Left Photo

Left Photo

Middle Photo

Middle Photo

Right Photo

Right Photo

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Your Most Important Resolution


Did you know that only 8% of people who make New Year resolutions actually achieve them? 8%!

The number 1 resolution for 2014 was weight loss.  Only 8% of those people actually lost weight.

That statistic scares me.  It scares me because I know what it's like to have a goal or a resolution and have no idea where to go or what to do to make it happen.  I know what it's like to want something, but have no means to do it.  It's a feeling a lot like failure.  And failure isn't a good feeling.

The fourth most popular resolution for 2014 was to enjoy life to the fullest.  That means so many people aren't already doing so.  That hurts my heart.

The most important resolution you need to make for 2015 is to be happy.  

Find what makes you tick and do it.  Don't worry about failure.  Don't worry about obstacles.  Most importantly, don't make excuses.

Set yourself up with a support group of people that want the same things for you that you want for yourself.  Permit them to hold you accountable.  Don't just state a resolution, set up a plan with steps that you fully intend to carry out so that you can be part of the 8%.  By golly, I hope it's higher than 8 in 2015.

If you're interested in weight loss, clean eating, or healthy habits, let me be the one to support you.  Let me be your coach.  I would love to celebrate your accomplishments with you this time next year.

Most importantly, just do it.  And in the words of Salt-n-Peppa, do it real good.

What are your resolutions for 2015?  What are you going to do to make them happen?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Coaching Changed My Life

*I purposely did not include my Beachbody links in this post.
What makes Beachbody stand out amongst other products is the personalization and coaching.
If you're interested in joining me on this journey, please, contact me or leave a comment.
(Or you can fill out the form on the right side of my blog and I will contact you.)
I would love to chat about your goals and join you on your health&fitness journey.*

That's a pretty loaded title, right?  Truth is: it's the truth.

About four months post-partum I started to get really down on myself.  I wasn't fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes and I wasn't able to run or work out the way I had before.  I looked in the mirror and saw the pounds exactly where I didn't want to see them.  

It's no secret that losing the baby weight didn't just happen for me.  It was something I worked at for months before figuring out what worked for me.

I struggled with fluid retention throughout my entire pregnancy and especially at the end and after returning home from the hospital.  That fluid retention made it difficult for me to start working out even once I was cleared by the doctor.
Left: Christmas 2013, Right: Christmas 2014
My girlfriend started talking to me about Beachbody in August of 2014.  She shared her love of Shakeology and the workouts and I was still really hesitant about spending the money.  Aren't moms terrible for that?

She started sharing how she was coaching and making enough to purchase her shakes making them affordable and giving her peace of mind about spending the money on herself.  The more she shared about coaching the more I thought, "I can so do this."

So, I purchased the PiYo challenge pack (at the time I was training for a half marathon and thought PiYo would be a great alternative on my "off" days) and decided to try coaching.  I figured I would do it a few months and if it wasn't for me, I would give it up and keep using the DVDs I'd purchased.

Little did I know it would change my life...

Coaching is exactly what I want to be doing.  It's what I've dreamed of doing.  I didn't know it before, but it's what I'm passionate about.  I love helping others find their way on their personal health/fitness journey.  I love the financial freedom it has given me.  And I love the accountability and motivation I have to maintain my own personal health.

Since starting this business I have connected with people I would have never met if not for Beachbody.  I have established relationships and friendships with people that I genuinely care about and whom I have tons in common with.  I've lost the baby weight and then some.  I've gained so much strength.  I've gained financial freedom.  I've gained confidence.
Left: June 2014,  Right: December 2014 (6 months difference)

In the most non-narcissistic sense, I love what I see when I look in the mirror.

How many women can say that?

I love what I see because I'm taking care of myself.  I'm working for what I want.  I'm treating my body with the respect it deserves.  I'm embracing it, every single piece of it.  I'm investing in my well-being.

I want this for you.  I want this for everybody.

*I purposely did not include my Beachbody links in this post.
What makes Beachbody stand out amongst other products is the personalization and coaching.
If you're interested in joining me on this journey, please, contact me or leave a comment.
(Or you can fill out the form on the right side of my blog and I will contact you.)
I would love to chat about your goals and join you on your health&fitness journey.*

Monday, December 29, 2014

Indulgence is an Investment




Sweater: GAP, Dress: Belk, Tights: Belk, Boots: Jessica Simpson



As a mom it is very easy to spend all my money, time, and attention on my son and my family.  Just the other day I put a scarf for me and a bag of bath toys up on the checkout counter and at the last minute told the cashier not to ring up the scarf.  Do you do that?

