Sunday, January 31, 2016

I Hate #WeightWatchers New #SmartPoints and Quit the Paid Plan ... Now What?

Maybe I am just getting old and set in my ways but the new Weight Watchers SmartPoints stinks. I've done Weight Watchers for many years off and on and it's like AA .. it's works when I work it. I started doing it in 1999 and really enjoyed the boundaries and parameters it set for me ... without rules like "no this" and "no that." It was like, sure, you can have all the junk you want, but (1) you won't lose weight this week (2) you will feel like crap (3) you will use up all your food points and then some for the day on one hamburger, fries and shake! It was never a "diet" ... a diet makes you feel restricted and you want to rebel. Weight Watchers always worked when I would do it right. Then ...

(1) They took away my option for my ActiveLink. It was an activity monitor that clipped on my bra that I paid like $100 for and it was cool because I could plug it in and it would tell me how many activity points I got each day just doing any movement. Yes, I could plunk down another $100 for their new version, but no thanks. If I'm going to nuts on tracking my movement, I'll just find a clip-on fit bit or something and have it sync to my iPhone all cool like that.

(2) They changed the plan AGAIN! AGAIN! I know they have to stay fresh and relevant as a company. I get it! But this is not good. And I cancelled my $44.95 a month plan. Here's why:

I used to get 26 points per day of food points and an extra 49 per week. That extra 49 felt like a lovely safety net. Use them or not. Use them all and exercise and probably maintain your weight or lose weight. Use none or some and definitely lose weight. That's a total of 231 per week and it went by fat, carbs, fiber and protein. It was called PointsPlus.

First of the year they changed it on me. Now it's 30 points a day to make me feel like I'm getting MORE. But I only got 26 extra per week. This is a total of 236 per week. It's called SmartPoints and it goes by calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. More, right? Wrong. Here's why:


My iced coffee in the morning used to be 4 or 5 points and now it's 8. My Greek yogurt used to be 4 and now it's 7. Who is their DANG MATHEMATICIAN OVER THERE? You can't give me roughly the same amount of points per week (FIVE MORE ... WOO HOO!) and then mark up my food by like 50% and more! Oh, and the points are not consistent from their app and their website.

What WW has done to us is they have given us a slight raise in our paycheck and then made the food at their market cost more. A lot more. Not cool.

Someone I know said they are losing weight more slowly on this plan but that doesn't make sense to me. They are giving you a tad more points but making food values higher, causing you to eat LESS points (food) and it just made me hangry (hungry + angry because your blood sugar is going insane).

So I'm going it alone and I'm scared. It's winter and I'm not walking. I have gained weight and my knees hurt again. Plantar faciitis makes it even more interesting (heel pain when I walk). I'm not very active in winter and so I have to stick with the eating better and that's the hard part when you just want to snuggle up in bed and on the couch with a movie and your kids. At this point in my life I am not wanting six-pack abs and a jiggle-free, skinny body. Those days are gone. I just want to FEEL GOOD and be able to get around well. I'm looking to the future and being able to travel comfortably and literally chase my grandchildren!!!

So what is my plan? You gotta have a plan! It's to log my food in a food journal daily and be honest about it. I have some points calculator options for my points crutch I need. There's an app I'm going to try out. I'll miss being able to scan bar codes on food and getting instant points values but I'll live. There's also something online I can try. I'm going to pretend like SmartPoints doesn't exist. I'm going to use PointsPlus values.

Here's the app I got for FREE (update = never mind! They go by "food score" and my 1/3 cup of half and half has a food score of 1 ... in WW it would be like 3 points ... I'll keep searching and do an update post):

And here's the online calculator that shows the differences (the WW app told me the same yogurt was 7 points, which is quite a bit out of your daily 30 for just a flipping yogurt that's packed with protein!):

I also got the Trim, Healthy Mama book and cookbook so I'll be reading that when I get a chance to see the deal with that. It would be great to transition to that and now have to keep track of points but just learn how to eat in moderation and eat healthy foods with the occasional treat.

