Saturday, December 26

Whats Your Word For 2016?

I don't even remember how long ago it started. I have been in the blogging community for so long I don't remember exactly the first year I read about picking a word. I do know that it was back when Susannah Conway blogged under the name "Ink on my Fingers" and before she was a published author. Isn't it cool to watch people's dreams come true? I digress...

For years, I've been using this exercise of choosing a word for my year. And if doing so has taught me anything, it's that focusing your intentions into just one word (or phrase, or mantra... but especially just one single word) is powerful! I still make resolutions (sometimes) but I love to focus my mind, soul, and energy into a single word so that all my thoughts and intentions pass through its filter.

There's not magic to finding your word. Usually my word kind of just comes to me as I sit quietly and start to wrap up one year in my head and open up my intentions to the one upcoming. Usually a few words float around my thoughts, then synonyms, and then one word just feels right. Sometimes my words shock me a little bit. Other times they fall into my life like the last piece in puzzle. But every year they have proven to be influential in the events of the year to come!

Past words of the year:

2009: VISIBLE - The first year a word was influential in my life. This was the year our photography business really took off and getting our word seen by as many eyes as possible became a theme.
2010: UP (or "RISE") -After a bit of a burnout from working so hard I wanted our success to be more effortless like a hot air balloon balloon rising.
2011 + 2012: These years were the years of my pregnancy and post partum. They were definitely a hard time and I never ended up picking a word. I was in survival mode. I guess SURVIVE ended up being my word because it was all I focused on.
2013: CALM -  I never picked this word but I realized I'd been living it about halfway through the year. After coming out of the fog of PPD I wanted a year that was peaceful.
2014: BRAVE - At the end of 2013 I made a decision that changed the trajectory of my life and 2014 was when I really ran with that decision. Bravery was required.
2015: POSSIBILITY - Last year I came back with intention to my old tradition of picking words. I chose possibility and oh what a year of possibility it was!!!

Looking back at 2015. The year of POSSIBIITY:

In 2015 I saw the potential to have a big foundational year. My husband and I both talked about it. We wanted 2015 to be the year that we laid the groundwork for our future. And although we didn't check every goal off our list, we definitely made some serious progress. In January of 2015 I started the year as a 2* diamond coach (that's my rank, think of it like job titles like "assistant manager" or "district manager") I ended the year as a 13* diamond coach with 17 lifetime diamond coaches under me. That means I helped 15 people to get to the milestone of Diamond coach which is a huge milestone in the coaching business. I love the mentoring aspect of my job so this number jump means so much to me!

In January of 2013 I made about $5000 in monthly income as a coach! It was a huge milestone to me to be at a full time income. But I saw the possibility for growth and I ended the year with a monthly income 4 times my January number. Talk about possibility!*

In January of 2013 I had a team of a little less than 1000 coaches. At the end of the year our downline is now over 3000 people strong!

In January of 2013 I was ranked in the company in the mid 100's. In 2015 because of the work my team did I jumped up to being the #26 coach in the company! Right now I'm hovering in the 30's and I know my team will one day be a Top 10 Team!

In 2015 my husband and I were able to actually start building our savings, something we were never able to do before because we were living practically paycheck to paycheck with very inconsistent income as full time artists. This was HUGE for our family since we want to have stability financially as our son grows and our family grows.

In 2015 we bought a truck and a 5th wheel that we plan to makeover and take on the road in 2016! This decision was FULL OF POTENTIAL because we are going to be able to travel the US and make all kinds of memories as a family next year. Since my job is not limited geographically, I can work anywhere that I have internet access so we are so excited to tackle this adventure!

Looking forward to 2016!

As 2015 draws to a close I am happy to wrap it up and let it go into the past. It was a challenging, exciting, hard-working, sometimes heart-breaking year. But all in all it was a great, foundational year that showed us the potential for the path we are on right now in life! I was having a harder time than usual coming up with my word for 2016. I tested a few out, rolled them over in my mind, but none stuck. Until one did. And you guys, for the first time ever, I resisted it!

I resisted my 2016 word. It's never happened to me before. I thought I didn't like how it sounded. I was weary of the implications of it. What if... What if... What if.... Then I realized. It was all just fear. Because this word is a big word. And it's appropriate because I feel as if I'm standing on the precipice. This upcoming year has the potential to be one of the biggest in my life if I choose to make it so. And there the fear comes in. What if people don't connect with me in this way? What if I can't make these big goals happen? What if I fail?

Oh, but darling, what if you fly!

