You’re looking so good in what’s left of those blue jeans.

Well apparently all of my post titles are going to be country song lyrics now, because it’s summer and that’s just how it’s going to be. Speaking of country music, my mom and I actually just got tickets to go see Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry at the end of June. But it’s no big deal, because you guys know I chilled with The Band Perry when I went to see Ellen, so we’re basically best friends already. Totally kidding. That was all the sarcasm I have right now. And then later in August, my dad and I are going to see Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, and Eli Young Band. Now I just have to suck it up and buy tickets to Toby Keith and Kip Moore and my summer is set. But not really, because I’m super high maintenance when it comes to concerts and also want to go to all of these:

  • Jonas Brothers
  • Train/The Script
  • John Mayer
  • Backstreet Boys/Pauly D/Jesse McCartney
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Kid Rock

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME. No wonder I’m poor. Now that we’re on the topic of concerts, want to see how creepy I am? Lady Gaga, T Swift, and Joe Jonas are all so much  more beautiful in person. Especially Joe. He better watch out if I ever meet him.

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Okay, moving on. Did you all have a good Memorial Day? I sure did. My friend Tara and I went to a local parade and brought along her awesome flat Ellen to give her a little American tradition experience. Somehow we ended up in the middle of the parade, right between the boy scouts and the high school band. Whoops. We had quite a laugh over that one.

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After that, I had a ton of things to catch up on. I went for a wonderful run/walk and then did 45ish minutes of strength/toning. I also did a Tara Stiles “relax” yoga routine for 30 minutes, because relaxed is the exact opposite of what I have been lately.

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Then I actually had to do some work and made a bunch of client calls, made 3 new training plans, organized all the files on my computer, and applied for a few jobs. Yuck. I know I need to get a real person job eventually, so I figured I would just start looking to try to hopefully find something that doesn’t completely disgust me.

Even though I did all that stuff, I will totally admit that I stayed in my running clothes all day long. Didn’t change once. That is my life right now.

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And then after a totally wonderful dinner of Jimmy John’s subs and pickles, my sister and I settled in with some cranberry wine to watch THE BACHELORETTE FINALLY!!!! I am fully aware that is a totally stupid and fake show, but it’s my favorite so leave me alone. And I know Brooke is just as excited, if not more, as I am. I’m not going to recap it, because some of you probably didn’t watch it yet, but I’m totally talking about freaking everything on Wednesday, so please don’t come here if you don’t want to know what happened :) Monday nights are the best.

Also, please watch this, because I promise it will make you smile.

Were you super productive or super lazy yesterday? :p

How was your weekend?

Lucky for most of us that we don’t work today and get an even longer weekend! I would be good with working approximately 1.3 days a week and just playing the rest; that would be fine. This weekend made me super excited that it’s almost summertime. I mean technically since I have a real person job now and I’m not in school anymore there’s no break like there used to be, but I just think people are happier when the weather is nicer, myself included. These are definitely my favorite summer things:

  • bonfires, which absolutely includes roasting marshmallows and drinking beer
  • going swimming in my pool, which means laying on a raft and taking a nap
  • riding bikes and walking instead of driving
  • going on little mini trips to cute beach-y towns
  • being able to sleep with my window open
  • eating dinner outside
  • going barefoot; I really, really hate shoes
  • going out for ice cream
  • watermelon.

Now if only Michigan would cooperate and stop having freeze warnings at night.

I did so many random things this weekend, so here’s all my professionally taken photographs for your enjoyment.

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This delicious thing from my favorite Starbucks girl ever. She’s super cute. It’s something called a lime refresher or something like that and it is wonderful. Only vodka could make it better. But when you are trying on approximately 462 bathing suits at Victoria’s Secret, you may need 5 of these drinks because I drink them in 2.2 sips. That was a lot of numbers right there; wow.

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All my new purchases! I think in that pile there’s a bunch of body lotion stuff from Lush, clothes from Forever 21, bikini and dress from Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works candles, and probably other random things that I already forgot about and obviously don’t need.

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I had this delicious sake that tastes like champagne and flowers and sunshine. And some wine. Whoops.

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I also tried sushi for the first time. It had asparagus, avocado, and cucumber. It was good, but nothing I could eat a lot of. It’s really good dipped in their fancy sauces. I thought it would be good dipped in ranch, but apparently hibachi houses don’t carry that. Rude.

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And then since I am a crazy, old cat lady at the ripe age of 21, here’s a picture of my cat laying on my dress. Fascinating, yeah?

