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17 Day Diet Check-In {End of Cycle 3!!}


This is it, y'all!!

I made it through a complete round of the 17 Day Diet and it's starting to get all Katniss Everdeen up in here!

51 days and 3 cycles later I now know what it feels like to follow through with the 17 Day Diet and I am so excited! Excited because I stuck with it, set my eyes on a goal, and accomplished it... It's a great feeling!

However, by looking at the numbers alone I've been a little disappointed. My weight loss really plateaued recently and hasn't really budged. But this is where I tell you not to watch your weight alone, peeps! I so wish I had kept up with how many inches I've lost, but I haven't. It can be discouraging not to see the numbers on the scale moving as fast as you like, but you've got to remember that as long as you're exercising you are burning calories and you are making a positive impact on your body!

Because the scale hadn't really moved much, I wasn't expecting to see a big difference in my comparison pictures from finishing cycle 2 to finishing cycle 3, so imagine my happiness when I saw the pictures below!



I am so stinkin' happy with the changes that are taking place, and I still have some weight I would like to see come off, so I'm not stopping any time soon! There is something so different in me this time around that has had the last straw with this weight issue, and I'm going to keep on pushing.

And incase you're curious about the numbers I've been complaining talking about, here they are:

After finishing the third {Also known as the Achieve} cycle of the 17 Day Diet I have lost 1.8 pounds for a grand total of 11.8 pounds!

Along with following the 17 Day Diet I've also been following a 5K running plan, which I've now completed, so I'm just continuing to add a little more time to my run every week until I figure out what I'm going to do. During the Achieve cycle I also added in the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD which has began to make a lovely difference in my arms, and I'm thinking might also be the culprit for not seeing as much weight loss since I've most likely been gaining muscle.

Not going to lie... It's been fun brushing my hair and noticing this in the mirror! ;)


A big thank you to Jillian for that!

So, now what?! Now I start all over at the beginning for round 2! I'm toning down my workouts a tad since my calorie level will be low and starting fresh with cycle 1. Cycle 1 is usually where you see the most weight loss, so I'm curious to see what the next 17 days bring.

Bring it on, 17 Day Diet! Bring it on!! :)

If you're curious to see past 17 Day Diet posts you can go here! That's where you'll find me explaining why I chose the 17 Day Diet, some of my favorite snacks, and past check-ins.

Also, if you're finding me through searches for 17 Day Diet info I want to say a big thank you for checking out the blog! I would love for you to join along in the journey and hopefully we can use this as a tool to encourage each other and see change!

Jackson's Backyard Birthday Bash ~ A Disney Cars Birthday Party!


I've said it before and I'll say it again...

I love throwing a good party!!

So much so, that a couple of good friends and I have even entertained the idea of starting our own little business of party planning. We all have different talents that would complement each other, and despite one of those friends moving away recently I totally haven't given up on this idea.

I love everything about party planning - the freedom of creativity, the togetherness of friends and family, and most of all, putting special attention on whatever reason it is that the celebration is taking place.

The latest celebration in the Cha Cha household was the birthday of our bright-eyed, gorgeous smile-faced Jackson as he turned three. Oh, this child! He is such an amazing piece of our little family and I wanted to do something for him that would bring that big smile of his to his face, and possibly coat it with a little yummy frosting. :)

{Enter Cars Birthday Party Celebration!}

One of Jackson's greatest loves is the Disney Pixar movie Cars. Lightning McQueen and the gang make my little guy's heart happy, so there was no doubt that we would be having a Cars party, but can I be honest with you guys? I'm just not into commercialized parties. I wanted to do something a little nicer, but that still incorporated the Cars theme, so here's what I came up with!

Invitations

We started with invitations that I made using Photoshop Elements. Jackson's favorite song is the Rascal Flatts version of "Life is a Highway" used in the first Cars movie, so that gave me great inspiration for the direction I wanted the invitation to go. I found the Magneto font here and the Lightning McQueen vector image {for free!} here.


Activities

My next task was making a cardboard Lightning McQueen, an idea I got from this Cars party as shown on How Does She. There's a blueprint for making these cars shown here, but it doesn't give any instructions, so I just kinda eye-balled everything. I took pictures as I made it so I can hopefully share a more detailed tutorial in the near future!


I really would've loved to have made several cardboard cars, but when it came down to the last minute details I just didn't have time to make and paint that many. One car was enough for us since we had other activities for the kids to do.

