Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Ahhhhhh.... October!  As much as I hate to say so long to summer, there's no denying that the BEST foods were made for fall.  Unfortunately not so much the best for our diets ;)  But as much as I want to be fit, I want to celebrate more... and that means with my fair share of pumpkin and apple inspired concoctions and baked goods galore.  The good news is, pumpkins and apples are actually good for you (shocker!).  It's what we do to them that gets them off the healthy foods list.  But don't worry, we can fix that.  I'm sharing a plethora of fall inspired treats this week in my ongoing empowerment group, and would love for you to be a part of it.  Simply check out the post on my Facebook page and comment below a post to gain access.  But first... a FREEBIE!

First, today is one of those magical Mondays where I don't have to go into work.  Thank you to my Jewish friends, we are heartily celebrating Rosh Hashana with comfy clothes, extra laundry loads (which I don't even mind doing) and the husband enjoying a finally sunny day on the golf course.  But earlier this morning, the girls had their 15 month appointment.  At just over 20 pounds a piece, my chunkers are healthy little monkeys and got the doctor's stamp of approval, in addition to 3 shots each and a finger prick for Rosie.  Poor things were not happy, but were so happy and proud of their bandaids.  It seemed the perfect day for an extra special breakfast treat!

These pancakes were the perfect fall breakfast.  Hearty and filling and because we used whole wheat flour and minimal amounts of sugar, I felt great giving them to my growing little cherubs and knowing they would fuel them to keep growing healthy and strong!  

I topped them with a swirl of whipped cream, because it's really nothing compared to butter and syrup but somehow turns every bite from great to mmmmmm worthy.  It's definitely worth the extra 30 calories or so.  So give it a try if you have any handy.  

Complete Ingredients List:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (any variety you wish)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

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Meal Prep Mania: What Will You Need?

Super pumped to be starting a new challenge group next week and getting set up for a week of success!  Who else is ready to say a week from now that you are closer to your goals, feeling energized and ready to rock your fall outfits with confidence?  

Although you can do this in literally any situation, there a few things I recommend to make the whole meal prep thing a bit easier.  Or at least look better ;)

1. Meal Prep Containers!  Let me tell you how my tupperware drawer has become my absolute arch nemesis.  Soooo many different sizes, shapes, types, colors, and none of them ever seem to sit inside of one another properly.  I've dealt with this for years because i can't logically bring myself to throw away perfectly good tupperware, but motivated by the challenge group, I decided that my sanity is worth doing just that.  Going to invest in something more uniform, like these, to make storage easier and packing more uniform.  So go ahead and get yourself a set if you're like me and can't stand the mismatched disorganization. lol 

2. A crock pot! Meal prep is all about mass making food in the beginning so you don't have to do anything else throughout the week.  The crock pot has become my go to when it comes to fixing up a huge supply that can easily be divided out at the end of the day.  This week I plan to make shredded chicken in it for burrito bowl lunches.  Hopefully everyone has one, but if not, I highly recommend it. 

3. Water.  I didn't necessarily write it into the meal plan, but be prepared to carry it around with you throughout the day.  Many of my teammates swear by Swell bottles, but I am a total weirdo who prefers my water at room temperature, so I go through about a million of the plastic bottles a week.  I know, it's probably terrible for the environment but I am good in other ways so cut me some slack, ok? 

4. Plenty of sandwich bags!  Prepping is going to require a lot of pre-packaging, pre-slicing, and pre-storing, so I go through a ton of bags too.  Grab a box to make sure you're supplied.  

5. A protein supplement.  Naturally I am going to use this as a Shakeology plug because it is my supplement of choice and just an overall superior product.  But even if you are not drinking Shakeology, I still recommend investing in some sort of whey protein or protein blend.  You're not going to get all of the same benefits as you will with Shakeology, and it probably won't satisfy your sweet tooth, but it will certainly benefit you more than not using a supplement at all.   

For more amazing products and ideas, check out my previous post - Must Haves for the Fit Teacher!  And as always, be sure to reach out if you would like to be added to the group!  Challenge is currently running on Facebook, so feel free to go check it out! xo 

Find me also at Five on Friday!

