18lbs. See ya never.

When I stepped on the scale January 1st, I weighed 168lbs. I was like, ahhhhh, booooo hoo, pity party.  But I was not surprised.  Binge fest after binge fest of 2016 lead to exactly where I found myself:  chubby, barely recognizable, and thankful it was winter and I could hide in big clothes and high heeled boots.

But I knew I was ready to embark on a new journey, and I wasn’t going to let myself down.  I just wanted to feel good.  I wanted to feel good from the inside out.  I didn’t want to wake up feeling sick or with a food hangover day after day.  I didn’t want to binge eat anymore.  I didn’t want to feel like doo doo every single morning, and go through the motions of pushing through my day smiling through the miserable thinking about donuts and pizza and bagels.  I had this beautiful life, and I felt completely opposite inside.

And so I woke up each morning and I started working out again.  I nourished my bod with the shakes I talked about here, I started cellular cleansing.  I started to feel a tiny bit more whole.

But I also did a lot more things.  I started to listen to motivational videos.  I started walking 10K steps per day.  I started to listen & watch nutritional videos to learn even more.  I googled information about cravings, and satiety, and supplementation and intermittent fasting.  I kept walking, and kept talking.  I set goals, and I made new ones. Little by little, I started to see progress.

I shared this with some of my closest friends, and they too saw health improvements.  We all originally signed on to lose weight, but we lost so much more than some fat.  We lost that damn dieting yo yo baggage.

I recently stepped on the scale, and I was down 18lbs.

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I started at 168lbs and now I’m at 150lbs.  My goal is 139lbs, and for the first time ever, I don’t feel like this is a diet.  Instead, it’s a transformative life-long nutritional solution.  It’s pretty damn amazing and as you can imagine, I feel good.  But not just because my belly is flat, and I see ridiculous awesome muscle in my arms.  But because I have peace in my heart.  For the first time in forever, I’m not worried if I’m going to feel good on our next vacation, or the next pool day, or that baby shower I have to go to or that wedding we have to attend.  For the first time ever, I know that I’ll wake up feeling good tomorrow morning, regardless of any other challenges.  I’m excited to meet strangers, and say hello to neighbors, and invite friends over!

I know that when I talk to someone and they say:  How come you are so positive and happy, I can say, “I finally started putting the right food in my body.”

My favorite thing about this system, and about my journey, is that it’s not a quick fix.  It’s not a short term crash, but instead, a beautiful voyage that improves each day.  Today, I ate three shakes.  My body craves the nutrition.  It craves the deliciousness of the vitamins, the minerals, the undenatured protein.  It craves each perfect meal.  It’s both forgiving and flexible.  It allows you to get right back on track, because you never really leave the train station.  You just keep plugging away and nourishing your bod.

When I connect with others who also want to drop some fat, and release some weight, it’s much more than the pounds.  Everyone is craving a health solution.  A long term health solution.  It’s so far beyond how we look, because it’s so much more important how we feel.

The way we wake up and treat each other is what everyone truly desires.  We want to love, we want to care, and we want to trust.  And mostly, we want to desire ourselves.  Everyone knows deep down in their souls that there is untapped physical, emotional, and mental potential we all want to get to.  But because we lack nourishment, because the basic need of “food” is not met, we dig and dig, but rarely get there.

Let’s all nourish ourselves a little bit more each day. Imagine eating well, and filling your body with the right nutrition for 10 days in a row.

And then 30.

And then 60 days of nutrition.

And then 100 days.  And then 1 year.   Imagine how you would feel?

I’m 150 days into two ore more shakes per day.  I’ve lost 18lbs of fat.  I’ve learned so much about myself, what I want in life, and where I’m going.  I’ve taken risks.  I’ve put myself out there.  I’ve been kinder to others.  I’ve been kinder to myself.  By connecting with other humans who want to be a better version of themselves, I’ve become a stronger version of myself.  I love love love learning about other people, and their struggles and obstacles, and then watching humans sore.  Every single one of us is so incredibly talented, but many of us have no idea the potential that lies within.  Yet, it’s all possible.