We also had a kiddie pool, sprinklers, water guns, and a slip n' slide for all the kiddos to play with, but I'm not going to lie, the adults might've had just as much fun! My husband and I might or might not have had a race on the slip n' slide... And he might or might not have only won because he's a whole foot taller then me... But I'm not a sore loser or anything. ;)


Food


Snacks 

Most of my snack ideas came from inspiration found through Pinterest. {You can see my Pinterest board for this party here.} I was pretty proud of my "Catch ya Later Suckers" though! :) I found the Cars fruit snacks at Walmart, the red and black lollipops at Party City, the Cars Cheez-Its at Kroger, the Cars Juicy Juice boxes at Target, and the Turbo Dust Sour Candy Straws at The Dollar Store. I also found the basket for the "Pitstop Popcorn" at The Dollar Store and made the popcorn cones using scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby and this tutorial. The gas display case for the juice came from my neighbor's yard sale a couple of weeks before the party. {Score!!} I made all the food labels using Photoshop Elements and this image for the background.

Cupcakes




I always like to have cupcakes to give a different option than cake, but I like to make them myself because they're easy and a little cheaper that way. I made the super yummy buttercream frosting myself using this recipe and it was so good! Like, my neighbor and I were licking the bowl at midnight the night before the party good! I got the idea to put the cupcakes on a race track here. I bought the checkered flag picks at a local party store and made the others by placing stickers I bought at Walmart back to back over toothpicks.


I used these checkered cupcake liners I found at Party City and was so excited about them matching the theme, but also adding a pop of color. Unfortunately, after baking the cupcakes you could barely see the color of the liners, so if you choose to use these I would bake the cupcakes in a separate liner and add these on after baking.

Cake


I had the cake made by a local bakery in town. I've been pretty happy with them in the past and this time was no exception. I do want to recommend that when you're working with someone to make your cake that you are very open and clear about what you want done so you don't end up disappointed. That meant me going into the bakery twice because I just didn't leave feeling confident about what they were going to do the first time.

Decor


Decorating is one of my favorite parts of party planning! The wind was definitely working against me the day of the party, {As you can see by the pushed-up table cloth} but we made the best of it. I found the black and white checkered table cloth, plates, napkins, and flags at Hobby Lobby. I made the tissue paper pom-poms using 10 pieces of tissue paper per pom-pom and this tutorial. I made the Lightning McQueen paper fan flower using scrapbook paper, a Lightning McQueen pop-up sticker I found in the gift wrap section at Walmart, and this tutorial.


The banner was made using scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby, my cricut machine with the George font cartridge, and a little help from a sweet friend.

Playlist

Every good party needs some background music to set the mood! Below are some of the songs we made part of our playlist for our bash. All the songs are either from one of the Cars movies, car related, or celebration related.


Food, decor, and music aside, what made this backyard birthday bash the biggest success was that our little Jackson had a blast celebrating! And now we have one happy three year old on our hands. :)


Also, definitely want to name drop a couple of blogs that were inspiring as I planned this party:

Hope you guys have a great weekend!!


Stop and Smell the Roses {Week 15}

It's Wednesday, which means it's time to stop, drop, and smell the roses!! {AKA a time to stop and share what you're thankful for this week!}

Stop and Smell the Roses 

 I'll let the video do the talking! :)

 

Come join us with what you're thankful for this week over at House of Rose!!

Hope you're all having a great week!!

Happy Wednesday!!

17 Day Diet Check-In {End of Cycle 2}


Hi friends!!

I think I might've finally recovered from all of the craziness we had going on in the month of May. It was a tiring, but super fun month for sure!

In the midst of the craziness I finished up my second cycle of 17 days on the 17 Day Diet. To finish the second cycle was a small victory in itself regardless of weight loss because it was proof to me that I'm in this for real - no turning back! The total number of pounds lost was less than in the first cycle, but that's to be expected as you add in some more calories to your everyday eating. I also had a lot more temptations for cheating between all of the celebrations we had going on {Birthdays, a graduation, and Mother's Day... Oh my!}. I would be a liar if I told you I stuck to the diet 100% through all of that. :)

Anyhoo... Let's get to the fun part, shall we?! The pictures and results!

In the second cycle of the 17 Day Diet {also known as the activate cycle} I lost an additional 3.6 pounds making my grand total of weight loss after 34 days 10 pounds!


It definitely would have been nice to have that number a pound or two higher, but to reach the 10 pound weight loss mark was pretty exciting! Along with the diet I've been continuing my 5K training which has also been super encouraging. It feels great to be running past points I was struggling at just a few short weeks ago. Progress is an encouraging thing.

Because I'm behind I'm actually posting this as I'm coming to the end of the third cycle. Can't wait to update you with my progress and results from that next week!

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