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Must Haves for the Fit Teacher

Back to school.  Ugh.  I know.  I don't even want to say it.  But if we're going to go in pouting and stomping, we may as well do it in style, right? So let's get to it and check out my picks for the fashionably fit teacher in us all!  

1. Scout bags.  Love this multi pocket style in Flamingo Road.  Perfect size for your laptop, tablet, papers, and pockets to specially fit your water and shake bottles.  Doesn't get more perf than that!

2. How cute are these meal prep containers?  You know you can't actually leave the building for lunch, so you may as well prep healthy in advance and add a little motivation to the hour (or 20 minutes.. whichever ;)) as well!

3. A cute coffee mug to go.  Even with the Shakeo, I will always love my morning coffee or tea.  I don't even think it's about the caffeine need necessarily, but just a habit I've gotten into and an aroma I need to start my day.  I literally feel like I'm in a Folgers commercial somedays.  The smell really is that amazing. 

4. Lots of black leggings and long tunics.  Like I mentioned earlier in the spring, I love simplicity.  I no longer have time to be choosing outfit pieces and gathering a new look each day.  I want something I can consistently feel good in that will transition easily from the school day to my workout.  Just a quick shirt and shoe change and I am ready to go! Picked up these basic tops from Kohls to pair with my favorite LuLaRoe and that's my wardrobe.  Done and done!

5. A doable program that takes 30 minutes or less!  Again, these days my life is a race to get my kids as quickly as possible. I am committed to not letting my kids stay in daycare for any more than 9 hours a day.  Which actually sounds like way to much... but it's the best I can do.  For now.. Anyway, a quick workout and one that I can do at home has become an absolute necessity.  And as it turns out there are a LOT of them out there.  Recently I have become a HUGE advocate of Beachbody On Demand because it allows me to stream a variety of workouts and I can do it from anywhere that I have internet access.  No more DVDs. Just me and my laptop.  So whether I end up in the kitchen, the living room, the patio, or my own classroom, it doesn't really matter.  I'm equipped for success.  Contact me to find out how you can try it out for 30 days FREE!

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Why I Love Running Challenge Groups

It started off slowly.  Actually, I started off "anti".  I was totally into my own routines and saw no purpose in including others.  In fact, it's weird because I am definitely NOT a person who has ever needed anyone to workout with.  I'll even go to the extent of saying I hated working out with other people.  I was self motivated enough to commit to my own goals and introverted enough to enjoy the workout silence.  It was my thing, for myself, by myself, and I didn't really want to share that part of my life with anybody.  I enjoyed my solitary therapy.  And so I've said "no" to basically every fitness group that has crossed my path.

Fast forward a few years.  As a mom, I can't say I am getting out much.  The social aspect of my life has done a complete 180, and my kids are honestly the most socialization that I have.  I love the mom life to death, but it's definitely caused me to go about "socializing" in a whole new way.  Thank you Jesus for Facebook, Instagram, and everything else that some people tend to avoid for whatever reason because they are "fake" or "distracting" or whatever negativeness you want to assign to social media.  For me, the positives outweigh the negatives.  Hands down.

This brings me to challenge groups.  To how they have allowed me to connect with soooo many amazing women who I definitely never would have connected with before.  Challenge groups give me a reason to reach out to people I wouldn't have otherwise. People that I have only admired from afar and thought to myself, we could totally be friends.  But of course I never really spoke with them for fear of seeming "weird" or "awkward".  

Running challenge groups has given me balls.  It's given me confidence.  It's given me a social circle of amazing people, without bars or alcohol involved, who inspire me in the best way.  Of course, it also keeps me accountable as far as health and fitness are concerned, and I know that is really the primary purpose of them.  But truly there is a different, underlying reason why I continue to hold them and reach out to those around me.  And it honestly has nothing to do with me.  It's because I love the camaraderie and friendship that the challenge groups spark.  I love sharing my struggles with people who truly relate and helping one another to become the best version of ourselves.  Because although I am definitely in the business of helping people to reach fitness goals, it really is so much more than that.  It's about connecting a lifestyle that fulfills us, fulfills our family, and helps us to achieve each and every one of our personal goals.  

