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Middle Photo

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Friday, December 16, 2016

You've been socked.

We started a new tradition at our school this year.  Instead of Secret Santa (which I looooove), we "socked" one another.

In essence there was a stocking going around that was repeatedly filled and delivered to coworkers around the building.  It was a nice, little unexpected surprise.


I'm sharing the rules because we intend to start this tradition with our neighbors in our cul de sac this weekend!  They have no idea, but I think it will be fun to do each holiday season.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

This Christmas...

So far this is the best Christmas ever.

I have a feeling I will say that every single Christmas for the rest of my life because in the moments, WOW!  You guys, life is magical.  Seeing my son get excited about Santa and his elf, watching the Grinch with him, making Christmas cookies...all of it. is. the. BEST.


Last weekend we took the kids to see Santa and CT immediately walked to the front and attempted to get on Santa's lap to talk to him.  I had to run up there and explain that there were others in line and we needed to wait our turn.  He was very much ready to tell the man in the big red suit what he wanted for Christmas!

He has repeatedly expressed his desire for monster trucks and race cars.  Hopefully Santa can provide.

With his birthday party just last week, he really understands the meaning of the word "present" and I think Christmas morning is going to bring great joy to this sweet boy.

You may or may not want to see the spam of Santa pictures to follow.










Monday, December 12, 2016

A Race Car Birthday Party

In October we took CT to his first NASCAR race (not including the one he went to in my belly or the one he went to before he was a year old) and actually got to watch his excitement as he took in the sites and sounds of a race track.  It was amazing to see him get excited about the hauler trucks, the racers, the cars, the track, every little thing.

So, it seemed like a no-brainer to have a race car themed birthday party and as soon as I mentioned it, he pretty much freaked.  Mom win!


It was a relatively easy theme, but I didn't want to just order some cookie-cutter decorations so I set out to make it as easy on myself as possible while keeping it unique and fun.

The food was easy.  I tried to make everything have a cars related theme so I served:

  • Spare Tires - mini chocolate covered donuts (you could use Oreos)
  • Air Bags - clementines (marshmallows would be cute)
  • Nuts & Bolts - trail mix
  • Dip Sticks - pretzels with dip
  • Race Car Cake
  • Fuel Up - juice boxes and mini waters
Like I said, I was keeping it easy on myself since I have a 4 month old right now.  I don't think I cut any corners by doing so though.  The party was from 2-4 so it wasn't necessary to serve a meal or large snack in my opinion.


I think 2 hours is just about the perfect amount of time and although we had invited a ton of kids only about 7 or 8 showed up which is also just about perfect at this age.  Laurel decided to sleep through the whole party which is mostly unheard of so that made life a little easier although our guests didn't get to see her.

In the kids goody bags I sent home:
  • Hot Wheels car
  • Build Your Own Race Car sticker sheet
  • Race Car rubber duckies
I think the goody bags were the most stressful part for me.  I didn't want to fill them with junk, but I also didn't want to spend $5/bag.  I think I did pretty good in the end thanks to Amazon Prime.  

I ordered my birthday banner off Amazon and got the rest of the decorations from Hobby Lobby.  I found the food labels online where a blog offered free printables.  I purchased green, yellow, and red plates to look like a stop light on the black table cloth.  The red bowls/plates came from Dollar Tree and I used a black table cloth with reflective duct tape to make our front steps into a road so guests knew to come in the front door.  And an amazing local woman made the cake to which I added some flags (CT added about 30 more) and some race cars.

We had a blast and I think it's safe to say CT was very happy with his race car birthday.  He's still talking about it almost a week later.  

Sidenote: if you're going to a 3 year old birthday in the near future, Hungry Hungry Hippos was by far the favorite gift of the day.  As soon as it was open, the boys all got down on the floor and played until their parents took them home. And I think I've played at least 30 rounds since then.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

How I Sabotaged My Own Dreams...

Or almost did anyway.

Something you may not know about me is that I'm a "play it safe" sort of gal.

I like to have money in my savings account, I never buy lottery tickets, and the only gambling I've done is $20 on slot machines in the Bahamas (using $20 my husband gave me).

I wear my seatbelt no matter how far I'm going, I lock every single window/door in my house when I'm home alone, and I wore knee pads playing high school basketball.  No really....I did.

Many people would call me conservative, but I believe it's truly due to my introverted personality.

So, this is how I almost sabotaged my own dreams!

That and the fact that, as a mom, I saw very little need or means to invest time or money in myself.  Boy, did I change my mind about that one.  And I'm so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone to do it.  Best decision ever.

I just started thinking about this recently because Laurel just turned 4 months old and we are just now getting through some pretty tough days weeks with her - more on that later.  And I'm just SO grateful that I'm not in the mental/physical space now that I was in at this point with my son.

With CT I struggled with postpartum and was in a pretty dark place emotionally for a while.  I cried a lot and secluded myself from almost everyone and really just stuck to myself.  I was sad for lack of a better word and I didn't know how to communicate that without people thinking (and me feeling) like I was a terrible mother.

Thinking back, I should have sought help much sooner.  I should have taken the survey at the doctor's office more seriously and really considered the questions as I answered them.  I should have reached out to someone, but I didn't know how.  I eventually found an incredible group of positive, empowering, supportive women who completely changed my life.  Cliche as it may.

Shortly after finding this group I decided I was destined to share it with other women just like me.  I'm talking women who are not fitness experts, who fail in the kitchen, who prefer jammies and wine to clubs and heels, who went to school or didn't, who mom hard or don't, any woman.  All women.

