Lifestyle Changes (with LINKS!) | Life By The Sea

Oh HI THERE GUYS!!! I know, it’s been a minute! I have to say that it’s kind of nice to be back to blogging and content creation and sharing after enjoying a little time off in the middle of the busy season. I’m actually STILL on a social media hiatus while creating this post and although I’ll share it to Facebook, I still haven’t been on Instagram for over three weeks! I’m not coming back just yet while we are in the thick of back-to-back shoots and so much life happening BUT I wanted to give a small update on some little but powerful changes I’ve made over the past couple of weeks and how it’s bettered my life so much, so far!

About two weeks ago, I noticed that even when I was working out and eating mostly healthy and drinking tons of water, I was getting really worn down by an afternoon slump. Just PURE exhaustion starting at around 2pm daily. Of course, I do have three daughters who are not in day care and pretty much always with me, tons of sessions to shoot, emailing and editing to do… but it felt a little heavier than it should. I have always had a pretty sensitive stomach and for some reason, I started thinking it would be kind of beneficial to try an elimination diet to see if any specific main food group could be the root of it. I took a wild guess and started by eliminating gluten. And within ONE week I had lost four lbs and never for the first time in SO long did I feel bad for an entire day after eating. Could this just be a coincidence? Maybe…but I’m three weeks in and still haven’t had any and I kind of love it and plan to stick with it for a while!

After that change, I felt a little inspired to stop saying that I was too busy to pay attention to other lifestyle factors, starting with the products we use around the house and personal products as well. I transitioned from my regular deodorant (Dove) that I have LOVED for years to something without aluminum and although the first one I tried didn’t work well, the second one we tried was amazing!!! From there we changed detergent, dish soap, shampoo and body wash, hand soap and many other products. I have no idea what came over me to go forward with this but I know that taking a social media break gave me enough time to look into these lifestyle changes and I am SO thankful for that! Below I’m sharing links to anything we switched to, we are feeling so refreshed and happy about the healthy choices and lifestyle!


Deodorant: I tried Underarmed and although I loved their branding and mission, I needed something stronger for how much I work out. I could probably use Underarmed on “light” days and be fine…but for work and work out days, NATIVE is AMAZING!!! I got the Coconut Vanilla and Mike has the Eucalyptus and Mint. Here’s a link to look around their site! I picked up a small lavender travel one as well for how much we are on the road 🙂

Shampoo & Conditioner for ME: Am I late to the game on this one? Shea Moisture is WHERE ITS AT! Safe and smells amazing and is so good to my hair. I love this switch! Link here to find on Amazon. 

Shampoo & Conditioner for the GIRLS: I know I’m late to this game but I just am adoring the Honest Company right now. Way more affordable than I realized BECAUSE I signed up for the monthly $35 subscription where you can choose five products you need (perfect!!!!!) and even do a couple of add-ons if needed. This is so under budget compared to what I thought it would be to switch to safer products. The girls have the Shampoo & Conditioner in Ultra Calming Lavender. Link HERE to shop!

Body Wash for ME and the GIRLS: This one smells amazing and is SUCH a clean product! It doesn’t hurt that the branding has seahorses on it and that makes us happy! Link here for Puracy body wash. We chose the 2 pack of 16oz pump bottles.

Hand sanitizer: We used a foaming and gentle kind before but I love the grapefruit scented one from the Honest Company more! 🙂 Link here for the Honest Company. 


Toilet cleaner & bathroom cleaner: Both in the scent “Coastal Surf” from the Honest Company, link here for their website.

Hand soap: We LOVE this smell and this product so much, Seventh Generation in Lavender.

Dishwasher detergent: Also from Seventh Generation! 

Detergent: Yep you guessed it again, Seventh Generation. So much more affordable than we ever imagined on our tight little Dave Ramsey budget.

