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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Recipes! Crockpot turkey chili & a brussels salad!

Hi guys! Happy Saturday!

In light of tomorrow being Super bowl Sunday, I decided to give you a few healthy recipes to help you fight the urge to splurge! You're welcome! ;)

So, I always hated brussels...until I tried this recipe. Now I can't get enough AND MY KIDS EVEN LIKE THEM!!

Start out with your brussels cut in half.

Dump them into a frying pan and drizzle with olive oil, honey, and pepper to taste. {I don't measure these out...just use your best judgement}

Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until they look like this:

Remove from heat and let them cool for  a few minutes. Once they are cooled, toss with some walnuts & dried cranberries and voila!

Now, serve and enjoy! That wasn't so hard was it?! {Spaghetti & meatballs not included ;) }

And now for the Turbo chili! I found the recipe in my Turbofire meal plan.

 Chili is one of my FAVORITE comfort foods. My mom makes the best, but this recipe comes pretty close. And the best part, it's SUPER EASY! I mean, you make it in your crock pot for crying out loud!

Here's what you need:

*1 lb. raw {lean} ground turkey
*1/2 onion, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, also chopped
*1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, with juice
*1 1/2 cups whole-kernel corn
*1 can black beans
*1 can pinto beans {or chili, or kidney}
*1/2 cup tomato paste
*1tsp chili powder
*1/2 tsp cumin
*sea salt & pepper to taste

First, you're going to want to cook your turkey, garlic, and onion in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, 4-5 minutes or until the turkey browns. Drain & discard the fat.

Then you're going to want to dump the turkey mixture into your crock pot-- followed by all other ingredients. That's right, just dump 'em on in. Stir to mix them together, then let it cook on low for about 4 hours. Ta da! Isn't that just the easiest?! It tastes good, too :)

This chili is so yummy topped with some plain greek yogurt, a little cheese, and some olives. Throw in a few tortilla chips, too! 


Monday, January 26, 2015

21 day fix!

With Beachbody about to release our newest workout program, the 21 day fix EXTREME, I had to throw it back to one of my favorite programs!

So I did the 21 day fix several months ago and fell in love with the workouts & the meal plan! And those little colorful containers made my life so much easier! The recipes are pretty delicious, too! I followed the meal plan loosely, and stuck with the workouts for 21 days. Here are my results:

Autumn Calabrese, the creator of this program, is a bikini competitor... so this chick knows her stuff ;) I also have had the chance to work out with Autumn before at Beachbody events-- she is hard core! Crazy how such enthusiasm and power comes from such a tiny, beautiful package!

After I completed the program, I let my mom and sister borrow it for a while. I think they fell in love with it, too, because I have yet to get it back from them...

Here are my sister's results:

21 days. That's it, just 21 days of hard work and cleaning up your diet. It's really not that hard. If you're looking to drop weight quickly, this is the program for you. If you have an event to get ready for, this is the program for you! 

I got to try a sneak peek of the 21 day fix extreme at an event a few weeks ago, and WOW-- I can't wait to buy this program and add it to my library!! The workout called for weights, which I didn't even use... and I was super sore the next day! I can only IMAGINE how effective this is going to be combined with the meal plan, oh boy! 

If you'd like more info on either the 21 day fix or the 21 day fix EXTREME...drop your email below! I'd love to share more with you! And don't forget, I'm here as your coach to guide you through if you purchase from me! Next Challenge Group starts February 9, go here to apply!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

time management part one!

I have been focusing a lot the last year or so on time management.

I'm a mom.
A wife.
A ministry leader.
A business owner.
A writer.
And I homeschool my kids.

I have to learn to manage my time or nothing will get done! Or worse yet, everything will get done and I'll be completely burnt out. This is something I'm working on, not something I've perfected. But I have learned a ton along the way and wanted to share with you!!

I believe that God wants us to be wise with our time; He wants us to use the time that we have here on earth to the fullest! He wants us to work hard, to play hard, to serve Him endlessly! That requires some planning! With a little practice, I'm confident that we can take our time back and make it work for us and for His kingdom!

Just take a look at Ecclesiastes 3:9-13:

What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.

