Thursday, September 11, 2014

Arbonne Protein Shake Mix Review

* My friend Rachel sent me a couple of samples of Arbonne products and I wrote this review for you. She never asked for the review, I actually volunteered it, so you know I'm honest about my opinions in this post. Enjoy! 

It takes energy to live your life. I believe most people wear multiple hats and I'm one of those people who have days filled with activities. Yesterday for example, I took the kids to school, picked up my oldest daughter from Pre-K and went straight to a meeting. Before heading to the meeting which was around lunch time, I realized I was going to be hungry, so I decided to make this Arbonne shake my friend Rachel sent me. 
 I used their Chocolate Protein Shake Mix, a banana, water and some ice. Here's the blender action shot:
 I really enjoyed the taste. This shake has 20 grams of vegan protein and I believe it because I had a lot of energy before and even after the meeting. I also like the fact that this shake has no after taste. I've had my share of protein shakes before so the Arbonne Protein Shake Mix is on the top of my list. 
For more information about this product and all things Arbonne, please contact my friend Rachel. She blogs at TwinTough.com so you might want to go there to take a peak at the blog as well as her other Social Media goodness. Thanks for giving me my much needed energy Arbonne Chocolate Shake and Rachel of course! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog Elevatd 2014: I'm Going!

I'm so excited because I will be at Blog Elevated 2014!!!!
Join me!
Last year's conference taught me a lot. I left empowered and assured that "bloggers are their own media company." I never really thought about myself that way but I found it to be true. 
I enjoyed Blog Elevated because the heart of the organizers is felt in every detail of the conference. They believe in empowering you to be the best blogger you can be and they are selfless about information. This year I am excited about not only the speakers but also about the new Blog Elevated Mentor aspect of the conference. 
Last year, I remember the organizers encouraging us the participants to seek out the speakers and ask them questions. I totally did that and got some wise advice. Another thing I gained from Blog Elevated were friendships. I met so many amazing bloggers and I've been blessed to stay in touch with a good part of them. I can't wait to go back this year and experience Blog Elevated in a new way. Join me in this amazing conference! Go to BlogElevated.com for more details.
I want to thank God for all the people who make it possible for me to attend Blog Elevated. You reap what you sow but if you know anything about a harvest, they come in a greater measure than the seed you planted in my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Blog Elevated 2013 Recap

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Organic Oat Bran Banana Muffins

Sundays are busy days for us. I often wake up early to cook oatmeal for the kids. Last Sunday I decided we're close enough to Fall that I need to start baking. I had some Organic Oat Bran flour in the pantry as well as lots of bananas so I decided to give this recipe a try. Needless to say the kids loved it!
I gave them a side of fruit and the muffins and they were very happy campers! I also think they loved the fact that they helped me mix the ingredients. Eating something you baked yourself is super fun! I hope you enjoy this Growing Up Listenbee approved recipe!

Ingredients: 
1 Stick of Butter
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cups Flour (we used Organic Oat Bran)
2 Eggs
2 Very Ripe (brown) Bananas

Method: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put cupcake liners into a 12-er muffin pan.
Cream butter and sugar (I popped my butter in the microwave for a few seconds).
Beat the two eggs and add them to the sugar/butter.
Mash the bananas in a bowl. Combine bananas, flour, baking soda, and sugar/butter/egg mixture.
Fill each muffin hole about 1/2 way. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Enjoy! 

The Deception of Perfection

Perfection is a funny little thing. Admirable, it shines right in front of our eyes with images of the ideal life. What happens in your heart is a feeling of inferiority. That which shines through perfection might be far from truth as the east is from the west. Only God knows the whole truth, so it is unwise to admire the partial. 

The one who performs and entertains brilliantly might be plagued by paralyzingly insecurity. That perfect structure we call a house might not be a home filled with the warmth of love. Don't be fooled but also know that the temptation to succumb to the lure of perfection will come. 

Don't be discouraged and know that although now we see dimly, one day we will see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully know. 

While here on earth, we will all deal with the deception of perfection. Oh but when the Perfect One comes He will make everything perfect as He is. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training Week 10

We are 33 days away from the Chicago Marathon and 131 days from the Houston Marathon. It's a blessing to be on this side of training. It has been hot, muggy and even awful out there but I will be ready for any weather God gives us come marathon day. I have presented my request of course! 

