Happy Herbivore Light & Lean”, “Practically Raw”, “Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats”, “Happy Herbivore Abroad”, and a few others. Between these, Mayim’s, and my Grounded Nutrition 30 Day Meal Plan E-File I feel it should be easy to keep myself from feeling the need for convenience foods. Especially if I remember how inconvenient they are to my goals.

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0738217042/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Yesterdays calculator:

Day 2 Food Intake

Day 2 Food Intake

 

 

 

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Keep on Moving

We will start with my favorite part…SONG OF THE DAY of course, and the winner is….

I received a prep for 5K from Happy Herbivore a little while back that I think is designed for everyone and is very well set up regarding how to personalize it and not get deterred.

http://happyherbivore.com/2013/06/free-couch-5k-program-ebook-recipes/

Since I do not believe it is necessary to be soaked in muggy city rain water I am skipping the 5K training outdoors and replacing it with the following.

This is hilarious and perfect. Now I can exercise AND watch one of my favorite disney movies at the same time!!

Yesterday I successfully tracked my food, and even though it scored me as high in the carbs category, a lot of my carbs were beans and veggies. Maybe I could have skipped the 7 grain salad, or had a smoothie instead of toast but I am not going to harp on it. I would like to up the protein amount a bit.

T25 Day 1 Food Intake

T25 Day 1 Food Intake

We will have to see tomorrow how well I tracked and planned out my food today. Due to a certain significant other I also lost maybe 5 minutes of the Day 2 T25 Alpha workout, which is sad, maybe I will redo it if Tangled workout doesn’t do me in for the day 😉

Focus T25 Alpha Phase Calendar - Day 2.

Focus T25 Alpha Phase Calendar – Day 2.

Scored myself a less than. I kept up to tempo, even though I was a little less than coordinated at times, but ultimately not completing all 25 minutes is not okay, even if it was a minute.

 

I Cannot tell a lie, my bottom half is killing me, some of the moves in Speed 1.0 remind me of Will Smith dancing in Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and when your not coordinated it is a painful mess, lol.

 

 

WAIT, Rewind…and Restart

I have been having a little problem managing stress lately so lets start with song of the day and it is going to be….

I had a great and unique hair cut experience at the Cut-A-Thon for Parkinson in London on April 27th,

https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonsociety

I chose Studio H as my salon location. It was a $40 donation and I was surprised with a gift bag. Inside the bag was a Full-size Finishing Spray, replenishment serum samples and shampoo and conditioner samples. I was lucky to have an ambassador of L-Oreal, by the name of Heather Wenman Scratch cut my hair. It was a blast, and she filled me in on Green Circle Salon Campaign that is quickly growing in the Salon world.

Info:

http://london.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=349635

App: 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app_mygreensalon.layout

me with morning glow

Relaxed style for work…with a mornign workout glow

Me & Heather - I always blink lol

Me & Heather – I always blink, lol – but very fun up-do

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much fun as I had, I saw a shot of me that I really didn’t like and it has amped me up to restart my fitness goals. Tracking my food again, drinking my tea rather than coffee, and I am restarting Force T25.

I wish there was a button for when you almost Nailed it so hence the "better than symbol" ;-)

I wish there was a button for when you almost Nailed it so hence the “better than symbol” 😉

I am attending the Color Run and have an open invitation to join a team, which sounds like so much fun. I plan on completing the daily requirements of the above workout, the 5K prep suggested by the Color Run page, and hopefully a good Hot Yoga stretch here and there. I will also be using the Grounded Nutrition 30 Day Meal Plan to help boost my immediate results and get me on a path away from my vices

 

 

 

 

 

Those 2 Boxes of Hair Dye Will Be $30.99…I DO NOT THINK SO!

I only bought 2 things that were not on my list and really good savings…spent $48.84, but with $10 worth of pts really $38.84

I am an Optimum Member at Shoppers and that is one of many store cards I have and Shoppers was having the 8000 Points for $50 before tax purchase….We all know it does not take a lot of items to add up to $50.00 worth of product. Which in this economy is a horrible reality.

So for this trip, I went into the store found my items, found what sales were going on, go home flip through the coupon binder, flip through the flyer to make sure I didn’t miss anything and I can get as much as possible for my Dollars.

Luckily I also had:

– a $10 Shoppers Gift Card, and

– $10 worth of Optimum points to add to this trip.