So, without further adieu... my 2016 word for the year, that makes me a little bit afraid and a whole lotta bit excited is....

new years resolutions

It's a bit intimidating right? Can I live up to this word? And then I realized that everything that I experienced in 2015 has led me to this point. All the messages from the Universe, all the tapping into my own power, all the lessons about energy and manifestation... it's all led me here, for this exact moment, to make this exact decision to embody UNLEASHED in 2016.

To become free, to set into motion, to unloose, to release upon the world, to bring about, to assert... doesn't it sound a bit like "manifestion without frustration"? The message I've been getting from the Universe for the last 6 months?!

I know it's time. It is scary, and that's how I know it's right. No more holding back. No more hiding. To open up and let everyone see it. To unleash the potential I hold into my life. To share. To set into motion. To UNLOOSE, myself and hopefully help others do the same. I am ready.

Do no harm, but take no shit. Wild and precious. No holding back. 

What are your words (or word) for 2015? I'd love to know! Come tell me on my Facebook page!

And if you need more help figuring it out, I made this quick video explaining more about how I discover my word (and my colors for those of you who are really visual) for the year and what I do with them after! Enjoy.

Still need more help? One of my favorite bloggers, Susannah Conway, has put together a fantastic workbook that I love and use each year to help you get ready for 2016. You can see it in the photos above!  Download it here.  She also has a free e-course you can sign up for to help you pick your work if you're having trouble.

*Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach’s income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill. For more information see the Beachbody Statement of Independent Coach Earnings


Friday, December 18

My Story.... From The Beginning

beachbody coach transformation

I've tried to figure out how to write this so many times. How do you summarize the various facets of your life experience into one nice little story? Intro paragraph, narrative, closing. I've written it out, or at least parts of it in various ways. And how much of our stories do we ever really tell?

But as 2015 comes to a close, and as I stand on the starting line to what I envision being one of the biggest years of my life... I want us all to start on the same page.

I'm ending this, my 2nd full year as a coach ranked #35 in the company. A company with more than 400,000 coaches. I get to do this as my career now. I doubled, nearly tripled our household income from before and retired myself and my husband from our previous jobs. But you might not know any of that about me or how I got to this point. Did you know I've actually blogged since 2007?!

I have. Crazy huh? No, you won't see it in the archives here. This blog has actually been a lot of blogs. It was called Miss Marie for a long time. I forget what my first name was and there's been random name changes over the years. (Shoutout to my 20SomethingBlogger friends!) It's been Life as an Artistpreneur for a long time. And in that time I've changed the format of this blog more times than any blogger should. I blogged for Disney Baby for a long time too, chronicling my first year of parenting. And I forget that not everyone here has read all those stories, even though I've written them, so you might not know as much about me as I think you do. Let's change that now...

I want to share more with you. To pull down the pretenses of a blog. To strip it down to what I originally loved so much about blogging. Instead of blogging for numbers, instead of trying to curate magazine-worthy content, to just share from my heart. Isn't that what we love about blogs? That they allow us to peek into the lives of people we would never normally get to know? I do.

So you know where I am now. But do you know where I came from to get here?

It's been a wild ride. When I graduated college I never saw myself as a future health and wellness coach. I wanted to be a musician, although I'm mediocre at music. After a short-lived marriage ended in a messy divorce and the loss of my job, my apartment, my musical dreams, and pretty much all of the people I considered friends, I found myself in the ashes of my life faced with no options but to start over.

I had this burning desire to prove myself, to show everyone that I wasn't just a failure. It was almost manic, it drove me so hard. So I dove headfirst into a new endeavor... photography. In the midst of a crumbling economy and recession I decided to start a photography business. And it ended up being a great decision. It was one of those pivotal decisions that changed the trajectory of my life. That business was my baby, and I nurtured it and poured my blood, sweat, and tears into it. I hustled. I learned. I grew.

I learned so much in my 8 years of being a self-employed professional photographer. A few years in I eloped with my soulmate and together we built a business that allowed us to have amazing experiences and adventures together. From being published in national magazines, to being flown all over the US and Europe, to teaching...  I learned how to wear a lot of hats, how to figure it out, how to stay ahead of the curve, how to be responsible for my own success or failure, how to work harder than I ever thought possible, and most of all, how to be in business for myself. I learned what I liked about being a self-employed artist, and what I didn't like.

being goofy at a photography conference (left) | 7 months pregnant (right)

6 years into my career as a full time photographer, we started our family. We had no idea what to expect but we made plans to make it work no matter what. My pregnancy was textbook. Our son came 3 weeks early and was born at home, in our bedroom after 7 hours of unmedicated labor. Choosing to go that route was one of the most formative experiences of my life. I am now 100% confident that I can do the hardest of things. It was the most empowering (and at the same time all-consuming) experiences. I discovered that when I felt like I have nothing left to give, I could summon the strength to push through. And the biggest lesson I learned from it was that in so much of life, the only way out, is through. Whether we may like it or not.