Stay strong.  Stay confident.  Stay nourished.  And stay uber motivated, in every single goal.  Don’t let a single vision of EXACTLY what you want go to the side.  It’s well deserved.  Take care of yourself, and take your time.  Do what is best for you.  Start off with water.  Start off with drinking a ton more water.  Start off by moving your bod.  Start off by walking more.  Start off with sleeping well, showering, brushing your teeth and flossing.  As my mentor says, “the magic is in the mundane” and the simpler the system, the simpler the habits, the stronger and longer the outcome.

#takecareofyou
#goforit

 

 

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Clearing away da clutter 4 June!

A new month is about to start, and I can’t stop thinking about something super exciting:  getting rid of the clutter!  Not only the new month of JUNE is about to enroll itself with all of it’s fabulousness, but the weather is about to break, it’s going to get HOT HOT HOT and SUMMER will officially start.

So, what are we waiting for?  We need to make sure we have a ton of fun, and sometimes, to have fun, and live absolutely the way we want to – we to dump the clutter!  And I mean this in every sense of the word.  Physically – clear out your cabinets, your clothes, your closets, your bedrooms, and bathrooms, and fridge, and those hidden spaces you stuffed things into – and then never went back.

Sell what you can, donate, what you can, share with others what they may love – and keep it moving OUT of your house, out of your space, and out of your energy level.

Make your home super clean, and clear, and empty – and make sure it holds what you love most, what you use often.  Otherwise, pack it away, and give it away.  Say good bye to the clutter.  Use the new space of energy, the space where something is no longer – to let it be. Let it stand, and enjoy the emptiness.  Sometimes, we have so much.  I had a ton of photo frames (like five), on my dresser.  And recently, I put them away.  It was so nice and fresh, and I love thinking about NEW memories I can make, and new memories I made today, versus photos I took years and years ago.  It’s awesome to enjoy the past, but let’s live in the present.

Go into your cabinets, and just push everything to the front.  Eat through what is good, and donate/throw away what you may never open and enjoy.  I had two cans of pumpkin sitting in my cabinets, until I asked my hubby to use them in his bread.  And it was perfect. Bread came out super moist and delicious, but I was never ever going to use that pumpkin any other way.  Get creative, or donate.

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You can also decide that one part of your kitchen or bedroom, or another space in your home, you will leave completely empty.

You may also have a drawer of “junk food” or candy, where – in the spirit of starting a brand new awesome month, you might want to toss the whole thing.  My kids pick up lots of candy through their travels of parties and school.  And yet, I never feel bad throwing any of it away:  because it’s filled with chemicals that hurt their bodies.  My boo boos love the sugar deliciousness, but there is plenty out there, plenty that they will still enjoy, and therefore when I get an opportunity to toss it all – I have zero remorse.  Bye bye bye.

Do the same with any food that is poorly assembled in terms of health.  If it’s doo doo, it belongs in the bin.

What about your clothes? Are there article of clothing that you have not worn in years, and it’s time to part with?  Take out and save your favorite digs, and the rest – move on from.  I have a pile of “donate” items I keep on the side of my bedroom.  Every day, or every few days, I toss something new in there. My daughter is out of everything 2T, so everything 2T that comes out of the wash, goes right in there. My little man’s sweats – all go into the donate pile.  Everything that I no longer wear – heads there.  It’s okay to move on from “things”.  Things are just things, and things we don’t love, belong with those that can love onto them, use them, and enjoy them.  They don’t belong nicely folded in our closets for years or years.  Or worst – rolled up in balls and stomped on daily.

Empty it all out.  De-cluttering totally empties out the clutter in my mind as well. Something about choosing what stays, what goes, has the same power of all thoughts in my head as well!  This thought is positive so it stays, this thought is negative so it goes.

And throughout this entire process, enjoy it so much.  Know that you are clearing out your home, cleaning it up, clearing out your mind, and cleaning up your thoughts – for a stronger today, and an even more efficient tomorrow.  Our space is limited, but what you can keep in it – is limitless.  So choose wisely.  It’s worth the effort, and get it done!

#youcandoit

 

 

Missed the K cut off, but went to K anyway!

We’re lucky, and we live an excellent school district.  I wanted nothing more than for my son to start off his Kindergarten school year here.  But, he was born October 14th, and we missed the cut off by exactly 14 days.  And so, what to do next?