Truth is, it's hard to spend money on yourself when you're a mom.  There are always a million other ways that it could be spent.  But, I happen to believe that indulging in yourself is an investment.

An investment not just moms, but women should be making regularly.

Here's why:
  1. When we feel good, we exude happiness, light, and energy into the world.  All of those things rub off onto our families and anyone we come into contact with.  They make us better wives, moms, and friends.
  2. We deserve it.  Women in general put in more time and effort in everything we do.  We often reward the ones we love; why not reward ourselves?
  3. We must be an example of health for our children.  Even when we don't realize it, our little ones are watching us and mimicking our behaviors.  Taking time to moisturize, drink water, exercise, etc. are all positive behaviors our children must learn from us.
  4. Rewarding ourselves even with small things promotes happiness and self-worth.  By investing in ourselves, we are telling ourselves we are worthy.
Investing in yourself doesn't have to be expensive.  It can be something as small as a daily shake, 30 minutes to yourself to meditate each day, or a skincare routine for pre-bed pampering.

How do you invest in yourself?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Goal Digger


Someone sent me this print the other day saying it reminded them of me.

Available here 
I'm not gonna lie...I was instantly flattered.  If it's one thing you can say about me, I work hard.  I think I've said it before, but when I'm in, I'm all in.  

What are you digging for?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Drink More Water


One of my personal health/fitness goals is to start drinking more water.  

I preach it all. the. time. to my challengers.  I'm all like do as I say, not as I do.  And it's driving me nuts.

Since making a physical list of things I want to accomplish in 2015 and creating a PLAN OF ACTION (aka steps to actually do what I want to do), even little goals like drinking more water are more tangible.

Here are my steps to reaching that goal to DRINK MORE WATER:
  1. Buy a new water bottle.I realize this seems silly to have to mention, but my water bottle just doesn't excite me anymore.  It's old and cracked and I feel like I would drink more if I had something prettier.  (I'm rolling my eyes with you as I write this.)
  2. Put a filter on my sink at work.
    The water at work hasn't always proven to be the highest quality (this is me being P.C.) and I feel like that has a lot to do with why I don't drink as much as I should throughout the day.  Two coworkers put filters on their sinks and they very graciously allow me to fill up as often as I like, but that means I have to leave my classroom, enter their's, potentially interrupt their classroom, and then go back to my own to enjoy my filters, clean, fresh water.  Putting one on my own sink would make things a little easier.
  3. Tracking my intake.
    Already I keep up with my portions and food groups thanks to the 21 Day Fix so what's one more little thing to track?  (For the record, I no longer physically track my portions because I've been following the nutrition guide long enough to just know, but this won't be a big deal since I have experience.)  When I created my 21 Day Fix pocket track sheets for my challengers, I included a space for daily workout and 8 glasses of water so I am going to start tracking it until it comes naturally.
Onto the first (and most important) task, buying a new water bottle...




drink more water

Which would you choose?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Gift of Health | Homemade Granola Recipe


I've gone back and forth this year as to what to give several people in our lives that mean so much to us.  Consumerism can get the best of me and make me want to buy all the pretty things for all the pretty people in my life and I. just. can't.  You know?

This year I decided I would give the gift of health and make jars of homemade granola for neighbors, family, friends, and coworkers.  I'm hoping that they see the thoughtfulness and labor of love I put into this small gift and can appreciate the fact that I thought deeply about this before doing it.


First, I make the granola.

Ingredients:
1 c Regular oats 
3/4 c Whole-wheat flour
1/2 c Wheat germ
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 c Vegetable oil
1/4 c Honey
2 Tbsp Orange juice
1/4 c Flaked coconut
2 Tbsp Sliced almonds

1. Mix the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.
2. Combine oil, honey, and juice and pour over mixture.  Mix until completely blended.
3. Spread evenly over foil lined baking sheet and bake in 250 degree oven for 45 minutes.
4. Stir in coconut and almonds and bake for 30 more minutes.
5. Cool

*You can just enjoy this granola like this or you can turn it into a trail mix like I did for my jars*


To create the trail mix, use the homemade granola and follow this recipe:

Ingredients:
Granola from previous recipe (or 2 cups if you purchase from store)
3/4 c chopped pecans
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c flaked coconut
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 c banana chips
1/2 c dried apricots
1 bag Great Value berry trail mix
(You could use raisins, golden raisins, and dried cherries separately.  I opted to purchase the bag of trail mix from Walmart because it has those ingredients in it for less than $5)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients except banana chips, raisins, cherries, and apricots.
3. Mix well.
4. Spread even on 2 foiled baking sheets.  Bake 55-60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven; stir in banana chips, raisins, cherries, and apricots.
6. Cool thoroughly and store tightly covered at room temperature.

