Christmas Workout Playlist

Christmas Workout Playlist

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I can’t stop myself from sharing my favorite holiday tunes with you.  I listen to these when I am working out these days.  It’s not always about the song itself but the artist’s rendition of it that makes it fun and peppy for working out.

You can click on the links to go straight to iTunes and get them for yourself!


1. Light of Christmas by Owl City

2. Marshmallow World by Francesca Batistelli

3. Christmas This Year by Toby Mac

4. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by City Harbor

5. What Christmas Means to Me by Mandisa

6. Holly Jolly Christmas by Group 1 Crew

7. All Creation Sing by Fee

8. Silver Bells by Relient K

9. Christmas Talk by Byron Chambers

10. Jingle Bells by Ayiesha Woods

11. It’s Christmas by Mandisa

12. Christmas Together by Jamie Grace

(special thanks to my daughter Hope for finding all of these songs for me!)


Day 4: Do the Math

Day 4: Do the Math

Day 4: it’s right about now that I start to lose momentum in my diet challenge.  If I let myself stay hungry and don’t take good care of my body then by this point all I can think about is driving myself to the nearest Mexican restaurant and diving into a basket of warm tortilla chips.

I refuse to lose this simple battle.  I can do anything for TEN DAYS!

It’s really all about the math….


We’ve made a plan and now we need to make sure we keep a balance of dieting and living.  Our body and mind need to be fed.  Depriving yourself will only lead to failure and I am determined to set myself up for long term success.

So for the rest of this challenge, add “frequent healthy snacks” to your list of ways to succeed.


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Day 2: Make a Plan

Day 2: Make a Plan

Well, I wasn’t planning on posting about the diet challenge more than once, but then I prayed.  And you know what happens when you pray….God gives you a new plan.  As I prayed for you, I felt like I was supposed to keep sharing this so y’all won’t lose ground.


I got a lot of messages from you sharing that you want to join me in my ten day effort to get back on track, but many of you are saying things like, “This is just what I need.  I am going to be better about my eating!”

Friends, you must have a solid plan.  Without it, it’s is easy to get off track and before you know it you’ve lost the battle.


I, for example, first thing each morning go into the kitchen and make a list of everything I plan to eat that day.  I see the day as a whole, so it helps to think of my daily intake as one, spread out meal.  I do want there to be some flexibility so I am not planning the entire 10 days at once.  But having a firm plan in place each morning keeps me from blowing it on my mood or a whim.  And for me morning is when I am the most motivated, so that’s the best time.

I have a strict diet that I am following, but you should do whatever works for you.  The point here is to avoid making last minute decisions.

In addition to a daily plan, make a plan for the times when you know when you will be out.  Take your lunch when you won’t be home or explore options for healthy meals while you’re out.  I love the salads at ChickFilA and can eat one of those without dressing if I get in a pinch.

If you’re going to a Christmas party, see if you can find out what is being served or take a few veggies with you to hold you over.  If you want to let yourself have a treat, plan for that also by deciding to only eat half a serving of one thing and not have a free-for-all.

In other words….Make a PLAN.

Got it?

I’d love to hear what you are planning to help you get through the challenge!




10-Day Challenge!

10-Day Challenge!

I am all about being open with y’all, so here goes…..

I have totally gotten derailed with my diet.  It started with grief and dealing with a really hard situation.  Then, in the midst of that I’ve been working on a book so I have been sitting and feeling snacky, THEN we went to Disney World where and ate a lot of lemon ice and chocolate and when I got home I just didn’t seem to be able to muster the strength to care about eating well.

I have gained 7 pounds over the past 2 months.  But I do think some of it is just quick weight and will fall right off again.  But a few of those are hard knocks pounds that I need to work to get off.  In the meantime, I am spending the next 10 days with my head buried in my computer working on my book as the deadline looms.  So this is my plan…..

