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What Can We Learn from the 2018 Winter Olympics?

First off, who else is obsessed with the Olympics? I have been watching the Olympics EVERY DAY! My favorites are obviously the figure staking, snowboarding, and surprisingly curling. My step-dad is to blame for that one. I also really enjoy hockey and this year I’ve been getting into the speed skating a little more.

One of the funniest moments so far was when I was sitting on my couch cheering on the USA in speed skating and for some reason, I was getting really into it. All of the sudden my husband pokes his head in from the garage where he was working and says, “Are you watching rewatching football games?” Yes, it was that intense. The only other thing I get that worked up about is NFL football!

What can the games teach us?

So as I sat there, soaking in the glitz and glory of the games, I thought to myself, “This is an incredible moment!” Just think about it! These countries, despite their differences, have come together to compete and cohabitate in the same geographical location without bloodshed. There is an incredible amount of teamwork required to win, even in individual events. With that comes compassion for your rivals and understanding of each other’s challenges. It’s a lot of hard work!

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

I want you to take a long good thought about this one. How on Earth can these athletes love each other? They have every reason not to! Somehow, someway, all of the athletes and coaches, and even just Olympic personnel all love each other. It’s kind of crazy if you ask me! They are all there to cheer each other on, and when one wins (even if it means they lose) they still cheer them on and give them big hugs and high fives. That is what we can learn! We can learn to love unconditionally and without yield.

TEAMWORK

There are a lot of individual event in the Olympics, but there are also a lot of team events. For example, figure skating has both a team event and individual events. Sometimes in the Olympics, that doesn’t matter though! When you think about it, everyone is playing for a team, their countries team! That takes an incredible amount of teamwork to remain united and strong throughout. Then you have your teams such as hockey or even curling that require the athletes to rely on each other to make the right move and perform at the right levels to be able to reign in another medal for their country.

COMPASSION and understanding

com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən/
noun
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
There takes a certain kind of compassion and understanding to be able to win or lose on what some might consider “The ultimate stage”. Nobody likes a sore loser or even a sour winner. So it’s very important for these athletes to be able to have compassion and understanding towards each other. Not even the language barriers can stuff that out. Being sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings, being tolerant and forgiving, that is what we NEED to take away from these Olympics!

HARD WORK

No one likes to work. It sucks. But you have to do what you have to do to be the best! So often nowadays we see these individuals who want everything, but don’t want to do anything to get it. I’ll be honest. I struggle with this sometimes. What we can learn from these Olympics is to work harder for the things we want and to become the greatest. Everyone who helped with the construction of the event fields or buildings? Hard work. The coaches who have been training these competitors? Hard work. All of the athletes who are competing? Hard work! None of them would be there if they didn’t try and try and try again! The reward, as we can see with these gold medalist, is TOTALY worth it!

What has been your favorite part of the 2018 winter Olympics so far?

How to help with foster care, even if you aren’t a foster parent.

*This post does NOT include any affiliate links*

Foster Care. Wow. What an incredibly deep subject to talk about! Let me tell you, this has been the hardest post I have ever had to write! It has taken me almost TWO WEEKS to finish this post! Normally I can bust ’em out pretty quick, but I didn’t want this one to feel rushed. I wanted to do it right and do my research and really understand the subject before writing about it.

Now, it's important for you to know this; I have no personal experience with foster care. I did not grow up "in the system" and I am not lucky enough to be a foster parent. Most of my education on this subject is coming from research and personal testimonies from friends and family members who have gone through it. So please, take this with a grain of salt.

What is Foster Care?

Well, Wikipedia states, “Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a “foster parent” or with a family member approved by the state.”

But that is too impersonal for me. So, since I live in Utah, I decided to check out utahfostercare.org to find out a little more. Utah Foster Care (UFC) is a non-profit organization that helps find, train, and support families who are willing to put it all on the line for these children in need. I was surprised to find that this site is FULL of information about getting involved.

get involved

I am a parent who wishes so badly to be able to help kids in foster care, or even just to support my fellow mommies who are foster parents. In preparation for this post, I put a blast out on facebook asking for help. I was overwhelmed with how many of my friends and even close family who were foster parents or knew someone who was.

