Secrets to Nailing Your New Years Goals

It's that time of year!  We have all overindulged over the past few weeks and are SO ready to get back on a healthy track and move towards total health in 2019!  Sure, everyone has the best of intentions and will likely start January strong, but who is committed to finishing the task??  Here are five super key tips that will help you not only get started, but keep going for the long haul!

1. Be prepared.  Every week I literally write out my entire meal plan, snacks and all, and derive my grocery list from this.  It keeps me from straying to foods that aren't fueling my body and I find it much easier to stay consistent when I know what's coming next.  If you don't feel like doing this yourself you can actually find complete meal plans and grocery lists inside of our 30 Day nutrition group.  Contact me or your consultant to find out how to get access to these!

2. Get your spouse/kids/etc. on board, or at least tell them what you are doing and ask for their support.  Having my husband by my side in this journey is literally everything when it comes to staying on task.  We hold one another accountable.  We don't eat or drink things that may taunt their other unless we have mutually agreed on a cheat night.

3. Get active.  I'm not saying you have to kill it in the gym every day, but exercise will definitely fuel your motivation to eat healthy and speed up results too.  Take advantage of the gyms having specials right now or search a good workout on YouTube.  The options are literally everywhere!

4. Delegate.  Honestly, sometimes preparation is tough.  I have no shame in using meal prep services to help me lighten the load.  I really like Green Chef and Territory Foods because they are simple to customize and avoid dairy and gluten in your meals!

5. Invest in a personal coach! I know so many think they can do it on their own, but there's something about having a little voice in your ear that really catapults progress and ensures you hit the goals you have set for yourself!  If you don't have one yet, I would love to be that voice that pushes you!  Enrollment in my two week kickstart group is opened and I am excited for everyone who is going to be a part of it!  Click here for information and to sign up!

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How Are You Preparing?

How many of you have one of these?  What are they for?  Obviously to create excitement around Christmas and extend the holiday beyond a single morning. For tradition's sake and for fun.  And sadly it took me until, well, today to realize that Advent is about more than countdowns and chocolates.   It's a time to prepare.  A time to prepare for this significant spiritual event and reflect on the year we leave behind.

Today I started my own Advent calendar - a virtual video one - and it's freaking phenomenal so far as I play catch up through the first 12 days.  But before I even got to the real content, it asked me a question...

What was the biggest thing that happened to you this year and how did you prepare for it?  

Stopped me dead in my tracks.  Without a shadow of a doubt my answer has got to be starting my new business, and now I need to tell you why.

See, this isn't the first time I had tried something like this.  This wasn't my first job, my first venture, or even my first social marketing partnership.  And because of this I was surely scared of failure and scared that I wouldn't be taken seriously in this pursuit.  I knew I had the ability, I just doubted my timing.  But I knew that I wanted this, so I continued to walk where my heart was leading me.

Things started slow, but then progressed.  My workload is busy.  My soul is bursting with passion.  And when I try to reflect back on the difference between this venture and past ones, I could never really pinpoint a major factor of difference.  Sure I had questions about the products of other companies.  Sure I'm more knowledgeable and seasoned this time around.  But I still couldn't really determine what made this so RIGHT and so ME... but this question made it so clear why.

Throughout my entire life, I have been an approval seeker.  I am legit the most indecisive person you will ever meet and I would never make a single move in my entire life without first consulting with other sources... namely my mother.  I called her multiple times a day.  For 35 years I don't believe I ever went a day without talking to her.  I'm an only child and it has always been the two of us so she's also my best friend and well, she knows what's best for me, right?  If I didn't like her opinion, I'd consult my Dad, my husband, my friends... I always needed that second and third opinion.  I was responsible after all and I wanted those close to me to know that I cared.

But here's the problem... I was putting all of these people, these loving caring and wonderful people who wanted the best for me in a very difficult spot.  I was expecting them to confirm the things that only God could ordain for me, and expecting them to be all knowing.  See people are only human.  They have opinions based on past experience and learned beliefs.  Yes, even your own mother can love you and protect you with all she has and still not REALLY know what is best for you.  Only God knows what is best for us, and that is the FIRST person we should be consulting in times like these.

Exactly a year ago I was in a low, low place.  I was crying nonstop.  My face was breaking out with terrible acne.  I had multiple styes in my eyes and could barely open them.  I was sleeping every chance I could get and the only people I wanted to hang out with were my kids.  I remember going to urgent care in the middle of the night because I felt like I couldn't breathe.  My once successful business was now floundering and I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills.  I imagined us foreclosing on the house and moving the girls into a homeless shelter.  And now I'm crying even writing this...  but I just want to give you an honest glimpse of where I was.

Despite this low, I was still in the midst of a spiritual journey.  I was so convinced that God had brought me down this path for a reason and I was bound and determined to find out what it was.  I prayed for a sign to tell me what to do.  I held steady even though I was depressed and crying, trusting that the right thing would come to me.  I'll admit I did have a brief lapse in faith where I decided to try tutoring Chinese kids in the middle of the night for minimum wage, but that was short lived... for in my heart I knew that God did not bring me this far for that.  And then it happened.  God put it like a boulder on my heart to do something that had been in front of me all along.  He told me that my best friend and I weren't just introduced to be chummy, but because we were about to do His work in big ways.

For once in my life, I let God lead me.  I intentionally blocked my urges to call my Mom to commiserate or ask my friends if I was doing the right thing.  I let God lead me clear as day, and gained a confidence that only He can give.  THAT is the difference between this chapter in my life and all the rest.  THAT is the preparation that made sh*t happen.

