Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Facts.

Let's take it back old school with a little Friday Facts aka I want to write a blog post, but don't have anything more than a list in me right now.

Fact: I got a new job! Back in January I applied for a job that I thought I was a shoe in for. The girl leaving put in a good word for me and I work with this team every single day, but I soon learned that they had chosen someone else. However, I was told by the recruiter they were looking at me for a different position. I held out hope, but continued to job hunt (all at Hilton). 

At the end of February, I got a call from the recruiter to set up a couple interviews and not too long after that I was sent an offer letter! I start on April 4th. I couldn't be more excited. 

I'm at a point in my current job where I don't feel like I'm learning much anymore because I've basically been doing this job for 5 years. I knew this new position would allow me to use my experience from my current position and also allow me to learn new parts of the business, while working on a team that my future direct manager calls a "gateway team" and she wants her people to move on to other departments eventually. Win-win. Let's also not forget to mention, I get to go to New Orleans for our team meeting my second week on the job. Wahooooo!

Fact: We have a ratified contract on our new house and the appointment scheduled for our settlement. It's all becoming so much more real and I'm happy to report, no second thoughts have crept into my brain at any point over the last week!

Fact: With all the craziness, I have royally sucked at my healthy lifestyle goal lately. I did well with T25 up until I left on a business trip to New York last month and then it all just went to you know what. I keep telling myself I'll get back on track this coming Monday. I CAN DO IT. 

Fact: I got to meet one of my all time favorite bloggers last month while I was on said business trip. Steph so graciously came into the city by herself to meet up with me and show me around the city a little. I kept saying it was fun to be with someone who actually knew where they were going because that's certainly never described any of my trips to NYC. We spent quite a few hours just sitting at the bar at this super cool restaurant, eating popcorn covered in "magic dust", drinking beer/cider, talking the entire time and ending the evening with some seriously delicious queso. It was so nice to finally meet her after all these years and she's just as sweet as she comes across online. I'm counting down the days until her and Justin make it down to DC for a Nats game! #hinthint

Fact: JC & I went to Vegas for my birthday a few weeks ago. It was an absolute blast. We both said numerous times it was probably our favorite vacation. The days consisted of visiting various casinos, playing roulette and determining who had the best free mimosas (Caesar's palace, hands down), eating in-n-out burger & secret pizza, shopping, riding a gondola at the Ventian and going to sleep likely before 95% of the city is waking up to go to dinner. Something I also said multiple times - I'm glad JC & my level of lameness is equivalent ;)

On my actual birthday, I won over $200 by only putting $20 in the roulette machine 2 different times and we had the most amazing dinner ever. It was our second time visiting Gordon Ramsay Steak and it did not disappoint. Although, if you ever go, you do not want still water. That does NOT mean tap water and they WILL charge you $9/person for said still water. ASK FOR TAP WATER. 

Fact: The weather has been absolutely amazing in Virginia lately and you wouldn't hear me complaining once, until yesterday when they started calling for snow this weekend. Go home, Virginia. You're Drunk. 

Fact: I don't think I've mentioned this, but not long after I posted my 2016 goals, I actually booked 4 weddings for this year! It was kind of insane how quickly they all came in and needless to say, I was pretty excited. I'm hoping for at least one or two more to close out the year. 

I'm also currently in the process of getting a professional to design my Best Day Ever Events website, along with some Business Cards. We're in the logo stages and I saw the first drafts last week - hoping to see the edits ASAP! I'll be sure to share when it's all finished. 

And that'll do it for this edition of Friday Facts. What are you guys up to these days? Any fun/exciting news your way?!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Homeless we will not be.

I recently told you all that we sold our townhouse in record time (I'm sure Guinness will be calling soon) and I also told you that we had nowhere to live as of that point.

Well, I have WONDERFUL news! We have a home AND the inspection on the townhouse went better than I ever expected - just a few small things that add up to a whole $300 worth of work. I was convinced they were going to want a new A/C unit and/or heat thingy-ma-jig, so I'm happy to report they were happy with both which are very much in working order. 

