Monday, August 25, 2014

Get Your Grill On!

I would have to say on average I grill out on my grill at home around 3 times a week and that's really a minimum. There is just nothing like a grilled piece of meat or even grilled corn or veggies. The taste is just unbeatable! Being a fitness competitor I have to eat a bunch of protein, I mean you'd think I was a carnivore if you saw my refrigerator - seriously! So with that I always prepare my meals in advance and cook in mass quantity due to having to be so precise with my meals and weighing everything out. On average you can catch me cooking about 3 large packs of chicken and a pack of steak on the grill on any given day!

Since I prepare such a vast amount of food that food has to stay fresh, because let's be honest, eating meat that hasn't been properly stored and isn't fresh - really isn't that tasty. Am I right? Burgers and hot dogs are great, but there's more you can throw on the grill, like my chicken and steak I mentioned, and Reynolds® can make grilling and clean-up easy with their Bakeware Pans, Parchment Paper and classic Aluminum Foil, and that's just what I use to keep my food fresh! Also, when you’re done with your grill, just roll some foil sheets together and scrub the grill grates clean of any leftover grease and build-up. Did you know that? Kinda an awesome trick for you there! :)
My chicken with salt free taco seasoning, garlic and pepper (kinda the most delicious healthy meal you could possibly make! ha!) is one of the few things I utilize Reynolds® Aluminum Foil for. My meat stays juicy and fresh and helps keep the Tupperware container washing down to a minimum for me, which is about the best thing ever!
Here’s some inspiration for what you can prepare for your next cookout, whether it’s a night for enjoying a classic burger or having a fun clam bake for your seafood-loving friends.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

jumps to the sky

Kinda just short and sweet and it really is just that - I had to share. She's growing up so fast and is just so full of energy and the most amazing little thing in the world. The other night fresh out of her bath, in her pullup before bed, she was dancing or as she likes to call it "shaking my booty" and then was jumping for the sky. Ha! You'll keep seeing my hand push her back lightly because she was scaring me to death with her jump that turned more into a stomach lunge towards a wooden stool next to the toilet. I just knew things would end badly if I didn't kind of push her back .. I could see it now.
Anyhow - here's my sweet girl.


She seriously amazes me every day with the silly things she comes up with and how incredibly observant and smart she is. So incredibly thankful for her, which actually reminds me of a song the other day I heard and actually related to - "In My Daughters Eyes" by Martina McBride. Such a powerful song!
Hope everyone is having a great week and enjoyed watching Blake get crazy :)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

shine bright like a diamond - with your teeth that is

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant. All opinions are 100% mine.

Who doesn't love white teeth? I don't know about you but I'm pretty much a psychopath when it comes to my oral health and making my teeth look great. If it were up to me they would be chic-let white ;) I was given the opportunity recently to review Arm & Hammer's Truly Radiant. I was given the following products to try out:
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First off, let's start with the Spinbrush - there is nothing better to me than a Spinbrush - because they leave my teeth feeling so super clean and fresh. This particular Spinbrush I felt was incredibly heavy duty and really left my smiling feeling super radiant (no pun intended ;)). Also, the Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Spinbrush removes 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush.
Next up on the list was the actual toothpaste Truly Radiant, fluoride anticavity toothpaste for cleaning, whitening and enamel strengthening. The flavor was great, none really, and my breath smelled absolutely wonderful afterwards. #winning This product is the only toothpaste with baking soda, peroxide and active calcium! So not only does is smooth the surface imperfections but restores the shine in your teeth as well as removing 100% more surface stains than ordinary toothpaste.
Lastly, the Truly Radiant Whitening Booster - amazing!! It's also clinically proven to whiten teeth in just one week and contains 3x more whitening agent than a leading white strip. So in short - your teeth are on their way to sparkle city! :)
After trying all three products I saw a huge difference in the overall whiteness of my teeth in a matter of days. No lie. I was pretty amazed, as well as excited! With my shows and having to be up on a stage smiling ear to ear there is nothing better than being able to show off my pearly whites and these products will help me do so! Living the radiant life. That's what it's all about. How do you live radiantly every day? tips to bring out your inner radiance
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Amazon Studios - Annedroids

I must admit, I was a bit hesitant when I found out that there was a new series for kids that you could stream on Amazon. Not that Amazon isn't reputiable, because let's be real - I shop on there non-stop and we own a Kindle, but because it seems like everyone has their own show lately. However, to my surprise the new series - Annedroids on Amazon Prime is actually a super cute show! I found my own self getting into it, let alone just my daughter! Ha!
Annedroids is Amazon Studios’ third original kids series, is aimed at children ages 4-7 and will debut on July 25th on Prime Instant Video. The series is a science based-action adventure series that follows eleven-old genius and kid-scientist Anne, who has invented and built her own amazing androids, and her friends and kid assistants Nick and Shania. Together the kid trio make amazing scientific discoveries while undertaking the biggest experiment of all: growing up. Annedroids was created by JJ Johnson. The talent behind the characters includes Addison Holley as ”Anne” and Adrianna Di Liello as her friend “Shania”.  Like all of Amazon’s children’s programs, Annedroids designed to develop creative thinking in children and has been tested to ensure they achieve this goal. Amazon’s goal is to inspire lifelong learners and provide children with the skills that will help them find personal and professional satisfaction in their future. Also, incase you didn't know, earlier this summer, Amazon Studios released two additional children’s series: a stop-motion animated series encouraging creative scientific discovery called Tumble Leaf and an interactive art adventure for preschoolers called Creative Galaxy.