So are you ready to join the next group?  Reach out to be added!

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Wednesday Whine Sesh!

What up y'all! Happy Wednesday!  Keeping it light and doing a little brain dump this morning, sharing the things that have been driving me up the wall!  Because I do a lot of "favorites" posts and focus on positivity, but hey, there are just some things a girls gotta stay out loud.  And since this blog is also my personal diary, you get to bear witness to what I REALLY think.  No offense intended. This is just for fun.  But for real... the things that I just don't get... 

1. This shirt.  Specifically the saying.  I've seen it everywhere and yes, I get the feeling.  But do people actually wear this?? Give me ONE example of a place you could wear this without being totally rude.  I can't think of one.
2. The engraving on this watch.  It popped up as a sponsored ad on IG and the progressiveness of it totally caught me off guard.  I guess this is what romance has come down to.  And you know what's even crazier?  I tried googling the photo for this blog post and a TON of stuff related to swiping right came up.  I now know I am completely old that I don't even relate to dating rituals of 2016.  Thank you sooooo much Z for marrying me and taking me off the market.  Surely I would never survive!

3. The woman who posted an ISO post on my mom swap Facebook group looking for "Girl clothes.  Name brands only. No Carter's, Target, Walmart, etc."  Honey, you're on a yard sale site!  You can't afford retail yet refuse to be seen in less than name brand sh*t?  Explain your logic.  Please. 

4. The woman who responds to an online yard sale post selling an item for $10, but says she's only willing to pay $8.  Really?  The $2 is really gonna break ya?  You're supporting another family.  Just make it a freaking even amount!

That's it for now.  And completely trivial and not in any way affecting my life.  My things that I found entertaining and wanted to pass on.  Just to get it off my chest ;)  What's your whine of the day?  Post in comments below! 

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My 3 Favorite Fitness Apps

Hey everyone!  With all of the fitness programs going around these days (I mean Beachbody has 27 alone at the moment), it's hard to know what to do, how to stay on track, and how to achieve ultimate results.  What can I say, it's an INDUSTRY people!  One with good intentions for sure, but man are there a lot of products to sort through! 

Wanted to make it easy on everyone and talk apps today.  Specifically the ones I use regularly and have made it in my life through the long haul.  Why apps and not programs?  Because it's 2016.  And in 2016, many of us live on our phones. Yes, we might pop in a DVD or stream an online workout once a day, for the other 23 hours, we're attached to our phones, or at least have them in very close range.  So, here are my favorite apps to keep me on track through life!

1. 21 Day Fix app.  It's free and honestly you don't even have to buy the program to use it.  In fact, I use it as a guide on the regular, even when I am not necessarily following the full 21 Day Fix program.  Pros to this app are that it is quick and easy to track what you eat throughout the day.  The app subtracts it and tells you what you are left with.  I like that it is set up by type of food and not by calories or grams.  Highly simplified.

2. My Fitness Pal.  I like this one because you can literally look up any food of any brand or from any restaurant and it's probably on there along with the nitty gritty of every single nutrient contained.  It can be overwhelming though.  And time consuming because you have to enter each slice of bread, leaf of lettuce, and type of lunch meat separately.  It's a lot of work, but definitely worth trying if just for the sake of seeing exactly what is IN all of these foods you are eating. 

3. My Challenge Tracker app.  This one is also free BUT you would have to be invited by a "coach" to actually use it.  You get an access code and can then log into your app's group.  Here you find motivation and way to track your workouts and Shakeology.  So it's basically everything that the other 2 don't provide.  The missing puzzle piece if you will.  It's also interactive so you can connect with other people and have someone to ask questions to when they come up.  If you'd like access to THIS app, I'd be happy to chat with you about how you can start using it to help you reach your fitness goals!

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I Skip Breakfast and It Works

Good morning friends!  Happy Monday!  I have to say I couldn't be more excited to announce that I am finally having my first week of summer at home, without company, just me and my girls and (fingers crossed) and opportunity to get sh*t done!  Between chasing toddlers, feeding them, changing them, rescuing them, and keeping them entertained that is... but nonetheless, we are back to our version of normal. It's refreshing.  It's invigorating.

