Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Esurance: Insurance for Families in the Internet Age

With so many insurance companies competing for our attention, It is difficult to decipher the great companies from companies that just have great hype. I have fallen for the great hype way too many times. Because of this, I have made sure to research important services. I would definitely say that insurance is an important service (aside from it being against the law to not have it!)

Not only do I look at the typical sites to see if its a scam and read reviews, I also check out Facebook (yes, I am a junkie!) I was quite impressed when I looked at the Facebook page for Esurance. One of my favorite things about Facebook pages is that you see the good, bad, and the plain out ridiculous! I look at their page and was happy to say that if there were bad review, they weren't deleted. This makes me believe a company is more trustworthy than others. The only thing about reviews is that all of the information is not always given. Not all reviews are trustworthy, some people just have too much time on their hands, and want things done now. I however, have had a very great experience with them. I had a wreck and the person that hit me had Esurance. They gave me no hassle and were very quick about getting it settled. The adjuster even insisted I go the ER, even though I didn't think I was hurt. That is pretty great service.

Even if you are not a customer of Esurance and are not in the market for insurance, you should still drive your browser to their Facebook page. There are some really amazing features. You can even get a quote on car insurance from their Facebook page, that is pretty amazing! While you are there, go ahead and apply for a job. Yes, they have job listings right on the page. This is truly taking Facebook marketing the the next level. They also have other tools that will be implemented soon.

When you are done there, head on over to the Esurance Blog, where you will find a wealth of driving and safety tips. They have implemented something that I would love to see on other sites. The transcript of videos is below the actual video. I find this truly amazing. Sometimes, being a mom, I can't always watch a video. Sometimes, I would rather read than have the noise going. In the blog, you will find helpful tips, like 6 simple tips for using snow chains, Driving in fog: 7 simple tips, and Yoga for Drivers. There are even recipes! There is something for everyone, Esurance customer, or not.

Esurance is definitely a company of the future, we could all learn something from them!

About Esurance

With a wealth of easy-to-use online tools as well as 24/7 expert service, Esurance is making car insurance smarter from quote to claim. Everything we do is done with the goal of saving you time, hassle, hair-tearing-out, and oh yes, money too. Use the Esurance Coverage Counselor® to help you figure out the exact coverage limits you need. File a claim (and send pics of the accident) from your mobile phone. Call anytime — and by that we mean anytime — to talk to a friendly expert about discounts. Do what you need to do, when you need to do it. And do it with ease. That's what Esurance is all about.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Looking Back: What I Accomplished in 2012

Update: I am doing pretty good with staying on my weight loss plan. Today I started the HCG drops, so for two days I will not be counting calories. Starting Monday, I will eat as close to 500 calories as I can manage. The program says not to eat over 500, but several people I know have had success just by taking the drops. 

As I have mentioned before, I have joined the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. So far, I am absolutely loving it! However, I am just getting around to posting my challenges. Week One's challenge was to list my weight loss goals. Well, I've already done that with my new years resolution. You can read about that here. I have also broken the bigger goal of weight loss down into a plan, which you can read about here

The second week's challenge of "Shrink Yo' Self 2012" proved to be more difficult. For week #2, I was to write a letter to my present self from my future self. I decided to go a little different with mine. I am writing from My 29th Birthday (June 2013) to my present self. 
Here Goes:

Dear Mrs America (that's you silly!)
It has been quite a year and a half. The best thing you did was sit down January 1, 2012 and make a real commitment to lose that weight. You were finally able to get sick of it all and say "enough is enough." I thank you for that. We have never been happier. 
I'm sitting at the lake watching Mac and the Mr play. I just love sitting here in my bikini while my two boys have so much fun! 
You reached your goal of losing 110 pounds about a year ago today. You were so excited to get that bikini! You decided to make another six month goal. To actually get fit. That is what brings me to where I am today. 

I have an amazing life. That part hasn't changed, but now I can do the things I have always wanted to do. I go for a run almost every morning before Its time to cook breakfast for the boys. That is my favorite part of the day. There is just something about being the first one up and sneaking out for a 4 am run! I think this was the best run yet. There is just something about running by the water and watching the sun come up. This is especially true today, on our 29th birthday! It has turned out to be an amazing birthday. Our 3 year anniversary is in a week, I am so excited! Whats better than camping the week between my birthday and anniversary? AMAZING! 

I love being fit! There is something so empowering and relaxing about a run. It is so invigorating. I know I can do anything! Getting in shape has shown me this.

After this week of camping, Its time to start coaching. Last month, I signed up to coach the little man's T-ball team. It is going to be so much fun chasing 3 year olds around. I am so happy to be able to set an example for Mac. I can now show him how to take care of himself, instead of just tell him. I don't feel like such a hypocrite! 

I just want to tell you that life is so great. Keep holding on, you will not regret it. Stay strong and believe you can do it. It will be the best decision you ever made. 