He spent the last two years in an amazing Pre-K program and knew so much.  I couldn’t imagine him attending another year of pre-school, when he was ready for Kindergarten, and ready to learn more.  And so, my realtor suggested I send him to private school for K.  His daughter’s birthday was at the end of November, and that’s exactly what he did.

As a mom and parent, it’s sometimes really hard to figure out what is best for your child.  I want to push him as much as possible, so he learns more and more, but at the same time, I don’t want to push him too much, because he’s still a little boy, and I want him to soak up every ounce of being young, being free of schedules and lessons and homework & such.

But I knew deep down in my heart, he needed to go to “real school”.  And so we signed him up at a local Catholic school for Kindergarten.  The class size was 17 and he was the youngest one in class (maybe/perhaps/I think so).  And it was the best decision we have made so far.  This boy is reading, he’s recognizing all his sight words, he’s comprehending what he’s reading, he’s doing math, and he’s asking me to quiz him on addition and subtraction when we’re hanging out.  The report cards and progress cards all said he was moving right along schedule without any set backs.  The only issue we had was that he yelled out answers before the teacher had a chance to call on him.  Small chips right!

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This little in-class assignment made me realize how amazing it is to watch your child learn.  Proud of this little dude, and this is why teachers are amazing humans.  They take a little child and guide them into understanding lifelong concepts.

I share this, because a lot of students don’t make the cut off, and can’t get started right away with their peers.  But don’t be afraid to push your children a little bit.  Get creative. My boy will repeat K at a public school this coming school year, because of the cut off dates again.  But I’ll keep pushing him.  I want him reading daily, and writing sentences, and doing math, and we’ll even invest and spend some $ into coding classes, and fun brain work.

Every parent will do everything they can to help their child excel.  And I wish I was pushed more, and further, I wish I invested more in my own education when I was younger.  It’s amazing the potential we all have when we’re guided the right way and challenged.  My main goal as a parent is that my children become confident in their skills, and then use that confidence to continue to learn and build onto their skills.  There is nothing worst than feeling bad about yourself, and this is what drives me.  Little by little little humans can learn it all, regardless of anything else.  If we’re making progress, we’re doing what’s right.  And progress will build confidence.  Keep challenging them, keep pushing them, keep asking them to step up and do the work, even if it’s little tiny things like recognizing certain letters or words.

In the past year, along with the sports he’s played, the work he’s done in school, the extra classes he attended while in school like Spanish, and religious education, and music and art, and the independence K asked him to have – I’ve seen him blossom!  This little guy rode the bus to and fro school each day.  He woke up and brushed his teeth, put on his school uniform, and did his hair each day.  He spritzed on his father’s cologne, and off he went.  (And there were also days that I had to dress him head to toe, and he went to school dragging his feet because he would have rather watched the ipad!) But mostly, he’s blossomed.  He’s a calm little boy, who is funny, and happy, and came home from school excited!  Doing homework on Monday and Tuesday and Thursday wasn’t his favorite time, BUT all of the classwork he brought home Friday, he was proud to show me.

I look forward to building his foundation even further, and I will challenge myself to keep pushing MYSELF to keep his education going, and do everything I can to make him stronger and stronger. Partly, because I know it’s importance, and mainly because I want him to have the most solid infrastructure possible that he can build onto day after day.

Cheers Parents.  We don’t know it all, but let’s keep pushing.

 

How A Shake Saved My Life

Not to sound completely over dramatic, but a shake did save my life.  It saved me from the mental anguish of the binge and diet cycle, it saved me from the physical symptoms of autoimmune disease I was starting to develop at just 33 years old, and it saved my marriage & family, because all of the sudden, I wasn’t that wife & mom that kept saying “no” to everything.  Instead, the shake opened up my health, my mind and my soul to a whole other world: one of happiness, peace, possibilities, and big dreams.  And I have been living this way, every single day since.

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See, my story starts off years and years ago, when I went off to college, and I decided to never binge and purge again.  It sucked to be stuck in that cycle, and I had no idea how to stop except to allow myself to get fat, and start from there.  And that’s exactly what I did.