So here we go. I'll let you know how it goes here and over at CatholicHippieMom also! I kinda feel like I'm dumping a bad boyfriend and have to prove that I can go it alone ... until I find something better. I'll show you, Weight Watchers SmartPoints! What am I going to do with that "extra" $540 this year?!

Please leave me a comment with your thoughts on the plan change or weight loss/health tips in general!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Four Top Tips for Lowering Your Energy Bill #SaveMoney

Energy does not come cheap, and with rates always on the rise, more and more homeowners are looking for as many ways as possible to pay less for heating and powering their home. If the idea of saving energy makes you imagine huddling up on the sofa wrapped in all your blankets with the heating system off, you’ll be glad to know that there are a number of different things which you can do to reduce the amount of energy you use, without the need to freeze. We’ve listed just a few for you here.

Solar Panels

More and more people are turning to self-sustaining living, and generating their own energy via solar panels on the roof of their home. Solar panels can be used to power your whole home – which is great if you live in a really sunny area, or you can use them along with conventional electricity to slash your electricity bills. Depending on the area where you live, you may be able to have solar panels installed at a reduced price or even for free as part of schemes to help homeowners become more eco-friendly.

Seal Air Leaks in the Home

Looking for air leaks around the home is just one simple thing which you can do to help reduce your energy bills each month. Weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors can start to become worn and torn, and leaks allow the hot air to escape from the house and let drafts in – making your heating system work harder to keep the property at a comfortable temperature. Sealing up these leaks will help to keep more hot air trapped inside and keep the drafts at bay so that your home stays at the temperature you need without the added price.

Energy Audit

Carrying out a full energy audit of your home allows you to find any areas where energy is being wasted, and rectify them so that as a result, you’re only using the necessary amount of energy needed to heat, cool and power your home. Audits involve doing things such as checking insulation and finding air leaks, and you can either do them yourself or hire a trained professional to help. Many energy providers will send somebody to audit your home for free at your request.

Switch Providers

With the large majority of energy providers not requiring their customers to be tied into a lengthy contract, it makes sense to keep your eye on all of the different providers to see who’s offering the best rates, and switch accordingly. Staying loyal to an energy supplier who is charging more than their competitors are means that you’ll end up throwing money away, so be savvy and regularly check different supplier websites or energy rate comparison sites such as in order to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to. Switching is usually quick with little to no inconvenience.

How do you keep your energy bills low? We’d love to hear your top tips in the comments.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Soon-to-Be Discontinued #JamberryNailWraps Going Going Gone List Winter 2016

Get them while you can, because they're Going, Going, Gone! It's time to make room! Our new catalog is launching in March, which means we have to say goodbye to some of our favorite wraps so we can introduce some new ones. Our Going, Going, Gone (GGG) products will only be available until February 29, so get them while you can — because once they've retired, they're gone forever. 

Here's the deal, though. I chose to go from Professional Consultant with Jamberry to Hobbyist, which means I don't have a team and I don't have a website you can order from. If you need any of these discontinuing wraps, please email me at and let me know which ones you'd like and we can arrange payment via PayPal or Square. I always am sad to see them go and always grab up my favorites!

Don't forget to come see what I'm doing over at Catholic Hippie Mom!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

#TheKerrieShow is Packing Up and Moving to #CatholicHippieMom

The time has come to start a different blog and put The Kerrie Show (mostly) to rest. If you get posts via email so you never miss one (thanks, Mom, Aron, Cathy and Kay!), I'll let you know soon here via an auto email how to sign up over at Catholic Hippie Mom. I promise I'll make it easy on you! If I can sign you up myself so you just have to confirm it, I'll do it!

The Kerrie Show was something I pulled out of thin air in 2008 when I had baby brain from having Eva, my fourth kid of five. We were traveling with my husband in Phoenix and I wanted to start a blog to share our adventures and the name just popped into my head because, as an only child, my parents always said, "It's not The Kerrie Show" ... meaning, I craved attention and laughs, apparently (still do).

The name isn't bad and the blog has been a great thing for me in a lot of ways. But it doesn't really tell who I am by the title. Sounds like I have a TV show or think I'm hot enough stuff to be known by one name or something.