After our son was born was when my life started to take a turn I didn't expect. Life with a new baby did not end up being what I expected it to be. We struggled. I didn't know it until 10 months later but I suffered with post-partum depression. (A poem I wrote about it was published here.) I had a hard time feeling attached in the way I anticipated. I was exhausted all the time. My body didn't go back the way I thought it would. Our marriage struggled. We were not connected. We were not finding our groove. When the fog began to lift 10 months later, the damage had been done and we had to figure out how to move forward despite the pain of what we had been through.

(Looking back at photos from that time I feel so sad, and guilty. I wonder what those first 10 months would have been like for me and for our little man if I had not suffered with PPD. Did he notice that I was distant? Did he lack in some way? Could I have been a better mom? Questions that won't ever have answers and a sadness I'll always carry in some way but that makes me soooooo grateful for our bond now,  fierce like fire and deeper than the oceans.)

After my son's first birthday I started to feel hopeless. I had gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy and had only lost a handful of them off my small, 5'2 frame. I was forgetful. I was achy. I was beyond exhausted all the time no matter how much I slept. My body felt weak and weary from all the excess weight. I was trying all the standard weight loss methods and nothing was working. I would run. I would live on salads and coffee. I would do barre classes. I tried it all. After over a year of struggle, our photography business had lost some serious momentum. We had steady work, but we had to work harder to maintain it. And with the low barrier to entry in the industry our competition was growing faster than we could keep up. I was drained, a bit defeated, and daunted. Finally, I decided to visit an integrative doctor to see if I was just crazy and lazy or if possibly, there could be something deeper happening under the surface.

70 pound weight loss transformationin the midst of a struggle I didn't even understand (left) | my before and after 70 pound weight loss (right)

My symptoms were so scattered: brain fog, unexplained weight gain, inability to lose weight, memory problems, extreme fatigue, pain in my joints, anxiety, the blues.... I sat in the waiting room TERRIFIED that the doctor was going to come back in with my test results and tell me I was crazy. I feared that she would tell me to suck it up, to stop being lazy, to just deal with it and stop being a baby. Because that is how I felt the world was looking at me. People would say things like, "well that's just how all new moms feel" or "that's just mom-brain, get used to it," and I felt so hopeless because if this was just how my life had to be from that point on, then how was that a life to be excited about? Tears welled up in my eyes as the doctor walked in the door.

And in a moment I will remember for the rest of my life she looked into my eyes with so much empathy and said, "Honey, with results like this, I don't know how you've been doing even HALF of what you've been doing." And I crumpled into a mess of emotions. I found out that I was suffering from something called Hashimotos. It had affected my liver, my cholesterol, the amount of antibodies in my blood (basically my body was in constant fight mode), my iron, my vitamin D, and my thyroid levels. And that explained why my symptoms were so all over the board. Because this disease causes a strange domino effect throughout multiple systems in the body.

My prescription was to drastically change my lifestyle in the hopes that I could avoid having to go on medication. For months I tried and struggled. I saw small amounts of weight come off but never made any serious progress. Then I noticed people talking about Beachbody on Facebook and a friend in real life started having some legit results with a program called T25. I started doing my research.

In a long story that I will surely tell in more detail later I stumbled upon the Facebook page of the number one coach in the company and asked her what this whole deal was. (I can't believe she actually messaged me back!) I saw you could be a coach and make money and you could do that at the same time of trying the programs for yourself. I don't remember what exactly called to me from the beginning. I think it was the fact that any extra income we could bring in was good, also I'm competitive and I like anything that challenges me to climb the ladder to success. And I thought that being a coach would force me to stay accountable to the workouts. It would be too embarrassing for me to tell everyone I was a coach and then never lose the weight. So I went all in.

This time, it wasn't a manic desire to prove myself to those that had seen me fall, but rather this deep sense of knowing that it was now or never. I was fighting for my own life, my own health, my family, and our future. I knew that this was my ticket to change it all, forever. I just knew. And again, I was driven...

At that time, I was still working full time at our photography business, was a stay-at-home (work-from-home) mom, and blogged freelance for Disney which took a shocking amount of time. If anyone says they are too busy to be successful at coaching, let me challenge you because I was definitely too busy. Working all during the week and then shooting on weekends and fitting in my workouts and new healthy habits in the cracks in between.