This group helped me in SO many ways; ways they didn't even know about and I didn't realize I needed.  I lost the baby weight and gained friendships, financial security, self-confidence, pride, community, knowledge, and so much more.

I just think about how much my life has changed in the last 2 years and how it has positively impacted me as a mother this second go-round.  I'm not sad anymore.  I'm not crying in the Old Navy fitting room.  I'm not having an anxiety attack in the line at the grocery store.  I'm not self-sabotaging or filled with self-hatred.  I'm not saying life's a peach.  It's definitely been tough and there have been some really rough days figuring out what's going on with my sweet baby girl, BUT nothing like what I went through with CT (who was the easiest, happiest, go-luckiest baby in all the land).  And I'm grateful because I do understand that hormones have a lot to do with it, but I also know even if I had had a similar experience this time, I have the support, friendship, and LOVE that I was lacking as a first time mom.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hello, I missed you...

Really, I did.  I felt compelled today to venture over to some blogs I love reading and have absently ignored the past 5 months and it hit me: Let's write!

Truth is, I have nothing to say and a ton to say all at the same time.  It's been what seems like forever since I wrote last and I've missed you.  I know this is just a tiny space in the big ole internets, but I feel like we have a neat thing going here.  Let me stop before it gets even more awkward...

So I'm back in my unscheduled, imperfect ways.  I will most likely share too many pictures of my sweet new bambino (and obviously the birth story) and her big brother.  And will most definitely pour my heart out from time to time because...life.  I couldn't imagine it any other way.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Clean Grilling Group


As I embarked on this healthy lifestyle journey I'm on, the one thing I struggled with most was the nutrition part of it.  I know what good fuel for my body looks like and I know that I love it!  What I struggle with is making sure there is enough variety in my life (and that it's not too time consuming) so that I don't get bored eating the same things over and over.

So, I put together an awesome meal plan for my Clean Grilling Group that starts May 23rd.  I purposely selected the dates so that if there is something you love on the menu, you can share that recipe with your families on Memorial Day!

The group is 7 days and you can expect yummy recipes for breakfast+lunch+dinner each day, a pre-made shopping list to make your life easy, a giveaway for the most engaged participant, and some weeknight tips to make meal prep/nutrition easier with a family.

If you're interested in joining us, please click here and fill out the form!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Life by Design


I was on my way to work this morning listening to the radio and people were calling in sharing recent experiences that sort of made them thankful.  At least, that's what it appeared.  I honestly wasn't listening too intently - I was busy having a conversation about the bumble bees and frogs on my toddler's blankies.  (way more important)

But something one of the callers said caught my attention and it made me listen a little harder.
"You make my day go by faster."

I cringed when I heard it and I thought - that's what I do.  Every day when I'm at work and my son is at school I try to figure out ways to make my day go by faster.  I want it to end so that I can go pick him up and take him home and spend time with him.  I'm wishing my life away.

And I'm in this sweet spot right now where I'm raising my baby and awaiting the arrival of Baby Girl and I should NOT be wishing any of this time away.  I should be soaking it in, relishing it, and praying for it to slow down.  Because the days may be long, but the years are short and already they are flying by too fast.

We are in this age when we don't have to be tied down to someone else's schedule, someone else's expectations, we can create a life by design and by golly, I'm going to do it.  I never want to say again - "I hope this day passes quickly."

I'm in this place in my business where I've rewritten my life by design and I'm so excited to be able to do the things I want to do, when I want and how I want to do them.  I want this for everyone.

Friday, May 6, 2016

You Just Had to Learn it for Yourself.


Courage doesn't always roar.  

I'm learning this as I'm riddled with anxious excitement over what is happening in my business, for my teammates, and how it is affecting my family.  See, when I started my health & fitness coaching business, I really had high hopes and big dreams, but I didn't voice them too loudly.  For fear...

What if they didn't happen?
What if everyone knew?
What if?

Like it's safer to not try at all than to put yourself out there for potential failure.  Have you ever felt that way?  Best not to try at all?

Yesterday I took another big step toward my goals and registered to become a certified Nutrition + Wellness Consultant.  In hindsight, I'm surprised I didn't go into a field like this fresh out of high school.  I was the typical tomboy high school athlete, but I guess I took the conservative safe route by going into education.  So, 10 years into my career why not make that dream come true?!

If it's one thing I'm learning on this journey it's that this is a journey - there doesn't have to be a finish line and just because I've gone down one path doesn't mean the doors are closed to another.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Why I Stopped Doing Monthly Updates


So, I know with second children (or thirds or fourths) the bumpdates typically fall by the wayside.  And you may or may not have noticed that that has been the case around these parts.  Truth is: that's not a symptom of second-child pregnancy.  It's been a conscious decision.

Here's the thing:  After having CT, I worked hard to get into shape again.  To feel like me!  And with that came a lot of weight loss, a ton of muscle strengthening, loads of self-confidence, and a passion for being healthy so that I can be the best mom ever to my family.

And I've done that.  I'm in a much better place than I was before and as a result this pregnancy has been much smoother and healthier.

But, I noticed that I started to cringe and stress each time I stepped on that scale to do my weekly weigh-in.  I started to freak out a bit inside if the number was getting bigger.  I even went so far as asking the nurse to check and make sure my weight gain was acceptable.  To which she responded, "Girl, you're on the low end of the spectrum - stop worrying."

But, I couldn't stop thinking about it you guys.