But Catholic Hippie Mom ... now, that is me! I'm all into my religion (Mass, NFP, co-op, teaching religious education, keeping Sunday slow, Confession, the Sacraments for my kids), but there are parts I question (finances and their allocation and other things). I'm a partial hippie from growing up with tough-on-me yet cool parents and from my homeschooling and attachment parenting, among other things. And I'm a mom (thanks to my husband, of course!). Big-time.

I feel like my blog is finally going to have a focus! And for those things that don't fit into that focus area ... well, I'm not blowing up The Kerrie Show or anything. Just moving over some posts and making a whole lot of new ones. Thanks for your support and for being with me on this journey!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Best Day Ever at #Catholic #Co-op #CrazyProudMom #SharkDissection #FunSmartMomCommunity

Today was my favorite day so far at our Catholic Homeschool Co-op at Christ the King Academy in Kansas City. My kids are really taking to co-op and it's still strange for me to realize that my 6-year-old and 8-year-old took off at recess without even telling me goodbye so they could go to storytime, PE and then Science for two hours straight! It really says something about the families in the co-op ... my kids are learning independence, gaining knowledge in different areas, all taking PE class, making friends and more! We are definitely going back next year. I just have to figure out what I'm going to teach!

This morning was 3rd hour (we only go for 3 learning hours) Drama for Joel and PE for Callie and Michael. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for Sam and Eva and they happily polished brass candlesticks and learned how to cut flowers for the vases. They sang some songs and it was time for lunch. My three oldest go to Mass and I take Sam and Eva with me to run errands at lunchtime. Today was the bank, where I cashed a writing check then promptly spent it on drinks and snacks for co-op. Back for lunch and recess.

Anyway, today was SHARK DISSECTION DAY in 4th hour, a long-anticipated day for middle school science class kids in Mrs. Vickery's class. While Joel was in Music Appreciation class, Callie and Michael were dissecting a shark. Or starting to, anyway. Michael is working on his alone and Callie is partnered up with her bestie Ciara, my awesome friend Jill's daughter. My friend Katie swept the cafeteria for me and the helper in science was out (missed you, Ginnette!), SO I GOT TO HELP WITH THE DISSECTIONS! My wry son Michael says, "Mrs. McLoughlin, are you helping in this class today?" Tweens!

Keep in mind when I was 15 in high school Biology class, I did not do anything of this sort. No way. I was that kid who pawned it off to my partner. Now that I am old and have given birth and dealt with diapers and making milk come out of my chest, not to mention holding hands of kids getting stitches, including seeing Joel's skull bone once, not a lot grosses me out anymore. Bring it on!

This week we just lopped off the top two fins and did some cutting on the belly. And took silly pictures. I think next week after I'm doing mopping I'm going to help some more in Science! I have to say how INSANELY PROUD I am of these children. ALL OF THEM. I figured some would cave and have an adult do it for them but THEY ALL DID IT, scalpel in hand. They really rock. I have tears in my eyes as I write this ... I am so proud to be part of this group of people!

So then on to PE with my son's awesome Confirmation sponsor, Mrs. DeFeo, who has 10 kids and is totally fabulous-looking and on top of stuff and a great teacher! I'm helper in that class with Joel (so I got to be in a class with each of my kids today, WHICH AS A HELICOPTER MOMMY, I LOVED!). I don't care if Joel pretends not to know me. I am happy to be in the presence of my teen, is all. I got to figure out how to blow up flat basketballs, do some dribbling and running and played with the teacher's precious 2-year-old son. I got to attempt to do a push-up. No luck there but I can dribble a basketball!

This ends the GREAT DAY BACK TO CO-OP 2016. Oh, where were Callie and Michael while I was in PE? Oh, they were just in EGYPTIAN MUMMIFICATION with the super-cool Mrs. Ousley!

The kids at co-op hug each other (even the dudes), are respectful to the adults, helpful, kind, go to dances, have birthday parties, go ice skating together, go to Theology of the Body for Teens together, have Airsoft wars. They are incredible and I'm glad I get to hang out with them!