Yesterday I made a post on Instagram where I said that "This business is for anyone who feels called to it" and I want you to know that I did that very intentionally.  It's not for everyone.  It's not for a certain demographic or type.  It's for those who feel called to it by Him... because you know in your soul that you would enjoy it and that it's something that you could make a difference with in this world.

So after all of that, I'm dying to know now... what was the biggest thing that happened to you and how did you prepare for it?  Share in comments to let me know!

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Stop Asking Your Kids This Question

I'm sorry if I've asked you this.  Lord knows I've asked it all the time, every day probably.  For Christ sake, the class I taught to middle schoolers sought to answer this precise question - perhaps a reason why in hindsight this chapter of my life just never fully agreed with me.  I must have known deep down that it was wrong.  And for that I am sorry.  Forewarning - I'm about the rock the inner core beliefs of many people, but I can honestly say this thought process is coming to me straight from above and I believe it's my responsibility to get it out into the world.  Because there IS another way and there IS a bigger purpose, despite what the rest of the world has led us to believe.  Personally, this question always made me feel uneasy when people would ask it to me, and when I ask young people today, I can feel the same unsettled anxiety setting in.  I guess I thought that helping kids to answer the question would somehow calm said anxiety, but it turns out it's not the lack of answer that's the problem.  It's question itself and the doubts it inevitably begins to raise.  So for the love of God, please stop incessantly asking our youth... 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Sure, it seems like an innocent question. And as a child it can sometimes be a fun game of make believe.  But for the most part, even in my 3 year olds, this question is met with a look of confusion.  When you ask kids what they want to BE, it implies that that ARE NOT already.  It slowly begins to break down a child's belief that they are already complete and valuable, and replaces that with this idea that we must label ourselves according to career in order to be considered a successful member of society.  And if I'm being honest, I find that most kids (heck, even adults) don't ever fully know what they want to BE or what they want to DO, and so begins the vicious cycle of finding our place in a society where we are never quite enough, constantly measuring ourselves against a pay scale, a rubric, a set of test scores... 

See children are born with a knowing.  They KNOW that they are important and useful.  They are experts at taking in each day for the moment that it is and experiencing where they are in the present.  They don't look to the months ahead or dwell on months past.  They already know that they have purpose here and do not need a certificate or a title in order to fulfill it.  As we get older, surely we will have future visions and goals, as we should, but we can never let go of this knowing.  That success is found in the soul of a human being and in your daily interactions, not in accomplishments or things that can be listed on a resume.  

I'm sure there are some of you reading this thinking I am being idealistic.  That the removal of this question will create a society of lazy individuals just sitting around waiting for a handout, but I think you'd actually be dead wrong.  See, kids are born wanting to help.  They WANT to help me unload the groceries and the dishwasher.  They WANT to help me package new client gifts and make videos.  They WANT to help me cook dinner, even clean the toilets!  We are all born to innately WANT to be giving, helpful, and full of purpose.  Nobody says, "hey I want to be a lazy piece of sh*t when I'm older".  No.  People who are lazy and asking for handouts are the ones who have lost their sense of knowing.... because they don't know what they want to BE or don't think they are capable of it... and because society has trained us to believe that we cannot be successful without this.  So they abandon the mission altogether and we're all left trying to pick up the pieces for them.  

Hey, maybe the answer isn't getting kids to be "college and career ready", but to look inward and identify the compass already positioned in their soul.  There, I said it.  And hopefully I don't get fired.  But seriously guys, we're missing the point here.  

So why did I continue to ask "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Because I honestly just wanted to get to know who you are.  Because I'm hoping that the answer to that question might give me some glimpse into your dreams, your hopes, the beliefs you stand for... I'm fishing to find out the reason God has placed you in my path and how our interaction will serve a purpose in the world.  But for the record, it doesn't really matter what you want to BE.  Because you already ARE and your current place in this world is a very important step in your journey.  

So what questions SHOULD we ask our kids then?  How about something like "Why do you think God created you in this place at this time?" or "What is your message that you want to share with the world?"  or "When do you feel happiest and most inspired?" These questions validate the soul that is inside right now at this current time.  They don't require any formal training.  This is something that every human being can access, at every income level and every age and it naturally cultivates purpose and drive.

It's time to shift our focus to be less on future planning and more on the present journey.  On the successes you can create TODAY and the person that you are NOW that over a lifetime will inevitably lead to the kind of life we are asking kids to commit to before they are ready.  Let this be the start of a movement... of defining success in a different way! 

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Holiday Favorites for Everyone on my List!

One of my favorite things about being an Arbonne ambassador is having access to some of the best, highest quality gifts at a reasonable price.  And because it's Arbonne, I literally have something for everybody on my list!  Here I'm shouting out some of my favorite holiday products, and who will be receiving them this holiday season!

For the kids: Sugar Cookie Hair & Body wash with this fun little bath mit is sure to be a hit for little ones in the tub!  I'm also fully appreciative of the pump container because it just makes it that much more convenient and elminates any possibility of spillage from toddlers who tend to take lids off.  It smells amazing but please don't eat it, it still tastes like soap ;) 

For the Teachers: I am loving the hand lotion trio as well as the lip balm trio because I can actually break these sets apart and take care of all 3 of my kids' preschool teachers at the same time.  With scents like apricot vanilla, lavender mint, and vanilla coconut, you might want to get a 2nd set for yourself! So necessary to keep yourself soft and moisturized throughout the winter months ahead! 

 For the girly girl: Glow & Go Beauty Set.  I know you probably only hear me going on and on about nutrition because that's the center of my interests and my main personal niche, but it's important to note that we have actually been known longer for our incredible, pure, and safe makeup and this trio will not disappoint! It comes with a contouring/highlighting stick, a lip gloss, and mascara - perfect for a natural looking face that shines!