On to bigger and more exciting things,

When we first started the house hunt, this was the second neighborhood we visited on our "new construction" tour day. We toured this exact house, as it was as spec home that the neighborhood built for a "quick deliver" home. We actually left the neighborhood that day with full intentions to build our own house with a similar design to this one.

After a few days, I started having second thoughts. The house we were building wasn't even going to have a finished basement and we were paying almost as much as the spec home we thought was too expensive. I also didn't like that we hadn't seen what else was out there. I'm very good at making quick decisions without doing a bunch of research (JC couldn't be more opposite). This was one time where I decided research was necessary. If we came back to the idea of building a new home, at least we saw what was out there.

So we set out on our "used home" (our realtor loves this terminology I came up with) search the following weekend. We looked at 11 houses that day. 

I fell in love with one, found that I would be very happy in another and semi-liked one other on the list. JC fell in love with the one I semi-liked. We hemmed and hawed over our 2 favorites. We discussed the pros and cons of each and ultimately settled on the one he loved. While I loved "my house", it was farther south and if you know anything about Northern Virginia, you know that adding even 10 miles to your commute is never a good idea. Not to mention, none of our friends live in that area, so we'd be commuting back to the area the other house was in on a regular basis. We submitted our offer and waited.

The seller came back with full ask and didn't really want to negotiate, so we ended up walking away. I will say, I was really happy we did. I'm still not too sure why I was so happy for it not to work out, but there was just something in my gut telling me that wasn't our house. Not to mention - it was HUGE. 

We kept an eye on the market, saw a house or two that next week, but ultimately decided to wait until we got back from Vegas to really continue the search. 

We slowly added houses to our list while we were gone, but by the time we left Vegas, most of those houses were already under contract and our list had dwindled. I think we ended up seeing about 5 houses once we returned and none of them really did it for us. Well, one we really liked, but it sat right next to I-66 and while it was surprisingly quiet (and they were building a retainer wall), we were concerned with resale in the future. It also had a very oddly configured basement (bathroom in the middle of the room). We charged on....

I decided to ask our realtor if she thought there was any chance the builder of the spec home we toured initially would entertain any sort of negotiation (doesn't usually happen with new construction). She said what I always say "it never hurts to ask". And so we did....and like any true sales man, he asked us to come in to talk to him. #shocker

I met with him and our realtor last Thursday. He told us he was able to give us another almost $5000 in closing (they already give you $7500 for using their lender), which basically takes care of all our closing costs. Not to mention, this house already had a fully finished basement, with a bedroom/full bathroom. 

We made a tentative appointment for Friday, so I could talk to JC first before we made our decision.

Long story long, JC agreed that this was the house he wanted as well and we both felt much better about the decision knowing we had really seen everything there was to see at this point. 

They are able to close on 4/22, same day as our townhouse, so we won't have to worry about being homeless....just being furniture-less ;)

Here are a few more pictures, I took the other day while we were there measuring out some things!

Windows in our master bedroom - swoon!
Can't wait to share before/afters once I can finally decorate this place - and don't think I haven't started shopping already!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

One goal down.

Hey guys! Long time, no "see". Apologies for that (I know you're all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear from me). 

Let's just put it all there. Life has been CRAZY. 

I always say, everything always happen at the same time. There's never 1 party a month. There's always 3 parties in one night. 

In our case, there weren't really any parties, but there was/is a lot going on. 

It appears the last time I posted, it was all about goals for 2016. Goal #1 was to sell our house. Well.....that whole process ended up moving MUCH quicker than we anticipated.

We met with our realtors in mid-February, intending on putting our house on the market in early June with a late September closing date. Not too long after that meeting, I spoke to their preferred mortgage lender and she told me some amazing news. We didn't actually have to wait until the end of September to sell our current house. There may be a small penalty, but it will be minimal since we are so close to the 5 year mark. Cue some serious excitement.

