Do or DoNut…. 

Let’s be honest, some days we feel like waking up early and going to the gym and other mornings we would all rather get up and get a donut and watch a few episodes of our favorite shows.

Lately, my schedule has been SUPER busy. So much so, that any downtime I’ve been able to squeeze out of it was quickly occupied by sleeping or a Netflix/Hulu binge (OITNB anyone?  We’re not going to talk about Episode 12. 😢  And have you watched Uncle Buck? I ACTUALLY like it. I didn’t think I would, but I DO! 😮).

I even managed to make a trip to our local Krispy Kreme to pick up some tasty treats after one of my meetings!

(Don’t judge me, the hot sign was on….and it beckoned me… and there was a drive thru 😂) I’m all about balance folks.

… and I was inspired by my new mug, pictured below.

You can’t look at that and not want a donut! Right!?!? Well, I couldn’t. 😇

So, I’ll give myself some grace for the rest of this week and go back to my old routine with a goal to reset my fitness plan after the 4th of July holiday. I haven’t been too crazy with my eating habits and I’m still on target to meet my DietBet goal (yayyyyy)!

Other updates:

I’m working on a few things for the blog. More (and better quality videos), interviews, more podcasts, several deal alerts and product reviews, my couponing tips and recipes and whatever else I think of over the next couple of weeks. I’m excited about it and I hope you are too!

In fact, you can email me at LetsFixIt@FixItWithFran.com with any particular topic requests you may have and I’ll see what I can do to incorporate your interests!

A few final requests:

Please share the blog on your social media networks and invite others to join us! Be sure to sign up for an email subscription if you haven’t already 😉

Glass Water Bottles ARE Better!

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The weekend is coming to a close and I spent a good portion of it finalizing my review of the Purifyou Glass Water Bottle.

First and foremost, I can be completely honest and admit that I was I was somewhat hesitant to review a glass water bottle.

I may come off as a prim and propper lady, but my siblings can tell you I was 100% tomboy growing up and I can still be rough and rugged– especially when it comes to my tumblers and water bottles.

Whenever I am in full out gardening or workout mode, my bottles have to be able to take a tumble (or two or twenty) without breaking. If they don’t make the cut, I move on to another brand.

The company assures customers (via the product description on Amazon.com) that the bottle is made of the most durable glass availible in consumer retail.

I can’t say that my concerns were completely relieved by the “most durable glass” description (no other information was provided to support this claim), but I did appreciate the high-impact-resistant silicone sleeve that came along with the glass bottle. In addition to providing drop protection, the sleeve is of food-grade quality, which is nice to know given that it will be in close proximity with the fluids you’ll be consuming and your mouth as you’re drinking from the bottle. Last but not least, the silicone sleeve also acts as an insulator, helping to keep your chosen beverage hot or cold during extended periods of use.

So, back to the bottle– the sleeve worked this week so I’m praying nothing happens going forward — it is entirely BPA free, Phthalate free, PVC free, lead free, cadmium free and worry free. It is also microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and freezer safe (though you have to make sure to leave space inside the bottle for the liquid to expand naturally as it freezes).

A final point about this glass bottle, is that for every glass water bottle purchased, a portion of the profits is sent directly to building water wells for impoverished communities in Africa. Not only are you keeping yourself hydrated, but you are helping others to secure the water they so desperately need. If that’s not fixing something, I don’t know what is!

The bottle is availible in 6 different colors: Grey, Aqua Blue, Pastel Green, Pastel Blue, Misty Pink, and Lavender. Here’s the link again if you’d like to check them out.

Federal Trade Commission Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion and unbiased review.

Product Review : Bossywear Pink Wrist Wraps

This week’s next official product review item is this set of #BossywearWraps that I received to review.  As described by the manufacturer, Bossywear Wraps are pink wrist wraps designed especially for women.

Here are some additional details:

The set is made with very high quality, yet soft materials which are carefully stitched in order to prevent any discomfort, injury or irritation. I have rather sensitive skin and I didn’t experience any irritation or chafing — even after several days of repeated use.

The set consists of two, 15 inch long wrist wraps that can be adjusted to fit comfortably on each wrist and will stay firm until removed. For extra protection, they also feature thumb loops that will eliminate the possibility of the wristband sliding up your hand!

I have also used these during extended writing sessions to assist with the wrist fatigue I sometimes experience. It’s been a great help as I’ve been writing a close out report for my most recent project for the past week.

Now that I am at my desired weight goal, weight training to achieve increased muscle tone is going to be my focus for the rest of the year. These will definitely be in regular rotation! I am 100% a fan of this product!

I received this item for free in exchange for my honest opinion and unbiased review.

Fitness Friday: Pressing Through the Pain

This week has been tough.  I’ve shared a bit about my history of chronic pain and plan to continue to do so in my future blog posts.