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SELFIE. Oh my goodness, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

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Put this together and started to plan stuff for my next fitness challenge. Now I just need to concentrate a little bit and actually put some of my ideas on paper. “GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER CAROL.” Major points for you if you can tell me what movie that quote is from.

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I went to a farmer’s market with momma, and we got these phenomenal little puffs of heaven. Actually they’re scones. And one is cinnamon chip and one is raspberry white chocolate I think, but who care because THEY ARE SO GOOD. That’s all.

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I think I listened to the song Boys Round Here by Blake Shelton about a million times over the past 3 days.

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My little sister’s friend did my hair SO cute. My hair is either curly and wild or straight as a board in a ponytail, so this is big for me. I want her to come over every morning and make my hair look super cute.

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Being a completely typical girl and taking a picture before I go out. Don’t judge me. Actually you can. I already judged myself a long time for this.

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And when I got home at 2:30 in the morning, this is what was waiting on my bed to greet me. She literally just sits there like a human and waits for me to get home. It’s quite adorable.

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My super cute friend with really good hair and I in our matching leather jackets (:

And I really just wanted to share this with you because it is hilarious.

Send me your favorite YouTube video!

We’re happy, free, confused, & lonely at the same time.

I have come to a conclusion. I am obsessed with my friends. I haven’t really had the opportunity to see a lot of people lately, but it was so nice yesterday to have the day off and catch up with some of my lovely friends.

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That morning I went to yoga with Erica. I’ll be honest, any time we were laying on the floor I just about fell asleep. I haven’t really been able to sleep lately and have just been exhausted 24/7. I really wish I could have used that hour as naptime, but that would not have been very polite unfortunately. It was an awesome class though!

Then we went to her house to make some protein pancakes, which were actually more like cookies, but I was not mad. We used the Tone It Up “perfect fit protein” and added oats into the batter, which literally made it like cookie dough. I wish I was typing this on my iPhone and could put a thumbs up there. The only thing that would have been better is if we had mimosas. Darn.

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After that I went to Whole Foods to meet Sarah for lunch. We got the salad bar and I think I got sweet potato quinoa, cucumber/tomato/onion salad, lemon marinated kale/pepper salad, and a bunch of raw veggies. I got a strawberry serenity kombucha, too. Then we wandered around forever just talking and looking at all the things we can’t afford.

I guess that wasn’t enough venting, because we then proceeded to power walk around the outdoor mall for a half hour and complain some more about life. Good thing we have each other to get all the crap out to, because otherwise I feel like nobody would like me in life because I would be telling complete strangers all my problems.

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Next I went downtown with Caterina for a business meeting/vent session round two. We started off at an organic coffee/tea shop where I got the cutest little pot of green tea with ginger and mint in the whole wide world. I almost stole it. We also saw a little car accident out the window, which broke my heart for those people, because now their day is ruined. I wanted to run out and give them both a hug, but I didn’t because that would be creepy.

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Because drinks certainly weren’t enough, we walked over to a little self-serve frozen yogurt place. I got key lime yogurt with a ton of random fruit. So freaking good. Made me want to go to Florida and get some pie. And then out THAT window, we saw a couple getting engagement pictures taken! Best people watching day ever.

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Then I had a nice little 40 minute drive by myself to ANOTHER nearby town to get dinner/drinks with one of my best friends from college, Alicia, that I used to work with. Our waitress was the cutest and let me try a bunch of the beers first, because I am just about the most indecisive person in the world and cannot commit to anything for more than 5 minutes. I ended up getting this spicy, wheat-ish beer I think. Not sure at all, but it was yummy. And we got pizza and fries and apple pie. I swear I work in health and fitness.

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I had an absolute blast today. I was reminded how much I love seeing my girlfriends and how I need to get out more. But now back to reality today when I nanny 8-5 and train right after. At least I love what I do!

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If you had one day off and could do anything in the whole world, what would you do?

Playing catch-up.

Happy Monday lovelies! My posts have been all over the place lately, because I haven’t really felt like talking about a lot of things, but I’m ready to talk now and catch you up with what’s been going on in my crazy mind. Bear with me here.

  • I am working with a wonderful group of 5 ladies in a fitness challenge group. We’re working together to get our bodies ready for summer, develop a new healthy lifestyle, and make some good food choices. I just adore them, and it makes me so happy day after day to hear about their progress and do what I can to help them along the way. It helps me, too, to stay accountable! Even though I might not have all the answers all the time, it’s nice to use my knowledge and experience to help other girls love their bodies and themselves.

