Well I think it's safe to say I'm back in the saddle again after an AMAZING weekend!  Friday morning we jumped in the car and headed west to the windy city to attend a Dani Johnson seminar.  Now, if you read my blog regularly you will know that I've been following Dani's work for about 6 months now.  I've read her books, listened to her audio CDs and taken advantage of all the great FREE resources she has to offer on her site, www.danijohnson.com, please go check it out!   This amazing woman has help me in all facets of my life, in my marriage, as a parent, with my finances and even with my fitness business as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach.  This was my second time attending one of her live seminars, the first one I attended was back in January in Orlando, FL.  From the beginning of the year she's rocked my world, opened me up to recognize my ego I didn't even know I had, made me realize how simple success can be, made me a better parent and a wife, just a better person in general!  Well I couldn't keep her a secret all to myself so I sent my dear hubby to LA to see her all on his own to get his own experience and then this time around we went together and brought people with us to Chicago.  Some got more out of it than others, but I can honestly say that the ones that did walk away with a renewed sense of vision in life and for people in general went in with an open mind and an open heart.  I'm truly blessed to be surrounded with such incredible individuals.  It is so very true, the saying that states, "You are the 5 people you choose to surround yourself with."  This past weekend I was totally surrounded with hundreds of people who desire more out of life, who just want to be happy and make others happy, who want to rid themselves of negativity, who have a VISION for their life.  I'm on a complete high right now and I don't plan on coming back down EVER.  This is the power that this seminar, First Steps To Success can have on you, granted that you have enough common sense to check your ego at the door, let down your guard and open your ears and your heart.  It seems simple right?  You'd be surprised how hard it is for some, and they're the ones that need it most.  Isn't that just how life is though right?!  Sometimes you have to experience the bad to get to the good.  Now I'm not saying everyone needs to plug into Dani, she's not for everyone!  But, I will say this, if you aren't in some way consistently investing in yourself to grow personally, mentally, spiritually, then you will stay stuck my friends.  Stuck in a rut.  Where I found myself a little over a year ago at the end of 2010.  I made a promise to myself that I was going to change my situation, I was going to get healthy, be comfortable in my own skin, feel good about myself so I could be a better mother and wife.  In a few short months I did that, lost 35lbs and gained a business that I could be proud of and help others who were struggling just like me.  Then I was introduced to Dani.  I was greatly satisfied with my physical transformation, but my personal and financial situation was still stuck.  She showed me the light, I was eager to learn and to grow and I did.  It brought me to this point in my life.  EXTREMELY happy and content, a VISION for life and what I want out of it, a happy marriage, happy children and a growing business that has done wonders for us financially.  I'm blessed friends, so very blessed.   I wasn't given all this over night.  The Law of Promotion says that, "He who can be trusted with the little things, will be made ruler over much."  Read that over and over and over again, let it sink in.  It's about the little things.  Doing them over and over again consistently.  Repetition is the mother of skill.  It will lead to mastery and it is then that you will be rewarded with more.  It is so very simple friends, don't make it hard.  I believe in YOU.  Believe in YOURSELF. 
I'm so very blessed to be able to communicate this with you all, those of you that are reading, you are the ones that I choose to surround myself with.  In some way shape or form the words I write have been inspired by you.  Have a blessed day, make it a GREAT week :)  Love you all!
Well hello there & happy Monday!  Nothing like a little fresh fashion update to start the week off, right?!  Last week I posted about my little trip in downtown Cleveland and if you remember I hinted toward a swanky little hidden gem I came across while strolling 4th street.  That little gem is called The Dredger's Union, look em up on Facebook!
What a super cute shop this is!  It struck me as a Urban Outfitter meets J. Crew meet Banana Republic type of store, very cool....  And what's even more cool... they are locally owned and produce 40% of the clothing right downstairs in their basement!  How cool is that?!  Check out the pic above I snagged while browsing the store!  I found it absolutely amazing that they produced most of their clothes right there, from drawing board to rack... how New York of them!  Check out a few of the pics below of the rest of the store....
They even has an accessories section that showcased items for the bathroom, bedroom and just everyday commodities!
