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Monday, May 1, 2017

A Sampling

I know!  Trust me, I know.

When it comes to spending time or money or pretty much doing anything for yourself it just doesn't happen.  We, moms, are extremely good at putting everyone else's needs before our own.  Am I right?!

I also know that this is why most of us do not prioritize our personal health + fitness.  It's because we are exhausted and feel selfish the minute we do something for us.

It's what made the decision to work on me so hard two and a half years ago, but since making that decision I've learned that putting myself first a few times a day really benefits everyone.  With that said, I understand that making the initial investment can be a little scary.  So, my team and I are working together to give you a taste of what we have to offer.

We are hosting a 5 Day Clean Eating & Shakeology Intro Group starting May 22nd.  This is going to allow you to try Shakeology for 5 days + clean eating + give you a 30 day FREE trial of Beachbody on Demand so you can see how to make this lifestyle work for you and your family and how much it blesses all of you when you do.

Here is what you will get when you join this group:

  • 5 day supply of Shakeology (your choice of flavor)
  • clean eating meal plan
  • access to 600+ workouts for 30 days
  • accountability group for support
  • a free sample of my favorite pre-workout formula
As an added bonus, when you decide to join my June accountability group after participating in this introduction group, I will personally gift you a cash back incentive.  This means, you will essentially get to do this 5 day group for free!

If you're interested in joining me for my 5 Day Clean Eating & Shakeology Intro group, fill out this form below:  (Cost is just $30 to join)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How I Solved My Stress Problem

You aren't going to believe me, but I pretty much solved my stress problem.

So, if you've followed my journey on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know I've struggled getting back into the groove after having my daughter, Laurel.  Laurel had a rough 3 months adjusting to "life on the outside" as I lovingly like to refer to her colic/acid reflux stage of life.  It was a looooong 3 months for her and me.

Then there was the flu and just a list of excuses that kept me from keeping my 5AM wakeup call.

Fast forward to now:
I am COMMITTED.  No excuses, y'all!

I started this 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp and the tone of the group is so motivating + positive that I have found my groove again!  So, here is the secret to how I solved my stress problem:

I started waking up earlier, pushing play on my workout, and prioritizing myself.

It sounds just as crazy to you as it does to me!  I mean, how in the world do I feel LESS stressed when I'm doing more?!  How do I have MORE energy when I'm giving up 45 minutes of sleep?  Sounds backwards, doesn't it? 

The other day as we were packing the kids up to get in the car (on time, mind you) I said to my husband, "You know, ever since I stared waking up at 5AM to do my workout our mornings are going so much smoother.  I don't feel rushed, I'm more patient, and there is no anxiety about being late."  Again, doesn't make sense - throwing in ONE MORE THING to my morning routine is making me feel less stressed and anxious?!

But, here is the thing.  Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make your body feel good, and that makes your body have a higher immunity to pain + depression + anxiety + stress.  

Solution to my stress problem: pushing play and taking 30 minutes of ME TIME each morning before the sun comes up.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The One Thing You Must Do

I'm about to get real with y'all.  I get asked often, "How do you do it all?"  Or people will say, "I don't know how you do it all."  Key word: all.  Truth is: I don't.

Seriously!  WHO does it all?! What woman let alone mom has the time (and superpowers) to do it all?!  And do it well?  If you know someone, lead me to them so I can bow at their feet and learn their ways.

As a wife, mom, full time teacher, and nutrition/wellness coach there is just no. way. No way.

This year I started working through my Powersheets workbook and it really helped me to target and narrow down my goals + how I'm going to accomplish them for the year.  Not just business goals!  Personal, relationship, professional, all types of goals.  In that process, I realized a few things I could do to make my life easier and to allow me the maximum amount of quality time with my family (that's the whole reason why I do what I do in the first place).

It became very clear that many of my goals were formed around relationships which makes total sense because I'm not a details person, I'm a feels kinda person if you know what I mean.  I love relationships and spreading love and receiving that same love back.  So I figured out what I needed to do.

One word: DELEGATE

Sounds so simple right?  Try telling that to someone who likes control.  Ha!  Let me share a few ways I've done this and how this one thing has made the biggest difference in my life.\

The first thing I did was ask for help when I needed it.  This sounds so easy, but it's a humble act and if you have a lot of pride it's not easy.  Took me way too long to admit I can't do it all well without help and get over myself.  Life is so much better for everyone when you accept people's offers.