And as I take time to refocus myself on the goals I have set for the year, I'm reminded of one of the first promises I ever made to myself when I entered this business: to be completely and unapologetically ME and to share my truth with the world.  And in the spirit of truth telling, I'm about to share something really key with you all.  In fact, it might be considered shocking and a bit taboo to all you health minded people out there, but like I said, above all, I am sharing MY truth.  So take it for what it's worth.  

Over the past year, as I've dabbled further and further into this fit biz (ok I guess it's more like a dive at this point), it's really caused me to evaluate my eating styles.  What have I been doing all these years?  Why is it working?  Am I honestly that healthy most of the time? Am I just blessed by good genes that are eventually going to catch up with me?  

I guess I won't know the answer to the latter question until later in life, but after fully recovering from a twin pregnancy and returning to pretty darn decent shape, I figure I must be doing something right.  I'm feeling a little more confident in my methods, and therefore willing to share them with everyone interested, judgers included.  And you know what I've realized?  I rarely eat breakfast.  In fact, very very rarely do I eat anything at all before 11 am.  Sometimes 12... or 1.  It depends what time I got up.  

And no, I am not sleeping in until then either.  I have 1 year old twins for Christ sake and no my husband does not wake up with them.  It's an unspoken agreement in our marriage that we are both very pleased with.  I am a morning person.  I like to get up early and start the day.  

But what the heck, Michelle?? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  Surely you can not be healthy and skip breakfast.  How dare you post something like this on a health site.  Yea, I know.  I've lived with this secret for a long time.  I've probably even told people to eat breakfast a time or two, or tried to force myself to in an effort to do what's "right".  But like I said, I'm on a mission.  And it's not to force feed advice that you've read on every other health site.  It's to share MY truth in an effort to help others, validate others, connect with others.  And that, my friends, is what works for ME.  

Now before you think I'm telling you to go skip breakfast, let me clarify something realllllly important.  My theory on why this works for me is because I am listening to my body, and in all honesty, I am just not hungry when I wake up.  It takes me a while to get the day going, to accomplish a few things, to feed my little ones, before my body actually reminds me "hey, I'm kinda getting hungry here".  And by all means, when I am hungry, I eat.  If you wake up in the morning starving, by all means, eat breakfast.  A healthy one. Your body is telling you what you need.  But if you don't, there is no need to force food down your throat that you're not really ready for.  At least that's my opinion.  Take it or leave it.  

In fact, since I've made this realization that I just don't eat breakfast usually, I've done a little bit of research.  It turns out that intermittent fasting is actually a thing that I guess I've been doing my whole life without realizing it.  And you know what else I notice about lifelong, naturally lean people?  Many of them do the same thing!  If you want to learn more, I've found these articles pretty interesting.

How to Get Incredible Intermittent Fasting Results

What is Intermittent Fasting?

5 Intermittent Fasting Methods: Which is Right for You? 

Intermittent Fasting according to Chalene Johnson

How about you?  Are you a breakfast eater or do you wait it out until lunch? 

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Healthy Habits for Vacationers

We finally made it!  I'm currently sitting on the couch in our beachfront condo, staring at the waves, and taking advantage of a little time to write while my babies nap nearby.  Does it get any better than this?  I highly doubt so.  

This morning we got up earrrrly (thank you children) and played for a long time before going to my husband's softball game.  I wore my workout gear, got in a good long walk with the stroller and a super short leg circuit on the sidelines of the game.  Not a killer workout, but definitely the umph I need to keep me going when I'm all in vacation mode.  I mean, we work all spring to get our body's ready for summer, why do we completely destroy it on vacation?  Am I right? 

Today I'm sharing my simple, every day tips for keeping your healthy lifestyle from going to complete crap while you're on vacation. I promise, you will still have plenty of room to splurge, relax, and drink yourself silly.  So here goes...

1. Pack pre-sliced veggies and fruits.  When I go to the beach, there are enough things I look forward to devouring.  Things that contribute to the experience of the vacation... fresh fish tacos, crab cakes and hush puppies, late night ice cream sundaes... it's all a part of the "beach life".  I go into vacation looking forward to these things and I am unwilling to go through an entire beach week without them.  What I am willing to go without is a random cheeseburger that I could get just as good back home or a random handful of potato chips because I'm starving and that's what I have on hand.  Keeping fruits and veggies on hand ensures I still get them into my diet and that I'm not wasting empty calories on foods that do not contribute to the experience of the trip.  

