Winter Bucket List

I love finding easy, cheap, and fun things for us to do as a family. So, I have had a lot of fun creating these bucket lists for us to do every few months. It gives us easy access on those days where we aren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves.

The days may be shorter and we may be missing the sun, but that doesn’t mean we are doomed to months of boredom. Because we live in Texas and it doesn’t get SUPER cold here much, most of these are not necessarily cold weather activities.

So, here are my top 20 ideas for our Winter Bucket List:

  1. Sit by a fire
  2. Develop an indoor workout routine
  3. Read a book
  4. Stay in your pajamas all day
  5. Go ice skating
  6. Set goals for the new year
  7. Make DIY Valentines
  8. Visit a local museum
  9. Watch a marathon of your favorite tv show
  10. Do a random act of kindness
  11. Try a new restaurant
  12. Make hot chocolate
  13. Make a vision board
  14. Bake cookies
  15. Go to a movie
  16. Build a fort
  17. Go bowling
  18. Have a family movie night
  19. Do a new puzzle
  20. And if you’re lucky enough to have snow, make a snowman

And there you have it! Most of these activities are free, and if they aren’t, you can typically find discounts for cheap activities. What are your favorite things to do in the winter?

2019 Word of the Year: BEST!

As I sit down to write out my goals for 2019, I find myself searching for my focus word for the coming year. I have really been struggling with feeling less than lately. And no, I don’t mean that I don’t know my worth. I just know that I am not living up to my full potential. So, for 2019, my focus is to just be the best wife, mom, friend, and just all around person I can be. With that said, my word for 2019 is a simple one… BEST.

The definition of Best is: of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality. My goal this year is to be the best I can be in all areas of my life!

I really wan to take the time to invest in my marriage this year. We have a great relationship, don’t get me wrong. But in all of life’s daily demands, its easy to not make your relationship a priority. So, I plan to be more intentional this year and take a little extra time to just spend more quality time with my husband, whether it be watching a show together on tv, going on date nights, or even taking a short trip together just the two of us.

I also want to invest more time into my kids by just being in the moment with them more. Whether its watching their favorite show with them, playing with them, or taking them to do their favorite activities. I want to put down my phone more and just BE with them. They are only little for a short period of time and its already going SO fast. I want to cherish every moment!

Next on my list… I want to work on being a better friend. I know life tends to get in the way, especially when you have children, and before you know it, it’s been months or maybe even a year or longer since you’ve seen friends who you were once close to. I know it happens, and I totally get it, but I want to make the choice to spend more time with my friends. I want them all to know how much they mean to me.

So there you have it! I’m going to do my BEST to be the BEST wife, mom, friend, and all around person I can be this year. What are some of your goals this year?

My Favorite Stocking Stuffers Under $5!

Are you like the majority of us who have a hard time finding things to stuff your kids or family member’s stockings with? I like to add practical things that are actually useful, but won’t break the bank. Over the years, I’ve made a pretty solid list of things I like putting in my family’s stockings, and they seem to go over pretty well. I thought I’d share them with you in case you are looking for ideas! These can all be found for under $5:

For those moms/women in your life, some good stocking stuff ideas are:

  • Nail polish
  • Lotion
  • Favorite candy
  • Bath bombs
  • Journal
  • Gum
  • Starbucks Gift Card
  • Coffee Mug
  • My favorite, Amazon Gift Card

For the dads/men in your life, these are typically big hits:

  • Favorite candy
  • Socks
  • Home Improvement store Gift Card
  • Amazon Gift Card
  • Gum
  • Movie

For the teens in your family, try some of these ideas:

  • Favorite candy
  • Gum
  • Nail polish
  • Socks
  • Hair ties
  • iTunes Gift Card
  • Starbucks Gift Card
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Body Wash
  • Hand Sanitizer

For the little ones, these are some of the most practical ideas:

  • Crayons
  • Play Doh
  • Stickers
  • Silly Putty
  • Chapstick
  • Glow Sticks
  • Card Games
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Small Toys

This one is probably one of the tougher ones starting out, but also can end up being the easiest, because they can’t eat candy or chew gum, etc. Haha Try out some of these:

  • Small stuffed animals
  • Pacifiers
  • Teethers
  • Rattle
  • Board Books
  • Age appropriate snacks

So, those are my typical go to items. I’d love to know what you guys think! Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite things are to add to your loved ones stockings!