It’s not always easy.  Some days are particularly harder than others.  Sometimes my pain is minimal, but I have other periods when the pain persists for weeks at a time.  I had to sleep sitting up following my sinus surgery this past December and I think that may have triggered some things, but I won’t complain because the pain is still not what it used to be.

Back in 2012, I remember praying and promising God that if he did what only he could do in the spirit realm, I would do what I could in the natural realm.  Prior to that, I’d worked out with a trainer and lost a decent amount of weight while in school in North Carolina. After moving to Mississippi, I slacked off of my workouts and the pain returned.  I quickly realized that a significant factor in managing my pain was building up my strength.

This leads me to the main point of this post: Pressing through the pain.

By pressing though the pain we gain our strength.  In Philippians 3:7-14, Paul writes to the Philippians in this frequently quoted passage of scripture about “Pressing Toward the Mark.”  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you’ve seen me use the hashtag #iPRESS often.  It’s my personal motto. I’ve even crafted my own definition of “The Art of the Press.” In my own words:

The art of the press is the process by which we continue to pray, praise and push even when it makes no sense at all.

The process of pressing may take us down a long road, but FAITH wins EVERY time. When we commit to the press, we make it to the promise or we come to a place where we understand the purpose of the process.

Take coal for example.  Coal under pressure can become a diamond.  If the coal does not become a diamond, it meets another destiny– Often a source as a source of fuel. Both are endings are significant.  The outcome is determined by 2 things– (1) the power working within it [us (Ephesians 3:20)] and (2) how it [we] withstand the art of the press.

Diamonds - Coal that Did Well Under Pressure

One of the greatest lifestyle changes I made for myself was creating my own “fitness corner” in our home. I have most of the elements I used at physical therapy. My intention here was to create an environment in my home that would allow me to continue those activities that helped to minimize my pain symptoms. A big thanks to#peakwinathletics for the stability ball and foam roller!  Both items are super sturdy and come in my favorite color– pink! I use the stability ball for core strengthening exercises and roll out my IT band to reduce any muscle fatigue after I finish my modified workout. I may not feel well enough to go back to the gym just yet, but I know I can remain active at home and maintaining my strength training makes a world of difference in managing my pain– #iPRESS!

In the same way, it is also important that we are intentional about carving out both time and physical space to focus on building our spiritual strength. I’m using apps on my phone like First 5, YouVersion, and BibleGateway. I like that each app has different features and that I can synchronize my activity between my android phone and tablet device as well as my online profiles (for YouVersion and BibleGateway).  First 5 is really awesome because you can read the morning devotional (which really does take about 5 minutes) and then schedule it to remind you to complete a complementary study called “More Moments” later  that same day.

I am in no way trying to tell you what do or how to do it, but I am hoping to encourage you to do and use something.  For both your physical and spiritual health.

Be intentional about your future and what you want to see for yourself in 2016.

I’ll be praying for you!

Brace Yourself

I’m in the middle of several transitions right now, but one thing I am reminded of in this season is just how much God CAN and WILL provide! {Luke 12:24}

I am also learning how just how necessary it is for me to brace myself– both physically and spiritually.

In the physical sense, I still have some days when my lower back is in a bit of pain. I spent the past couple of days cleaning and organizing our home office and combined that activity with an event at church where we made vision boards with our Girls’ and Women’s ministries so I’ve been giving my back and lower body a good workout. Thankfully, I’d received this #freebelt to review and its lower lumbar support and heat are EVERYTHING right now!

What I most like about this belt are the built in stones and magnets inside the belt that transmit heat to your muscles and offer immediate relief by reducing any swelling and helping your muscles return to their normal state.
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This lumbar belt is also designed to support and strengthen your lower back muscles, while aligning your posture and reducing muscle inflammation and pain. You can even wear it during your workout. I’ve yet to test out this option, but I may do so when I go back to the gym tomorrow.
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In the spiritual sense, as I continue to go through experiences of trying, testing, and pressing I have to brace myself.  Before worry, anxiety or stress set in it’s of the utmost importance that I pause and pray and recenter myself.

I’m in a season that requires great faith.  And a key part of that faith is to remember just how faithful God has always been.  If I don’t brace myself daily and moment by moment, the temporary challenges and unknown future can overwhelm me.  But God has been so faithful and he has not changed.  He is the stability I can hold on to each and every time I find it necessary to take a moment to pause and brace myself.

You may find yourself in a situation somewhat similar to mine today.  If so, I’m saying a special prayer for you right along with myself.

Here are a few passages of scripture that I am holding near and dear to my heart at the moment:

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Luke 12:22-32 Do Not Be Anxious  And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.  For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Hebrews 6:19-20 The Certainty of God’s Promise   We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.