While scoping out the accessories section I found this sweet little lunch box set, it has different little sections where you can carry multiple food items and salad dressing and keep everything separate, even comes with a cute fork/spoon/knife combo that fit nicely in the little  box as welll!  Perfect for packing healthy snack options on the go :)

What  a great little find!  If you are in the downtown Cleveland area for a show, dinner or a game... The Dredger's Union is a must see!

Have a FANTASTIC week all!
Ahhh YESSSS!  It is definitley getting to be that time of year and I'm super stoked!  The bathing suits are out in FULL force in the stores and I simply could not walk by these beauties without snatching them up :)  The neon yellow on the left is a sweet little number I found at Target for $30 total and the 'Sexy And I Know It' suit on the right is Op Brand and I scored it at Wal-mart for $14, for the whole thing!  Yeah I know there's not much to it, but really, most tops and bottoms of swim suits this cute are $25 for each piece... so YAY for me!  The Brazil Butt Lift workouts are going fantastic and I SO can't wait to rock these suits this summer! 

Another sure sign Summer is upon us... well for me anyway is that my 5K fun run season is on the horizon! Yes, in about a month I kick off my fun runs with the Rite Aid Cleveland 5K, Saturday May 19th!  I believe this race focuses on Autism Awareness!  I love running for a cause!  These races I hold near and dear to my heart :)
5K number 2 will be for the LULA 5K, which is run by the organization known as Girls With Sole, their mission is to use Fitness & Wellness to empower the minds, bodies, and souls of young girls who have been abused (sexual, physical, or otherwise) or who are at risk of abuse.  I was just made aware of this organization this year and it is a phenomenal organization with a great purpose and I'm so so happy to be associated with it in some way, shape or form!  This race takes place on June 10th!
So as of right now, those are the two I am registered for and are a GO for me!  I will definitely be adding more races to my summer list and I will def. keep you posted!  I run these races to support a cause, to show my appreciation and support for others who at the present time just might not be able to fight for themselves, therefore, I will fight for them.  It is my way of giving back, giving hope, creating a smile.  I don't run for time, I run for freedom and inspiration... If you would like to join me in any of these races definitely hit me up!  And if we are close to eachother, let's train together!  I live near a beautiful park that has an awesome running trail, my goal right now is to at least run once or twice a week up until race day, the other days of the week I'll be strength training and cardio training with Turbo and BBL.  I ran my first 3.6 miles last Sunday... whew, that woke the old running muscles up!  Would love some company on the trail, if you're interested, get ahold of me!  Have a wonderful week fit friends!
Easter over already?!  My goodness this year is just moving swiftly right along!  I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday.  We started our day out bright and early Sunday looking for Easter eggs and tearing into the Easter basket goodies that the big furry guy left for us :)  Headed out to mid morning church for a beautiful service and then spent the rest of the day enjoy time with the families!  One too many Mini Cadbury Eggs has be right back on track this week though!  Come on... gotta have the Cadbury Eggs on Easter right?!?  :)  Good thing I received TWO brand new workout programs last week... here let me tell ya about em!
Of course, first and foremost I just HAD to get the new Fire Starter Pack from TurboFire that just became available last week.  These new DVDs are more or less a prequel to TurboFire, thus the Fire Starter ;)  The are low impact, high intensity workouts designed to ease folks into TurboFire... oh but don't think these DVDs are a walk in the park!  There may not be any jumping involved but you do get LOW, and I mean LOW, yeah, like legs on FIYAH low!  Did the Low HIIT 20 workout this morning and holy wow!  And I've been doing Turbo for a year now and that was a whole new kinda burn, loved it! 
And also last week I received in the mail.... Yes, from the awesome company that I work for, Beachbody, a brand new complimentary, personally signed copy of the new workout program Tai Cheng!  Oh and a sweet new gym bag too!  No, they didn't just send this to me on a whim!  Although they do send me a ton of stuff just for being a loyal team player :)  This awesome gift was earned!  Myself and 4 other coach collegues were a team among 700 other team in the Beachbody network competing in a company challenge during the months of January and February and guess what?!  No we didn't win.... but we did come in 2nd place!  Out of 700+ teams in the entire Beachbody network!  So proud of my team and we have been blessed by the company with oodles of gifts other than just this one above.  Very grateful and humbled to be apart of such a great company that recognized hard work and a job well done!  So yeah!  I think it's safe to say I have more than enough fitness options to keep me sailing right into summer, which is NOT too far away!  I bought a neon yellow bikini last week too... YIKES!  Operation Brazil Butt Lift, Turbo and Tai Cheng is in FULL swing!  Countdown til SUMMER!  Can't wait!  Have an awesome week fit friends!  I have a delish foodie post coming up too for this week, so stay tuned!