I hired a virtual assistant.  This was hard for me because I've built my business from the ground up; it is my baby.  Handing bits and pieces of that over to someone else has truly felt like leaving my baby in someone else's care.  And I pride myself on leading with heart - my heart.  So I am selective about what I have my assistant do; essentially the things that anyone can do without anyone noticing it's not me.  I still handle my accountability groups, team page, emails, interactions, etc.

I hired a house cleaner.  This is new.  I do okayish at keeping the house in order throughout the week, but I often find myself spending a few hours on the weekends picking up, folding laundry, etc.  I will just put this on the record - cleaning is not my favorite chore and although I thrive on organization, I'm busy.  So, those hours I spent doing those things will now be spent with my family as I pay someone else to come every other week or so and do the dirty work for me.  (See what I did there?)

I married a good man - this is something I did years before starting my own business or having kids, but it's especially important to note that marrying someone who believes that marriage is teamwork makes a huge difference.  He helps around the house + rides the entrepreneurial roller coaster right along with me.

So, if you find yourself wondering how to do it all, my solution is to delegate.  I realize not everyone needs an assistant; I never thought I would!  Or maybe cleaning is your jam.  More than likely, however, there is an area where you struggle and you could use some delegation.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Vow to My Daughter

Since having my son in December 2013, I made a promise to myself to be better.  
A better wife, mom, person.  I fail; every day I fail.  But, I'm truly trying to be better.  

Since having my daughter last August, I've been hard on myself.  
I've not been as loving or graceful toward myself as I am with others.  It's time I revisit that original promise and make a vow to myself and to her.

Dear Daughter,

I promise you that you will never hear your mommy mutter ugly words about myself, my body, food, or my relationship with it.  No ugly words under my breath, no ugly words aloud.  I also vow to do my best to keep those ugly words out of my own head so that my thoughts do not become my words.

I vow to better myself so that you do not spend the first 20+ years of your life struggling with body image, stepping on the scale, allowing anything or anyone (but you) to define your self-worth.

I vow to show you that you set the tone for your life; let us not give credit to what the media or society says we should or should not look like, talk like, act like, feel like, be like.

I vow to show you what a strong woman looks like, what a confident woman sounds like, what a selfless mom loves like.  I will teach you how to love yourself by showing you.  I will encourage you to let the light within you shine by being a light in the darkness myself.  I will empower you.

I promise that you will see me move every day.  You will see me caring for this amazing body.  You will see me embrace my curves and walk proudly.  You will see me lead an active lifestyle and you will have a mommy that gets down on the floor or the grass or the park swing and plays with you.

I vow to never let you see me beat myself up or slave away on the treadmill or deny myself the joys of good food.  I promise to show you what healthy balance is all about.

I promise to start slowing down, saying no to things that aren't important, and saying yes to coloring, race cars, and being outside.  I promise to work hard into the night and early morning hours so that I don't give up any time with you and your brother.  I promise to teach you that working hard and living a dream doesn't mean giving up the important things in life.

Most of all, I promise to love you with a love you may never understand.  I promise to put you and your brother first every time.  I promise to be the best mommy I can possibly be.  I promise to cherish each little moment as they pass by too fast.  I promise.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Traveling Outside the Country with Little Ones: What to Pack for Toddler

The Easter Bunny knows we are going on a trip to the beach so she is bringing the majority of the things my toddler needs while we are there.  She's so clever.
(Do you guys do a lot of candy or more gifty stuff in your Easter baskets?)

CT is not quite as tough to pack for because he will most likely be living in his swim trunks.  This kid is a fish and I can't imagine he will be getting dressed into real clothes too often if he can help it.  Plus, he's not nearly as messy as a baby.

what to pack for toddler

All that said, I do plan to over-pack slightly for him because I'm not sure what evening meals will look like.  I know there are a few events on our trip that we will be attending that might require more dressy clothing so I plan to bring 2 dressy tops for him and he can re-wear if needed.

Mix & Match Outfits: I like to bring bottoms that can be worn with a dressy or graphic tee this way I'm not having to bring multiple pairs of anything.  I'm trying to pack as little as possible and just wear the same items various ways while we are there.  