I am very thankful for the runners (and my coaches of course!) who have trained with me during this season. Last Saturday I ran with a fellow FBF runner who will be running Chicago. It was awesome! It was also great to see my running buddies. I miss running with them on a regular basis but at this season of life, Zeke and I need to run in different days most of time. Here are our happy faces after Saturday's run:
I love my FBF friends!
• I run without music which gives me a lot of time to think. Last week I was encouraged with the though that when running a marathon, one competes for "one medal per neck." It is counter productive to compare myself with others for we all run our own races. It is useless to wish I was someone I'm not (sponsored, faster, etc). All the work I'm putting into training will earn me that "one medal per neck." When running, although I experience a very encouraging environment, it's each runner for themselves. Your legs belong to you as well as your drive. No one can run for you in a literal sense. Inspiration is welcome and useful but at the end of the day it's "one medal per neck." 
• I'm very thankful to the friends who help us so my husband and I can run with the running group on Saturdays. This season has its uniqueness and one of them is that I chose to run by myself. I tried running with a stroller years ago but it did not work for me. Running by myself is what I really enjoy so I am thankful to Zeke and to the friends who make it possible. 
• I appreciate your encouragement and prayers for a great end of my training season for this Fall Marathon friends. 
Have a blessed and productive day!

Previously in this series:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sarah & Harriet’s Journey to Bravery

I shared this with my MOPS Group. I pray it encourages you! - Cintia

Being Brave is a journey and it is not as glamorous as it sounds. Today I want to tell you about Sarah and Harriet, two women who took this journey of bravery in very unique ways. My goal is to encourage you to look at your own life and recognize that God wants to be the Guide of your own journey to bravery. Let’s lay some Biblical foundation shall we? Our Bible verses for the year at MOPS International can be found in Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJV) which says: 

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” 

 To give you a bit of Biblical context, God is speaking through the prophet Isaiah to His people the Israelites. If you remember their story, they had been through trouble but also triumph. Slavery in Egypt as well as mighty deliverance from it. So when God says do not remember the former things, I believe He’s telling them forget the good and the bad because He will do a new thing (and His name is Jesus). It takes bravery to get to that “new thing.”

 Consider Sarah’s journey of bravery to her “new thing.” Sarah (Genesis 11:29-30), which is known as the mother of faith began her journey of bravery in a much different place. When her story is introduced in the Bible the first thing said about her, is her flaw. Sarah was barren. Friends it sucks when people know you not for who you are but for your issues. That’s where Sarah was when God came to Abraham and told him they would have a child. God changed her story and many generations later she is known for her faith and not her fears. Between the promise of Isaac and his birth, Sarah and Abraham made many mistakes which tells me so much about God: number one He is faithful to His word. If He promises something, regardless of our flaws and mistakes, He can accomplish it. It also tells me a lot about humanity. Sarah actually laughed at God because she didn’t believe that a 90-year-old could give birth to a child. Despite of her lack of faith God was faithful. Here’s how her story is beautifully described in Hebrews 11:11 

“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” 

 In our journey to bravery we can count on God to be faithful, despite of our flaws, fears and doubts. God is faithful to His Word. Let’s consider Harriet’s journey to Bravery. Some of y’all are thinking, what Harriet? There’s no Harriet in the Bible and you are correct! I’m talking about civil rights activist Harriet Tubman. We all know that unfortunately in the mid 1800s in this country minorities were treated in inhumane, perverse ways. So Harriet, who was born a slave decided to escape that which was the law of this land. She found her inspiration in God and 165 years ago she escaped her plantation. I love her journey to bravery. She was convinced that freedom was her heritage and she walked around 100 miles to get there. There were dangers on the way but also a lot of provision which is now known as the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman is known as “Moses” because she led hundreds of others to freedom. Friend, I need to tell you that your journey to bravery is not about you but it is also about others who will be set free because of your story. 

When God gives us a promise, we might be like Harriet. We believe it and run towards it with all we have then we go back and rescue others who need to be free as we are. Some of us may also be like Sarah. God gives us a promise, we doubt it and despite of the time it takes to happen God is faithful. Regardless of how we come to God, He wants to be the Guide of our journey to Bravery. Now this is the point of the message where we get to take a look at ourselves and ask: how does this apply to me? 

God is in the update business my friends. He updated Sarah from barren to mother of faith (and of nations). He updated Harriet from powerless slave to a free civil rights activist. I know some of you are like: Cintia, I have all the children I can handle and according to the constitution of the United States I am free. Here’s another way to think about it. Usually, when something needs to be updated in your electronic devices, that certain software or app slows down. I love Instagram and I get mad when I can’t use it to its full capacity. When something slows down, long and behold there’s an Update coming. What God wants to update in your life is an area where things are slow and not working to its full capacity. It might be a relationship where forgiveness needs to take place. It might be your character. Some signs that God has an update for you might be that your life is displaying shame, guilt, anger ,a deep sadness or other things that only God knows about. My friend, I came to bring you good news and to tell you that God has an update for you and it is only through His son Jesus Christ that this is all possible. I believe Sarah’s bravery started where her shame and unbelief ended. Harriet’s bravery started with her acceptance of God’s plan for her life. 

When I look at this room I see what God sees: women who accepted God’s update and function in the abundant life Jesus died to give them. So, what does God want to update in your life my friend? Will you accept Him as your Guide?