I can hardly believe it fit friends.  Next week on March 28, it will have been one year since I started on this amazing journey with my health and fitness, taking my own Beachbody Challenge with TurboFire and Shakeology.  As I sit here and type this I am practically in tears at how my life has positively changed in so many ways.  A year ago I was 165lbs, unhappy with my body and the way I felt, I had no energy, no desire to do anything but get up, go to work, come home, do dinner and go to bed, only to do it all over again.  My dreams were non-existent, my hope was pretty much crushed.  Now.... after losing over 30lbs, lowered my overall body fat by more than half and increased my energy like woah, I feel as if the entire world is at my fingertips, I have dreams, I've reached AMAZING goals and milestones in fitness, in family, in business and in life in general.  If you were to sit here and tell me this would be my life that I'm living right now a year ago, I would have called you a liar to your face.  Absolutely humbled and blessed beyond words.  So, I wanted to just take a minute to kind of let you all know that now you may look at my life and think I have it all figured out, well that's not the case.... I'm teachable friends, I leave myself open to learn something new everyday and to learn from others who struggle the same way I did almost a year ago.  I want you to know that this journey wasn't easy.  When I first started working out on Day 1, by Day 2 and 3 I wanted to quit.   I was sore as heck and I just didn't want to move.  But, my WANT overcame my EXCUSES and I pushed through.  Day by day, week by week, the soreness got better and I started to get more energy.  I also struggled with cravings and wanted to eat junk that I knew wasn't good for me.  For the entire 90 days of my commitment to my journey to lose weight, I nixed all junk food, no cheat days, no breaks, I was serious about dropping the weight and feeling better and I wanted results as fast as I could get em.  You know, I'm all about enjoying life and having a piece of cake and ice cream, and eating a yummy mexican joints, trust me, I LOVE TO EAT... but, I made a commitment to myself for 90 days to push and strive for the results I wanted and I wasn't about to let a night out, a cheat day or a slip get the best of me in this 90 days.  This is the type of commitment that gets results.  You CANNOT expect to get results when you are only committed part of the time.  You commit part time, you're gonna get part time results.  After giving my full commitment for the entire 90 days, I found myself happier, I reached my goal, I had energy, I had DREAMS, I had more GOALS.  I felt FANTASTIC.  I can't believe it's been a year, 365 days friends.  If I can completely transform my life and the lives around me in 1 years time, there's no doubt in my mind that you can too.  What do ya say.... Are you willing to commit ONE YEAR of your life, with the chance that you just may make yourself happier, more fulfilled, FULL OF LIFE.  I made that choice.  And I'm SO glad I did.  It brought me here, talking about in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.  I've been there friends, I know how hard it can be and I've made it to the other side and I KNOW how good it can be.  If I can inspire just ONE person to take the leap, transform their life, then I know I did my part and that makes me extremely happy.  We are in this together fit friends.  Strap yourself in... it's gonna be one heck of a ride... and ya know what.... THE BEST IS YET TO COME :)
Hey hey all!  I took a week off from writing, I'm wondering if all the wonderful weather we've been having had something to do with it :)  Really... we are being spoiled with this mild winter here in Northwestern Ohio!  I'm not complaining, that is FOR SURE!  So does anyone else feel like there are just not enough hours in the day?  I'm so blaming this one on Daylight savings, why the heck does it have to entail losing one whole hour!?  I'll take the extra daylight... just not losing the extra hour, right!?  LOL... ah well, bottom line is I'm healthy, happy and grateful for the hours I DO have.  So a brand new week is upon us, I'm happy to stay that for the next 2 weeks I'll be going strong in phase 3 of P90X2, I'm very happy with my progress and I've been researching/contemplating my next program... which I'm thinking might be INSANITY.  Yikes!  I'm ready to get my cardio on though, 60 days of pure high intense cardio workouts, that should get me all set for summer!  60 days and counting!  I mean we are already experiencing some hints of summer, with 75 degree weather this past weekend, made for an awesome St. Patty's day!  Got out on the Harley and indulged in my one green beer Saturday afternoon, so nice to get out, lots of fun :)
Saturday night, the lil fam and I joined some friends for a special St. Patty's Day party for the kiddos... I love this pic below, it's of all the kids with the yummy green cuppycakes, and don't mind that they all looked possessed, that's all thanks to the flash on my iPhone LOL :)  But, I do have to brag on my little godson (yes, he's the one making the funny/scary face LOL)!!  You see he does this for every picture just to get under this mother's (my BBF) skin, and I FRIGGIN LOVE IT!  Hahaha!!!  I'm sorry, this cracks me up, he's 3, and he's a boy.... would you expect anything less?! 