For the Tired Mama: And I say this with the greatest amount of love because I, myself, am one of them... but sometimes with all of the we spend washing dishes and wiping butts, I truly just want something frivilous and unncessary.. like smooth, moisturized tootsies inside of some adorable Arbonne socks.  A wise sole once told me to take care of my feet because everything else stems from there, so perhaps this set doesn't seem so frivilous after all.  But the socks... who can say no to those?

For my Husband: Charcoal 3-in-1 Shower Set.  Girls, your husband may not be asking for toiletries and skincare items, but trust me, he wants to stay looking young.  This is the type of gift that is guaranteed to be used and appreciated!   Guys like nice stuff, they just don't always know where to look for it and it's up to us to show them! 

You can check out the entire holiday line for even more exclusive products and deals.  Let me know what your favorites are and who you are gifting to, and what you'll be keeping for yourself too!  

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Pre-Holiday Healthy in Two Weeks Flat!

Halloween is wrapping up, the big holidays are looming... you're going to go one way or another. You can throw in the towel, gain a bunch of weight, and feel terrible for the next few months OR you can bang out a couple weeks of healthy focus while picking up on some easy healthy habits that you can carry with you throughout the holiday season! I've put together a looser and shorter version of our 30 day program designed to get you rolling in the right direction and increase the confidence you need to start the new year STRONG! Here are the details of what I am offering and next steps to get going!

What is it?
The goals of this program are to effectively kickstart toxin elimination in the body, improve gut health, and establish healthy routines that you can carry with you throughout the holiday season. By the end of two weeks, you will be feeling noticeably better - increased energy, better sleep, mental clarity - and you will be starting to SEE visible results too! Our group will start on Monday, November 5th and will conclude on Sunday, November 18th... just in time for Thanksgiving week!

What's included?
You will be provided 30 meal replacement shakes (2 for each day), 30 servings of my favorite digestion support supplement, 30 energy boosting vitamin packed "fizz" drinks, and a complimentary shaker bottle filled with a variety of my favorite snacks and additional products to enhance your healthy living goals! I am also including 2 weeks of guided workouts that you can do at home or in the gym to help you get the most out of your investment! Yes, you will still have plenty of products left over after the 2 weeks to continue using even after we're done. This is literally JAM PACKED with value!

Do I have to give anything up?
I DO ask that you eliminate dairy and gluten from your diet during these two weeks. Don't worry, I will give you plenty of meal and snack recipes to make this as easy as possible. In addition, I ask you to LIMIT coffee, alcohol, and added sugars. We can discuss more about what this might mean for you, but my goal is to help you see results and you do that through changes in routine, so we're going to have to start somewhere.

What's the cost?
Between the shakes, digestion plus, fizz sticks, shaker bottle, and all of the freebies that you will receive in this package, they all add up to a $211 retail value. But guess what?! I've worked out the ultimate plan using this month's promos to get it for you for $148 total. Seriously an amazing deal that I highly suggest you take advantage of!


Ready to give it a go?! Simply fill out the form here and I will be in touch with the steps you need to get started!

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Arbonne Week 3 Recap!

Three weeks down and one to go!  Feeling pretty proud and motivated to keep this shift going long past my 30 days!  Here I break down what to expect during cleanse week and some challenges you might be pushing through at this stage in the game :)

So what is cleanse week?  During this program, we do the 7 Day Body Cleanse during this week of the program.  Why this week?  Because it gives us ample time to ensure that we have gotten into some clean eating habits for a little while BEFORE diving into the cleanse.  This is not the type of cleanse that is going to send you running for the bathroom, but if you chug it immediately after slamming a Whopper with cheese, it just might.  This is meant to support a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, not act as a bandage for an unhealthy one!

Overall, I do feel that cleanse week is when I really feel like I am leaning out.  It's a powder that you mix with warm water (I use the smallest setting on my Keurig) and then fill the rest of a 32 oz water bottle with ice and cold water.  I drink this throughout the day, as well as plenty of additional water to keep myself hydrated while these gentle ingredients do their thing.... ingredients like aloe to soothe the gastrointestinal tract, ginger to support healthy digestion, and choline to support liver function. 

While I am loving the actual cleanse, I have to admit, this week didn't come without challenges.  I found some cravings for junk food sneaking in, and it definitely took some will power to turn away.  Honestly I think this might be because I'm not much of a chef so the things I've been eating have gotten a little monotonous, but don't worry there are a ton of recipes available for those who choose to break out the pots and pans.  I consider it a good struggle though because it forced me to get more creative and test my skill a little bit, as well as taught me to cut off any feelings associated with food.  Are you an emotional eater?  Or someone who experiences food FOMO like I do?  Then THIS is the program for you.  Accountability I tell you is a key motivator, as well as the results you start seeing and feeling at this point as well! 

To join me on this journey, please fill out this form and I will be in touch with all the details! 

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Arbonne 30 Week 2 Recap!

Holy smokes, we are already halfway through our 30 day nutrition program!  I'm proud to say we've remained pretty darn compliant, only straying with perhaps a little vinegar, a condiment, or a crumb off my kid's plate from time to time.  The main differences I have noticed after week 2 have been:

  • Insanely deep and rejuvenating sleep
  • Energy that keeps me going all. day. long. 
  • Slight slimming of waistline and thighs (see pics)
  • No more nausea!!! 
  • Increased feelings of happiness and gratitude
Quite a list I think, don't you?  Now let me tell you, it's not always EASY, especially when your in laws show up with french fries for the kids, but feeling those results is a huge motivation to pass, along with a few of these tips that have been key in my ability to stay consistent and enjoy the journey too!

