bits & bobs: excalibur giveaway, weight loss update {+ pumpkin oatmeal recipe variation}

This week was a weird one.

For one, Joseph was in Alabama all week for a training, so I was lone-starring it. Which, is never my favorite thing to do.

When Joseph’s away, I become more cat-like, more neurotic. With each night he was away, I slept less & less. If I wasn’t married, I think I would never sleep. It’s not that I don’t like sleeping, I can just think of a million & one other things I’d rather be doing. Good thing I have Joseph around to help keep me balanced.

On Monday I talked about the transition I’m going through with the blog. Part of that transition is going through & indexing all of my 625+ posts. I’m still working on it, but here’s what I have so far. The index boxes are also located on the side bar.

(Click on image to go to each particular index.)


move tips on how to build a strong family

I also spent a some time updating my Fit, Strong, Lean ebook page.

Some of you have emailed me with questions about the book. Hopefully this updated page will help answer questions about what the book is about.


Another fun thing.

Bring Joy got approved for rich pins on pinterest. Which means, anytime someone pins something from BJ, it will look like this:

rich-pins Kinda fabulous, because it means more exposure for the blog, & ultimately for it’s mission, which is: bringing more joy to living.

I’ve mentioned I have some exciting projects I’m working on for the blog & elsewhere. I wish I could share, but I’ve learned through trial & error that it’s best to share things once I have them completed, since who knows how long it will take for me to complete any given project. But, know that exciting things are to come 😉


weight loss update

As I mentioned two weeks ago, I felt it was time to stop tracking calories & food intake & just go for a complete intuitive approach. It’s always a little scary to do this, but after several months of measuring & tracking I have a good grip on what my food intake needs to look like each day if I want to lose weight.

Starting weight: 204 lbs.
Last week’s weight: 173.5 lbs.
This week’s weight: 172.0 lbs.

Net loss: 1.5 lbs
Net total loss: 32.0 lbs. 

{Here, for a recap of all prior weeks.}

bring-joy-before-pictures 204 lbs.
January 2014


172 lbs.
today! (May 2, 2014)

(I apologize for the crappy images, the background is sharp, & I’m blurry, but that’s what you get when you’re taking pictures of yourself & shooting on manual.)

I find when I track food my loss is slightly greater (typically). But I’m fine with anywhere from 1-2 lbs. a week, & if it means I don’t have to be a slave to my WWP app, I don’t mind losing slightly less than I would have if I had tracked.

I’m still finding it extremely difficult to make the time to exercise. I get walking in most days, but my strength training & yoga are proving to be a challenge.

So I do what I can. Like the other day. I had not exercised. It was 7 pm, after dinner. I put the girls in the bath, the boys were folding laundry & watching Harry Potter. The baby was sleeping. I did a 25 minute yoga workout on Gaiam TV (it’s awesome, you can try it out for free for 10 days, here) on my laptop next to the bathroom where I could hear the girls. I thought it was ironic, to the point of hilarious, that I lay there at the end in savasana, Salem, just recently bathed & in a towel running circles around me while I could hear the boys in the other room fighting about something. Ah well, you take what you can get.

On a random note, Katrina, a bring joy reader who is also doing FSL, let me know that she & I are both the same weight. We’re the same height, same weight, & we’re both losing weight right now. How funny is that?


Pumpkin Cherry Almond Oatmeal Bowl

Here’s a quick recent breakfast.

You know how I am about breakfast. It usually doesn’t happen until 10, 11, or even noon. But whatever, breakfast is your first meal of the day, so here it is.

Truth is, we were out of fresh stuff at the beginning of the week. Since it wasn’t a new month yet & we didn’t have any money left in our grocery budget, I went shopping in our freezer. I missed having fresh stuff, but eating exclusively out of your pantry & freezer for a few days is not the worst thing in the world.

{I still haven’t gone shopping. But we’re going to Costco this weekend & you bet I’m stoked.}

I like this meal because:

1) it’s super quick (like 5 minutes?)
2) very filling
3) nutrient-rich
4) fits the bill for a good FSL (Fit, Strong, Lean) food.

pumpkin oatmeal recipe

pumpkin cherry almond oatmeal bowl -- vegan + gluten-free | bring joy

Like last week’s chickpea romaine salad recipe, this “recipe” doesn’t really require a recipe.

pumpkin almond cherry oatmeal

Here’s how I made it:
combine all ingredients–
1/2, 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 cup frozen cherries
handful of raw almonds
sprinkle of cinnamon
few stevia packets to sweeten (or any natural sweetener of choice)


Excalibur Giveaway

One last thing.

My friend Leanne has a giveaway going on over at Healthful Pursuit. It’s part of her 8 weeks of giveaways. This week is super awesome–an Excalibur dehydrator.