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  • I am cutting down my nannying hours and focusing more on my personal training career. I am really lucky to have played trial-and-error with all the jobs under the sun and found what I love to do so soon. I love children and I love fitness. If I can build up my fitness career over the next few years, I will be able to train on my own time, make my own schedule, and love life. Making your own schedule is the best. I highly recommend you get a job where you can do this if possible Smile with tongue out I want to open up a fitness studio that includes child-care so moms can come and bring the kids with no problem. First though, I need money.

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  • I am still working really hard to try to get a job with Ellen! I e-mail her every day and have been making a bunch of random YouTube videos saying why I should move to California and do it. But now after going up north for the week, I honestly can’t decide if I should move up north to the country (which would probably be great for me) or to Los Angeles to have my dream career. I guess for now I have to just keep my options open and cross that bridge when the opportunity comes up. All I know is that I want to move away from where I am currently living. I need a big change.

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  • I am so super pumped for all my summer TV shows to start up. Is that lame? Yeah. Oh well; I accept that. So You Think You Can Dance, The Bachelorette, and Pretty Little Liars all start up within the next couple of weeks. I smile just thinking about it. It’s the little things.

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  • I would give just about anything to go back to college lately. I complained about it so much while I was there, but thinking back on it, I had the best time of my life. I really regret not taking some of the opportunities I had and wish I could go back and make different choices. I am not one to listen to slow music; typically I am a pop or upbeat country kinda girl, but I am all about the stuff that makes you think lately. Why? I have no idea. But if I could rewind my life 2 years and really think about the long-term consequences of my actions, I think I would have made some different decisions. Actually, I know it. So for any of you who are in college, live it up and enjoy every minute. The real world sucks at first.

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  • Ever since before I went up north, I have been craving my workouts like crazy. I go nuts if I don’t exercise, but that can be from 10 minutes to 2 hours. I just like to get my body moving and am starting to realize that when I do a ton of different exercises it keeps me from getting bored and keeps me motivated. Lately I really like long walks with my mom in the morning and yoga before bed at night. I also have been doing a lot of Tone It Up strength-training and incline runs. Then I like to throw DVD’s in there once in a while. I am all over the place.

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  • I ordered my first ever Pressed Juicery cleanse! I will be starting it on Thursday and doing a full review of just about every little detail I can think of. I understand that there are mixed reviews on juice cleanses, but I have always wanted to try one, so why the hell not? I am so excited to see what all the buzz is about. Maybe I will like it, maybe not. I want to know for myself though instead of hearing opinions from others. I tried my first juice from Pressed Juicery when I was in Los Angeles and loved it, so I’m sure the juices won’t be an issue for me. It will be not being able to have wine :x You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I gotta stop my bad habits!

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  • I actually have plans this week with a lot of friends, and I am really excited! I am starting to put myself out there again and do what I want and not really care/think about what others say. I’m over doing what I am supposed to do. I am just freaking over it. People can judge me all they want, but I’ve always been the type of person that just wants to be happy with myself. It doesn’t necessarily matter to me what other people think of me. I feel like as long as you love yourself and treat yourself well, you’re doing something right. Or as Jillian Michaels says, “As long as you’re not a total dick, you’re doing pretty good in life.”

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  • My sisters and I bought tickets to go see the Jonas Brothers in July. Score. Now if anyone wants to take me to see Justin Timberlake, my summer would be set. Speaking of summer, I really miss summer breaks like they were in high school. It was actually a break! Now summer is just another time when you have beautiful weather, but have to go to work anyway. Cool.

Whew. That was a lot. Sorry! Hopefully you are all doing fantastic. Start this week out on the right foot. Smile

“Tough times are like physical exercise. You may not like it while you are doing it, but tomorrow you will be stronger because of it.”

A weekend away.

Hey guys! How is it going?? A bunch of random, non-important things have happened over the past few days so let me catch you up on that Smile with tongue out

Thursday

  • drove 3 hours up north with my best friend and may or may not have stopped at a wine tasting on our way

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  • went and got some delicious, local pizza with my grandma
  • got manicures!
  • workout: 1 hour power walk

Friday

  • went downtown to get lunch and go grocery shopping
  • drink wine at noon :x

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  • make a delicious dinner of sweet potato fries, asparagus, and more wine

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  • workout: 40 minute run/walk, TIU malibooty 3x

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Saturday

  • went to my aunt’s house to visit for a few hours
  • made thin crust margarita pizza for dinner
  • went out on the town (note the sarcasm) and visited a few local bars

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  • stayed up late enough to watch last week’s episode of SNL and be in bed by 11; aren’t we wild?