Since I'm using this as a gift, I filled mason jars with the mixture once it was completely cooled and decorated the container with some fabric and baker's twine I had on hand.  I made the Christmas tags using old business card paper and they are ready for gifting!

*A coworker shared her recipe with me and I've tweaked it; I'm currently working on a clean(er) version and will share that recipe as I perfect it.*

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Goals and What I'm Saying


Ouch.  You didn't know you came to get your toes stomped, did you?

Truth is, I've been thinking a lot about goals lately; WHAT mine are, WHY I want to accomplish them, and most importantly HOW I'm going to do it.

It's been a while since I wrote a tangible list of things that I want to accomplish much more than a daily checklist of "to-do's."  I've voiced a few things I'd like to do or things I wish would happen.  And people say, "Lindsay, be careful what you're saying."

If I'm being honest, my biggest goals are a little scary.  People might not laugh at them, but they definitely will widely open their eyes and perhaps even let their mouth drop open some.  Every time I see it or hear it, though, I just keep trucking.  I'm determined.  

And I'm stubborn; stubborn is a great quality when it comes to goals.

I realize most people wait until December 31st to really think about what they want to accomplish in the next year.  And then, most those resolutions are made on the fly while sipping champagne.  If I'm being honest, I have no idea what my resolutions were for this year.

I don't want to wait.  One thing you need to know about me: I'm an ALL IN kinda person.  Meaning, I'm either all in or all out.  No grey stuff for me.  So, my goals start now.  My plan of action or my HOW starts now.

What are your goals for 2015?  Have you written them down?  What is your plan of action?

What do you want to become?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gifts for the Fit Girl on Your List

fit girl stocking stuffers



I like to make stocking stuffers really personal.  I realize you can spend an arm and a leg on little things to fill that Mary Poppins-like sock, but I always try to find special little items that won't break the gift budget.  (Do you set a gift budget in your house?  We have to!

It can be hard to make those stocking stuffers personal.  Especially if your "person" has different interests than you.  As a self-proclaimed fitness nerd I could easily stuff a stocking for my fitness loving girlfriends.  Things like a new water bottle, sweaty bands, and cushioned socks really make me tick.

What's in your stocking this year?

Friday, December 12, 2014

1 Year, 12 Months, 365 Days!

Happiest of birthdays, to my darling little boy!


Dear Carson,

Wow.  Just like that, it's here.  Your big day.

I still can't believe a whole year has gone by and I still can't believe you haven't been a part of my life since the beginning of forever.

You are such a sweetheart; always smiling, always happy.  There are so many things about you that make my heart swell with pride and love.  To put my love for you into words is quite impossible, but I've done the best I can in a private letter just for you.

I love you so much more each and every day.

Love, 
Mommy 


12 Month Update
Weight:  22 pounds
Length:  30+ inches
Nicknames: Milkman, Milk Monster, CT, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Bubby, Monster, Buddy Boy
Sleep: You've started going to bed earlier since you are using so much more energy during the day.  Typically you are out by 7:00 and awake around 6:00.  You are still a champion sleeper.  You like to sleep in your crib - you definitely don't want to be held or in bed with us when you go to sleep.  Although those moments where you are snuggly and fall asleep in our arms are extra special.
Eating:  You love food!  Some of your favorites are pancakes, Ritz crackers, macaroni and cheese, carrots, chicken and dumplings, banana, hummus, Nutrigrain bars, and pears.
Clothing: 12-18 months
Loves:
  • Playing
  • Your Aden + Anais blankies
  • Bath time
  • Runs with Mommy
  • Bath time
  • Ribbons/shoe laces/strings/etc
  • The dog dishes, carbon monoxide detector, battery charger - anything you shouldn't have
  • Your soccer ball
  • Brushing your own teeth
Dislikes:
  • Having your face/hands wiped
  • Having your nose cleaned
  • Working on finding a daycare that fits you
Exciting Moments:
You started walking on 12/5/14
You are saying more words: dog, dada, mama, that, uh-oh
You shake your head no and you're trying hard to be able to nod yes
When we say "no" you look at us and smile and wave your hands up and down as if to say, "Don't worry - no big deal over here."
Momma's Milestones:
I have made Success Club with my Beachbody business every month since becoming a coach and I earned a free ticket to the Summit for 2015.