Personal Suitcase: I know Carson is a very good traveler or at least has been as a baby and he is so excited to be going to the beach on an airplane.  I thought it would be really fun (and make things a little easier on us) if he had his own suitcase to pull through the airport.  I ended up finding this one on Groupon a few weeks ago for about half price.  It arrived recently and will be part of his Easter basket.  

Beachwear:  It is hard to be sure sunscreen stays on this boy!  So I make him wear a hat, sun shirt, and spray him down as much as I can throughout the days in the sun.  

Toys: I learned the hard way when we took him to the beach a year or so ago that if he sees someone else on the beach or in the pool with a toy that he doesn't have green eyes come out.  So, I'm bringing a few easy and small favorites along with us that he can play with on the plane as well as in the sand.  He loves playing with his little construction toys in the sand so I plan to bring those as well as an inflatable beach ball and a life jacket for him for the pool.

Anything I'm leaving off my list?!

Friday, March 31, 2017

How to Use Negativity as Fuel

Something you may not know about me is that I was bullied for years throughout my elementary/middle school years.  I believe this is why I spent the majority of my young adult life seeking acceptance and approval from anyone and everyone.  

I'm not sure why exactly it started, but I remember the girls in my class coming to school with handmade buttons they had made.  The buttons had "IHL" written on them which stood for "I hate Lindsay."  I remember the teachers figuring out what was going on and making the students remove them so the next day they came with pins that said "RSO" which was "IHL" if you went backward in the alphabet.  

I remember much of 5th and 6th grade just trying really hard to fit in and be accepted.  I'm not sure what I did to turn everyone; I'm sure there was something (not that it was my fault or I deserved this treatment).  I cried a lot.  I remember having long conversations with my Mimi about it all, but something I remember most is an overwhelming sense of being loved at home.  The love that I experienced at home made up for the dislike and hatred I was experiencing at school.  It didn't make it easier and it didn't make me happy while at school, but I was so motivated to make my parents proud, to please my teachers, to do what I knew was right because it had been instilled in me that I stopped focusing on the pins and the mean comments.

I really stopped caring or even really acknowledging the treatment (it went on through junior/high school) when I started playing sports.  I lived for soccer, basketball, and softball.  I put 100% of my focus into being the best athlete possible and everything else was a fog.

I am not some champion who wasn't affected by it - I have struggled so much with self-confidence and self-worth and still wanting to please people into adulthood because of the bullying I experienced throughout school.  I still struggle to really voice opinions in a lot of situations and mastered the art of being a diplomat.  I was never the "popular girl," but somehow I always came out on top, I always had a smile on my face, and I found my success in the things I set out to do.  And I did, in fact, make my parents and myself proud.

Here are a few tips on how to use that negativity in your life (we all have it) as fuel.

Immerse yourself in personal development.
If you aren't being fed positivity, it will not come naturally.  You must read and listen to works that  uplift you, empower you, and inspire you.  Some of my recent favorites are You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, and #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso.

Cut out the cancer.
Anyone get that RHONJ reference?!

Seriously though, you know there are friends in your life who are your friend and they might even like you, but they aren't for you.  When I say that I'm talking about the friends that may be fun to be around, but when it comes down to you needing something or them supporting you it just doesn't happen.  It's not easy, but worth it.

Prioritize everything.
Really sit back and think about what is important to you and who matters most in your life.  Chances are the people who are bringing you down aren't contributing much to you and aren't at the top of your priority list either.  So WHY are they holding so much power over you?

Keep a Gratitude Journal.
This may seem silly, but simply writing down all the things you have to be grateful for is a huge way to focus on the good and let go of the ugly.  I mean, I'm even grateful for my dry shampoo most days.  It's the little things, y'all!

Do the thing that makes you tick.
Figure out your WHY a.k.a. your reason for doing whatever it is that you do.  Chances are it has NOTHING to do with the negativity in your life and if you keep it in focus the negativity pushes you to work harder to achieve it.

There have been a few things to happen recently that had the potential to really hurt me and get me in a slump, but instead, I chose to use them as fuel and work even harder so I can *hypothetically* give all those haters the middle finger as I celebrate my successes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Create Your Healthy Lifestyle Free Challenge

Have I told you I'm a recovering sugar addict?
Or that I use to workout 7x a week, but didn't know how to fuel my body?
Or that I took diet pills because being skinny was more important than being healthy?

As I've completed my Nutrition and Wellness Consultation Certification, I've learned soooo much about health + fitness and I feel a huge responsibility to share it.