– Nail Polish was B1G1 and Revlon nail polish was buy 2 and get 2000 PTS,

– Oasis Juice on sale for $2.99 and receive 1200 PTS

– Sassoon Dye was on sale for $12.99 and I had a $5.00 coupon from Elle Beauty Box

–  Olia Dye was on sale for $14.99 and I had a $3.00 coupon from ?save.ca?…I think

– Bf’s Minute Rice on sale for 2/$4.00

– Triscuits were on sale for $1.99 and I had $1.00 off coupon

– Toothpaste was on sale for $2.99 and I had a $1.00 off coupon

– Coke was on sale for $2.99 and I had a 2 for 1 coupon

– Monsters were on sale 2/$5.00

 

Silk Almond Milk was a guilty pleasure for regular price of $4.79 and the extra items (Becel and Monsters) for the boyfriend

 

I find  it is difficult if you are trying to maximize your savings in a store where the manager can be a little….abrupt, and you feel like an inconvenience, but remember the world is not fair. We as a society would be lucky if Housing Costs were only 30% of our monthly income, then you factor in student loans, food (even harder if you have food restriction), dependents, unexpected necessities (medicine, physical rehabilitations/ alignments, etc), clothing…as you know the list goes on. This is why I refuse to really feel bad, I am a customer, the companies provide these discounts and reimburses the retailer (and it is not like the store employees are paying for the stock). I have a right to a few treat items, making that occasional home hair-dye a possibility by scraping the cost down in other areas is a reasonable expectation. And to do so I find all resources available to me…

 

My "Bag" of Tricks

My “Bag” of Tricks

Things I Use to Optimize My Savings

– I receiving email Flyers, coupon blog emails (Mrs.January, Extreme Canadian Couponing, etc),

– save.ca is a great way to combine multiple online couponing resources, as well as other coupon sites

– Store Discount Cards, Banks cards that provide rewards, Stamp/punch cards

– Subscribe to Sample sites, a 5 minute survey once in a while is soooo worth it I promise

– Subscribe to flyer deliveries (sometimes flashing the flyer off a tablet or phone will not be enough for a store clerk

– Coupon binder that is organized (I use chapter dividers and “cardholder pages”)

– Follow all blogs, coupon sites, favorite brands, companies, etc on Social Media ***ESPECIALLY Facebook***

– Get familiar with annual giveaway days and do not give up (Top Right corner of 2nd picture is the wallet and purse I won as a Grand Prize through Susan Nichole Handbags (https://www.facebook.com/SusanNicholeHandbags)

– Research your local market places and stores

– Know where you freebies are (Kids eat free, It’s your birthday enjoy a ______, 1/2 price Tuesdays, etc)

 

It should be noted that I have not paid for razor blades in _____ ….WOW, I do not remember, I have not needed to purchase Laundry Soap since prior to moving to London 3 years ago, and toothbrushes I get free, along with various other things. Note there is a difference between not paying and not needing to purchase, it is exactly that (razors free and laundry soap is still stocked 😀 )

 

SPECIAL NOTE: If you need a minimum coupon count to order that 1 coupon you want, do not let them go to waste…a little scotch tape as you go through an aisle you can “Pay it Forward”….I never say “well I have a coupon so it is worth buying….”. the hair dye I bought may have a high reg price but after discoutn and coupons it matched the cheaper products that were out.

 

Song of the Day – Stronger (video performed by Megan Kowalewski)

Recently, my friend shared this moving video for “stronger” about surviving Cancer. It is absolutely moving and inspires me on a personal level due to my mom who is goes through Physio & Speech Therapy to heal her right side after her brain aneurysm in October 2013.

For more information regarding my mom’s personal struggle and ways of support that would be really appreciated and cherished visit

http://www.gofundme.com/HopeforCindy

Positive thinking leads to a positive life. (i didn't write this caption but it is the truth haha) be grateful! And cherish everyday you have, don't take things for granted!

Grounded Nutrition Meal Plan 75% OFF

“Now you can get the entire 30 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan for 75% OFF.

The meal plan sells daily for $97… but you can save 75% and get the entire meal plan for $27!”

http://www.groundednutrition.com/30-day-meal-plan-special/

I have personally bought the 30 Day Meal Plan, and I have participated in the 10 & 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanses. I love them, things are planned, and since my cupboards and freezers are used to the clean diet that the Cleanses and Diet offers, it can be very affordable. If you are someone to the clean foods culinary style, this can be a costly adventure at the start, but as you enjoy and engulf yourself in this nourishing foodie environment you will not buy a lot of the unhealthy processed items littered throughout the household previously. You also get to know your local food markets, which offer the best deals for what, I find local markets and international grocery markets work best for me.

I feel the vibrant foods open to you by making a grounded nutrition recipe are endless, the following are my Daily Meal Photos from the 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanse.