While JC & I will always cherish this first home together, we grew out of it far too long ago and then we added Hudson to the mix. I'm sure I've mentioned this one 7500 occasions. Once we got this news, I met with the realtors again and we put plans in motion to get some small things done by a contractor. We went back and forth on plans for a hot second, but eventually settled on putting our house on the market by the time we left for Vegas. This would allow for showings for 3 straight days and no need to worry about our schedules or Hudson.

Meanwhile, I traveled to NYC the week before this, had a 3 day conference the following week and then we left for Vegas. Talk about insanity. I was convinced it would never happen, but guess what?! All got done and all looked AH-mazing. We had someone clean our house and I'm quite certain I need her in my life forever. She spent 6 hours cleaning and only charged us $150 (Northern Virginia inflation included). 

A couple delays due to pictures and our house was put on the market first thing Friday morning. Soon after, our realtor notified us that there were 2 showings scheduled for that day and two more on Saturday. Thankfully, we were in Vegas by this point, so we had lots to distract us, although we talked about it often still. I'm slightly obsessed with the way our house looks in the listing, so obviously I will share here!

We're the one with the flag.

Saturday afternoon (aka my birthday), we got the call that the first showing had already submitted an offer!!! We knew we had little to no competition and we priced it to sell, but JC & I both said we didn't think we'd get an offer for a least a week or two. 

Fast forward to Monday night and the buyer accepted our counter offer. I mean, I don't think I could have dreamed it would go any better than this (although I'm still holding my breath because it feels too good to be true). The inspection is at the end of the week, so please keep your fingers crossed nothing crazy comes up! We're still having a few showings here and there, in case something happens with this contract, but thankfully life doesn't have to be too abnormal. Although we're never home these days, it feels like. We've gotta find ourselves a house of our own.....we close on our townhouse on 4/22. Eeeeek!

We found a couple we absolutely loved, but it's totally a seller's market right now and because we were in Vegas over the weekend, we missed out on them. I know they weren't meant to be, but "what if?". ;) Thankfully we're now home for awhile, so hopefully we can run see things when they pop up and decide quickly before someone scoops them up. Needless to say, life will likely continue to be crazy for a couple more months! I'll keep you all (or myself in future years) posted as things progress!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Here we are in a new year (I know I'm quite a few days late to the party) and I've found myself thinking about what I want out of these next 366 days (or however many are left at this point). I absolutely love looking back on goals and seeing if I've accomplished them, so I figured, why not put it on the blog?

Sell our house. We're coming up on the 5 year anniversary of the day I signed the papers to purchase our current home. I remember when my realtor told me about my loan - you must own this house for 5 years before you can sell it. That didn't seem like a huge deal considering I was buying a home, not renting an apartment. However, we outgrew our home much quicker than I ever imagined. Then, we got married and accumulated even more STUFF. Then, we got Hudson and well it's all really gone down the drain at this point. (No offense, Hud! We wouldn't change a thing!). Needless to say, we've been counting down to September 29th, 2016 (the day we can officially close on the sale) for quite awhile now. 

Over the holidays, we found ourselves touring 2 model homes in a neighborhood we're interested in. They were obviously gorgeous. One was FAR too big for us - I'm pretty sure the island in the kitchen was at least 20ft long. The other was pretty much perfect. I absolutely love the idea of being able to move into a brand new home, that no one else has touched and we've been able to truly make it our dream home. A "used" home isn't out of the question, but if we are able to afford it, I can't imagine us going in any other direction than new. 

Last week I emailed 2 different realtors that were recommended to us and set up appointments for them to come look at our house. I want someone to tell us what we absolutely MUST do before putting it on the market and maybe some ideas for things we could do, but aren't actually a necessity. Obviously we want top dollar for our house, so I want to prepare as far in advance as possible.

I also want both of these realtors to provide their insight and expertise on the next steps, timelines, etc. We are pretty clueless as to how this all works when you already own a home and have zero intention of owning 2 homes at once (and no real desire to move in with in-laws, on either of our parts - no offense family!). That part is a big question mark in our minds, so I'm excited to learn more about this whole process in the coming weeks! 