Between the obvious fact of girl power from kid-scientist Anne, the fun science aspect and the exciting you can do anything approach this series is a definite winner in our house. Teaching my daughter to dream big and have fun while doing so is my number 1 goal and if a show series can help teach that, along with my own personal teachings I am all for that! Plus, she absolutely loves seeing the different Annedroids in action and laughs each and every time they are in action!

 I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

one door closes, another one opens

As you know, or might not know, about 8 months ago, I began volunteering in the children's program at my church in an absolutely amazing environment for children 6 weeks - 4 years old. It's the same program that Blake attends, and she absolutely loves it! Every Sunday I not only looked forward to attending church, but also giving myself to the children for an hour of my day. I became to know the children so well - their quirks, what books they loved, the toys they loved and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their lives outside of our classroom, they became like my second set of children, I adored each and every one of them. Seriously.

As time went on I longed for more. Now, I'm not downplaying the significance of working with younger children, but I just felt like I needed to expand my horizons and share my faith with other individuals outside of my every day life being I have a three year old. With that said, I decided to move on to the middle school ministry program, crazy, right? Yeah.
With some heavy thought on this decision, I went up and down on if I would be the right "fit" for this program, just knowing that I too am new to my Faith and I was weary of being asked the unknown or not knowing how to answer a question the "right" way, however, when it came down to it I decided that it wasn't about that, it was about God empowering me to deliver my Faith to these kids and to share my love for Jesus. It was that simple.
After completing the interview process I was asked to be apart of the program and truthfully, I couldn't contain my excitement. The thought of being a part of a young girls middle school journey, the roughest years of her life, and being able to help her in her walk with or to finding Jesus seemed like one of the most amazing experiences I could experience to date. That to me is HUGE. I attended an all day training with all of the other new group leader volunteers, met some amazing individuals, and had a complete blast. Our first day in worship all of the new 6th grade leaders (including me) were introduced by eating ice cream sandwiches on stage competing to see whom could eat it the fastest. Getting on their level. After attending worship I felt great. Here I was, excited. Pumped. So ready to get my group and begin this 3 year journey with these girls, but that's when the curveball came.

A few days after our first worship group setting I received a friend request from the director of the middle school ministry, in which I accepted. This is where things went astray. It was brought to light that I am a bikini fitness competitor. Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to what I do, but let me start off by saying what I do is in NO WAY provocative nor does it suggest that I don't have good morals and believe in modesty. Yes, I do wear a rather small bikini on a stage in front of 100's of individuals to be judged on my body - BUT - I work for that body, very hard. I apply so many valuable life tools to preparing for a competition and just staying healthy in general. It takes dedication, hard work, motivation, strength, FAITH and so much more to step on that stage and not one part of my body is shown that is not shown in an every day magazine or at the neighborhood pool. So where the pit fall is on this matter I'm not quite sure and really haven't figured that one out.

Anyhow - where am I leading to huh? Well, I received an email the very next day after receiving the friend request asking if I would be available to meet with the director briefly. I instantly knew what it was about. I mean why else would she be asking to meet with me? Reluctantly I went into this meeting feeling as if I could explain more to her about my love for fitness and what competing meant to me. It was expressed to me that my competing may portray a bad image to the young girls in regards to being modest and honoring their bodies, and that their parents may find it inappropriate and be uncomfortable with me leading their children in their walk with Jesus. Yes, you heard that. My competing may interfere with leading children to help finding and walking with Jesus. Now, I may be wrong here but doesn't Jesus love everyone? Did Jesus judge anyone? .....

With that said, in short, I was told I could choose to quit competing, remove all photos from my Facebook account and then I could continue being a leader in the program otherwise I would not be a good fit for the position. My heart was torn apart. I sat there and cried as she spoke to me, stumbling over my words and not even knowing how to express to her how badly I wanted to be a part of this program and how unfair this was. After leaving church that day I felt defeated. I felt as if I was being shamed for what I do. Shamed for taking care of my body and showing other individuals that they too can do it. I lost 65lbs after my pregnancy, turned my life around health wise and became a stronger person than I could ever have imagined and not just on the outside, but completely on the inside as well. I learned what dedicating yourself to something you love can bring you and how you can help motivate other individuals and show them they too can do anything they set their mind to. Yet, here I am basically being portrayed as a whore. Yes, I said it - a whore. That's how I felt.

That day when I pulled into my driveway my daughter sat in the backseat asleep. I looked back at her for a few moments, then turned and looked at myself in the mirror and thought - is what I'm doing wrong? Am I portraying a bad image to my daughter? What would Jesus say about this? Tears began to flow from my eyes and I just balled my eyes out. I was defeated, or at least I felt that way. After all that I put myself through deciding if I would be the right "fit" because I was new to my faith was a waste. I put so much thought into the decision of joining these kids' lives, only to have it taken away from me because of another love I have. I felt like I was being asked to choose between sharing my faith and my competing. It hurt. Bad.

