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Introducing Myself: My Journey with Weight Loss


Hello all…

I know this is my blog and the internet… and we share a little or a lot depending on who we are, but allow me a moment, if you’d like to read a bit, to introduce myself and this #WeightLoss journey.

Starting Weight: 376 (and that’s when I actually started stepping on the scale because I HAD to) It took A LOT for me to even want to share that # with anyone other than my doctor and the poor scale I stand on. That is not only a crazy high number that is what I’ve allowed myself to become. So, please, do with the knowledge what you will, but be mindful that I was not going to share that portion of #MyJourney.


I started my weight loss journey over the summer (2013) but really decided to give it my all and started setting goals at the end of September. In the month of October I challenged myself,  to walk a minimum of 1mi every day, no excuses. I also decided that I want to lose 100 pounds in 1 year. Fast forward to today, I have lost a total of 33lbs, around 5″ off of my waist and what I was doing for my entire workout (1mi) is barely a warm-up for me now. I continued with walking and eventually jogging and due to the cold months I *finally* joined a gym in December. I am slowly, but surely, adjusting my life, my view on food(s), preparation, getting out of ‘good/bad’ mentality and trying to learn and grow throughout this entire process. It was not, is not and will not be easy, but this is a MANDATORY lifestyle change for me.


I am 26 years old, I work full time (recovering workaholic), volunteer, try to be active in mentoring with my youth, co-facilitate a girl’s group at a local high school and have my own event coordination business that I finally launched in 2013. I’m a full time Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Mentor, Friend and I recently started foster parenting classes. I proudly wear any title and any given moment and have a lot of love to give, but I really never took time to focus on myself and love ME just as much as I love others. I believe that is was brought me to 376+.

I have struggled with weight my ENTIRE life. In the past I’ve lost 20lbs here or there but gained 40 back. I’ve seen dieticians, nutritionists, started the process for bariatric surgery more than once. I’ve yo-yo dieted, “cleansed”, Zumba’d, and just about any other ‘fad’ you can think of. Contrary to popular misconception – weight isn’t simply calories in/calories out. To over simplify and disregard ones feelings when it comes to weight is not only ignorant, it is down-right insensitive. I keep this in mind when I talk to myself and to others that have similar struggles.


I decided to share my weight loss journey publicly primarily to hold myself accountable. I decided if others are inspired by what I’ve done, that would be a result of my primary goal: accountability. I have since launched a YouTube channel where I Vlog (video-log) about my journey, my life and more. (( YouTube: SmplyAnita619:  )) The amount of love, encouragement and support I’ve received is simply overwhelming. There have been negative people, whether they have came out and said, “you will fail” or thought it, they are there. Some are very close to me, some don’t know my last name. This is okay because this journey is not for them, it is for ME. So, think what you will, say what you may, but know that although it DOES hurt and sometimes discourage, it will not defeat me.


Some of my goals for this year include:

*100lbs lost by 10.31.14


<<>> *Out of 300s by my Birthday – Reward: my annual birthday bash – That is 44lbs by June

<<>> *1st 5k – I’m looking at the Color Run in June & Breast Cancer in October.

<<>> *Hosting one of many FREE community workout sessions

*Stay Connected – I’d love to stay connected to those I love and care about me MORE in this coming year.

*Continuing this path of rediscovering ME 🙂

What about you?? What’s your story??

Thank you for reading ❤


Decorating My Place for the Holidays – 2013

Goodbye Turkeys, Hello Snowmen


I hosted Thanksgiving at my place this year and even though I didn’t do much by way of decorations for turkey day, I couldn’t wait to break out the Christmas boxes. Usually I decorate my office and home, but this year I focused my attention (and time) at home and allowed a simple door-countdown suffice at work.

Join me as I give you a tour…This can also be found in video format on my vlog on YouTube Channel: SmplyAnita619. I’ll post the link as well…

Vlog #4: Decorating My Place for the Holidays – SmplyAnita619  << >>












It’s certainly a process…and the key, for me, to successful holiday decorating is making sure I take it down and store it away in a nice, neat, organized fashion…That way I’m not looking in 20 boxes for the 1 snowman I couldn’t find to finish a display. 🙂 Who am I kidding, it’s not about the snowman anyway… It’s ALL about the tree!








1497713_10151832951296483_911560847_nI just love breaking out the Village every year. It reminds me of one of my favorite Aunts growing up. She had a gorgeous display all over her living and dining room every year from Thanksgiving to the new year. She gave me my first “house” and it’s been growing ever since.