I loved that I could control my income from the start. I knew that if I wanted to make a certain amount of money in a month that I had to help a certain amount of people with their health goals, it was simple to reverse engineer. I was rewarded based on how many people I could genuinely help. Quickly coaching began to supplement our income.

summit beachbody successphotos from my first year as a coach, when I started coming into my own and feeling confident again

And at some point, I fell head over heels in love. With this opportunity, with myself, with my life. In the midst of my first 2 years I lost 70 pounds, grew a six figure income, then eventually replaced our household income. I improved myself with personal development and the positive changes I was making in myself rippled into my family. I slowly and steadily grew my base of people I was helping and started to mentor people who also wanted to learn how to make coaching work in their life. And once I had a taste, I knew there was nowhere for me to go but to the top.

I've never looked back. Yes I had some ups and downs. I've had major successes and some big time shortcomings. I've learned, I've taken all the lessons that my photography business taught me and used them to help me be a better coach and mentor. I realized I could merge all my passions and fill the gaps of what photography could never fully fill. I stumbled into my dream career never having even known before that, that it even existed at all as an option!

I've had to find my way, find my voice, start from scratch, rebuild, try new things, make it work, find new balance, and work on my weaknesses...

But coaching has transformed me as a person and my life. My marriage is stronger than ever. I feel confident and strong and capable and UN-STUCK. I feel fulfilled knowing that the work I do does not only support my family financially but it also helps people to dramatically improve their situations as well and that fills my heart more than I can explain.

beachbody coach success photos of me and my husband now. happier, healthier, more free than ever! 

So here I am, poised on the beginning of a new year. A year full of so much promise and opportunity. A year that I know will be a year that we remember forever. And I can't help but laugh a bit when I look back on the unlikely success story I have been. I never saw it coming, but nothing could have been more perfect in my life. Who would have thought that the mess of a girl who had ruined and rebuilt her life, then got knocked back down again, who was 200 pounds and sick... who would have guessed that she would become a health and wellness coach, that she would find her way, help others do the same, and lead a top ranked team for the company that helped her break free? But here we are... and I want to take as many people to the top with me as possible. I've found my passion and my purpose. And if my past has taught me anything, it's that no matter what comes, I can continue to build and re-build stronger than ever.

Come what may, I've found my way.

Watch my 70 pound weight loss story below. 

Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach’s income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill. For more information see the Beachbody Statement of Independent Coach Earnings

Sunday, December 6

Wild & Precious (Part 2) | We Bought An RV

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen some of our travels in our new 5th wheel but I realized that I never shared officially about the whole thing and I've had a bunch of you asking for photos of the layout and what it looks like now before it is renovated (spoiler alert, it's not really that bad) so I wanted to share this 2nd half of the experience for those of you following this new adventure of ours. (Part 1 where we bought the truck is here if you want to read about that!)

After we arrived on the (crazy) idea that we wanted to purchase a truck and an RV so we could spend this upcoming year traveling and exploring different areas of the country, we had to start doing some research and figuring out what we wanted and needed. There's actually a lot of options for living on the road and we weren't sure at first which would be the best fit for us. We took to the internet and read up on all the various styles of homes on wheels from vans, to schoolbus conversions, to motorhomes, to travel trailers, to airstreams, to 5th wheels.

We decided that a truck + 5th wheel combination would be the right fit for us for now. We had already been considering buying a truck and we liked the idea of being able to unhitch from our "home" and explore the area. (Not really possible with a motorhome or van.) And, as inexperienced towers, we wanted a hitch that was really solid and easier to tow and we read lots of reviews that helped us feel secure that a 5th wheel would be the best for us to learn with!

We talked about all the ways to get started on this and all the options. We decided that whatever we found, we wanted to be able to buy it with cash since living a debt free lifestyle is really important to us. We also didn't want to bite off more than we could chew. I mean, we've never even done this before, what if we hated it?! So with the decision to pay cash for our 5th wheel we had a budget in mind and were able to start shopping around.

We looked online and decided to go to a few local dealerships to be able to physically tour some of the styles we liked. I'll be honest, we were a bit disappointed by a few of the dealerships which really didn't have much for us to see. One dealership had this one, pastel colored and slightly faded rig parked off to the side. We didn't originally consider it because the layout was not what we originally believed that we wanted. But after driving by it we both thought that we should stop and step inside... just to see.

Of course, we fell in love with it. The photo above is of me and Bubs inside at the dealership. Everything about this rig felt good. It was clean and exceptionally well maintained. The wood was already painted a super pale grey (instead of the horribly dark finishes inside most rigs) and there was tons of natural light. Other than some little cosmetic issues, some dated fabric choices, and some pretty faded carpet, there wasn't much we would need to do. We put in an offer.