Just look at the change!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What It's Really About for Me



I've worked my butt off for the last 11 months to feel like me again.  To be honest, it's never been about the size of my jeans, or the number on the scale.  It's always been about the way I feel.

It's been about doing the things I love doing; the things I've always done.

Ever since I came home from the hospital I have felt skinny.  Skinny is all about perspective when you've been carrying a baby inside you for 9 months.  I mean, anything is skinny after you've waddled and gone without seeing your feet for so long.  Right?

But, if I'm being truly honest, it's never been about being skinny.  For a little while I thought it was.  I thought I wanted to see a certain number on the scale or size hanging in my closet.

Before having CT, I was very active and I stayed active throughout my entire pregnancy.  After having CT my body didn't allow me to workout right away.  I listened and took some time off and after about 3-4 months I decided I needed to put more effort in.

My goal was to be able to do all the things I did before pregnancy and motherhood.  

The reality of health and fitness is not that you should aim to fit into a dress you bought on clearance a size too small (you know you've done it or at least thought about doing it) or to be the weight you were your senior year of high school.  Tell me I'm not the only one...right?

The point is you should focus on a healthy lifestyle.  Skinny isn't always healthy.  I know a lot of skinny people that eat fried food every day and never exercise.

Fuel your body with what it needs, be a role model for your children, and by golly do something for yourself for a change!

What's it all about for you?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Anxiety and Change


We've been faced with some big decisions lately that have proven difficult.  
Being an adult can be so hard sometimes! Right?

The thing is when faced with decisions now there are so many factors that come into play.  
  • Who will be affected?
  • Will this burn bridges?
  • How does it affect my family?  My child?
If I'm being honest, that last question is the real doozie.  I mean they're all tough, but that last one is the toughest ever in all the questions of the world.  Am I right?

Because if something doesn't work for the family, it's not working.  Period.

But, then there's that whole finding what does work and that takes time, patience, chance, persistence, and lots of hope.  And sometimes lots of failure.

So, my question to you is, how do you cope with it all?

I'm looking into one of these amazing family planners (pretty obsessed with the fact that you can personalize these babies) and hoping that this old soul can keep it together with some pen and paper.


Sweater: GAP, Scarf: gift, Dress: Bass, Tights: Old Navy, Boots: Steve Madden Girl

How do you manage to get it all done, stay organized, and figure out what is best for your family?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Online Christmas Shopping

*This post contains referral links.  I appreciate you using them!*



I think you've realized by now if you've been around for any length of time that I loooove to save money.  (I love to spend, too, but we won't talk about that. *wink*)

If you've used sites like Checkout 51, Snap by Groupon, or Ibotta, you will love eBates!

eBates allows you to purchase from any store online and you earn cash back for purchases.  Stores vary their percentage of cash back, but particularly during the holiday season some are offering up to 10% back on your purchases.  This is a great way to save while checking off your Christmas list.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Family Pictures 2014



I'm so grateful we were able to document these moments as a family.  Being a blogger there are many times when I am the one in front of the camera or behind it snapping photos of others.  It's not often that we get memories captured as a family which makes these even more special. 



We tend to choose the coldest days to get our pictures taken.  Rather than canceling or rescheduling, we decided to embrace it and took the opportunity to use our hats and blankets as props.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tips for a Happy Healthy Holiday

The holidays can be a tough time to make healthy choices.  We are faced with delicious temptations, sweet treats, packed schedules, long to-do lists, and revolving visitors.

It can throw a person off.  So I've compiled a list of tips to enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.



If you know you're going to attend a holiday party, a cookie swap, or a family dinner, plan for it in advance.  Eat clean the days leading up to the party so that you don't feel so guilty afterward.

Swap ingredients.  You can swap ingredients like greek yogurt for sour cream or neufchatel cheese for cream cheese and no one will ever know.  It's a lot less calories without missing out on flavor.

Eat first!  Before you go to a party, eat a healthy snack.  It will keep you from binging on all the goodies and treats while you're there.

Drink your water.  Staying hydrated prevents you from overeating, feeling run down, and eases bloat.

Fix a plate and walk away from the buffet.  The longer you stand and graze, the more food you consume.  It's hard to recognize you are full when you continuously snack.

Park at the back of the lot.  Take the stairs.  Walk up the escalator.  Keep moving. 