I am going to challenge myself to stay tightly on my diet plan for the next TEN DAYS.  No crazy, forever thing.  No telling myself I can’t do it or it doesn’t matter.  It’s just 10 days and then I will evaluate the plan and tweak as necessary.


Thankfully I haven’t fallen completely off the wagon, meaning I didn’t start back with soft drinks or fried foods or breads.  So I know I can, with some prayer and determination, get back on my program and have success.  I need a kick in the booty and I am hoping some of you will join me in this challenge!  Let’s do this together!

Here’s the challenge:

1. Make an eating plan and stick to it.
If you know you’re going to a Christmas party (I have several coming up) and want to indulge in the treats there, make a plan.  Say to yourself, “I can have half of a serving of ONE thing for only that night” instead of “I’ll let myself eat whatever I want that whole day and then start again on Monday”.

2. Stock up:
Buy everything you need to eat healthy for ten days.  I already stocked up on the foods that I need to be eating so I don’t have any excuses.  I can’t claim there was nothing else to eat and grab something unhealthy.  And I made sure the kids knew to NOT eat what I got for myself.  There’s nothing wrong with having “Mom-Only” food around.  I keep all of mine on a separate shelf so they know it’s been designated for my diet plan.

3. Keep the Goal in mind:
Don’t get off track by changing the goal in the middle of the challenge.  I will tend to think, “I don’t really care today and tomorrow I can get back to it,” then blow a day.  For the next ten days, don’t do that!

4. Find what motivates you:
Last week I saw a picture of myself from a year and a half ago….whoa!  I didn’t realize how much I had changed!  I took a screenshot and made it my phone wallpaper so I can see it every day.  I can’t believe how much my face has changed in that time and I never want to look or feel like that again.  Find something that will motivate you to stick with it.

5. Keep your perspective:
This is a short term challenge.  It’s not forever, you’re not going to die.  You can do anything for 10 days.

6. Exercise:
Find a way to move your body even if you have limitations.  While I will admit, I haven’t felt like it much, I have kept up with my morning workout.  I am determined to add some new music and a fun DVD to break up the monotony.  Make yourself a workout plan and do it!!!

So, who’s with me?!  Let’s give ourselves the gift of better health and energy for Christmas!!!

There is nothing like waking up and feeling good about who you are and the direction you are headed.  I started this 2 days ago (although I am still going to keep it up for the next 10 days) and already I am feeling more motivated and more like “myself” again…..the good myself not the overeating, depressed version.

You can comment here and tell me your plan or you can join my Facebook group for women trying to get healthy.  It’s not all about losing weight but taking good care of ourselves and respecting what God gave us.  To join the Facebook group you can send me a friend request….just look for “Lisa Pennington (The Pennington Point)” and let me know you’re sending me the request or I won’t know to accept and add you.  If you’re picky about who you are Facebook friends with you can send me your email address that’s attached to Facebook and I can add you that way.

Let’s Do This!!!!

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What I’m Giving for Christmas This Year

What I’m Giving for Christmas This Year

Y’all know I love essential oils.  It’s becoming a trend, but I have used them for about 8 years and found them to have been amazing for dealing with all kinds of issues our family has dealt with from common sniffles to depression and test taking.  I only share them with you because I want to bless you with ways to build your family’s health using natural remedies instead of synthetic medication.

And another thing I love is gift giving……so…..I am combining two of my passions and giving essential oils for Christmas!  To everyone (well, not my kids but that’s a whole different post).  Now, don’t you wish you had been nicer to me?


Seriously, I wish I could send you all a bottle of Thieves for the winter.  I’ve been relying on it for years to get us through the season of cold weather and being shut in the house for days.

Who doesn’t want to give a gift that is unique, thoughtful and lasts a long time.  Plus you’re contributing to someone’s wellness.  I just LOVE that!

I may add a little note with each gift to make sure whoever gets it how to use it….in case they’re all like, “Gee thanks,” to my face and, “What on EARTH is this stuff?!?!” after they walk away.