Tips to Have a Healthier Holiday!

Do you find yourself struggling to make healthier choices when the holidays roll around? I know I do! Especially if you’ve been invited to a get together where multiple people are bringing dishes. Here are some tips to help you make healthier food choices while still enjoying those holiday get togethers:

1. Have a healthy snack BEFORE going to a holiday get together. Even something as simple as a piece of fruit or a small portion of vegetables would be a great option. You definitely do not want to show up starving, because you will likely have less control over your choices.

2. If you are in charge of the food, or even if you are just asked to bring a dish, choose something you know you can eat! Look up healthier recipes for your favorite dishes and make those instead.

3. Always aim to fill half your plate with vegetables (and no I don’t mean potatoes!). About a fourth of your plate should be protein, and the other fourth should be fiber filled carbs (healthy carbs like whole grains, sweet potatoes, etc.).

4. Drink at least 8 ounces of water before you sit down for a meal. This will ensure that you stay hydrated and help you feel full.

5. Be active! Take some time to go for a walk, or even get a workout in the day of your holiday festivities. This is good for so many reasons! You’ll burn calories, rev up your metabolism, and help aid in digestion are just a few of the many benefits of getting in some kind of physical activity.

I could really go on and on, but I will leave you with those for now. Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments. As always, I would love to hear from you!

5 Fall Fashion Must Haves

I don’t know about you, but with the fashion trends constantly changing and evolving, I struggle to keep up with all of the trends. Today, I wanted to share my favorite fall fashion must haves.

Colored Denim

This seems to be a huge trend for fall and one I can really get behind. I love to wear jeans and they are a staple in my wardrobe because, you know, #momlife, but I definitely find myself getting bored with the same ole regular denim jeans. This year, I’m excited to mix it up with colored denim in shades such as purple and olive green. My favorites right now are the Universal Threads skinny jeans from Target! I absolutely love the way they fit and the price is great too.

The Shrunken Blazer

What is a shrunken blazer you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like. A blazer that’s a little more “shrunken” than you may be used to wearing. It’s more fitted and tailored and so much fun to wear.

There are many reasons this is a good addition to your wardrobe. It is extremely versatile and, depending on the style, you can wear it with jeans, dress pants or even a skirt. It’s perfect for layering when the fall weather seems to change so drastically. It also turns an ordinary t-shirt and jeans outfit into something that will turn heads. Thanks to my friend, and business partner at Urban Grace TX for modeling this look for me! We have several options over at Urban Grace TX.

Utility Cargo Vests and Quilted Vests

I love wearing vests in the fall and on warmer winter days. They add the perfect touch to an outfit when it’s not quite warm enough for a coat, but you need a little protection from the cooler weather. And there are so many options to choose from! My favorites right now are a military style utility vest and quilted padded vests. You can layer these over flannels or striped tees for the perfect look! We carry both of these styles at Urban Grace TX.

Basic Striped Long Sleeve Tees

I think a basic, striped long-sleeve tee can go with just about anything! They layer perfectly until the vests I mentioned above. You can wear them alone as a more casual look, or add a vest or some fancy jewelry to dress it up a little more. My favorites right now are from Old Navy and Urban Grace TX.

Cargo Utility Jackets

You can really ruin a great outfit with some frumpy outerwear, so make sure you keep up your amazing style even when choosing what to wear over your fab outfits! Now, I’m not saying you should sacrifice your comfort when choosing your outerwear, that’s why I think these amazing cargo utility jackets from Urban Grace TX are a great option!

I’d love to hear from you all on what you think of my favorites, and if you have any favorites of your own! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Crack Chicken Pasta Salad

I am always on the lookout for new recipes. I am not one of those people who can eat the same meals over and over again without changing it up. I found this AMAZING recipe and I just had to share. I love that it works with my 2B Mindset plan, and it’s a great lunch meal that should have plenty of leftovers to give you a few days worth at once.