2. Walk as much as you can!  Try to keep your car parked as much as you possibly can.  Want a donut from that amazing shop you can only find on vacation? Headed to happy hour or out for a night with friends?  Stop the habit of immediately heading for the car and ask yourself, is it a feasible walking distance?  If it is, use this as an opportunity to get your exercise in!  And if you really want a challenge, I'll let you borrow my twins to carry with you ;) 

3. Drink low calorie cocktails as opposed to beer.  If you're worried about drinking your daily calorie intake, stick to vodka soda or my personal favorite, ice picks (vodka with unsweetened iced tea). It can be a little bitter if you're not into unsweetened by oh so refreshing once you get used to it. 

4. Pack your Shakeology (or shake of choice)! Same reason as #1, it's quick, simple, and ensures you are still getting all of the nutrition your body needs.  I personally do not want to spend my vacation sitting around cooking meals (unless of course that's what you love to do, then go for it), so this definitely helps me to stay on track! 

Got any more vacation tips you swear by?  Leave 'em in comments below! xo

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Let it Shine
Mingle Monday

Chicken Fajitas on a Stick!

Just in time for grilling season!  Sharing this delicious and healthy recipe I made last week for my mom's birthday.  Her name is Rita so we had margaritas ;)  See what I did there?  Pretty genius.  I think we may do this every year! But with the margarita indulgence, I wanted something delicious that wasn't going to kill my diet.  Chicken fajitas on a stick were a huge hit, even with the hubs!  

You need:  Cubed chicken and veggies to your liking.  I used zuchinni, peppers, and red onions.  I also suspect that you could use steak if you wanted.  Definitely on my "to try" list at some point this year.  

For the marinade:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
Juice from one lime.
1/4 teaspoon each of sugar, salt, cumin, dried oregano, onion powder, and garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

I marinated the chicken for a few hours before skewering it with the veggies.  Grill about 7 minutes each side, less or more depending on the size of your chicken.  

Served with a side of wild rice and a cilantro lime dipping sauce: Lite sour cream mixed with chopped fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and honey!  The perfect accompaniment to this delicious meal! 

The Makings of a Perfect Day

In a perfect world, every day would be amazing.  We would wake up with a smile, knock everything off the to-do list without complication, be greeted with kindness everywhere we went, and still have time for fun and relaxation.  So why do we continue to live our lives in a state of constant stress and exhaustion?  Because we haven't figured out how to balance our responsibilities in a way that works for us, in a way that aligns with our personal values!  Certainly, my days are still far from perfect, but by incorporating these little rules of thumb into my life, I have certainly upped the ratio of perfect to imperfect a lot!

Dress according to your priorities.
For me, this has meant adopting a whole new sense of style.  I am wearing a lot less jeans and whole lot more cozy leggings, sweatpants, and gym wear.  Why?  Because it aligns well with both my fitness goals and desire to actively play with my babies without caring if I get spit up or slobbered on.  And lucky for me, activewear is sort of a style now, so it's not any sacrifice to my self image.  Below is the cutest and most comfortable romper ever from Tobi.  Check them out for 50% off your first order!

Put on some makeup.
You don't have to spend a ton of time on it, and probably nobody else cares, but there's something about putting makeup on that mentally gets me ready to accomplish something that day.  Most of the time I never even leave the house, but I still find it worth it for the mental boost it gives me.  Face on,  and you will face the day with enthusiasm!

Surround yourself with a clean space.
Is my house always clean?  Heck no.  But do I continue to make it a priority to clean up as best I can?  Absolutely.  Why bother with 10 month old twins in the house?  Because I recognize the huge difference a clean space can have on my psyche!  When things are put away in their place, I internally feel at peace and more focused throughout the day.

Make time to be creative.
Whether it's crafting, cooking, or working up a blog post, I always feel better when I have time to let my creativity loose.  And the more I tap into these types of activities, the more creative I realize I can be.  It keeps me growing as a person and I am convinced is helping me to reach my full potential.  It's important.  Trust me.