So, I decided to stop getting on the scale except for the days I had to step on at the doctor office.  Those are required and good so that I can keep things in check.  But, what had started as a weekly weigh-in at home to monitor and record progress had turned into multiple times a week or even more than once a day!

And that's just not okay with me.  It shouldn't be for you either.

I'm not throwing away the scale and I'm not saying the only reason I did bump-dates was to track my weight, but I realized I can track these moments in different ways.  I typically update every other week or so on my Facebook page and I snap lots of little moments in between on Instagram so I can always look back on those when I decide to.

Pregnancy is absolutely beautiful and I'm not about to ruin it by stressing about things that are natural.  And good!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day 2016 Gift Guide

mother's day 2016


This Mother's Day I'm requesting a black pair of Birkenstock sandals.  Last year my husband got me a brown pair of Birkenstock thongs and I have worn them religiously - comfiest shoe ever.  But, if I were to make a wish list for mothers everywhere, these are some of the items that would be on it.

What are you doing to celebrate Mother's Day this year?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Calling All Dreamers

work from home

Have you ever had a dream that you really wanted to make happen, but something got in your way?

Maybe it was self-doubt - that could never really happen.
Maybe it was money - it cost too much to make that happen.
Maybe it was time - I don't have time in my day to make that happen.
Maybe it was lack of opportunity - where would I even begin to make that happen?

That's sort of the way I felt after I had my son.  Before having him I would have never wanted to stay home, but shortly after I dreaded going back to work.  And my dream quickly turned into a burning desire to stay home with him.

But, I struggled with ALL of the above.
I "knew" it could never really happen.  It would cost too much for me to stay home or to start my own business.  I was too busy to devote time to something.  I didn't even know where to start!

For whatever reason something in my gut told me to go for it.  Thinking back it was probably looking at my gut in the mirror that made me go for it.

From the beginning I had pretty big dreams.  Top of the list being to be able to stay home with my babies.  Ever since having my son that has been my biggest dream.  Now that baby girl is on the way it's even bigger.  But, you guys, I was SO SCARED to share it with anyone.  Even my parents!

I just kept telling myself in the back of my head it would never happen.  And the other day I logged into my online office to see that I'm #184 in the company right now.  184 out of 415,000 coaches.  Way bigger news than I ever expected to hear.  And you know what it made me realize?

That little old me from the middle of nowhere can make this dream happen and if I can do it - you can do it, too! What if those dreams you've been dreaming aren't that far away?

I'm hosting a LIVE Glance into Coaching event TONIGHT on Facebook from 8:30-9:30EST.  I would love to share this business with you and how it has blessed me, my family, and every aspect of my life.  If you are even remotely interested, let me know!  Let's get connected so you can go for your dreams, too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pregnancy Fitness Series | What's Different This Time Around?


If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you know I've made several references to this pregnancy in comparison to my first recently.  And the other evening as I was running with a girlfriend she asked, "So, what exactly are you doing differently this time around?"

I couldn't come up with a response.  I was like, "Well, I'm eating better and exercising more frequently."  Duh - those are stupid answers.  

So I thought about it and thought about it when I got home that evening and I realized the reason I can't pinpoint what I'm doing different this time versus last time is because I'm a complete different person than I was three years ago!  In a good way.

This journey I've been on has just completely changed my life for the better.  My whole mindset is different therefore it's almost impossible to compare.  I have more confidence, I take care of myself, my priorities are different, my goals are different, my viewpoint on food is completely shifted.  And therefore, this doesn't feel like I'm sacrificing, it's just different.  In a good way!
Honestly, I'm not sure that I'm even conscientious of any of the things I'm doing differently.  Because at this point in my journey, they've become habits.  It's a habit to get my workout in each morning - I'm not saying I still make it at 5 a.m. every morning at 24 weeks pregnant, but most days I make it happen.  It's a habit to purchase healthy foods and therefore eat healthy foods.  I've learned over the past year if I don't keep the junk in my house then I don't eat the junk in my house.  Makes sense, right?

None of this would be possible without my challenge groups.  In the past Weight Watchers and 30 Day Shred and Whole 30 have worked for me for about 30 days.  Once I started to see results, I would jump off the bandwagon and go back to my old habits sabotaging everything I had worked for.  This is so different.  Because I have the support and accountability of a group of people that genuinely want to see me succeed and celebrate each milestone along my journey with me.

I realize that may be "available" at the gym or the app that goes along with other programs or by "checking in" with a hashtag on Instagram - but that didn't work for me.  Let me rephrase - it didn't last for me.  This did.

I've learned that healthy foods don't mean tasteless.  I've learned that there are healthy alternatives to all the sweets I love so much.  I've learned that moving makes me feel better.  I've learned that an active me serves as a great wife/mama to my family.

I just can't put into words the difference this has made in my life.

I would LOVE to share it with you by inviting you into my next challenge group.  I want to hook you up with your soulmate workout + give you the tools you need to succeed + get you acquainted with the amaaaazing people on my team and in my group.  If you're ready to commit, just comment or shoot me an email (coachgarvey at gmail) and let's get you there!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Beach Weekend

Over spring break we decided to spend a few days a the beach and we planned it so that we could have 3 whole days with no rushing around.

To think these images only share what we brought into the hotel with us the one night we stayed in one.  Yes, you read that right...one.



It was pretty perfect.  We got to the coast Thursday night and pretty much went to bed so that we could wake up Friday morning and have the whole day to do whatever even if it was predicted to be rainy and chilly and windy.