Crack Chicken Pasta Salad

Ingredients

1 lb dry whole wheat pasta (I like bow tie pasta for a pasta salad, but you can use any type you like)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into cubes

1 tsp olive oil

3/4 cup cottage cheese

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I prefer uncured nitrate free bacon, but you can also use turkey bacon)

1/3 cup cheddar cheese

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp parsley

1 tsp fresh dill, or 1/2 tsp dried

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for a couple minutes. Add the pasta and water to skillet. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is done.

  2. Drain the pasta, rinse it and let it dry. Place the pasta and chicken back into the skillet.

  3. Blend together the cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, garlic salt, onion powder, pepper, parsley, and dill.

  4. Pour your blended sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions over the pasta. Mix well. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with more cheese, bacon, and green onions for garnish if desired. Serve at room temperature or cold.

    Now, I am NO chef, so this recipe is NOT something I came up with on my own, so I definitely want to give credit where credit is due! You can find the link to the original recipe here.

5 Myths About Muscle Gain

I don’t know about you, but I used to be terrified of lifting weights because I didn’t want to gain weight or be bulky. It wasn’t until I became a health and fitness coach and really started doing my research that I realized just how wrong I was about gaining muscle. So, today, I want to share with you my top 5 muscle gain myths.

1. You can’t lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. While a caloric deficit is needed to burn fat, a caloric surplus isn’t necessary to gain muscle. That’s because stored fat is stored energy. So essentially, your stored fat is available to use as fuel for building muscle. But don’t be confused… you cannot turn fat into muscle. You can only replace fat with muscle.

2. If you eat more protein, you’ll build more muscle. Protein promotes the muscle-building process, called protein synthesis, but this does not mean you need an excess amount of protein. If you are working out hard, you only need to consume 0.9-1.25 grams grams of protein per pound of body weight. Excess protein is either excreted or converted into carbohydrates and stored. The most important part is to consume the right balance of protein to carbohydrates. You should consume 1 part protein to 3 parts carbohydrates after a workout.

3. Never exercise a sore muscle. As long as your muscle is not sore to the touch, or the soreness doesn’t limit your range of motion, an active rest involving light aerobic activity and stretching will actually help in the repair process and can help alleviate some of the soreness. And if you’re not too sore, try lifting some light weights for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

4. Lifting weights will make you bulky. Lifting weights will actually help you burn fat and gain muscle, providing you are eating enough protein. The bottom line is, it is far healthier to be lifting weights than not, especially as we age – male or female!

5. The longer you train, the better the results. The most important thing is quality over quantity. Focus on your form, and get adequate rest. Remember, muscles are actually formed while you sleep!

Do you have any fitness “myths” you’ve heard for years and are beginning to wonder how true they are? Leave them in the comments and I will answer them to the best of my ability! As always, thanks for reading!

My 80 Day Obsession Results

I realized I haven’t written a blog about my 80 Day Obsession results, so today, I’m sharing those.

80 Days (well, technically 90 days, but 80 workouts) later and I am SO proud of what I accomplished. The workouts are intense, averaging 45 minutes to an hour in length. There are three 4 week phases, each week having 6 different workouts. I LOVE that each week is a different workout. You are doing the same moves in each phase, but the way in which you do them changes. Each phase, you have the same labeled workout, but she changes up the moves for each workout. It’s almost impossible to get bored, because you are literally doing a different workout every single day for the 80 days.
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In the middle of January, I started this 80 day abs & booty program, and a few months ago, I checked off day 80! I have never felt so motivated and excited to stick to a plan. These results are real. These booty gains and mom abs are for real (although I still have lots of work to do)!
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Being consistent is not easy…. life is BUSY. Whether you’re a working mom, a full time stay at home mom, maybe you’re not a mom, I’m sure I have used every excuse I’m sure you’ve told yourself, too. This isn’t E A S Y. But it’s S I M P L E. 👌
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The formula was simple: follow the workout program, eat according to the meal plan (whole foods based), and stay accountable to yourself!
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So, here are my 80 day results! Did I follow the meal plan as well as I should have? NO! But I did the best I could and I didn’t skip a single workout! And I’m down 6 lbs and 18”!!!!!!! YOU can get results too if you put your mind to it and stop getting in your own way! Who wants to do round 2 with me?!

Would you like to try another round with me? Check it out here, and find me on Facebook for info on my next group!