Break a sweat.
As a working mom, this one is tough.  I totally get the struggle of putting your kids' priorities first and attempting to get enough sleep to function throughout the day. It doesn't always happen.  But we're talking about the perfect day here.  And more days you break a sweat, the closer to perfect your days will become. I could write a novel about the benefits of exercise, but I'll just let you Google that one.  It doesn't have to be a killer workout.  Just move our body!  I try to keep a variety of programs on hand so that I can match my workout with my mood.   Because I don't care exactly what I'm doing most days, just that I'm doing something!

Have another ingredient of perfection to add?  Please comment below!  I'm a firm believer that life CAN be all we've ever wanted it to be, it just takes some effort and a personal design! 

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Flat Tummy Foods I Swear By

Hey guess what?!  There are exactly 30 days until Memorial Day Weekend.  30!!!!! Why does this matter?  If you're like me, it's the first weekend you honestly plan on wearing a swimsuit in front of people.  Ok, I may not be living it up at Seacrets these days, but even in my own back yard, I fully intend  to make my swimsuit debut a personal goal!  Even if you're slightly terrified by the mention of the word "swimsuit", I encourage you to make a few additions to your diet  to get yourself in prime condition.  Or at least these are the things that have consistently made a difference for me throughout my life.  Thought I'd share!!

1. Avocados. I know, it's fat.  I don't give a crap.  It's a healthy fat and I'm not putting a cap on it. It's satisfying, satiating, and easily added to any breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  If you need something creamy, filling, and decadent like I do, just let yourself have it.  And don't feel bad.

2. Peanut butter.  Again, I knowwwww it's fattening.  But let's assess the situation.  You're hungry.  It's not a meal time.  You have cookies and chips from your kids or office lingering nearby.  Are you going to be happy with a baby carrot?  Heck no.  You're not a rabbit.  If you need something real and indulgent, just go for the peanut butter jar.  A few spoonfuls and you'll be feeling better in no time.  Just make it natural, would ya?

3. Spinach.  I'm not sure it comes more satisfying, versatile, or nutrient dense than this.  I freaking love spinach.  I eat it in scrambled eggs, as a side salad, steamed, in soups, whatever!! It goes anywhere I can fit it in.  But a huge bag full and dig in several times a day.  

4. Eggs.  Maybe it's because I'm not really a huge meat fan, but eggs are my life when it comes to clean eating.  Throw a few yolks in with your whites and you won't be missing out on anything.  Best part, I can mix it with my spinach (duh), ground turkey, or top it (hard boiled) on my salad and they easily fit into any meal.  

5. A protein supplement.  Ok, I'm not a big hoarder of supplements and I believe in overall good nutrition.  But if I'm being honest, I have never gotten into prime bikini shape without the help of a supplement. It's true.  I'd love to say that good old fashioned diet and exercise do it all.  And yes, they will keep you 100% healthy!  But if you're looking for that extra umph, that little side chisel, that ping of extra confidence when it comes to stepping into your suit, you gotta throw a shake in there.  Of course you know I've been partaking in my daily dose of Shakeology for a while now, and am adding in an additional protein shake, post workout, as I enter the bikini season crunch time.  

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Ways to Simplify Your Life!

My life has gotten crazy.  My brain is in a jumble.  Between my responsibilities as a wife, mom, teacher, friend, and trying to build my business, I just can't mentally keep track of what has actually happened and what hasn't.  Did I actually talk to that person last week?  Oh sh*t, I forgot to shower the past two days?  Crap.  I just missed our entire team call and mail from 2 weeks ago is stilllll sitting in my passenger seat.  Sound familiar??  You're not alone.  There's a point where a girl just can't handle anymore.  The day to day thinking quota is already at a max and something has got to give!  I won't lie, I'm still a jumbled up mess of a mom brain, but there are 3 things I have done this year to absolutely simplify my life.  And as long as I'm a working mom, I don't think I'll ever go back. They are.....