Something weird about buying RV's is that it's kind of a strange mix between attempting to buy a car and attempting to buy a house. There's so much to consider. Luckily, since we knew we were paying cash, a lot of the stress of the purchasing side of things was never even an issue and we were able to sign the paperwork, write a check, and take the keys!!! It was such an amazing feeling!

So enough about how it happened! I know you want to see WHAT it looks like! We decided to take it on a maiden voyage before changing anything inside. That way we could get a real sense of what we wanted to change and what didn't matter much to us. Luckily, our little rig is in pretty good shape so we were able to use it without having to do much cosmetically. Here's the layout of our 2008 Coachmen Chaparral:

And here's what it looks like "before"...

Here's our rig all hooked up and with the slides in. This is how it looks while traveling. Of course, the rig is not really liveable with the slides in. In a pinch we could but it's not at all ideal. When we set up, we expand the slides and it practically doubles our living space. On the opposite side is the front door which also has a screen door so we can keep bugs out but let fresh air in when the weather is nice. On the opposite side is also a huge awning that comes down when we are parked to offer a really big, shaded outdoor space. When the slides are out and the 5th wheel is detached from the truck, it looks like this...

And now, a quick tour of the inside, as it was when we purchased it!

These valences have got to go. The same with the fabric on the sofa. The sofa, however, is a sleeper sofa that perfectly fits into the space and expands to a full size bed. We are debating trying to replace it or just recovering it. The blue curtains will be removed. The RV shades have grown on us. At first we wanted to take them out but after traveling we realized just how perfect they are and we know we couldn't DIY something like that ourself so they will stay. Things like this were exactly why we wanted to travel at least once before doing an overhaul of the interior! I highly suggest you do the same if you purchase an RV!

This kitchen, dining room, and living area are all one open space. The green wallpaper trim has got to go. It's sun-faded, an awful color and just visually cuts the walls in half. I'm not a fan. The stove cover is broken and will be replaced as well. Lucky for us, our appliances all work perfectly so we won't need to be replacing any of them!

There are a few quirks we wondered if we'd find useful that we just haven't. We are assuming this is a knife block. But it's chippped and god only knows what's in those grooves. It will be removed when we replace the countertops. There is nothing wrong with the countertops, but we feel that replacing them with butcher block or a light white faux-marble will visually transform the kitchen so we are on the lookout for the perfect pieces.

The living area is wrapped in storage. Literally the entire roof is lined in these cabinets. We have seen RV's where they remove the front and make a ledge but we love being able to close them and not visually see the clutter. The lights have already been updated with more modern fixtures. While they are not what we would choose ourselves, they might stay because they work perfectly and are not too horrible. We did purchase LED lights to replace all the lighting in the RV with bulbs that last longer and do not generate as much heat.

This little box, unfortunately, has to stay as it holds cables from the outside of the RV for power storage. It is currently built in as an end table of sorts. We are pretty undecided on how we will use this space. We might leave it as seating. We might build in seating. We might turn it into a desk space. Who knows! The photo on the right shows the controls for the RV.

I thought that removing and painting all the wood cabinetry would be my biggest DIY, but since we were lucky to find an RV that was already white (ish) I don't have to do any of that! So now the biggest DIY will be replacing the flooring. This green carpet and laminate will be removed and replaced with driftwood floors. And probably some cute rugs. Let's just be honest. ;) The purpose is both for aesthetics and cleanliness. Wood floors will be much better looking and a lot easier to keep clean as carpet holds onto dustmites, dirt, and all kinds of yucky stuff.

When you walk into the RV and turn to your right, this would be your view. The stairs lead up to a small hallway with a vanity sink and a full bathroom with bath and shower. Past that is the master bedroom. Before you walk up the stairs is this media built in. The previous owners left a lot of electronics we didn't need in there as you can see. I can't wait to make over this little area!

Here is a look at the vanity area on the left and the bathroom on the right. We especially loved that the vanity and sink was separate from the shower and toilet so that it is really easy for more than one person to be getting ready at the same time and not be up in each other's space. You can't tell in the photos but the RV has been modified so that the bathroom door and swing open and lock in place separating the master bedroom and the entire bathroom hallway from the living room. The bedroom door can also be closed to separate the living area and bathroom hallway from the master. So you can choose if you want the bathroom included in your master space or not. It's great with a kid because we can close our bedroom door but he can still access the bathroom in the middle of the night.