I have to go, its about time to drag Mac and the Mr on a hike! This is going to be fun. 
Love and support, 
Miss America!

This was a fun assignment, but harder that I thought it would be. I know I can do it, and am so excited that I started my journey. Keep an eye out for an update on Tuesday. I will share with you my progress! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Change in Plans

I have made a slight change in plans. 
A friend of mine who is also on a weight loss journey
I have decided to go with this instead of SparkPeople.
It just seems more user friendly; therefore, I will be more likely to use it. 

Also, I have joined a weight loss group. 
I truly hope The Sisterhood of Shrinking Jeans turns out to be what I need. 

In their community (The 'Hood), there is a challenge going on for the year. 

Because I am new to this, I will be focusing on both week 1 and week 2 this week. 
Week 1:  Drink 8 glasses of water a day!
Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep a night. 

The hardest for me will be to get 8 hours of sleep, I am busy blogging, creating, and marketing at night. 
I would like to go to bed earlier and get up earlier though. That might be the solution. Then, I wouldn't feel so crappy in the morning. 

There are other challenges on the 'Hood as well, I will keep you up to date. 

By the way, I didn't do as bad on my calories as I thought I did today, but I haven't had any WATER!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I keep failing, but I'm not giving up!

I know, I've done so many posts about weight loss and not giving up, but I guess I was choosing the wrong time to start a regimen, or my heart really wasn't in it. Maybe I just wasn't ready to give up some things. I also think I have set myself up to fail. One of my biggest pitfalls to date is that I have continuously failed to find an exercise program that I enjoy; therefore, I don't stick with it. 
I also fail to hold myself accountable. If I mess up a day, I just give up; I have learned that I can't do that. There will be days that I mess up, but I have to start clean the next day. I can't just ignore the bad days. I have to count them, learn from them, and move on. I also have learned that I need to be accountable somewhere besides in my head as well. The solution to this is that whether its bad or good, I have to post a weekly update on this blog. If I don't have any progress one week, that is okay, I'll learn from it the next. 

Here is the plan. I may deviate from it, but I will update if something doesn't work or If I add to it. 
I have to do this for my health, and for my family's future. (Also- I wouldn't mind wearing a two-piece swimsuit for the first time EVER)

1. I will have only 1500 calories a day for the first week 
1200 calories a day for 2 weeks after that
1000 calories a day after that 

2. I will record my calories every day, no matter how well I do

3. I will substitute Splenda in my coffee, instead of sugar

4. Over the next 2 weeks, I will work up to 10 glasses of water a day

5. NO (and I can't stress this enough- NO) Mayonnaise - and I love it

6.  Do a cleanse (either juice or leeks) every 4 months

7. I will have desert no more than 2 times a week
(one regular and one sugar free)

8. Continue on my exercise hung

9. Research and begin Couch to 5k

10. Stop mindless snacking. 

11. Start eating a small, healthy breakfast

12. Reduce my bread consumption. 

13. Start taking vitamins

These are the biggest ones:

14. Even if I have a bad day, start clean the next

15. Update Beautiful Imperfection once a week on my progress


Also, I urge you all to hold me accountable. If you see that I haven't posted anything about it, ask me. 
If you have questions or suggestions, let me know. 
I'm all for help. I just want to succeed. 
I WILL succeed!

What I accomplished today:

2. Got a weight loss tracker widget
3. Held myself accountable by posting this. 

My motivation for today:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Snapshots of Bliss: My Happiness Journey

This is my very first 'Snapshot of Bliss'

As I mentioned last week, I am starting my own happiness journey. 
You can read about why here: Life is Perfect

I will also keep you up to date on this blog. 
I hope to get some other bloggers in on the action, as well. 

My intentions are to post a photo every day of something that makes me happy. 
I will also be adding some elements from other projects. 

Hopefully I can spread some happiness.
Or at the very least, show everyone who reads that there is always something to be thankful for. 

You can follow along here: Snapshots of Bliss

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012

I have to say, that even though there were lots of happy moments in 2011, I am so glad its over.
Ready to move on to bigger and better things. 
Believe it or not, this is the first year (EVER) that I have written New Year's resolutions. 
I know, I am so strange!
So, I am taking this a step further and sharing them with my readers. 

Here goes:

  1. Have the prince potty trained
  2. Find a job
  3. Take a picture every day
  4. Start my very own happiness project
  5. Craft more and open an etsy store
  6. Post more recipes on Cupcakes & Sweet Tea
  7. Join in on Project Marriage
  8. Create a landing page for all of my projects
  9. MOVE into our own home
  10. Start reviewing web services for my readers. 
  11. Lose 100 pounds
  12. Exercise 3 days a week, and eventually elevate this to 5 days a week
  13. Post on at least 1 blog every day
  14. Spend more time outside
  15. Start writing my book
  16. Create an organizing system I am satisfied with
  17. Learn to bake a cake
  18. Learn to decorate cookies
  19. Grow my hair out
  20. Post more about me as mommy! I love this life!

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