Play with the kids (or dogs) outside.  Walking through the snow, building a snowman, or having a snowball fight all count as great cardio workouts.  Be the cool aunt/uncle/person and feel good about yourself at the same time. 

Keep working out.  Just because family is in town doesn't mean you get a free pass from the gym.  If getting to the gym while family is in town is out of the question, look up workouts on Pinterest, take a walk around the block, or use a workout DVD.  

Create a support group.  Meet up at the mall with your girlfriends to speedwalk/shop.  Hold yourself accountable for maintaining healthy habits.  If you can make it through this time of the year, you can make it anywhere!  If you struggle with this, join my Happy Healthy Holiday challenge group; I assure you it will keep you motivated and inspired.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Counting My Blessings


I know a lot of people stress around this time of year and I've definitely had my share of stressors in the past month or two, but lately I just can't help but count all my blessings.  

I mean, I have so many. So many!

I just feel like the luckiest person in the world to have a supportive husband, a beautiful *healthy* son, a good job, loving family and friends, and the list goes on...

Sweater: TJMaxx (similar), Jeans: Joes, Glasses: Firmoo, Shoes: Dansko
What are you thankful for this season?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

OrangeTheory

I was contacted by OrangeTheory Fitness of Chapel Hill to take a complimentary class in exchange for this blog post.  All opinions are exclusively my own.

I love a good sweat.  If I'm going to hit the gym, I want it to hurt so good.  You know what I mean?

So, when OrangeTheory Fitness of Chapel Hill contacted me inviting me to take a complimentary class, I was very excited!  The concept of the workout is to spend a certain percentage of your work out in each zone to burn the most calories and get the biggest impact.

For me, this was huge.  It meant wearing a heart rate monitor and being able to see my performance on the big screen throughout the entire 60 minute workout.  I'm big on accountability and this was right up my alley.  I love knowing my pace, my distance, and my calories burned while running so this really helped me to push myself throughout the workout.



We started the workout on the treadmill and did HIIT (high intensity interval training) for about 30 minutes.  I learned so much about myself on that treadmill.  For instance, I need to push myself more when I'm out running with CT.  I had to go pretty fast to get my heart rate where it needed to be so that was eye opening for me.  

After the cardio, we got on the floor and did strength training intervals, the row machines, and some core work.  It was a total body workout.



I wish I lived closer to OrangeTheory because I would definitely get a membership and supplement my at home Beachbody workouts with one or two trips a week to the facility.  

I felt so good after my workout.  In fact, I felt so good that I'm offering a pretty sweet deal on Challenge Packs right now through my own Beachbody business.  

Have you tried OrangeTheory?  What's your favorite workout?

If you're in the area, keep up with what they're doing on Facebook and Twitter

Monday, December 1, 2014

StitchFix #4

This post contains referral links.  If you use them to sign up for your own Stitchfix, I will earn credit.
Thank you for using my links!

If you're interested, this is a fantastic service.  You fill out a style profile online and a personal shopper styles a box just for you.  Inside the box you will find the pieces along with style suggestions and a bag to send back anything you don't wish to buy free of shipping!  If you decide to keep everything, you get a 25% discount on your order.  Pretty sweet deal!

It's been a while since my last Stitchfix.  I was pregnant and then I was losing the baby weight and now that I'm where I want to be health and fitness-wise, I figured it was time to give it a whirl again.

I went out shopping a few weekends ago with the intent to spend a chunk of money on myself.  I truly believe a woman deserves to reward herself now and again especially when goals have been met.  That shopping trip ended badly.  The only thing I came home with was a hat for CT and a bag of pumpkin shaped Reese's cups.  

Since then I've had some luck at a few local boutiques, but Stitchfix has never failed me in the past so to say I was excited to see my box on my doorstep is an understatement!

Here is what I got and what I'm keeping:

Fun2Fun Darcy Beaded Panel Blouse
size small $48

Kensie Jeans Johnny Skinny Jeans
size 6 $88


I love both these items!  When I saw the jeans I was really excited because I am in need of more pants.  Since starting my Beachbody and Shakeology lifestyle, I've lost more weight than I gained with CT so a lot of items in my closet from pre-pregnancy don't fit.  I'm particularly lacking in the pant department.

I decided not to keep the jeans because the navy color is so close to my darkwash skinnies I already own that fit me nicely.  However, they fit me perfectly so I'm hoping I may see more in future fixes.

This blouse is beautiful.  When I first pulled it out I was worried it would be too thin and see-through.  I was pleasantly surprised that that is not the case!  I had a hard time deciding whether or not to keep this one, but I decided to send it back.  As a mom, it's just not practical.  It's handwash and the little beads seem very fragile so I opted to send it back.

