Happiness :)

What is happiness to you?

To me it was always I’ll be happy when….

When I lose the weight.  When I get married. When I have kids.  When I get the promotion.  When I buy a house.  And the list goes on.

What I noticed once I accomplished my goal, I’d quickly move on to the next thing,  making productivity God.

When I first heard that saying..making productivity God, it stopped me in my tracks.  That was me. I was the girl who always has to get to the next thing.  I couldn’t enjoy the moments, only the milestones.

This year was my breaking point, or my awakening where I realized I wasn’t happy moving forward to the next thing.  I wanted to just be, to breath and enjoy the moment.  Why did everything have to have a goal date?

And then I realized it didn’t.

And then I thought…wait.  If I don’t have a goal date, who am I?  Everything about me is based on goals.

And then I realized I can still have goals, just not be so attached to them.  Meaning I can set a vision or intention and set it free, leaving it in the hands of something greater than me.

So, today as I drove into work, listening to a recording of Gabby Bernstein’s talk, I said to myself, I chose happiness.  I chose to enjoy the moment.  I got out of the car, told the parking attendant to have a great day, got in the elevator and called my husband.

I called him to tell him our kids are adorable (it was picture day and their little outfits and smiles made my heart melt).  My husband’s response was you called me to tell me that?  I said yes and to tell you how much I love you and our family.

If you are like me, are you talking the moments in your life for granted?  You don’t need a milestone to be happy.  You can be happy right now!

Try it…it’s pretty awesome.

Till next time…Sparkle On!

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

The weather is getting cooler and that means I break out oatmeal recipes. I started this week with none other than my pumpkin pie oatmeal and wanted to share with you!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 c almond milk
  • 1 c water
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I think I do more like 2 tsp because I love it)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 c old fashion oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp flex seeds
  • handful of sliced almonds

Here’s how you make it:

  1. In a large saucepan, mix milk, water, pumpkin, and spices.  Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Stir in oats, chia seeds, flax seed and nuts.  Continue to stir for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, cover for 2 minutes.
  4. Serves 4 and can be saved for a week in a covered container in the fridge.

I like topping mine with fruit or more nuts.  Have fun with it and enjoy!

Till next time…Sparkle on!

To Workout or Not to Workout?

That is the question!

This past week, I have been exhausted.  Not sure if it’s the changing of seasons, tightening up my food, hitting my workouts harder, dealing with a sick one year old and a needy, lovable 4-year-old or something else.

I’m sure these all contribute in some way to my tiredness and it would be easy for me to look at the alarm clock and say, nope not today.  Today, I’ll sleep in.

But sleeping in won’t get me to my goals of being a super fit mama from the inside out now would it?

So, instead of hitting snooze, I get my butt out of bed and do the workout.

And you know what?

I get energy to move and complete the workout.

And energy for the day.

In keeping real, I certainty do not want to get moving.  But I tell myself, just do a little and if it’s not 110% just do 100% or even 90% but you have to move.  It starts out slow but as I get into it, I’m giving it my everything.

The workout ends and I feel good on so many levels.  Good because I got the workout in.  Good because I accomplished something before anyone else in the house is up.  And good because I have energy.

I often find people will say, I’m too tired to workout but that is the exact reason you should work out.

Look we all get tired and sometimes a rest is needed but sometimes you need that workout.  That workout is going to help you gain energy and get you closer to your goals.

So next time you are tired, ask yourself this, “do I really need a rest day or will the workout do me good?  If the answer is it will do you good, start moving and see what happens.  Still no energy, then maybe you need water or in fact need a rest day.

But you won’t know unless you try.

Till next time…Sparkle On!

Before and After

When I think before and after, I think weight loss journey.  I have been taking my before and after pictures for more than 5 years at least.  After having Linc, I was so excited to take my before pictures to see how much progress I would make.

Unfortunately, this year was a struggle emotionally and physically.  From having some type of postpartum to being injured twice with the injuries taking forever to heal and needing physical therapy for both.