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  • workout: 1.5 hour walk, TIU under the sea 3x

Sunday

  • cleaned up, did laundry, and dishes

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  • made a wonderful lunch of TIU sweet potato fries, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries

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  • caught up on computer work and watched a lot of Real Housewives
  • had our own little Cinco de Mayo fest with guacamole and kale chips and some yummy drinks
  • workout: 45 minute run and 1/2 hour Tara Stiles yoga

Things are going well so far! Of course we did other random things during the days, like walk the dogs a lot, but it’s just been very relaxing and chill so far; perfect. And we still have all day today and tomorrow before we leave on Wednesday! Score. We actually have some real plans for the next few days; surprise, surprise.

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Now I just want to talk about the Tone It Up 2013 Bikini Series real quick. I am 100% head over heels obsessed with Karena and Katrina (in a non-creepy way, I swear).

They have truly changed my outlook on health and fitness for the better, and I could not be more grateful to them. Since I am a personal trainer and a nutritionist, I tend to put all my time and energy into my clients and forget about myself in the process. It is so easy for me to help other people and ignore my own needs. K & K have showed me that it is possible to do both! They have given me a phenomenal lifestyle to follow that is fun, rewarding, and one that I love to share with others. I am so lucky to have my best friend Sarah to do the bikini series with; her accountability has been fantastic!

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I am planning a trip back to California (hopefully!) in June or July, and I really, really hope I am about to go to Manhattan Beach and talk to Karena and Katrina about their business and how they stay so fantastic. Enjoy this random picture Luke took from the last time we were there, lol.

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They have really motivated me to move forward with my own online health coaching business, and I don’t think I would have made this decision if it weren’t for them. They are so darn successful and get to do what they love with their best friend for a career; does it get any better than that?! I don’t think so. They are so realistic (always post pictures drinking wine; my soul mates since it’s 2pm on a Sunday when I am writing this and I have a glass next to me) and make working out and eating healthy seem like a breeze. Which it is! I think it is sad how it is normal to eat crap and lay on the couch all day in our country. Everyone deserves to be happy and healthy and lead their ideal life. I am getting there, but need to move to California to top it off!

Ever since discovering Tone It Up in August 2012, my mindset on health has changed. I am able to provide my clients with better motivation, since I am motivated myself. I am able to crave healthy foods for the first time in my life, instead of throwing crap in my mouth just because (most of the time Smile with tongue out). I am starting to look forward to my morning runs, when running used to be hell for me. I get antsy if I sit still for too long and always look to TIU for a quick routine during commercial breaks of my favorite shows. These wonderful women have made me a happier person, and I would love to give anyone else more information if they are interested in purchasing a nutrition plan or even jumping on board with the bikini series!

And maybe the grand prize of the series will convince you to join: a trip anywhere in the entire world from Contiki Vacations for you and a friend! Is that insane or what?! What generous people! My friend Sarah and I are doing the series together and really are hoping we are able to win the trip (obviously), but at least for me, the journey to get to the end of the series is more important than any prize. I just want to be healthy and confident with my body and would love for every other woman in the world to feel the same. Thank you Karena and Katrina <3

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My friend Hannah shared this picture with me, which I thought was very appropriate for this post:

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If you won a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

What. Is. Up.

Okay, seriously, I want to know what you’re doing right now as you read this?! As I write this on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m., I am drinking a beer, eating fruit snacks, and watching a documentary on Miley Cyrus. Don’t I lead an awesome life?! *note the sarcasm* And want to know my wild plans for the rest of the evening? I actually have to do something productive and pick up my prescription from the pharmacy, but after that Luke and I are getting Bagger Dave’s for dinner (hello sweet potato chips) and attempting to have a picnic outside, followed up by the new episodes of The Middle and Modern Family (FINALLY!). And then in the morning I leave to go up north with my friend Audrey for a week. SCORE. I like having a little bit of time off.

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Speaking of time off, after I get back from my little trip, my nannying schedule will be dropping down to 2 days a week, and then probably just 1 shortly after that. This will leave me with much more free time to work on my own business and building up my personal training clients. This is great, because that’s really what I want to focus on right now, but I know that I am going to feel guilty. You can bet that I am going to bust my butt on my fitness work, but it is going to seem like I am doing nothing, because I’m trying to start an online business! My main concern is that I still live with my parents, and I don’t want them to think I’m being lazy. I have learned that my business is not going to happen unless I have time to dedicate to it, which I haven’t in the recent months. I will now, but I need some advice on how to accept that! I heard a quote the other day (I think it was from Jillian Michaels) that if you are able to have some free time, take it with no doubt in your mind. Focus on what is important to you and use that time to shape the way the rest of your life is going to go. I agree. So if Ellen were to call me sometime in the next week and offer me a job, I wouldn’t be mad at all.