1. I invested in a meal prep service, Territory Foods, that I have been using as my lunches during the first 2 weeks.  The regular price is a little beyond what I would normally spend, but as with many meal services, if you can get your hands on a code, the initial shipments are definitely a solid bang for your buck! I ordered 3 XL meals and split them, so it came down to 6 meals for $30 with my code, and let me tell you they are DELICIOUS! I'll save the full review for another post, but just know it's definitely a nice treat to reward yourself along your healthy journey that you can feel good about and fits the parameters of the program too!  You can use code MNUNN when you sign up to get $50 off your first two weeks as well! 

2. Sparkling water or water with cider vinegar in my wine glass has been key.  Honestly the one thing I was most avoiding giving up and fearful I wouldn't be able to was alcohol - specifically, wine.  I'm just the kinda girl who pours herself a glass at the end of every day and I knew this was going to be a tough habit to break.  The act of filling my wine glass with one of these items gives me the sense that I am consuming something "special" and although the vinegar water may seem bizarre, it replicates the acidity of the wine in a way, which makes me actually enjoy this strange, but healthy combo. 

3. Get your spouse on board.  Huge huge props go out to my craft beer loving husband who jumped in with me whole heartedly and is helping to keep me accountable and make this a true bonding experience for us both.  He's not sitting there mocking me or taunting me or stuffing his face with cheeseburgers as I fix a compliant snack. Doing this together has made it actually enjoyable, and he's lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks, so trust me your husbands won't hate you too much ;) 

4. Out of sight out of mind.  Get the junk out of the house y'all!  The more I fill the fridge with healthy choices, the more I look forward to having a choice to make.  Fill your cupboards with junk and all you have are choices NOT to make, and that in my opinion is much harder!

5. Utilize what Arbonne gives you.  Use the fizz.  Use the tea.  Use any other extras you can get your hands on.  Progressing from one beverage to another keeps me full, satisfied, and adds a fun variety to the day that I know is fueling my body the way I want it to and I don't feel like I'm missing out on the spice of life either. 

If you're interested in doing this program with me, I promise you won't regret it!  You have nothing to lose but bad habits a lot of nasty toxins, so what are you waiting for?  Contact me to get registered and begin your journey today!  I'll be right here to coach you every step along the way! 

To join me on this journey, please fill out this form and I will contact you with all the details! xo 

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Arbonne 30 Week 1 Recap!

I can't believe I am one full week through this program already!  Time is flying and it's been easier than I originally anticipated, but I I know the list of instructions is intimidating to say the least, so I wanted to be sure to give some details about my experience and tips for those thinking of jumping into the program yourself!  I should also mention that my husband is doing this with me, so I'll be chiming in for him a little bit too, although I'll let him share his own testimony at the end ;) 

The first day was ok.  It was successful and the excitement of starting was there so it was easy to get through even though I thought this will be a long 30 days.  Days 2 and 3 SUCKED.  I'm not even going to beat around the bush.  Husband was HANGRY.  He hadn't really figured what he liked to eat that was actually compliant and was trying to live off salad and protein shakes, and it wasn't really cutting it.  Plus apparently I make hard boiled eggs the wrong way?  So we were both rather salty about that.  In hindsight, I will say we prepped, but probably not enough, and it absolutely does take some trial and error to figure out what your go to meals and snacks are going to be.  We have a TON of these in our group page, but each person's tastes are different, so you really do need to play around with your own preferences.  Stay the course though.  By day 5 the unsatisfied feeling had totally subsided and I feel abundantly fueled and excited about my meals.  

I also recommend taking this opportunity to get a workout routine going as well.  I don't know about you, but I always tend to be motivated to eat healthier throughout the day when I have exercised and vice versa.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly (ok, bad pun since we can't eat either).  Working out allows me to keep all aspects of my health in balance.  And while you're at it, let's throw in a little spiritual time too.  You'll be getting much better sleep and feeling rested and full of energy so you can wake up 15 minutes early and it will truly maximize your experience... your year... your life.  I digress... let's just stick to the program here.  

Take a trip through the organic sections of your grocery store or to a place like Trader Joe's if you're not familiar with it already.  These areas will be packed with things that are free of many allergens and work well on this program.  Stock up on brown rice, lentil pasta, brown rice cakes, and a variety of healthy fats!  Remember it is not just about drinking shakes every day.  It's about balancing those shakes with the correct nutrition and it ALL works together to overhaul your gut health and bring your body to a place where every system is working properly.  

If you are a wine addict like me, make sure you have plenty of sparkling water on hand.  I actually put it into my wine glass and drink that and it reallllly satisfies my late afternoon adulting needs.  Clearly this is a mental addiction because my taste buds don't seem to care, but hey, it's working so I'm gonna keep going with it.  

Finally, if you have kids, make sure you don't forget about them when you are meal prepping.  Kids CAN and SHOULD do this program, but of course, my kids have their own little treats and snacks that they expect on the regular, so they're participating selectively.  Making sure you have things to keep THEM happy will make your life easier trying to eat YOUR meals.  Don't worry, they are watching you and will eventually want everything that you eat too.  In fact, Rosie now refuses any snack bar besides the Arbonne brand, and as much as I hate to share, I'm impressed that she recognizes the good stuff!  

To join me in this journey, please fill out this form and I will contact you with all the details! xo 

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4th of July Roundup

Around our house, 4th of July is kind of a big deal.  We live in a neighborhood that lines the streets with flags and sets out their chairs practically a month in advance for the annual 4th of July Parade.  My kids have actually been talking about it for months if that gives you any sort of idea the impression it left on them.  Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for adorable American paraphernalia, and this year has not disappointed!  Here my list of 2018 finds that have me pumped for a day of fun and American spirit!

