Author Archives: bloglifewitherica

Change of Direction | Welcome to, Life With Erica

Good Morning Readers,

I am blogging to share with you that I have decided to change the direction of my blog.

I launched Fit Life With Erica in February 2019, as an inspirational blog catered to health and wellness. Most of my blog posts were based on my fit pregnancy lifestyle, meal prep, and informational health data.

Blogging is a true outlet for me. My perfect gem. As I step into this new direction, I am bringing all of my readers along.

I have always prided myself with being transparent to my followers and as I travel along in my journey, things change. Currently, my path is changing and there is so much more for me to share with each of you. As a wife and mother there is much more to my life other than working out and counting calories and I am using this season of life now to open up and share that with you.

Welcome to, Life With Erica.

It took me a while to make this decision but I am very confident that it is the best decision to make. I have so much that I want to share with my readers about my life and adventures. Deciding to change the direction and topics of my blog, will allow me to blog more often and explore more topics.

Some blog topics that you can expect to read here will include: baking, biblical perspectives, cooking, current events, family, history, inspiration, life updates, literature, and travel.

Over the next week or two I will work to create more scheduled posts. Look forward to Motivational Mondays. That is something I will still be continuing since it has been such a positive aspect of my blog which readers have shared that they enjoy it the most.

If there are any topics you would like for me to cover please share those topics with me. I want to thank each of my followers for their continued support, as I continue on my blogging journey.

Life With Erica ❤

Mr & Mrs McKinney | Year 7 | Anniversary Adventure

This past weekend Andrew and I celebrated our seventh year union of marriage. We traveled back to the state in which we said “I do”. Our home, away from home. This adventure led us straight back to the ocean and sand where we began 7 years ago.

Doing life with Andrew is the best. There is never a dull moment between us, as we live in the moment and conquer our fears together. Our entire life has been and is a great adventure. This weekend we really made some great memories and have even more stories to tell our children as they grow older.

From star gazing at night in complete total darkness and feeling really “small” compared to everything else that is out there in the world surrounding us near and far. To driving on the beach and parking at night, turning off the headlights and just listening to the waves crash as the tide rolls in closer, and closer. Let’s not forget about the sharks swimming visible near the shore each morning. I am attempting to describe moments that can’t simply be described in words. Those moments are selfishly “ours” and can never be shared.

I am a woman who is all about tradition and we have created and kept so many traditions of our own over the years; the beach in particular. Having an entire section (miles) of beach to yourself is amazing. It was more than enough space to once again leave our footprints in the sand.

Speaking of traditions; the traditional seventh year anniversary gift is the gift of copper or wool. Copper represents prosperity, good luck, and good fortune. While wool represents comfort, durability, security, and warmth. In these past seven years I can definitely say that I have found good fortune and warmth because of Andrew. It’s no surprise that God led us to each other with a greater plan in place and we are living each day in his purpose.

Cheers to seven good years, and to the many years to follow. ❤

Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God had joined together, let no one separate.

DAY 6: The “Cutting” Struggle is Real | Starbucks

Sorry, not sorry...

The verdict is in-

I absolutely have to have my iced coffee or vanilla chai tea from Starbucks. One thing that I love about Starbucks is the option to add sugar free flavors to my drink. My favorite sugar free syrups include: SF Vanilla and SF Cinnamon Dolce. Opting for a sugar free sweetener is a better choice for flavor if you are seeking to eliminate excessive sugars and calories from your diet.

I know I made a commitment to refrain from coffee over the next 30 days but I enjoy coffee entirely too much. Plus, hubby has started drinking Starbucks iced coffee again and I absolutely love our weekend coffee dates.

(What have you found to be the hardest item to cut out of your diet over the course of the next 30 days? Is it a specific food, sweet, or beverage? What appeals you about this particular item? Does it make you feel good? Describe the feeling you get when you consume it.)

Iced coffee excites and jolts me with every sip. I honestly feel like after I consume my coffee I am capable of conquering anything ahead of me for that day. I definitely would say that the caffeine makes me feel good. Also, the flavors are delicious!