The truth is I see so many claims floating around these days about "fat blocking" pills and weight loss shakes and magic drinks.  I know why people try these things because I was that girl!  I wanted fast results and I didn't necessarily care how I got them as long as I got them...fast!  And you will get them, but you will not learn a thing and you may even be putting your body in jeopardy.

So, the point of this group is for me to share tips + strategies + easy ways to incorporate good nutrition + exercise + accountability into your daily life so that you can get these results the right way and truly learn what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

In all honesty, I have so much to share that I'm trying to squeeze it all into these 7 days.  If you feel like you don't know where to start or can't be helped or hate exercise, join me.  It's FREE.  It's 7 days and if you don't learn a thing, you haven't lost anything.  But...chances are, you will walk away with a nugget or two that helps you to start your journey to a healthier life.

To join simply click here and request to join!  We start April 2nd!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Clean & Easy Chocolate Nut Butter Candy

I'm a little late to this bandwagon because I generally don't mess with a good thing and my chocolate shake is a pretty darn good thing each day.  But, some of the women in my 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp were starting to get a little sweet tooth and wanted to know how to fix it.  So, I got to work finding them a recipe that wouldn't sabotage their goals, take a ton of ingredients or time, and still taste sinful without the sin.

These are so easy and will definitely be part of my monthly prep from here on out.

Chocolate Nut Butter Candy

2 scoops vegan chocolate Shakeology
1/3 c coconut oil
nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower, etc)

To Make:
1. Warm coconut oil in microwave for 15-20 seconds.
2. Mix coconut oil and Shakeology together thoroughly.
3. Fill mini-muffin tin about 1/3 full with chocolate mix.
4. Spoon small amount of nut butter on top.
5. Cover with chocolate mix.
6. Freeze until hard.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Traveling Outside the Country With Little Ones: What to Pack for Baby

Anyone else guilty of over-packing?

I'm not terrible about it, but if I'm going on a 5 day trip you can bet I have at least 10 pairs of underwear.  Not even joking!  I mean, that is something you just don't want to go without, am I right?!

So, as we are packing and preparing for this trip out of the country with a baby + toddler I'm trying to be really strategic about what I am packing for each of us while still making sure to have enough.  One thing I learned from our long weekend at the beach when L was just a few months old is going without a washer/dryer for any amount of time with a baby makes for a lot of dirty clothes.

Today I'm just going to share what I'm packing specifically for the baby because I have a feeling she is going to be the most difficult; difficult meaning I need to pack enough, but not too much.  And since I'm already an over-planner, this is tough.

packing for baby

Beach Wear: Knowing we will not have access to a washing machine for a few days and we will be spending the majority of our time at the beach or pool, I plan to bring 1 swimsuit per day so that I'm not trying to squeeze a wet swimsuit over a dry baby - the torture!  

I'm also bringing 2 sunhats just in case one gets terribly dirty.

One-Piece Outfits: I loooooved one-piece outfits for my son in the summer and it's pretty much all I'm packing for baby girl for this trip.  One piece means less clothing to pack which turns into less laundry when we get home.  Plus, it's easy and cool for the warmer temps.

Pool Float: I'm bringing a cheap inflatable one so that I can leave it there when we return home.  I don't want to mess with the sand/water or trying to squeeze it back into the suitcase.

Sand Toys: Again, I'm purchasing some inexpensive sand toys that can be left behind if need be.  Laurel sits up on her own and is very interested in what her big brother is doing so I think it's important to pack some toys just for her. 

I found a compact, easy to travel tent for Laurel to lay in when we are at the beach.  I'm not sure how much time we will spend there or how sparse resort shade will be.  Based on images from the site, there is some on site, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

Sun-Protection: I'm a huuuuuuge advocate of sun protection so I intend to have baby powder for sand removal, tons of sun screen, sunglasses, and hooded towels for her.  Again, the resort may have plenty of towels and if I feel the suitcase is too full, I will remove that from the list.

Anything I need that's not on my list?!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happiness + Gratitude

Monday was the International Day of Happiness and it got me thinking about some ways I've made happiness a priority in my life.  I know it seems like such a small thing, but how often each day do you really stop to think about alllll the things in your life that make you happy?