1. Stars and stripes trucker hat by Roxy.  Because you know you ain't having a good hair day sweating your butt off at that parade!

2. Arbonne fizz sticks and/or complete hydration!  Exactly what you need to get you through a hot eventful day and guess what?  I'll even throw it into my vodka/water for a healthier version of poolside cocktails!

3. Target tanks!  I'm loving these Rose in the USA and Freedom Sparklers options. Casual and festive are always the way to go!

4. Ruffle chic sandals.  Perfect not only for the holiday, but for the rest of summer as well!

5. A red lip!  I have a few in stock available for quick ship! Message me to grab yours at some severely discounted prices.

So what have you seen that's getting you geared up for Independence Day?  Post your own finds in comments below!

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3 Things to Ask of God Every Morning

I’d say I started this journey a couple of years ago… the transition from selectively participating in church to actually developing a deep relationship with Christ.  I know I’m only scratching the surface, but I finally GET IT.  I understand that there are bigger powers out there just begging to be tapped into, and not just when you die and kick the bucket.  I used to think that life was a waiting game until you finally could escape this earth and get to know God, but that’s dead wrong (pun intended).  It’s in LIFE that he wants to know us and USE us, and that’s why I’ve started asking three very key things of God every morning… the things that open my heart and my mind to accept blessings and live life to the fullest.  And I promise you if you do the same, your life will transform too. 

1. Ask God to put the RIGHT people in your path today.  I can’t tell you how many times He’s come through for me on this one, the trick is to be open about the WHO and the WHEN and know that you’re expectations may be different from His.  I wish I'd learned this lesson way earlier in my man hunting days because it probably could have saved me a lot of heartache.  I used to have prayers like “Please God make this specific boy call me today” and they never worked.  I was forcing and begging for things that simply weren’t mine, instead of trusting God to place a perfect match in  my path.  Still, despite my incessant begging, He placed this funny and handsome man behind me in line at the gas station even though we had zero mutual friends and did not live anywhere near one another.  It was purposeful and at the exact right time and the man is now my amazing husband.  I truly believe it was God intervening that we even met, with several guardian angels to help (more on that another day).  

2. Ask God to show you WHO you can HELP today.  Sometimes we think that serving Christ means doing everything for everyone and never serving yourself, but that’s wrong again.  We aren’t meant to be all things to all people.  But we ARE meant to be placed in the path of others and used in the same way that we ask God to put people in our paths.  When I ask God to show me, I have a clear understanding when I see an opportunity to help someone. I hear a clear voice in my conscience telling me to reach out, to offer help, to even alter this persons life in some way.  It doesn’t happen all the time, and that’s ok.  But when it does, I can do so with the confidence that I’m working through Christ and serving Him even in just small ways. 

3. When in doubt, ask God to show you WHAT TO DO.  This is huge I know.  And as the queen of indecisiveness, I’ve felt anxiety over a LOT of decisions in my life.  Constantly weighing the pros and cons and letting self doubt consume me.  When I find myself getting to the point of confusion, I’ve stopped putting the pressure on myself to figure it out.  Instead I ask God to step in and show me where He wants me to turn, and he almost always does.  The signs may be subtle and could go unnoticed to most, but when you’re asking God for them, they feel like loud screams from the universe, and you can be confident without a doubt that you are doing the right thing.  If you’re experiencing anxiety in your life right now, give this a try.  If He doesn’t respond right away, keep going.  He’ll show you when it's time to make a turn.  

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Reasons I am Choosing to Detox (and maybe you should too)

Welp, here it is.  A post I wasn't sure I would ever write, but after much thought and research, I have decided to slowly begin detoxing my body and allowing myself to get back to natural "factory settings".  While I am definitely no believer in quick fixes and I have had my mom bod methods down for a while now, something in me is just itching to shake things up... because I know I can feel even better and honestly I am curious as all heck about how diet can effect the not so obvious things going on in our bodies!  Here I'm talking about some of the reasons I have decided to detox, and why YOU may want to as well!

1. Reoccurring nausea.  For several years now, I feel like I have experienced almost an ongoing sense of nausea.  Some days are worse than others.  Occasionally it goes away.  Exercise and healthy foods definitely help, but I have yet to cease the sensation completely.  I've basically learned to live with it and manage it, but I want a full solution, and all I know is that a detox certainly can't hurt!

2. Skin issues.  I've been pretty open in sharing my random outbreaks over the past 6 months and probably diagnosis of rosacea.  I now have a special cream and even a pill that I can take to control it.  But do I really WANT to add more prescriptions to my life?  What IF diet can control an incurable disease like rosacea?  I'm about to find out...

3. Anxiety.  Seriously I have gotten sooooo much more control over this through exercise, personal development, and yes, medication.  But the more I learn and study (ok I'm just a little bit obsessed with this stuff), I realize that the links between diet and mental health are undeniable.  And while we can continue to pump society full of SSRIs, I'd love to take the double attack method in a more natural way and at least LOOK at possible switches in my diet as a way of leveling out the ups and downs.

4. Mental clarity.  Can I get a "hell yessss" from all of my fellow mom brains out there?!  I don't know what it is... pregnancy, age, technology... but I feel like my brain fog is becoming thicker by the week.  When our body's systems aren't aligned, things seem more confusing and muddled.  I for one, am definitely due for a tune up.  

5. Remove toxins from the body.  From what I'm reading, toxins in the environment build up in our bodies over time and can effect all of the issues stated previously as well as things like energy, weight loss, and our immune systems.  It's no wonder then that even the best of us, with methods that have worked for years, are suddenly feeling some bumps in the road.  These toxins have built up over our lifetime.  For years.  And suddenly can begin to show themselves in a variety of ways.  

