Saturday, October 1, 2011's no joke!

a picture's worth a thousand words...

so, you've all read my posts about me going through my pcos diagnosis.  if you don't recall my personal hell you'll proly want to refresh your memory...

here's the thing.  i have tried EVERYTHING to lose weight.  really. i have.  my hubbie says i have cost us $5,000 a pound.  i know he's kidding, but sadly, he's not.  

i'm not a lazy person.  really, i'm not. but, i was starting to wonder!  am i turning into a couch potato?  am i going to be one of those fat mommies who will end up on dr oz begging for his help because i'm so large and my kids [even though they won't dare say it] are embarrassed by me?  


so, on my last straw, i took the plunge and went to a weight loss clinic after seeing my friend chesley in her beautiful glory.

[always has been]
but oh my lord 
to see her from what she was to what she is now 
[she was as beautiful on the outside as i always knew she was on the inside]

and i was proud of her!

i had been running miles on end with no success ... something was wrong and i was DONE.

so, here i go to this weight loss clinic.  i'm not as large as the people i see going in and out of this place.  i'm sweating as i walk in.  i have just been diagnosed with PCOS [those are just a few of the symptoms i was suffering from]  i can't take it anymore.  i just can't.

i get my first shot.  within a month i lose 11 lbs but i just don't "feel good"...that's when i meet Monica.  she introduces me to ViSalus.  

i can honestly tell you i have never felt better.


she also introduces me to dr. victoria beckman.  who starts giving me shots...these shots are called "cocoon's" ... they are all natural and are basically ViSalus in a shot form.  A-mazing.  

ViSalus and Cocoon together have brought me back to life.  LITERALLY.  see, when you have good nutrition, your body thanks you.  and, it in ways you just have no can never imagine until you experience it.

i was 197 lbs in March.  i know.  wow.

at the weight loss clinic i weighed 184 lbs. 

i was wearing a TIGHT 14.

i got down to 173...and into a size 12.  they too were tight.

today, i weighed 177.  hmmmm you say? 

well...get this...

i'm in a size 8.  [10's are still my go to but they are lose lol]

ViSalus is allowing my body to keep my muscle and get rid of my FAT...yup!  inches baby inches! 

but, here is what i want to show you.  it's my skin.  i suffer[ED] from cystic acne.  it is a thing of the past.  there is A LOT more of what i suffered from...but, this is the big one.

erika before.  i had HOPE.  i gave all of this to GOD.  i knew he was allowing me to go through this for a reason. in fact, when this picture was taken, i was looking up and thinking "dear God please, let this work..."

i was already taking ViSalus for about 2 weeks, so by now i'm feeling symptoms of PCOS are lowering.  i'm sleeping well which is a MIRACLE in itself! but, my face does not show it...picture taken with iPad.

the one on my chin is cystic and it hurts.  very bad.  picture taken with an iPad.

and then...i get my second shot.  three days later i wake up and i CRY!  i can't BELIEVE my i am!  yes, this is me.  the same erika as above.  i have a little bit of makeup on.  but not much.  [i actually had sweat it off lol it was HOT that day!!!] mascara and some bare minerals which is what i was using at the time [future post will be talking about the BEST makeup and skin care line you will WANT to know about!!!] this picture is taken from my iPhone.  

ahem...ViSalus folks.  Cocoon.  [i know u may not be able to get a Cocoon shot unless you live here in prattville...BUT...we are expanding!  we do have a clinic in Louisiana, we are expanding to Texas too and future places as well] find us on facebook and keep up with us!  

so, do you have any medical issues?  let's see...diabetes?  pcos?  chrons?  colitis?  ms?  ra?  what if you want to lose weight?  or, do you simply want to get healthy and FEEL great?!!!  

seriously, folks.  i wouldn't sway you.  i am very passionate about Visalus because i mean, it saved my life!

here's what you do:

go to my site

click on join the challenge

then, click on join the challenge; become a customer

you click on what country you are coming from and your language

next, you will chose your challenge kit...

i suggest the shape kit which is $99.00 a month [it is the kit i upgraded to because once i started, i realized i never wanted to run out and i was drinking 2 shakes a day instead of 1]  and, 2 shakes a day is how i REALLY started seeing and FEELING my results. it really made a difference! [and i add it to the kid's pancake mix and they have come to love their "new pancakes"]

after you chose your kit, you will click next and fill out your information [billing and such]

you will also create your very own customer page so that you can share ViSalus with others as well!  you then, will have the opportunity to receive your next shipment for $$FREE$$  yes.  that's right.  and, perhaps NEVER pay again!  [i know, AMAZING! it's like wow...getting awesome nutrition for free???  yes please!]

once you have filled all of your information out and started your page, you are done!  when you receive your ViSalus, you will log into your account and then click start a challenge...put in a before picture [make sure to take one!!!] and write your story...