The bathroom is small, but not uncomfortable. We have a standard RV toilet. If we ever decide to live from the RV we will probably investigate composting toilets but for now, this works just fine. We were very lucky to find that this rig has a bathtub and not just a standing shower. This was a really happy surprise and great for traveling with a 3 year old who hates showers but loves baths. We will need to replace our showerhead asap to one that creates better water pressure. And after traveling we realize that we need to upgrade to having more hot water as we only get about a 5 minute warm shower out of this which is not quite enough to wash and condition my hair and get clean, and shave all at once. HAHA!

Here is the master! We love it! There is sooooo much storage we don't know what to do with it all. Drawers, cabinets, an entire 3 cabinet closet, and the entire bed lifts to an open space beneath the flatform of the bed. The bed can fit a queen or a king mattress. This in the photo is a king. We replaced it with a queen not realizing we could have gone bigger but we love the mattress we purchased so much that we are fine with it. This little shelf space perfectly fits some nick-nacks and a small TV to watch cable or movies from bed.

So that's it! We had a very eventful maiden voyage and learned a ton! I'll share more soon. We've also already started some updates and cannot wait to do some big makeover magic on this lady. She is still in need of a name but we are convinced she'll tell it to us soon enough! To continue following our story with the RV look for the WILD AND PRECIOUS tab here on the blog or follow me on Instagram! See you soon with some updates!

Thursday, December 3

31 Goals For My 31st Year

top beachbody coach success

It's my 31st birthday today. At 2:32pm I'll be officially a "thirty-something". No longer on the fringe of it at just 30 where I could dance in and out of my twenties and still feel like college was "just a few years ago". HA! It's legitimately one of the weirdest things that's happened to me. How is it possible? I don't feel like what I assumed a thirty-something person would feel like. I'm not sure who decided I was adult enough to be here. In fact, if I think about it too much, I freak myself out. So instead, I decided to put together a list of 31 things I want to accomplish in my 31st year. Because if I'm going to have to be 31, I might as well rock the shit out of it, you know?

I'm a goal setter. Maybe it's the Sag in me (I like something to aim my arrows at!) but I work well when I lay out my big dreams and I get competitive about crossing them off. So all through the year as I accomplish something, I'll draw a line through it. You can check in on this post by clicking the link in the sidebar all year, if you want to see how I'm doing. Let's go! (In no particular order) - 

1. Drink champagne more often 
2. Write an article about self love/health/overcoming for a bigger publication (life HuffPo)
3. Master handstands
4. Be in the best shape of my life
5. See a concert at Red Rocks
6. Blog 200 times (199 more to go!!!)
7. Spend a month with a mountain view
8. Get another tattoo
9. Put six figures in savings
10. Order fresh roses for the house for no particular reason
11. Read 10 books
12. Help 10 women to replace their full time incomes with their coaching businesses
13. Make a mala 
14. Redecorate Cadence's room
15. Leave a 100% tip just because
16. Have my portrait taken by Angelica Glass
17. Visit New York City when it's cold 
18. Create a living will with my husband
19. Have my aura photographed
20. Decide officially if we will be growing our family or not, and be content either way
21. Find an anti-aging skin care routine and stick with it (yay 31, HAHA!)
22. Triple my income
23. Begin looking at property to purchase
25. Help 5 women on my team grow their businesses to 6 figure salaries
26. Finish Project Downsize
27. Visit Glacier National Park 
28. Take Ballroom Dancing lessons with Nate
29. Get another stamp on my passport
30. Renovate the RV
31. Travel first class somewhere


Wednesday, November 11

New Moon Vibes! New Moon in Scorpio on 1111

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

Can you feel it? Tonight is special. New moon in Scorpio on 11.11. So many things aligning that we can tap into and vibe off of tonight! Are you paying attention? Are you breathing it in? Since the new moon vibes officially began where I live I've been feeling so tuned in. Ideas pouring out of me. Full of new life and possibility! (Hey, there's my word for the year again!)

It's like coming out of the depths of the water (which makes sense since Scorpio holds the power of the water element). Like emerging from the fog. Bye bye baggage. Wave goodbye to that stagnant old energy. Pieces falling into place. This healing. Think rising like a Phoenix Bird! It's wild and tingly like static on the hairs of your arm. Do you feel like you're at a precipice? Are you having epiphany after epiphany? All you have to do is jump and leave the rest behind!

Here's some of my favorite astral insights for you to read today if you want to know what's going on above and around you: 

➳ Mystic Medusa for Gala Darling
➳ Aquarius Nation
➳ Mystic Mama 

For those of you that have crystal collections, tonight is a fantastic time to put a little love into your collection! For me? I wanted to do a cleansing ritual before laying them outside to "charge" under the energy of this extra special and magical new moon.