Day 1 Consisted of, well to start not the greatest photo ops, but back to the food…Slow Cooker Berry Bomb Oatmeal, Iced Macachino, Maple Dijon Spinach Salad, Cookie Dough Balls, and Pesto Pasta & Green Salad.

 

Day 2 of 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanse from groundednutrition.com....not too late to join and enjoy @Grounded Nutrition

Day 2 Raspberry Mango Smoothie, Glow Juice or Smoothie, Almond Ginger Quinoa Salad, Zucchini Green Hummus, Hearty Taco Salad

Day 3 of 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanse from groundednutrition.com....not too late to join and enjoy @Grounded Nutrition

Day 3 Maple Nut Oatmeal, Orange Spinach Smoothie, Broccoli Soup & Sandwiches, Mylkshake, Vegetable Stew

Day 4 of 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanse from groundednutrition.com....not too late to join and enjoy @Grounded Nutrition

Day 4 Tropical Smoothie, Veggies & Guacamole, Goddess Salad, Sunshine Juice or Smoothie, Coconut Crusted Burgers with roasted veg

Day 5 of 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanse from groundednutrition.com....not too late to join and enjoy @Grounded Nutrition

Day 5 Perfect Pancakes, Green Goddess Smoothie, Eggplant Pizzas, Banana Cookies, Teriyaki Buddha Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 of 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanse from groundednutrition.com....not too late to join and enjoy @Grounded Nutrition

Day 6 Creamsicle Smoothie, Superfood Trail Mix, Orange Basil Salad, Chocolate Energy Pudding, Classic Lasagna (by now you can tell I play with my food)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7 of 7 Day Vibrant Living Cleanse from Grounded Nutrition @Grounded Nutrition

Day 7 Banana Caramel Parfait, Energy Juice & Smoothie, Hearty Salad Bowl, Brownie Balls, Buffalo Cauliflower w/ Potato Wedges & Dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red drizzled over some of my dishes is Sriracha, I was craving spice that week, which is not called for anywhere in the Cleanse or Meal plan.

 

NOW there is only just a little time left to secure 75% off, 9 Days, 18 Hours, and 45 Minutes…..GO GO GO!….And ENJOY!

Song of the day – Salt-N-Pepa & En Vogue – Whatta Man

I have a friend participating in the preliminary/ Local level of the Canadian Star Search Contest to win a seat to go compete in the worldwide Canada Star search. She is amazing and if you live in the London Ontario area I suggest coming out to Friday Knight Lights on Richmond Street. Starts usually around 10 pm, some truly amazing vocals.

Anyways, my friend Selina was practicing the other night and since she knew that she will be asked to compete this Thursday in a genre of music outside her usual comfort zone she decided on “Whatta Man”. All I have to say is WOW

 

If you want to see more on Canada Star Search – London visit:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Canada-star-search/206882269490514

or their youtube page at:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYI3IKwEg3XY1wANVpRooTg

Strawberry Cheesecake filled Chocolate eggs



Strawberry Cheesecake stuffed Chocolate Eggs

I was on www.naturalcandystore.com and I saw a hollow chocolate bunny with surf sweets gummies inside which made me consider other stuffed chocolate Easter treats that could be made. Ta-Da! Vegan Cheesecake stuffed eggs…yummy.

Chocolate:Egg Process

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder or 1 cup Chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, liquid
  • 2.5 tbsp pure maple syrup

 

–          Put your mold in the freezer to chill. Combine all chocolate ingredients until the mix turns into a thin sauce or syrup.

–          Remove the molds from the freezer and apply a thin coat of chocolate sauce before returning to freezer to harden.

–          Repeat with second coat

 

Filling:

Cheesecake-

2.5 cups soaked raw cashews

Dash of lemon juice

1 to 1.5 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp sweetener, optional

1 cup reserved soaking liquid or coconut water

Cheesecake fillingStrawberry sauce-

1 cup strawberries

¼ cup water

1 tbsp sweetener

1 tsp agar or 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed into equal parts liquid

 

4 Graham Cracker Cookies (Homemade or store bought), crushed

 

Cheesecake- Blend softened raw cashews, lemon juice, vanilla, sweetener, and a little more than a ¼ cup of reserved water. Add more reserved liquid as absolutely necessary, you do not want to add too much, should have similar consistency as cream cheese. Blend until smooth and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Strawberry Sauce – Blend all sauce ingredients except agar powder. Bring to boil and reduce heat, cook for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove from heat and whisk in agar powder or cornstarch mix, be careful it does not clump. Bring back to a boil and then remove from heat. Sauce should be a syrup consistency not gel.