***i have decided that the first 5 people to start the challenge with me [the same challenge --- i started the shape, i am going to personally send them a gift, so, get on it!]  we have a 30 day, BOTTOM OF THE BAG money back guarantee, so if you do not like the taste of it [which is really not something that would happen, lol],or you don't feel like it's working like it says it should, you simply call the company and you get your money back.  you really have nothing to lose!****

i'm no spokesperson.  i was a customer for a month.  a MONTH.  and i became a distributor.  i had to.  it saved my life.  it gave me back what PCOS took.  

so, why not try it?  tell me what you think.  share it with the ones you love.  i just did!


Friday, September 30, 2011

say NO to auto!

i did it!

i said no to auto folks!  and i am so happy i did!

[next, i am totally investing in photo shop!]

so, without editing at all, i am going to show you a few things i did these last few days while saying no to auto ...

first, i learned how to slow down my shutter speed and create the eversocool

water droplets...

and the water was not just dripping.,,,  
it was ON!  
i was so pleased!  
sure, a few photos came out pure white.  
a few came  out pure black.  
but, after playing with the "numbers" i got my beautiful pictures!  i can't wait to see how they will turn out when i get photo shop!! 

then, i went to the kids first dance...and didn't even use the flash.  
[remember...these are straight from my editing]

i love this picture...miley cyrus was on and even i was dancing lol

dance off...

he was raising the roof...

and she does the sprinkler...i think i pee'd my pants!

i love hello kitty so i had to take a pic of this sweetie!

the girls relax while we clean up...

[i see so much potential in these un edited photos!]

and tonight.  this was the ultimate test.  
it's dark in our living room.
check out the difference of the auto and my settings!  
[ok, this is not the best picture but what i want you to see is the fact that oh em gee...when it's in the auto mode look how dark it looks!  the manual mode the settings were ss1"6 i know that's like uber crazy but i really wanted to see how to NOT use the flash...when i say it was dark i mean DARK, f5.6 iso1600 sooo it's a little blurry because well, i needed a tri pod, let's be honest that ss u need one to take that a pic that slow, lol but still look at how soft and creamy the coloring is...that's what i really wanted to come out of this little exercise.  just the coloring.  i know it's by no means a perfect pic, lol]


yes!  i will be saying NO to auto from now on!

thanks to kristen  -- i won't look at photography the same!

go get her e-book!  i am so glad i did!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

taking a to find it!

well, i'm taking the leap!

i want to learn all i can regarding photography.  i mean, i got my first DSLR so why not take advantage of what she has to offer, right?  right.

so, i want to take a class.  it doesn't have to be in school, as in at a college at night where it will take me away from my sweet family.  i can easily do this while gunnar is running around playing ben 10, or army men.  i can do this in my free time.  yes, i have free time -- i mean, hello, how am i blogging?  we MAKE time when we WANT to do something!  

we all know i love amy from the idea room, it's no secret on my blog!  i talk about the idea room all the time....well, it's also no secret that amy is one wonderful photographer and we love her because she shares her secrets [gasp!] yes...yes she does!  

well, as i was on my other love pinterest, i was looking up photography and came across a little link that spiked my interest. it said "say no to auto" it peeked my interest because i really want to learn about manual mode and all about my, i click on it and, where does it take me? to amy's blog!  of course!  lol, but, more importantly to the most amazing page that i have no idea how i've never seen it before!  it's the page where i decided i'm totally taking a class!  and, now i have a new favorite kristen!  oh she is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!  she used to write on amy's blog [i proly would have cried had i known this....cuz when i read her farewell post i found myself getting a little emotional...i blame it on my period getting ready to start] and tells all her little secret's...i have now found a new best friend, and she has no clue who i am!  lol if you have a love for photography, this is a must read ... and yes, i'm going to purchase her e-book because well, after reading the tips she gave i mean, i have to!  you proly should here to access site and get it!

so friends, i am now looking for an online class to take.  perhaps i will get her book first and just start there.  i am also totally going to invest in photoshop.  yes, i do have picnik and i have been able to make some amazing shots look unbelievable. but, after looking at kristen's pictures after photoshop...i'm really blown away!

so, i'm totally excited because i have tried a few of her tips and have done really well with changing the iso and ss and i'm excited because wow.  just wow!  what a difference!  no more auto for me! now, tonight i'm taking pics at the kids "back to school" dance...i cringe thinking about the flash that will be used.  urg!  i may be e-mailing kristen today!  crossing fingers she can help me!

how about you?  do you know what i can do??  i HATE flash photography...but...i'll be indoors at a dance =!!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

[a not so] wordless wednesday

it's wednesday which brings...[dun dun dun]
[a not so] wordless wednesday!

is it just me, or has wednesday became your favorite day too??  i find myself thinking...oooh ooooh that picture is sooooo going up on wednesday's post!!!  oh the joy's of my precious!  