Get a new job. Whether it's here at my current company or somewhere else, I am truly ready for a new challenge. To add to that, I'm ready to do something I'm passionate about. I have very much enjoyed my job and current field over the last 5 years, but I'm not sure it's where I'm meant to be long term. I'm not passionate about procurement. You know what I am passionate about? Event planning/management. If I could find a full-time gig doing this, I know I would be incredibly happy! I've seen a couple things here and there, both here and other places, so we'll see what comes about in the coming year!

Book at least 5 weddings in 2016. I haven't yet booked a wedding for 2016 yet, but we just went through the most popular time of year for engagements (seriously, it was ALL over my facebook and I thought all my friends were married at this point....). I got my first wedding inquiry of the year last week and was able to chat with the bride for quite some time! She's getting married at my favorite venue, Mount Ida (I'm not biased at all ;)). We'll see what happens! The rest of the weddings don't necessarily need to be in 2016, but I'd like to at least have 5 signed contracts before the year is up! 

Speaking of weddings, I finally got to share the first wedding I coordinated last year at Mount Ida. Please check out Best Day Ever Events to see all the gorgeous details!

Get pregnant. Gosh, I can't believe I typed that. I've always known I wanted to be a mom one day, but I never knew when that urge would hit me. I have so many friends who have been saying for years that they have the baby bug, even before they were married, and I just couldn't understand that. I've been so thankful to be able to truly enjoy my 20s and be as selfish as I possibly could. However, what they say is true - once the baby bug bites, it bites HARD. But the first point of this post is why it hasn't been a focus yet. We have absolutely no idea what will happen with our house sale, timeline, etc. I want that to all be solidified (or at least close to finalized) before we start down the baby road and I do NOT want a baby in this darn townhouse. Of course, I have my ideal timeline, but we'll see if all goes according to plan. 

Spend a week in OBX. This one seems so trivial compared to the rest, but in my mind, it's an absolute necessity. Work will always be there, but everyone needs time to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of it all. Outer Banks is somewhere I had always heard about, but never visited until just a few years back when my BFF got married there. Once I'd been, I was hooked. 

OBX is so different from most vacations I've ever taken. It's calm, quiet and serene. There's nowhere you need to be. We typically take extremely exhausting vacations where we have 17 different things to check off our list (let's be real - 17 different restaurants) and I feel like we usually come back more tired than when we left. OBX is the complete opposite. There is enough to do to keep you busy, but it's also a place that practically forces you to just relax. Also, they have the best french fries on the planet there. So...what more do you need?

Save. Save. Save. I know this is an odd one to follow a point about taking a vacation, but savings is still a HUGE goal of ours this year. I'd be lying if I said we were super good at building up our savings account. While we don't neglect it completely, I definitely wish we focused on it more than we do. I have a feeling 2016 will be our year. I spent quite a bit of time going through our incoming/outgoing funds at the end of last year, figured out where we need to really cut back on spending (eating out for lunch for JC, shopping for me) and figured out how much we can afford to put into savings. Also, the sale of the house should definitely help. I have no intentions of using all the profit we make on our sale for a down payment on the next house - unless absolutely necessary!

Healthy living. As you all know, the end of 2015 for me focused on my new journey with Beachbody. I was extremely successful not only with sticking to my new healthy lifestyle and workout regimen (excluding Christmas Day to New Year's), but I also did a darn good job on the business end of things. I don't even feel like I put a ton of effort into the business part, so I'm hopeful I have a lot more in me this year to make this thing work. However, you can completely remove the business part of it for this one - I just want to stick to this new lifestyle. The amazing thing about my current plan is that it's not limiting. With the 80/20 rule, I can indulge myself 20% of the time and still see results if I'm on track the other 80%. I'm pretty hard on myself when I do things like this. I tell myself I cannot screw up and then one of two things happen - I either screw up in a big way or I just give up because I'm sick of depriving myself of french fries and pizza. 