If you enjoy Starbucks and are looking for a low carb beverage I will list a few of my favorite drink options below that are “keto-friendly”.

Starbucks Keto-Friendly Drinks

Iced Coffee: Iced Coffee, heavy whipping cream, SF vanilla, SF cinnamon dolce

Caffe Mistro: Caffe Mistro, 50/50 heavy cream and water

Low Carb Americano: Americano, heavy cream

Comment below if you would like for me to create a post specifically for low carb Starbucks drink options.

Choosing to live a healthier life does not have to be torture. It all starts with having the discipline to make better choices. I am here to support you as I continue on my journey to health and wellness.

FLWE ❤

DAY 4 OF 30: 2 Cakes are Better than 1: Having my Cake and Eating it Too | Chapter 26 | Motivational Monday

Hello Readers,

I am checking in. Today is day 4 of 30 of my “strict” meat & veggies only challenge. Welp, for all of you who follow me on social media you know today is my Birthday. My momentum was high and consistency was even more on point, until today.

My amazing friends surprised me with a beautiful and delicious cake. What kind of friend would I have been if I had turned down a slice? I am a advocate for spreading goodness and positivity. Therefore, no way was I going to spark negativity by turning down a opportunity to socialize over a slice of cake, in celebration of yours truly (ME). Those calories were calling my name. Rest assured I only indulged in one slice, even though that’s no excuse and does not make things any better.

Oops, correction “two slices”.

Side Note: Hubby surprised me with a mini carrot cake when I arrived home. He knows me best and to make things even better he was extremely thoughtful and considerate of my goals by picking out a mini cake rather than a traditional sized cake. The mini is a perfect size to enjoy and satisfy my sweet tooth while not falling victim to “over” indulgence.

But, guess what? Tomorrow is always a new day and I can always hit my “reset” button and start again.

[ Motivational Monday ]

We wake up each day with the power to change what we do, and what we eat. We have choices and the ability to chose our path. The power of choice is the message I am seeking to convey to all of you reading this post.

I am will not allow a slice of cake succumb my goals. No indulgence should. Just know that if you do cheat, make it a cheat “snack” aka “sample”. Not an entire meal, or a day. Never, get in over your head. If you have goals you have some sort of self discipline and know your limits. Cheat “snacks” or “samples” can happen. You should be able to enjoy and treat yourself every so often. As long as you know you limits, a slice of cake won’t hurt or set you off track from your goals.

For those of you following me on this challenge. Share with me your progress. Comment what is working or not working for you. Have you had a cheat snack? If so, what was it?

FLWE ❤

DAY 1 of 30: MEAT & VEGGIES ONLY CHALLENGE

I have been challenged by my husband to commit to consuming meat and vegetables for the next 30 days, effective today 01|02|2020. With meat and vegetables I am able to add any condiments and/or toppings. For example: ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes (I hate tomatoes), and pickles. For beverages: water and tea (tea counts towards your water intake). Now, when I mention tea I am not referencing “sweet tea” or any tea beverages with artificial sweeteners.

Most importantly, this challenge involves me eliminating iced coffee. I am one of those avid iced coffee addicts and this 30 day challenge definitely will be a challenge for me as I eliminate coffee. Aside, from a caffeine headache which will probably occur with my sudden stop of caffeine, I am going to miss the social part of enjoying my iced coffee in the mornings.

During the next 30 days I hope to successfully transition from coffee to tea. There are so many different tea blends that have multiple health benefits (reduce bloating, curve cravings, cure upset stomach, relax).

I will keep each of you updated with my progress over the next 30 days and post pictures of my meals throughout the day.

Take a look at my lunch from today:

Chicken Caesar Salad (no croutons) from Panera Bread

12/31/19: Day 365. A few things I learned in 2019

  1. It’s ok to say “No”

I am that people pleaser type of person and often struggle with saying “no”. As a result, I take on a vast quantity of additional tasks all because I simply like things to be done a certain way and this can only be guaranteed if I pilot the plane. Basically, I am a Capricorn and that should sum everything up.