I prayed that night, talked and cried to God and asking him what he thought I should do and if I should completely forego my love of competing and fitness to give myself to these children. I thought that the answer was going to be yes, but I was pleasantly surprised, it wasn't. Every part of my body was told to let go of this chapter, that He has bigger plans for me and that I am where I am meant to be. To trust in him.

Faith has brought me so many friends in this industry and we all bind together in our faith and love for fitness. From our prayers together before going on stage, to our talks of our love for Christ in casual conversation, the fitness world is a place of so much more than just dumbbells and iron - it's a place of love, a place of sticking together and sharing our love for our bodies that Christ gave us.

Now I'm not sure where Christ will lead me and what exactly his plans are for me, but I do believe they involves fitness and sharing the word through it. The sky is the limit and I will not let a bump in the road take that away from me. I will continue to share my love for Christ and not only that, but I will push myself even harder in this journey so that I'm able to share the word further than I could ever imagine.

[i am in the center, number 72]

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

top 10 reasons why I'm single and probably will be forever

I get asked quite often why I'm still single and people often seem so surprised that I'm not all tuckered down in a relationship. Don't get me wrong, I love being in relationships. Heck, I WAS married once, ha! What I've come to find is that there are actual reasons of why I'm single and - no for those friends of mine that will laugh and say "it's because you're crazy!" that's not the case. THESE reasons are why I'm single and probably will be forever, but hey it's not solely my own fault. hahaha.
"top 10 reasons why i'm single" "single females" "single in your twenties"
1.) I'm not superficial (really, I swear!), but the guy kinda has to have abs. If he doesn't, then he needs to have something pretty dang near it!
"guys with abs" "jason poston" "ifbb pro physique" "hot guy with abs" "fitness"
2.) I'd honestly really rather stay in than go out on a Friday night. Something about sitting on my couch watching tv, curled up in a blanket seems so much more enticing than going out to a bar.

3.) I have an issue with being blown up. Just when I think okay, this guy is cute, he starts blowing up my phone. A little mystery is okay, actually you know what it's down right freaking awesome!! I don't need to know your every move #sorryimnotsorry. Let's pick a happy medium because we all know if I don't hear from you for several hours on end it doesn't end pretty.
4.) You don't need to be my sugar daddy (and I don't want one either guys), but if you can't take me out on a real date, I'm good. None of these "let's pick a Living Social deal" dates either or if it is at least don't tell me about it unless we've been dating for awhile, just comes across as tacky.

5.) I love fitness and I love to talk about it, but guess what? I do have a life outside of the gym. I may be interested in hearing about your day rather than how many times you flexed in front of the mirror. This goes for all topics though - we can talk about more than just one thing we have in common!

6.) You Facebook friend request me, poke me, like a million of my pictures, send me a message telling me you can't wait to get to know me and friend request my friends you don't even know. Just stop. Stop right there. No explanation needed here.

7.) An issue with the "stalkers". You wait for me several days a week outside of a place I frequent often just to tell me "hello" and re-introduce yourself each time. I remember your name, trust me, I've also given it to my office buildings security and told several members of my office what you look like in case I end up missing so they know who exactly abducted and skinned me.

8.) I'm a bit too blunt. I tell it like it is. If I don't like your shoes with your shirt and you ask me if you look "okay" I'm going to tell you no. It's quite simple. Ask and you shall receive. I also tend to say things that really shouldn't be said out loud.

9.) I like to joke around. I'm sarcastic, witty and sometimes go a little overboard. That's what makes me me, but that's what also makes you men scared. What can I say? The witty will have fun and the stupid won't get it.

10.) Let's just be real. I'm just downright picky.

So as you can see. The end resolution is my singlehood. Ha!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Keep Good Going

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of New York Life. All opinions are 100% mine.

Just as this video has displayed, I've found that it's really important in life to keep your memories near and dear to you, and not only that but pass them down to others within your family, whether it be your own children, nieces, nephews or even just those around you. Life lesson's - which typically turn into fond memories are crucial to pass on to others. I love listening to stories from my mom, and always have. Even though she didn't live a crazy life, stories from her childhood of growing up on a farm, especially with My Grandfather, my grandmother, and my uncles always make me feel good. From her and my uncle singing like they were rock stars to popular music of the time, to her strong love for a cow her family owned that they eventually sold. Her words of fun times, as they went through rough times make me see that even though one can have a hard time with growing up and family problems that you can still have fun and live a truly amazing life. The video above truly touched me to see a grandfather telling stories about his life to his grandchild, reliving each memory as if they were yesterday - This to me is how you keep good going!

I encourage you and your family to keep good going, pass along your stories to younger generations or even ask your grandparents or parents to share some of their own with you! I'd love to hear about some of your fond memories you have with your family and stories they've told you below that relate to the video above. Learn more about how New York Life can help you and your family Keep Good Going!

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