This cycle has to stop! I have to allow myself to live and if I indulge a bit here and there, it's ok! What truly matters is getting right back on track and not just saying "to heck with it, I screwed up once, I may as well just stop all together". I'm hopeful my current plan is the right one to kick that nasty habit to the curb. I truly love my shakes, eating healthy isn't that hard (even when I'm deep frying corn dog nuggets & tots for the husband) and can actually taste good and 30 minute workouts really aren't that bad. 

Be a good wife & puppy mommy. I like to think I'm reasonably good at this, but there is always room for improvement. I think we're all guilty of getting into routines and not really taking it all in each and every day. I want to be more engaged this year. I want to live in the moment instead of spending 95% of my time with my phone attached to my hand. I want to go on dates with my husband. I want to keep a clean house (so my husband doesn't divorce me). I want to play with Hudson, even on days I'm exhausted and don't want to move. I want to be able to take Hudson to daycare at least once a week (it's in the budget, friends!) because I know it's good for him and incredibly good for us (an exhausted/cuddly pup, what's better?). I truly want to thrive in this area of my life and I know we'll all be better for it, if I am!

If all goes as planned 2017 will be an entirely different year than 2016 (and many years before it). Therefore, I want to truly cherish every moment of this year while achieving every goal I set forth and then some! Bring it on, 2016. I got this.

What are your plans, hopes, and dreams for 2016?!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New You.

It's upon us....2016. How is that even remotely possible? I feel like just yesterday I was in bed before 10pm on NYE 2014. This year someone actually invited us to an NYE party. Fun, but um the start time is 10:30pm. Hi, my name is Samantha and I'm old. Anyways, that's not what this post is about. 

I did some googling and learned that the #1 New Year's resolution for 2015 was to lose weight. Not shocking. You know what is shocking? Only 8% of people are successful in actually achieving the goal they set out to reach. How many of you are setting a resolution to live a healthier life this year? Even if you don't want to lose weight, do you want to eat less Chick-Fil-A (I KNOW that sounds INSANE) or stop drinking soda? All are wonderful choices for the new year and I honestly believe that it's important when setting goals to be specific. Don't just say "I want to be healthier". Follow that up with a how and a why. Or if you do want to lose weight, how much? By when? Be realistic in your goals. Telling yourself you want to lose 20lbs in 3 weeks is unrealistic and you're setting yourself up for failure (unless you're a male bc they always lose weight 75x faster than us ladies). Even if you somehow manage to lose 20lbs in 3 weeks, you likely didn't do it in a healthy way and that just means you're depriving your body and you're much more likely to gain said weight back and probably some more.

So now you have your healthy living goal set, specified and you're ready to roll. Do you have an accountability partner? I have always found that if I have someone who knows I'm intending to do something (anything, not just healthy living), I'm much more likely to actually get it done. I don't want to get that dreaded text that asks how such and such is going and I have to say "well....I didn't actually do it". #fail

Working out and eating healthy are two of the hardest things for me to do or were. That all changed when I co-hosted a challenge group during the month of December. You might be asking what in the heck a challenge groups or maybe you're not, but I'm going to tell you anyways.

Challenge Groups are simply motivational, accountability groups on Facebook. Basically a bunch of people are in a secret (i.e. safe) group together and they post about their healthy living accomplishments each and every day. We share our random after workout pictures, healthy recipe ideas, motivational quotes, etc. Anything you want to post that's motivational for the group is a-ok.

Many people in December's group had never been in a challenge group before (I had only done one & barely did much bc it was right before the wedding). Here's what they had to say about their experience:

Jennifer from South in the City: I found great success through joining the challenge group! Not only did I personally persevere and lose pounds and inches, I gained motivation to keep it up! The group held me accountable and everyone's posts were inspiring and kept me motivated to keep with it. Sometimes this journey gets tough and we feel alone in it, but the group helped me to see so many others were experiencing the same temptations and ways of life. They allowed me to be me and helped encourage me through. I would highly recommend it for anyone whether they are just beginning their journey or wanting to stay on track.