Let's learn to make the most of our time so that we can find the joy of hard work, of play, of service, of love, so we can enjoy the fruits of our labors! 
**Later this week we will talk about to-do lists! A task in and of itself, but one that I love and believe in!**

Saturday, January 24, 2015

my life is...different

I went out to lunch today with some of my sweet friends. These are ladies who I love and trust, ladies whose company I sincerely enjoy. Most of them are military wives, but as we were talking I had a sudden realization of just how different my life is.

I always take that for granted, because so many of my friends here are military, and so I just assume that their lives are like mine. That their husbands, too, are gone a lot. But I know this is mistaken thinking on my part. My husband's job is different. Not better, not special, just different. Because of that, our lives are set apart even from most other military families.

My sweet friends were talking about what their husbands usually do for their birthdays and anniversaries, and it occurred to me: I have no idea what Justin usually does for birthdays and anniversaries because he's never here for those. This upcoming year he will miss our anniversary; it won't be the first time. We've been married almost seven years and have celebrated maybe 3 anniversaries together.

And birthdays, well, he's usually gone for those, too. He'll miss Brooklynn's birthday this year, and possibly Avery's. It's just the way of our life.

I left lunch and walked home feeling a little melancholy. Even now I feel a little sad. Maybe just lonely? It's a hard thing when no one around you really understands the details of your lifestyle. My husband doesn't even truly understand what my side of all this is like.

But alas, it's the plate God has laid before me, and so we do the best we can! I am thankful for friends who pray for me and talk with me, even if they can't really understand. I am thankful for a husband who does sweet little things when he is home. I am thankful for a Father who sustains me when I'm alone. I am thankful that He knows my heart, He understand, and He helps me through. I am thankful that He totally gets it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

challenge groups: why I LOVE THEM!

Happy Monday! 

I started a new Challenge Group today with a couple of ladies who are motivated to get healthier & feel better!!

I LOVE Challenge Groups! I love hearing people tell me things like:
"I feel so much better and more confident!"
"I can walk up and down the stairs now without losing my breath!"
"I was able to fit into my 'skinny jeans' again!"
"I now weigh LESS than I did in college!"
"I have SO much more energy!"

It blesses my heart to know that I'm helping others become better versions of themselves! heart emoticon

I mean, weren't we made for MORE? Weren't we made to INSPIRE others? To LOVE our bodies and the way they work? To FEEL good? To be MOTIVATED, ENERGETIC, PASSIONATE, and CREATIVE?!

Working out makes me such a better person, wife, mother, friend! I just want to PAY IT FORWARD! I am committed to helping at least 50 women get healthier this year, and I'm not stopping till I get there!

If you feel like you're ready to make some healthy changes, would you message me? Invite a friend or your spouse to join you! Next Challenge Group starts February 2 and I want YOU in it! My next group starts February 2! If you are interested in joining me, click here!

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

part one: unity & a sign

I might have to turn this into two blog posts. I'm just going to start writing & see what happens...

First let me say that in life you go through so many very different seasons. For a while recently I have been in a season where I felt free to serve. I got more involved at church, I spent more time with friends. It was all so wonderful. And then over the last month or so I felt things start to shift. Nothing major happened. I just felt it in my heart, and in small things that began to happen around me.

So I prayed. I haven't been exactly sure where God wants me or what He has for me. I just prayed, and trusted that God had a plan.

Then a couple of days ago we started an awesome study in our women's Bible study at church, a study of Thessalonians with Beth Moore. {she's amazing}. She made a comment that stuck in my spirit. She talked about how God breaks things, relationships, ministries, etc., apart sometimes so that you will move where He wants you to be. I liked that, because it seemed to be what was happening in my life.

That evening I received a phone call from the property manager of our apartment complex. "Well, I have bad news..." Uh oh...

He notified me that we have 60 days to move out of our apartment because it is being put up for sale by the owner. I definitely felt shocked, but surprisingly calm. When things like this happen to me I laugh, I think to keep from crying. Justin wasn't home so when he called I gave him the lowdown. Why, oh WHY, do these things only happen when he is away?!

Then everything started to sink in. I became overwhelmed with the task before me: trying to lead MOPs effectively, build my business, homeschool my children, cram in as much time with my husband as possible before he deploys, plan for our road trip in March...and move. I didn't see that one coming!