If you’re already using Young Living oils then you know how great they are.  If you haven’t signed up yet, do it now!  I am sending a package of Thieves Lozenges and my favorite reference book to anyone who signs up this month with a Premium Starter Kit.

We have varying amounts we spend on people, depending on their relationship with us.  So I’ve broken down some ideas for you in price ranges.  Now, these are the wholesale prices.  You can get those prices when you join!  {hint-hint}

1. For the small gift – between $10 and $15

Thieves Spray ($9 – in fact, if you buy the three pack it only costs $7.92 each!), Christmas Spirit ($10.25), Orange Oil ($10.75), Lemon Oil ($11.25), Thieves Breathmints ($12.75)

I will give these to my mail carrier, the lady who helped me so much this year with cupcakes for a couple of parties, the receptionist at my dentist’s office who has been so patient with me, etc.


2. For the medium gift – between $15 and $26

Citrus Fresh ($15.25), Thieves Lozenges ($18.50), EnRGee ($20.25), Peppermint ($21.50), Lavender ($23.50),  Melaleuca ($26)

I’ll be giving some of these to people like the kids’ piano teacher, our pastor, a few friends that I exchange gifts with, etc.


3. For the larger gift – when money is no object….

What about getting someone you love started by gifting them the Premium Starter Kit?!  They’d get 11 oils and a diffuser plus a few samples.  AND I would send you (or them, whichever you want) the reference book and Thieves Lozenges from ME!  Ya can’t beat that for a great gift idea!


If you have any questions feel free to ask!  I love helping people find their groove with the oils and learn more about them.  I know it seems overwhelming, but if I can figure it out anyone can!

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My FUN New Christmas Wreath!

My FUN New Christmas Wreath!

I am not planning to go all out with the Christmas decorating this year.  I mean, I love it with a passion, but something has to give.

I just don’t have the energy to rearrange the furniture, put out a tree, dig all of the decorations from the storage building and hang lights everywhere.  I’ll do a few festive things and make sure the kids feel the Christmas cheer, but nothing crazy.

My lack of decorations does not reflect my feeling about Christmas.  It reflects my level of exhaustion.

I decided to make a simple wreath to hang over the couch in the living room.  I may move it to the front door after the fall wreath comes down.  But probably not.  Tired, remember?

It was so easy.  It took me about an hour to make it and I like the playfulness of it.


I got the chipboard pieces at Hobby Lobby.  I figured out what I needed by finding a corner in the store and spreading pieces all over the floor and playing with them until I found a design I liked.  Sure I was in people’s way.  But a cute wreath at 50% off waits for no man.

The twine is my favorite, favorite twine.  I use it for all kinds of stuff.  Besides crafts I love to wrap gifts with it, tie things together, I even used it for some wedding flowers that I did for a friend.  It’s wonderful.  I get it from Online Fabrics.  That’s also where I got all of the fabric for the new cushions I put on my pool deck last summer.  Great folks over there.

Once I got home I made my brain try to remember how I laid out the pieces in the store.  My brain doesn’t work as well as it used to, so that took up about 1/4 of my time.

After I figured it all out, I held the pieces, 2 at a time, together and drilled hoes through them so I could tie it all together with the twine.


I lightly spray painted the separate pieces.  I didn’t want full covereage so I kind of just dusted them.

I also hot glued it together.  I am no dummy.  I know you have to attach crafts together with as many methods as you possibly can.

Here’s a tip for you….to get the twine through all of the holes, dab a teeny line of hot glue on the end of the twine and roll it through your fingers (after it cools off for a few seconds!) to make a stiff end and it will slide right through the holes in the chipboard.  You’re welcome.


After attaching them all together it was a little wobbly, so I glued pieces of cardboard to the in the back for extra support.


Once it was all assembled I added some twine and washi tape in a few spots.  And of course, a burlap bow.  Because burlap makes everything better.


Hang it up and enjoy for the season.