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Since I have had the past few days off, I have had a ton of time to play catch-up with emails, blog stuff, beach body stuff, training stuff, workout stuff, cleaning stuff, and just everything else. It has made me feel prepared to take a vacation for the first time in, ever. I did some packing yesterday. Don’t judge me that it looks like I’m leaving for a month….I swear it’s only 5 days.

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I got a great workout in:

  • Tone It Up HIIT workout (20 minutes)
  • Tone It Up bikini booty workout (12 minutes)
  • TIU random toning videos (15 minutes)
  • Tara Stiles yoga (20 minutes)

I also had a super yummy breakfast of yogurt, banana, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and the best granola in the world from Costco of course. I had some green tea and my cat on the side.

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And just for your pure enjoyment, can we just appreciate how freaking cute/beautiful my cat is? My sister actually found her in the driveway a year ago, and we kept her. And yes, her name is whitecat. No capitals. No spaces. Just whitecat.

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Then I went to the lady’s house I nanny for with my friend Nikki (and their other nanny!) to clean out the playroom. Seriously, tell me what a damn good job we did. We were proud.

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So what did I learn yesterday……

  1. I want to be Hannah Montana in my next life.
  2. Beer on a hot day is the best.
  3. I really like fruit snacks, like way too much.
  4. I think about Ellen way too much.
  5. My sisters are funny.
  6. Michigan drivers suck.
  7. I really like my new iPhone.
  8. My cat is the bomb.com.
  9. Loose clothes are the best.
  10. I wish I could ride my bike everywhere.

Beneficial lessons kids. Take notes.

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What is one thing you learned yesterday?

The Happiness Project: May!

I fully understand that everyone is going to be saying this today, but can you believe it’s already May?! I can still remember New Years Eve so vividly, that it pretty much seems impossible. Was I blogging at the very beginning of January? I’m not sure; I can’t remember. If not, I should probably tell you guys about my New Years because it was pretty darn good for the first time in my life. Anyway, back to May!

I’ve talked on here before that I’m reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin throughout the year. It’s about one woman taking a year of her life to find happiness. Sounds like a simple task, but she puts so much thought and effort and time into it; it is super admirable! The month of May is all about “being serious about play.” She says her four main goals for the month are to:

  • find more fun
  • take time to be silly
  • go off the path
  • start a collection

I am all about that! I have already been trying to loosen up a little (lot) bit in recent months, so this is another great incentive. Something important I took away from this chapter is, “just because something was fun for someone else didn’t mean it was fun for me.” Great point. Why do I have to do something just because everyone else is doing it if I hate it? I need to stop being such a people-pleaser!

I also learned how important it is to share my happiness with others. Gretchen says, “Studies show that each common interest between people boosts the chances of a lasting relationship and also brings about a 2 percent increase in life satisfaction. Group membership makes people feel closer and brings a significant boost in personal confidence and happiness.” I tend to keep to myself and find happy things to do on my own. Why not try to share them with others a little bit instead of locking myself in my room all day long?

She also talks about 3 types of fun: challenging fun, accommodating fun, and relaxing fun. This part was really interesting to me. Challenging fun is something that requires preparation, but has the greatest reward. Accommodating fun is something you primarily do for someone else, yet you end up enjoying and feel great about. Relaxing fun is something that requires minimal to no thought and is simply enjoyed for the heck of it. Here are my biggest examples of the 3 types of fun:

  • Challenging fun: exercising, writing, cooking
  • Accommodating fun: playing outside with kids
  • Relaxing fun: reading, watching TV, checking social media

There are obviously many other things I like to do for fun that I can’t necessarily decide which category they fit into, such as:

  • promoting/working on my business
  • meeting up with friends to talk
  • seeking education on health and fitness
  • cleaning/organizing (yeah, I’m nuts)
  • traveling

Is it sad that I can’t really think of other things I love to do right now? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows! I’m not going to push it. I’m trying to have that “whatever happens, happens” attitude about life until my goal of working for Ellen happens Smile with tongue out

One thing I do know is that I am super happy after a workout and when I can see payoff in my physical body and energy levels. Especially the Tone It Up workouts. I also know it makes me very happy to work online on my blog, my social media accounts, writing letters to Ellen, and other small tasks that may not be noticeable now, but will have a huge pay-off if I can be consistent with them. Consistency is key with me! Ew, I did not mean for that to rhyme like that. Sorry.

