Category Archives: Cooking

How I Lost 15 Pounds

One year ago I got fed up. I had had enough.  After nearly five years of “trying” to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight i was at my heaviest weight since bringing Noah into this world.  I was not satisfied with the look of my body but I honestly didn’t know what to do.  The more I “tried” the more it seemed like I gained weight.  I always thought it would be easier to maintain my weight once I became a stay at home mom.  No more sitting in a desk eight hours a day.  But all the running around after toddlers doesn’t erase all the snacks you find yourself eating with them and the secret pieces of chocolate you sneak into your mouth during nap times. Moms, you know what I’m talking about.  I knew that my next step needed to be serious.  I knew that this was a journey that I couldn’t do on my own because I can talk myself into eating any fun size candy bar, scoop of ice cream, or buttered biscuit.

The next step that I chose lead me to losing fifteen pounds over the past year!  I will be the first to admit to you that I was not overweight but keep in mind that I was not satisfied with the state of my body.  But when you are 4′-11″… (one inch shy of needing a booster seat) fifteen pounds is a LOT of weight and requires diligent effort.  Here’s how I did it.

Weight Watchers!

Yep, twelve months and a success story later and I have no shame in telling you that I followed in the steps of Oprah and joined Weight Watchers.  The only difference is that my success story doesn’t include personal trainers and chefs helping me on my journey.  My story is simply my life lived out normally while feeding and caring for my family of five. I’ve eaten out, vacationed, and occasionally splurged all while getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight and continually working towards my final goal.


So how did Weight Watchers help me?

It opened my eyes to that while I wasn’t eating a ton of food I was eating more than my body needed.  Unfortunately, my small little frame just doesn’t need a lot of food.  That fact is still a little sad because I LOVE food.  But I’ve learned to just enjoy a few bites of everything instead of feeling the need to consume everything offered me.  I have the Weight Watchers app and use it to calculate and budget my points for each day and week.  I get a certain amount of Smart Points each week that I can use whenever I want.  Generally, I save those for a special dessert sometime during the week. If I know that a party or big meal is coming up I’ll try to get some extra steps logged on my FitBit because it syncs with my Weight Watchers app and earns me extra Fit Points that can be used like Smart Points.

The beauty of the system is that I honestly don’t feel like I have been denied anything.  I’ve eaten mys share of sweets over the past year… they’ve just been balanced out with loads of fruits and veggies (0 Smart Points) and healthy cooked main meals.  Weight Watchers publishes a magazine and cookbooks throughout the year.

Most of the recipes that I have tried from these have been a huge success with my family with the girls begging me to cook some of them over and over again.

I haven’t attended a single Weight Watchers meeting, instead I chose the online membership route.  The catalyst that really got me motivated and opened my eyes to yummy treats like Halo Top Ice Cream is their social media platform Connect that is integrated into the Weight Watchers app.  Connect is filled with encouraging people, success stories, and endless motivation.

I’ve purposely taken time off from Weight Watchers while we were in China and during our Disney Cruise but it didn’t mean I wasn’t mindful of the food choices that I made.  My go to meals for dining out are grilled fish and vegetables.  I generally skip the salads and rolls because the dressing and wheat does nothing but eat up points that I would much rather use on something fun like dessert or an extra cup of coffee with creamer.

I’m the final five pounds away from my weight loss goal and I’m here to tell you that these five will be the hardest I have to lose.  Sometimes it’s not easy staying focused… especially now that I’m feeling confident in my body and loving how my clothes fit. I’m not giving up though and I don’t plan to stop using Weight Watchers once I hit my goal.  Budgeting my food is the way to go for me.  For years I have managed our grocery, clothing, and various other budgets for our household.  I understand and love the concept of using only what you have enough for and saving for something special.  Basically Weight Watchers speaks a language that I understand.  It may not be for everyone but I love it!

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Essential Oils After Dinner Citrus Mints

After Dinner Citrus MintsI’ve had several people ask me this week for my recipe using Young Living Essential Oils to make after dinner citrus mints.  They are really easy to make and a fun way to incorporate your essential oils into cooking.