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I bought 3 angels a few years ago, with the hopes to find a total of 5. I held onto them for the entire season and couldn’t find anymore. I wanted to give one to each of my sisters as a gift. I ended up gifting 2 of them to my sisters and kept one for myself. This is the first year she’s made it into my holiday decor…what do you think?



Well, I guess that about sums it up for me…Here are a few more of the finished product. What are your favorite parts about decorating for the holidays?



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From me & mine, I want to wish you and yours a very, Merry Christmas!

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Fall Harvest Festival-2013

ImageAhhh, Fall is quickly approaching and I can’t wait for everything that comes along with it…


Every year in lieu of Halloween my church hosts an alternative, much like the rest of the churches in America. What sets us apart in years past and to come, I believe, is the organization and planning that goes into the entire event beforehand. While I’ve helped in years passed, this year my dear friend requested my assistance with the entire event planning process and we have been brainstorming ever since.


Much like any other Fall Harvest themed event we’ll have your food, games and activities, but we’re doing something new this year and incorporating a Chili Cook-Off. We’re also bringing in some carnival themed games like balloon pop and ring toss in the mix. Prayers are going up for warm/nice weather as most of this is planned to take place outside, block party style to invite the surrounding community.


More to come on this event in the works, for now here are some flyers I’ve created! 🙂




Fabulous & Frugal Foot Bath – Listerine & Vinegar

Fabulous & Frugal Foot Bath

Listerine & Vinegar

Thanks Tom Joyner Morning Show for the inspiration. During the Memorial Day Holiday Tom & the crew were on vacation the temporary hosts were talking about, well I’m not sure what they were talking about I have a short commute to work. I did, however, catch the part about a home remedy – Listerine & vinegar for a foot bath to help with dead skin. Oh, now I remember – ashy feet! LOL, that’s what they were talking about.

So, I said to myself, “self”, self said, “hmm?!” – “you should try that”!

Now, I’m a couponer, so I was sure I had Listerine somewhere among my mouthwash freebies/next to freebies, but vinegar, I needed vinegar. My Pinterest cleaning projects had used just about all the vinegar I had. Off to Walmart…


I have no idea why my feet look so red…I’m not a Martian.

Now, I must be honest…I’m not a fan of vinegar (or bleach for that matter, but that’s another story) and I wasn’t so quick to try this after I got the idea that I’d have to SMELL it for 10-20 minutes as suggested here –

But I figured I’d give it a go all the same. The claims are that dead skin just “wipes off” and while that’s not necessarily true, more on that in a moment. I’ve gathered my ingredients, now time to relax and soak…That task was easier said than done, that’s for sure. As you’ll see in my photo grid my furry children weren’t sure what to think, I attempted to play Pandora and had a countdown going all the same. It wasn’t very relaxing.

I didn’t measure anything, because let’s be honest, I don’t measure when cooking so I surely won’t when I’m soaking my feet. So, a good portion of Listerine, not so much of the vinegar (already discussed I don’t like the smell) and hot water in a tub and 20 minutes later I had blue feet and a somewhat numb leg. I sat in my bathroom, I didn’t see the need to drag the tub of hot water to the living room and back.

I rubbed my heels together and nothing. Okay, fine enough it didn’t rub away… I decided to use my pumice stone…Aha!!! Like butter this “dead skin” began coming off. And then I didn’t mind the blue feet because I could see where I needed to scrub a bit more… While it wasn’t as “magical” as some of the blogs I found claimed it to be, it was certainly efficient. Any time you can soak your feet, be it Epsom salt or just some aroma therapy it can help dry, ashy feet. However, adding Listerine (and even that funky) vinegar can help you alleviate the dead skin rather easily with minimal effort with a pumice stone after the soak. I took it a step further and used my razor pedicure thingy (what’s the name for that anyway) to grab a few “pesky” spots that I gave up on scrubbing away. And just like that, some 30 minutes later I have fresh feet…Now, when I go see my favorite lady for a pedicure she won’t have to work so hard.

Two thumbs up and certainly budget friendly! I got a rather large bottle of vinegar for .97 at Walmart and found the Listerine on sale (but of course I had a coupon) for $3. A $4 fabulous foot bath works for me…

 Future Foot Baths: I may add a little more vinegar/Listerine and not dilute as much with water.

Til next time…be blessed!