1.  I wear the same thing every day.  Ok, not exactly the same clothes, but the basic idea remains constant.  I have drawer full of black leggings and a closet full of longer tunics to pair with.  I wear the same pair of shoes (one of winter, one for spring) and keep the same handful of cardigans handy as I walk out the door.  There is no more staring at the closet trying to decide my look for the day.  It's a decision I am just not willing to take on anymore and my decision has been life changing.  I doubt anyone is sitting around judging me like "hasn't she worn black leggings every single day?"  and if they are, well I honestly don't give a hoot.  It's been life changing.  And so worth it.

Tunic c/o Tobi
Super comfortable and comes in 4 different colors!
Easily accessorized, but I have infants... so to heck with that!

Check out more great pics from the collection here: crop tops, skirts, cardigans
New customers get 50% off your first order! ;)

2. I eat the same things every week.  Maybe I'll switch between seasonings or veggie types, but all in all, I have the same list every single time I go to the store.  It's same basic rotation every week.  Maybe when I'm not working I'll start trying out new recipes and unique exciting combos again, but until then, it's on the back burner.  My sanity is more important.  And it helps with healthy meal prep too ;)  

3. I "attend" meetings and live my life simultaneously.  I put attend in quotations because the life of a Beachbody rep includes many hours of online team calls, trainings, and personal development.  And as someone who is hungry for success, I can't get enough of them.  Lately I've been on a team call and training tear simply by taking them everywhere.  My kids and I listen while we play with toys on the floor.  I listen on my commute to and from work.  I stick my phone on speaker while getting ready for work, doing the dishes, or making that night's dinner.  It's productivity x2 and it's made a huuuuge difference in my ability to keep up with life.  Even if you're not in a business where you can do this, I highly suggest listening to audio books or making client calls on speaker if you can.  There are only 24 hours in the day and the faster you can get it all done, the better!

What do you do to increase productivity and simplify your life??? I'd love to hear all other suggestions out there!! Have a great week everyone! 

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Tea Diets: Scam or Success?

The constant dilemma.  Wanting to meet your fitness goals and see results without being scammed or sucked in by hype.  I get it.  As a distributor of Shakeology, I'm faced with this battle allll the time (btw, it is NOT a scam.  You can read about that here.)  But today I want to talk about tea diets.  They're practically blowing up my IG feed on the daily, and as a fitness enthusiast, it's natural I take a 2nd look every now and again.  It may surprise you, but today I want to tell you that these tea diets do actually work!  Though not for the reasons you might expect.  It's all about common sense.

Many of these tea programs require you to drink at least 2, often 4 cups of tea every day.  Sometimes in place of a meal.  For starters, if you're replacing a meal with tea, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you're going to lose weight.  You're cutting your caloric intake!  Anytime you cut calories, you will inevitably lose weight.  Tea or no tea, it's going to work.  I didn't say I consider this a healthy approach, nor do I think it will last after the "teatox", but it should work for weight loss.  At least in the short term.

But what if I'm still eating meals and drinking tea in between?  Well let's see... what's the main ingredient in a cup of tea?  Water.  4 cups of tea, that's 4 cups of water right there.  And we all know the benefits that water can provide.  Again, tea or no tea, you're going to reap the benefits of staying hydrated.  Of filling your tummy with something other than pop or juice.  Of ridding toxins from your body.  Wait, are we sure this detox is from the magic in the tea?? 

Truth be told, I am not at all trying to deter you from drinking tea.  I'm an avid tea drinker myself and maintain quite the collection in my tea cabinet by the stove.  The benefits I've identified are legit.  And the marketing is certainly enticing.  But I will leave you with one final food for thought.  Just for fun, because the ads have been getting me and I have to make sure I'm not missing anything, I looked up the ingredients in some of these, and they seem to contain a lot of green tea, oolong tea, peppermint tea... all things that you can easily find in the tea aisle of your grocery store.  

My final verdict?  I like the idea of daily tea!  As long as you are also fueling your body and not starving it.  Thoughts and recs welcome in comments! 

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Our Three Peas Women With Intention

2016 Bikini Trends I'm Keen On

Whoop whoop!  It's definitely that time ladies!  Time to suit up for summer and start shopping for that perfect bikini to hit the beach (if you haven't done so already;))  Although you know I have a bit of a swimsuit addiction and could easily go without anything new for years, you know that just wouldn't "suit" me, now would it?  Check out these trends I'm excited to rock this summer!  