So, in conclusion, I STILL don't believe in quick fixes and I definitely support a healthy LIFESTYLE over a temporary diet.  However, I'm beginning to come into the camp of temporary toxin clean out as well.  What chronic issues are you battling?  Are you willing to test your diet as a cure?  

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Make Your Carbohydrates Work FOR You!

Carbs, carbs!  We all love carbs!  And to be honest they are the absolute bread and butter of any sound nutrition regimen.  Carbohydrates keep us fueled, keep our digestive systems working right, and satisfy cravings like nothing else.  So why do they get such a bad wrap?  In a society gone crazy for ketogenic diets and gluten free everything, I see so many people throwing the baby out with the bath water.  But slow your roll there sister.  I'm about to teach you some tricks to help you OWN your carbs and make them work FOR you, not against you!

1. Whole Grain Over Everything.  It might not happen overnight.  You might have to start with just switching breads, doing 50/50 whole grain pasta, subbing out a portion of your pancake mix for whole wheat flour... but the goal should be whole grains every single time.  Not because it's going to cut back the carbs, but because it's going to pack so much MORE good stuff you need to get your nutrition balanced!  When you switch to whole grains, you're not only getting necessary carbs, you're also getting plenty of fiber to keep your digestive system happy and working.  You're getting added protein, aiding those toned muscles you've been seeking and reducing soreness after workouts.  You'll feel fuller faster, thus limiting portion size and keeping the mindless snacking in check.  Not to mention you're going to get a slew of other micronutrients you need to keep your systems working their best!  When you break down the benefits, it's really a no brainer, and you won't even miss the refined stuff after a while.

2. Less sandwich, more "on toast".  Rarely during the week will you ever see me eating an entire sandwich.  That's because a slice of bread is a serving, and two of them is honestly more than you need in one sitting.  Instead, I do a lot of toppings on toast - peanut butter on toast, tunafish on toast, turkey and cheese on toast.  Wrap it up like a taco if you must, but stick to just one.  You'll still be satisfied and without totally slamming your daily carb goals in one sitting.

3. Look for "low carb" substitutes.  While I'm not really a huge fan of cutting out carbs, one of the benefits of this crazy societal trend is that there are a LOT of low carb options on the market!  From breads to pastas, you don't need to get all that fancy anymore.  Just find substitutes that have been made for you.  My mom is a big fan of Dreamfield's pasta and I have recently started using edamame noodles and black bean noodles (yes they taste pretty darn close to spaghetti) that also give me the added protein and fiber I need to balance out and really make my carbs worth their weight in gold.

4. Time them right.  You don't want to blow all your carbs by 10 am and be starving late in the day.  You also don't want to save them all for dinner when you're not far from bedtime.  I try to get a good serving in first thing in the day to get me going and space them out through lunch, snack, and leave a little bit for dinner.  Doing this will keep you satiated throughout the day and avoid the food coma feeling you get when you pack it into one sitting.  Also, depending on your exercise routine, I'd suggest making one of those servings within an hour of your workout.  Perfect fuel for a good sweat!

5. Limit the sweet carbs.  If you're doing these things and still going way over your carb limit, I suspect you might have some sweet stuff you need to cut back on.  Sweet tea, juice, desserts... these can fill up your carb allowance fast, but without any real value.  You're going to be left hungry and low in other nutrients, even though your carb goals have been fulfilled.  I'm not saying you can't have any treats, but be mindful.  These things are silent killers when it comes to diet success rates, and you can't walk into them blindfolded.  Make sure it's worth it if you're using your carbs on these.

Follow these guidelines and you will be well on your way to a healthy relationship with carbohydrates!  Need more help?  Let me hold your hand and guide you through my system of sound nutrition without the use the of any specific supplements or programs!  Comment below and I'll keep you updated on the start of my next group.  I'd love to have you and teach you how you can gain total control over your diet and body goals!

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Why Aren't You Sleeping?

I always see it.  "Moms, when did your kids start sleeping?" An inevitable post that seems to have a zillion answers and zero answers all in one, the most popular being "never" and a slew of discouraged sighs from all of the new mothers out there just beginning to question their own survival skills.  I think because of this I actually overinflated the sleeping issues long before I had children, and thus it never seemed all that bad to me, give or take a few episodes of hand, foot, and mouth and the great baby escape period, but those were short stints over years of motherhood, so I realize I have nothing to complain about.  Overall, my kids have been pretty awesome sleepers.  Still, there's always a reason to wake up.  And every time we seem to nip one reason in the bud, another one pops up.  And every single one of them has been a natural progression in my kids growth.

When I first had them, that was probably the worst... and they weren't even home yet! I spent the first 2 months home alone and since they didn't even have a swallow reflex developed yet, I HAD to pump every 2 hours in an attempt to get my milk going and have enough to put through their little feeding tubes.  My alarms looked something like this: 10 pm, 12:30 pm, 3 am, 5:30 am, 8 am... and going around the clock 24/7, without any actual humans.  Just me, myself, and Medela.  I'm sure there are plenty of you out there nodding your heads at this knowing exactly what I'm talking about.  It's a lonely life, but one filled with noble purpose as well.

Eventually things began to change.  I wasn't pumping so often (and sadly gave up after 6 months when the pumping demands and my full time work schedule simply could not coexist any longer).  Relief right?  Wrong.  So enter the days of constant sickness (what can say? BOTH parents are teachers), teething, and getting stuck in the corners of our crib.  That is UNTIL they find their own mobility and boom... they're thrusting themselves over the sides and onto the floors to discover on their own terms.  Talk about terrifying and why their room still looks as sparse as possible and will remain that way for quite some time.  My point being, it's a constantly evolving battle that never really goes away, it just changes forms.

