Weight Loss Journey

So…. A really long time ago, and I mean an eternity, I started on a weight loss journey. One that has been up and down. It all started when I saw a photo of myself in 2011. I felt horrible and sluggish and when I looked at the picture I saw someone who had let themselves become incredibly unhealthy.

I made the decision to diet and add exercise to my everyday life. For about 6 months I did an extreme diet, one that was impossible to keep up long term. I cut out everything and limited my calorie intake to an unhealthy amount. Did I lose weight, yes. Did it stay off, no. Not all of it anyway.

I dropped 39 pounds. I got close to my goal weight. Then emotional eating kicked in. My life took several backflips. I was in an abusive relationship. My weight loss took a front seat to the myriad of reasons my ex-husband chose to unleash his rage on me. Of course in his eyes it meant I was cheating, not getting healthy. Life got really difficult and I would say 4-5 days out of the week were filled with fear in my own home.

But in 2015 I left the marriage and decided to get healthy again. I ate decently off and on but the stress of getting out of that relationship and being a single parent took its toll. I found it hard to stay on track. I basically fluctuated back and forth for over 2 years.

Finally in June of 2017 I decided to work hard and stay on track. My health is important. I want to feel better and be active with my kids. So here we are… I started Keto in June and have lost 16 pounds. I took a break when I went to Vegas and just recently started back up. My body responds well to this way of eating and I don’t feel deprived. Mostly I just miss bananas lol. I’m excited to see my body changing in a positive way. It’s something I can do for myself and honestly just helps release some stress.

I am super excited to be back on the band wagon and hit my goal of toning up and staying healthy. What better way to keep me accountable than to incorporate it into my blog?!

What’s your goals? What works for you? I want to hear!

2011- The picture that started it all
July 2017
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What Do You Love? #motivationalmonday

What is it that you love? What get’s your mind spinning and excited? What’s something you feel like you just couldn’t live without in your life?

Do something that excites you and brings out the passion and fire that burns inside you. This life is far too short to waste it on a mediocre life. We were all placed here on this earth with a purpose. Find your purpose and go after it with abandon.

Mine is this little $5 jewelry company that gave me back my fire, confidence, voice, social life, financial freedom and sooooo much more. There are no words to describe how much it saved me when I felt like I was sinking. This is what I love and why I will never dread another Monday!

Happy #motivationalmonday

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Paparazzi Accessories $5 Jewelry Adventure

My life has been crazy busy lately! I know it’s been a while since I’ve been on and made a post which I’m truly sorry about.

Life as a single mom has made it hard to juggle my time. I’m beginning to find ways to manage and get myself into a set routine instead of just flailing around aimlessly.

So….what have I been up to over the last several months?? I’m glad you asked.

Paparazzi Accessories, that’s what. It has been the most amazing, life changing decision I’ve ever made. I went from this shy, self conscious woman who walked with her head down to someone who braves the world openly and with confidence. I’ve met some amazing people along the way, I’ve traveled (which I will be posting about soon), I’ve had some incredible people join my team and become like family. I’m so proud of them , my upline and myself.

I found this opportunity at a time when I needed it most and jumped on the train without hesitation. Now when someone asks what I do, here’s my response…

I Am The Jewelry Lady! I help others achieve their goals and embrace the strength, independence and empowerment that comes from this company. I self confidence and self esteem in the form of gorgeous $5 jewelry that is affordable for anyone. I started with Paparazzi Accessories a little over a year ago and haven’t look back. I get to pursue my passion and goals while making my kids a priority. Anything is possible with this company!

If this is something you would love to know more about then feel free to email or visit

Nikki’s Paparazzi Boutique



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My Love of Ambre Blends

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fragrance oil!!!!! I’m not sure how to put my excitement into words so that you all understand. I mean I REALLY love it!

A friend always smelled so amazing. (I know it sounds weird, but just stick with the story!) It wasn’t a scent that would come from a perfume and it was so unique that I just had to find out what it was. Ambre Blends she said. I had never heard of it before so I immediately went to the computer to find it and Voila, there it was!

They offer four essences in a variety of products. Everything from body cream to skin tonic. It’s the perfect way to create a lasting scent. It is the way the company intends it to be as well. Putting on another brand of scented lotion could take away or alter the scent. I tried it with the Ambre Blends body cream and with another scented body lotion, just to see, and it’s true. The scent is much better with the Ambre Blends body cream or no lotion at all.