If you're like me, you might struggle with letting go of the little things and focusing on the important things in life.  For some reason the negative stuff has a tendency of staying in the forefront of our minds while the rest gets forgotten.  Am I right?!

So, a list of all the things I'm grateful for today:
  • A husband who helps with all the things
  • A safe, comfortable vehicle to take to work
  • A daycare that makes it easy to drop my kids off
  • A toddler who keeps my side of the bed warm
  • A baby who pulls my hair as she snuggles into me
  • Parents and a Mimi who travel hundred of miles to visit
  • More sunshine in the day
  • Warmer temps on the horizon
  • A coffee maker
  • My dad's text messages every morning
  • Mail that gets delivered to the house rather than the p.o.
  • Challengers who celebrate each step of my fitness journey
  • This creative space
  • A filter on my coworkers sink
  • Students who appreciate me
  • Leggings
  • Dry Shampoo
I mean, the list goes on.  And those little things that are often forgotten like dry shampoo and my coffee maker...they really do make the world go round, right?

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Last Baby

Last night as I looked at my 7 month old daughter laughing, smiling, playing with my 3 year old son, it hit me.  And it hit me pretty hard in what felt like a normal evening routine of eating a salad for dinner across from my husband.

Just like that in the middle of my normal, it occurred to me that this might be the last baby we play with in that high chair.

It may be the last baby I carry for 9 months and bring into this world.
It may be our last baby.

As much as I feel like our family is complete and whole and perfect just the way it is right now, I struggle with the idea that I may not ever be in that period of time where sleep happens for 30 minute intervals (if you're lucky) and you run on coffee and fumes and everything is blissful chaos.  

I have a feeling I'm going to miss it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Traveling Outside the Country with Little Ones: 3 Preparation Tips

Call me crazy, but we are prepping for our first out of country experience with littles!

CT has flown quite a bit since my parents live in NY, but Laurel hasn't flown at all.  And neither of our children has ever been outside the country before.  (Ages 3 and 7 months)  So, this is a new experience for all of us and I thought it might be worth documenting the preparation leading up to the trip as well as any tips I can share after we return in the even that you might be traveling as well!

A lot of the preliminary planning has already happened or is currently happening so I will start by sharing 3 tips to help plan your trip:

1. Get passports sooner rather than later.
This ended up stressing us out for a few reasons.  Did you know you have to have a scheduled appointment to do passport applications at the post office?!  We walked in one day to find out and then the first available appointment was 3 weeks out.  That was slightly nerve-racking because that 3 week window put us scarily close to the deadline in which we needed to apply in order to receive our passports on time.  (They typically take 4-6 weeks).

Luckily, my husband and I already had passports from traveling we did before children, but both kids needed passports + pictures and although we thought we had everything in order when we arrived, it still took closer to an hour to get it all done.  Sidenote: you can't have too many copies of EVERYTHING so be over-prepared in that arena.

2. Check out the amenities at your resort.
We are traveling to an all-inclusive resort with my business and we already know what is available for the kids so that we aren't over-packing.  For instance, I know that there is a lazy river, kids pool area, and water slide on site meaning we will most likely spend the majority of our time at the pools rather than the beach.  However, I'm planning to pack some inexpensive sand toys because the beaches look incredible there and shade is provided by tiki huts so although I plan to bring some extra shade for the baby, I'm hoping it won't be necessary.

I've called ahead of time to reserve a crib for the room for the baby so that it should be in the room when we arrive and that is one less thing to worry about.

3.  Schedule your flights accordingly.
When I'm traveling by myself I typically go for cheapest and forego the additional cost of trip insurance.  Not the case with kids.  What if your child gets sick with the flu 2 days before you fly out?  Guarantee you cancel your flight and without trip insurance, you'd lose everything.  I know it's an expense, but children make everything slightly unpredictable which makes insurance a worthy investment.  This also means I'm willing to pay a little bit more for airfare if it means a shorter layover or a layover in an airport I know has a children's play area inside.

*This is a list of the most kid-friendly airports in America.  Personally, I've been to Philly with a toddler and it was worth the trip on the tram to the play area to keep him occupied and let him run out his energy.

The best advice for prepping a big trip with little ones is to know what you are walking into; take the time to plan ahead and brace yourself for the unexpected.

Are you traveling anywhere in the near future?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Glowing Green Smoothie Bowl

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I thought it would be appropriate to share something tasty and green (other than your adult beverage later this evening.)