After a yummy breakfast of yogurt, cinnamon roll, banana, oatmeal, sausage, fruit loops, and some fruit loops for the road.  CT literally ate one of everything or almost everything.  Cue the belly pop.  We headed to the outlets because....mom's day!  :)

In reality I had heard there was a Motherhood Maternity outlet in the area and got super excited because - big belly needs some pants and last time I was pregnant with CT my body was verrrrry different considering I conceived him at about the weight I am now (22 weeks pregnant).  BUT, unfortunately you can put the word outlet on the store, but that don't mean the store's an outlet.

Prices were identical to what I had seen in the regular Motherhood store which was a pretty big letdown considering I had gone in with the mentality that I had a budget and this was my reward for recently rank advancing in my business.  In a nutshell, I found a pair of beautiful grey pants on the clearance rack and my day was done.

So, we left after realizing no other stores on the face of the planet carry motherhood anywhere but online.  Seriously, people?!

And headed on our merry way to Broadway at the Beach where we ate during a hurricane at Margaritaville, fed the fat catfish, and wandered around the place betweenst rain showers.  I forgot to mention CT did get his first pair of Wayfarers at the outlets that morning.


He's a rockstar.  And he apparently owns it, too!

I'll share more about our windy day at the beach later this week.


Monday, April 11, 2016

That Time I Tried to be a Fashion Blogger


When I first started this blog it was really intended for family and friends to keep up with my newly married life down in the south.  Honestly, I just had no clue what I was doing, but I knew I loved to read blogs and wanted to feel close to my family and friends even if we were so far removed physically.

As I entered the blogging community and started meeting incredible women, I quickly wanted to be more involved.  And then I was told I needed a niche in order to be successful so I started hunting for one immediately.

I realized I loved looking at other people's fashion posts + I love shopping so - easy.  Fashion Blogger I be!  But then I actually started trying to do the whole fashion blogger thing and I really don't think I had any clue how much time, money, or the number of photoshoots it would take in order to be halfway decent (which I don't think I ever was).

So - yeah, about the niche.  I think my niche is just spilling my heart out via blog.  Does that count?

I'm not saying I don't think I'll ever take an outfit photo again.  I just genuinely don't know when I will find the time to do that - unless it's from my iPhone, but apparently that's not supposed to be happening either.  And really - if we have our DSLR with us, I'm typically the one behind it.

Things that will never make me a fashion blogger...
  1. My wardrobe is mostly thrifted, clearance racked, or sale bin.
  2. Makeup is 100% 24/7 minimal.
  3. I don't have a beautiful setting to snap pics
  4. ...and I'm not going to drive to one or pay someone to take them for me.
  5. I'm a mom and a lot of what I buy meets the "wash and wear" requirement.
I think I've also come to terms with the fact that I'm not nearly as stylish as I once thought I was.  Crop tops scare me.  Booty shorts make me grimace.  And my shoe collection consists of a lot of sneakers - so many sneakers.  

And I'm okay with that.  I've realized it's not about having a label or being any type of certain way.  It's about what's important to me and hopefully what is important to me is also important to some of you.  That way at least someone out there continues to read my little space on the Internets.  :) 


I can promise a few things about my "niche"
  • It's all real - painfully, uneditably, sometimes even fuzz-ily real
  • Motherhood is my jam
  • I'm doing the best I can and I will cheer you on as you do you the best you can, too
  • It's always 100% from the heart.  Always.
I hope you stick around for my lack of fashion posts.  xoxo

Friday, April 8, 2016

mine.


Mine.
My toddler's new favorite word.
It could be a slobbery dog bone and guess what?  "Mine."

He also loves to say no, but really mean yes.
And he just expects me to know when he's doing that.

Like I should know when it's opposite day or opposite time or something like that.

He thinks the bed in our bedroom is his and mine.  If Justin tries to get in it with us, he slides all the way over to the edge where Daddy should sleep and says, "My bed."

Granola bars are cookies and Greek yogurt is ice cream.  I'm not complaining because he's eating!

And the nights we go out to eat he usually has ice cream for dinner and a hot dog for dessert.
I guess the order doesn't matter as long as he's getting everything in, right?

He loves all things dino, trucks, tractors, and and play-doh.

On the way to school we have conversations about the trees being sad because monsters bit them or the frogs in the stream that are hopping.

He knows where "Baby Sissy" is and lets me know when she's crying - he is apparently very in tune with her already.

It's never a dull moment and I want to chronicle them here so that they are forever MINE.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How to Survive Pregnancy with a 2 Year Old



toddler baby on board pregnancy second baby

I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything, but I am over here surviving pregnancy with a 2 year old and let me just say.... it ain't pretty.  There are lots of things I wish I'd known before.  It wouldn't have changed my mind and I don't know that it would have prepared me more or less, but might have been nice to know ahead of time.  Maybe?

Anyway, I've found myself saying things like, "Man I need a drink."  And when I realize it's still 4-5 months before I can have one I start chugging my La Croix like it'll do the job.  When it doesn't I just curl up in a ball by the washer and dryer and cry for a bit.  (That last part is a joke...no really.)

If you thought pregnancy was tough on your body the first go 'round, just wait until you have a small human who really does not care if you rest, eat, sleep, or get to use the bathroom 99x a day by yourself.  It's fun!