For some reason this week, I really wanted to see my progress as I hadn’t seen any in weight or measurements.  So, I did a side by side of the pictures I had taken.  And I’m sharing them here.  The first picture is me 6 weeks after having Linc, so around October 2015 time frame.  The  picture on the left is me from August 2016, so a little less than a years difference.

 

I was scared to put them side by side..what if there was no difference.  But look…there is a difference!  Thank goodness but let me be real…I still had a pity party for myself because for some reason I think it should be better than this. I started comparing myself to after having my first baby, where I got right back into shape.

And then I listened to my heart and thought of everything I have been teaching myself to do….I was kind to myself.  I congratulated myself on my progress.  And then I dug deeper…

What these pictures don’t show, is the change that has gone on inside of me.  The change from a woman who wanted nothing to do with anyone, who would cry at anything, who didn’t think she could handle being a mom of 2 to a woman who is stronger everyday, finding a way to integrate work and family together, loving herself and making sure to fit fun in every freaking day (it could be enjoying a cup of coffee or having a dance party with my kids).

Pictures, like the scale are only one way to measure progress.

The inside progress is just as important as the outside progress and that’s why I cannot wait to start my coaching program up soon. I know I keep teasing you guys but I swear as soon as it is up, you will know!!!!  So much to share…eek!

In the meantime, here’s a little exercise to try.  Take a moment in a quite place to think of one thing you have made progress toward getting to your ultimate goal.  Remember it doesn’t have to be physical…it can be from the inside.  In fact, think of only progress made from the inside.  Go ahead close your eyes or just sit and think of the one thing…I’ll wait.

Did you do that?  Great, write it down somewhere you’ll see it and remind yourself on a regular basis how far you come and that you rock!

Till next time….Sparkle on!

 

Is it a Sign?

Do you believe in signs?

I do!

Although I have been seeing signs everywhere for something I have been seeking guidance on.  I didn’t truly SEE it till the other day and it was AMAZING!

Let me explain…I have been asking for guidance if launching my coaching program is the right thing to do for me personally.  Would this be something I could embrace and love or was it something that would suck the life out of me?

For me, I truly believe seeing 1111 or 111 means good things are coming my way.  I have been seeing this a lot lately but just regarded as I’m on the right road to growing into the woman I want to be.  Score!

I recently started reading the book, The Universe has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein.  One of the chapters talks about learning through love.  So I set a reminder on my phone to go off every morning saying, “I am ready to learn through love.”

Now wait for it….I went to yoga last week and had one of the best yoga classes. Has that happened to you…just some classes are better than others?  When we went into the meditation state at the end of the class, I decided to say the mantra I put on my phone, “I am ready to learn through love” and as I said it over and over the song in the background was singing about letting love in.

In that moment I had my sign.  I could feel the tears coming down my check and knew this was legit.  It was time to set my coaching forth and know it would rock my world and those who participated.

Crazy right?!

I allowed myself to be open to the possibility that somehow I’d know if I was on the right path by waiting for a sign and sure enough it came through.

Not sure how to look for a sign or ask for a sign?  Here’s what I did to experience my sign in yoga:

  1. The first step is to figure out what you need a sign for.  Get clear about it, the more specific the better.
  2. Pick something that you want to be your sign.  This can be anything and sometimes you don’t know what it is till it happens.  For me “love” was not a sign I was looking for…it just happened because my sign of 111 or 1111 kept showing up and I kept ignoring it.  This can be an object, an animal, a song, a word or a number.
  3. Be patient and let the magic happen.

Till next time….Sparkle on!

Waiting

It was funny, this morning as I was getting dressed for yoga, I put on my pink Lulumon tights and thought about waiting.  I was going to wait till I got fitter to buy these tights but I decided why am I waiting and got this spring.

Then I thought of how I’m waiting for the perfect moment to clean up my food.  But why?

Why do we wait till the perfect moment to do anything we want to do?

Why do we think once everything is perfect it will be easier?

I agree some things you should wait on, but when it comes to our goals, we should just do…you don’t get anywhere without starting.

So what if you have few slip ups…those will only make you stronger.