We have professional development today at work so I treated myself to a Creme Brulee Latte from my favorite local coffee shop after drinking my chocolate shake this morning.

And of course, I'm sporting green!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I was that girl.

Have you ever been that girl?

It could mean different things depending on what that thing is for you.  You know what I mean?

Like, maybe you're the girl who pretends to be someone she isn't so she fits in with whatever crowd she's hanging with. Maybe you're the one who eats Oreos in her closet so no one knows.  Maybe you're the one who acts like a total badass when in reality you're super sensitive.  Maybe you're the one so desperate to look in the mirror and like what you see that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

That was me.  

Let me make it clear: I've never had an eating disorder and I am not trying to discount the seriousness or severity of that.  What I did do, however, was take weight loss pills that are not FDA approved (I assume considering I could only buy them by going to the back of a nail salon and the packaging was all written in Korean) just so that I could be a certain size.  

In the left picture, I was so consumed by the number on the scale and the number on my jeans tag that I was willing to put unknown substances in my body to make it happen.  Yes, I looked great!  I looked fit and thin, but honestly, the number never really made me happy; I was always striving for more.  And what I was doing was so super dangerous - I didn't even realize it at the time.

I was told the pills were water pills and they pretty much depleted my body of water.  I was warned that if I drank less than 80-100 ounces of water a day I could be hospitalized for dehydration.  I was only warned after trying to find information about the pills online.  None of that scared me - I continued taking them focusing on what I thought was important.

Someone I knew who was also taking the pills ended up hospitalized for dehydration; that's when I decided to stop taking them myself.  I blamed the pills for her hospital visit and that's when I started to question their safety.

Fast forward to today, 2 kids later.  I am so much more in tune with what I'm putting in my body.  I treat it like the temple it is and I'm forever grateful there are no side effects of that poor decision made just a few years ago.

I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I know I'm doing it the right way and that is so much more important to me than getting there quickly.

I hope that by sharing this I can encourage you to do the same, be patient, and give yourself grace.

Monday, March 13, 2017

21 Day Bikini Bootcamp

Anyone else have big plans for Spring Break this year?!  (While we're at it, can we all decide - do we capitalize spring break or no?  Shouldn't the ELA teacher know the answer to this? I asked myself the same question!)

Oh well - let's talk about more important things like BIKINI season!  Which does need to be capitalized.

So, if you've been following my journey you know baby weight looooves me.  Like especially likes to cling to my midsection.  But, I'm taking my family on a vacation to Punta Cana in April thanks to my business treating me for my achievements and I want to rock my bikini while I'm there.

I know I'm not the only one, ladies!

Let's do it together!  I'm starting my 21 Day Bikini Bootcamp on March 26th so that we will be all wrapped up and ready to strut our stuff on the beach by the time Easter Sunday rolls around.

If you're interested in joining me for a fool-proof meal plan + 30 minute workouts + group of other strong, amazing women cheering you on, leave me a comment!  

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Feeling Like ME

I've been a little quiet over here lately because I've been busy working on this new design!  I sort of didn't want to do anything until it was complete.  Special shoutout to Vanessa because she took my ideas and made them happen and I LOVE it.  Hope you do, too!

I decided this was the year to really take my space and make it feel more like me.  I've got an affinity for minimal and rose gold so this pretty much screams perfection if you ask me.  

I do plan to start posting more often now that we are up and running and I hope you continue to join me as a haphazardly share my highs + lows + babies + business ventures with you all.  

I love this space and I love you and it means so much to me that you share this piece of the interweb with me.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Girlfriend Project

You guys, I can't. even. right. now.

Seriously, this project has been in the works forever!  And I'm so excited to finally be sharing it with you all!!!!  Jenn and I started thinking this up last year and we really wanted to make sure our vision come out right so we've put blood, sweat, and sweet tears into this little baby.

We were thanking our lucky stars one day for the friendship that has developed between the two of us since we met through blogging however many years ago.  Truth is, if not for blogging we would have ever met because she lives in New York while I live in North Carolina.  It's sort of awesome how social media connects us all, isn't it?

As a woman, wife, and mama it's not always easy to spend time with our friends.  I rarely do something with the girls that doesn't include me bringing a baby along with me.  You too?!