We are working on changing more things around in our home 🙂 We will blog and update with anything we try and love and is a safe choice for our family! We have been making our own cleaning spray since last year with Young Living oils and vinegar: Thieves, Orange, Vinegar, Lemon and Water.


I previously have mentioned in the past that I wasn’t really paying too much attention to what I ate. I didn’t LOVE to admit that, but it’s better to be honest! If you wanted to see a super healthy, organic and smart grocery list in the past…you wouldn’t come to us, LOL! But my friends…slowly but surely, things are changing around here. Thanks to Thrive Markettwice a month I get to pick out snacks for cheaper than I would at the local stores that carry them and on that note, some of these things just aren’t available near me or without an entire extra store trip to another grocery store and with three kids? No thank you my friend. If you haven’t checked out Thrive yet, I definitely recommend it! You can do a free trial and their mission to GIVE is completely worth the once-a-year membership knowing we are directly helping other families and still saving so much money ourselves.

Want to see some of my favorite things from there that I get to enjoy on my current gluten-free diet? (Yes – you can “shop by value” on there according to your diet! Paleo, vegan and more!)

* Late July Organic Sea Salt Tortilla Chips

* Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP White Cheddar Popcorn

* Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Brownie Soft Baked Cookies

* Annie’s Organic Cheddar Cheesy Puffs

* Larabar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

* KIND Vanilla Blueberry Granola Clusters

* Alter Eco Crisp Mint Organic Chocolate Bar

I have LOVED challenging myself to take something out of my diet and see if I could pull it off. And let’s just say I’m also grateful Barrier Island Bagel has a gluten-free bagel option 🙂 I’ve done a couple of other little switches here and there like switching to Silk Almond Creamer for my coffee and just trying new things…something I usually am “too busy to think about” but during the past month, I have been EXCITED to try so much!


So in the past you may have heard me say that for MONTHS, my only routine has been run ONE mile 3-4 times a week. I lost so much weight from our budgeting with Dave Ramsey and then I wanted to keep being healthy and active so running a mile a few times a week was a QUICK, easy way to work out and occasionally I would do a yoga class. A few weeks ago, however, I wanted a little more. I wanted to work on my arms (thanks for teaching me Sharon!) and I wanted to add something else challenging to my work out. For the past few weeks I’ve done Barre class (LOVE), yoga, arm work outs and two miles on the elliptical as well and showed up five days a week to the gym. It’s not always easy but I know that is has a positive effect on my emotional health being able to get this time doing something so good for myself!

One of my friends recently started going to the gym and it was music to my ears when she said all she needed to do to make this happen was make it a part of her routine. And even if you can’t get to a YMCA or gym, you can STILL work out. If you can’t hire a personal trainer, you can STILL do this guys! I KNOW what it is like to be a mom of three girls, run a business and have no day care but I will still fight and be determined to show up for something if it means it will make my life better and our family’s life better. If you’ve been putting off working out – try to slowly but surely add it into your routine…you can do this!!!!! 🙂



Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Taylor says:

    Love this so much! We’ve recently been making some similar changes around our house, and boy what a difference! We have a new Sprouts (I always thought it would be too pricey) and my husband–who hates grocery shopping–wanted to go! That one trip had him more open minded about healthier options. We both lost 10 pounds while he (and me, because…moral support) was prepping for a physical fit test. I love YL thieves for cleaning, too. You hit the nail on the head by saying when you make it “part of your routine” it can absolutely be done!

  2. Hilary says:

    I love this. I love you and your family. I love your down to earth honesty and I was thrilled to meet you at the first ever C@H conference! Keep doing you and keep being you!

  3. Linda Barry says:

    I don’t know if you like to work out at home, but that’s all I can really swing for right now, and I use Blogilates on YouTube and LOVE her workouts! they’re quick and super effective! AND Lily does them with me now (all on her own accord!) and it’s the cutest thing ever!! I love being a good example to her by taking care of my body! <3 You're a great mama! Also, I'm totally getting that deodorant and body wash!!

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