The majority of them told me that the best I can do to help was get involved. To just donate, offer support, volunteer, etc. So many people often forget that being a parent is the most stressful and rewarding thing a person can do. Add in children who are not your own, whom may or may not have biological parents still fighting for their parental rights or involvement, and could possibly have many unknown factors still to be discovered.

Any kind of clothing all sizes can be donated to their local Department of Health and Human Services or CPS and can go to kids in need. If they know of any foster families, just cooking a meal is super helpful. Offering to watch the kids while the parents have a night to themselves. Fostering can take its toll on a marriage so it’s very important that they can have that time. There are so many things that can be helpful.

Foster Mommy, Michigan

Moved and inspired

Here are just a couple of stories from mommies who are foster parents. Out of respect, I want to keep all of these moms and their families anonymous. If you feel like sharing your own story and experience with foster care, please feel free to comment below or even message me personally. I would LOVE to chat with you!

So quick background with me… we are going through the process of licensing. We took the classes 5 years ago, but found out our older home would never pass an inspection and I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child while taking the classes. We took a break to upgrade our home, and now back at it again. Being a foster care mom wasn’t always my dream. It has always been my husband’s though. Ever seen This Is Us? We relate SO much. He decided to pursue teaching and has always wanted to make a big impact on the world, and feel he can do the best working with children. When we were first married, he shared his dream of foster care and I thought he was nuts! But 8 years and 4 children later, it’s become a dream I am also passionate and excited about. We are so passionate that we chose to stop our biological children at 4 so that we could financially/mentally/physically have room for more children. We knew if we had more biological, foster care wouldn’t be as easily attained. This way we have room for sibling sets, which is so desperately needed.

Want to find out more about Foster Care? Click here
What made me want to be a foster parent? A dream. My husband and I had multiple dreams and after talking about them and what they mean, we felt pushed to move forward with foster care. We are also unable to have children, so that pushed us a bit as well.
When we lost the boys and had fertility issues we started discussing doing foster care. While discussing it we found out that I had a tubal pregnancy and my Fallopian tube had ruptured. It almost killed me and we knew what we were supposed to do so after my recovery we started going to training classes and started our paperwork for fostering.

Quick reminder

Please remember, if you are considering foster care, do your homework. Research specifically for the state you live in. Each state will vary on its resources and requirements. I also encourage you to reach out to friends and family that you might know for their tips and experiences.

Want to make huge leaps and bounds towards unconditional love?

First off, if you are not a part of my Facebook group, you should totally request to join here! We have a lot of fun in there, and this month we are having sort of a challenge with a super fun prize at the end of the month. If you are already a member, don’t forget to comment and share this post. Volunteer your time and resources. Some of that may just be spreading the word! Spreading knowledge is one of the most effective ways to spread unconditional love! Why? Because it is free and shows that you care.

Healthy Eating Tips and Motivation for the New Year

January is almost over. By now, most of you have probably lost all your motivation and have abandoned your New Year’s Resolution. WHY?! What the heck are you doing? Stop. Think. Let’s get your head back in the game!

You need MOTIVATION

I want you to look back and reflect on this past month. No, reflect on this past year. What are your goals? What did you set for your New Years Resolutions?

Now that you have that in mind, did you abandon it? Let’s talk about the why! Why do most people give up on their resolutions within the first 2-3 months of the year? The answer can vary from person to person, but chances are, their goals were too big and too fast!

For Example

My goals were to treat my body better. I had this grand idea that I would drop 10lbs a month, have clear skin by the end of January, working out every day, and be reading a book a month!

Has any of that happened yet? NO! Are you kidding me? This is not a realistic goal to put on yourself. I am not even close to finishing my book. My skin cleared up, then I ate terrible for a week and forgot to wash my face twice and now I am breaking out all over again. I have worked out a grand total of MAYBE 6-8 times… and I have only lost 4lbs.

Now don’t be hard on yourself!

Compared to what I was doing last year, these are all HUGE improvements! My skin is better than ever, I drink a lot more water, I have taken time to relax and read, I LOST 4LBS! This is a big deal, you guys! Even though I shot big, and I fell short of that goal, I still improved my life in tremendous strides!