Today my kids can get themselves in and out of bed.  They can fix their own blankets and pick up their own animals.  They even soothe themselves to an extent if they wake up and are pretty good at getting back to sleep.  But don't worry, we were still up today.  In the darkness of early morning I hear a little voice telling me she needs to go pee pee.  She's already waiting at the door for me to open it and help her get onto the big potty like the big girl that she now is.  I go out to help her, take off her still dry diaper, and celebrate with her as she made it to the right spot, at the right time, even in the darkness of the night without Mommy or Daddy to remind her.  We're so proud, but we're also not going back to sleep now, so here we are watching Max & Ruby well before the sun comes up under blankets with sister in tow (because naturally she had to wake up too).

As I look to the years ahead, I know that one day they will help themselves to the potty without me, but there will always be SOMETHING.  Bad dreams.  Sniffles.  Separation anxiety when we start school and a desire to get more time with mommy...  Worries about something posted on social media that will require counseling and reassurance...  Slumber parties with girlfriends and me eavesdropping through the vents to hear the secret conversations...  Staying up all night worrying about them as they are out with friends, just waiting for them to get dropped off safely...

I'm not naive.  I know how quickly we got here and how quickly we're going to get there, and all I can do is watch it happen and be there.  In the middle of the night and early in the morning.  For all hours and for all time.  For every age and every stage.  Sleep can wait.  Right now I'm happy to wake up in the middle of the night and race to the potty.  It's exactly what I always wanted to wake up for and it's as wonderful as I'd ever imagined.  Did I mention she says "Mommy I love you" about a hundred times while she's doing it as if she's making up for inconveniencing me somehow?  Honey, you're not inconveniencing me, but you can go ahead and keep saying it, because I love you a hundred times over as well.

Motherhood.  It's why I'm not sleeping, and it's the best reason ever.

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Whey vs. Vegan: The Great Debate

Over the years, I've learned the value of a good quality protein supplement.  It's something I started doing during my cheerleading days and seeing what a great difference maker it is, have kept it up during the "fitish" seasons of my life.  And now, as I embark on the quest for the ultimate "mom bod" while I still have it in me, my shake consumption has increased too.  The one thing I will admit that I STILL haven't fully formed an opinion on is the whey vs. vegan debate... because honestly, I kind of like them both.  It's like asking me if I drink white or red.  Well, it depends.  Is it cold and rainy or is it warm and sunny?  What are we eating with it?  What color outfit am I wearing?  There are so many outside factors that go into this decision for me, and the process behind my shake decisions is no different.  Guys, there are a lot of AMAZING supplements out there these days, and I am not here to discredit any of them. They're simply different.  But, I digress... THAT comparison is one for another article.  Today I'm breaking down whey protein vs. vegan protein for the busy moms out there just trying to figure the dang thing out and make some healthy choices now and then.  We'll look at the pros and cons of both so that YOU can decide what you feel most comfortable with (or be a hoarder and use both like me).

What I Love About Whey

Whey protein is the age old staple.  It's the most common and the most popular.  Derived from milk, it does contain some dairy, making it more difficult to digest for some people.  That being said, it's also usually more effective at building lean muscle.  If your priority is faster muscle recovery and/or building, whey could give you the better edge.

It usually tastes better too.  In fact, if we made a couple of shakes and did a blind taste test, I can almost guarantee that 90% of people would choose the whey.  I'm no exception.  In almost every circumstance, I have also preferred the taste of whey protein over vegan ones, the exception being Shakeology which has somehow come up with a vegan chocolate shake that rivals a Ghiradelli brownie.  But you're going to pay good money for that "brownie", so feel free to explore your options.

Basically, I felt compelled to write this article because there are a lot of vegan advocates out there spewing the negatives about whey like it's straight arsenic, but it's actually the main ingredient in infant baby formula, if that says anything about how truly "poisonous" it must be.  Just do your best to make sure you're getting a quality supplement and not one filled with junk.  I personally love IdealFit and all of their delicious flavors.

But Vegan is Better Right?

Many vegan proteins are not "complete", meaning they do not contain all essential amino acids and are therefore not as effective as whey.  However, there are plenty of vegan powders that are!  You just have to be a little bit more picky and check to be sure.  IdealRaw is a great (and affordable) option for a complete vegan protein.

They're also a great choice for anyone with a sensitive stomach.  If you struggle with digestive issues or food allergies, vegan would be a great choice for you.

I also want to make clear that I'm not saying you can't build muscle with vegan proteins.  I've seen plenty of people do it.  I just think it takes a little more intention and effort.

My Approach

Clearly, both vegan and whey have their strong points and their drawbacks.  I truly believe in the saying "everything in moderation" and I do the same with my supplements.  I have BOTH.  Yes, it means, I bought two different canisters, but they're also lasting me twice as long ;) The timing of my shakes is what I am most strategic about.  I always drink the whey protein right after my workout due to the edge it gets in muscle building and recovery.  The vegan shake I use as a supplement at another point in the day.  Often, I drink this as breakfast with a banana and peanut butter, or as an afternoon snack if I worked out in the morning.  I just try to space them out enough that I'm not drinking them back to back.  You can find great recipes for your vegan protein here and creatively work it into your routine too!

Got Questions?  Just message me I'll do my best to answer them!
Need Support?  Join my private community of all things health, beauty, and mindset.
Just a comment?  Drop it below!  I'm certainly not the end all be all, just sharing what has worked for me! All opinions are welcome here :)

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Healthier Banana Bread

I don't know about you, but I always seem to overestimate my banana consumption and end up with a few brown, overripe bananas on my countertop by week's end.  Lucky for me, I know these are the best kind for baking, so I'm always looking for a good recipe to make the most of my banana mush.  Not so lucky, the best banana bread I've ever made also came with a cup full of sugar and few sticks of butter.  It's definitely a give and take, and this recipe is no different, but I enjoyed it enough that I definitely will make it again, and contains ingredients that you likely already have sitting about the house.