All in all, a fantastic weekend!  So ready to start this week off with a bang!  Lots to look forward to, lots to get done... have a good one fit friends!
You know that feeling of release when you reach a goal you've set for yourself?  That feeling of pure bliss and sense of freedom that rings through your body knowing all the work you put in has finally paid off?!  As most of you know I'm big into planning, I plan days, weeks and even months in advance.  Last June I made a goal to reach Diamond rank in my Beachbody business by April 2012, which would be exactly one year from when I signed up to be a Beachbody Coach.  For some reaching this rank comes easily and rather quickly.  But, working full time with a media company, being a wife and mother to twins I knew it was going to take me just a little bit longer, which meant I had to make a well designed plan, stick to it and work efficiently at it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  At the beginning of this year, I decided to up the ante and shoot to reach my goal by March 21st when I will have completed 1 round of P90X2.  Well, I'm proud to announce that last Thursday, I reached that Diamond rank on March 1st!  Thrilled that I reached my GOAL a whole 20 days earlier!  What a FANTASTIC feeling!  Have to share this image, it's from my to-do list app on my iPhone, you can see the date in June that I set this PUSH goal for myself.. how cool is that?!
Moral of the story friends... Do NOT underestimate the power of a to-do list!!  Everyday, I had small tasks that moved me closer to my goal and bit by bit I got there...PROOF!  But the train of success doesn't stop here, more goals have since them put into motion and within the next few weeks a new PUSH goal will be put into place.  I took it easy this passed weekend, rewarding myself for all the hard work I had done, I relax, took it easy, indulged in my fav shows on TV and just really enjoyed my family, which in the end is why I work so dang hard in the first place :) Ended the fantastic weekend with an amazing dinner prepared by my hubby, which I snapped this pic with my new obsession app, Instagram!   
How delish does that look!?  Ok, my stomach just started to growl LOL!!  So I guess, I'm off to make myself a healthy snack and get this week started off right!  Awesome week ahead, last week of Phase 2 in P90X2, a little Turbo with my favs mid-week, I have a date with my lil fam to see The Fresh Beat Band Friday at the State Theater and then Saturday is the big Beachbody Challenge event taking place in my area!  Lots to do, lots to look forward to! Make it a great week friends!
Hey hey all!  So today is the 1st day of Lent!  Now I can't assume that all of you follow the same faith as I do, that's just silly, but as a devote Catholic and a woman of strong faith I will totally be partaking in the Lenten season.  During Lent it is customary for those to give up something that we consider a luxury, something we could easily do without OR there is also the option to add something to your life, like making a commitment to add a good deed or positive change.  This year, I'm giving up make up!  I love my make up, I have at least 3 make up bags and you will never see me out and about without make up on.  Soooo, yep, 40 days, NO MAKE UP!  The pic above I took this morning, absolutely no make up, just moisturizer!  This is going to be interesting, I can't wait to see how this effects my everyday life.  I will tell you one thing, my 'get ready' time will be cut WAY DOWN!  I'm looking forward to this new idea :)  Are you giving anything up for Lent?

So let's talk about this weekend!  It was a loooong one for me, in a good way!  Took Friday off and had a great time with the family at The Great Wolf Lodge!  The kids are at the perfect age now where we can go on all the waterslides!  So fun!  One of their favorite things to do... stand under the huge bucket of water LOL!  My favorite... the hot tub :)
Wooooosh! Haha.. Mari is in the blue, purple and green bikini and Hai is right next to her in the orange trunks!