 

Put it together: (Try not to handle your shells too much or they could soften, keep them in a fridge or freezer and only pull out the one you are working on.)

1) Take ½ egg and sprinkle crumbs, add some cashew cheesecake, and lightly pour strawberry syrup over it.   Repeat, until desired filling amount is reached.

2) To seal the egg place a second ½ over the other and seal around the edging with excess chocolate syrup. I found it helped to return the filled ½ egg to the freezer for a minute before sealing together with other ½.

 

NOTES:

–          I made about 3 batches of the chocolate shell mixture to make all the eggs in the pictures, but I like thick shells.

–          You could have excess cheesecake filling, but I doubt anyone will have a problem helping finish that up….if you are willing to share that is.

–          If chocolate mixture seems too thick add more coconut oil….When thick it may not fill the crevices of your mold, losing details or making it fragile.

 

The chocolate shells can be stuffed with practically anything, make sure you have fun. Making homemade treats allows you to avoid the “well I would preferred if it _______” Food is something that celebrates, acts as a form of expression, nourishes, and brings people together….It is a glue for life, don’t waste it, but don’t use it too sparingly. 😉

Hollow Choc Egg with Gummy Bears

Source:

Chocolate shell –

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/03/20/healthy-cadbury-creme-eggs/

Contests & Giveaways – April 15th

So as important as it is to most of us to save money, this video reminds us sometimes things are worth paying for so you do not have to pay out for ignoring them…EW

–          Find your inner Superpower for your chance to win a trip for 2 to New York City from Air Canada Vacations, the Revlon Electric Chrome Collection™ Prize Packs, and Cineplex Movie Passes:

http://bit.ly/1it07vs

–          Win Lindt Chocolate for a year with this fun game:

https://loveexcellence.ca/

–          Win a Silence Force Extreme Vacuum (approx. Retail value $499.99) from Home Outfitters:

http://og-ho.branderati.com/RowentaContest2014/

–          Spring Beauty Giveaway with polka dots stripes and hearts:

http://polkadotsstripesandhearts.blogspot.ca/2014/04/spring-beauty-giveaway.html

–          $50.00 Visa Gift Card Giveaway:

http://www.treasuretrooper.com/visagiveaway

–          Favorite Things for Spring 2014 and a $50.00 Visa Card Giveaway from About a Mom:

http://www.aboutamom.com/favorite-things-for-spring-2014/

–          Leave a comment on Lip Smackers facebook post for a chance to #win one of 10 special edition Easter flavors. Just tell them why you love this time of the year before midnight EST on 4/16:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657226374324678&set=a.241345445912775.52647.200915953289058&type=1&stream_ref=10

–          $25 gift card to Well.ca at EatLifeBalance.com. Two entries 1) Comment on a healthy option below the blog post 2) Like them on Facebook:

http://eatlifebalance.com/healthyprice-ca-giveaway/

–          Visit the Leon’s Facebook page and enter for a chance to win a set of Aloe Pillows.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=637148323038357&set=a.227724027314124.58123.211317552288105&type=1

–          Enter the Lenox Happy Easter Dinnerware Sweepstakes for a chance to win an Easter Dinner Prize Pack:

http://www.feedback.lenox.com/se.ashx?s=411944FA57787B99

–          Enter now and get a chance to win the Grand Prize of a 2014 Can-Am Spyder RS or $15,000 Cash instead. Second prize is two tickets to one game of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final with seating locations, and travel expense amount of $2,000. Third prize is a $250 gift certificate to Shop.NHL.com:

http://bracketchallenge.nhl.com/playoff_challenge/picks?locale=en

–          Mother’s Day Luxury Giveaway – “Win prizes for you AND your mom this Mother’s Day from e.l.f. and Emilie M! Five grand prize winners (One winner per day) will receive: 1 Emilie M handbag of choice, An Emilie M Essentials Box, An e.l.f. gift set valued at $50, $50 e.l.f. gift card redeemable on eyeslipsface.com. 50 second prize winners (10 per day) will receive:  $25 e.l.f. e-gift certificate redeemable on eyeslipsface.com, $25 Emilie M e-gift certificate redeemable on emiliemshop.com:

http://goo.gl/DyB0bf

–          Join Chick Advisor Product Review Club for chances at free samples and rewards:

http://www.chickadvisor.com/home.html

 

For those who have not followed MrsJanuary.com and are trying to figure out why they are not able to gain Canadian “Extreme Couponer” status will find this article helpful.

How to be an Extreme Couponer

Ever since the TLC show Extreme Couponing has aired, I have received numerous emails from readers begging me to give them tips on how to be an extreme couponer like the people they see on the show.