Moon Collection Alexander Graphic Knit Drape Front Cardigan
size small $68


I was really excited when I pulled this out of my box!  I'm a huge fan of sweaters and I love the colors and design of this one!  I pretty much knew I was going to keep this before I even put it on.  It is so soft and just perfect.  This was a definite keeper.  I also thought the price was on point.

Pixley Indianan Graphic Print Mixed Material Tee
size small $44


This was probably the item I was most hesitant about as I pulled it out.  I showed it to my husband and said, "Eh, not me."  However, when I tried it on I really loved the fit.  In fact, I totally changed my mind about the shirt altogether.  I thought the price was a little high and I have something pretty similar so I decided not to keep it, but it just goes to show things are different when you try them on!

Ellison Lawrence Colorblock Panel Scoop Neck Sweater
size small $58


I looooved this when I pulled it out of the box.  I particularly love the marbled look of the sweater.  When I put it on I was so disappointed.  It just does nothing for me.  I look boxy and bulky.  I hate that it wasn't flattering because it's so soft and cozy, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I decided to send it back.

What do you think?  What would you have kept or sent back?

Have you ever tried Stitchfix?

Click here to sign up for your first fix!




Wednesday, November 26, 2014

That dress again...




So here's that dress again (and again and again and again).  

I know this is a simple outfit, but as a mom it's nice to have simple things in your closet.  In fact, I've been reading a lot about a capsule wardrobe and contemplated creating one of my own.  Since scaling back my closet, I've realize sometimes too many options is just overwhelming.  While other times I look into my closet and think there is nothing in there.  First world problems, for real.

Truth is, there isn't nearly as much in my closet as there used to be.  And I'm realizing as long as I keep a good supply of statement necklaces, scarves, and other accessories there really doesn't need to be a ton more.  

I'm okay with it.  Although, it won't stop me from shopping.  ;)

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!  Is anyone braving Black Friday sales?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

5 Ways to Stay Motivated


Especially at the beginning of the New Year, everyone has good intention to exercise, eat better, get healthy, and take better care of ourselves.  We all do have good intentions.  No one sets out to fail at their New Year resolutions.

Easier said than done.

In an effort to stay motivated to get my workout in, I've come up with a few tricks.  I do these things to encourage myself or motivate myself to get my butt in gear rather than make excuses.

1. Change clothes.

As soon as I get home, I change into my workout clothes.  A while back a preacher shared  sermon encouraging women to stay "dressed" for their husbands after work.  He said many women come home, take their makeup off, throw their hair on top of their head, and put on baggy sweats.  This is what their man sees when he walks in the door.  So, I tried that for a while - I made an effort to greet my husband with a fresh face and all.  But, I noticed that those evenings were the ones I didn't work out.  Now I change into my workout clothes as soon as I get home.

If I don't work out, I feel a little bit of shame as I change out of those unused workout clothes and into my pajamas at the end of the night.

2.  Pamper yourself post-workout.

I used to dread working out because of the fact that I would have to wash, re-dry, and style my hair all over again.  Now, I use it as an excuse  to pamper myself for 10-20 minutes.  I take a nice warm shower, put a mask on my face, lotion my dry skin, and paint my fingernails.  It's not much, but it seems like a reward

3.  Take measurements. 

Don't rely on the scale to show your accomplishments.  Often we don't lose pounds as quickly as we lose inches and it can be very discouraging.  You will lose inches in your arms, waist, upper arms, and thighs before you see the number drop.

4.  Set mini-goals.

If the goal is to lose x amount of pounds, reward yourself along the way.  Sometimes the end goal can seem so daunting and we need to be rewarded along the way to keep ourselves on track.

5.  Join a friend or a group.

Have a friend check in with you each night or each morning.  Start a "morning club" where you set your alarm at the same time to work out.  Join a group workout at the gym.  Participate in one of my challenge groups.  The more people that are counting on you, the higher the chances of you actually completing your goals!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Peppermint Mocha Shakeology


I've always been a huge fan of Starbucks white chocolate peppermint mocha.  I would eagerly await the red cup knowing it was the season for one.  Then I read about the GMOs and the chemicals, not to mention the calories in it and I have to admit, it's just not as tastey now that I know what's in it.

I'm not gonna lie, I still do get one once in a while, but that could change this holiday season.