I gained 45lbs in college, reaching my heaviest weight at almost 200lbs, and then I got myself together (or so I thought), and stayed around 165lbs for most of my adult life.

I have been able to lose weight with calorie restriction optimal nutrition, and Whole30, but every single time, the weight came back on, and the weight always read:  165 L B S.

Last fall, my body ached.  I was inflamed, and sick, and felt like I just experienced a car accident.  Except I didn’t.  I was only 33, and thought I was healthy, and I ate healthy meals, and I had no idea why I felt so sick.  Yet, in my heart, I knew that the binge and diet cycle I put my whole body and mind through (because the mental abuse we put ourselves through in dieting is truly the worst), was slowly killing me.

And I say that with all seriousness in me. I knew that slowly my triglycerides were going up (because I could eat a whole pint of full fat ice-cream multiple times a month), that my cholesterol was slowly climbing (because the fat, and cheese, and sugar, and processed carbs were my go-to food), and because when I “didn’t care” what I ate, I ate everything.

And for the body to physically process and digest what I ate – was tough.  And it sucked.  And when my body became so inflamed and sore, I headed to the doctor to see what was wrong.  At first my doctor suggested I had a virus?  But I knew I didn’t.  I knew that my actions of the past 15 years were catching up to me, and my body had enough.

And so, a few weeks later the blood test came back, and my ANA (anti-nuclear antibody) count was at 640.  A healthy body is under 40.  The person on the phone suggested I see a rheumatoid arthritis specialist, and hung up.  And I instantly refused.  I knew exactly why I was sick:

I ate too much of the processed, the over-fat, the sugared, the over-salted, the fake food grub – and my body had enough.

And I also didn’t move enough.  Not enough exercise, not enough movement, not enough sleep, not enough water.  I was killing myself because I was over-eating, and I was under-exercising.  Two things I knew I could change.  And I was the ONLY one who could do this for myself.

What is wild is I always knew I would get to the point where I was tired of failing at creating and following through consistently with a healthy diet, and an every day exercise routine.  I knew that once I solved this issue for myself, I would be free.  I had no interest in suffering with my poor food choices, and my lack of exercise for the rest of my life.  I was sick and tired of my half ass attempts at living the right way.  I had to solve my problem, and I had to do it quickly, before I really truly did have to go see a doctor, get on meds, and start paying co-pays I had no financial interest in paying.

And so I did exactly this.  I did some research, and I figured it out.

Whenever I googled binge eating in the past, I knew that my mind/brain/body were missing a few nutrients.  But I could never figure out a supplement plan.  And so I gave up.

And then, when a friend mentioned a nutritional intervention and cellular cleansing system to me, my ears perked up.  It’s funny how things happen at the right time, because a few years ago, I was absolutely closed off to wanting to find a solution.  I thought eating whole clean foods, and staying disciplined was the answer.  I just couldn’t keep it going.  I would eat well for a few days, and then boom, binge for a week, and then eat clean for a few days, and then, boom, same cycle over and over again.  When you are stuck in one, it’s truly so heartbreaking.  I’m a smart human, I thought I knew what I needed to eat, I was just totally confused why I couldn’t get it done day after day!

And so, finally, I allowed my body and brain to open up, and listen.  And when I heard the words “nutritional intervention” I laughed.  Right, it sounds so serious.  It sounds like I had a huge problem.  It sounds like others will be involved.  And some of this was true.  I did have a huge problem.  I was 5’6, and 168lbs, and felt like I was stuck in a chubby body I didn’t belong in.  My health was on a quick spiral downward, and I wanted none of this!

My friend suggested I don’t overthink this at all, and just eat the food.  Heal your body with the amazing nutrients, and minerals and protein and other macro-nutrients found within the shakes and the food, and enjoy.  And slowly that’s exactly what started happening.  Little by little, I felt better.  My cravings slowly started to subside.  If they did pop up, I was able to get back on track quicker.  I was motivated to move.  I moved.  I drank the shakes, and the tea and water, and ate the bars, and ate the shakes, and shared the shakes, and my family loved the food, and slowly, it started to get brighter.