I seriously have been putting off cleaning up my eating because it’s pumpkin season and I don’t want to deprive myself…but that is crazy.  Why can’t I have both?  Eating healthy and eating my pumpkin.

I can…I just have to tweak my regular diet to accommodate for the pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin dessert.

So today…I start.  It might not be perfect but it will be the best decisions I can make.  And I do have left over pizza in the fridge (veggie) and I’m still going to have that…maybe one or 2 slices with more water and a salad.  There are ways to make it work.

It’s up to us to make getting to our goals work for us.  So, what are you waiting for?

Till next time…Sparkle on!

Little Things

When you hear the word self-love, what do you think of?

Do you think it’s being in love with yourself (in not a good way) or being selfish?

Well it’s not.

Self love is taking care of you, so you can be the best version of yourself.

How often do you do things for others?  Go above and beyond for friends, family, your kids, co-workers, etc?  When was the last time you did something for you?

Really think about it….take a minute.

Okay, did you think about it?  Good.

For me, I have always been a person that needed time by myself so I’ve always taken time in my day for just me.  That could be driving to work by myself, grocery shopping by myself or going up to my room earlier to read.  Nothing glamorous.

But this last year, I needed more than just that time.  I needed to really fuel myself differently than I had been.  I had no idea where to start so I started big…massages, mani/pedis, etc.

Then I realized wait, I don’t need to spend a ton of money to feel good and happy.  I love little things.  So, I started adding a weekly ritual of doing something small like taking a yoga class, buying flowers, painting my own nails, buying a cute mug (which makes me smile every time I sip my coffee, or drinking a bottle of Smart Water (I have no idea why that makes me happy but it does).

Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you need to spend money.  It could be reading a book, going for a walk, or taking a longer shower or bath.

In my mom group on Facebook, every Friday is Self Care FriYAY!  It’s a time for us to post what we are doing to love ourselves because we are kick ass mamas.  So, I want to extend this challenge to you.  Every week, do something little for you!

You deserve it.  You are enough.  You are loved and you need to learn to love you…because you rock!

Till next time…Sparkle on!

 

De cluttering

I took a coaching program this year and one of the first lessons she taught us was to make space for what we wanted in our lives.  In order to do that, we had to get rid of the things weighting us down.  You know like the junk, like relationships, clothes that don’t fit or you are keeping because “one day” they will fit, etc.

I did this exercise right before I joined the coaching group, not realize what an impact cleaning out your junk can have.  I just did it as part of my spring cleaning.

After the program was over, I had accomplished what I set out to do in the group, find my purpose which lead me to create my coaching program…eek…it’s coming guys!!!!!  But something was holding me back from actually launching my program.

I  knew it was time to dig in to the assignment of decluttering. Two weeks ago I slowly started the process.  I needed something fun to start with, so I picked the kitchen.  It would be instant gratification since I’m in there all the time, cooking, eating and working on my coaching program.

Little by little, I cleaned out drawers and cabinets, bought things to organize the items under the sink, within the drawers, and on the counters.  I love organizing things so this was fun and I felt lighter and clearer about my vision and message on my blog and social media (I was having major writers block after Paris).

So I continued on to the hallway closet.  You know this one right?  The closet where you just throw stuff in there and hope the door shuts and no one else goes in there to look for anything.

As I went through all the items in the closet, I threw away a TON of things I had no idea why I had kept….broken umbrella, scarfs that were unraveling, bubble containers with no bubbles, and the list goes on. Again, I felt lighter and clearer and more importantly I was having fun (I know I’m a dork).

I knew I had to keep going but now we were getting into the biggies. The dreaded bedroom closet, the playroom, the office, the garage and the basement.

Because I was dreading these I knew I needed to tackle them one at a time.  So I decided to start with my closet (and dresser).  But I broke it down even further and only tacked my clothes.  The shoes will come later.

This is my trigger point…clothes!  I love them and I love to NOT get rid of them.  So I grabbed a glass of champagne, because everything is better with a glass of bubbly!  For me, my clothes define who I am.  The thought of going through each item and deciding if it was still me or not was a little unsettling.