so, what's my WORDY wednesday post bringing today?  um, how about a birthday party??  yes, i think so...we went to alyssa's friend from kindergarten brianna's pool party.  i of course brought my lovely and snapped over 100 photo's.  even of the cat.  yes, the cat.  got some really cool up close and personal shots of a scary banana spider too.  eeek! 

it was a great birthday party.  we really had a fun time relaxing and of course spending time with brianna's family.  

happy birthday sweetie!

this cat adopted them...he was fabulous!

and this would be the banana spider.  eeeeek!  i have a fabulous zoom lense.  i was by no stretch of the imagination close to this thing.  although, afterward i felt him all over me!!!

and then i got the prettiest sunset shot eva...oh yes, i know i have A LOT to learn about photography.  like, literally i don't even know what an aperture is.  i mean i know what it means, but don't know what it means, ya know?  i hate [with every fiber of my being] flash photography.  my favorite mode on my camera is literally the CA mode.  creative auto. i take the flash off and blur the background.  that's me.  so, i should totally take a class. but, here's my little landscape with brianna's brother on his motor cross bike.  i'd love to a shoot with him...but i really need to learn and get good, but i love this shot...for now.  watch, i'll look back and laugh cuz i'll be, i had soo much to learn!  lol

that screams FALL to me...the sky was sooooo just wasn't cold like it looks. will be though and SOON!!  yay!  

xoxoxo thanks for stopping by!

i'd love feedback on the picture taking skills...i really need tips! ooh, and don't forget to link up!

Monday, September 26, 2011

monday blog hop -- link up and enjoy the ride!

a monday blog hop and random blah blah

i've been pretty happy with how i'm gaining readers.  blogging has turned into a fun little look into my mind.  i didn't want my blog to be a complete mommy blog, i mean how many of those are there.  what? a gazillion.  do we really need yet another mom spilling her guts on what works for her? and, do you find yourself thinking "is her life really like that?  or, is she fluffing it just a bit?"  

so, this is me.  i mean, really.  i am totally r-e-a-l. i think that's what my friends love about me.  i won't sugar coat things for you.  i just won't.  if your bootay looks big in those jeans, hunie, i'm going to tell you.  if your zipper is down, i'm gonna let'cha know.  and, to be quite honest, it's what i look for in a friend too.  so, in my closer than close girl friends, i expect to be told that the shirt i'm wearing makes me look pregnant and lord knows that's not the look i was going for, cuz well, i'm not pregnant, lol.  so, thanks if you are being honest.  ha.

i'm at a point in my life that i'm really cherishing my girlfriends.  i'm   coming into my own and falling in love with that style that screams "me". i couldn't be happier.  i want to be the room mom in my son's kindergarten class next year.  i want to take pictures at the school dances, and at other functions and have them be used for the year book.  i would love nothing more than to make really fun crafty treats and take them to the kids' class rooms for their parties.  and, do this with my close knit of friends i have made these last couple of years.  

thursday's my girlfriends and i have decided to have a craft day.  we are going to teach one another a craft.  i for one will be showcasing my favorite crafts from my oh so favorite blog
 The Idea Room because she is oh so crafty and i love her blog so!  now i just have to decide which craft to do first.  i was thinking about a wreath because it's fall and i need a new one for my door...and for that it will be pinterest to the rescue!  i may have to have friday's a special day to blog all about my thursday girlfriend day!  oooh i can't wait!  this thursday will be our first get together.  now, what to name our little club??

any ideas?

so, my blog may not be all about's more like what makes me well, me.  and yes, my kids and my family make my life what it is.  i love my girlfriends and have come to realize that they make my life tick too.  i'm a lover of my camera...i don't leave home without it.  i love building things -- renovating things...and i can thank jen aka "ying" and i would be "yang" or i would be pnut butta and she jelly [lol] for all that...i love wreaths...again, jen...i love cottage-y things...that would be an emily thing...i really dig crafting...both jen and ems can be thanked for that...really, my friends just rock the house.  and, they inspire me! so, ya.  i am just one lucky chick to have these fabulous women in my life.  you too will be inspired by them!  wanna hear something funny? jen and ems haven't even met yet...oh, they are going to just kill me for that one!  thursdays are going to be my most favorite day from now on!!!  

went to a bday party this weekend.  got a few great shots ...

water balloon fights are the best...

we also spent time at ying's house this, i took time to take pics of some of my favorite things in her home...oh how i love jen's house...
hello crayon art!

look at these pillows...why yes, they are napkins.  aren't they dandy?

is this not the cutest wreath eva???

this is the perfect saying for jen.  it speaks volumes about the person she is...

i love my camera!
i have no idea what took me so long to get a DSLR...oh i'm never going back to the "other side" hee hee....

it's time for cub scouts!