My wonderful mother: I allowed Samantha to convince me to join an online 21 day challenge group with her 3 weeks ago. I was reluctant because I figured it would be a group primarily made up of her and her 20-30 something friends. But I figured, it was worth the try, just continuing to say I wanted to get healthier wasn't working too well. And, guess what, although there are many in the group way younger and fitter than me, there are others at the very same place I am and everyone is encouraging and motivating. For me and this group most of us followed the Beachbody program which is made up of daily 30 minute work outs, eating healthy non processed foods, and replacing one meal a day with Shakeology -- and it's usually my favorite meal. 3 weeks later I'm not only 7 pounds lighter, but I'm stronger, more flexible and have more energy than I've had in awhile. But more importantly I've replaced some bad habits with new ones. So, if a healthier lifestyle is in your plan for 2016, find a group to join who will hold you accountable and keep you motivated.

Alan, fellow December Challenger: Today was a first for me. I stayed up way too late last night and I didn't sleep all that well. I woke up a little grumpy and I REALLY didn't want to work out. Not just a "I'm not looking forward to this workout" kind of not wanting to, but a full blown "Screw it. I'm not doing it today" kind of apathy. When I finally sat down in my chair with my coffee, I saw Samantha had already posted that she'd worked out. At that moment, I fully understood the value of challenge groups. Sure, I understood it intellectually, but this was the first time it really hit me how important they can be in a person's transformation journey. So thank you, Samantha for getting up early and getting your workout done! And thank all of you for a great group.

Doesn't that sound awesome? I can definitely agree that this group kept me extremely motivated and held me accountable along the way. No, no one was there yelling at me if I didn't do something, but I found myself wanting to post my post-workout selfie or my healthy lunch too, so if I didn't do something, I didn't have a post. Sure, there was a day or two where I didn't follow my plan - skipped a workout or didn't eat healthy, but I posted about those days too and there were many people there totally relating to my day. No one's perfect, slip ups happen and we're all there to help pick each other back up, so you don't completely fall off the wagon.

As my favorite 21 Day Fix trainer, Autumn Calabrese says:

So what are you waiting for? Let's get 2016 started off on the right foot! For January, there is no purchase necessary for anyone who hasn't previously taken part in our challenge groups (aka last month, we don't know what you've done otherwise). This will give you a chance to truly see what this is all about! You can be as active as you'd like, although the more activity, the more likely you are going to be able to hold yourself accountability. However, if you'd like to dive in head first, below are the January specials which you can begin ordering today!

For anyone who joins January's challenge group, invites 3 other people to join and 1 purchase (Challenge Pack or Shakeology HD order) is made out of any of those 4 people by the end of the month, the person who did the inviting and the person who makes the purchase will get a special treat from yours truly :) GAME ON!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Transformation Tuesday.

On November 30th, I started the 21 Day Fix. Everyone I told basically looked at me like I was insane - starting a workout/healthy living regimen smack dab in the middle of the holidays? I don't think anyone believed success was possible with all the temptations that are around this time of year. I can't lie and say I wasn't a bit concerned too.

Well, I'm happy to report that I did it and I'm so happy I didn't wait until the New Year to start. 

I've done a Beachbody program in the past - T25. I loved it. It's really hard to beat 25 minute workouts, 5 days a week. It's also really hard to make up an excuse for skipping a 25 minute workout. While I loved T25, I'm pretty sure I love 21 Day Fix even more. 

21 Day Fix is a combination of 30 minute workouts, a nutritional guide and portion control containers. Not only did I like most of the workouts (sorry, I will never be a yogi #yawn), I loved having a guide when it came to my food. Nothing was laid out on a silver platter for me. I did have to prep, cook (ugh!) and make sure I was prepared each day for my meals, but 21 Day Fix made it as easy as humanly possible and cooking didn't turn out to be as terrible as I usually think.