It is cheaper, healthier, and tastier to have one of these Peppermint Mocha Shakeology shakes instead!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. ice coffee
  • 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology
  • 1/4 tsp Peppermint extract
Just blend and sip!  So good

If you're interested in trying Shakeology, contact me.  I would love to be your coach!

Friday, November 21, 2014

10 Things I Love about PiYo

PiYo has quickly become my favorite Beachbody program.  I initially got it because I was training for a half marathon and didn't need to add another cardio workout that would be hard on my joints.  Now, it's my favorite and I find myself consistently referring it to my family and friends. For the month of November, the challenge pack is on sale for $20 off the normal price making it a great deal!


10 Reasons Why I love PiYo:

1. Low impact and low intensity, but NOT low results.  I have a bicep!  I've never had upper body strength, not even when I played college ball and was lifting weights on a daily basis.  I love the fact that this is not hard on my knees and joints, but I am still seeing and feeling great physical advances.

2. No shoes required.  I know this may seem insignificant, but when you've got limited time to get your workout in or when you spend the majority of your day in dress shoes, it's really nice to not have to wear shoes!

3.  Total body workout.  This workout targets every area of the body even the parts I don't like to focus on.

4.  Increased flexibility; this is especially important for me as a runner.

5.  Short, quick workouts.  The workouts range from 25-45 minutes tops.  Perfect for nap times or after I put Carson down to sleep at night.  Also, my attention span isn't that long so unless I'm in a group workout or out for a run, 30-45 minutes is about all I can take.

6.  Abs off the floor. Some of these workouts require crunches or sit-ups, but for the most part I'm working my core without hurting my back.  I am not a big fan of the traditional sit-up.

7.  On my own time. There is no set schedule.  I just try to fit in about 30 minutes a day.  I don't have to get to the gym at a certain time and I don't have to wait until late in the evening.

8. No gym fee. Once you purchase the dvds, they're yours.  There is no monthly membership fee.

9.  Support, inspiration, and motivation from other people just like me.  We don't always have the same goals as people in our daily life when it comes to health and fitness, but PiYo connects us with other people working toward the same things we are.  It connects you with people who are trying to be stronger, healthier, fitter versions of themselves just like you!  The community is so motivating and helps me to stay accountable.

10. Free coaching. This is quite possibly the most impactful part of any Beachbody program.  The coaching that comes with the program.  It keeps me going, gives me new recipe ideas and meal plans, gets me out of bed when I'm tired to turn on the dvd player...  It definitely makes Beachbody different from the average workout program.

If you're interested in trying PiYo or any of the Beachbody programs, I would love to be your coach!  Just leave your email in the comments below and I will be happy to share more details with you.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Afford Healthy Eating

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The biggest argument people give me when I approach them about trying my Beachbody programs is money.  Money is the root of all our problems, right?

It can also be the root of a lot of excuses.

I try to live by the 70/30 rule.  70% of what I put into my body is clean and 30% is cheat.  From my personal experience I've learned that if I deny myself all sweets and "cheats" then I'm setting myself up for failure...or at the very least a tummy ache from a binge-fest.

$9oop
There are obviously more coupons out there for prepackaged foods, boxed items, and beauty products.  However, there are coupons for frozen steamed vegetables, packaged chicken, and sometimes even produce!  In fact, right now there is a $5 rebate when you buy $5 worth of fruit.  FREE fruit!

I also go by the motto: if you save in one place, you can splurge in another.

So, the money I save on diapers, wipes, bodywash, shampoo, etc. can go toward the items that are pricier such as fresh produce, lean meats, and high quality grains.

$30oop, $27saved
Here are some tips for saving money when purchasing healthy food:

Collect coupons.
I have joined a few groups on Facebook where people go to share the deals they're getting, coupons they aren't using, or upcoming sales.  I have a couple of friends who let me go through their coupons after they are done with them and I share my leftovers with them as well.

Get a rewards card.
A lot of people (myself included) just type in their mother's phone number when at the register.  This will get you the instant savings, but you won't receive coupons in the mail or more savings down the road.  Sign up for your own card so that you get the most benefit.

Some favorites: Lowe's Foods, Food Lion, Price Chopper, Harris Teeter, CVS, Walgreens

Register for digital coupons when possible.
Places like Walgreens, Dollar General, and Family Dollar have digital coupons now.  Unfortunately, you can't stack these digital coupons with manufacturer's coupons, but you can use them in place of your manufacturer coupon and save those for another trip.

Watch sales and stock up when you can.
Even when you don't need something, if you can get it for free or close to free, get it!  I currently have a year's supply of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in my linen closet because I paid next to nothing for it.  I also have 3 boxes of cereal sitting in my pantry unopened because I paid less than $1 per box for it.  If you know you are going to use something, stock up!