I actually made an entire batch of these back at Christmas, kept a few out, and then stuck the rest in the freezer.  Before company comes over I just set a few out to thaw and then we enjoy as an after dinner mint.  They also make nice desserts for the girls. Sometimes after dinner they get a frozen one.  It’s sweet enough to make them feel special and small enough that calming them down at bedtime isn’t impossible.

Essential Oils After Dinner Citrus Mints

  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil (I use Young Living)
  • 10 drops Orange essential oil (I use Young Living)
  • 10 drops Lemon essential oil (I use Young Living)


Place the first two ingredients in a saucepan.  Set the heat on low and stir together until smooth. Getting these two ingredients to a more liquid state makes it easier to blend the powered sugar in.  Once it reaches your desired consistency remove the saucepan from the heat.  Next, pouring a little at a time add the powdered sugar and stir with a spoon until it’s well blended.  The powdered sugar gives the mints their firmness and helps each mint hold their shape. Add enough sugar so that your mixture feels firm… not too greasy.

Next, add your essential oils. You can adjust the drops depending on your taste.  You can also play with what oils you use.  For instance you could use Lime, Grapefruit, or even Citrus Fresh.

You can shape your mints by pressing into miniature molds, forming into small balls and then pressing flat with your palm, or rolling the dough out and then slicing.

I chose the latter method for sake of time.


I rolled sections of the dough out and cut into 1/2″ pieces.

After, that let stand for a few hours… and then they are ready to enjoy!

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These are so easy y’all and because you aren’t heating the essential oils you are not degrading them.  Which means you get the added benefits that each oil offers… like these for Lemon.

Click here to order your own Young Living Essential Oils.

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Peppermint Sugar

We decorated our house for Christmas this past weekend but like most projects, the house ended up in a little bit of a mess afterwards.  So, I’m busy getting the house back in order and will be back later in the week with a Christmas tour of our house.

In the meantime I just had to share something new I have discovered.

Peppermint Coffee!!!

Why am I so excited about it?  Well first let me preface by saying a don’t drink a lot of coffee… it’s sort of like a special treat for me. I love it.  I really do, but usually if I drink for more than one or two days in a row I end up with a headache.

In case you don’t make a habit of keeping up with every detail of my life or are new here at Color Transformed Family (welcome!),  for over seventeen years I suffered from migraines.  It’s a whole other story and you can read more about it here. The short version of it is that now I am able to keep my migraines at bay by eliminating certain foods from my diet.

Occasionally, I splurge on my diet and treat myself to a cup of coffee or something else.  Coffee is a tricky one though because most flavored coffee contains artificial flavors and other chemicals that can give me a headache.  Boo!

So, I normally use unflavored coffee and stick to using just milk and sugar to it.  Friday I was craving a cup of coffee so I decided to treat myself. I poured my cup of coffee only then to realize we didn’t have any sugar!  And then I remembered that I had a jar of peppermint sugar scrub that I made a few weeks ago at a holiday party.  I took a few pinches and added it to my coffee, mixed a little milk in, and then took a sip.

Peppermint Sugar


It was delicious… and free of artificial flavors.

How?  Here’s the recipe.  Check out how simple it is.

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

2 cups of white or cane sugar

¼ cup organic extra virgin coconut oil

10-20 drops of Young Living  Peppermint Essential Oil

Red food coloring (optional)


1. Pour sugar into medium sized mixing bowl

2. Add coconut oil until desired consistency is reached; stir

3. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil into the mixture

4. Divide your sugar scrub mix into two equal portions

5. Add a drop or two of food coloring into one of the portions (be careful not to add too much!)

6. in mason jar, alternate pink and white layers of sugars to create a “candy cane” effect. Press sugar down with a spoon to compact between layers.

This recipe makes several jars worth so you can give the rest away as last minute holiday gifts if needed.  And the red food coloring is totally optional.  It does make for a cute candy cane looking presentation if you use the food coloring.  I used food coloring because I originally intended to use this as a sugar scrub… but now it doubles as sugar for my coffee!

The next day I tried my new concoction out on Michael Luke and he loved it!  His favorite part was that the peppermint was not super overwhelming but instead a light refreshing touch to the coffee.

You could easily add this to homemade hot chocolate too if you wanted.

For more information on how to purchase a bottle of Peppermint essential oil individually or for information on purchasing Peppermint essential oil as part of an amazing group of oils with lots of other goodies click here

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