Beachbody Performance Products

If you are an athlete or train pretty religiously at the gym, you could definitely benefit from Beachbody’s Performance line. I love their products because I know all of the research that goes into making their products, and I don’t have to worry about them adding any unwanted chemicals. I’ll give you a little rundown on each of the products and what they help with.

Energize: If you’ve ever struggled with low energy or lack of focus—you need Energize pre-workout formula. If you want help to power through the hardest workouts with more energy and endurance—help to intensify your focus and delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue—you need Energize pre-workout formula. Energize is formulated with key ingredients that are scientifically shown to help give you energy. Take it before workouts so its key ingredients can help:

  • Increase energy and endurance
  • Improve intense exercise performance
  • Sharpen focus and reaction time
  • Increase muscle power output
  • Delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue

Why is Energize better than other energy products?*

  • You get increased energy.
  • It’s a powerful combination of ergogenic (performance-enhancing) ingredients and phytonutrients that are scientifically shown to help improve exercise performance, sharpen focus, and delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue.
  • It contains functional ingredients that have been scientifically shown to work. Other products include gimmicky ingredients with no evidence that they work.
  • Key ingredients are included at their clinically established effective levels.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Hydrate: When you’re not properly hydrated during workouts, you can experience a drop in power and performance. And even mild dehydration can cause a reduction in exercise performance. But surprisingly, water isn’t the best way to hydrate, because it can’t effectively maintain the body’s fluid balance or replace lost electrolytes lost through sweat during exercise. Typical sports drinks can have too much sugar and artificial ingredients don’t hydrate you effectively either. Hydrate was created with an ideal balance of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and water for better fluid absorption. It’s specifically formulated to replenish sweat losses and help improve exercise performance and endurance.*

The key ingredients in Hydrate during-workout formula are scientifically shown to help:*

  • Support hydration during exercise
  • Replace electrolytes lost during exercise
  • Improve exercise performance
  • Improve endurance
  • Increase fluid absorption during exercise

Why is Hydrate better than other hydration products?*

  • It gives you the ideal balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes that, when combined with a specific amount of water, creates the optimal osmolality for better fluid absorption during exercise. Osmolality refers to the amount of solute dissolved in solution. Typical sports drinks contain too much sugar, which can raise the osmolality and makes them slower and harder to absorb. It has been reported that some sports drinks can cause gastrointestinal distress, and may be suboptimal for hydrating, which is not what you want during exercise.
  • Hydrate solution is slightly lower than the osmolality of your blood, which means your body can absorb it better, easier, and faster—for the most effective hydration possible.
  • More fluid absorption means better blood circulation to muscles and skin, which helps boost exercise performance, improve endurance, and delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue.
  • Hydrate helps maintain the body’s fluid balance and replace important electrolytes that are lost through sweat.
  • When you’re properly hydrated, you’ll feel better, recover faster, and have more stamina.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Recover: When you’re too sore from your workouts, it’s that much harder to stick with your program consistently. But when you reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness and improve muscle strength recovery, you can recover from your workout faster—and you can hit the next one that much harder. Faster recovery helps you get faster results, and that’s why you must take in the proper nutrients after every workout. The timed-release (fast-, intermediate-, slow-release) proteins and phytonutrients in Recover help maximize that critical post-workout opportunity to help reduce muscle breakdown, support muscle protein synthesis, fight exercise-induced muscle soreness, and jump-start your body’s natural rebuilding process so you can come back stronger tomorrow.*

The key ingredients in Recover post-workout formula are scientifically shown to help:*

  • Speed muscle recovery
  • Combat exercise-induced muscle soreness
  • Reduce muscle breakdown
  • Promote muscle protein synthesis
  • Improve adaptation to exercise
  • Improve muscle strength recovery
  • Support muscle glycogen recovery

Why is Recover better than other post-workout products?*

  • Way more effective than a simple protein powder, Recover uses key ingredients scientifically shown to help speed muscle recovery, reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness, and improve muscle strength recovery. It provides your muscles with a rapid and sustained supply of nutrients when your workout is over, to help boost your recovery to get you ready to crush your next workout.
  • Key phytonutrients help muscle recovery, reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness, and speed muscle strength recovery.
  • Recover contains functional ingredients that have been scientifically shown to work. Other products include gimmicky ingredients at insignificant levels with no evidence that they work.
  • Key ingredients are included at their clinically established effective levels.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Recharge: Sleep is absolutely critical to your body’s recovery. That’s prime time for your muscles to recharge so you can keep pushing the limits day after day. Recharge nighttime recovery formula is targeted nutrition that helps promote overnight muscle recovery. It helps boost your body’s ability to fight off delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) while promoting lean-muscle growth. So you wake up feeling strong and ready to crush your next workout.*