So, we figured, why not make it easier to find and connect with girlfriends?  Girlfriends that understand life is crazy and we may not be able to see one another each day, but we love each other and support each other regardless!  Girlfriends who are doing this whole life thing just like us and get that we may not talk as much as we want to, but we've still got each other's back!

So, the whole concept is this:
Our aim is to use social media as a way to inspire, connect, and grow alongside one another no matter what our zip code may be.  And to prioritize ourselves by serving one another each month as we get to know one another.

Here is how it works…

Each month you choose to participate we will connect you with another “girlfriend.”  Through social media handles and correspondence you 2 will get to know one another.  As you get to know one another, you will compile little things throughout the month that hold special meaning and then send a little package to one another by the end of the month as a gift.  The gift should be about $15 in value and go along with the monthly theme + what you’ve learned about your new girlfriend.  

Our hope is …

That by spending time getting to know one another, you will not only make a new acquaintance, but build a new friendship and spread some happiness along the way.

If you want to join us as we launch this project in April fill out the form and we will get you matched up with a girlfriend!

Monday, February 13, 2017

You're Invited!!

So, is anyone else obsessed with LulaRoe?!

I'm over here like, "NO.  No.  More.  I must get back into my clothes hanging in my closet."
Then I see someone is having a pop-up sale and I'm all like, *drool* "Give me all the leggings."

It's a problem.  But not one I'm trying to necessarily fix right now.  😜

Instead, I figured why not host a Fashion + Fitness event?!  So, I got in touch with my girl, Natalie, and we decided to host a Fitness + Fashion party.  What is this you might ask?

WHAT: A party to celebrate your fashion sense as well as your health/fitness goals.
WHERE: On Facebook (Join by clicking here)
WHEN: February 23rd (But you'll want to join us early for a chance to win a prize)
WHY: Because you deserve to treat yo'self!

This party is slightly different because she and I are combining two of our favorite things:


This works out for you because we have decided to treat you with a free gift if you make a purchase from her or sign up for my next challenge group with me that night!  WINNING!!

If you want to join us, just click this link and join the Facebook group.  We will be sharing a few things along the way and I'll be hosting a giveaway in the meantime!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Doing it "ALL"

I've started a live series on my Facebook page called Mastermind Monday.  My idea is that it will be a collaborative opportunity for (mostly) women, entrepreneurs, busy moms, DIY-ers, feminists, people with vision to come together and share things that work for them.  I think one of the best parts of this business is how network marketing brings new people into your life every day and how you can learn and grow from and alongside those people.

If you were to ask me what I "do" the answer would be messy:

I love my hubby as well as I can and make babies and build businesses and teach the future of America and run a household and usually remember to switch the laundry, but rewash it when I don't and help other women envision their dreams and coach people through obstacles and have chocolate at least once a day because...goals.  

Plus soooooo much more.  Right?!

As a mom and a woman, I'm in the constant battle to be the best, most Pinterest-worthy, perfect rendition of myself.  And dang y'all, it's tough being a mom today!  Can I get an AMEN from any of the other moms out there?!

And often times people will say things like, "I just don't know how you do it all."  or "How do you do it all?"  And I won't lie, sometimes those feel like backhanded compliments.  

But, the truth is, I don't do it all. and that is exactly how I do it all.  If I were doing this alone, I wouldn't succeed.  I have an amazing husband who supports our dream and helps me to make time for it.  I have a tribe of teammates and friends who lift me up and support me and hold me accountable.  I've got this group of incredible women who truly get me and want what is best for me. 

And a lot of the things I do on my own (or even with their help), I've learned to do in baby steps along the way.  Beyonce wasn't built in a day, y'all.  And you know I love my 'Yonce.  So, I've realized this and I've started to make my goals happen by deconstructing them; taking them apart and breaking them into smaller pieces.  

Anyone can say they want to accomplish something, but if it's so big you can't do it in a day or a week or a month and it's going to take baby steps to make it happen.  It's how I'm tackling ALL my goals this year and for the first time in forever I'm actually making things happen.  

*Tune in on Mondays for tips and tools to help shape your business/life.*   

Monday, January 30, 2017

A New Couch

Man, you wouldn't think something so small would have so much meaning, right?  I mean, it's a couch for crying out loud.

I've been working though my PowerSheets goal workbook this year and one of the first goals I wrote down in it was to make my house feel like a home.  Truth is I really just want our home to feel welcoming and cozy and serene.  But, I also know that chaos in the home leads to chaos in all areas of life so it's at the forefront of my goal list in an effort to positively impact EVERY aspect - relationships, leisure time, business, etc.