Saturday I had an awesome Turbo class bright and early and when I got home I was surprised that the UPS man has delivered the much anticipated bag of Tropical Shakeology!
The verdict... I give it a 7 out 10.  I like it, it smells phenomenal, but it lacks (for me) in texture and volume.  Meaning, the texture is not as smooth as I'm used to and the volume is very thin, I like a thick shake and Chocolate still stands at #1 for me!  The flavor of Tropical is very good and if definitely has that smoothies effect to it so I could def. go for one every now and then if I'm feeling fruity :) 

Sunday and Monday were totally relaxing days, had a house full of kids on Monday since it was President's Day and no school, so the kids had their besties over to play :)  Can't believe it's already Wednesday!  Ahhh the benefits of a shortened week!  Hope the week is treating you well!  Looking forward to teaching my first Turbo class of the week tonight!  Do you have a workout on tap for tonight?  Maybe you got one in already?  Share with us!
WOW!  Thursday already?!  Yes, yes I know I'm SO late on my post this week, but in my defense I just returned from my trip to Orlando a few days ago and it took a few days to re-adjust to my routine.  But, I'm back and all chaos has been restored :)  Oh friends... where do I begin... this past weekend was one that I will NEVER forget.  It forever changed the way I will think, act and LIVE.  And all for the better.  So, let me get ya back up to speed, this past weekend I attended Dani Johnson's First Steps To Success seminar.  WOW.  That's all, WOW!  I can't go over EVERYTHING, I would honestly have a million pages of notes if I did that.  But, I will tell you this, I learned more about myself in 3 days, than I have in my entire LIFE.  This woman is not only of brilliance in a business sense, but if you struggle at all with your finances, your relationships or your faith... you need to plug into the info that she is giving out.  End of story.  I came back with a renewed sense of vision and a whole lotta information that I plan to put into action!  BOOM!  I'm excited :)  So let me share a few pics I took at the conference....
This was Day 2 of the event. Dani sectioned us off into 4 different groups based on our personality types: Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald & Pearl. FYI, I'm a Sapphire, I'm motivated by fun, I see the good in ALL situations, I have a tendency to be a little over the top, but it's all in good nature... is that a dead on description of me or what?! :) Funny story.. when she turned to our group to talk, she cued for music to start and instantaneously ALL the Sapphires in the group immediately stood up and started dancing LOL! We can't help ourselves!
This was Day 3. Dani did a specific workshop for those that run a home based business (ME! Beachbody Coach!). LOTS of good info at this workshop, definitely learned a lot of great concepts, techniques and practices. This training will definitely give me an edge in my business!
Definitely some great info during all 3 days of the seminar, I'm SO incredibly grateful that I went and that I took advantage of this opportunity, it will definitely come back to help me times 10!

So, while down in Orlando, I stayed with some amazing friends, really I'm so blessed to have these friendships!  We sampled the local fare and I definitely had to bring my love and those babies something back from Florida!  What kinda wife/mother would I be if I didn't, right!?  :)
First stop was the Orlando Harley Davidson store... of course I had to get the Hubs some skulls!
Next stop was lunch at the Alehouse (we went there ALOT!) I'm here with my housemates, the beautiful Carmela and the power couple Joe & Tina! We owned that place, everyone wanted to know about Beachbody :) All 3 of us ladies were sporting the logos in one way, shape or form!
Right before we headed out Friday night to register for Dani Johnson and have dinner with a few other amazing peeps! SMOKIN'!
LOVE this pic. Carmela and I wearin' & sharin' at Senor Frogs!
My last night there, my good friend Joe and I hit up a place called Funky Monkey, what an awesome place! It looked real swanky, but the prices actually weren't bad! I had a big house salad with ginger dressing and lobster sushi...DELISH!
Leaving Funky Monkey we passed this restaurant, Wonder Works. Yeah, it's upside down. Coolest thing ever!
So, those are pretty much all the pics I got while I was down there.  So much fun, learned SO much, met AMAZING people.  A truly great experience!  But, after 4 days I was READY TO GO HOME to my love and my babies!!!!!  I tell you what I couldn't get off that  plane fast enough LOL!  It was almost like a scene in a movie... notice I said ALMOST.  Tony was waiting at the bottom of the escalator at baggage claim for me and was gonna surprise me... well, I got off at a different escalator LOL!!! We played phone tag until we finally saw eachother haha... still an amazing reunion, I never want to be away from him or my kids for that long again, next time... they come with me!  I did have a HUGE surprise waiting for me.  MY HUBBY.. my hubby totally converted our basement into a home gym!!!  Check it out!!