So - my unsolicited advice on how to survive pregnancy while also keeping a toddler alive:

  1. Do something just for you every day.  Maybe it's just turning up Missy Elliott on the radio for the 10 minutes it takes to get you from work to daycare and totally jamming out.  Or waking up 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the house to drink your coffee in the peace and quiet.  But, you must do something for you each day.
  2. Delegate duties. I love bath time and bed time routines with my son, but I'm starting to realize it takes a toll on my body to do both by myself.  My husband helps a lot with one or the other (or both on tough days) so that 1. my son gets use to Daddy doing it since Mommy will be a little busy in a few months and 2. I'm not killing myself trying to do it all.
  3. Soak up the precious moments.  Your baby will not be your baby for much longer so soak in the moments you can.  Give him the extra time to do things on his own like putting his socks on and when he asks you to read to him, stop what you are doing and read.
  4. Don't sweat the Terrible Twos.  For a while I thought we might be skipping this stage, but I didn't realize CT was really just gearing up for a good bout of the Terrible Twos.  From what I Hear they only get worse as you get closer to 3.  I'm hoping that's inaccurate.  What I've realized is don't get upset about it - if you have to leave the cart of groceries in the store and carry your child kicking and screaming out of the store like a football under your arm...you're not alone.  (Seriously, you aren't alone - I've done this once or twice already.)  Those parents who haven't reached this stage yet, they may look at you pitifully, but they will see one day and those that have experienced it, totally sympathize with you.  It's a phase.  It, too, shall pass.
  5. Don't try to accomplish much during waking hours.  In fact, don't expect to accomplish much period in your first trimester especially.  Two year olds want and need attention and it's crazy to try to clean the house or get groceries when they want it.  During that first trimester, allow yourself to sleep while your child naps.  You will thank yourself later.
Pregnancy is totally unpredictable and if anything is more unpredictable, I'd say it's a 2 year old.  I mean, my son will tell me, "No, I don't want milk." and then sob uncontrollably when I put the milk back in the fridge because no really means yes some days.  

It's life. 
And it's blissful. 
And it's short and we need to soak it in while we can.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mickey or Minnie?


If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you probably already know our special news, but I wanted to share it here as well.

We are having a GIRL!

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous about pink and bows and braids, but I'm also super excited for CT to have a sister because my brother and I are really close.  I'm excited to see him take care of her and be a big brother to her.  And I'm excited to see my hubby be a daddy to a little girl.  


We had a little gathering of close friends and family on Saturday to share our exciting news.  CT, Justin, and I had been keeping it hush hush for about a month now so we are overjoyed in sharing the secret.  It was a beautiful day so all the kids played outside and we ate lots of yummy snacks and celebrated with a delicious cake to top it all off.  Couldn't have asked for more - although I would have loved to have Mom, Dad, and Mimi there in real time rather than FaceTime, but thank God for technology because they all got to see it as it was happening.

It was a special day and weekend with some of our best friends in town to help us celebrate.  Unfortunately the week started with a lot of us getting pink eye.  Hopefully we won't share quite so much joy with one another next time we get to see each other.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Why I do what I said I would never do...

family fitness

I'll admit it.  I'm a bit of a hypocrite.  I was like most people on Facebook last year or the year before when network/social marketing became a thing.  You know, you scroll through Facebook and see product + product + product + before/after.

I was the person who was so annoyed by those posts.  Like: "WHY are you using social media to post about selling stuff when it's supposed to be about life?!"  Am I right?

And then I needed to lose the baby weight and decided to take the plunge and purchase a program from my girlfriend who had recently signed up as a health+fitness coach.  She didn't need to do much convincing to get me excited about it.

Once I started following the program, doing the workouts, and eating right, it was amazing how wonderful I felt and how quickly my body responded in more ways than one.  And in that moment, I wanted to share it with other people.  So I decided to become a health+fitness coach.

And if you follow me on my Facebook page or Instagram, it's not hard to tell that I'm uber passionate about it and it's become a huge part of my life.  Which brings me back to that question I was asking before scrolling by the "selling posts."

"WHY are you using social media to post about selling stuff when it's supposed to be about life?!" 

I share this stuff on social media because it's no longer separate from me.  It is me; it is part of me.  And it is positively affecting everything that has to do with me.  So, yes, I share it - I share it with anyone willing to listen because I want to help them feel as happy, energetic, confident, independent, and empowered as I do.

running quote

And - honestly - very rarely do I feel like I'm pushing a sale.  I am sharing my story.  And yes, I'm sure you've heard that before, but if you follow me on any form of social media, you will clearly se that that is exactly what I am doing.  I am sharing my experience and happiness with a product and business that is truly blessing my family and me.

So, I get it now.  I get the whole social media thing because if you love something, you naturally want to share it with your friends and family.  If it makes you feel good, blesses you financially, or helps you accomplish your goals, you want to share it with the world!  Which is what I'm doing here with you.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

17 & 18 Weeks

How Far Along: 18 weeks yesterday - I know these aren't the highest quality pictures, but real life is this.  There is no time to set up a tripod and try to be official about it with a toddler running around, but I do work out each day so why not snap a pic then?!  Also - yes, I missed last week - life.

Size of Baby: Sweet Potato

Weight Gain: 6 pounds

Stretch Marks: Not yet - hopefully not ever

Maternity Clothes:  I am pretty much just wearing maternity - some of my stretchy pants are still super comfy so I wear those, too.  

Gender:  CT, Hubby, and I went to a 4D ultrasound and found out the gender as a family.  We are keeping it a secret until March 12th when we will announce it to our close family and friends at a little party at our house.

Movement:  Feeling little flutters- like butterfly wings - sometimes some tossing/turning

Sleep:  This past weekend we got CT's big boy bed set up and it made sleep soooo much better for all of us.  He slept all night in his bed and I slept through the night, too!