So I woke at 3 in the morning in a slight panic, searched for apartments, made lists, drove myself crazy... and then I stopped. I laid down, and I prayed. I prayed that Justin and I would experience unity in this decision. I prayed that God would provide me with a big, obvious sign of what to do-- almost like a slap across the head: a God smack ;)

That morning (yesterday) I took the girls to the library. We all needed fresh air & I needed a distraction. I was also hoping to see a friendly face, anyone to talk this out with! I was so happy to see my friend Kristina and her sweet son. He kept Brooklynn distracted while I chatted with my friend. You know how sometimes it just helps so much to be able to talk things through with a sister in Christ? That's what I needed. Kristina helped me formulate a plan. I would pack up, sell the car, move out, go on our planned road trip, enjoy a week or two with Justin, then head to Tennessee. To me it seemed logical. I knew I couldn't make a final decision, though, until I talked with Justin, so I planned to share my plan with him when he came home then listen to what he had to say. One of my biggest desires was for unity.

God provided another friend at the library that morning, Ashlee. The three of us talked for a bit. I told Ashlee about what happened and shared my plan with her. We were chatting when my phone buzzed, a text message from Justin. When I read it I cried.

"So I've thought about it and I think the best choice would be for you and the girls to go to Tennessee for deployment and we can save all that money & start looking for another place when I'm almost home. That's just my opinion."

My big God smack. The unity I had prayed for. We were completely on the same page.

Thank you, Jesus!

I am blown away by how much God cares about my heart's desires, by how He works through all the little details. His love for me is so precious! I feel so thankful!

So we have our plan. We are working on the logistics, but I am confident God will completely put everything into place. I'm learning to trust Him while He totally remixes my life :)

**to be continued**

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

reflection: a letter to my teenage self

You dear, sweet, beautiful girl. You are so precious.

You think no one sees you. You think no one has your best interests in mind. You think no one really knows you. You don't feel very much love at home when you need it, and you don't get a lot of attention. Things with your parents are chaotic. Your home is chaotic. It's hard for you to process and handle. I get it. It's all going to be ok. I promise, you're going to be ok.

You sneak out of the house and no one knows.
You drink too much and no one knows.
You act irresponsibly with boys and no one knows.
You are too quick to give your heart away.
You are too quick to trust, to believe the best of others & give them the best of you.

You are searching for love in all the wrong places. Please see your worth. Set higher standards, because you deserve higher standards. God has better for you. He has a good man for you. A good life for you. Just wait. Wait & trust. Save yourself. Save yourself for someone deserving.

You hate the way you look. Please know that you are so beautiful. You were created in the image of the Most High. He delights in you, did you know that? You are His most prized possession.

Enjoy your youth, don't wish it away. Love the body that God gave you. Take care of it. Love your family. Your little siblings need you, spend more time with them. Set an example for them; show them who they want to be when they are grown, too.

Don't get distracted. I know it's so easy. You are so young, you don't think of the future, but you should. You should focus more on school & working hard. Make yourself better. When you feel scared, draw nearer to God. He really does love you, you know? I know it's hard to believe sometimes, but it's true.

He loves you.
He has such great plans for you.
You do have a purpose.
You have value & great worth.
You are worthy of good things.
You are seen.

You. Are. Loved.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Super Saturday & some BIG Beachbody announcements!

So Beachbody does these fun events every quarter, called Super Saturday. It's always a super fun time of learning for coaches or people who may be interested in coaching; there is always a BIG announcement; and we end with a workout {of course!}

The energy is great. I just love these people. We are all so different, from different walks of life, with different pasts, and different talents & skills...but we have a common goal: to end the trend of obesity. And we have a common belief:

every one matters. 

The BIG ANNOUNCEMENT made today:

Beachbody is going MOBILE!

I have been waiting for this, and apparently a lot of others have too! Starting in the spring several programs are going to be available ONLINE! You now officially have NO EXCUSES to skip your workout! Traveling and forgot your program at home? No big deal!

All you have to do is sign up for a club membership. $39 a month for access of over $1000 worth of fitness programs. Not to mention the amazing meal planning tools {and me as your coach ;) }

*If you have questions, feel free to shoot me an email!

And of course 21 day Fix EXTREME! I'm super stoked about this program! I LOVE the 21 day fix and am really excited to add this one to my collection. I mean, the combo of fitness & easy to track food is just genius! It's a game changer, that's for sure! And only 21 days, anyone can commit to that!