So yeah. That’s that. I don’t know how to end this post, because I am running late and gotta go! Have a great first day of May! Also, I am starting up a fitness challenge group via facebook on May 10 if anybody wants more details…. Smile

What makes you the happiest?

365 Happiness Challenge

Oh hey friends! It feels like I haven’t written a normal post in just about forever, so I’m excited to get back to you all Smile I suppose I have quite a bit to catch you up on!

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I spent this weekend playing catch-up. I spent some much needed time with Luke and some of my friends/family that I haven’t seen in a while. I did some awesomely intense workouts, including two 5-mile runs. I worked on my personal training business, contacting new clients and working on plans for my old ones. I developed some new ideas for ways to work for Ellen and make the world a happier place in the process. I made some new to-do lists and crossed off items on my old ones. I cleaned. I did laundry. And I feel so great today for getting all that done before I leave for my trip on Thursday!

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Now lets talk about what I will most likely be talking about quite a bit for the next year. I decided to start something called the “365 Happiness Challenge.” This video describes what it is and why I decided to do it:

Long story short, something cool happened the other day and I decided that I want to focus on those little things from now on to not only bring happiness to my life, but to the lives of many others. This cool shirt also happened from my friend Tara.

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Instead of having a pity party for myself that I’m not exactly where I would like to be in my life, why not make the best of it? I heard the other day that things fall into place when you are happy with yourself and not expecting it. It’s like the expression, “A watched phone never rings.” Truth! If I am waiting around for a phone call from Ellen or for Jeannie to knock on my door, it will not happen. I need to work on bettering my own life and striving to be the best version of myself I can be. I need to help others and be kind. I need to work hard, yet have fun. And then when things are going good, even greater things can happen!

“You’ve got to do what you love.”

You know what I love? Being happy. Watching Ellen. Drinking coffee. Running outside. Listening to stories from old people. Traveling. Learning a fun new fact. Seeing a good friend. No traffic. Babies. Good wine. Making someone smile. Making someone laugh. A clean house. These are all tiny, tiny things! I am not hard to please. I need to remember to appreciate the small things and take life one step at a time, and everything else will fall into place.

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Sure, I have some big goals for my life, but why not appreciate the small stuff along the way? Jillian Michaels says to not live the “monkey-bar style” of life. Don’t necessarily jump from one thing to the next, simply because it is there. It is okay to take some time off from your job because you are not happy with it and want to focus on finding what you love. It is okay to take a mini-vacation on your own to relieve some stress. It is okay to go away from the norm, simply because you want to! It is okay to work your ass off for a goal (*cough* working for Ellen *cough*) that no one else supports. It is okay to do what makes you happy even though it isn’t “normal.” Just be nice and the rest will happen naturally.

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So where can you find information and posts about my happiness challenge?

  • facebook.com/allison.hayes.37
  • twitter.com/arealisticlife
  • instagram: allisonmarietiu

Have a fantastic Monday!

What is a little, bitty good thing in your life today?

Guest Blogger: Thien!

It’s Friiiiday, Friiiiday, gotta get down on Friday. I had to. I just had to. I’m in LA and I’m sure I’m having a blast even though I’m writing this in Michigan on Monday. Hopefully today we’re going to the beach, but if it’s not nice enough we’re going to Disneyland because we’re cool and never want to grow up. Or maybe shopping again if I’m not broke yet. Or maybe trying to climb up the Hollywood sign like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake do it Friends With Benefits. So many options.

My next guest blogger is my new internet friend, Thien! She is super sweet and super smart and has taught me so much in just the short while I’ve know her! Enjoy her better writing and grammar than mine Smile 

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Hi! I’m glad to be able to reach out to all of you guys on Allison’s blog so I thank her for the opportunity! Here’s the rundown for this post: an introduction to me and what I really hope you read – tips for what to eat/drink after a workout.