Keep it going!

I want you to shoot big for February too! Set too big of goals, try just a little bit harder, and I promise you, you will surprise yourself! I am striving to continue being better to my body, so here are my February goals!

  • Do the “Learn to Love” challenge with my facebook group
  • Stop drinking soda
  • Become a meal prep boss! Again…

Let’s do this together, okay? If you are having troubles with your goals, send me a message on Facebook or Instagram, or shoot me an email! I am here to help you!

Okay, moving on…

You probably came here for the healthy eating tips. So here you are! These are some simple guidelines that I am BAD at following, but strive to do:

  • Drink LOTS of H2O
  • Spinach is amazing and has almost no taste. Add it to as many meals as you can
  • Chew slower and ENJOY your food
  • Use a smaller plate to help control your portion sizes
  • Eat foods proven to help your specific needs (I.E. Weight loss, metabolism boost, protein levels, iron levels, low energy, etc.)
  • Get out of your comfort zone!
  • Meal PLAN and Meal PREP
  • Don’t do it alone, have a support system
  • Eat more green stuff (No, not green M&Ms)
  • Don’t kill yourself, allow for slip-ups, okay?

YOur turn to talk…

Tell me in the comments: What are your goals for February? Have to join my Facebook group yet?

The Pathway to a Healthier You

Let’s face it, most of us are not our healthiest selves. But how do we become a healthier person, and what exactly does that mean? Well, there are three points to touch on if you ask me. Let’s dive in a little deeper.

Quit getting sick!

This is a lot easier said than done. And getting healthier while you are sick is even harder to do! So the best way to combat is to do everything you can to avoid getting sick.

I am a big believer in holistic health. Essential oils, natural foods and products, etc. I’m not a full-on hippy, but I am known to always suggest the more natural way to health.

If you are wanting to try essential oils, I suggest starting small and doing your research. My obsession has grown over the last couple years, but I am still a novice and probably not the best person to teach about oils. What I do suggest is staying away from MLMs like Young Living or DoTerra. They mark up their prices way too high and you can get quality essential oils elsewhere.

If you are interested in a post about essential oils, leave me a comment!

Other ways to avoid getting sick are the obvious suggestions, wash your hands regularly, avoid people who are ill, sanitize often, wash your clothing and bedding regularly, etc.

Eat right, and get Active

Back to the all natural foods I mentioned earlier. If you know me, you know I love to eat. You also know that I love food that is not good for me. However, unfortunately, I know better.

Every time I eat right and go on a “Diet” or a “Life Style Change”, I feel 10X better! I can tell when I am eating crappy and I tend to get sick easier when I do.

A minute ago (like a long time ago) I started a category of posts called “Healthy Eats” where I talked a lot about meal prepping and planning and good foods to eat.

Let me know if you want me to start that back up again!

The #1 thing you can to do eat right is to drink at least 64oz of water a day. I know that sounds like a lot, but I promise you, it’s worth it! Try incorporating fruits and veggies into your diet too!

As for getting active, if you are like me and get little to no activity at work or even at home, you should try getting outside with your kids. In the summer take them to the park, in the winter take them sledding. There are plenty of things to keep you moving outside.

Be Happier

A happier person is one that treats themselves right. If you value yourself or your sanity, be kind to yourself and be happier. I know, this sounds SO easy, right? Well, for me, it’s honestly not that easy.

Every day you have the opportunity to wake up and CHOOSE to be happy! Click To Tweet

Image result for the 3 c's

Some things that I like to do to stay happy include: Playing with my son, snuggling my husband, spending time with friends and family, my essential oils, watching TV, reading a good book, chocolate, taking a shower, getting ready for the day, and (believe it or not) cleaning!

Yes, you heard me right, I said cleaning. I HATE cleaning! I am the laziest person ever, but after my house is clean, I feel so much better, and I can finally relax. Plus, once I get started, I tend to start organizing everything and end up cleaning even more.

Well, there you have it!