I’m sorry to break it to ya folks, but what you see on the show is not really how it all goes down. Those shoppers save up all of their “Free Product” and “High Value” coupons to use on the show, so that their hauls will be much more impressive.

They know well in advance when their shopping date will be, so they have plenty of time to order coupons (many use a coupon clipping service at a cost – a cost that is never factored into their out of pocket total).

It’s television – pure entertainment.

Is it possible to be an extreme couponer in Canada?

Yes, but don’t expect to get the same types of deals as those you see on Extreme Couponing.

Many of the people on the show have stores in their community that will double the value of coupons. They also have catalinas that print on your receipt, which are coupons you can use for future purchases (for example: save $5 on your next purchase of $20).

In addition, they often have better in store promotions than those of us in Canada (for example: buy 5 General Mills products and get $5 off your purchase).

So, yes, you can be an extreme couponer in Canada. Just don’t expect to go to the store every week and buy $600 worth of groceries for $10. It’s near impossible.

My eBook, Money In Your Pocket, is a great resource for saving money on groceries in Canada. Please check it out if you are looking to cut back on your grocery bills.

How to Become an Extreme Couponer

Learning how to extreme coupon in Canada takes time. Becoming an extreme couponer and building a large stockpile doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to learn how to shop smart and get used to using coupons in large quantities. It took me well over a year to build my stockpile and I am still (and always will be) constantly taking from and adding items to it.

Find Coupons

If you really want to get serious about couponing, the first thing you need to do is find coupons – and find a lot of them. There are many ways to do this: tear pad coupons, coupon inserts, online coupon companiesprintable couponscoupon trading, etc.

Organize Coupons

Once you find a bunch of coupons, you will then need to organize them. My favourite way to organize coupons is the binder method, but of course, there are many other options. Choose the organizational system that you think would work best for you.

It’s important to always stay on top of your coupons. When you get new ones, organize them right away. They start to pile up very fast! Also, don’t forget to go through your coupons at least once per month and remove all of the expired ones.

Check Your Flyers

There are new store flyers every week. When you receive them, look them over and make note of the items that you think are good deals and would like to buy. Then, check your coupons to see if you have any to match up to those sale items.

I post weekly coupon match-ups every Thursday, so if you don’t have time to check your flyers, just watch for that post.

You always want to shop with a list when you go grocery shopping. Otherwise, you will just walk up and down the aisles adding random items to your cart with no real rhyme or reason. To save yourself some money, always shop with a list and never buy anything that is not on it (unless you find some great clearance deals, of course!).

Also, you need to fill your belly before you go shopping, otherwise you will shop on impulse and fill up your cart with junk food. Trust me on that one.

Stock-up on Sale Items

You always want to stock up on items when they are at their rock-bottom prices. This is how you build a grocery stockpile. Give yourself a monthly “stocking up” budget and use that money to stock up on items when they go on sale.

If you use lots of frozen vegetables and normally pay $1.99 a bag, wait until they go on sale for $1 or less and then stock up. Sales typically run about every 3 months, so purchase a 3 month supply (if you can afford it) at that low price and then you don’t have to worry about frozen vegetables for 3 months.

Always save your coupons to match up with great deals. I know it can be tempting to use a whole bunch of coupons when you first start out, but you will get the best bang for your buck if you hold on to those coupons and wait for a sale to combine them with. Avoid full price whenever possible, even if you have a coupon.

Organize Your Stockpile

Once you start using coupons for awhile and purchasing things that are on sale, you will begin to amass a collection of items. This is called a stockpile. In order to avoid chaos in your home, you need to organize your stockpile. Basements work best, but if you don’t have one available to use, here are some other ideas for stockpile storage.

Remember to always add newer items to the back and move older items to the front, to prevent expiration issues. You’re not saving any money if you just end up throwing things out!

Donate Your Extras

When you start getting the hang of using coupons and stockpiling, you will probably end up having a whole heap of items that you can’t possibly use before they expire. I would suggest donating those stockpile items to local food banks, shelters and even friends and family. Help others in need. Pay it forward. If you do good, good will come to you.

Becoming an extreme couponer is hard. It takes a lot of time, and it can be stressful. You have to find coupons, clip coupons, organize coupons, plan shopping trips, go shopping and put everything away. You will sometimes deal with cashiers that don’t want to accept your coupons. There will be great big hauls and there will be very small hauls. Expect that.

If you want to be extreme, couponing becomes a job. It’s not easy – but it can certainly be worth it!” source:

www.MrsJanuary.com