To start, I laid them all out in a spiral by color in a bed of cleansing herbs and autumnal spices. Then I smudged sage over them (as well as through the whole house, might as well once it's already burning right?) Then I laid them outside under the cloudless sky to soak up some new moon vibes.

Can anyone name some of the stones you see in my collection? What are you working with tonight? What are your favorite ways to maximize this time of new beginnings?


Wednesday, November 4

Pinterest Win! Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice

I don't know about you but I love that website Pinterest Fails. Don't you? If you don't know what it is, basically it's a website where normal people can upload their hilariously failed attempts at things they saw on Pinterest. It's hilarious! And oh-so-relatable if you've ever tried to re-create something you found on Pinterest that seemed simple and then you realized that it was probably created by a chef and a team of Martha Stewart pros. Here's two that made me chuckle...

olaf pancake pinterest fail, peppa pig pinterest fail

So when I first heard about "Cauliflower Rice" on Pinterest, I imagine myself gagging on mushy veggies under the pretense that they'd taste like risotto. I'm into health and nutrition. I eat kale chips and freeze dried mango and I make pancakes out of almond flour and I swear they are just as good as the real kind, but I'm still only human. And sometimes healthy things are just gross. That's what I expected from using chopped up cauliflower as rice.

Till today!!!!

I saw a recipe online for Cauliflower Fried Rice and I decided to give it a go myself. And OHMYGOSHYOUGUYS it's one of my favorite Pinterest Wins ever! (The Easter Egg coconut next cupcakes might be reining champs followed closely by banana ice cream because... obviously.)

It's super easy. And I made a few tweaks so it's gluten free and (pretty much) paleo. For example, I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos and Tamari in place of soy sauce. But really, you shouldn't fear this recipe, it isn't full of weird ingredients that your husband will give you the stink eye over. I promise!

gluten free, paleo fried rice

➳  1 heaping cup Cauliflower (processed in a food processor till rice texture.)
➳  1 organic, free range, antibiotic free chicken breast (could I be anymore Portlandia right now?)
➳  1 tbs Cold pressed Sesame Oil
➳  Tamari (to taste)
➳  Bragg's Liquid Aminos (to taste)
➳  1 small yellow onion, diced
➳  1 cup peas and carrots (I used the frozen kind, defrosted)
➳  1 egg (lightly beaten)
➳  Himalayan Sea Salt & black pepper (to taste)

1. Heat the sesame oil in a medium skillet over medium heat
2. Add the diced chicken and onion, spray some Bragg's on them (1 or 2 sprays is good!)
3. When the chicken is mostly cooked, add the peas and carrots and a quick dash of salt
4. Once the veggies are warmed through and the chicken is fully cooked, scoot everything to one side of the pan and add the egg, scramble it till mostly cooked

5. Add in the cauliflower rice and a good measure of tamari. Maybe a sprinkle more of sesame oil if things are looking dry. Turn down the burner and let everything cook on low, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower rice is tender. Add black pepper and eat right away while it's piping hot!

Let me know how it turns out for you! And if you like it please share it! 
(On the 21 Day Fix you could guestimate that a serving would be 1 green, 2 reds, 2 oils) 

cauliflower rice how to

Wednesday, October 21

Self Care: How I Create Sacred Space In 3 Easy Steps

how to take care of yourself for new and busy moms

This year I'm all about taking better care of myself. And I don't just mean by eating better (although I'm a constant work in progress where nutrition is concerned) or working out,  I mean by really taking care of my SELF.

Self care is something we don't strive to become better at. And as women (and, cough, moms, cough) we usually let self care come in last on a long list of daily to-do's. Take care of the kids, the house, your relationships, manage your friendships, your finances, your Facebook for heavens sake. But take care of ourselves? We just can't find the time. Or we're too tired from all the other crap we did that day. You know what I'm saying?

So this year I'm calling bullshit on myself (because heaven knows we all MAKE time for the things we want to. I'm looking at you Bachelor marathoners) and making a priority to take better care of the self that I am. One of the simple ways that I'm making it a priority every day is to have a what I call a "SERENITY SWITCH" that happens in our house every evening.

Every night when our son goes to bed we make him pick up all his toys. We make him take any of his dirty dishes to the sink. And then after he's tucked away I spend about 5 minutes flipping the switch in our living room to make it serene and relaxing. For me that means cleaning up clutter, wiping down any messes our 3 year old left on our coffee table, brewing tea, and lighting candles and incense. I also switch our main living room lights off and plug in the twinkle lights we have strung all around.