Missing:  Wine.  Last week I was in Chicago for work and I really missed out on trying some of the local brews and craft beers, but it's worth it!

Loving:  The fact that we have a little special secret between the 4 of us right now.

Craving:  Lemon in my water.  Fruit.  

Feeling: Finally back to myself! I am excited about meal prep and cooking and all the things I love and that just makes my heart happy.  Also loving getting outside for some runs with CT.  Now that I feel good, I've been running with the stroller again.

Looking Forward: Spending as much one on one time with CT as possible.  Date nights with my husband.  A family vacation to the beach over spring break.   And our Gender Reveal on 3/12.

Best Moment(s): I was out of town most of last week for work so I missed CT, but it was really nice to come home and slip into bed beside him Saturday night.  When he woke up Sunday morning it was a nice surprise that I was home.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

16 Weeks


How Far Along: 16 weeks as of last Monday - I know these aren't the highest quality pictures, but real life is this.  There is no time to set up a tripod and try to be official about it with a toddler running around, but I do work out each day so why not snap a pic then?!

Size of Baby: Avocado

Weight Gain: 6 pounds; when I went to the doctor I asked about weight gain and she assured me that this is lower than average so not to be concerned.  That made me feel really good since I've been working hard to stay healthy.

Stretch Marks: Not yet - hopefully not ever

Maternity Clothes:  I am wearing my tops and some of my bottoms.  Really looking forward to spring where I can live in my dresses.

Gender:  CT, Hubby, and I went to a 4D ultrasound last weekend and found out the gender as a family.  We are keeping it a secret until March 12th when we will announce it to our close family and friends at a little party at our house.

Movement:  Feeling little flutters- like butterfly wings

Sleep:  It's not great - I could use more (said every mom ever) and it would be nice if my toddler would sleep in his own bed all night.  He usually starts there, but ends up coming into my room in the middle of the night and instead of fighting it, I just pull him into bed with us.

Missing:  Wine.  Other than that I'm pretty good.  

Loving:  The fact that we have a little special secret between the 4 of us right now.

Craving:  Lemon in my water.  Fruit and fresh veggies.   

Feeling: Finally back to myself! I am excited about meal prep and cooking and all the things I love and that just makes my heart happy.  Also loving getting outside for some runs with CT.  Now that I feel good, I've been running with the stroller again.

Looking Forward: Spending as much one on one time with CT as possible.  Date nights with my husband.  A family vacation to the beach over spring break.  Oysters, ribs, and wings this weekend with our best friends.  And our Gender Reveal on 3/12.

Best Moment(s): This week has been a little hectic with some late(r) nights, but I enjoyed 2 nights out with girlfriends this week.  One to a big consignment sale where I was able to sneak away and get some things for baby without getting caught.  And another to a great speaker with some of the coaches on my team.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pregnancy Fitness Series | Then vs. Now; My Pregnancy Goals

This series focuses on staying fit throughout pregnancy.  Each individual should consult with her doctor before starting a fitness regimen while pregnant as each case is different.  
*Please remember that although I am a certified group fitness instructor and health/fitness coach, I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist.  This blog reflects my personal nutrition and fitness regimen; it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning a routine.*


I've learned so much about my personal health and fitness in the last year and a half of being a virtual health and fitness coach and I'm excited to see where that takes me in regards to my journey with this pregnancy.

In my first pregnancy I was relatively active, but I wouldn't necessarily say I was as healthy as I thought I was.  I consumed pretty much whatever I wanted, avoided strength training, gained more than the suggested 30 pounds, and struggled with water retention.  So I've got some goals for this pregnancy to make it a healthier time for both me and baby.
  1. Watch what I eat
    And I don't mean watch it as it goes into my mouth!  I did a lot of that in my first pregnancy.  I remember being at a wedding and filling my plate at the buffet only to have my cousin say, "Wow!  Are you hungry?!"  Of course I responded saying - "I'm starving and I'm pregnant!  I didn't eat lunch today."

    But, honestly, I was embarrassed.  I realized almost immediately that I was eating way. too. much.  And I was using my pregnancy as an excuse to fill my plate.  It wasn't necessarily filled with bad food, but it was filled.

    This time around...
    I've tried to be conscious of the amount of water I'm consuming because if you aren't getting enough then you can sometimes confuse thirst with hunger.  I'm also replacing Oreos with healthier snacks (and fortunately sugar is not appealing) like oranges, cheese and crackers, natural almonds, etc.
  2. Continue my normally scheduled routine
    In my last pregnancy I continued running and was so proud of myself (and I still am - I should be!) up until 32 weeks.  I had my son at 35 weeks so that was pretty impressive.  However, I slept whenever I wanted, I ran much slower and far less distance, and I completely stopped doing any sort of cross training.

    This time around...
    I am still doing cardio although not as much running as I was doing a few years ago - mostly because I don't run as often now as I did before I got pregnant with my son; I've started incorporating various forms of cardio and strength training.  I'm still doing the strength training and cross training I was doing in addition to the cardio before I got pregnant this time.

    I've obviously scaled back the intensity of my workouts to ensure I'm not lacking oxygen, but I'm still pushing myself particularly in my upper and lower body.  I'm trying to wake up each morning at 5am to get my workout in like I was before baby - I'm hoping after the first trimester this will become easier again.