Those are the 3 things I try to focus on to make myself a healthier person. My final suggestion would be to write it down! The trendy thing now is to have a bullet journal or planner. I like to write my goals in that and track my progress. If you are interested at all in my previous post, click here! I talk about my New Years Resolutions and my simple game plan to stick to it.

I want to try to write a post a month to help keep myself on track with my resolutions and goals. Keep your eyes open for that too!

My 2018 New Year’s Resolution, and How I Plan to Stick to it!

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution?

I sure did! This year I decided to mix it up a little and do the same resolution I always do… With a little spin!

I promise I mixed it up slightly…

My New Year’s resolution is:

To treat my body better!

Yup, every year I tell myself I am going to “Be Healthier”, “Lose Weight”, “Exercise More”, Etc. Etc. Blah, Blah, Blah! Every year I do great for like a minute, or even half the year! But this year is different!

I simply, want to treat my body better

There is more to this than eating healthy and working out. For example, one of my goals is to wash my face every night before I go to bed. I also want to use lotion more and keep my skin hydrated.

So how do I plan on sticking to this?

Well for one, I have a community to help me stick to it. That’s all of you! I also like to make short term and long term goals with rewards for meeting those goals. Rewards don’t always work for everyone, but it gives me something to look forward too!

For example:

I am going to pick 3 goals to work on every month, with the end goal of treating my body better. My goals for January are:

  1. Wash my face every night.
    1. If I wash my face every night before bed, after 30 days I am going to treat myself to a relaxing facial!
  2. Drink 64oz or more of water every single day.
    1. If I am able to do this for 30 days, I am going to treat myself to a wonderful full body massage!
  3. Read daily!
    1. This is the reward in itself! I love to read, it relaxes me. Reading strengthens the mind and offers some sort of peace to the crazy days!

How am I going to keep myself accountable?

I plan on tracking everything in a journal, or a planner of sorts. That way I can keep track and make sure I am following up every day! The goal is that after 30 days, these will become a habit and I can continue them with ease.

I also plan to leaning on my friends and family, like YOU! In return, I hope that you lean on me for help as well. I plan on writing more about your needs and the things you want help with and the things you are interested in.

Leave me a comment below of what you would like to see next!

How to Save Money During the Holidays

The “Holidays”, the dreaded holidays…

Oh yeah, I think you know exactly where this is going! The holidays can be stressful, so stressful it will make your HAIR FALL OUT! Okay, maybe not everyone is like that, but sometimes the holidays can be super stressful. BUT, if you can SAVE just a little bit of money, it could be less stressful! So while you are trying to plan your parties, get gifts for everyone, wrap presents, work, be a mom, and all that other stuff lets talk about some tips to help you save a little green this holiday season!

Make a list, and check it twice…

Ha! I’m serious! One of the easiest ways to keep a level head and to save some cash is to make a list. I write a shopping list when I have to buy for a party. I make a list when I have to buy presents for people. Hell, I even make a list of naughty and nice friends! JUST KIDDING, but not really… It’s on my whiteboard in my office lol, but that is a running joke.

Friends and Family Discounts

I can hear it now, “I don’t have any friends” “No one in my family works in retail”. Well, guess what? You do! How many of your friends are distributors, or work a second job during the season? Shop local, keep your eyes and ears open, and be optimistic! All you have to do is ask. What’s the worst that could happen? They could say no, and then you continue on.

Use Coupons

YAASSSS! This is the best. Shop at stores where you get rewards, keep your eyes open for GIVEAWAYS, and watch the paper and online ads for coupons. There are PLENTY of coupons out there, and they are EVERYWHERE! Before you check out at an online store, Google coupons for that company. I can usually find one 7 out of 10 times.

Get your DIY on!

Do It Yourself! Get your inner Crafty Cat out! Inside everyone is a little bit of creativity. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or elaborate. It can be simple and easy. Some of the most thoughtful gifts are made from the heart!

Some of the most thoughtful gifts are made from the heart! Click To Tweet

Giveaway Time!

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED*

I have partnered with Kimberly of Mom in the GO Lane for 12 Days of Giveaways! She has written an amazing article on DIY kids crafts! Go check out her post here… Click me!

Don’t forget to JOIN the Real Mom Blogs 12 Days of Giveaways Facebook Group as the winner will be announced there.