The key ingredients in Recharge nighttime recovery formula are scientifically shown to help:*

  • Support overnight muscle recovery
  • Combat exercise-induced muscle soreness
  • Reduce muscle breakdown
  • Promote muscle protein synthesis
  • Improve adaptation to exercise

Why is Recharge better than other recovery products?*

  • It targets your recovery while you sleep with ingredients scientifically shown to help support overnight muscle recovery and phytonutrients to help combat exercise-induced muscle soreness.
  • Recharge contains functional ingredients that have been scientifically shown to work. Other products include gimmicky ingredients with no evidence that they work.
  • The light, creamy vanilla flavor helps satisfy the urge to snack at night without the extra calories that can derail your fitness results. You won’t go to sleep on an empty stomach, and you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to crush your next workout.
  • Key ingredients are included at their clinically established effective levels.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Creatine: Whether you’re looking to pack on extra muscle or push intense exercise to the max, Creatine can help you get there. Creatine monohydrate is one of the most scientifically effective ingredients shown to help boost strength and power, improve high-intensity performance and enhance the effects of resistance training. And when you’re able to work harder, you can reach your body-transformation goals even faster.*

Creatine Monohydrate is scientifically shown to help:*

  • Improve high-intensity exercise performance
  • Improve muscle strength and power
  • Enhance the effects of resistance training
  • Enhance muscle glycogen recovery

Why is Beachbody Performance Creatine better than other creatine products?*

  • Not all creatine is created equal. Creatine monohydrate has exceptional purity and potency. In fact, it’s the purest, most tested and effective form of creatine in the world.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Want to try some for yourself? Get some here!

Wellness Wednesday: Food Rules to Live By

I don’t know about you, but I hate the word “diet”. Why? Because a “diet” is typically something you do for a short period of time in hopes of losing weight. Here’s why I don’t like it: 1. You typically eliminate certain food groups altogether, which usually means binging on those food groups sooner or later. 2. Yes, you may lose the weight you were hoping to lose, but how many times have you just turned around and gained all of that weight back, plus some? And 3. I don’t like diets because the real problem lies in your every day choices, and what you really need is a lifestyle change. So, today, I wanted to share with you some tips on every day things you can do to make healthier choices.

Some food rules I live by:

Never label a certain food group off limits. In my experience, that generally leads to self sabotage. I have found that any time I deny myself certain foods, I tend to crave them even more. Am I saying you should go to McDonalds every day? Of course not! I’m simply saying that if you love a certain food, it’s ok to indulge in it from time to time. But how often you indulge in those foods should definitely depend on the type of food it is. I do believe we all deserve a treat now and then!

Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Water is so good for you in so many ways. Not only does it promote healthy weight management and weight loss, it also increases brain power and provides energy. It flushes out toxins, can improve your complexion and help you maintain regularity. When you are properly hydrated, all of your organs will run better and you will be more likely to feel better all around!

Eat more vegetables! Vegetables are naturally low in calories and filled with fiber that helps fill you up and keep your digestive system happy. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that will help you feel healthy and more energized. Needless to say, eat your veggies and eat LOTS of them!

Don’t buy junk! If you know you don’t have the discipline to stay away from junk foods, do NOT bring them into your home. You can’t eat them if they aren’t there!

Pay attention to your serving sizes. Try drinking 8 oz of water before each meal. Eat your vegetables first, then your protein. If you are still hungry, eat some fiber filled carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc). If you’ve finished your plate and are still hungry, start the process over again. And do not eat until you are full… eat until you are satisfied.

One of my favorite rules to live by: Shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store. Steer clear of the middle aisles as much as possible. The edges of the store are usually where you find your meat, fish, dairy, and produce. You’re more likely to fill your cart with healthy foods if you stick to the outside aisles.