And some of my bloggy friends have made Christmas wreaths too….lots of ideas and inspiration to get you ready for the holidays.


(After reading this over it looks like this wreath is small, but it’s actually pretty big.  I’ll post more pics on Facebook during the week.)


Below you will find the links to each of the brand new 2014 Christmas Wreaths. To appreciate all the lovely details of each wreath, click on each of the links.

Vintage Wonderland Wreath from Flamingo Toes

Rudolph Wreath from She’s Kinda Crafty

Woodland Tree Wreath by Tatertots and Jello

Christmas Craft Wreath from Positively Splendid

Lumber Jack Antler Wreath from Nest of Posies

Poinsettia Wreath from A Night Owl Blog

Simple Felt Leaf Wreath from The Shabby Creek Cottage

Easy Christmas Wreath from Just Destiny Mag

Rustic Christmas Wreath from Clean and Scentsible

Glitter Holiday Wreath from A Pumpkin and a Princess

Scripted Ribbon Poinsettia Wreath from The Scrap Shoppe Blog

Rustic Glam Holiday Wreath from Sweet Rose Studio

How to make a Snowy Jingle Bell Wreath from Fox Hollow Cottage

Fun Christmas Wreath from The Pennington Point

Christmas Felt Flower Wreath by Bombshell Bling


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Top Posts of 2013

Top Posts of 2013

2013.  It’s almost over.  Can you believe it?  Why does it surprise me every year?

I’ve been reflecting back on my blog posts and wanted to re-share my top posts from each month. It’s actually a baker’s dozen….I have trouble deciding sometimes.

January: I shared about some trouble I was having with 2 of my boys not doing their chores and how we handled it.

February: I attended a conference where no one talked to me and I told y’all about how I cried in my room….so sad.  But it turned out to be a blessing because so many of you identified with it.  I was so glad I shared it here!

March: I got on my soapbox about moms calling themselves “mean.”  Be strong and firm, yes.  Be mean, no.

April: My recipe for my fabulous Energy Bars was by far my biggest post that month.  I am not kidding…these things are a-mazing!

May:  This is one of our most visited posts….the modesty swimsuit edition.  It’s pretty much like the Sports Illustrated version, but with much less skin showing.

June: Hands down the hottest post in June was my summer home tour.  Come back next summer when I do another one.  I change things a lot around here.

July: I started my fitness journey in July.  While it had yet to be proved then, my following success in losing weight and getting healthy made my post about that one of the most visited that month.

August:  My boy’s bathroom makeover was the big project in August and the most visited post.

September: I shared with you about my favorite supplements…these have changed my life and I have heard from so many of you that you love them too.  Really, if you’re still thinking about trying them….don’t wait!

October:  You’d think the top post would be the one where I announced that I had lost 50 pounds.  But no.  It was when I told you about how I took my shirt off in the middle of the street.  You all are a sad, sad bunch.

November: There were two top posts this month that I couldn’t choose between, so here they both are….My Christmas coffee table was a big hit!  I just took it apart yesterday and I miss it already.

And this one when I told you how we use all of the oils in the Young Living Premium kit.  It has been a huge blessing to us and I had to share it with you!

December: Another Christmas decoration that I made was this sign.  It was so easy to make and cost me nothing.  Yeehaw!

Ringing in the New Year

Ringing in the New Year

The past week is a bit of a blur.  I’d like to say it’s because Christmas was so magical that I can’t describe the joy.  But instead I must report a terrible bout of flu that has hit all 11 of us, starting on December 23 and still hanging on.

Yes, we spent Christmas with 4 of the kids lying on the couch opening presents like it was about the last thing they wanted to do.  One was so sick she could barely lift her head and Levi pulled things out of his stocking and without even looking at them would drop them on the floor and close his eyes….tortured by the whole, terrible gift opening requirement.  The 5 kids that were well enough to enjoy it were falling down sick by the evening.

No decking the halls around here.