Gallery Wall

Let it be said – I am not a fan of a ton of personal photos all over the place. If you’re one of those Moms who has every picture since birth in frames all around your entire space and your child is 24…well, more power to you. I’d much rather showcase moments in time that are priceless. Irreplaceable memories if you will.

I do my best to update with more recent photos as time goes on. As I have moved from apartment to apartment, I’ve started a “gallery wall”. In my new place, I’ve grown more excited about how it’s evolved than in apartments past.


This was a smaller gallery wall, same effect in my former apartment.

I moved into my new space May 2012 and it seems I’m always doing some type of tweaking each month to make it feel more like home. This is the first space that I’ve had on my own that I come home to and feel as if it’s really HOME. So, I’ve enjoyed switching this, or hanging that there, rearranging furniture, etc.

When I decided to dedicate this wall to showcasing memories I went all out. Often times, when decorating, you should keep art and items you hang at eye level, however with this space I went UP and OUT. I have about 8 foot ceilings so I was able to utilize that space well. When you’re standing in front of the wall, you certainly don’t have to strain your neck to look up or over for that matter and I feel it uses the space well to accomplish the “gallery” feel.

Allow me to share some photos before to now. In no ways is this look complete, but I’m happy with it for the time being…


In the August 2012 photo you can see 2 frames that aren’t filled with photos. One was an adorable 3 picture collage frame that came from my supervisor for my birthday (Walmart) and the other a 15 picture collage frame that I purchased a few years ago. I kept going back and forth with using this frame: should the photos be black & white; should it be family only, etc. As I said earlier, I’m not a fan of a ton of pictures, but I felt that this frame (Walmart) could be a beautiful addition, if executed well.


It wasn’t until I gathered printed photos, old and new of my sister, nieces and parents that I determined I’d fill this with our memories. So, before my cruise (November 26th, 2012) I decided to keep myself busy with projects to keep me from going completely cruise crazy. If you look closely at the November 2012 photo you can see the handle from my suitcase sticking up, lol.


Overall, I’m happy with what I have so far. A lot of the photos in the individual frames came from past birthday celebrations (I tend to do a big bash every year) and I plan on updating some of them with 2012’s soon… Other than that, I enjoy showcasing those I love on one focal wall in my home – I call it my Gallery Wall.


BONUS TIP:   Stick to the SAME color frame. All of your frames do not have to be purchased at the same time or even from the same place, but if you stick with the same color and or style (ex: black, wood) then it’ll help make the space feel more cohesive.

Phenomenal Women Logo


Promising to Self, Sister and My Community to be the best me I can be

Phenomenal Woman – Phenomenally Me

This is a logo I created this weekend for a lovely group of young women… Over a decade of history and as a result, many changed lives have gone through this group based at Atherton High School here in Louisville. I’m just blessed to be a small part. I’m looking forward to bigger and brighter things to come…


Let’s Go Cards!

Let's Go Cards!

The last time we won a NCAA Championship – 1986
Bring it on home boys!

Well… I have …

Well… I have been saying I wanted to switch my schedule to 4 10’s and low & behold the department that NEVER changes schedules around not only gave me the 4 10’s I wanted but on better days that I was even asking for to begin with. You can’t tell me HE doesn’t know what you need before you even need it…

Quote taken from me on Facebook.

Schedule change means “New Beginnings”…


Last year, around this time I finally got the opportunity to move from 2nd shift to 1st. I wasn’t able to start this new, much-needed schedule until mid-May, but the promise of 1st shift was all I needed. This is coming from someone who did 2nd shift for 3 years with this company, and the ones prior as well as 3rd. I needed a change, something new and something “normal”.

Well, it’s been a year and I’ve been grateful for the “normal” in my life as a result. For those who have always worked 1st shift, M-F you’d never be able to relate, but for my 2nd/3rd shift’ers, weekend crews and so on, you can understand my plight.

Now it’s time for something “new” again. I’ll be transitioning into a 4 10-hour shift schedule. Originally, I had asked for Wed-Saturday OR Sun-Wed, but the reality is those would pose problems all the way around. Not only did they give me the 4 10’s (still on 1st shift) but I’ll have Sundays (for church) and Thursday/Fridays off as well.

It’s funny, because while I was asking for something else, I feel He already knew what I needed before I even asked.

This is just a quick, “thank you” post, as I’m trying to figure out what SmplyAnita’s Corner will include… Snippets of me, and my life and others…


Blessings & Love!


My First Post – Welcome to My Corner