I thought the containers would be a bit confusing (6 different colors and sizes), but once I did it for a few days, those were the easiest part of the whole thing. I knew right off the bat how many I got each day and could easily identify what types of food went into what containers. I would say my biggest help in all of this was portioning out everything for week 1 ahead of time. I made stuff in bulk (whole wheat pasta, brown rice, hard boiled eggs) and portioned out everything prior to officially starting. I labeled each bag, so I knew what container it filled, as well. This meant that all I had to do was grab ziplock baggies for each meal and occasionally prepare one or two things for dinner throughout the week - garlic & parm chicken, meatballs, chicken parm, pesto tilapia, etc. This not only made life a heck of a lot easier, but it made cheating a whole lot harder.

I had more than enough food each and every day to keep me satisfied and shocker, it was all pretty darn yummy! Of course, the yummiest of all was my Shakeology every morning. I was practically counting down the minutes until my new shipment came in last week because I couldn't wait to have my hands on 30 days of chocolate milkshakes. Not only were my shakes yummy, but I'm 100% convinced they are the sole reason I was able to avoid all of the candy, cookies and cakes around these last 3 weeks. On the rare occasion I was craving something sweet, I was usually just wanting another shake! In the effort of full disclosure, I did cave once at work and had 1 Godiva Chocolate Truffle. I paid for it almost immediately, as I felt like my stomach was 5x bigger and it seemed like I had just ate an entire bag, not just one single piece. The body is a funny little thing. 

There was one other thing that helped me throughout these last 21 days. It was probably the biggest help of all - our challenge group. There were a total of 31 of us in the Merry Fitmas Challenge Group this month. I'd say about half of us contributed to the group regularly (I believe some were there just to see what it was all about this time around) and I can truly say that each and every one of those people that participated along the way motivated me and kept me accountable through probably the toughest 3 weeks of the year. Throughout the day, people would check in to let us all know about the workout they just did, the healthy meal they just ate, etc. This meant that throughout the day I would receive notifications of the healthy choices others were making which only made me want to push harder for myself. I wanted to be able to post my healthy wins or my sweaty post-workout selfie! 

This meant that over the course of 21 days, I only skipped 1 workout and I followed my meal plans to a T almost the entire time. Was I perfect? No. Did I indulge a little? Yes, but I made sure to do so in moderation. And because of this, I'm happy to report I'm down 6 inches (likely more - my  measurements didn't save before week 1, so this is from week 2 on) and 6.4 pounds!

The pictures on the left were taken the day before I started 21 Day Fix. The pictures on the right were taken the day after I completed the program. Not only can I see some pretty awesome results, my clothes fit better, my face isn't as chubby (thanks to very limited salt intake) and I feel pretty amazing which is basically a complete 180 from how I normally feel/look this time of the year in year's past. 

The program may be complete, but leading up to the start of our next challenge group (January 4th - who wants in!?), I plan to continue to make smart choices and get some workouts in here and there. I'm not going to do everything 100%, as I want to be able to fully enjoy time with family and friends, but I do not plan to ruin what I just did over the past 3 weeks. My goal on January 4th is to just not have gained any weight over the 2 week "hiatus". Then, I'll be back on track completely in the New Year and hitting the ground running on achieving more amazing results. I have some personal goals I'd like to achieve by my 31st birthday (March 5th) and I know Beachbody, Shakeology and our Challenge Groups are going to help get me there!

Next week, I'll be back to share some more detailed information about our Challenge Group and offer a pretty awesome prize for one person who joins! 

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me if have any questions about any or all of this :) I have helped a handful of people say "yes" this past month and I would love to help you too!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Winning off the field.

I regularly listen to one radio station during the weekdays. You'll be surprised to know it's not a radio station that plays music, but it's the local sports talk radio station - 106.7 The Fan. JC's been listening to them for a really long time, so I was introduced to it sometime after I met him and I grew to really enjoy the personalities during the morning/afternoon commutes. Sure, sometimes I have no interest in the subject matter, but I still tend to listen - like yesterday, when the guy was talking to an MMA fighter. They keep me interested in subjects I'm not even remotely interested in. That's talent!