What is the prize?

Two lucky winners will get a $10 Amazon e-gift card! The perfect addition to all of your Christmas shopping! And arguably one of my favorite places to shop nowadays!

How to enter

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED*

Reminder, the winner will be announced via the Real Mom Blogs 12 Days of
Giveaways Facebook Group tomorrow! JOIN NOW if you haven’t already!

Good luck!

Super Spotlight, Roddom’s Rustic Designs (GIVEAWAY POST)

YAY! December is finally here!

I LOVE December! For multiple reasons too. My birthday, the season of GIVING, all the lights, the decorations, etc. Today is the perfect day to introduce you to Lakota. She and I went to high school together! Lakota has started her own business, and well, I’ll just let her tell you more about it!

Remember to read all the way through to find out about our FIRST giveaway of the 12 Days of Giveaways!

Roddom’s Rustic Designs- Where we began!

I have always had a passion for creating. I started out making small crafts with my siblings and scrapbooking when I was young. As I got older I started doing more wood crafts and home decor items. I always had ideas forwarding around in my head about what project I wanted to work on next!
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Justin took many woodworking classes in school and enjoyed building. He would often build wood projects such as picture frames and holiday decor to give as Christmas presents.
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As we were dating he would often build small gifts for me.  He spent a weekend in his uncle’s shop with a stack of barn wood and made me a beautiful rustic bedframe. Five years later I refuse to upgrade our bed to a bigger size because I do not want to get rid of the frame he built.

(Make sure to “Like” Lakota’s Facebook and Instagram when you are done reading this post! Links at the bottom)

As we moved into our first place together we were short on cash and needed a few additional pieces of furniture and had very little decor.  We tore apart some old pallets left from the hay pile and a few evenings later we now had matching nightstands. I took leftover scraps and starting making a few pallet signs to decorated our bare walls. Before we knew it people had seen the stuff we built and wanted one of their own or would request custom pieces.
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We have since expanded and built many different furniture pieces, some of which include- coffee tables, end tables, kitchen tables, entryway tables, tree halls, shelves and more.  Most all of our home decor pieces are all made from the scrap wood pile left from whatever the last big project was. We love creating and spending time in the shop together and now take our son to the shop with us where he enjoys playing and watches us work.

Take a look at her work!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roddoms-Rustic-Designs-406852822784784/

Instagram: @roddomsrusticdesigns

So what are we giving away?

Well, take a look for yourself! Lakota is giving away this amazing Christmas decor, and Real Mom Blogs will be throwing in some surprises too… To enter the giveaway I thought this would be a perfect time to “Refer a friend”! Since this is our first day of the giveaway, go ahead and add your friends to the 12 Days of Giveaways group on Facebook. For today (December 1st) only, the group will be open for ANYONE to join without being approved first. Tag your friends that you add in the comments of the Facebook post and get an entry per friend!

This house is under ELF Surveillance

Giveaway closes at MIDNIGHT, the winner will be announced on Saturday morning in the group! You will have 24hrs to claim your prize by messaging me. If you fail to message me within 24hrs, your prize will go to the next in line.

IT’S HERE! 12 Days of Giveaways start in 5 days!

You heard me, people! This is not a drill!

The Real Mom Blogs 12 Days of Giveaways starts in just 5 days! December 1st to be exact, and boy, am I SO excited! Are you? Well, if your not, let me tell you more about how this giveaway will go down!

SPOILER ALERT, kind of…

This post contains sneak peaks of the giveaways, so you have been warned. I just really want to give you something awesome to look forward too! The way these giveaways will run is simple; check in every day to our 12 Days of Giveaways group page. If you have not joined the page yet, click on this link!

The first weekend:

Our very first giveaway is a friend of mine from high school! She is such an awesome mom who took upon herself to do something she loves and make a living from it! She has never been spotlighted on my blog before, so day one will be a mommy spotlight. DAY TWO will be such an awesome giveaway! I am keeping it a secret, but I will give you a hint. You might want to be local to Utah to enter that one.  DAY THREE is my birthday! Yes, December 3rd is my 25th birthday. SO, I wanted to sponsor that day all by my lonesome. Everything in that giveaway will be things I LOVE and will probably have a hard time giving away.