1. High neck bikini tops.  I have to admit, I wasn't sure how this would look on me, but I got this one from Target as a test and am 100% obsessed.  And now I want more.  The addiction continues...

2. Strappy side, or caged side bottoms.  Not sure what they're called exactly but I've definitely been seeing them everywhere.  Best part?  They great for every style from full coverage to cheeky.  Simple way to add some flair to your beachwear.

3. Mesh is everywhere!  I am digging this one of course from my absolute favorite swim vendor of all time, Doll Swimwear.  It's just a touch without being too overwhelming, and still keeping the absolutely perfect shape of a DOLL suit.  I'm telling you, you can't beat 'em!  

4. Interesting backs.  There are TONS at Target.  I'm loving this black back for the 30+ crowd.  Simple.  Sexy.  Far away from the reach of little hands ;)  

5. Of course, I will always and forever preach my love for the cheeky bikini bottom.  And if you haven't tried one, I highly suggest it.  You don't have to be super toned to look good in it.  It accentuates the good qualities and minimizes the bad.  Trust me.  Just do it.  

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Recurring Thoughts that May Prove I'm Irrational

Have you ever really examined your thoughts?  Have you ever considered how ridiculous and irrational you might sound to people if your brain recited each plaguing thought aloud?  Well I have.  I guess it's the intellectual part of me, or the complete weirdo, but there's quite a few things that I do on the regular that I finally have come to question.  Am I normal?  Or does the fact that I am considering this make me completely irrational?  Go ahead, you're allowed to judge.  

1. I'm jealous of people who wear glasses.  And no, it's not for the "I'm such a sexy nerd" look.  It's because I've noticed that if I don't wear eye makeup to work everyday, the students hound me with questions about my health.  Are you sick?  Are you dying?  What's wrong with you?  And every time I have to explain how I'm perfectly fine, I'm just ugly without eyeliner... apparently.  Blonde girl problems?  Perhaps.  But in my head I've convinced myself that if only I wore glasses, I'd be able to just put them on in the morning and forego eye makeup altogether.  Now people would just notice my frames and they'd have no clue that I failed to put on any makeup whatsoever in the morning.  It seems so much easier.  So what do you think?? Genius?  Or irrational?

Because clearly intelligence and blindness MUST go hand and hand!!  

2.  You already know I'm addicted to swimwear.  Every girl has her weakness and for me that's it.  Having 2 daughters had added a whole new level to the addiction, but I can't just go out and buy any cute suit in sight.  No.  Before any purchases are made, I find myself mentally trying to match their swimwear to my own, or at least coordinate in some way.  Like, I'm going to wear my cheetah print top when they wear their leopard cat suits.  And I have red bikini I can put on when they wear their Elmo ones.  I mean, moms do this right??  What do you think?  Normal or irrational? 

I mean, this is cute right??

3. I love Jamberry nail wraps, or at least the idea of it.  I love my friends when they wear them and I belong to the Jamberry groups on Facebook and I want so badly to join in, but there's a reason why I have extremely old Jamberry packs still sitting on my dresser that may never be worn.  I will never be a Jamberry girl.  I can't handle nails that don't coordinate with my outfit.  A base color is one thing. I can work around that.  But colors AND a pattern?  I may as well just commit to wearing plain black shirts all week, because the amount of clothing that will accurately match those Jamberry nail patterns is limited.  It's way too much of a commitment to me.  Wear something that has navy in it and your weekly work wardrobe is basically worthless.  Don't even think about putting on those black pants or boots.  Right?  Am I insane?  Do you Jamberry girls just have a closet full of neutrals?  Or am I totally irrational? 

Thank God she had this turquoise cup to go with her nails!
Perfectly normal... perfectly natural.... 

Go ahead.  Rate my insanity level 1-10.  I'm prepared to take some heat.  ;)  Any other irrational thoughts I should go ahead and add into my daily rotation?  I'm sure I'm not alone!

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Our Three Peas Women With Intention