Here’s why.  I had kept all my pre-baby clothes thinking that I’d fit into them by now and guess what I don’t.  So, to me I was afraid I’d feel like a failure when I got to clothes that still didn’t fit me after over a year of having my son.  But guess?

The exact opposite happened! Instead of feeling like a failure, I felt accomplished and ready for the next thing.  Let me explain….

It took me 2 hours and 2 and 1/2 bags to go through my clothes.  And instead of getting frustrated at myself for not losing the weight and being able to wear these clothes, I gained a whole lot of space and a whole lot of perspective!

With each item, I asked myself some questions to help determine what would stay and what would go in the Goodwill pile.

  • Have I worn this in the last 2 years?
    • If no, is it something that will fit me next season? These items either went in the back of the closet or in my “summer clothes” bin.
      • If yes, save.
      • If no, give away.
  • Did I like wearing this when it fit?
    • If yes, keep and put either in back of closet or in the bin for next season.
    • If no, give away.

The drawers were easy…I was done with those in no time and it was awesome to see how much space I had.  I actually have one full drawer that is empty!  And more importantly, I can honestly say that everything in my drawers I love and are not there for “just in case” I might need it one day.

The closet wasn’t as easy but definitely better than I anticipated.  I took a sip of champagne, a deep breath and emptied the whole thing, throwing all the clothes on the bed.  Once the closet was empty, I put only the newer items that fit me back into the closet.

Then I looked at my dresses that I celebrated many great events in.  And had to make decisions if those memories were worth it or if it was time to give them away.  I decided to keep the newer dresses, the classics and my rehearsal dinner dress even if they didn’t fit me right now.

I went through a similar process with my suit jackets, pants and skirts.  At this point, I started realizing I had a lot of clothes that I didn’t really enjoy wearing even when they fit me.  So, why the heck did I keep them?  I only kept the classics.

After everything was re-hung or put into bags, I looked around my closet and I saw tons of space.  Tons of space to allow new clothes to make themselves into my wardrobe for the woman I am now.  She’s different from the woman I was and letting go of those clothes was the first step to allowing the new me to step up.

I share this story because we all have something holding us back.  Maybe your something is not clothes, maybe it’s something else.  What I realized after this process (and I still have the other rooms to do) you cannot truly move on and accomplish great things till you acknowledge what’s holding you back, declutter and allow you to be you.

Till next time…Sparkle on!

Recipe: Stuffed Avocado

Happy Monday! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe.  Probably because I eat the same thing over and over but not this weekend. I finally created a stuffed avocado and I loved it…this will be going into my food rotation for sure!

I’m on an even bigger kick lately of making better food choices.  I think it has to do with allowing myself to enjoy the fall foods (pumpkin everything).  Weekends are tough to eat healthy, especially lunch for some reason.  We tend to order out because it’s just easier with 2 small kids pulling us in all different directions (do you feel me?).

But not this weekend (okay Sunday we did order out but not on Saturday).  Instead of ordering out on Saturday, I looked around the kitchen and saw a perfectly ripe avocado and decided to make a meal out of it.

I got this idea from Pinterest of course, so I can’t take all the creative credit for it.  But I did make it my own.  Here’s the ingredients I used:

  • 1 avocado (yes I ate the whole thing)
  • 1 packet of tuna in water
  • lemon juice (few squirts of bottle or 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tbsp of hots (more if you like it spicy, less if you like a little spice.  And if you don’t like spicy skip and add veggies)
  • pickles (I had the long sandwich ones, so I cut up 3 into little pieces)

Here’s how I created this amazing, healthy lunch:

  1. Put tuna in a small bowl.  Add lemon juice , 2 tbsp of hots, and pickles. Mix well.
  2. Cut avocado in half and take the pit out.
  3. Add tuna mix to both halves of avocado (you’ll have leftover tuna that you can use as you eat through the avocado).
  4. Get a fork and dig in….so good!

I can see this being a go to and mixing it up with different flavors and veggies.  It was filling and took less than 5 minutes to make! Win win!

Till next time….Sparkle on!