2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil or olive oil
1/3 cup honey or syrup
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
Any add-ins you desire (I used chocolate chips but you could add also add nuts, raisins, etc.)

Mix all of the ingredients and pour into a greased cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.  Just until you see the edges starting to brown.

Additionally, if you're looking to really step your "fit mom" fuel, I recommend adding a scoop of IdealFit Multi-Purpose Protein.  It's awesome because it literally has NO taste, so you can mix it into whatever you're making without fear of taste interference.

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Best Swimsuits for Cool Moms

I can't even believe I am doing this in February, but as I sit out on my 80 degree patio today, I can't help but get the itch for all things summer.  Sandals, tanks, sunglasses, a tan... and of course my own personal point of weakness, swimwear.  I know it's ridiculous.  I know I don't need any more.  But when it comes to swimsuits, it's just the one piece of fashion thirst that I can never seem to quench.  I figure every woman has her thing.  Some collect shoes.  Some collect handbags.  I collect swimsuits.  Seems perfectly normal and natural to me.  

Anyway, as I've grown, my tastes and lifestyle have changed.  While I used to swear by Doll and Beach Babe, Target has actually hit the nail on the head for me the past couple of years, leaving me no reason to search elsewhere.  So as I bid farewell to the cheeky bikinis that some have come to know me for, I veer my search in a new direction... the mom suit.  And it turns out these are actually equally as fun!  

If you're also on the hunt for a mom suit that doesn't leave you crying in the dressing room, let me be up front about my style.  I'm not looking for the kind of suit that covers every square inch of my body.  I'm looking for the kind that I can wear around Grandma without blushing but also makes my husband do a double take.  I'm looking for one that my kids can hang onto without fear of indecent exposure, but also sings "Rosie's mom has got it going on" if you know what I mean.  If this is also the look that YOU are going for, read on.  I have the mecca of swimwear (so far) for the 2018 season and I'm revealing my personal choices soon! 

What to do when you can't exercise

If you've been following me on Instagram, you know I've been in a bit of a funk.  There's a lot of potential reasons... winter blues, financial stress, terrible two tantrums, some mild health issues... but one underlying fact remains.  And if I follow the patterns of anxiety in my life, I can pretty accurately trace them back to one common theme... a failure to exercise as part of my daily routine.  Now before you go assuming that I've just fallen off the wagon, trust me, this was not per my own decision making.  I had to have a growing lump (called a lipoma if you really wanna know) removed from my back and the incision is quite sizeable, thus I've been advised not to any type of exercise for several weeks.  No stretching, no walking, no lifting.  Not even my own toddlers who seem to be going through some withdrawl of their own.

Valentine Favorites 2018 Edition

I'm not sure what it is about Valentine's Day.  It's not like it's the holiday that I love, but the fact that it's pretty much an explosion of epic girlishness a free pass to immerse myself in pink and hearts and sweet treats galore.  Whatever the excuse, I'm totally down.  So here's five of my favorite fun treasures I've seen around the internet this season.  Which are you going to snag for yourself?

Announcement: I Don't Hate My Hair Anymore!

Gonna make this one super short and sweet but I have to announce that the hatred of my hair (my lifelong "problem area") has been majorly alleviated.  About six months ago, I posted a call for help on Instagram and man did you guys deliver.  I haven't tried everything but I can pretty confidently narrow it down to two main things that have totally changed the texture and manageability of my hair... so I'm reporting back with real life feedback that can hopefully help you too!

The Truth About Motherhood

I have to get something off my chest, because I'm starting to feel like a fraud.  Perhaps it's because I was blessed with twins that I hear this so often - when we're out at the supermarket, at family functions, doctors appointments, anywhere people know the story of my life.  I'm talking about the "You must be exhausted!" comments.  Or "You certainly have your hands full!"  And of course I smile and laugh and validate what they're saying as truth, just to keep myself from appearing too lucky.

Fit Mom Essentials to Aid the Journey

So I worked out last week for the first time in over a month.  Can I get a freaking applause??? lol kidding.  But anyway, while I've let myself fall off the wagon a bit, I also know my body and my expectations and I have every confidence that when it's time to apply, I most certainly WILL come through.  Today I'm sharing some of my essential items that are helping to whip me back into shape  in 2018.  Won't you join me in making this the proudest year of your life?!

Let's Play Four Square!

Let's play four square!  Four squares of fashion that is! All of these looks are made of pieces sold on Jane and lip colors sold by moi!  I'm not linking to any specific pieces simply because Jane is the type of site that changes offers every few days, so what's here today may be gone tomorrow.  But clearly you can see that it's one of my faves, and I can pretty much guarantee that if you have your heart set on something, just keep checking back and it will probably pop back up for purchase ;)   So without further ado, here is my own personal look book that makes my winter heart go aflutter.

One Pan Beef and Broccoli

The new year is here and just the like rest of America, I've got some goals!  But if there's one thing that makes sticking to a plan difficult, it's the monotony involved when it comes to food, at least for a non-chef type like myself.  So I tried out this beef & broccoli dish for my first week of meal prep and was more than satisfied with the results.

To be honest, I actually bought this beef pre-sliced specifically for stir fry on a whim because I knew that chicken was going to get old fast and also because the entire meat section (specifically cuts of beef) overwhelms and bewilders me so I tend to avoid it altogether.  This looked pretty fool proof and the packaging confirmed for me that I should use it for this purpose, so here I went mixing and messing with the rest of my kitchen ingredients.