My name is Thien. It’s pronounced pretty much like the number “10” if you’re wondering. Here’s an introduction to who I am and all that fun stuff…

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  • Lived in OKC since I was a wee one and I’m a ride or die Midwestern girl – even though I just moved away recently.
  • Moved to MA for graduate school last fall.
  • I live with my better half and we’re trying to get used to life in the Northeast. The absence of fried chicken, sweet tea, and cheap meat is starting to get to us. We might riot soon.
  • Now that I’m out on my own and actually have to cook for the both of us, I’m a lot more conscious about what we’re putting into our bodies. I really enjoy learning more about nutrition and what a balanced diet really is about. Learning to cook and to prepare wholesome meals has been very challenging but extremely rewarding.
  • Also on the notion of having moved away for school, I left all my friends and my old life behind. I left behind all of my old hobbies. Can’t ballroom dance now because Mr. Man has to work all the time. Can’t sail now because I don’t know the community. Can’t just go hang out with a friend because I still don’t know my classmates. Stuff like that. So my life outside of schoolwork became more about keeping myself busy indoors and being pretty sedentary. This was when I decided that I needed to engage myself in a lifestyle that didn’t require other people. I needed to work on being active because it depressed me to read about sedentary lifestyle studies for school and know that I was one of the statistics. This woke me up and I knew I had to make a change. Enter: P90X. I’ve picked up C25K recently and I love having something to work towards.
  • With all of this stuff going on – exploring my new life away from home, nutrition commitments, and fitness goals – I had to have a way to document it for my own purposes and to share it all with everyone back home. This is where my blog comes in. Smile
  • Thien’s New Adventures. Yes. Check that stuff out. I heard the chick that runs it is pretty cool. (Sidenote from Allison: she is.)

In my blog creeping researching, I found Allison’s blog and was like, “Yes! She does Beachbody stuff too!” All of the other Beachbody blogs I had found were macho dudes writing about their weights and stuff for P90X and I did not give a crap. You can imagine my excitement when I saw that she had become a Beachbody coach. Anyways, I say all of this because you’ve probably seen Beachbody related stuff on her blog and I have to admit that I preach Beachody too! There’s something for everyone. I don’t do TurboFire like she does, but I’m a fan of the community and the products.

So to finally get to what I really wanted to talk to you guys about here it is:

Tips on What to Eat/Drink After Exercising

  • Get some protein in your system! WebMD says that our muscles need protein for recovery and growth and the best time to deliver protein is right after working out. It really doesn’t matter where we get our protein from. Our bodies really don’t know if it’s from an egg, a piece of cheese, a protein drink, or a glass of chocolate milk as long as we’re getting it. The thing to note is that there is a limit! Duh! Not too much of a good thing, remember? Stick to 10 to 20 grams.
  • Carbs?! Yes, carbs. Strength-training workouts and aerobic workouts are taxing on the body and the best way to help it recover is to deliver some fast-acting carbs. Good carbs (complex carbs) help to re-energize the body and examples include whole grain bread, pita bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. I’m sure you could Google it and find more examples.
  • You’ve probably heard of the carb to protein ratio. Confusing, much? Christopher Mohr, a licensed and registered dietitian, suggests there’s no gold standard recommendation when it comes to protein and carbohydrate consumption following a workout. He says effective ratios vary from a 2:1 carb-to-protein ratio up to a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio. Your doctor or dietitian can help pinpoint the optimal ratio for you. I’ve heard that chocolate milk is a good way to get this ratio and it’s what I’m currently drinking after workouts. There is criticism on whether that’s actually good for you or not. I guess I should do more research. Beachbody has a recovery drink too that’s wildly popular and has a cult following. It meets the suggested carb to protein ratio too with a ton of other goodies. You can check it out from Allison’s own Beachbody Coach page here.
  • In regards to the tips above. Do eat after a workout. Please! Your body needs the replenishment. I’ve heard all sorts of numbers about when the opportune window is after a workout for taking in food for recovery. I’ve heard 45 minutes and I’ve heard 2 hours. How about we just give our bodies what we need right after the workout? Sounds good I hope.
  • Water should be common sense, right? With all of the sports drink hype nowadays, there’s still nothing better than water. The verdict isn’t clear on whether or not we even need sports drinks considering all of the sugar and excess stuff added to them so I say we stick to water. The Mayo Clinic says to drink 2 to 3 cups of water after a workout for each pound lost. Fluid intake should happen right after working out. You should be parched when you’re done. Chug that water!

There’s a lot more out there about this topic so please do your own digging if you’d like! I wanted to talk about something that I haven’t talked about on my blog before and Allison mentioned that she hadn’t talked about it on her blog either. Hopefully it was interesting and you guys got something out of it! Since I’m not a registered dietitian, a personal trainer, or a physician, I’m always trying to learn new things every day and I wanted to share it with all of you for your own research. Consult a professional if you decide to change or introduce anything to your diet and exercise routine.

Thanks for checking out Allison’s page and for reading or even skimming through my post! Smile

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I’ll be real: I need to follow those tips myself. Goodness, I’m a health professional and I can’t follow advice! Someone come over and force me to please. See ya later gators!