One of my goals for January (and I thought I was going to push it to February) was to find us a sectional.  We've been living on the same couch my husband bought for his first house 11 years ago.  And it was very nice furniture 11 years ago, but between all those years + 2 dogs + 2 children + a move it has gone through a lot.  And it shows.

Our new home has a large living room and we really wanted a big, cozy sectional sofa in there.  I envision movie nights, snuggles, and cuddles under blankies.  Not to mention, it's a much larger "race track" for my toddler to drive his cars on.  (Important features.)

The biggest thing is we were able to go out and just find what we liked and order it.  Thanks to our business, we are no longer stretching our income from paycheck to paycheck and that in itself makes life feel a little less chaotic.

I guess the question is what is the "new couch" in your life?
What is on your goal list and what is holding you back from making it happen?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Number 2 Changes Everything

If I could put into words how much I love this sweet girl (and her brother), I would.  Truth is, I'll never do it justice.  However, having a baby in the house again has been...an adjustment.

If I had it my way I would have babies in the house all the time; I love babies.  However, multiples changes things up a bit.  Now, this time around I didn't struggle with Postpartum Depression and that has been a huge blessing, but there have been other struggles.  Not just the ones we've experienced with L, but ones that I've had to adjust to.

Like just not feeling myself yet.  Recently I hadn't been giving as much of myself as I normally would and a beautiful friend of mine simply stated that she missed it.  And, you guys, I needed to hear it because I was in this place where I felt like I wasn't really worthy of sharing much.  Like, who was I to be lifting others up?  

So, I've gotten back to my giving spirit and I'm so grateful this friend mentioned it to me.  She then also said, "Baby number 2 really changes us."  And yes, yes it does.  In good ways and in hard ways.  Not bad ways.  And it's just navigating the change that takes a little time.

I guess I share this to say if you're feeling the same, you will get through it.  It's what I like to call the newborn haze.  You can't see past it until you're through it and sometimes it takes a good 6 months.

Friday, January 6, 2017

My 2017 Word of the Year

My 2016 Word of the Year was BOOM.  It meant to progress, grow, or flourish vigorously and man, let me tell you, I did just that last year!  We welcomed our beautiful little girl to the family, my team crushed major goals this year in our business, and my relationships are tight.

For some reason, it took me longer to come up with a word this year.  I think I was hoping for some epic rare word to find me and sound uber cool to everyone who knew it.

I almost selected the word, PILOT, but perhaps that word will be for another year because no matter what I did I kept coming back to this one:

PRESENT (adjective)
being, existing, or occurring at this time;
being here

I'm really focusing on some big goals this year after accomplishing so much in my business last year, but I've realized that something I am not 100% awesome at is being completely present in each moment.  I tend to keep a racing mind which doesn't allow me to soak in the moments as they happen.  I typically have my camera out ready to capture memories in the making rather than enjoying them as I'm making them.  

So, my goal this year is to be present in everything I am doing.  This will mean when I'm working my business, I'm 100% focused on it.  When I'm playing with my kids, I'm not answering messages or checking in on my challengers.  When I'm with my husband, I'm not texting or searching Pinterest.  

I will be present.

See my 2015 word here
See my 2014 word here
See my 2013 word here

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Healthy Freezer Meals

healthy freezer meal busy mom

Before I had Laurel, I spent some time putting together freezer meals.  I had never done this before and I really wanted to focus on having healthy, hearty meals so that even when things got crazy with a toddler + newborn I could still put dinner on the table.  There's just something about putting a meal on the table...am I right, ladies?!

So, I compiled some of my favorite recipes and put them together for a free group I can a few months ago.  I'm preparing to start another free freezer meal group in February and I asked myself, "Why have I not shared these on the blog?!"

Honestly, this was a lifesaver for me as a new mom of 2 and it worked so great, I plan to start doing it quarterly throughout the year so that we can still have a home-cooked meal on those crazy busy nights.  I hope you find it helpful as well!

For those interested, this is the first compilation I put together or 10 meals and 2 snacks: Healthy Freezer Dump Meals and this is the shopping list that goes along with it.

If you want to participate in my free group starting in February, please fill out this form so that I can send you the information as we get closer!