What a kick butt surprise!!!!!
Wooo!  I'll have no problem heading down at 5AM to get a workout in with this just a staircase away LOL!  I'm so blessed.  Be blessed friends.  Look for the good in all situations.  Don't get me wrong, I get frustrated sometimes and I do have an ugly side (right honey!), but I will never forget what I have or where I came from.  What a way to start off 2012.  What a YEAR it will be.  Have an awesome week fit friends.  We'll talk soon!
Ohhh fit friends!  As I sit here writing this I'm about 48 hours away from turning the big 3-0!  It's all too hard to believe really, but yet it's really about to happen!  I can't complain.. my first 30 years have been a wild ride, the things I've done, experienced and learned have all gotten me to this point in life right now and I'll tell ya what... I couldn't be happier ;)  So.. why don't I share with you how I celebrated (yes, I celebrated a week early, because I'll be gone to Florida this weekend *more on that in a min.)  Saturday was the big night... my chicas, my family, some long time friends and my love hit up The Reserve Bar & Grill at The Kalahari for a night of dinner, drinks and F-U-N!  The night was complete with the 3-0 glasses, fun decorations and cupcakes that spelled out, you guessed it... 3-0!  One thing that makes turning 30 easier... one of my best girlfriends since like grade school turns the big 3-0 just a day after me.... having my pal, Sarah, crossing over that hump makes it ten times easier for sure!
The night went perfect... we laughed, we danced and we definitely sampled all the fun fruity drinks that were being handed to us!  Couldn't have asked for a better night!  Enjoy the fruity drink montage below!
Wooo! Ok, enough of that! LOL :)   So you can bet that Sunday was a LAZY day for us, we managed not to over do it too bad, but we were out LATE and I gotta tell ya, this mama need her rest!  Haha.. must be the age talkin' huh ;)  Well, my week has been off to a great start, I'm fully prepared to crossover to the ripe age of 30 and it's kind of a surreal feeling because as I turn this milestone age I'm also doing something that I've NEVER done before and is completely out of my comfort zone.  This Friday, the day after my birthday, I am leaving for Orlando, FL... on my own.  This is only the second time I've flown at all and will be flying by myself to Orlando to attend a Dani Johnson conference.  I've talked about how I've been following Dani Johnson for a few months now on here and I made the decision last month that this is something that I want to do for myself.  As I turn this milestone age I'm bound and determined to make things happen for myself.  After the past year of self improvement, I feel like this is the next level experience that I need to take in order to reach some of the goals that I've set for myself this year.  This just isn't about me.  I'm doing this because I know in my heart that there is so much more out there for me to gain so that I can in turn become more valuable and be able to give my family the life that they deserve.  Am I unsatisfied with the current place I'm at in my life right now?  That answer is a definite NO.  I'm very satisfied with the life I have now.  I have an amazing husband, who I love more now than I did 15 years ago when we walked hand in hand down the halls of our high school.  I have two wonderful children, that I have NO CLUE how I ever lived without.  My parents and family are the best, most understanding and supportive people I could ever be blessed with and friends that I would go to the ends of the earth for.  I'm very blessed and I have a gorgeous life.  That's exactly why I want to do this and DO MORE.  If I've learned anything in this passed year, it is that when you start to get comfortable being uncomfortable, then that's when big things start to happen.  I've witnessed it and I've experienced it first hand.  This weekend, I step OUT of my comfort zone.  I'm scared, I'm nervous... I'M TERRIFIED.  But, I still want to do this and I know that once I get there, I'll be fine and ready to take it all in.  Can't wait to report back to ya'll on this amazing experience and if there's one thing I encourage you to do... Just do one thing you could NEVER see yourself doing... if it's crazy bizarre cool, then DO IT.  If it's something you find yourself saying, "now if THAT could happen to me that'd be wicked cool!"  Then you my friend need to find a way to GET that!  Just do it... just ONE thing out of your comfort zone.  The feeling is exhilarating... I PROMISE.   Wish me luck guys... to 30... here goes nothin!!!!!