For the first time in my life, I realized I found something that has nourished my body to the point where I don’t have to mal-nourish it anymore.  I don’t have to binge, I don’t have to diet, I don’t have to hurt it, I don’t have to discipline it – I just have to feed it.  And that’s what I’m doing on the daily, erryday.

Two shakes a day.

Sometimes three because I love them so much.

I’m down 18lbs, which is amazing, considering, it’s weight that came off the first 12 weeks, and now I’m maintaining this, maybe losing 1lb a month.  My muscles are getting stronger, I didn’t lose muscle, I lost fat.  I barely wore any shorts last summer, and this summer, I can’t wait to get into all of them.  I’m excited for the Memorial Day party we go to every year.  Yet, it’s the first year, I’m feeling psyched to attend.  Not because I look a certain way, but because I feel a certain way.

I feel healthy.  I feel whole.  I feel fed.  I feel nourished, and I am open.  I’m open to people, to connecting, to saying hello, to solving problems, to taking care of my whole self.

It’s amazing what happens when we take care of our bodies, and give it exactly what it needs.  At the end of the day, we need nutritious foods in our system.  The whole foods available out in the market right now, aren’t as whole as we would like to believe.  Because the soils are lacking in nutrients and minerals and because the whole food we believe should nourish us at 100% do so at 50% – if that.  We need to supplement with a system, we need to supplement with something that can get us to 100%.

Thanks for reading my story.  It’s more than a shake.  It’s saved my life.  Every single drop of it.  It does so daily, and for this, I will be forever grateful.

Cheers my beautiful people.

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***Because I want to make sure to this blog post is 100% compliant with the products mentioned above, the company and these products do not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. This is my own experience, as experienced by me: https://www.facebook.com/AggyKB

Went in a potato & came out a fry!

It does make me a laugh a little but whenever I make a really fun dinner, my husband genuinely thinks it’s the most delicious meal he ever ate.  He sincerely believes this, and it’s both cute and fun, because heck – who doesn’t love getting compliments, especially from things you love doing – like cooking great whole food for the ones you love and the people who most appreciate it!

And so – yesterday’s dinner of baked red skinned potatoes, every single member of our tribe enjoyed.

I started off with a bag of red skinned potatoes.

I cut up each potato into 4 or 6 cubes, and then seasoned with olive oil, garlic salt, and a lil bit of bread crumbs, and whatever other seasonings I had. Nothing too crazy, but just coated it enjoy to bake up to perfection.

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Then, I set the oven for 400 degrees, and spread the potatoes onto two pans.  I know not to crowd the veggies, and that’s exactly what I did – gave each little potato a little elbow room.  I mean honestly, who doesn’t love little space when you are baking to perfection (even us humans do!)  And so, after about 50 minutes, these beauties were ready to come out the oven. (Picture is when I put the two pans together – that is why they are legit on top of each other.)

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They went in a potato, and came out a French fry (because calling something a French fry does increase the deliciousness-o-meter)!  The whole house smelled super, and everyone gathered around our kitchen island ready for some frieeeess.   It’s amazing watching your family enjoy such a simple, yet such a lovely, and delicious, and fun meal.  And here is a link to a site that describes their health benefits better than I can.

Cheers to an efficient, frugal, and whole food vegan meal!  Get it done & stay strong!

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Rice Bowls Are Everything

When grub is inexpensive, incredibly delicious, easy to make, and highly nutritious – I’m pretty much a super fan!  And when it’s vegan and lovely for our environment and world as well, how amazing is that!  My mom ended up getting me a rice cooker a few months/years ago, and ever since then, I’m been a huge rice fan.  The best part is that it cooks every type of rice so well.  We just purchased a new bag of rice from Aldi (a bag that was also least expensive), and it was whole grain.  At first, I was worried it was going to stick to the pot, but none of this happened.  The rice came out completely perfect.  I always use the same proportions, if I’m using 3 cups of rice, I use 4 cups of water.  If I use 2 cups of rice, I used 3 cups of water.  Somehow – the rice cooker just knows when to turn itself off!

Last night for din din, every single member of our family had a rice bowl and we added dill seasoning (because I am Polish and we add dill to pretty much everything), coconut oil, soy sauce, cooked carrots, salt & peppa & organic black beans!  Our kids sat there so quietly eating spoonful after spoonful.  I’m not saying the clean up of rice is easy or fun, especially with a toddler around, but it’s well worth it.