  3. Bust my butt in my business
    I wasn't just teaching when I was pregnant with CT; I was also doing my National Boards and working on my Master's in Reading so I was super busy.  I ended up not achieving my boards, but I did get my Master's in time to avoid taking any classes after he arrived - literally to the day - if you remember, he arrived 5 weeks early on my graduation day.

    This time around...
    I'm not in class or working on my boards, but I am a virtual health/fitness coach and I have BIG goals for my business between now and this little bundle's arrival.  It's no secret that my dream is to work from home and make this a career and this baby has me wanting that now more than ever.

    If you are interested in hearing more about what I do as a coach, please, let me know!  It's been one of the biggest blessings to me and my family for many reasons and I so badly want to help other women do the same.  I didn't plan to put a shameless plug in this post, but if I could bottle up and sell the feeling and blessings this business has brought me I'd be an overnight sensation - truly, it's the best.

    I'm also man-handling a toddler and doing the whole wife/adulting thing so there's that.
Already, I'm pretty excited about seeing how things go with this pregnancy compared to with CT.  I know each pregnancy is different and that is already the case with this one.  But, it's fun to see how far I've come!

What are your current goals, pregnant or not?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

15 Weeks


How Far Along: 15 weeks as of Monday

Size of Baby: Navel orange

Weight Gain: 4 pounds - this is starting (quickly) to become a stressor for me so I may or may not continue to weigh myself and share.  I know I'm doing what is best for my health and fitness and the baby's and that's what I need to focus on.

Stretch Marks: Not yet - hopefully not ever

Maternity Clothes:  I've got several pair of pants recently that are elastic-waisted so that I can wear them throughout pregnancy and after.  I have maternity items, but my belly just isn't quite big enough for them yet. I'm really loving these pants.

Gender:  Not sure yet, but I made an appoint for us to get a 4D ultrasound down next weekend so that we can take CT and he can see his baby brother/sister.  This will also tell us a little early (16 weeks) what we can expect in August!

Movement:  Feeling little flutters- like butterfly wings

Sleep:  It's not great - I could use more (said every mom ever) and it would be nice if my toddler would sleep in his own bed all night.  He usually starts there, but ends up coming into my room in the middle of the night and instead of fighting it, I just pull him into bed with us.

Missing:  Wine.  Other than that I'm pretty good.  

Loving:  Slowing down and embracing little moments with CT; trying to really prepare him (and me) for sharing the love.

Craving:  Lemon in my water.  Fruit and fresh veggies.  Avocado. Spring!  

Feeling: Finally back to myself! I am excited about meal prep and cooking and all the things I love and that just makes my heart happy.  (As well as my hubby's tummy)

Looking Forward: Spending as much one on one time with CT as possible.  Date nights with my husband.  A potential family vacation over spring break.  I'm really excited about the appointment so that CT can really see the baby - he talks about the baby a lot, but I'm excited to see his reaction when he realizes it's real.

Best Moment(s): Saturday night CT stayed with his Ana and Papaw so that Justin and I could go on a Valentine date.  It was so nice to get dinner and then come home to crawl into bed and watch Shark Tank rather than Blaze or Elmo.  Yes - we are that old married couple.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Difference a Lifestyle Makes

This series focuses on staying fit throughout pregnancy.  Each individual should consult with her doctor before starting a fitness regimen while pregnant as each case is different.  
*Please remember that although I am a certified group fitness instructor and health/fitness coach, I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist.  This blog reflects my personal nutrition and fitness regimen; it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning a routine.*


After I had my son I got to a point where I just knew it was time to do something for me.  With mommyhood comes this overwhelming sense of - do everything for others and put yourself on the back burner.  Any mommies out there relate?


32 weeks pregnant with CT

It's no secret that during my pregnancy with him I battled extreme edema and weight gain - it didn't help that I was taking my National Boards and in master's classes during that time.

I did manage to run throughout my pregnancy until I got to 32 weeks.  However, I ran just a few times a week and didn't do any other type of strength training to supplement.  I say all this not because I'm discrediting what I did to stay healthy during that time, but because I know this time around will be even healthier.

After having CT I established an extremely healthy lifestyle including *mostly* clean eating, cardio, strength training, and good nutrition.  It's easily making the transition into pregnancy/double mommyhood easier.

I've had a few people say, "You're still exercising?!"  There are always opinions on that - heck, there are opinions on everything.  My doctor is encouraging me to continue strength training and running as long as I feel well enough to do so (and as long as my check-ups continue to be uneventful).  If your doctor says it's okay, go for it!

I've had other people say, "You shouldn't be drinking those shakes - you need to gain weight now." There - of course - are always opinions on that and you've got the people who say - "You're eating for 2, have seconds, thirds, fourths!"

It hit me the other day when someone made a comment about Shakeology and the fact that I was still drinking it that 1. people don't truly know what Shakeology is, 2. there are so many 'quick fixes' and 'magic pills' on the market that consumers don't know the difference, 3. people think I'm drinking Slim Fast!

Do you know what my doctor said when I brought Shakeology in to show her?
She grabbed my phone, texted herself the info, and said "I'm interested in this stuff!"

So, there's that.

And it occurred to me today when I stepped on the scale (which I need to stop doing so frequently) and saw a number I've not seen yet on this pregnancy journey that I need to focus on my health and the health of the baby.  I need to not focus on the number on that dang machine.

Friday, February 12, 2016

First Trimester Wardrobe

first trimester wardrobe pants


This go round with pregnancy is so much different than my first!  I'm in a much healthier position personally and that has really affected the wardrobe selections I have because so many of the items I own from my first pregnancy are way too big.  