*To be notified when this program comes available, shoot me an email. It will SELL OUT fast! And I'll be starting a Challenge Group soon after, so if you're into support & accountability then don't forget to click the Challenge Group tab above!

And here are some of my frands :) I love the people that this company has brought into my life! Carl Daikler, you're doing something right!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

recipe: garlicy mushroom quinoa

We definitely splurged on our food choices over the holidays {probably more than we should have!}. Think...wine, desserts, southern fried food...
BUT I have to say, I am SO PROUD!
Why? Because as soon as we got home, the clean eating started right back up! We jumped back into our healthy habits! WOO HOO!
In the past, it would have taken me longer to get back into my groove after being out of town and eating so many {yummy} fattening foods for two weeks. BUT not anymore! I was actually craving vegetables! My body has adjusted to the healthier foods that I feed it, and began to crave those nutritious meals! 

My Shakeology definitely helped me bounce back, but so did the community of people that I am surrounded with! My fellow coaches really do push me to be BETTER! The Challenge Group I'm in right now has me feeling really motivated, too!
Build those healthy habits! Each bad habit that you replace with a positive one is a GOOD thing! 
If you need help getting started, you know who to ask  It's not to late to set some goals or revisit the ones you started then failed to maintain. It's NEVER to late to start something good! {apply to my next Challenge Group above for some extra support!}: 

Here is one healthy side dish that I fixed for dinner last night. It was so good that I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers today! 


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in quinoa until well combined.
    • Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

    Voila! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014: a year in review

I was just looking back at pictures from last year and became overwhelmed.

I am so blessed.

My life was busy, crazy, hectic...but it was ALL things that I LOVE! MOPs {Moms of Preschoolers}, homeschooling, parenting, Beachbody, traveling... Not many people can say that their year was just jam PACKED with things, people, responsibilities, commitments that they are PASSIONATE about!

I LOVE my {Beachbody} job.
I LOVE my MOPs team & mamas!
I LOVE homeschooling & being home with my kids.
I LOVE all of the people God has brought into my life!

Has this year held challenges? YES! My husband is gone about 80% of the time due to his career in the Navy. I am solo parenting much of the time. I get tired, frustrated, annoyed, and just burnt out! But that is all just a flash in the pan compared to the richness and the joy that I feel.

I am where God wants me to be. I am doing exactly everything that He wants me to do. Not perfectly, mind you. But I am doing my very best and seeking His wisdom and guidance when I feel lost.

I have no idea how 2015 could possibly be any better than last year, but I know God has a lot in store for us. Hard times? Yes. My husband deploys in the spring. The kids will continue to test me. Everything will NOT go according to plan.

But that's ok! Challenges bring growth! Change brings excitement. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Thank you, Jesus, for a fresh new year!

Monday, January 5, 2015

homemade toothpaste!

Why make your own toothpaste?
It saves money, gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and allows you to leave out all the harmful ingredients commercial toothpaste is made of. Oh yeah, and it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Simple Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt (optional – direct application of the minerals in sea salt is great for teeth, but can be left out if the taste is too salty-- I used himalayan fine pink salt)
  • 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil (or add your favorite flavor – spearmint, orange, etc.)
  • filtered water (add to desired consistency)

Cost Breakdown & Savings

Here is the breakdown in cost analysis for 5.33 oz of homemade toothpaste (same amount as one tube of our old toothpaste):
  • baking soda @ 16 oz = $1.00 | 2/3 cup is 5.33 oz which = $0.33
  • fine sea salt @ 22 oz = $2.00 | 1 tsp is .17 oz which = $0.02
  • peppermint essential oil @ 1 oz = $13.00 | 15 drops = $0.28!
(**Note** you can use as much or as little peppermint or other flavor as you wish. Add the flavoring little by little until you reach an amount you enjoy.)

Make your own

Remember, each batch yields the equivalent of one 5.3oz tube of toothpaste which you can store in a small storage container somewhere close to your toothbrush. When you are ready to brush, simply wet your toothbrush, scoop or spread as much paste as you like, and begin brushing.
1.  Start with your ingredients:
2.  Mix together baking soda, optional salt, and peppermint. Add a little water at a time, stirring after each addition, until paste reaches desired consistency.

That’s it!   You’re done.  Now go get rid of that bad breath!