And just right now, I’m enjoying a bowl as an afternoon meal!  The best part about making a super pot of plain rice, is that you can put anything and everything in it – depending on what you love most.  Right now, I’m enjoying the exact one we had last night but I also added a few peanuts, raisins (they get some plump when in warmth), and sauerkraut!  Holy taste buds on fleek (not sure if we are still using fleek to be cool, but going with it anyhow!)   The more veggies you add to your rice bowl, the less rice you actually need to feel absolutely full and satisfied.  Fill up your bowl with 1/2 cup or 1 cup of rice, and then some carrots, some broccoli, some spinach, some coconut oil, some cauliflower, even some asparagus – I mean it’s a veggie party, with the rice as the main guest, but not an overbearing or overwhelming one!

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To make this super simple, I buy those steam-able bags (just $.98 at Aldi), and steam a bag in the microwave, make my rice with coconut milk and soy sauce, add the bag of veggies and it’s extremely simple, yet home-made-whole-food-100%vegan in a one dish wonder.

It’s fun to switch it up – and add anything and everything you want to your rice bowls.  You can pretty much get wild and crazy with the amount of heaven you can add in there!  Enjoy & cheers to your deliciousness!

How to have a FREE & FUN filled weekend!

My children are still so little. It’s hard to take them anywhere and really enjoy it.  Maybe it’s just me, because there are super-amazing-human-parents out there, taking their infants to Disneyland who I admire a lot!  It’s just not me at this time – I lack all of the patience and confidence required for such an excursion.  Though, I am in my head planning super vacations and adventures ahead, once my children are a tiny bit older.

The first place I want to go is to Poland.  I grew up on the Baltic Sea (or lived there for the first 8 years of my life), and it’s stunning and beautiful, and I can’t wait to go back for a week or two!  Will be marvelous.  I also would love to do a cruise with the kids – because when we went solo – we had SO MUCH FUN.  Though, my dream dream vacation would be white water rafting, and hiking, and doing a camping trip anywhere!  How much fun would that be?  I did a hiking vacay in the past where I would hike up to 8 miles during the day, and then around dinner time – it was massage time!  It was my type of heaven: do work, grow strong & then repair.

But until then – we go hard at home, and make the best out of it.  This also really truly fits into my goal of being frugal, saving cash-flow, and living below our means.  And now -that’s our total priority.  I want to set our family up for financial success and independence, and I know it’s tiny little habits that we do daily, that will make this happen.  It’s making that breakfast, lunch & dinner at home. It’s making the snacks at home. It’s eating a lot of bananas & strawberries & apples, and it’s baking the goodies ourselves.  It’s my jam, and I love it.  It brings me so much happiness to be able to create food for my family, and have them enjoy, and it brings me just as much happiness knowing we spent $0 all weekend on life.

A few years ago, we invested in a bouncy house that we blow up often – and even more often now that the weather is nice.  This takes up a ton of outdoor play.

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My husband is really good about putting it up, securing it, and then taking it down.  And then, making sure that it’s protected by laying out tarps before it gets inflated.  My hubby also does a lot of outdoor games with my son, and daughter, and any neighborhood child that wants to play. So the baseball bats, the footballs, the soccer balls – they are always out – all of the time.   We even blew up the pool most recently, when we had 90 degree weather up in here.  Cuz it was hot x 1000!

A year or so ago, we found this amazing rusty beach cruiser on the side of the road.  A family was moving – and left their old bike behind.  My hub took that right home to our home!  And it’s been part of the family every since.  My son rides his little bike, my daughter sits in a bike seat with my husband, I ride our mountain bike or beach cruiser, and off we go cruising the neighborhood.  There is a lovely lake around us – that we cruise often.  It’s a tiny activity – bike riding – but it really gives you back so much energy, especially as a parent, and even more so as a family.  The wind blowing, the blood pumping, and the adrenaline pulsating – its fun for all but also feeds the soul correctly.

With some planning, or no planning at all – it’s possible to have the least expensive weekends possible, with your children, as a couple, alone or as a whole family.

Get it done, and save that hard earned!