Luckily, there are tons of things in fashion right now that flatter and accommodate a growing bump.  And I will be able to wear them before/during/after pregnancy!

Most of these items I didn't already own, but I don't mind purchasing since they will be versatile.  It's not like maternity clothing that you can only wear for a few months and then pack away until next time.  Plus, these are sooooo comfortable - I'm kicking myself for not adding them to my wardrobe sooner!

Gauchos took me a while to get excited about.  I remember them being a thing in the 90s for a brief time and although they were super comfy, not being overly flattering.  However, I've found that pants like these are pretty much amaaaazing.  They feel like pajamas, but they don't look frumpy.  In fact I wore a pair to school this week and an 8th grade girl said, "Miss, I loooove your outfit.  I would totally wear that."  Winning!

Joggers may have been my biggest and baddest mistake - I judged them so hard and just knew they weren't cute on me and looked like sweat pants.  Until I actually tried a pair on that I found on the clearance rack at Target.  Oh....how I've been wrong.  These babies are adorable and so comfy.  I love that the bottom has some elastic so I can control the styling and I'm totally adding these and these to my wishlist.  But can we all agree on one thing?  Men should stop wearing them!

The good ole elastic waisted pant.  I didn't even know I could find these for me!  My son lives in them, but for adults?  Someone hit a jackpot there.  I've found a few pair on the trusty Old Navy clearance racks and I scoop them up each time.  For spring/summer they've just released even more and I'm in love.

I had jumped on the legging train before I was pregnant after being introduced to LulaRoe.  If you don't have a consultant, you should totally find one local to you and look at their stuff.  It's amazing!  And almost everything (except the leggings) is made in the USA - win!  Leggings are not pants, but with the right length tunic they are the comfiest alternative ever!

What are you favorite first trimester wardrobe items?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

That's why you don't have a boyfriend...


I came across this article the other day and couldn't help, but think about the ways human beings treat each other. And question, WHY?!

It reminded me of a day shortly after I had CT.  Keep in mind CT was a preemie, born in December which meant I had to be really careful of where I took him and what I exposed him to and I pretty much lived through cabin fever for 3 months.

Once he got to be his birth weight again, I started taking him out more and one place we would often go was to the mall because I could walk around in a warm area.

As a new mom, I didn't get all dolled up; I probably had on minimal makeup and my hair was most likely flat and straight that day, but who cares, right?!

The man at the lotion kiosk - that's who.

You know those kiosks where the people come out and taunt you into trying/buying their junk?  They want you to get your nails filed or your hair straightened or whatever...  Well, the man wanted me to try his lotion.  I kindly declined.

(I was very conscious of what I put on my skin since I would be touching my son + just didn't want to take the time appeasing him when I knew I wasn't going to buy something.)

He quickly responded:

"No wonder you don't have a boyfriend."

Huh?!  What?!  Had I had the energy or desire to even deal with this guy I would have stopped and given him a piece of my mind.  Had he been working at a legit store, I would have called the manager immediately.  But, I was honestly so flabbergasted I didn't even know how to respond.  Really?!

I know not all men cat-call, not all men would ever say something like that so it's not fair to say "men are pigs" or anything like that.  But, it's crazy to me that this woman is getting some of the feedback she's getting - how is this considered a compliment?  Why is this ever okay?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

14 Weeks



How Far Along: 14 weeks as of last Monday (I really intended to write this post on Monday, but LIFE)

Size of Baby: Lemon

Weight Gain: 2ish pounds - some days the scale shows no gain, other days it's 1-2 pounds

Stretch Marks: Not yet - hopefully not ever

Maternity Clothes:  I've got several pair of pants recently that are elastic-waisted so that I can wear them throughout pregnancy and after.  I have maternity items, but my belly just isn't quite big enough for them yet.  I'm okay with that.  I also made an attempt at the belly band for Superbowl Sunday and let's just be real - those things don't hold your jeans up.  There, I said it.

Gender:  Not sure yet, but I made an appoint for us to get a 4D ultrasound down next weekend so that we can take CT and he can see his baby brother/sister.  This will also tell us a little early (16 weeks) what we can expect in August!

Movement:  Feeling little flutters- like butterfly wings

Sleep:  It's not great - I could use more (said every mom ever) and it would be nice if my toddler and dogs would stop ganging up on me trying to stop that from happening.

Missing:  Wine. But I have concocted my own little "mocktail" of gingerale and OJ and it's pretty good for the nights I want to feel like I'm drinking something special.

Loving:  Crossing things off our to-do list around the house.  I spent last Saturday deep-cleaning the house and felt incredibly good and proud of that achievement.  

Craving:  Lemon in my water.  Fruit and fresh veggies.  Spring!  I'm ready for the cold weather to either show up with some snow or move out.

Feeling: Finally back to myself! A really, really tired version of myself. But, my energy is back and I've made two 5am workouts in a row this week!  

Looking Forward: Spending as much one on one time with CT as possible.  Date nights with my husband.  A potential family vacation over spring break.  I'm really excited about the appointment so that CT can really see the baby - he talks about the baby a lot, but I'm excited to see his reaction when he realizes it's real.

Best Moment(s): Superbowl Sunday we had family and friends over for the game and that was really fun + superbowl food is pretty much the best ever.  My sweet MIL gave me a china cabinet for my birthday (and painted it!!) and I was finally able to display our wedding china after 5 years of marriage.  I've welcomed 6 new coaches to my team recently and I'm just really excited about helping these women crush their goals, launch their business, and really change their family's lives.