Guest Blogger: Hannah!

Hello, hello! As you read this I’m most likely shopping on Rodeo Drive and blowing all my money and am going to come back broke, or maybe not come back at all. Don’t be mad if I have to check a suitcase on the way home (we only brought carry-on’s). I wish I could tell you how Ellen went, but I can’t. I’m writing this on Monday night. Guess you’ll just have to watch it today to find out Smile with tongue out 

MEET MY FRIEND HANNAH! She’s a cool gal. I’m not going to give you an introduction to her, because she made a bomb one herself and I don’t want to ruin that with my bad grammar. Enjoy <3

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Hello Everyone! I’m Hannah, a 20 year old writer and lover of all things beautiful. Just so that you can get to know me a bit before you read my post, I thought I’d come up with the top 10 fun facts about myself.

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1. I’m getting married this coming August.

2. I’m a writing major at Oakland University.

3. I am more of a diet enthusiast than an exercise.

4. I have a black lab named Mollie.

5. I love yoga pants more than any other article of clothing.

6. I do Jillian Michaels routines at home.

7. I played volleyball for 10 years (including college).

8. I dream of living on the water.

9. I’m most insecure about my butt.

10. And lastly, my weakness is ice cream!

But enough about me, let’s get to what I’m really here for today (to write to you fine people).

I’ve always been into exercising and eating right (especially because I was forced to by all my coaches), but it wasn’t until after I had quit sports that I really got into my health and body. I quit volleyball and gained weight. I had never gained weight before so it was a huge shock to me. I finally decided to do something about it around a year ago. Dieting was tough at first, but now, I love it… and a lot more than exercising. I learned to control myself and stop eating junk. But it didn’t seem to be working as well as I had hoped. I hadn’t really lost all that much weight or at least not enough to physically notice on my body.

One day, my now fiancé came home from his college nutrition class and gave me the rundown of the lecture:

“We learned that this whole 3 meals a day thing is not really how we are supposed to eat. Our bodies can only burn between 200 – 600 calories every three hours [within the exception of after working out]. Most people eat around 800 – 2000 calories per meal and don’t even notice. My professor said that what we should be doing is eat 6 meals a day or eat every 3 hours, and only eat within the 200 – 600 calorie range.”

So, why not? I thought. I decided to try it out and guess what? IT WORKED! And it didn’t just work, IT WORKED FAST! I felt like I was constantly eating, but after awhile I realized that I was getting full faster. Because I had only consumed 200 – 600 calories/per hour my stomach had shrank. I also found that because I was constantly putting food (and might I add healthy food) in my body, I had a lot more energy than before this new diet. Total, I lost 15 lbs!

Now before you go jumping around thinking you’ve found your ticket to weight-loss, I must warn you. It’s really hard to find the time to eat every three hours and because you’re on a very strict calorie count, it’s hard to know how much to eat. But never fear, here’s what I did that helped me out.

You can do this either on your computer, tablet, or smart phone… look up MyFitnessPal (it’s a website and an app, I use both).

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MyFitnessPal searches and records calories and exercise for you. It can also be a guide for losing weight. It asks you for your weight, height, age, etc. so that it can tell you the exact amount of calories your body needs each day. If you want to lose weight, it’ll subtract those calories from your day accordingly. If you exercise, it’ll add more calories on to your day, because you’ll need more since you burned them off. I really enjoyed using this app because it helped me with my 6 meals a day. It even lets you break up your day into times (like the picture). It even breaks down your total calories within each of your divided sections so you know where you ate the most. It gives you your goal calorie amount for the day, the amount you’ve already eaten, any exercise you’ve completed, and your remaining amount of calories. It’s a pretty awesome tool for dieting-freaks like me!

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I was thrilled when I started feeling and seeing results. I was getting full and feeling content with less amounts of food. Eating junk food just made me feel gross so I wasn’t craving anything greasy, super sugary, or tons of carbs. I could see my abdominal work-outs actually affecting my core and my waist was getting smaller. Another tool MyFitnessPal gives you is a “check-in.” You can keep track of your weight and measurements as you diet and exercise so that you can see the results on a chart. Below is a picture of my chart as my waist started shrinking. It was great to look at as a reminder of my progress.

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And that’s MyFitnessPal and my fitness story! I really enjoyed writing this post. I really hope it helped educate some of you about your eating habits and gave you knowledge about a fun and easy app to help you in your weight-loss progress. Thank you for reading.

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Thanks Hannah! Smile You can go find her over at http://orrdailyjourney.blogspot.com/. Go show her some love <3