Know your prices.
Know what prices are good for certain items.  Knowing this will help you decide whether or not you are getting the best deal with your coupons.

Take advantage of the double and super double rule.
Stores like Harris Teeter, KMart, and Lowe's Foods double coupons every day.  Once in a while they do what they call a super double where they double all coupons up to $2!!  It's a little like Black Friday a various points throughout the year in the grocery market.  Totally worth the chaos.

What is your favorite way to save on healthy foods?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Virtual Holiday Market

via (adapted)
Everyone loves a good holiday market.  Something about the first sounds of Christmas music, sips of cocoa, and the smell of cinnamon and peppermint really puts me in the Christmas spirit.

Thanks to this record breaking arctic cold we are experiencing, no one wants to leave the house!  And some people can't thanks to the insane amount of snow piled outside their door!

So, I'm hosting a virtual holiday market on Facebook.  The event will take place the Sunday after Thanksgiving until the Saturday before Christmas.  Each vendor will be assigned one day to flood the event page with images, deals, giveaways, information about your craft.  However, at any point during the market, people may purchase from you.

This is the perfect way to engage people with your product, extend your customer outreach, and create new relationships with other vendors as well as consumers.  

To partake in the event, each vendor will pay $5.  The $5 will go toward a VISA gift card that will be given away at the end of the week.  In order to be eligible to win the gift card, customers must make a purchase; each purchase equates one entry into the drawing.  

As a vendor, you will be given administrative access to the event page so that you can add your friends to the event.  This will allow all vendors to invite friends making for a larger customer base than what your business page may have on its own.  Meaning you will have a larger audience!

To register to be part of the Virtual Holiday Market, please complete the Google form here
I will be in contact with you as soon as possible to let you know scheduling and how to send the $5 via PayPal.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Stroller Run Photo Contest


BIG FAVOR!!

CT and I were entered in a stroller run photo contest with this picture.
You are able to vote once a day until the contest ends. 

We would love you forever and greatly appreciate it if you voted for us!

It's very easy, just click this link:
http://runstrollerrun.com/?contestants=quintessential-fall-run

And click Vote on the right hand side!

Thank you so much!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

11 Months


Dear Carson,

I was sitting in the car the other day thinking about the fact that you are about to be one year old.  It's not even been 365 days yet and I can't remember life without you.  You are the best thing to ever happen to your daddy and me.  I wish we could bottle up this love we have for you and give it away to people who need it.  It's amazing.

You are a ball of energy!  On the days we don't get to go for a run, I don't even feel bad.  I am too busy chasing you around!  

This month some things happened or didn't happen that could have really brought me down.  To be honest, I couldn't really waste time being sad about any of them.  I just feel so blessed to have you and to be your mom.  Who cares about the other things?

I still wonder how you picked us.  Out of all the other mommies and daddies out there in the universe, you picked us.  I'm so glad you did.  We're the perfect fit for each other.

Love you so much,
Mommy


11 Month Update
Weight:  22 pounds
Length:  30+ inches
Nicknames: Milkman, Milk Monster, CT, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Bubby, Monster, Buddy Boy
Sleep: You've started going to bed earlier since you are using so much more energy during the day.  Typically you are out by 7:00 and awake around 6:00.  You are still a champion sleeper.  You like to sleep in your crib - you definitely don't want to be held or in bed with us when you go to sleep.
Eating:  You love food!  Some of your favorites are pancakes, Ritz crackers, macaroni and cheese, carrots, chicken and dumplings, banana, and hummus.
Clothing: 12 months
Loves:
  • Playing
  • Your Aden + Anais blankies
  • Bath time
  • Runs with Mommy
  • Bath time
  • Ribbons/shoe laces/strings/etc
  • The dog dishes, carbon monoxide detector, battery charger - anything you shouldn't have
  • Your soccer ball
  • Brushing your own teeth
Dislikes:
  • Having your face/hands wiped
  • Getting lotioned when you are sleepy
Exciting Moments:
You've taken a few steps here and there, but you aren't quite sure on your feet yet.
You are saying more words: dog, dada, mama, that, uh-oh
Momma's Milestones:
I have made Success Club with my Beachbody business every month since becoming a coach and I earned a free ticket to the Summit for 2015.
I signed up to retake my National Boards one last time.  If you're a teacher you know this is an incredibly difficult process.  Third time is a charm, right!?

Just look at the change!