I, myself, made it through Christmas and didn’t get sick until the weekend.  I don’t seem to be as bad as the rest of the bunch, which is a blessing since someone has to be making soup and washing sheets.

I am pretty sure I have washed more sheets than your average person washes over the holiday week, including hotel maids and hospital janitors.

But you know what?  It still been a sweet time and we are all together and I think it will go down in all of our memories as a very special Christmas.  It’s oddly relaxing.  To me it will always be known as the “Great Flu of 2013″.

While it will probably dampen our usual New Year’s Eve festivities of drinking sparkling cider and falling asleep by 10:00 even though we want to stay awake until midnight, we will carry on.  We may not see the ball drop, but the celebratory coughing will ring in the new year with gusto!

Who needs fireworks anyway?

Merry Christmas 2013!!!

Merry Christmas 2013!!!

It’s only 2 more days before Christmas and our family is closing our doors and celebrating with just us.  We will have more of a family party on Christmas Eve with lots of appetizers and games.  Then on Christmas day, as I shared with you already, we will be quieter and calm.

I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to stop and tell you all how much you mean to me.  It blesses me every day that you stop here and give me a bit of your precious time.  That is never lost on me….it touches my heart.

Here’s just simple message that I wanted to share before the holiday completely takes over.  Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas Traditions

I have gotten several questions about how we celebrate Christmas.  It’s pretty simple around here.  Just the 11 of us on Christmas morning (+ some years my parents join us).

We get up early and I set out treats on the coffee table.  Cookies and sausage balls and punch.  This year, since I’m off sugar, we will also have tea and fruit.  I got some nuts and gluten free treats too….we will graze on it all morning while we open gifts.

James will read the Christmas story from the Bible and we will talk about Christ being the focus of our time together.  That usually turns into a spontaneous conversation about gratitude or something sweet.

We don’t do Santa here.  Never have.  James and I always felt it was not best for the children’s character to have the focus be so much on their gifts or some mysterious stranger.  Our goal in parenting is to teach them to focus on others and love the Lord.  Christmas is no exception to that.  So we buy each child one gift and they each get a stocking with small things in it.  I go a little overboard on the stockings some tears, but I am working on it.  It’s getting to be too expensive now that I can’t just pour goldfish crackers and Target dollar spot toys in there.

Also, the kids draw names each year and keep it a secret.  We call it “Secret Buddies” and they spend $20-25 of their own money to buy this one gift.  Once I have all of the secret buddy gifts I wrap them and place them under the tree all at the same time so they won’t be able to guess who their buddy is (they know who has been shopping already so if I put them out as they were purchased they would be able to guess).

That means on Christmas morning each child has 2 gifts, one from Mom & Dad and the other from their secret buddy.  That is plenty for our family considering we don’t need a thing and we have so much already that it’s shameful.  James and I also give each other a gift and the kids usually chip in to get us something.  I know a lot of people skip Mom and Dad, but we believe that sends the wrong message to the kids.  Mom and Dad are just as special as the kids in God’s eyes and the gifts communicate that.  It doesn’t have to be something huge, but there needs to be something for everyone under the tree.

We unwrap gifts one at a time.  No chaotic, wild time of everyone ripping into their own presents.  We like to enjoy seeing what everyone else gets and it teaches us to all be interested in each other and not just ourselves.  Also, we expect all of the kids to pay attention to the others while they open.  It can be hard for the little ones since they’re so excited, so we may let them play a little with something new while they watch, but they can’t be distracting or completely self-focused.

Once the gifts under the tree are opened we take a little break.  I usually get lunch started and we clean up all of the trash then we gather together again and start emptying the stockings.  One at a time while we all watch and enjoy.

Once we finish, we eat and settle into playing with new toys and checking out our presents.  I love just mulling around watching the kids and being with them while they enjoy their things.  We eat a late lunch (this year I’m making roast) then just hang out together.

It’s a simple, love filled day.

How about you?  What’s your favorite family Christmas tradition?