In full disclosure, I used to have one of these. I sold it on ebay because I wasn’t using it much. Not because I didn’t love it (it really is the best dehydrator on the market), I just didn’t use it enough to justify it taken up space in my kitchen.

If you’re at all in the market for a dehydrator, hop on over toe Healthful Pursuit to check it out & enter to win one of your own.

(Click on image below to enter.)
wk5_Excalibur-giveaway-image2 //

Well, I think that’s it.

I’m looking forward to some swimming & lazing around this weekend. Hopefully some tennis, & lots of sleep too.

Hope you have a great weekend, & see ya next week.





P.S. Do you hang out on google+? I just created a g+ page for bring joy, so add to me your circles & we’ll stay in touch the g+ way.

Thanks for coming to bring joy today!

Did you know I’m also on twitterpinterestg+ & facebook?

You can follow the blog via feedly or subscribe via your fave blog reader.
Have a question for me, or just want to say hello,
send me an email.


FYI: This post contains affiliate links. You know I only promote those things I can only 100% endorse. You purchase anything via these links, I earn a commission. Thanks for supporting bring joy!


  1. Emma
    on May 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm said:

    Go Janae! Keep it up 😀

  2. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    on May 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm said:

    Wow so much goodness going on here!! Congrats on rich pins 🙂 I never even knew that was a thing! Good to know!!

    And congrats on the weight loss AND all your organizing. Must feel so so good!

  3. April
    on May 3, 2014 at 8:17 am said:

    Great post! I missed you this week! I’ve been trying to get in exercise too-fortunately w/ the weather “warm” (barely in the 50s all week) I’ve been able to walk the kids to school. I do it at least 2x a day and that’s 2 miles. If I can fit in a walk by myself that means 4 miles that day. It’s worked out pretty good. Only 4 weeks left of school though!

    • Janae Wise
      on May 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm said:

      Ah, thanks April!

      Don’t you love walking your kids to school? It’s one of my fave parts of my day. To be honest I’m going to miss it during the summertime. And 4 miles a day! That’s fabulous. Do your kids all walk as well or ride bikes/scooters or go in a stroller?

  4. Lisa C.
    on May 2, 2014 at 8:19 pm said:


    You are doing awesome! 1.5 lbs in a week is great. I think dropping it faster would be mainly water weight, right?

    I know how hard it is to exercise with little ones. I woke up around 5:30am for years to exercise before the kids were up but I constantly struggled with being sleep deprived and eventually developed a bad foot injury (chronic, severe plantar fasciitis). I was all set to see a podiatrist and have the script in hand for an xray when I decided to stop exercising immediately upon waking. Well, it’s been several weeks now and my foot feels so much better!

    I’m still exercising but I am doing it about an hour after eating breakfast while the kids play around me. It’s not ideal (I get interrupted, a LOT), but hey, it’s what I need to do at this stage of my life! I am lucky that we have a game room (play room) with a treadmill, recumbent bike, some weights, and a TV. So I can mix my workouts up that way.

    I also have noticed that I am getting far better workouts in because I have food in my stomach AND I am better rested! I am able to work out much harder than before, when I always felt like I was dragging through my workouts.

    I’m hoping to get my hands on a triple or quad stroller to get outside walking soon.

    This got long-winded. Great job!

    • Janae Wise
      on May 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm said:

      Hi Lisa,

      Thank you!

      About the water weight, that’s something that usually comes off the first part of any weight loss regimine. Once you’re in constant calorie deficit mode, it’s all fat (for the most part). I go into greater detail in my book about water weight, but to answer your question, you can definitely lose more than 1.5 pounds of fat per week. It’s all about calorie balance & deficet. For me, I’m most comfortable with somewhere between 1-1.5 pounds, though I’ve lost more than that each week. Anything beyond 2 pounds usually requires some hunger pangs (not okay with that 😉 ) as well as some intense exercise sessions. I’ve found what I need to do to lose 1-1.5 pounds are fairly painless tweeks to my diet & exercise 😉

      I used to have a triple stroller when my 3 oldest were younger. Know I have a double jogging stroller & love it! It makes going for walks & getting some exercise & fresh air super easy.

  5. Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent
    on May 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm said:

    How long did it take for you to get approved for rich pins? I applied and am till waiting to hear back.

    Congrats on the continued weight loss! You look amazing! 🙂

    • Janae Wise
      on May 2, 2014 at 9:31 pm said:

      Hi Meredith!

      I’m not sure about rich pins. I got an email from them saying I could have a business account, so I switched it. Then sometime later I got an email about rich pins. I applied, then 2 weeks later it went through. It really wasn’t anything I researched or sought out, just sort of happened, so I’m afraid I’m not much help 🙁

      Thanks for your encouragement!