These oils work with your body heat and body chemistry.  Once it warms up you get your own unique and individual scent. I applied the essence to my wrist and crease of my arm and rubbed it together slightly to heat it up, then dabbing some on my neck. Even though it will smell slightly different on everyone, it seems to wear amazingly well on everyone I know who has tried it.

They offer four essences in a variety of products. Everything from body cream to skin tonic. It’s the perfect way to create a lasting scent. It is the way the company intends it to be as well. Putting on another brand of scented lotion could take away or alter the scent. I tried it with the Ambre Blends body cream and with another scented body lotion, just to see, and it’s true. The scent is much better with the Ambre Blends body cream or no lotion at all.

I was lucky enough to try all of the scents through the sample pack, but let me just show you my 2 favorites!

Ambre Essence

Ambre Essence is the original Ambre Blend. It carries a clean, euphoric and sensual aroma. This flirtatious essence is the base of all Ambre Blends products.” Ambre Blends Description

This is my FAVORITE! I just love this blend. It smells exactly as described in the website description. It’s a clean and super fresh smell.


Solace Essence

Solace infuses Ambre Essence with a sensuous vanilla blend, interwoven with a rare special ingredient. This essence was created for the sole purpose of comfort and attraction.” Ambre Blends Description

This essence was much more subtle than the others. It has a sweeter, more comforting smell. An everyday essence maybe.


These products just don’t stop! Other than smelling great, it left my hands and arms so soft. Definitely worth trying.

I love this company. It is women-owned, using 100% pure and natural ingredients. They are a green company, making all of their packaging recyclable and some even biodegradable.

Again, I can’t even describe how much I love these products! Once you have experience and smelled what I am talking about, you will understand. Check out everything they offer at Ambre Blends Website and grab your own bottle of paradise!


Disclaimer- This was not a paid post. I was given products to try for this review, but as always my opinions are my own.



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Skinny Chicken Pot Pie

I read this recipe at http://www.skinnymom.com/ and it sounded so delicious that I just had to try. This was a huge hit at our house and your don’t miss all the extra calories of regular chicken pot pie.

Use about a pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs

Use 2 cans 98%fat free cream of chicken soup, 1 Tbps onion powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper


Add 16 oz bag of frozen veggies 30 minutes before it’s done. Cook reduced fat biscuits as directed on package.

That’s it, so simple. Trust me you will love how easy and tasty this recipe is.

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Introducing Snap Lyrics


I’m so excited about this announcement!!

I LOVE lyrics and quotes, things that make you feel. It’s the ultimate expression for me. When words fail me, writing never has. I think that’s why I relate soooo much to lyrics. Doesn’t really matter from what genre, just matters that it speaks to me.

So I forged 2 of my favorite things together and now have SnapLyrics

I find things that inspire me, take a snap and add some of my favorite lyrics.

You all should follow along…

Link to SnapLyrics Facebook page found here

Link to SnapLyrics Instagram page found here


Check it out guys!!!!!



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PTSD- My Story Part 1



This has been a very difficult post to write. It’s one that I’ve been wanting to write, but the inability to put it into words hasn’t allowed me to. Everytime I sit down and put my fingers to the keyboard, nothing comes but a stream of jumbled mess.

So…I just delete and try again another day only to have the same results.

Maybe I wasn’t healed enough. Sometimes I still don’t think I’m healed enough.

It was May of 2015 when I sat in an office and spent an hour answering questions about my life. I’m pretty sure I spent the entire hour ringing my hands and staring at the floor as I answered questions in hushed tones. I already knew what she would say and where this was going to lead. After all, it had only been weeks before that I was sitting with my primary physician for the third time in only a few short months and she told me this was beyond her scope…

“I believe you’re experiencing symptoms of PTSD. We need to refer you to someone who can help you manage.”

Wait what?!?! I was not ready for that. In my head I knew it was more, but I was not ready to hear it out loud.

The term had already been thrown out there so of course I researched (because what else is google good for) and had a little time to digest before stepping into that first session in May.

Nothing could have prepared me for what was to follow. The months of weekly sessions. How deep she would make me dive…but that’s a story for another time.

By the end of the session it was confirmed…

“Well, those type of symptoms will come along with the PTSD..”