Every so often I catch the midday show when I'm running out to get lunch (you know, Chick-Fil-A - ugh, it's been so long CFA, I miss you). Just before noon each day they do a segment called "Winning Off the Field". During this time, people call in with their random wins for the week that have nothing to do with sports. Basically, how are you winning at life? I thought it might be fun to discuss some recents wins over on my side of life these days.

Last week I rank advanced with Beachbody! Less then one month since I started this little gig and I offically have 2 coaches underneath me. Now granted, one of those is my mom, but I'm quite certain most coaches convince a family member (or two) or spouse to sign up at the very beginning. The second is one of my most favorite blog friends (one day, we will seriously be real life friends). Steph realized that if her and her husband were drinking Shakeology regularly, it was silly not to become a coach! I mean you get a 25% discount and she'll get commission on her husband's orders! Win, win! I'm so happy to welcome her to my team and I'm confident, if/when she decides she wants more out of this, she will ROCK IT.

Now I just need one more Shakeology order to meet my November goal and get one step closer to a free ticket to Nashville! Also, as of Thursday, I'll have made over $200 in just one month! It isn't a ton, but it's $200 more than I had before and I'm getting to enjoy something I love out of it!

The other week I finally signed up for Amazon Prime. Well, I've had Amazon Prime a number of times, but this time I actually paid for it! I usually just create a new account with a different email address and get the free trial, but I've used up all my email accounts and actually created a new one once (#cheap), so I figured it was finally time to just pay for it and stop making it so difficult. #growingup

We recently rented the movie The Gift with Jason Bateman and we didn't have to pay for it! Verizon has this awesome rewards program and we get points just for paying our bill. So basically, it's free money. Also, the movie was WEIRD, but I'd recommend it.

I officially went undefeated in Fantasy Football this year! 13-0 baby! That's $240 in my pocket...well $40 because we manage the money and didn't pay our $100 entry fee for either of us. #oops I didn't end quite as strongly as I started (high points 5 out of the first 6 weeks) and the last few games were pretty serious nail biters, but I did it and I got a bye week to not have to worry about fantasy! Now let's hope my team can stay strong and pull things off for the playoffs and make (and win) it to the Super Bowl!

One of my all-time favorite charities to donate to is St. Jude's. I try to donate every single year and usually end up doing so when they have the annual radiothon on our local country station. They weave in stories about kids with cancer into sad songs and I'm in tears dialing on my phone almost immediately. This year, I was happy to be able to become a Partner In Hope, instead of just giving a one-time donation. For only $20/month, I know I'm doing what I can to help out kids very much in need of any help they can get and I won't lie and say, I hope I'm building up some good karma too! I would highly recommend everyone doing this as well :) For anyone that doesn't know, it costs $1 million per day to run St. Jude's Children's Hospital. INSANE.

Over the weekend, I saw that Erin posted a question for her Instagram followers to help a friend with a research project. I took a second to answer, since it was an easy question and because there was $100 up for grabs. Well what do you know, I actually won that $100 via Erin's random pull of participants! Happy Monday to me! Thanks, Erin! I hope your friend got what they needed!

Also on Monday, I got to spend part of my morning wrapping gifts for a couple family's my company adopted for Christmas. Do you know how much I love wrapping? So much so I choose a theme for my own gifts every year and completely obsess over them looking PERFECT. #typeAdontcare I also finished wrapping gifts at home that evening and I have to say, I was pretty flipping impressed with one of the last gifts I wrapped!

Last, but certainly not least, I TOUCHED MY TOES ON MONDAY. I'm sure you're thinking, who cares? You guys don't understand. I am NOT a flexible person, not in the least bit. So when I started 21 Day Fix and we got to the cool down phase where I had to put my legs out in front of me and reach for my toes, I was always a good 1-2" away from said toes. However, Monday, I touched them AND held on to them for almost the whole stretch! It's working!!

Alright, now how are YOU winning off the field these days?