LAST MINUTE SHOPPING:

The week following will be some girls who own their own business, or are a rep for a company. This week will give you an opportunity to win some prizes for yourself OR get some shopping done. YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO BUY ANYTHING! Let me repeat, you DO NOT have to purchase anything to be entered into the giveaway. I just think it’s nice to support your fellow moms and help them have an awesome Christmas while getting yourself and your loved ones something awesome!

To close out the giveaways:

We are working with the big guns on our last two days! I teamed up with a super awesome woman I met through blogging. She is so much bigger than I am and I am SO grateful she even wanted to help me out! Trust me, all you newer moms, or pregnant moms, or moms who have a new baby, or even any mom out there, you will want to get in on this one! Then finally our last giveaway will be one big basket of AWESOME! This last days prize will grow and grow throughout the giveaways. The more you participate, the more stuff goes into this last giveaway and the more chances you will have to win!

So what do you need to be prepared?

NOTHING! Except maybe a positive attitude and the Christmas spirit!

I also REALLY need your help right now… There will be a couple gift cards randomly put in with some of the giveaways. They will be a surprise and the amounts will vary,  BUT what I want to know from you is; What kind of gift cards do you want? Amazon, Ulta/Sephora, Target, Hobby Lobby, Restaurants, etc. LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!

Disagreeing with Grace and What to be Thankful for

Nothing is more uncomfortable than disagreeing with someone.

You can’t live your whole life without disagreeing with people though. That’s just not possible! ESPECIALLY this time of year. It’s Thanksgiving, the holidays are coming, the family is coming into town, etc etc. You get my point.

I don’t have all the wisdom in the world, but what I do have is an undesirable need to please everyone. Seriously, it’s kind of a problem! I don’t know why, but I get so uncomfortable when someone is left out, or upset at me, or unhappy with their care, or whatever! So, I have developed a few tricks to help me in my own personal life to help avoid uncomfortable situations. Here is a couple when it comes to disagreeing with someone.

  1. Never bend yourself to fit someone else’s expectations.
  2. The most important thing to remember is that it is OKAY to disagree.
  3. Be the bigger person.
  4. You DON’T have to forgive and forget.
  5. You DO have to forget to forgive.
  6. Most importantly, be thankful!

So what should you be thankful for?

This one is so hard, but so dang easy at the same time! I can’t tell you what you are thankful for, I can’t tell you what to think. So why don’t I hit a few points that I myself am thankful for?

Obviously, there is my son. He is light in my world, my everything. I owe my whole world to him.

Then there is my husband and the rest of my family. I was blessed with a mostly normal, very supportive, very fun to hang out with family!

I am also very thankful for my job and my career. Without it, I would not be able to have the life that I have. I am also extremely lucky to work with some of my best friends! It’s like a family, and I cherish that!

I am thankful for the roof over my head and the car that I drive. Sometimes we take those things for granted, and truly, if you think about it, you are extremely lucky to have them!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Comment below telling me what YOU are thankful for this holiday season!

Meal Planning Vs. Meal Prepping

I know what you are thinking…

Is there really a difference between meal planning and meal prepping? YES! There most definitely is!

Let me break it down the easy way… Think about the words themselves. “Planning” and “Prepping”. I googled it for you. Here are the actual definitions.

plan·ning
/ˈplaniNG/
noun
  1. the process of making plans for something
prep·ping
/ˈprepiNG/
noun
  1. the action or process of preparing something, or preparing for something.
    So why is this even important to know the difference?

    Well, when it gets to the nitty-gritty, it’s not important at all. What matters is that you actually do it! BUT, you can’t prep without planning. AND, if you only plan and don’t prep, what’s the point? Do you see what I mean?

    I hope that makes sense to you and helps clarify the importance of both. I know it’s short and sweet and to the point, but that is exactly what you need it to be, huh?

    CHECK OUT SOME OTHER POSTS ABOUT MEAL PREPPING!

    How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!
    How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!
    Dos and Don'ts of Meal Prepping
    Dos and Don’ts of Meal Prepping