It might sound silly but it makes a huge difference in my mood! The space instantly opens up and all at the same time feels cozy. It feels like adults live here again and we aren't tripping over micro machines and hiding in corners of the sofa that aren't overrun by toys and kid stuff.

I promise you, you'll feel a difference. And who knows where it will lead you? Maybe you'll sleep better. Maybe your stress levels will go way down. Maybe you'll feel more rejuvenated the next day. Maybe you'll connect more with your spouse. Why not give it a try?

Here's my top 3 tips for helping you flip the Serenity Switch in your home...

1. GATHER THE TROOPS - if you live with others, share with them that you need this and enlist their help to clean up the clutter. Make kids put their stuff away before bed or help with the cleaning. Ask your spouse or roommate to pick up their shit too. It will take 5 minutes if everyone pitches in!
2. CLEAN THE CLUTTER - clutter is the number one factor in my feeling overwhelmed at home. When everything is in it's place, or at least sorted into piles somewhere else, I can relax. Sweep like a tornado through your living space and de-clutter. No mercy.
3. SET THE MOOD - aromatherapy, candles, incense, low light, twinkle lights. You get the idea. (This is actually a bit scientific. It falls into line with our natural Circadian Rhythms which helps us to relax when it's time to relax and be alert when it's time to be alert. Insert the *More You Know* jingle here.)

Tell me... how do you relax at home? 

Thursday, October 15

THIS & THAT | Beachbody's Leadership in California

beachbody coach leadership california
This year I qualified as one of Beachbody's top .05% of coaches and was invited to Coronado, California to attend the annual Leadership Retreat! 
Coronado is beautiful! We had ocean views from practically every room!
The welcome wagon, always goofy. I love that no one takes themselves too seriously here.
BEACHBODY leadership retreat 2015
The first night we were welcomed with a party and our names printed onto the glass of the hotel balcony! 
my name on the wall with my success partners
coronado california beachbody elite
These girls are my business bff's and we talk every day. It's always a special occasion when we are all in one place together since we live all over North America. 
success partners nikki johnson and becka robinson
welcome reception party
Mornings at Beachbody events are for live workouts and we were treated to sneak peek workouts of programs that are not even released yet like The Master's Hammer & Chisel
workout with sagi kalev and autumn calabrese live
... with Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev (aka "The Beast")
hammer and chisel launch live workout
We also got to hear about the newest Shakeology flavor and sample it first! COFFEE!
BEACHBODY leadership retreat 2015
Panels with corporate and incredible keynote speakers meant copious note taking.
taking lots of notes continued education in business
Luckily, Beachbody always feeds us incredibly well and gives us lots of little breaks. 
ready for learning, fueled by shakeology
I loved that all the catered meals had 21 Day Fix style breakdowns of the portion count! Handy.
fixate portion controlled lunch menu 21 day fix
A team building morning took us to the Pacific coast for all kinds of challenges in the sand
team building
human pyramid team building ideas
BEACHBODY leadership retreat 2015
team building challenge
having fun as beachbody coaches
And we couldn't help celebrating a year of incredible growth and the ENGAGEMENT of one of our friends!!!! Don't worry, I got gluten free cupcakes. ;)
beachbody success becka robinson bonnie engle morgan rieger laura mendenhall
For the final event Beachbody threw an outrageous "Arabian Nights" themed party! 
corporate party spectacular arabian nights

Leadership 2015 was an absolutely incredible experience! To be honored by the corporate members of a billion dollar company as leaders and treated to sneak peeks, state of the company information, a heads up for the roll out of products and programs through the next year, celebrations with all kinds of special surprises, and lots of time to connect and build deeper friendships with our coach friends from all over, this was by far one of my favorite experiences I've had yet as a coach!

Two years ago when I made the decision to dive into coaching and at the same time to my own health and fitness journey, I always knew the potential, but I never imagined how fulfilled, happy, passionate, and grateful the entire experience would make me. I know without any doubt that I am on the right path for my life and even though I would have never even imagined this career for myself, I know there couldn't be a more perfect fit for me! To combine my passions for inspiring other women to live their best, most beautiful, most fulfilling, most vibrant lives, and helping others to believe in themselves... I couldn't ask for a more perfect fit. Thank you Universe for letting me stumble into this life changing course for myself!

Leadership will always be on my "must accomplish" set of goals each year. I wonder who I'll get to take with me next year? Will it be you? Click the "Join My Tribe" button at the top of the page if you want to learn more about what I do and see if joining in might be a right next step for you in your life!

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