She said it so nonchalantly. Somewhere along the way in all of those notes she was taking, she had diagnosed me.

I remember asking her again because I felt like I needed to be sure I’d heard her correctly.

“Yes, this is PTSD. You’re not alone. It’s understandable.”

I started to tear up but fought it back. I refused to break down.

She spent the next several minutes telling me this would be a long journey, how we needed to work on coping skills, how I would need weekly sessions for the foreseeable future and lastly the medication.

She already had such a handle on who I was after the first session that she didn’t trust the label on the bottle to tell me what to do so she gave me a handwritten note asking me to take it and how to take it. She said that the handwritten note would appeal to my need to please and not disappoint. I felt like I should be able to handle this on my own (obviously failing miserably at it) but in reality I didn’t fully grasp what I was up against. Not until much later on anyway.

When I closed the door to my car and began to drive away, the tears poured out. Uncontrollably. Soon the tears became sobs which quickly lead to pulling over on the side of the road to have a panic attack. I felt so many emotions that I couldn’t even begin to describe each of them. The basics were covered, there was angry, sad, hopeless, guilty, but there were others and I didn’t take the time to identify them because it felt like they were smothering me, like I would never breathe again.

It literally felt like I would never breathe again…




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How to Pass Kidney Stones


As I type this, I’m literally on my couch writhing in pain. It’s been almost a week since my lithotripsy and these suckers are really making their way out.

Before this procedure I had 5 stones, all 7mm or larger. Also, it should be noted that this past procedure marked my 16th lithotripsy. Yes 16th. I’ve also had a percutaneous nephrolithotomy which is much more invasive.

Back story goes like this…I got my first kidney stone in 2005, when I was 20. My first lithotripsy was in 2006. I’ve had at least one procedure a year, sometimes more, since then. They’ve done every test and we still have no idea why I produce so many, so quickly. Not dietary, checked the parathyroid several times over the years, I’ve increased my water intake to an insane amount every day. Crazy!!!!!!!

Anyway, this post is not about preventing them since I obviously don’t know how to do that 🙂

This is strictly about tips I’ve learned along the way on how to pass these painful things.


This one seems so obvious. but can be difficult sometimes. To help, I have a very large water bottle (like this one) and I force myself to drink on a time limit. I’ve also seen people write on water jugs with times to make sure they are getting an entire jug down by the end of the day. If you prefer smaller more portable bottles, try one like this or this. Any way you decide, just do it! It’s so important.


I know it hurts guys, but you’ve got to get up and move. If you’ve been to the doctor then I’m sure you’ve got some medicine. Take it and go for it. I only go walking distance from my home just in case, but I will get outside and walk or try to play with the kids the best I can. Yes it’s painful, but it gets the stones moving quicker.

3. Lay inverted

I learned this one from my urologist. When I have stones, I do this twice a day for 15-30 minutes. I notice a difference immediately. Of course I’m passing hundreds at the moment, but if you’re looking to get one out, doing this will get it out of the kidney and headed toward the bladder. If you have stairs, lay with your head going down them. It can be uncomfortable, but it works. If you don’t have stairs you could hang off a couch or bed with your legs propped on the cushion or mattress. On the extreme side, you could invest in an inversion table. Seems like it might be something I should do myself lol.

4. Sleep on your side

Example: my kidney stones are in my left kidney so I sleep on my right side with my left kidney up. That also helps get the stones out of the kidney and start to pass.


Good luck to anyone out there dealing with these dreaded things. Trust me, I feel your pain.




*post contains affiliate links

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Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

3 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta
2 large yellow summer squash
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
Optional: salt and black pepper

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.

In a large pot, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar to the size of penne, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.

Spray a large skillet (with a lid) with nonstick spray, and bring to medium heat on the stove. Add squash, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.

Add spinach and tomato to the skillet, re-cover, and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, tomato is soft, and most of the excess liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes. Drain any remaining excess liquid. Set aside.

Place cheese wedges in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to break them up. Add sour cream and cheese slices, breaking cheese slices into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir thoroughly. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have fully melted. Mix until smooth.

Add cheese mixture and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. Top with bacon. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 1 cup): 227 calories, 5g fat, 491mg sodium, 33g carbs, 6g fiber, 4g sugars, 13g protein

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