 This year I’ve learned how to say “no” and feel ok about saying it without guilty of making others feel bad. For me this year it was about setting limits to how much I will take on without incurring any additional stressors.

2. It’s ok to take a break.

I took some time off from blogging and other projects I had going on in 2019 after the arrival of our son. I was hard on myself about making this decision but it was well worth it. I have embraced the fact that it is ok to take a break. Family comes first and will always remain first in my life. Motherhood has taught me so much and the early years are just as precious as any other year but even more especially since our kids do not stay small for long. The newborn and early years is my favorite stage. Once your babies start walking they often are too busy to stay still long enough to hold.

Therefore, this time around with our third child I made it a priority to take a break from the various projects I am working on. And it was great!

3. Quality over quantity of friendships.

There was a point in time when it felt good to have a long list of friends to call on and talk to. I am beyond that stage in my life. As the years pursue after high school and college, friendships dwindle away. Each of you may be going through different stages within your life and may even be on different paths.

What I have learned is that it’s not about the quantity of friends you have but the quality. You don’t have to hang out with a group of people every weekend or even see them that often to have a good quality friend. It’s about what that friend brings to your life; whether it’s support, motivation, or inspiration. I have those friends in my life and they each play a crucial role whether they are 5 minutes away, thousands of miles apart (Texas), or if they live right next door. I thank each of you (you know who you are) for what you bring to my life whether we hang out or speak every day or not. You are needed and appreciated.

4. Welcome criticism openly.  

I am my biggest critic. Having this trait has helped me in so many ways in being successful. I take criticism and dissect what I can take from it to turn negatives into positives. Welcoming criticism has improved my listening skills in order to actually hear what is being said. Critical thinking and problem solving has helped to better understand the perspective of others. I’ve learned not be defensive, as I refuse to make excuses.

 I do not self-proclaim that I am perfect. I make mistakes and I am constantly learning as a result. I have grown and will continue to grow.

5. Never give up; no matter how far behind you fall.

This year (2019) I committed to a few different things. First, reading through the Old Testament. Secondly, journaling daily before bed. Both are two important outlets in my life that I am very much passionate about. However, being a busy mom – my days can be very unpredictable. I struggled with continuing after falling behind schedule on these outlets. I would quickly become discouraged and would want to give up if I fell behind to the point of not being able to quickly catch up on missed days.

However, I have learned this year to NEVER give up on something that I am passionate about; no matter how far behind I may fall. Just simply committing a few minutes out of my day is better than no minutes at all. And if I don’t ever pick up my bible or journal “I” am the only thing standing in my own way. Now, I carry my bible and journal with me to the majority of places I go. Incorporating these two items makes it a part of my day and hard to fall short on.

~

I want to wish everyone a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

Bye-Bye 2019 … Hello 2020

P.S. on a side note one of my good friends blessed me today with a bowl of black eyed peas. Thank you Ameerah for keeping and introducing me to a new tradition. I am accepting all of that good prosperity into the new year.

FLWE ❤  

Merry Christmas from the McKinney Family

Christmas @ the McKinney’s:

Our morning began with Baby Andrew demanding his 6:00 am bottle of milk. Shortly after he woke up the entire house, Abigail discovered that Santa made his stop. From that point on we gathered in the living room to watch the children open their gifts.

What does Christmas mean to us? As we grow older the meaning of Christmas has changed. It’s not about the gifts under the tree. It’s about the people who is gathered around it. Gifts? We celebrate each other all year long and surprise each other throughout the year.

The joy of Christmas for us is watching our little ones open their gifts and just spending time together. Christ-mas is a reminder of how thankful and blessed we are. And let’s not forget the greatest gift of all, the birth of Jesus Christ. I will be ending tonight with reading a bible story to the children about the birth of Jesus Christ and what that means for us. We can not forget Christ in Christmas.

I hope each of you enjoyed your loved ones today and had a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

FLWE ❤